And then they blame mom and dad when our kids decide it just doesn't mean that much anymore. They blame the loving mom and dad who took them to church all their lives. Sunday morning. Sunday night. Wednesday night. Awana. Choir. Youth camp. Christian schools. These stomping pompous asses are too arrogant and narcissistic to look in the mirror and think, "what have I done? Why are we losing these precious young people?' No, they don't even consider that it is THEM, that have lost not only these kids, but they have lost the faithful parents too. And what about their own kids? Do they blame themselves for their own kids' beliefs and actions?
How is it that supposedly God "called" these guys to lead these churches and yet they still are losing this generation as the church declines in number, conviction, baptisms, and influence in society. Doesn't God say something about once something loses its saltiness it is to be thrown out? Maybe its time to throw out these pastors and the system they have exploited for decades. It's lost its saltiness. Maybe its time to proclaim to these arrogant jerks that "You are that man!" when it comes to placing blame on why our children leave the church as soon as they get a chance. You see, some studies report that it takes less then a semester away from the cult-like environment of the fundamentalist church, for our children to realize that they don't believe it all. They find themselves respecting other religions and beliefs. They realize they have love and respect for homosexual friends. They realize that good decent people, like many of their friends, can partake in many of the "forbidden" fruits and find them not to be the destructive vice, or basis for going to hell, that they were raised to believe. So like they did with Santa Claus, they begin to question what they were told. This is okay. This is healthy. Whatever religion they were taught should be able to stand up to public scrutiny. It's ideas should win the day in the arena of public discourse. But when it doesn't, the best we can hope for is that they don't throw it all out. That they won't suddenly believe none of it. That they might hold dear those teachings of Jesus about love and serving and helping others.
So what do these pastors do when faced with the crop that THEIR seeds of leadership have sown? Encourage mom and dad? Remind mom and dad of all they did and how they did the best they could? Remind them of scripture about God's promises that those kids will return to the Lord if they were raised up in the Lord? ABSOLUTELY NOT! These pompous asses don't know when to quit. They actually pile on mom and dad and tell them "The reason your beautiful young adult child drops out of church at eighteen years old or when they go off to college is because you criticized ME! You didn't raise them in the church, you raised them in an atmosphere of criticism of the pastor and church all their lives. NO WONDER they quit coming.!" "If you, mom and dad, are not committed, then don't be surprised if they aren't committed." Boy, this would be terrible if it were true. But it is exponentially more harmful and terrible if it is not true. Hear me: It's not true. It's a lie. And maybe pastor, you were way too easy to criticize because you were a liar and manipulator and exploiter of the gullible, humble, helpless sheep that want to love Jesus and serve him and trusted you with the Word. Know this about me: With all the criticism I have directed at charlatan preachers, I would never, ever blame them or their wife if one or more of their children cheated on their wife, or knocked up someone else, or had any number of other moral and/or legal failures. Or worse to the fundamentalist, if one of their children became a Democrat. Or didn't believe it all. Or agreed that all citizens have a right to marry, even those with same sex partners.
So what is the motive of these charlatans when it comes to beating up mom and dad when their kids are already hurting them by their decisions? Other then the obvious love of money and desire to feel important and respected with a college degree in bible, some of these pastors want the remaining pew sitters to feel guilty for questioning his operations that have led to the demise of the church and its role in society. He wants to make the connection between losing the next generation and mom and dad not being supportive enough. Mom and Dad not being good enough. He wants the faithful members that have stuck with him to feel that somehow had they given more money, given more time, given more respect to the preacher and everything he says, then little Sally and little Jonny would still be in church. This is HOGWASH and breaks my heart. But I and millions of others left this abusive environment a long time ago, so the brunt of this beating rests on the poor gullible faithful families that stayed. And they have to listen to this? Come on pastor, have some compassion for these nice folks. Don't blame them. They have suffered enough. Does your manipulation have no bounds? What, you need more money? You need more commitment from the ones that stayed with you? Your cute little slogan of "All In" didn't work?
The camera pans the congregations of these TV charlatans and I see faithful moms and dads suffering over their kids' decisions, and then I see a pile of guilt layed on top. "Honey, if we give more money, and volunteer more time, then our kids will see our level of commitment and so they will stay committed when they get older. We must do it for our kids."
That, my friends, is guilting people and manipulating people. And it makes me sick. And it makes me sad.
I wish it was just one or two mega pastors that teach this. But with the internet and sites like Sermons.com, (see below)even the smaller congregations are plagiarizing whatever topics are put out there and you hear lazy preachers simply preaching on whatever topic they see online or hear some other preacher ranting about.
But it also makes me praise Jesus when my own kids question "the church", and when they laugh at the pompous ass stomping around on the stage, and when they get involved in charities and non-profits and begin to love and help hurting people, and when they stay faithful to their spouse, and when they love and provide for their own children, and give their time, talents and energies to organizations that actually help people. All people. Even the Muslim and homosexual people. It is then that I am glad I provided leadership to my family and will rejoice pastor, when they don't give their loyalty, devotion, time and talent to some millionaire man of God and his 501(c)(3) business.
The young people get it pastor. You aren't fooling them. They left, or will as soon as they can. But please leave alone the few good folks that stayed with you. Quit blaming them. Give them a break. Have you no shame. Stop it!
If you really want to see your kids stay true to the values you taught them, then stand up and be a man or woman of faith and conviction and walk out of that church and take your kids with you. Then explain to them how God has called you to discern wisdom and lead your family in spiritual matters. Take it up with the book. Read them the verses that say to kill homosexuals and tell them they shouldn't believe that and not to practice that. Teach them to invest their incomes in things that will make a difference, and not in another new building for a 501(c)(3), or another pastor's vacation bonus. You won't lose them that way. But if you leave them there listening to, and respecting, and believing that delusional or manipulative or hypocritical seminarian up on stage, you will lose them for sure. Let them know you don't agree with that jerk up there. Get out a dictionary and read to them the definitions of pompous. And the definition of charlatan. And read those verses about wolves in sheep's clothing. And let the Holy Spirit guide their conclusions about YOUR pastor. Yeah, him. If the shoe fits...
On your way out, let that "man of God" know that if he represents God and the church, then you are delighted your kids won't be sticking around once they are adults. And you, mom and dad, don't let him guilt you into taking the blame for his failures. While he was building new buildings, and hiring his family, and taking vacations, and traveling the country to speak, and stomping around, and criticizing our courts and our country, he was turning your kids away from what you tried to raise them to believe. You were doing all you could to teach them about Jesus and to model that love.
He, your pompous ass pastor, NOT you, is the Architect of Disbelief.
Please get yourselves and your kids out of there. He's now blaming you! And if your kids trust him, they will blame you, too! And while you struggle with this, he will just leave for another tour of the Holy Land and take another cruise. He is the Architect of Disbelief. Shame on him. Get out of there.