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Avoid Northwest Community Church

DO NOT ATTEND NORTHWEST COMMUNITY CHURCH I am writing this post to express my thoughts about Northwest Community Church, and its leadership. I recommend that people stay away from this place. I will tell you why. My family recently attended Northwest Community Church (for almost two years). At the time, the Pastor was T. Scott Christmas (Scott Christmas). Northwest Community Church, in Phoenix, looks to be your typical Bible-based, Non-demoniacal church. The church has been around for years and has been through several iterations. Since Scott Christmas took it over, it became what I would refer to as, a satellite church for John McArthur's Grace Bible Church in Sun Valley, CA. Although to the best of my knowledge, Northwest Community Church has no business ties to Grace, I believe they are devoted to John MacArthur's teachings. Some people may refer to Scott Christmas as a MacArthurite. There are thousands of pastors and church leaders that flock to Sun Valley every year to see John at the Shepherds Conference ( they refer to them as MacArthurite’s -acolytes www.shepherdsconference.org ) When we attended Northwest Community Church, we were always taken back by the almost hero-worship devotion to John MacArthur by most of the people we met, and in particular, the Senior Pastor, Scott Christmas. They all used John MacArthur study bibles ( the significant percentage of staff and attendees). In small group Bible sessions, many times, they used John MacArthur's bible studies and literature. The senior pastor displayed a devotion to, and reverence for John MacArthur, that was a little unhealthy, from my perspective. It was apparent that the Pastor had a fondness, and admiration for John MacArthur that was a bit over the top. We were there to worship Jesus, not be a disciple of Johns. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought John Macarthur was the Pope, and this was one of his Parish’s, and Scott was a parish priest (to use a Catholic term). The doctrine being taught at Northwest Community Church, on the surface, appears to be the standard Non-Denominational, saved by grace message. When you dig deeper, although the Pastor (T. Scott Christmas) would deny it, it appeared to be what the Christian community refers’ to as a “works salvation” church. They cite the Saved By Grace message, but their actions and mixed messages tell another story. To use a Biblical description, “you shall know them by their fruits” Their words, at first blush, talk of a “Saved By Grace” mantra, but as you become more and more indoctrinated into their church, it's clearly a “Works By Salvation” message. It is all very subtle and never openly spoken about, but the ubiquitous theme is one of works and earning a good standing with the Lord, through good works, in order to get into heaven. To understand Lordship Salvation, you must read John MacArthur's book “The Gospel, According to Jesus, a very controversial book written many years ago. John F. MacArthur. MacArthur made some very controversial claims in that book ( an in-depth study on the subject Lordship Salvation will help the reader understand this issue much better). Northwest Community Church teaches this type of doctrine, in my opinion. Lordship puts its arms around Grace, but adds a bunch of caveats. This church is a Calvinist church, on steroids. Some would say the leaders, and many of its attendees, have an unhealthy, and unbiblical viewpoint. John 3:16 says this: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” the term “Saved by grace” implies just that- believers receive a gift from God, one which we do not deserve and one that we can NOT earn. The Lord God gives us his favor and His love even though we can never do anything to earn it. God sent His Son to pay for our sins through his death on the cross. God freely gives GRACE to us, even though we do not deserve it, and even though we can never earn it. You would never know this walking around NCC. Romans 10: 9-10 says: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I found the preaching to be excellent, well thought out, and respectful, but unfortunately, the messages were laced with the Lordship viewpoint. This church, its leaders, and most of its church- body remind me of the Pharisees They are spiritually arrogant and unloving. There is an air of superiority. They are all caught up in head knowledge and have pretensions, and aspirations of possessing superior biblical understanding. Many times I would hear comments like this is the only real church in the valley, or, most churches have it wrong and do not teach the Bible correctly ( I am paraphrasing). The theme and the overall vibe was that this church is the only one that is truly on track with God and that the rest are unbiblical (except 2-3 other Mac churches across the valley). If Johnny Mac didn’t say it, then it must not be accurate. AS A SIDE NOTE: John MacArthur’s Book “Strange Fire” lambasted millions of Charismatic believers, so this is a common theme with MacArthurite’s. I read many of John’s books. He is definitely an intellect, and I had to read the main book about 15 times to really see what he was saying. He preaches works salvation, and I do not think that even he knows it. When he comes to town or preaches, people ask him questions like he was the Pope, or Jesus preaching to the masses. Very unhealthy, in my opinion. I believe in the real Biblical message. It's as simple as can be. God sent His only Son to die for us on the cross. If we believe in Him and trust in that act, we are saved. The Lordship Salvation folks will say the same thing, but they will add a huge ‘but’ to the end of that sentence. The big, ‘but’ is this: you must show ( fruit-signs) that you are saved through your actions, life, and works. I have met many men and woman, who have been saved and have been less than Godly but still love Christ. God does the changing, Gods Holy Spirit, that is alive in us, molds us into what He wants us to be. If we live out our Christian walk with fear, then we are relying on our own abilities. We must put everything at His feet and trust in Him, and Him alone. With God, all things are possible. I say that T. Scott Christmas preaches with forked tongue. He will say, outwardly, that he believes in the saved by grace doctrine, but his actions, and teachings, are much different. What he says is confusing because he acts like he believes something else. The way in which this is done is very subtle, but it's significant. Calvinists, the ‘uber’ ones, believe in a much different version of the word predestination, MacArthurite’s understand this. It’s a warped version of ‘election.’ The mainstream church believes that Christ died for the whole world, and whoever believes in Him will be saved. Uber-Calvinists, like NCC ( not all I am sure) believe that He died for a small group ( the elect) and NOT the whole world, contrary to what John 3:16 says. Read 1 John 2:2, where it says: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” In my opinion, this is a deeply sad doctrine to teach. It leads to fear, lack of love, and lack of grace. It leads to a us and them mentality. In the hyper-Calvinistic churches, you will find a lot of holier than thou type mindsets. It’s as though they have it figured out, but everyone else has not! My family experienced this with NCC, and it was disheartening. I liked the instructive type teaching of the main pastor, Scott Christmas. I did not like their version of the Bible, which I believe to be another version of God’s word. Lordship Salvation, although they may not use this word anymore, is not biblical and it's destructive. When you learn that Christ Loves you and saves you with His power, then you have real Christ-Like love in your heart. The older we get, the more we all realize how sinful we are. No Amount of knowledge, teaching, studying, praying, volunteering, will save us, ever. The pious acting is just that, an Act. Real Christ-like love is loving Christ, and doing the same with others. Intellectual knowledge won't save you. This church is full of intellectual Pharisees (in my opinion). We left this church, recently, and we never looked back. The church was littered with people who had pompous, holier than thou attitudes; the spiritual arrogance was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. When you walk into a church where there’s a group of believers, you expect to see, feel, and taste Gods love. This church was devoid of all of those emotions. Churches are not perfect places, as Billy Graham reminded us of when he said: if you found the perfect church and you walked into it, it would not be perfect anymore ( I paraphrase). I am not saying that NCC has to be perfect, but there is something different going on here. It's not something you can describe unless you’ve experienced it. The Greatest commandment was, and is, this: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. The feeling I had, when we were attending Northwest Community Church was a that they were trying to earn the first and that the 2nd was non-existent. I have never felt this sort of lack of love, and this sort of Holier than thou spirit, ever, in any church, not to this this degree. Something is fishy here, and that’s why I left. Something is rotten in Denmark. Go to another church and know that Grace saves you, and grace alone. I wasted two years of my life at this place: save yourselves the hardship. Find a god Biblical church that preaches the simple gospel message. When love is not there, it isn’t of God. Northwest Community Church Lead Pastor: T. Scott Christmas (Scott Christmas) Location: 16615 N 43rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85053 - Phone: (602) 978-**** Senior Pastor: T. Scott Christmas ( Scott Christmas was the former Pastor at Grace Community Church, a non-denominational church in Jacksonville, Florida)
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ID
#1629785 Review #1629785 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Service
Northwest Community Church Pastor
Cons
  • Does not preach gods word
  • Preaches lordship salvation
Reason of review
Avoid Church

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