Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis

The Wartburg Watch writes,

Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis, The Wartburg Watch

Titus 1:7  “As God’s steward, an overseer must be above reproach–not self-absorbed, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not greedy for money.”

Matthew Henry says the character and qualification of pastors, here called elders and bishops, agree with what the apostle wrote to Timothy. Being such bishops and overseers of the flock, to be examples to them, and God’s stewards to take care of the affairs of his household, there is great reason that they should be blameless. What they are not to be, is plainly shown, as well as what they are to be, as servants of Christ, and able ministers of the letter and practice of the gospel. And here are described the spirit and practice becoming such as should be examples of good works.

In response to the latest scandal impacting on the Christian community today, ‘The Wartburg Watch’ has addressed the serious sin of Newspring Church founding pastor Perry Noble:

“As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them.- Robin Williams link

Perry Noble

I have long wanted to write about alcoholism and substance abuse. The recent firing of Perry Noble gives me the perfect opportunity to do. Perry Noble has spent years in the limelight, apparently attempting to build the largest church in the United States. The public has been told to look at his church, read his books, listen to his sermons, etc. Now, we are told to look away.

Christianity does not work this way.  We are to be a light on a hill which means we openly let people know that we are sinners, albeit forgiven. We don’t get to hide our sins, especially when we want to be in the public eye and claim we are Christians.

What is alcoholism

The following helpful description is from Medical News.

An alcoholic is a man or a woman who suffers from alcoholism – they have a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all rules of common sense.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous UK, who say they have no unique definition for alcoholism, it may be described as a physical compulsion, together with a mental obsession. Apart from having an enormous craving for alcohol, an alcoholic often yields to that craving at the worst possible times. The alcoholic knows neither when nor how to stop drinking.

How do you know if someone is an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser?

Some signs and symptoms of alcoholism, as well as alcohol abuse, include:

  • Drinking alone.
  • Drinking in secret.
  • Not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed.
  • Blacking out – not being able to remember chunks of time.
  • Having rituals and being irritated/annoyed when these rituals are disturbed or commented on. This could be drinks before/during/after meals, or after work.
  • Dropping hobbies and activities the person used to enjoy; losing interest in them.
  • Feeling an urge to drink.
  • Feeling irritable when drinking times approach. This feeling is more intense if the alcohol is not available, or there appears to be a chance it may not be available.
  • Having stashes of alcohol in unlikely places.
  • Gulping drinks down in order to get drunk and then feel good.
  • Having relationship problems (triggered by drinking).
  • Having problems with the law (caused by drinking).
  • Having work problems (caused by drinking, or drinking as root cause).
  • Having money problems (caused by drinking).
  • Requiring a larger quantity of alcohol to feel its effect.
  • Nausea, sweating, or even shaking when not drinking.

A person who abuses alcohol may have many of these signs and symptoms – but they do not have the withdrawal symptoms like an alcoholic does, nor the same degree of compulsion to drink.

The problems linked to alcohol dependence are extensive, and affect the person physically, psychologically and socially. Drinking becomes a compulsion for a person with a drink problem – it takes precedence over all other activities. It can remain undetected for several years. 

Alcoholism and my family:

Our family was touched by alcoholism on many fronts.

1. My grandfather: 

My mother’s father was an alcoholic until he became sober for the last few years of his life. He was drunk as my mother and siblings were growing up. He never beat them. However, he would be angry when he returned home drunk and would throw chairs and dishes around the house. My mother and her siblings would squeeze into a tiny closet for hours. My mom said it was suffocating.

  Long term effects on the family:

My mother is prone to panic attacks when she is in small spaces and large crowds, even now at the age of 87.

My uncle, who fought in WW2, became an alcoholic. He eventually drove away his wife and 4 kids. He died of pneumonia, alone and drunk, at the age of 40. Two of his own children are alcoholics.

2. My husband’s dad

Bill’s dad, who had a PhD and received the Purple Heart during WW2 (He lost an eye on Normandy) was a long term alcoholic. He began to drink so much that he eventually lost his job as a dean. He was emotionally abusive when drunk and occasionally physically abusive. He had several stays in alcohol rehab and attended AA off and on. He was sober for periods of time but usually relapsed. He died at 80 of cancer.

Long term effects on the family.

My husband and his brother had a strained relationship with their dad, preferring not to spend time with him.

3. My father, my brother and me: exposure to intervention in alcohol and substance abuse recovery.

My father’s best friend opened up the first private hospital for the treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse in the surrounding area. My father, a family doctor, received further training in substance abuse and headed up the medical staff who concentrated on medically safe detoxification. The trained counseling staff dealt with the rehabilitation aspect following the detox period. I spent some time working at the hospital as an aide and was allowed to sit in on conferences, etc.  This hospital held contracts to treat folks from police departments, one of the local dioceses, many large companies, etc.

My brother is an internist and is a subspecialist in substance abuse. He regularly cares for patients admitted to substance abuse centers .

My father taught my brother and me about these issues, taking us to medical conferences and having us read books like *The Big Book* (actual title is Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism. ) I grew up learning that alcoholism is a disease that, with proper treatment, along with the will of the alcoholic, can be overcome. However, it is a powerful addiction and the recidivism rate is not insignificant as seen in my own father in law.

Longstanding problems with Perry Noble

Now that I know that Perry Noble has a serious drinking problem, I have wondered if some of the problems that we have documented in the past were related to alcohol abuse, etc.

1. The worst case of church abuse that I have ever heard about was at NewSpring Church.

If you have never read Holy Rage at the Spring on the  Pajama Pages by Dr James Duncan, you cannot begin to understand how outrageous the leadership acted. To this day, I cannot look at Perry Noble’s face and not feel sick to my stomach. How could anyone attending the church read this and not realize that something was very wrong at NewSpring?

Here is a synopsis by Tom Rich.

“One interesting twist in this story that I’ll leave you with, and that you’ll see: the anonymity in this case was NOT the blogger, but a man on the church’s side, an employee of the church, who went after the blogger anonymously to teach him a lesson to try to get him fired by sending a phony resignation letter to his employer, to paint the blogger as pervert, a homosexual, his kid as a cross dresser, and to make him fear for his family’s life by actual threats against him…all in the name of God to punish the blogger for the audacity in criticizing a mega church pastor.”

2. This is a thoughtful presentation of Scripture?

3. The infamous jackass statement.

The controversial comments were made at a 2009 conference called Unleash, an annual leadership event conducted by Noble’s church, NewSpring.

During his session, Noble told pastors that “the person that always screams I want to go deeper” is “the jackass in the church.”

“I tell people, you’re only as deep as the last person you served,” the megachurch pastor stated then. “Deep? Most Christians, John Maxwell said it, are educated way beyond their level of obedience anyway.

4.  Perry Noble’s NewSpring Church Promises to Refund Tithe If You Don’t Get Blessing in 90 Days

Do the pastors and church leaders at NewSpring is actually believe that this is Scriptural teaching of the tithe as presented in the New Testament?

5. The Ten Commandments debacle

This one even hit the secular news media.

“Instead of Ten Commandments that you have to keep if you’re going to be a follower of Jesus, they’re actually 10 promises that you can receive when you say yes to Jesus,” Noble said.

He then proceeded to rephrase each of the commandments as a promise. The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” became, “You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore.”

6. You suck as a human being if you don’t like the music.

I learned of Perry Noble from Tom Rich of FBC Jax Watchdog.  Here is a link to an illuminating post on Noble titled Perry Noble to NewSpring Members Who Don’t Like the Music: “You Officially Suck as a Human Being.” 

7. The bizarre Perry Noble tweetathon

By the time this incident happened, the church leaders should have realized they had entered Crazyville. In NewSpring megachurch pastor Perry Noble taunts his twitter followers over South Carolina football, a smart observer compiled a record of Noble’s strange behavior on Twitter. If you go to the link, you can marvel along with everyone else who observed this in real time.

It quickly devolves into a Proverbs-verse-citing dick-swinging contest with planks and specks being invoked and Perry calling people idiots, then ends with him saying how great church will be the next day.

Problems apparent in the Perry Noble statement to NewSpring.

As you can see from the list above, the loss of a job due to one’s drinking behavior usually points to alcoholism. Add family problems and one can be sure that the alcohol problem is serious.

It seems apparent to me that Perry Noble is not yet dealing with his problem in a forthright matter. I bet some of you find this surprising since he supposedly confessed, repented and said he was getting help. I think Perry is selling us a bill of goods and I will attempt to show you why.

Here is a link to Perry Noble’s statement.

Here is a link to the statement by the leaders of NewSpring

1. Noble places the blame for his drinking on stress.

One of the first steps in dealing with alcoholism is to admit one is an alcoholic and not to place the blame on any outside situation. There are many people in the world who live a stressful life. Look at Dr Ben Carson’s life as a pediatric neurosurgeon, performing novel brain surgeries. Look at police, soldiers, and families with disabled children. Shouldn’t they all be alcohol abusers? Are all pastors of growing megchurches alcohol abusers?

Perry Noble did not choose to be an alcoholic but he will be an alcoholic until the day he dies. Whether or not he continues to abuse alcohol is up to him. There is help out there if he wants to get it.

However, in my obsession to do everything possible to reach 100,000 and beyond – it has come at a personal cost in my own life and created a strain on my marriage.

2. Noble claims that he warned his church that he was an imperfect person so they shouldn’t be surprised.

Once again, I have no issue at all of us admitting that we are sinners. But this statement seems to say “Well, I told you I was problem so you better understand.”

I have joked that you should not attend NewSpring if you are already perfect because I will mess you up!

3. Alcoholics who are caught tend to lie and outsiders cannot be sure of the truth of Perry Noble’s statement.

I remember learning how to do an intake on a newly arrived alcoholic. The counselors told us that alcoholics lie and try to downplay the extent of their problem. This propensity to lie can be a serious problem in determining the correct amount of medication to give someone in order to help them detox. In other words, somebody who drinks a case of beer each night (yes, they do) may need different medications than someone who is drinking a fifth of whiskey each night.

So, I would ask them what their beverage of choice is. Let’s say it was beer. If I asked him how much he drank, he would be prone to downplay the amount and might say, “Only a half a case a night.” Instead, I would say something along the lines of “You look like you could put away a case and a half each night.” The patient would say “Of course I don’t! I only drink a case each night.”

My guess is that Noble may have had problems with social drinking long before his abuse began to be apparent, In other words, i do not believe he is trustworthy.

I  never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol. This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others. I have no excuse – this was wrong, sinful and I am truly sorry.

4. Noble states there was no domestic abuse. He is wrong.

I am going to discuss the follow quote several times. In this instance let’s focus on the abuse issue. Alcoholism affects the entire family. When someone is drinking themselves silly. they are abusing their family, even if they do not punch them in the face. My mother’s experience at the beginning of this post shows how one man’s drinking still affects her 80 years later! Yes, my grandfather abused my mother even though he did not punch her.

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period

5. Noble attempts to minimize his drinking by saying that he didn’t do other things.

I remember rip roaring alcoholics claiming that they were good guys because they didn’t hit someone, kept food on the table, and didn’t commit some sort of crime. These types of statements are classic minimization. Noble does the same. Also see how Noble ends the sentence. It is almost like he is saying “C’mon guys. It isn’t much of anything.”

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period

6. Noble attempts to deflect us from him by bringing his wife into his problem.

Did any of you think it was odd of him to discuss whether or not Lucretia, his wife and main victim, had an affair? I wonder if he often blames Lucretia when they are at home and he is drunk. A psychologist will have a field day with this. Noble should NEVER, and I mean NEVER have brought his wife into his screw-up.

Let me be very clear, neither Lucretia nor I have committed any sort of sexual sin. I have not stolen money. I have not been looking at porn and there was absolutely no domestic abuse. This is the story—period

7. Noble does not mention his need for alcohol rehabilitation.

Is this another minimization of his alcohol problem? Note that he sees a psychiatrist and seeks *spiritual guidance* from some Christians. It seems to me he is saying that he has problems just like the rest of us. If he is an alcohol abuser, he needs specific counselors who deal with alcoholism and alcoholic abuse. However, those types of counselors will not coddle him. They will make him face his issue and from what I can read in this statement, he is still not there.

 I plan to immediately seek the spiritual guidance of some amazing men and women of God in my life – and am currently under the treatment of an excellent psychiatrist who is helping me take major steps forward.

Problems with the statement from NewSpring church.

1. Longstanding problems with Noble that seemed to be overlooked by the pastors and elders.

In the aftermath of Matt Chandler’s apology in the Karen Hinkley situation at The Village Church, I discovered something that has continued to bother me. Not one pastor and elder in The Village Church spoke up to prevent the situation from happening in the first place. Where were the leaders in that church? I have concluded that they sat by, allowing Chandler and his associates to do a number on Karen. I am still shocked that not ONE pastor and elder spoke up.

Am I impressed that the NewSpring leaders intervened at this time. Not really. It appears that they were about to be faced with a pastor who might be falling down drunk in the pulpit. That forced their hand. Where were these guys when Dr James Duncan was being abused? It seems to me that they only acted when things would have become blatantly apparent.

2. Matthew 18?  Not really.

Here is what they said.

Perry’s posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern. Due to this, the Executive Pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18.

Here are the relevant verse from Matthew 18.

15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

The leaders appear o be concealing some sins behaviors so as not to embarrass Perry. Would they have done so if it had been some lowly church member?

I believe it would be in the best interest for Noble’s recovery to tell the whole sordid story to the congregation since it appears that Noble is downplaying the situation.

3. Stupid euphemisms instead of straight talk.

What in the world is meant by Noble’s posture towards his marriage which was of “continual concern?” What we think they meant was “Perry was screwing up his marriage and there were really bad problems.”

Perry’s posture towards his marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors, were of continual concern. Due to this, the Executive Pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18.

4. Move along now, nothing more to talk about.

I think it would be most helpful to Perry and his family if the leaders told him to get his sorry self into rehab. Then it wold help him if his congregation and the rest of his public fans knew about it and could encourage him to do so.

It might also help his wife to know that many people understand the hell that she has gone through being married to a drunk. The leaders should have told Perry to delete the reference to Lucretia not having *sexually sinned* (what craziness is this?) and stick to his own problems.

Though we know you may want more details to satisfy your curiosity, to do so would not be helpful to Perry or his family as they take their next steps

Finally, everyone seems to be stressing to prayer for Perry. What about those who were victimized by his behavior? Please pray for his wife and daughter. They have been the ones most deeply wounded by Perry. Noble is wrong. If he is a drunk, then his wife and daughter were abused and I hope that everyone at NewSpring as well as those who buy his books and go to his conferences realize the devastation he left in his wake. Oh yeah, and pray that he gets real. I don’t think he is there yet.

Source: By Dee Parsons, Perry Noble’s Problems Are Just Beginning: An Analysis, The Wartburg Watch, (Accessed 12/07/2016, Published 12/07/2016)

Categories: NewSpring Church

2 replies

  1. A list of the braying jackasses in America’s (and Canada’s) pulpits would take days to read on reams of paper. But most Christians think they are legitimate. Are they deceived or under judgement as Paul Washer has stated? We need to get into God’s word, and truly discern the times we are in.

  2. Neither perry noble nor brian houston nor mark driscoll nor the NAR guys etc etc etc have any ties to historic christianity. they have no ties to authentic christianity. its not even accurate to call them christian church leaders.

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