"...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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Perry Noble and NewSpring Kick-Off the Tithing Season with Parody of Themselves!!

Below is a parody video that NewSpring Church has posted on their website to introduce Perry Noble's new sermon series entitled "The Church Just Wants Your Money". Some of the "best" (i.e. worst) teachings on money in mega churches come in September/October, so we are glad to see Perry is kicking things off with a bang! (The all time best/worst was Ed Young's tithing long bomb back in 2010 here and here.)

On one hand this is some masterful marketing. Not a bad idea to deflect criticism about Perry Noble's nutty tithing teachings by making a parody video and a series based on the church just wanting your money. Truth is the problem with Perry is not that they "just want your money"...it is the ridiculous teachings that Perry uses to convince Christians that if they want God's blessings - in fact if they want to avoid a CURSE from God himself - they must give 10% of their money to Perry's church.

And really, that is NOT funny. So NewSpring church members - there really is nothing humorous about what Perry is going to teach you. It is not something to make light of. If you actually believe what Perry will teach you about tithing and you follow his teaching on "redeeming" your income, that 10% of your income is required, etc. etc., it can do much harm to you and your family.

Perry addressed his new sermon series here at his blog, and the Christian Post wrote an article about the series here. They both miss the point about Perry's teachings on money - it is not that Perry teaches ABOUT money or that he enjoys taking an offering - it is WHAT Perry teaches about money that is noteworthy. His latest nonsense I wrote about here, where Perry linked non-tithers to Judas betraying Jesus by saying,

"Technically, Judas betrayed Jesus over tithe money." 


"When it comes to your finances, they are either blessed by God, or cursed by God, there is no middle ground..."

Perry will stop at nothing to convince his church members that they MUST give 10% of their gross income to his church or they will be cursed by God.

Bottom line: Perry really is his own parody. To study Perry's teaching on money is itself a lampoon of church finances. Go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here and you'll see what I mean. Or just type in "Perry Noble" in the Watchdog search, and you'll see even more.

So the Watchdog is at the ready to examine Perry's parody series of his own silliness when it comes to finances. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Prestonwood Baptist Brings in J. John to Preach His Doughnut Tithing Nonsense

Well, Prestonwood Baptist and Pastor Jack Graham have joined the first-fruits, tithe-redeeming crowd in the SBC that says Christians must give the first 10% of their income in order to "redeem" the remaining 90% - thereby magically making it more valuable than the entire 100%...and if you need more money, God will magically get other people to give you money.

But it wasn't Jack himself who delivered the message to the Prestonwood faithful, it was a guy named "J. John", a British evangelist who became popular a few years back with his "Just 10" sermon series on the Ten Commandments.

To convince Prestonwood members they need to tithe, "J. John" uses a "doughnut" analogy to tell everyone at Prestonwood that they all get "10 doughnuts" each week, and that "God owns all the doughnuts" and the value of each doughnut varies from person to person.

Says J. John:
"God says: 'If you're a follower of Jesus, you take one of the doughnuts and you take it to your church where you belong to, and you offer it to the church, as an act of worship."

At least J. John doesn't misuse scripture in his tithing lies - he just references no bible verses at all. J. John just apparently knows the mind of God and tells everyone what "God says".

And since "God owns all the doughnuts", J. John says that Christians should "stop complaining" that they have to give one of them back to the church.

J. John goes further, and tries the old "the tithe redeems the other 90% of your income" trick. He says that your doughnuts are "secular" when you earn them, but by giving one of the doughnuts they all magically become "sacred".
"Those doughnuts are secular. When you take the secular doughnut and you give it the church you belong to...that doughnut becomes sacred. When that doughnut becomes sacred, the other nine doughnuts become sacred. Nine sacred doughnuts are worth more than ten secular ones."
Secular and sacred doughnuts. Is it any wonder people are leaving churches? If these guys tell fantastic stories and fables about magical money - why would anyone believe ANYTHING ELSE they are saying about ANYTHING?

And to really lay it on thick, according to J. John, if you give 10%, God will magically make people give you more money if you need it:
"When we've got nine doughnuts, if we do need more doughnuts, and God knows we need them, he'll make other people give us a few doughnuts. It's amazing how it works..."
Yeah, right. It's amazing how it works, all right. How it works is this: J. John is a hired gun to convince people to give money to the church or ministry that hires him.

In this case, it was Jack Graham who hired J. John. A few years ago, it was Joyce Meyer who hired J. John.

In the video above, you'll see that J. John spoke at a Joyce Meyer conference and used the same doughnut illustration. Except at the end, he said the following, and it was in all seriousness:
"There are thousands of us here who don't even need nine [doughnuts]. So what does God say? Right. 'I want you to give a doughnut to Joyce Meyer so she can go on TV every day. So you give one of your doughnut sand you become a monthly supporter.'"
There you have it. J. John is hired by Joyce Meyer to tell the women at her conference that God says to give one of their doughnuts to Joyce Meyer so she can be on TV.

Prestonwood members, do you feel like suckers now that you know J. John uses his tithing fable to raise money for Joyce Meyer, then comes to your church with the same fable?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

You are a Dumb Sheep! How DARE You Question the 'Man of God'!!

How dare you question the man of God??!! 

Her grammar is not perfect, but my word, this lady needs to be hired by the Southern Baptist Convention!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Peter Lumpkins and the Blame Game - Someone in the SBC Needs to Put a Stop to Peter's Nonsense

It is a sad sight to see Peter Lumpkins in full attack mode on social media after Braxton Caner's funeral. Peter and others have been on social media since the funeral attempting to blame Braxton's death on critics of Braxton's dad, Ergun Caner.

Perhaps what is even sadder than Peter's posts and re-tweets of others who are all but blaming James White and J.D. Hall for the death of Braxton Caner - is the silence from anyone else in a leadership position in the SBC, allowing Peter to continue playing this blame game.

I read what Peter is writing and what he is favoriting and re-Tweeting on Twitter, and I can scarcely believe those in power in the SBC haven't given Peter the hook, or at lease told him to cool his rhetoric and blame. Peter is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a vice president of one of the Baptist colleges in Georgia. He is on the payroll of the GBC. He is the Caner family "spokesman", according to Baptist Press.

Make no mistake, Peter Lumpkins IS the voice of the SBC right now in the wake of this tragedy. And you have to ask: why is the SBC not reigning him in?

Johnny Hunt, Bucky Kennedy - someone in the GBC - if you can get Matthew Lehew - an employee at Shorter University - to take down his blog post critical of Brewton Parker within 24 hours of it posting, surely you can get Peter Lumpkins - Vice President of Brewton Parker - to calm down, stop the blame, and concentrate on doing his job and addressing the accreditation problems at his school instead of being on a vendetta to punish and accuse his boss's critics.

Despite Ergun Caner himself this past Sunday telling the congregation of Northside Baptist Church in Tifton, GA that he doesn't know why his son took his life, that a note wasn't left, that he wished he knew why his son was in so much pain - Peter STILL - every single day but one since Braxton's funeral - Peter has been on the attack to pin the blame of Braxton's suicide on J.D. Hall, James White and the "cyber bullies" that are located "in several states including Arizona, Florida, California, Virginia, Georgia, and even foreign countries like Canada."

Bloggers mostly HAVE been silent out of respect for the Caner's during this period, but that doesn't stop Peter from attacking. It seems Peter views it as a bit of a sport, to take down bloggers now that he has an opportunity. Look at this Tweet from Peter on August 9th:

Yes, "1 stalker down, 1 to go - JW" - and a warning shot to James White on August 9th, that Lumpkins is now setting his sights to bring him down. And for good measure, former SBC President Frank Cox favorited Peter's Tweet.

And just how will James White be taken down? That's easy. Just go on social media and declare that he was - or ask "was he?" - the cause for Braxton Caner's suicide.

For example, fundamentalist, KJV-only IFB blogger named Dr. James Ach, has written several posts laying blame for Braxton's suicide at the feet of JD Hall. On August 8th, Ach declares White is not implicated in Braxton's death - but after Peter declares a day later it is time to take down James White on August 9th, well, Dr. Ach knows just what to do.

Here is the headline of Dr. Ach's post on August 13th, after Peter's call to take down James White:

Wait, I thought Dr. Ach said on August 8th so "graciously" that Jame White was NOT implicated. Now he revisits the topic, and just maybe, that James White character DID cause Braxton's death. I guess Ach wasn't listening to God closely enough on August 8th. You just have to shake your head at these pious, pompous "men of God" and how they think they know the deep secrets no one else knows.

But why am I drawing attention to these articles by James Ach? After all he's just a KJV-only, IFB'er, not affiliated with the SBC. I'm only bringing Dr. Ach into this because Peter Lumpkins is pushing this guy's theories that we need to at some level be blaming Braxton's death on James White and J.D. Hall. 

Here is Peter Lumpkins "favoriting" Dr. Ach's tweet to the article above! "Yes, thanks Dr. Ach, for getting the message and going after Dr. White!"

So there we have it. A leader in the SBC, the vice president of one of the Georgia Baptist Convention's colleges, the "family spokesman" for the Caner's, is on social media pointing people to read an IFB'er blame the death of Braxton Caner on White and Hall. These are wonderful days in the SBC.

And Peter doesn't stop here. Every day since Braxton's funeral except for one Peter has been using social media to play his blame game. He does it from his hypocritical high horse of calling for an end to "social media abuse" or "internet bullying". Peter has it wrong. Critics of Caner or other SBC celebrities are not abusing social media, they are not bullying. Hall's interaction with Braxton was inexcusable, no doubt - and I called out J.D. Hall to leave the kids out and to stop engaging Braxton the very day he did it. But bloggers have, and will continue to use their only means to voice dissent, and to criticize, and to hold powerful men accountable for their actions and words. I know Peter doesn't like this, nor do the powerful men being criticized, but that is too bad. If we are to believe Tim Guthrie, sure, then all Christian bloggers and "watch doggers" should be arrested for hacking into accounts, planning attacks with Muslims, "partnering with thugs" and bullying women and children everywhere. But that is Tim Guthrie - another SBC pastor by the way- and well, I've written about his attacks of bloggers in the past. Nothing new there with Guthrie

James White did post a statement on social media about whether he will stop calling Caner in the future to account for his past lies. He didn't attack anyone. He didn't attack the Caner family. Just because Peter says White attacked the family doesn't make it so. White stated his views in the context of his own ministry in debating Muslims. Peter Lumpkins went absolutely ballistic, claiming yesterday that White is "back to slamming the Caner family". Warning: you are going to read the most vile, hate-filled, bullying rhetoric when you read Peter's article. Ironically, Peter is himself engaged in the same activity that he is accusing others of. Hard to believe Peter is a seminarian who is trained on all things Christian. Hard to believe he is a leader and spokesman in the SBC and GBC.

What does all of this hate and blame from Peter - the SBC spokesman right now - what does it generate? It generates more hate. It is inciting violence and threats of violence against the people who Peter and others are accusing of being the cause of Braxton's death. J.D. has received veiled and not-so-veiled threats via email and phone. One pastor from Texas left him a voicemail wanting to speak to J.D.'s wife and children. I know who this pastor is and I won't give his name here, but the authorities have it. As J.D. receives these, he turns them over to law enforcement as he should.

And dare I mention Craig Daliessio's tweets? Craig is a friend of the Caner's, and a follower of Lumpkins. If you want to see what happens when a man gets riled up with hatred in his heart toward J.D. Hall and James White, just browse Craig's Twitter feed over the past two weeks. He has called Hall a "whining cowardly scumball", has said that Hall's "blood on [his] hands gives a whole new meaning to Red Letter Edition". Craig tweeted "Maybe God would allow me the privilege of making JDs millstone necklace." Craig wants J.D. to die.

And after Peter posted his latest against James White, it inspired Craig to re-Tweet Peter's rant, and call for someone in James White's family to commit suicide - and hoping that God is the one to bring it about.

And this is from a man who's tagline in Twitter describes himself as "All About Jesus"...yes, Craig is all about Jesus, isn't he?

And not just social media: a prominent SBC pastor here in Jacksonville even told his congregation from the pulpit the day after the funeral that the suffering of Braxton's dad (i.e. the criticism) was too much for Braxton to bear, causing the suicide. How low can the SBC go in playing the blame game?

So this is what we have in the SBC. Peter Lumpkins - baptist college Vice President, SBC pastor and author - inciting hatred and vitriol.

Where is Johnny Hunt? Why can't Ronnie Floyd do something to reign in Lumpkins? They need to do something quickly, as he is spinning out of control. Peter has been in a long running battle with James White, and has spent considerable time on his blog in 2010 and 2011 belittling and attacking James White, much of it ad hominem. So it is obvious Peter had an axe to grind with White long before this tragedy, and the SBC heavies need to see that sadly Peter is still grinding the axe, and is now swinging it ferociously at his foes.

I don't fault Ergun one bit, even though Peter is the family spokesman. I can’t imagine Ergun would truly want this to be what Peter is spending his time doing. I choose to believe that Ergun is unaware of this and is spending his time in personal grief and helping his family walk through these dark days. I believe Ergun would be be appalled that Peter is using the death of his son to destroy of the reputation of others, blaming them for something that even Ergun says he cannot explain why it happened. I am sure that Ergun would be sad to know that his friend Craig is calling for God to cause the same tragedy in James White's family that he and his family are enduring. To even consider something so sick and sinister - and to call on God to bring it about - much less put it on on social media, is just beyond sick.

I think James White said it well earlier this week:
"Lumpkins has the gall, being the one who is using tragedy as a baseball bat, dishonoring the dead in a despicable fashion, to accuse ME of doing what he well knows he is purposefully doing himself. I asked that everyone give the family time to grieve---who has refused to honor this request? Who created a story out of whole clothe so as to attack Lumpkins' boss' critics? Who has been putting out "cyber-bullying" memes and accusations? Lumpkins well knows what he is doing, and I cannot imagine what it is like for him to try to live with himself. And for what? Money? Prestige? Nothing could be worth the cost of such actions."
Pull the plug on Peter, SBC leaders. You did it to Matthew Lehew at Shorter. Do it to Peter Lumpkins at Brewton Parker. He is hurting himself, the Caner's, and the SBC.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I Expect Better from Fox News Reporter Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, Fox News reporter, posted the following brief piece on Facebook about Braxton Caner, Ergun Caner's son who committed suicide last week:
(Note: The Caner family asked me to share my commentary with you. I am honored to do so.)
I did not know Braxton Caner. But I knew his father - Ergun - a Muslim convert who became a Christian preacher.
For years Ergun has been hounded by unrelenting critics accusing him of all sorts of ministerial misdeeds. They hunted him like prey -- as if it was some sort of spiritual sport.
In early July - they found a new target -- Ergun's teenage son - Braxton.
The 15-year-old was a son and a brother. He played football, dated a girl and drove a pickup truck. The young man's supposed "crime" was defending his father.
They wrote terrible things about the 15-year-old - beyond the pale. It was theological thuggery.
And last week - Braxton ended his life.
We do not know what led young Braxton to do the unthinkable. We do not know if the postings of these online agitators pushed this young child over the edge. But these are the facts.
A 15 year old boy was bullied. His reputation tarnished at the hands of grown men who professed to be doing God's work. And now Braxton Caner is gone. Bullied in the name of Christ.
Twitter allows us to express our thoughts in 140 characters.
But I only need nine. 
Jesus Wept.
I expect better from Todd Starnes. On the very day the Caner's held the memorial service for Braxton, Todd - apparently at the request of the Caner's - decided to insinuate blame for this tragedy on the part of bloggers, and to give a slanted opinion of facts. Starnes says "..we do not know if postings of these online agitators pushed this young child over the edge" is to presume that just perhaps they were, and to assume they probably were; when there could be any number of contributing factors, with varying weights or contributions to Braxton's decision to take his life.

Todd Starnes and others like him who are already blaming people for Braxton's suicide, should heed the advice of Jen Pollock Michel, who wrote back in 2012 about her own family member's suicide in her piece "In the Wake of Suicide's Silence, Why Blame is Never the Answer":
"Trying to locate blame is not usually helpful when seeking to understand why a person has chosen to take his life, especially when that locus of blame is sought by outside observers. The reasons are never immediately obvious, even to those within the closest circles of family and friends. Moreover, the problems are never one-dimensional or easily fixed."
So shame on Todd Starnes on the day of Braxton's funeral to begin throwing stones of blame at people. Starnes is an outsider of the Caner family who never knew Braxton. He knows NOTHING about the facts. Yet he uses his prominence to throw stones of blame. His article doesn't help the Caner's in their grieving. A simple expression of condolence, and letting them know Todd is praying for them wasn't enough. Starnes had to go on the attack.

Making it worse, Starnes mis-characterized the last 4 years as "unrelenting critics...hunt[ing] him like prey." That is an absolutely ridiculous description of what has happened the last 4 years. There were a number of bloggers who felt it their Christian duty to expose the years of deception by Caner in churches all over our country. Two of them endured a year-long lawsuit from Caner both of which were thrown out of court. Starnes conveniently lumps all the critics of Caner together as "they". "THEY hunted him [Caner] like prey", Starnes said, then in July, "THEY found a new target - Ergun's teenage son".

Come on, Todd. Instead of lumping all of Caner's critics together as "they", why not at least be as clear as Peter Lumpkins was back on July 2nd - you are referring to none other than J.D. Hall. HE is the one who on July 2-3rd decided to bring Braxton Caner into his father's mess.

Go back and look at the tweets of J.D. Hall and the ensuing Twitter conversations in the July 2nd and 3rd time frame. The vast, vast majority of people engaging J.D. Hall called him out for being a bully and an idiot to engage a man's 15-year old son over his father's misdeeds. I publicly rebuked Hall on Twitter for being a "bully" and a "religious jerk", and I tweeted my agreement with Peter Lumpkins' post on July 2nd. As someone who has raised teens in the midst of the social media craze, it made me sick to my stomach to see Hall cite tweets by Caner's son as evidence of the "immorality surrounding Caner" and to try to embarrass Caner over his teenagers harmless tweets. But maybe the worst one of Hall's tweets was inviting Braxton to contact him, "...if you ever want to speak or seek truth about your dad, email me." How a man would tell a 15-year old to contact him so he could tell him the terrible things his dad has done, is beyond me. It is disgusting.

But having said all of this about J.D. Hall, to now to even insinuate based on these July 2-3 tweets of Hall's that he is to any degree responsible for the tragedy of Braxton taking his life, is despicable. There may be more to the story involving Hall - that is possible - but to begin laying blame at Hall's feet or any other bloggers' feet even before Braxton's memorial service is just as despicable if people were to begin to lay blame Ergun Caner or his family for Braxton taking his life. It is needless, senseless, and it is sick.

I expect much better from a man like Todd Starnes.