The pseudonyms at churchwatchcentral had two days of blogging nirvana when ACA regurgitated a few of their anti-C3 stories, but failed to realise that, with the modern media, once the news item has had its day it becomes pretty well redundant. The news cycle moves on. Find another story.

So now the contrived and very biased and inaccurate claims levelled at C3 and Phil Pringle are old news. Fake news, but ancient history in media terms.

After a brief flurry of comment and interest, the next item on the agenda arrives for its day in the sun. We’ve all moved on. Nothing much happened except a few people were sold a number of misplaced rumours that they may or may not have believed. Some may have had their poor opinion of Christianity reinforced, and the world is still turning.

Most C3 folk ignored or yawned at the misinformation and will go on, enjoying the sustained growth and fun relationships they have developed over the course of some 40 years of the ministry that has grown from a handful of people into over 100,000 worshipers globally.

Only Churchwatch Central could turn a yawn into a yarn

So the churchwatchcentral team have been salivating in their mesmerised state, and adding article after article against C3 attempting to prove the unprovable, all of which are merely rehashed from the many rehashings of the past. No new news. No new information. Repeats. Only the usual suspects dealing the usual accusations.

And churchwatchcentral have been left behind the news cycle to twiddle their thumbs.

Nothing to see here.

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Addenda

True to form, churchwatchcentral misrepresented what was written here and formed an entire article out of it.

My reference to ‘ignoring and yawning at the misinformation’ was exactly that – the misinformation, given out by the critics over many years. We don’t ‘yawn’ at other’s misfortune. That was CWC twisting phrases around as usual.

There is absolutely no point in dwelling on misinformation, especially when it has been reiterated time after time by the same anonymous critics.

It was a simple article outlining the fact that churchwatchcentral have been rehearsing the same claims for many years, and that the media had restated some of it, but that the news cycle moves on. And it will. Oh, the media will probably present other programs in the future, of course. C3 are on their list now, along with Hillsong. Easy targets, because churches and movements don’t usually retaliate.

C3 issued a statement that refuted much of what ACA claimed, especially about financial dealings and how ministers are disciplined if they fall. But what can C3 or any other church in the spotlight do? Argue with secular media? You can never win that war. Critics always find an angle to bend to their opinion.

We shouldn’t fear criticism. It can help us revise our own thoughts, actions and methods. It can be healthy when it is fair and has merit. But the way the criticism has been dealt out was harsh, and some of it, maybe not all, was unwarranted.

I almost regret using the word ‘yawned’ It asked for CWCs response. True to form, they took it and made it look like something I didn’t say, or mean. I should know better. But it perfectly illustrates their thought processes and how they use semantics as a device to divide.

I should have said ‘they turn the other cheek’. And that’s the point.

Context

The context of my piece was totally in reference to the constant recycling of criticism that, in some cases goes back many years, is not always accurate, and has been repeated over and over.

There was no reference in my article to people who have genuinely suffered or gone through tough times, only to false criticism, which was the focus, but I will clarify that those who are hurting need our care and love, and should not be neglected.

There have been those who have truly had a raw deal and felt let down. Some find it hard to recover from the pain. That is why they need the grace of God.

It happens in every church, in every denomination, and it is sad when it happens. Most of us have been through these times, because no church or congregation is perfect, but for some it has been harder than for others. We feel for them because we know their pain.

I personally hope they can find lasting comfort in their relationship with Jesus, because our dependency isn’t on men, or on churches, or even on theology or ideologies, but on Christ.

I also need to qualify that, most of the time, the majority of church members and attendants enjoy a safe, secure, friendly, welcoming environment of pastoral care and community friendship, including at C3. Church is a brilliant place to be.

But we have to realise that we all come into our assembly with baggage, some of which takes time to be unpacked, and we butt up against other sheep with their issues. Love is truly a necessary and powerful glue, but it has to be applied in the right way to buttress against friction.

Pastors have to be aware of the flock’s needs and be ready to guard, protect and nurture the sheep God places in their care. It’s a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly.

Obviously, we do not like to see people suffering or struggling, or feeling they have been let down by their church, and I rarely comment on personal tragedies on a very public forum like a blog. Rather, our prayers go out to those affected.

I pray that every person hurt by any ministry anywhere will find their solace in God, that every minister who ever got something wrong in the years of their ministry lives a repented life in Him, confesses his or her sin, and that mercy, forgiveness and love will pave the way to reconciliation for all Christians everywhere.

We will all answer to God. May His mercy be over us all.

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