Posts Tagged ‘preacher’

Can you blame this church for calling a spade, a spade. Or better yet, the Church, a haven for a bunch of self-righteous jerks? Not me.

And apparently neither can Christ Covenant Church in Beaumont, Texas – the transparent refuge for a bunch of tools. Well, watch the video. You’ll understand:

Yes. WAY!

For centuries, the Church (yours, mine, just about everyone’s) has been under the collective microscope of every person outside of salvation. And why? The answer is as simple, as it is complex.

Think “The Great Commission.” Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)

The problem with this – and Jesus knew it when he put it into motion – is that evangelism is a sales job. We are promoting a better life with Christ Almighty. And the only the runaway sheep can find the shepherd is to follow him… and like-minded sheep.

Remember, sheep follow. And since they can’t physically see Christ, they have to go with the next best thing: Christ followers.

So, what happens if said Christ followers are – shall we say – “a bunch of jerks”? My guess is atheism will go through the roof… oh, would you look at that? It is! And it’s all our fault.

Yes, when Jesus said “Go therefore”, he knew very well what it was there for, only he wanted us to get out of the way. We didn’t, and that’s why thought-provoking churches like this one in Beaumont, Texas are calling us all out.

“Jerks.” Well, we’ve been called a lot worse. Now, we need to fix it and the church’s lead minister has a nice idea.

“How do we tell this community that we want to be different? This is like our mea culpa. We know we’ve failed,” said Chris Beard, the church’s lead minister.

I know. I know. Some of you are too sanctimonious to have this junior-section, Affliction-wearing t-shirt guy speak for you, but unless the lost realize the fraudulent televangelists, the hypocritical pastors, the two-faced Christians out there (and you know who you are) do not speak for us, then evangelism will continue to be a difficult proposition these days.

After all, what is the number one cause for atheism and cynicism these days? Christians. Well, the jerks.

 

No street fight, just a spiritual one will do

Don’t look now, members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but all those swolled muscles of Eddie Long’s won’t do him any good.

How do I know? He said so… while implying he will hide behind the puny arms and clear bifocals of his lawyers. Or, in other words – his words read in the Atlanta Journal Constitutionhe will “not be pulled into a street fight.”

Long said he is “not going to be pulled into a street fight” and that he doesn’t hate anyone. But he directed his listeners to turn to a passage in the Book of Job that read: “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

As his devoted flock cheered, Long joked that he accidentally led them to the wrong page. “That was the Holy Ghost,” he said, flashing a smile as the sanctuary echoed with laughter.

Yeah, funny how the Holy Ghost allows those kind of clandestine threats to come out from a pulpit. Yeah, that sounds like the Holy Ghost to me. A man so divine that he would allow a preacher accused of gay rape and being an overall bad dude to proclaim, “Let the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”

As if, the wicked are those puerile boys who have collectively claimed under oath that a “Mand of Gawd” would have the unmitigated audacity to act in such a way. Yeah, that’s wicked all right.

If they are lying, then they deserve a world of destruction. But if they aren’t, and this case ends up in a room of attorneys vying for a cash grab because someone is skeered of a guilty verdict, then the only clothing of shame is going to be the next pin stripe suit Long uses to cover his muscles.

Enough of the rant. Back to the story…

So, instead of vehemently denying the charges that could pummel his family and plummet his charge, Eddie Long chooses to wax theological and avoid the issue in hopes for more dramatic applause.

Mazel Tov, brother.

Long’s sermon made no obvious references to his recent troubles. Long, however, mentioned that a church mother told him that he had to be the most “prayed for person in the world.” He said she reminded him to also pray for himself. He talked to the congregation about prayer and said: “God is listening for your sound.”

I admit. I abhor this story, not only because of the heinous charges this poses against anyone who is called according to the precepts of God. Moreover, because of the blind arrogance the defense of these charges has created.

You know, the Holy Ghost also said something else:

“Do not touch my anointed ones, And do my prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22 NASB)

MEMO to Eddie Long: We are all his anointed ones. We all have a purpose. And we are all vessels of his Word… his prophets. I pray these charges are false for the benefit of your family, your church and the millions of believers that have supported you through the years of your ministry.

However, if you “touched” God’s anointed ones and caused his four “prophets” a lot of “harm” then a street fight is going to be least of your lawyer’s… eh, your concerns.

NEWS FLASH: His statement cometh.

“Categorically Deny.” Two words in issued while submerged in hot water scream another two words louder in the human vernacular than any other, “I’m guilty.”

Of course, that’s what Bishop Eddie Long‘s lawyers had to say late yesterday as he posted a well-crafted and certainly sincere statement to his website.

All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.

Eddie Long sans cleric outfit

Maybe it's a P90X before and after shot?

Well, that’s reassuring. Granted, this media feeding frenzy of him boinking armor bearers (my assumption on the armor bearers can be read here) and sending pictures of the Bishop all swolled in spandex (more on that in a moment) has the Christian nation in quite a kerfuffle. One famed and scarred preacher in particular (again, keep reading for that gem).

However, as a pastor, I suppose Bishop Long is only used to showing out on Sundays, so he will wait until then to visibly “categorically deny” these heinous charges:

I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time.

Again, that’s nice. I mean, if I was a member of his church, I would certainly feel fine about him waiting almost a full week to tell me he’s not guilty.

Before we throttle that crisis communications strategy, let’s review. Better yet, let’s allow ABC News to do that:

I’ve been around the Church for years. Decades even. And nowhere in my experience with consulting pastors do I see a passage of scripture that suggests rocking the UnderArmour to impress your sheep. Does that help them graze more effectively? Do you get more well-shewn Kashmir sweaters if the flock is exposed to the “gun show”?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Back to the statement.

Bishop Eddie Long is hemorrhaging over this alleged incident, and yet, he allows his attorneys to make public statements for him… and that’s supposed to make it all right?!

It’s bad enough he doesn’t care enough to immediately respond to this mess, he is having a gaggle of white folk talk noise to his highly not-so-white congregation. Yeah, that’ll do it. You dolt.

It is completely obvious why he “feels the Lord” telling him to wait until the Sabbath to respond? In all his years of impromptu preaching, even the verbose Eddie Long will need a ghostwriter for this message. It will caked with legalese and PR speak… you know, like any good Congressional representative busted for the same thing. (What? Too soon?)

There will nothing genuine about this retort because it didn’t come from him. The only that clearly did come from the Bishop are those pictures and the aggressive needs delivered by now four men.

However, he pleads for mercy and understanding… and patience… has earned Eddie Long one fan: Meet Ted Haggard.

The man who hand-led his family through a harangue of male prostitution, drugs and oh yeah, “categorically denying” it every step of the way has decided that what Eddie Long needs is his valuable endorsement:

Good times, Bishop Long. Good times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, no? But hey, we still have this:

Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.

And the world brother. Because believe me, we will all be listening. You know, just the way your lawyers planned it.

So, I’m reading WOW News’ CNN Belief Blog and I find a story that seems appealing. One sentence into the thing, I’m incensed and feel like dog cussing some folk… but for the grace of God.

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

This is a must-read for any real Christ follower

To some, that sentence may not mean a thing and you’re thinking, “Grow up, HiScrivener.” To others, you are reading beyond the text and seeing the pandemic upon us – lukewarm pablum, uncommitted Christ followers and milquetoast preachers who the last time they experienced any “fire and brimstone” was slipping while placing a Duraflame in the fireplace.

[Author Kenda Creasy] Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Now that’ll preach!

And the girl is legit too. Dean, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of “Almost Christian”, is testifying about something many of us have been exclaiming for year. The Church has become a social club, not a hospital for the hurting. Why else do they call these big box churches “Evangelical Lite“?! Because there is nothing heavy being taught in these places.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with megachurches providing the pastors in charge are serious about teaching the Word of God the way it needs to be taught. However, if some of the altruistic benefactors of no condemnation and bumping up the church numbers to one-up the next toolbox are only interested in the weekly offering, then Houston, we have a friggin’ problem.

“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”

Some do, but visit any “The Largest Megachurches” lists on the Internet and most of them are pioneered by guys who are very successful for rehashing and requoting Zig Ziglar, Sun Tzu and their grandmama. Their needs to be more passion about Christ, more conviction about living for Christ and honestly, if some folk warming a pew can’t take it – split!

The Church is a house of love, but we live in a world of hate. And if you aren’t getting some tough love and challenges on Sundays, what good is it?I would continue, but quoting her is too much fun:

Some adults don’t expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex. Others practice a “gospel of niceness,” where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says. “If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation.”

MEMO to Pastors everywhere: Get this woman to teach in your church the first Sunday possible!

It was only a matter of time… and that lasted all of a few hours before both Benny Hinn and Paula White denounced the National Enquirer story about those two practicing confidentiality in a confessional and brushing it off as “We just friends.”

Benny Hinn and faith healing

Would be cool if these were outside a Benny Hinn crusade though?

First, let’s take Brother Benny from his website. Wait… I’m sorry? You say he took the response down from his site? Oh, that’s a shame! It’s almost as if he wants us to forget how he dropped the monogrammed Nehru for an open-collared, silk button down freshly exposing his tuft of love and gold chains.

Come on, man! It’s the Internet:

The publication, which is known for its bias against religious figures, misleads readers regarding the ministerial friendship I have had with Paula White for over 20 years… Although I had not seen her for years, she was an encouragement to me and shared helpful advice out of her own painful experience. As a result, I will not deny that the friendship has strengthened, and, while it has remained morally pure at all times, I have enjoyed the company of someone who has also gone through the trauma of a painful and public divorce.

Let’s break this down the preacher-speak for the kids scoring at home:

  1. “The ministerial friendship.” So, let me just tell you that had it not been for TBN, I wouldn’t have dropped two bits of government cheese on her plate. Since she is in my ilk, I’ll let her hang with me.
  2. “While it has remained morally pure at all times.” She’s not my type. I likes my women chubby and really dumb (Exhibit A here). And Paula is nowhere close to being chubby (Exhibit B here).
  3. “The trauma of a painful and public divorce.” Let’s not let the smooth taste fool you, brother. Public, yes. She wanted it that way. Painful, not so much. She dumped Randy’s behind for life coaching. And while he was sick.

And for more from Brother Benny:

And so I am writing to tell you today that I forcefully, categorically, and absolutely renounce the lies that have been spread about me and want to set the record straight with you. There is nothing inappropriate or morally improper about my friendship with Paula White… Paula and I also recognize that being seen in such settings is unwise, and we have independently determined that we will have no further social relationship until such time as my divorce has concluded and only if we feel direction from the Lord to do so.

  1. “Forcefully, categorically and absolutely.” I love it when people put strong superlatives in a written statement, as if the oafs like me who read will put any different tense on the poppycock we are reading. “Oh, he said categorically. I guess I need to grit my teeth.”
  2. “Being seen in such settings is unwise.” You mean, in public, holding hands? Then yes, you’re right. That spirit of discernment is strong.
  3. “We have independently determined that we will have no further social relationship.” Don’t let the scrupulous masses who want more out of their preachers than shady Roman getaways get in your way. You are your own people as you can ‘independently determine’ to do anything. You know, like post statements of apoplexy on the same day, around the same hour. Tell me, do you make a sound when you back up that fast? BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
See Paula White's defintion of marriage

I always tell women, "Till death do us... oh, nevermind!"

Now that we have discussed slapping someone’s weave, Sister Paula, what say you?

The National Enquirer released the misguided and untruthful article, which falsely characterized my friendship with Pastor Benny as being something that is morally and spiritually inappropriate. The article goes on to suggest that we were having an improper intimate relationship, which is categorically false… As someone who also endured a painful and public divorce, I was able to offer him insight and spiritual encouragement.

  1. “My friendship… intimate relationship.” If they ‘falsely characterized’ your friendship, then saying they ‘suggested an intimate relationship’ goes without saying. But hey, thanks for saying it anyway.
  2. “Painful and public divorce”. Hmmm… where have I have ‘independently determined’ that I heard that before?!

Next?

I publicly profess and forcefully renounce assertions that the recent trip to Italy to meet with Vatican officials suggests that the friendship is in any way improper or morally impure. We traveled independently to the region for respective ministry duties and, while there, spent time together along with others. We were never alone and were in the constant company of staff and other associates.

  1. “Publicly profess and forcefully renounce.” Seriously? Speak simple. You want to sound smart? How about “Brevity is the soul of wit”? A guy named Shakespeare said that. Just sayin’.
  2. “To meet with Vatican officials.” Um, Benny Hinn? I can believe that. In fact, I have no problem believing that. The dude holds global crusades everywhere! Paula White on the other hand? The lady who has a hard time debating a theologian about real biblical issues goes to the Vatican at the Pope’s behest?! Pat, I’d like to buy a clue please.

Anyone can lie about the Word of God. Anyone. To most who don’t read their Bible faithfully (and regretfully), the Scriptures become subjective. In fact, people have become so detached from the Bible that they live vicariously through faith… and through their pastor.

For them, anyone saying “Touch not mine anointed” will cause people to scurry. However, if you read the second part of that verse, “or cause my prophets any harm.”

Here’s the thing: We – the bloggers and journalists that expect way too much out of those manning a pulpit – are not causing them any harm. Their actions do it. Their mouths do it. Their “independent determinations” do it.

This blog was birthed on the premise of the Church needing to read the “writing on the wall.” And if you want more voices to echo that sentiment, may I introduce you to the “Another Brick in the Wall,” “The Acme Arena” and “WOW News” contributors.

There would not be sentinels screaming in the darkness if there were not shady people doing shady things in the name of God. May the ones full of light shine bright, dear Lord Jesus. And may the ones who are just shady stay in the dark. Too many people are hurting because of clandestine preachers who think they can get away with anything.

Those times need to stop. And if you don’t believe me, ask the cracked crew at the National Enquirer. Believe me, there are more of us than you think. How’s that for categorical weave slapping?