A soul patch ticked me off

I cannot attend my church again.

Yesterday I went to church, and for the first time in quite a few weeks, the head pastor preached. There are 3 preaching pastors; the associates are far better than the main one. But that’s beside the point.

I was once part of the transformation of a small church into a mega church. We attended, along with a couple hundred others, in a school gymnasium in The Woodlands TX. We were there as the church bought land and built an amazing campus, growing into something like 20,000 members and several satellite locations around the Houston area. It stands today known as The Woodlands Church with the same pastor, Kerry Shook.

That we were sort of insiders was kind of cool I admit. I was daily dosing on blue pills then so the misandry was something I celebrated along with the rest. It was just cool and fun. It all sort of fell apart for me at once when I was force fed a red pill by circumstances. With my eyes opened by the red pill I was able to see the absurdity of what the new American church had become. This Sunday I was reminded of it again.

Since we moved from TX to TN It’s been impossible to find a church simply because they are all anathema to red pill men. But I wanted to keep my kids attending so I went along to the local equivalent of the mega church, and bit down hard on a wooden pencil for an hour and fifteen a week.

Then yesterday, the head pastor walks onstage. He is a diminutive man in his low 60’s. He recently lost a bunch of weight and got himself back in shape. That’s always a good thing. But fitness had nothing to do with the fact that he walked on stage wearing a new soul patch under his lip.

I do not care about soul patches or any choice someone wants to make about their appearance. I do care about the naked pandering this represents. It is pitiful. It is pathetic.

Then his sermon, bless his heart, was one I’d heard 50 times before in various places. It was the one about money, about tithing and giving. Here again, I have zero problem with churches explaining tithing and calling for it. I’m good with tithing. But in the battle to be cool, they have all taken the same sermon and changed only the letterhead it’s printed on. So he parroted on to say (yawn) “How much do you trust Him? Is it 1%….2%….well then give that amount, trust God 2% and see what happens”

Then lo and behold, right in front of me was 3 females and a male. It took 1 minute to see the familial facial similarities in the female’s faces. It was the forty something mom, and two daughters. The older daughter and the mom both looked, let’s be nice and say “tired”. The mom was experienced looking and the daughter was hiding experience behind a layer of pancake makeup.  And BOTH of them, the 20 something daughter and the 40 something mother, both had full regalia wedding and engagement ring combos on the middle fingers of their respective right hands. Ka-CHING! The other girl, maybe 16, was a pretty girl even though obviously making an effort to let’s say, wear the big girl panties (and show them above the low slung jeans. The boy was some out dated EMO style early twenties guy who, no kidding, had a wallet chained to his pants and stuffed in the rump of his skinny jeans.

So Mr. soul patch….you did it. You connected my man. You have a church that has no small number of folks like the ones right in front of me in attendance. And you make them feel good about themselves week in and week out. And you tell us that each morning the day begins with a $37,000.00 hole to fill, just to as you put it, keep the lights on.

Nice to know.

So I left after the service and I told my wife I will not go back. It is on me, she says, to find a new place. I’m grateful she sees it that way and she is correct. Sadly I am not optimistic about my prospects but I will try.

We stopped for gas. A teen black boy approached me and asked me “sir can you help out?”. He had a kind face and it was clear he was humiliated and not wanting to be there. He pointed to a car parked off to the side and said it was his mom and 2 sisters. He told me that the dad had been beating them and they had fled, and they needed help.  I know how people react to things like this. Some are painfully skeptical and untrusting, and dismiss the need as a ploy for drug money or just dependency on hand outs, others are fearful, some people are just ridiculously tight with money, all sorts of things.  I do not think too deeply about those things in situations like this because it’s not my problem, it is for God to figure out. So, I gave the boy all the cash I had, which was maybe 20 bucks. As I pumped my gas I watched him approach a white woman who I am dead certain was a wild eyed liberal. She was a poster gal for the middle aged white liberal women who are so agitated for Obama and dying to see him re-elected lest the country be revealed as racist. He asked her for help.  She looked at the young man like he had trespassed or something, and sent him packing with not even a well wish.  This mages stuck in my mind.

We left, and it weighed and weighed on me. So I turned and went back and we went and talked to the woman.  Yes, she is a single mom. Yes, she most likely had different fathers for the kids, and there was likely systemic poverty, maybe drugs, definitely someone somewhere down the line was not responsible…..all that. But she then tells me the coup de grace. The shelters will not allow her in because she has a teen boy.  I have known this rule for years. This was the first time it was in my face, and I HATE IT.

While my wife and I made arrangements for this woman and her child to have a place to sleep for the next 7 plus nights (after which she says she is headed for Chicago to live with a sister) it all flashed in front of me.

The idiot with the soul patch

The $37,000.00 nugget to run the place daily

The liberal white woman who chased away the boy that was forced to ask strangers for help

The shelter that turned the family away because GASP! A boy is part of the family

And the little girl, maybe 5, in a pink jumper and wearing a precious huge smile while waiting in the front seat of the car while older brother begs for money

I don’t like any of it.

I realized that the church is gone as a force for (good) change.

What is there to replace it?

Where I’ve been looking, I have found nothing but the faux intellectual pursuit of game and the millennial popular lambasting of conservativism rolled up into some third way of approaching things.

Personify game and put a soul patch on him!

I have no idea where that leaves me. Probably lacking a church and needing a hobby.

 

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23 thoughts on “A soul patch ticked me off

  1. A friend of mine gave a sermon a long time ago as he left the ministry. He made the point that the churches used to take care of the people around them, regardless of their religious proclivities, and the state would only catch those who somehow fell through the cracks of the church. The church gave up this to the state as the state did more, and chose to pick up those who fell through the cracks of the state. He stated that the church had lost its heart, and that they now raised money for buildings and trips to far off lands and missed the people not only around their communities, but those sitting in their own pews.

    My church red pill moment came as my marriage fell apart. The onus was on my to fix things, and the failure to fix them was mine and mine alone. The married men of the church were made nervous by me, and one-by-one walked away from me. They could not face that my failing marriage was not my failure to be a Christian husband. To face that is to face that they to risked the same fate as me.

    When I visited churches after moving I was met by some form of “What did you do to deserve this?” Twice I was asked bluntly. The first I tried to explain to this ministry leader at the church and was met with the typical church answer of if I lead she would have followed tripe. As if she has no brain of her own to decide if I am doing it right. The second time, I simply said “F— you” and calmly turned and left with stunned silence behind me. I have made my measure of whether I visit a church again be the Father’s Day and Mother’s Day sermons. Technology allows me to hear these for nearly all churches now. If the Father’s Day sermon tells dads they aren’t doing enough, and the Mother’s Day sermon praises all forms of single motherhood and/or tells Dads they aren’t doing enough, there is no point to visit. I have yet to find a protestant church that has passed this test in my area.

  2. Your story sounds eerily familiary, brother.

    In fact, it sounds a lot like my husband wrote it!

    Thanks for sharing; this is such a sad, sad thing: our Laodiciean nightmare of a Churchian empire in America.

  3. Reblogged this on Sexy Christian Wife and commented:
    This guy nails it! Our churches are focusing on the wrong things and leaving a bad taste in the mouth. We are having the same difficulties of finding a decent church before my husband once again says we must leave and find people who are looking for God and who preach the gospel and grace. We must devote ourselves to Christ, focus on Him and not ourselves and then our lenses through which we view this world will be radically different.

  4. Get up, Empath! Get. Up! You are not alone, and the Church is not gone. The Church has not failed you, but now you are seeing that they who call themselves the Church are, in fact, dead. Let the dead bury the dead, and go find the living. Man, the evidence that you are needed is at that gas station. The truth is that the church you just quit is full of people like that woman in the parking lot, but their poverty is spiritual. They are whitewashed tombs. Those right-handed rings are ornate headstones on some seriously dead whores.

    Have you considered changing denominations? I know a lot of people take denominational choices very seriously, but I don’t as long as the denomination firmly believes in a Nicene Creed Christianity. I left the SBC because the stink of the rot was too much for me, and now I’m Anglican. Anglican death has a stench all its own, but it doesn’t revolt me. I feel very much like a missionary here. It’s the feeling of appreciation for their culture, and yet an understanding that their culture could use more of the good that came from my upbringing. Don’t misunderstand me: I don’t have a better Christianity. I’m merely bringing in nutrients from a different part of the Body. Meanwhile, I am being fed, too.

    Lastly, I would encourage you not to get caught up in these feelings:

    Where I’ve been looking, I have found nothing but the faux intellectual pursuit of game and the millennial popular lambasting of conservativism rolled up into some third way of approaching things.

    The problem with conservatism is that it is practiced by humans. Most of them don’t know what parts are worth conserving, what parts are temporary, and what should be discarded as filthy. Sarah Palin cured me of my love of conservatism. If I must accept she is conservative–as our Republican and conservative elites say I must–and if I am humble enough to say that those elites know much more about conservatism (as an ideology or the movement) than I do, then the only reasonable conclusion is that I’m not a true conservative in the ideological sense. At the very least, I know I am not in league with them.

    The idea of conservatism, of conserving, of taking back, and of going back, appeals to me because of my love for repentance; of returning to innocence, truth, beauty, and most of returning our first love. The fact is that much of modern conservatism is about returning to a previous love, but not the first. It’s like leaving the fifth husband to go back to the fourth, and calling it good. Meanwhile, the liberal is searching for husband number seven. The conservative notion is obviously better with the idea that we need to return to a previous love, but the practice is often as filthy as the liberal’s. Repentance–conservatism–should be a linear return; not a retracing of all the mistakes along the way. That’s self-love (that is: impotent and masturbatory) navel-gazing dressed up as conservatism and repentance.

    Does that make sense? I’m not saying don’t be conservative. I’m saying be truly conservative. Don’t worry about the folks who say conservatives are doing it wrong. We can learn from them without becoming liberals ourselves.

  5. Oh Cane, my well intended man.
    I’m up, and I’m fine, though my post sends a message of crying out in despair it truly is one of dusting off the feet and moving on. Its not even a sad message. Its neither a happy one. This thing that happened, this epiphany BEFORE even getting the feeling about the woman at the gas station, it was long time coming. The whole day was one reinforcement after another.

    (My blog bud soujourner here, he has some parallel things that have happened in that he found a church that was active on the ground and helping the community, the homeless and drug addled, and doing ministry on the street FROM the street, so I hope, McScribe, that you are reading along here today)

    Cane, I’m of no denomination, nor have I ever been of one. Saved at 32 yrs old in a Baptist church I guess Im comfortable with that call it format. I hasten to add, neither am I of the so called non denominational denomination. In fact the psychology of the non denominational denomination is identical to the psychology of those I later indict as third wayers, in that its a group who in an effort to overtly not follow a crowd, create their own crowd.
    So changing churches or denominations is not nor has it ever been a problem. I maintain my skepticism because while I believe the larger Protestant bunch has taken a pass on gender and allowed women to reach primacy boldly and subtly, the values compromises from the Anglicans bother me too. I don’t really want to delve off into all that here and now, suffice to say I like the “values proposition” (wow a churchian/business overlap) of the SBC and similar I just dislike the evangelical feminism, and I strongly dislike this seeker sensitive amalgam of programs and what not. The more steadfast denominations, even those of the creed, many have let go of some things I consider deal breakers Biblically and even morally.

    So….Im where Im at…..pissed at the soul patch.

  6. M-day and F day are the best measures to use. Efficient and telling. I had the same experience you did. I lost married men friends over it. Turned out those guys were and are scared to death of their wives…..period. I have men who even to this day are so afraid of their wives they wont hardly talk to me.
    The women want the man with the soul patch preaching. I failed to mention that then the “special” music during the offering was a church member, man, maybe 35, his own soul patch and those pencil thin line side burns and beard, sleeve tats, bulging biceps, and yes…..a great voice….and the women in church, like the two in front of me who were divorced and dressed for action…..they WANT guys like that singer to be there at the singles-mingles-gives-me-tingles events, how else can they do what they do on weekends and call it immaculate

  7. In fact the psychology of the non denominational denomination is identical to the psychology of those I later indict as third wayers, in that its a group who in an effort to overtly not follow a crowd, create their own crowd.

    Yes. I’m for denominational rigor. Just wanted to make sure I was clear.

    This thing that happened, this epiphany BEFORE even getting the feeling about the woman at the gas station, it was long time coming. The whole day was one reinforcement after another.

    I had an epiphany yesterday, too, but much smaller. Ironically, I didn’t go to church. I only miss two or three weeks a year, so that was unusual. Later I was bored, so I cracked open my Bible and read a passage that I had been meaning to revisit since I haven’t read it in 20 years. Well, reading that passage cost me several hundred dollars, my oldest daughter some well-deserved but worldly glory, (She handled it remarkably well. What a girl!) and my wife a barrage of texts and phone-calls from yipping family members. The scripture I read had almost nothing to do with the epiphany, but it was, to me, so clearly about it.

    The specifics aren’t that important. What’s fascinating to me is the way God works; as much or more so than what He’s actually working on.

    BTW, I had sent you an email.

  8. Using the measure of M-Day and F-Day I’d have to say that for the most part our new pastor “gets it”. So far, for his first year, there wasn’t any special sermon for either day. On Father’s day he even went so far as to say that he doesn’t really believe in special sermons for those days because it’s typical to spend M-Day telling women how great they are and to spend F-Day beating men up and yet we wonder why M-Day is one of the most heavily attended days outside of Christmas or Easter and F-Day is a comparative ghost town.

    Having said that, he does still fall victim to the humor at men’s expense BS, but he’s not outrageously out there with it and he is fairly equal opportunity in that he makes humorous jabs at women too, just not as often.

  9. Rather see them do the special services for those days but do them right, if I was king. Avoiding them altogether seems to be the new answer to what likely became loud complaining from men. The church Id been going to has not had M day F day services either.

    Window dressing though, when they need to be blasting cold sterile light on things.

    I cannot deal with knowing that $37k is the daily deficit at the church. And chaz, you know me, I am not anti mega sized church at all. I have however grown to see something I was missing even a couple years ago, that is that that money is being spent ostensibly to draw in folks and “meet their needs”
    So they offer everything under the sun.
    And we end up drawing the women seated in front of me. Am I suggesting that those women are not deserving to hear about God? Nope.
    Im saying they DO need to hear about God, and that responding to the things the church offers them and coming to get those things then hearing how its all ok because its all grace, that is helping no one.
    Heck even the song the dude sang was (yea, believe it or not-tongueincheek) about sufficiency of grace.
    Those women felt baptised as they left, the only thing missing was drops of water on the floor

  10. The problem with a church spending money to draw people in and meet their needs is that it misses the main point of Christianity. The Church doesn’t exist primarily to meet the needs of believers, it exists primarily to reach the lost. “Let’s build something great and have great programs to bring them in” is completely backwards. What it should be is have facility adequate to teach believers how to go out and “be the church” out there where it can do the most good. That problem, that having it backwards, is largely independent of church size too.

    As for the special M-Day and F-Day sermons my real question is why have them at all. There’s nothing particularly Biblical about singling out a day to honor one gender or the other. I mean when you get down to it, the honor and positivity that we’re called to give mothers on that day is something that everyone should be doing for everyone else every day.

  11. As for a 37k daily deficit, I find that very hard to swallow. I mean it’s really difficult to imagine a church organization of the size needed to even have 37k per day in total expenses. I’d have no idea how to even begin to calculate the size but that’s 13.5 million per year. There’s cities of tens of thousands that don’t have that as an annual budget.

  12. Start a house church. Then, 100% of your money will go to helping the poor, funding missions to overseas missions where no one has heard the gospel, or to the poor and the widows within your group.

    You don’t have to go to “church” as it is known in the west. Live in community with purpose, daily put your life before Christ, and love Him with all your heart, mind, and strength. There is freedom in knowing God did not call us to church, but to Himself. Keep the main thing, the main thing.

  13. Pingback: A soul patch ticked me off | Rookie Writing

  14. It’s a good story. I like that you went back to deal with stuff.
    This thing you’re pointing out, it’s what people who are Red Pill takers get through the shock of waking up–I like reading Girl Writes What’s blog because she nails it–that most of our culture is feminist now and the church tends to take in its sense of culture by osmosis.

    don’t know about you guys, but I can’t count the number of times going to various churches basically thinking “Why the Hell am I even here?” That feeling of hurry up, look busy, Jesus might drop by. And in fact that’s it–it’s like that sense of being house proud–let’s make sure that the house looks great in case Jesus drops by. I feel like that in most of life–if there doesn’t feel like a point to it, even if the point is genuine fun, then…why the heck bother?

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  16. The solution is to find a church that is offensively old fashioned. I would look (as you are protestant) either at the Mennonites, the Reformed Baptist, or the Reformed Presbyterian.

    Our church has just sold its historical church to some other fool as we would rather spend the money that it takes to keep that building up on the foodbank. Now, that is a mainline church congregation.

    Now, my strategy on finding a kirk is to start with the closest Presbyterian then look at the other close churches and if it is good enough I stay. No place is perfect. And megachurches do not last.

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  18. Your response makes me think about the folks who are or used to be at CF. Like the 12 step devotee I proclaim its been months since my last visit to that place or any similar places….but you made me wonder about them and how those raging evangelical feminists actually comport themselves in a world gone freakishly mad, and I know how they do, they are more/less on the top of said world.

    It does beg the why bother question. The church I walked from had a woman who…..well an aside, she looks a great deal like the liberal professorial woman who chased away the teen who was asking for help for his mother. There is this look that liberal women around my age, 50 +/- a year or 2, they look very very angry. They wear no make up and have short hair, they buy wire framed glasses and have thin lips, they dress in very expensive but formless cotton cloths, usually trousers and a blouse, and often hold the hair back with one of those semicircular clamps. Anyway the one at the church is the minister for women dontcha know. She sometimes would pray at services, and hers were the longest most meandering prayers because she spent so much time building in the empathy by tone, inflection, and terms used. I was told she is chasing a head pastor job somewhere.

    I can literally picture her as you say, should Jesus stop by, starting to show things about the church to Him, like features and benefits, driving past the hurting people to get to the HQ of the programs that are for helping hurting people…..I dont know, she may be a wonderful woman, it just fits the image i saw at the gas station.
    This is all bad bad news, and its bigger way bigger than my family having a church to go to.

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  21. I have made my measure of whether I visit a church again be the Father’s Day and Mother’s Day sermons. Technology allows me to hear these for nearly all churches now.

    I was totally shocked this last Father’s Day. One of the pastors got up on the podium and said, approximately —

    “I know a lot of Father’s Day sermons go on and on about where men fall short, but I’m not gonna do that. Because i know a lot of you, I know that there are a lot of good fathers out there, who are doing things right, and I just want to say to you: Good Job, guys!”

    I couldn’t believe my ears. There is hope.

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