Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why

Your Preacher Sucks

Did you know that your preacher is not God?

Did you know that the New Testament says that Satan poses as an angel of light?

Did you know that the New Testament makes reference to wolves in sheeps’ clothing, that is, false teachers who infiltrate the pulpit and churches, for the express purpose of fleecing the flock, getting rich, or taking sexual advantage of the ladies, or for pushing their false doctrines? Yeah? You were aware of all that?

There are sure a lot of Christians on the internet who don’t act like they are aware of any of this.

Because as soon as anyone says anything critical about a preacher or that preacher’s theology, no matter how politely said criticism is stated, sooner or later, a follower of that preacher will show up on that forum, blog, or site to leave a message – varying from very nasty, downright hateful, to a more chiding tone of, “You’re being such a meanie, Pastor John Doe is such a gawdly man, how dare you criticize Pastor Doe! Who do you think you are?”

It makes me want to barf.

No man – NO MAN – is above criticism, and I don’t care if it’s a famous preacher or who it is.

By the way, this blog post also serves as as reminder about internet safety.

Continue reading “Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why”

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Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities – Also: Audacity of Preachers To Shame the Hurting or Victims

Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities

Xtian = Christian

(Link): On Vulgar Language at This Blog -You have been warned.

BTW, there is some weird Asian- language site that keeps re-blogging my posts, and I wish they would stop. It’s weird.
Anyway. Back to the purpose of my post.
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Church Gives Shoes to Homeless – Misplaced Priorities

Does the Bible say Christians are to help widows and orphans? Certainly.

But it says that first and foremost Xtians are to help those within their own group (Galatians 6:10), not those outside of it.

Most often, Xtians fail miserably at meeting the needs of Xtians they already know, who may even go to their very same church.

One reason of several I am leaving the Christian faith is that Xtians don’t actually do what the Bible and God tells them to do when it comes to helping one another.

Christians did not help me get my needs met when I went to them at a very low point in my life.

At my time of greatest need, Christians brushed me off, or gave me judgement, cliches, platitudes, and criticism – when I needed love, encouragement, and sympathy. -All of which is free, by the way. I was not even asking for money.

Some of the same Xtians who did this, however, will sit there and cry crocodile tears of sadness over people they do not even know (such as orphans in Africa, domestic abuse victims in homeless shelters, etc).

I cannot conceive how you can feel sorry for little orphans in Africa, whom you don’t even know, but treat the hurting Xtian next to you weekly in church like she is a piece of shit, when she’s going through heartbreak in her own life, which you damn well knew about.

But it happens often, not just with me, but I’ve met other Xtians online who have similar stories.

Here’s the article that got me to pondering on these things again:

(Link): Florida Church Sends Congregants Home Barefoot, Collects Shoes for Homeless

    First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, which is attended by about 2,000 people each Sunday, collected an estimated 700 pairs of shoes for the homeless during Sunday’s “Soles for Souls” event, according to Mike Jeffries, associate to the senior pastor.

I’m supposed to think that church is being generous or loving by donating a bunch of old smelly shoes to some homeless shelter?

BTW, if you’re going to donate shoes, you should send the shelter gift certificates, so they can fill any size request with BRAND NEW SHOES.

The article said these people who donated wore the shoes into the church service before sticking them up on the stage for donation. 🙄

Are they too cheap skated to buy BRAND NEW SHOES or to give the shelter GIFT CERTIFICATES? If you were a shelter person would you want to wear a pair of shoes previously worn by someone else, or would you prefer a brand new, never worn pair?

I’m more interested in knowing if that church follows Galatians 6:10 and serves the members of the body of that local church first.

Does that church provide a month’s worth of free groceries every so often to the seniors living on meager incomes? Do they drop by to scrub the toilet and dust the furniture and mow the lawn of the 35 year old never married member who’s on his back, recovering, after surgery?

Or does this church only run around raising funds and some used shoes for homeless shelters?

If the people at that church are ignoring, or shaming, the Average Joe in the pew of their church, but thumping their chests over how proud they are to be helping the homeless, screw them – and that would be God’s attitude as well, I’m pretty sure.

See Christ’s story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ to see what Jesus thinks about people who IGNORE the hurting RIGHT BENEATH THEIR NOSE to go perform some other religious duty, or to serve someone else, or do charitable deed to someone else.

If a fellow Xtian approaches you with a problem, don’t brush them off to go help an orphan or lecture him or her that “orphans have life worse than you,” because God (assuming He exists) put that person in YOUR PATH because God EXPECTS YOU TO HELP THAT PERSON, you nim rod.

If God wanted you to help African orphans, he would have arranged for you to be BORN AMONG THEM IN AFRICA.

But you’re a white person born into middle class American life (this problem seems more prevalent among white American Christians than other types of Christians I’ve seen).

Your “mission field” consists of the other people already around you – people in your neighborhood, your job, people you bump into at the store, and NOT AFRICA and NOT HOMELESS PEOPLE IN YOUR INNER CITY.

Unless God explicitly and clearly tells you he wants all your energies going to the homeless downtown or to poor people in Africa, assume it’s to help people you personally bump into on a day by day basis in your own city, GALATIANS 6:10.

PREACHERS WHO GUILT OR SHAME PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY CHRISTIANS OR CHURCHES

I caught several minutes of the “Answers” show this weekend. It’s the weekly church show by preacher Bayless Conley.

The funny thing is, I usually agree with this Conley guy most of the time, but every so often, he says something that rubs me the wrong way or that I don’t agree with.

In this past week’s show, he was shaming and blaming people who say they are angry at church/Christians or who drop out of church because their church didn’t meet their needs.

He told the story of a woman who began going to his church. He said she was still quite angry over an incident from years before.

This woman said that at their old church, when her husband was sick for months, that nobody from her church helped her or her hubby. This really upset her, and she was still hurt or angry about it many years later. Conley was saying she should drop this and move on.

The problem is, it’s not just her.

I’ve seen numerous testimonies online by Xtians who said in their time of greatest need, their church did not come to their aid, with practical help, such as bringing over free food, mowing their lawn for them, etc.

Anyway, this Conley preacher guy stood there and criticized this woman or her attitude.

Conley told people who feel they’ve been done wrong by a church to keep going to church, and so on.

The audacity! The appropriate response to people who have been hurt by a church is NOT to BLAME THEM for HAVING BEEN MISTREATED (which is victim-blaming and is totally repulsive and anti-Christ), but to ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR WOUNDS.

You don’t blame an abused or hurting person for being hurt, shell shocked, understandably reluctant, or skittish from having been abused by a former church or by a Christian(s).

You don’t shame a hurt Xtian back into church attendance by appealing to some Bible verse or another, or by appealing to a sense of “Christian duty,” or by claiming they are having a pity party or feeling sorry for themselves, or whatever other insensitive malarky.

What Conley should have said is, “If you have been hurt by a church, I am so sorry. But please reconsider giving the church another try.” But he chose the “blame the victim” strategy instead, shaming and blaming people who have dropped out of church because they were hurt. Shame on Conley and preachers and Xtian laypersons like him.

WHAT PREACHERS CAN LEARN FROM DEALING WITH DOGS

If you come across a dog in an alley way that has been mistreated by previous humans, and the dog is either angry (growling) or whimpering (in fear, hurt), you get the dog to trust you by showing that dog consistent love and compassion.

You stop by every day, toss a few bits of food its way, and baby talk to it, such as,
“Oh what a good boy! Aren’t you a sweet puppy dog!”

You win the dog slowly over by displaying compassion and showing you are trustworthy; you earn the dog’s respect or trust.

You do NOT approach the wounded, scared, abused dog by yelling in a loud, angry, (or demanding and condescending) voice,

“The BIBLE says you are to forgive previous abusive humans and let me pet you! Repent you dog! REPENT FIDO! You are not to be in fear or nurse a grudge, that is a sin! Stop holding a grudge! Let me approach you and pet you!”

Taking that harsh, unloving, non- understanding approach to the dog’s abuse and its history will only cause the dog to mistrust you more.

And it’s stupid to think quoting a Bible verse at a dog – or human – is enough, or should be enough, to get them to instantly comply with what you want.

I’ve been hurt by other Christians, so I don’t really care if the Bible talks about ‘let us gather together to encourage one another blah blah blah.’ Those are just empty words on a page and mean nothing to me, as much of the Bible does these days.

Christians can’t even live up to the “love one another” and “love your neighbor” type verses but then they expect me to obey the “do not forsake the assembling together” verse? I don’t think so.

A note to preachers and regular church goers:
First live up to the “love one another” type verses, and then I will maybe consider returning to a church. Clean up your own life and your own church and fix what is wrong with you and your congregation before chewing me out over what you consider my flaws or for trying to shame me and guilt me over my non-attendance.
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–Related posts this blog—

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)

(Link): Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

Lookism in or Hinted At in Church Woman Conference Title

Lookism in or Hinted At in Church Woman Conference Title

Cottonwood Church, headed by pastor Conley, ((Link): site), based out of California, has a woman’s convention called “Beautiful.”

Maybe this church means well. Maybe the word “beautiful” is meant to focus on a woman’s “inner” beauty – but given the fact that women get bombarded with the “you must be physically attractive at all times, your whole life, and your value resides in nothing else but your physical beauty” message both from secular and Christian culture, I do wish this church had chosen another theme or word to describe their woman’s conference, one other than “Beautiful.”

Why didn’t they choose to call this woman’s conference “Brainy,” “Clever,” “Sharp as a Tack,” “Savvy,” “Witty” or “Awesome”?

Here is a screen shot of their 2013 Woman’s “Beautiful” conference (a.k.a. “Real Women Conference”) : (Link): site):

beautifulSite

Related Posts, this blog:

Conflicting Message to Christian Women by Christians About Physical Appearance

Gender Complementarian Product for Females: Don’t Base Your Value on Your Looks, but Wait, Yes, You Should

The Annoying, Weird, Sexist Preoccupation by Christian Males with Female Looks and Sexuality

Women Are Visual And Like Hot Looking Men (Part 1) Joseph in Genesis Was A Stud Muffin

Atlantic Article: “The case for abandoning the myth that ‘women aren’t visual.’”

Part 1. The World Does Not Need More Marriage Sermons – They Don’t Stop Divorce or Get People Married

I watched the first three or four minutes of the Bayless Conley “Answers” show today (Feb 24, 2013). He’s kind of right up there with Kerry Shook – it seems like every other program is about marriage.

He’s doing another marriage sermons series (or possibly, this is a repeat of the one he did last year), and he’s letting his wife on stage to deliver the sermon to married men, letting them know what their wives want or need.

The world does not need another marriage series or marriage sermon. Really, we do not.

When about 50% of the population and 50% of Christians over the age of 20 are un-married (this includes never-married, divorced, widowed), marriage sermons are not applicable or of any use to a large portion of your church members and television audience.

The divorce rate among Christians is just about as high as it is for Non Christians (which some Christian sources have disputed). But it does seem to me that even if one wishes to dispute the exact percentage of divorces among Christians, it has to be pretty high if even secular (or Christian sources such as Barna) have taken notice.

As I’ve said before, I don’t have all of life’s answers. I don’t have a solution for how to stop divorces, or put a stop to unwanted prolonged singleness among Christian women, but I do know that another sermon series on marriage is not the answer, because it has not worked to this point. Pastors need to stop giving these “how to have a great marriage” sermons all the time.

Family- and marriage- centric conservative Christian, evangelical, and Baptist churches have been braying about marriage, family values, parenting, the value of children, for three or four decades now, and the never-ending pulpit-pounding and river of books and pamphlets and blogs about those issues by Christians has not helped most people, nor has it stopped sexual sin, divorce, or un-wanted prolonged singlehood.

It’s more than time that pastors, Christian organizations, and churches began paying attention to meeting the needs of un-married people over the age of 30 (especially the ones who have remained sexually pure). Simply acknowledging that they even exist would be a huge step in the process.

While the conservative Christians remain fixated on giving yet more marriage sermons, and bemoaning the liberal attacks on “traditional families” and “traditional marriage” they continue to ignore the needs and problems and mere existence of people over the age of 30 who are not married or who have never been married.
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(end of Part 1. Please see Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried Christian. (Link): Click here to read Part 2.)
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Related posts this blog:

(Link): Kerry Shook Devotes Yet *Another* Show / Sermon to Marriage

(Link): Kerry Shook ‘Shark Weakness’ – yet another marriage sermon | Marriage centric sermons

(Link): ‘God’s Purpose for Women,’ by preacher Matthew Hagee – Hagee Teaches that Single Unmarried Women Do Not Have a Purpose in Life God has no purpose for singles

(Link): Christian TV Personality / Preacher ( Jimmy Evans ) Says You Cannot Meet God’s Destiny For Your Life Without A Spouse = Anti Singleness Singlehood Singles Bias Prejudice Making Idol out of Marriage

(Link):  Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine

(Link): Study: Conservative Protestants’ divorce rates spread to their red state neighbors

(Link): According to Pastor – Jimmy Evans – It Takes One Man and Woman Married To Equal A Whole – so where does that leave Christian singles ? / Too Much Sex Talk | Making Marriage into an Idol Marriage Idolatry Anti Singles Singlehood Singleness Unmarried Bias Prejudice

The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

I caught the first few moments of Bayless Conley’s show today. This must be the third or fourth week in a row the guy has devoted to the topic of marriage. He opened today’s show / sermon by at least acknowledging that not all his viewers are currently married and some may even not want to be married, so I will give him that much credit.

But then Conley added the dreaded qualifier (and I’m paraphrasing), “But regardless of your marital status, I’m sure you’ll still get something out of this awesome sermon! You will still learn something from it to apply to your single or widowed or divorced life!”

He’s not the only pastor who I’ve seen done this.

I’ve tried listening to marriage sermons before, even though I’m 40(ish) years old and have never been married, and no, I can’t say as though I ever get much out of such sermons; they don’t make my life more awesome or my problems easier to bear. Some of the marital sermons are so general and generic, they’d fit almost any situation in life, so I don’t know why the pastors bother to classify them as “marriage” sermons anyway.

Since recent polls and surveys show that marriage is heavily on decline in the United States (people are remaining single longer and getting divorced all the time, including Christians), it’s not, in my opinion, totally relevant for pastors to focus as much on marriage as they do.

Since so many people are single longer these days, why don’t these pastors acknowledge our existence? Why don’t they give sermons for Christians on how to cope with single life, and I do not mean the cliched crap about how we singles should not be having sex outside of marriage. That’s about the only ‘singles’ issue these preachers want to address. (Not all; some are hesitant to remind listeners that pre marital sex and other types of sex is sinful, see this link: Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners)

There is one other cliched bit of advice preachers will drag up when talking to or about single Christians: they will tell you to, “Serve! Get out there and serve, serve, serve!” – and I get really tired of hearing that also.
Continue reading “The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line”

Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

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I’m sure Bayless Conley, a pastor who has a weekly TV show, means well. (I’ve written about him once before at this blog).

However, in today’s show, Conley was essentially making it sound as though if one wants to conquer clinical depression, one can do it by force of will, by thinking happy, sunny thoughts, and by having enough faith.

I’m not sure how much of a WoFer – Word of Faith (Wealth and Health / Prosperity Gospel) preacher this Conley guy is, if at all, but I am aware that many other WoFers have warped ideas about faith, healing, and human suffering.
Continue reading “Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith”

One TBN guest who gets it right: Dr Billy Ingram of L.A.

(Please click the “more” link to read the entire post)

Dr. Billy Ingram, a guy I’ve never heard of before, was a guest on a TBN program this evening, and he went on an anti-prosperity rant (he’s against prosperity as taught by the con artists and greedy rats one typically sees on TBN).

If I understood correctly, Ingram is a pastor at a church in Los Angeles, but spends the rest of his time working as a photographer.

Ingram said that too many people in the church today who are preaching and listening to the prosperity message are too greedy, and he mentioned that one word frequently translated in our Bibles as “prosperity” is not always referring to financial prosperity.

Ingram made an excellent point when he said (paraphrasing),

“Why is it that in the churches where the pastors preach the prosperity gospel that the pastors and the other ‘top guys’ in the churches are the only ones driving the expensive cars? If the prosperity message they teach is true, shouldn’t more people in their churches also be driving the fancy cars?”

Continue reading “One TBN guest who gets it right: Dr Billy Ingram of L.A.”