Posts Tagged ‘tithe’

Meet the Schullers. So cute back then.

Once upon a time, in a TV far, far away was a chisled-chinned boy named Bobby.

Now, Bobby’s daddy was a famous preacher who decided to hang up the tunic and enjoy his golden years. Bobby took the reins of the “powerful” ministry, dawned the pastor rapper medallion and began preaching on TV, reading biblical prose off teleprompters and giving kitschy anecdotes about people who sound like they just traipsed off the set of “Leave It to Beaver.”

Three years later, Daddy missed his bling and kicked Bobby to the curb. Instead of an amicable “Aw gee, Daddy” parting of the ways, it’s been more like the exodus and the Red Sea.

Daddy lost control – and it seems, his mind. First, it was musical preachers. Then, Junior quit his job and left the church all together. Afterwards, the megachurch began hurting for the tithe it used to get, and the light bill wasn’t getting paid.

And now, we have some musings from Junior’s rather eloquent wifey, which has been captured in the Orange County Register.

Evidently in the story here, Bobby missed the bling too and he is getting his own church and Internet ministry. To which, this proud pontificate shouts, “Bravo!”

What appeared as “Father Knows Best” on TV, is actually a scene from “Gunsmoke” in reality. Family members are firing off opinions at each other and who is left to suffer – as usual in Christendom – the people.

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Pathetic. Ratings were up. Membership was increasing. And pop gets a hankering for his old gig and creates this mess.

It’s shameful, because not only are some people out a good pastor in Junior Schuller, but most folk don’t call the grandiose Crystal Cathedral “home” any longer.

Let’s hear what his bethrothed (and fellow blogger), Donna has to say:

“These days Robert has been very hard at work developing a new Christian ministry, which will allow him the honor of continuing to speak inspiration and hope to the world,” she writes. “He will do this once again spreading the good news of Christ on television and on the World Wide Web. More to come on this very creative and new way of doing ministry when it is time.”

Well, unless he is planning on doing it shirtless from horseback while musing about the Tetramorph, I can’t imagine how much more sensationalized… er, creative TV ministry can get. But, that’s besides the point.

What’s important is Bobby is all grown up now, away from his father’s ecumenical teet and having church on his own… the way it should have been all along. And it seems it runs in the family, as his own son – anyone on the name? anyone? Bobby. I know. I was stunned too – is leading a church and something called the St. Patrick Project.

The ministry itself has seen better days. What once was held in the nurturing bosom of the Crystal Cathedral is now being held at the American Legion Building nearby. A quick hagiograph makes me think Bobby is banishing snakes from his building or teaching the veteran curmudgeons about the Trinity with a Shamrock, but I could be wrong.

However, one thing I am not wrong about is this:

All of this could have been avoided if Robert Schuller acted more like a father and less like a pastor. What’s worse is that folk shunned from the Crystal Cathedral (and other nameless churches around the globe) understand that analogy all too well. Thanks for keeping up the status quo, Pastor.

Junior, make us proud… since you know, Pop is too bitter right now.

church-closed-sundaysIt’s like Lent during this economy – everyone is having to give up something in order to stay afloat. But what about giving up church?!

Well, that’s what happening to a bunch of non-committals at the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Ore. (I know, go figure. Carry on.)

To save money, First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland has decided to close for the month of July. The Rev. Marilyn Sewell, senior pastor, said the 142-year-old church faces a projected $185,000 deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

It’s not like TBN and Daystar are earning great TV ratings in the Beaver State, so maybe there is some co-op marketing they can do with this church. I don’t know, like purchase branded Yoga mats for these folk to channel upon. Maybe the Crouchs and the Lambs could offer swank “inner child” baby clothing for all the parents who will miss out on children’s pseudo-church for four Sundays. Just a thought.

So, closing the doors to church for a month. Tell ’em what they have won guy with an abnormal speaking voice:

The closure will mean no services, no adult or children’s education, and no programming for the month. The only activities in the church or its neighboring Buchan Building will be those whose sponsors have rented the space, generating income, Sewell said.

OK, question to the chic with the man’s haircut: If July is a slow giving month, then what will you plan on doing in say, November when the church is burying in snow and your heating bill is blazing like the towering inferno? How much money will you be saving then? Plan to kill another month in the name of cost efficiency?

Again, just another thought. Maybe, you should have had one too.

Meet Pastor Rob Wegner of Granger Community Church.

He has a novel approach to stimulating the economy, at least in the Church – share! He understands everyone these days are regressing to an infantile state stinking up the room in their diapers shouting, “Mine!”

But according to this story in the Christian Post, Pastor Wegner thinks the only way to get out of this mess is to do something completely different.

“What’s common is to say ‘it’s mine.’ What’s uncommon is to share,” Wegner told hundreds of Christians at the second annual Generosity Conference, hosted by Community Christian Church in Naperville, Ill. “We live in a culture [where] there’s this hidden curriculum that’s taught day after day – that you are what you own,” Wegner said at the one-day event this past Saturday.

Art Imitates Life. Nice.

Art Imitates Life. Nice.

Citing statistics all too familiar to pastors across the country these days, Wegner reminded people to you know, tithe.

I know, I know. But if Barna is right, and only “9 percent of all born-again adults gave 10 percent of their income to churches and charitable groups,” we have MUCH room to improve folks.

According to Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action, if Christians all tithed, it would result in an additional $143 billion to what is currently being offered. Half of that additional sum could educate and provide healthcare for all the poor in the world, Wegner pointed out. “And we’d still have $70 billion left over just to spread the good news of Jesus Christ,” Wegner highlighted.

Staggering. What’s even more moving is that number of 9 whopping percent will probably decrease in lieu of this economy. Yet, the world will continue to look to faith-based organizations for benevolence in times of crisis, and like the Savior they worship, will continue to be benevolent despite those who give them the Heisman.

There isn’t a bailout coming for churches, so maybe Pastor Wegner is on to something here. We don’t have to give until it hurts… but a little sting wouldn’t kill us, would it? It’s not like we are going to stop using technology and become Amish. Well, expect for the Amish, but they are off churning butter, so they are not reading this article.

We have to act together, act soon and act often in order to help the Body of Christ become healthier, smarter and wealthier.

Nothing seems to unite denominations these days, so perhaps this economy will?! Miracles never cease, you know.

Meet Patty Brisben of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why? She has a unique story according to the Globe & Mail. Patty is a dedicated mother of four, involved in her church and even the community and even has a quirky nickname based on her job and work ethic – “Dildo Lady.”

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Um, I’m sorry?!

Patty Brisben is a churchgoing mother of four who has made millions selling sex toys at private in-home gatherings not unlike Tupperware parties.

I have read a few newspapers, so – in case you have missed it – the economy isn’t doing that well.

But in lieu of the fledgling stock market, the aptly dubbed seller of leather, lace and lasciviousness will get a hand-up for her hand… outs.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Ms. Brisben will star in Mother Knows Sex, a TLC reality show about Pure Romance, her Cincinnati-based family business that now employs 30,000 consultants across the United States.

Capitalism at it’s finest.

And what’s even more amazing about this “church lady” is she gets the whole family involved. It turns out her son is the president of this multi-million dollar organization. Her husband? He “does all the defectives, in case something comes back broken.” Um… questions? Please?

  1. I think what is most important is just how involved can you be in a Bible-believing church when this is your profession? Oh sure, your tithe must be off the chain, but are you an effective witness when you are selling… those?!
  2. Is “dildo lady” on your business card… with the ichthus, no less?
  3. How does Dad figure out if an arousal cream or a battery-operated friend is defective? You know, never mind. I don’t want to know.
  4. How do you surmise the stones to ask your SON to head this empire?
  5. Now this is serious: Is what she doing completely wrong? Is it porn, or assisting married couples in the “marriage bed,” which is undefiled?

If you are a Christian, read this. If you are also a parent, think about this. And if you have ever been a pastor, feel this. Because it’s an odd place to be.

Meet Rev. Donald Armstrong.

This pastor from Colorado meets all three of the aforementioned requirements and ties it all together in one extremely odd way.

A Colorado Springs police detective said in an affidavit released Tuesday that the Rev. Donald Armstrong may have misappropriated $392,000 from a Grace Church trust fund. Police took financial documents and computers from the Grace and Episcopal Church in November after an 18-month investigation.

the-6th-college-senseHeinous, right? Unforgivable, certainly. Why, in the name of all that is holy, would this pastor seemingly exorcise his faith and his fellowship? With this one twist:

Authorities say a pastor who is part of a theft investigation used money from a church trust fund to pay for his two children’s college education.

Oh. Well, uh, yeah. Sure. Um…

So, I’m pontificating actions like this are liable to make a preacher cuss, but then you stick his kids in the equation. What he did is wrong, without question. But his motives? Without reservation. Man, is the economy that bad?

What do you think? Inquiring minds want to know.