By Coach Dave Daubenmire"Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. " -Sam Pascoe
"An enterprise. That’s a business. "After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha’s raised hand, "Yes, Martha. " She asked such a simple question, "A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?" I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, "Yes. " She continued, "But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?" as told by David Ryser
I’ve been fighting for a long time the prompting of my inner man to take on this subject. I have been a sellout. A pimp , if you will. Not on purpose. It is easy to justify our lack of courage when confronted with difficult issues. I try to faithfully deliver the mail as the Lord hands it to me.
You see, I have pulled my punches. I have softened the blow. I have spanked with a newspaper when they deserved a belt. I have sold out on the Truth. I have not called a spade a spade. I have taken the be-nice approach and have listened to the "touch not God’s anointed" mentality. I have prostituted the Truth. For that I am sorry.
Oh, my intentions were good. I had hoped that as I exposed the "unfruitful works of darkness" that the churches would eventually awaken and begin to push back against the enemy. After ten years of trying to awaken "The Church" to the problem I have finally mustered the courage to say what I have known all along. "The Church" IS the problem. It has become a pimp, selling the works of "the body" for personal satisfaction. Most of the pulpits are filled by "hirelings" (more on that in a future commentary), men and women who stand in the pulpit without a calling, without an anointing, and without courage. They are man pleasers, living off of "the Body" as they sell it out for their own whims and pleasures. Greedy Dogs, Isaiah called them. Blind watchmen.. .loving to sleep.. .leading the flock astray.
Not all of the churches. If you are a pastor and have read this far then I am probably not talking about you. I have met many courageous men who boldly live out the command to "lead them out." You know who you are. You are the ones who have been criticized, belittled, and called names by the "pimp in the pulpit" at the big church downtown.
You see, to him, the church is a business…an enterprise…a social club totally dependent on butts and bucks. It is a place to make business contacts, network with others in the community, and soothe one’s conscience through weekly attendance and philanthropy. It is no different from a whore house where a woman’s body is sold for the pleasure of another. Love-less intercourse is prostitution. Most church goers love the service that Jesus provides (membership has its privileges) but don’t really know the Jesus who provides it.
.I’ll be honest. I’ve been afraid to say some of these things for fear of alienating even more pastors. I was afraid that my harshness might alienate those "frozen chosen" pastors and eliminate opportunities to "minister" to their congregations. That’s where I have pimped-out my call. The pastors are not the answer, they are the problem.
Instead of cleaning out Congress perhaps we should start by cleaning out the pulpit. Judgment begins first in the house of God. America is a reflection of the churches and the churches are a reflection of the pulpits. It is time to "throw the bums out"…even if they do hide behind the "touch not my anointed." When a football team is under-performing who gets the boot? Yep, the coach.
Allow me to be frank and cut to the chase. Pick up your family and get out of the mausoleum you are attending and find a place that serves the Lord. I couldn’t care less how many generations your family has been a member, how many pews your family has donated, and how many of your friends attend. Sitting on your butt every Sunday is not serving the Lord, it is the Lord serving you. The feel-good Gospel is a fraud. Jesus taught self-sacrifice not self-fulfillment. "Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends…." Love demands sacrifice. What have you sacrificed for your faith? You are engaging in Spiritual welfare…living off of the efforts of others.
Start fighting back by no longer giving them your money. Don’t allow them to hit you over the “bring all of the tithes into the storehouse” hammer without asking yourself
some very important questions. What is a storehouse and what is its purpose? What does the Scripture mean by "meat in my house" and who is the meat for? Are there families in your "church" who are losing their homes? Is that not who the "meat in the house" was stored up for or were the storehouse funds used for a new parking lot?
Is the purpose of the tithe to pay senior pastors, associate pastors, youth ministers, worship leaders, and secretaries to do "ministry?" Can’t you "tithe" different places? Did the New Testament church teach the concept of "professional" Christians or were the elders of the church also tent-makers ? Does "meat in my house" mean bigger buildings, paved parking lots, and padded pews? Is your "church" experiencing a budget crunch right now because they have eaten the meat that should have been placed in the storehouse? I know, "let them eat blacktop."
Is storehouse money supposed to be spent on the already converted or on seeking and saving that which is lost? What percent of your church’s budget go to "missions"… as if that is a separate job…in comparison to utilities, paper, salaries, and operating expenses?
Don’t stop giving, just change where you give. Find a ministry that is using the money to reach out to the community and send your tithe there. Remember, it is the "Lord’s house" into which your finances are to be offered….not some social club to which your tithe is nothing more than monthly dues. It is time you asked yourself if the Spirit still dwells in your church.
My wife and I have spent the last few weeks reading the book of Acts in our morning devotionals. You should do the same. They spread the Gospel around the world at great personal peril and sacrifice. The self-serving American-Church is a pathetic step-child to Christianity’s founding fathers.
Most churches love money, chase money, compromise over money. A pastor in New York was just fired from his $600,000 salary! The national average for pastors is $84,426! No wonder they won’t speak against sin! Why not include those wealthy homosexuals in the congregation!
People have asked me to start a church. I tell them that they are nuts. Truth empties churches, it doesn’t fill them. My friend Flip Benham says guys like me would be the Dr. Kervorkian of church growth. What man of God would want to wipe noses when he could fight evil? No thanks. At least on the streets I can recognize the enemy. Funny isn’t it? The pimps in the pulpits accuse street preachers of being undignified.