171 thoughts on ““I””

  1. According to those figures, we can glean the following:

    1. HE built his church and not the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 16:18)
    2. He preached over two sermons EVERY DAY for the past thirty years
    3. He counselled at least three people EVERY DAY for the past thirty years
    4. He has driven/flown/swam, etc. at least 500 mi. EVERY DAY for the past thirty years (hard to pastor if you are never there)
    5. He has personally led someone to Christ EVERY DAY for the past thirty years
    6. He gets the glory for this all and not the Lord (otherwise there would be evidence of God getting the glory here)

    I find this more than a little hard to believe, but have no doubt the numbers came from him (they are too exact). It is all about the numbers of course…

    1. It is obvious that he built the church, as the chuch’s high average is 4,600 (and that was pre-scandal), and he saved over 11,000. Clearly they were not saved by God, as they had no new life imparted, and no interest in attending Bob Gray’s church. This is not New Testament salvation; in Acts 2, several thousand were saved (the Holy Spirit recorded the numbers, not man); ALL were baptized, and ALL “continued”.

      This blurb is the best argument for NOT recording numbers – they just pander to pride rather than glorifying God.

      People don’t come away from such a thing saying “How Great God is!” – they say “How Great Bob Gray Is”

    2. Number 3 I just immediately assumed when I saw that he means he’s had passing “hellos” with 30,000 people . It’s a preposterious number as is the 21,000+ sermons.

      It’s one of my great frustrations that people never bother to acknowledge any factual discordance with stated claims. I swear my family is the absolute worst at just being able to decipher whether something is true or not. My brother & mother would both look at those claims, be told how those numbers don’t add up, and come to the conclusion “I guess we’ll just never know”. I’ve told friends I sincerely wonder how they manage to make it to the grocery store or work with such overwhelming lack of confidence of whether the grocery store or work exist. πŸ™‚

      1. I never have understood why so many people are unwilling to us simple arithmetic.
        If you divide those numbers by the number of days Bob Gray has been alive, it’s inescapably obvious that he has just pulled some impressively big numbers out of his patoot.

        You expect this sort of thing from Kim Jong Un’s press secretary, but in a place where people don’t get shot for checking the numbers, it’s much harder to see how anyone gets away with it.

        1. I think in my family it’s just conflict avoidance to avoid taking sides no matter how empirical it is.

        2. I do legitimately wonder what would happen if someone were to tell them falsely that a grocery store or their home address had changed how long it would take them to overcome the “can’t be sure” tendency.

    3. Hmmph. Why Paul actually boasted about the number of people he *didn’t* baptize! He didn’t want people to be followers of him.

      Bob Gray’s numbers are impossible of course. Then again, like the Israelites, fundamentalists seem to be particularly bad with math. They seem to use big numbers to impress, as in the fishing story’s “this big” (arms held wide, fingers held narrowly).

      But then, fundamentalism has two distinct groups. There are the leaders. There are the followers. They won’t call it clergy and laity, but they mean the same thing. And like all authority-driven systems, the authorities take all the credit for the work done by those under them.

      Sounds a bit like old Nebuchadnezzar, doesn’t it? “Is this not great Babylon that I have built for my glory?”

    4. You are forgetting to take into consideration those who get “saved” 4 or 5 times before it finally kicks in!! Every salvation counts as a separate “conversion”!

  2. I get a different meaning from the phrase “22 years of clinic material”. As in, spending that time in a mental health clinic trying to undo Fundystan.

  3. Two questions:
    1. Who’s job is it to track all these staggering statistics?
    2. How many times did he referred to women as “heifers” while preaching those 21,111 sermons ( or any other time, for that matter)?

  4. About his numbers; part of the 21,111 sermons are from what I consider mis-counting. He is counting four on Sundays; Sunday School, AM church, PM church, and he probably has a “sycophants teachers and officers meeting” as well – pretty sure that he did because Jack Hyles did, and there is no greater idol-worshipper of Jack Hyles than Bob Gray.

    Then, he probably preached a chapel message most days at the academy, and also preached once a week in the college chapel. Then he would preach the soul-winning challenge on Thu nights and the bus challenge on Saturday… that’s 12 messages there a week, and I may be missing some.

    1. Of course, that would mean chapel sermons in the summer and school holidays.
      Maybe he counts “family devotions” as sermons and counseling sessions also.

      1. And counts preaching/practicing to himself in the mirror while he shaves twice a day (cause stubble is one of Satan’s most evil ploys)

    2. Perhaps he is counting prayers? Goodness knows I have heard plenty of long-winded “prayers” that were sermons in disguise.

      1. Yeah, like Dr. Preson Phillips breakfast prayers at TTU. We timed one prayer at almost five minutes, and never heard the meal mentioned.

  5. Is anyone else annoyed at the term “led xx souls to Christ”? Aside from the obviously dishonesty in the number of supposed converts, it annoys me that it assumes the soul is all that matters. Redemption is of the whole man.

    1. I’m willing to accept the Pope as the vicar of Christ for Catholicism, I can live with the phrase “led to Christ” (essentially the same thing), but I don’t think either is optimal.

    2. Yes, the phrase “led xx souls to Christ” bothers me, as does all of his tripe.

      Let us strive to lift up, honor, and glorify Jesus Christ by centering statements around Him instead of ourselves.

  6. Darrell, of course it is self published. An actual editor might have challenged its placement anywhere except the fiction aisle.
    Or self-disillusionment instead of self-help.

    The real title should have been something like The Dummies Guide to Ego Inflation.

  7. Do his sermons appear on the radio? Maybe they’re counting each broadcast as a separate sermon πŸ˜‰

    1. I think you’d have to count every listener on the miniscule ratings paid programming gets

    2. Does he sell cassette tapes of his sermon? Maybe he’s counting potential listens in the preaching numbers.

    1. According to his own account, he has honorary doctorates from three unaccredited Baptist colleges.

      My cat, Dr. Spot, (I awarded him an honorary Doctor of Furballs degree), is umimpressed by these credentials.

    2. Anyone can pretty much give themselves a title which is just about as useless as his ‘doctorate’.

      1. By the Gray Accounting System, I’ve actually preached in more than 14 foreign countries, in that I have spent at least an hour in each of those countries and had a conversation with at least one person in each.
        God may or may not have come up during the conversation, but that’s probably also true of Gray’s “sermons.”

        1. yes, but he’s preached in only 49 states. Which one did he not visit, and why? Or perhaps he doesn’t recognize liberal Vermont?

  8. I know it is a wide practice to list the credentials of speaker or conference leader. Usually–in most of my experience–it lists the person’s education, work, publishings, etc. –things which people can confirm.
    Dr. Gray’s looks to have very few items which can be confirmed. And it seems to be quite padded…. What weakness or credibility issue is he trying to cover up?

    1. If you’ve never done anything except promote yourself, that’s all you have to list on a curriculum vitae.

  9. Before I even finished reading the cover, I pulled up my calculator to figure out how many sermons a day that was. (1.93 if you are interested) I seem to remember that Jack Hyles counted outline a potential sermon as preaching it.
    By the way, it is too early in the week for Bob Gray. But the weekend starts on Tuesday in my house. (shift work)

    1. Mine, please!

      But I’m pretty sure he’s come to Michigan before. Perhaps Alaska?

  10. Ah yes, because it’s all about the numbers! Numbers are the most important thing in Christianity, after all. That’s why Jesus bragged about the big crowds following him and why in all his letters Paul talked about how big all the churches he was planting were and–oh. Oh. How embarrassing, I seem to have misread a couple of verses here, I really should get my eyes checked. It seems what the Bible actually says is “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

    1. True, true, but they misrepresent repentance and righteous as well, turning the “change of mind” of the Greek “metanoia” that was translated into “repentance” there into “turn from sin” and “righteous persons” [as in persons that are declared righteous by God through their faith in Jesus Christ] of the Greek “dikaios” into “people who perform laws and don’t generally sin”.
      It’s fundymental madness I say!
      And to imagine I was was involved in fundyism for years, all the while proclaiming salvation and justification through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone while struggling with the Arminian, (Hyper-)Calvinistic and Lordship Salvationist leaven in fundyland.
      How amazingly sad of a state I was in.

      Such is the power of self-righteous delusion and power of these leaders to control and manipulate others.

    2. King David got into trouble by numbering Israel. Scripture teaches it was Satan who prompted the king to number Israel in first Chronicles 21.1. Also Paul refused to number himself among those who compare themselves among themselves. He said they are not wise. Curious how the Bible demolishes man’s aspirations.

      1. But II Samuel 24:1 says that the Lord incited David to number the people so that He could judge Israel. Somehow or other, the Lord was angry with Israel and needed an excuse to judge it.

        Curious how the Bible contradicts itself in places.

  11. It’s all about the man, not about the Christ. Guess he figures the verse He must increase and I must decrease doesn’t apply to him.

    1. Of course it applies! However, you may be misunderstanding who “he” and “I” actually refer to.

    1. Quite possibly for the same reason I’m not impressed by the guy down by the bus station who tells people walking by that he’s really Czar Nicholas II.

  12. A pastor who went to his school wrote an essay about him- “A Cult Leader In An Independent Baptist Church. I lost my copy in an hard drive crash years ago……

  13. Someone ought to remind Mr. Gray of this verse:

    “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)

    1. It’s been tried; the usual response is that he is lifting up what God has done through him, not himself.

      (“…and, son, you better confess that critical spirit before the Lord ‘thumps’ you…”)

  14. What kind of person keeps track of that crap? Narcism much? Even if he’s telling the truth (which he’s not), who counts their sermons for that long? When I was an associate pastor I counted just to guilt trip the personnel committee into letting me off to fill in for other churches. This guy has some serious issues with himself.

  15. As a young girl, I would sit through conferences and listen to Bob Gray and others like him spout numbers, and then recite the methods used to attain such numbers.

    Struggling already to gain the approval of those in “authority” over me, the image set forth by these men to follow was overwhelming and seemingly unattainable. And I’m glad it still is.

    I have learned more about the Holy Spirit and my relationship with Jesus since coming out of fundamentalism than I ever learned while I was in it.

    Now, to play both sides, IFB was where I gained much of my Bible knowledge. But, what it has since translated to is a relationship with Christ, not an ability to falsely produce numbers and statistics that prove what a “spiritual” person I have become. I no longer measure my spiritual success by how many hours a week I go soul winning. In fact, I try not to measure it at all. I don’t want my focus to be numbers. I want my focus to be Jesus.

    Most of IFB is all about image. And that image is a heavy, weighty and discouraging burden that people place upon their own shoulders – not realizing that Jesus wants to lift the burden, desiring for us to just follow Him.

    1. I think of the verse that says that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up! It’s wonderful to know the love of God (after focusing for so long on my own efforts).

    2. @CulotteswithPleats

      I *so* much identify with you. In the Hyles-following church I attended, “soul-winning” (by which they mean going door to door and bothering strangers and trying to get them to say a prayer) was EVERYTHING. You couldn’t use talents anywhere without “going soul-winning”. Usher? Choir member? Not unless you are going soul-winning. And let’s not even get to the position of teachers, for whom this was a requirement. Deacon? Verse were twisted to “prove” that “going soul-winning” was a Scriptural requirement for this office… [I can still remember the twisting; the first deacons were said to be “full of the Spirit” in Acts 6. The MOG then went to Acts 1:8 and said that anyone full of the Spirit was winning souls, so deacons had to be going soul-winning.]

      Being a shy person who doesn’t like to bother people, the times I tried their method of “soul-winning”, I thought I might have a breakdown. So, I was branded a “can never be used” member, good only for the tithes, and shunned by the rest of the membership because I was “unspiritual” and might contaminate the children of the other, “spiritual” members. I spent years in misery under that system, feeling the weight of a heavy, heavy burden.

      But, thanks be to God, He showed me that His yoke is EASY and His burden is LIGHT. It is MEN that lade others with HEAVY burdens!

      1. Wow….. Reading your comment flooded me with memories… I am by nature an extremely outgoing person, but soul winning was difficult, even for me. The methods used felt impersonal. Forced. Laden with guilt…

        I remember “witnessing” to a kid on my block, and when I tried explaining Heaven and Hell, as only a 7 year old can, he started crying. But I was soo focused on getting him to “say the prayer” that I didn’t really pay attention to the tears. And I was a tender hearted child… Still carry regret with that one. Even though we were both just kids…

        The image I have to shake now, is that because I go to a non-denom church, some people, the pastor included, of my old IFB church, think I am not in the will of God and that I am being “rebellious”:)

        I was labeled as one of the “best girls to ever come out of the youth group”, so there were heavy and weighty expectations. Expectations that I have shattered:) It is still a label that emotionally burdens me sometimes. However, the freeing power of Jesus and His all-consuming love is what gets me through the guilt. Every. Single. Time.

        1. Me, too. How do you tell someone they are going to hell because they didn’t say “the prayer” to your satisfaction? Or because they belong to a different denomination? Or because they don’t go to church, having been hurt by religious lunatics?

          How do you judge these people? Because in “soul winning,” you do judge them. You can’t see their heart, or how God sees them. You see them as you see them, with all your prejudices, ideologies, pet doctrines, inconsistencies and personal sinfulness. You are trying to impose on them your idea of what they should be, “if they are saved,” and finding them wanting.

          Of course, fundies pretend that this is not what they do. They talk and preach that all people need Jesus. But they are much more willing to rely on superficial externals to determine who they think is saved or not. That white family dressed nicely? They must be saved? That black young man with his cap on backward? He’s going to hell! Hide your valuables and protect your women!

          I figured out that I have racist attitudes by observing my reactions to people crossing the street when I am in my car waiting for the light. A white guy crossing close to my car does not make me check to make sure the car is locked. But a black guy, even if neatly dressed, does. So I have begun squelching that reaction, thinking kinder thoughts about the person crossing, and mentally apologizing for my attitude.

          “Soul Winning” as practiced by fundamentalism today is little more than a meat market or hunting game. They didn’t do it that way in the book of Acts. People lived their lives. No door-to-door. No mass marketing. Just including their neighbors, making friends of others, being kind and loving — better than the surroundings. Having a state of Being that others wish to have as well.

        2. thank you so much for sharing…. We all need to be more transparent regarding where we have come from and where we need to be going.

        3. In my soul-winning focused church, we were told that we should assume that anyone who didn’t go to our church was probably lost.

          We should give the gospel to all of them, and even if they said they knew they were going to heaven, we had to make sure that they gave the “right” answers to the specific questions.

  16. I am consumed with the sudden urge to buy this guy a drum just so he can pound on it in self-promotion. Then again, no self-respecting Man-O-gid is supposed to even touch a drum (is the urge just too strong?)

        1. I cannot think of *anyone* who would want a collection of pre-owned sex toys. And I certainly would not want to know anyone who would. :yuck:

      1. He needs surgery on the contents of his skull. Surely there is someone among his “converts” who is good at woodwork?

  17. I think all these kind of fundy pastors are either narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths or any combination of the previous.
    All about them and the satisfaction of their personal desires nad the controlling and manipulation of others below them.
    It makes sense to me now.
    In that sense they act like or are children of the devil, they are the modern day pharisees. John 8:44

  18. So he has about a 30% success rate in leading “his” converts in the most basic first step as a Christian after salvation. Nice.

    Also, just being nitpicky, but the sentence structure is rather awkward. Each point starts with “who has.” So why not start off by saying “Dr. Bob Gray, who has…..” then listed everything. Much less distracting.

  19. Check this out…..


    In his 29 years in Texas he has preached in every state in the union except for North Dakota plus 17 foreign countries. He has personally led 14, 957 to Christ and had 4,399 of those follow the Lord in Baptism in those 29 years.
    14957-11895=3062. He really ramped things up the last 3 years averaging over 1,000 conversions per year. Really puts 2001 as one of his worst soul producing years.

    1. What does he have against North Dakota?

      Maybe the right question is, What does he have against the other 49 states?

      1. I had never wanted to live in North Dakota until I read that was the state Bob hasn’t ever preached in. Presumably their wealthy enough from oil/energy they don’t need the Gospel (at least if his numbers based religion is to be believed).

    2. When we stopped at the North Dakota welcome center, I soon learned why it is the least visited state in the Union.
      I’ve been in hotels with more tourist brochure than they had. The best claim to fame I found was that they were once covered my a glacier.

    3. Holy smokes, that “bio” actually says that one of the ministries Bob started was:
      LONGVIEW BAPTIST ACADEMY- A Christian school for bus kids

      Yeah. Pretty sure everyone outside fundystan is scratching their heads going, “Bus kid?”

  20. If you multiply 30 x 52, you get 1,560. Divide 21,111 by 1,560 and you get 13.5326923077.

    I call shenanigans on all these numbers. You can’t possibly be doing so much preaching and pastoring and counseling and traveling and be any good at anything except spewing bovine fecal matter.

  21. Ol’ Bob’s impressive display got me to thinking. I can say I’ve preached in nine states and three countries honestly and with no exaggeration at all.
    I’ve been in forty-two states and eleven countries. By evangelistic fundy count, I believe that’s sixty-eight states and nineteen countries. If I count the ones I’ve flown over, since there is a possibility I might have discussed something spiritual, I figure whatever number comes to mind is accurate enough to claim.
    WOW. I impress me. Just like a mog impresses himself.

    1. You can claim whatever number you like, but if I were you, I’d make it bigger than Bob’s numbers. He’ll do the same to you when he sees your number, I assure you.

      1. Only one county in Texas. Strangely enough, it was in the town of Longview. Two were upstate New York, so I’ll add them to the foreign list. Since I didn’t need my passport, I never realized that counts as foreign. I guess the name “Schenectady” should have tipped me off.

      2. Some Texas counties are bigger than some entire other states.
        As a Texan, I’m legally required to mention this whenever the opportunity arises.

        1. But Texas has numerous tiny counties! The county I reside in, in AZ, is large, but it’s not nearly as big as CA’s San Bernidino or Riverside counties!

        2. Good observation, BG. For almost 11 years, my bride and I lived in the North Slope Borough, which is over 89,000 square miles. By contrast, Idaho has 87,530 square miles.

          Now my borough is just the size of W. Virginia.

        3. Or, as Alaskans like to say, at low tide, their state is three times as big as Texas.

          When I’m talking to Alaskans, I try never to let on that I already know how big Alaska is, because comparing the sizes of Alaska and Texas is a major pastime in Alaska, and I don’t want to spoil their fun.

        4. There’s also the sport about comparing mosquitos. Both Texans and Alaskans like to boast about having larger mosquitos than the other.

          Of course, they do it to bug people!

        5. I could point out that I grew up in a Texas city that has more than twice as many people (ten times as many if you count the whole metro area) as the the whole state of Alaska, but that doesn’t seem sporting, either.

        6. From personal experience, I’d say that Texas mosquitoes are bigger, but Alaska mosquitoes are far more numerous.

    1. Can’t take it too personally, he doesn’t like (and is probably scared of) most or all women. πŸ™‚

    2. I think he is very intimidated by you. You are far more intelligent and articulate than he is. I recall a him responding to you on Good Reads once. All he could do was hurl insults, and had little ability to remain on topic.

  22. His numbers remind me of that basketball player who said he’d been with 20,000 women. Someone ran the numbers and found out he’d given a new meaning to the phrase “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.” πŸ™‚

    1. Who says Jesus would use a Bible?

      In His sermons, he referenced the Law, then told the people, “But I say unto you ….”

      In other words, Jesus put Himself ABOVE the Law, above the written word.

      No doubt He would do the same today.

  23. Who indeed?!

    First of all, God is able to make even the “wrath of man” praise Him. So if for some reason He allowed Bob Gray to play a part in bringing someone to faith in Christ, praise the Lord– Not Bob Gray. Having said that, the offer of free salvation that one receives by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is not the same thing as repentance optional easy prayerism as the means of obtaining eternal life. Not only that, almost all of us here have had more than our fill of celebrity preachers receiving idolatrous affection. With these things in mind, here’s a little ditty in honor of “Dr.” Bob.

    With apologies to Sammy Davis Jr.

    Who can spell religion
    Starting with an “I,”
    And brag about his “numbers”
    When he’s called to testify?
    The Fundy Man can,
    Yes, the Fundy Man can!
    The Fundy Man can and he’ll publish his “results” and make himself look good!

    Who can take salvation,
    Put it in a can,
    And offer it to sinners
    In a simple four point plan?
    The Fundy Man can,
    Yes, the Fundy Man can!
    ” ”
    The Fundy Man states
    Numbers, times, and dates
    That, frankly, are a bit suspicious.
    Speaking of his “strings of fishes,”
    What percent are really wishes?

    Who can get “decisions,”
    Win the praise of men,
    And boast about the multitude
    He’ll never see again?

    The Fundy Man can…

    1. Someone who can sing in Rat Pack-style needs to don a tux and glass eye for this one!

      Okay, who here in ear shot can pull this one off? Darrell, surely you must have come connections who can produce such a parody?

  24. It occurs to me that Bob Gray is merely auditioning for the church orchestra, hence feels compelled to toot his own horn.

  25. I was reading through his blog and found this

    There is no such thing as a universal body of believers. The only “body” that exists is a local body! We are not the “bride” of Christ because there must be a marriage first before there can be a “bride.” We are “espoused.” When some preacher talks about the “bride of Christ” as universal… RUN! He is a Evangelical in disguise! Men of God are going to disagree! This Rodney King theology of “Why can’t the brethren get along?” Simple, they are brothers! Ha! We as independent Baptists have no pope and no Vatican!

    which seemed odd. I was of the understanding that all believers together made up the Church (with a capital “C”) that was also known as the bride of christ. Am I missing something here?

    1. You’re missing a life of dissension & anger that comes with IFB’s railing against a catholic or universal church.

    2. If you acknowledge a universal church, or that the Eucharist puts all believers in communion with each other, then each pastor is no longer the Pope of his own domain, as he is in the IFB system.

    3. Wow. That is just so … wrong.

      There is no way to express how incredibly stupid it is to deny that there is a single body composed of all believers, of which Christ is the Head. To take all the Scripture talking about the Universal Church and attributing it to only the local church is theologically insane.

      Of course, that has never stopped fundamentalists before!

    4. This part sounds a little similar to a group called Living Stream Ministry; a group started by a Chinese-American preacher named Witness Lee (who had been influenced by another Chinese preacher named Watchman Nee). That group wound up in some controversy during the 1970’s and again in the early 2000’s that didn’t believe there should be denominations (common practice for them is to call themselves “The Local Church at [city name]”; which some counter-cult groups took to imply meant they viewed themselves as the only legitimate local church in the city).

      1. I knew some members of that cult back in the 1970s. They seemed to me to be very heavily brainwashed, to the point that their affect, their conversation, their reasoning powers, their physical condition, were all askew.

    1. I don’t think it is scriptural to wear your underpants outside your trousers. or for a man to wear tights

  26. The Greek word for boasting is braggadocio, from which we get the English word brag. I think the Greek word is perfect relative to this post.

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