At Church With Doug Giles

When I wrote my investigation into Doug Giles’s background a few days ago, his Clash Church website was down. Now it’s back up: a surprisingly grimy and low-key affair. According to its intro:

WHEN THE CHURCH IS FACED WITH A CRUDDY CULTURE, IT CAN EITHER ABSORB IT, SEPARATE FROM IT OR INFILTRATE IT…CLASH CHRISTIAN CHURCH CHOOSES TO INFILTRATE

I’m sure Doug’s fellow pundits at Townhall will be pleased to hear Doug has infiltrated their crap. Or does he mean something else? As part of the church description, we read:

We envisage a worship center filled with hundreds of loving, cool and righteous people of all ages, races and economic strata.

Cool? As in: “Thou shalt be cool?” Eh?

For men, we embrace a masculine spirituality. We believe God created men to be men without apology. We believe that Biblical masculinity is necessary for the church to be the overcoming organism God intends for it to be. Therefore we avoid the feminization of men and the spiritual emasculation of God’s rowdy warriors that usually accompanies most evangelical churches.

You hear that, Christianity Today?

…We don’t mind getting our hands dirty doing God’s work of restoring our neighborhoods, cities and nations. We believe our labours will positively impact our culture for hundreds of years…We have big dreams.

We are Clash Christian Church.

That’s the word from the hood of the Adventura Residence Inn, where the church meets at 10:30 each Sunday (According to Marriot, the hotel is “Nestled in one of the most upscale areas in Miami”). Just to labour the point that he really is not gay, honest, the dear leader’s profile adds:

As far as other obsessions are concerned, Doug is into big game hunting and monster shark fishing, oil painting, mountain biking and a bunch of other things which incorporate running, screaming, yelling, and potentially breaking bones with his family and friends.

Say, just the kind of guy who could serve as an army chaplain in Iraq or Afghanistan, perhaps?

But this is the bit that really interests me:

Doug and his Church are overseen by local, national and international leaders within the greater body of Christ.

Yes, yes, but who? What’s with the anonymity? Does he mean His People and Morning Star International under Rice Broocks, or someone else? Why the secrecy? But here’s an unexpected clue: the statement of faith has been lifted wholesale (unattributed) from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a (rather dull) Missouri-based Reformed denomination that split from the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A in 1981 (the EPC allows women’s ordination and is more tolerant of charismatic practices than most Presbyterian churches. It also actually rejects reconstructionism). However, Giles’s church is not listed on the EPC website [UPDATE July 2005: More information about these leaders is now available. See my entry here, scroll down].

The Thoughts of Chairman Giles are also available for purchase, including a range of multi-CD sermons, some of which are “powerful and funky”. There is also a “Clash 4 kids” “youth mentoring program which pairs Christian adults with at risk kids ages 8-16”. Ahh, faith-based social work…

12 Responses

  1. […] UPDATE (30 October): The Clash Christian Church website is now back up, and I have investigated it here. […]

  2. Your research seems very in depth and complete. One question that came to mind while absorbing all this was, with Pastor Gile’s church, radio show and web pubications at Townhall.com – how many people does he reach? I admit I haven’t gone to his website to ask the same question – figuring I’d receive a less-than objective answer.

    TJ

  3. Hey Bart! Seems like this is “in-depth and complete research” is a bit of selective de-constructivism (what happened to reconstuctionism). Not difficult to do if you want to take the piss! You should keep your day job:
    You hear that, Christianity Today? You’re a bunch of poofs! …We don’t mind getting our hands dirty doing God’s work of restoring our neighborhoods, cities and nations. We believe our labours will positively impact our culture for hundreds of years…We have big dreams. We are Clash Christian Church.

    Really Reads: Lastly, we believe in the centrality of the Christian worldview to all aspects of life: politics, education, business and the arts. We don’t mind getting our hands dirty doing God’s work of restoring our neighborhoods, cities and nations. We believe our labors will positively impact our culture for hundreds of years. We have confidence in the triumph of the cross and the resurrection of Christ. We have big dreams.

    Another instance: Doug and his Church are overseen by local, national and international leaders within the greater body of Christ. Yes, yes, but who? What’s with the anonymity? The website reads: An advisory counsel comprised of both national and international leaders from various churches oversees Pastor Giles’ life, pastoral duties and doctrine. They are:

    David Fredriksz, The Eagle’s Nest Church, Ede, Holland Joe Rodriguez, The Mobile Christian Center, Mobile, Alabama Glenn Robertson, Kaleidoscope Church, Cape Town, South Africa Jeff McCreight, New Life Family Center, Lubbock, Texas

    Either your info is stale or you wasting our time with the half bake research. I’ll hit your site for more spoofs later!

    • Curious…Doug’s site lists these guys as people he is accountable to….how many times have any of these guys ever come to Miami and spent time with Doug or his church? Because I was with Doug his first 3 years in Miami (1996-1999)….and I heard all these same names and never ONCE saw any of these guys.

  4. Either your info is stale

    Of course this article is a bit “stale” – it’s over a year old, since when Giles has overhauled his site. If you noted my “UPDATE July 2005” section you’ll see I’m keeping up to date.

    I’ll hit your site for more spoofs later!

    ohh, scary…

  5. Interesting. So, because they meet at a hotel in Aventura–an upscale neighborhood–then they’re all rich or something?

    Note: The church rents space in the hotel. Doesn’t own it. I live five minutes from the hotel, and I live in a multicultural neighborhood (native-born blacks, Indian and Bangladeshi, Caribbean and Latino immigrants, Russian immigrants, and a notable Orthodox/Chassidim community. I’m Cuban-American.) This is a rental and residential home community, hardly upscale. But it abuts Aventura. Hallandale and Hollywood and North Miami, also full of working and immigrant folks (many Haitian immigrants, I might add)class folks who struggle, are within a ten minute drive of Aventura.

    I’ve visited Clash Church half a dozen times. It’s non-fussy and folks mostly wear jeans to church. While they don’t have a building of their own, they donated half of their building fund to Katrina relief. And the church is mixed in color, age, economic class, if not necessarily creed.

    So much for your “rich by association” bit… If they were loaded, I’m guessing they’d have their own church building/school/etc. Hm.

    Mir

  6. I see that Doug’s thrown in the towel on starting a church in Miami and moved to TX…

  7. I see Doug has shut his church down and moved back to Texas…so much for his big vision in Miami (almost 20 years and NOTHING accomplished)….

    • What were you expecting to be accomplished? And what have you accomplished for the Lord’s glory in the last 20 years? If you are expecting proof of God’s work, something that smacks folks in the face, then you’re god is not the same as mine. Perhaps there are reasons why “NOTHING” was accomplished that you are not privy to. When you were “with Doug” for those 3 years, did you follow him everywhere to know who he had breakfast, lunch or dinner with? Did you know his every daily move to know who he talked with? Were you privy to all his phone calls and emails? Did you travel with him to know who he met with on those trips? You sound more like someone who has an axe to grind, rather than an objective critic. Perhaps Doug Giles is not for you, but he obviously is for some others. I’m just beginning to learn about Doug Giles, but your opinions have no sway over me because you’re biased. Be objective or be silent.

  8. 10 signs for spotting a sociopath
    #1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.

    #2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn’t do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.

    #3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others. This is why you will find many very “successful” sociopaths in high levels of government, in any nation.

    #4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.

    #5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.

    #6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.

    #7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don’t actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.

    #8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running “stream of consciousness” monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers and even poets. As a great example of this in action, watch this interview of Charles Manson on YouTube.

    #9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

    #10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, “I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don’t need to live in this physical realm

  9. Unless…maybe you like “pastors” who are self-promoting hot air balloon windbags that only care about themselves…that talk a big game and do absolutely nothing for anyone….spiritual armchair and keyboard warriors…if that is the case…this guy is for you….

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