Tuesday, August 1, 2017

8.1.17 Bee-otch of the Day: organized religion

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.


Name: organized religionAge: agelessOccupation: blasphemers of the worldLast Seen: everywhereBee-otched For: proving how fucked up it is
Last week, it was announced that another loud-mouthed wealthy pastor was going to be part of a superstar deal.

It was announced that Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC had signed a massive six-year, $110 million contract with Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church to create a superstar preaching team. Lakewood is located at what used to be the Summit Arena in Houston, TX and has a weekly attendance of 52,000 vs. Elevation's 25,000 souls.

But hold on, folks! It was only a fake news story.

Turns out that the source of the story was simply a satirical site called the Babylon Bee. Furtick even took to Twitter to tell his flock that it's all fake and that he's staying at Elevation, a Baptist megachurch he started 11 years ago.

The question is, could Lakewood have afforded to pay Furtick $18.3 million per year to scream and yell and slam his Bible on the pulpit? Consider this: Joel and Victoria Osteen are worth $56 million and live in a $10 million mansion paid for by his 501(c)3 ministry tax-free. He also got a lot of it from his father, the late John Osteen, who founded Lakewood in an abandoned feed store in 1959.

Sadly, the extravagant wealth of these mega-pastors is what pushed the Babylon Bee to publish this story regarding Furtick. Many of these preachers live in paid-for parsonages and get huge salaries simply by brainwashing the less fortunate into giving them huge wads of money. One reason why this hits hard for me is because this was a huge reason why my Dad and I left our old church, New Hope Community Church near Traverse City, MI. The pastor lived in a nice house, went on nice vacations and sent his kids to pricey schools. Yet, he begged his flock to donate $1.7 million to expand the church. For several weeks, it was the point of his sermon, so we quit.

Today, I go to a more-modest church here in Grand Rapids that's the near-opposite of most churches in town. They preach about saving the environment (the church, BTW is solar-powered), helping the homeless (during the summer, they lend their downstairs rooms to the homeless) and standing up for LGBTQ rights. Not to mention, my pastor - who is retiring next year - only makes a modest $66,000 per year as opposed to the millions most megapreachers make. Yet sadly, my Dad now wants me to leave this church because he thinks that I should join a singles ministry, which my church doesn't have. Yet when he was at New Hope's singles ministry, they would simply treat him like a child (one time at a place where there was dancing, they told the group not to dance, or totally ignore Ecclesiastes 3:4) and the woman he met in the singles ministry ended up cheating on him. Thanks, but I'd rather 1) stay at my left-leaning church and 2) swipe like most singles do anyway.

The point is, I avoid big churches because they simply use God to make money and too much of it. They use the most-gullible to make their bucks and live in a sea of wealth. I hope that - even though it's satire - that preachers will wake up and realize that wealth will only take away what's the true mission of a church.

It reminds me of a cartoon I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago: a group of people are lifting up a church while Jesus is left behind.

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