188 thoughts on “Youth Conference Promos: Grace Tabernacle Baptist Edition”

  1. At first glance the image in the background looks like Jesus in Uncle Sam mode – “I want you!” Anyway Bro. Spears looks like he was a little more interesting back then.

  2. Our pastor used to always say that he was part of a motorcycle gang. Participating in motocross racing is NOT being part of a motorcycle gang. He’d try to paint that he would have died as a teen if he hadn’t gotten saved. He may have, but NOT because of the “gang” because with the other side of his mouth in some other sermon, he would brag that he has never done an illegal drug, never drank — other than the one time his brother tricked him into drinking some warm beer, and never smoked! That’s a “real” biker gang!

        1. Thanks Scorpio!I figure if I (a biker chick — and I don’t ride on the back of some guy’s bike) could survive an IFB, cancer can’t kill me!

          Our former pastor used to frequently tell the story of me showing up on my Harley all dressed up in leather and imply what God had done for me.

        1. Frisbee, I think it’s possible to embed images in the Comments, but I don’t know how to do it. I’m fairly computer-stupid, and embedding YouTube videos is the only good trick I can make work most of the time.

        2. Love the bicycle picture! Fundy Madness: Pepsi Cola is where it’s at! See its the COKE in the Coca Cola that must be making all these IFB pastors go crazy!

      1. Apparently the tater casserole you get in the IFB fellowships replace your long hair with plump skin.

        If I would have continued the fundie diet, I probably would have had a heart attack by now. Instead I’m down about 30 pounds.

    1. No reflection on the girls but the guy who was over VV actually left his wife and ran off with a former student. She graduated from the program and stayed on to help. She was of legal age and everything when they ran off together but it was a huge scandal to the Rural IFB supporting churches and I’m sure it hurt their fund raising efforts for a while.
      I don’t believe that they are anything like Hephzibah House, at least as far as I have been able to find out.

        1. Point of syntax question: Is embedding youtube videos contingent on the start of a line being the URL and not like mid-sentence?

        2. Rob: I’m not sure if the URL has to start the line, but I’ve found that embedding never works (on SFL) if I put anything after the URL– it apparently has to end the post.

        3. I was at this conference. I wish I had been able to see these poor girls through caring, non-fundy eyes. I wonder what has happened to them since then.

        1. You’re one of THOSE people! 🙂

          I saw no visible pianos in that video, to my knowledge all the accompaniment was off-camera! 🙂

        2. RobM, were you watching “Victorious Valley 5,” before those test pattern experiments?

          At the very opening, two seconds in, you see one white piano. Later on in the video you can see a second one.

          White pianos seem to exist only in fundie churches. Liberace, of course, had a rhinestone-encrusted piano, which trumps a white piano any day.

        3. Those who have questioned their fundy leaders and even perhaps left their umbrella of protection at times will be influenced by the evil one to see white pianos. We here at SFL work hard to suppress those urges in ourselves and to call them out when we detect them in others. You might think its judgmental, but we are just being discerning, after all we are told to try the spirits and someone seeing white pianos everywhere is clearly at the least being oppressed by demons.

          You can pray away your white piano delusions…I am happy to say it is part of my testimony that thankfully I don’t see them any more!

        4. I don’t particularly connect white pianos with fundamentalism. The typical IFB church in my experience is under a hundred people and often has an old upright piano.

          However, in the picture from several years ago, THERE IS A WHITE PIANO!

      1. Ugh! The robot scripture reading and robot like singing. I have not missed that since leaving the fundies.

        I could write software that could read and sing with more passion than that.

        What is up with the KJVAV1611 bible hugging while trying to hold a microphone, and raising hands?

        1. They aren’t allowed to show any real emotion or movement when they sing because then it might be construed as “performing”. Our former pastor was Trieber’s college roomie and bestest friend — they both think alike! You are supposed to stand there, hold the mic, and articulate each note and word. Can’t look imply ANYTHING wordly while singing for God!

          I don’t think I’ve ever heard a group speed read Scripture like that and get off sync like this group did, though!

        2. “They aren’t allowed to show any real emotion or movement when they sing …”

          If you want to se a fundy show real emotion or move, just observe them in line at the covered-dish supper in the fellowship hall.

        3. Isn’t it weird that pastors can holler and yell and people coming forward for salvation are (often) expected to weep, but everyone has to be stoic while singing.

          One of the things I love about being evangelical is being able to emote while singing. I’ve even raised my hands. It’s so nice to actually SHOW the joy and awe we’re singing about.

  3. Oh, if I had a dime for every time I heard some MOg talk about his horrific past before getting Jesused. I’d have a small island in the Caribbean by now. Not sure at all how this makes the man more qualified, but whatever. I know as a younger teen I would have laughed uproariously at the lameness. #marketingfail

    1. It doesn’t imply that he’s more qualified; it implies that he has entertaingly lurid stories to tell at his scheduled appearance. Whether or not he makes good on that promise, I don’t know (or care).

    2. You said,
      “Oh, if I had a dime for every time I heard some MOg talk about his horrific past before getting Jesused.”

      I’ve also seen Charismatics and other sorts of Christians do this, and it is so annoying.

      They give the impression that you’re a nothing and a nobody if you didn’t rob banks, work as a prostitute, or abuse drugs before accepting Jesus as your Savior.

      I accepted Jesus before I turned ten, and I grew up in a normal, relatively non eventful middle class existence in the suburbs. I was a goody good who did not abuse drugs or rob people or anything. I was a good kid, stayed out of trouble.

      Some Christians make it sound like only drug addicts and gang members need Jesus. I’m pretty sure the Bible says all people are sinners and need a savior, not just folks living more troubled lives.

      But you wouldn’t know that from churches and Christian TV who usually only like to present the more “glamorous” salvation testimonies.

      1. Actually this is more common than you might think. The best example I can think of at the moment is a guy named Mike Warnke, who was a ‘Christian Comedian’ active in the 70s and early 80s. His book, _The Satan Seller_ was a big hit, and his comedy albums also. But it seems that he can’t keep his ‘facts’ straight, most of his info doesn’t check out. Claims of Satanism and debauchery have been largely debunked, and his service record isn’t as he says it is. And his private life is a mess- he’s on his fourth wife.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Warnke

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/the-devil-made-me-do-it-mike-warnke%E2%80%99s-ministry-of-lies/

        http://everyonehasastory.me/2012/06/04/the-ministry-of-mike-warnke/

      2. That kind of emphasis has increasingly struck me as strange. Whether it’s IFB; evangelical or charismatic; on anything from Unshackled to the 700 Club, you rarely (if ever) see or hear the more “vanilla” (compared to more dramatic testimonies usually presented) stories of one’s conversion.

        I don’t have a problem with the dramatic ones; just with the emphasis on the more “juicy” testimonies compared to those that fall into the “got saved at an early age”.

        1. Yeah. I was six. No bike gangs there, unless it included running my brother over with my trike. :-/)

          As an adult now though, I have the ‘disgusted with the church and left God entirely for 18 years’ tends to get attention. Not a route I’d advocate though.

  4. I suppose they point out the fact that he was in a motorcycle gang because…he has come so far from being a filthy biker? (So, anyone who isn’t just like he is now is not welcome.) Or maybe he has street cred, so we should listen to him? Or maybe to show off that fabulous curly hair? I just can’t really find the purpose of making that fact known.

    1. Sometimes I regret not having spent my youth riding Harleys, taking drugs, robbing liquor stores, beating my grandmother, stomping on puppies, worshipping devils, jaywalking, littering, etc., so I could have a successful career as an evangelist now.

      1. Of course, if you’re in Hyles circles, you can threaten to slap grandmas and brag about throwing cups of soda out your car window at people (thus demonstrating so well the fruit of the Spirit and showing to the world how much God has transformed you – *rolls eyes*).

    2. BTW, I can’t tell if his hair was curly in his “biker days” pic or not. I think he’s wearing a do-rag/bandana, and there’s just a little bit of hair sticking out from it on his forehead, if I’m looking at that picture correctly.

        1. I’m on the same page as him on that.

          I find it annoying on blogs when people type “First!!”

  5. Neither Barry nor Tater Man have the title “Dr.” before their name–are youth not worthy of qualified, top-notch IFB teachers? Second class is good enough for them? Or does Barry’s former motorcycle gang membership automatically disqualify him from any such titles? And even Pastor Jimmy doesn’t have any titles in front of his name. Clearly this is a second-rate event.

    1. Not to worry 🙂 After such an event where ten thousand souls will “get saved” these men will be recognized and be fast tracked to receive an honorary doctorate from the nearest Fundy U. I’d place their location nearest to BJU

    2. Isn’t it amazing that Fundie preachers are such anti intellectuals (those scientists will lead you astray) but insist on having a Dr. in front of their names.

      1. It’s an HONORARY Dr, awarded by another Fundie preacher in the Larry-Moe-Curly tradition:

        Larry awards Moe an Honorary Doctorate.
        Moe awards Curly an Honorary Doctorate.
        Curly awards Larry an Honorary Doctorate.
        NYUK! NYUK! NYUK!

    1. Here are their spiritual objectives. Looks like brain washing.

      SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVES

      1. Our first objective is to encourage each child to accept the free gift of salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

      2. Our second objective is to help them develop a sincere desire to study the Word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” This will increase their desire to learn not only Biblical principles, but also life principles that go hand in hand with a Christ- centered life. We believe that a person who is willing to learn morals and to learn that there are absolutes in this life is well on the way to becoming an upstanding citizen.

      3. Our third objective of our program is to work with the child and their family to establish a Biblical relationship between parent and child. In Ephesians 6:1-4, the Word of God explains how this should be done.

      4. Our fourth objective is to motivate each child to achieve academic grade level with respect to her capabilities. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

      5. Our fifth objective is to train each young person to be a godly productive Christian, useful and capable in whatever area the Lord may call them.

      1. Because of course, being saved is such an evil thing to desire!

        …and reading the Bible is such a terrible thing to do!

        It’s responses to posts like this that make me question SFL’s stated objective. None of these guys have “Dr” by them, so they get mocked as not being worthy of phony doctorates.

        And let’s make fun of their appearance, too!

        I’m all for exposing the wackiness in fundamentalism, but some of this seems just to be cheap shots.

        Having said that, I don’t care for the poster — it smacks more of carnivals that churches. Can you imagine “Come hear Paul! He used to kill Christians and persecute the church! Hear his powerful testimony!”… come to think of it, that may be a good Fri contest — take some poster and move it back to New Testament days…

        1. True, but it preaching that God uses to bring salvation. It is certainly legitimate to want others saved.

    2. No reflection on the girls but the guy who was over VV actually left his wife and ran off with a former student. She graduated from the program and stayed on to help. She was of legal age and everything when they ran off together but it was a huge scandal to the Rural IFB supporting churches and I’m sure it hurt their fund raising efforts for a while.
      I don’t believe that they are anything like Hephzibah House, at least as far as I have been able to find out.

      1. My wife’s sister got sent to Victorious Valley for a while. My wife went to visit one weekend and the girls there said she was “demonic” because she wasn’t crying during the evening service.
        It appears to be brain washing escalated by sensationalism,

  6. What exactly is “special singing”? Sounds awfully progressive to me. I question the credentials of this event, ain’t no way I’m sending my child to these heathens!

    1. performance churchianity requires such stage shows to grab the interest of the folks who wouldn’t come just to hear preaching. Hence the stand up comic – Tater Man, and the wayward prostitutes choir (no offense meant on my part but thats how fundyland views them)

      My more progressive and contemporary non-fundy church would eschew such staged performances for participatory congregational singing.

  7. Was Mr. Spears a 1%er?

    Was Mr. Spears a patched member or a mere prospect, if that?

    What gang (or puppet club) was he allegedly a part of?

    Being able to photo op a raised left eyebrow and scowling right eyebrow doesn’t make you a member of a notorious outlaw motorcycle gang.

    B.R.O.,

    1. It’s that tired old thing about having a dramatic testimony of being “saved” out of a life of sin, drama, and danger. Anybody remember Nicky Cruz and his “testimony”?

      This schtick is entirely man-centered, preacher-glorifying. Christ is an afterthought.

  8. A couple of years ago, some of our district pastors (60 years and up) (UMC) decided to have a “youth rally”. I was asked to talk to our youth group about this. I told our pastor that the term youth rally was “old school” and the tacky clip art was not attention getting. They went with it any way. I heard they had less then 10 kids there. I wasn’t there, as I “resigned” the day before the tacky event.

    1. Most Mogs believe that activity for the sake of activity demonstrates “work for God.” By barking orders to their underlings and expecting absolute obedience forces God to move in mysterious ways. When 156 souls are saved the great Mog can brag to his fellow-Mog when his fellow-Mog only saw 47 saved and baptized last Sunday.

      Slightly off topic maybe. Sorry.

        1. Oh, I wish I knew how to insert a picture. I have a decorative picture of a blob of butter that is hilarious!

  9. This poster’s so delightfully hideous, it almost makes me want to go hear Bro. Spears get nostalgic and reminisce about his biker gang days…oops, I mean, thank God that He saved him from such a life and warn the little fundies away from all that fun! Whew. Almost slipped up there.

  10. What’s the bottom line on Les Ollila? I actually heard him at Christian school teachers’ conference in the early 90’s and found him enjoyable. But I was drinking the kool-aid back then.

    1. I went to Northland. I knew him and his family and love them. I literally spent hundreds of hours in their home. I don’t agree with him on several things, but they were all generous and good to me.

      1. You know the thing that just kills me about IFB — they are against any instruments that could be construed “worldly” — like the guitar and drums because you find those in bars. They are against dancing — even if it is alone with your spouse, they won’t say it’s o.k. to do that, but:
        2 Samuel 6:13-15: And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.

        And David DANCED before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

        So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

        1 Chronicles 13:8
        And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

        1. I was SO convicted by 2 Samuel 6 when reading it a few years ago. God showed me that all my life I had been like Michal, looking down on other believers and judging them for how the worshiped. How dare I judge someone’s heart? How dare I misconstrue their motives and pick the worst motive of all? How dare I speak for God and make assumptions about which type of music was “God-honoring” and which was not?

          I never want to be with Michal in the window looking down her nose at those transported by joy in the Lord. I’d rather be dancing with delight in my salvation.

  11. I’m just lovin’ that they have a speaker a girl’s home. Is that supposed to be some sort of veiled threat to the teen girls for if they don’t straighten up?

    1. It’s just for singing, the wominz can’t be up there speaking or instructing men. They’re just there to show off how much better wominz are that obey what the men tell them to do.

    1. Dear Liutgard:

      Years ago, I saw a flyer for some Pentecostal evangelist dude who spent years on death row. My thoughts at the time were, ‘why the heck would I go to hear him … what if he had a spiritual relapse…’

      Same thing about sending my daughters to hear this guy. Are you REALLY sure that you want your kids to learn from someone ‘THIS’ qualified?

      Christian Socialist

    1. Good point – “gang member” is probably meant to make us think he was a Hell’s Angel. But most cycle groups these days are middle-aged yuppies in overpriced chaps, right?

      1. They are called “clubs” usually, not gangs. And you are right (fair disclosure: I worked for Harley Davidson for a time). It isn’t uncommon to see MCs doing charity rides for children’s hospitals or veterans. As for the “real” gangs, they are pretty rare. It’s a lot easier to mule with an SUV than a bike (duh)!

        1. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, Montgomery AL, will have a “blessing of the bikes” this Saturday, March 29.

        2. My wife and I went to South Padre Island one weekend, unaware (until we got there) that it was the weekend of the Beach-N-Bikerfest. I wouldn’t have gone if I had known– not because the people there were bikers, but because there were so many people it caused a nonstop traffic jam (SPI has just one bridge to get on and off the island). Aside from the traffic and the crowds, though, there was no problem. All the bikers we saw were courteous and well-behaved, to each other and to everyone else.

        3. I will mention, though, that some of the “real biker gangs” (the criminal ones) have been accused of using their charity events as cover for illicit activities.

        4. Been riding for 42 years — Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist is right — they are “Clubs” not “gangs”. Clubs sounds nicer and more friendly, and within a “Club”, there are Chapters.

  12. You MUST go look at the “valentine’s banquet” slideshow on their website. VERY INTERESTING. It looks like there are only 2-3 boys in contrast to the large number of girls attending there. And all the pics are of the boys with their arms around each other. Not a single boy/girl picture sitting at the table….etc. Um…….that must have been SOME banquet.

    1. You’ve got to admit a sex-segregated Valentine’s Banquet is an original idea for a church. (I say “for a church,” because I imagine it’s happened in a lot of gay bars and lesbian bars).

    2. You said, “You MUST go look at the “valentine’s banquet” slideshow on their website”

      Can you please provide a link to it? I’m not sure which site you are referring to, and I went up the thread to see if someone else gave a link… (thank you)

    1. It’s an honest confession of faith.
      Their ultimate belief is not in the living God, not even in God’s Word, but in one translation of scripture that they illogically elevate above all others, and above Christ Himself.

  13. I actually misread that as “former motorcycle gang repairman,” which I must say did sound kind of interesting.
    Of course, nothing compared to Tater Man (now that would be a superhero!).

  14. Well, what I’ve found is that they deliberately pick songs without emotion as well when they do this singing so that you don’t sing with emotion but rather robot-like. I am like that with most hymns. But when it’s Sarah Lachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Point of Grace’s By Heart, Maisey Rika’s Tangaroa Whakamautai (I’m a New Zealander and that’s a Maori song) or Kumbaya (oh how I LOVE those “evil” African styles!), Soul Gospel, Hip Hop, just good old plain songs like “SOS” and Madonna’s “If You Could Read My Mind” (I’m not sure of the title of that as it was years since I heard that song) – among other songs – well, I sing more! They don’t like emotion – it’s just a worldly trait you know!

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