Search Results for 'church mafia'

Church Mafia – So, Uh…Where You Been?

As I’ve stated in previous articles, the concept of “church mafia” is very real – and very destructive to the Body of Christ. 

While it’s born out of the insecurity and ego-driven psyche of pastors who want to be pimps and mafia bosses, it debilitates the believer because it takes the focus off of our Sovereign God and places it on the mafia boss pastor and his (or her) lackeys.

One of the common tactics of the church mafia is to intimidate/guilt you into attending EVERY service that is held at the church…and I do mean EVERY service.

No matter if it’s Sunday worship, Bible Study, Sunday School, the Back 2 School Rally, Daily Prayer, and any number of other scheduled events – your commitment to God is gauged by your commitment to “His prophet” (as the pimp/mafia bosses pastors so lovingly ordain themselves).

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that believers should assemble together to worship God. The Bible reminds us to worship (Ephesians 5:19-20) and encourage each other in the faith (1 Thesselonians 5:11), but Hebrews 10:24-25 specifically addresses the assembling of the saints.

I don’t believe, however, that you should be called onto the carpet – or threatend with expulsion if the “boss” doesn’t see your “face in the place” everytime the lights are switched on. Most folks stay away because they’re tired of playing the money game – or they’re tired of trying to figure out what the pimp/mafia boss pastor is saying between his howls, grunts and downright off-base teaching.

Then, when you finally work up the nerve to come back, you’re usally pulled aside by someone in leadership who asks you “Hey brother, it’s good to see you! I haven’t seen you in a long time…so, uh…where you been?

Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article that I found on Gotquestions.org:

 Question: “What are appropriate reasons for missing church?”

Answer: Many people have an improper and/or unbiblical understanding of church attendance. Some people feel that they must attend church legalistically, being at church virtually every time there is any kind of service or meeting. Some people experience a feeling of guilt whenever they miss a Sunday morning service. Sadly, some churches encourage this guilt by laying excessive pressure on people to attend regularly. When thinking about church attendance and when it is appropriate to miss church, the most crucial thing to understand is that the quality of a person’s relationship with God is not determined by how many church services are attended, nor are God’s love and acceptance for a Christian based on how many times he/she attends church. (click here to read the rest)

Check out this observation:

Attending church is not osmosis; merely being in the building does not accomplish anything.

That’s funny – the Word of Faith preachers always stress that you’ll be blessed because you’re sitting in the building while the pimp/mafia boss pastor is under “the anointing”. Oh, and because you “sow a seed”, but that’s another post for another day…

Anyway, the article surmised (correctly, in my opinion) that if you miss or skip a church service but you have a longing for it, then there isn’t a problem (per se) with your connection with God.

If you miss a service and you’re afraid of the impending confrontation by the pimp/mafia boss pastors “crew”, then…well…you already know the answer to that one.

Church Mafia – A Casualty’s Perspective

I’ve previously written about the concept of a mafia mentality within the mega-church, and I’ve gotten lots of email from those who have either been victims or perpetrators of this kind of intimidation.

I was in the church mafia, and on my way to becoming a faithful captain to my boss, so I know of what I speak.

My UK blogger colleague Alan Higgins wrote about the same phenomenon across the pond as well, and he was recently contacted by a victim (and potentially future casualty) of the church mafia (click here to read the post in it’s entirety).

The young lady who wrote the post was so despondent with the treatment she was receiving from her mafia church family – and her own husband (under the influence of his mafia church boss) – that she contemplated falling away from the faith.

Through the urging of the Holy Spirit, Alan was able to pray for her (and solicit the prayers of other colleagues around the globe).

The young lady contacted Alan to detail the victory she experienced because of the prayers of the saints.

This is just another example of the far reaching implications of submitting to a pulpit pimp/mafia boss and aligning yourself with them as opposed to the Word of God.

When I was submitted to my former pastor, I knowingly submitted my family to his heresy as well – and the division caused friction in my own household.

While I never browbeat my wife to submit to the same false teacher as I was submitted to, I still viewed myself as “spiritually superior” (more “enlightened”, if you will) than her.

I thank God through Jesus Christ that she saw through that mess and diligently lived out 1 Peter 3:1-2 while God worked on my heart.

God rescued us from that heresy, but many aren’t as fortunate:

  • How many husbands have left their wives because she kept giving their money to the various pimps on TBN who promised “increase”?
  • How many wives suffer in silence because their husbands will jump through any hoop that the mafia boss puts in front of him – just to become an elder, deacon, minister, etc.?
  • How many children grow up alone because mom and dad are “submitted to the vision and the visionary”, but don’t have time to raise them because they’re always “working for the Lord” through the pimp/mafia boss?

Whenever you read any articles on this blog about pulpit pimps and mafia bosses (or if you see the pimps/mafia bosses on your TV schilling God’s sheep), PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO STOP AND PRAY.

Pray for those who follow them, but also pray for the families of those followers as well.

There are many unseen and unknown casualties as a result of the church mafia…and they suffer in silence.

Church Mafia…Forget About It?

the-sopranos-courtesy-hbo.jpg

The picture above is a snapshot of some of the key characters in HBO’s award winning series “The Sopranos” – a drama series about the mafia. We see Tony Soprano and a few of his “enforcers” (or captains).

If you’re a member of a black mega church today, then you might as well substitute these characters with pictures of your Pastor, Elders, Ministers, and Deacons. They too take on the role of “enforcers” to help the “boss” keep you in line.

To the outsider, it’s absurd to even try to parallel life in the mafia with life in the mega church today. If you’ve “escaped” a mega church, then you know all to well how these two entities can be confused with one another. It may not sound polite to say, but the reality is this: the leadership in most mega churches operate like the mafia.

Take a look at a few of the parallels:

 

The Leadership

These days, there is a single authority in the church – and it’s not Jesus Christ. The Pastor has become the lone leader. Just like the mafia boss, he rules from the top down – not the bottom up.

He doesn’t like independent thought or dissension. He doesn’t like to speak with you directly – he’ll send an emissary to tell you if he’s pleased or dissatisfied with your work.

He doesn’t want to have his fingerprints on any “controversial” decisions, so he assigns some of his “captains” (or Elders, Ministers, or Deacons) as decision makers to insulate himself from any fallout – and his “captains” will gladly fall on their swords on his behalf.

 

The Oath of Loyalty

In the mafia, it’s called the omerta’. In the church, it’s called “submitting to authority” or “submitting to your covering”. Either way, it’s all the same – there is both an implied and expressly sanctioned code of silence. In the mafia, “made men” (or loyal members who ascend to leadership) swear allegiance to the boss and swiftly punish anyone that dares to speak of what happens behind closed doors.

In the church, Deacons or Ministers in training (or loyal members who are about to ascend to leadership) often swear that same allegiance and oath of silence. Secrecy and confidentiality is taught and expected.

When I was in training for ordained leadership, I was expressly told “don’t share any of this with your wife”, or “this is not pillow talk, this is highly confidential information”. Our names were kept confidential and we met in private. We were even told to directly deny if someone inquired about our participation in the training programs.

You would think we were becoming Masons or something similar. Of course, this runs completely counter to scripture (John 7:4):

“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”

Compensation

Mafia captains are required to share a percentage of their “spoils” (money they collect by “taxing” local business for protection) with the boss.

Church leaders (and members) are intimidated into paying tithes, offerings, love offerings, first fruit and any other contrived “offering” to the “man of God” to show your appreciation to him for his “work in the Lord”.

Leaders are chosen based on their giving records. Consistent givers are rewarded with luncheons and lapel pins.

 

Promotion

Mafia bosses reward their potential captains with promotion after witnessing the potential’s ability to “earn” and solve problems.

Pastors promote those in ministry for many of the same reasons. If you’re a good giver, then you’ll be a good deacon or minister. If you can keep “problems” away from the pastor, then you’re marked for promotion.

Many church leaders will throw each other “under the bus” if they think that the pastor will reward their loyalty. I’ve know many minstry leaders in mega churches who were promoted when they exposed someone who may not be “towing the company line” like they would do if they were in that same position.

 

“You’re Dead To Me”!

In the mafia, dissenters are considered enemies and disposed of at the word of the boss. In fact, they are never spoken of again, almost as though they never existed.

In the church, if you leave the fellowship, you are officially dead. If you leave some of your family behind, then they are encouraged to shun you. “The devil is using them” and “they’re being swayed by outside influence” they’re told. You’re even ridiculed for leaving your “covering” (learn more about the faux “spiritual father” and “covering” scam).

Before I fled the plantation, there had been several leaders who left before me. One even formed his own church and was ordained as a Pastor. My ministry colleagues and I were expressly forbidden to attend the ordination service of our former colleague – if we went then we would be sat down…no questions asked.

One of us defied the order and attended the ordination in support of our friend. He was summarily sat down without so much as a meeting from the boss – he left the assembly soon after.

His attempts to reach out to some of our ministry colleagues were thwarted and rebuffed. As I’ve said on previous posts, I’ve had to repent to the Lord for such blatant foolishness – especially in this regard.

 

Extravagant Lifestyles

Mafia bosses display their wealth in order to encourage their captains to “earn” (i.e extort) more so that they too can live like the boss. Church bosses display their wealth to “brag on God” and show you that their pyramid schemes actually work and God is blessing them with Bentley’s, mansions, jewelry, etc.

The pastor uses his wealth just like the mafia boss does – to encourage our lust of the flesh so that we’ll do what it takes to live the same lifestyle.

————————————————————————————-

This is just a short list of similarities. If you’re a former mega churcher, then I’m sure you could go deeper (feel free to comment if you’d like to expose your former boss to the world). This simply illustrates how much more prayer is needed in order for the people of God to know what the wolves look like, recognize their games, and avoid them at all costs.

Paul exhorted the elders whom he sent to preach the Gospel to remember the humilty with which he ministered – and that he didn’t preach to them for money or things. He reminded them that they were to guard against the wolves that would seek to destroy the faithful, and he commended them to the grace of God.

25“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about (A)preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.

 26“Therefore, I testify to you this day that (B)I am innocent of the blood of all men.

 27“For I (C)did not shrink from declaring to you the whole (D)purpose of God.

 28“Be on guard for yourselves and for all (E)the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd (F)the church of God which (G)He purchased with His own blood.

 29“I know that after my departure (H)savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing (I)the flock;

 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away (J)the disciples after them.

 31“Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of (K)three years I did not cease to admonish each one (L)with tears.

 32“And now I (M)commend you to God and to (N)the word of His grace, which is able to (O)build you up and to give you (P)the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

 33(Q)I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes.

 34“You yourselves know that (R)these hands ministered to my own needs and to the (S)men who were with me.

 35“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

 36When he had said these things, he (T)knelt down and prayed with them all. (Acts 20:25-36)

Seek God and His righteousness. Read the bible. Study what you don’t understand, and fellowship with a bible-based assembly (I know it’s tough, but they are out there). There’s so much more work that has to be done.

Is Hillsong Church A Cult?

There have been documented allegations against Brian Houston and his Hillsong Church (Australia) for years, but now the clamor is beginning to grow. My kids LOVE Hillsong’s albums (and I have a few loaded into my BlackBerry MP3 player as well), and Hillsong is HUGE in Australia…so this headline caught my attention:

Hillsong pastor defends ministry against cult claim

Celebrity evangelist Brian Houston has defended his Hillsong ministry against allegations it is a “cult-like” organisation as the Sydney megachurch opened a “campus” church on Brisbane’s southside yesterday.

He also denied Hillsong had misspent Commonwealth grant money or recruited students in NSW schools.

Mr Houston and his wife Bobbie were installed as the new senior pastors of one of Brisbane’s largest Pentecostal churches, the 1000-member Garden City Christian Church.
[…]

Criticism that Hillsong is overly focused on money, flashy entertainment and fund-raising, were rejected.

“We’re big and because we’re big people wonder what all this is about,” he said.

Hillsong critics, including politicians who have been contacted by former Hillsong members, have accused it of cult-like behaviour, including psychologically abusing people who questioned the church’s practices.

These allegations are pretty troubling, and I can relate to some of the former member’s concerns – after having escaped a cult myself. If true, then Hillsong is clearly practicing the same intimidation tactics that mega-churches here in the US have perfected: the “you’re either with us or against us mantra.

For all of my faithful readers/contributors in the UK, Australia, and overseas, please weigh in on this. You’re all closer to Hillsong and may know more than those of us in the States know concerning this matter. All in all, another reason to pray for the Body of Christ – and that the Lord will continue to raise pastors after His own heart and not His hand.

I guess I’ll wait a little longer before I erase Hillsong’s music. No matter what happens, God is STILL “mighty to save”!

Related Posts:

“…above reproach…”

 

I was in my early 20’s when I moved to Atlanta in the mid-90’s. I was accustomed to doing community service work through my fraternity, and I wanted to do something significant with my time – beyond just hanging out when I wasn’t traveling for work. I decided to become a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Atlanta because the need was (and still is) very great. I was one of only a handful of black man who applied to be mentors that year, yet the system was full of black boys seeking mentors – and even “father-figures”, if you will.

I knew the demands would be great, but I wanted to make an impact.

In addition to completing a formal application, I sat through extensive behavioral interviews with the Executive Director, Director, and Supervisor of Mentors. They also conducted extensive interviews with my close friends and family members to determine if my character was consistent across my circles of influence. I attended classes, submitted to an extensive criminal background check and drug screening.

BB/BS of Atlanta even made surprise visits to my apartment and searched for illegal/inappropriate content (with my permission and assistance) – just to make sure that my living conditions were acceptable for my future little brother.

Certainly, the implications were great – the agency would entrust the care of a 12-year-old boy to me. This kid came from a single parent household with multiple siblings. BB/BS of Atlanta wanted to be certain that I would represent them (and myself) properly at all times – and that they could trust me.

They wanted to make sure that I was above reproach.

Certainly the requirements for church leadership are even more important – considering the pastor is entrusted with guardianship over the souls of God’s precious cargo:

Titus 1:7-11 (New American Standard Bible…emphasis added)

 7For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain

8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,

 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.

This truth is explicitly clear – which is why the video below is even more difficult to watch:

Dale Russell, the investigator from Fox 5 Atlanta news is a dogged investigative reporter who works a story until he gets to the bottom of it – no matter what the results are (here’s a link to Russell’s extensive investigation of Eddie’s mess – content is updated daily). Russell has already interviewed other young men who have been “taken care of” by Eddie Long (who DO NOT claim any sexual activity or coercion from Eddie), yet they still confirm Eddie’s pattern: gifts, money, prestige, access to power – then you’re cut-off.

Eddie took to the podium again Tuesday night (9/28/10) to give his sheeple more of what they want – pacification from him that “everything is gonna be OK”, and “they’re not coming after me, they’re coming after YOU…THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST!:

Sorry, Eddie, but the “whole Body of Christ” didn’t allegedly give Ambien and oral sex to teenage boys and young men. In fact, the “whole Body of Christ” also didn’t provide cash, cars, and extravagant gifts. Wait – the members of New Birth probably did provide those niceties (through the money they lay at Eddie’s feet twice a week).

I contend that Eddie’s newly invigorated “defiant stance” is a call to arms for support from the more unhinged sheeple who still claim him as their “daddy”. This kind of intimidation is nothing new for those of us who escaped the church mafia. We are threatened for exposing dirty secrets (I get death threats over exposing false doctrine – can you imagine if I was a victim of one of these over sexed power-hungry perverts?). The language Eddie is using gives the mind-numb minions license to “lay hands” on ANYBODY who “put’s their mouth on the Mand of Gawd” – even when we KNOW that scripture has been butchered in the past regarding speaking against “God’s anointed”.

And since we’re talking about butchered scripture, the serpent Carlton Pearson had to slither from under his heretical rock to throw his 2 cents in. Since most pastors are afraid to debate him coherently, his apostasy will go unchallenged. I’ve written about Carlton Pearson in the past, and one could surmise that Pearson (along with the sexually deviant and pedophilic demons that haunted Earl Paulk) are almost solely responsible for the heretical mess that has become of Earl’s neph-son D.E. Paulk. Interesting note: Pearson (whose closet door is almost translucent) enjoyed a cozy relationship with Eddie Long (and most of the other big-name alpha pimps out there), and TD Jakes (whose closet is being held closed with duct tape and bubble gum) is Eddie Long’s “spiritual daddy”. Are you starting to see a common thread here? I hope so… 

The bottom line is this: ANYBODY who claims leadership over the Lord’s people (read that line again…I wrote THE LORD’S PEOPLE) should not do anything to bring shame to His name – or theirs. That means being involved in evil, being around evil, being in an ambiguous situation that may cause someone to even assume you’re associated with something ungodly.

Period. Exclamation point.

If the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Atlanta can ensure that their mentors are above reproach – why can’t the sheeple who allow vipers like Eddie to slither into the pulpit do the very same thing?

May God have mercy as He continues to rip the veil off of the foolishness that is purported in His Name…

Related Post:

Manipulation and Spiritual Molestation

This week’s public revelations of Eddie Long’s alleged dalliances brings the topic of manipulation and molestation to the forefront of Christiandom…again.

I intentionally emphasize the word “public” because rumors have swirled around Eddie’s alleged proclivities for years. I saw things I considered strange while I was a drone at Eddie’s club for 6 years – including parades of young men and boys who followed him everywhere he went, ceremonies where congregants pledged their undying allegiance to him, and sheep after sheep quoting Eddie rather than God’s Word through scripture.

As a blogger, I also receive countless emails from people who accuse Eddie (and others) of all manner of illicit evil – claiming to have “proof” of their assertions. I press for the evidence, and they usually stand down. I don’t pass along unsubstantiated  or uncorroborated information, so the rumors remain just that…rumors.

In fact, when Eddie decided to meet with Soulforce (a lobbying group of unrepentant homosexuals) several years ago – later declaring that he “didn’t understand homosexuality” when he preached against it, many (including me) thought someone was blackmailing Eddie to publicly endorse the homosexual agenda. Eddie even offered his church to Soulforce so they could teach courses on human sexuality.

Eddie and his accusers will eventually have their day in court – and the truth will be revealed. Detractors will never believe that Eddie is innocent, and supporters will never believe that he is guilty. Nonetheless, Eddie strode to the podium of his club yesterday in the midst of full fanfare – adoring supporters, swelling music, and “praise” and “worship” hurled in his direction. While reading from his iPad (take that, Jimmy Swaggart – you crybaby), Long didn’t necessarily deny specific allegations – in fact he said “I’m not perfect, but I’m not the man you see portrayed on tv…” – meaning he may eventually cop to some embarrassing revelations during the settlement of the case (while still denying others), and he wanted to blunt a potential future blow.

As I have written in the past, I believe that Eddie is an egomaniac and a master marketer, yet he seemed subdued addressing the sheeple in his club on Sunday. Jamal Bryant could’ve applied the same tact when he addressed his sheeple after revelations of the birth of his latest out-of-wedlock child with a young congregant several years ago. While Bryant manipulated scripture to declare that he was “still the man!”, Eddie sort of tossed out the usual David v. Goliath, Psalms 34:19 references (although a full read of Psalms 34 would make you wonder if someone accused of such troubling allegations really fears the Lord).

In a nod to Jamal, Eddie did throw out a threatning ode to his accusers (“…I’ve got 5 stones, and I haven’t thrown one yet!”), then he gave an omnious stare while putting the microphone down abruptly and walking away…all to the roar of an adoring and approving crowd. 🙄

The bottom line, however, is that these accusations (as well as the flood of litigants waiting to come forward to cast further allegations against Long) continue to illustrate the dangers of power – absolute power – in the mega church.

Eddie Long and his reprobate band of infamous colleagues are spiritual molesters and manipulators. Although the word “molest” generally has sexual connotations, the word also means “to harass, annoy, and interfere”. These minstrels have inserted themselves into the lives of their sheeple for years – with express invitation from those sheeple – and wreaked havoc that takes years to recover from once the victim finally escapes the predator’s clutches.

The video below is a clear example of the effects of spiritual manipulation and molestation (h/t to my brother Pastor Foster over at Gay Christian Movement Watch). How else can you explain the fact that these children are being sent out as lambs to slaughter to defend Eddie Long? Clearly an egomaniac regime would sanction this nonsense:

Did you catch Don Lemon’s revelation of sexual molestation at the hands of a homosexual pedophile? Are you starting to see how serious the parallel is?

Ever since I escaped the church mafia plantation several years ago, I’ve cautioned against the false gospel that these meglomaniacs preach: from complete and total allegiance to them, to ex-communication of former members, to false application of scripture concerning finances and church authority. No matter how egregious these claims may be, there are still mind-numb sheep who will continue to see Eddie Long (and Creflo Dollar, Jamal Bryant, Benny Hinn, Paula White, TD Jakes, and all other manner of charlatans) as anointed doves released directly from God’s palm for their edification.

I do not gloat at these latest allegations (nor the ones soon to come), but I will remind you of a few things:

DO NOT treat your pastor as though he is your “daddy”:

Don’t let your pastor manipulate you into giving – declaring that you’re cursed if you don’t:

Don’t let your pastor manipulate you into leaving your family and friends behind because they don’t understand “the new you”:

Don’t swear allegiance to your pastor!:

Although Eddie has been accused of sexual manipulation, he (and other charlatans) actively apply spiritual manipulation and molestation as a way to persuade their followers that they are extensions of God Himself. I’ll end this public service announcement with the words of the prophet Jeremiah (emphasis bolded):

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)

5Thus says the LORD,
         “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
         And makes flesh his strength,
         And whose heart turns away from the LORD
.
    6“For he will be like a bush in the desert
         And will not see when prosperity comes,
         But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
         A land of salt without inhabitant.
    7Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
         And whose trust is the LORD.

    8“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
         That extends its roots by a stream
         And will not fear when the heat comes;
         But its leaves will be green,
         And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
         Nor cease to yield fruit.

In fact, a full review of Jeremiah 17 couldn’t hurt. Human beings are designed to yield to the sins of our flesh – it’s the curse that Adam and Eve left us with. This is why you should elevate NO ONE to God-like status…NO ONE.

I believe that Eddie Long is as guilty as sin, but that’s my opinion. Clearly he’s failed the test that qualifies him as worthy of church leadership (emphasis bolded):

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (New American Standard Bible)

1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

 3)not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),

 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Pray for all parties involved in this mess and other past, present, and future scandal. Most of all, pray that the Lord’s will would continue to be made manifest in these last days.

Another “Spiritual Daddy” Demands “Submission”

darth vader daddy

Self-proclaimed “bishop” Brian Tamaki of New Zealand’s “Destiny Church” is displaying a very frightening cult leader-like posture: recently he held a ring ceremony where 700 men from his church publicly declared their submission to him. Tamaki is one of Eddie Long’s spiritual sons, and several of my blog brothers have written about this odd ceremony (see here and here), but I thought I’d add my own nickle since I have first-hand experience with Eddie Long’s similar excercise 10 years ago.

As I’ve previously stated, I was once a member of Eddie’s church club for 6 years. Back in 1998-1999, Eddie decided to establish classes where men could learn to be “godly men”, under his direction of course. For 6 months, Eddie held classes at his church, inviting such luminaries as TD Jakes, Don Meares, and other charlatans to “speak into his sons”. It was a fascinating lesson in brainwashing. Eddie demanded that no one miss a single Saturday morning session, or they’d run the risk of “losing out on the anointing” – and I was one of the faithful drones who sat erect with pen ready week after week to “receive from the Lord”.

Our apprenticeship culminated with a “graduation ceremony” held at Earl Paulk’s cavernous church (suprising irony) because New Birth wasn’t big enough at the time to hold the 20-30,000 well-wishers who were present. Eddie declared us “Ishmen” who would change the community as representatives of him and God. We didn’t get rings, but we got fancy “letterman”-styled jackets to show off in the community (now he sells New Birth rings and other gaudy jewelry). 

Eddie preached, and closed the ceremony with a “laying on off hands” session. He poured oil on his hands and “laid hands” on over 2,000 men in a little over 2 hours. One by one, man after man fell out along the pulpit – “slain in the spirit” as our new “daddy” touched us. It was a bizarrely surreal sight – bodies stacking up like cord wood around Eddie’s feet. I actually had a video from the event, but I threw it away several years ago. Of course, after the “graduation”, we provided no discernable presence within our communities. The only change was that Eddie’s entourage got larger.

Fast forward 10 years and check out what Eddie’s “New Zealand son” is up to (emphasis in bold):

Tamaki’s 700 ‘sons’ swear oath of loyalty

EXCLUSIVE – The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed himself bishop of the church he founded, has now proclaimed himself the church’s “spiritual father” and designated the male members of the church as “spiritual sons”.

At a special service during the church’s annual conference in Auckland at the weekend, about 700 male members of the church swore a “covenant oath” of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a “covenant ring” to wear on their right hands.

A church document describes the covenant as “a solemn oath of commitment that is binding, enduring and unbreakable. You are bound to covenant … Covenant is an irrevocable, undissolvable oath of commitment”.

The document, entitled Protocols and Requirements Between Spiritual Father & His Spiritual Sons, contains the text of the “covenant oath”, the guts of which is that “Above all, we stand here today in the presence of God to enter into this sacred covenant with our man of God, Bishop Brian Tamaki”.

It says: “To you Bishop we pledge our allegiance, our faithfulness and loyalty. We pledge to serve the cause that is in your heart and to finish that work. Success to you and success to those who help you – for God is with you.”

In its introduction, the church document says that proof of a man’s covenant with God is how they “submit to God’s chosen man … We are blessed to our spiritual father through whom this principle is being restored. The fruit of his ministry is self-evident, so much so that his call and influence is discerned at many levels in both the Christian and non-Christian communities here in New Zealand … Spiritual fathers are extremely rare … For us it is about discerning the special anointing and function God has put on Bishop’s life … “

The requirements of sonship, the document says, are to give Mr Tamaki obedience and honour, to imitate him and follow his faith and to give him “your loyalty and your strength”.

This, my friends, is a clear-cut cult move. Click the title to read the article in its entirety – then pray earnestly for mass repentance as the Lord wills. Events like this are a certain sign that His return is imminently near.

Related Posts:

What’s Going On With The COGIC?

cogic

My dear brother in Christ, Pastor DL Foster, has a very interesting discussion brewing over at his blog GCM Watch. Pastor Foster is calling for a class-action lawsuit of the Church of God In Christ(COGIC). 

Arguably, sexual perversion is consuming the once powerful denomination from the inside out, and Pastor Foster has been detailing the downward spiral for quite some time now.

Now he’s fed up – and he’s calling the degenerate ministers and bishops on the carpet:

GCM Watch calls for class action lawsuit against COGIC

In the wake of a string of sexual molestation cases perpetrated by Church of God in Christ clergy, GCM Watch is openly calling for victims to unite and file a class action lawsuit. Less than two weeks after news surfaced about the sordid case of COGIC pastor James Bell of Kentucky who possibly infected a teen boy with HIV, another shocking story of sexual abuse by COGIC clergy is unleashed upon us.

[…] If you or a family member have been sexually molested (or propositioned) within the last 10 years by a “credential holder” (licensed minister, ordained elder, bishop, et al)  in COGIC please contact gcmwatch@yahoo.com  GCM Watch immediately.

Click the article title to read in it’s entirety – it’s quite a doosey. I am on a tireless tirade against pulpit pimps of all persuasion, and after reading the many sordid details of allegation upon allegation of sexual abuse I am thoroughly convinced that COGIC harbors sexual pimps in addition to pulpit pimps.

That said, how does a class-action lawsuit (a civil matter) square with 1 Corinthians 6, specifically:

1 Corinthians 6:1-8 (New American Standard Bible)

1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and (A)not before the saints?

2 Or (B)do you not know that (C)the saints will judge (D)the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

3 (E)Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

4 So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

5 (F)I say this to your shame Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his (G)brethren,

6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before (H)unbelievers?

7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. (I)Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your (J)brethren.

So scripture forbids (or, Paul expressly discourages) lawsuits amongst saints. So, what then do we make of (my emphasis in bold):

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

9 Or (A)do you not know that the unrighteous will not (B)inherit the kingdom of God? (C)Do not be deceived; (D)neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals,

10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will (E)inherit the kingdom of God.

Should the victims of these horrible crimes be satisfied with levying just criminal charges while avoiding civil litigation against these degenerate predators?

Should the victims have the opportunity to hold COGIC civilly accountable for those who serve under their various jurisdictions around the world?

Should we just pray for the victims while continuing to look the other way as degenerate sexual deviants (in pulpits) continue to prey on the sheep – financially and sexually?

I am not one to shy away from biblical correction or rebuke – but I say hold COGIC accountable in court. They have ignored private pleas for decades so maybe they need to have the robes removed (so to speak).

Since Pastor Foster has a very interesting comment thread going on over there, I encourage you to post your comments there – but I’m always open to hearing what you have to say as well.

May God comfort the victims of these heinous crimes – and may His judgement fall upon those who mistreat His children.

Related Posts:

Is Pastor John Hunter of First AME L.A. A Pimp?

john-hunter-fame1

The man pictured above is Pastor John Hunter of The First AME Church of Los Angeles (a/k/a “FAME” church). FAME is one of the “it” churches in the LA area – a place where the well-known go to be seen worship. Pastor John even allowed Flavor Fav to bring his “reality show” coon show to FAME a few years ago. Now, allowing a buffoonish minstrel to parade a group of “women” into his church for a reality hoe show is grounds enough to qualify Pastor John for pulpit pimpdom – particularly since VH1 likely left a generous “love offering”. Nevertheless, it appears as though other activities may just push Pastor John into the ranks with Fast Eddie Long, TD Fakes, and the others:

First AME Pastor’s Spending Examined

LA Times – 11/30/08

The pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest and most prominent black congregations in Los Angeles, used church credit cards to pay for at least $122,000 in personal expenses over a three-year period, including jewelry, family vacations, clothing and auto supplies, according to documents and church sources.

The spending came to light during the course of an independent audit and Internal Revenue Service investigation into the financial affairs of the pastor, John J. Hunter; his wife, Denise Brown Hunter; and the church, according to people connected with the church, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation.

Fear of retaliation? Do I smell church mafia with a hint of pimpdom? Nah…

Earlier this year, field officials in the Los Angeles office of the IRS’ criminal division issued summonses to two banks and a charge card company to testify and produce financial records involving Hunter and the church, documents obtained by The Times show. IRS officials would not respond to questions about the status of their investigation.

In an interview Saturday, Hunter, 51, said he has signed an agreement to repay the church, though he would not confirm the amount owed or the details of the payment plan. He also denied any criminal wrongdoing and said he was working with tax authorities to repay his back taxes.

OK, so why does PJ admit that he had to “repay the church”? I thought the “mand of gawd” was allowed to plunder the treasury…God does want him to be blessed, right? So why “repay” for what is rightfully his…right?

“Some things were probably inappropriately charged to the church credit card, but all of these issues have been resolved,” Brown Dillon said. “The church is not going to suffer any losses.”

Now I’m starting to get some clarity. The issue “has been resolved” because no one wants the “mand of gawd” to “curse them” for calling him on the carpet for stealing (that’s the legal term for taking something that does not belong to you). So what was “inappropriately charged”? Wait for it…wait for it…

Hunter’s financial issues have alienated some church members, who say they were dismayed by reports of what they viewed as lavish spending at a time of great economic need in the community.

Between January 2005 and January 2008, Hunter’s spending included more than $6,000 on clothes, $3,000 on auto supplies, more than $2,000 on jewelry, $1,000 on bicycles and more than $10,000 on personal purchases during church-sponsored trips to India and China, according to documents obtained by The Times.

Imagine that – another mega church pastor spending lavishly while the community around his church club crumbles. Truth be told, the amount spent of clothing, auto supplies and jewelry isn’t that much to spend over a 3 year period. That said, the man already gets a very comfortable “salary” (plus extras) from the congregation, so why use church credit cards to buy personal items?

Because he can, that’s why. 

And let’s not forget that PJ “opted out” of paying federal taxes (without telling the Feds, mind you), so he’s on the hook with the government too. 

The LA Times did an update on the story earlier today:

First AME pastor apologizes to congregation for alleged misspending

LA Times – 12/1/08

The pastor of First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles apologized to his congregants Sunday for any embarrassment caused by disclosures that he had used church credit cards for sizable personal expenses and had failed to pay federal taxes for several years.

Pastor John J. Hunter, 51, used church credit cards to pay for at least $122,000 in personal expenses, including family vacations, clothes, jewelry, bikes and auto supplies, The Times reported Sunday. He and church finance officials said he had signed an agreement to repay the money and instituted stricter accounting policies, such as spending guidelines and more frequent audits, to guard against future problems.

Hunter also told The Times that he is working with federal tax officials to repay back taxes, penalties and interest amassed over 17 years, which have resulted in federal tax liens of more than $309,000 against himself and his wife, Denise Brown Hunter. He explained that he had legally opted out of the Social Security system several years ago, as ministers are allowed to do, but that the IRS had no record of it and assessed the taxes.

At least he admitted it, right? Well it’s easier to “admit” to something when the Feds have your…um…unmentionables in a vice – and there are NO alternatives.

OK, so here’s the bottom line. John Hunter has no business leading a church right now. He has proven that he can’t handle his personal affairs (his taxes) and he used church property (credit cards) for personal purchases for 3 years! Lets remember what Paul said about the qualifications for church elders:

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (New American Standard Bible)

1 (A)It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the (B)office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

2 (C)An overseer, then, must be above reproach, (D)the husband of one wife, (E)temperate, prudent, respectable, (F)hospitable, (G)able to teach,

3 (H)not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, (I)free from the love of money.

4 He must be one who (J)manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of (K)the church of God?),

6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become (L)conceited and fall into the (M)condemnation incurred by the devil.

7 And he must (N)have a good reputation with (O)those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and (P)the snare of the devil.

So is John Hunter a pimp? I don’t know.

I’ve never heard him preach or teach, but it appears as though he’s slipping into pimpistry. At best the AME denominational leadership should sit him down, counsel him, and rehabilitate him for service to their membership.

Wishful thinking, considering that the AME church is also the home of Jamal Bryant – the Pimp of Baltimore…and we already know how he runs amok with no supervision or oversight.

Oh well, a man can dream…

WWPD – What Would the Pope Do?

OK folks, other commitments have kept me from blogging this week.

Although learning about Jeremiah Wright’s adulterous affinity for a white woman was a bit eyebrow-raising (not because of her race, but because of his “pro-black” theology), it’s been rather quiet.

Until I saw this:

Priest Accused Of Dealing Coke From Church

A Catholic priest on the University of Illinois campus has been charged with selling cocaine from his church office and rectory.

The Reverend Christopher Layden pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of delivery of less than 1 gram of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church and one count of possession with intent to deliver 1 to 15 grams of cocaine near a church.

The 33-year-old was arrested Wednesday at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center after investigators found 3 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia while searching his home and office. His bond was set at $50,000.

Take a gander at this “man of God”:

So it’s safe to say that this nutjob was acting apart from the wishes of the apostate “mother church”, but I have to wonder – what would the pope do?

I mean really, the RCC is the oldest (and most visible) church mafia organization on the planet – and Joey “The Rat” Ratzinger (a/k/a his antichristness pope Benedict) has men in robes and red hats dispatched all across the globe to keep these kinds of incidents (including sexual molestation) under wraps.

So, what would Joey “The Rat” do? Probably tell “Rev.” Chris to say 10 “hail Mary’s”, pray to “St. Tony Montana” (the patron saint of cocaine)…

Oh, and to stop pushing weight (that’s inner-city speak for “selling drugs) – unless he’s kicking a few dollars up to “the holy see”.

Are You Ready To Confront Your Pimp?

***hat tip to regular reader Blessed for alerting me of this story***

I’m always happy to hear about when a member of the congregation confronts the pulpit pimp – I never imagined that it would end up like this, however:

Eagle’s Nest pastor sued by ex-member

Web Posted: 05/22/2008 01:00 PM CDT

By Abe Levy
Express-News
 
 

A former member of Eagle’s Nest Christian Fellowship filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the church and its pastor, Rick Godwin, claiming he was defamed in front of the congregation when he tried to expose how Godwin was spending church money.

Larry Nail, a businessman from Boerne who belonged to the church for 11 years, says Godwin wrongly accused him of bribery in a speech responding to San Antonio Express-News articles that, based on church documents, raised questions about Godwin’s use of church funds for expensive chartered planes and lodging, luxury gifts and personal items.

In the suit, filed in Bexar County District Court, Nail wants his donations to the church returned, plus legal costs and damages. (click here for the entire article)  

 

 

This story has been in the news in San Antonio since last fall, but it’s obviously taken a strange turn. Larry Nail is even bold enough to demand that pimp Ricky return his donations! How many of you would do that to your pimp – especially since your pimp and Ricky share the same spending habits? More interesting nuggets from the story: 

Complicating matters for the church has been a stream of complaints by homeowners bordering the new property who claim the church hasn’t responded to their concerns about lighting, noise and other matters.

Hmm…sounds like the same complaints that Eddie Long and his “son” got when they built their stadiums (I mean churches) in quiet residential areas as well. But wait, there’s more (my emphasis in bold)…

The spending Nail refers to in the suit involved a fund set aside for outreach and missions. After the newspaper reports, Godwin told the congregation he paid back all personal expenses and launched a new tax compliance audit, among other corrective measures. He hasn’t made public when or which reimbursements were made.

At least Ricky admitted that he stole money that was to be used for outreach – and he paid it back (allegedly)…most pimps won’t even go that far. Brother Nail even attempted to resolve this issue biblically – to no avail:

Nail said in the suit that church staffers were afraid of losing their jobs if they confronted church leaders about Godwin’s questionable expenses. He said he offered to help them financially if they were fired and followed biblical instruction by taking the spending concerns to Godwin first and then to two elders, who were unwilling to confront Godwin.

You know that the church mafia is in full effect at this church. This brother offered to compensate anyone who lost their job as a result of this action, and they were still afraid to proceed! Further in the article, we see Ricky spew out the classic pimp response (my emphasis in bold):

According to the lawsuit, Nail said Godwin told him: “I’m not going to let someone eating a bologna sandwich (referring to church staff and lower-level employees) tell me how to spend money around here.”

So there you have it – this degenerate pimp uses church funds for his personal pleasure and he has the nerve to lash out at the “bologna sandwich” eaters? That’s Pimpistry 101!

If you are or know anyone who attends Eagles Nest Christian Fellowship/Summit Christian Center in San Antonio, then pray that the Lord would open their eyes and give them the courage to flee pimp Ricky.

Please pray that Rick opens his bible, thumbs over to 1 John 2:15-17, and recommits to loving His Savior and the sheep more than he loves his flesh.

A Quiet Milestone…

This weekend marked a quiet milestone in the brief history of this blog. 

It’s been almost 90 days since I penned my first article defending the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, and over 10,500 visitors have stopped by since then.

Soli Deo Gloria – To God be the Glory, and to Him Alone.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this blog only exists as a testament to my love for God and his unadulterated Word.

Having been both a perpetrator AND victim of the “church mafia”, my earnest prayer is that every saint learn to read and understand the Word of God so that no man (or woman) can ever deceive them.

Some visitors agree with my approach to exposing God’s enemies, others think that I’m part of the problem – yet I’m daily reminded of the liberating power of The Gospel of Jesus Christ when I read emails from recent escapees of false teachers, pimps, and twisted doctrine.

I won’t break my arm patting my own self on the back, I’ll simply go back to God’s Word – and continue to use it as a standard to identify His enemies.

“…get me my money!”

*Brace yourselves, because this article is very lengthy. The subject, however is vitally important, and many need to hear it, confirm it with the Word of God, and flee false doctrine…

the-mack

Listen to me and listen good. I don’t give a s..t what happened to you. You hear me? Now get yourself together, get back out there and git me my money! “Goldie” from the 1973 classic “The Mack”

Goldie the pimp lashed out at his “employee” (which is what desperate pimps do) because his cash flow began to severely constrict. He didn’t care about competition, the economy, or lack of “customers” – Goldie wanted his money!

Well, those words might have also been uttered recently by the Senior Pastor Pimp at Higher Living Christian Church (formerly New Birth South). I have written extensively about The Pimp of Hampton (GA) and his club in the past – overtly and covertly. The club is leaking leaders and members like the Titanic, and people are finally growing weary of hearing lie heaped upon lie, amateurishly disguised as the Word of God. No matter how many trinkets are dangled in front of the lemmings sheep who are still there because they need “covering”, the money is beginning to only trickle in. Sure, people are losing their jobs, homes, and families – but they are also sick and tired of seeing The Pimp of Hampton driving a Bentley, living in a $1M home, and prospering (with their help, no doubt) as they continue to suffer hardship.

So, the Pimp of Hampton has channeled his inner “Goldie” and resorted to doing what any self-respecting pimp would do…threaten to unleash his mafia on them if they don’t pay up.

I have been hearing (from multiple unrelated sources) about “the letter” – an intimidating correspondence sent out to anyonewho serves in leadership at The Pimp of Hampton’s club AND is in arrears on their “tithe payments” (from ministers and paid church staff all the way down to nursery volunteers). This correspondence is sent to put them on notice that “Daddy” isn’t happy with their inconsistent tithing, and he’s not going to take it anymore. 

“Dis-fellowshiping” church members for not “tithing” is nothing new, yet the threat is still surprising.

Even though I know how desperate The Pimp of Hampton has become recently, I would never have believed the tone of “the letter” – until someone sent a copy of it so that I could share it with the blogosphere (personal information redacted):

Hello (name redacted),

The 2008 End of Year Financials & contribution statements are closed and Pastor Landers has been provided with a view of the 2008 tithing records for ALL ministry leads and it’s CRITICAL that EVERYONE is operating in the order of the house as a member and LEADER of Higher Living Christian Church.

Consistency in tithing is not optional for LEADERS. It is a requirement. Any LEADERS experiencing tithing issues at the close of 2008 will be subject to a probationary warning letter and a quarterly review of their contributions, throughout year 2009. If tithing requirements are not met, LEADERS Will be subject to disciplinary action including suspension or being asked to step down from leadership. The next review of LEADER contributions is scheduled on April 1, 2009.

(personal information redacted – essentially stating that the recipient of the letter agreed to “submit to leadership” when they joined) adhering and following the leadership of the Senior Pastor and the leadership that has been appointed to the lead the ministry in which you are submitted and committed. Consistency in tithing is a condition of your submission and commitment to God and with the Higher Living Christian Church ministry. Failure to adhere to any HLCC governing policies can lead to probationary warnings, suspension or dismissal.

Are you interested in bi-weekly automatic debit drafts for your tithe and contributions?

Obtain a automatic draft form from Deacon (name redacted) or (name redacted) for processing.

Are you busy serving on Sunday and forget to drop your tithes in the offering basket?

Place your tithes on the altar, prior to service or make sure to utilize the brown receptacles in the main lobby or near the elevator, before or after service.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me in tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground.” (Malachi 3:8-11)

Yup. The Pimp of Hampton is teetering on the edge of insanity – and this salvo sent even more contributors to the exits recently as well.

Rather than shaking my head in dismay and thanking God through Jesus Christ that I no longer subscribe to this foolish cult-like heresy, please indulge me for a moment as I succinctly present scriptural proof that tithing is an Old Testament law that modern day pulpit pimps, wolves, vipers, false teachers, money grubbers et al wield as a 10% tax and intimidation technique to take your money.

Let me be clear – we are commanded by God to give for the furtherance of the Gospel, the care of the Elder who preaches the Gospel, and the needs of those around us (from our household to the community and more). We are not commanded to contribute a fixed amount (a tax, if you will) under the duress of an imminent curse. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Paul commends the Corinthian church to give generously and in joy – inside and outside of the church, and we should give according to our income (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). We should practice what I call “grace giving” – giving as the Lord leads to whomever He leads you to give – and in whatever amount. Many embrace the tithe (pastors and parishioners) because it is “lazy benevolence” – it’s easier to give “to the church” and hope that they will distribute money and aid throughout the community instead of bringing food, diapers, money, and other resources directly to those in need yourself.

The averageChristian would rather lay $100 at the alter and expect their “breakthrough” than to give that same $100 to a single mother scraping her change together in the Kroger supermarket, primarily because the average Christian has been convinced that God will curse them if they don’t lay that money at the alter, whereas ignoring the single mother in need won’t cause the “devourer” to “invade their storehouse”.

Tithing was a requirement of Old Testament law where the Israelites were told to give 10% of their earnings and crops to the Tabernacle. Since the priests lived in the Tabernacle, they were sustained by the tithes (or 10% “tax”) of their “congregation” (Deuteronomy 26:12-15). Numbers 18 details the ordinance of the priesthood, including tithing and its original intent, and Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:24, and 2 Chronicles 31:5 all offer evidence of the requirement of tithing for Jews under the Old Covenant.

Aside from Paul’s admonitions to care for the needs of the Gospel, there is no reference under the New Covenant (through Jesus Christ) that Christians are required to pay any tithe or tax. There are countless mentions of giving for the sake of the saints, but no mention of a set percentage as a “minimum”. Even when Jesus mentions the tithe in the New Testament, it is in reference to Jews and their custom (Matthew 23:23). Paul even admonishes that saints pay for the care of good elders (1 Corinthians 9:9-14), but even Paul doesn’t advocate throwing good money after bad when you see that your money is being wasted on extravagant living and excess while those in need (in your own congregation)still go lacking. And just to be completely clear – The Pimp of Hampton does NOT live in his club – he has a $1M home surrounded by a gate to keep the great unwashed at bey. He should be well compensated for serving in Gospel ministry, but he should preach the TRUE Gospel, and he SHOULD NOT live in extravagance while the sheep under his care are suffering…AND HE SHOULD NOT KEEP BEGGING FOR MORE.

Having said all of that, the tithing legalists will talk about how tithing is applicable because it falls within the order of the priesthood of Melchizedek (or some other wishy-washy recounting of Abraham paying a tithe to Melchizedek). When you read Hebrews 7 in (entirety and in context) we see the true application of the Levitical priesthood AFTER the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Hebrews 8 details our New Covenant under Jesus Christ. Further, Hebrews 7:12 explicitly details the shift from the Old to the New Covenant.

And for those of you who adhere to the admonition of your pimp to “give your tithe first before you give anything to anybody else!”, you would do well to heed 1 Timothy 5:8 (my emphasis in bold):

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Rather than address “the letter” line by line, I’ll tackle it in whole. The Pimp of Hampton can hand down any edict that he wants – it’s his church (I know…it should be “God’s church”, but it’s not. The Pimp of Hampton has fashioned and designed a kingdom after his own heart, and he got it – so the Lord has nothing to do with that club). The staffers who work there who were threatened with being fired unless they got “caught up” on their tithes received a valid threat because Georgia is a right-to-work state, which means that you can quit your job for any reason, and you can be fired from your job for any reason.

Threatening people who volunteer in ministry is within the pimp’s right as well – again, it’s his club. When you submit to a pimp and his authority, then you are subject to the pimps rules (see Goldie’s quote above). It does not matter that you lost your job, are supporting family and friends with your “extra” money, or you’ve just decided to stop paying your tax to the club, the pimp has decreed that your service is useless unless you are “in good standing” with your giving. To him and his ilk, your giving is equal to or greater than your heart for the service of God.

Your first peek into the heart of the Pimp of Hampton should have been his lack of concern about why your money is tight right now…just the fact that your money is tight and he hasn’t seen it much lately.

Where I draw the line to separate the pimp’s rights and heresy is the continual intentional twisting of Malachi 3:10 (or in this case, Malachi 3:8-11). Please pay close attention – when you read the book of Malachi in entirety, you will see that God is pronouncing His judgement on disobedient priests who absconded the sacrificial offerings for themselves. In fact, Malachi 2 is subtitled “Priests to be Disciplined”. So, as you see, we have to go through 2 full books of scripture where God is “spanking” the priests before we get to Malachi 3, and specifically verses 8-11.

When you read the Word of God in context, you see just how far off base the pimps are when extorting your money. You are bound and intimidated into giving a tax for fear of eternal curse and damnation from God – yet His Word clearly states that He wasn’t even talking about you! But the pimps don’t want you to read the Word for yourself, because you’ll then have no need for his “covering”.

It’s shameful, it’s despicable, and it is an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the liberation we have through His Redeeming Blood. Ask yourself, why would God send His Son to free us from the bondage of sin and death yet require us to pay into a system of bondage that never applied to us?

If you are reading this article and you are still a member of the Pimp of Hampton’s club (and I know this blog is well read and discussed within the club), then you must repent of your allegiance to this false gospel, flee the cult that you have been involved in, and repent before the Lord Jesus Christ. Find yourself a bible believing pastor who preaches and teaches for the glory of God and not the fame and adoration of men (hint, you might have to find a church that does not have a television ministry, or a huge building).

The Lord Himself knows of your distress, and He will repay those who intentionally deceive you in His Name:

Jeremiah 23:11-12 (New American Standard Bible)

11“For (A)both prophet and priest are polluted;
         Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD. 
    12“Therefore their way will be like (B)slippery paths to them,
         They will be driven away into the (C)gloom and fall down in it;
         For I will bring (D)calamity upon them,
         The year of their punishment,” declares the LORD.

And since the Pimp of Hampton also reads this blog, pray for him. Pray that he repent before the Lord and return to his First Love, lest his false teaching continue to anger the Lord:

Jeremiah 23:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)

 1(A)Woe to the shepherds who are (B)destroying and scattering the (C)sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD.

 2Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to (D)attend to you for the (E)evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.

 3“Then I Myself will (F)gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply.

 4“I will also raise up (G)shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will (H)not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, (I)nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

For more solid biblical exegesis of tithing, see these excellent resources:

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When A Pimp Throws A Party…

…it seems as though everyone will show up – especially if the party is thrown by Super (soon to be Alpha Pimp) Eddie Long.

In case you didn’t know, every Easter, Eddie brings his entire congregation to downtown Atlanta to “worship” in the cavernous Georgia Dome. Eddie calls it an “Easter service for the city of Atlanta” – as a former member of Eddie’s mafia, I call it an opportunity for Eddie to show off “his” congregation in order to keep flexing his mega-church as a force in the city.

Eddie is known for aligning himself with anyone who can further his agenda:

Anyway, Eddie took a break from running away from Senate investigators to party at the Dome yesterday. Not to be content with creating a circus environment that gives cursory praise (at best) for the impact of the Resurrection of our Christ, Eddie likes to invite some of his famous friends to the party to attract thousands – and to show you the reach of his influence.

This year’s special guest was Clifford Harris:

ti.jpg long-and-ti.jpg 

Who is Clifford Harris, you ask? Well, your kids know him as the rapper “T.I.” a/k/a “The King” a/k/a “Tip” a/k/a “The Rubber-band Man”.

You see, young Cliff is a former drug dealer turned rapper who is currently on home confinement as he awaits trial for buying weapons from an undercover FBI agent. Cliff likes to curse when he raps, he calls women all kinds of unmentionable names, and he brags about his…well…let’s just call it his “sexual prowess”.

Young Cliff got permission from the feds to attend the services of his “spiritual advisor” – you guessed it, Eddie Long.

This shouldn’t seem too strange to you. Remember, Eddie and Cliff have the same interests (big homes, big cars, nice jewelry, etc.).

Eddie got what he wanted by inviting young Cliff to the party – lots of young folks showed up to see Cliff (oh, and hear about that Jesus guy also). Cliff even brought some of the other vulgar artists from his record label to the party as well.

Eddie even let young Cliff get up and address the crowd (I wonder if Cliff had to leave a large “offering” at the alter for the privilege?).

I wonder if Eddie inquired about the state of young Cliff’s soul when they schmoozed in the Green Room.

I wonder if Eddie helped Cliff repent of his past and directed him to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. 

I wonder if Eddie is helping Cliff to learn the Gospel so that Cliff can share the Good News with the thugs on his record label.

Hmm…

To those who think that I’m an “Eddie hater”, I can hear you now:“Paul said that he became all things to all men so that some could be saved”. Once again, you’re quoting your local pulpit pimp who takes the scripture out of context.

Paul said:

20(A)To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though (B)not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;

 21to those who are (C)without law, (D)as without law, though not being without the law of God but (E)under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

 22To the (F)weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become (G)all things to all men, (H)so that I may by all means save some.

 23I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. (1 Corinthians 9:20-23).

Notice my emphasis in bold above. Paul didn’t seek to associate with “famous sinners” so that he could be seen as their personal “guru” like Eddie does – Paul sought to make disciples and fellow partakers of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Anyway, it was quite the party indeed. And not too far away, the 250 members of Mount Gilead Baptist Church (which was severely damaged by the recent tornadoes that tore through Atlanta) gathered to worship God on a beautiful Resurrection Sunday.

Mount Gilead’s Pastor Dexter Johnson couldn’t attend services – he was injured during an in-home invasion (he lives in the actual inner-city neighborhood where he pastors…imagine that). Anyway, Mount Gilead’s Minister of Music said “I’d rather have a half-standing church that was full of life than a full church with no life in it”.

I know, very profound…and true.


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