Happy Stupid Easter

The epitome of what makes church people stupid. “Go to church and win a car!”

Absofuckinlutely stupid.

The Revolution Church (CA) isn’t very “revolutionary”.

This from their website describing their current message series:

We: Learning to Play Well With Others
Do your friendships need a re-boot? Does your marriage need an upgrade? Join us for this practical four week series as we learn how the “we factor” leads to fulfilling relationship with family, friends, and God.

Pastor David Trotter… yes you’re “wacky”! Now, excuse me while I go throw up my dinner!

44 thoughts on “Happy Stupid Easter”

  1. Whatever happened to your left hand not knowing what your right hand was doing? Or not performing your acts of righteousness before men?Like I said before, the manner in which you “spread the Gospel” has a great impact on how that gospel is received–and perceived. I don’t think the method is congruent with the the Good News of Christ.And it’s still disturbing that a church is “done” with a vehicle after only two years. If that doesn’t speak to the Americhurch mindset of consumerism and materialism, I don’t know what does.<>but i have strong faith in pastor Trotter’s ‘greater vision’ for spreading the message of Christ.<>Lowend, I used to talk that way, too. I thought all the self-promotion stuff my former church was doing was a sign that they were “doing something” and not just “singing songs about Jesus and praying in their closets,” so to speak. But I eventually realized that my church (and yours may be different, but current actions show otherwise) was more concerned with perpetuating itself than with spreading the Gospel (no matter the cost–even if the cost was zero members but lots of people fed, clothed, loved, cared for, and the gospel spread). But I think now that church congregations rely too much on a “pastor’s greater vision” instead of having faith in Christ’s example. It tends to spawn a cult of personality that all comes crashing down when the pastor is revealed to be (gasp!) human (for example, see Ted Haggard). Just my 2 cents.

  2. Ninjanun and whoever else. You state the obvious about the interpretation of that passage, but you missed or dismissed my point entirely.I said, <>“My comment about the perfume was simply about Jesus’ response that we will always have the poor among us. Factually then, we will never solve, by any means, this issue. That is not to say we shouldn’t try or that God hasn’t instructed us to minister to the poor. But, it also doesn’t mean we have to always default to the poor either over every other good thing to do.”<>You that are musicians “waste” a good amount of money on instruments in some people’s books. The fact that we all have computers is another “waste” in other people’s books. Owning movies and games or a bowling ball is an even bigger sin.I happen to think they are good things for good uses. I guess if my heart were really concerned about the poor, I would take all my resources, sell them, and help the poor. Some have done this and I admire them. Then, why don’t we all? And why don’t those that have done it demand others do the same?If pastor Trotter and Revolution Church thought it would be a good thing to give away the car and bless someone, then that is a good thing. Giving away the car then, isn’t a waste. It is his motives and methods of doing so that people are questioning.

  3. hey SCP…what’s up?!??I’ve been on vaca for the last few days, so I’m joining the fun a little late.a few little “Fun Facts” about this post. I currently attend “Revolution”, and I passed this clip on to Steve and Josh for the SCP nation to feed upon.When I first learned about the “car thing”, I was initially (not unlike most of you) taken back-if not offended by it. However, since I consider Revolution my home, and I have come to know this family of believers as well as David Trotter quite well, I have taken a different stance on this matter. Since I doubt any of you have bothered to go beyond checking out the web-site (obvious geographic obsticals taken into consideration!!), allow me to share a little bit about “the real” revolution.For those of you who are not familiar with Lakewood, CA, it is FAR from being affluent, or even safe for that matter. We meet at a High School (as does the new campus in Downey). The average attendees are…well anything but. There is no “key deomgraphic”, other that who lives in the area.Having participated and worked at a number of churches, ranging from living room gatherings to Saddleback, I can honestly say that this group of believers (and non-believers…yes revolution makes it very clear that EVERYONE is welcome, and being a christian/believer is absolutely not a pre-requisit) is very ‘real’, caring, socially aware, giving, and genuine.The streangth of your “church” is not ONLY in numbers, but they sure do help. If people are having real encounters with God, and are activily making a positive spiritual impact in their neighborehoods and peer groups, and that isn’t a fair barometer of the church’s health…then what is?Have we ‘regular’ churgoers (and this includes the non-attending church skeptics as well) become so calluced and bitter that we can not recognize a gift of love when we see one? So what if this causes a few more people to show up to church…So what if that was his ACTUAL intension? What people will find is a wonderful group of people who will welcom ANYNONE in to their midst…no matter what preconceptions they bring.We must take care of each other, and see to it that the church does not misrepresent Christ, and tear it self appart. Let’s just make sure that WE aren’t the ones doing it. If the ultimate goal is to win THE WORLD for Christ (and I happen to believe it is), than is Revolution really that far off? Does using ‘any means necessary’ not trump…whatever you guys have been spewing at this man of action? How do you measure a churches success in God’s eyes? (Not ‘seasoned’ chruch-going-man’s eyes…but God’s)

  4. Unfortunately, I cannot say I’m surprised by this church’s efforts to fill the pews. Drum kits, fancy PA systems, LCD projectors, color bulletins, and lights. The church has become a show; why not give out some door prizes? What happened to the awe and mystery of the creator the universe? I’m not anxious when I walk into the house of God. I don’t tremble in excitement or fear. I don’t anticipate a mysterious encounter with the divine or expect to experience transcendence. I expect to be entertained. I want upbeat music, fresh ground gourmet coffee, and comfortable seats with a good view of the stage. The modern Evangelical Church has brought this on itself. Can we really point the finger at Pastor Trotter; we’ve let the church slip down this slop so long, and now we want to kick him when he’s thrown a party at the bottom? Shame on all of us.

  5. I mentioned the free car giveaway in the staff room today and reactions ranged from sneers to outright insults against the Church. My Muslim colleagues were pissed off more than anyone. Apparently, their mosques don’t have free giveaways. This car giveaway has made a mockery of conservative evangelicalism and unfortunately, the public will not judge only Revolution. When one church pulls a retarded stunt like this all other institutions associated with the same religion suffer. My biggest fear is that the average person will not be able to tell the difference between Revolution and the rest of the churches that have attached the Protestant Christian label attached to them. Non-Christians can spot the issue quicker than the Jesus lovers. What the fuck do Nintendo Wiis and free cars have to do with God? These things have no place in the Church. It wasn’t even a silent auction or fundraiser for a worthy cause. This whole giveaway is bullshit because it has everything to do with attracting attention. When you’re having a draw, the hope is to fill seats. And after all, a growing church is a successful church. Right? Now that leads me why is so important to fill the seats? If money was the issue, I guess they would be selling the car. Is this a pride thing? More members means more respect? Some pastors need their egos stroked so they concoct the best schemes to fill the seats; and if they save some souls somewhere along the way it’s a bonus. The fact that a member of the clergy or church staff came up with this idea isn’t what pisses me off the most though. It makes me sick to think that this fucking car actually enticed some people to walk through the door of Revolution. The lights, power point presentations, “high-energy music, a practical message from the Bible, a casual atmosphere, and people just like [them]” wasn’t enough to get them through the door. All this wasn’t enough to satisfy all their needs to be filled. They wanted a car too.

  6. “ex-churchonites”? What an awkward term. While I can’t speak for Steve, I think, to an outsider, the gimmick frightens off more people than someone able to step back and call it a gimmick in the first place. While we may bitch and moan, I’d like to think that we’re at least being honest.Since Trotter isn’t too talkative, allow me to ask lowend: Where did the funding for the giveaway come from? Were they donated by isolated individuals or purchased by the elder board? How would you feel if you discovered that your tithing was being used for the giveaway?Actually, I’d been meaning to pose the same question to Steve: where did you get the funding for your giveaways?…are these important questions? I’m not certain. even so, I’m still curious about the answer.

  7. ninjanun – I appreciate your views, and when regarding the greater church as a whole/stereotype, I would have to say that unfortunatly your assesment is all to accurate…on the surface. That is to say, I don’t think that one can simply equate the faulty ways of a church’s staff (if they are in fact “off the path”) to its parishioners(wow…i’ve never actually used that word before…cool!). If people are coming through the doors, regardless of why they came, the individuals that make up that church have an optortunity-if not a responsiblity-to engage them, and really SHOW them what the core of their fellowship is based on: Christ love.I think far too often we expect (or perhaps we’ve been programmed) the people on the stage to “represent” the church, and therefore the congregation shucks the entire burden of spiritual and intersocial responsiblity on to their shoulders. Not that the leaders of a church families don’t have certain responsibilities that should be taken seriously, there just has to be a balance.I believe we must be very careful not to apply formulas to our churches, and though that may seem to underline you earlier comment, I am actually referring to the hasty judging of a community of believers we’ve never even met (and no…a website or even a pastor does not, and should not, represent his church. The church should represent the church.) Maybe if all of the members of our various churches were as passionate and driven as their pastoral staff, there would be no need for such drastic differences between these roles…but until then, we will always have those that are desperatly trying to “rock the boat” by “any means necessary”, and those who are going because…well, maybe that’s something they should think about for a while!We must have balance, and we must have accountability. I only hope that we are applying these for the ulitmate growth and health of the church…not for our own selfish motivations, whatever those might be.

  8. For a second, I thought you were talking about Jay Bakker’s < HREF="http://www.revolutionnyc.com/idea.htm" REL="nofollow">Revolution Church,<> and was preparing to be enormously disappointed. I guess I’m not surprised, but I’m still a little disappointed that this fool thinks the message of the gospel is so insufficient that he needs to supplement it by giving away a used car.

  9. “The Poor will always be with you” is often invoked by pastors and other church leaders after someone calls them on their wasteful use of the church’s resources. It’s a cop-out, because the context of Jesus’s statement is not taken into consideration: the woman was symbolically preparing him for burial, something the disciples hadn’t done. Also, the disciples were constantly trying to keep “the least of these” from Jesus and whining about how they couldn’t feed people, while Jesus was teaching by word and deed that “the least of these” was a major priority for him. “The poor you will always have with you, but you won’t have me around forever” shows the order in which we minister: keep Jesus first. But ministering to the poor is not in conflict with ministering to Jesus, as he himself pointed out in Matthew 25. “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.”I think Jesus response to the disciples was like saying, “yeah guys, don’t worry; they are PLENTY of poor people you’ll be able to help in the future, you will not cease to find a shortage of poor people, since you’re <>so concerned<> with them. He was really pointing out that the disciples were making pious protests about the woman who was ministering to him in an attempt to be <>more righteous than her<>. He revealed their concerns about the poor as the hypocrisy it really was.

  10. maybe if we say “david trotter” three times he will come back!here goes:david trotter . . .david trotter . . .david trotter . . .

  11. Hey everybody,Your attacks are wonderful. Keep them coming. Meanwhile, we are providing clean water to people in India, clothing and feeding the poor through our partnerships and Long Beach, and leading many people into a relationship with Jesus for the first time in their lives. Keep the conversations going. Your negativity just fuels us even more.God bless,David TrotterLead PastorRevolution Churchhttp://www.iNeedARevolution.com

  12. huh, maybe not a bot?i built a really long comment so i moved it over to my blog (hey, i needed to clean the cobwebs out over there anyway) . . . go check it.

  13. Ha Kohen,Nope. I don’t think that many people care whether or not a church gives away a car or anything else. That’s my experience. I’ve never heard a single soul say they wouldn’t go to church because of giveaways. In regards to money, I’ve only heard things like “They’re always asking for money” and “The Pastor makes too much money.”Being in ministry for the past 12 years I’ve watched people’s reactions to giveaways. Most people don’t really have that much of an opinion one way or the other.They love to get prizes no matter where they are, but it doesn’t really have an effect on winning or losing them. For example, one of the girls in my youth group visited a different youth group on a Sunday night and won an XBOX 360 while she was there. She’s happy she won it, but she hasn’t quit coming to our church. She went there with a friend and would probably still go there on occasion if invited. But, like most people, she’s at church for relationships. The prizes really have no effect either way.Truthfully, I believe most people are a heck of a lot more graceful in their attitudes than you seem to give them credit for.The report said (and Pastor Trotter can correct the report if it is wrong) that Revolution Church insists it isn’t doing this to boost numbers. They just thought it would be fun and it shows an example of God’s extravagant love. You and the news don’t believe the pastor. The news anchor stated that the church was doing this hoping to attract new members. The ad said, “Come to church, win a car.”Pastor Trotter,My guess is that you guys decided to do this for the reasons you stated to the reporter – for fun and to show God’s love. Then, maybe your choice of wording in your advertising expanded that original thought a bit. Perhaps some people would come out because of the car giveaway and it would generate more celebration and excitement. Everyone loves to see people win something and it makes a good illustration of God’s love – getting something you didn’t earn.But, my guess is also that you guys didn’t really think that the car giveaway would draw in crowds of people. What the ads were really about was exposure and celebration of the kickoff. Am I right so far?I think what’s going on in this post is similar to the situation that Jesus faced when his disciples were upset about the woman who “wasted” a years wages worth of perfume on his feet. They felt the money could have been used to give to the poor…

  14. Pastor Trotter, My apologies if I have (or will) make any incorrect assumptions about you or your church. But you put your face out their on TV. You initiated this conversation and you had better be prepared for it. So your numbers are growing rapidly. Good. But you will have to pardon me if I think this means you’ve been tickling some ears. I am automatically skeptical when I see a downpour of people embracing the offense of the cross. At the same time there is nothing wrong with real growth. And to be honest, your church meets people that would never set foot in mine. As far as your foreign aid goes, I applaud your gifts to the poor (though you seem to misrepresent yourself a bit since Harvest India has very little to do with clean water). Still next time maybe you could choose to save another 200 people from dying rather than electing to promote your church (and yeah it may not be a “new car” but what about the advertising costs… just what does it cost these days to put out 48,000 flyers, 2,000 mailings, 42,000 telegrams, full page newspaper adds, yard signs, press kits and radio adds?) Every church spends money on things that they do not need; money that could otherwise go to people in need. Do I really need a color printer for example? Maybe not… but it is a large jump to go from color ink to handing out door prizes and buying radio time. Beguiling people is not the answer. Holding out a car like a carrot for the donkey and than slapping Jesus in his face is not the answer. God is not some horrible tasting medicine that you need to trick the kids into taking. And another thing, you may think that the ends justify the means. You may think your saving souls but that is just not the case. Yours is nothing more than insular thinking. Your little corner of the globe is just a tiny part of this earth and where you see a few people getting bamboozled into Jesus 101, I see people all over the world who hear about this story and then confirm in their minds that Christianity is nothing more than snake oil. I bet deep down you really do care for people but where you see a few people coming in the door, I see masses of people discussed by it. I promise you, you are scaring away far more people than you are reaching. Now as for your plan to “echo the message of extravagant love that God has sent”… this is nothing more than a shameless promotional tool! Do not pretend that this came about from some meeting where someone said, “What can we do to show God’s love” and then the board unanimously decided to have a draw for a new car. That is total crap! This was another “get people in the door” idea and nothing more. Own your tactics sir! When you put up this phony front you lost all credibility.

  15. I……there are no words…maybe I’m verbalizing the obvious, but is anyone else bothered by the fact that they’re “done” with a two-year old vehicle? Does no one remember shoving 10 youth group kids into the beat-up old church van that only seated 8? And what is up with the Wiis? Rarity aside, that’s $1000US right there that they apparently couldn’t find anything better to do with, to say nothing of the car.Meanwhile, regurgitating the Wii taglines and pamphlet designs made me throw up in my mouth. As a Wii owner and closet proponent, I’m offended.…incidentally, “Revolution” was the codename for the Wii during it’s development. Still doesn’t excuse them for pulling any of this.

  16. You’re right, JB. I don’t think the average person cares, either. But I do, because, whatever this guy’s heart (I thought his two comments here were pretty revealing.), he has reduced evangelism to the same carnival gimmickry that I can find at the mall, except they give away a <>new<> car.You said, “People keep people away. Not door prizes.” Agreed. A guy who uses cheap stunts to put asses in seats would probably keep me away. And no, I don’t believe him. If this wasn’t a publicity stunt, then why return Channel 7’s call? <>For the record, I’m having a real tough time believing that Channel 7 initiated the contact. This type of thing almost always starts with a press release.<>If you really think this guy’s action compares with the Mary’s alabaster jar of perfume, then I really don’t know what else to say to you. That was an act of enormous sacrifice, made out of love, not self-promotion. Trotter (who can correct me if I’m wrong) will give away this car, take tithe money (which IS intended for the poor, btw), and go buy a new one.Yes, it was a broken relationship that got me out of church, but it’s crap like this that keeps me out. Being part of the machine, you have to allow that yours isn’t the most objective perspective on this matter, either.

  17. Steve – to quote a famous philosoper: “Stupid is, as stupid does.” That is to say, that ultimately, though I honestly still have my reservations about the effectives and motivations surrounding this whole car thing, I choose to wait and analyze the aftermath. One could easily look at the life of Christ and wonder if some of his actions could be called ‘grand standing’? Was it really nesessary for Christ to die in such a public fashion? Could he not have died alone and quietly? Did he really have to address the ‘masses’, or could he not have taken the “One on one” approach with everyone? Obviously these are rhetorical questions, which seem rediciously obvious to us now…after the fact.I’m not even beginning to compare pastor Trotters car give away to Christ’s life, just to clear that up. But I am saying, that sometimes things that seem ‘crazy’ or ‘illogical’ at the outset, can have immense spiritual outcome. As with any action that we call our fellow brothers and sisters out on, we must always look to the heart FIRST. If you can find fault in his motives, than there is no question in your critique…but I wonder if you’ve done so. Or is it your past experiences, and the previous mistakes of others, that have colored your pre-judgement?I wonder what turns off more non-believers (which should ultimately be our greatest concern here…right?), the fact that they might win a car and possibly make some new friends, or a bunch of bitter ex-churhonites bitching about a church gimmick?Sure he wants more people to come to his church. If you’ve got the ‘truth’, and you’re single greatest passion in life was to share that with others, wouldn’t you do it “by any means necessary”?As long as ones ‘means’ are within God’s ‘law’, than it’s not a defense…but a mission statement!I personally find it extremely refreshing to be a part of group of believers who actually have the balls to take a ‘forward leaning’ approach to spreading the word. I have wasted to many of my church-going years in social clubs talking about being more christiany. And if he happens to ruffle a few ‘christian’ feathers along the way (making mistakes…as we all do…for sure), and is succeeding in knocking believers out of their modern church complacancy, all the while bringing new people into the famility of Christ…well, than he’s doing a pretty good job in my book.

  18. Jimmybob, You don’t think many people pay attention?Oh no your right, no one makes negative assumptions about church finances. When people put money in the offering this is exactly the kind of thing they see their money going to. And more importantly, how churches spend their money has never been an issue for non-believers and has never been a criticism of anyone. People aren’t paying attention?I’m not trying to make an enemy here but I cannot believe my eyes! This church put out direct advertisements to over 160,000 people (not including radio listeners or the news spot). Even if people didn’t want to pay attention, it was slapped in their faces as they drove to work or checked to news to see the weather for the following day. I’m sorry but you must be insane! This is not the kind of thing that people indolently view. Indifference is not the first thing that comes to mind when one hears of such a stunt. Just how many people do you think this actually enticed? Or better yet, just how many people do you think had a positive view of this verse those who had a negative reaction? Can a reasoning human being genuinely deny the negative impact this can have on the larger Church? You know, I’ve gone through this site and also the blog and this church has some good things going on… but this is not one of them. This publicity stunt was a bad idea and should be acknowledges as such.

  19. Trotter, if this is a conversation than why don’t you join it! Are you so content and so sure of your measures that you will only sit on the sidelines and egg people on with that cavalier since of satisfaction? Have you nothing further to say than “keep it coming”, because I’d rather not end up some weak sermon illustration about people who “don’t get it”? Here we are standing on Solomon’s porch; over turning your tables and you seem to just sit back with a grin on your face assuming we have nothing valid to contribute. Does that not smack of pride? By the way Jimmybob, on his blog David Trotter wrote, “Because we’re getting the word out about the launch of our 2nd campus, we were contacted by ABC7 Eyewitness News.” Notice this does not say, “Because we were putting the word out about Gods extravagant love…” This was only about one thing – advertising the opening of a new campus. Trotter, if you really want to have a conversation you can send me a response: hakohenfromtherealist@yahoo.com

  20. <>“I bet deep down you really do care for people but where you see a few people coming in the door, I see masses of people discussed by it. <>I promise you, you are scaring away far more people than you are reaching.<>“<>I doubt that last statement. I don’t think that many people pay attention. A church giving away a car is the least of things that would keep them away.Think about it. People keep people away. Not door prizes.I will say, however, that I don’t think giving away prizes motivates many people either.

  21. Actually, I think Trotter’s comments might just be a PR bot that scours google for his name. Or at least I’m giving him the benefit of a doubt, ‘cuz the alternative is he’s a total dick.Of course, having a PR bot to taunt dissenters int the first place reeks of a whole different flavor of dickery……as an aside, I could, maybe, just maybe, see if a member (or group of members) of the congregation who, say, owned a dealership (or something) donated the car two years prior. A little odd, but not entirely unthinkable. Same deal with the Wiis; maybe they own a Gamestop franchise or something. If Trotter and/or his elder board cleared this with the original donators, then fine. It’s tacky, but whatever. That’s the business of the congregation.Using church funds to acquire these, however, is a whole other issue.‘course, it’d be nice if this were clarified, but you can’t get much out of a modified spam-bot.

  22. I was going to weigh in on JImmy Bob’s interpretation of ‘th e poor you always have with you’ but Ninjanun said it all (and I agree 100%). I will also check out Trotter’s revolution – which apparently seems to be for the ‘well to do’. But I do need a Wii.I really wasn’t that offended by Trotter’s whole thing he has going on there – he seems like a fairly decent fella. That said I am all for helping the poor!It’s just another version of Capitalist Jesus faith in some senses. But maybe this is how Trotter see’s using this current context for Jesus – I know I don’t admire it – but maybe he does. Again maybe this is one time thing a year he does – I need to check that out also. But in essence, I think helping the poor is the goal of the church anyways. It makes very little sense to help someone with ‘wii’s’ (as they are a luxury of this society) – maybe to get kid’s active? Still falls short of helping the poor. How’s about a real revolution Trotter? How’s about taking all those wonderful resources you have and starting mentoring programs for disenfranchised youth in inner-cities? Maybe some day-cares for single mothers? A grocery program for people that can’t afford the basics (kids don’t need to suffer for a parent’s addiction)? Maybe some educational partnering (1 on 1) with students struggling in school (who need the help in math or science)? Visiting the prisoner and developing programs there with family on the outside is also a great idea. Maybe some resume and work job preperation sessions for the unemployed (or even a partnership)? Building homes for poverty stricken is also a great idea (or ‘rent to own’ ideas) – partner with Habitat. Free counselling programs for the depressed and hopeless. Now that’s a revolution!

  23. If pastor Trotter and Revolution Church thought it would be a good thing to give away the car and bless someone, then that is a good thing.Good intentions do not excuse stupidity. Again, Trotter’s not just hurting Revolution – the public does not necessarily view Christianity as a diverse system with varying degrees of thought.

  24. I have done these kind of stunts as a pastor and talked about them on this site and podcast. Obviously I can only speak for myself, but the main goal of “car giveaways” and “big event promotions” was an attempt to draw a crowd. My goal was to create a big numbers event and hope that some of the people stuck and the overall attendance of the group would increase. Of course, we wanted to see people develop a relationship with God through it all (that was our hope I guess), but the crux of the event was to draw a crowd… plain and simple.JimmyBob… I took your challenge and asked three co-workers (sorry I didn’t get to five or six) your questions. I asked them their initial reaction to seeing a sign in front of a church declaring “Come to church this Sunday and win a car!”. I also asked them if they would be more or less likely to attend that church because of that sign. None of the people questioned currently attended a church and I made no mention of my interest in this or SCP (this site).JM Response: <>When I hear that, I automatically lose respect for that church. They shouldn’t have to do that to get people to come to their church. No, I wouldn’t ever attend that church.<>CM response: <> They obviously need more business. They have too much money.It wouldn’t make me want to go there or entice me to go there… and if I was going to go to church I would avoid that one.<>DP response: <>I would think that this church needs more money and more people.I might go to this church to try and win the car if I needed one, but once I didn’t I would never go back.<>

  25. You Christians and your funny advertizing scams. Rabbi Enkin doesn’t allow draws in the Synagogue. Your tithe is for the poor not for cars.G** must be disappointed with you. I know I am.

  26. …you here to dialogue or to gloat? If it’s the former, I’ve a few questions.Given your rather impressive growth over the past few years, is it really necessary to use gimmicks like these to lure more in? Are the seekers not pouring in fast enough or something? Explain the car. What’s it used for, again? Why are you getting rid of it? What are/were the associated costs?Are your India and inner city programs doing so well that they couldn’t benefit from the money being lost on these giveaways? Is there no room for expansion?‘cuz I’m curious. Or maybe I’m asking the wrong questions.

  27. They’ll probably get people to go just because of the wii’s. I work at a video game store and I get about a dozen + calls a day just to ask if we have any wii’s. There is a church near me that has a raffle all the time for a new car.

  28. Lowend… you certainly aren’t going to use the “any means necessary” defense are you? And a church can can do a hundred things right and wonderful and one thing stupid and wrong… and that one thing will still be stupid and wrong. It doesn’t change or lessen the good that they do, and I would agree (I dug around and there is no question) that your church does many wonderful things. But I think there are consequences to the one stupid thing that, in my opinion, effect the message of the universal church to those on the outside looking in.I think this is stupid and you don’t… fair enough. I used to think these kinds of things weren’t stupid. I have given away a car at youth events to boost attendance and get kids there. I think it signified the weaknesses of my ministry and the needs of my ego more than anything else that I resorted to such gimmicks and “big crowd events”… but that’s probably just me.

  29. I haven’t had a chance to ask the 5 or 6 yet, but I should be able to get it done tomorrow.What’s funny is that without explaining this conversation or anything to my wife, I simply asked her what she thought of a church giving away a car, and her initial reaction was, “That’s ridiculous! It gives people the wrong impression.”Maybe I do need to get out more. [blushing]

  30. For the record, the Pete and I left our former local church for similar reasons. The amount of time, money, and energy spent on self-promotion of the church (under the guise of “spreading the gospel”) just became too much for us. It was even smaller things, like giving away tickets to Star Wars (but only if you attended the service first!) and looking at demographics to see who the church’s “target market” was that made us take a step back and see that our former church was heading in the wrong direction, and even more sadly, at the expense of helping those who were truly in need. I mean, if this Revolution Church really wanted to be an example of God’s extravagant love, they should have donated the Scion to the filthiest, dirtiest, most vile criminal they could find (provided he or she could actually drive it), championed the justice system for his immediate release from prison and pardon for all crimes, and lavished him or her with all the love and caring in their collective hearts. That would be a more appropriate example of what God’s extravagant love is like. Instead, they used the opportunity to market their church and make a name for themselves. This church is definitely signaling its intentions–and they speak to a church that is not concerned with God’s message of self-sacrifice for the love of a hurting world so much as they’re concerned with the world’s message of self-promotion and wasteful consumption. It’s a message that is diametrically opposed to the gospel, which is why those who *do* care, and *are* paying attention find it so vile and offensive.

  31. I have three things to say:1)This is not new. Churches do this all the time. The Catholic Church even made a name for herself doing this with BINGO (though recently churches have begun to take it to the next level). 2)This guy’s idea of success and his ridiculous justification for doing this both bother me immensely… “to echo the message of extravagant love that God has sent” – In my entire life this is perhaps the biggest load of crap I’ve ever seen someone just come up with on the spot. And… 3)In a couple short years this guy has enough money to start a second “campus” and give expensive items away as promotions. Hey Pastor David Trotter, some people just need clean water to live.

  32. Ha Kohen,And lest you think I’m only speaking about “Christian” reactions to these kinds of things because of the illustration I gave, I’m not.The non-Christian people I’ve known have always given similar reactions as the believers.In fact, the only suspicious people I’ve ever met concerning giveaways are “Christians” right here in the blogosphere. Most of whom don’t go to church anymore because of broken relationships.

  33. <>Keep the conversations going. Your negativity just fuels us even more.<>As a “we know we must be doing something right if they’re criticizing us” goes, this is a stretch.

  34. I think the church’s heart is in the right place. Jesus told his disciples how to go out and win souls and one instruction was to meet their needs. People need cars; if it wins souls for the Kingdom, then that car isn’t going to be that person’s “prized” possession anyway.

  35. d- though i don’t pretend to know all the details regarding this give-away, i do know that this car was actually ‘used’ and owned by the church for the past two years. Since I’m fairly new to Revolution, I’m not sure what that entirely means, but I do know that one of the other pastors had been driving it, and ‘using’ it for various church functions.Sorry I don’t have any more details than that, it does however rule out this having been purchased/acquired for the sole purpose of a promotional give-away.And though I can not agree that ‘bitching and moangin’ are synonymous with honesty, I always welcome constructive criticism. As I mentioned, I initially (and to a certain dregree still…)had many of these same reservations, but i have strong faith in pastor Trotter’s ‘greater vision’ for spreading the message of Christ.

  36. Well, everyone do an experiment. Ask people on the street what they think of a church giving away a car.Ask them their initial reaction.Then ask them if they thought anyone would go because of it.Then ask them if they thought it would keep people away.Ask 5 or 6 different people and lets see what kind of results we get.Don’t ask people who have been jaded by church leaders or church people to begin with.Dorse, maybe I need to wakeup. I’m willing to, but I need a little more convincing to change my point of view. I’ve never been one to just jump on an attitude bandwagon to express disgust.I feel the deeper issue that people don’t trust pastors and church leaders to do what is right is more on target. But, I don’t think it’s because of things like this. It’s more serious than this, like broken confidences, control issues, etc.I mean, just because Pastor Trotter and his team decide to give away a car doesn’t mean they don’t trust the power of the gospel. You can’t really make that assumption without knowing the man.It just doesn’t make sense to me. What could possibly offend a non-believer about giving away a car? It would seem to me that an offended person would also be offended by ANY group giving away a car, not just a church.

  37. JimmyBob, I responded to some of your comments over on my own blog. It was getting long, and I didn’t want to post two long ones in a row.I think we mostly agree, btw, but my post is on the one aspect where we seem not to.Hope you’re having a great day, brutha! 🙂

  38. I don’t know what the answer is.The thing is that the Gospel isn’t compelling, or compelling enough anymore. Everyone and their brother knows the evangelical mantra of “taking Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior”. The phrase is a caricture of kitch, NASCAR drivers and other pro athletes. Even politicians are required to pay some sort of lip service to the phrase. So, here we are. Once upon a time in God’s interaction with man, people were afraid of The Glory of The LORD appearing in the temple. Now, we’re reduced to giving away cheap-ass cars and game consoles that have a life span of a year and a half just so that people will hear the worn out message of “Jesus Loves You and here’s how to have Your Best Life Ever”. Yet, I’m grown weary of my cynicism. I long for a profound spiritual experience, but I can’t be certain if it’s from the Spirit of the Lord or if it’s neurological pre-programming based partly on evolution and partly on environment.I just don’t know. Maybe the Scion is as good as it gets.

  39. Pastor Trotter, I hope that you took this to be instructive rather than insulting. I am sure that you are trying to help instill faith in your fellow people. In my mind, that is perhaps the most honorable thing that a person can do; I am sure that you have nothing but good intentions… but make no mistake – you are in error. You have marred the faith. If you really wish to present the gospel then do so. But do not think that you are doing it today without adding obstruction. You are no worse than I. I have no dilutions about my own perfection. Time and careful criticism will surely unearth my misconstructions as well. Still, in the future, it will do you good to consider yourself little more than a postman. Simply deliver the message. Hand the people the mail that your received just as your received it. It is the message you received dutifully from the saints before you. Do nothing to taint the message; do nothing to make what is already eternally relevant, applicable. It is already so. It and only it is pure. It needs nothing. Blessings to your ministry from this day foreword; may your words be only the words of the Father in Heaven.

  40. Dorse, yes, I do lead in a church facility. My opinion is mine, but I don’t think I’m the final authority. Some good thoughts have spured from this discussion.I have to admit though, that I feel a little gossipy talking negative about another person, judging their motives and speculating on the reasons for their decisions like this.Just for clarification…You weren’t quoting me with, <>For the record, I’m having a real tough time believing that Channel 7 initiated the contact. This type of thing almost always starts with a press release.<> That was someone else.My comment about the perfume was simply about Jesus’ response that we will always have the poor among us. Factually then, we will never solve, by any means, this issue. That is not to say we shouldn’t try or that God hasn’t instructed us to minister to the poor. But, it also doesn’t mean we have to always default to the poor either over every other good thing to do. I simply believe that Pastor Trotter thougtht it would be a good and fun thing to do for someone. Get publicity, absolutely. But only because he believes in the reason for the existence of Revolution Church, not because of self-promotion. IF you believe in what you do, you want to tell the world about it.But, like you said, I’m part of the machine and my point of view may not be the most objective, however sincere I am.Just as a funny question: Are you telling me that when you worked with me in youth ministry that you would have thought I was a prick if I ever gave away a Nintendo 64? They were pretty cool back then. For the record, we never did that. Instead, we played poker for missions. That was awesome!

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