Archive for May, 2012

Life Happens – And We Grow From It

May 25, 2012

If any of you remember, a few years back, I was in the process of becoming a part of a church by the name of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Temple Hills. The pastor, Eric Redmond, was (and still is) Reformed. He was moving the church toward the use of Elders for rule rather than Deacons. He was making sure the Elders had a good hold on Scripture and that they are maturing (even if not yet matured). I had decided this was the place to settle down in for the long run.

But before the change-over to Elders could be completed, the church was severely damaged as a result of a coup on the part of the part of several very treacherous, very carnal Deacons. They convinced the church to fire Eric. A large number of the congregation decided they needed to worship somewhere else. The church is still looking for a new pastor.

Fast forward a couple of years. Now I’m sitting at Reformation Alive Baptist Church, a REFORMED church that is also a Baptist church. The pastor? Eric Redmond. The government? Elders. We have three of them. So again I settle down, determined to let this be the place where I can contribute to the edification of the saints. Yeah, we rent space from the Lutherans. And yes, we meet in the great hall. But we were pursuing what I would rate as Biblical Christianity, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And we teach and preach the Doctrines of Grace, without apology.

Then Washington Bible College (our pastor’s full time employer) ran into a good many financial difficulties that called for some quick and decisive actions on the part of management. Unfortunately, management rarely moves quickly or decisively, even at a Bible college. As the financial troubles increased, his pay was impacted, significantly. As his pay was impacted, his ability to support his family was impacted. In fact, it finally got to the point he has to step down as pastor/elder and take a job with another church (on staff, not as a pastor). As a result, Eric is will be gone on June 24th. Interestingly though, when we met last Saturday to ask what questions we wanted of him and the new pastor (more on that later), most of the questions were about where he was going, what the doctrine is, the environment and concern that he would compromise.

And did I mention that one of the other Elders (he doesn’t want me to mention his name – I think my site kind of embarrasses him) is likely to move on as well? That leaves one elder.

However, unlike the last place, this “break-up” isn’t the result of renegade band of deacons or spiritually numbed parishioners. It’s simply the result of life happening.

Despite the fact that everything just got a little more difficult, I have no intention of leaving. Instead, I am determined to support the new pastor (who was already serving as one of the elders and who preaches occasionally), Billy Wommack (with 2 m’s), and to do whatever else I can to contribute to the well-being and edification of the saints there at Reformation Alive Baptist Church.

And did I mention that the place is 22 miles from my house?

No one ever said life is intended to be easy (Thank you very much Adam). And certainly no one who has a clue would claim that following Christ is a cakewalk. So let’s see how things work out for RABC, the elder(s) and the congregation. This is going to be an outstanding opportunity to grow in Christ. Let’s see what we do with it.

Any of you readers want to step up to the challenge? We’re in Temple Hill. Just do a search for Reformation Alive Baptist Church and you’ll get all the information about us.

Why Do I Call Them Pulpit Pimps?

May 23, 2012

Some words are by nature ugly words.  Rape has no good connotations.  Neither do “murder”, “incest” or “bestiality.”  Another word of the same nature is “pimp.”  It’s an ugly word that speaks of abuse, sexual destruction, and a complete denial of human dignity.  It represents the complete distortion of sex, that great gift of God to man and turns that gift into a tawdry activity that should best be hidden in the night.

So, why do I refer to the supposed men (and women) of God who grace the pages of this website as Pulpit Pimps?  And of course the follow-on question is:  should I make my complaints against these men and women public?  Or is that some how against the teachings of scripture?  You know, the usual knee-jerk reaction of “Touch not God’s anointed” or “Don’t put your mouth on the man of God.” Am Ibeing judgmental to rail against them? Am Ibeing disobedient if I post information about them?

First things first:  Why do I call them pimps?

Consider the definition and tactics of a pimp.  A pimp is a man who lives off of the efforts of others, almost always women.  And he does this through the use of a specific tool-set.  An article on a site maintained by Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) does a good job of describing that tool-set.  Here’s a paragraph from the site:

An examination of the power dynamics between pimp and prostitute clearly illustrates how the tactics of power and control used to recruit and keep a woman trapped in prostitution closely parallels those used by batterers to ensure the compliance of their wives or intimate partners. The batterer uses tactics of power and control to dominate his partner within the context of an intimate relationship. The pimp uses similar strategies to exploit the prostitute economically. These tactics include isolation of the woman; minimization and denial of her abuse; the exertion of male privilege; threats and intimidation; and emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. 

Several things stand out in the paragraph:

  1. Isolation of the women (or men, for that matter) – The pulpit pimps pretty much separates the person from any other non-pimping source.  They tell the congregant that he or she is God’s mouthpiece, that you should listen to them and only them.
  2. They exert a privilege.  But instead of a male privilege, it’s the privilege of the “anointed”.  The oft abused and twisted phrase “touch not God’s anointed” is regularly applied to them and by them with the implied threat of spiritual destruction if you dare to disagree with them.  You’re seen as one who is against the very program of God if you disagree.  And you are in danger of hell fire if you dare speak out against the doctrines and practices of the “anointed” men and women (or as I prefer to call them “pimps and pimpettes”).
  3. The pulpit pimp consistently appeals to the congregant’s fear and desire for security.  Their favorite phrase?  Bless the man of God and God will bless you.
  4. Pulpit pimps play down their scriptural and spiritual abuse of the congregants.  When I approached one to warn him that he is teaching error as if it was actually contained in Scripture, he pointed out that the congregants could read the Bible on their own, knowing full well they were not going to check on what he said.  When I pressed him to turn from the teaching, he said it’s just a matter of us interpreting Scripture differently.  And of course, he had been ministering for 25 years.

I told you about a fellow who attends First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering (FBCBotK) pastored by John Kenneth Jenkins Sr.  Not only did he and his wife fall prey to the “ministry” at FBCGotK, he has also fallen prey to a second pimp who calls himself a prophet.  His wife, hoping to become a licensed minister left FBCGotK and became a part of the second church.  And she tithes there.

Despite my friend’s efforts to get his wife to leave the prophet’s church and re-join him at FBCGotK, the “prophet” has refused to counsel my friend’s wife to leave.  And I don’t blame him.  The woman represents free money.  All he has to do is stand at the pulpit and make religious sounding noises.  The people at the church then give him lots and lots of money.  They’ll probably even wash his car and clean his house if he promises to make them armor bearers.

Of course, if they refuse to give him their hard-earned money, he threatens them.  You know the threat:  If you don’t tithe, you are robbing God.  If you rob God, the devourer will come and take away all you have.  You just got a flat tire?  It’s because you are robbing God.  Got an unexpected bill?  You shouldn’t rob God.  You should give to the church so the pastor can accomplish his vision – a bigger church building with more people and more money coming in.

Unlike the street pimp, the relation between the Pulpit Pimp and the congregant doesn’t include sex or physical abuse.  But I would be lying to you if I said it never happened.  Ask some of the folks from the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) what they think of some of their pastors and bishops, a couple of phrases I apply to their leaders with some liberality.

But, you ask, isn’t calling them pimps and pimpettes needlessly disrespectful?  To answer that I have to go to Scripture.  What does God say about the men and women who fleece the flock, who devour them instead of feeding them?

 Jeremiah, in chapter 23, verses 1 and 2 rails against the  “shepherds that destroy and scatter his flock”.  When you consider what the false doctrines being presented by the people does to marriages, families, and faith, they are a set of men and women, not only to be exposed, but to be spoken against in the strongest of terms.

1 Timothy 6, verses 3 though 5 calls them depraved men.  Jesus calls them ravenous wolves (Matt 7:15).   In Acts 20:29-30 Paul refers to them as savage wolves

Should you pray for people like Creflo Dollar, Ken Copeland, and Joel Osteen?  Certainly, just like you should pray for the street pimp named BigMo and Brown Sugar, his prostitute.  Like the street pimp, the pulpit pimp is seeking money and power (1 Tim 6:5).  And just like the street pimp, the pulpit pimp is doomed to fail in finding the power or riches promised the average obedient Christian (Acts 1:8;  Romans 1:16; Ephesians 1:7).  Worse than that, the pulpit pimp, like Big Mo (if he dies in his sins) will open his eyes in hell, separated from the love of God forever.  But at least Big Mo had an idea of what was going to happen to him before he closed his eyes in death.