"...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

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Thought I Had Seen it All....Then I Saw James Merritt, former SBC President, Pushing a Pyramid Scheme from His Church Platform


"God does value people, and God does value souls, and so does Paul Orberson (founder of FHTMC), and so do I...but my prayer is, that we would all honor Jesus Christ in this business. And we would help others find hope, provide for their families, and enjoy the American way of doing business while we're in the process....and by the grace of God and with His help, may God use us in this business to bring hope to other hurting people and to bring glory to the One who made it all." James Merritt on FHTMC
--------------------------------------
I thought I had seen it all. I thought it couldn't get any worse.

Then today I saw a video of James Merritt, mega church pastor and former Southern Baptist president giving a 10 minute testimony pushing the "Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing" (FHTM) pyramid scheme.

Where was the video of Merritt pushing this scheme filmed? At a conference, a convention perhaps?

No, it was in Merritt's church auditorium, at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia.

Yes, a pastor in his church, a tax-exempt house of worship, speaking at a seminar in his church to encourage people to be involved in a pyramid scheme that is currently being investigated by the attorneys general of at least four states states including North North Carolina and Montana. USA today has an article about FHTMC here, and a Louisville news station did an investigation here.

As you'll read the story, you'll see how religion is often used to push this scheme.

From the Louisville news station report:
"The pitches promise fast cash with help from a higher power.

Kevin Mullens, a Pentecostal pastor out of Crawford, FL delivers his recorded speech inside a church.

He encourages other pastors in the audience to get involved by signing up members of their congregations.

'The Lord wanted you to be here today,' he says during a recruiting session under a cross. 'Can't survive. Can't pay your bills and all of the sudden, the Lord opened a door.' "

The Lord opened a door, says Pastor Mullens. No, the pastor is opening your pocketbook.

I'm not surprised at all that a mega church pastor would use his position and his church to market a pyramid scheme.

It is how the game works in mega churches. The pastors use their position, their power, and the trust of the congregation to sell them their books, to get them to travel with them overseas. They will even use their church resources to the do the selling. They market their Holy Land trip and vacations on church websites. They'll mention their Holy Land trip during sermons. They'll take their church video production crews with them to film the trip. And now we see Merritt breaking new ground to push multi-level marketing schemes that are under investigation for possible criminal activity.

But I'm not surprised, really. Merritt was one of the 41 SBC leaders who signed a letter affirming the integrity of Bob Reccord at NAMB, as reported in Mary Branson's book "Spending God's Money" - despite the extravagance and misuse of NAMB funds under Reccord's leadership.

Merritt was the keynote speaker at the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference just a few months ago, preaching the final sermon on Tuesday evening. Oddly enough, his sermon was about the danger of criticizing pastors (surprise, surprise). Just before Merritt got up to preach Mac and the Israeli Commissioner of Tourism gave a sales pitch for pastors to bring their congregations to Israel. Merritt must have had to bite his tongue to not put in a good word for FHTMC with the promotion-fest in full swing that night!

This is what I have been warning lay people about.

It started back at the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference in 2007, when they started selling "promotions packages", allowing people to actually buy stage time to push their products.

What Merritt did at his church, now, is just a logical extension of this nonsense at FBC Jax Pastor's Conference as seen in the graphic below listing what someone can buy for $12,500. Keep in mind, this is within the walls of the church, not at some leased convention center.

But we better not criticize Merritt too harshly. You see, he is a "man of God", and he warned all the lay people at the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference just how dangerous it is to criticize the "man of God" in your church:

"I want to talk to all the lay people here tonight. You better be careful when it comes to your pastor and the 'man of God' in your church what you say and what you write. I'm here to tell you tonight...lives can be destroyed. Ministries can be ruined. Pastors can be absolutely devastated over just one word that is wrong."

Well, Merritt should be careful what multi-level marketing schemes he chooses to market in his church. Pushing the wrong product - those that might be ponzi-schemes - under the guise of pious religion can be absolutely devastating to the financial well-being of unsuspecting church goers.
-----------------------------------------
H/T: Tim Rogers and Bart Barber

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, years ago, Charles Stanley did Amway and pitched it to his followrs. He also made some serious money speaking/preaching at Amway conventions. As I have been told by some higher ups in Amway that they pay their speakers very well.

And people will follow him in this business, he will make money and they won't.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Dr.Dog said "I thought I had seen it all. I thought it couldn't get any worse."

Dr Dog none of this nonsense should suprise you!

When I first came to your blog years ago,did I not state based on 2Tim.3:13 the these charlatans and misguided pastor and preachers would get "WORSE AND WORSE"?

Just keep watching, "You ain't seen nothing yet"!

Anonymous said...

This guy is a regular on TBN along with Stanley,Floyd, and other SBC rock stars so this is not surprising.

Anonymous said...

Merritt probably does this because his son (who is on staff) is pro-gay. You know how those people are.

Anonymous said...

They trade their names they claim they want to be for Christ for filthy lucre.

Anonymous said...

Merritt's son is pro-environment and pro-recycling, not pro-gay.

Wow that is how the rumors start on here. You almost need a snoopes.com link on here Tom for all the crazies that want to post their godless chatter and rumors.

JHG

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

JHG - right, Merritt's son is not pro gay. Everyone knows who it is that is posting that stuff - the same preachers who were so upset over what Mohler said about homosexuality at the SBC convention.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you have not read much of what Jonathan Merritt has written. But at least I agree with your post on his Dad.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Some choice quotes from Merritt that really reveal the phoniness of the man:

"And I saw an opportunity where I could make more money that I could give to God's work."

Merritt is in a pyramid scheme for Jesus. He does it all for Jesus, for the glory of God. Sick.

"I don't need the money.It's not that I'm a wealthy person - the church is very good to me, I do a lot of speaking, and I'm very careful with my money....I'm doing it becasue I saw an opportunity where I could not only make more money that I could give away to God's work, but what really turned my fire on, was this was an opportunity for me to give people hope."

Oh, so he is involved not only for Jesus' sake, but so that HE, James, can give people "hope". I thought Jesus was hope.

And notice the quote that he "does a lot of speaking". Friends, these mega church pastors can earn tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by "speaking" at other churches and conferences.

It is a racket.

And they claim to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jim Smyrl, your choice to be bivo is admirable, when you look at what is going on even in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Long Time FBC Jax Member said...

Yes, kudos to Rev Smyrl, and we are praying for the first worship service of his new church plant, Loyal Heart Bible Church, this coming Sunday in Jacksonville, FL.

And thanks once again Watchdog, for taking the time to expose these wolves and opportunists. May more people wake up and use discernment.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with being pro-gay?

going around said...

This kind of stuff is going around big time. Check out pastor Steve Willis on youtube. He is pitching a company called Visalus. He does so saying that God ordained Multi level marketing. He says that Jesus was the original multi level marketer. He says that he knows that God wants everyone to be involved in Visalus. he says that he thought as a pastor his sole job was to preach the gospel but now he knows that he needs to get people healthy and wealthy as well. There are a lot of "pastors" and "christians" involved in that company and the owners play to it hard! They had a "christian rapper" write a song for their company too, he is on youtube as well. The song is about billions, and bmw's and money and being able to say "I told you so". They have had hulk hogan on who says " I used to tell kids to say their prayers, now I tell them to drink visalus". The churches where I live are run amok with visalus, as well as other mlm programs of jewelry, juices, and everything in between. All with the same story, spread hope, help people earn more money, make money for yourself, be prosperous, oh, all in Jesus name of course. I even know a couple who has hit it big with one of these companies and quit their jobs. They said they were going to make lots of money so that they could use it in Jesus name and free their time to serve Jesus more. The only thing they do now though is pursue more money, well, they do go on expensive vacations too. This stuff makes me sick to my stomach! I consider this a scourge, a sickness, a pestilence, a plague on the church body and every time I am approached for one of these I SQUASH them with 30 + pages of research I have done on the matter.

Katie said...

Is there any doubt at all, that the money changers have taken up residence in our churches?

Total Depravity indeed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
What's wrong with being pro-gay?

In light of scripture, what is right about it? Troll-er.

Thy Peace said...

All this is a reflection that truth, discernment and critical thinking are lacking even in church leaders/pastors on down.

Sharon said...

This should show people in the pews how vulnerable they make themselves once they view the pastor as a Man of God. How can he ever be wrong if he's a man of God, hears from God directly, is God's messenger to you?

What these pastors are, many times, are good salesmen. They are in a position to influence many others and will be compensated for their help in extracting money from those in the pew.

I can't stand the deception of Amway, Mary Kaye, and all the other mlm scams.

Anonymous said...

These mlm's have taken a deep root in many of the churches today and all under the guise that when they are no longer in church on a regular basis because of meetings and conventions and so forth, they are always talking about "Jesus." These are people who used to be very faithful and friendly and every appearance they were sold out to the Lord, but now it has become the gathering of the mlmer's at church.

I know that our church had to put a stop to some of the shenanigans going on regarding recruiting in the church services - it truly is unbelievable and sickening.

They are proud of the their toys and beamers with their in your face sayings and logos. Worse and worse.

I am struggling with the whole commercialization of the gospel regarding Holy Land trips, speaking engagements, pastors rarely in the pulpit each week. I know I may be sounding a bit whiny...but it feels good to express these feelings anonymously. Oh well, we have to stay firm that Jesus is in control and that the underbelly of these activities will be exposed if they indeed are doing these things for the wrong reasons.

Anonymous said...

MSMBC ran a long piece the other night of a SBC church in Arizona that was running a sham. They used tons of christian lingo that made people feel safe. Many lost their entire retirement. They were trusting men but lead to believe they were trusting Jesus. Just same ole same stuff. So sad.

Anonymous said...

In the late 1990's to early 2000's we in Arizona had the failure of the Arizona Baptist Foundation.

Previous to the failure Az SBC churches and agencies pushed the foundation to the church people. They had pastors, attorneys and business people on their board.

It turned out that in order to pay dividends, interest and withdrawls they had to take new money from new investors. The people running the thing however made sure that they got their money when things went south.

In the end some people paid big fines or restitution and some people went to jail. Most folks ended up only getting 40 or 50 percent of the money back. After this the get rich schemes seemed to have gone away at least in the SBC church I attend.

Anonymous said...

MSNBC

Anonymous said...

James Merritt is a bully, a punk, and a hypocrite.

I have known him for years and I am not shocked by anything he does.

He has changed colors many times but the fact is his core beliefs have not changed...he loves God and he love Money!

His home is over 8000 square feet and he does not drive a Pinto.

God is good!

New BBC Open Forum said...

I can't stand the deception of Amway, Mary Kaye, and all the other mlm scams.

Amway or Scamway (Kind of scary judging by the spelling and grammar that this is "your average intelligent college student," but she does seem to have captured the essence of Amway.)

Amway/Quixtar Business Myths

Pink Truth - The Real Story Behind May Kay Cosmetics

Introduction to MLM

New BBC Open Forum said...

Unbelievable that a pastor would promote this garbage from the pulpit! Where is the lightning bolt with Merritt's name on it?

Charlotte News Report (Must see!)

FOX Los Angeles News Report ("You don't make squat from the products. What you make money from is recruiting people!")

FHTM SCAM Exposed by ABC and FTC

Is Paul Orberson (FHTM) The Next Bernie Madoff? - Pyramid Scheme Alert

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing: Multi-level marketing scam or pyramid scheme?

MLM Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

In the interest of being balanced... if, after watching/reading all that, you're still interested in signing up there are plenty of videos and sites where people sing the praises of FHTM.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Merritt and his church have pulled the video from Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d72Q_3JxPtU

I wonder why?

Johnny D. said...

Very interesting. I learned to stay away from all of this stuff back in the 1980's when I got involved in A.L. Williams. It becomes a life style, and in order to be successful, you have to proselytize. Every person I met became a potential sale.

turnureyesonJC said...

What a scam artist!

I met him once and he bragged about all the staff members he had fired.

This guy has got an ego the size of the Grand Canyon and the spiritual sensibilities of a rat hole.

Charles Stanley pushed Amway for money, James Merritt pushes this for money....Those guys are hucksters!

The only thing that is crazier than this is the Graham Family.

Billy still draws a salary of $400,000 and if the Charlotte Observer had not done an article on Franklin, he would still be making over a Million.

This stuff stinks!!!

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with Dr. Graham making $400,000?In today's economy that is a modest but comfortable retirement income, after tithes and taxes.

Anonymous said...

400,000 a year pension. Yea, that's a modest retirement income. What are you smoking? Franklin claimed to be working two full time jobs at the same time with his million dollar a year pay. I don't trust these guys any farther than I could throw em.

WishIhadknown said...

$400,000 a moderate retirement income?

The Facts:
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the average income for people ages 65 and older in 2008 was $29,214. This is up from $28,134 in 2007. Within the same age group, those who had graduate degrees earned $62,777, while those who held bachelor degrees made $45,948. With that in mind, though, two-thirds of Americans are not saving enough and one-half are not saving anything at all.

You rich guys need to get out of the Country Club and see how the real world lives!

Anonymous said...

I certainly have no problem with Billy Graham making $400,000 a year (plus, its none of my business anyway). Think of all the years he preached and was being paid $25,000 a year. He can hardly be accused of laying up treasures on earth with his many years of faithful service. In his current condition I doubt if he's worried about money anyway but the body of Christ should make sure that he never has to worry about finances.

Sharon said...

New BBC Open Forum,
Thanks so much for posting those links so people can educate themselves. I visited a Mary Kaye meeting, then found all kinds of interesting info on them on the web. It was quite the education. The money is made off the people who plan on making money.

I suggest that when listening to these "pastors," just think "car salesman" and become as cold as ice in your mind. You'll notice he's not so worried about helping people that he's giving them money. He's telling them about an "opportunity!" LOL!! And if you're listening closely, you'll hear how he basically admits that prayer doesn't do a darned thing to help people.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Anon 3:32pm,


Exactly.

Anonymous said...

"In his current condition I doubt if he's worried about money anyway but the body of Christ should make sure that he never has to worry about finances."

Too bad you guys don't think like that when it comes to single moms in the body. Or others struggling financially. Instead you say, tithe and only then will God bless you. (Sound like the Amway pitch)

But you sure want to take care of the wealthy cult of personality figure.

Billy Graham is NO saint. In fact, he has been quoted several times that people can be saved without knowing Jesus. But you are so blinded to celebrity, I bet you did not know that.

He also once pulled his then 17 yr old daughter out of school and married her off to the son of very rich people who were his donors. Of course, she ended up a battered woman, too.

Stop worshiping these men and follow Christ.

Anonymous said...

Franklin claimed to be working two full time jobs at the same time with his million dollar a year pay. I don't trust these guys any farther than I could throw em.

July 30, 2011 2:28 PM


what is interesting is that Franklin did not want this stuff public but it had to be leaked by an insider. All because Franklin wanted more money.

He was double dipping donors and not putting in the time. Of course, Franklin grew up living off donor money...very well...since it was not all about Grahams salary but all the perks by wealthy donors. People forget that part. And it is huge. Ask Mac...you might even get a land deal.

You know, sometimes employees who work for these charlatans get to the point where they see the greed after a while and start talking. I wish more would.

There are always suckers out there to fund them. You see some on this blog.


Franklin was double dipping off donors and not putting the time in.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Franklin wanted his money NOW. There were some connected with BGEA who were not happy paying him all tht to say a few prayers at conventions.

Anne is the one who ought to be President. Billy said she was the best preacher in the family.

turnureyesonJC said...

This is So Sad!

President George W. Bush’s memoir Decision Points, released November 9, 2010, the former president describes an encounter with evangelist Billy Graham in which Graham told the Bush family that some people are simply “born Christians” while others need a “born-again experience.” During the summer of 1985, George H. W. Bush invited the renowned evangelist to the family retreat home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Following dinner one evening, about 30 members of the Bush family gathered to ask Graham questions. George H. W. Bush asked Graham, “Billy, some people say you have to have a born-again experience to go to heaven. Mother here is the most religious, kind person I know, yet she has had no born-again experience. Will she go to heaven?” Graham’s response: “George, some of us require a born-again experience to understand God, and some of us are born Christians. It sounds as if your mom was just born a Christian” (Decision Points, p. 31).

Anonymous said...

About 8 years ago, Graham was quoted in Newsweek that many will be saved that have never heard of Jesus.

There is also a clip of him saying ths exact same thing on youtube to Robert Schuller. If any cares to search for it. Most don't. They would rather worship Billy.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Back on topic...it is so interesting to read how Tim Rogers and Peter Lumpkin are going after James Merritt.

They have selective rage.

They staunchly defended Ergun Caner, who had his own gig going where he fooled congregations, even our troops, into thinking he was something he was not.

When people spoke up and demanded that this be dealt with, Lumpkin and Rogers and others defended the indefensible, and attacked those who did raise the issue of Caner's deception, calling them haters.

Now, we have a pastor in James Merritt who is actually hosting possibly an illegal ponzi scheme - at least that is what some state AGs and DOJs are saying - in his own church.

Why are Lumpkins defending Caner, but going after Merritt? Lumpkins is all over James Merritt's son Jonathan for being "pro gay". So here comes Lumpkins.

I'm glad they are calling out Merritt - although Rogers is only slightly bothered - but we see how pastors are selective in their rage. If you are on their side, or friends with them, they'll defend you to the death. If you're on the other side of them on some doctrinial issues, you're toast.

These guys continually, week by week, show themselves for who they are.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert and Jon Estes - you guys really are one in the same. Are you sure that Robert you weren't posting as Jon Estes over the past 4 months?

Anonymous said...

Robert and Jon Estes - you guys really are one in the same. Are you sure that Robert you weren't posting as Jon Estes over the past 4 months?

July 30, 2011 5:58 PM

Now this would not surprise me a bit. They sound alike.

Anonymous said...

Yes they do have selective rage. but Lumpkins is right about Merrit. Which only proves what Frances Schaeffer said 30 years ago about alliances.

Anonymous said...

I also agree (gulp) with Lumpkins about Mohler and Merritt jr.

mohler needs to prove how "we" have "lied" about homosexuality and have been homophobic. Who is this royal "we"?

I have one question for Mohler. Did he vote for the Disney boycott at the convention years ago?

And why would he write that there might be a "gay gene", when we all have "sin genes". What on earth is he talking about?

Some people think he is a scholar. It amazes me.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Tom,

You know earlier in a previous blog when you asked me why I read your blog, and I answered one reason was because you're entertaining...?

Well this recent comment of yours puts the proof in the pudding:
Robert and Jon Estes - you guys really are one in the same. Are you sure that Robert you weren't posting as Jon Estes over the past 4 months?

You didn't let me down with this one. I hope you don't seriously think that I've been blogging using a pseudonym for the past 4 months.

I think the fact that two people have challenged your views on your own blog publicly, rather than hiding behind their computer screen concealing their identity much like you did in the beginning, gets to you.

Anonymous said...

I work in a mega. I would say to dog "Do not stop". We need men like you bringing these things to light. Most lay people are too trusting to question what really goes on behind the scenes.
I have served under several pastors here who I know had a heart for ministry and for the Lord when they came. But once we hit the mega size; money, fame, opportunity, and denominational position changed these men, for the worse. Their values became focused on the wrong things and they look like democrats when it comes to spending Gods money. Marketing replaced prayer and business "Leadership Principles" took over in place of humility. Many can handle adversity, only a few can handle success.

Anonymous said...

Ann ought to be President. She is the best preacher in the family. She probably is the best book seller also. The whole outfit makes me sick to my stomach.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - you're not very perceptive. It was a tongue in cheek reference to Jon Estes. Of course you're not posting as Jon Estes, because he is Jon Estes from NC and you're Robert Peeples from Jax. My point is that you sound the same. You say over the top ridiculous statements that show you've been drinking too much baptist, mega church kool aid, Robert. I like you, but you've been indoctrinated by your religious leaders to the point that it hurts your ability to use sound logic and reasoning when it comes to matters concerning your faith and your church. It is people like you that keep me blogging, to provide a forum to help you see the light. I blog because I care about you, Robert, and I want you to not drink so much of the kool aid.

You haven't been reading much. People challenge me, criticize me, and even call me names and claim I have mental illnesses, Anons and non-anons. I don't mind one bit, I'm used to it. It really keeps me motivated to run the blog for four years running now.

I blog, Robert, because I care.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And I do hope you spend a bit of time with Jim Smyrl, Robert. He is seeing the mega church system for what it is, and it might do you some good to split your time between FBCJ and LHBC.

Ed Franklin said...

Thanks for this article and the comments....which I came across in a search for info on James Merritt. I am only superficially cognizant of the situation here (Jax) but sincerely believe one could insert the name of most celebrity-led mega churches and the story would still be essentially true.

Anonymous said...

"The Lord opened a door, says Pastor Mullens. No, the pastor is opening your pocketbook."


LOL!!! That is correct. You might get a job, but it will have to do with the fact that you had a political connection or you perfectly matched the needed skills for the job and the 600 other people who applied did not. It will not be because you gave this shyster some money.

Robert L. Peeples said...

I don't understand why you would randomly bring up Jon Estes, and then make your crazy accusation that he and I are one in the same, even if it is a tongue in cheek joke. He hasn't commented on this blog article once. I could be wrong, but I went back through and checked, and haven't seen his name on any comment. I guess I don't understand your humor.

I'm glad you care for me Tom. I care for you, too. That's why I comment-to try and persuade you of a different viewpoint on issues you and I disagree. And you might be surprised to know that every now and then, I agree with you on some issues, but not all.

I don't think I drink Kool-aid when I go to church. I see it more as a wine tasting. I sample what I'm preached and taught, and take away what I believe to be valid and biblically correct. Keep in mind, I don't agree with everything FBCJax does. But they do a lot more good than bad, like the music ministry for example. I think Jim Whitmire is excellent and does a great job. And that's why I enjoy serving in that area.

So, I don't think I drink baptist, mega church kool-aid. Don't you attend a baptist, mega church now?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - I know that you do agree with me some. And I agree completely about Whitmire. And also I do see you serving in the music ministry and your bro in the media ministry, and that is great. I commend you guys for that. I've complimented the FBCJ music ministry every now and then, like on the passion play.

I don't attend a mega baptist church, and never will again. Commenters here who think they know me and want to bust my chops mention Westside, as though they are revealing something about me. Westside actually is not a "mega church" by definition - but we don't attend there now because we attend somewhere smaller and closer to home. It is baptist, and they are very nice people and have been incredibly friendly to me and my wife and our kids, just like the people at Westside Baptist were.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Well what made you leave Westside? I probably won't get that out of you. But that's ok.


Either way, I'm glad you're still in a baptist church closer to home. Glad your family is doing well.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

None of your business, actually. It had to do with looking for the best church for my teenagers. I could go back to Westside tomorrow - I love bro. Keith Russell and Bob Barton, and our Sunday School class, and we have friends there. Attending where we attend now was just something that worked out best for my family.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic.....

My family and I are looking forward to Rev. Smyrl's first worship service tomorrow. If the first meeting was any indication, the turnout will be great. Glory always to God.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

See new post.

Anonymous said...

"I could be wrong, but I went back through and checked, and haven't seen his name on any comment. I guess I don't understand your humor."

Yep, you are wrong. Jon hasn't posted in a couple of months, but he'll be back soon. I can guarantee you that.

A few months ago, he would sometimes post 30 comments on a single thread. How he was able to accomplish anything at work and spend that much time writing comments (during working hours), I will never know.

And WD is right. His comments were so over-the-top that they would have been laughable if they weren't coming from a baptist preacher - which made it really really sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to remember some of Jon's best moments from 2011.

He used "touch not mine anointed" out of context (it was a warning to Israel's enemies during war time to not kill Israel's kings and prophets) to deflect criticism from any current pastor whether they deserved criticism or not.

One way to know for sure that you are misinterpreting scripture incorrectly is when your interpretation contradicts other clear teachings in scripture.

Jon's interpretation would mean that Jesus was wrong when he criticized the spiritual leaders of his day.

Also Jon couldn't name any prophets or kings from the present day even though the question was asked over and over again.

Anonymous said...

My favorite (for being the most over the top) series of comments from Jon was on gluttony.

You might not believe this at first, but Jon tried to take the verses that proclaimed gluttony as a sin and somehow twist them into a prohibition on cannibalism by equivocating on certain words. I kid you not.

Only an overweight person (as Jon admitted later), would resort to this level of eisegesis.

Anonymous said...

The battle royal was over tithing.

Jon is a dyed in the wool store-house tither. Unfortunately for him, he could not defend his position Biblically when challenged with questions: like why he only preached one tithe and the OT Israelites paid 3 tithes, where is the storehouse today, and why did they always pay in food (never money) in the OT?

Jon tried every preacher's trick in the book. He took verses out of context to try to condemn people for daring to ask him questions. He tried the relatevist's argument that you have your truth and I have mine. He condemned people for trying to change his mind. In desperation he claimed that he would never change his mind so no one should try any longer.

The following Monday Jon left an early morning comment proclaiming that he had changed his position on tithing - but here's the best part - he said it had nothing to do with the 3 day discussion the previous week!

He later said that he had no problem with his congregation being ignorant about NT giving.

Yep, he's one of a kind.

Anonymous said...

try typing "estes" into the search window on the blog home page:

you'll be reading for days

Anonymous said...

What a scam. How do these preachers get away with publicaly promoting something that has been deemed illegal in many states. The use of their power as a preacher is no different that the abuse of power by many pedofiles. Thery have sex with little boys and steal your money for their personal glory. Hallelulah. Go God Go.

Skapegoat said...

What a total scam. Paul Orberson & Thomas Mills are banned from participating in any way in another MLM. All assets taken by receiver. Maybe now some of the victims will recover some of their money. Its just the beginning of the issues for Paul & Tom.