Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#273- Matt Maddix (And how to sell souls for money)

Editor's Note- When you search Apostolic in Google, this site is the fifth page that pops up. So thank you for continually visiting, even when I'm off in some netherworld totally neglecting my duty to the Truth of the Oneness Pentecostal message. That said, I'm hoping to move up on the list. Not because this site needs publicity or money (since the ads are gone). But because there's some real damaging things going on within Oneness Pentecostalism. Unacceptable behavior and beliefs for sure. The homophobia I've seen on Facebook is shocking. The silliness of this girl has provided me months worth of material to write about:

And then there's the following guest post that I was sent a couple months back which addresses ludicrous behavior of one of the most loved preachers within the movement...


Anyways, to the post:

Not sure if this hits too close to home for "naming people" - but I was incensed to read a recent Facebook post by Matt Maddix. (I am not his "fan" on FB or in life, but it happened to be shared by someone I'm connected to who is.) The post:

Oh, what "vision map" would that be? Could it somehow be related to the ~$10,000 worth of services and products you sell under your “persona”? We’re talking everything from $1,000 worth of Outreach training sessions to $4.95 to simply hear an MP3 of you with Joy Haney. And while you’re at it, pick up “The Healing Power of Juicing” for the low, low price of $15.00.

You know, back in 1890, some joker used to drive through towns claiming to be 100% convinced that if you drank his snake oil solution, you'd be cured of arthritis, baldness and headaches, too. But he wasn't around for more than a week or two to sit by your bedside. These costly "revival solutions" amount to as much as that. Then the home missions pastor is left behind to wonder why his church is still languishing.

I'm convinced that pastors who are struggling with growth are struggling with relevance. The more I see here on the east coast, the more I find the only growth in traditional Pentecostal churches seems to be found in undereducated communities. Or those who are educated are in a position of rapidly degrading health and desperate for answers from any source. (Note: I’m not talking about those who “grew up in the church”. This is specific to “new converts”.) I challenge you to look around at all your new converts over the last 5-10 years. How many of them had college degrees or successful business ventures before “getting in church”?

You know the old clich├ęs we all heard growing up: those with formal education are relying upon the wisdom of man instead of the wisdom of God. But it's difficult to convince someone with critical thinking skills that much of what defines us as Pentecostals has anything to do with true Christianity when they read their Bibles. The clothing, the scare tactics, the emphasis on speaking in tongues instead of the emphasis on the fruit of the Spirit...it all falls short of the whole picture that is the Gospel. Just like the snake oil salesman preyed upon the ignorant, so our traditional Apostolic churches find success in those who aren't educated enough to ask the right questions.

And since the stance of many Apostolic/Pentecostal churches has been to scorn “secular college” (instead, begrudgingly allowing their kids to attend unaccredited Bible colleges, as if there’s even an comparison between the quality of education of the two), is it a wonder that someone has come along to successfully build a business off the backs of our undereducated pastorate?

So, yes, if I could profit like Mr. Maddix, I’d be “100% convinced” of the success of my revival solutions, too. Because if you can’t sell it to yourself, you certainly can’t sell it to the rubes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

#272-Becoming a Postmodern Relativist when it's Convenient.

Okay: Wednesday, we'll have a gorgeous and scandalous guest post.... A post where SAL sells it's soul and name's names. Tell all your friends.

After that, some posts by Glen. One of them properly scandalous in it's own regard.

 After that, this blog will officially become a TMZ Jezabel and it will tell you outright about a UPC scandalous "rumor" first reported here on the blog...which I was told was not true by the very person it was about. And lo and behold, it's true.... so we get fun times "look at how silly UPCers can be" type blog. Names will be named because, you just stop caring about political standing when you care about truth against insincere rhetoric. Until then... you'll get this post which is more of a rebuttal:

One lovely thing about the UPC is they try their hardest making their belief system as rational and logical as possible. Everything can allegedly be proven. This is obviously a delusional way to go about things, especially when Christianity demands us not to have reason to believe in God but rather a simple thing called faith. But whatever....

Anyways, as much as the UPC means well about the certainty of beliefs, they certainly do a bad job proving themselves when the right questions are asked: You question and they quote scriptures. You show them a verse outside of the scripture they were quoting and they repeat the same verse they just told you but now they are screaming and upset and preaching passive aggressively against you over the pulpit. This is a incompetence 101 but whatever. Basically you realize how flimsy a lot of the logic is that seeks to "Prove" the Oneness Doctrine according to the UPC is absolutely correct. You can choose to focus on the verses they tell you and ignore the rest....

Or you can stop believing their "Full Truth"....

Or you can do what many of the feeble  in my generation have done who wanted to inherit their daddy's church:

Relativise the questions you have. By this, I mean that when you ask the right questions relentlessly without backing down to silly, irrational answers, you'll find this response in the end: "Who can know the mind of God?" or "God's ways are above our ways" or "Great is the mystery of the godhead" or something dumb....

Which basically surmounts to: "I will be logical until you point out how illogical I am being. Then I will excuse my illogical arguments by citing God and his mystery." Which, if God is mysterious in any way, why are we so sure about our arguments in the first place? Shouldn't we then start with God's mystery and then then walk towards answers in sincere humility and uncertainty?

But should you question our beliefs further, you will get this kind of argument:

"Hey Pastor Jim, I just read that women aren't supposed to have elaborate hairstyles in I Timothy 2. Yet I see these chicas all around putting all bunch of stuff in their hair and have elaborate hairstyles."

"Well the key is it's all about modesty. I timothy 2 mentions elaborate hairstyles as being against modesty. And I think our ladies have modest hairstyles"

"But they wear shiny broaches that imitate jewelry and put things in their hair that look like gold or are in fact feathers, which 100 years ago was a sign of economic affluence. All these girls are showing off dude. But they get away with it because it's not around their neck or wrist and that's messed up."

"Well every other Christian denomination fails to uphold these verses... And what we consider "immodesty" is up to each pastor to figure out. The UPC is not supposed to be a policeman over the churches. "

"Yet you say jewelry is wrong? And won't allow it on your platform"

"Because the Bible says it's wrong."

"No. YOU, the human being, just decided what was jewelry and what is not jewelry. This has nothing to do with the bible. You even said your mother-in-law, whose pentecostal, wears broaches and that's why you can't say broaches are a sin...."

"Ahhh.... Well, other people do it to. What we think is a sin is relative. And we presume God will honor what the pastor decides."

"Stop it. You're embarrassing yourself. Hone up or shut up. You claim you're a man of God. I doubt it. But if you are, I'm praying for God to do a little bit better on who he anoints to be pastor. Because you sir, are a mean mean man who likes what he likes and preaches against whoever doesn't live up to your  expectations. "

Basically when your logic and behavior fails.... A UPC pastor will point out that every other denomination fails in their own beliefs. As if that alleviates a pastor's dedication to upholding God's truth and what is written in scripture.

You'll see the most idiotic version of this logic below in all it's reality-

This post is a response to a comment I received several weeks ago when I made a post about how silly some UPCers are when they buy thousand dollar shoes and brag about it over facebook....The replying comment was so mindless and indicative of what's wrong with the Southern contingent of the UPC that I felt obligated to reply...

The commenter name "Apologetics" said:

Your complaints are becoming more weak by the post. Your entire premise could have some merit when it comes to materialism. You are pointing out about how obsessed and wrong someone is for their shoes and how great someone else is for wearing the same ones purchased on the cheap, for the last however many years. All the while, posting from a computer, probably from your parents bedroom, probably making less than 30,000 a year. You most likely own a decent vehicle, are not using public WIFI, and have cable. Costly and material goods do at some point have to be taken in context. Say this man has been saving his change, while you may have been spending frivolously on a latte or sandwich every other day. He most likely has a much greater income than you so your 30 dollar shoes could be the equivalent of her 1,000 dollar shoes. If you walked to the library, used their free wifi, and watched the NCAA tourney from Mcdonalds, and sent all the excess funds to a homeless shelter then you may have ground to stand on. If not, quit whining about someone having something you can not afford when your lifestyle by comparison is just as unbalanced most likely

He replied later to a few well reasoned arguments by other posters but his argument was much of the same solipsistic, vanity-ridden nonsense.

Which, I really do have a sincere, godly conviction against dumb arguments from oafs. These "apologists" tend to act rational and yet, somehow in their weird domain of a mind, justify their irrationality by relativising anything inconvenient to their own Oneness Pentecostalism-so called...

 Here's my response being posted for the first time....

To the sycophant above,

If you are a Christian, and God understands you as a Christian, I renounce my own Christianity at once.

More disconcerting is your inability to interpret my blog post correctly and your lack of intellect such a misreading implies. I am highly concerned about whatever future offspring you may produce in the future.

Your worldview is exactly all that is wrong with American Christianity today. Your beliefs are nothing but a poor, irrational justification for your silly lifestyle. If, you are from Texas or any of the other Southern states that are always fifty years behind history, this makes all that much more sense.

Like the good postmodern you are, you have no conviction. You are willing to make anything relative, including selling Christianity out for a shadow of what it was meant to be.

Because, let’s get this straight: You find any argument that justifies your behavior based on your sense of entitled Christianity.

You based your whole argument of justifying materialism and wealth by questioning the very perception of wealth. What may be excessive to me is not excessive to another. And if I’m following your pathetic attempt at logic correctly: My own lifestyle may be considered excessive to a homeless man (I may be giving you too much credit here because you failed to even follow your own logic to its ends).

Nevertheless your logic fails:

Your essential failure is the fact that you suggest the only people who have the right to condemn your friend for his materialist excessiveness is the man who owns nothing as you say “If you walked to the library, used their free wifi, and watched the NCAA tourney from Mcdonalds, and sent all the excess funds to a homeless shelter then you may have ground to stand on. If not, quit whining about someone having something you can not afford when your lifestyle by comparison is just as unbalanced most likely.”

As if no one else but the lowest has the ground to point out social injustice or religious buffoonery.

As if the only person who can charge a rapist for rape is the rape victim.

As if Jesus can’t help sinners since he also has the benefit of being God and thus isn't as lowly as depraved helpless humanity.

As if no one has any right to say the Nazi’s were wrong unless you were a holocaust victim.

As if the fight against slavery must be fought by the slaves?

Do you understand how stupid and idiotic your argument sounds? And yet you bad people who claim to be Christians use this kind of nonsense all the time to justify whatever it is you guys do in your weird materialist throne-rooms.

And let’s say, your ad hominem fallacy of trying to debase my argument by insulting who I am as a person is correct (which it isn’t), your accusations don’t change my argument one bit. Because unlike you, who has the inane concept of relative wealth all while calling himself Christian, I actually have the Bible as a source of my polemics.

You based your argument in postmodern relativity. I based my polemics in the Word of God. Matthew 25 for instance and much of James concur with my judgments against your friend. These verses do not indict my lifestyle whatsoever. I am innocent according to who the New Testament describes as materially wealthy and therefore sinful.

Further my point was not the pathetic nature of the shoe purchase. Even though, yes, it is pathetic and grotesque in and of itself. My argument. which was beyond your ability to interpret since it wasn't in a coloring book, was that the lady in question was so comfortable with the gift that she broadcasted her excesses through an instagram filter. Instagram being something that I cannot afford since it’s only available on smart phones. Hence my point being not just, "who are we to buy $1000 shoes?" Which is an obvious abomination itself. Rather "How corrupt are we to be okay with buying $1000 shoes and also be proud  enough to broadcast that over the internet?" 

AKA "I'm not only vain and immodest. But I promote everyone else to be envious of my own sinful vanity!!!! #LOL!VALENTINE'S DAY 2013!!!! WHAT'STHEHUSBANDGOINGTODONEXT YEARTOOUTSPENDEXPECTATIONS?!?:-)"

Normally I would recommend a little old encouragement of virtue and advise you to educate yourself by reading or something. Perhaps some Foucault or Althusser would do the trick for you. However, I am readily aware of your limited cognitive capacity to grasp what they are saying. Not to mention that your own argument infers that you are too lost in your own delusional fantasy of a religion to bother about self-education and self-improvement.
But this is all to be expected when the cross is foolishness to the world.

Instead I will proceed with a parade of insults upon you in hopes to busty up your gullies just enough to do something right with yourself for a change:

I must commend you for remaining anonymous. Had you admitted to being a parasite, I would never have bothered to read you comment.

And if by some incomprehensible logic, you are actually human, I must say your cowardice in concealing yourself helped you all the more: Had you revealed your name, we’d quickly have had you locked away in an asylum on account of your undeniable pompous, psychopathic tendencies.

Had you lived before Christ died on the cross, your very existence alone would have been enough to merit God sending a second Flood to annihilate the world all over again.

Your propensity for baroque logic that allows you to do whatever you please, adorned in all its excessive aimlessness & vanity condemns you for the most inner-ring of hell.

You are a caveman. The kind of man-boy who acquires the biggest and most expensive of everything: Colognes, Plasma TVs, toothpicks, etc….Knowing full well that you enjoy the symbol of these things beyond their actual use-value.  For this we’re all laughing at you, your impotence, and your inability to see what’s obvious to everyone (even if you haven’t read Freud):

You are a child in a man’s body, desperate to conceal what isn’t there. You are guilty of overcompensation in the worst way.

With pity,


P.S. Consider the folly of the 18th century French aristocrats and maybe you'll be saved yet.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#271-CSI (Christian Salvation Investigators): Speaking in Tongues Edition

Fellow Pentecostals, boys, girls, ghouls, and goblins,

I have written to you today with a pang of conviction inside me. I am urgent. I will not be dissuaded from my mission that will be proposed in full below. Open your ears then and give me a fair listen.

It has recently come to my attention that the decision of where we will spend eternity, be it heaven or hell, is not just based on the decision of God, nor Acts 2:38 itself, nor your own weird desire to be certain about your salvation. No. There is another in our church alters whose very existence is a byway we must all pass if we are deemed worthy of inheriting the Oneness Pentecostal truth. We need this man if we are to be certified within the company of the chosen Apostolic remnant. Because of this man, we will forever be exalted in Heaven for "Getting it Right" as opposed to those other, lesser Christians who have made minor, but grievous errors in their interpretation of the Bible and how to go to heaven.

And while Acts 2:38 doesn't mention speaking in tongues, we know darn well that speaking in tongues is implied in the verse for how else are we to gather "evidence" of the receiving of the Holy Ghost.

With that said, the man I am speaking of, is the Speaking in Tongues Certifier who, gracefully throws his ear towards any mouth that may spew weird mouth noises from their mouth because, only he can verify when tongues are spoken. If the tongues aren't weird enough, who cares? If they sound like a cheap phonetic imitation  of Brother or Sister so-and-so's own brand of speaking in tongues, pay no mind.

Whether tongues sounds "authentic" or gobbely-goo or an off-brand of pig-latin, the point is not the language. The point is that any thing other than english is passing out of our mouths. That's the Holy Ghost, and if it chooses to show-up as an endless, monotonous, one syllable repetitive lip-stammer, so be it. Because the Holy Ghost does whatever it darn well pleases. (Side-Note: Since God and the Holy Ghost are the same thing, can we just call it The God Ghost? Seems way more intimidating).

So that's the preface, man. Don't think for one second that I'm questioning the Holy Ghost here.

What I am questioning is how do we know that the tongues certifiers themselves are so trustworthy in the deciding who did and didn't speak in tongues? Especially when it looks real good to announce someone spoke in tongues, like say, one million Ethiopians, even if  a tongue-certifier didn't hear each Ethiopian speak in tongues, since when you're an english speaking evangelist, any one speaking Ethiopian sounds like speaking in tongues. And there were a million Ethiopians, way too many to hear from, duh!

Question: How can Borat show up to an altar at a camp meeting and be certified as a tongue-speaker by a big-time evangelist? Even when Borat was totally being completely insincere and fake.

I can even remember meeting someone who said they "faked" speaking in tongues because they liked a girl who belonged to the church.

So the issue here, and what I aim to resolve, is proper certification of those who "certify" the speaking in tongues of a possible convert.

Someone who has the audacity to tell a crowd of hopeful apostolics, that, that, just right there, that language that "sounds like speaking in tongues" is not really speaking in tongues. And if they question how the tongue certifier "knows" the person doesn't really have the Holy Ghost, tell them "Because the certifier's Holy Ghost is telling him that the possible convert has a "fake-Holy Ghost" causing them to speak in "fake tongues." And that's sound logic ma'am.

What we need is a team of men, bold enough, to be the gateway to heaven for all who may potentially be speaking in tongues. Someone who can divide a demon tongue from Holy tongues. Someone who ain't scared of having to go through the books of a Church's converts  and be willing to say "No, pastor, you didn't really convert 15 people that year since 6 of them were fakes who never came back to church."

Real certified, tongue-certifying men here. A team or a legion, that's what we need.

And they, the chosen one's will have a prophetic enough spirit to do some Christian Salvation Investigations. A CSI investigation to determine, based on disparate, sketchy pieces of abstract spiritual evidence, whether or not someone has really received the Holy Ghost for all the years they have been going to church, or whether they are deluding the whole church just because they like playing the drums on the platform.

This may cost us some cash, but if we're willing to sacrifice in order to hash out the Truth, it's the least we can do.

Because if speaking in tongues is "The evidence" of the Holy Ghost...then we're going to need confirmed witness testimony that the evidence wasn't fake evidence, since speaking in tongues is so inconsistent in the way it gets spoken from church to church and member to member.

I know you'll do the right thing.

For God & Country,