76 thoughts on “The Greatest Gift”

  1. Our pastor has cancer and it’s getting worse and this may be his last Christmas. I hope he has a good one. But as much as I’d like to spend Christmas with him and his family, I’d rather spend it with Jesus. 🙂

  2. What a shame. Pedophiles have a habit of placing themselves in ideal positions to harm children.

    The ministry seems almost ideal. The whole situation is really sad. Hopefully the people at thAt church won’t be so blind in the future.


  3. I assume this photo is from Warren, MI. Sexual abuse of minors by ministers is down there with the worst offenses. Not only does the child have to deal with the molestation but also with the fact that an alleged man of God was the perpetrator. There are not adequate words.

    1. You’re right, there are not. It’s just about the most fiendish thing I can imagine. What kind of impression is this young man going to have of God when the man who he’s been taught represents God treats him like this? It’s abominable! 👿

      1. They aren’t going to believe his “gospel,” that’s for sure. And who can blame them? I can’t. Do you think God could send them to hell for not believing in the gospel after that experience? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be rsapved”

  4. This church phone number used to be 1-800-KJV-ONLY. One of the crazies of fundies churches!

  5. That just seems like a very egotistical event. To me it screams the pastor needs attention and admiration from everyone.
    Although, and I doubt it really is, if its about visiting the pastor in prison–I suppose the best expression of Christmas is visiting the imprisoned, the sick, and feeding the hungry.

  6. It’s difficult enough to make sure we have enough time to visit our families and close friends

  7. They are having a popish Xmas Eve service? Did they cancel their Wednesday Prayer Meeting, since it’s Xmas?

  8. When I got hired for a job in the area where I now live, I came to investigate the local churches. We were getting ready to move, and wanted not only a house to move into, but a church home.

    This was a while back, folks! …

    So we visited a few pastors. We called and made appointments. We couldn’t be there for any of the services, but we wanted to get a feel for the pastors in the area.

    And one pastor we met seemed impressive enough. We weren’t sure if his manner was more or less local culture or what. But we weren’t going to judge. He seemed to be solid on salvation and doctrine, and that is what I cared about at the time. His wife seemed nice, if a bit on the shy and nervous side.

    We moved. So a month after our meeting, we went back to the church…

    … to find the Pastor no longer there. A new Pastor was in his place. Evidently, he had been caught in a long-standing affair with his secretary.

    Well, we went to both Sunday morning and Sunday night services (a tale in and of itself!), and went our way looking to find a different church.

    You can’t tell, just by looking at them. Somehow they can be eyeball-deep in sin and one can’t tell. They talk about salvation, but salvation is a hoax (at least for them). They possess no remade life. They have no indwelling Holy Spirit that warns them away from sin.

    We did settle on a Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church about 20 miles or so from where we lived. And while we didn’t have those kind of issues (that we were aware of) over the years, there *were* other concerns. It just took time for us to realize what they were.

    But hearing about Pastoral Sexual Shenanigans does not surprise me. I would guess it is far, far more common than anyone has any idea.

    Christmas Eve will be spent with my family at Christ Church in Raleigh. Christmas Day will be with my wife’s extended family. As it should be.

    1. Boy, Yeah, and I’m sure King David was not a follower of The Lord God Jehovah. He fell and had sin in his life, oh my. Talk about making judgments on others. I assume you are perfect and there is no chance there is sin in your life or that you could, even possibly, fall into grave sin in your life some day? But that would mean you were never saved, and therefore it would turn out salvation was a hoax (at least for you), right? So easy to throw stones on the internet.

    1. Sad to say I went to college with him and played softball on the same team in the mens league. I had no idea. The weird thing is how well he was able to hide everything and lead a double life and none of us suspected anything. After he got canned from the intern program I lost contact with him since we moved out of state. Shame on FBC for yet another cover up. It seems like they just sent him out and washed their hands.

      1. This is one of the greatest flaws of independent churches: no supervision, no accountability, no oversight. There should have been NO possibility at all that this man was given a church to pastor and a school to direct.

        1. My best friend grew up in a Southern Baptist church. Her youth pastor was molesting some of the kids and they just packed him up and sent him to a different church.

        2. “This is one of the greatest flaws of independent churches: no supervision, no accountability, no oversight.”
          Congratulate yourself! Once again a poster on this site makes an absolute broad brush statement about an entire segment of society with zero evidence. Our church would be one you consider “fundy” and we do, indeed, have supervision, accountability, AND oversight.” One of our school workers just got canned, instantly, for inappropriate behavior towards another member (not sexual in this case). Our pastor and leadership does not tolerate any unprofessional or hurtful things occurring between members of our church. So I guess it is not true of all independent churches, so such a blanket statement should not be made.

        3. Brian, you are making the blanket statement. You are judging the rest of us based on your personal experience- an experience, I might note, that is not common to the rest of us here. Yet you dare to judge us by your limited experience?

      2. The internet is a great resource (but certainly not the only one) for churches to assist in checking backgrounds before they hire a pastor (or any staff). Is anyone doing reference checks–actually talking to churches where the applicant has previously served? Talking with the applicant’s spouse? Requiring criminal background checks?Anything?

        Is anyone checking backgrounds now–thoroughly–before hiring someone to shepherd God’s flock?

      3. I went to school with him for years (he was three years ahead of me) and stopped attending Antioch right before he became the pastor. I never liked him, but I was never given any reason to think he may have been a pedophile. He was just obnoxious and became even more arrogant after going to college. I never heard the real reason he was fired from FBH, only things like he “wasn’t fitting in” and “had trouble following rules.”

  9. I found the choice of colors to spell the word “lunch” to appear oddly subliminal. But in spite of the fact that I am spending the weekend with my conspiracy-theory obsessed in-laws, I can’t make out the real meaning.

    Reminds me of a sign I saw once on a trip for a furNITure store. Never figured that one out either!

    1. Dear D.S.,
      I like the way you think. I don’t always understand it, but I like it. Best wishes for you in this time with your in-laws. I’ve heard that tin foil hats help protect the minds of the conspiratorial. You might suggest that to your in-laws.

    2. I believe the red-letter words are those spoken by Jesus. But why the Savior refused to say the C in lunch, I have no idea.

    3. Maybe it means they’ve lost enough letters from both the red and the black sets to not have a full set of letters, so they had to combine them? But, then, what’s the fun of that? 😉

    4. I think they’re using contrasting colors to emphasize different words when they don’t have enough space on the sign to separate the words with spaces. (And they must have lost the red C.)

        1. I’m thinking you could make an F alliterated one with Fury/Furious, but I can’t figure the rest out.

        2. Fidelity to the Fundamentals
          Firmness of our Foundations
          Focus on our Forefathers
          Folly of the Fault-finders

  10. Only one pastor? That’s cute.

    We’re holier.

    We’ll be spending Christmas with at least one pastor, maybe as many as four. Since one of the aforementioned is my very, VERY Fundy FIL, things could get interesting. Especially if the wine-drinking Presby husband & wife pastor team accept our invitation to spend Xmas with us. :mrgreen:

  11. Whilst I like Italian food, I’d rather have my Christmas with the traditional turkey and all the trimmings.

    1. We are ham and turkey’ed out, so my wife and I have decided to have a full-blown Southern dinner with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, turnip greens, baked mac-and-cheese, biscuits…….

  12. I doubt those are actually road apples on the ground behind that truck. I would be appropriate if they were though.

    1. I would SO let my dogs poop right on that little grassy spot next to the sign. It would be a nice accompaniment.

  13. Something that would be fun to do is to buy a bunch of Xs and go to churches like these and change Christmas to Xmas.

    1. Haha. Yes, and watch them freak out not realizing that you actually didn’t change anything. I like it 🙂

    2. One year I put “Merry Xmas everyone” on my FB (I was in a hurry!) and all my fundy friends put up a huge stink about it. I didn’t even respond..such a waste of time. It’s sad they can’t just enjoy life.

    3. Oh, no! Not Xmas! This year my husband got a phone call at 10pm on a Friday night from one of our members complaining that the church sign said Xmas. So he told the guy since he had a key, he could feel free to go and change it. Which he did. Our church would be considered liberal by Fundy standards, but it’s still too fundy for us! I don’t know about anyone else, but when I see Xmas, I think Christmas and nothing else. What do they think about? It’s amazing what they feel threatened by…

      1. I have a Christian on my FB page. He posts a lot of Spurgeon quotes, and lately some stuff from that Pastor (David?) Jeremiah guy. A few weeks ago he posted a meme against the xmas thing. I was surprised to see it from him, quite honestly.

      2. The X is actually from the Greek and is totally appropriate. Just out of curiosity, what specifically makes your current church too “fundy” for you?

  14. Hey Kiddies, Instead of having lunch with a jolly fat man in a red suit, we’re having lunch with an angry fat man in a plaid suit.

  15. http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_24750636/jury-finds-san-jose-church-day-care-center

    This Baptist (not fundy) church in my area fired the guy a few times for inappropriate conduct with young girls and rehired him so that he could keep right on abusing. Churches need to be wise, insist on healthy boundaries regarding touching and being with children, and believe people when they speak up about abuse. It drives me crazy when the church is more dangerous for our children than the sinful world we already live in. I speak from a position of 30+ years as a school teacher and children’s church ministry leader. So often, there were so many people who already “knew” something was going on, but they were afraid to speak up. I’m not, and occasionally a report has been filed because I saw something that wasn’t right(physical abuse up to now). We don’t want to be on witch hunts, but the church needs to wise up about who is tending the kids.

    1. I think it would be best for churches to require that two adults be present for all teaching and ministry to children or teens. The church is often so desperate for volunteers that they don’t properly vet people who seem interested in ministering to the youth.

      Let’s face it. We don’t know what is in the hearts of these volunteers. Most are great people, but some are predators. God help us if we don’t do our very best to protect these little ones and teens.

      1. “Hi, I’d like to apply for the position of Youth teacher.”

        “What are your qualifications?”

        “Well, I had a teacher one time.”

        “Anything else?”

        “I got a call from my 8th grade teacher when I first went to prison.”

        “So, would you say you were…Called™ to teach?”

        “Sure, I guess so.”

        “Praise the Lord you’re an answer to prayer! When can you start?”

        “Soon as I can figure out how to get this ankle bracelet off.”

        “Fine, fine… by the way what Bible do you use?”

        “This here Gideon King James that I ..borrowed from the Motel 6 last week. See I was at this here prayer meetin’ and I was able to lead this young girl to salvation right there in the room. She got to shouting and the spirit just moved us.

        You weren’t alone with her in there were you?

        Oh no sir! The Camera man and his wife were there, the Motel night manager was watching and she had a couple of friends that joined in as well.

        Wonder, wonderful you sound just like the fine upstanding type of young man we are looking for to fill this position.

        “Yes, sir! I can fill other positions as well.”

        I love to see someone fired up like that. You go zeal boy you got zeal! You’re gonna fit right in!”

        “Amen Brother Amen… I certainly hope to.”

        You’re Hired!

        1. Wow. Don, I think you’re not really too far from the truth. I’ve said on this site before that predators gravitate toward churches to ‘volunteer’ with youth because the church is a target-rich environment; and because church leaders are desperate and usually naïve. These ‘leaders’ often believe that just because a person has professed Christ as Savior, they are trustworthy.

          We really need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

  16. I’m guessing that “Christmas with Pastor” was the name of their Christmas program or the title of the sermon held Dec. 22 at 10:30 a.m. (their morning service) with a lunch at the church afterwards. But it still seems weird that THAT would be considered so appealing that one would advertise it. The Biblical image of the pastor is of a shepherd or a servant, not of a celebrity.

    1. PW, I can’t help but compare the obvious hubris of this pastor to the attitude of Pope Francis.


    Manytowns – According to reports received, pastors from Manytowns descended into hell last week.

    The regular Sunday morning and evening services went comparatively well, although some pastors apparently experienced mild fatigue arising from the many program preparations for Christmastide. Christmas Eve came and went. Pastors encouraged themselves knowing that the church calendar had but one more service to go. That came early next morning on Christmas Day. By now, pastors were exhausted. But hey – next Sunday is fast coming. Two more services and messages must be planned. Then in several days, there will be the New Year’s Eve Service, followed by the New Year’s Day service.

    Several pastors were overheard mumbling about ‘8 services in 7 days.’ The tone wasn’t exactly gracious, so it’s questionable whether they are actually called to pastoral ministry. Other pastors gave thanks that their church discontinued those services years ago. But among those whose churches committed them to all services, some discontent was heard. One noted that his Christmas had been shot to hell by the inhuman schedule he was expected to follow. Several others agreed. A preacher with more honesty than tact admitted that while he presented a smiling face at church, he was a bear at home. His family wasn’t talking with him and he was the reason why. Others agreed. Another pastor said that his wife was run ragged. She had to add the Christmas programs while not reducing her commitment to the music and children’s program.

    It was then that some brilliant deacon came up with the idea that the church could host a special dinner that the pastor would host. Several pastors swore. Another fell to the floor, filled his pants and began crying. A second considered doing likewise but instead left for a local watering hole called ‘Dead Man’s Drink.’ A third continued the conversation saying that his wife was expected to be the perfect hostess for the many visitors that would soon invade the parsonage, and that his teen-age children deeply resented ‘having’ to attend those services to play roles intended for 8 year olds. A fourth pastor indicated that the following week, he also had to chair an annual business meeting at which he expected that his salary would be reduced for a third year running. More references to deity were heard, but it wasn’t in prayer. Several more left for Dead Man’s Drink.

    Word then came that while on the way to buy church supplies, two deacons who were also the pastor’s strongest supporters, were freshly slaughtered when a drunk ran a red light at an intersection. Thankfully, the drunk escaped unscathed. But along with everything else, one pastor now had two funerals that week.

    Then it happened. That brilliant deacon chimed in again, ‘well pastor – what about my idea for you as host for a congregational church Christmas dinner!’

    Acting as one man, the remaining pastors seized that deacon, carried him outside, took him quietly behind the church and proceeded to beat the living crap out of him. They tore off his arms and legs and were about to shove them up his butt when in his own defense he bleated, ‘it was just an idea …’

    I’ve said that to ask this: ‘for the love of all that is holy, why would any sane pastor want yet another Christmas engagement to keep her/him from what they love best in life – their own family.’

    You’d think more people would ‘get’ this.

    Christian Socialist

  18. They pummeled him because he said “congregational church”. They thought he meant “Congregational Church” and we can’t have any of that whackymenical cooperation going on.

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