Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ashley Smith's Unusual "METH"ods

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about here? She gave a very troubled man a drug that calmed him down and aided in his capture. From what I gather, she wasn’t “using” at the time and was in rehab. And it looks as if a combination of the drug, Rick’s book, her gentle manner had an effect on this man that led to his capture. Needless to say, the Lord still protected her and countless others from harm’s way by bringing this murderer to justice.

I wasn't even going to post on this, but two things came to mind worth mentioning: 1. That people would somehow use this to discredit the providential hand of the Lord in this situation; and 2. Those who already don’t like Rick Warren’s PDL material, will use this recent news to once again poke fun at him and the book.

First off, I am not a fan of Rick’s material. Though I believe there are some helpful things in PDL that are biblical and worthy of our time. But the reasons I wouldn't publicly endorse it center around (a.) the core pragmatic emphasis absent of biblical foundation that permeate his writings; (b.) the very weak gospel presentation (if there was one at all) presented in PDL; and (c.) the proof-texting, ad-nauseam, using primarily "stream of consciousness opinion-phrase" like The Message (it was like a Logos Bible Software search on the word "purpose" overheated, then exploded and all the "purpose" words from twenty different bible versions had landed neatly in this book and then carelessly applied to support the PDL concepts whether those verses meant those things or not) remain major issues in his book for me that I would like to hear him address.

Secondly, God's hand of protection was very evident here, wasn't it? Nichols had killed several people, without just cause, hours earlier without hesitation. He didn't with Ashley; and he didn't harm her in any manner even before she gave him some Meth. Let's not be quick to discredit God's sovereign hand at work here.

Thirdly, what can we take away from this? Smith and Nichols still need our prayers, the gospel and discipleship. The eternal is what is important here not the latest gossip or pillow talk for the blogosphere to circulate. May we pray that the Lord brings in both their paths some godly, biblical Christians to share the gospel with them (if they haven't yet come to Christ) and to encourage them in the Word of God. As for Mr. Nichols personally, we can rejoice he is behind bars, that others have been spared the tragedy of his murderous actions, and that justice will prevail.

In conclusion, as for the Meth… illegal drugs are wrong and hot chocolate would have been a much better choice to produce the desired effect; but the Meth seem to work just fine. People have asked, "if it was you in that situation, Steve, what would you have done?" I can tell you: if possible, I would have reached for my Beretta, called 911, and ministered the gospel to him. If he tried to hurt me or my family in any way, I would have trusted the Lord that my aim was straight and the clip was full... and then "ministered to him" in a different manner.

Then, and only then, I would have made some hot chocolate.


Jim from said...

I dont know if you've seen this, but her new book is on the cover page of

They seem to love anything even remotely connected with the "Purpose" fad, and it appears that she is now cashing in on the whole experience.

FYI: "Beretta evangelism", hey Steve? I agree with you; family protection would have come first.

--Jim B.

Chris Mangum said...

Fantastic! I loved the comments on the Beretta.

Personally, it is a pistol-gripped short barrel pump shotgun with the first 3 shells being buck shot (to contact said aggressor) and last 3 shells being slugs (to finish said aggressor).

Thank you for your hard work for Christ's kingdom.

Paul said...

Hopefully anyone thinking of robbing your place will read this first. Meth or staring up the barrel of a barretta at recording artist Steve Camp?
(A link to the NRA'a site wouldn't hurt either.)

remember: "guns don't kill people, guns kill idiots trying to break int my house and hurt my family." said...

Steve, fair words here on the recent attention to the women and her choices. I'll be honest though, you lost me in your last paragraph.

Since I'm here... I sent you an email a couple weeks ago, with a questions about Keith Green. Did you get that? I was holding out for some thoughts from you.

Thanks man.

Unchained Slave said...

Always dial 911 first, so they record "PLEASE leave I have a gun"...Blam

.357 - a pump action shotgun is the 'home defense' firearm of choice...
Who in America, especially criminals do not recognize the 'unmistakeable' sound of 'racking the pump'. That is in itself a deterrent.
Use #7 birdshot - instead of buckshot - pattern spread is still consistently small, overpenetration of the walls is virtually eliminated - reducing 'collateral damage'.

More to the point... IF a killer 'had me' hostage... I'd give him anything he wanted! Legal or Illegal.

God does work in unusual circumstances. There is a 'plethora' of stories of 'evil people' that were converted by 'direct' intervention of God... Paul not being the first or last.

Let us thank God. Ashley's story is 'National' and opens the door in conversations to share the gospel!
People want to 'know' - lets use the opportunity to tell them.

Brian said...
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Brian said...

you know, I am not so sure how scriptural that last comment is, but it definitely made me laugh


Keyser Soze said...

I know I'm a cynic and sometimes may miss something/someone genuine, but she just seems to be an opportunist looking for fame and cash. She did then, and certainly does now.But then, I also think the same things about Mr. Warren.......

littlegal_66 said...

Nicely done, sledge--you used a "delicate keystroke" to address a somewhat delicate issue.
(That is, except for the discussion of your 9mm.......but then, how "delicate" can one be when discussing semi-automatic weapons? : ) )

I agree with you-given the intensity of that particular hostage situation, and how much worse the tragedy could have been, how can we possibly deny or try to shortchange God's sovereignty in the final outcome?

P.S. brian--the last paragraph was a little humorous, but I really don't think Campi was joking.

(Well, perhaps about the hot chocolate).......

mrclm said...

People have asked, "if it was you in that situation, Steve, what would you have done?" I can tell you: if possible, I would have reached for my Beretta, called 911, and ministered the gospel to him.

Frequently you are quite quotable, but this is perhaps the one that will stick in my mind the longest. Amen to your thoughts. I too will stick to my shotgun. I'm a great shot with most any weapon, but for home defense some bird shot will serve best. And yes, I store the gun in my bedroom (except for these three years I've been in Seminary)*.

Big Chris
Because I said so blog

Parents, even if you don't own guns, teach your children about them, and keep them locked (trigger lock) with a key where the child cannot gain access. A child who knows about guns and understands their purpose and danger, is no more dangerous than a child who lives in a house with a car they potentially have access to. If you have young children, keep it up out of reach.

littlegal_66 said...

Ms. Smith, in a recent interview, is quoted as saying, "I think that God made a divine appointment for him and me to meet that night, and for our lives to change. I think some people will react by saying, ‘I can’t believe she did that!,’ and others will understand. But at the time, it was just what I felt like I had to do. He was asking for drugs, and I had some, and so I thought I might as well go ahead and give him some. But he didn’t react the way that I expected him to react. So, praise God for that. My life has changed spiritually; I’m closer to God now, obviously. In my opinion, He completely saved my life."

I do pray that her comments are heartfelt, and also for her to come to Christ--if she's not yet a believer.

ambiance-five said...

I agree Steve that people want to shortchange God's hand in this story.

I did think it odd though when I read about it and the reason she went to the store that late at night was to get smokes.

It just spoke to me of addictions somewhere in her life.

Let's keep her in prayer.

Dave said...

If you check out the story, at least as reported on Yahoo! News, it seems she actually was a user at the time.

The problem with this story is that what initially seemed like a miraculous sudden conversion story by a courageous saint turned out to be much less miraculous (and the protagonist much less saintly) than intial appearances.



DOGpreacher said...

If she was a user at the time...DUH...which is likely seeing she had the meth, chances are astronomically high that her usage is on the way up. With the attention, money, more hectic schedule, etc..., and the fact that this "came out so good", she will see that as 'tacit approval', and justify, if not glory in her usage.....IF she is a consistent user.

This is one of those areas you might say I have a Ph.D. in.

pilgrim said...

As I commented elsewhere-this shows man's fallen nature, and it also shows God's sovereignty in that our fallen natures don't stop Him.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I don't want to seem like a party-pooper, but here goes.
The big story for me isn't Ashley Smith, drug use, or people not seeing the invisible hand of a Sovereign God.
The big story for me is in the footnotes of every article I have seen published on this. Nichols converted to Islam.
This for me illustrates the allegations that the book, PDL, is not a distinctively Christian book. In other words, none of the main concepts in the book cannot be found in many different religions. Nichols got the message and picked out the religion he liked.
Therefore, I must say that the book needs to ridiculed out of production.
I am not saying that Rick Warren is anti-christ. I am not saying that the churches who have used the book are apostate. I am not saying that if a Christian sits down to read the book that they will convert to a different religion.
I am just stating that the book and Rick Warren have unwittingly propagated as Christian something that is not distinctivley Christian. If a Muslim reads the book, he can throw out the references to Christ and still come away with the main message of the book.
If an atheist reads the book, same thing.
Anyway, I won't be offended if you decide to delete this comment, Sledge.

Bhedr said...

I'm with Doxo on this. Keep in mind with God's Sovereignty in the Last Days he will give power to Satan to send a strong spirit of delusion. I think Jeremy's comments are good. It's not that I think Rick is not a believer but it's just that we are all seeming to cross over very subtly these days. Anyway I can't add to what Jeremy said. Steve it is good to see though that even though I don't agree with you, you state your heart and don't pontificate falsely. You do have a couple of good points, but these days I weigh in on what Jeremy says as being of upmost importance. And no I am not a Paul Proctorlite. He is obssessed with Warren and speaks of nothing else.

Jeremy Weaver said...

The difference is that they would have to reject the Bible and MacArthur, for that matter, in order to convert. That's because the Bible presents a narrow way. (MacArthur too.) In other words they have to reject the central message of Christianity when they convert. I just don't think that's the case with PDL.

SJ Camp said...

I understand your frustration with Nichols converting to Islam. But I wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion that it was because Warren's book is not distinctively a Christian book.

How many people own a Bible and yet do not believe the Lord or maybe are part of a different religion (even Mormons own a Bible along with their Book of Mormon). All to say, we wouldn't discredit Scripture based upon someone's acceptance of its message or not, would we?

Don't get me wrong, there are real problems with some of Rick's stuff and with PDL. But we need to be fair in our assessments. Here is a good example 4 U: I have given several copies of MacArthur's wonderful book, "The Gospel According to Jesus" to many different ones over the years as a way to proclaim the gospel; only to discover that some of those same individuals are now Romanists, Mormons or Atheists. Surely that doesn't mean there should be a blight on Mac's excellent tome because of their conversion to another religion. We must judge the merits of the book by Scripture alone--not on anecdotal testimony --i.e. Ashley Smith or Nichols.

But I think we agree on this... that this situation was double-edged: on one side - a cause for joy (Nichols was arrested and lives were spared) and on the other side - a cause fir sorrow (Nichols conversion to Islam, Meth being used, etc.).

Thanks for your post--I would never delete what you say... Unless it breaks the rules :-).

Col. 1:9-14

Jeremy Weaver said...
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Jeremy Weaver said...

Yes, we agree. But it's more entertaining when we disagree!

SJ Camp said...

you wrote: "The difference is that they would have to reject the Bible and MacArthur, for that matter, in order to convert."

Not necessarily. Ever lived in the south? The Bible belt is full of people who love the Bible, go to church, sing worship songs, and are not saved. It is a cultural experience to them--even though they would deny that they are Christians.

I went to a reformed church for many years here in town where after one communion service I introduced myself to a lady seated next to my family and I. I asked her was she visiting for the first time? She said, "Oh no. I love this church and come here from time to time as well as still go to my other church." I asked where she went, and she said, "The Mormon church down the street." I couldn't believe it! I asked her what differences she saw between the two. Her reply was "not really anything..." Amazing.

You can still accept the Bible, believe in Jesus, and convert to another faith--I see it with many intellectuals and mystics. This is the notitia, assentia, fiducia argument isn't it. You can know the right facts about something; even give assent to those truth claims; (the demons even do this); but until you surrender your will in obedience to those truths--you are still unregenerate. Sproul is excellent on this...

Some will embrace Jesus and still go their own way. That is the point of Matthew 7:21-23. There will be many who will even call Him Lord, Lord - and be sent to perdition because they tried to come to Him with their own works righteousness.

FYI - even though I don't like PDL, I have unsaved friends who were offended at the mention of the Lord Jesus in the book and even a call to repentance. They were offended that finding their "purpose" meant having to come to God first and glory in Him. It was because of that tenant at the outset of the book that they rejected the rest of it. I think we could both say PTL to that rejection for that reason.

Col. 1:9-14

Bhedr said...

Hey I heard a rumour that MaCarthur was writing a book called the Bible Driven or Prayer Driven Church. Is that true or just scuttlebutt?

Jeremy Weaver said...

You win.:-)

Jeremy Weaver said...

But I think you will agree that they have rejected, or are just oblivious to, the central message of the Bible.

Bhedr said...

Good thoughts Sledge.

If knowledge of God is not mixed with faith then it is useless. Hebrews 4:2 and John 2:23-24.

Ah good thought darts Steve. Keep us thinking!

I still believe Jeremy is right to caution us about the growing trend to crossover into Shirley MaClaine territory.

Sparks said...

Man, I really must start paying attention to news stories...not!

Until today I had not heard about Smith's alleged crystal meth usage or that the alleged murderer Nichols converted to Islam. Surely this would be worthy of Larry King getting Big Rick back on the show to explain how this could be?

Sparks said...
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SJ Camp said...

I don't know if John is planning on the writing that or not. I have been teaching seminars the past four years that hopefully will be a book one day called, "The Worship Driven Church" - what it means to live daily in the presence of His glory


SJ Camp said...

I agree that we must be careful not to drift into anything that dumbs-down the gospel or the Word of God and especially if it means flirting with non-Christian paradigms of spirituality. IOW - we must take a cue from The Emergent Church philosophy and run from it with all our might. Some of their methods are good and usable; but Brain McLaren's view of Scripture and the Atonement are in need of repentance.

2 Cor. 4;5-7

Keyser Soze said...

I grabbed MacArthur's "The Bible Driven Church" DVD at the 2005 Shepherd's Conference freebie day. Actually have not watched it yet - not sure if it's like the "Does Truth Matter Anymore" DVD's or just audio messages. Think I have an extra one if you want one.

ambiance-five said...

Our Lord tells us that if a house be divided it has an end..

There were some ends tied up in the whole story.

Praise God for it!

ajlin said...

I love it when Steve writes on a different take on a current event than might be expected, thus causing us to think, rather than just reinforcing opinions we already have. For this reason, this post and the "St.Arbucks" posts have been my favorite so far.


Tim Wirth said...

But yet Rick denies Christ in articles and when he is on TV. He never mentions Jesus hardly at all. God means many different things to many different people. God means something different to a Mormon or a Muslim or Oprah.
Slick Rick states in Ladies Home Journel "God loves us uncondiotionally, and in His view we are all precious and priceless."
What a lie and what a insult to God who sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Rick never even mentions Jesus in the whole article.
Rick Warren plays to the crowd and how many unbelievers did Rick give false hope to with this article.
I know Campi doesnt compromise to play for the crowd.
Slick Rick does-

Shawn L said...

Tim Wirth,

Yes Rick reminds me of me sometimes as well as Peter.....I don't share the gospel as much as I'm called to.

Have you prayed for Rick as much as you have been thinking about him now? I think this rebuke was a bit excessive and overly unfair.

I don't agree with Rick either on many topics, but he is also a brother in Christ who needs our prayers and need to be told our concern about his theology and problems we have with how he approaches the scriptures.

I think your statements make it sound like you don't love Him in Christ and desire for him to be fully growing in Grace..... We should pray for american leaders to come back to the sufficiency and greatness of the scriptures....Do you weep night and day for the body of Christ like an Apostle so that they won't be falling into a false gospel and faithfully proclaim the gospel to them and proclaim the kingdom (Acts 20) .....

I think we forget that and get too much into bashing others.

If you looked at a day in my life with my flawed evangelism and flawed thinking at least 5 years ago and sometimes today and most days in much of my christian life I am glad for those who prayed for me and encouraged me and provoked me to good works. Especially those who taught the Word to me.

DOGpreacher said...

hey Shawn,

There's a difference in 'bashing' others, and reproof, rebuke, & exhortation W/sound doctrine.

There have been many (MacArthur, Sproul, Piper, Dever, Lutzer, etc.)
who have reproved, rebuked, & yes, exhorted w/sound doctrine this man to repent from his false teaching.
Look at how often (38, that I counted)in the new testament that we are warned of false teachers, false doctrine, deceivers, etc.,!
I could go on & on as to why we must be discerning, and refute those whom scripture says to.

BTW...that's an unsubstantiated statement, to say that he (Rick) is a brother in Christ.

...and as far as Acts 20...yes, let us pray and have compassion on those who follow such men!...Then let us tell them to flee from such false teachers who Paul warned about,...and whose end is...their own belly.

Be careful (Paul would say [I think]), that the [Christian brother] who needs our prayers, isn't in fact a WOLF that can afford the BEST sheep clothing.

Shawn L said...


Agreed we should be rebuking believers who need to get the gospel right, but I didn't see Tim trying to do it the way those people you mentioned have, more just bashing others.

How do we overcome this teach the truth and earnestly desire for them to grow in Grace and knowledge of the truth. It's very critical that we do all of those things.

The presumption that Rick Warren is lost without Christ is an unfair place to start. Yes he may have confusing doctrines and beliefs, but I don't think we should assume that he is lost.

DOGpreacher said...


I am not starting with the presumption that he is lost. My point was to NOT start with the presumption that he is a brother.

Here is some one who (in my opinion) would (has?) have laughed at the Apostle Pauls solemn charge to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-5) on how to shepherd the Church. Instead, he exemplifies the teachers of verse 3.

Where does it say that these are either brothers, or to be prayed for. On the other hand, there are a multiplicity of scriptures where we are warned (even with tears) of these who are false teachers (and converts) among us.

Yes, I pray...for God to quicken today whom He will, and if I may do any thing in His service today, that would be the desire of my heart. I pray that in all things He may be glorified, because I love Him (because He first loved me), and I would have no life without His grace to me.


2Tal said...

I really don't get how Rick is a false teacher. Doesn't charity require to believe all things, hope all things, etc. "He who confesses Jesus is Christ has been born of God." That's my assumption (apparently rare on this blog) regarding Rick Warren.

Sparks said...

Brother Rick isn't a false teacher, he just teaches "Church Light - tastes great, less filling."

2Tal said...

Yeah I see your point. But then again at least he ain't on some prosperity kick ad nauseum like Olsteen, Hagee, Copeland, Dollar etc. etc. etc.

DOGpreacher said...


You seriously don't see how Rick warren is a false teacher?! I am left to conclude that you feel as though this 'gospel' preached by Rick Warren is the same as that preached by Paul?

Galatians 1:6-12 specifically addresses this issue. Paul makes it clear, this is too important, tolerate NO ONE (Not Paul himself, nor an angel, not even Slick Rick) who brings you another gospel than that which Paul had preached to them. Note verse 11:When a gospel is 'after man', it is "another" gospel.

Bottom line: Either Rick is preaching that which Paul preached, or he's not. If he's not there are explicit instructions given.

Why does everybody have such a problem with rebuke and reproof of those who will teach false doctrine. Could it be that the "age of tolerance" has rubbed off on us, and that we are so timid to handle these situations as instructed by scripture.

BTW...why is his blatant pretext proofing, and eisegeses not as bad as Olsteen, Hagee, Copeland, Dollar, Hinn, etc...? I believe that Warren's is more dangerous! These others are easier to see for what they truly are, but Warren cuddles up a lot closer to Orthodoxy, making it a lot easier to be sucked into.

I can still hear Cuba Gooding Jr. shouting, "SHOW ME THE MONEY"! I think Rick & Bruce Wilkinson were probably consultants on the set, you think?

Denise said...

Wow, I'm surprised Steve. The meth worked 'just fine' and you're not sure what all the fuss is about? I gotta say I'm disappointed.

Where does one start with the problems that this whole thing is filled with?

How about the fact that she wasn't truthful (and therefore lied) about her heroic endevor in "just" reading PDL to him (not even the Scripture, but just book and a BAD book at that).

Maybe the fact that she was STILL using drugs AT THE TIME. Just hours before she had taken meth, according to her own admission: "She says she has not touched drugs since the night before she was taken hostage."

She deliberately painted herself in a much better light than what actually was a fact. She was not clean here folks. She was doing drugs (illegal) and offered drugs (illegal). According to the AP report, she's been in drug rehabilitation centers and FLUNKED out. She's a habbitual user.

Another problem is that Ashely was not relying on the Sovereignty of God. Can we deny God's hand in this situation? No, of course not. Just like we cannot deny God's hand in all situations, both 'good' and 'bad' but that doesn't negate the evil that abounds, agreed?

Another issue in this is that in her deliberate omission of her current drug use at the time and then handing her stash over to Nichols (if he hadn't killed her up till then, would not having pot been the trigger that killed her? Isn't it a little odd that he would ask a white, 'suburban' type woman for pot..did she really look the type?) has lead to her being the poster child of the PDL book. I did a google search and EVERYONE, Christian and non, were applauding Smith, for staying calm and reading this garbage material to this killer.

Except that there wasn't a true calm. It wasn't Christ-honoring. She didn't give the gospel that we know of.

This was as pathetic as PDL itself: trying to come off as something true, 'authentic' yet scratch the surface and its not at all what it appeared to be.

I do believe in the coming weeks we'll find out more facts. But we cannot as Christians sweep this under the rug, call it "gossip" and say "just trust the Lord". We need to call it what it is: a farce. And PDL isn't just a poor book, its garbage. Rick Warren is false teacher who puts Self at the center of all he does and teaches. I would suggest checking out this page on him:
Going to him is like going to a poisoned well.

Denise said...
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cyd said...

The ever wonderful Spurgeon said this:

"Jesus said 'Preach the gospel to every creature.' But men are getting tired of the divine plan; they are going to be saved by a priest, going to be saved by the music, going to be saved by theatricals, and nobody knows what!(PDL!)(my add)
Well, they may try these things as long as ever they like; but nothing can ever come out of the whole thing but utter disappointment and confusion, God dishonoured, the gospel travestied,
hypocrites manufactured by the thousands, and the church dragged down to the level of the world."

CH Spurgeon,"Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit" vol.40,p.199; 1888

I wonder if he packed a Beretta. . .

Bhedr said...

I had no clue who Brian MaClaren was. i thought he was just another Rick Warren. I browesed his sight and it left me grieved and sick to my stomach. Sorry Steve for having not understood you. yes you are right. He and Tony Campola are in need of repentance. After reading comments on his sight I realized the danger in underscoring repentance. I am still uneasy about Warren and dogpreachers comments are making me think. By the way this is my last comment. I am getting away from the computer for a long time in order to be a better father as that was John's first purpose in calling us to repentance. Luke 1:17.

2Tal said...

O.K. I guess Rick Warren said something other than "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." I read the book and honestly don't recall him saying something different than this but if he did I stand corrected.