Bad to the Bone Church

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Church by the Glades has got a series of “sermons” based on… Halloween. Or vampires… or Haunted Houses… or something like that.

Here’s the song that kicks off their series Escaping a Haunted Mansion:

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
— 3 John 11

Coming To Church Will Improve Viking's Chances of Winning the Super Bowl

Is your church having trouble attracting potential customers? No problemo! All you have to do to attract more people is tell them that their favorite sports team will have a better chance of winning The Big Game if they show up to pray. What could possibly go wrong with this church growth strategy?

Case and Point: This promo video from New Life Church Souix Falls

You'll notice that the video is intended to be funny, however there is some REALLY bad theology mixed in with it.

Seinfeld "Sermon" Inspires Andy Stanley-NOT The Bible

Andy Stanley is trying to be clever (or something), when he begins his new "sermon" series by saying he got the idea of "Pack Your Bags" from a Jerry Seinfeld routine. He acts like it's no big deal to ignore God's Word and base his teaching on whatever he wants. In this "sermon," he eventually gets around to quoting a few Bible verses, but it's just window dressing on (yet another) motivational speech.

"No Gospel for you!"

This man is supposed to be the best of the best: his church has tens of thousands of attendees; his ideas are implemented by thousands of pastors; his books are a reference for many Christian leaders... and yet he blathers on about almost anything but the Word of God. Watch this 6 minute clip and contrast it to the Apostle Paul saying "I preach Christ and Him crucified." If you're really brave and want to waste even more time, listen to this entire (painful) "sermon" about how to do more and try harder here (you'll even get to watch a dramatic intro video about a duffle bag!)... 

Absolutely Bizarre "Sermon" Promo Video from Life.Church

We can just let this bizarre video speak for itself:

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
— 1 Corinthians 1: 20-25

Visual Proof That Modern Churches are (Much) Better

 

Wanna see a bunch of neanderthals living in the dark ages? Click through these photos and look at these silly old churches having old-fashioned worship services:

(Pretty embarrassing, isn't it??)

 

 

But now, take a look at these modern church services. THIS is what works! THIS is how you accurately and reverently worship the sovereign God of the universe!

(The following are all real snippets of modern Evangelical "worship services" from their own YouTube channels) 

 


Life is Too Short for Boring Sex

Heath Mooneyham of Ignite "Church" has good news to tell the world. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins. The good news that Mooneyham has to share is that Communication + Commitment = Intimacy and that equation is the secret to overcoming boring sex. We had no idea that one of the fruit of the Spirit is 'spicy sex' and the reason we were unaware of that is because the Bible doesn't teach this.

Sex Doesn't Have to Be Grey?!?

If you love sex then you're in for a real treat this weekend at Ignite "Church".  Heath Mooneyham, the pastor who was busted for a DUI and restored to ministry in a few short weeks, will be teaching everyone at Ignite how sex doesn't have to be grey.

Below is Ignite's promo video and Facebook post for the sermon. Note: they want people to share this video with their unsaved friends so they'll come to church on Sunday so that Mooneyham can teach them about sex.

Pastor Dykstra Will Teach You How to Date, Mate and Procreate

Eric Dykstra, the vision-casting leader of The Crossing Church will be teaching the people at The Crossing how to date, mate and procreate. Oh goody.... :-/

One has to wonder if Dykstra is an expert on dating, mating and procreating (we pray the sermons aren't illustrated). One thing is certain, he's no expert on rightly handling God's Word and preaching Christ. Here's the promo video that The Crossing put together for this "ground breaking" sermon series.

Warning: You can never unsee this video once you watch it.

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Pastor David Hughes Jumps Up and Down on Gigantic Couch

Is it any surprise that this ridiculous "pastor" completely mishandles the Word of God? Is it any surprise that he gives a totally Law-based motivational speech that tries to manipulate his audience into doing more? 

Listen to the sermon review on this episode of Fighting for the Faith:

Big Comfy Couch (The Sermon)

 

Here's the comedian Galagher from the 1980's:

Hmmm, does "pastor" David Hughes remind you of any another guy jumping?...

 

Here's another great sermon review from BEZELT3:

"I Will Fight!" Jesus Died to Make You a Winner!!

Elevation Church is ready to PUMP YOU UP!! (Is this a church or a fitness club?)

Jesus wants you to be RIPPED!!

Jesus expects you to FIGHT!!

Super Pastor Steven Furtick has really big muscles, why don't YOU??

 

(But it's all about Jesus, right?)


Btw, Super Pastor Craig Groeschel would like to mention that he has really big muscles, too... 

(Pastor Groeschel is still trying to get past his reputation for having portrayed Harold Krenshaw on the TV show "Monk")

Christmas: It's Time To Pander to the Crowds Again!

Every year the biggest churches put on the biggest spectacles to attract the biggest crowds. Here's a video compilation of a few of the most ridiculous:

Just in case you aren't nauseous yet, here's a post from last year at this time: Battle of the Crazy Gigantic Extreme Christmas Spectacles!

I wanna see people floating around My churches on wires! Where are the acrobats? Can’t we get more acrobats for the Christmas Show?? Let’s get some colored lights on those drums! Turn up the bass solo-I want people to feel it! Remember, Christmas is all about ME and MY SHOW!!!
— Things Jesus Never Said

Stormtrooper Crotch-thrusting at Church by the Glades!

Another "worship" spectacle that spoofs itself:

So let's take an inventory of what's going on here... We've got a "church service" that looks like a drive-in movie (with real people in real cars); a strange dance tribute to Michael Jackson, PSY, Beyonce and... Star Wars; and an opening skit with two people portraying Chewbacca and Princess Leia. What were these people thinking?? 

  • Maybe Church by the Glades was trying to visibly demonstrate the total depravity of all human beings?
  • Maybe somebody thought that Stormtrooper costumes would create visual and aesthetic unity for the three otherwise unrelated songs (Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Gangnam Style, Single Ladies-Put a Ring On It)?
  • Maybe they took this idea from Britain's Got Talent?
  • Or, maybe they were just trying to maintain their top position in The Museum of Idolatry?

 

 

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
— 1 Corinthians 2:2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
— Romans 12:1-2
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.
— 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

For those who think it's mean, judgmental and un-loving to criticize Church by the Glades (or any other popular teacher/church) here's something just for you: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

If you're having a knee-jerk reaction to try and defend this kind of "worship" service, check out: Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs.

Here's a very extensive documentary exposing the problems with the "Seeker-Friendly" church model: Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive

Finally, here's an article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.

Pastoral Shouting Match with Ed Young and Steven Furtick!!!

  • HYPE-O-RAMA OF PASTORAL (& OVERLY DRAMATIC) SHOUTING! BECAUSE SHOUTING PROVES THAT SOMETHING IS TRUE!! Just like using ALL CAPS!!!!
  • OBLIGATORY FOOTAGE OF EMOTIONAL WORSHIPPERS WITH HANDS RAISED! (Wide aperture on lens for that shallow depth of field look; this says "spiritual, but not religious" like nothing else)
  • CHEERING A LOT... AND THEN CHEERING SOME MORE!! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH CHEERING?? JUST KEEP CHEERING!!!!
  • OBLIGATORY FOOTAGE OF ATHLETE GETTING READY TO WIN!! WOW-HE'S READY TO KICK SOME BUTT!!! JUST LIKE OUR CHURCH!!!!!
  • NO LOSERS ALLOWED; THIS IS WHERE SUPER-CHRISTIANS LEARN HOW TO WIN!!
  • OBLIGATORY FOOTAGE OF DRUMMERS DRUMMING AS PEOPLE DANCE AROUND IN SLOW MOTION!! (Wide aperture on the lens again; nice touch)
  • COOL YOUNG ROCKSTAR WORSHIP LEADERS!!
  • ONCE YOU BECOME A DIAMOND IN AMWAY YOU CAN QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!! (Oh wait, that's a different, but very similar, conference...) 
  • SOMETHING ABOUT GOD... SOMEWHERE... OH YEAH, GOD WANTS YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM DESTINY THINGY!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!! (Continue cheering until further notice...)

Watch this conference promo video and ask yourself: Does this look like an actual Christian conference, or a motivational conference full of shouting, exaggerating and people being told how great they are? Ask yourself: Is this video trying to accurately describe a conference, or is it emotionally manipulating me into wanting to get pumped up and join all the cool people shown here? 

 

Perhaps this is the motivational speaker that that Ed Young should hire for next year's conference...


A related article:

When Did the Church Turn Into Amway?

Fighting for the Faith episodes that show how Ed Young twists God's Word:

Fighting for the Faith Ed Young

Fighting for the Faith episodes that show how Steven Furtick twists God's Word:

Fighting for the Faith Steven Furtick

For those who think it's mean, judgmental and un-loving to criticize Ed Young or Steven Furtick (or any other church leader) here's something just for you: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

If you're having a knee-jerk reaction to try and defend this video, check out: Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs.

Finally, here's an article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.

Furtick Listed among Top "Oprah-Certified" Gurus

The Oprah Winfrey Network named Steven Furtick to their Super Soul 100 influencers list in the Soul Teachers category along with other self-help gurus like Deepak Chopra, Eckart Tolle, Rob Bell, Tony Ribbons, T.D. Jakes, and more.

Steven Furtick's Elevation Church made this announcement on Facebook. Read the post closely. Pay attention to what is being emphasized and celebrated.

A preacher of the gospel is embracing being celebrated for helping people live an authentic life. An authentic life?  Isn't that the language of self-help gurus? Our inability to lead an "authentic life" is one of the problems that Jesus came to solve. We are sinners in need of a Savior, not students who just need a more effective teacher so we can reach our potential. This mingling of Christianity with totally pagan self-help training and leadership advice is very common-and very confusing.

Wouldn't it have been so much better if his Facebook announcement celebrated how he called for people to repent of their sins and trust in what Jesus did for them on the cross? But instead of presenting Christianity as a contrast to all the other New Agers on the list, he just gave a "Christian" version of the same vague "spirituality." Of course, if Steven Furtick was preaching a Biblical message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins he probably would have never made Oprah's list to begin with. 

The typical self-help/leadership book is full of catch phrases like "inspiring others" and "live out an authentic life". Furtick's Elevation Church draws our attention to those self-help linguistics.

Let's take a look at the wording on Furtick's bio page on Oprah's website:

Pastor Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church. At age 16, he realized that God’s plan for his life was to start a life-changing church in a metropolitan city. In 2006, that vision became a reality. Steven and his wife Holly, along with seven other families, quit their jobs, sold their homes, and moved to Charlotte, NC, to start Elevation Church—faithfully believing that God would use them to reach their city.

In the last decade, Elevation has grown to more than 20,000 in weekly attendance, meeting at 14 locations in the Charlotte area and beyond. Through God’s faithfulness and provision, the church has seen thousands of people give their lives to Christ, and had the opportunity to give over $20 million back to their community.
The heart of Pastor Steven’s message is the life-changing power of Jesus Christ, through which he empowers others to live greater, faith-filled lives for God’s glory. He has had the privilege to minister to a global audience and speak at conferences and churches around the world.

Additionally, Pastor Steven is the New York Times best-selling author of Sun Stand Still, Greater, Crash the Chatterbox and his most recent release, (Un)Qualified.

The bio does have distinct Christian words like "give their lives to Christ," "power of Jesus Christ," "God's glory." But these distinctly Christian words are not the emphasis of Oprah and Furtick. Oprah and Furtick are not trying to propel your attention to Christ crucified.

Instead they whittle down the meaning of these Christian words so that Steven Furtick seems aligned with the self-help guru hall of fame Oprah is placing him in. As you observed from Furtick's Facebook post, he was more than willing to comply with the whittling away so he could fit in.

Again, his Facebook announcement drew attention to "inspiring others" and "live out an authentic life." Oprah's bio page uses "life-changing," "reach their city," "empowers," "faith-filled lives." The prominent Furtick quote is about reaching for goals, reward and fulfillment. These are all words that propel our attention to self-help and not the cross.

That false gospel draws attention to the self, and to one's own happiness and glory.

Furtick recently used Jesus Christ to draw attention to self on Facebook.

Christ is in us, and that is enough. Furtick uses the full thrust of Christ's name to draw attention to self.

But we don't need to know that we are enough, we need to know that Christ is enough. Period.

Repurposing Jesus into the self-focused self-help guru is, unfortunately, consistent with much of the ministry of Steven Furtick, and most of the mega-church pastors of American Pop Evangelicalism.

Christ is mentioned by Oprah and Furtick, but the true purpose of Christ is not the emphasis. Christ is repurposed into just another means of self-help, as the breadcrumb serving of Christian sounding words are stripped of their full impact. The cross isn't a primary focus, it's not even a secondary afterthought. Rather the cross is tucked snuggly behind the already whittled down Christian words, out of sight, and out of consideration, all so the self-help message can thunder forth from Oprah's guru mountain. No golden calf needed, because the self-help message is itself a golden calf.

Now what? We've exposed the issue. The gravity of the sin weighs on the conscience. Is this where it ends? No. When we here at Pirate Christian Media want a pastor to be "more Biblical" it's not because we want to keep people condemned-it's the exact opposite! The real, Biblical message of the Gospel is Good News. Jesus didn't die on the cross so we could be more successful or have a more fulfilling experience of reaching our goals or any of those self-help/leadership themes. We can't accomplish all the good things we know we should be accomplishing-that's why we need the Gospel. We need to have our sins forgiven-not hear another motivational message full of false hope in ourselves.

What if you're guilty of following this type of teaching? What if you're guilty of teaching this stuff? Are you to sit there, overwhelmed with your sin, without hope, without an eased conscience? No.

Are you tired of trying harder and harder? Are you willing to admit that you're not capable of doing all the good things you wished you were capable of doing? 

There is a throne of grace and forgiveness opened to sinners because of what Jesus did freely on the cross. Grace to remove your sin completely. Grace to ease your troubled conscience. Grace to grant you repentance. Freely given for you. Resting on nothing but what Jesus did on the cross. That's the message that people need to hear!

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
— John 14: 27

For those who think it's mean, judgmental and un-loving to criticize Steven Furtick (or any other popular pastor/teacher) here's something just for you: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

If you're having a knee-jerk reaction to try and defend Furtick's ideas, check out: Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs.

Finally, here's an article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.

North Point Church Blog: "No Bible Verses for You!!!"

Apparently North Point Church refuses to allow Bible verses on their blog:

Above is a screenshot from 6:53 pm of a comment made the morning of Thursday, July 28th, on the North Point Church blog. The comment is simply three Bible verses-without commentary or criticism, but they've never been published. The blog says "Your comment is awaiting moderation." Why doesn't North Point want to allow these Bible verses to be shown on their website? Maybe because they'd have to remove them... like they did earlier on this same morning:

And the next day...

they still won't post Bible verses:

 

Here's a screenshot from two days later (nothing has changed):

 

 

North Point Church is making it more difficult to view their "boy band" video (since we published this a few days ago), so we've made this video to remind everyone of it's questionable and foolish content:

If anyone is interested in seeing how this works, go ahead and post some Bible verses to their "boy band" video page and see what happens: http://blog.northpoint.org/90s-opener/

Here's a whole bunch of Bible verses you may want to share with them:

Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know!

Update: September 12, 2016...

VIP Seating, Popcorn, Candy and Movies at Christ Fellowship Church

Christ Fellowship is handing out popcorn at the door, giving away VIP reserved seating, and conducting a special effects smoke & flame show with "Ironman" on stage during their official Sunday worship service. The VIP reserved seating has a mini refrigerator with drinks, hot popcorn, and candy. To potentially qualify for the VIP reserved seating you have to take a picture of yourself by a movie set at a church campus, post it to social media, and then tag the photo. Does this seem like pandering to get people to show up to you?

Is this really the type of atmosphere an official church worship service should have? This may be fine for an informal church outreach event, but this is supposed to be a gathering of the church to worship. But a big sign on stage saying "AT THE MOVIES" confesses that the focus here is on a movie. 

Below you will see the absolute distraction and mess they make of a church service...

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
— 2 Timothy 4: 3-4

Bill Hybels Talks About Popeye (Much) More Than Jesus

In his sermon entitled "Unwavering: A Story of Obedience" Bill Hybels mentions the cartoon character Popeye dozens of times-he specifically quotes him fifteen times! He does this because God gave him a direct revelation: God told Bill Hybels to write and preach about our "Holy Discontent," which is a term he invented and repeats dozens of times throughout this sermon (which just happens to be the title of his book). Instead of using exegesis to draw the meaning out of the Bible, Hybels crams his concept of Holy Discontent into the story of Nehemiah and then uses Popeye to back up this theory. He doesn't mention Jesus at all until the end of the sermon (when he wants to inflict guilt upon his listeners). But don't worry, even though this is all conjured up in Hybels mind, he says God gave it to him. 

Listen to Todd Wilken give an amazing sermon review on this episode of Issues Etc.

"Holy Discontent" is a variation on the Purpose Driven Life; it's the idea that God didn't just die on the cross to just pay for your sins (because that isn't enough in seeker-friendly theology); God really wants you to take whatever you're most angry about and act on it. Basically, the Gospel is all about how God wants you to do stuff-lot's and lot's of stuff. According to Bill Hybels, God will look at your hands to see if they're all scarred and bloodied (like His) when we get to heaven. If you haven't done enough stuff (and your hands are nice and pretty), then God will be very disappointed with you. Get to work, Christian! Don't you wanna be like Popeye, Bono, Martin Luther-King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Bill Hybels?!

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
— 1 Corinthians 2:2

For those of you who think it's mean and un-loving to criticize Bill Hybels (or any other popular teacher) here's a list of Bible verses to consider: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know.

Finally, here's an important article that will help you be more discerning and a lot less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.