Tuesday 13 October 2009

Conversation with Jack Fortenberry, writer of Corinthian Elders

In the 2 winds prophecy(down the page ) it speaks about everything, but everything being shaken.

Everything has to be in Christ. Rooted in him. Grounded in Him. Coming from Him. Heading in a throne direction.

Just as we feel awkward when we now hear the patronizing tones of old Pathe News clips, and just as these are now much sent up by comedians in the USA and UK, so thirdleveller types find secondlevel stuff quite yukky. And just as it would have been impossible to relay to Pathe News quite what was wrong in their delivery, so today, without a breakthrough in the Holy Spirit, it is just as impossible to explain to current leaders who have "done things that way" for 40 years in the charismatic scene, what is wrong in their style.

Here are some areas.

You are promoting you. Whether deliberately or implied.

You are not laying a foundation of Christ and only Christ.

You are saying Christ plus......

You organise things with yourself at the pinnacle.

If you died tomorrow your organisation would flounder.

You speak to people as though they are not your equal in the Blood of Christ.

You seem to think it is important that you always speak/preach/lead.

You don't transplant the Body of Christ method as related in the Bible..that is "everyone hath a"

You believe that each meeting should have no more than one message, and no less than one message. (But Jesus does what He likes thankyou. He is the Lord)

You don't empower those you lead to minister alongside you.

You don't speak from the Christ within. You speak anyway. You have natural flair after all!

It's a bit like the Emperor has no clothes. No one has ever dared tell you these things.

But actually in the 3rd level you are naked.

You do not impart holiness. You have not eaten of it.

You do not impart power. You have not received it. Or if you have it is to promote you.

You say the words of the Bible but you do not impart Word when you speak.

"In the congregation of the righteous " (Psalm1:5) you are undone.

You are unaware of the times we are in and just how developed the Bride of Christ is and you carry on regardless with the same formats, the same material.

People who you should have instructed now have to instruct you - in the ways of the 3rd level.

You took their silence to mean you must talk more. Their silence was their period of waiting on God for His Life to come.

Now like the Joel 2 army. Suddenly they are here.


So it is a time for reassessing everything. This is the point of Jack Fortenberry's book Corinthian Elders. Not that he is right in everything. Not that he has come up with yet another slavish blueprint to follow, another Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil,
another "4 legs good 2 legs bad "from Animal Farm. The point is he is putting everything in the mirror of what the Word actually says. Whether I agree about tithing, one thing is clear, if we tithe it is based on Christ's living Word and not some system. Joseph Prince's church Singapore tithe to missions. Where does the remaining 36 million dollars per annum go? Nine tenths squandered on their own church needs?Perhaps not. But we need to check everything in these days.


With these things in mind I sent an email to Jack. I like Che Ahn's heart when he shares of God's dealings with him. But after discussing about ministries I feel torn between the evident unique empowering upon these gifts in the Body but just as real is what Norman Grubb shares, all Father ministries are apostolic in the sense that they impart the seed of Christ as us. They know how to labour to see Christ formed in others. They know about the third level trick of going to hell for others, "filling up that which is lacking in Christ's affliction ...on behalf of others. Father level people don't talk about being apostles.Well Paul did in his letters. But in person they don't need to...because it is simply evident. They just wander into and out of situations- a bit like the original Dr Who as William Hartnell. Once they've done what they do, they quietly vacate the scene leaving people wondering where they went. But the residue implanted lives on and grows!!!
The blog has been a good hub for many streams of people, though we're only talking about 20 different people per day.
According to stats anyway. It has been good practice for me.

I've been carrying your book around in my heart for a few weeks and thought I'd ask this.
Last night Che Ahn was talking again about ministries on God TV from last year's trip to Maidenhead England.

What is clear is that God raises individuals to do particular tasks...express particular truth...build specific things.
So my question is.....and any answer you give is balanced by my own observations coming from how the Key of David meetings work here...(These are the God alone agenda meetings rather than local church meetings per se)?

Where do you think evident God ministries overstep the mark to start building pyramids in their own likeness?
Things seem to work best when they are driven by one leader with a goal and a vision. Should the Body be following these one men types...or a series of one man types, each expressing their own corner of the Kingdom, their own God birthed revelation? How does it work out among your crowd?

Morris Cerullo gathers all his donors together to blitz them with us much anointed ministry as possible from maybe 15 leaders.
Is this where things are going? That it's local churches without walls...completely open to receiving whomever at any point,
either from among themselves or as God sends folk in...so that at no point we are building round one leader anymore, but Christ?

I just wanted to differentiate between "the everyone hath a" type of sharing, which without Christ can revert back to a Quaker meeting 200 years on,
and the fact that mature ministries need more of a platform to bring the extensive stuff they have to share.

Any thoughts?
Many thanks


Hi Chris,

Likewise I have been encouraged by your FB updates.

I think that those of us (as piano tuners, accountants, etc.) who depend on God’s provision day to day are forced to learn His faithfulness. Whether we want to or not! J. I do pray for your clarity of mind and decisions as you wait on Him for direction in your business. I suspect we are on similar paths in this life.

On your question (Where do you think evident God ministries overstep the mark to start building pyramids in their own likeness? Things seem to work best when they are driven by one leader with a goal and a vision. Should the Body be following these one men types...or a series of one man types, each expressing their own corner of the Kingdom, their own God birthed revelation? How does it work out among your crowd?) I think that I am apt to err in applying God’s perfect Word while interpreting it through my sinful shortcomings. However only to encourage and specifically to offer fellowship I offer the following personal observations.

1) When you say: Things seem to work best when they are driven by one leader with a goal and a vision, you say it exactly right that things ‘seem’ to go best. In other words that they have the appearance of being the best. But I think that sometimes we have to be careful realizing that God’s ways are not our ways that that while we see things a certain way that God may look at things differently. I use as an example how Saul seemed to be the perfect King whereas David seemed an unlikely candidate (not even considered among his brothers) yet though God’s sovereign work was accomplished by each clearly Saul did not please God whereas David won His heart.

2) Certainly there are times when we should all be going in the same direction whereas we should love to follow, say a David. Of course when we do that there will be some who misunderstand and will seek to establish their relationship with God by their relationship with their leader. As a side note sometimes the word follow or leader was used in the NT it was used in the sense of lead as in ‘go before’. In other words chronologically. Not ‘go before’ as in the best seat in the synagogue.

3) When you ponder: Where do you think evident God ministries overstep the mark to start building pyramids in their own likeness?, things ‘seem’ to go awry when the brothers and sisters begin to lose interest in each other and begin to focus on this leader. There are so many ‘one another’ commandments in the New Testament not to mention the command that we ‘love one another’ which often seems to get lost even while we are teaching it. Sometimes I have seen what appears a pyramid when actually the structure is very ‘one another’ in nature. It only ‘seemed’ pyramidal in nature. However a few concerns I have would include whether the leader claims or is given a) more authority than other believers or b) claims or is given more teaching time than other believers. If the leader(s) in this developing pyramid are receiving money then I would think then that would be a concern of mine although not in every situation (example a church planting situation perhaps whereas the planter will only be in that situation temporarily). In the US money seems to be the motivation for leaders. Once the money is taken away they seem to not be as interested in ‘leading’ the flock much longer. However some do enjoy just the ‘leading’ aspect for other reasons.

At our crowd we just look forward to fellowship but also learning from one another each week. Of course we have a few (most of us I suppose) that think we understand just a little more than everyone else but we also see the commandment to submit to one another. We also see the Husband and Father as the head of the household especially in contrast to any leader of our assembly therefore we never try to exercise teaching or authority over someone else’s family of course. There is a lot of mutual respect for person even though we hold to diverse theologies or different interpretations of some passages of Scripture. That is not to say that we do not discipline for sin in a brother’s life. There would be much during the week time devoted to encouragement, rebuke, etc. if that were the case.

These towers of babel are a huge problem but I really believe God is moving and dispersing them even now.

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