Vision Redux

We’re told that where no vision is the people won’t survive
But those who claim to see the plan seem not much more alive
They tell us “take your children’s last red cent and gladly share it”
But with it they will build the things their children will inherit

The call goes out both far and near to reach our fellow man
The first step for the pastor is: a great new building plan.
So put your pennies in the plate and he’ll give all the orders
The pastor’s kingdom will soon have much larger (fenced in) borders

“I’ll build an empire here (for God) and then I’ll be its king!”
A blind man’s vision can be quite a tragic kind of thing.

87 thoughts on “Vision Redux”

        1. Thanks! I just woke up. It seems to have gone well, but I’m too high on morphine to care at the moment! 😛

        1. Hehe, no, that was the “Database Error” thingy’s fault. I did get both procedures at the same time, though. For purely medical purposes, honest!

  1. Yeah I once had a MOG like that. It wasn’t a building but his missions project. He “had a dream” and expected everyone to get behind HIS vision, though it wasn’t theirs. He’d guilt trip people to give, give, give til it hurt, no matter what they had to do without, because people were dying and going to hell. This particular MOG was so out of touch with how the rest of his congregation lived it wasn’t even funny. 👿

      1. Kudos to both of you, well written. Darrell, this post is SO true in some cases as my former church. I remember when the former pastor pitched the last building project he said it would be leaving a legacy for the next generation, which was obviously his son he wanted to bring on staff and inherit the pastorship when he was done with it. Well, now the church has a boatload of debt that the rest of the congregation will be paying for years, 😡 and the pastor got caught taking money he shouldn’t have had with no repercussions other than losing his pastorate and so the son will not inherit the legacy of the new addition but the legacy of shame… 😈

  2. A sadder tale has ne’er been told.
    The preacher cries with voice so bold,
    “I have the light; come follow me!”
    And scores of people flock to see,
    Trusting the path will be made plain.
    Instead of peace and freedom: chains,
    The better which to draw them near
    Replacing liberty with fear,
    For they must trust and then obey
    A tyrant just as blind as they.

    1. Geek alert: The word forte (for-tay) is Italian & means “loud.” The word meaning “area of expertise or skill” is French & pronounced fort. /geek alert 😎

        1. forte in Italian also means strong (“Forza Italia”), so it’s not my forte = it’s not my strong area. It’s where the French word fort comes in, as well. As in Fort Michilimackinac (can you tell I’m a Michigander?). These languages are all related.

        2. @templewoman: I stand without apolog-, er, I mean I stand corrected. 🙂 English words rarely have only one meaning, so why shouldn’t Italian? 😉

      1. I remember learning that in high school…then also learning that even people who know the correct pronunciation never use it, because people look at you like you’re an idiot. 😛

  3. Every time I drive by my old church building I can truthfully say “There sits my college tuition money that I never got to use”. What a total waste! 👿

    1. Argh! I feel your pain. Some times I seriously consider knocking on the door of the new monument…I mean church and asking for a refund for the money we gave to the building fund. Especially hate that the building we helped fund is being used to manipulate and deceive it sheeple.

    2. I feel the same way about HAC. It is such a heap of crappy sinful immoral sludge, yet four years of tuition money, plus my work scholarship hours, went into it. For what? Ugh. 👿 🙄

      1. For what?!? To have great stories of the past, and how the God of grace has brought you through!

        (I know, you’d still rather have the money — but I **do** enjoy your stories of HAC, having been a faithful-follower-of-JH church)

        1. Well, that is very kind, and I did learn a lot, the negative way, and I did meet my husband there, so….

  4. and the Man o god cried, “Build me an ediface worthy of my position…”

    So we did

    … and it said American Standard 1 gal/flush now please get in.

    The handle was pushed and with a gurgling whoosh
    The final sermon was given

  5. We had a building plan in our old church. The MOG suckered this kind contractor guy into sacrificing almost a year of his time to make the thing happen. The main building was finished then came the pastors home, not a parsonage. After the pastors home was finished 6 months later the pastor took a bigger church 100 mi down the road. He sold his house for full price and walked away laughing. That house was built with volunteer labor & a volunteer contractor. The only thing the pastor bought was material & the land. We the “stupid” thought surely he will give the incoming pastor a deal on it. No way! He lived in the house 6 months and made over $50K on the back of his congregation. Now there is a vision…..

    1. The church I grew up in saw a new pastor come in with a large young family (4 kids) we had just built a new church and started right in on a “parsonage” for this fine young family. Well the pastor stayed for nearly 40 years and tried to get the deac……er yes men to “give” him the house. This caused quite a stir with some of the deacons knowing that the parsonage should stay as church property for the “next” young pastor. Anyhoo the “yes men” won out, gave away the parsonage, the pastor retired, sold the house moved away, and left the next pastor “hunting” for a home to live in. I wouldn’t have been necessarily upset if they wanted to take up 300,000 and send this pastor off with a nice monetary gift, but to give away the parsonage? Still shake my head, I would say those “yes men” weren’t good stewards of what they had been entrusted with.

      1. That particular abuse can’t happen in my church. All church real estate belongs to our parent denomination, not to the local congregation, and certainly not to the pastor. We couldn’t give away or sell a parsonage or a church building, or even a vacant lot, without the denomination’s approval, and even with such approval, the denomination would have the right to decide what happened to the proceeds.

  6. “The Holy Ghost gave this to me
    a project to keep ya all busy
    We can do this ourselves!!”
    The man of God yells,
    “So come on now, let’s not be sissies….”

    and so where the churches I’ve been in….very “hands on” 🙄

    1. Let me guess the mog sheepishly made it known that he can’t even use a hammer safely thusly excusing himself of any actual hard labor. That’s how it was played at my former fundy church. 🙄

  7. “For here have we no continuing city”
    But we really want a building that’s pretty.
    Hebrews says, “We seek one to come,”
    But waiting that long would leave us quite glum.
    So we’ll save and erect an edifice grand
    As if this place were our homeland.
    Christ said He’s preparing a place for me,
    But I like to have this church I can see.
    Before a luxurious altar I’ll kneel
    And pray thieves don’t come in and steal,
    For I’ve put my treasure in the here and now:
    My traditions are my sacred cow.
    My neighbors may be ill-clothed and unfed,
    But my money’s gone to buy bricks instead.

  8. no way is that a fundy church in the picture – those stone arches just scream ROMAN CATHOLIC CULT CHURCH. real fundy church exteriors are either red bricks (for churches built a long time ago) or all white.

    1. well, not the middle of nowhere, more like the middle of a great muddy “parking lot”. Some day they’ll get it paved, it’s actually the project their pushing at the moment. Visitors have been known to get stuck in the mud in spring. We were suffering for Jeeee-sus.

  9. This is genuis on the level of something written by Pete Townsend or Steve Taylor.

    Seriously, I had to google it to see if you ripped off a classic rock song!

    Absolutely dead center of the target.

    The Mannagawd’s patsy hit by this arrow would say “message for you, Sir!”

  10. At my former fundy church in Lancaster we had a annual building banquet. After an extremely emotional appeal by David Gibbs, this song was typically featured (modified to fit fundy’s weird music rules, of course):

    I Surrender All lyrics
    Songwriters: Hamm Regie Glenn; Moffitt David E

    I have wrestled in the darkness of this lonely pilgrim land
    Raising strong and mighty fortresses that I alone command
    But these castles I’ve constructed by the strength of my own hand
    Are just temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand

    In the middle of the battle I believe I’ve finally found
    I’ll never know the thrill of victory till I’m willing to lay down
    All my weapons of defense and earthly strategies of war
    So I’m laying down my arms and running helplessly to Yours

    I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
    Though the price to follow costs me everything
    I surrender all my human soul desires
    If sacrifice requires that all my kingdoms fall
    I surrender all

    If the source of my ambition is the treasure I obtain
    If I measure my successes on a scale of earthly gain
    If the focus of my vision is the status I attain
    My accomplishments are worthless and my efforts are in vain

    So I lay aside these trophies to pursue a higher crown
    And should You choose somehow to use the life I willingly lay down
    I surrender all the triumph for it’s only by Your grace
    I relinquish all the glory, I surrender all the praise

    I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
    Though the price to follow costs me everything
    Well I surrender all my human soul desires
    If sacrifice requires that all my kingdoms fall
    I surrender all

    Everything I am, all I’ve done, and all I’ve known
    Now belongs to You, the life I live is not my own
    Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrificial fire
    If all I have is all that You desire
    I surrender all

    I surrender all my human soul desires
    If sacrifice requires that all my kingdoms fall
    That all my kingdoms fall, that all my kingdoms fall
    I surrender all
    .
    .
    .
    Interesting choice of music for a church fundraiser, eh? 👿

    1. Wait. Are you saying that THESE were the actual words they put into the original music? This was a SERIOUS attempt? This is HORRIBLE. The manipulation and guilt-tripping here is simply off the scale! WHAT????

    1. This was done after 2 months PLUS of plying the congregation with emotional testimonies, 2 person teams taking a video presentation on scheduled home visits to members(!!!), sermons and Sunday school messages focused on giving, etc.

      Truly abusive and unbearable. 👿

  11. Many, many churches develop an Edifice Complex that results in all the good the church might otherwise do being subsumed into one building drive after another. As soon as one building or renovation or building expansion is finished, it’s time to start on the next one.

    1. Edifice Complex made me laugh, especially since I have been studying Greek mythology lately. I bet someone could write some funny psychology jokes relating to fundies and their ‘buildings 😉 ‘

      I move that ‘Edifice Complex’ be added to the SFL lexicon.

    2. I have a suspicion. No proof whatsoever. Just a hunch.

      Building programs bring in a lot of $$$. So much so that a “little here and there” missing would probably never be noticed.

      Ahem.

      The larger the church, the harder it is to spot.

      For example, at my old (constantly in a building program) church a deacon took almost $300k over several years – and it took his employer (NASA) becoming suspicious to catch him:

      http://articles.lacanadaonline.com/2011-07-27/news/tn-blr-former-nasa-investigator-guilty-of-tax-fraud-20110727_1_tax-fraud-tax-evasion-charge-federal-prison

  12. This whole post is way to close to home. We are gearing up for the big “Celebration Sunday” where lots of $$$ are expected. We hear about it in EVERY service!!!

    Building a new church isn’t bad in and of itself. I was once a part of a church whose members built everything by themselves as the money came in. There was no begging or campaign. When someone had extra money or stuff they would donate it and they’d build more. It was really neat to see a community band together to work on something.

    1. Gid’s not gonna be able to finish that 20+ phase building program on time unless Paul works his magic…

      “I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
      Though the price to follow costs me everything
      Well I surrender all my human soul desires
      If sacrifice requires that all my kingdoms fall
      I surrender all”

      You will have to let me know if they play “The song”… 🙂

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