Thursday, September 13, 2012


In 1964 Minnesota Viking defender Jim Marshall made a monumental and embarrassing blunder. He recovered a fumble that the opposing team made, and in a moment of confusion, ran the ball 66 yards in the opposite direction to score a safety for their opponent, the San Fransisco 49er's. Ouch!

If you were a member of that 1964 Minnesota Viking team, wouldn't you be a bit shocked and disappointed that Jim Marshall would ever do such a thing? Do you think that the coach enthusiastically ran over to Jim Marshall after making such a colossal blunder, then pat him on the back and said, "Well done Jim!" Or rather, do you think that the coach rolled his eyes back in disbelief, wondering how one of his own players could ever make such an embarrassing mistake under his leadership.

And if you were a big Viking fan watching the game that day, I have no doubt that you would feel a bit down and embarrassed that your Minnesota Vikings would score points for the other team. Of course Jim Marshall would never think of intentionally scoring points for the other team, after all, he was a big, tough Viking through and through. But despite that, Jim Marshall, who had an outstanding career in the NFL, must not have been paying attention and did the unthinkable, earning him the dubious distinction of making one of the greatest sports blunders of all time; I have no doubt in my mind that Jim Marshall was crushed and ruined after making such a massive and embarrassing mistake.

I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned from Jim Marshall's most embarrassing moment. I am talking particularly about the negative reaction and feedback I have received since my last post regarding Eric Dykstra's genuine repentance from preaching a burdensome, legalistic, and works-heavy non-gospel message to his congregation.

I want to be very careful here because I have met some of the critics and you are undoubtedly genuine Christians. My intentions here are completely noble and instructive; I have no desire to be devisive, but to bring a spirit of love and unity to the body of Christ. This is a serious issue that must be addressed, and I am writing specifically to the critics and naysayers of Eric Dykstra.

Just as there are opposing teams in the National Football League who play with the single-minded goal of stopping their opponent and winning the game, there are two teams in the spiritual realm, only, it's no game. On one side you have team Jesus Christ who is ultimate Good, and on the other side you have team Satan and his demonic cohorts who are ultimate Evil. There are no other teams in the league, no gray area, and every person is in one team or the other. You are either playing on team Good or you are playing on team Evil. Therefore, we live in a reality where there are only two teams in existence, Good versus Evil, and each team is seriously focused on winning the game.

If you are a Christian, that is, if you have put your trust solely in Jesus Christ and His finished work of redemption, then you are on team Good. Satan, demons, and all sinners who have not put their trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work of redemption are on team Evil. Team Good is made up of the Christian God, His heavenly host, and all redeemed sinners who trust in Christ alone. Team Evil is made up of Satan, demons, and all sinners who refuse to bow the knee to Christ. Simple enough.

Satan and his foul minions love division, especially division within the body of Christ. The Apostle Peter cautions believers to "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8). If the devil can cause division and conflict on team Good, then he is that much closer to gaining the upper hand. 

When I first started my blog, I was pretty sure (not positive) that Eric Dykstra was playing for team Evil. But now I am convinced that he is on team Good. Obviously the Lord wanted Eric Dykstra on team Good, so He pulled him out of team Evil and put him on team Good. There are solid reasons as to why I believe that the Lord has pulled Eric Dykstra out of team Evil and put him on team Good. 

For one, he is now preaching the message that team Good wants to put out there for the world to hear. Team Good's message is to receive that which you do not deserve by grace alone by faith in Christ alone, while team Evil's message is to earn God's favor by trying harder to be a good person through obedience and rule-keeping. Why would team Evil ever want to do anything that would help team Good win the game? You see, if team Evil has every intention of winning the game, then it simply does not make sense to consistently preach team Good's message, and that is exactly what Eric Dykstra has been doing.

The problem is, I don't think some of the teammates on team Good don't want him on the team. (and since I have recently been removed from the BDMSG Facebook page after my post regarding Pastor Eric's repentance, I assume they don't want me on the team either!) In fact, they still think Eric Dykstra is still playing for team Evil. This is despite the fact that the sermons he has preached lately is team Good's message of trusting in Christ alone apart from works in order to receive salvation. If Eric Dykstra were still on team Evil, then he would still be telling people that they have to do more, give more, try harder, then God will bless them, but that is simply not the case. 

If Eric Dykstra has been gracefully put on team Good by the Lord Himself, then how is it that his own teammates would like him off the team? How is this of any merit for team Good? The truth is, there is no merit whatsoever in booting a bright, faithful, dedicated, and exceptionally gifted teammate off of team Good. It is just plain dumb for teammates to want to be rid of him, especially if teammate Eric was specifically chosen by the All-Wise Coach to be on His team. If Eric Dykstra is a genuine Christian who is preaching team Good's message, then his own teammates ought to love him and encourage him in his ministry for the greater Good. 

I know about the spiritual abuses that occurred at The Crossing under Eric Dykstra, at least peripherally. I realize that people have been hurt and broken. But if Eric Dykstra is now playing for team Good, then his teammates ought to recognize him as a fellow brother in Christ and praise the Lord for rescuing him and love him with Christian love. But when his cynical teammates bury their head in the sand, ignoring the great work the Lord has done in him, and fume over all the bad things he has done in the past, well, that's just like Jim Marshall's infamous run into the opponent's end zone, and you end up scoring points for the other team. Remember, team Evil loves divisions and conflict on team Good.

 The Apostle Paul used to play for team Evil. That Paul, he was a real piece of work. You think Paul didn't cause people to become hurt and broken? He wanted Christians dead! He signed death warrants for Christians! Paul, he definitely made a mess of other people's lives. But for some reason the All-Wise Coach took him out of team Evil and put him on team Good. He didn't deserve it, he knows he didn't deserve it, but was grateful that the All-Wise Coach did what He did. And as a demonstration of the greatness and power of the All-Wise Coach, Christians throughout the ages have been blessed with actual Scripture penned by the Apostle Paul himself. 

I adore Paul's teachings on love. He writes...

Love is patient and kind; 
love does not envy or boast;
is not arrogant or rude. 
It does not insist on it's own way; 
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, 
but rejoices with the truth. 
Love bears all things,
believes all things, 
endures all things.
(1Corinthians 13: 4-7)

That is sheer beauty, all from from the heart of a former Christian killer who would never be the same after meeting the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. The Lord nurtured and shaped him into one of the most brilliant theologians, and one of the most gentle, patient, kind, and humble people ever to grace this planet, apart from the Lord Jesus. 
When Paul was put on team Good, people couldn't believe it. Many Christians were skeptical about the whole thing, and I don't really blame them. It would be something like Adolf Hitler becoming a Jew, it was just to far fetched. But sure enough, Paul preached the message of team Good and as you can imagine, was involved in quite a bit of ministry, and so after awhile skeptical Christians could no longer deny that Paul was on team Good.
Now, I get that some people don't buy into the idea that Eric Dykstra has truly repented. But it is a good idea not to jump to conclusions without verification, and I would also urge caution not to come to your conclusions too quickly. If you haven't done so, listen to Eric Dykstra's words. My last blog entry had this very sermon on it. It is pure, unadulterated Gospel Truth from the mouth of Eric Dykstra.

And how did one skeptic reply, "Hmmmmm, more meaningless words from him as far as I am concerned". What! Did that person actually listen to the sermon? My reply was, "So you think the Gospel is a bunch of meaningless words?" I said that because all that came out of the mouth of Eric Dykstra in that sermon was pure Gospel. That person, whoever it was, was suppressing the Truth of Dykstra's repentance.   

My concern is that the people who have been hurt under Eric Dykstra aren't taking the news of Eric Dykstra's repentance seriously. They think it's the same old Eric. But you know what? The Lord has power to change people. He did it to me. He also did it to my mom on her death bed, my brother Mitch six months before he died of a heart attack, and my nephew among others, and these are all people that you would never expect to become believers, not in a billion years. So don't underestimate God's power to do good for people who totally don't deserve it.  

I wrote a letter to my nephew Chris yesterday. Chris is in a Texas prison awaiting news on his recent parole hearing. When he gets out he'll be coming back to Minnesota and living with me until he gets back on his feet. Chris knows Christ, and he knows about grace. It wasn't until he lost everything that he realized he needed nothing but Christ. His transformation from bitter cynic to follower of Christ is nothing short of amazing. Chris knew something about my blog from prior letters I had written to him. In yesterday's letter I  told him that Eric Dykstra repented from preaching a false gospel and is now preaching the Truth. In the excerpt below I describe the dynamic that is now in place between a newly transformed Eric Dykstra and those who have parted from The Crossing under his suffering. This is how I feel about the whole thing....    
Chris, I am absolutely stunned when the good Lord blesses and rescues people who are sooooo bad. You know, people like me and you, and now Eric Dykstra. I have read some of the responses to yesterday's post, and do you know what is tragic in all this? Some of the very people who had left The Crossing because of the spiritual abuse there, genuine believers, can only sneer and grumble in unbelief at the idea that Eric Dykstra has had a major paradigm shift, a spiritual epiphany that will forever change the way he approaches his ministry. Do they fail to believe that the Lord would ever grant such abundant grace and mercy even to Eric Dykstra, as if they themselves have never offended anyone? The truth is, Eric Dykstra is a bad person just like I am a bad person, along with all of Eric Dykstra's critics. Apart from the imputed righteousness of Christ, we are bad people. We are all very bad!
I believe Eric knows this about himself. However, he is no less deserving of grace than his critics because Grace, by definition, is totally undeserved and unmerited favor and blessing from the Lord. You cannot earn grace by being good because grace can only occur if someone is undeserving. And it is sick when his critics, the very people who would crucify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their unregenerate state just as swiftly and methodically as Eric Dykstra would, cannot find it in their own heart to see past their own cosmic treason against the Lord and forgive Eric Dykstra. Jesus took their place at the cross, receiving in Himself the punishment that they rightfully deserve and gives to them His righteousness as a gift. Our Savior has been so wonderful, merciful, kind, gracious, and patient with them, yet it seems that some have no desire to extend the mercy, grace, patience, and kindness that the Lord has given to them and pass it on to Eric Dykstra. It's “conditional” grace, which is not grace at all. (“If only Dykstra would apologize for the things he has done, then I would be willing to receive him”).
Well here's a news flash for ya. (and excuse the language) Eric Dykstra is a total fuck-up. I am a total fuck-up, everyone on this planet is a major league fuck-up. And if the people who are bitter at Eric Dykstra are waiting for him to get his act together and approach them before they are willing to forgive him, well, they will be waiting a long, long time, because it will probably never happen this side of eternity. But genuine grace and perfect love can completely overlook the sins that others have committed against us. This is no better demonstrated than in Christ's work on our behalf. When we see ourselves just as fucked-up and disastrous as Eric Dykstra, then all we can do is sing praises to the Lord, not only for rescuing us, but also for rescuing Dykstra and lovingly bringing him into His fold.

Those are not the easiest words for some of you to read, but it's from my heart and it happens to be the truth. And it is my prayer that that truth would penetrate into your noggins. I know that the Back Door Ministry Support Group exists for a very good reason, and I think its a necessary thing to do for some. But if you want to really heal, I suggest that you do what is completely counter intuitive. Jesus did it all the time. 

Instead of stewing in your bitterness and waiting on Eric Dykstra to come to you and apologize, take the initiative to seek him out and give him your blessing. Love him with kind words and generosity and expect nothing in return. He doesn't deserve your love, generosity, or kindness, but to receive that which you don't deserve makes you a better person. And I guarantee that if you go out of your way to love Eric Dykstra, even if you think he still playing on team Evil, then you will feel a million times better than going to your support group. Love your enemies, that's what Christians do, and by doing that you make the world a much better place.

For those who still cannot come to grips with Eric Dykstra's repentance as you cling to your resentment, read the story of the Prodigal Son. Dykstra is the Prodigal Son in the Crossing Church version of the story, and his unforgiving critics are all the Older Brother. While there is a party going on in Heaven rejoicing over the salvation of Prodigal Eric, the Older Brother can do nothing more than bitch and complain that the Father would rescue him. I would like to suggest that your beef isn't really with Eric Dykstra, but ultimately it is with the Lord. Christ invites you join His massive party and rejoice at the Divine rescue of Eric Dykstra, which glorifies our great Savior for His undying mercy.  Please, don't offend your Father in Heaven by choosing to stay clear of the party. Won't you please join Him now? And if your heart is not in it, then go to your Lord in prayer and ask Him to change your heart. 

This is the the last post on my blog. It has served it's purpose and I have nothing else to say except that I thank you all for following along here. This blog has done far better than expected with over 15, 000 page reads. WOW! You probably think I am someone who has it together pretty well but my life is a mess. Despite that, the Lord has blessed me beyond measure and for that I am grateful. I am grateful for all of you and I love you all. And don't forget that we are all on the same team!



Monday, September 10, 2012

I am at a loss for words today, but in a good, awesome way! The reason why is because it has recently become clear to me that there has been a serious, serious change in the of heart of Eric Dykstra, the controversial pastor of The Crossing Church in Elk River, Minnesota. The purpose of my blog was to expose the unbiblical teachings and practices of Eric Dykstra and The Crossing Church, and warn others of the potential for spiritual abuse under his leadership.

It has always been my prayer that the Lord would cause something dramatic and unmistakable to happen at The Crossing Church. My prayer has always been that the Lord would decisively move in one of two ways. One, that The Crossing Church would suffocate and die underneath the endless allegations of unbiblical leadership, spiritual abuse, and the manifestation of cult-like attributes. Or two, that the Lord would miraculously open the eyes of pastor Eric Dykstra's and change his heart in such a way that would result in genuine repentance. Of course, the latter being the best of both outcomes. 

Make no mistake, something dramatic and unmistakable has happened to Eric Dykstra. The Lord is on the move in Elk River in incredible ways. Not only is our great Savior Jesus Christ rescuing undeserving souls from a Hellish, eternal catastrophe, but He is also there to love, nurture, protect, rescue, and correct genuine Christians who have lost their way in a complicated and harsh world where distortions, lies, and corruption occur at every corner. It is my firm and solid belief that our merciful and kind Creator, our gracious and long-suffering Savior has decisively moved the heart of Eric Dykstra.

Have you heard any of his recent sermons? I have, and there is a demonstrable and palpable change in his views on Law versus Gospel: and all I can say is that Eric Dykstra finally "get's" the Gospel. And he is preaching it loud and clear!

I actually attended The Crossing Church just a couple weeks ago, met up with a friend who goes there. In the link below listen to the sermon he preached that day.

Recent Crossing Sermon

Now, does that sound like a false pastor who is still hung up on legalism and works-righteousness? Or does that sound like a pastor who now truly understands the horrendous impact he has had on other people's lives as a result of his erroneous teachings and practices and now wants to make things right by preaching grace instead of law? I think he is blown away by the unlimited grace, kindness, and forgiveness that is found only in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, don't you? In my opinion, there is not a shred of falseness in his sermon, it is from the heart through and through. 

I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but I am pretty sure this blog is done. God Bless, Casey