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

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

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Vain Religious Arguments About Religion - Who Cares About the Gospel!

Let me be clear. No one lives forever. No one has eternal life. Period.  Let that sink in. Is there any statement more obvious, and less subject to argumentation than that one?  How do I know? The same way every other human that ever lived knows. Everyone dies.  Now, let the theologians jump in and the apologists' name calling begin. Let them explain how they do in fact have eternal life and you can have it too. But no matter what they argue, You are still going to die no matter what you believe.  Deal with it.  Look, since that argument is no longer open to debate, theologians and religious people have to start the explanations about their holy book and what they believe and have faith in.  It's the same thing they do when I say God doesn't provide shoes to us, or houses to live in. So obvious a statement of fact, except for hypothetical religious beliefs and theological mumbo jumbo. And did Jesus say, "this is sort of like my body" take thee and eat of it? Do you believe you are actually eating his body. Does the Bible say its his body or not?  The Catholics can explain how and why it is.  The Protestant (you and me) says, I'm not buying it. But must we throw out everything else the Catholic believes?  Of. Course. Not.

Now, I understand that EVERY single world religion will be quick to explain that you only get eternal life AFTER you are dead. None are crazy enough to say that you get it now. I get that. I can, and do, have hope and faith that it is true, DESPITE every single piece of evidence in the entire world from the beginning of time to now does not support it. I CAN and DO still have faith that it will be true when I die. I can't disprove that it happens, I can't see that it doesn't happen, so I can honestly choose to have faith and hope that it will happen. I can't, on the other hand, have faith and hope that donkeys or trees talk or reason or that the sun can stand still while it circles the earth.  Question: Does he give us eternal life here? No.  You zealots, if alive at the time of Christ, would have argued with Jesus that the Bible clearly said he gives eternal life and it means what it says.  But when people all around us started dying and kept dying for centuries, even the most devout religious nut jobs of every religion knew they had to quickly change the theology and dogma to fit reality.  That is all I am also doing. I've changed my dogmatic beliefs based on reality and what I see God doing and what I see God not doing. 

So, go ahead and explain again using your holy book how that means you can be CERTAIN that you will have eternal life only after you die first, and ONLY if you give intellectual assent to the CORRECT set of facts. And this applies to those that die of cancer and other diseases.  Explain to all of us that they will be healed in heaven, not here, IF they get there by believing the correct set of facts.

But why get mad at me when I point out that we don't have eternal life here and that he doesn't heal us from autism, downs syndrome, alzheimer's and most cancers here?  He doesn't. So what? Why does that bother some of you so much? Do you want to keep lying about God?

Why can't you just love and trust him for what we know he does, and not for what we hypothetically argue that he could or would do except for his "morally defensible reasons?"

Whose morals? Yours, or the Muslim terrorists? They have good reason for Jihad. Christians had good reasons for the crusades. Religious leaders had, and still have it seems, good morally sufficient reasons for covering up sexual abuses in the church.  

So, for those of you who wish me to debate my "theology", I say no thanks. I'm not interested in arguing with you anymore than I am in going over to a Muslim website and debating the Muslim on their beliefs. I also am not interested in debating the Catholic apologist or going to a Catholic person's website and arguing about the many things we disagree on.  I am not interested in going to a Jehovah Witnesses' website and trying to persuade them where they are wrong.  And I don't wish to debate the Jewish rabbis or Jewish adherents about whose God is real and who is going to hell and who isn't based on their beliefs.  Why? Because all of those folks can give reasons that seem perfectly sufficient to them, but certainly not to anyone other than those that already agree with them.  I know the readers of this blog don't agree with them.

So now you know how I feel about you.  The same as you feel about the Catholics and Jews.  Some are great people, sincere people, loving people, devoted religious people, but they are wrong on some things. And I certainly believe SOME of what the Jews and Catholics believe, but not ALL. And so do YOU. Yet you insist that I must believe it all and can't pick and choose which parts I believe. Yet you do the exact same thing when it comes to Catholics and Jews. Right? Don't keep reading so fast...Right?  Amen? Amen!

So I will continue to post from time to time on the nonsense I see in what used to be my personal belief system before it was hijacked by far right, fundamentalist wackos.  Not to convince them that I am right and they are wrong, since that is impossible when debating ANY religious beliefs, but mainly just to point out where the charlatans have led us astray and how ridiculous some of their tertiary beliefs are. Only cults so strongly accuse others that you "hate God" and "hate the Bible" just because you disagree with them on some application of the scriptures. You don't hate the Catholic church or Jews do you, just because you disagree with them on some things about God and salvation and the Bible?  Only cults will tell you that you will burn in hell even if you are trusting Christ for salvation if you don't also believe in their theological reasonings.  Are you a cult member? Only cult members will insist that you cannot believe ANY part of their religious beliefs unless you believe ALL of them.  Are you a cult member or not?

I assume the Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Jew, moderate Baptist, non-denominational Christians, et al, would all simply try and find where we agree, (like trusting in Christ for salvation for example), and not try to convince me that I should not, and can not, trust in Christ unless I also believe every single other thing they believe in.  No, only religious nut jobs and fanatics would hold to such a view.  

And for some reason, it seems those are the ones that read and then respond so ugly to my observations.  It just reinforces to me that what I am blogging about is oh so true. And sad. They have reasons and explanations why God blesses them with shoes, while allowing innocent children to be raped and Christians to be beheaded. It all makes sense to them.  They quickly then try to ask you to prove your beliefs and defend your views, because they know no amount of arguing will change the reality of their beliefs in the real life arena of public discourse and in real life applications. They know "proving" any of our views on spiritual matters is impossible, since they get asked to prove their views all the time and simply can't do it. I can "prove" that everyone dies. And that God is not healing autism or alzheimers or putting shoes on my feet or a roof over my head.

So, here's an idea: You fundamentalist religious nut jobs that want to lecture me and scold me on your beliefs, why not go over to the local hospital and tell it to those doctors who have invested their lives in practicing medicine to actually help heal people.  Better yet, explain it to their dying patients. Show them your shoes and pictures of your house. Tell them how God is the great physician and healer.  That he is "good, all the time" and "has a plan for their lives" and is "in control." And that by his stripes they are healed. Go debate them. Go over to the universities physics and biology and chemistry departments and lecture those scientists and their students on how things work.  Pray for healing of autism and alzheimers and never give a penny to those scientists and doctors who are striving to find cures.  Give money to your local church instead and not to any of the above places because the only thing that really matters is whether or not people believe exactly like you do. I mean God has a reason for not providing a cure so why pray and try to find one? He is in control. Pray for fire to come down out of heaven and consume wet timber.  It happened before, right, so God "could" do it again, amen?  Let's go out into the woods and debate if he will do it or not. We both know he won't. So, I'll continue to point out that God doesn't do those kinds of things.  He doesn't provide shoes. He doesn't give any of us a roof over our heads.

But did he send his son to die for my sins?  I CAN AND DO actually have faith that he did.  And that makes me a Christian. Or as one "man of God" put it:  "HA!"

Happy Holidays.  More real life observations coming this Season.  (Please don't boycott my blog because I used the word "holiday" instead of Christmas there.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Readers, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and that you are able to spend time with people that you love and for whom you are indeed thankful.  As we get time off work, and many will gather together to "give thanks" this month, let's be sure to show our gratitude and appreciation to those that indeed are due our thanks.  And let's make sure we consider what it is we truly should be thankful to others for and not just give shallow thanks for the fruits of our labor.

For example, I get a sick, almost sad feeling in my gut when I hear Christians thanking the Creator of the Universe, for material blessings they possess.  "Thank you God for this Grammy Award." "Praise Jesus for my new car." "First and Foremost I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to succeed at football." This type of shallow showing of gratitude to the Creator God totally disregards those who actually made their possessions possible, while also neglecting those that do not have those blessings.  

Let me explain.  Why should a Christian be thankful to God for "shoes on my feet" and a "roof overhead" when millions of people are homeless, barefoot and starving all over this country and all over this world.  Pretty shallow isn't it? Pastors like to say if God doesn't punish America for its sins, he owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah.  Exactly. It applies here too. If God is giving Americans shoes and shelter and financial and material wealth and blessing their health, he owes a huge apology to all those children in the cancer wards all over the world, and to all those starving children.  Shouldn't we be praying for those with Downs Syndrome and Autism and Alzheimer's and their caregivers?  Why "pray for them" when God knows about it already and has chosen not to help?  It makes no sense.  And those little children whose daddy or pastor will sexually abuse them tonight, should they be thankful for God's protection and provisions?  Do we ignore reality and then sincerely be thankful for our shoes and roof over our head?  This is really sick, shallow Christianity.

But that's not even the worst part about this "shallow" giving of thanks to God for shoes and shelter and health and food.  The real delusion is that God didn't give you any of those things anyway.  You worked and earned the money. You worked hard. For long hours. Day after day. Year after year. Laboring. To earn money to buy shoes for yourself.  To provide a roof over your head. To pay for your education. To provide these needs to loved ones that relied on you. So if you want to be thankful for your shoes, thank your boss for the job.  Did you thank your boss for hiring you? Or did you just praise Jesus for your paycheck?  Be grateful you made the decision to go to work instead of commit a crime. Take responsibility not just for your failings and screw-ups, but for your successes too.  If God can get the credit for everything we ever did right, then why doesn't he get any blame for anything that is wrong? It's our fault when we fail, it's his blessings when we succeed?  Tell that to the kids and their parents in the cancer wards; and to starving, abused and neglected children everywhere. God loves them alright, but helping that nice man score a touchdown, or getting the nice singer a Grammy is more important.  They even point up to the sky to let everyone know what God is doing for them.

And what about your career?  Why thank the Creator, when you likely got that job because of the education and degree you earned at college.  I'm thankful to the University of Florida for my degree that allowed me to earn money to buy shoes for me and my family and put a very nice roof over their heads. We never were short on food due to the salary I was able to earn after graduation.
Thank you to my professors. Go Gators!  But I don't thank God for my degree. I know how much it cost me financially (years and years of student loan debt to be repaid) and mentally (hours and hours for years and years of studying) and sacrificially (over 16 years in school to get a graduate degree). So when I graduated, I appreciated people congratulating me and not giving all thanks and credit to God. And how offensive to think God cares about me getting my diploma and intervenes to help to make it happen, while the child gets abducted and the Christian gets beheaded?

And thank you to my mom and dad. They cared for me the best they could under their circumstances. They provided food and shelter and shoes and love. I'm not going to insult my dad and God by thanking God for something my dad labored hard to provide me.  Who am I kidding? They both know who provided the shoes. I know the sacrifices my mom made for my benefit.

And thank you to the USA! They provide social security and disability payments to the sick and elderly. They provide food to the poor, a free education, police protection, parks, roads, hospitals, health care, national defense, and on and on.  And thank you to our veterans on this Veterans Day! They are the ones we should be thanking for our freedom. Not God.  You need only watch a video of Christians getting their heads chopped off to know what God is doing in that regard.  Nothing. Right? Or am I missing something?

Now, I am thankful to the Creator for his creation, the sunrise and sunset, the birds and animals and trees and ocean and mountains and the life he created here.  But I just can't thank him for my shoes and roof over my head when I know he didn't provide that to me anyway, and I know he isn't concerned with that when millions of his children are barefoot, homeless, being abused, starving, in poverty, work in sweatshops, are pawns in sex trafficking and are dying all over the globe.  It's shallow. It's insincere. And it's not real.  So I encourage you to give thanks to those that have invested their time, money, emotions and lives in you. Your mom and dad, friends, doctors, nurses, teachers, spouses, and children.  That will be a great encouragement to them on this Thanksgiving.  Don't patronize the Creator God by thanking him for your shoes while turning a blind and delusional eye to all those that don't have the health and wealth you created for yourself.  Yes, ours is a great country with much to be thankful for.  None of which was provided by the supernatural hand of God, but by the innovation, creativity, hard work, love and service of those that toiled and made it happen before us.  Be thankful you were born here and not in Ethiopia.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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 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."