"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is God a Loan Shark Out to Collect on What is Due, Else He Will Take Revenge on God's People thru Calamity?

In one of the more obscure scenes of the original movie "Rocky", Rocky Balboa is told by his loan shark boss Tony to collect money that is owed him by a schlub working on the dock. Rocky is told to collect the money or break his thumbs. Rocky finds the man at his job, working on a forklift, and jumps on the guy and demands payment. The man begs and pleads with Rocky, tells him that he is good for the money, to not hurt him else he won't be able to care for his family.

Rocky shows mercy, he extends some grace, lets the man go, and does him no harm.

Rocky later is scolded by Tony who finds out Rocky didn't collect, and didn't hurt the man. Tony tells Rocky that when he doesn't follow instructions, he makes Tony look bad, hurts his reputation and his "business".

That sequence is not an important part of the storyline, but it served an important purpose. It helped show us deep down inside who Rocky really was. While Rocky started off as a two-bit leg-breaking thug, he really was a loving, compassionate guy. He was NOT the norm. He was willing to grant grace to a man who needed grace, even though he knew he would take heat from his mob boss.

Why do I bring this up? Let me explain.

A few weeks ago I posted a video of Ed Young asking his church members for their bank account information so he could auto withdrawl their tithe. This video has been seen by many, and been the subject of much discussion in the Christian blogosphere.

In that sermon, Ed Young pulled out just about every possible tithing trick that preachers have used to extract money from their people.

But there was one tactic that he did NOT use - but one that Mac Brunson used, ironically, on the very same day at First Baptist Church Jacksonville, on 10/10/10. Brunson was preaching out of Haggai.

It was the tactic to tell people that if you do NOT tithe, God is going to TAKE it from you anyways! Mac Brunson characterized God as some sort of heavenly mob boss, a loan shark, and like Tony from Rocky, God is going to "collect" from those Christian schlubs who won't pay him back what he is owed, or don't give money to the church building projects.

So the question is: Who is God? Is he like the loan shark out to get the money that us cheapskate Christians won't pay him back with? Is God sending out his holy hitman preachers to break our thumbs so-to-speak if we don't fork over the cash? Or are these preachers totally misrepresenting the character of God?

Here is what Mac Brunson said in his sermon:

"Let me tell you the third thing about God, and it is this: God collects on what he is owed. God collects on it. In fact watch this, he says 'I'm going to collect on it personally, and I'm going to collect on it materially...He says 'When you don't honor me and do what you're supposed to do and bring to me what is mine, you personally will never be satisfied with what you got.' Never enough clothes, never enough food, never enough this, never enough that, never enough wages".

This is a mischaracterization of who God is. Mac is taking scripture from Haggai, where God is speaking to his nation, Israel, who he has commanded to rebuild the destroyed temple...and he then applies this directly to Christians in 2010.

But Brunson didn't stop there. He continued:

"And your money is devalued, and devalued, and devalued. He says 'You look for much and behold it comes to little.' Why is that? Why is it I can't get ahead? Why is it that we can't seem to make something? Why is it that we can't move up? We're keeping all of this and we're using all of this for ourselves. He says you're not using it for what God intends you to use it for. And he says the reason you look for much and behold it comes to little is because when you bring it home, "POOF", I blow it away."

Unbelievable. Brunson is painting God as some sort of vindictive evil genie who will purposely blow your money away, hurting you and your family if you don't give as he prescribes, to the church. He also assumes that the path to getting ahead, to "move up" is to give money to God (i.e. the church). This is prosperity gospel. This is law, and not grace.

Brunson doesn't stop there. He goes into more descriptions of the vindictiveness of God:

"Let me tell you something [finger pointing], God collects, God collects. 'Well, this broke down, and that broke down, there's a leak in the roof, the kid's wrecked the car, and we lost in that investement, and this happened and that happened and the other happened, and we just can't seem to get ahead, and we keep investing in what are good things and solid things and everybody else seems to be getting ahead but I can't get ahead.' And why is that? It's because I've not learned to do what God called me to do with my STUFF."

There you have it. The reason you are so behind in your bills, that you have all these unexpected extra expenses and home repairs, and even the reason your kids wrecked the car - it is all because God is collecting from you the cold hard cash that you own him.

Then he closes it, by comparing himself to an Old Testament prophet, by saying:

"...but you know what happens? This is what happens. God is good. He sends a preacher to needle the people. Can you all identify? He sends a prophet by the name of Haggai and a prophet by the name of Zecchariah."

And apparently, in this passage if there is anything good about God, it is that God has sent to FBC Jax a prophet by the name of Donald McCall Brunson. Not that God is merciful and kind and loving to his people. No, his kindness and goodness is displayed by the sending of a New Testament prophet/preacher to "needle them". Unbelievable.

What makes all of this particularly troubling is the timing of these comments. Brunson preaches this just one week after he only gets about 1/2 of the million dollars he was trying to raise on 10/3/10 to finish the auditorium renovations. The message from this sermon is clear: you people have been called to tithe and are not so God's judging America, you've been called to finish the auditorium renovations and you haven't done it, and thus you are subjecting yourselves to God's Moose and Rocco who will come and collect it anyways, or maybe God himself will just "blow it all away".

Either way, the message is: God collects. You are indebted, and the way you pay your debt is in COLD HARD CASH given to the preacher's church. God wants it and he wants it NOW. And he WILL collect on it.

Nope. That is not what the Bible teaches. God is loving and merciful and patient...and we as Christians are called to be generous givers, meeting the physical and spiritual needs of people. We are not to give under compulsion, and we are free from the law and the Old Testament punishments under the Jewish theocracy. God is absolutely NOT holding the hammer over us to see whether we give 10% to a church or give to a building renovation fund.

And God is NOT ready to go "POOF" to waste your money in the wind. God is not like Tony the Loan Shark.

If there is a "POOF" sound to be heard, perhaps it is the sound of Christians blowing their money away by giving it to their mega church. And perhaps the ones who are loan sharks collecting money from God's people are actually the pastors who misuse scripture to coerce God's people to give more money to their church.

45 comments:

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

Mac's unmitigated gall is truly appalling. This speaks not only to Mac's greed, but also to his arrogance in attempting to speak for God, and to characterize Him in such a shameful manner.

I think the only thing about to go POOF any time soon is the lifestyle of Mac/Debbie and many other Mega church families. The Schullers come immediately to mind.

Like I've said before, I'll start giving Mac 10% of my hard-earned money when I move to a mansion in a gated community, travel all over the world, and go on yearly New York Christmas shopping sprees.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the old Communist joke....what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine too!!

Hands and Feet of Jesus said...

With these 501(c)3 businesses/"churches" springing up like mushrooms all over Jacksonville, it stands to reason there is fierce competition for the limited dollars of the well to do.

And not only churches, but secular chariites compete for those same dollars. Given the state of the economy, and the natural disasters in recent years, those dollars are more and more scarce.

I think this explains why CEOs like Mac Brunson, Ed Young, and Robert Schuller are becoming more desperate in their pitches to the members. I think they see the future, and it isn't rosy.

Anonymous said...

God dosn't need your money Mac. Have you heard of " cattle on a thousand hills", every dear, and squrrel in the woods.
If Mac and all these PURPOSE DRIVEN-ROBERT SCHULLER followers would turn from their ways and get right, maybe they could let God add to the Church. Listen, have you ever heard of a church asking money from their members so they could DOWNSIZE their church building? Are you kidding me?

What else are they doing with the tithes?
When are the Sheep at FBC Jax going to wake up. Is it time to ask Mac to head out?
Sorry to call this pastor Mac. I have no respect for this kind of preacher. As far as I can tell, the CANDLE IS OUT.

Anonymous said...

I suspect God is just the opposite. Example: If someone is having hard times and not paying their bills, it would make God look worse to the world if we paid the church instead of who we owe.

"those Christians don't have to pay who they owe because they must give it to their church. Therefore beware before doing business with them. They would rather pay for a fancy building or renovations that pay what they owe me".

yeah, great witness of being salt and light.

So, I am wondering exactly how this works...money drops out of the sky in Mac's world. Gas, groceries and electric goes up but your income stays the same? No problem, the money will materialize before your eyes if you go ahead and give to the big fancy church building and greedy over paid pastor, first!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Whoa...Jake and Johnny. Really? Do you think the typical 501(c)3 non-profit spends 50% of its revenue on staff salaries and benefits. I do agree that CHURCHES typically do. But other, non-religious non-profits? I don't think so. Maybe someone else here can offer an opinion.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, Mac and Debbie have just 2 options:

1) Announce your retirement from FBC Jax, and go on the speaking circuit full-time. Maybe you could make more money as a freelancer.

2) Run FBC Jax into the ground, while squeezing out every nickel for your own personal portfolio. When the funds dry up, and eventually they will, go with opion #1.

This latest browbeating of the sheep leads me to believe that Mac is opting for 2).

Thy Peace said...

A contrast, if you will. Please listen to this sermon of Wade Burleson recorded in 1998:

Emmanuel - Enid > Series on "The Sermon on the Mount" > Matt. 6.11: Our Daily Bread

PS: You might need the Real player for this.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks Thy Peace. Miss seeing you around more. Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

2:01 and fellow commentors: You all have really got it correct. Follow the money. What's next selling church property and bldgs.? Just a thought. As has been asked before if property goes on the block, or is mortgaged WHO GETS THE MONEY THEN? Watch for it!!! My guess.

Bill said...

I had to replace the battery in my truck earlier this week. Luckily, AutoZone was within walking distance of the grocery store where I was stranded. $

The shutoff valve on my gas fireplace leaks when I turn it on. I have to take apart the mantle to get to the valve so I can replace it. $$

Last weekend the engine start cable on my lawn mower broke. $$$

I noticed this morning one window has moisture between the double panes. $$$$

You get the idea.

My family cheerfully gives money to the church. I don't "tithe".

We support and participate in local mission projects.

I carry "homeless survival kits" in my truck and pass them out to those in need.

I don't have a (clears throat) PhD in any ministry discipline. I do understand that every time Jesus spoke of "tithing" in the NT, he was chastising the Pharisees and referring to THE LAW.

Jesus fulfilled every Law BUT the one requiring the tithe. Awesome.

What kind of mental gymnastics have to be done to slide only this one OT law into the NT grace.

Can't wait to hear Platt at the Preachers Conference. Will I have to purchase the messages?? $$$$$$

On a final note, Tom, if you will allow me to link a site: The Museum of Idolatry
http://www.alittleleaven.com/

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't "tithe".

Therefore, "God" (and AutoZone) collected... one $ at a time.

Lynn said...

What is the main purpose of the mega pastor? Is his main job to get people to give to maintain all that the church does? Like a business man is trying to make a profit and get more customers and get a bigger slice of the market?

I'm asking seriously for information. In the thinking of the mega pastor-is he racking his brain every day on how to "win souls" or is he in competition with other churches around him, or maybe competing with other megas in the SBC for the biggest, most powerful church?

What do you think the mindset is? What's going on in the pastor's head?

Anonymous said...

I would have you ignorant brethren so read Colossians 1:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross".

Never, never let some man put a stumbling block in your path stick with the Bible and the truths therein.

Finally, check out chapter 3 vs 16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hyumns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord".

I trust pastors would adhere to the word of God rather than realize when they take matters into their own worldly wisdom they are outside the precepts God shows us in his word.

WishIhadknown said...

The main purpose of any Pastor is to teach and prepare the congregation he serves to witness Jesus to a lost and dying world.

Anonymous said...

The main purpose of any Pastor is to teach and prepare the congregation he serves to witness Jesus to a lost and dying world.

November 14, 2010 9:26 AM

Is that the traditional function of "pastor" from the NT? Or is it to shepherd new believers. Perhaps in the NT church there were several "pastors" and it was a spiritual function.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What do you think the mindset is? What's going on in the pastor's head?

November 14, 2010 7:26 AM

Good questions, Lynn.

the focus is to maintain the system that has been created. This is not so easy as it sounds.

The system includes the buildings, staff, programs, events, etc. It is all encompassing. It is a system.

Not only is the focus,money,to maintain the system but also keep up a level of excitement and loyalty by constantly adding events, programs, etc to keep people, encourage loyalty and attract new ones.

But that is what large staff's are for. So, marketing becomes a large part of it. The marketing is constant and it can become a bit like Madison Ave in it's approach to make these things happen.

Everything is important. Even down to what color tie you wear on stage of IF you wear a tie. (Marketing tells you that)

To get things into perspective, what if the electric bill at your church was $20,000 a month? That is what it was 10 years ago at one mega before 2 new buildings were addded. So, including salaries and operational costs and new projects
to not only maintain but grow your system, you need at least 1 million a month in donations.

What do you think would happen to you? You would do what it takes over and over to make sure the money is flowing in. One way to do that is to make sure you are well known outside your mega. Perhaps an author, speaker, or something like that. People like that and it creates loyalty. They think a well known and respected pastor is more holy.

No one wants to be known as the pastor who presided over the demise of a once great mega.

In the meantime, ask yourself what happens to your soul while presiding over this huge organization dedicated to the system itself?

A monster has been created. The system must be maintained and appear to be solid and growing or people will bail. People want what they view as success as much in their church as they do in life. After all, we now believe that our numbers and size communicate to the world that God did it, not our marketing department or consultants.

So, the system becomes more important than the people supporting the system. Most will never realize this because they are not in the meetings to hear themselves referred to as nickels and noses.

The question becomes, where is Jesus Christ in any of this? He is mentioned because He is what is marketed for the system to maintain itself.

Read 2 Peter 2. The KJV is the best translation of this passage, I think. These places simply make merchandise of people. Yet, they do not realize it.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Bill,
What is a homeless survival kit? Live in Dallas close to downtown and that would be a nice thing to have.

Katie said...

"those Christians don't have to pay who they owe because they must give it to their church. Therefore beware before doing business with them. They would rather pay for a fancy building or renovations that pay what they owe me".

***********

Sadly, you can avoid paying all of your debts and still give a tithe to the church. That's the law... and it's really quite interesting to see who authored it: Senator Orin Hatch (R) Utah... a devout Mormon (read... show your bishop your 1040 Tax Return every year to prove you have paid your tithe and are 'WORTHY' enough to gain entrance into a LDS Temple) and Senator Barack Obama (D) Illinois. Enough said. Yes?

Here is but one link... there are many available, but since this one came from Deseret, I thought more Christians (read... not Mormons) would find this the most accurate link.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/650213335/Congress-OKs-allowing-tithing-in-bankruptcies.html

Seems to me that greedy clergy have shored up defenses from creditors.

See how this works? You can misuse and abuse people you owe money to (that sooner or later we all pay for)but don't abuse the church coffers.

I understand that many people find themselves in very difficult situations due to a terrible economy, and sometimes bankruptcy is the only possible answer. But there is nothing honorable, at least in my mind, about telling your creditors you won't pay them, but you will pay your church. Is that the gospel we are supposed to be sending?

Anonymous said...

The problem is LEADERSHIP

Look around here nearly every church in town is doing some sort of PURPOSE DRIVEN operation. Rick Warren has trained thousands of preachers and staffs on a faulty system based mostly on a Robert Schuller APOSTACY. Rick Warren's hero was not a Baptist preacher but Robert Schuller.
I understand that Schuller is in bankruptsy. What do you think is going to happen to all of those preachers who have used his techniques to build their churches? True, some have only used some of his methods and branding but others have or are now using the full method. Ask yourself, why are so many churches failing today? Is it the money or is it the preacher? Do you think that God is directing churches or is PURPOSE DRIVEN running the churches? Without a doubt PD has run FBC JAX since Brunson arrived.
Is that the reason they are having such difficult? Is the church falling apart day by day? We shall see. One thing for sure, Brunson will continue to beat the sheep out of every cent. There is no love for the people just a method.
This is what I see. In the past churches have thrived by looking to God for leadership guidence and direction. I don't see that in most churches today. Until the churches change they will continue to have major problems.

Pray for them to change.

Anonymous said...

WISHIHADKNOW you are spot on.
If the people and pastor are following God's commandments God will take care of them. He always has and He always will. We know this is true because it has always worked. The Purpose Driven system is a failed ministry. Only fools have used it.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

New BBC OPEN FORUM brother,

you do know that your church is PURPOSE DRIVEN directed don't you. What do you expect? They are following the format. They could care less about the descenters {you}. Their game plan is that you are going away. They don't care what you do or say. They think and will tell your people that you are the problem {murmerers}. It happened at FBC JAX. What you are seeing there is happening all over the country. From what I've read it is in your church.

Lynn said...

Matt,
Thank you so much for your answer to my questions. I think you have described it correctly.

I see the pastor of a mega church as a businessman, running a large business, and he ofcourse has all the pressures that go along with that. I don't see how it has anything to do with loving people, caring for people, praying, etc. How would he have time for any of that? He's running a giant business.

Therefore, I think people have the wrong impression of what it's like to be in that position. The budget is huge, and you have to keep it all going, make it exciting, make people want to be there, as you said.

It just seems like a pastor of a small church and a pastor of a mega are VERY different jobs.

Plus, as you mentioned, the current pastor doesn't want the whole thing to start sliding downhill on his watch.

I'm not defending berating the people in the pews about money, but you can certainly see how there would be pressures on that pastor.

Maybe the problem is the people who want all the programs, all the excitement, the impressive service on Sunday morning, etc., etc., and all the other things the mega church provides them. (I was shocked to hear there's a cafeteria. I'd already been shocked to walk in a church that has its own bookstore.)-which just shows that those in the pews are customers w/ money.

Anonymous said...

I continued to give money to FBC after Jerry Vines left and Mac Brunson arrived. I was happy to give where I could.

After months and months of history lessons, stories during the invitation and sermons that rarely mentioned Jesus Christ, I ceased to give.

I started to give money directly to christian organizations that do not support millionaire pastors and staff. I am much happier and more at peace in my giving now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem is the people who want all the programs, all the excitement, the impressive service on Sunday morning, etc., etc., and all the other things the mega church provides them. (I was shocked to hear there's a cafeteria. I'd already been shocked to walk in a church that has its own bookstore.)-which just shows that those in the pews are customers w/ money.

November 14, 2010 3:04 PM

Lynn, I don't know how many mega churches you have been in but the serious ones have much more than cafeteria's and bookstores. Some have Starbucks style cafe's and Wi-fi networking centers. Most all have serious gym's with raquetball courts and some even tennis courts and weight training facilities.

Most can sell you a DVD of the sermon that morning in the afternoon and do. Most of the bookstores sell home decor and even party supplies that are "Christian" themed.

Some even have children's bookstores in the children's wing for Christianized presents. And youth shops for the cool hip youth stuff.

Each one of these are profit centers within the church. But this does not include other profit centers such as elaborate "camps" in the country that cater to the membership for retreats catering to all ages throughout the year. And it is not cheap.

Do not worry about being salt and light in the world. You will be too busy at church to have time for that.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Remember people, the pews were shoulder to shoulder at FBCJ with people with none of today's problems prior to the arrival of Mac Brunson.

What happened? Bringing in a 6 figure part time bully preacher and tour guide was the problem - from the beginning he was not a good fit for the common folks.

Anonymous said...

"(I was shocked to hear there's a cafeteria. I'd already been shocked to walk in a church that has its own bookstore.)-which just shows that those in the pews are customers w/ money."

Really anon? I have bought from that bookstore and ate at that cafeteria many time over the years and have found the prices a lot lower than in the public arena. Based on the prices it is obvious to even a simpleton that it is a ministry and not a source to fleece the flock.

Anonymous said...

"What happened? Bringing in a 6 figure part time bully preacher and tour guide was the problem - from the beginning he was not a good fit for the common folks."

You must be kidding. Vines was making a 6 figure salary and so was Lindsey. As a matter of fact when Lindsey went to Glory, they about doubled Vines salary since he was doing the work of both.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 2:05,

Blogger is messed up today, and my comments have double-posted, as have other people's, I delete my duplicates, and then the last copy disappears so I submitted it again. Maybe it'll stay this time. Anyway, re the PD stuff, yes, I've been well aware of that for several years.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:13, Matt, and Purpose Driven you all are correct. You too Lyn.

Most of these maga churches did what was right in the beginning. You know that . Take Drs. Lindsay Falwell, Rogers, they built their churches being close to the Lord. Jesus was the center of what they did. "Open your Bible to" Not "Open your copy of the Bible to"! That is Purpose Driven mentality.
Along the way, if Jesus is not at the heart of each and every program, you will gradually lose what the Lord has built. Until the church is just a side show, an act on a stage enjoyed for entertainment.
God help us.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding. Vines was making a 6 figure salary and so was Lindsey. As a matter of fact when Lindsey went to Glory, they about doubled Vines salary since he was doing the work of both.

November 14, 2010 4:22 PM
================================
I said bringing in a "part time" preacher @ a 6 figure salary - at least Vines/Lindsey were smart enough to be in the pulpit full time. It's my understanding that Vines still continues to get a lifetime check from FB.

Anonymous said...

Really anon? I have bought from that bookstore and ate at that cafeteria many time over the years and have found the prices a lot lower than in the public arena. Based on the prices it is obvious to even a simpleton that it is a ministry and not a source to fleece the flock.

November 14, 2010 4:19 PM

I have always chuckled at this. I can remember when we sold cassette tapes of the sermons duplicated after the first service for 5 bucks. We used the same logic basing it on what a cassette would cost at the store. And we made sure to promote that angle.

In reality, we made a huge profit off the 5 dollar tape which cost us about a quarter to duplicate. Including labor.

The same goes for a meal. We could serve a salad, spagetti and a roll for about a buck per person at cost. Yet we sold it for 3.50 in the cafeteria. Compared to eating out it is cheaper but we were still making a profit off the sheep. Yet they thought it was a great deal.

Matt

New BBC Open Forum said...

My previous comment... again.

What is the main purpose of the mega pastor?

Has anyone watched that show on CBS on Sunday nights called Undercover Boss? Every week the CEO (or other "O") of a large corporation goes "undercover" (in disguise) over the course of a week inside 4 or 5 areas of his or her company to try to see how things really work. Some haven't put in a real day's work in decades; others never have at all because it's a family business that was handed to them. They explain away the cameras as the person doing a documentary on the workplace in general or there are two people competing for one job and they're being taped. Oddly, no one ever seems to question this.

Their supervisors put the bigwigs to work where they're thrown into the real world of their employees. They often have to get their hands dirty, and they usually have no idea what they're doing and frequently fail, often miserably. A few have been "fired" by their supervisors before the day was over.

Then at the end of the week all the employees they've worked with are brought to HQ under the guise of evaluating the new employee or some other ruse. Once they're there, the CEO, now all cleaned up and sans disguise, walks in and identifies him(her)self, much to the shock and sometimes embarrassment of the employees.

It's very illuminating to watch people who are paid millions of dollars a year exhibit so little in the way of common sense and not be able to perform a minimum-wage job. I often wonder how these people, other than by inheritance, ever rose to the positions they have achieved because some of them honestly don't seem that bright.

Most learn something from the experience and try to implement changes. (Actually they "delegate" implementing changes to others.) Some have given employees a week's paid vacation to the destination of their choice or some other symbolic gesture which in the long run isn't going to really make any difference in their working conditions. In other words, they think a nice vacation is the answer to everything, return to their McMansions and the corporate world, and still don't seem to realize what "real life" is like for many people. I'm sure many of those people would rather have the money comped on the trip deposited (tax-free) into their bank accounts. Interestingly, the one female CEO they spotlighted was the most generous (and, as I recall, performed better in the trenches than most), perhaps because she had worked her way up over the years instead of having it all handed to her.

Does anyone see where I'm going here? As I watch that show I'm sometimes reminded of ________ (insert name of your favorite megachurch "senior" pastor here), people who are so far removed from the stuggles and realities of "common" people that they are clueless.

Lynn said...

Quote-The main purpose of any Pastor is to teach and prepare the congregation he serves to witness Jesus to a lost and dying world.

I've heard this over the years, and I always thought-my goodness, do they need to be taught for years on end?

My guess is that there is a small percentage in all churches who do actually talk to other people about Jesus,faith, Christianity. But I bet the vast majority just enjoy church life, possibly inviting someone to come with them now and then.

It always confused me if church was for the Christians or "the lost." First of all if there were a huge group of "the lost" sitting there, I don't think the sermon would be on tithing. If it's in all practicality really for the Christians, I think it serves a purpose in their life-but I don't think most people are there to learn how to reach others for Jesus.

I guess the church is doing lots of things in lots of ways-keeping the Christians happy, trying to attract other Christians? the lost?

Like I said, the purpose of the whole thing has always been confusing to me-and maybe to others?

Plus if anyone's interested in what would attract me (former IFB and other denoms-now agnostic.)-I'll be glad to tell you. (It wouldn't bring any money in though.)

Anonymous said...

I used to think college presidents were the brainy type who led their institutions in academics. Now that I've worked at a college, I realize that college presidents get paid the big bucks not for being brainy, but for being fund raisers. Is that perhaps what has happened to the mega church?

Lynn said...

Quote-"I used to think college presidents were the brainy type who led their institutions in academics. Now that I've worked at a college, I realize that college presidents get paid the big bucks not for being brainy, but for being fund raisers. Is that perhaps what has happened to the mega church?"

I think that is part of the problem. There's a disconnect between what we think pastors are supposed to be like and what the job is really all about.

When we reaize that the pastor is not the holiest amongst us, we get disappointed.

Anonymous said...

"sermons that rarely mentioned Jesus Christ, I ceased to give."

Anon. You must have been sleeping in the pews. Wake up and pay attention. Jesus and his atonement is in every sermon that I have heard every time Mac has preached

Anonymous said...

"sermons that rarely mentioned Jesus Christ, I ceased to give."

Anon. You must have been sleeping in the pews. Wake up and pay attention. Jesus and his atonement is in every sermon that I have heard every time Mac has preached

November 14, 2010 10:58 PM

There is a huge misunderstanding among pew sitters concerning this. They think if the pastor mentions Jesus Christ, it is automaticslly truth. Sadly, so many are not Bereans they have no idea what they are being taught.

Mac has denied the atonement by his lack of belief in Christ providing what is needed to proclaim Him. Mac has a different Jesus. His Jesus did not teach what he taught in Luke 13.

Thy Peace said...

In the baptist world this comparison could be deemed an insult. But in the secular world of wine tasting, it is a compliment. I am sure many readers (though baptists) who drink wine will appreciate this comparison.

I would consider Wade Burleson (now retired from blogging) and FBC Jax Watchdog (Tom Rich) more like Robert M. Parker, especially in their advocacy of the pew sitter (consumer). The following article from Atlantic Monthly is about 10 years old but fairly accurate of the profile of Robert M. Parker.

The Atlantic > The Million-Dollar Nose.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion from observation through the years, some preachers think if they mention the name of Jesus in any context during a so called sermon, they have legitimized themselves and their right to call themselves a preacher. But the way they absolve themselves of preaching salvation through ACCEPTANCE of Jesus as Savior, is, they are at heart Calvanistic and believe God will save whom He wants and therefore absolving the preacher of any responsibility to preach Salvation messages. The preachers job is to keep the church functioning and therefore keep the money coming in. It's just a job....and it's lucrative.

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...

".......people who are so far removed from the struggles and realities of "common" people that they are clueless."

Well here's a Mega Pastor who feels for the common people....

Story


Video

Bill said...

What is a homeless survival kit?

Basically consist of any combination of non-perishable foods, socks, underwear, hygienic items, blanket, watch cap and gloves, poncho, duct tape, etc.

I take a 1 gallon ziplock bag and fill it with food. One bag will hold a large can of Spaghetti-O's, beanie-weenis, small cups of peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, bottle of water, beef jerky, raisins, applesauce, breakfast bars, and a small New Testament.

In another bag I'll put a washcloth, bar of soap, baby wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, comb, small mirror, a medium size towel, and razors/shave cream.

As best I can I try to have ponchos, twine, duct tape, emergency blankets, gloves and watch cap, coats/jackets, etc.

Thanks for asking.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Long time FBC Jax 20+ year member: you must be in the choir! How else would you know so much!