Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Readers, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and that you are able to spend time with people that you love and for whom you are indeed thankful.  As we get time off work, and many will gather together to "give thanks" this month, let's be sure to show our gratitude and appreciation to those that indeed are due our thanks.  And let's make sure we consider what it is we truly should be thankful to others for and not just give shallow thanks for the fruits of our labor.

For example, I get a sick, almost sad feeling in my gut when I hear Christians thanking the Creator of the Universe, for material blessings they possess.  "Thank you God for this Grammy Award." "Praise Jesus for my new car." "First and Foremost I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to succeed at football." This type of shallow showing of gratitude to the Creator God totally disregards those who actually made their possessions possible, while also neglecting those that do not have those blessings.  

Let me explain.  Why should a Christian be thankful to God for "shoes on my feet" and a "roof overhead" when millions of people are homeless, barefoot and starving all over this country and all over this world.  Pretty shallow isn't it? Pastors like to say if God doesn't punish America for its sins, he owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah.  Exactly. It applies here too. If God is giving Americans shoes and shelter and financial and material wealth and blessing their health, he owes a huge apology to all those children in the cancer wards all over the world, and to all those starving children.  Shouldn't we be praying for those with Downs Syndrome and Autism and Alzheimer's and their caregivers?  Why "pray for them" when God knows about it already and has chosen not to help?  It makes no sense.  And those little children whose daddy or pastor will sexually abuse them tonight, should they be thankful for God's protection and provisions?  Do we ignore reality and then sincerely be thankful for our shoes and roof over our head?  This is really sick, shallow Christianity.

But that's not even the worst part about this "shallow" giving of thanks to God for shoes and shelter and health and food.  The real delusion is that God didn't give you any of those things anyway.  You worked and earned the money. You worked hard. For long hours. Day after day. Year after year. Laboring. To earn money to buy shoes for yourself.  To provide a roof over your head. To pay for your education. To provide these needs to loved ones that relied on you. So if you want to be thankful for your shoes, thank your boss for the job.  Did you thank your boss for hiring you? Or did you just praise Jesus for your paycheck?  Be grateful you made the decision to go to work instead of commit a crime. Take responsibility not just for your failings and screw-ups, but for your successes too.  If God can get the credit for everything we ever did right, then why doesn't he get any blame for anything that is wrong? It's our fault when we fail, it's his blessings when we succeed?  Tell that to the kids and their parents in the cancer wards; and to starving, abused and neglected children everywhere. God loves them alright, but helping that nice man score a touchdown, or getting the nice singer a Grammy is more important.  They even point up to the sky to let everyone know what God is doing for them.

And what about your career?  Why thank the Creator, when you likely got that job because of the education and degree you earned at college.  I'm thankful to the University of Florida for my degree that allowed me to earn money to buy shoes for me and my family and put a very nice roof over their heads. We never were short on food due to the salary I was able to earn after graduation.
Thank you to my professors. Go Gators!  But I don't thank God for my degree. I know how much it cost me financially (years and years of student loan debt to be repaid) and mentally (hours and hours for years and years of studying) and sacrificially (over 16 years in school to get a graduate degree). So when I graduated, I appreciated people congratulating me and not giving all thanks and credit to God. And how offensive to think God cares about me getting my diploma and intervenes to help to make it happen, while the child gets abducted and the Christian gets beheaded?

And thank you to my mom and dad. They cared for me the best they could under their circumstances. They provided food and shelter and shoes and love. I'm not going to insult my dad and God by thanking God for something my dad labored hard to provide me.  Who am I kidding? They both know who provided the shoes. I know the sacrifices my mom made for my benefit.

And thank you to the USA! They provide social security and disability payments to the sick and elderly. They provide food to the poor, a free education, police protection, parks, roads, hospitals, health care, national defense, and on and on.  And thank you to our veterans on this Veterans Day! They are the ones we should be thanking for our freedom. Not God.  You need only watch a video of Christians getting their heads chopped off to know what God is doing in that regard.  Nothing. Right? Or am I missing something?

Now, I am thankful to the Creator for his creation, the sunrise and sunset, the birds and animals and trees and ocean and mountains and the life he created here.  But I just can't thank him for my shoes and roof over my head when I know he didn't provide that to me anyway, and I know he isn't concerned with that when millions of his children are barefoot, homeless, being abused, starving, in poverty, work in sweatshops, are pawns in sex trafficking and are dying all over the globe.  It's shallow. It's insincere. And it's not real.  So I encourage you to give thanks to those that have invested their time, money, emotions and lives in you. Your mom and dad, friends, doctors, nurses, teachers, spouses, and children.  That will be a great encouragement to them on this Thanksgiving.  Don't patronize the Creator God by thanking him for your shoes while turning a blind and delusional eye to all those that don't have the health and wealth you created for yourself.  Yes, ours is a great country with much to be thankful for.  None of which was provided by the supernatural hand of God, but by the innovation, creativity, hard work, love and service of those that toiled and made it happen before us.  Be thankful you were born here and not in Ethiopia.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jeff Schreve, Senior Salesman at FBC Texarkana - Delivers Most Complete Sermon Full of Tithing Nonsense WD Has Heard

Weekly I receive tips from church members around the country about some pastor preaching on storehouse tithing or some other nonsense.

This week I heard about Jeff Schreve, pastor First Baptist Church Texarkana (TX), who preached a manipulative sermon on storehouse tithing entitled...get ready for this..."How to Get Right With God". Yes, his sermon was to tell his members that if they want to have a right relationship with God, they MUST immediately begin to give 10% of all their gross income to the church - no middle ground, they must get to 10% right away to stop robbing God and to start trusting God so they can establish a right relationship with Him.

I've heard about Jeff Schreve a number of years ago, when there was some turmoil in his church and a family had contacted me, but I have never done a post on him. Members were fed up with his arrogance and self-promotion and had to hit the road. FBC Texarkana has a weekly attendance of about 1600 according to Lifeway, and as I posted a few weeks ago here, this means Jeff earns somewhere around $140,000 from his church, and that doesn't count his speaking gigs as his star continues to rise in the SBC. He has a weekly radio and TV show called "From His Heart", that his website says reaches over 149 countries, and broadcast on over 600 radio outlets in the United States.

I'm going to do another post soon about the specifics of his tithing sermon, as it really was the most complete compilation of tithing lies and manipulations that I've heard. It is an encyclopedia of all the tricks I've heard pastors pull to get people to fork over 10% of their gross income. In one 45-minute sermon he throws them all out at his congregation hoping at least one of them will stick.

I've watched some of Schreve's sermons before going back a few years, and I've always thought there was something creepy about him. The best way to sum it up is that he comes across as someone who is trying to sell you something that he himself doesn't believe in. I mean Gaines, Noble, Young, Furtick, they do seem to actually believe what they dish out. I don't think any of them would pass a lie detector if questioned about whether they believed their own B.S., especially on tithing, but they are at least good liars. Schreve is not.

Then as I read Schreve's bio, I read that before he became a pastor, he spent 12 years as a salesman - in waste management and waste treatment. Now it makes sense: Jeff was a salesman. A salesman of garbage, and chemicals to treat industrial waste. My initial observations make sense - he DOES come across as a phony salesman, because he was one and knows the trade.

Sunday Schreve reverted back to his salesman days - he was selling an industrial-size batch of toxic waste - and he did a horrible job, and I don't think he fooled his congregation. Very unconvincing performance.

In this sermon he is nervous, gets lost several times in his sermon notes, jumping around and moving back to make sure he covers all of his manipulations, and tries to pull off at least two instances of emotional pleas and fake crying. It is awful. Schreve can't fake it. His attempt to appear emotional and weeping is embarrassing to watch.

Two specifics I did want to mention about his sermon:

- Schreve pulled a trick from Perry Noble's playbook, doing the old "Parable of the Greedy Christian" routine using Skittles. The point of the object lesson is that if you are a "greedy" Christian and don't tithe, you won't get any blessings (Skittles) from God, but if you set aside your first 10% of your income each month and give it to "God" (i.e. Jeff's church), then you will get all of God's blessings, as Jeff pours the entire pitcher of Skittles into the tither's empty cup, and none go in the non-tither's. Poor non-tither. He get's nothing but God "releasing the devourer" to gobble up his resources. Sick stuff.

- Jeff wanted to make sure his non-tithing members know they MUST give at the 10% level, and giving any percentage less than 10% is to give God "dog food", or a mangled and deformed sacrifice. Schreve also  said a member increasing their giving slowly over time, from 4% to 6% giving, is equivalent to Schreve telling the congregation that he is slowly going to decrease his level of stealing from the church this year over last.

Think about it: in that congregation that day, who in the church is the biggest TAKER of money from the church given for ministry and to spread the gospel? It is Schreve, without question. He is taking, taking, and taking. A hard working member working 50 or 60 hours per week comes to church to give as generously as they can, and they sit there and take that arrogant ass telling them they are robbing God. No, they are GIVING. Jeff is TAKING. Jeff Schreve, you are a taker. Jeff, you conveniently left out of your sermon that Malachi was addressing pastors like you who were robbing God. Minor detail.

Watching the video of this sermon is painful. There are many crowd shots showing men, sitting there, listening to Jeff's horse manure sales pitch. These are probably hard-working men, who have careers and love their wives, and provide very well for their children's needs, paying for their schooling, and sacrificing every thing for the benefit of their families. And they sit there and let this con artist tell them for 45-minutes they are criminals - worse than criminals - because they don't fork over 10% of their income to Jeff's church.

Men of Jeff's church, man-up. Get out of Jeff's church. If you are the spiritual leader of your home, then why do you expose them to a salesman pitching you and your family a bunch of manure? If Schreve will sell you this to get his hands on your wallet, you really can't trust his next sermon. Or his next one, or his next one. Does a salesman just lie to one customer and not to the next one? You know the answer. With so many options of churches, you can move to a new one.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Don't Be Mad at Creflo, His Tweet was Directed at His Mega Church Buddies

There is a firestorm on social media over the following Creflo "Benjamin" Dollar Tweet, that is now deleted from Twitter.

It is quite obvious to me that the "us" he was referring to as laying claim to financial prosperity - was he and his fellow mega church pastors.

Look at the data I posted here this week on mega church pastors in the SBC whose churches are larger than 1000 in size. They are pulling well into the six figures, not including all the benefits and honorarium for speaking gigs, writing books, jobs for family, and so on.

So yes, for these pastors, Jesus absolutely did bleed and die for the purpose of the PASTORS' financial prosperity.

Jesus sure didn't die for the prosperity of their pew sitters. If Jesus died for Creflo's and the other mega pastors' financial gain, then it stands to reason that Jesus also died to turn the pew sitters over to spiritual abuse at the hands of these charlatans.

When will people wake up? Maybe they aren't asleep, just brain dead.

And never forget peeps, in Malachi 3 those versus your man of God uses to tell you that you must tithe or you're robbing God - Malachi was addressing that entire chapter to the religious leaders, not to the common folk.Your man of God is the one who is robbing God.

Don't believe me? Look it up. Take it up wit da book. These charlatans know this, they just hope you keep taking their word for it.

Monday, October 5, 2015

SBC Mega Church Compensation for Sr. Pastors - As Malachi Said in Mal 3:10, the Pastors are Robbing God, Not the Pew Sitters

In 2014 Lifeway published pastoral compensation data they collected from SBC churches, and Lifeway has provided a searchable database to access the data. Here is the link to the database search tool.

I decided to look at compensation for pastors of churches with an average attendance of 1000 or more. For a list of these churches, look Thom Rainer's blog. There are about 575 SBC churches that range between 1000 and 27,000 in weekly attendance. Perry Noble is #1 on the list.

In Lifeway's study, there were 139 churches of the 575 who reported their Senior Pastor's Salary/Housing and Benefits data. Not a bad sample size. According to Lifeway's data, average compensation for pastors whose churches are 1000 or higher is $142,575 in salary/housing, and $31,495 in benefits.

Those aren't typos. Yes, can you imagine, $31,495 in benefits? Let's assume average health insurance is about $10,000 annually, and the churches are paying all of it. That leaves nearly $20,000 MORE - life insurance, retirement, etc.

Now you know why your pastors are focused on "growth" of their churches. They know that growth in noses, means growth in their nickels.

I decided to slice this up a bit by making multiple quires on the Lifeway data. My results are below. The search engine won't give you data unless there are a minimum number of churches in the search criteria selected, so when I got above churches with average attendance, I had to do some conservative estimates based on a calculated "Salary/person attending", and those estimates are shaded, and I made the very, very conservative assumption that the largest of the churches are contributing only $60,000 to the senior pastors benefits, when we know it would be much higher based on the upward trend.

However, notice that most of the money is this set of data is in the churches between 1000 and 5000 in size. More churches of that size, and these guys are raking in a hefty compensation package.

That should make most SBC members angry. They listen to many of these pastors tell them they must fork over 10% of their gross income to avoid the cursings of God - yet these pastors are pulling down six-figures, and a huge benefit package on top of that, not to mention their extra perks they get from speaking gigs, book deals, holy land trips. Oh, and not to mention sweet jobs for family members, as nepotism is rampant in these larger SBC churches. Oh, and not to mention again, the free use of church media and advertising resources for their personal benefit - some so brazen as to actually use their church's TV air time to peddle their Holy Land trips and European cruises.

But look, the Watchdog has calmed down a bit after I've pointed out some of the dangers of fundamentalism over the past month or so. I do want to point to a silver lining inside of this data. Yes, I want to show the positive. This data presents an OPPORTUNITY.

This is where the IMB annual $21 million short-fall is. These pastors, and their sycophant church trustees have taken money that could go to missions. "That's wrought!!!" as the country-boy pew sitter with his southern drawl exclaims when he hears truth.

Just how much money would be available to go to the IMB to close the shortfall? Well, let's shoot for the $21 million needed to close the annual budget gap. That is a good target to shoot for, since most of the hot-shot mega church pastors or retired mega church pastors are the ones calling for pew sitters to give more money to close the gap!! These are the guys whose salaries and benefits are represented in these numbers, for crying out loud!

So here is the plan: if these pastors gave up 15% of their compensation and housing, and they agreed to cap their benefits package to a "measly" $18,000 per year, churches the size of 1000 or more alone could close the IMB gap.

Short version: hey pastors, we've already given the money for missions. YOU HAVE TAKEN IT FOR YOURSELVES.

If these pastors would agree to do this - I'm sorry, let me rephrase that: I mean if the trustees would decide to do this and let their pastor know God told them to do it - here is how much money would be saved: $21,000,000. Wouldn't affect the operations of the church, any building programs, other staffer' salaries.

It will ONLY affect the pastor.

I can already hear the arguments from the cuff-linked church trustees: "We might lose our pastor, he might go to another church if we cut tens of thousands of dollars from his package. He's our draw, he's our money-maker. People come to hear HIM. He is wanting more money, not less."

Really? I thought God "called" these men. Who calls them, God or money? Don't these guys want the rest of the world to hear about Jesus? Don't their wives  - helping them spend the cash - want people in Europe and Africa and South America to hear about Jesus?

So come on, messengers to the 2016 SBC Annual Meeting - pass a resolution calling on church trustees of large churches to scale back their pastors' compensation package.

The problem is not with the pew sitter. It is with the mega church pastors who are taking the money that the pew sitters are giving, and spending it on themselves.

And by the way, your seminarian won't tell you this: Malachi was not talking to people in the assembly - the "pew sitter" if you will -  about robbing God. No, actually he was talking to the priests. He was talking to the pastors. He was talking to YOUR pastor, perhaps. And your pastor KNOWS this, but figures you are too stupid to look it up yourself,

But don't take my word for it.

Don't argue with the blogger, brother.

"Take it up wit da book."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Why Our Kids Are Leaving Church Behind: The Architect of Disbelief

It is amazing to me how delusional, or how manipulative, or how hyprocritical many pastors can be. Delusional if they really truly believe what they are saying. Manipulative if they know it's not true. Hypocritical if their own kids have blatant sin and moral failures in their lives that are kept secret or are minimized.  These guys have more money then ever before to preach the gospel. They have more avenues by which to share the gospel then ever before. They have more celebrity status then ever before. They have more congregants then ever before. They take more Holy Land trips then ever before. They cruise more European rivers with members of their congregations then ever before. They stomp and yell and criticize their congregants more than ever before. They blame politicians and judges more then ever before.  They have more paid associates and ministers on staff then ever before. They have bigger buildings then ever before. And then they blame mom and dad when our kids decide it just doesn't mean that much anymore.  They blame the loving mom and dad who took them to church all their lives. Sunday morning. Sunday night. Wednesday night. Awana. Choir. Youth camp. Christian schools. These stomping pompous asses are too arrogant and narcissistic to look in the mirror and think, "what have I done? Why are we losing these precious young people?'  No, they don't even consider that it is THEM, that have lost not only these kids, but they have lost the faithful parents too. And what about their own kids?  Do they blame themselves for their own kids' beliefs and actions? 

How is it that supposedly God "called" these guys to lead these churches and yet they still are losing this generation as the church declines in number, conviction, baptisms, and influence in society. Doesn't God say something about once something loses its saltiness it is to be thrown out?  Maybe its time to throw out these pastors and the system they have exploited for decades. It's lost its saltiness. Maybe its time to proclaim to these arrogant jerks that "You are that man!" when it comes to placing blame on why our children leave the church as soon as they get a chance.  You see, some studies report that it takes less then a semester away from the cult-like environment of the fundamentalist church, for our children to realize that they don't believe it all.  They find themselves respecting other religions and beliefs. They realize they have love and respect for homosexual friends.  They realize that good decent people, like many of their friends, can partake in many of the "forbidden" fruits and find them not to be the destructive vice, or basis for going to hell, that they were raised to believe.  So like they did with Santa Claus, they begin to question what they were told. This is okay. This is healthy.  Whatever religion they were taught should be able to stand up to public scrutiny. It's ideas should win the day in the arena of public discourse. But when it doesn't, the best we can hope for is that they don't throw it all out. That they won't  suddenly believe none of it. That they might hold dear those teachings of Jesus about love and serving and helping others.

So what do these pastors do when faced with the crop that THEIR seeds of leadership have sown? Encourage mom and dad? Remind mom and dad of all they did and how they did the best they could? Remind them of scripture about God's promises that those kids will return to the Lord if they were raised up in the Lord?  ABSOLUTELY NOT! These pompous asses don't know when to quit.  They actually pile on mom and dad and tell them "The reason your beautiful young adult child drops out of church at eighteen years old or when they go off to college is because you criticized ME! You didn't raise them in the church, you raised them in an atmosphere of criticism of the pastor and church all their lives. NO WONDER they quit coming.!"  "If you, mom and dad, are not committed, then don't be surprised if they aren't committed."  Boy, this would be terrible if it were true.  But it is exponentially more harmful and terrible if it is not true. Hear me: It's not true. It's a lie. And maybe pastor, you were way too easy to criticize because you were a liar and manipulator and exploiter of the gullible, humble, helpless sheep that want to love Jesus and serve him and trusted you with the Word. Know this about me: With all the criticism I have directed at charlatan preachers, I would never, ever blame them or their wife if one or more of their children cheated on their wife, or knocked up someone else, or had any number of other moral and/or legal failures. Or worse to the fundamentalist, if one of their children became a Democrat. Or didn't believe it all. Or agreed that all citizens have a right to marry, even those with same sex partners.

So what is the motive of these charlatans when it comes to beating up mom and dad when their kids are already hurting them by their decisions? Other then the obvious love of money and desire to feel important and respected with a college degree in bible, some of these pastors want the remaining pew sitters to feel guilty for questioning his operations that have led to the demise of the church and its role in society. He wants to make the connection between losing the next generation and mom and dad not being supportive enough. Mom and Dad not being good enough. He wants the faithful members that have stuck with him to feel that somehow had they given more money, given more time, given more respect to the preacher and everything he says, then little Sally and little Jonny would still be in church.  This is HOGWASH and breaks my heart.  But I and millions of others left this abusive environment a long time ago, so the brunt of this beating rests on the poor gullible faithful families that stayed. And they have to listen to this? Come on pastor, have some compassion for these nice folks. Don't blame them. They have suffered enough.  Does your manipulation have no bounds? What, you need more money? You need more commitment from the ones that stayed with you? Your cute little slogan of "All In" didn't work?

The camera pans the congregations of these TV charlatans and I see faithful moms and dads suffering over their kids' decisions, and then I see a pile of guilt layed on top.  "Honey, if we give more money, and volunteer more time, then our kids will see our level of commitment and so they will stay committed when they get older.  We must do it for our kids."

That, my friends, is guilting people and manipulating people.  And it makes me sick. And it makes me sad.

I wish it was just one or two mega pastors that teach this.  But with the internet and sites like, (see below)even the smaller congregations are plagiarizing whatever topics are put out there and you hear lazy preachers simply preaching on whatever topic they see online or hear some other preacher ranting about.

But it also makes me praise Jesus when my own kids question "the church", and when they laugh at the pompous ass stomping around on the stage, and when they get involved in charities and non-profits and begin to love and help hurting people, and when they stay faithful to their spouse, and when they love and provide for their own children, and give their time, talents and energies to organizations that actually help people. All people.  Even the Muslim and homosexual people. It is then that I am glad I provided leadership to my family and will rejoice pastor, when they don't give their loyalty, devotion, time and talent to some millionaire man of God and his 501(c)(3) business.

The young people get it pastor. You aren't fooling them. They left, or will as soon as they can. But please leave alone the few good folks that stayed with you. Quit blaming them. Give them a break. Have you no shame.  Stop it!

So Christian mom and dad, don't listen to that manipulative, arrogant, and narcissistic millionaire seminarian up on the platform.  If you really want to see your kids stay true to the values you taught them, then stand up and be a man or woman of faith and conviction and walk out of that church and take your kids with you.  Then explain to them how God has called you to discern wisdom and lead your family in spiritual matters. Take it up with the book. Read them the verses that say to kill homosexuals and tell them they shouldn't believe that and not to practice that. Teach them to invest their incomes in things that will make a difference, and not in another new building for a 501(c)(3), or another pastor's vacation bonus.  You won't lose them that way.  But if you leave them there listening to, and respecting, and believing that delusional or manipulative or hypocritical seminarian up on stage, you will lose them for sure. Let them know you don't agree with that jerk up there.  Get out a dictionary and read to them the definitions of pompous. And the definition of charlatan.  And read those verses about wolves in sheep's clothing. And let the Holy Spirit guide their conclusions about YOUR pastor. Yeah, him. If the shoe fits...

On your way out, let that "man of God" know that if he represents God and the church, then you are delighted your kids won't be sticking around once they are adults.  And you, mom and dad, don't let him guilt you into taking the blame for his failures.  While he was building new buildings, and hiring his family, and taking vacations, and traveling the country to speak, and stomping around, and criticizing our courts and our country, he was turning your kids away from what you tried to raise them to believe. You were doing all you could to teach them about Jesus and to model that love.

He, your pompous ass pastor, NOT you, is the Architect of Disbelief.

Please get yourselves and your kids out of there.  He's now blaming you! And if your kids trust him, they will blame you, too!  And while you struggle with this, he will just leave for another tour of the Holy Land and take another cruise. He is the Architect of Disbelief. Shame on him. Get out of there.