Posts Tagged ‘Usher’

Divide & Conquer

April 20, 2009

Usher:  Deak, I been told that the church is supposed to be separated from state and I don’t have a problem with that.  But how come all them humans run the church like a business?

Deacon: They are raised and taught in a “command and conquer” society where rigid guidelines and hierarchy are the norm.  (Unlike how the church was actually established around a decentralized model with not titles, no bosses and no hierarchy.)

Usher: So that’s why the pastor is the CEO, the assistant is the aggressive VP with the pedigree pursuing the career path and the sheep are mere afterthoughts?

Deacon: You go it!  They simply see church as a vocation and nothing more.  Once they find a place where they can attain control, they must build up their congregation so they can store away their retirements and 401Ks and all that crap.  The sheep are the ones who fund it all, but nothing more.

Usher: So where is God in all this?  Don’t they know that the “command and conquer” model is subject to strife, infighting and easily overthrown or divided?

Deacon:  That doesn’t really matter to them.  In fact, it plays right into their hand.  It’s because they are in it mostly for the money.  (If you took away their money, they’d leave.) When things get rough, they simply pacify the sheep with programs (crumbs) and they use the sheep money to fund it all.  Kind of interesting, eh?  In the days of the Apache, the government couldn’t tame the Apache because they were decentralized.  Killing them was actually making them multiply.  They had no chiefs and no hierarchy, they operated in circles of influence.  Destroy one circle, and two more would crop up. They were a nemesis even into the 20th century after most of the other tribes had been conquered.

Usher: How did the government finally conquer them?

Deacon: Funny you should ask.  They gave the spiritual leaders (who operated just like al qaeda cell group leaders), the Nant’ans – cattle.  With this brought prestige and a pecking order and voila!  In just a few years, the Apaches were tamed and living out their lives in reservations with cows and booze!

Usher: Kind of like dumb Christians going to church every Sunday and doing just what the pastor wants in exchange for babysitting, donuts and coffee?  And all at the expense of the sheep?

Deacon: Most people would say your depiction is a little harsh, but you get the picture….

Usher: Wow, don’t the sheep know that if they simply stop going, all of the corruption will stop? They don’t need these greedy blokes to pacify them and lull them into a false sense of security.  And if they sat and did the math and realized that all that “tithe” is just funding the 401K and paying for the home of some money-grubbing pastor, why won’t they walk away?

Deacon: The oldest and largest companies in the world are insurance companies.  They sell peace-of-mind and nothing more.  Sheep are dumb and they will pay anything for someone to tell them everything is “gonna be all right”.

Buzzard Vacation – We’re back – where’s the roadkill?

April 15, 2009

Deacon: Usher, so you didn’t tell anyone we were taking 6 weeks off?

Usher:  Nope.  Not my job.   Pastor don’t check in with me when he goes on vacation, he just invites the missionaries in to take my money!

Deacon:  You’re hopeless.  With that kind of attitude, you won’t keep many friends.

Usher: Who needs friends?  Then I’d just have to share the roadkill.

Is Christianity a “credence good”?

February 13, 2009

Usher: Deak, I was studying how the humans do church and credence good came up in my Wiki search…

Deacon: That’s pushing the envelope just a little, don’t you think?

Usher: I don’t think so – after all, people take the advice every week on what they should do, then they trust the guy giving the advice, pay him huge amounts of money (as he instructs them) and according to the definition, they have no way of knowing if what they do has any affect…

Isn’t it sweet when you can provide a “service” to people who have no way to measure it’s effectiveness?

Deacon: But people don’t consider church a service, do they?

Usher: I don’t know what to call it other than a service.  They bring their kids in for “servicing” in nursery and Sunday School, they call the weekly meeting a “service”, and then they call their members to “serve” for free….What a cool racket…I think we should have a service every time we find roadkill and then we could charge admission to have access to what is actually free….We could get rich and everyone would simply keep coming back and paying us for a good that is “assumed” as opposed to being real…

What the $#@%^ were they thinkin!!!!

February 5, 2009

Usher: Deak, check out this story and please tell me these guys aren’t that stupid!!!!

At least 24 churches in southeast Michigan and 176 nationwide are victims of what their lawyers said is a multimillion-dollar scam that promised educational video terminals at no cost but instead drained several churches’ treasuries and now threatens some with the loss of their buildings.  Read the whole story…

Deacon: I can’t disagree with you on this one kid.  Imagine if they spent time praying instead of listening to some scam artist selling them technology and the “newest” thing….

Usher: It’s actually brilliant – If the government can bilk all of these people out of their life savings and then give it all back to the banks in the stimulus, why can’t these crooks bilk the churches out of all their future revenue?  No stone left unturned…

Faith in the Increase – Not an Increase in Faith

January 28, 2009

Usher:  Deak, those humans really got it easy.

Deacon: How’s that Usher – what’s buggin’ you now?

Usher: Well, they have American Express, Citibank, Capital One and Fannie Mae

Deacon: So, it’s they way they go about their lives – it’s all based on credit.

Usher: How come we don’t have a Roadkill Express or a Fowler’s Blanche?  We could go to the roadkill store and just buy our roadkill instead of having to scout and fly, scout and fly.  Life would be so much more predictable!

Deacon: Usher, if you did that – you’d forget where the roadkill really comes from , now wouldn’t you?

Mommy, can we go to Sunday School?

January 27, 2009

Usher: Deak, in reference to an earlier post   Blind Faith     take a look at these:

A 44-year-old married father of six who teaches Sunday school at a Corona church is facing criminal charges for allegedly molesting a 12-year-old girl in 2003.

Prosecutors say John Calvin Savage taught the girl in Sunday school at Grace Baptist Church, and touched her inappropriately when she visited his Ontario home to perform chores.  read more…

Sunday school teacher accused of molesting children pleads guilty

August 21st, 2008, 7:58 pm · 3 Comments · posted by Eddi Trevizo

A Sunday school teacher who sexually molested two young girls at a Chandler church, pled guilty to several charges against him Thursday.  read more…

Terrell teacher accused of abusing additional students

 12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, June 19, 2008

 By STEVE THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News
sthompson@dallasnews.com

 TERRELL – A popular third-grade teacher at J.W. Long Elementary School has been accused of sexually assaulting three of his students, and police say they have reason to believe he has assaulted others.

Salvador Mata, 51, was arrested Sunday on one count of sexual assault of a child and held in the Kaufman County Jail. Officials announced two more counts Wednesday, setting his bail at $750,000.

“We have information that leads us to believe there are additional victims, possibly from other years,” said Terrell police Chief Todd A. Miller, asking parents with any suspicions to step forward. “This investigation is by no means over.”

Mr. Mata was teaching English as a second language at the school and has worked at the district since 2000, school officials say. He has also taught Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Terrell.  read more…

Deacon: Why is it so widespread?  Do people really not get it? What are pastors thinking?

Usher: Pastors are often lack in these areas.  After all, priority is not Sunday School.  Sunday School is a program to attract new members, and babysit kids while they collect the tithe from the naive.

Deacon: Don’t these people know that the Sunday School is one of the most powerful tools in that nearly 66% of all choose Christ before they’re teenagers?  See statistics here…

Usher: You’d think they’d have figured that out by now…But then again, pastors are more concerned with appeasing the adults in exchange for their livelihood than they are in winning souls….if this isn’t proof, then I don’t know what is!

Institutional Church or “Intensive Care”

January 14, 2009

Usher: So Deak, I’ve come to the conclusion that IC has another meaning.

Deacon: What’s that?

Usher: “Intensive Care”

Deacon: Explain

Usher: Patient (laypeople) in bed, watching the show on tv (worship, preaching), being waited on hand and foot by the nurses (program directors).  The doctor (pastor) comes in once in awhile and briefly looks at the patient and prescribes more rest, more programs and more explanation as to what the patient is to do.  There’s only one slight difference….

Deacon: What’s that?

Usher: Instead of the hospital owning the beds, the doctor owns the hospital and the more beds he fills, the richer he gets.  There is no reason for the patient to leave.  No rehab (that would take the duties away from the pastor and he might have to share the money).  God forbid the patient get well, get up out of bed and go build his own hospital and go into competition!

Deacon: Sounds more like “Invalid Care” to me…..

Jesusbucks!

January 9, 2009

Usher: Deak, are Western Christians just more “stupid” than the average human?

Deacon: To what are you referring to now?

Usher: Their “church planting” practices.  They simply just don’t get it. 

Deacon: How so?

Usher: Well, they take the idea of  “franchising”, they call it “church planting” and then they forget about the most important parts!

Deacon: What do you mean?

Usher: Well, they simply go half way.  They hire these young dudes fresh out of the seminary, make ‘em assistants and youth pastors and then they just leave them up to their own devices!  Then they end up with 35,000 denominations and a watered-down brand.  They never close the deal!

Deacon: What should they do?

Usher: Everyone knows that the key to succes is franchising.  Recruit the franchisee (pastors) into a long term commitment, make them swear their allegiance to to the mother ship and then use every legal vehicle and disclosure document to either confuse them, trap them or keep them silent.  Add to this a proprietary system (sole source providers [denomination], proprietary software [doctrine/brand/protocol], indigent service folk [board], micro-managing regional watchdogs [management/Vatican], lazy in-house counsel [lawyers], super PR department [press control/propaganda], senator on the hill [political insurance]) and you’re on your way to absolute prosperity.

Deacon: Usher, you’ve described nothing more than a feudal system of control, deceit and sleight-of-hand!

Usher: Exactly!  They simply need to all get on the same page and build the brand!  They can call it Jesusbucks! If they’d just trade in the denomination for a universal brand, they’d be recognized around the world!  There’d be no confusion.  Everyone would make money!  A Jesusbucks on every corner!  Has a nice ring, don’t you think?

Deacon: Usher, you’ve gone off the top branch!

Usher: It would go something like this:  

“Sir, how would you like your religion?  Protestant blend? Light on the conscience? Lukewarm? and would you like some non-convicting rationalization with that? Please make yourself comfortable in our worship center while we fix you right up!

“Next please” – Non-denominational blend? Extra heavy on the condemnation? Hell fire hot and NO GRACE!  Sir, your order will be right up.  Have a seat against the elder’s wall and we’ll be right with you.

“Can I help the next Christian in line?”  Catholic blend? on ice?  Mass rush and hold the pergatory (that will require a 15% gratuity, sir)!  Coming right up sir, please step to the front of the line!  We like tippers!

Usher’s Resolution – Blogroll

January 3, 2009

Usher: Hey Deak, I’m done with my resolution – how about you?

Deacon: What is it?

Usher: To finish a blogroll of everyone who commented on our blog from ’07

Deacon: Usher, you’re supposed to make a resolution something in your life you’re going to change, not a task you can finish in a few hours!

Usher: Deak, even a buzzard knows it can’t change of it’s own self will – that’s God’s job…..

“twas the night before Christmas” – a buzzard’s story

December 23, 2008

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the valley

There was no roadkill, no food for the galley (bah humbug – buzzards don’t have galleys!)

The stockings were hung by the old Carson place

 In hopes that Mercedes or Jag would meet Rudolph grille-to-face

 The children were shivering huddled close in the nest

While they dreamed of fresh roadkill,  a bloody highway fest’

And mamma with her worries, I decided no issue to make,

Had just settled in for what was to be a night with nary a brake,

When out on the interstate, the sound of hoofbeats grew suddenly loud

I sprang from the branch and flew on over, in hopes of a cloud (of smoke that is).

There were sirens and tow trucks and a million shards of safety glass,

There were cops with white gloves urging the rubber-neckers to pass.

I blinked once and then twice Oh my word could it be?

I circled again and again and finally lit on a  tree

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a wreck between a Hummer and an Escalade, and ten dead reindeer!

Emotions were high, blame was flying around, feelings were bent

The steam from the corpses was a heavenly scent

More rapid than eagles o’er  the valley they came,

They whistled, they shouted, as they sang His sweet name;

It was truly a miracle, a story one could not possibly make up

His provision was more than plenty, overflowing was the buzzard’s cup

To the top of the fir tree! to the top of town hall!

Come all you buzzards, come one come all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

The sheer number of buzzards blackened  the sky,

From every draw and every hollow, the buzzards they flew,

They brought all their friends and relatives too.

And then, in a twinkling, The herd of reindeer turned black

Feathers flew, flesh was ripped, oh how the beaks did smack.

The humans had left, the birds had to work fast

To beat the city workers who would show up signaling their last (bite of course)

(Forget the next part about a fat little old man named ‘Nick

Cause he’s  just not real – he’s a fable – a trick)

It was a feast never to be equaled, the buzzards feasted the whole night

The utility workers had taken a personal day and were nowhere in sight

Every buzzard in the valley had fresh roadkill, sweet dreams and peace

Merry Christmas to all, to God be the glory and to all a good roadkill night! 

Saddleback One Card!

December 22, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, did you get your new Saddleback One Card?

Deacon: What on earth are you talking about?

Usher: It’s a new promotion by Warren’s church.  You can now get points based on how much you tithe, how many sermons you buy from their store and for regular attendance!

Deacon: You can’t be serious.  What on earth would you use points in church for?

Usher: Are you kidding me Deak?  I can get free schmultsy Christian CDs based on how much tithe I give.  No one will ever know.  I just swipe my card at those cool ATM (automatic tithing machines) in the foyer and it’ll secretly record my points and send me a statement.  Grand prize is box seats right up front so I can see Rick and his team, possibly get his autograph and if I can accrue 10,000 bonus points, I can have lunch with him!

Deacon: You’ve got to be off your perch there Usher.

Usher:  I’m opting for a picture of Rick on my card, during his invocation with Barack Obama…..I fell blessed.

When the Backbone of Consumerism dies….

December 16, 2008

Usher: I been thinkin’ Deak, about what is going to happen when consumerism ceases to be the backbone of this country.

Deacon: You think it will ever happen?

Usher: It’s inevitable. The bubble is bursting.  Madoff is enough to prove this.  Here’s a guy who’s been running a Ponzi scheme right under Wall Street’s nose for nearly 40 years!  They actually made him head of Nasdaq – how’s that for executive accountability!  The government  rebuilt it (using socialism techniques) after the first depression, but it might just be too big and unmanageable to build back this time.  Too many people, too much crisis, not enough resources 70 years later.  Other countries have tried to copy the US consumerist model and have either failed or are failing (Japan (deflation), Iraq (democracy), Russia (pseudo commudemocracy), countries in Central America & Africa (who knows what their version is called).

Deacon: So how will the “christians” respond when they:

  • watch their “pastors” leave for congregations for more money
  • are forced to meet in buildings with no steeples, no heat, no electricity, no flat screens and no PA systems 
  • have nothing in the treasury to help the poor who show up and they have to share their food, clothing and housing with the undesirables
  • forego tithe to feed their families or possibly their neighbors
  • are not be able to pay back their creditors because there are no jobs or hope of jobs
  • are forced to forgive those who have borrowed money from them and who they know will never be able to pay them back
  • have paid all their bills on time, have great credit and are still ruined because of what Wall Street has done
  • spend most of their day fending for food instead of shopping for things that end up in yard sales or landfills
  • go to the landfill to find things to sell for food
  • stop preaching about the good life to come when it’s obvious it has passed
  • drive around in cars that are uninsured and unpaid for – but no one to repossess them
  • bury their dead in pine boxes in holes they dig with their Home Depot shovels
  • lose their churches to banks and lenders who either tear them down or board them up and fence them off
  • end up living two or three to a room because there are no more jobs and no money and nowhere to eat out or shop….
  • wake up to find squatters living in their garages, yards, barns, sheds or cars
  • use their sports stadiums as shelters
  • are forced to teach their own children because the governments go broke and the schools have all closed
  • or their relatives/friends/brethren are put in jail for failing to pay their taxes and debt
  • are turned in by their neighbors, falsely accused of petty crimes in exchange for food and favors
  • are falsely accused of helping people who the government has blacklisted or cast out
  • have to work every waking hour just to eat and fend for those who cannot hunt for food
  • have no government to decide matters and have to carry out their own courts and judgments
  • cannot get a job with their Ivy League pedigrees or their careers were founded on the model of consumerism
  • are forced to beg for food or money to buy food as the only paying jobs are dishonest, illegal or predatory
  • are asked to leave their neighborhoods because their wealthy neighbors are no longer accepting of them, now that they’re poor
  • look out the window and see American “refugees” in droves walking down the highway heading nowhere because they have been turned away and have no money, no home, no car and no job

Deacon: I think you’re a little over-the-top Usher. 

Usher: Really?  So tell me where all the people who are losing their homes going to live?  They couldn’t pay a mortgage, what makes you think they can afford a rental (now owned by wealthy predators).  Will the christians take them in or send them to the government for help?

Measure What? How many people “you” lead to Christ?

December 14, 2008

Comments from another post:

http://chickchaotic.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/missional-misgivings-and-malformed-metaphors/

http://chickchaotic.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/missional-misgivings-and-malformed-metaphors/feed/

Organic or Steroids – What does your church sell?

December 12, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, brilliant post here – couldn’t help but tout it! Since we had such a good conversation because of it:

http://kingdomgrace.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/disciples-or-converts/

and Mark’s post shows it affected him with a slight twist (of lemon) hehe

http://mark-bymaswell.blogspot.com/2008/12/would-you-like-some-cracked-pepper-sir.html

Conversation that ensued after reading these:

Usher: Hey Deak, I’m not sure I take issue or not regarding the comment on “birds and imprinting”, but no bother.  I just wanted to bring out the point of how foreign “organic” mindsets are in today’s human western culture.  Is it any wonder that the church is so much a reflection of the supermarket?

 

Deacon: Go on, I’m listening.

 

Usher: There’s no place for “ugly carrots” in the produce section of today’s markets.  God forbid an ugly apple, pear, banana, mango, off color head of broccoli or anything else for that matter.  The first inclination to choose is that which is pretty and uniform and without blemish.  Taste, longevity and danger are all secondary.

 

Deacon: What brought all this on?

 

Usher: Most likely TV and the press I guess.  Ugly people don’t make it onto TV so the world strives to be thin and pretty and perfect, just like the stars and their air-brushed magazine covers.

 

Deacon: Your point?

 

Usher:  Churches have followed suit.  They’re full of “gifted” orators, professional musicians, accomplished businessmen on the committees and so on.  Entertainment and accommodation are the criteria the humans migrate to.  In the meantime, the “leaders” have to have ways to measure.  They migrate to numbers.  Numbers can be substantiated and boasted about.  The laypeople want pretty programs, shows and great music along with gifted sermonettes.  The pastors want accolades, money to add staff to share in the work and build job security as well as grow their careers.

 

Deacon: So where is discipleship in all that?

 

Usher: My  point exactly! 

 

Deacon: Can discipleship function in today’s church in the midst of all the other stuff?

 

Usher: Not if leaders are bent on measuring their success.  This is where the problem starts.  If you take away the programs (you lose the crowds).  Take away the great orators (you lose the crowds).  Take away the money (you lose the crowds and the buildings).  Take away the professional musicians (you lose the crowds).  Take away the money (you lose the career-oriented staff) and voila!  Now you haven’t the distractions, nor the expectations, nor the crowds. 

 

Deacon: So you’re saying that crowds = success?

 

Usher That’s kind of what it all boils down to.  Ask the televangelists.  Crowds equal numbers, numbers equals money, money equals success and thus, God must be in it.

 

Deacon: So if there are no crowds, then there is no money, how does the church grow?

 

Usher: Christ had only 12 disciples.  He didn’t say things to the crowds to attract them or their money, in fact the largest crowds he attracted, he fed.  And then he said tough things to the crowds and the crowds left and he went about his discipling.  Scriptures say he wasn’t a “special” or “beautiful” person.  Maybe this was because he knew if he came to earth a beautiful being, then we would all feel insecure because we are all imperfect when we compare ourselves to “beautiful” people.  (Even beautiful people have proven this is true.) He discipled imperfect people and the church survived all these years without “perfect” people.

 

Deacon: So this is why the church seems to be portraying itself to be the “perfect” or “blessed” one?

 

Usher: A discipler works with the ground that he’s on, with the people God gives him.  He sees everyone a precious gift from God.  He is challenged to bring out God in these people no matter their lot in life.  Every member has a place in God’s kingdom, but not in man’s.  Today’s church seems to “market to the people who want to be like us” creating sects and divisions and exclusivity.  Thus the 35,000 denominations.  In an environment like this, everyone strives to become like the leader, the perfect carrot if you will.  Except they don’t know he is just like them if you take away the steroids, the pesticides, the pretty packaging and the artificial coloring.  In essence, the church normalizes and cripples the body and discipleship empowers the body.  If pastors didn’t care about credit and measurement and they truly wanted the kingdom to prevail, they’d do all within their ability to empower the kingdom.  This would eliminate the focus of one pastor to many and bring on the every man a minister.  The church would then become the all-powerful organic vehicle it was in the first century.  A true discipler as mentioned in comments above operates under the radar.  They seek no glory.  They thrive on seeing the kingdom multiply itself.  They rarely take titles, they urge their disciples to follow in their footsteps and become disciplers. They are often unrecognizable in a crowd.

Blind Faith or Faithful Blindness?

December 10, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, do the people really  know who is teaching their children in Sunday School?

Deacon:  They assume a devoted christian I’m sure.

Usher: How can they be so sure Deak?  No inquiries?  No checking the curriculum?  Rarely do they even talk to the teacher.  They simply pick up their kids and thank the teacher for whatever they did, good or bad. 

Deacon: They’re sure the pastor has it all under control.

Usher:  A case of blind faith or faithful blindness?

The True Provision “Vehicle”

November 28, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, you think people really believe they have the power to change the earth, stop global warming and “preserve” the earth for tomorrow?

Deacon: Many do.  The gospel they know is a much more kinder, gentler one than us buzzards know.

Usher: Too bad they have to deal with currency as their provision vehicle.  It makes all of them trust in their bank account or their 401K. 

Deacon: They should learn the real true vehicle of provision.

Usher: What’s that? 

Deacon: Why the automobile of course.  Without it, there would be no roadkill!

“It’s Just Church”

November 20, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, I think I’ve got the perfect out for pastors!

Deack: Why do pastors need an out?

Usher: Because they all use different biblical excuses to back their choices, cover up their real motives and snow the church goers.  They need to be just like the CEOs of our great capitalistic country and tell everyone the same thing in response to any decision that the congregation might disagree with.

Deacon: And what’s that?

Usher: See below…

Layperson: Pastor, how come you built a bigger building and more classrooms instead of giving more money to the mission field?

Pastor:  You have to understand that this is what the people demand of us.  They wanted more programs and better facilities for their privileged children, after all “It’s just church”

Layperson: Pastor, I understand you’re stopping the homeless ministry in light of increasing the choir budget and adding a new addition onto the chapel. 

Pastor: We really don’t have the resources to help the homeless.  There are much more qualified services that are offered by the state.  It’s really not our calling.  We are not the answer to today’s social demise, after all, “we’re only a church”.

Layperson: Pastor, can we sponsor the orphanage infrastructure project so they can have clean drinking water and a working septic system?  If we forego the mission trip ($1500/kid x 30 kids) and simply give the money directly to the orphanage, they can hire local companies to do the work that has been needed for 5 years.

Pastor: We’ve already committed to the mission trip.  I’m afraid this type of change would be too disruptive to the plans everyone has made for the trip.  Maybe next year.  After all, we can’t fix the world, “we’re only one church”.

Pastor “squirmers” Questions

November 11, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, want to make a pastor squirm?

Deacon: Sure, that’s fun, we deacons are pretty damn good at it.

Usher: I beg your pardon, I think you suck at it.

Deacon: You haven’t been in the pastor’s office on many occasions, how would you know?

Usher: I see the results.  Tell me how your pastor would answer the following (better yet, tell me how your pastor, your televangelist or your missional church planter would answer these questions):

Layman: Pastor, I’m not going to be able to make my jumbo payment on my mortgage in December, can you help?

Pastor: How much is it?

Layman: $6,000

Pastor: (whispers to Deacon) How much money do we have in the treasury?

Deacon: Only $3,000 after we pay your salary.

Usher: Or how about this one Deak?

 

Layman: Pastor, my sun was arrested last night for a second time and I cannot make bail. 

 

Pastor: What did he do?  He was caught in a car with a friend who had a large amount of drugs, cocaine.  He was arrested as an accomplice and is being charged with felony drug possession.

 

Layman: If I cannot make bail by tonight, they’ll move him to Rykers where he’ll obviously be in grave danger.

 

Pastor: What is the bail?

 

Layman: $250,000

 

Usher: And finally Deak, how about this one?

 

Deacon: Pastor, it’s been brought to my attention that there are 6 families in our church who are in houses that have been foreclosed on due to unemployment and the housing crisis.

 

Pastor: And what do you think we can do?

 

Deacon: I’m not sure Pastor, 3 of them are without any savings as they are from small business and they have no savings left.  They are going to most likely end up on the street or in a shelter.

Usher: So Deak, tell me your pastor has faced these and if so, how did he answer them?

Dissention – Good or Bad?

November 8, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak – I read a really cool quote today on dissent

Deacon: Yeah, share it with me….

Usher: It’s from another blogging soul….goes like this…

“Dissent is a gift to the church. It is the imagination of the prophets that continually calls us back to our identity as the peculiar people of God. – Shaine Claiborne – the simpleway.org

Usher: When did the institutional do anything but condemn dissent?  What if we could actually question the modern church?

Deacon: Aren’t you asking for a lot of trouble?

Usher: From who?  If one considers its own works, its reputation, its pride and its worth as nothing, then what’s the risk?  Is trouble being disparaged or condemned by those who have little or no understanding actually a threat?  I can hear the dialogue go kind of like this…..

Pastor: While we take communion, consider your sins against your brother and don’t come to the table = Because of this, among you many are weak and sickly, and many sleep…

Dissenter: But pastor, wasn’t the Lord’s supper to celebrate, to fellowship and to revel in Christ’s sacrifice for our freedom from sin?

Pastor: Young man, on what authority do you speak? 

Dissenter: The same authority as you claim – Christ!  Or is it on the authority granted to you by your Harvard degree?

Pastor: Young man, do you not have reverence for the Lord’s house?

Dissenter: Is this the Lord’s house?  Or is it the church across the street, or the one across town – or one of the other 33,000 denominational “houses of worship”?  I’m confused?

Pastor: Young man you are disrupting the Lord’s supper!

Dissenter: But Pastor, where is your proof that Christ truly asked for us to remember him by drinking a thimble full of Welch’s and a matsa crumb while sitting in defeat and condemnation for our shortcomings?

Pastor: Son, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, your comments are inappropriate!

Dissenter: Pastor, you haven’t answered my question – by what authority do you declare the Lord’s supper a time of regret, condemnation and pagan ritual?

Deacon: Wow, God help the pastor who is faced with such a dissenter!

Ultimate Job Security

November 4, 2008

Usher: Deak, I need a job that has a great future

Deacon: So, go to school and get a degree, a pedigree if you will and you’ll have that…

Usher: Yeah, but what kind of pedigree has the greatest amount of security, benefits, longevity and you know – kind of perfect for the long haul

Deacon: It’s not that easy to predict because usually once the industry takes off and proves itself, it’s old hat in the market but new in academia.  If you’re not on the cutting edge, you’re the tail wagging the dog.

Usher: Kind of like IT in the 80s, Internet & Telecom in the 90’s and investment banking today?

Deacon: You got it.  Nothing is secure.  Everything is fluid and all vocations seem to have a very short shelf life.  And in this society, it’s getting shorter and shorter what with the boomers retiring and all.  I’m beginning to think that geriatrics will be the next up and coming hot vocation!

Usher: I beg your pardon – I think I know the perfect vocation that has none of what you describe.

Deacon: What on earth are you talking about?

Usher: Well, you don’t need funding or a business plan.  You do need an education, but it doesn’t have to be from a Harvard or a Yale or an MIT. 

Deacon: Go on, I’m intrigued..

Usher: You get your own staff and budgets typically grow every year. 

Deacon: Sounds fairly interesting…

Usher: Best of all, you determine your own work schedule, your free time, when you vacation and for the most part, you work a 40 hour week.  Benefits are included and if they’re not sufficient, you simply apply for better.  You have full authority with autonomy!

Deacon: With a job like that, there must a high barrier to entry major job requirements?

Usher: Not really.  You see you can write your own bylaws and if they don’t work, you simply change them from time to time. “Everything in context” they say.

Deacon: What about accountability?

Usher: You’re almost always in a satellite capacity if you’re part of a larger organization, but if it’s your own, then you’re pretty much your own boss.  Not a lot of accountability as your customers are usually distracted with other issues like paying mortgages, borrowing for tuition and planning their vacations.

Deacon: Tell me more about the customers?

Usher: Well it’s a great vocation as most customers are repeat customers and there are multiple revenue streams.  If things get tight, one simply raises more funds from the same customer base!  They’re always willing to bring more because they’re afraid if they don’t, they might suffer. 

Deacon: What’s the product or service?

Usher: A bunch of intangibles is how I’d describe it.  Kind of like insurance, but not really.  A little like education, but not really.  A lot like politics in that the onus is really on the customer, except at election time when all the promises are made.  After election, the customer assumes all of the risk and let’s you off the hook.  They never had a choice!  All one must do is get elected.

Deacon: So let me get this straight.  There is little or no accountability, a ton of security, no tangible products or services and little to no risk?  You technically only have to be elected once and you’re in for the duration.  With all those benefits, there must be limited openings with fierce competition?

Usher: Not really.  In fact, it’s one of the easiest vocations to acquire.  I have yet to meet a single person who flunked out of university pursuing this type of career.  Some choose another major but never have I heard of someone seeking out this vocation and failing.  It’s subjective in nature and not really black and white.  Kind of like a politically correct soccer league where everyone plays and everyone gets a trophy at year’s end.

Deacon: OK, I’m baffled.  What on earth could be so grand?

Usher: Why, pastoring a church of course!  Where is your head Deak?  It’s the perfect vocation.  You never have to be right, you can always find a scriptural reference to your point of view that cannot be challenged and you can throw anyone out who doesn’t agree.  There are tons of churches begging for a pastor to lead them and they pay you, listen to you every Sunday (only for an hour tops though) and whatever you tell them, they believe.  As long as you fill it full of rhetoric, idealisms, nothing absolute, they will rationalize it into their own set of circumstances and even if they question you, the Bible isn’t black and white and thus, there are no definitives.  All you have to give them is programs for their kids (and they do all the work) and they come back week after week after week.  You can always send them on their merry way if they disagree by either isolating them, ignoring them, disfellowshipping them, or best of all, condemn them for being disgruntled and dis’sing God’s church and people.  Accuse them of “sowing discord” or attack their character by telling them to study the Bible and repent from their dissenting ways.  That usually works quite well.  If none of those work, you simply have breakfast with them and suggest they find another place to hang their hat.  After all, no pastor deserves to be questioned or held accountable by a layperson, ‘eh Deak?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.