Posts Tagged ‘Pagan Christianity’

Why Do We Go To Church, Daddy?

January 3, 2010

Usher: Hey Deak,

My buddy Short Beak stopped by my branch the other day and asked me how to answer his kid’s question – “Why do we go to church, Daddy? I thought Jesus was fun and cool, but church really sucks! I can’t stay awake for longer than 5 minutes through those windy sermons and Sunday School is full of Geritol and brown-nosers.”

Deacon: So what did you tell him?

Usher:  I told him it was his problem.  After all, he’s fallen for it all his life, and now he’s at the point of no return.  No matter what he tells his kid, his kid will see him as a hypocrite because he still goes and doesn’t feel he can change as it’s too late in life and after all, the fellowship hour has really good desserts!

Deacon:  Usher, you’re so so lame!

Pastors – Legitimate or Not?

September 23, 2008

Usher: Deak, what are your thoughts on Frank Viola’s book Pagan Christianity? as it relates to the role of the pastor?  If a pastor’s role is simply pagan, and the church continues to practice mostly pagan rituals (including tithing), how does one go about justifying giving their lives to the pastorate? How does one continue to operate as a pastor knowing that Christ does not recognize the pastor as head of the church?  See page 181…

A further peril of the paid pastorate is that it produces clergy who feel “stuck” in the pastorate because they believe they lack employable skills.  “I (Frank) personally know a good number of pastors who felt convicted to leave the minstry.  All of their schooling and training had been dedicated to studying and preaching the Bible.  While those skills are noteworthy, they are of limited appeal in the secular job market.  The major hurdle they now face is forging a new career to support their families.  A friend of mine, an ex-pastor himself, is writing a booklet on how pastors can find employment and enter new careers after leaving the clergy system.  His ideas are not based on theory. ….. Even so, it is exceedingly difficult for many contemporary pastors to acknowledge the lack of scriptural support for their office simply because they are financially dependent upon it.  As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”  No wonder it takes a person of tremendous courage and faith to step out of the pastorate.  Unfortunately, most of us are deeply naiive about the overwhelming power of the religious system.  It is a faceless system that does not tire of chewing up and spitting out its own.” – Pagan Christianity?  Frank Viola & George Barna

Deacon: How would you feel if you actually were in those shoes?  What would you say to your wife and kids when you came home with that conviction?  Would you claim that your choice was naiive and based on your knowledge at that time?  What would you do with the rest of your life?  Would you be willing to sacrifice all that you had worked for in exchange for a clean set of convictions?  What if you were 40+ years old and had no resourceful ways in which to figure out another method of providing for your family?

Usher: Maybe I’d just continue to take advantage of the poor and naiive of the church simply out of fear?  Is it any different from inheriting a fortune from my father’s moonshine business and then go on to become president of the United States.  Does that make the money clean or justify the actions of my father and how he obtained the riches?

Deacon: Careful, you’re stepping on the toes of a lot of powerful people with that one, oh provocative buzzard.  I’m not sure I want to be on the same branch of your tree when certain people read this post.

Usher: It still doesn’t make it right.  I feel for people who make choices based on limited knowledge or incorrect knowledge, but God knows and he allowed it.  How much more valiant would it be for a person to come clean and confess such a conviction?  What if it became a movement?

Deacon: If pastors came to terms with this issue, it would destroy the modern church.  Debate would incur and those against it would rationalize it away for fear of losing everything they had worked for.  I would venture to say that in any kind of volume it would bring massive disruption and in the end, major revival to the body (not the modern church), but the body of Christ, the believers.  But man will not do it, it must be brought about via calamity, hardship or both.

Usher: How refreshing it would be to know that gathering to share in our lives with Christ would be something other than listening to one man’s current interpretation of his one-sided relationship.  When will people truly figure out that it’s not following man, it’s following Christ together?  It’s a corporate experience, not an oratory!

Deacon: Relax Usher, you don’t have to get so trumped up about it.  Man has followed man since the beginning of time and will continue to want a king on earth, a leader to tell him what to do and someone to think on his behalf.

Special Event: Frank Viola Sept. 5th Blog Event!

August 31, 2008

Usher: Me and Deak want everyone to know we endorse much of what Frank writes about when it comes to today’s institutional church (as if you didn’t know, that’s what we are passionate about, not about attacking harmless individuals who are in most case victims of the institution.  We do however reserve the right to talk about those who blatantly live the life of Reilly on God’s money). 

Frank has an unexplained event upcoming on his blog and it’s guaranteed to be good because Frank is one of the few people we may not have met in person, but we communicate with as he responds and communicates with those who authentically reach out to him. 

DON’T MISS THIS:  Sept. 5th Event

Constantinian Model vs Missional Model

August 11, 2008

Taken from:  http://missionalchurchnetwork.com/what-does-a-missional-church-look-like/#comment-4722

Excerpt:  A frequent priority of the local congregation is to attract people to come to the physical property of the church so as to inlcude the “pagans” in the life of the church. This model began with the Roman Empire, especially after Constantine’s conversion and Christianity became the official Roman religion.

……In previous years, I invited people to church when I met them, thinking in that way they will hear the gospel. I began to see that I was giving the church an unfair advantage. I was asking them to come to my turf, where I was the leader, where I stand and speak while they sit and listen. It was a lack of courage that led me to rely on bringing them to a place where I was the boss and they were the servants. What I had to learn to do was speak the gospel on their terms — in their homes, in their boats — as a friend and as an equal. — Mark Peske, missionary to the Ojibwa.

Usher: Question for you: How can a Constantinian church keep sending out “church planters” expecting them to be different?  Aren’t they just building “mini-constantine’s”?  How does one who wishes to truly be missional unlearn their constantinian ways and truly become a light in their community?  And if you reply as we think you will, how does one support the church planter in such a way that they don’t revert back to the old power model and their old ways which they have been steeped in?  The traditional church cannot and will not give up it’s powerbase and allow decentralization no matter what!  Aren’t the two forces totally opposing?  Is it not the “napster” effect to the music industry or the “skype” effect to long-distance telecommunications?

Deacon: Our argument is that this is virtually impossible using today’s theology and students of Constantinian ways.  Entire denominations are founded on this, how in the world can they attempt such an undertaking, though many have programs in place?  Shouldn’t we be sending people into non-Constantinian environments for them to truly become missional?  We westerners have a tendency to simply “term it”, “claim it” and “preach it” without any foundation other than someone else’s book, teachings or opinions.

Summary: The Constantinian cannot play missional without dismembering itself, can it?  We want to change the church, but to do this would mean to destroy livelihoods of pastors and church staff and fight about who is to receive the monies from the sale of the real estate (though this would be a great problem to have as it would mean the group had made the right decision).  But really, the diaper-wearing christians will defend their institutional church and pastor and never give up their “binkys”, their custom-fitting “huggies”, their 1-hour-and-run services and their ability to write a check to free their guilt and not have to be bothered with getting their hands dirty or being weaned off their grace-laced formula. 

The Constantinian model MUST be supported by demanding tithe (substantiated by cut-and-paste scripture), it must grow in membership to support the programs the diaper-wearers demand of it.  It must continue to build bigger buildings to keep up with the cost of programs, adding youth pastors and the cost of living for the staff.  It must be a central top-down power model and in order to function, it must be headed up by those with college degrees from seminary.  We are the ones who have demanded it (or gotten hooked on it and swallowed it and simply come back for more and more of the milk).

Pastor Pastor Oh won’t you tell me please…

August 9, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, I wrote a rap, can you add the music?

 

Deacon: Aw Usher, I’m a buzzard, I can’t sing

 

Usher: Do your best Deak, here are the words……

 

Pastor Pastor, Oh won’t you tell me please

Why you take so much money from the least of these

Don’t the scriptures say that what you do for them

You do unto Him……

 

Pastor Pastor Oh won’t you please explain

Why you’re rarely here when they cry out in pain

Don’t the scriptures say that what you do for them

You do unto Him….

 

Constantine would be proud of the church of today

Where all who come are encouraged to pay

Where men are exalted by the stories they tell

The pagan tradition is alive and well

 

Programs are bait and marketing prose is king

Big pretty buildings scream bling bling bling

Sermons are published and sold for great gains

As pastors travel the circuit in their private planes

 

For some odd reason, the laypeople stay mum

Every Sunday morning they continue to come

To practice tradition and listen some more

And fund the dreams of the pastor, while ignoring the poor

 

An Image of caring and concern, pastors portray

But when times get tough, they call the laymen to pray

And when money is requested for the poor, the budget is suddenly low

Oh where does the tithe of the poor people go?

 

But why fight it, why can’t we all join in the fun

We’ll go to Christian college, get a degree and with pride we can beam

We can all be appointed to a church of our own

And fleece the poor and naiive while we fund our own American dream

 

And when we approach our maker at the end of our reign

We’ll all proclaim how successful we’ve been

How we furthered the kingdom with our big pretty chapels

How we encouraged the laymen to care for the sick while we vacationed with our families

How we taught them to give to the poor because we used their money to buy our jets

How we used all the funds to fund programs to attract bigger and bigger crowds

To publish more books and sermons and and and and and……

 

You fill in the blanks…….

 

Copyright: Deacon & Usher Productions (hehe)

Death by Association (abridged version)

July 15, 2008

In response to an anonymous blogger who was trying to figure out the mechanics of “blended’ worship

(sorry for such a long post – don’t fall asleep readin’ it)

Usher: What in the world do we tell her?

Deacon: You’re openin’ up Pandora’s box Usher

Usher: She asked

Deacon: Up to you

Usher: WEll Betty, what you’re trying to do cannot be done.  Even though you think buzzards can’t sing, we did worship for 30 years.  Once we found out what we are writing below, we gave it up and resorted to worship amongst ourselves in meetings without liturgies and order, titles and assumed leaders, programs, building funds and goofy directions dreamed up by people who have never lived in the trenches).  It goes kind of like this……

Worship in today’s church is about performance.  Don’t be offended if you believe you are a true worship musician.  You probably are.  Regardless of your heart or intent, it’s not about that, it’s about the platform.

A little history for you…Music in the church (not the worship spoken of in the Word) originated out of pagan and Roman culture in the 3rd century.  Choirs were trained and put in place to perform for the Eucharist.  Preceding Constantinople’s times, Christians were not recognized, but Constantinople actually made Christianity an honorable thing (prior to his time, Christians were persecuted).

Music in the church also fits into the traditional liturgy established partly by Paganism and partly by the Catholic Church in the 6th century (look up Will Durant) by the monk Gregory the Great.  If you study this you will find there is almost no difference between the “liturgy” or order of worship in any denomination of church as we have come to know it (Catholic or Protestant).

So now to the answer of your question:  People want what they prefer and no matter how hard you try, blending a worship will lukewarmly satisfy both sides of the fence.  Why do people prefer hymns over contemporary?  Because they associate their times of being touched by God with music.  This is human and has nothing to do with the spirit. Yet, it’s all we can do.  We resort to the grand times of the past as part of our human nature (So you want to go back to Egypt?)

Me and Deak call it “death by association”.  Typically each generation prefers the music of their youth.  Because music has such a short shelf life, you have two or three camps in any church with a large congregation.  After you endure the same people from each camp critiquing your worship every Sunday for about 10 years, you’ll come to know that it’s no use.  You cannot please man and no matter how hard you try, it will never work.  If you resort to pleasing one or the other, the ones you please will stay and the others will be disgruntled at best or simply leave and go where their preferences reside.

Hopefully you’ve made it this far and are over the fact that you’ve probably engaged in something dear to your heart, yet realize that if what we say is true, it could be all for nought.  It’s not all for nought!  If you are a true worshipper, then worship Christ outside the “church that man has built”.  Worship him in freedom outside any order man establishes or pushes on you.  Be encouraged in finding those who just want to worship, to sing a new song and not to perform.  Your personal relationship with Him is all that matters.  The confines you have experienced in this “church that man built” are extreme, debilitating and stifling.  The church of the 1st century didn’t know any of these.  Today’s generation is finding this out.

God Bless,

Deacon & Usher

Excerpts taken from Pagan Christianity?  Frank Viola George Barna (Chapters 3 and 7)Copyright 2002, 2008


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