2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jeff Schreve, Senior Salesman at FBC Texarkana - Delivers Most Complete Sermon Full of Tithing Nonsense WD Has Heard

Weekly I receive tips from church members around the country about some pastor preaching on storehouse tithing or some other nonsense.

This week I heard about Jeff Schreve, pastor First Baptist Church Texarkana (TX), who preached a manipulative sermon on storehouse tithing entitled...get ready for this..."How to Get Right With God". Yes, his sermon was to tell his members that if they want to have a right relationship with God, they MUST immediately begin to give 10% of all their gross income to the church - no middle ground, they must get to 10% right away to stop robbing God and to start trusting God so they can establish a right relationship with Him.

I've heard about Jeff Schreve a number of years ago, when there was some turmoil in his church and a family had contacted me, but I have never done a post on him. Members were fed up with his arrogance and self-promotion and had to hit the road. FBC Texarkana has a weekly attendance of about 1600 according to Lifeway, and as I posted a few weeks ago here, this means Jeff earns somewhere around $140,000 from his church, and that doesn't count his speaking gigs as his star continues to rise in the SBC. He has a weekly radio and TV show called "From His Heart", that his website says reaches over 149 countries, and broadcast on over 600 radio outlets in the United States.

I'm going to do another post soon about the specifics of his tithing sermon, as it really was the most complete compilation of tithing lies and manipulations that I've heard. It is an encyclopedia of all the tricks I've heard pastors pull to get people to fork over 10% of their gross income. In one 45-minute sermon he throws them all out at his congregation hoping at least one of them will stick.

I've watched some of Schreve's sermons before going back a few years, and I've always thought there was something creepy about him. The best way to sum it up is that he comes across as someone who is trying to sell you something that he himself doesn't believe in. I mean Gaines, Noble, Young, Furtick, they do seem to actually believe what they dish out. I don't think any of them would pass a lie detector if questioned about whether they believed their own B.S., especially on tithing, but they are at least good liars. Schreve is not.

Then as I read Schreve's bio, I read that before he became a pastor, he spent 12 years as a salesman - in waste management and waste treatment. Now it makes sense: Jeff was a salesman. A salesman of garbage, and chemicals to treat industrial waste. My initial observations make sense - he DOES come across as a phony salesman, because he was one and knows the trade.

Sunday Schreve reverted back to his salesman days - he was selling an industrial-size batch of toxic waste - and he did a horrible job, and I don't think he fooled his congregation. Very unconvincing performance.

In this sermon he is nervous, gets lost several times in his sermon notes, jumping around and moving back to make sure he covers all of his manipulations, and tries to pull off at least two instances of emotional pleas and fake crying. It is awful. Schreve can't fake it. His attempt to appear emotional and weeping is embarrassing to watch.

Two specifics I did want to mention about his sermon:

- Schreve pulled a trick from Perry Noble's playbook, doing the old "Parable of the Greedy Christian" routine using Skittles. The point of the object lesson is that if you are a "greedy" Christian and don't tithe, you won't get any blessings (Skittles) from God, but if you set aside your first 10% of your income each month and give it to "God" (i.e. Jeff's church), then you will get all of God's blessings, as Jeff pours the entire pitcher of Skittles into the tither's empty cup, and none go in the non-tither's. Poor non-tither. He get's nothing but God "releasing the devourer" to gobble up his resources. Sick stuff.

- Jeff wanted to make sure his non-tithing members know they MUST give at the 10% level, and giving any percentage less than 10% is to give God "dog food", or a mangled and deformed sacrifice. Schreve also  said a member increasing their giving slowly over time, from 4% to 6% giving, is equivalent to Schreve telling the congregation that he is slowly going to decrease his level of stealing from the church this year over last.

Think about it: in that congregation that day, who in the church is the biggest TAKER of money from the church given for ministry and to spread the gospel? It is Schreve, without question. He is taking, taking, and taking. A hard working member working 50 or 60 hours per week comes to church to give as generously as they can, and they sit there and take that arrogant ass telling them they are robbing God. No, they are GIVING. Jeff is TAKING. Jeff Schreve, you are a taker. Jeff, you conveniently left out of your sermon that Malachi was addressing pastors like you who were robbing God. Minor detail.

Watching the video of this sermon is painful. There are many crowd shots showing men, sitting there, listening to Jeff's horse manure sales pitch. These are probably hard-working men, who have careers and love their wives, and provide very well for their children's needs, paying for their schooling, and sacrificing every thing for the benefit of their families. And they sit there and let this con artist tell them for 45-minutes they are criminals - worse than criminals - because they don't fork over 10% of their income to Jeff's church.

Men of Jeff's church, man-up. Get out of Jeff's church. If you are the spiritual leader of your home, then why do you expose them to a salesman pitching you and your family a bunch of manure? If Schreve will sell you this to get his hands on your wallet, you really can't trust his next sermon. Or his next one, or his next one. Does a salesman just lie to one customer and not to the next one? You know the answer. With so many options of churches, you can move to a new one.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Don't Be Mad at Creflo, His Tweet was Directed at His Mega Church Buddies

There is a firestorm on social media over the following Creflo "Benjamin" Dollar Tweet, that is now deleted from Twitter.

It is quite obvious to me that the "us" he was referring to as laying claim to financial prosperity - was he and his fellow mega church pastors.

Look at the data I posted here this week on mega church pastors in the SBC whose churches are larger than 1000 in size. They are pulling well into the six figures, not including all the benefits and honorarium for speaking gigs, writing books, jobs for family, and so on.

So yes, for these pastors, Jesus absolutely did bleed and die for the purpose of the PASTORS' financial prosperity.

Jesus sure didn't die for the prosperity of their pew sitters. If Jesus died for Creflo's and the other mega pastors' financial gain, then it stands to reason that Jesus also died to turn the pew sitters over to spiritual abuse at the hands of these charlatans.

When will people wake up? Maybe they aren't asleep, just brain dead.

And never forget peeps, in Malachi 3 those versus your man of God uses to tell you that you must tithe or you're robbing God - Malachi was addressing that entire chapter to the religious leaders, not to the common folk.Your man of God is the one who is robbing God.

Don't believe me? Look it up. Take it up wit da book. These charlatans know this, they just hope you keep taking their word for it.

Monday, October 5, 2015

SBC Mega Church Compensation for Sr. Pastors - As Malachi Said in Mal 3:10, the Pastors are Robbing God, Not the Pew Sitters

In 2014 Lifeway published pastoral compensation data they collected from SBC churches, and Lifeway has provided a searchable database to access the data. Here is the link to the database search tool.

I decided to look at compensation for pastors of churches with an average attendance of 1000 or more. For a list of these churches, look here.at Thom Rainer's blog. There are about 575 SBC churches that range between 1000 and 27,000 in weekly attendance. Perry Noble is #1 on the list.

In Lifeway's study, there were 139 churches of the 575 who reported their Senior Pastor's Salary/Housing and Benefits data. Not a bad sample size. According to Lifeway's data, average compensation for pastors whose churches are 1000 or higher is $142,575 in salary/housing, and $31,495 in benefits.

Those aren't typos. Yes, can you imagine, $31,495 in benefits? Let's assume average health insurance is about $10,000 annually, and the churches are paying all of it. That leaves nearly $20,000 MORE - life insurance, retirement, etc.

Now you know why your pastors are focused on "growth" of their churches. They know that growth in noses, means growth in their nickels.

I decided to slice this up a bit by making multiple quires on the Lifeway data. My results are below. The search engine won't give you data unless there are a minimum number of churches in the search criteria selected, so when I got above churches with average attendance, I had to do some conservative estimates based on a calculated "Salary/person attending", and those estimates are shaded, and I made the very, very conservative assumption that the largest of the churches are contributing only $60,000 to the senior pastors benefits, when we know it would be much higher based on the upward trend.

However, notice that most of the money is this set of data is in the churches between 1000 and 5000 in size. More churches of that size, and these guys are raking in a hefty compensation package.

That should make most SBC members angry. They listen to many of these pastors tell them they must fork over 10% of their gross income to avoid the cursings of God - yet these pastors are pulling down six-figures, and a huge benefit package on top of that, not to mention their extra perks they get from speaking gigs, book deals, holy land trips. Oh, and not to mention sweet jobs for family members, as nepotism is rampant in these larger SBC churches. Oh, and not to mention again, the free use of church media and advertising resources for their personal benefit - some so brazen as to actually use their church's TV air time to peddle their Holy Land trips and European cruises.

But look, the Watchdog has calmed down a bit after I've pointed out some of the dangers of fundamentalism over the past month or so. I do want to point to a silver lining inside of this data. Yes, I want to show the positive. This data presents an OPPORTUNITY.

This is where the IMB annual $21 million short-fall is. These pastors, and their sycophant church trustees have taken money that could go to missions. "That's wrought!!!" as the country-boy pew sitter with his southern drawl exclaims when he hears truth.

Just how much money would be available to go to the IMB to close the shortfall? Well, let's shoot for the $21 million needed to close the annual budget gap. That is a good target to shoot for, since most of the hot-shot mega church pastors or retired mega church pastors are the ones calling for pew sitters to give more money to close the gap!! These are the guys whose salaries and benefits are represented in these numbers, for crying out loud!

So here is the plan: if these pastors gave up 15% of their compensation and housing, and they agreed to cap their benefits package to a "measly" $18,000 per year, churches the size of 1000 or more alone could close the IMB gap.

Short version: hey pastors, we've already given the money for missions. YOU HAVE TAKEN IT FOR YOURSELVES.

If these pastors would agree to do this - I'm sorry, let me rephrase that: I mean if the trustees would decide to do this and let their pastor know God told them to do it - here is how much money would be saved: $21,000,000. Wouldn't affect the operations of the church, any building programs, other staffer' salaries.

It will ONLY affect the pastor.

I can already hear the arguments from the cuff-linked church trustees: "We might lose our pastor, he might go to another church if we cut tens of thousands of dollars from his package. He's our draw, he's our money-maker. People come to hear HIM. He is wanting more money, not less."

Really? I thought God "called" these men. Who calls them, God or money? Don't these guys want the rest of the world to hear about Jesus? Don't their wives  - helping them spend the cash - want people in Europe and Africa and South America to hear about Jesus?

So come on, messengers to the 2016 SBC Annual Meeting - pass a resolution calling on church trustees of large churches to scale back their pastors' compensation package.

The problem is not with the pew sitter. It is with the mega church pastors who are taking the money that the pew sitters are giving, and spending it on themselves.

And by the way, your seminarian won't tell you this: Malachi was not talking to people in the assembly - the "pew sitter" if you will -  about robbing God. No, actually he was talking to the priests. He was talking to the pastors. He was talking to YOUR pastor, perhaps. And your pastor KNOWS this, but figures you are too stupid to look it up yourself,

But don't take my word for it.

Don't argue with the blogger, brother.

"Take it up wit da book."