Spoken Like a True Duck

Here’s a comment I received yesterday on an old post entitled “Purpose Driven Pastor Season“.

Ducks “quack” and eagles soar! You guys are a bunch of ducks quacking as you spend time critizing Rick and other pastors who are seeking to make a difference.

Get a life!!!


The author is Dave Page, who describes himself as “a coach, communicator, teacher, encourager, husband, dad and wannabe basketball player :)”. It says on his profile that he is the Director of Church Planting for a non-profit here in Southern California. Of course, he’s making a difference… his job title says so!

If Dave can read, he would have found in the original post that I did not CRITICIZE Rick Warren, but actually the conference attendees who blindly follow Rick off the cliff of Purpose Driven Churchiness.

After reading Dave’s blog, I have a feeling I know the guy. Probably met him somewhere along the line or heard of him when I was at Saddleback. Seems he has been around the Saddleback Church stuff for a long time. He’s obviously a Warren disciple as was I, so I get why he is very invested in what he is doing.

However, I had to respond to Dave…because quite frankly he pissed me off and on top of that, he had no idea that he wrote his little BS comment to me at the wrong moment, on the wrong day, at the wrong hour, at precisely the wrong minute. Here’s my email response:

Spoken like a true pastor. Very very inspirational and life changing – yet condescending too. Love the Hawaiian shirt… guess I hit a nerve with that line huh?

So what are you for spending your time criticizing me instead of “making a difference”?? Who is it that truly needs to get a life Dave?

I’ve got a life. You’ve got your warped subCULTure. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid my friend.

Take care… I’ve got to get back to NOT making a difference in the world.


Usually I ignore DUCKS like Dave, but on this day I cannot. At the moment he wrote, he was right. I wasn’t busy making a difference. All I was doing is what millions of people do everyday… working hard at my job, trying to provide for my family, thinking about my kids future, navigating being a single dad and raising two sons. In addition, someone close to me is in the midst of crisis, so I was helping the family make physical and financial arrangements for a long-term treatment program, therapy for the children and overall trying to be a stable friend in the midst of their chaos.

Yeah Dave I guess you are right, only pastors and church planters are making a difference. Normal people like me do absolutely nothing.

27 thoughts on “Spoken Like a True Duck”

  1. AAAAAAMEN brother Steve!!!!You nailed it. When people start confusing their local church for a person-like entity which they must defend upon scrutiny…TADA: they have become….wait for it….STUPID CHURCH PEOPLEBTW…do you really have to go “that” far to find a man (some might suggest douchebag…general category, not personal attack!) in a hideous (as if there were any other kind!!) Hawaiian shirt? I usually know once I’ve crossed in to Mission Viejo (Aliso, Coto, Irvine, Lake Forest…they’re all pretty much the same frakin’ thing) city limits by an overdose of said jersey appearances…and if I happen to be driving anywhere near El Toro & Moulton…I know I’m near the epicenter, it’s just creepy! For a second I feel like someone is going to ask me if I want seasoned fries with my Islands burger…good times.

  2. “Spoken like a true pastor. Very very inspirational and life changing – yet condescending too.” Ah! i was thinking the same thing… Very well said.I enjoy reading your blog Steve, so I decided to link it into mine. I can relate to many of the issues you raise about the church, and religion in general. Keep up your curious nature.

  3. Not unlike spandex…blogs are not for everyone!Thanks for making me throw up in my mouth foshizovillan.It’s because of people like this guy that I left Orange County and never looked back….except for the fact that I still work here, however my contact is very limited.Did I ever tell you guys that I look out of my office window at Benny Hinn Ministries headquarters everyday…talk about being persecuted.

  4. So according to our buddies logic we should all just shut the frak up and not criticize the church, it’s leadership or tactics?Eagles may soar, but lemmings blindly follow. Even if it leads to a cliff. M

  5. Steve, his identity is obviously completely infused with the churchiness of his “cause”, and therefore an attack (what we might call an honest look) on “it is like an attack on him personally.It’s sad…and yet there were times in my life (and yours) when our selves could hardly be seperated from the church culture.You speak from a vantage point of freedom…he is still locked in his cell.Was I not one of the louder accusers of your so-called “do-nothingness” not that long ago? Well, now I see that you have created a place where those who have had enough of churchianity can come to recover and possibly start a new journey…BTW…since my own Saddleback experience, I have developed an acute allergy to any and all Hawaiian-print related clothing…ugh.

  6. That’s too bad that was all Dave had to offer – was some analogy of a critique that makes no sense concerning what Christianity (at it’s heart) is actually about – compassion/love. I know he wanted to defend his friend but still, defend on the basis of ideas or do not show up to the debate at all. I think Dave’s comment was just ludicrous and meant to demean someone else. I don’t think it was done in good taste – from a Christian leader – at all. I like your telling about dealing with real life – I think we can all relate to that as humans dealing with similar issues. It’s odd – but likely more of us can relate more with you than a person like Dave – who seems to have something to lose.

  7. Just wandered over. My first thought was,“Boy THAT was encouraging.”Then I read his job description and almost peed myself.But seriously hon, you do more, doing “nothing” than those who spend their lives devoted to activity and who often ignore the very real needs of their wives and kiddos. There are uncounted broken spirits left in the wake of church planting (spawning), building and growing, and too many people have misinterpreted the words of Jesus to mean that there is something holy in abandoning your family amotionally in order to “serve” God. I am not impressed with the Hawaiian shirt revival but I weep for it’s victims…

  8. 1st time I have read this blog, and although I agree with the premise of the post; I do also get just as miffed at folks who are as hyper-critical and even kinda rude in their degradation of God’s created beings. The last I looked, “Love your neighbor as yourself” also included dumb or stupid “Christians”. Are some frustrating? You betchya…., but I wonder if Jesus would be calling a people or a church names and kinda ripping them. Thinking more about Jesus too, would he respond in a pissed off way? I just don’t know….?Sometimes I think our desire to be counter-cultural and anti-subcultural actually leads us to be just as dumb and mean-spirited? Just my initial thoughts on meaningful and love-filled dialog.IHL,Richie

  9. “Spoken like a true pastor. Very very inspirational and life changing – yet condescending too.”The truth is often so funny! Well said!

  10. Wow! I remember the original post. It was the very first one I ever read on SCP. Do people still read posts that are over 2 years old?! Anyhow, I still have some sympathy for Dave’s views (as my comments at the time demonstrated). There seems to be a huge number of bloggers who seem only intent on mocking, criticising and tearing down anyone who becomes even moderately successful in ministry. It’s right that pastors shouldn’t be put on pedastals and that they should be open to scrutiny. But what a shame the bloggers can’t concentrate on attacking our real & mutual enemies rather than tearing strips of other parts of the body of Christ. Whilst over the intervening 2 years I’ve come to appreciate that there’s a bit more to SCP than that (… well, on Steve’s blog at least) it’s understandable when people get defensive on behalf of those they admire – especially if they think they’re being held up to ridicule. Let’s just turn the tables a moment … imagine if the friends you are currently “making a difference” with were to come across “Stupid Chastain Person” … which exposes your “hypocrisy”, questions your motives for helping friends out, and judges everyone who hangs out with you as a drunken, immature idiot on the basis of your friendship with Josh? I think they might get a little defensive coz it won’t describe the Chastain they know & love and won’t describe them.

  11. Sheeldsy…I still see the comparison you made as apples and gorillas. The fact that people take it personally when I criticize the church is one of the reasons I think they need to take a step back. They are too indebted and invested. If someone gets upset b/c I criticize the church as an institution (not their church)…that’s their problem not mine for not being able to separate it. And it’s one of the very reasons I exist… to let them see the difference.That’s the genius (if I do say so myself) behind the name of my site. Guys like Dave Page OVER REACT (and you initially) to the name of the site as much as they do the content. Someone that wants to stay very shallow and not investigate or dialogue are prone to over reaction. Oh and I definitely reacted and responded to his dumbass comment. I put the ball back in his court. If he wants to talk about it and dialogue he knows where to find me. I on the other hand am left to search Southern California looking for a man in a hideous Hawaiian shirt.

  12. the more i think about this guys metaphor(?), illustration(?), whatever, the more it bugs me.equating yourself with a bird of prey that’s pretty seems like some sort of subliminal admission of wrongdoing.eagles make a difference? i guess when they kill something it makes a difference to the member of the victim’s family.hey, Dave, Hasselhoff wannabe, get a clue. Or, at least, get a better metaphor.

  13. I have some sympathy with Dave because his reaction was similar to mine when I first arrived at your blog … just another bunch of smart arse critics and character assassins (quacking ducks). Like I said, I’ve come to appreciate more of what you’re about in the 2 years I’ve been around. Hey, I even agree with you on some stuff now!You’re dead wrong about my comparison being apples & gorillas. When people read something critical about an organisation about they are intimately involved with or which they feel incredibly indebted to they do take it very personal. If you have a site called “Stupid Church People” then do a post laughing at people attending a very particular conference, don’t be surprised if they thing the “church” in your title could be directed at them very personally. It’s a bit like me saying “I didn’t call my fictional site “Stupid <><>Steve<><> Chastain Person”, I called it “Stupid Chastain Person” … it could be talking about any one of them.Basically, I think you over reacted .. even if there are mitigating circumstances!PS … I’ve been commenting for over 2 years now. You’d think you could spell my name right by now ;o)

  14. well…and cows will puke up their food and then chew on it forever…until it eventually comes out as a pure crap…Not sure if that’s a preacher analogy…hmmm

  15. Just followed the link to our buddy dave’s website. In it I found this..http://davepageblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/ducks-quack-eagle-soar.htmlSeveral paragraphs of utter and complete clichés. How inspiring (said with a sarcastic sneer). I felt like I was reading a feeble “inspirational” speech given by some recent Harvard MBA grad with NO practical businessl experience who was attempting to rally the workers he had just been put in charge of.Has anyone seen “Office Space?”Yeah, kind of reminded me of the managers in that…

  16. just read the guy’s blog post that you linked too. apparently, pastors, as business leaders and birds of prey, fly overhead to count how many ducks they can prey on and base their worth on their numbers compared to the numbers that other birds of prey have.we have found a solution to our problem, Dave (in regards to your post about the ducks and eagles). our solution was to stop being preyed on.

  17. what a false comparison;eagles scream, ducks fly very well, and cows go “moo”. eagles are also scavengers; glorified vultures, if you will. how does that fit in with your little picture there, dave?

  18. Sheildsy… Your sympathy is misguided because Dave didn’t really have a view, he simply made a statement with zero argument behind it. It was a judgement pure and simple with very little if any basis.Regarding my original post, as I have stated I made ZERO criticisms of Saddleback and Rick Warren. I did not mock, criticize or tear down Warren or his church as you infer. I made observations about those that attend the conference (of which I have been a part). In essence, the original post is an encouragement to those that come to a Saddleback conference (or others like it) to realize that Saddleback has problems like your church…only bigger.And your turning the tables argument is…well…ludicrous. It’s apples and gorillas. It’s not even worthy of a response since your comparison is illogical. However, I will offer this. The name of my site is Stupid Church People. It’s not Stupid Saddleback People, or Stupid Rick Warren Followers, or anything like that. And anyone that sticks around or reads my posts to gain more insight about who I am (including the all important very first post) would know that more than anything this blog is about empathy for those that attend church yet feel disenfranchised by it.

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