And, what is “Big Eva”?
SHIPWRECKED – noun
the destruction or loss of a ship, as by sinking.
the remains of a wrecked ship.
destruction or ruin: the shipwreck of one’s hopes.
verb (used with object)
to cause to suffer shipwreck.
to destroy; ruin.
verb (used without object)
to suffer shipwreck.
1 Timothy 1:18 “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”
We are hearing about and reading about so many being SHIPWRECKED in regards to their faith. What is this world is going on? And how is this happening?
Just in the small area where I live, in the past few years, there have been and are, at least 3 major Christian SHIPWRECKS on public display.
(I)First Baptist Church of Marco Island
In 2014, First Baptist Church of Marco Island, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Tim Neptune, found themselves $15 million in debt six years later, after expanding their buildings, buying a Christian radio station and expanding to East Naples.
Then, after defaulting on a $6.9 million loan provided by a longtime member, its former comptroller, Mary Traudt, 76, trustee of Marco Vision and Stewardship Trust, asked Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt to appoint a receiver to collect the church’s profits and rents and review its books.
Neptune, wrote “We as a church could easily be divided over something as simple as a building or location, just as these New Testament believers were. May we continue to bring God glory, even in the midst of this difficult situation.”
During the financial turmoil, Neptune left the church and left the members to clean up this mess.
Kase, the church expansion consultant, wasn’t surprised Family Church struggled financially. Based on its 350 to 400 members, he said, what it could afford would be a roughly $2 million loan an amount pastors were aware of because they detailed it in a church newsletter.
Kase said the more than $17,000 in monthly payments it was paying after defaulting on the$6.9 million loan wasn’t usually feasible for a church that small.
“There’s no way a church of that size could amortize that amount of debt,” Kase said of the more than $6.9 million. “ … It’s a sad story. The community deserves better. We hear of church train wrecks, but usually they’re not so egregious.”
Collier Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards, a member since 1992, blamed the problems on an overexpansion.” excerpt from the Naples Daily News, May 2014.
Then, almost unbelievably, at least to this bystander, Neptune emerges to head “Leadership Outreach in Naples”, which helps churches and ministries grow. And, Traudt joined Neptune, as treasurer and a director.
In the wake of this apparent SHIPWRECK at First Baptist, Marco Island, Neptune has started yet another church in 2016, Venture Church of Naples.
Subsequentlyh, Neptune and his wife sold their home in Naples, Florida in March of 2019 for $507,000 and purchased another home through their Trust, in Naples, for $1,025,000.
Still, I assume, it is Neptune’s stated desire is to “continue to bring God glory, even in the midst of this difficult situation.”
Yes, difficult indeed!
And, how many more are left with cleaning up these SHIPWRECKS ?
(II) Harvest Bible Chapel Church
“We are a non-denominational church that exists to glorify God through the fulfillment of the great commission.”
Harvest Bible Chapel Naples, Naples. 683 likes · 24 talking about this. We are here to glorify God through the fulfillment of the great commission…..
Nov 1, 2019 – Harvest Bible Chapel Naples gets eviction notice months after Chicago megachurch scandal. A Naples church gets an eviction notice following leadership changes and a scandal at the Chicago megachurch that planted it.
Wink News, Nov 4, 2019 – It is not every day a landlord evicts a church. But that is what is happening in Collier County. It turns out this is the latest controversy for Harvest …
Harvest Chapel, Sandwich, Illinois fires senior pastor and founder, James MacDonald https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/james-macdonald-fired-harvest-bible-chapel.html
So, what’s the point here? (as if I have to spell it out)
Now listen up all you hirelings. Hear the Word of the Lord:
Ezekiel 34:6 “My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”
7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;
9 “therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”
Now finally, what about Big Eva?
“Big Eva is not a large German who works in border control for the Bundesrepublik but Big Eva is my term for the network of large evangelical organizations and conferences that seeks to shape the thinking and strategy of the American evangelical churches. (“Big Evangelical Churches, organizations and conferences”)
“What Big Eva has done is create an economy of power, people, and indeed money which is non-ecclesiastical but highly influential within evangelical churches. It is a populist movement of tremendous influence and minimal accountability. It provides an identity for its most passionate acolytes.
“And because it promises rewards to individuals and organizations – influence, students, platform – it is both very hard to criticize and functionally unaccountable to any but its own. The Trinity controversy of two years ago was a case in point: no church creed had ever taught the nonsense that had become so pervasive in evangelicalism. Quite the contrary – the creedal history of the church was arguably constructed to exclude precisely the kind of views that were being espoused. But key conferences and key organizations had a vested interest in sidestepping orthodoxy and demonizing any who pointed that out.
“An aspiring movement, to direct and shape the policies and testimony of the church is quite another thing. (This is what has been done. Put ) more bluntly ‘What have we done?’ Selected and edited ( ) comments from Carl Trueman, “Revoice, Evangelical Culture, and the Return of an Old Friend” (July 31, 2018).
Here are links to several notable and tragic recent SHIPWRECKS
Willow Creek, Chicago, Illinois and Bill Hybels
First Baptist Naples, Florida:
Harvest Chapel, Sandwich, Illinois and James MacDonald https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/james-macdonald-fired-harvest-bible-chapel.html
This article and it’s content was collected from various “identified sources” and is reprinted as originally posted by these “identified sources. Some parts are editorialized and contain the opinion of this author. Whitestone Fellowship, 2019