"...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, February 8, 2014

Gateway Church Job Postings Prove Mega Churches are Just Big Businesses: Jesus Needs a "Creative Director, Performing Arts" and "Cafe Barista"?

A commenter yesterday posted a link to a job listing for Robert Morris' Gateway Church. Apparently the religious business is good in Texas, and this 501(c)3 religious non-profit has about 13 paid positions open for "ministry", including these two:


Not trying to be critical here. I know. They are large. Tens of thousands of members.

Members need to be entertained. Thus Gateway needs a "Creative Director of Performing Arts"

Members need to drink skinny vanilla lattes when visiting the religious metroplex. Thus Gateway needs a paid "Cafe Barista."

But why do "churches" like this still enjoy a 501(c)3 religious tax exemption? They are businesses. They have customers. They provide services to their customers. 

The "Man of God" is the CEO. Why does he still enjoy a tax-free ministerial housing allowance?

And please stop telling me that Jesus Christ demands people to give 10% of their income to a place like this, else their finances are "cursed" or that God will hold back his blessings.

The "curse" is if you do decide to fork over 10% of your money to Gateway and other such religious businesses. 

That IS the curse.

If you're a member of one of these big dog churches: treat them for what they are. A business. If you like to show up on Sunday for the entertainment and speech, fine. Come, pay them about what you might pay for a movie, maybe $10 per person. Buy some popcorn for the kids, get the wife a latte, and sit back and enjoy the show.

But don't be conned into giving them 10% of your cash flow. Did I just say that? You better believe I did!

43 comments:

Mark said...

I remember when Robert Morris was an assistant pastor of a charismatic church in Texas. I attended there a few times because of a friend, and I remember he and the pastor almost got me giving them half of all my savings. However, he got his real taste for money after he left that church and dipped his finger in the money troth while on TBN. He now runs around as a pinch hitter for other pastors in the tithing game.

Life is GOOD for these preachers NOW, but only temporarily.

Anonymous said...

What strikes me is the ever widening gap between this type of "christian life" and that experienced by those of most other countries.
I would be hard to convince that ANY of these folks, INCLUDING the staff, ever think about the fact that the little child born today in alot of countries will spend EVERY day hoping for a bite of food and then die and spend every single moment of eternity in terror and torture partly because their Fat Lazy "Saved" Ass was more concerned about having a latte!! Yes Im a christian and I said it!!

Im no where near what I should be for HIM but at least I realize it and my heart hurts thinking of it...and Im a guy.

That why Jesus drove the money changers from the temple. Its time we grab some whips, declare our Lords houses back, and drive them out again!

Anonymous said...

Notice the requirement that the candidate must be a member or willing to become a member of the church. What is their justification for that? If it's because they don't want non-Christians working there, then I certainly don't think that's Biblical. I assume that non-Christians are welcome to attend services there without any obligation to become members(?). If so then why the different standard when it comes to employees of the church?

Maybe this is totally off base, but perhaps it's so they can get 10% of that paycheck back?

Anonymous said...

I wish the IRS would go after some of these guys. It's nothing but a country club, that is if you can afford the membership fees. Totally disgusting. Right on about this ceo and TBN.


Anonymous said...

Congress has already passed a bill that will not allow for house allowance exemptions anymore for ministers anymore. Recently passed. Creative arts Minister. How bout having elders overseeing the widows, singe mothers, = and those not able to locate work instead of extorting and vexing the conscience of good honest Americans that are trying to provide for their families. Again Paul said family needs are first BEFORE the needs of the church. That does not mean to spoil family members either but I think the point is understood.

Anonymous said...

I think this article/ employment ad shows us that the debate really isnt about 10% tithing....even though somehow it can be twisted into it and...although I agree with parts of your argument. Or even less the "calvinist crazy comments".
Instead...
I think satan is laughing his behind off while we have become apathetic, cozy, comfortable in our americanized "worship". Totally off focus of the Great commish of Matthew. You know "go forth on church funded trips and drink lattes".
To fix or fight it...
Not sweeping gov/ IRS or tax codes as some mentioned I dont think. If anyone couldve done it with one big movement it was Christ....but he didnt. He did it "won by one" and he was God!!!
Go tomorrow to church to energize then go be real in your community and share your faith! :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not really twisting this into a discussion on tithing. Just pointing out that these mega or giga churches aren't "the church". They are businesses who cater to customers, and provide services to customers. These job postings give you a glimpse into this at a giga church. You're not giving money to God if you give it to these guys.

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant that you go to say, oh once a week. The manager comes out and tells you that you can come each week if you give 10% of your income to God through him. And he tells you all the wonderful things they will do with your money...hire people, feed hungry people, give to worthy causes. After you stopped laughing, you would tell him you will continue to come and pay for the meal as you purchase them each week at menu prices.

Then you would look at him and ask: "if I SHOULD give 10% of my income to God as you claim, why would I give it to you in order to get it to God?"

Anonymous said...

One thought I've had - if these guys' motivation for their tithing beat-down sermons was concern for the hearts of their parishioners, then why don't they tell them, "look, this is not about pouring money into this church so we can spend it. This is about you obeying God. So if you don't want to give your tithe to this church, fine, but you have to give it somewhere if you're going to obey God."

I know, they get around this by claiming that if you're a member of the church, then for you their church is "the storehouse" and therefore the only way you can obey God is to pay your tithe to them. Well,let's accept for argument the (totally un-Biblical and ridiculous) premise that the Bible requires church members to give 10% of their income to the churches as to which they are members. Then why don't you hear these guys telling their congregations, "Look, the Bible requires you to give 10% to your church, and if you don't you're sinning. If you say that you don't want to give 10% to this church because you don't like the way we spend our money, or we won't tell you how we spend our money, then what you need to do is go join another church and start paying your 10% to it." If concern over their members' hearts was their motivation, this is what they would be preaching. We all know this is not what's being preached. Their motivation is to shame and scare their members into believing that if they don't give 10% to THEM AND THEM ALONE, then they'll get zapped by God Himself. Beyond shameless.

Anonymous said...

Touche...great comparison.
I still remain fixed on what I beleive is the deeper problem.
Two thoughts from your compare...
1) not to offend our saved catolic brothers but basically these baptist MOG have become like the old roman catholic preists" of the Dark Ages or better...middle men of our faith. They figured out not to be anti-god but rather a "filter" to God. Skim a living off the top. Make political connections. Live untouchable. And keep the masses just knowledgeable enough to trust but not question. They may even be saved themselves but just deluded by "the old deluded" to not really care of anything but themselves. As long as once a week folks "feel" like they worshipped thats good enough. Just enough truth... THE MOST DANGEROUS...and sending them straight to hell.
Here is scary...Old time preachers who taught on Revelations used to dogmatically say the "great whore" was the catholic church. Looking around now Im afraid it might seriously be the twisted up Baptist leadership...not kidding!

2) the whimpy weak faith taught today allows it. WD you know this but I gotta say it...Salvation is conversion from a prideful self life to a surrenderd selfless Christ life. He is not an add-on. He is The On we add ourselves to.
He didnt come to fix our crap. He came to get rid of it. When folks dont hear that they dont know. Im trying to impress that we can beat up the staff(s) of the organizations but... The folks under them REALLY honestly believe their staff is doing what God wants and until you/ i/ and our other friends pull up alongside and love them out...theyll never know.
On yours and HIS side... Cause in the end we win brother :) Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

That is correct! They are entertainment businesses. And yes, peoples tithes are paying for these things.

Ron Franks said...

Jesus had a treasurer because he had money.

David built an expensive and regal temple and asked people to sacrifice.

Abraham was filthy rich and flaunted his money.

Please be consistent with your bashing of people of faith with wealth.

I think you are what is described in the title of my Pastors new book.."An Accidental Pharisee."

Anonymous said...

Ron. Just read the bullet points you have memorized from "my pastors new book".
Please explain/ defend in your own word or shut up with the nonsense. Thanks

Anonymous said...

While I am grieved and disappointed with the "celebrity" culture among Christians in ministry today, there are a few things I would like to point out. Before doing so, I want you to know, I am a pastor and believe in biblical generosity, the tithe, the priority of the local church, and meeting the needs of the poor.

For consideration:

1. Everyone (including many pastors) who believe that Christians should tithe are not evil and greedy people who are teaching "false doctrine." This is a non-essential issue that many who love God and His Word may have an honest disagreement over.

2. Unless you totally understand the intricacies of the pastor's tax status, the housing allowance deduction balances the tax liability of pastors. Here are a few reasons why:
- Ordained ministers are considered "self-employed" but also receive a W-2. The minister pays the full FICA of 15.3% on all income, salary and housing.
- As a "self-employed" person, a minister who does not opt out of SS, pays both the employee and employer portion, 15.3% before paying Federal Income tax. Yes, other people are self-employed and pay this level of FICA. However, if a person chooses to be self-employed, they are usually either a contract employee or own their business. Meaning, they have the ability to change their income by working more hours, selling more product or services, etc... This is not possible for most pastors.
- The IRS is clear, opting out of SS, cannot be done for financial reasons. In my opinion, it's an integrity issue, that's why I didn't opt out. (I actually calculated my taxes for 2013 both ways. If I were treated as an employee and the church were required to pay 1/2 my FICA, my actual tax liability would have been less this year even including my housing allowance on my 1040. However, as a self-employed pastor, I paid the full FICA, 15.3 % and then the additional Federal taxes owed.)

3. Please be careful judging the motive of any man's heart. When it comes to essential doctrine, we must be willing to fight to maintain doctrinal integrity. However, to constantly attack those who believe in tithing as this blog often does, is not helpful. While I agree that some use illustrations loosely and need to exercise caution, this is not true of every pastor or Christian.

4. God's Word teaches that we will give an account for every idle word. I encourage each of us to spend more time praying and crying out to God, rather than constantly criticizing others. I don't think I have ever responded on any blog until now, I am doing so because my heart is heavy and burdened for His Church! Please remember, the love of God should be what compels us.

5. I'm sure I may get some criticism for this, but please consider that the primary task of the church is not to alleviate the sufferings of humanity. Yes we should help the poor, yes we should feed the hungry, yes we should definitely care for the widow and the orphan. But the primary task of the church is to preach the gospel. The "hands on" ministry of the church should be a supernatural overflow in the life of every believer. Why? Because when we walk with Christ and love Him, will will carry out the second greatest command and love our neighbor as ourself. Every social ministry function the church does can be done by non-believers, the government, etc... The one thing the church has to offer the world that no one else can give is the gospel.

These are just a few thoughts for consideration, blessings.

joshua B said...

I agree. They are no longer 501c3 and should lose their status. They are selling and making profits.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but you guys missed the big picture. Gateway isn't a corporation because they have a paid barista (there are dozens) or a paid creative director.

They are a massive business corporation because they have annual revenues of $88 million and 500+ employees. Assets of $180 million that are not taxed. With 50% of revenue being spent on employees, that's $44 million / 500 heads or $88,000/person/year average. There are tons of people making $100K+ there.

Another 15% ($13 million) is spent on "missions" which includes airfare to London to shop at Harrad's and helicopter rides in Zurich while staying at 5 star hotels. Hey, if you had to give away over $1 million/month, you NEED a group of 10 going to Europe every month to consume $50,000-$100,000 or you'll have too much money left over. Last year they underspent the missions budget by $2 million because they didn't take enough trips to Australia.

The media division released 3 music albums, 5 books and 6 study guides. Over 220,000 tracks and 63,000 albums were downloaded. The worship team always seems to do its trips to Orlando, FL and Berlin.

Gateway acquired a software company and has spent 4 years developing a social media app to track its members lives. They publish a bi-monthly magazine is called Gateway Life. A weekly email about what's going on contains 50 things!

They have 11 Senior Pastors PLUS 29 Executive Pastors. So large, so many layers, so much bureaucracy. All of these Top 40 men have very hefty pay and benefit packages. Many never attended seminary, they primarily just manage other managers, not directly feeding the sheep.

Pastor Robert's BFF Steve Dulin sold his construction business a few years back and banked $20 million. He got bored and last year magically became "Pastor Steve" on put on the payroll despite not attending bible college or needing any money from the corporation. It's an executive perk. Status. Pride. Oh yeah, his business self-help books are on sale in the bookstore.

This is why you can be assured that this organization is more like a business than a church that serves the poor.

If you get testy over baristas, you're missing the big picture.

Source: annualreport.gatewaypeople.com

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks Anon for the info. Yep, I was right.

I guess it DOES pay to teach people that they must tithe or they will be cursed. Sounds like the big donors are "blessed" indeed...by the organization itself. Nice gig.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:19:

1. I will agree that believing that the Bible commands believers today to tithe is not, per se, contemptible. Reading Scripture I find that belief very much erroneous, but someone's good-faith disagreement with me over Scripture is not a basis for me to condemn them. However, a basic belief that tithing is commanded is not what this blog's criticism has targeted, nor has it ever to my knowledge per se condemned a belief that tithing is commanded. No, what this blog condemns are megachurch pastors (or really any pastors) who use this doctrine to brainwash, basically terrify their congregation into believing that not only must they tithe, they must tithe to THEIR CHURCH and blindly fork over the money to them to use as they see fit, without asking any questions or even asking to see how the money is spent; then, they go spend the money (1) on their own six-figure salaries (or possibly even seven figures in some cases) for the head celebrity pastor and a cadre of "staff pastors; and (2) on frivolous "wow factor" facilities with all kinds of nonsense that is, pure and simple, designed to feed the machine, to grow the business, draw more people in so they can browbeat them into tithing. Often times these hucksters don't stop at demanding a tithe; indeed they will shame their congregations by telling them that the tithe is only the bare minimum that God REQUIRES ("you give a tithe? Well way to go! I guess you think you deserve a pat on the back for meeting God's basic commandment! You want to be "a man after God's own heart" , you would be giving more than the bare minimum!). They do this all the time with their "above and beyond" giving campaigns that they keep in front of the congregation for months on end in bulletins and emails and trailer videos at services. This is truly, in every sense of the word, a financial enterprise, and I'm convinced it is detestable to God.

2. I'm not going to quarrel with you over what you state about the tax laws, but to state that I've never heard of a minister who hasn't opted out of Social Security (before you). In any event, it's not really relevant to the issue at hand (see #1).

3. As stated previously, this blog does not attack "those who believe in tithing." Indeed, I dare say that the blog is aimed at HELPING people who have been duped by their megachurch celebrity pastors to see the fraudulent heresy that is being pounded into them.

4. I agree, but their are wolves in our midst that can't be ignored at the expense of "not criticizing." Indeed, that is a primary weapon that the hucksters use, the "no criticism" rule. If you criticize, you're stirring up dissension and strife, and YOU are the one who should be condemned. Every cult and mind-controlling dictatorship which ever existed uses the same tactic.

5. That is true, but it bears no relevancy to the question of whether these hucksters are true men of God or false prophets. I simply can't track your reasoning as to how you think this relates to the legitimacy of criticizing these men.

Paul Reinhart said...

to "entertain" means: to capture ones attention.

Boring is not a spiritual attribute.

The reason why Celebration Church is full to the rafters is because it is FUN. I stay awake and listen unlike these boring Bible quoting, fire breathing, dull Preachers that gravitate to JAX.

Is it biblical? That is above my pay grade.

Is it enjoyable?

YES

And I will be back next week.

Anonymous said...

Paul... Im going out on a limb and assuming you believe yourself to be saved although not stated. The preachers you speak of can fiend for themselves BUT...I find your confession Highly Offensive!!...to My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
You trample the sacrifice he made personally for you and state "...is it biblical?...above pay grade". Arrogant, prideful, non-chalant "entertain me" philosophy that is now so prevalent in the "church".
The Problem discussed on display nicely! Thanks for being such a great example.

PS... Do you care that the staff and satan himself laugh at and disscuss you when your out of earshot?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... 10:32

Your over the top also.......

Satan laughing, I have to see that

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:15 PM Wow, just wow. "A social media app to track their members lives" LOL. Well why wouldn't we expect a big church to act like the NSA? These tax-free agencies are really quasi-government agencies.

I would bet anyone a coffee at the fancy barista cafe that ALL of these big churches report everything to the government, and make make money off of it.

But I digress. Yes. Gateway church is a giant employment agency for family, friends and high-profile people of the hoitey-toitey Southlake community.



TOM PARKER said...

I have no problems suggesting the IRS take away the tax-exempt status of "churches" like this one.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from Morris bio......
"Robert holds a Doctorate of Literature and serves as Chairman of the Board of The King’s University. "

No mention of seminary.

Anonymous said...

You really need to get over yourself. Who cares if they have this or that. It's not your church. The stuff you choose to care about is just dumb. You're obsessed.

Thor said...

"You really need to get over yourself. Who cares if they have this or that. It's not your church. The stuff you choose to care about is just dumb. You're obsessed."
__________________________________

Its not dumb to care about people using religion, and the name of Jesus, to con young people, families, and the elderly out of their income. Using the name of Jesus to extract funds from people for nothing more than cuff links and river cruises is horrible. I mean, if they used this tithing lie to extract money to help the orphans and widows and hungry and homeless, then sure, maybe the ends justifies the means. But they don't. They add staff, build buildings and "walk where Jesus walked." That is worth getting upset about. And if the WD is staying up on current topics in churches, and he is, then lo and behold, guess what most of his posts will be about? Tithing and giving. Because that is what the men of GAWD keep harping about. They are the ones that are obsessed are they not? Think about it. Thanks.

Thor said...

And I forgot to add, in addition to the holy men of GAWD being obsessed with getting you to give more money, they are also obsessed with a second huge problem they must battle in their churches....: wait for it....Criticism and whiners. :) Only problem with that is, no one else in the entire world is concerned about those two things. But you will hear a lot of sermons "from God" about them. It just shows that these guys are false, fake, and con men of the worst kind. In my opinion of course. :)

The irony is, these so called "reverends" stand behind "the sacred desk" and whine themselves about people whining to them while they are earning six-figure salaries that are paid right out of money put in the offering plate that is given to Jesus. WAAAAA WAAAAA WAAAA! Pathetic. Sounds like they are getting back at all those popular kids that shunned them and beat them up on the playground when they were in middle school.

THORRRR said...

Hey Anon at February 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM - WAAAA WAAAA WAAAA. You don't like the topic of the post? WAAAA WAAAA WAAAA. Maybe you are the one that "really needs to get over yourself." It's not your blog. The stuff you choose to complain about is just dumb. You're obsessed.

Anonymous said...

COUSIN EDDIE: ...If only I had back the money that me and Katherine was sendin' the TV preacher that was screwin' the hockey player..

CLARK: What about the kids?

COUSIN EDDIE: Well his kids can fend for themselves, I ain't...

CLARK: No, YOUR kids.

COUSIN EDDIE: Oh...

Anonymous said...

Paul Reinhart and Ron Franks are both the old Watchdog troll posting comments (once again) under yet another pseudonym.

He's just trying to get a rise out of people by making ignorant and provocative statements.

Just ignore him.

Anonymous said...

"You really need to get over yourself. Who cares if they have this or that. It's not your church. The stuff you chose to care about is just dumb. You're obsessed."

Grow up...


"And I will be back next week."

Of course you will Paul because you are one of "them."

Anonymous said...

An Anonymous noted that Morris has a Doctor of Literature from The King's University. As a matter of fact, King's does not offer a Doctor of Literature, according to their website. A Doctor of Literature is an honorary degree, conferred for someone who has honored the college in some way, or given a large donation. Most of us in the academic field spend years and sacrifice for a Ph.D. so that we can teach in higher education. To have someone claim this degree as a true doctorate shows a lack of integrity from the get go.

Anonymous said...

The Mega Seeker Friendly Churches are the apostate church. They seek to be like the world and people who want the world instead of being separated out of it unto Jesus, go there.

Jen said...

To anon 7:55 am re: Ps Robert's degrees:

Ps Robert's bio on the Gateway website shows he "attended" East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, TX (just outside of Shreveport) and Criswell College in Dallas. See http://gatewaypeople.com/staff/robert-morris Despite the fact that Gateway is a highly successful mega-church that pays to have his TV Show "The Blessed Life" broadcast to over 90 million homes in over 200 countries he is NOT listed as a "notable alumni" at either college (and ETBC is desperate enough to list the notorious Ps Jack Hyles on their notable alumni list) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Kushal_one/ETBU. Ps Robert married when he was 19 yrs old and immediately started working as a traveling preacher. Universities did not have on-line degrees back in 1980 which may explain the use of "attended" vs "graduated from." The other Senior Staff list their degrees in their bios (the ones who have degrees).

That bio also shows Ps Robert as having a "Doctor of Letters." In the section called "About Robert" Gateway states he has a "Doctorate of Literature" from The King's University.
http://gatewaypeople.com/content/about-pastor-robert-morris
Idk how Ps Robert got his PhD in Literature (which I assume is just a deliberate inflation of the Doctor of Letters) but he got his Doctor of Letters as part of an arrangement to BUY The King's University. Robert needed some sort of post secondary degree prior to his becoming the Chairman of the Board of King's University. Ps Jack Hayford (the previous founder/owner of Kings) awarded this prestigious "degree" to Ps Robert stating in front of all Gateway campuses that it was based on Robert's contributions to literature for having written several successful books (virtually all of which were about the rewards of tithing). The problem is that Ps Robert DIDN'T write them. His highly accomplished PROFESSIONAL ghost writer David A Holland did. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307729737/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0GEQBG8NRG4PF37B5C8S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846 http://www.amazon.com/David-A.-Holland/e/B003WSR1CM This was NOT an arms length transaction as they sit on each other's boards. It's not a big secret amongst Gateway insiders, but why doesn't Ps Robert share the credit with the "real" author (who is paid well to stay in the shadows)? Why didn't Mr Holland get a doctorate degree as well? The books are based on Robert's sermon notes but so are Mark Driscoll's, yet the media rakes Driscoll over the coals. At least Driscoll doesn't post fake credentials all over the web.

For those of you who don't feel that it's a big deal for "Doctor Morris" to take credit for someone else's work, receive a fake degree based on this nameless real author, I urge you to reconsider. The good doctor is preaching his Mosaic Law "tithe or your children will be cursed" malarkey on the six major continents based on misinterpretations of actual scripture and people BELIEVE him because of his expertise/resume and his claims that he hears directly from God on the tithing issue. This is a serious integrity issue. Mr Watchdog, please consider writing a post on this. I don't see how this is any different than Professor Marvel the "fortune teller" (fake credentials posted on his wall as well) in The Wizard of Oz. Except Robert is collecting about $2 Million a WEEK (rate HE quoted in sermon for Dec 2012 tithes and offerings) for access to our real Lord and Savior not the Invisible Wizard. You were born for this WD.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Ah,yes. MenaGawd with Honorary Doctorates, awarded them by other MenaGawd using the Larry/Moe/Curly System:
Larry awards Moe an Honorary Doctorate.
Moe awards Curly an Honorary Doctorate.
Curly awards Larry an Honorary Doctorate.
NYUK! NYUK! NYUK!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10 are you saying then that Morris has no degree? It's more like a mail order certificate? Maybe his degree is is in fleecing sheep? He is doing a good job of it.

Anonymous said...

I was employed on a mega church "creative team" before the name was coined, just about the time it became trendy put up song lyrics during worship. Then came scripture refs, then promotional announcements and video clips.

We've evolved into a totally media-centric worship experience, and this is now a genre in itself.

What I have seen, year after year in this "creative dept," is that we have wowed people, but not reached them. And certainly not changed them. I feel foolish that I was so bought into it.

I'm no longer a part of the church creative team, and THAT has changed at least one person - me!

Larry Geiger said...


"Paul Reinhart said...
to "entertain" means: to capture ones attention. Boring is not a spiritual attribute."

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Anonymous said...

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/amusement.htm

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough. So it would have been if He had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Hal Holdeman said...

Accurate cost accounting attributes the cafe manager salary to the income from the cafe. 30,000+ attenders/100+ pastors is a better proportion than most of your average FBC churches or any other similar group. So why do people keep coming to the services and meetings if not because "felt needs" were met. They don't even pass the plate. Anw what about the thousands of missionaries and pastors that attend any of the six to ten major conferences ore receive the webcast gatewaypeople.tv essentially free of charge (upon request.) No the funds are audited, submitted to ECFA, and generally disbursed with integrity. So is your complaint that the church is large, that it is not doing the job? Maybe you know something the IRS regulators have not found out? What is the BEEF?

Anonymous said...

1. Gateway Tithing: If you apply for a job there, make sure you are a member tithing 10% or they will not consider you. (Unless you are a highly desirable person). Every employee must tithe 10% of salary back to Gateway. Added plus if 5% more is tithed for Heart for the Kingdom, just to make sure you are extra blessed by god.
2. In order to be accepted into certain key inner circle volunteer groups, tithe 10%. They check! They don't tell you they do this, but they do.
3. Robert Morris refuses to pray for his congregation because "he has other people to do that."
4. Invisible wall between all Pastors (~50) and congregation. They call it having healthy boundaries.
5. Even most of those Pastors are not allowed to talk to or email Ps Robert Morris unless he talks to them first. Boundaries thing again.

Any red flags yet?

6. Through equip classes, different theology is spread:

1. Name it and Claim it (new age law of attraction)
2. Prosperity (guess who)
3. Kingdom Now principles
4. Emerging Church ideologies

7. They expose Children 6 yrs and up to ungodly video games with violence such as lego star wars, lego indiana jones and minecraft with the zombies. As well as very loud hard rock kids songs. Of course they throw in some Bible study in between these things. P.s. mine craft has portals to the netherworld. Seriously, do you want your 6 yr old exposed to this?!

8. They brag that they had ex disney employees design and create their children's area. Did anyone bother to ask if they were born again Christians? This ungodly model is at every campus plus now they are doing it for other Churches too.

9. There are many good things there too BUT the ungodly outweighs the rest. Most people are there to be part of something exciting and feel they can plug in and be accepted no matter what background or life situation they come from. Unfortunately, it is at the cost of their souls and their children's souls if they start to idolize the Church and treat top members as rock stars.

Just my two sense..

Randi Schramko said...

Unfortunately, this is where articles like this miss the big picture and take a few pieces of information or comments from sermons out of context and blow them up- He (Robert Morris) HAS told his congregation NUMEROUS times that it's not about giving to the church, it's about GIVING in general. So if you give to a needy friend or family member, another organization, or wherever else, the big point is that tithing is about obedience and recognizing that our money isnt really "ours" ... It's all God's in the first place. Unless someone has seen multiple sermons, they would never understand the big picture of Robert Morris' teachings. He may teach specific sermons on the subject every now and then (once a year maybe), but they don't "pass the plate" as so many churches do, wasting 15 min every week urging members to give and collect people's money.. No, instead, they literally spend 30 seconds at most telling people the boxes are in the back and to give if you feel it on your heart to do so. I've heard him say it COUNTLESS times - "Pray about your tithing and give whatever you feel God has put on your heart to give."..... You guys have to understand, people are going to be critical of everyone and everything these days. There's always going to people pointing out errors and flaws in ANYONE. I've been to dozens of churches all across this country and I cannot even begin to tell all of you how different the community of Gateway is. And I HATED big churches... But something led me to Gateway a couple of years ago and it changed my entire life. I don't even live in Dallas anymore but I NEVER miss a sermon online.. And I'm clearly not the only one that feels this way. I know so many people that Gateway has profoundly impacted in the Dallas/FTW area - in health, marriage's, jobs, family life, addictions/homelessness, sickness... it just amazes me how so many people even waste their time criticizing something they actually know nothing about instead of using their voices & lives to be a positive force in their community. I had so many people try to talk me out of going to Gateway because it was a mega-church, and I'm almost in tears typing this because I cannot even express how my life turned around for the better when I was led to Pastor Morris' teaching. I had strayed so far from God and being in Gateway was the first time I've EVER felt His presence.


I understand everyone has their opinions, but I can say from personal experience, it does no one any good to be critical or judgmental of something they really know nothing about. Everyone can gripe about a café barista (which are mostly teenagers), but ignore the thousands of positive things a church has done for a community..... THAT is beyond shameless.

Amityvillain said...

People, think for yourselves. Before you adhere to one persons opinion, try researching the information first. What I mean about that, is not look it up on the web and take other peoples opinions...actually go to the church, listen to a few sermons. Or go online and listen. And then, and only then, decide for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I think this article is cynical and sad at best (along with all of the comments). Before writing an article that criticizes tithing and having a creative director and good cup of coffee at church, do your research. Did you know that Gateway gives 1.3 million dollars PER MONTH to third world countries in order to feed the poor and put water wells in areas that have no access to water? Did you know that they give freely to those in need (single parents, the sick and the poor) in their own area as well.

Have you ever been to Gateway? The cafe and bookstore are full of people that need a part time job or job experience in general (like high school students). The professional staff is top notch and what an awesome opportunity for people who usually don't have a place to work in a church environment such as a creative director!

People's hearts and souls are being fed every weekend at Gateway. I'm sorry that you spend your time criticizing the organization that has helped so many.