With the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, and Barrack Obama still in office, and the coming Iranian treaty, mega church pastors are agonizing over the fate of our country and the soon-coming judgment of God. And as many pastors are saying, it is only a mater of time before they will be thrown into prison for not conducting same-sex weddings. These guys have it tough. How do they endure such hardships?
But Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis is doing something about it! They have announced to all the good folks at Bellevue that their pastor, Steve Gaines (affectionately known as "Pastor" in first-person), needs an extended vacation to refresh from all these pressures.
And best of all, the good folks at Bellevue have the wonderful opportunity to give money to a special fund to PAY for Pastor and Donna Gaines' "time of refreshing".
"The church is giving Pastor and Donna extended time off in July 2016. They will travel to England where they will retrace the lives the men who have been part of great awakenings in the past as they take time to pray, study, and refresh".Come on. Why not just say it like it is. They're giving the man and his wife an extended vacation. They're not retracing steps, or studying the "Great Awakening". They're going to Europe for a vacation and will stay in luxurious hotels and will go sightseeing. They're not going to just be "praying, studying and refreshing".
But turning a vacation into a spiritual journey back to study men (no women presumably) of the past, and to say they will be praying and studying while there - allows the church to with a straight face hit the people up at Bellevue to give money to pay for "Pastor's" vacation.
"If you would like to help fund the cost of this time of refreshing for Pastor and Donna, please indicate your gift in the same envelope and make your check payable to Bellevue Baptist Church."Yes, the Bellevue members get to help fund a "time of refreshing" for Pastor. Maybe cut your vacation short so you can help "Pastor" pay for his.
This sort of shameless fundraising should sicken the people at Bellevue. They should be outraged that their pastor who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and benefits, who earns stipends when he goes and preaches at other churches - is not going to pay for his own vacation and they are hitting up the church members instead.
But I'm sure the people of Bellevue love it. By giving to "Pastor's" vacation, er "time of refreshing", they feel like they are giving to God himself. Another deception of the gullible.
Who else does this? Do private companies solicit employees to pay for the "time of refreshing" for the owner? Do CEO's of corporations solicit shareholders or customers or employees to pay for the CEO to take an "extended time off"? Of course not. But CEO's are not "men of God", like pastors.
Here's my take: I say megachurch pastors like Gaines' and others deserve a pay cut, and need to have shortened vacations and not extended ones. Their influence on our culture has waned. Mega church pastors have shown our culture that what really matters in modern-day Christianity is fund-raising, huge buildings, and large staffs with lots of professional holy men with seminary degrees.
So Bellevue peeps, tell Steve and Donna to pay for their own time of refreshing, just like you pay for yours.