Stupid Pastor Tricks-How You're Getting Fooled

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The Juvenilization Category of Tricks: 

  • The "Turn to your neighbor and say..." trick. Mr. Mega Pastor, we are no longer in the second grade, and we shouldn't be treated as such. This is just a way to force people to agree with you.
  • The "end every other sentence with AMEN?!" trick. Amen is not a question. You are putting that word at the end of your sentence because it forces people to agree with you, as they shut down any critical thinking.
  • The "make your church look like a children's TV Show" trick. Mr. Mega Pastor wants his followers to revert back to adolescence in order to instill obedience. But just how far will he go as he belittles his audience? How about this far:

                         Or how about this far:

                          Or how about this far:

  • The "my expectations of you are so low that I'll repeatedly insult your intelligence in order to hold your gnat-like attention" trick. Mr. Mega Pastor thinks most people are pretty stupid and need to be treated as gullible spectators. Worse than that, he thinks God needs the church service to be an adult pre-school in order to accomplish His will on earth.
  • The "listen to me repeat a catchphrase as if it were a Bible verse" trick. Because he needs these people to remember something, but he just can't seem to fit an actual Bible passage into his frantic yet meandering 45-minute speech...

 

The Cult of Personality Category of Tricks:

  • The "we started this church in our living room 6 years ago and look at what God has done!" trick. You bought a mailing list, hired a graphic artist and a web designer, you mailed out a slick postcard to 10,000 people that made promises & claims that your church can never deliver, but you're giving all the credit to God? Don't blame this thing on God.
  • The "aw shucks, can I just talk about myself for a while longer?" trick. You are trying to act humble but it's only working on the truly gullible.
  • The "our church is really great, and just in case you don't know how great it is, I'm gonna talk about it some more" trick. Why is it so important to continually prop up your church? You're not a pastor, you're a salesman making a pitch.
  • The "I don't have time to read the Bible, but I've got time to talk about sports/TV shows/personal stories/jokes/useless drivel..." trick. Everything that happens in your sermon is by your design, and you're deciding to cut out God's Word to make more room for yourself.
  • The "here's a really catchy name for my new sermon series that I'll keep repeating (I hope it gets me a book deal)" trick. We get it: without a new book you've got nothing to sell at the merchandise table when you go on the speaking circuit.
  • The "we are just so blessed and honored to have Pastor Whoever He Is with us today!" trick. And if you suck up to him enough, you'll get a speaking invitation at his (much larger) church.
  • The "watch me do that dramatic... pause... just like Rob Bell or Andy Stanley" trick. This is just cheap theatrics, and you've cheapened the house of God by pretending to be profound.
  • The "let me show you how cool and relevant I am while I pretend that I'm not trying to be cool and relevant" trick. Again, this only works on the truly gullible. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren't you Mr. Mega Pastor? (And Mr. Cool Music Guy on the worship team, maybe you should look into joining a cover band to satisfy your need for attention.)
  • The "let me brag about my luxurious lifestyle in front of the struggling people who paid for it" trick. You're not setting an example of success, you're taking money from people who will never live out the fantasies you sell them in the name of God.

 

The Super Spiritual Category of Tricks:

  • The "I hope you don't notice that I'm just making up this prophetic utterance" trick. If you want people to believe that God is speaking through you, shouldn't you construct sentences that actually mean something? How ridiculous can these "prophetic words" get? This ridiculous:
  • The "this is gonna be the year of acceleration! (or breakthrough, or increase, or visitation, or whatever...)" trick. Don't worry, after you make your New Year's proclamation you've got 11 months of useless blathering to distract everyone from your vague, yet false prediction.
  • The "I can make outlandish claims without any authentication" trick. Why does every supernatural event that you mention occur in some remote country... without cameras?
  • The "my Bible fell open and this is the verse that God showed me" trick. Wait a minute, is this a Christian church service or a tarot card reading??
  • The "I had my sermon all planned out but God gave me something different at the last minute" trick. Wow, we've never heard that before...
  • The "something REALLY big is coming... (eventually)" trick. How many decades have to pass before you finally cancel this ambiguous, confusing and useless "word from the Lord?"
  • The "healing service that's actually just a guy telling stories about all the healings he supposedly did somewhere else" trick. Lucky for this guy, the people who come to get healed are usually so desperate and confused they stay the whole time anyway. When they don't get healed they often blame themselves, too.
  • The "watch me talk very very fast, as if the sheer quantity of my words equated to Godly wisdom" trick. I suppose if you slowed down everyone could see that you're not really saying anything.
  • The "shift in the atmosphere" trick. Is this the Christian Church or an episode of Ghost Hunters?
  • The "Holy Spirit Tourette Syndrome" trick. Really? That's supposed to be the result of the Holy Spirit?? 

 

  • The "don't put God in a box" trick. This is how you turn the sovereign God of the Universe who has revealed Himself in His Holy Word into your own weird little creation. 
  • The "Law of Attraction" trick. Well, if you don't want to preach the Gospel from the Bible, I guess you might as well steal ideas from Oprah...
  • The "God spoke to me, so you pretty much have to believe whatever I say" trick. Don't worry, hardly anyone will notice that this is exactly how all cults get started.

Stay tuned for more Stupid Pastor Tricks!

 

Enter at Your Own Risk: The Fire Tunnel "Encounter Gospel!"

Do you feel that Church is not enough? Are you bored with the Bible? What you need is to directly contact God in a sorta creepy, yet experiential way. That's right, it's...

THE FIRE TUNNEL!!

(Click the GIFs to see more)

Make sure the hypnotic and emotionally manipulative "praise" music is cranked up and prepare to get zapped!

If the chaos, confusion, and scariness remind you of a haunted house, then you KNOW it's a movement of God! You can FEEL it!! 

Here's a fire tunnel at Bethel, where they've got a "prophetic puppet," which Bethel sells for $100. If the puppet isn't weird enough, there's also a guy biting people on their necks.

This is from Bethel "pastor" Seth Dahl, who is selling this prophetic puppet on the Bethel store (we posted this article about it in February, 2016):

In summary: Fire tunnels are a terrific way to spread germs, spirits, demons, weirdness and puppets (if you've got $100).

 

We hope this was helpful in your pursuit of the Encounter Gospel, but if you need more information:

The Fortune-Telling "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

The Hypnotic Worship "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

The Creepy, Drunk and Weird "Encounter Gospel" GIF Gallery!

Here's a related, serious article:

"Not Feeling It"-The Gospel for Everyone Else

The Creepy, Drunk and Weird "Encounter Gospel" GIF Gallery!

In my previous episodes of "The Encounter Gospel" I explained the fortune-telling ("prophetic") version, and then the Hypnotic Worship "Encounter Gospel." With this episode you can simply watch... and learn! Click on any one of the GIFs to watch more. Also, it might be a fun to watch this together as a family next Halloween (if your kids are old enough)!

  (Documented Fraud) Todd Bentley Giving John and Carol Arnott an "Encounter"

(Documented Fraud) Todd Bentley Giving John and Carol Arnott an "Encounter"

  Che Ahn giving this woman "an encounter"

Che Ahn giving this woman "an encounter"

  Rodney Howard-Browne spreads a laughing "Encounter" with God in the nineties

Rodney Howard-Browne spreads a laughing "Encounter" with God in the nineties

  Rodney Howard-Browne keeps Giving People "Encounters" today

Rodney Howard-Browne keeps Giving People "Encounters" today

  Stacey Campbell having "an encounter" (John & Carol Arnott standing by, Hoping they don't get punched)

Stacey Campbell having "an encounter" (John & Carol Arnott standing by, Hoping they don't get punched)

  Randy Clark Giving Todd Bentley an "Encounter" (and falsely prophesying About him and his "great" ministry)

Randy Clark Giving Todd Bentley an "Encounter" (and falsely prophesying About him and his "great" ministry)

  Randy Clark giving this woman a screaming in pain "encounter"

Randy Clark giving this woman a screaming in pain "encounter"

  Heidi Baker having one of her many drunken "encounters"

Heidi Baker having one of her many drunken "encounters"

  Lou Engle Can give the whole room a "rock back and forth Encounter!"

Lou Engle Can give the whole room a "rock back and forth Encounter!"

  An "Encounter" at Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer (IHOP) 

An "Encounter" at Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer (IHOP) 

  Multiple "encounters" at Bethel Church

Multiple "encounters" at Bethel Church

For the truly adventurous, you can give people an Encounter they'll never forget! Watch Heidi Baker transfer a demon at Bethel Church on iBethelTV for all the world to see!

We just looked at Heidi Baker imparting some kind of demonic spirit, so we might as well study the outright Voodoo Festival at Rick Joyner's Morningstar Ministries:


If you're feeling left out on all the fun, there's a good chance you'll see plenty of "encounters" at the Toronto Blessing Reunion Show coming up this April! Buy your tickets soon!!

The Hypnotic Worship "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

In the previous episode of this little series, I wrote about the fortune-telling Encounter Gospel, but now I'm going to explain another great way to have an Encounter With God: Hypnotic Worship!

Here's a quick summary of the new and better Gospel of the Kingdom:

  • People aren't really that bad, they just need to be convinced of how special they are-they need to understand their "true identity."
  • Religion is the real source of people's problems, not rebellion against God (sin).
  • God is desperately trying to get people to "accept" Him, but He's been hindered by the historic Christian Church, with its specific, Biblical teachings about Salvation, Heaven and Hell, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all other forms of unnecessary "head knowledge" found in the Bible. 
  • People would believe in God if they could just see some proof for themselves, they need an experience of some sort.
  • Bethel (and similar NAR churches) know how to give people the proof they need to believe that God is real, He loves them, and He wants all of their dreams to come true so they can fulfill their "Destiny."

How does Bethel teach you to provide proof of God's existence? How can you quickly and easily convert just about anyone you want? 

Give people an "Encounter with God." This is the new and better "Gospel of the Kingdom!"

You're practically guaranteed to Encounter God during the worship time at Bethel and churches like it (especially if they've got a moderately capable rock band, an emotional lead singer and plenty of electricity). The important thing is to suspend all of your disbelief and become completely open to the hypnosis of modern praise music (the very lengthy and repetitive songs will certainly help!).  

A gigantic church like Bethel, Hillsong, Elevation, or many other wannabe churches can't reach many people when it's done person to person (plus, pastor/celebrities don't often like to mix with the general public). But packing thousands of like-minded, receptive and gullible people into a darkened room allows the full manipulation treatment to work its magic. Rest assured that once you've entered into this carefully controlled environment, the lights, fog machines, music and passionate song leaders will do the rest. You're gonna feel it! (Note: At a normal rock concert you would feel it too, but in this case we will always refer to "it" as God, the Holy Spirit.)

 

When this mass Encounter really gets going and the crowd is worked up into a frothy madness, the best worship leaders start making stuff up on the spot...

 

This Encounter thing is so important that churches are scheduling various events in order to make sure everyone has one. For instance, you can have a special Encounter service or conference at your church (the best ones have a guest speaker from Bethel!):

 

Of course, nothing beats the ultimate Encounter: going to an actual Jesus Culture/Bethel Event!! This is where God spends most of His time! (Although, there is this nagging question: If "one encounter changes everything" why do they keep scheduling these events? Shouldn't everything be changed by now??)

 

Here's another idea that seems to make sense: simply name your church "Encounter Church" or something like that:

 

This last Encounter thing is almost too good to be true, I hesitate to even mention it because unless you live in Nashville you'll never get to experience it for yourself. What is it? It's a church full of worship leader/rock stars! And if that isn't enough, they have Encounter Classes!!

 

In summary, here are the key points to understand:

  • If your church doesn't have a rock concert of hypnotic worship music you cannot expect the Holy Spirit to make an appearance.
  • The best way to Encounter God through worship is to purchase, perform and promote Bethel Music, Hillsong Music and whatever other new music is most popular at the moment.
  • Old people who don't agree to the previous two points can still participate, but they must keep their outdated opinions to themselves.
  • Young people are incapable of reading and comprehending the Bible, unless it is chopped up into tiny pieces and used as lyrical filler for modern worship music or as proof texts for speeches dramatically performed by appropriately attired pastors whose relatability is insured by their slavish devotion to cultural styles and trends...

 

Lastly, here are some important things to remember: 

  • "Encountering God" through modern hypnotic worship music was never modeled or taught to the church in the New Testament... so just ignore that.

  • "Encountering God" as an emotional experience induced by an emotionally manipulative environment was never modeled or taught to the church in the New Testament... so just ignore that.
  • "Feeling the Presence of God" was never modeled or taught to the church in the New Testament... so just ignore that.
  • The Holy Bible (God's Word) can be used as a prop to wave around in one's hand as verses get strip-mined to validate life lessons, but it must never command too much attention for itself and cause anyone to become overly religious. In doubt about how to use the Bible? Just ignore it. 

 

Seriously, this is a very important topic; the hope of this article was to grab your attention and cause you to consider things that you might have overlooked and encourage you to more carefully delve into what the Bible actually teaches.

Here's a video with some sobering thoughts:

Here is a related episode of Fighting for the Faith with links to a lot of articles on this topic:

Heresy Hiding in Plain Site-A Pirate Gang Conversation

The Fortune-Telling "Encounter Gospel" of Bethel & the NAR Explained

Tired of getting no results with old-fashioned, Bible-based Christianity? It's time to go off the map with Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton and all of their New Apostolic Reformation friends! In this first episode of this series we will focus on the fortune-telling aspect of the "Encounter Gospel," so get out your tarot cards, oops... I mean get out your Destiny Cards and let's get started! Here's a quick summary of the new and better Gospel of the Kingdom:

  • People aren't really that bad, they just need to be convinced of how special they are-they need to understand their "true identity."
  • Religion is the real source of people's problems, not rebellion against God (sin).
  • God is desperately trying to get people to "accept" Him, but He's been hindered by the historic Christian Church, with its specific, Biblical teachings about Salvation, Heaven and Hell, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all other forms of unnecessary "head knowledge" found in the Bible. 
  • People would believe in God if they could just see some proof for themselves.
  • Bethel teaches how to give people the proof they need to believe that God is real, He loves them, and He wants all of their dreams to come true so they can fulfill their "Destiny."

How does Bethel teach you to provide proof of God's existence? How can you convert anyone you want? 

Give people an "encounter with God." This is the new and better "Gospel of the Kingdom!"

  • Tell them something about themselves that can only be known supernaturally, exactly like a psychic, only much better! 
  • Always tell them something good about themselves; especially about how they have a great "Destiny" and how God thinks they're amazing.
  • Do NOT call this fortune-telling, call it prophecy. Examples: "I operate in the prophetic," or "I have a prophetic gifting/anointing/mantle/office," or "Wow! I received a prophecy from Theresa and it was dead-on!" or "These aren't tarot cards-they're prophecy cards!" 
  • It helps if you have some stock phrases memorized ahead of time, like these: "I'm sensing a shift in the atmosphere," or "You've been waiting for a breakthrough, haven't you?" or "God wants you to know that you're very special and He hasn't forgotten about you."
  • If your prospect appears skeptical or nervous, assure them that you're getting direct downloads from the third heaven realm.
  • Remember, you want people to feel confirmed, accepted and convinced of their value as unregenerate and unreconciled people ("sinners"); so do NOT mention outdated ideas like the need to repent before a Holy and Sovereign God who is angry at their sin. This means that Jesus dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins can (and should) be ignored.  
  • If you don't have effective fortune-telling skills you can always bring people to a manipulative "church" service (the bigger the better!), where highly emotional music is performed, theatrical stagecraft with dramatic lighting is utilized, and unverifiable stories are repeated by skillful speakers who can sell God's "Presence" and convince audience members to make "decisions" for Jesus.
  • Our next installment in this series will explain the Hypnotic Worship "Encounter Gospel" 
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John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
— Mark 1:4
I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
— Matthew 3:11
And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
— Luke 3:3
I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
— Luke 5:32
And that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
— Luke 24:47
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
— Acts 2:38
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.
— Acts 3:19
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
— Romans 2:5
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
— 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
— 2 Peter 2:9
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
— Proverbs 28:13