For You…. Wherever You Are!

I dedicate this post to the person that acted like an ass the other day towards someone I love and care for deeply. You will never know the hurt and pain your careless attitude and insensitivity caused. It’s just another strike against ignorant-ass Christians like yourself.

You are a stupid, stupid person. Actually more than stupid, you are a small and shallow person. I found myself making excuses for you, trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it just isn’t possible to do so any longer. I have no idea why I defend people in the ministry anymore… nothing should surprise me, but yet people like you continue to amaze me.

I was there and watched you. You were smug, cold, insensitive, and rude. You had an opportunity to build a bridge to my friend, yet all you did was carry a burning torch and set it on fire.

There was a time when I missed people like you in my life. I keep thinking back to a time when the likes of you were my closest friends, people I shared my life with daily. But after watching you in action, seeing your thoughtless and callous reaction to this person who has done nothing to be treated like an alien by you, I am so glad to not be associated with the church or pastors anymore.

I know, lots of people will say that I shouldn’t indict all Christians or church people with this broad brush I am using… but I cannot help it. I think the Christian church of America creates a sub-culture that is so full of veiled intolerance for anyone that doesn’t conform to their own image… that I just can’t stand it anymore. Your ignorance will be your personal undoing. It certainly is the church’s “Achilles Heel”.

Your willful and malicious treatment of those who once were “in the fold” but for whatever reason now are not… that is the great “dirty little secret” of the church. What is sad isn’t how you reject people like my friend (or me for that matter)… what’s really sad is how you percieve the moral high ground you are on to be the path to righteousness.

Some will say that I am no better for writing these things about you but I beg to differ. I am being open and honest about my disdain for people like you rather than hiding it behind a fake smile and lifeless hug as you do.

If what you showed my friend the other day was Christian love then we are all fucked.

66 thoughts on “For You…. Wherever You Are!”

  1. I really like a lot of what Zecryphon had to say about challenging the structure of the church – which seems like the plausible answer here (or at least if it happens to those around me I have no problem with doing what Zec described). The problem was Steve’s friend was ‘brushed off’ and treated like a nobody – in the eyes of someone who claims to represent God – which we all find ‘not cool nor exemplifying the faith we read’. So we have a problem handed to us – now a lot of people said don’t complain and do something about it – can’t say i disagree but that’s up to each individual to determine – not the mob. But I like Zec’s standard he sets – use that scripture from Matthew about church discipline on the pastor of the church – since they are really only an equal and read the same teachings we do (and it’s a way to keep leadership accountable). I like the idea of taking a stand if you know you were wronged by your leader – and sometimes the leader will admit their guilt and turn from their actions – but this is a process with the wherewithal of involving us all. I’m down and I actually have taken this stand in my personal life – I feel no one can boot me out of any church since they don’t own it – nor can they do it to any of my friends – we all are welcome in ‘God’s supposed House’. But I like the idea about action – it really gets me going and I guess I like to be involved – all this talk is also good – but at some point action (for me) speaks louder than words.

  2. I want to respond to some of these comments in general. Some of you have presumed some things that I need to respond to:First… this encounter was with a woman pastor. It says a lot that many of you assumed that this person was a man. As a matter of fact, it proves my point about the “sub-culture” that has been created by the androcentricity of the church.Second… what occured wasn’t overt. It wasn’t what this person said to my friend it was more what was left unsaid. It was a brush-off attitude more than an action. There is so much surrounding this, and while the details would bring some clarity, they are uneccessary.Third… my writing was in a public defense of my friend meant for this forum and as a means to discussion. She felt hurt and I wanted to give her feelings a voice (as well as others like her). I empathized with her feelings since I have felt them too at times.Fourth… going to church does not equal being a bad, mean or cruel person. Neither does being an atheist.

  3. I’m disapointed. Not just in the hurt that was caused your friend. But in your reaction to that hurt. As Christians we are supposed to be better than the petty bickerings of the world.

  4. Steve,Why do you think Preacher made that correlation? Is this a thought that is created by that sub-culture of the church you were talking about earlier? There are saved people in churches and there are unsaved people in churches too. It’s a generalization to say that all the people in church are saved and the people outside of the church are not saved. But that is the common belief in regards to who is saved and who is not. The problem with this generalization is it echoes a teaching that the RCC still holds to be true, or so I’ve been told, that there is no sslvation outside the Roman Catholic Church. I think alot of Christians have adopted this attitude too, but apply it to their own church or the church in general. If you’re outside of the church, you’re not saved. I believe salvation exists outside of the church, though, not outside of Christ. If you wanna be saved, you need two things, repentence and faith in Jesus Christ. You don’t neccessarily need a church to have those things, but a church is where you would typically go to learn about those tings, don’t you agree?

  5. <>I’m still lost where homosexuality became…..”OK”.<>Wow, right, because <>this<> is where the conversation really needs to go. About gay people.

  6. Preacher said:“Well, it was a simple question, or comment, whatever. I am not constantly posting in forums, blogs, etc. so I would have no idea what Zecryphon is alluding to.”I used to be a moderator of a decent-sized Christian forum at http://www.about.com called Christianity-General and what I meant by my use of the word hijacking is as follows. This post was about how a pastor was rude and callous towards another person, when they should have been loving, caring etc., everything we think a pastor should be. It came out later that the person who was “blown off” by the pastor was gay. Instead of directing your comment or statement to the issue at hand, which is the rudeness of the pastor, you focused instead on the homosexuality of the person, this detail was introduced by, cdc, whose comments lead me to believe that he or she was there at the time this happened. Instead of focusing on who was wronged here you focused on whether or not that sexual orientation was acceptable. Such a question or comment attempts to change the direction of the thread or in this case the discussion of a blog post, that’s what is known among forum posters and moderators as “hijacking a thread”. All threads eventually do get derailed from the original post, so you have to use some discretion as to when that has actually happened. The comment you made, while being a valid question and definitely worthy of discussion, had very little if anything to do with what was currently being discussed. For such a statement or comment to get the attention it requires and deserves, depending on the format, it warrants either e new blog post or a new thread (if you’re in a forum or on a message board. Another way a person, who was interested in hijacking a thread, I’m not saying you are or were, could do it is to have posed the question “Isn’t a female pastor a violation of scripture according to 1 Timothy 2:12”? That then takes away from the issue at hand and questions the validity of the pastor, as if her being a pastor is a violation of the scriptures. Again, valid point, worthy of discussion, it just has very little or nothing to do with the topic currently being discussed.

  7. I couldnt agree more that were fucked if Churchianity is the love of Christ.I had a bad experience this weekend with a professing Christian who turned on me with a vengance and tried to get me fired from my job. I called her on it and she apologized so I have to forgive, but it hurts a lot. I am sure my experience was nothing compared to what happend to you, but I feel your pain. Many turn away because they are stabbed in the heart with the double edge sword called the Bible. I think God will judge the hypocrites. I think I used to be one of them. I wish all the best to your friend. I dont know who it is, but I feel for themI join you in raising my middle finger to the asswipe who who caused this.

  8. I guess I shall take a swing at it. Are we not beating a dead horse here? You have been proven right once again by some miscellaneous church person who’s ego is probably bigger that their title even allows. Is the person who was blown off so shallow as to take offence from the actions of someone so conceited? People who are wrapped up in themselves will find out eventually they are the only one who really cares.Just because you do not hide “behind a fake smile and lifeless hug” and others do, does not make your approach any less self destructive. Sometimes it’s not about being right. I know you are right, but does that even matter anymore? I want to say this in a way that does not sound rude, but i don’t know how to. So I will just say, Grow up.

  9. The sad part–nothing’s going to change no matter who you confront. The structure of your churches has within it a hierarchy which breeds this sort of self-important smugness and casual dismissal. I have little doubt that the pastor in question would behave no differently even if informed of the injury she caused–she’d simply form a negative opinion towards the person she brushed off.The utopian solutions offered are all very simple and sweet, but are completely naive and impractical. Institutions won’t change. The leaders of these churches have all the power and influence and will counter any protest with a litany of bible verses condeming you for your insubordination. There’s no compelling reason for them to give up that stature or to consider any sort of change, and let’s be honest–they aren’t likely to be asked to. Seriously, they don’t call their congregations a “flock” for nothing.

  10. Oh my god, they are really humans? But they look so shiny and plastic. Must be the shrink wrap. Whatever will I do now that I don’t have Joe Pastor to look up to as a spiritual leader?….I’ll be lost….who could I follow….I might have to try…gasp!….Jesus. There’s an idea. Priesthood of all beleivers, yo. Curtain torn. We are the body and the body has a middle finger too. Sometimes you gotta raise it. Glad to see you give yourself the grace to do so. Just be careful not to fall into judgment about the dude. He’s just as lost as everyone else and his heart is no more or less valuable to God than yours or that man’s. Though if he keeps that crap up there’s gonna be a millstone waiting for him. I pity the fool. Guess part of the problem lies in giving someone more clout than they deserve. I don’t dole out very much clout as often as I used to. Must undergo serious fruit inspection. I never assume because someone is on the payroll that they got it going on.

  11. <>I don’t know if I agree with you on the first part, Paul got the model of the church with deacons, elders, pastors etc. from somewhere. Was it modeled after the OT temple system? I don’t know.<>That would be my personal guess. Only, of course, there were no pastors in the OT.

  12. Steve,I partly agree with you. Yes we are fucked, but only if we sit back and do nothing. We are only fucked if we allow ministers to get away with this type of behavior. Counteract them. Show them and everybody else what it means to truly love someone. Turn the tables on them by practicing what they are only preaching in word and not parciticing in deed. Expose them as the frauds they are. People will notice. I think the flock is more powerful than the minister. It’s only when we act like sheep that we are led to the slaughter. You may get tossed out of the church under the guise of church discipline, but since you’re not in the church this isn’t really a problem for you. If enough people see the congregation shrinking because of an egotistical pastor, I think something at that point will have to change.

  13. Hey Shelly,long time, no type! Where ya been? Yeah, I know there weren’t any pastors in the OT, back then they had the temple rabbis or priests, I guess they were called. Since Paul was Jewish, if I recall correctly, he could have used the model found in the OT and adopted it since he was Jewish. It wouldn’t really be stealing from another religion, would it? Kinda like the Catholics “borrowing” Yule and ending up with Christmas! LOL

  14. And the congregation will always be referred to as a flock, as long as they resign themselves to the pessmistic thought of “oh, that’s just the way it is, I can’t change it”. Martin Luther is a great example of what can change when one person speaks up about injustice in the church. That’s my final two cents and now I’m done.

  15. I for one will not shout you down Shieldsy, while your preaching good. There is a hankey wavin in the amen corner over here!!

  16. androcentricity? Whoa! That’s awesome!Actually, Steve, you are right… but also somewhat wrong. This person (aka biatch) was overt in her subversity. Her comments were couched overtly… I think you know what I mean. She wasn’t smooth enough to be truly covert. Her smugness and her comment about homosexuality were clearly overt. She knew exactly what she was doing and saying but wasn’t clever enough to mask it in the full “christian love”. Her hug and weak smile were lame attempts.

  17. Steve; As a pastor of a church for 26 years, I recognize myself in your rant. Yeah, I’ve blown people off who were in need because I was in a hurry. I’ve dismissed criticsms with a smirk because I had the degree, rank and power. I’ve been prone to practice control a lot better than love. You’ve nailed the problem: I’m it. So keep speaking, more of us will hear and the Holy Spirit will do the convicting.Peace

  18. There’s no need to get all pissy Todd. When the events happened is totally irrelevant, what is important is the effect of those events. Martin Luther’s story took place over 500 years ago and the effects of his Reformation can be seen and felt 500 years later. All the Protestant churches we have, whether they be Lutheran, Methodist, Evangelical Free, Evangelical Covenant, Pentacostal, Baptist, Presbyterian etc, only exist because Luther’s Reformation. Some of thse churches believe that Luther didn’t go far enough, but they all agree with Luther on one basic point. That salvation come through repentence and faith in Jesus Christ alone.

  19. Man, it sux not knowing the details of what you speak of (sorry, I was temporarily posessed by a mid-evil demon), but I totally respect your privacy.Today’s “church” is like some kind of cheap holloween costume gone horribly wrong (reference: the “Eggar Suite” from MIB, but instead of a nasty space bug, it would be God inside…yeah I know it’s a bit of a reach, but what can I say, I’m a movie geek!). Man has been cladding God’s perfect and beautiful creation called “the church” with his own nasty, infected, shit-colored skin since day one. Behold the abortion that now stands before the world. One can not even recognize a single feature of the orginal masterwork.To reunite in communal fellowship with God, we must devorce ourselves from this haneously disgusting man-made shell, and re-discover the one true “naked church”.I am truly sorry for what you and your friend had to experience. But let us not waste our energy on those who work so hard to preserve this farce (…and yes I know, I had asked you to launch an attack on one of these nasty evil-doers, which you never did respond to, however my e-mail’s also down, so if you have answered–sorry). Instead, let us pursue ways to strip away these false layers WITHOUT destroying what waits beneath?I’ll tell ya what, this sort of thing never would have happened in Luthers day. I think it’s time to bring back some good ol’ fashion religious floggings. While we’re at it, why not burn a witch or two (no offense to ma brothas and sistas keepin’ it real with Wicka…NOT!). But I digress… and with that I close.

  20. <>Why should the fact that a someone ‘in the ministry’ hurt your friend bother you any more than anyone else hurting your friend?<>Sheildsy… can you really NOT read? Again I see you just being argumentative because seemingly you are an attention whore like everyone else here. (I mean, just because this is a public blog offered to you to comment doesn’t mean you have to. But since you do, I am assuming you are feeding your ego just like I am. Otherwise you could just read and let it go, or write in your private journal about it… but you don’t…. you shameless little whore!)I thought I made myself pretty clear in the follow-up post. Christians and non-christians alike have the propensity for good and harm. It doesn’t bother me ANYMORE that it was a church person… it’s just that this site is about Stupid Church People and so I posted it here. <>Of course your rant, anger, obscenities etc are completely justified. Of course it’s different for you to get on your high horse coz you’re not ‘in the ministry’ so that’s ok.<>See we could go round and round here… and I love when people do this on the site. First off, my rant, anger and obscenities may or may not be justified. But they are what they are. You make the call. Second, sounds like you have done the judging that they aren’t. You’ve gotten on your high horse and determined that my judgment of the church is not any different than the judgement I’ve been doling out on others…. and how do you do this?? By making a judgement on me, my writings, my intentions… etc. <>Aren’t you just perpetuating the myth that you despise so much … that those ‘in the ministry’ are any more holy or special or sanctified than anyone else? <> Nope. I am perpetuating the truth that I have experienced. It’s the church that carries the banner of “they will know us by our love”… not the un-churched. And the stupid church people do claim to be more holy, more special and more sanctified than anyone else. That’s not a myth… that’s a truth. And I don’t know where you live or work, but by and large, I see less sanctimonious and judgmental behavior from non-church people than church people. By far. Unless of course those non-church people happen to be republicans as well.

  21. <>I want to say this in a way that does not sound rude, but i don’t know how to. So I will just say, Grow up.<>Isn’t it just like a SCP to start off with a lie something they claim to be to someone else’s benefit.

  22. <>Are you saying this kind of sanctimonious and judgemental behaviour is the reserve of ‘ministers’ or even ‘church goers’. Coz I witness it just about every day from people of every walk of life.<>It’s one thing to plead imperfection, shieldsy. It’s another thing entirely to fall back on the “we’re no worse than anyone else” argument.Having been deeply involved in church life for a long time, I can say with confidence that nobody issues bullshit platitudes and phony sentiments like church people. I’m much more likely to know where I really stand with people outside of church than inside it.

  23. I like the rant – some honesty is better than a lot of half-truths. I think we all have been in this position and will likely be agiain – in dealing with the churched – which I am quite alright with – however I don’t say a thing behind someone’s back I won’t say to their face – I think you should let this pastor know (and his cronies) the harm he caused another with his callous righteousness – if he won’t say sorry – well, let him know what time it really is – pull the shades from his self-righteous eyes and point out where he is wrong scripturally – it’s always a fun battle. But big-up’s to you on being honest about this – why hide the truth?And yes the chick is hot with the finger up.

  24. The church is made up of broken people. This includes those who end up in leadership. We are all in a process of being perfected in love. A vital part of that process is learning humility as we love people who dont really “deserve” it. Does this excuse bad behaviour on anyone’s part? Of course not. But the key question for me , and you, and all the rest, is “How did we respond to being mistreated?” Did we let it work deeper brokeness and humility in our own hearts, thus enabling us to love more genuinely ourselves? Or, did we take matters into our own hands? Did we lash out in anger, even if only in the privacy of our own hearts and minds? When we respond that way, when we give in to that very natural urge, we lose. We become part of the darkness. Jesus said to turn the other cheek. Jesus said to give them our coat. Jesus said to go the second mile. He said to look for the log in our own eye before trying to remove the splinter from the eye of our “enemy”. I know you were only venting on behalf of your friend. Been there, done that. It feels good. Standing up to “the man”. The problem is, it doesnt do any good. It feels good now, but it wounds your soul. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue (and pen… or keyboard).” Its hip right now to lash out at religion. It can be good to confess and process our wounds. But an ongoing stream of anger and bitterness neither solves the problems, nor heals your soul. If I have cancer, a good dose of morphine will make my evening tolerable. When I wake up in the morning, the pain is still there, and I am still dying. I am not condemning you or coming down on you in any way. I am only encouraging you to take your pain, and your creativity, and put them to better use. “Love your enemies… bless and curse not…”

  25. I also believe that salvation exists with repentence and faith in Christ alone. There ain’t a church anywhere that’s got anything to do with you or I being saved. I assumed. Yea, I know. Why not ? There’s all this talk about how the church people are so fucked up, and how we’re not gonna take it anymore, fuck ’em all ! that’s the majority of what I see going on here, and other areas similar to this.I just get tired of seeing pop-up “churches”, “nondenominational”, (oh, and before we go there, I will confess that some, or maybe most of my dear Baptist brethren are hopelessly screwed, so there) or other kinds of “churches”, modeled after the Cheers theme, but in reality, most of these folks are nonconformist, and formed a “church” in anarchy, instead of being a church themselves.What do I mean by that? Well, a long time ago, the early churches were in homes. We would have gathered in our homes to worship God. SO why do I still go to the church building ? It’s bigger than my house. Most of my friends are there. I don’t get along with everybody, daresay any of you do. Am I trying to change that ? Some. Back to the show. The church is in our heart. However, if you don’t share it, or cop an attitude with it, you are going to do no good whatsoever. Yep, if any of you read my blog, (it’s gone now) you would have seen me trying to tear down the curtains to stop the show. I wanted this one man’s head on a plate. He’s not such a bad guy. I will probably vote for him for Elder. We got together, just like Matt.18, and it worked. I also had to talk to the pastor, and that went OK. He forgave me for trashing him, and he helped me see how the heart is the center of all that Christ enables us, and also what He gives to us. You know, I am not a preacher, never have been, not gonna be. DOn’t do much of the latest greatest Bible studies, ie, Prayer of Jabez, etc. I don’t read too many commentaries or look into what the “Greek really says”. So, when I am expressing my thoughts, they may be out of true ignorance. I read the Scriptures, and I probably take them out of context as the next person might. I don’t think the “organized” Church is what God wanted. I don’t think He wants priests, pastors, deacons, bishops, OR ANY OF US FOR THAT MATTER, who are thieves, liars, perverts, homosexuals, to enjoy “fellowship” with the Church, which is His body.And for the “organized” Church to embrace any of these, that’s why no one can agree with what church is doing what to whom. All of these denominations exist for what reason ? Some one’s latest greatest idea of what God has in store. Amazing how many translations of the Bible there are too. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going.

  26. People without true faith have to protect it by erecting a wall of smug superiority. Church is very helpful with that.

  27. I plead ignorance and beg mercy.I should probably take a course on manners for such areas. It was not my intention to derail anything.And, perhaps my remark did go out of bounds, and put the cart before the horse. I agree the pastor needs to be confronted. I went through a confrontational period with our new pastor just recently.Things are looking better, methinks it is more me not “pissin the line” quite as hard.

  28. I guess what I meant, through all that, is that I feel our hearts aren’t really being used properly. We should be led by our hearts, that’s where God’s love is going to be shown to the non-believer. Yes, we are to be wise, and use our heads, making smart decisions and all that. But, what I am saying is that the depth of love is immeasurable. Even in our own hearts.Our hearts are just as deep as Christ’s. When Christ declared that there is no greater love than one lay down his life for another, that takes a lot of heart. For a soldier to jump on a grenade, or take a bullet intended for another, or a mother give up an organ for a child. That shows a fraction of the depths of love.Sometimes we are guarding our hearts to much to share the love of God.

  29. I am afraid you have become lost in your own bitterness. You’ve rejected the established church in part because you found it judgmental. You then created this space which is, for lack of a better word, a “church” itself. And what have you decided to do with this new church? Just what have you done with this gathering of believers? You have determined to spend your time judging the church of your past. The truth is that you need to let it go. You need the traditional church just as much as they need you and you are no more faultless than they are. They touch people that extend far beyond your reach just as you have the capacity to reach those beyond theirs. It’s not that I think you’re bad people or that I don’t think you have a right to be angry… it’s that you need to take the plank out of your eye just like the rest of us.

  30. “I also believe that salvation exists with repentence and faith in Christ alone. There ain’t a church anywhere that’s got anything to do with you or I being saved.”So true. “I assumed. Yea, I know. Why not ?”It’s okay, we all do it.“There’s all this talk about how the church people are so fucked up, and how we’re not gonna take it anymore, fuck ’em all ! that’s the majority of what I see going on here, and other areas similar to this.”Yeah I think this blog has become a place to just come and vent your frustrations and anger towards the church and the people in it, and to see the word “fuck” in print. Because let’s face it there is a good feeling of release when we say that word. But back when I first found this podcase and blog, it used to make me think about issues concerning the church, and why the church did the things it did, and got me actually looking at the type of church I was attending at that time. It opened my eyes. When the conversation goes to finger pointing, accusations, and telling everybody to go fuck themselves, I just close my eyes, because if SCP is a church in a sense, where’s the fellowship in telling each other to fuck off? Where’s the love everybody keeps reminding each other they are to have, yet never seem to express themselves? Must be on another blog, I guess.“He’s not such a bad guy. I will probably vote for him for Elder. We got together, just like Matt.18, and it worked. I also had to talk to the pastor, and that went OK. He forgave me for trashing him, and he helped me see how the heart is the center of all that Christ enables us, and also what He gives to us.”It’s refreshing to hear of bridges being mended instead of totally blown apart. Good for you!“You know, I am not a preacher, never have been, not gonna be. DOn’t do much of the latest greatest Bible studies, ie, Prayer of Jabez, etc. I don’t read too many commentaries or look into what the “Greek really says”.”I’m not a preacher either, although I have been told that my blog is an online ministry, I disagree. It’s a blog, nothing more and nothing less. I have one commentary, Matthew Henry’s and I would like to learn Greek and Hebrew. We’re all different. “I don’t think the “organized” Church is what God wanted. I don’t think He wants priests, pastors, deacons, bishops, OR ANY OF US FOR THAT MATTER, who are thieves, liars, perverts, homosexuals, to enjoy “fellowship” with the Church, which is His body.”I don’t know if I agree with you on the first part, Paul got the model of the church with deacons, elders, pastors etc. from somewhere. Was it modeled after the OT temple system? I don’t know.“All of these denominations exist for what reason ?”Most of those denoms exist because of doctrinal differences and a sick psychological need some people have to be right 100% of the time.“Some one’s latest greatest idea of what God has in store. Amazing how many translations of the Bible there are too.”All the well known translations say the same thing, they just say it differently. Like the NLT is probably the easiest to understand, the Message is in totally contemporary language. The NASB is the most literal word for word translation whereas the NIV is a balance between word for word and thought for thought. “Sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going.”We all feel that way at times I think.

  31. Hey Preacher,Don’t think so much about the “something” but the “someone” who laughs and loves and hurts and crys the same as everyone else. God appears to care more for the person than the sin or so it seems to me. Why otherwise would he bear the hurt of the sacrifice and separation from his Son?

  32. Well, it was a simple question, or comment, whatever. I am not constantly posting in forums, blogs, etc. so I would have no idea what Zecryphon is alluding to.“Don’t think so much about the “something” but the “someone” who laughs and loves and hurts and crys the same as everyone else.”I have my own problems, feelings, hurts, etc. Therefore, I do not discount any of that going on in someone’s life. I am simply asking about the playing down of sin in people’s lives. “God appears to care more for the person than the sin or so it seems to me. Why otherwise would he bear the hurt of the sacrifice and separation from his Son?”OK, so why all the reference to sin in the Scripture ? Why does Jesus tell the slut to go and sin no more ? Why does Paul allude ot who will NOT inherit the Kingdom ?I am not here to sabotage. I am asking, and seeking. If, by comments such as “Wow, right, because this is where the conversation really needs to go. About gay people.” I am to accept some sort of banishment or retribution, then by all means I shall move on. I believe in the “mantra” of love the sinner and hate the sin. Unless there is more to that, that is what I adhere to. I can love the drug addict, the whore, the thief, the pervert who leers at my daughter, but I will not accept their behavior as normal, and will do my part to help them cope with their sin. Saving the lost is not about accepting their sin, is it ? Keeping our brothers and sisters in Christ safe is not about that, is it ? I don’t want to be mired down by my sin, I don’t think anyone else does either.I am not in favor of accepting Ted Haggard’s sin, either. But, that’s my simple disagreement with that. Sometimes, I feel that certain ideas, feelings, thoughts, concepts, are over-complicated by over-thinking. I am famous for that. Bigtime.BTW, I am not really a preacher. SO please go easy on me. Well, since Paul said we are all High Priests……..

  33. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR – you show em Steve, write that blog message they will probably never read, or you could make angry faces next time you see em…just a suggestion

  34. Preacher… you made the correlation that “non-church people” are “sinners” and “church people” are “saved”.Wonder why that is?

  35. “And I don’t know where you live or work, but by and large, I see less sanctimonious and judgmental behavior from non-church people than church people. By far.”Steve, isn’t this a sign of lack of conviction by the Holy Spirit? Or, just everybody “doin their own thang” so’s not to offend everyone. (ie, politically correct)So does this make these “sinners” better people than those who are “saved” ? Paul noted without knowledge of the law, he had no idea he was sinning. Does this mean we have it all backwards ? Is the HS convicting the wrong ones ?

  36. Joined this quite late, but referring back to the post. Steve said:<>“Some will say that I am no better for writing these things about you but I beg to differ.”<>I needed a laugh and that’s real funny.Of course <>your<> rant, anger, obscenities etc are completely justified. Of course it’s different for <>you<> to get on your high horse coz you’re not ‘in the ministry’ so that’s ok.Aren’t you just perpetuating the myth that you despise so much … that those ‘in the ministry’ are any more holy or special or sanctified than anyone else? Why should the fact that a someone ‘in the ministry’ hurt your friend bother you any more than anyone else hurting your friend? Are you saying this kind of sanctimonious and judgemental behaviour is the reserve of ‘ministers’ or even ‘church goers’. Coz I witness it just about every day from people of every walk of life. And in my experience it’s just as prevelant outside the Church as in – though about different things usually.

  37. So where does rebuke lose grace or grace move to permissiveness?Wow!! What a good question. Let’s look at Jesus a sec…you know that guy, right?Pharisees came before Jesus with this woman caught in adultery. They said what her crime was. They asked him what they should do? He played in the dirt a bit then he said “He who is without sin cast the first stone”…everyone dropped their stones and walked away. Then he turned to the woman and said “Go and sin no more.” Which one are you, the pharisee or the slut? I am both depending upon when you catch me. And I know it. This is how Jesus convicts both types of sinners at the very same time. He just deals in truth and asks people to examine themselves againt it. Like I am doing right now…Mercy convicted the adulteress. Truth convicts the pharisee. We all deserve death not one more or less than the other. We are always going to be disappointed if we expect other people to be superhuman, especially people in leadership.

  38. Nugget, I can’t speak for Lowend, but I think we can do a couple of things. First, we can excercise church discretion. Much like other forsm of discretion, where we don’t watch something or listen to something because we find it’s content to be objectonable in some way, we should turn from churches that practice behavior we find unacceptable because it is in contradiction to what the scriptures teach.Now if doing the above isn’t cool, because it looks alot like giving up and walking away never to return, another thing I think we can do is enact church discipline upon the church itself. Follow the procedure as laid out in Matthew 18:15-20. If we, as the congregants don’t let the church know when we think they have erred, how can we expect the modern church to ever change from what it is, to what we think it should be, based upon our reading of the scriptures? Or do we even want the church to change? Because if the church becomes more Christ-like, the disgruntled ex-church member is going to lose a major platform for venting their frustrations about the church. If they can’t complain about that, they may actually be forced to take the same long hard look at themselves that they’ve been taking at the church in the past. I mean let’s face it, it’s really easy to come online and whine and moan about the church, it’s quite another to actually go to a church and challenge that church, if it is in error, to change.I think Steve and Josh have given us a way to do both with SCP. They point out the stupidity of people in the church and alot of times, the stupidity of the church itself, which makes us aware of what’s going on. But now that we are aware, what are we going to do about it? I think at some point, action has to be taken, otherwise what’s the point of any of this? It’s all an academic conversation that leads nowhere.

  39. Go to the pastor with the problem. Use the method as described in Matthew 18:15-20. Ask the pastor why he acted the way he did. Tell him that you disagree with his actions and why. It would be helpful if you had scriptures to show how he has acted inappropriately. If he won’t listen to you, come back with two or more members who also feel he was wrong in his actions and confront him again. If he still won’t listen ask for some time to speak to the congregation so that you may bring the probelm before the church. Granted you’ll most likely be called apostate yourself or be accused of taking things completely out of context, I was. In short, find a way to make the membership aware of the problem and let the membership decide the best course of action. Church discipline can work both ways. I’ve usually seen it only work from the pulpit outward. What we have to remember is that yes, pastors do interpret scripture, but they are not above it. If they are acting in a way that contradicts the scriptures they should be held accountable.

  40. Well, you are completely wrong, of course. “When” the event took place is absolutely relevant to my point. Which is that churches are now institutions with a powerful hierarchical structure that is the perfect breeding ground for the development of self-important, superior attitudes and over-inflated egos and is in no hurry to make any sort of changes anytime soon. People don’t generally <>(ever)<> give up power willingly–your example showed us that. And the fact that it’s been 500+ years since your example just demonstrates how deeply entrenched the power structure has become and how unlikely <>(impossible)<> it is to change.That pastor was callous because she can be callous. She won’t pay a price for it because the system is set up in such a way as to discourage dissent and/or shut down the dissenter.

  41. Yes Steve: pastors are frail, weak, shallow people. Just like everyone else. What makes this so hard to live with is when we pastors try to project ourselves as something better than other people….as some sort of example to the world. I have friends of other faiths who are better, more caring people than me – and many of my pastor colleagues. So you are right to point out our hypocrisy. Please keep on doing this! And I will use you as the mirror for my own soul searching.Pete G

  42. …meanwhile, the devil is laughing his ass off, while we all keep or selves occupied in self-pitty and do absolutely nothing to furhter the kingdom of God!

  43. hahaha. shefrog77 you clearly are a diva. Hats off.I bet you are an animal in the sack. (i’m married, not a pass, just sayin)Speaking of which. did anyone watch the History of Sex on the Discovery Channel the other night? Pornographic to say the least. Interesting tho. Proves things havn’t changed. We’re all a bunch of horny nymphos. We just smell better now.

  44. “Wow, right, because this is where the conversation really needs to go. About gay people.”I too was confused as to why that statement was made by preacher. If this were a forum instead of a comment section on a blog, I’d think he was trying to hijack the thread.

  45. <>let’s face it, it’s really easy to come online and whine and moan about the church, it’s quite another to actually go to a church and challenge that church, if it is in error, to change.<>sure. How does one “challenge”? What does that entail?

  46. Steve, you know how I feel. Now get back in the studio and make more podcasts! Seriously, I understand burnout. You guys were just so damn good and you hit things right on the spot. I miss you guys!

  47. “Well, you are completely wrong, of course.”If that’s what you need to tell yourself, so be it.“”When” the event took place is absolutely relevant to my point. Which is that churches are now institutions with a powerful hierarchical structure that is the perfect breeding ground for the development of self-important, superior attitudes and over-inflated egos and is in no hurry to make any sort of changes anytime soon.”The church is not going to make any changes as long as people who adopt the attitude of “it’s impossible to change it, that’s just the way it is, fill their pews. “People don’t generally (ever) give up power willingly–your example showed us that.”My example showed that it is possible to change things, if you’re willing to confront the issue head on and stay true your convictions and the holy scriptures, which is what Luther did.“That pastor was callous because she can be callous. She won’t pay a price for it because the system is set up in such a way as to discourage dissent and/or shut down the dissenter.”The dissenters can always leave such a church or they can confront the church as laid out in the scriptures in Matthew. They don’t have to sit there, take it and resign themselves to the idea of this is the way it is and I’m powerless to change it. There is power in numbers, if enough people leave, I believe the church will have to take notice and at least ask the quesiton of “why?”.

  48. Breathe, breathe.We are screwed if our hopes are on any given human or institution, political or religious (Hopefully, we have better success in the personal realm.). I stopped placing any particular degree of hope or expecation on others long ago, although I forget that from time to time. Hey, I’m only human!

  49. There is absolutely no honesty in this article.It is ann article making vague accusations and doesnt name anyone and what they did.you know why? At least the author knows that Biblically to bring a valida accusation against a fellow “Christian” then they must first go to that person in private and discuss the matter with them alone. And if a resolution is come to then well and good, but if one cannot be come to then take the issue to the Church and if the Church agrees that what this person has done is wrong and against God’s word then he or she should repent. And if they do not repent then they should be asked to step down by the Church.But if the Church refuse to ask them to step down, then leave the Church. but what you dont do is refer vaguely to an incident in this manner, becasue all it is, is reveling in your bitterness and anger.

  50. <><>Martin Luther is a great example of what can change when one person speaks up about injustice in the church. <><>Help me out here, having a little trouble remembering–how many hundreds of years ago was it that your one and only example took place?

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