Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Joel Hunter: Democrats Could “Steal the Title of the Pro Life Party”

posted by swaldman

JoelHunter_portrait.jpgOne of the most interesting evangelicals these days is Joel Hunter, senior pastor at Northland Church in Florida. He does not consider himself a part of the religious left. He’s a registered Republican, strongly anti-abortion, author of A New Kind of Conservative, and even spent about ten minutes as president-elect of the Christian Coalition.
I was therefore a bit surprised when he mentioned during our chat this week that he’s been asked by the Obama campaign to deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic convention. He said yes.
The next surprise was his suggestion that Democrats “could arguably steal the title of the pro life party.”
Huh? How is that possible? Obama is just as pro-choice as any other Democratic nominee; critics say he’s the most pro-choice candidate ever. Hunter makes a practical argument: providing women with economic help in carrying babies to term can actually reduce the number of abortions more, and more quickly, than focusing on overturning Roe v. Wade. “With eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined. Every indication is that with financial support and different forms of supporting pregnant mother and then some post birth help also we could come close to 50% reduction in abortions. That’s huge. That’s huge.”
Continuing with the same culture war paradigm is therefore morally dubious. “If we insist on keeping this an ideological war we’re literally not saving the babies we could save. The Democrats have a huge opportunity here to really steal the thunder from those who are seen as traditionally pro life.”
He’s pessimistic that the Democratic Party would go far enough to really take advantage of the opportunity, though he does think the new platform took a step in the right direction. He was consulted by the Obama campaign, and believes that on balance “philosophically this is a huge move” because it put the party on record supporting certain abortion reduction measures such as maternal health and adoption support. (For the case against the plank as being a substantial move, click here) But those advocating for a larger push to the center “had to go up against the status quo – very strong and well financed voices,” meaning pro-choice feminists.
This is a shame for Obama, he says, because abortion is the number one issue keeping evangelicals from embracing him. They keep hearing he supports “infanticide” and partial birth abortion. If Obama came out forcefully for an abortion reduction agenda – even one that emphasizes support for women rather than legal restrictions — that “would go a very long way in establishing trust with evangelicals. That would huge.”
Democrats have an opportunity with evangelicals in part because these Christians feel they were “used” by Republicans. Interestingly, it wasn’t Bush administration policies on abortion that first ruptured the trust between Christians and the Republican Party. It was Iraq. “People are saying wait a minute, what else did we think was going to go right that didn’t go right? There’s kind of a ripple effect of disillusionment.” Anger over Iraq created a political opening on abortion.
The question is whether the pro-choice activists are so strong within the Democratic Party that Obama will not be able to seize the opportunity.



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ZachJonesIsHome

posted August 15, 2008 at 9:31 am


I don’t think the Democrats will ever have the Pro-life brand.
It seems that Senator Obama is described as having one of the most extreme positions that one can find when it comes to the issue of abortion….Normally, I can understand a lawyer’s dancing on the head of a pin for the sake of not wanting to undermine a future legal argument or position. However, regarding Senator Obama, some other details give me pause and raise questions about whether his stated motivation(s) can be trusted.
Obama Would Evidently Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater found at:
http://zachjonesishome.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/obama-would-evidently-throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater/



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Deal Hudson

posted August 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm


Steven, the answer to your question at the end, about the power of the pro-abortion advocates in the Democratic Party, seems obvious to me. Yes. But I could be wrong, and, if so, I would welcome the move of the Democratic Party away from its ideological commitment to make abortion as widely available as possible. Now that NARAL is creating boutique abortion clinics on wealthy suburbs, it may spur the Democrats to distance themselves from this ally.
As far as Hunter is concerned, we’ve heard this argument before from those who want to ignore issues of law and public policy. Should abortion be legal? Should abortions be paid for by taxpayers? Should abortion be regarded as the main solution to population growth? Should abortion be linked indirectly to the problem of climate change? And so on.
I don’t think Obama can pull off gaining the pro-life label; his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act is too hard to shake.



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RussTheDem

posted August 16, 2008 at 10:26 am


Although the article is essentially about abortion and the Democratic Party and Obama’s positioning, for me, I cannot help but think the larger and more important issue is being missed:
That the Christian community is finally realizing that that, yes, there are OTHER and EQUALLY IMPORTANT issues besides the Republican social wedge issues of abortion and gay marriage.
The Republicans and many evangelicals would have you believe that, that is “all that counts”. The problem isn’t really abortion and gay marriage per se, rather what I call, “that New Testament problem”. The New Testament has precious little to say on those two topics, and therein lies the problem.
When the Christian evangelical community made their own “deal with the devil” by so thoroughly aligning itself with the Republicans, it then by extension, DIDNT REALLY support legitimate social issues that are so thoroughly consistent with the New Testamen. You know the list: fair/living wages, the real support for the poor, greed – corporate and executive excesses, essentially “fundamental fairness” on so many issues, so many more – you get the idea.
You see, to do so, would have put them in opposition with the Republican leadership and it’s Corporate or wealth based platform. So, they were essentially silent or to be blunt, “they went along”. That is the true problem, and in effect, the true consequence:
CREDIBILITY.
How can they purport to be “advocates of life” when they so consistently, predictably, and tragically then remained fundamentally silent on nearly ALL THE IMPORTANT “Quality of Life” issues, POST BIRTH?:
American families have lost real wage growth, put their spouses in the workforces, unprecedented demands in terms of hours from corporations that directly affect their ability to help their families by having or being able to spend time with their families (shear exhaustion), reduced benefits that DIRECTLY affect their physical and financial health, extremely high job insecurity, wealth accumulation to the most wealthy not seen since the gilded age, unprecedented debt, etc.
Where was the Christian Leadership when all this happened since their alignment with the Republicans since 1980?
That’s right, fundamentally silent! They would merely yell “abortion” and “gay marriage” all the louder. It worked, for a while.
It is convenient to place all the blame now that it is clear that the country is shifting to the Democratic or Progressive viewpoint, all over the country. But shouldn’t Christians be doing the real soul searching and asking themselves how the things they have “valued” really line up with the entirely of the New Testament? Until then, that “New Testament problem” won’t go away.
Russ



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Betty

posted August 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm


Have Christians ever stopped to think that abortions are the result of pregnancy? DUH! And yet they oppose educating opur young people on how to prevent pregnancy, try to impose religious dogma on the use of contraceptics. I understand that this Administration is trying to get abortion reclassified as contraceptic. This is the most anti woman administration ever. I don’t see those outside abortion clinics with papers to let them adopt and pay the medical expenses for mothers to be that can’t afford another or even the first child. How uncaring and Holier than Thou. It seems to me that the God they worshp breathed life into Adam after he was fully formed. He also ordered His people to run pregnant women through with swords…a really cruse abortion method. These people would rather a child be born to someone not emotionally equipped to handle parenthood, I had good friends who adopted a child who, it seems was born to an alcoholic mother and had alcohol syndrome. He abused his parents untill he finally murdered both of them. Christians are trying to play God without even knowing what circumstances are involved. Nothing could be more unfeeling or uncaring than to force a child into a home where it is unwanted , uncared for, or abused. I would be more sympathetic if I saw ANY concern for life after birth. It is those living below the poverty line who can’t afford more children or even contraception to prevent a pregnancy that are unable to afford an abortion, or having their tubes tied. And why should Conservatives , who are supposed to be against more Government control over our lives, support this most personal of decisions and why expect Government ( taxpayers) to fund it. If Christians object so much to Aortions, let them put their money where their overactive mouths are and help those less fortunate to get contraceptives, To me it is SO HYPOCRITICAL and is nothing but forcing religious beliefs on people whose beliefs don’t happen to agree wih theirs. This is SUPPOSED to be a country where no one religion is sanctioned or supported by the taxpayers ( Government. ) History shows us that when a religion is in control of Government, it has proved to be diastious, If you want to influence people, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE in the way YOU live your lie. That is the Biblical way to draw others to HIM. NOT FORCE



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Vito

posted August 17, 2008 at 4:39 am


I’ve got news for you, Betty: There IS a religion sanctioned by government, school boards, the media, the elite. It’s called humanism. Its adherents believe that Judeo-Christian beliefs are close-minded, bigoted, and hateful. To me what is SO HYPOCRITICAL is the fact that these progressives “preach” about open-mindedness; respecting differing opinions; and not forcing beliefs on anybody else but that is exactly what they do!
More to the point of your post, what ever happened to personal accountability? If you are in a situation that would not permit you to be able to have a child and provide for him/her (not “it”!), shouldn’t you be a little more careful, like maybe abstain (there’s that terrible abstinance word!) or at least take the precautions necessary to reduce the chance of getting pregnant? As far as not being able to afford contraceptives, I can tell you three places in my city where tomorrow someone could go to get all the contraceptives they need, for free!
To me all of these arguments are missing the point, rather several points. One is, thanks to Darwinism, human beings have been relegated to nothing more than animals who have to give in to their basest instincts. Until potential mothers and fathers realize that they are special, created in the very same image as their Creator, they will never see how special a child is, and not hesitate to terminate him/her if they are deemed inconvenient. Secondly, our culture has done everything in it’s power to de-emphasize the importance of a father-figure (preferably the actual father being that figure). Watch TV and see how many times men in general and fathers in particular are portrayed as out of it, bumbling baffoons. Take a look at your local school district and you will see that at a very young age boys are being stripped of their manhood (potential). If men were raised as children to be men, and own their responsibilities (like being a father) then maybe women would be less inclined to terminate a pregnancy.



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Jennifer DuBois

posted August 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm


As a Christian, I have a very simple problem with this approach. It feeds into the widely held belief in our culture that children are a matter of convenience and not gifts of a loving God. I say that entirely as a Christian intending to speak to the topic at hand here of Obama’s viability in gaining the support of the pro-life community. That is why, unless he has a major philosophy change, for many of us Christians he cannot be the pro-life choice.



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Northland Congregant

posted August 17, 2008 at 9:10 pm


Be Careful Joel, we’re still down close to $600,000 in the budget this year at Northland and folks in the Congregation are not happy about your buddy buddy rubbing of elbows with Obama. You’re a wonderful pasture and my spiritual guide, please pray about your steps in the Democratic direction.



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Northland Congregant II

posted August 18, 2008 at 10:13 am


How Evangelicals ever came to even consider casting a vote for Obama is a mystery to me. I can’t help but think that they’ve been caught up in the cult of personality that is his empty-suited campaign. I can’t remember a candidate that is more liberal, but better at masking it in his moderating-for-the-general-election rhetoric, than Sen. Obama.
And yes, we love Joel, and respect his values and political opinions, but there is signiifcant concern w/in his congregation over what appears to be a political move leftward.



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Richard

posted August 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm


I have attended Dr. Hunter’s church for almost four years, but after his comments of the last week I can no longer in good conscience continue to attend. Although I believe Joel is a great husband and father, he is now attempting to become pastor to the world. I am assuming he was called to pastor Northland Church NOT the world. I fear that because of his popularity no one in Joel’s church will stand up to him and tell him he is wrong (Matthew 18). I don’t care what the Democratic Platform is, what we must look at is Senator Obama’s voting record and that says it all.



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Northland congregant III

posted August 19, 2008 at 10:32 am


We have been regular attendees of Northland for nearly 15 years and have watched the slow but progressive shift in the message. Dr Hunter’s teachings once focused on a non-political truly Christianview of faith and the development of a personal relationship with God. More recently we hear messages from his pulpit that advocate attention to the global warming issue in the name of creation care and a softening of the no nonsense, just plain wrong evangelical stance on abortion in the name of education and support for unwed mothers and mothers of unwanted pregnancies. Education and support are worthy and very worthwhile pieces of the puzzle and should be pursued by both conservatives and liberals but will never be viewed by the left as an alternative to abortion. While I believe Dr. Hunter in no way compromises his personal just plain wrong, stance on abortion, you can’t have it both ways. I believe he has compromised his integrity with his congregation on that and other issues by appearing to move to the left and cozying up to the Obama campaign when he knows they are sold out to the pro-choice and homosexual movements. The hard left is in complete control of the Democrat party, believing that he can sway them from their radical far left agenda on abortion and same sex marriage will be a severe and costly miscalculation on Dr. Hunter’s part. His efforts would be well received by his congregation if he were to focus on working with and influencing the Republican leadership to address these issues and apply their efforts in Congress but instead he panders to the Democrats. You’re barking up the wrong tree Dr. Hunter and we are very concerned, the left will use you and kick you to the curb just like they did Joe Lieberman. By the time you recover it will be too late for some of us.
Budget was rerely a concern for Northland until the contracts were signed for the new church facility and we rarely heard mention of church financial issues while attending services. Since moving into the new building one year ago we have been regularly reminded that we have a huge budget deficit and need to increase our giving. God has and will provide and will bless when blessing are due. We pray that Northland will continue to be blessed and Pastor Hunter will succeed in providing for the needs of his congregation. As for us, we are exploring other worship alternatives as are some of our friends and acquaintances.



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Anonymous

posted August 19, 2008 at 10:55 am


I cannot believe my pastor is going to be at the Democratic National Convention! Sure environmental issues are important. But more important are saving the lives of unborn children and keeping gay marriage out of our society. What type of judges will Obama appoint? Ones that don’t support our Christian values.
Wake up Joel, before it is too late for your church and more importantly for your country and your world.
Very Disappointed,
Northland Member for 16 years



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An Old kind of Conservative

posted August 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm


I agree with the other congregates. Dr. Hunter may think he has the power to influence the left by finding an issue of common ground, but his job is not to make nice with the left. His job is to be a man of God who brings people in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Those seeking to attain power aren’t interested in hearing what he has to say, he is their puppet. They truly will use him as a front man as often as they can in the media to persuade younger voters that it’s ok for believers to compromise the issue of life for innocent babies, if in turn, we are putting people in positions of power who are going to ‘save us by serving a greater good’ in cleansing the environment. It’s all propoganda and Joel has made himself more a politician then a pastor in the process. I don’t understand why Dr. Hunter isn’t in love with McCain. He’s against torture, against abortion, and completely buys into the whole ‘Global Warming is destroying the earth, how can we stop it?’, mindset. Why not speak for him instead of compromising so much? You two seem to be on the same page. Don’t bother trying to explain though, I’m young, but I guess I’m one of those oldschool ‘narrow minded’ traditional Christians who isn’t as hip and with-it as those you are trying to attract to help pay off your debt. Fiscal responsibility is still part of being a conservative Christian isn’t it? Or did I not get the memo on that either.
Jesus lived and lead by example, and had the ability to influence others by not compromising what is right. Unfortunately, you’ve convinced yourself Global Warming is real, and rather then urge people to be responsible for their actions by speaking adamantly for abstinence, adoption, and against promiscous behavior- be it hetero or homosexual, you are hoping the Democrats will save lives and create prevenative measures through Government Programs. I don’t know how much longer I will attend Northland, but I will stick to giving my money to more worthy causes then helping you payoff your Palace with money that could have immensley been used to help the sick and poor, instead of you standing on stage talking down to your congregation as if we want ‘people to die from aids, or we want social injustice, or we are destroying the earth (stewardship is one thing, letting yourself compromise issues of life and death over something that is scientifically unproven is another)’… I cannot understand you conferencing with; and now speaking for the most liberal man in the country who thinks it’s ok to let a baby that survives an abortion die instead of giving it medical care. I hope you wake up before you find yourself listening more to the voice of Howard Dean then the Lord. Remember, “You are the company you keep”….and we know the people the Senator has sought counsel from over the years……Very sad Joel, very sad. You’ve dissapointed alot of people who have trusted you to deliver the word of God, but then again, you are just a man. So as dissapointing as your transformation to left has been, I remind myself, “Culture can make its plan, Oh but the line never changes,No matter how the deception may fly, there is one thing that has always been true, it will be true forever..God is in Control.” Those are comforting words for everyone when considering the world inwhich we live. A world where those with great influence try to ‘redefine’ what a Christian conservative is. No thanks Joel, I’m not buying your defintion or your course of action. And no matter what signs you try to convince yourself God is putting out there for you that what you’re doing is bringing glory to the kingdom, the reality is, the majority of your congregation feels betrayed. Ponder that at night.



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10 Yr Northland Member

posted August 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm


Regarding your comments, An Old kind of Conservative, it’s absolutely unfair, and as a 10-yr Northland member – personally offensive for you to call our new facilities “[Joel's] palace” and to refer to “[Joel's] debt” … and to suggest where funds could have been more appropriately used (i.e. to “help the sick and poor”).
You apparently, and rather unfortunately, have no idea of the extent of ministry to the sick and poor that Northland provides, and that our new building and space are able to facilitate.
As an attendee to virtually every service at Northland for the past dozen years, I don’t ever recall Dr. Hunter “talking down” to his congregation, and it’s dishonest for you to suggest he would. Perhaps listening to him more closely will clear up some of the misconceptions you have about his positions.
With that being said, I do agree that there is at very least a strong undercurrent of discontent in the congregation regarding what appears to be a move closer to liberal parties that will, as someone else mentioned, use and abuse, chew up and spit out.
There’s no doubt that the Demoncrats’ desire to have Dr. Hunter give the benediction prayer to close the DNC is a move to pander to a political demographic they want to get their hands on, not a genuine desire to include us in the debate.
Dr. Hunter,… you have to at least realize that.



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A Northlander

posted August 20, 2008 at 3:24 am


It is amazing to me how easily swayed everyone is. Pastor Joel is not suggesting that he is supporting Obama, he is offering prayer. He is not saying follow Obama’s beliefs, or even his own, he is offering prayer. He is not saying he is pro-choice, he is offering prayer.
Did fellow Northlanders read the intent of this gathering? Check it out: http://www.demconvention.com/democratic-convention-to-highlight-diverse-community-of-faith-leaders-working-toward-common-good/
Highlights include (copied from the link above):
- Each night of the Convention, the official program will begin with an invocation and end with a benediction delivered by a national faith leader or an individual who is active in their local faith community.
- On Tuesday, August 26, the Faith Caucus will hold two panel discussions – “Common Ground on Common Good,” an opportunity to discuss finding common ground on the moral issues of the day, and “Faith in 2009: How an Obama Administration will Engage People of Faith.”
- On Thursday, August 28, the Caucus will convene for “Moral Values Issues Abroad,” a panel on how the faith community can work together to address pressing moral issues around the world, and “Getting Out the Faith Vote,” a session on how to appropriately engage communities of faith in the 2008 election.
- Thursday, August 28
Invocation: Rabbi David Saperstein, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington, DC
Benediction: Pastor Joel Hunter, Evangelical, Northland, FL
So because Pastor Joel is giving the Benediction on the same day as a Rabbi, does that mean he is now considering the Jewish faith as his own?
Come on people, the convention is a big brainstorming session for Obama and his crew. So what if they are “using” all of these strong leaders to pick their brains on their thoughts and beliefs… how bad can it be that Pastor Joel gives his take on it? It doesn’t appear to me that he is trying to rule the world, nor that he has given up his Republican beliefs to side with the Democrats. He is simply offering prayer…while getting his opportunity to meet with leaders from other large religious organizations, and give his opinion whenever possible. That’s it, nothing more. Why are you being selfish and not allowing him to expand into unknown territories? He’s not afraid, why are you?
Ultimately, our “role” as Northlanders is to pray for our pastor and the leaders of our government. Pray for those that lead us. And pray for America. Ultimately, God’s “role” is to roll out the plan of HIS WILL, which regardless of the attendance of our Pastor at a convention or our vote on Election Day, will occur… without a doubt. Show your support and leave God to His job.
This does beg the question… are you the Northlander that has ignored my presence because I am a single parent? Or because I’m not like you? Pastor Joel has NEVER made me feel like I don’t belong, yet a good portion of the congregation does this on a weekly basis. Where are we being like Jesus?
And please, this is not an argument for anyone to retaliate. It is simply a point being suggested that each person has a right to his own opinion and methods for discovering their thoughts, thus the reason we live in America. Rather than persecute others for being brave and outspoken, we should focus on our own fears and how we could do more for this country we claim to love so much. We are the body ALL together, whether you choose to participate or belive in God. Are you doing your part? As Obama said on the Rick Warren interview, “We’re gonna get the president we need”. Be sure you are registered to vote and voice your opinion in that way…
Pastor Joel, I love what your preaching has taught me in my time at Northland and I support your desire to venture into the unknown… and most especially look forward to hearing all about it at service in a few weeks. God bless you on your journey… I’ll be praying for you.



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Dana Dance

posted August 20, 2008 at 12:39 pm


As the director of a crisis pregnancy center in Longwood, FL and as a human being, I was shocked by Dr. Hunter’s apparent “encouragement” of Barack Obama. Life Choices Women’s Center (lifechoicesfl.com) is a not-for-profit faith-based human service agency just a few miles away from Northland. In fact, we frequently serve members of Northland church. Our agency strives to educate and empower women and families to choose life for their unplanned pregnancies. We listen, educate, counsel, and provide material support and extensive referrals for those who enter our doors. We provide women with the facts on things such as abortion and sexual promiscuity. We do not judge, we facilitate empowerment, healing and change. We do all of this through trained volunteers who believe that women deserve to know the dangers of abortion, both the physical and psychological. Unlike government-supported agencies like Planned Parenthood, we do not charge for or profit from the services we provide(Planned Parenthood’s profits for 2007 were approximately $1 billion dollars – much of which was earned by performing abortions, yet they continue to receive abundant funding from OUR tax dollars; Barack Obama is a supporter of Planned Parenthood). We also reach out to and provide counseling and educational opportunities to women who are dealing with post abortion syndrome. All services are provided completely FREE of charge and remain completely confidential. Our ministry is made possible by individual donors who believe that abortion is not the answer or the solution. We provide all of the preventative and educational/material services that Senator Obama (and Dr. Hunter?)are encouraging, but we do so with a strong pro-life and not-for-profit stance. We believe that it cannot go both ways. Hopefully, Dr. Hunter will reconsider his involvement with (and endorsement? of) Barack Obama as he has an incredible gift and opportunity to reach the masses.



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Steve Harris

posted August 20, 2008 at 3:19 pm


My wife and I attended Pastor Hunter’s church for about a year (several years ago). I can guarantee that if our pastor was taking this stance publicly, it would be our last Sunday supporting either him or the church he is responsible for. Obama is the most far-left radical pro-choice candidate that will destroy all of the progress made in the last 12 years to overturn Roe vs Wade. In a recent speech, he said that if one of his own daughters made a mistake and got pregnant that he wouldn’t want them “punished with a baby” — even if that baby was his own grandchild! He has NO respect for life of the unborn — or the baby born alive as a result of a botched abortion. See his voting record in Illinois as he voted against the “Baby born alive” bill. He will not place Supreme Court Justices that are pro-life advocates and with a lifetime position it could put another 40 million babies lives at risk. Are you ready to answer for them before GOD?
Pastor Joel — you are being deceived and I pray that God wakes you up before you are held accountable for the election and policies of an Obama presidency. Very disappointed!!!



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Paul and Paula

posted August 20, 2008 at 6:11 pm


Joel – we love you but you need desperately to refocus on the Cross and get your head out of politics. And how you could be so deceived by the most liberal Pro Abortion member of our Senate shows us that you need to get back to your local church and out of the national limelight.



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no longer surprised

posted August 20, 2008 at 8:27 pm


So let me get this straight’ Joel says…..the Democrats will be the pro life party if they advocated programs to financially support girls and women who live in poverty and accidentally find themselves pregnant. With the extra money they can afford to keep the baby. I say how about each time they accidentlly get pregnat we give them more money to support the additional child. Hey….we can call it “The War On Poverty”!!
Oh wait…we’ve been there, done that, and it’s been a hugh failure!
But, reaching out to people in poverty and providing child care, financial support, job training, help overcoming addictions, life skills training,….the whole package….would’ve been the ideal way to spend 42 million dollars. Or at least the 21 million that wasn’t borrowed.
I’ve been attending Northland for 15 years. I loved it. It was for me, the perfect church. The messages spot on, the music indescribably joyful, the building simple, functional, modest and paid for.
The change was slow at first starting about 4 years ago. The pace has accelerated. Remember how Reagan used to say he didn’t leave the democratic party, it left him. Well, Joel and Northland have left me.



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marion

posted August 21, 2008 at 5:10 am


I am just learning about this man, Joel Hunter…
but I want to say A Northlander…what a great post…
I identify with, [regarding the church life experience] and understand what you are saying
may he [and you] continue to have that courage…and wisdom…even if others do not understand.



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Heartbroken

posted August 21, 2008 at 10:33 am


Joel, I am a women that has had an abortion. I have worked on the front lines of abortion clinics, with tears in my eyes I have tried to pursuade women not to walk down this path because it will open up such pain, oppression and regret, life long regret. I have been forgiven and healed of the sin and deep wound in my soul from the abortions I had, but, my family is missing the children that would have been here. Every family reunion, I am saddened by the ones missing, knowing their cousins, grandparents, and siblings lives would have been richer if they were here. Each child aborted is a huge loss to the family, schools, community, church and nation. As I have tried to counsel with women and girls seeking abortions, I have seen them offered incredibly generous financial support, medical bills covered, rent paid, free places to live, and the option of adoption. These are not new ideas you all have come up with, they have been offered to men and women expecting unwanted children for years. They consistently reject those options. It is the rare, rare few that change their direction because of the offer of financial help. Over and over again they choose killing their child over carrying them to term and giving them up for adoption, it is dumbfounding. I can’t tell you the number of Christian women who have been encountered at the clinics. I know women who are pillars of the church, leaders, who have taken their daughters for abortions. Bad timing, interfering with college, no place in their lives for a baby. Just last week one said, “I can have an abortion on Friday and ask God for forgiveness on Sunday.” We have run to far from hell fire and brimstone preaching that their is no reverence for God in their heart. The grace of God is being distorted and used. That is a real live quote from a christian women in Orlando, seeking an abortion for a young girl. It isn’t about money, or not understanding the options of abortions. The child is seen as an inconvenience, interfereing with their agenda, a “not wanted child.” Joel, respectfully I tell you, these women have these options now, they rarely take them. It is a change of heart, a respectful fear of a Holy God, and a trust in a sovereign, loving faithful God that will provide for them and use this child as a great blessing that will change things. Your reasoning won’t change the democratic party, please read the wording before the statement you are so excited about in the platform, it firming states their commitment to Roe v. Wade. I can, but won’t, list numbers of christian women who had abortions and privately told me, in their sin and darkness, before knowing God, they choose abortion to get rid of the child that was an inconvenience for them at the time. They didn’t want to carry it to term. We need a great awakening in our nation, prayer, fasting, repentence and the word of God – written to protect us, transform us, guide us, that is what will change the abortion rate. “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” a respect for and understanding of who God is. His loving devotion to us, our belief he is worthy of our trust, devotion and obedience, he is faithful and will carry us through the storms and tough places in our lives, that is what will change the abortion rate.
They don’t know God and they don’t know his word! That is the problem. Seriously, how, how, how, I say with a crushed heart and tears in my eyes, how can a woman of God say, ” I can have an abortion on Friday and ask God for forgivenss on Sunday.” Is that what you want for your people you shepherd to think about the grace of God? I would say no, you don’t. Come out in the streets, they highways and byways, hear what they are saying, I think you would change your focus. Call us to fasting and prayer and respentence. It has been, and always will be, a great move of the spirit that will heal this land, and change the hearts and lives of people, not the reasoning, convincing words of man. You can reason someone out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light, it is a work of the spirit, it is from hearing the word of God. Please, please make a difference in this generation by working with us, the body of Christ, obviously something is missing!



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SB

posted August 21, 2008 at 11:12 am


“With eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined. Every indication is that with financial support and different forms of supporting pregnant mother and then some post birth help also we could come close to 50% reduction in abortions. That’s huge. That’s huge.”
So many falsehoods packed into one sentence. Abortion rates have declined under Bush (not that Bush is necessarily responsible, of course, but get the facts right). Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence that “financial support” measures would create a 50% reduction in abortions. That’s just sheer wishful thinking.



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gt

posted August 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm


Joel,
My heart is so heavy. Have you noticed that God has been withholding blessings on Northland for the last 11 months or so? I have – ever since your abandonment of Israel in the name of reason, and you never addressed the issue to us as you said you would. Now you are joining ranks with those who kill the unborn, also in the name of reason. Where does the boundary of peacemaking end and standing against evil begin? Proverbs 14:12 May the Lord again stir your heart until you obey. I love you dearly but after 17 years I now know that I must leave Northland, and it breaks my heart.



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Dave

posted August 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm


I am not an evangelical and not even a great Christian but I’m dissheartened. We’ve been attending Northland for over 15 years. The incremental changes taking place over the last several years have been eroding my faith in the church and Joel. Joel’s speaking at the democratic convention is the coup de gras. Politics and religion are like oil and water; they don’t mix. Especially, an evangelical and a democrat.
I’m done. I think in the direction they’re headed; they won’t have a hard time replacing me in Joel’s big kum by ya megachurch .



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5yr Northlander

posted August 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm


As a member of Northland for 5yrs now, it saddens me to read the comments here by other supposed members of Northland who cannot look objectively at what Pastor Hunter is doing at the Dem Convention. Either that, or my fellow Northlanders are just unwilling to do their own research on the Faith Caucus at the Dem Convention.
You guys act as if Pastor Hunter is only supposed to interact with people whom he agrees with. I pray for my fellow Christians with this mindset.
Dr. Hunter: My family & I support you 100%. Thank you for taking a stand on your beliefs. You are a great leader & mentor. We look forward to seeing you in primetime next week.
God Bless America!



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LH

posted August 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm


It continues to amaze me why so many, on both sides of the issue, have such a poor understanding of what the problem is at the grass roots level. The manipulated change in some of the “small print” wording of the Democratic platform has no impact whatsoever at the level of the individuals who must make a decision in their own personal case. Pro-Choice is still Pro-choice, and nothing that it has not always been. Pro-Choice never denied a woman’s right to keep their child. And from all the entitlement programs currently out there, there are plenty of options to support a woman, both financially and emotionally, if she decides to carry the pregnancy through. I fail to see anybody look at the admittedly pretty sparse data that has been collected out there on the reasons why an abortion is requested. In reality, the largest segment (by far) is as a retro-active form of contraception. And it might surprise many to learn who these women are and where they are coming from.
As to Northland, we attended there for years. We have been quite disturbed by some “organic” dysfunction over the last year or two that has little directly to do with Dr. Hunter’s pandering to the liberals. However, his current actions certainly do not help a church that has seen quite an exodus of long time, conservative members over the past 12 to 15 months. It would seem to me that he should be bringing his focus back into the church that he used to nurture so well, and stop what has been looking increasingly like an effort to set and follow his own agenda.



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LH

posted August 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm


I might suggest to Dr. Hunter to review Revelations 3:15-16. There is a big and critical difference between trying to not be devisive and compromising one’s morals. Rationalize all you want, but I am sure you know what Screwtape would say.



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Lifesong

posted August 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm


While I refuse to judge Joel according to the flesh I would earnestly encourage him to ponder a few things. The definition of benediction is an invocation of divine blessing. When individuals &/or a group of individuals, stands in opposition to God’s moral Law (the Ten Commandments, incl:’You shall not murder’, ‘Shed not innocent blood’)one is not to invoke a divine blessing upon them. These babies belong to God. He created them in His image & likeness. It is not so much what I think or what you think or what Joel Hunter thinks that matters. What matters most is; “What does God say?” Does God allow His under-shepherds to pronounce a blessing on those who refuse to obey (& even delight in) His Law?
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Proverbs 28:9
Psalm 66:18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;
Psalm 109:7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, And let his prayer become sin.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Proverbs 28:
28:1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. 2. National sins disturb the public repose. 3. If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. 4. Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. 5. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. 6. An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. 7. Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. 8. That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. 9. The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God’s commands. 10. The success of ungodly men is their own misery. 11. Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. 12. There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. 13. It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 14. There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. 15. A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. 16. Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. 17. The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him.



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flightdocone

posted August 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm


Over the last two years, Dr. Hunter has squandered much of the credibility and respect that he had built up at Northland over the years. But this last year, his contradictions and hypocrisy have pretty much blown that. One only has to look at his political activities over the past 9 months to see this. Dr. Hunter and his wife campaigned quite strongly for Mike Huckabee to the point of appearing on stage with him. With Huckabee having lost, Dr. Hunter has run to the exact opposite end of the spectrum and now is appearing with Obama. I can’t explain such a huge shift from one end to the other other than maybe Dr. Hunter is mad and if they won’t play by his rules, he’s going to take his ball home and go find somebody else with whom to play.



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James

posted August 24, 2008 at 8:35 am


Are you kidding me Northlanders? Where did Jesus sit? Did he sit with those who had problems or those who didn’t have problems? Did he help those who knew Him or didn’t know Him? This is just a branch of what we are supposed to do – have compassion and lead by example. This is no different than being a missionary into a foriegn land with different views and religion. Someone has to take the risk or first step if we are ever going to see real Change. Jesus was accused of the same things – sitting with tax collectors? prostitutes?



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Stephen G. Snyder

posted August 24, 2008 at 10:24 am


My family and I have been attending Northland for over 4 years. Needless to say I am very disturbed by the Pastors acceptance to deliver the benediction. I read most of Joels positions on reducing the number of killing fetuses versus overturning Roe V Wade. Here’s the thing: The abortion issue is not going to be solved by convorting with the liberal wing of the democratic party. Unless Joel gives a fire and brimstone benediction like a God possessed Pastor and condemns Obama for supporting infantiside I believe that he will have been used by the democtaic party as a tool. This will in turn hurt his congregation. Let’s face it, will not increase the membership to Northland. This is a pretty conservative church and what he is about to do is very confusing and untrustworthy. A Pastor should be predictable like Jesus. We did not attend this weekend out of protest however lets see what he says on Thursday. If he does not condemn the liberal democrats of the slaughtering of unborn (and born) babies then he will have fallen short of God’s will.
One last thing to Pator Joel: Don’t be another one those Pastor’s that ends up crying on television because all of his blessings have been taken away. This would be a shame.



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HHL

posted August 24, 2008 at 1:08 pm


Jesus supped with the tax collector and spoke with the prostitute in order to minister to them. He did not cavort with the prostitute and the tax collector. For Dr. Hunter to go so far as to say that rewriting the fine print in the Democrat’s platform can justify those who are pro-life to endorse a Democrat slate only makes me question Dr. Hunter’s competence or integrity … or both.



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CRH

posted August 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm


I, too, have attended Northland with my family for the last couple of years. We are also extremely disappointed in Joel Hunter. My wife and I are very supportive of what we see as the preaching of the “whole gospel of Jesus” that we have found at Northland. In short, by this I mean, not just focusing on a couple of “hot button” issues like abortion or homosexuality (which are important issues), but also attempting to fight poverty, being good stewards of the environment (regardless of whether or not one believes in much human contribution to global warming), finding an equitable solution for peace in the Middle East while remaining “Pro-Israel”, etc, etc. The goals that Joel Hunter has expressed until recently, involving reaching out to seek common ground, are excellent.
As all of us who attend Northland on a regular basis know, Dr. Hunter has been preaching alot about relationships lately and about bringing down the walls (placed there by man and Satan) that divide us. This is what is so curious (and incongruous) about Joel’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention. I think it is a positive thing to have input into the abortion plank of the Democrat platform and I don’t think it is a bad thing to meet with Barack Obama (as many times as he wants!). But Joel crossed the line in a major way, in my opinion, when he recently began saying very positive things about Senator Obama amounting to a tacit endorsement of him for president. You see, Joel is not practicing what he has been preaching. Instead of being a uniter, he has become a divider. He is dividing his congregation and setting the framework for the ultimate failure of some very laudable goals. You cannot be a successful bridge builder from the religious right to the rest of the nation (and the world), if you are burning some of your own bridges back to your community at Northland. Dr. Hunter’s unfortunate and somewhat petulant comment this morning regarding not having been invited to speak with John McCain or pray at the Republican convention will only serve to divide us all further, I’m afraid.
In my opinion, Joel should show strict political neutrality while honestly sharing his views with both sides and trying to work (mostly behind the scenes, if possible) together for the common good. We are praying that he will find his way to this viewpoint and are hopeful that some of Northland’s insiders will be able to persuade him.



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Anonymous

posted August 24, 2008 at 7:04 pm


I Attend Northland on a regular basis. When I heard that Joel Hunter was going to give the benediction at the DNC, I was overjoyed. Jesus said to be in the world but not of the world. That is exactly what Joel is doing. He is taking the message to the people, not just sitting back in his comfort zone and complaining about how things should be. And the reason it’s shocked and offended some, is because most christians are too lackadaisical to reach out. So when someone finally comes along who is willing to follow the great commision, some “christians” get offended. So if you’re angry or upset about Joel’s decision, but you’re not doing anything to reach the lost, you have no room to talk.



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Derek Parnell

posted August 24, 2008 at 7:25 pm


I can’t tell you how excited I am that Pastor Joel is doing the benediction at the DNC. I am so proud of him.
Go Pastor Joel! Continue to preach the word and follow the Lord Jesus!



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Roy Tanner

posted August 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm


That Dr. Hunter is working on the DNC platform (to make it more palatable), or praying at the convention are not the issues.
Everyone is entitled to their positions. At this point though, I have to ask if Dr. Hunter has ever been a conservative evangelical Christian?
Think about it. Would a conservative author a book entitled “Right Wing, Wrong Bird”? And why would an evangelical work to make the most liberal politician in the Senate more electable?
Dr. Hunter was also party to groups who advocate interfaith compromise, support for Israel’s enemies, amnesty for illegals, habeas corpus for terrorists, and elevating replenishment of the earth on par with the call for repentance (unto salvation).
From my personal experience, Dr. Hunter is nice guy, but he is not a conservative nor are his positions consistent with being evangelical. So the real issue here is truth in labeling.



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JR

posted August 24, 2008 at 10:49 pm


I’m frankly shocked that people who have been attending Northland for so long, and having seen proof of Dr. Joel Hunter’s dedication to all aspects of pro-life ministry (including taking care of the homeless in our parking lot as recently as a few weeks ago!), would question his motives in this. It seems pretty straightforward to me – as he pointed out, a pro-life president hasn’t been able to reduce the number of abortions. We need to start looking for viable alternatives.
Being a church distributed means having partnerships with people we wouldn’t normally partner with because of our opposing viewpoints. From Dr. Hunter’s book “Church Distributed,” p. 72:
“There are two ways to live life. One is to take a stand and to combat anyone who does not agree with you. The other way is to take a stand (define your values and beliefs), then see how you can work with others who differ from you for the sake of making progress for everyone.”
Dr. Hunter’s thoughts are easily accessible for any church member or otherwise who wants to see them!
I commend Dr. Hunter for setting the ultimate example of being the church distributed for his flock here at Northland.



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hlh

posted August 25, 2008 at 8:44 am


I do not fault Dr. Hunter for wishing to have an influence among the extreme liberals. After all, Christ did not come to save the saved, but the lost. But when Dr. Hunter takes to tacitly justifying and endorsing the sin as he does when he outright claims that the Democrat party “Could steal the title of Pro Life party,” he has crossed that line. For him to justify such an endorsement by claiming that maybe not as many babies will be killed smacks of moral relativism. And even his arguments about the numbers of and the reasons for abortion shows he has a poor handle on the facts. I would think a good deal more due diligence would have been performed before taking such a public stand that could completely trash one’s life’s work and reputation.
It is certainly not helped when Dr. Hubnter tries to explaimn why he accepted the invitation to pray at the Democrat National Copnvention by equating it to being called to public service by the country’s elected officials. That is outright deceit, both of self and of others. Praying at the DNC is as far removed from service unto Ceaser as serving the Pharisees is from serving Christ. Woe to those bent on the deceit of God’s people.
Jer 29:8 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you;
Col 2:8 Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:
Rev 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.



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Dallas Corrigan

posted August 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm


Ok, let me get this straight…. Bush is against abortions, and he wasn’t able to get a reduction in abortions in the 8 years he was president, right? (I’m sure the Democrats had something to do with that) So Joel says that maybe we make a deal with a pro-abortionist candidate so we can truly reduce abortions in the country? Isn’t that a little like saying “Well, God sure doesn’t seam to be saving enough people from sin these days… maybe I can make a deal with the Devil, and together, maybe we can help reduce the amount of sin going on in the country”.
Ok, maybe it isn’t the best analogy, but I think I made my point. I can see being upset with the Republicans – mainly for not standing up to their conservative principles. But turning to the Democrats for the “abortion answer” is like making a deal with the Devil. Their not interested in reducing abortions, and they will use “doctors” like the reverend Hunter to get a few more votes. Maybe Joel Hunter should stay away from politics and worry about paying for that new fancy sanctuary (I was in it this weekend for a concert).
I’m sorry to say, I’m truly dissapointed in Mr. Hunter. If you compromise on your principles, you will compromise on just about anything…. watch out for this guy, I think he’s losing it.



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Sunny

posted August 27, 2008 at 10:03 am


I don’t fear what God will use Joel Hunter for – I fear what Barack Obama and the Democrats will “use” him for. Pastor Hunter is but a man and it seems to me the imperfect judgement of a man has succumbed to the charms of the serpent. Barack Obama is “reaching out” to the Evangelical Christians, not because he is one, but quite the opposite because he is NOT one. He is trying to avoid the mistake of the DNC of 4 years ago by underestimating the strength of God in this nation and the power of the Christian vote. He’s trying to garner support where he has none.



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Kenneth

posted August 27, 2008 at 11:00 pm


I attended Northland regularly for several years until I moved out of the state. I have always had great respect for Joel Hunter’s character and convictions, however I cannot embrace his new “ends justify the means” approach to abortion.



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Suzanne

posted August 28, 2008 at 11:20 am


hlh,
What do you think of someone who goes to a Prison and prays with/for those men or women? Exactly what you would expect from a christian, right? And expecially a Pastor.
Or what would you think of a Pastor who refuses to pray for someone or something that is in need of prayer? Wouldn’t even think of going to his church, would you?
I am thankful to my God that he has given Northland Church such an awesome leader and example of what His love is all about.



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Suzanne Rivera

posted August 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm


I think an oncore of James recent comment is in order:
Are you kidding me Northlanders? Where did Jesus sit? Did he sit with those who had problems or those who didn’t have problems? Did he help those who knew Him or didn’t know Him? This is just a branch of what we are supposed to do – have compassion and lead by example. This is no different than being a missionary into a foriegn land with different views and religion. Someone has to take the risk or first step if we are ever going to see real Change. Jesus was accused of the same things – sitting with tax collectors? prostitutes?
Posted by: James | August 24, 2008 8:35 AM
And I would add: I have been going to Northland for 16 years. For those of you who have attended Northland for some time, Joel has not changed… he is still the same and is still lead by Gods Holy Spirit. Let’s just be praying for him as always!



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Kay

posted August 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm


Again friends, the picture is so much bigger than our eyes can fully see. Only our God sees the entire plan. As Christians sometimes we are going to get used, mocked, shunned. I find it refreshing that Joel Hunter perhaps hasn’t thought this through from every possible position as politicians do. He’s accepting an invitation to pray on National TV. If done in a way that honors God it may bring at least a seed of Jesus’ truth to many. I don’t know Pastor Hunter, but why not all join together in prayer for him as he takes the podium tonight? May The Holy Spirit equip him with all he needs to speak truth to the glory of God.



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Charles

posted August 28, 2008 at 2:02 pm


Regardless of one’s position no sane person can think abortion to be a good thing, and no woman I can imagine wants one any more than any person wants a heart surgery or having tooth pulled but those who undergo the extreme procedure it is a necessity. Both sides can at least come to agree that fewer abortions, like fewer heart surgeries or tooth pulled would be a good thing. We can all come to gather to agree on this common objective and press our institutions to the common goal. We know that exercise and good eating habits can reduce the heart surgeries as good oral hygiene can reduce the number of tooth pulled, yet little is done, especially by our institutions to promote exercise, good eating habits and oral hygiene. Similarly, sex education, promotion of contraception and safer sex can not only reduce abortions but also reduce incidence of Sexually Transmitted Deceases, including HIV. Surprisingly, religious groups, especially the extreme ones, are opposed to all three, sexual education, contraception and safe sex, as well abortions. They claim that they value life and yet they would risk life of their loved ones who don’t subscribe to their beliefs to back alley abortionist. Is this insanity or what?



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David

posted August 28, 2008 at 3:05 pm


I’m especially concerned about all the Northlanders that claim they have always loved Dr. Hunter and were blessed by his teachings. Can you remember the lessons? YOU CAN’T PUT GOD IN A BOX! That message has always been taught by Brother Joel. God is the One Creator. The Bible is God breathed. God does not have a party affiliation. Don’t confuse the issue. Joel is not advising anyone on which way to vote. The input that Joel has contributed to the democratic abortion plank are all positive ideas that could help women and children. We don’t know if this legislation will pass or if the democrats would actually deliver on these ideas, but the input is positive. People, THIS IS A GOOD THING. The problem is not Joel. The problem is the media and people getting caught up in the frenzy. Please calm down and pray for Joel and God’s kingdom.



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Tracy Barfield

posted August 28, 2008 at 11:30 pm


I have been to Northland many times when I lived in Orlando, though I was never a member. We stopped going to Northland when we noticed that the church began embracing what we saw as a more universalist approach and began to display native American Indian artifacts in its lobby. We felt a Christian chrch displaying artifacts in its lobby from a culture that worshipped false gods was rather odd…but it is starting to make sense. I believe Joel is part of the growing deceptive trend in politics: to call yourself a member of one party, while embracing the beliefs of the other. This article reveals the truth of the matter; that Joel Hunter is a democrat. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this also shows him to be a democrat before being Christian…how else can you as a Christian excuse a candidate with a pro-choice position, while conveniently ignoring the fact that the candidate is also openly pro-U.N. and against the nation of Israel.



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think it thru

posted August 28, 2008 at 11:47 pm


Charles should please consider– during heart surgery or when a tooth is pulled– a human heart does not stop beating.
Joel Hunter makes a Faustian choice– to save a few lives he will support the sacrifice others.
He has been influenced by the leaders of the Third Way (a left wing think tank) who coerced him into “helping write” the democratic abortion plank.
Joel should have known to use a long spoon when he supped with the devil.



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Tracy Barfield

posted August 29, 2008 at 6:03 am


How absurd the notion is that democratic legislation will help abotions go down by financially making it easier for mother’s to carry their babies to full term! Newsflash for you Joel…many woman decide to get an abortion simply because the life within them is an inconvenience, and it has nothing at all to do with finances. There’s an inconvenient truh for you, Joel!
And speaking of helping mother’s take their pregnancy to full term, if you actually think the democratic party, which has vehemently supported abotion rights, including the sinister practices of full-term “partial birth abortions;” and has tried to block every piece of legislation that the Republicans have brought that would help discourage abortion…if you really think this democratic party can become the true “pro-life” party,…then you are just extremely ignorant, or extremely foolish. Either way, it has revealed your true liberal position.



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Tiffany

posted August 29, 2008 at 2:40 pm


Obviously these irritated Northland-going folk haven’t been listening to Joel’s sermons when they were occupying the new building: His discussions on peace-making, and not taking sides but being all about another King?
For shame to even put Joel, who has been a pastor -not “pasture” – to not only our small (in the grand scheme) church but to others in this world who are not so typical and angry, with their super-spiritual halos all-aglow. Wasn’t it your God who said to seek the “lost”?
Well, that is exactly what your preacher is doing. And it’s so terribly sad you are stuck in a Republican agenda and obviously have yet to hear the true Gospel being preached not only in our church but in the Word itself.
Again, neither Obama or McCain is my President, nor will either of them be yours. You have a President, a King who is not of this world. Stop being so angry and giving Christians a bad-wrap.
Yet another Northland Member



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think about it

posted August 29, 2008 at 6:29 pm


Tiffany of Northland asks
“Wasn’t it your God who said to seek the “lost”?”
Our God said- He came to seek and save the lost.
He also said that anyone who causes a believer to sin- it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.



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taylor

posted August 29, 2008 at 7:23 pm


I would never have believed it but I now think the limelight has caused Joel to lose his vision. I am so sad.



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Tommy H

posted August 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm


I really do not know if that is the platform for a a leader to take. Every life is precious and to try and help modify the view and take of the Democrats so they can get more people to vote for them is not what I believe our Lord and Saviour had in mind. It should help save more lives which is number one, but is it really standing up for what our Christian beliefs are?? There are many mixed signals. In an election like this, shouldn’t a man who is in a leadership role support the views that are taught in the bible rather than rationalize and compromise a position. I for one look up to this particular leader, and hope and pray he will take a stance rather than a compromise. This particular topic is a topic our religous leadership should take very seriously and not waffle or flip flop. God does want to seek the lost, but he also wants us to teach the truth! Are we not giving the wrong signals to the new believers, those who quite do’nt understand the views of the church and leadership.



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think it thru

posted August 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm


“Pro-life voters of either party can now support Senator Obama on the basis that more lives will be saved than if they had just taken a moral stand hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade”
This quote of Pastor Joel Hunter- Senior Pastor of Northland- is floating all over the web. It seems clear the Obama Campaign is hoping many evangelicals who believe abortion is wrong will follow Pastor Hunter’s advice and vote for Obama believing Obama will work hard to reduce the number of abortions.
Surely Pastor Hunter knows Obama’s deplorable record on abortion. He voted against giving medical support to a child born alive after a botched abortion. He argued this would put a burden on the mother who intended to abort her child.
The Catholics and others are taking a stand against Pastor Hunter’s new take on abortion. I hope beliefnet will give those who oppose Pastor Hunter a place to voice their concerns.



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john

posted August 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm


How many other Pastors turned down Obamas request to pray at the convention? Does anyone know if others were asked and declined?



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Bill from Northland-In Baghdad

posted August 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm


“Pro-life voters of either party can now support Senator Obama on the basis that more lives will be saved than if they had just taken a moral stand hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade”
Senator Obama has done more to ensconce and expand the reach of Roe v. Wade than any Presidential Nominee in years. His record at the state level in Illinois is deplorable. His voting record shows a refusal to take a stand on tough issues by merely voting “Present”. He lacks the courage of his convictions in the public arena. I would not buy for one second that he would be committed to reducing the number of abortions in America through social change when he has one of the most liberal records on abortion in recent history.
I would love to see the conservative Evangelicals pressing conservative politicians to enact social change to reduce the number of abortions occuring. At the end of the day, supporting and loving the scared, pregnant woman and helping her through her journey is what Christ would want us to do. Standing in a picket line across from the clinic and screaming hateful things at her will not serve her, nor will it help her unborn child live.
I pray that we will take a tone shift in the direction Joel is suggesting, but that those who own the issue and actually care about it will make that proper step.
But what do I know? I’m just a bitter person, clinging to God and my guns according to Senator Obama.
Bill, from Northland who is serving in Iraq



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think about it

posted August 30, 2008 at 8:42 pm


Pastor Joel Hunter should be aware of what is happening at the EPOC Center in Orlando. I find it hard to believe he does not. A movie has been made about this horrific experience called 22Weeks. Here is the actual 911 call documenting what happened.
Baby Rowan, a 22-week-old boy who was born alive in Dr. James Pendergraft’s abortion clinic in Orlando and left to die!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfnNzIzvT-k



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think about it

posted August 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm


If anyone from Northland is still reading here-
Watch the utube–>
search “I Invented the Internet (Ep. 4: Kill and Destroy)”
and show it the your Pastors and ask that Joel Hunter’s statement:
“Pro-life voters of either party can now support Senator Obama on the basis that more lives will be saved than if they had just taken a moral stand hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade”
be retracted with an apology.



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denise

posted August 31, 2008 at 7:15 pm


Aren’t most of the crisis pregnancy centers staffed by conservative or Evangelical Christians, Catholics ? How is it that we are not seen as reducing the number of abortions= suggestion that we just stand across the street and yell at the abortion clinics. There are Christian adoption agencies also.
I could never support Obama because of his abortion record. . . not his current rhetoric trying to hide the truth of it.



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Claire

posted August 31, 2008 at 8:11 pm


I am apalled. It is such a clever distortion of God’s word, the truth. I pray that God deliver us from people such as Joel Hunter and enlghten the minds of the readers with the truth of the Holy Spirit. Who is Joel Humter and evangelist of?????



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Pat

posted September 1, 2008 at 8:38 pm


There are more reasons to vote than one freaking ISSUE.
Good Grief!
Why does it seem that Republicans are Pro Life yet Pro War?
I believe George Carlin has a You Tube on this issue.



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Suzanne

posted September 3, 2008 at 7:51 pm


So if I am hearing Joel Hunter correctly….he wants our old welfare system back which encourages single people to get pregnant and keep their babies which makes them eligible for government assistance and then to keep that flow coming with more babies. He doesn’t say it that way, but basically that is his new agenda and he is sure that if the Democratic party expresses it in this way that pro-life people will jump on board?? Will Joel is correct in one thing – Democrates are for government assistance and handouts. So, Joel is kidding himself to say that he is a Republican conservative. This program was in our past and abortions were still abundant and babies out of weblock on the welfare system were abundant as well. Standing beside those that believe in abortion and speaking on their behalf is sending the wrong message no matter how you try to package it. It is time for the Elders of Northland to make their pastor accountable for his mis-directed efforts. That is their job. Green sermons week after week are one thing – but now declaring pro-life switch to Obama’s team is entirely something else. I am just curious – What is the mission and beliefs of Northland??



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marty wright

posted September 6, 2008 at 7:57 am


Joel hunter has my attenion. I am and have always been a conservative.
I will take a closer look at Dr. Hunter’s approach.I will pray about this!



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Georgia Ana

posted October 8, 2008 at 5:13 pm


I do not think Dr. Hunter models the moral and ethical leadership that should be a minimum of any Christian leader. On his vanity web site (wrongly named “Completely Pro Life”) Dr. Hunter states (quoting from his new-conservative book):
“On the other hand, there is no question as to the magnitude of the suffering that would result for both parents and children if abortion of the misbegotten were not an option.”
To advocate, even with a half-hearted lament, the “abortion of the misbegotten” — heck, to even have the AUDACITY to use such a HOPEless word as “misbegotten” in reference to any life — aligns Dr. Hunter with a group of folks who throughout history have used that shameful word to postulate the destruction of whole groups of people. Read the works of Stalin and Hitler and Sanger and other eugenics proponents, and you’ll find references to the misbegotten sprinkled liberally throughout their defenses of systems that grant the right to life to only a certain acceptable sort of person.
Compared to the ONLY Begotten, we are all the ‘misbegotten,’ a name I proudly hold onto for myself as I work to defend the rights of the ‘misbegotten,’ born to the ‘misbegotten,’ in my professional role as a pro life activist every day.
I’ve heard Steve Brown say in public (for more than 30 years) that he’ll never stop saying “abortion is wrong, period.” Dr. Hunter (again, reference his quotes on his site) says no church or church leader can make that statement and be in the right.
There is a time coming when each of us will have to decide where we stand on these issues, and some of us, as in times past over issues such as slavery and the Holocaust, will choose to fall where we stand. Dr. Hunter will not be my model, my pastor, my moral guide, nor my spiritual instructor in such a time.
– A happy ‘misbegotten’ servant of HIM as I work among the ‘misbegotten’ to prevent the destruction of HIS gift of life
(COROLLARY THOUGHT: Can any Christian in his/her right — or left — mind entertain a ‘doctrine of the misbegotten?”)



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We also left Northland

posted October 14, 2008 at 7:46 am


This is in response to all the Northlanders who are comparing Joel’s stance with Jesus Christ’s loving the sinners – tax collectors and prostitutes. At that time, the Gospel was new. His people did not know about the forgiveness and love of God. The sinners’ in Jesus’ time were living under the law. However, in this country of ours we have heard of the Gospel and Christianity for centuries. Americans and most Europeans who have not accepted Christianity by now have clearly refused the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and would rather live by the way of the world. Yes, Christians have to set an example but we are to set ourselves apart unless we, too, become corrupted. Even in the New Testament, all the letters were sent to the church (the believers) and not to “everyone”. At this age and time, people have already decided whether they want to be followers of Jesus Christ or not. We cannot condone sin and mask it as the grace of God. That in itself is evil and is false teaching. I am so sorry for the Northland church. I am glad my family and I have left already last year because of Joel’s stance on Israel. So many are being led by the leadership, including the lack of authority of the elders, into the abyss.



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Another Northlander who left...

posted October 15, 2008 at 12:56 pm


Suzanne Riviera wrote:
And I would add: I have been going to Northland for 16 years. For those of you who have attended Northland for some time, Joel has not changed… he is still the same and is still lead by Gods Holy Spirit. Let’s just be praying for him as always!
My Response: Weren’t you there when Joel admitted he relies more on himself – his intellect and abilities than listening to the Holy Spirit? Were you there when he laughed at people who ‘hear’ the Holy Spirit? Northland is based on a business model that is why it grew like any megachurch…not on the bible. The road is narrow, remember?



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Another Northlander who left...

posted October 15, 2008 at 1:02 pm


To Bill in Iraq….there are many churches who have concurrent worship online. A lot of churches also have recorded teachings available online. Choose one whose pastor is grounded biblically and whose agenda is not to entertain and impress the congregation.
Also, thank you so much for your service. We love you and are praying for you!



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Just a Believer

posted October 22, 2008 at 8:00 pm


I too am a member at Northland. The last few months have been tough on Dr. Hunter, who listens for God’s voice! Pastor Hunter is a product of the 60′s and the civil rights movement, his heart is for social issues as I believe Jesus’ heart was when he walked the earth and believe it is still God’s heart. Dr. Hunter is not proporting to support abortion, he states this from the pulpit routinely. Dr. Hunter wants people to think through the issues and look to solutions. One can be against abortion and beleive that Roe v wade does not need to be overturned.
Remember folks as you make your judgements about Hunter, you sit in sin too…………so let’s let the Father be our Judge!



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THINK IT THROUGH

posted October 23, 2008 at 7:39 pm


“One can be against abortion and beleive that Roe v wade does not need to be overturned.”
In the days of my abolitionist ancestors they were told: you can be against slavery and believe the laws that allow it need not be overturned. They fought on to end slavery.
Abortion is a grave sin. Pastor Joel Hunter is wrong to compromise his position and he brings greater judgment on himself to mislead his congregation.
James 3:1
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more severely than others.



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THINK IT THROUGH

posted October 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm


Do me a favor.
Look at the photograph at the blog “In the Holiness of Truth”- posted by Edward Cardinal Egan the Archbishop of New York (at the link below).
Look and decide with honesty and decency what the Lord expects of you and me as the horror of “legalized” abortion continues to erode the honor of our nation. Look, and do not absolve yourself if you refuse to act.
http://www.cny.org/archive/eg/eg102308.htm
If you are a member of Northland- please take this photograph and essay of Cardinal Egan to your Senior Pastor and ask him to repent.



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Just a Believer

posted October 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm


Anyone who has spent anytime with Dr. Hunter will no these things:
1. He loves the scriptures
2. Spends time listening for the Holy Spirit
3. Hates unjust situations.
4. Beleives that people can work together to change situations.
5. Beleives there is more than one way to achieve his objective.
I know Dr. Hunter defends life in all situations. This is in the womb, out of the women, in prison, in slavery. I wonder how many have talked with Dr. Hunter before pasing Judgement! I have and continue to have ongoing dialogs with him.
Let’s pray for unity…



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THINK IT THROUGH

posted October 25, 2008 at 11:06 pm


JAB-
When you said “One can be against abortion and beleive that Roe v wade does not need to be overturned.” I knew you were under the influence of Pastor Hunter’s teachings.
It echoes what is said in this article “Hunter makes a practical argument: providing women with economic help in carrying babies to term can actually reduce the number of abortions more, and more quickly, than focusing on overturning Roe v. Wade. “With eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined. Every indication is that with financial support and different forms of supporting pregnant mother and then some post birth help also we could come close to 50% reduction in abortions. That’s huge. That’s huge.”
To compromise with abortion (like those who compromised with slavery) is NOT huge. It is a grave sin and an error in faith.
I will not pray for “unity” but confront the scourge of abortion that offends the heart of God. I will also pray for the will of God to be revealed to you and your pastor.
And BTW- Joel Hunter says “with eight years of Bush the abortion rates have not declined”. He has bought into an old pro-abortion lie and is repeating it. A simple google search would have revealed the truth to him:
“Abortions rising under Bush? Not true. How that false claim came to be – and lives on.
Summary
Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
This claim is false. It’s based on an an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased.”
http://www.factcheck.org/society/the_biography_of_a_bad_statistic.html
Please ask your pastor to correct himself. He is leading his flock astray from the truth.



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DavidMaza

posted October 29, 2008 at 3:15 pm


We had President Bush and a Republican Congress who call themselves “pro life” and Roe was not overturned… Even if McCain wins and Roe is overturned, abortions will not end… women will be having abortions anyway, because many don’t have resources, or face condemnation from their boyfriends, parents, friends, and even pastors. If Obama wins he can talk with people from the pro life movement, as he is doing it now….



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anonymous

posted October 30, 2008 at 8:10 am


David Maza-
Do you understand the purpose and work of America’s Supreme Court. Do you know who the Supreme Court Justices are? Do you know what their views on abortion are? Do you know how long a Supreme Court Justice’s term lasts?
Do you understand that the Laws of the Land ground and guide a nation even though people will always break laws?
You argue that women will always have abortions even if Roe v Wade is overturned so it is better to allow abortions and compromise with the pro-life citizens by attempting to reduce abortions?
Are you saying because people will always murder, steal, and rape we should soften the laws that forbid these things and attempt to talk to the offenders to reduce the number of offenses?
Is that like the man who has admitted using cocaine (which is against the law) but has never been held to that law is about to become POTUS?
Once his term begins should he put more liberal judges in place to soften the drug laws too?



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Michele

posted November 9, 2008 at 4:12 am


One look at the democrat national party platform should dispel any and all myths that the dem party could ever stop being the party of death. they are virulently pro-abort. Obama has proved to be THE most pro-abortion of any democrat. By far. Remember, he argued that aborted born-alive human babies should be left to die. that’s amazingly barbaric. you really don’t want him making your health care decisions with government-run health care, knowing that. And democrats push doctors killing patients, as in I-1000 which just passed in Washington state. It’s always about death, with these people. I-1000 says a doctor can prescribe drugs to kill you if you have six months left to live. Six months. Not a few days or weeks. Six months. I know of people who were told they were dying in just a couple months who recovered and are happy & productive today! Imagine if they had asked their doctor to kill them! Their families would not be enjoying them today.



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Michele

posted November 9, 2008 at 4:17 am


And btw, democrats are ‘using’ christians to get votes (at least enough to elect Obama) while having nothing to offer them except gay marriage, radical pro-abortion policies, and human cloning. There’s nothing in that that lines up with Biblical principles.



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All For Naught

posted November 10, 2008 at 10:58 am


Well, now that it’s over it turns out that Joel Hunter’s betrayal of Jesus is for nothing. Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal proving that he did not have enough clout. At least, his congregation had stronger faith than their pastor- Seminole County (where Northland is) voted republican and it looks like the attendance at Northland dropped from 12000 to 6000. The only thing he gained is to lose his congregation. It is not good to go gray on anything – lukewarm?…you get spit out.
Here is a link to the article…
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122601904162807153.html



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Joan Collins

posted November 10, 2008 at 1:07 pm


‘All For Nought’,
Do you even have a vague knowledge of who Joel Hunter is? I expect not, as your bias toward a brother in Christ(that is, if you are a believer)is shameful! This is a MIGHTY WARRIOR in the LORD’S ARMY, who actually ‘thinks’ original, inspired thoughts, and most amazingly, acts on them!
PASSION ought to be a key word as we describe ‘who’ we are in Christ, ready to risk ALL, to be who GOD CALLS US TO BE! Unless you know Joel Hunter personally, as I do, have sat under his teachings for years, as I did, respecting him because of his reckless abandonment to Jesus Christ, I consider you a gossip,devoted to filling space with empty words!



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All For Naught

posted November 11, 2008 at 3:16 pm


Responding to Joan Collins,
Yes, I attended Northland for years- probably longer than you have and I know that Joel Hunter does not have time for the congregation other than responding through e-mail. A lot of us have left Northland and there are the likes of you who choose to stay. Reckless abandonment to Jesus Christ? I did not see that. To politics and power, yes.
Anyway, my words come from my experience at Northland being treated very badly by people who have “sat under his teachings for decades” and still have no fruit of the Spirit. This is what happens when the pastor is after fame and power and not after the spiritual wellbeing of the people he leads. I believe pastors will be judged at a higher standard and putting more time and effort on the quest for fame and power than the people he was entrusted with is totally wrong. Call me a gossip if you will, I speak from experience. My words come from the fruit of Joel Hunter’s work which is manifested in the lives of the people who “have sat under his teachings.”



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Tim

posted January 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm


Dr. Hunter has succeeded in placing himself in the limelight AND help Obama get elected. No mean feat. And what did Obama do on his first day of office? Why he removed the prohibition on the US funding abortions abroad. Perfect. Way to go, Joel! You have helped kill some babies.



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A Different Tim

posted February 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm


Okay, stop arguing about who attended Northland longer. That won’t get you anywhere.
I also attended Northland for about 15 years (childhood to about 20). I was highly involved with the youth ministry and helped run the LUG program for the middle school students throughout my high school years; I pretty much dedicated my life to that church. All For Naught, I can understand your frustration. As soon as I entered college, it felt like there was nothing left for me at Northland. The college ministry is virtually nonexistent and not very well supported. I also got fairly bitter and went my own way.
However, my experience (and I would venture to say yours) did not come about as a result of anything Joel Hunter did or didn’t do. By your own estimation, Northland had a congregation of around 12,000 people. How can one man be available to that many people? Even being available by email is fairly impressive. The problems that chased both of us away are the problems that plague every megachurch in the world. Christianity is a community-based religion; you’re supposed to be able to lean on each other. In a congregation of 12,000 people, that just can’t happen. People fall through the cracks and get mistreated by accident. It happened to me and a number of my friends. Let the bitterness go; no one meant to hurt you.
On to the social issues. I hate abortion too, but Joel’s got a point. If you look at human society from a historical standpoint, the political line constantly shifts to the left. Take the most conservative person you know, and he or she will seem radically liberal to someone from 200 years ago. Even if Roe V. Wade were overturned (which will NEVER happen at this point), something similar would come back. That said, how many people do you think exist who enjoy getting pregnant just to kill the baby? The vast majority of women get abortions because they don’t have another way out of the situation. So yes, Obama and Dr. Hunter have a point: it’s never going to be illegal again, but giving people options will reduce the frequency of occurrence (assuming that most people don’t like getting abortions, which I would argue is a relatively safe assumption).
The problem with this approach is that too many conservatives are very reactionary and can’t accept that the world isn’t going to be won over to Biblically-based morals. Also, there seems to be a misconception in the conservative camp that government is the place to push religious issues, and quite frankly, it isn’t. Our country is supposed to look after the interests of ALL its citizens, not the morals of some over others. You can’t legislate morality, but initiatives to work within a purely social framework that also happen to reduce total abortions are a great idea.
My overall recommendation: Calm down, Joel’s a good guy who means well, but he can’t manage your faith for you (no one can). You shouldn’t put that responsibility on anyone but yourself. As for abortions and other moral issues, don’t get complacent about them, but accept that they’re not going away. After you do that, then you’ll be able to accomplish something constructive.



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Donald Moeser

posted March 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm


Those who “hate abortion” yet support the very one’s responsible pretty well tells us the state of the church in America.
This isn’t about Democrat or Republican, it’s about LIFE. . . and those who tolerate the slaughter of the innocent.
His defenders can bring up all of his attributes they want, but the closing of his ears to the screams of these little ones will someday demand retribution.



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Tim

posted March 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm


Hi Donald,
Your post exemplifies why I have a difficult time defending my faith to any of my friends. When I get through to them that there’s a difference between the faith itself and the actions taken by those who hold to it, we see to have good conversations. However, almost everyone I know is extremely skeptical of Christianity because of the very way you responded to my post.
Like it or not, you and I are on the same side when it comes to abortions, and our worldviews are probably more similar than you would like to admit. That said, I’ve been arguing from the standpoint of someone who has realized that the fight over Roe v. Wade is already lost in this world, and would at least like to do something constructive about providing alternatives to abortion. It won’t save every life, but it’s better than doing nothing but fighting a hopeless battle and getting nothing accomplished at all.
For this, you have attacked me with a vague statement bemoaning how the state of the church in America is going downhill and implying that I represent all the things wrong with the church. Then you followed this with a highly emotional (emotions I emphasize with, mind you) appeal that has no substantive argument to it. It will however, enrage people who disagree with you and encourage those of like mind to you to nod their heads in agreement…which ultimately puts us all back where we started with no progress made whatsoever.
Your final paragraph is more or less a continuation of the second with a twist, and this is the part that really gets me. Rather than display any willingness to work with people who are on YOUR SIDE but of a slightly more even temperament, you would rather attack and damn them with truly horrible threats. This is why all my agnostic friends hate Christians. They see us as mean-spirited, small-minded people as we attack everyone who disagrees with us. The sad part is, they’re right to do so.
Why don’t we try taking the proffered hands of those who want to work with us rather than constantly rejecting them and allowing more and more babies to die in the meantime?



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liz

posted April 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm


I also attended Northland for several years. I too saw the lack of holiness and Biblical literacy in several people’s lives. It’s a part of the emergent church of compromise. I got tired of hearing about global warming in every sermon. I drew the line however when Joel preached that we as Americans need to give health care to illegal immigrant’s children a comparison he drew from the passage in the book of Jonah where God chides Jonah for not caring about the Ninevite children…(those who don’t know their right hand from their left…) Joel is practicing deceit when he referrs to Obama’s pick Kansas Governor Sebelious in the Fox News article where he tells pro-lifers to stop picking on her (boo hoo!) and let her get on with the business of reducint abortions. James 3:1 is totally appropriate here. I do not know if Joel is saved or not. But I know that he is definitely leading people astray from the pure gospel.
It’s a shame more people don’t see the truth. But if you try and point it out to Joel, he just claims that he’s being martyred for his stand. It’s useless to try and reason with him. Just pray there’s a church split big enough to get his attention and that the true believers will see the truth and leave Northland. Church splits aren’t always a bad thing. We are called to be holy…to separate ourselves from the world. Leaving Northland is definitely doing that…



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MIke

posted April 22, 2009 at 5:38 am


I am going to make an attempt here to take Joel out of it for a second. First and foremost, my pastor would have us look at Jesus first. His life began physically in the account in Luke when He was conceived. Jesus himself would want nothing less, only more for those that could be called ‘less than human.’ There is no second class of human being, not exiting the womb alive, or third class of never even entering the womb. These state-approved murders are reasons for which Christ died and having a mercy based approach in this will go a long way. We have to be clear that it is sin and hurtful to society to limit life. We can’t dance around that fact, we have impoverished ourselves by our sin, God’s will is not confounded by us, however we have been stifled by our vanity in not dealing head on with these issues as Christ would.
Tell the truth, reveal the heart of those with error, work with those that turn, if persecuted, accept it and make a statement. If Joel fails to preach the whole Gospel of Christ, I will bring it to him personally. So far, I have not seen evidence of that and he is compassionately engaged in every issue he feels lead to. I do not agree with the left leaning economic policy and I do believe that the Church should not pull government funds on any level. This disturbs me greatly, and I am watching. While we are a pluralistic society, our message is that of permeating truth and we must be clear. This is something Joel has taught all of us. As he says, ‘I know where my bread is buttered.’ the ‘la-de-da’ of being wooed politically and glad-handed by BHO disturbs me. BHO is disingenuous. I pray that Dr. Hunter doesn’t leverage the Church under the bus of the next big issue, unilateral Gay acceptance. While I have gay friends, I risk my relationship to tell them what Jesus has done for them… they ought not lead in the Church in any way. I believe they can be ‘born-again’ however, the scripture is clear that inheriting the Kingdom in this life looking forward will be difficult for anyone caught up in a carnal, sin producing lifestyle. Ultimately, the Gospel has to be our first and constant operating system and I know Joel knows that message through and through. I trust him although I do not trust IN him. There is a difference. I believe he is making some ‘grave errors’ that if left unchecked could produce some un-intended consequences for the Church and a reduction of liberty for the American citizen. The Lord is working in all of this for our betterment. I resent the attitude of our leaders in the Church that shun us learning for ourselves and encouraging us to ‘cast off’ ideological views. It is in understanding views that help us know revealed human weakness, and for the spiritually astute, know how we are being lead. May the Grace of God be on us as we endeavor to bring an answer of our true Hope, Christ Jesus.



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I'm going to join Northland Church

posted August 25, 2009 at 1:09 am


I grew up in a conservative Christian church in Kansas.
I am an evangelical, I love Jesus, embrace my faith more than anything else, and have learned- after many international travels to Europe and East Asia, as well as marrying a Swiss national- how politicized Christian Faith in this country is. My wife is constantly amazed at how taken with the Republican platform evangelicals are in the U.S…She has often commented at how it appears to her that Republican politicians leverage an issue that they have no intent on actually changing (i.e. Roe vs. Wade) to win popular support from Christian evangelicals. I am pro-life, and I love, absolutely LOVE that this pastor, Joel Hunter, cares more about saving the lives of babies then towing the party line on Roe vs. Wade. For those of you who are arguing that Roe vs. Wade must be overturned to save the babies, I understand what you are saying, but unfortunately you have believed a lie. Either you have not spent time researching the causes of abortion (thus not understanding how to best eliminate abortions), or you are not spending enough time praying for God to guide you in this issue rather than your peers…likely both. As for my wife and I and my young child…we are moving to Longwood for business reasons, and are tremendously excited to begin attending Northland. A pastor who is willing to risk losing some of his financial base to stand for his convictions is inspiring! We will give our tithe and service to this church. It is clear that Northland will spread the worship of Jesus in our country by reaching the next generation, and that Joel Hunter has made his allegiance to Jesus Christ, and not the Republican or Democratic party.
“Missions exist because worship doesn’t.”
-John Piper



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Walt Mentzer

posted September 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm


The Democrats will never be a pro life party. If Joel Hunter believes that, he is living in a world of fantasy. His president voted twice while in state of Ill. as a legislator to allow late term abortions. His first act upon being elected was to mandate not only gov. paid abortions for our country but world wide. The democratic party will always be the abortion party. The Bible tells us “We should not be unequally yoked. To be “a conservative Republican, and tie ones self so closely with a man who sat 20 years under a “spiritual leader”, who ask God to DAMN AMERICA, must be caught up in a form of denial.



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Former Northland Member

posted December 21, 2009 at 6:48 am


After several years at Northland, our family decided to leave as well. There was a struggle with the wonderful worship (band/media), the way Joel delivered the message and Joel’s politics. We tried desperately to stay and stomach what was going on with Joel, but we believed God wanted us elsewhere. We had to come to grips with what God wanted, not the professional worship (band/media) that we wanted.
It was very apparent that Joel was caught up in the political spotlight….and basked in it. I still cannot understand (after listening to his rationalization for nearly a year) even to this day how Joel could support one of the most liberal politicians this country has seen.
Joel, please refocus on the Cross and refrain from politics. Please get back to your local church and out of the national limelight.



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posted March 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm


Making women dependent on government welfare just fosters an entitlement mentality.

It works to foster a sense of irresponsibility and therefor liberal abortion laws.

We ought to be taking welfare out of the governments hands and make people responsible to seek help under the discipleship of their local church.

That would assume that their pastor isn’t bleating the praises of Barack Obama of course.

Pro-lifers ought to picket Hunter’s church every Sunday. He isn’t pro-life at all — he’s deceived if he thinks this is a real strategy to reduce abortion.



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