Posts Tagged ‘Rick Warren’

A couple of years ago, Kenneth Copeland made a distinguished list – not the Lamb’s Book of Life, the final 12 on American Idol or even a follower on my Twitter account.

No, after decades of proclaiming faith in that noted southern drawl, he bellowed his way on Sen. Charles Grassley’s list of reprobate televangelists.

Since then, Copeland has nothing but flaunt the hand of God while giving the U.S. Senate’s ranking Republican on the Finance Committee probing into his surreptitious pocketbook the finger. A pentecostal one, nonetheless.

We have heard the litany of ills he has wiped on the face of his followers. We have documented the stories of him fleecing his sheep in order to make the Kashmir sweater “God wanted him to have.”

And now, we have this… he is even stealing from the lost and those who were ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Classy.

According to Rich Vermillion, a former – and scorned, let’s keep it real – minister in Copeland’s fold, we have this national press release, “Kenneth Copeland Accused of Humanitarian Aid Fraud.”

While shilling for his book, Vermillion notes an incident that would even have the nation’s most renowned Pulpit Pimps cashing in their peacock plumb from their silk hats:

The book details the 2005 relief efforts made by Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Copeland’s promises to form a new ongoing aviation humanitarian-relief ministry also called Angel Flight 44 (AF44). However, Rev. Vermillion now says that the aviation ministry was never formed as Copeland pledged: “It is as if Kenneth Copeland had NEVER said such a ministry had ALREADY been formed, nor had repeatedly promised that such an aviation support ministry would be further developed and ready for disasters–such as that which just occurred in Haiti a few days ago.

The release and book discusses Copeland’s oath to raise “several million dollars to build an airplane hangar and buy helicopters, airplanes, food and supplies for Angel Flight 44.” Only one small issue – he never did it.

You think the money came in? Sure it did. Ask Rick Warren how that goes when you pull a lever and look for your congregation to run to the polls.

A better question is you think Copeland gave the truckloads of cash back that was backed up to his hilltop compound? Um, not so much.

In fact, according to Vermillion’s eyewitness account, “the new ministry has not been accounted for [sic].”

I’m quite certain the victims of natural disasters everywhere would like a word with you, little man. Namely considering what the Church – not Pat Robertson’s mousey house is doing – but God’s people are doing for the Haitians.

Home of Santeria, Voodoo and all sorts of diabolical mischief or not, these are people with nothing, children with nowhere to go and families with no food. Yet, here’s Kenneth Copeland flying the friendly skies and cushioning his seat with cash. Your cash.

And we wonder why instead of fellow brothers and sisters lining along the Wall proclaiming the truth of Christ, we have the lost, the hurting and the bitter hurling Molotov Cocktails at these bricks. This mess makes us look terrible, but if “God’s chosen ministers” are full of more crap than a Christmas turkey, who’s to say us Jesus minions aren’t as well?!

MEMO to COPELAND: When the old spiritual sings, “I’ll fly away,” it wasn’t talking …because of guilt or shame. Evidently, you have both while swirling in the clouds. At least you should.

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Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8 NKJV).

There isn’t a child of God alive that hasn’t heard this scripture attached to a message on tithing or a capital fundraising campaign. Now, let’s keep the pulpit pimps out of this conversation… this is for the real people doing real stuff for Jesus.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a continued problem with money in today’s churches according to a recent USA Today article.

Citing a national survey by LifeWay research, it seems the Church needs a stimulus package wrapped in swaddling cloths because it ain’t getting it from the people warming the pews:

  • 28% reported raising less money than in 2008.
  • 57% said the poor economy was hurting their church.
  • 70% reported increased requests from people outside their congregation for assistance.
  • 43% budgeted more money to help more needy people.
  • 3% were considering closing down their churches.

Of course, these harrowing statistics don’t include the scheming rallying cries of Rick Warren and Rod Parsley who pleaded for a rapid-fire stimulus package of their own… and got it.

No, these numbers reflect the corner church in your community, the pastor of 40+ years in your neighborhood who loves the Word of God but doesn’t have the benefit of TBN.

In 2009, pleas for cash have rose dramatically while answers for change have decreased at the same rate. Of course, it’s the economy. The question is about the faith side of things though.

“Churches have not yet entered the recovery,” says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. “Historically, they tend to recover financially when unemployment decreases, usually after the economy as a whole” recovers.

And why is that?

Many, many Christians across the U.S. hear the vitriol of a bill collector on the other side of their phone far more than the comforting, dulcet tones of their pastors. Where do you think their cash goes?

Is that still robbing God or just keeping the lights on?

Full disclosure: I have said before that building this Wall was cathartic for me. I was unemployed for months, with no light at the end of that tunnel. Actually, the only light I could see was a truck speeding toward me to run me over.

Did I tithe? For a few months… and then I bought groceries, paid utilities and made sure my home wasn’t repossessed. Erstwhile was that scripture in Malachi chiming in my head, but I had to believe Jesus knew my heart.

Is it that important to God because I felt guilty?

Crown Financial Ministries says that there are actually about 2,350 verses on finances and possessions in the Bible. That is more verses – more material – than all 13 letters in the New Testament that Paul wrote! God obviously cares about our view of possessions to instruct us that much about it.

So, surely he knows the hearts of all these nameless statistics who want to give, but can’t. Right?

God loves a “cheerful giver,” and how full of glee can you be when your phone is ringing off the hook with ne’er-do-wells looking to collect a check? Not much.

Sure, you may “reap sparingly,” but at least that reaping will come while the heat is still on in the house. Wall Watchers, these numbers got a brother thinking. What are your thoughts?

That insight could be a blessing to many brothers and sisters dealing with this… or are one of those numbers themselves. Peace.

Answer: Rick Warren.

"Psst. Yo, brother. Can you spare some of that stimulus money?" (Source: AP)

Despite what popular opinion is about the guy’s psychopablum and mushy mandates of the Gospel, I really have never heard of this guy beg for a dime.

What with the books, the appearances (presidential and every other type) and his sizable bank account, I thought at least he was above this.

Perhaps he was inspired. Hmmm… [cue harp music]:

Not too long, we tagged the Wall with the bemoaning of one Rod Parsley who believes Satan is stealing his cash.

Now while I firmly believe Ol’ Slewfoot is fully capable of such a diabolical act, we discovered this $3 million beg was not the case.

Turns out some “teacher” at World Harvest Church’s baby sitting factory for BeBe’s kidser, daycare pummeled some kid, the parents sued and oh yes, won $3 million from Parsley!

Spare the Rod, spoil the child, I say. State of Ohio – 1. Devil – 0. You twit.

Fast forward to the aforementioned (and linked) story from the New York Times and we find a destitute and dang near poverty-stricken Rick Warren [honestly, I’m surprised].

In an urgent letter posted on the Saddleback Church Web site on Wednesday, Warren says expenses are up because parishioners are out of work and ”the bottom dropped out” when year-end donations dropped dramatically. He asks parishioners to donate $1 million before the new year to keep the Orange County church out of debt.

This is a pill, albeit horse-sized, that’s much easier to swallow. It’s no secret the economy blows and people are praying for God’s understanding and mercy as the tithe stays in the storehouse from it which it resides for now.

The slightly shady part is Warren knows the press monitors his Web site as much as his church members do. And to put that up online, you don’t think somewhere in the recesses of his mind there was a thought, “You know, this could become a national story. Sweet.”

Here’s an idea, mands of Gawd (shout out IST): Exercise the same faith you espouse when praying for the throng of folk who, you know, are near poverty, have no money to tithe because they need to keep on the lights and are believing God for more than just you staying on T.V.

If the Lord is big enough to answer their 911 calls to heaven – and he is – then he “sho’nuff” can answer yours.

However, forgive our Savior if he’s a little preoccupied with those who probably can’t get a loan and doesn’t have the cache reserves that you two have. Happy New Year.

It’s no secret that folk get uncomfortable when a pastor preaches for the altar call.

I mean, people get all squirmy thinking about the night before at the club and conviction besets paranoia with thoughts like, “I just know Pastor saw me there last night” and “God probably told him I was there.”

Whatever the cause, the effect is people flocking to the stage to get their lives right with Christ. Good times, right?

Funny. I don't see many 'happy' satanists or atheists. Hrm.

Funny. I don't many happy satanists or atheists. Hrm.

Well, not so much according to a recent Pew poll that folk just don’t believe in hell like they used to do.

Only 59% of Americans believe in hell, compared with 74% who believe in heaven, according to the recent surveys from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

That makes sense. Believing in heaven despite a relationship with Christ means you may still get to hang out by the Pearly Gates. No sweat, so back to the crack house you go. However, people don’t want to believe in hell because what if… you know, we’re right and they’re not. Whoops.

So, why aren’t more pastors preaching those cherished brimstone messages of yesteryear? It’s just not “in”?

The Rev. Fred Johns, pastor of Brookview Wesleyan Church in Irondale, Ala., said after a workshop discussion of hell that pastors do shy away from the topic of everlasting damnation. “It’s out of fear we’ll not appear relevant,” he said. “It’s pressure from the culture to not speak anything negative. I think we’ve begun to deny hell. There’s an assumption that everybody’s going to make it to heaven somehow.”

Somewhere, Carlton Pearson is giggling like a schoolgirl who got checked “Yes” in study hall for the quiz, “Do you like me?”

MEMO to pastors: You aren’t denying hell. You are avoiding it. And, inadvertently, leading others to it.

You know dang skippy no one changed the scriptures while you slept through seminary. Heaven is still coming with Jesus, and hell is still a place to get the worst sunburn in history.

This isn’t fashion that is “in” one day and “out” the next. It’s never Labor Day with Jesus and you can wear your whites all year long, brother. So, why?

A-ha! G’head. Admit it, you Caspar Milquetoast clock-punchers. It’s the economy, right?

The more you preach folk at the crossroads of heaven or hell, you are at another crux in the road of getting their tithe or watching that check walk out the door.

Call it what you want, emergent pastorer, psychopablum pulpiteersuh, you know who you are (and we do too).

Exit this post and turn left...

Exit this post and turn left...

From Sheol to Hades, Gehenna to Tartarus. Even “the pit” if that knocks your socks off and gives you reprieve from your pastoral obligations.

Whatever you call it, just beware:

But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV).

I hope that sticks because no matter how good you look on TV, you are only as pretty as the last sinner you yanked out of the muck and the mire.

That’s the evidence of your global ministry – the people.

Maybe that’s why your righteousness should be like “filthy rags.” If you are doing God’s work, you are busy polishing off all the dirt on folks’ lives. Just a thought.

Oh, and if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, call on him.

He loves you. He died for you. He lives for you now. Forget what you don’t hear in church. Just hear the knock on your heart… and let him in. Peace.

RickWarrenWassermanSeeker-sensitive and megachurch pastor, Rick Warren, has finally joined the Twitter nation.

Why “finally”?

Because, evidently, it was such an auspicious occasion that it required a press release and a story from the Christian Post.

Sweet. And in other important news, I had oatmeal for breakfast.

Maple and brown sugar, to be exact.