BOOT PREACHERS ARE WIMPS
by a Pastor who uses the biblical gift
names have been changed to protect people
Steve Van Nattan:
This is part of a letter in which I suggested that the day may come soon when jack boot Fundamental Baptists will actually start killing and attacking the Lord's sheep physically and in law suits.
My pastor friend's response:
I don't think I agree with your assessment about these guys marking these adversaries for death, not by and large, anyway. The reason I don't agree is that I don't think that most of these IFB "heroes" have anywhere near the testosterone levels that they purport to have. They are real macho, rough, and tough in a pulpit. But most of them don't have the spine to stand up to their wives, their alma maters, or offering plates if it looks as though they are diminishing in size. Oh sure, they'll slap somebody around as long as they don't think that they will get slapped back. Tough talk from behind a pulpit doesn't cure one of these heroes from his terminal creampuffitis.
This is the day and age where teenagers think that they are "bad" (tough) BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD AT VIDEO GAMES. This, I don't think, is an exaggeration. They can fly a fighter plane, blow up terrorists, and blast alien invaders back to Nebula Nine in these games, so naturally they are really TOUGH. Now, can you imagine that generation of Americans of today having to land on Iwo Jima, or Normandy beach?
I think a lot of these macho men in the pulpit fit the same category. They are tough ON PAPER. In sports we used to call it "talking a good game." Anybody can SOUND like a real winner, but it is a different story when they are called upon to actually PERFORM. I'm sure that there are a few exceptions, but most of those pulpit bullies who would stand there and glorify people who would murder an abortionist don't have anywhere near the moxie to do something like that themselves.
I faced down a pastor over in M__________. This would have been back in about 1987. We hadn't even been saved very long. He was a Hyles guy-- big tough talker. I hadn't even been saved for a year yet. Anyway, he went on a long, drawn-out propaganda campaign about how horrible the public schools were, and how we needed to protect our kids, and how they needed proper instruction from Christians, and so on and so forth. I agree with all that, but it was obvious to see that we were being conditioned to accept the fact that real soon we were going to be asked to turn our pockets inside out to fund a church school.
We had a "special speaker" in from Hyles-Anderson to explain to us the glories of Faith-Promise missions giving. The pastor had discovered that our missions giving was "unscriptural" (never explained why) and that it all needed to be done by faith promise fashion. After this little speech, I talked to a friend of ours at that church, and asked her (older lady) what she thought of the speech. She had this kind of glazed look in her eyes, and she replied that she thought that it was really wonderful. I asked her, "Don't you know what that was all about? We're about to be shaken down to pay for a school!" When I said that to her, it was like she kind of snapped out of it, and she said, "You're right, I never thought of that!" It was weird.
Anyway, a couple of weeks after this, we were subjected by the pastor to this invitation: "I have been very discouraged lately, not much has been happening, not many people have been getting saved, been thinking about resigning the church, really discouraged, boo hoo hoohoo booboohoohoo. So, I would like everyone who totally supports me to come forward and pray at the altar." So, I am thinking that that which I greatly feared is come upon me, and the shakedown is near. The next Sunday it comes--"We are going to start a Christian school".
So, I left. After about a month, one of the men from the church there contacts me and wants me to come to a meeting with the pastor and deacons. This man wanted to present some people's grievances who had left the church. Now, I wouldn't do that today, but then I didn't know any better as to how things like that would go. Even at that, I was very reluctant, but was coerced into doing it.
So we had our meeting, and this fellow presented some grievances that he had knowledge of. Some of the grievances from other people had to do with this school business, among other things. For my part, I was raked over the coals as being unfaithful and a trouble maker. The preacher had his faithful deacons present and had backup. I had just me. I knew I wasn't going back, but this fellow who got me there wanted me to tell everyone why I had left. So I quietly told the pastor and the whole deacon board that one week the pastor was blubbering that he was thinking about resigning the church, and the next week he was triumphantly announcing that we were going to fund and start a Christian school, and then I told them that that was INSANITY. I looked them all right in the eyes one by one, and Mr. Macho preacher blubbered and sputtered and fumbled and had no idea what to say.
One deacon hung his head and refused to look at me at all. A couple of the deacons (one of whom could not read or write AT ALL) looked at me with totally blank stares like they didn't understand any of what was going on (because they didn't). But with a couple of other deacons, you could see the lights come on, and you could tell that they were thinking, "Yeah, he's right, it IS insanity." It was like they realized for the first time that their preacher wasn't a deity. The preacher just basically wilted, just because somebody stood up to his foolishness.
I don't say this to prove what a tough guy I am, but I think that most of these guys fit the same description. If their foolishness is challenged, they're not nearly as tough as they sound.
Most of these guys are all TALK, with nothing to back it up when they are called upon to put up or shut up. Those guys down there where you used to fellowship who were flipping their knives around in the church foyer--- if they ran into some Mau Maus up in New York City who had knives of their own, the Tennessee boys would be wetting their undies and hoping that officer O'Malley would show up in a hurry.
These big boys are tough over the phone, over the Internet, in letters, in a pulpit, or when they have a phalanx of deacons standing beside them, but when it comes right down to it, I think that most of them are cowards.
One other thing that occurred to me. I have what I consider to be a real good biography of Adolf Hitler. Of course you already know how Hitler surrounded himself with "yes" men, and their individual favor was contingent upon how enthusiastically and readily they said "yes" to everything that Hitler wanted or thought. Anyway, the one thing that Hitler couldn't handle was when someone said "no". He was so used to everyone being blindly obedient that he absolutely didn't know what to do when someone said "no" to him. There is an account of a discussion that Hitler had with one of his generals who wouldn't back down, and Hitler raged, then got quiet, then turned into a quivering bowl of jello, because he was completely at a loss as to what to do with someone that he couldn't control.
My point is that a little manhood would go a long way in dealing with a lot of two-bit Baptist popes. A lot of them would be rendered helpless if some spinal integrity were shown. Of course, there is the Jack Hyles legacy, and the whole Kremlin full of comrades, and the Politburo of zillions of deacons who are fanatically devoted to the cause, who might be willing assassins were Father Jack to put out a contract on one of his enemies, but that situation is the exception rather than the rule. When one of those HAC graduates gets out there to Boondoggle, Nebraska, and tries Jack's heavy-handed tactics, a couple of farm boys getting together and telling Pastor Jack H. Clone to clean up his act or else they were going to grab him by his flat-top haircut and pitch him out in the compost pile would be a wonderful cure.
But, most of these Il Duce fascist wannabes NEED yes-men to "take over", as it were. And churches are full of ready and willing yes-men who will sacrifice their own families and spiritual purity to be one of the pastor's "inner circle", and to be one of the few, the proud, the Gestapo.
Most of these pastors who are the jackboots that you refer to had a LOT of help in their ascendancy to Most Exalted Poobah. I still contend that a lot of churches get EXACTLY what they deserve when they hire these creeps. There are two sides to this coin, and both sides say "Laodicea" (rule of the people) on them. How else do SO MANY people get taken in by these jerks? Tom ________ used to rage and fume on and on about his pastor, four other pastors who were jack boots, and on and on and on. So, why did he hang around Pastor ________ so long? How is it that so many of these so-called pastors fooled him? Answer: Because he himself wanted to be a big shot, and as long as he was "faithful", he was held up as one of the spiritual giants of the church. I don't think they fooled him at all-- he was just using them for his own agenda just like they were using him.
I candidated at a church in ______________ a couple of years ago, and half the church wanted me and half didn't. The reason that the one half didn't want me is because they didn't think that I would be "authoritative" enough. A bunch of them WANTED a dictator. That church was doing a lot (nursing home ministries, street preaching, tract printing and New Testament printing), and they were doing a good job of it (sound doctrine, good attitudes, not wild and crazy and idiotic on the street, but cool, calm and collected, etc.).
A bunch of people thought that the pastor should run everything and be in charge of everything and dictate everything. I told them that those guys were running their own ministries, doing a good job of it, and knew a whole lot more about those ministries than I did, and that if I was the pastor that they would still be in charge of the ministries that they were already in charge of. Some of the people thought this was great, and loved me. Some of them thought this was terrible, and that they needed a very strong leader to take over everything. They split half and half on the vote for me. They couldn't agree on anyone else either. They piddled around for a year, half the church left, and finally got a pastor who took them firmly into the Sword of the Lord orbit, so you can rest assured that now they have a "pastoral authority" pastor. They got just what they wanted.
Having been a pastor yourself, you see the problems more clearly than most Christians do. But you see it from a pastor's point of view-- and without trying to butter you up-- from the point of view of someone who had a pastor's heart and proper attitude. So, I think you attribute more blame to pastors for this than what you should.
I have no argument with you over the jackboot designation of so many of these guys, and of the horrible state of "fundamentalism". There's no denying it. I just think that there is a whole lot more blame to go around as to the CAUSE of it all than what you are assigning to it. The fault of the alleged pastors, yes, but just as much the fault of a bunch of people who don't care any more about doing right than the alleged pastor does.
Steve Van Nattan
This pastor is a very good friend of mine. One reason he is a good friend is because he often calls me up short in love, and ZAP, the light comes on. Friend, he is right.
4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected
knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing
thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Acts 13:21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
What do YOU want? You will probably get it. Do you want a jack boot to rule over you and stand between you and Jesus Christ? Do you want to hand your daughters and sons into the hands of lusting egomaniacs?
Or, do you want to follow the Good Shepherd? If Jesus Christ is the Head of your home and life, then you will keep moving until you find a local church fellowship where Jesus Christ is the Head, and where all men in the assembly are servants one of another, where no man rules but the Son of Man.
Are you a wimp? Only a sniveling little bit of ecclesiastical slime would sacrifice his manhood (and his family) to one of these jerk-a-wallah preachers.