Mega Church Blunders

So, for almost 3 years now I have been attending this non denominational church here in Southern California Los Angeles Porter Ranch called Shepherd of the hill the pastor is Dudley Rutherford. You’re probably asking yourself why is this guy even going there, two words “the wife”. Anyways, over the years I’ve been hearing more and more flaws and errors and slight bigotry in this church. Here are some Yelp reviews I have done which doesn’t even cover a fraction of what I’ve witnessed I don’t understand how a non denominational “Bible Church” can teach false things about the Bible and people in this church just agree. I’m beginning to think parishioners don’t read the Bible themselves anyways here’s the link Enjoy
yelp.com/biz/shepherd-church-porter-ranch-4?hrid=_rORZ7JJYV9Ihju9GnKbMA

Are you attending Mass as well? If so, does your wife attend with you? I would think living your faith and inviting her to live it with you might be the best course to take.

It’s called private interpretation of the Bible.

Yup, every Sunday I go to Mass solo. She refuses to go. So on Saturday evenings I sit through stuff like this vocaroo.com/i/s1bMnU7uNfqM

Private interpretation can be dangerous. The Bible is clear about false teachers and prophets. There are indeed wolves in sheep clothing. But we are not here to judge others :slight_smile: this is a good reminder for you and I to be more careful.

You are a kind and loving husband to go to church with your wife. You are a good Catholic because you fulfill your Sunday obligation.

Of course, if I was in your shoes I’d have an overwhelming urge to bring out my rosary and pray during the sermon. :wink:

I know it must be hard but continue to be loving and ask for St. Monica’s intervention. Don’t push your wife, let the Lord do it for you.

Fritz,

Don’t worry. Studies have repeatedly shown that most, if not all of these ‘fad’ churches have a very short shelf-life. Most people get tired/bored/weary/disconnected/change-perspectives/consider the pastor heretical/not-fill-in-the-blank-enough in about 5-7 years. If not in this time frame, once the first ‘scandal’ gets out in the media, or the first pastornality (personality cult) leaves or dies - an immediate collapse. It’s happened enough to call it almost a guarantee.

The bosses (call them lead pastor or head pastor) needs to get his house, assets, and book sales out before it’s too late. This is the reason for the demanded tithe - I’ll bet the book store is full of stuff promoting the pastor and his friends as well.

These sects pop up and shut down like restaurants.

I didn’t know you could write Yelp reviews for churches!

I’m from LA so I know about this church, and know people that are heavily involved in it. I understand your aversion to Protestant churches, as a Catholic. But I am curious, what is your true agenda against this church? Why do you have the time to spend the effort to write not 1, not 2, but 3 mixed or negative reviews about it?

I say you gotta do what you gotta do to preserve your marriage. But why the hate against this church? Instead of hate, why don’t you study up on Catholicism, and evangelize to Protestants in love?

Have you wondered what it is about this church that makes it continue to grow and be successful? What elements can you bring back to your parish? We Catholics would like to know.

[quote=SyroMalankara]Fritz,

Don’t worry. Studies have repeatedly shown that most, if not all of these ‘fad’ churches have a very short shelf-life. Most people get tired/bored/weary/disconnected/change-perspectives/consider the pastor heretical/not-fill-in-the-blank-enough in about 5-7 years. If not in this time frame, once the first ‘scandal’ gets out in the media, or the first pastornality (personality cult) leaves or dies - an immediate collapse. It’s happened enough to call it almost a guarantee…
[/quote]

Not so fast. Seems like CAF members are smugly predicting the death of Protestantism. But not so fast.

As a former Protestant Angeleno, I can tell you that Dudley Rutherford is considered one of the best Protestant pastors in Los Angeles, and he has been preaching for at least since 1987. The church the OP is writing about has been in existence since 1912. Two churches merged to form Shepherd of the Hills in 1995, and the church continues to grow. The physical evidence is there… the church is building new parking and a new building. (This info is straight off of their website.) Their young adult evening ministry, which disbanded a few months ago with many tears, was Evangelicalism at its best, most effective, and life-impacting.

Manny Pacquiao spoke at this church before his fight against Mayweather. Pacquiao is himself a Catholic turned Protestant.

Being a Protestant pastor is difficult, as you are subject to criticism left and right, every weekend.

Meanwhile, I’m not hearing anything about Catholic growth in the San Fernando Valley. The Archdiocese of LA is continuing to recover from the scandal of Roger Mahoney, and though Jose Gomez is a good man, he is fighting an uphill battle for change. In fact, many people who attend Shepherd of the Hills are ex-Catholics.

So no, Evangelicalism and Protestantism in general are not dying anytime soon.

Agenda? I don’t have an agenda, if you read my reviews I was very positive in the beginning (2 years ago) but after every Saturday evening hearing little insults here and there and hearing untruthfuls about, let’s say where the Bible came from (hear my audio recording I took with my phone and uploaded vocaroo.com/i/s1bMnU7uNfqM it started to take a toll on me and every now and then when I would notice something and I would bring it up to my wife i was only faced with anger so I just kept everything to myself. now I’m at the point where if I’m not going to tell her I got to express it somewhere thus you will notice my last two Yelp reviews on this church are less than a month apart. And from my reviews (which is just a small sample) I’m saying exactly what happens there, are those situations not something to be annoyed at? Especially when my wife is sitting there taking notes and nodding her head in agreement at whatever this pastor say but questions me on anything I say.

Depends how you define success. Is this church building in leaps and bounds? Is it heavily in debt in order to build physical locations? How about salvation?
Is it aiming for the short term, but forgetting the long term?

As a former Protestant Angeleno, I can tell you that Dudley Rutherford is considered one of the best Protestant pastors in Los Angeles, and he has been preaching for at least since 1987. The church the OP is writing about has been in existence since 1912. Two churches merged to form Shepherd of the Hills in 1995, and the church continues to grow. The physical evidence is there… the church is building new parking and a new building. (This info is straight off of their website.) Their young adult evening ministry, which disbanded a few months ago with many tears, was Evangelicalism at its best, most effective, and life-impacting.

Look, relative to Catholicism and even the Diocese of LA or even a normal parish in the LA area, an-8000 weekly attendance church is hardly mega anything. It’s mega in protestant circles, an average medium sized parish relative to Catholicism.

Manny Pacquiao spoke at this church before his fight against Mayweather. Pacquiao is himself a Catholic turned Protestant.

Which begs the question - why? Manny isn’t a theologian, he isn’t well versed in the Scriptures, and doesn’t bring much to the Spiritual table. His talk does attract audiences, and $$ prior to a well-advertised fight. This seems to be the drive. Audience. $. And an ex-Cath turned protestant, in a ultra-Catholic city. No, they aren’t anti-Catholic :rolleyes:

Meanwhile, I’m not hearing anything about Catholic growth in the San Fernando Valley. The Archdiocese of LA is continuing to recover from the scandal of Roger Mahoney, and though Jose Gomez is a good man, he is fighting an uphill battle for change. In fact, many people who attend Shepherd of the Hills are ex-Catholics.

There are about 5M Roman and thousands of Eastern Catholics, not to mention Orthodox Churches in the LA area. The LA Diocese runs schools, hospitals, charities, and more. You are comparing one apple to the entire forest.

So no, Evangelicalism and Protestantism in general are not dying anytime soon.

Sure, it is rapid changing to try and adapt to the popular culture however. Dying and not being relevant are pretty much the same thing all churches are fighting against.

An example - this church has a few pastors, few satellites, and lots of activities… good. It has 8,000 weekly attendance.

St. Mathew Catholic parish in Charlotte, North Carolina reported 30,000 individual members in 2012. That isn’t completely an anomaly in areas that never had Catholics prior to the last 25yrs.

:eek: He sounds really ignorant!

An additional statistic… here’s a snapshot from the LATimes 10-12-1990 (note: Catholic Churches are not listed because official weekly attendance is usually not taken):
articles.latimes.com/1990-10-12/news/mn-2333_1_california-churches

How many of these even exist today? No.9 by weekly attendance has been purchased in a bankruptcy by the RC Diocese of Orange at bargain basement prices.

BIGGEST PROTESTANT CHURCHES

The 10 biggest Protestant churches in America, ranked by average Sunday attendance:

  1. First Baptist Church, Hammond, Ind.: 20,000

  2. Willow Creek Community Church, S. Barrington, Ill.: 14,605

  3. Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, Calif.: 12,000

  4. Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va.: 11,000

  5. First Assembly of God, Phoenix: 10,000

  6. North Phoenix Baptist Church, Phoenix: 9,500

  7. Chapel in University Park, Akron, Ohio: 8,700

  8. Second Baptist Church, Houston: 8,500

  9. Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, Calif.: 8,000

  10. Mt. Paran Church of God, Atlanta: 7,850

The 10 biggest Protestant churches in California, ranked by average Sunday attendance:

  1. Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa: 12,000

  2. Grace Community Church, Sun Valley: 8,000

  3. Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside: 7,700

  4. Calvary Chapel, Downey: 7,500

  5. Calvary Chapel, Santa Ana (tie): 6,000

  • Capital Christian Center, Sacramento (tie): 6,000

  • Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles (tie): 6,000

  • First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton (tie): 6,000

  1. Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove: 5,438

  2. Church on the Way, Van Nuys: 5,347

Source: John N. Vaughan, International Mega-Church Research Center, Bolivar, Mo.

A little clarification on that first one Syro.
1stBH is a ultra-radical fundamentalist church (KJV-only) formally headed by the notorious Jack Hyles. Scandals deflated their membership, and the recent one involved a former pastor and a 16 year old girl (he’s currently starting a new career making license plates). ADDED to that is their reputation for INFLATING numbers dramatically (in the old days we called that lying). They have lost a lot of members.
My guess is the actual number doesn’t go too beyond four digits.

What did he say that made you think he sounded ignorant?? I just heard some Biblical teaching going on there.

Maybe it wasn’t all that bad to a Protestant’s ears…

Blessings,

Rita

Hi Rita,
Check out this link to know the mistake that Pastor said…
yelp.com/biz/shepherd-church-porter-ranch-4?hrid=_rORZ7JJYV9Ihju9GnKbMA

Here’s 2012, mostly new names, same game:

onlinechristiancolleges.com/megachurches/

Thanks, Fritz!

I have a complaint against this church too! It’s members clog up the Souplantation across the street every Sunday morning and I’ve got to wait forever to get my Sunday Brunch!!!:mad::mad::mad:

Really? I really don’t think any of the LA parishes where I have been a parishoner have 8000 people attending every Sunday, and they are usually packed to the gils with people standing in the back because there is nowhere left to sit!

I think in this dark country and dark world, preaching the Gospel and converting new people is the ultimate sign of success. Did you see the latest poll about US Christian numbers declining? Statistics still show that 4 Catholics leave for every 1 entering. Statistics still show that Evangelicalism is growing.

Besides the main cathedral of a diocese, I have not ever seen a parish that has an attendance of 8000. I agree with Norm The Robot.

An additional statistic… here’s a snapshot from the LATimes 10-12-1990 (note: Catholic Churches are not listed because official weekly attendance is usually not taken):
articles.latimes.com/1990-10-…ornia-churches

How many of these even exist today? No.9 by weekly attendance has been purchased in a bankruptcy by the RC Diocese of Orange at bargain basement prices.

Calvary Chapel is still a successful franchise, though their political conservatism turns off some. Church on the Way in Van Nuys is still successful. Grace Community Church is still very successful, and John McArthur is one of the most respected Christian leaders in America.

Purchasing a building doesn’t mean the former occupants are disbanding. The Crystal Cathedral and the Diocese of Orange are switching buildings, meaning the Crystal Cathedral will still live on. And this is a strawman, but speaking of bankruptcy, dioceses around the world are bankrupt due to sex scandal settlements.

The 1990 article is about how 25 of the top 100 biggest Protestant churches are in Southern California. The article also mentions the rapid growth of Saddleback Church, which is a megachurch today. The LA Times has also written an article about the Southern California Bible Belt: articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/11/local/me-megachurches11

To me, it means that aside from the Latino population, Southern California is Protestant.

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