Joel Hunter To Give DNC Benediction

Joel Hunter is a pastor from right here in my home state.  You would think I would be proud.  Pastor Hunter leads a megachurch called Northland that refers to itself as a Church Distributed.  That basically means that the church does not have a set building, but is a church set up around the relationships of the congregation.  Literally, the services are simulcast around the nation.  The one thing that always gets my false teacher warning bells going is that word “megachurch”.  I have yet to hear of a pastor of one of these churches who is Biblically sound.  Jesus knew the gospel would not be welcome, so when I hear of a church that boasts a membership of 12,000 plus, I always wonder if the message is true or just a bunch of feel good bunk.

But Pastor Hunter seems like the real deal on the surface: a registered Republican and a staunch opponent to abortion.  When I heard that he would be giving the Benediction after Barack Obama’s speech at the DNC Convention in Denver on Thursday, I decided to investigate.  After all, what is a staunch pro-lifer doing at the DNC convention giving a closing prayer?  Actually, the pastor answered that question with this golden nugget: they asked him to do it.  Man of God will serve Satan because Satan asked him to – makes sense to me.  Maybe we could all use that excuse.  Why did you take those drugs?  Because my friends asked me to.  Luke-warm Christianity, I know the Bible says something about that – something about being spit out?

So I started my search to find all the holes that I knew must be a part of this “pastor’s” character.  Hunter when asked more specifics about his acceptance of this opportunity said, “We are expanding the agenda of what’s pro-life. [Who is we and how do you expand what is pro-life; either you want babies to live or not?]  When you consider poverty, environmentalism and war…those are the issues that are being addressed by the Democratic Party.” Okay…so Republicans or conservatives don’t address those issues?  Give me a break.  See how these people twist words?  He didn’t say it, but he meant making sure there is no war so nobody dies because that is the only way war can be categorized as “pro-life”.  And what poverty and environmentalism have to do with pro-life, I have no idea.  At the Northland church’s website I read that Pastor Hunter was named one of the top fifteen religious environmental leaders.  What is that!?  It means that he works with respected members of the scientific community to call attention to human-caused threats to the environment.  How is that spreading the Gospel?  More like spreading the lies of Global Warming.  Perhaps the pastor should get a group together on cow farting which is far more dangerous to the environment than humans.  So I see that this guy really is all about the liberal agenda.  He just happens to claim to be pro-life.  But any man that can pray after a candidate who doesn’t vote against abortion and even worse, infanticide, is not a man of God.  Any man that can tell Steve Waldman of beliefnet.com that the Democrats “could arguably steal the title of the pro life party” is double minded.  This guy actually believes that if Obama came out with an abortion reduction agenda that it would go a long way in getting the evangelicals trust and that that would be huge.  Is this guy for real?  Obama supports letting living, breathing babies die if they survive a botched abortion.  He’s not getting my support anytime in the next century.

Pastor Hunter says on the church’s website, “The church, at large, is missing a way to benefit from differences without compromising our beliefs.”  Too bad the Pastor doesn’t listen to his own words because he is compromising what should be his first love: Jesus Christ.  Members of Northland must stand up and walk out just as Obama should have left Reverend Wright years ago.  I will finish this with a comment left on beliefnet.com at the end of the article from a church member named gt:  “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.”  Guess who else’s heart is broken, gt?

56 responses to “Joel Hunter To Give DNC Benediction

  1. I’ve been attending Northland for almost 20 years – I know Joel Hunter – I have talked & emailed him regarding his left-wing views – and the bottom line is that he is going to do what he wants to do – Therefore it’s not so much that I’m leaving Northland but that Northland has left me – I’m praying for Joel & we’ll see God does.

  2. dailylifejournal

    Go ahead and continue to be irrelevant. Did Jesus ask what was the political affiliation of the tax collectors before he ate at their table. Get real, what are you here for? Go out and do some good some where. Joel Hunter is.

  3. dailylifejournal – I’m so irrelevant you took the time to comment on my post. It’s not a matter of political affiliation. Would Jesus have condoned what the prostitutes He sat with did and give them a blessing to continue in that way? This is nothing more than a man who’s pride wants millions of prime time viewers to see him. Perhaps he will get up on that stage and rip the Democrats and tell them to turn from their evil ways and give those watching the gospel message – but I doubt it. And BTW, good deeds mean nothing to God in the end. They are burned up in the fire. Jesus is all that matters when we stand before God.

  4. Breez – thanks for your comments. You are right that it is more like Northland has left you because I don’t think the church started this way. Pride goes before the fall and unfortunately, I think that is part of the pastor’s problem.

  5. dailylifejournal

    If you define relevance by me commenting on your post, than I guess you are relevant. I am glad that’s not how Joel Hunter defines it. If “ripping” the democrats will draw them closer to Jesus I am sure Joel would do it, but I have not seen that work well. Have you? Jesus did not come into the world to judge it but to save it. He loved the prostitute and the tax collector. It was his LOVE that led to their repentance, not his judgment. The Lord is leading Joel Hunter into some places that seem to stun the religious. I think the Lord likes that. Also, are going to call someone proud, just because he is in a leadership position of a large mega church and now is in the national spotlight to some degree. What has Joel said or done that justifies you comments? I think you are rushing to judgment. I don’t think Joel Hunter really gives a flip about being seen by “prime time viewers”. He is just going where the Lord leads him. If you don’t want to go with him than don’t. Perhaps the Lord is leading you elsewhere.

  6. dailylifejournal

    God bless you brother and may he shed his light on both of us. It was great talking to you. I will let you have the last word if you want it.

  7. Joel Hunter leading prayer at the DNC is an Obama Nation. My wife and I recently returned to Northland for christian guidance from Joel Hunter. We found he is almost never available and is involved with many worthy undertakings such as Kenya, and Somalia. Joel recently explained that he chose to leave a very successful church to find his way, and that his wife was in complete support of his journey until he could do so (find his way) and return home only to move to Sanford, Florida. Joel will probably become the chaplain for “The White House if Obama is elected. Joel is a two faced liar. I do not need to wait and hear his prayers – the fact that he is praying with “The One”, “The Messiah” is enough to s3nd shivers down my spine. Joel is a traitor to everything I believed he stood for as a christian.

  8. Barbara Sonnier

    Approximately thirteen years ago we lived in Sanford, FL and attended Northland for a while before moving…at that time Joel Hunter appeared to be preaching/teaching the bible…I am so ashamed of him now…he has left Northland for “fame and fortune”…people at Northland do not find yourselves like Obama sitting and listening to Hunter’s political/religious garbage….Conservative Christians do not deserve preachers like this. Hunter and other hypocrites are going to ruin this country by seeing that Obama becomes our president.

    Obama is radical…Hunter is radical….Northland ask Hunter to leave your church.

  9. That Dr. Hunter is working on the DNC platform (to make it more palatable), or praying at the convention miss the point.

    Everyone is entitled to their positions. At this point though, I have to ask if he’s 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 elevate replenshment of the earth on par with the call for repentance (unto salvation).

    From my personal experience, Dr. Hunter is neither conservative, nor are his positions consistent with being evangelical. So the real issue here is truth in labeling.

  10. Regarding Joel’s involvement in environmental issues, God commands us to take care of the earth – that is part of being a Christian, to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to us.

    As for the criticism for Joel agreeing to pray for someone – ANYONE – who may not share the same views as you, and to judge whether he is a man of God based on who he prays for… the whole message of the Gospel is Jesus came to save the lost. Jesus commands us to pray for our enemies. Loving others is what Jesus is all about, and I personally applaud Joel for being like Jesus.

  11. Former Congregant

    I think what we have here with Pastor Hunter is a naivety regarding the ability to influence the left wing. I believe Joel thinks the invitation to participate and cozy up to liberals affords him a unique opportunity to influence them in the area of abortion and that it will produce a willingness on their part to soften their stand on abortion. What Joel must not understand is that politics is all about gaining “power”. The Dems are courting folks like Joel Hunter because it helps their image with evangelicals. If Obama uses Hunter and other liberal/moderate pastors to garner votes from evangelicals he may get elected indeed. If elected he will be no less committed to Planned Parenthood and their radical views and goals for abortion, and he will not alter one bit the profile for acceptable Applet and Supreme Court Justices. In the final analysis Joel Hunter will just be used as a willing pawn in the struggle for power. A struggle that could usher in for America a permanent European style socialism.

  12. Shelly,

    I don’t think that Jesus asked us to pray for our enemies in the way that you seem to be presenting. I further don’t think that Joel sees the DNC as his enemy.

    dsgawrsh makes some very good points about Northland and Joel Hunter. How can one be true to Christianity and ally with those who advocate the murders of untold numbers of unborn humans?

    Making marginal changes in number of murders committed is not enough. Once you get the definition of human life (which is made in the image of God and therefore should be respected and protected) right, there is no abortion debate.

    The babies Obama and Co. want to kill differ from them only in four categories summed up in S.L.E.D.

    Size: The unborn are small. Is my 2 year old daughter less of a human than me because I weigh more?

    Level of Development: The unborn are less developed than us. Ditto to my daughter – She’s still human.

    Environment: The unborn are no less human because they are in utero. Do you become more human when you walk outside?

    Degree of Dependency: If I need a wheelchair does that make me less human? That the unborn require a mother to sustain them in their womb makes them no less human.

    Either Joel is a publicity hound or he has compromised his Christianity or both.

    I know its hard to follow Jesus. I screw up all the time. I just don’t do it on a national scale.

    Offensive Christian
    http://offensivechristans.com

  13. Former Congregant

    Offensive Christian makes a good argument. There is room for compromise on many areas of policy and execution of government programs. Yet, as Christians we have some core values that go directly to the character of the holy God we serve. Whether or not Joel is a publicity hound or ego driven I can not say. I would not question his motives – but I do question his judgment.

  14. it seems the pharisees are alive and well. 2000 years ago they expected Jesus to reign over the jews and not love and forgive the gentiles and sinners, and if they did not ordered him killed, they certainly were ready to support the romans in their endeavor. did the pharisees reallyknow what God is about? the new pharisees, entrenched in the power establishment, are ready to pounce on their pastor, they are crucifying him, since he is not following their dictates, but rather his own Inner voice and conversation.

  15. Former Congregant,

    Yes, I may have overstepped in trying to figure out Joel’s motives.

    OC
    http://offensivechristians.com

  16. Are you guys praying for our church leaders? Are you rabble-rousers?

  17. Former Congregant

    I pray for a modern reformation of the Church and a restoration of biblical Christianity. If we can focus on our own need to be holy and reflect biblical truth in word and in deed, we will have an impact on our culture with out having to get all wrapped up in politics and social causes. Politicians will always be politicians but let the Church be the Church!

  18. Go back and read what you write. Then read the Bible, oh wait you probably only read the KJV which is full of lies. Learn another language and read the original text because, it says what he is doing is nothing wrong. Oh wait you are Americans which means you’re too good to learn another language. Do something better with your time, Jesus would.

  19. It amazes me how misguided so many so-called Christians seem to be. The standard we should all look to, trite as it may now seem, is what Jesus himself would be inclined to do. Do any of you think that Jesus would have shied away from an opportunity to speak to those who arguable were in most need of guidance and prayer? Joel Hunter is an honorable man, a worthy pastor, and, most importantly, he is a man doing what he believes in his heart is God’s work. There seems to be an awful lot of harsh judgment here coming from those who should perhaps hold their tongues, lest they be judged themselves. This is where we should distinguish ourselves. I call myself a republican, and a conservative one at that. But in this company, I find myself ashamed to wear that label. We should be better than that. I call upon you, who would call yourselves fellow conservatives and republicans, to rise above petty politics, and classify religion and ministry as a higher calling. As such, I hold pastor Joel Hunter in the highest regard. As for you, who are so quick to sondemn him, I offer the same sentiment that I offered the hate-mongers who recently protested at his church: I will, honestly and genuinely, pray for you.

  20. You my friend, are an idiot.

  21. Matt #1: Jesus said we should not judge or we would be judged by the same standard. I would expect to be judged for going to support a party that holds up abortion and more importantly, infanticide. Joel didn’t go to share the gospel. I would have no problem with that. If this isn’t something that would be viewed as wrong, why did Cameron Strang back out of doing the opening benediction?

    Matt #2: Thanks, I feel warm all over now.

  22. I cannot believe what I am reading about Joel Hunter from Northland Church! Joel Hunter and his wife are two of the nicest most sincere Christian people I have ever had the privilege to meet! I attend Northland because of Joel and Becky Hunter. I suffered a terrible loss in my life in 2004 and could not understand the meaning of what had happened. I began attending Northland and because of Joel and all the other wonderful people at Northland I found God and the answers to help me. Do you think Jesus would have turned down a chance to pray tonight? Do you think Jesus would write these terrible things some of you are writing about Joel? If you do you are not reading the same Bible I am…..maybe you should come back to Northland and take notes the next time you hear Joel speak. Be proud that you have a minister that was asked to pray tonight! Be proud of what Joel means to Northland. God Bless Joel and Becky Hunter and may they continue to do what Jesus would do…..and God bless those that have left or are leaving Northland…..I hope your next minister behaves the way YOU want them to……

  23. Dsgawrsh,
    If you took the time to learn about what you write about, you’d know that no one was more surprised than Pastor Joel himself when he got the call to make the benediction at the DNC. He prayed about whether to even accept such an invitation. In the end, he went…to pray. He didn’t campaign, he didn’t tell people to vote for Obama. If you’d been paying attention, you’d know that he’s firmly seated on the right side of the aisle. If you are so closed minded that you don’t think democrats or liberals should be in our prayers, then maybe you should take a second look at your bible. Listen to his benediction. Here’s the link:
    http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2008/08/joel_hunters_be.html
    It seems to me you don’t care about what’s right, you just want to BE right. Notwithstanding your axe to grind, if you insist that those who support “abortion and more importantly, infanticide” are not in need of prayer, then what’s your suggestion?

  24. I, for one, pray for all; not just those who share my political affiliation.

  25. Wow. I’ve been called hateful before because of my “right-wing” views, and I always argued that I wasn’t hateful, but now I’m on the other side and well…ouch.

    First of all, where’s the love.

    I’m a member of Northland and have attended for the past 14 years. I have disagreed with Pastor Joel on some issues dealing with politics over the years, but when it comes to scripture, he is rock solid. He is steadfastly pro-life & pro-defense of marriage. He also has a deep compassion for the poor and the environment.

    Simply put, he is a man who doesn’t fit into a political party, nor should he. If the Republicans are right on an issue he will agree with them. Likewise with Democrats.

    Could it be that Pasto Joel’s allegiance is to something greater than a political party? Perhaps his allegiance is to God, the God who created all human beings, even those who were in that stadium last night, the God who loves the people in that stadium last night. Could it be that Pastor Joel being there was ordained by God? Don’t we (or shouldn’t we) be praying for those who don’t know Christ, that God would show up and point them to Jesus Christ?

    When Jesus died for you, did he demand that you become sinless before you came to Him, or did he accept you the way you were? Could it be that Jesus doesn’t necessarily need Democrats to believe abortion is wrong before he will save them? Could it be that there were those in attendance last night who were touched by Pastor Joel’s prayer, who might go back to church, begin reading their Bibles, come to an understanding of the call of God to be in relationship with him through Christ? Could it be that those people, rather than switching to the Republican Party would be a voice for the innocent in the Democratic Party?

    I’m just asking. Do you think God might be using Pastor Joel to reach the lost? And I think we can all agree if you’re gonna find the lost, the Democratic Convention is a great place to start.

    As he said last week when he told us he would be praying at the DNC, since he has been a pastor everytime he is asked to pray anywhere he does. It has never been on such a large stage, but he was asked so he accepted.

    It’d be great if instead of condemning my Pastor, if you would thank God for using him to bring the name of Jesus Christ into that stadium.

    Do a little soul searching.

  26. Former Congregant

    You can make a argument that Jesus found himself among sinners and publicans. If the mission is to influance toward the gospel I am all for it. All though, the closing prayer offered by Dr. Hunter leaves me considerably confused.

    The not so subtle message of the prayer was this: There may be only one God but there are many faiths. There are many ways of getting to God, many names for God, many ways to address God, and many ways to connect to God. So, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist Hindu, or New Age Spiritualist, all prayers end up at the same place and our received and accepted by our all inclusive ecumenical universal inter-faith God.

    What other message would a casual listener gather from such a prayer as this? He did not offer his prayer but instead led everyone in a prayer to whomever or whatever God they pray. Maybe I am missing something here but I think this goes way beyond witnessing or being salt and light.

  27. Thank you Yvonne, finally somebody with a clear mind and open heart. To those who are quick to Judge my pastor, why judge him? All he did was go and pray for those people at the DNC. Are you that insecure in your belief to say you should avoid those who do not believe in what you believe in? Quiet your mouths and open your heart to Christ?
    -Amen

  28. another former congregant

    Oh my… I am shocked that those of you who don’t know Joel could act so ugly (it is one thing to object, even be passionate but mind your words)— I am even more shocked that those of you who do know him would defend him so blindly. You who do know him so well should be asking him why he would encourage others to pray to other (therefore, false) gods as if that prayer would be as effective as prayer to the only one true and living God. I was an active member of that church for 20 years- and you better believe if I still lived there I’d be asking some questions. I understand it is hurtful to hear others say ugly things about someone you love, but don’t turn a blind eye to the truth either- God will not share his glory with false gods… now… to address some of the comments above- we do read the Bible in this house (even its original languages) and I am as certain as I can be that while God is a loving God, He is also the only God- so as a representitive of Christ and his Church what Joel did is- at the very least- misleading to others who need the truth- which is more important than the DNC, RNC or anything else. I believe what he did was wrong- it may have even come out differently than he intended, but those of you who love him so much, and are so close to him need to find out.

  29. I only read a few of the comments, so I apologize if I am saying the same thing 10 other people have.

    Ok, so I am frustrated. I started going to Northland in 2003 and I have come to have a very deep faith and an amazing community. I believe Dr. Hunter is a man of God and that Northland is a good church, but this political junk is ticking me off and my wife and I are really considering leaving Northland.

    I understand that Dr. Hunter wants us to pursue more compassionate issues, but he should be pushing for that in the Republican Party and not going all the way over to the liberal Democrats who have hardly anything to offer Christianity.

    I can say more later, but I need to go. I just wanted to state that Dr. Hunter has led me to a deeper relationship with Christ, but I can no longer follow him if he is going to keep going down this path and vote for Obama like I believe he will do.

  30. OK, so I have a bit more time to write right now. Again, I want to reiterate that Dr. Hunter has led me to a deeper relationship with Christ. I wish his sermons had more Biblical study, but it is what it is.

    And my comment just above about Liberal Democrats not having much to offer Christianity was not the best way to word that thought. Obviously they have appeared to be the party that cares for the poor and downtrodden more than the Republicans. We just have completely different ways about it and this is why I am frustrated with Pastor Joel.

    The Democrats believe in bigger government and taking from successful people and giving to those who are less fortunate. One Biblical issue there is that we as people should give freely out of our heart and not be forced to do so. The second Biblical issue is that a great percentage of people don’t work and just suck from the government. What is that about? People complain that my generation is an entitlement generation. Wanna guess where that came from? We all agree that is not a healthy way to combat poverty and such, it just perpetuates it and makes weak people.

    I thought Pastor Joel was under the impression to give to Caesar what is Caesar, but he is starting to give to Caesar what is the church’s responsibility. We should be the ones to preach the gospel to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, set free those who are oppressed, and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. NOT THE GOVERNMENT.

    Matt Rygh, I would ask you to go to YouTube and find all of the videos of Dr. Hunter and see if you still think he is entrenched on the right side of the aisle. You should especially pay attention to the video commenting on the Saddleback Forum. He is an Obama supporter and I just can’t fathom that. The little bit that the liberals can bring to compassionate ministries is not worth the issues of government running everything in my life or “stealing” from my wallet to take care of people who aren’t humble and trying to take care of themselves. Robin Hood didn’t steal from the Rich to give to the Poor, he stool from the Prince, which is Government. Bet you never heard it said that way unless you listen to Neal Boortz. Have a blessed day.

  31. Oh stop crying bunch of spoil Christians, so What ? God hates Obama is that your point ?ok so you leave the church angry with rage the fact that Joe pray for Obama, who is going to pray for your anger ? wake up people at the end everyone will have to repport to the Kingdom individually.You went to church to adore Joe not God. Just remember that Joe is a Human he will make mistakes, dont allow your anger to pull you out of church, you have a soul to save ! wake up christians ! You all spiritually blind and need prayers !

  32. Lisa - Yet Another Former Member

    sakpase17 – I am moved to provide a response after your thoughtful(?) commentary. It is a ridiculous notion to state that those that left or are leaving Northland are haters of Barack Obama, or that we think that God hates Barack Obama. And no, we did not attend the church to adore Joel, his name is Joel. After 16 years, my family and I must move on from Northland Church. My entire family loves Joel Hunter and his wife. He is a gifted pastor and a great communicator. But in the last 2 years, there has been a large shift in his agenda. There is simply not enough talk about the Gift of Salvation, and way too much about other stuff, (global warming, immigration, etc.) The majority of grounded, mature Christians that have left Northland are not angry, or hate filled, they are saddened and heartbroken. No doubt Joel is being used and deceived by a liberal agenda. It is my belief there has been an underlying current of disappointment for many months now about the lack of focus on that which truly matters. This is not about a mass exodus because Joel prayed at the DNC! For those of you who have posted comments here about the judgmental nature of others, I would challenge you to do your research and then draw your conclusions. The most difficult and confusing thing for my husband and I are the two different Joel Hunters, which I suspect a lot of people are unaware of, including a couple of Elders from Northland that are friends of ours! They asked us, where did you find all of this information? Well its out there! From the pulpit, Joel kept his political views under wraps, which is how it should be, and his teaching has always been sound. One of my employees told me two years ago that Joel Hunter was really liberal, to which I disagreed, and stated that was not my understanding of him at all, based on his sermons. On the flip side, there is a voluminous amount of video footage and interviews on all types of far left leaning media outlets (with the one exception of Fox News about the Saddleback debates). There is nothing conservative about him at all. CHECK IT OUT! This was not necessarily information I was searching for, and it took me months to process it as I really didn’t want to leave. But after SEEING him on national news shows with my own eyes, stating that life begins at conception, and then following in the next breath with a defense of Barack Obama’s non-answer at Saddleback Church that the question of when life begins is beyond his pay grade, is ridiculous! Joel stated that the bible was imprecise as to when life begins, so technically Barack Obama was correct. What? Are you Crazy? If your point of view truly is that life begins at conception (which is the truth), why would you make an argument against what the Bible states?(Jer. 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart). This was simply for political expedience, plain and simple. On a radio interview with Alan Colmes, Joel stated that his view of marriage was between a man and a woman, however, he understood gays having a different value system, and he didn’t have a problem with civil unions. Is this not the same thing as an endorsement? I could go on and on. I for one have had enough of the double speak. The last straw for me was last night, Sat. 09/20/08. There was a town hall meeting called at Northland (which was not listed on their website by the way), as there has been much controversy over Joel’s participation in the political arena of late. At the beginning of this Town Hall Meeting, Joel stated that he would not be answering questions of a political nature. That’s interesting. Joel can make all kinds of comments on the national stage, and yet his congregation is unable to ask for clarification of those very comments, many which are contradictory of his supposed “conservative” views. One man asked a very well thought out respectful question about how the Dems were attempting to separate the evangelical vote, which could impact Supreme Court nominations for the future. Joel promptly shut him down with a simple answer “NO”. He really wasn’t interested in answering serious, honest, tough questions. It was a talking point session of Joel’s agenda, as I figured it would be. He is truly not interested in the concerns of his congregation. He is headed down a path which concerns many, and he is not turning back! Do I love Joel Hunter as God would call me to? Absolutely. Do I pray for him daily? You bet. Will I follow him any longer? Not on your life. People, don’t follow blindly. Know what is going on at the national level. It is only then you will understand that you are watching an attempted erosion of the Christian Church by the so-called New Evangelicals”. I will be praying that Joel’s idealism is not the wrecking ball for Northland.

  33. Wow you had alot to say Lisa! Thanks for sharing in a way I never could.

  34. I am also an exNorthlander. I left that group last year because I noticed that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is not exalted but rather, the name of Joel Hunter. If you study his sermons available at the church’s audio archives, 16 minutes into the sermon Joel Hunter is still telling anecdotes about himself and what he is up to. I also caught him lying through his teeth in the sanctuary for entertainment purposes. He told a story he claimed happened to him that weekend. It was so outrageous that I googled the details and it turns out that he took it out of a database of anecdotes to make sermons more entertaining. Imagine lying inside the church in front of God and to the congregation!

    Also, I am sad that the 42 million dollar building wastes the resources and sucks up the livelihood of its congregants especially during these hard times. His son overran the cost by 20 million dollars and was transferred to his other son’s church in Florida. I am not sure if this is the reason but it was coincidental. It would have been easier and less costly to use webstream worship but no, he had to have concurrent worship all over FL and the world! If I am not mistaken, it costs a million dollars to set-up each site. Whatever happened to sending missionaries and planting churches. People connectin , technology doesn’t establish relationship. This kind of technology only reaches the rich of the world – what about the lost and poor who don’t have computer access? What I noticed when I was there for 7 years was that Joel Hunter is an intellectual snob. He established the church through the Harvard Business Review and not through the bible. When we lose sight of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is so easy to be overcome by this world and become power hungry. That church was never bible based and people are not encouraged to read and study their bibles….because if they did they might find out the truth of Joel Hunter’s agenda. It is so sad that man succumbs to the prince of this world so easily.

  35. A Christian Non Hater

    Christians, and I assume that Joel Hunter counts himself as one, have a right to participate in politics, to have differing views as to what is important to them personally, as well as the nation. i.e. the environment, global warming, prolife issues, gay unions, etc. What has disturbed me for a very long time is the view that if you are a born again, evangelical Christian, you have to vote Republican. Wake up people!! There will be Christians, I included, who will vote Democrat this November.Our God is BIGGER than politics, and we as individuals have to answer to God as individuals. I am not pro abortion, nor am I for gay marriages, and guess what, I don’t believe that global warming is man made [check out the sun spot and sun flare phenomenon that have occured in the past 2000 years that have affected climate change]. But I am voting for Obama because of the economy, as well as the deceitfulness of the past 8 years of Republican leadership in America. And the writ of habeas corpus for terrorists? You betcha. Because taking it away from terrorists takes it away from YOU. Try sitting in jail for 5+ years without being charged for anything, all your rights taken away. We gave away a lot these past 8 years and yes, it’s time for a change.
    This country was founded under God, and it is still under God.
    I attended Northland many years ago, and was there when Joel hunter was called to the church, and then I moved away. I have recently started to attend the church again. Joel’s preaching is deeper and more scriptural than it was 17 years ago. However, I think that the church faciilty is too big, and in spite of efforts on my part, have not been able to connect with anyone personally in the church. And it does disturb me that the Gospel message seem to be lacking in the service. There is a bit of “deadness” over the whole thing. Little joy and spontaneity during worship. People seem nervous and self conscious. And there is little emphasis on missions and reaching out to the community, the saving of the lost. The church is beautiful, with stunning lighting and sound-it’s like walking into a Broadway show. Then when you leave, it’s over and you go home and you ask yourself, “What was that all about?” Help!
    In spite of it all, I believe that Joel Hunter is a humble man who is poised on the brink of being a household name. Who would have thought it 17 years ago? With fame comes the high profile, then the criticism.
    Let’s all take these issues to God in prayer and have Him fix these problems…One of the greatest lies of Satan, even in the Garden of Eden, is that knowledge would make us as the gods, knowing good and evil, and that we can figure it all out ourselves. And death was the result.

    God bless all of you! I’m still looking for the church where God would have me serve Him. Maybe it’s Northland, I am not sure at this point. But the Northland Church and Joel Hunter clearly need our prayers! Let’s join together in one mind and spirit before Him today…

  36. I was told to search for this page from another site. I am surprised that there are so many leaving Northland. I just got an e-mail from another lady saying she feels disconnected there. I wonder what the elders’ role is in Northland because other than making a few announcements, you never see their authority over the senior pastor. It seems like Joel is free to do whatever he does with no regard to the spiritual health of the congregation.

  37. I can see your points, non-hater. I don’t vote on one issue like abortion or gay rights. I look at the totality of a person. When it comes to deceit, Bush doesn’t even compare to Obama who is hiding everything and being deceitful about his past associations and where his donations are coming from like foreign nations which is illegal. Obama is a Marxist and hangs out with such people. He race baits and engages in class warfare. There is no way as a Christian I could ever consider voting for this man much less support him or endorse him by praying at any of his speeches as a “big” name “evangelist” like Joel Hunter. Joel has lost his first love – Jesus.

  38. Responding to Christian Non-hater,

    As you wrote, you were not at Northland in the past 10 years. You may have remembered Joel as a humble man in the beginning, but personally I got mixed messages. He does share stories of his humble beginnings and yet, seems embarrassed by humble people around him. I hope I am wrong. What also bothered me was that during sermons, there would be asides such as:

    “Prayer is important but…”
    “I don’t really hear the Holy Spirit….(and laughs at people who do)”
    “I know I rely more on myself and my abilities /intellect than on God…”

    These are things Joel would say within sermons that were red flags. I believe that a senior pastor responsible for the congregation should be calling on God first and will have a deep prayer life. I will be afraid for a man with a weak prayer life to lead me and my family spiritually.

  39. Here is a link to a site showing how happy pagans are with the benediction. Joel Hunter has issued a letter explaining his actions but nevertheless, Pandora’s box is opened.

    http://www.wildhunt.org/labels/Democratic%20National%20Convention.html

    …notice how Rita Moran, a pagan, asked her gods’ will to be done. What now, Joel Hunter?

  40. A Christian Non Hater

    Thanks for all the responses! Actually, when I left the Northland years ago, it was because I was NOT impressed with his preaching even then. There was not enough of the Bible in the sermons, just a lot of story telling…The people of Northland at that time split from the original group because they wanted a BIG church. That was why they called Joel Hunter to the church. And he fulfilled that quest. I was shocked that when I returned to Northland that it had officially become a “mega church”.
    All that aside though, I still would like to see more separation of church and state. Voting Democrat to me does not mean that Israel will be abandoned, and there will be gay marriage. Under Bush we have already seen some states adopting gay marriage. Or haven’t you seen the cover of People magazine with Ellen Degeneres and her “wife” on the cover? The Roe vs. Wade amendment happened during the Nixon administration.
    A preacher should not be politicking from the pulpit in any fashion. And if he does, his church could lose their tax exempt status.
    You have made some good ponts about Joel Hunter, though, and it does give me great pause to reflect. I am still looking for a church in the area though. Any suggestions? If anyone has left the Northland where are they going now to worship? Thanks everyone.

  41. When a pastor says from the poput”Iam going to make some people mad, but I don’t care” It must not bother him if he isolates a portion of the flock God gave him to tend. Did not Jesus speaking of a Shepard say you are concerned for even one?

  42. The world loves Joel Hunter. He is everywhere. He has his hands on just about everything. I just found out he is on the Board of Directors of something called the First Green Bank. Imagine that! A pastor involved in a green bank. He has ringtones you can download, he has a PR guy. Wow!

    The world loves Joel Hunter. But the world hated Jesus and still does. Jesus said we will be persecuted just like he was…so you know whose side Hunter is on.

    Christians, open your eyes.

  43. Folks this isn’t about politics this is about a Pastor, a leader of Gods people betraying Jesus and the people he has been leading.

    This is part of the open letter that Joel Hunter posted on his churches website.

    3. Christians must not be afraid to be the Truth in the midst of other religions. Truth will always win, but it will be constrained if we “insist on our own way” of approaching the universality of Christ. John 14:6 is true; how some can realize that Truth must come from a broader conversation than “my God is true; your god is false”.
    Mr. Hunter contradicts himself because you can’t be the truth and ask people to close a prayer in their own faith. Jesus was never worried about contraint when it came to salvation, John 14:6 says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me

    I don’t attend Northland Church and don’t personally know Joel Hunter but I do know Jesus and He is the One True God and I won’t shove Him down your throat but I will proclaim it because my Bible, which is His words, tell me too.
    I pray for Mr. Hunter and his church.

  44. Brian Patrick Clarke

    Wow, what a pile of crap! I have no idea who (or, perhaps, WHAT) you are, but I had the relative “good fortune” of stumbling upon your simplistic drivel while checking for information about Joel Hunter. Man, you’ve made my day!

    If you – and the right-wing caricatures who think like you – are representative of the “future” (read: “PALIN-esque”) of the GOP – my fellow Democrats and I are going to enjoy a long run of political success. Your antediluvian perspective on life has left me in tears of laughter. My God, you really are a joke. Thanks for the incredible “joy” you’ve visited upon me this day!

  45. Since you seem interested in Joel Hunter, I’m assuming you have some interest in Christianity, but am positive from your diatribe that you are not presently a Christian so your opinion that I “am a joke” is meaningless. Plus, I find it laughable to be called “right-wing” since I’m gay. The Democrats better not unpack their bags because their record over the years proves that they are generally do-nothings and when they do something it is an utter failure – social security, the bailout, welfare, ad naseum…

  46. another former congregant

    Non-hater- you confuse me. You say Joel’s teaching is deeper and more scriptural than it was 17 years ago, and in the same breath you say that…

    “And it does disturb me that the Gospel message seem to be lacking in the service. There is a bit of “deadness” over the whole thing. Little joy and spontaneity during worship. People seem nervous and self conscious. And there is little emphasis on missions and reaching out to the community, the saving of the lost.”

    What’d I miss? If that is deeper and more scriptural than he was before- where was he then?! I can tell you because I got to Northland about 5 minutes after he did… he maybe a more entertaining communicater now, but I got more meat from the pulpit back then than I was getting before I left.

    And to deborah— I don’t like what Joel did, and if I had still been a member this would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but you have no grounds to say that Northland was never biblically based. It may have strayed from that, but I still know many of the founding families (very few of are still attending Northland anymore) and they are wonderful, godly men and women who did provide a wonderful biblical beginning for that church. You are right about one thing, though-you don’t need your Bible to go in and listen to Joel- which may be great if you have never darkened a chuch door before, or can’t read- but it is a bad sign if you are trying to bring people to maturity in Christ (which by the way was the old mission statement- before the church went “distributed”).

  47. Jesus was not involved in politics. Clearly, we should not be involved in politics if we want to be like Jesus.

    Oh, and Jesus did not use a computer, so clearly, we should not use computers if we want to be like Jesus.

    Do you see the illogical conclusions here?!?

    Simply put: Just because Jesus did not do something does not mean that we cannot do a certain something.

    Jesus prayed. Joel Prayed. Don Miller prayed. It seems to be that they are doing exactly what Jesus asked us to – to pray.

    Our guidance as Christians comes from the Holy Spirit. Thank you God for your grace.

  48. Joel, Why do you choose to deal with The silver tongue of The community organizer in a spirit of denial??? You should divorce yourself from him after one of his first executive decisions was to fund the killing of GOD’S gift to man all over the world

  49. I am amazed at some of the above comments. They ( the comments ) show the misunderstanding of scripture. Our beloved brother Paul in writing his epistles warned us many times to have nothing to do with evil and ” what does righteousness have to do with evil. ” ” What does light have to do with darkness”. Yes Jesus sat down with tax collectors, but you who point this out seem to miss the point that Mathew not only repented of his office but offered to pay back anyone he had cheated. Its called repentance, I don<t see Obama repenting nor relenting from his ungodly ways. You who back Mr. Hunter must remember ” when the blind lead the blind both fall into the ditch.

  50. It wasn’t just the prayer at the DNC. It wasn’t just the prayer teleconference on election day. It wasn’t just the congregant-led “Change Prayer” on the first Sunday after election. It wasn’t just the church’s service program being replaced by Obama’s website, and advertised in worship. It wasn’t just the church’s blogs filled to overflowing with news and pictures of Joel and Obama together. It isn’t just the sickening feeling I get when I attend with my family and hear what was once godly leadership. It was all these things, and more, that make me weep during services now. I attend only because my young children still have leaders that teach them Bible stories and songs, and pray with them. Worship is hollow at best, painful even, as I wonder who knows what about the usurper’s agenda, and is willing to go along. We have lost our country. I have no president, and no pastor. May God have mercy on us all.

  51. Wow. First off, thank you to the unnamed writer. I grew up at Northland and my family and I have known him for 20+ years. He came to Florida to start a ‘friendlier’ gospel and has been a false teacher since he came. We know that firsthand because we knew Joel’s family, worked in their house, played with their kids. He is the same storyteller, only more practiced at deceit.

    Please pray that God continues to expose him and his false teaching.

    a servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH

  52. P.S. Thank you also to all of the others who are now seeing through Joel’s deception and exposing the false teaching. ~ SH

  53. I, too, attended Northland with my family and am very disheartened by Joel Hunter. For all those who are defending him, I think most of you, if you’re honest and pay attention, can see now that President Obama’s big-government, big-spending, control-freak agenda is the worse thing that has happened to our country in a long time. Joel, unfortunately and naively, has helped President Obama and is still helping him. I think the biggest lesson here is not to put your faith and trust in anyone or anything but Jesus.

  54. I go to another church, but because Northland is closer and we have some ties there I have been there perhaps four times a year over the past six years. I’m from Chicago and an evangelical missionary since 1974. About a year ago I heard Joel Hunter speak about Islam in a possitive way. This was hard for me to take, because he was praising Muslims for how they treated their women and how the have a ritualistic prayer time FIVE TIMES A DAY. Well most of us know we are to pray ALL DAY LONG, not just five times a day. We also know the truth from converted Muslims how wickedly women are treated and even in their Heaven they are just sex objects for lustful men.Finally Joel ‘fessed up with pride that he is an inclusionist. He said the blood of Jesus gets applied to many who “lean” to God – his word even if they are of another religion. Joel’s evangelical progressives who support Obama together are Tony Campolo and Jimmy “Post American” Wallis. They all have this belief which the share with none other than Rev. Wrong of the Trinity Church of Christ in Chicago where our current president developed his faith over 20 years. As a teen Obama attended a Unitarian Church in Hawaii – where anyone, anywhere can probably get saved on demand. There is a theological thread that binds Joel Hunter to Barak Obama. So like the frog being boiled slowly and dying, unless Joel realizes that he represents a radical liberal view, he will continue to insist that he is conservative in politics and doctrine. Tony Campolo his partner in “Al Gore’s Folly” (and I don’t mean his massage) has place Muslims as being better at accepting us then we are at accepting them. The first problem I have with that is that ine binding Arabic Koran teaches that if friendship and evangelism doesn’t convert us, they are to KILL us. The English translation of the Koran does not say KILL for obvious reasons, but remember only the Arabic is binding. Joel is a treasure and I don’t know why a man would change this way. Charles Colson has said to others that the marble walls in Washington D.C. can have an effect on you. Like Biden cursing at a shop owner who asked him to lower taxes. So for those at Northland, I would recommend that you know your rights as members and begin with an intervention with your Pastor. Have someone who knows his stuff and can think on their feet or Joel will make mince meat out of all of you.

  55. Let me respond with love. Born again in 1994 I wandered into Northland. Pastor Joel Hunter’s preaching (he would say it was not Him but God at work) brought such biblical truth to my mind and understanding of how to abide in Christ, love God, and follow Him that I know of no man that is more like a father to me with the exception of my father. I will certainly not blame you for being passionate about our nation or whatever issues you are focusing on. But you are missing out on great relationship and understanding of God’s grace and will for our lives when you attack or ignore this mere man used by God. Imagine if he read your quote he would love you and pray for you…..zzzzz….time to go back to sleep….

  56. come on people….hey, let me join the party, I despise Obama too. Does that mean a man redeemed by Christ’s blood, born again of the Holy Spirit, cannot teach us just because he prays for and gives biblical counsel to a President? I see non Christians here and bitter people. At least the one bitter person had the faith and truth to say “trust no one but Jesus”. Sure…although I have found Joel Hunter trustworthy over 16 years.

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