Spiritual Probation

What crime prompted these epistles? What shortcoming was so deserving of the attention of the administraton? The recipient of these letters reports:

“I was a good little freshmen (only 11 demerits), but they found out that I liked CCM because they heard me discussing it with some other students. Even though I didn’t listen to CCM while school was in session, they felt my attitude and views were grounds for spiritual probation.”

Egads. I think probation was lenient given the circumstances.

Letting Evil Triumph


Original video is the property of Harold Snure. Used by permission.)

While watching the video above keep in mind that Bill Wininger, the man being loudly defended by Hyles and Gibbs in 1993, resigned from his church twenty years later after his accusers finally gained enough attention to prompt a new investigation.

What’s really mind-blowing in this video is the way that David Gibbs, Jr. of the Christian Law Association stands in front of this group of people and blatantly acknowledges that there are abuse allegations against Hyles-camp churches all over THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. But then he takes that information and spins a conspiracy theory that the real reason that these allegations are surfacing is that Christ-hating liberals hate bus ministries.

Twenty years of abuse. Twenty years of lives ruined. Twenty years of pain and suffering. Twenty years — and they knew the entire time. These men are nothing short of evil.

Billy Sunday: Theatrics

It’s interesting to note a couple things about Billy Sunday’s approach to “preaching.” He uses no text. He doesn’t even open a Bible. What he has instead are certain memorized phrases and word pictures that he gives out in rapid-fire succession to keep the audience engaged. It’s not about Jesus, it’s all about getting people to sign on the dotted line.

If we wonder why preachers in the IFB movement these days have such strange ideas about what it means to “preach the whole counsel of God” we need look no further than these early days of performance preaching by a pantheon of pandering populists.

Why Do Ministries Pay So Badly?

Over the last few months I’ve had conversations with numerous people who used to work in either fundamentalist or evangelical ministries and just can’t afford to keep doing it. When you’re putting in a full week of work but eating from your own church’s food pantry because you can’t afford groceries that might be a problem.

There is a serious problem in American Christianity with “ministry” employees being underpaid, undervalued, and under-appreciated. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Isolation.

By the nature of being sacred instead of secular, many ministry employees are isolated from the rest of the job market. Being cut off from the rest of their colleagues makes them prone to believing the lies that they didn’t need to get accreditation or certification. As a result they have no relationships with those kinds of bodies and they don’t participate in continuing education with their secular counterparts.

As a result they simply have no idea what their skills might be worth in the rest of the world or how to build a set of credentials that makes them worth more.

2. Delayed Gratification.

“Treasures in heaven” is the cry of those who really don’t want to pay for good dental benefits on earth. Christian workers are told that somehow their efforts are more special and worthy of greater rewards. Lots of people work in school cafeterias but Jesus loves people who work in Christian school cafeterias just a little bit more. The celestial payout is going to be awesome! (So we’ll need you to go ahead and work for peanuts while you’re here.)

After all, it’s all about getting people saved! Who can put a price tag on that?

3. Shrinking Population.

Church attendance is in decline. That means fewer checks in the offering plate and less operating budget. Like any other business the first place any ministry is going to start cutting its expenses is not in buildings or salaries at the top. They’re going to start by seeing how much they can save by reducing the number of paid days off or requiring all employees to contribute some amount of time for free.

This is just suffering for Jesus.

4. Heavy Indoctrination.

Fundamentalist and Evangelicals have done well in playing the education game. Every year there is a crop of idealistic fresh faces that emerge from their high-schools and colleges having spent hundreds of hours in classrooms being taught that there is no higher calling than being grist to the ministry mill. With new cheap labor being manufactured every day there’s no incentive for raises for the people who have been here all along.

Jesus is the greatest coupon ever.

5. Total Prevarication.

If you ever work for a ministry that tells you that if you just serve the Lord with them for 30 years that there will be a pension at the end to take care of you in your old age I advise you to smile politely and then walk away quickly. There is no retirement. There. is. no. retirement. There is, however, a pink slip with your name on it sealed in an envelope that says “to be opened when the employee is 65.”

Unless you’re putting savings in your own IRA or stuffing it in your mattress then there will be no money.

So the formula goes like this:

Isolated employees + A Heavenly Mission + Declining Revenue + Renewable Workforce + Lies = Starvation Wages.

If you give people too much then how will they ever learn to trust God? The food pantry is open from 3-6 on Thursdays.

A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.

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