Friday, February 29, 2008

First Baptist Alamo Club - Simplistic Dreams and Non-Believers

Several things are clear:
  1. It would be nice to have a new church building in the country.
  2. We don't really believe in Hell.
  3. We don't really believe anyone is going to Hell.
Let's take the first one, "It would be nice to have a new church." Yes, younger folk tend to think history only began on their date of birth. Anything before the day they were born is not history, it is ANCIENT HISTORY. That's why the allow the "old" building to fall apart, then say "See, the building is falling apart." The BIBLE makes it clear that everything we do should be done in the name of Jesus who loved us and gave himself for us. So why don't you fix the church building and stop using it as an excuse to justify your own personal motive for LUSTING after a new building?


Let's take point two and point three, since point two justifies the third.

THE PEOPLE AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH DON'T REALLY BELIEVE IN HELL. Because they don't believe in Hell, they don't really believe anyone is going to Hell.


How do I know that? Tell me, how many people have the church staff members personally won to the Lord in the past month? How many people has any single church staff member won to the Lord in the past six months?

It is an "IF/THEN" statement or conclusion. "If" one thing, "Then" another. If you are standing in the rain, then you will get wet. If you put you hand in the fire, then you will get burned.

If/Then. It is really very simple.

IF the pastor and staff of FBCAlamo believed people were going to Hell, THEN they would be knocking on doors, trying to stop people from going to Hell.

IF the pastor and staff of FBCAlamo believed people were going to Hell, THEN they would be reaching people and they would be repairing the building for the people and would have no time or need to try and justify a new building.

IF FBCAlamo were a church where love indeed did shine, THEN the pastor would not alienate church members as he has. IF FBCAlamo were a church where love did indeed shine as proclaimed on the web page, THEN the church staff would not feel so threatened when they read this blog.

Based upon the NON-ACTIONS of the pastor and staff to reach lost people directly, based upon the substituting of cattle-car pseudo-evangelism and cattle-car baptism-days, I think it is safe to say that the pastor and staff of FBCAlamo do not really believe in Hell and do not really believe that people are going to Hell. As a result of their lack of passion about the dangers of Hell, the people at FBCAlamo do not believe in Hell or that people are going to hell.

The result of years of this kind of charade is a "club" (church) of people who have simplistic dreams of a new club-house out on the highway. That beautiful new club-house will be filled with a group of club-members who don't believe all those people left behind are headed for Hell.

If you disagree, please say so. If you disagree, then go out and win someone to the Lord. Anyone can honk.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sixty-Four Residences Within Walking Distance

Let's take a count !

Several people have told me there were not that many people who live within walking distance of the church. So I asked them "How many people are necessary before you try to reach them one-on-one?"

They had no answer. They got mad at me for asking. Now I am the enemy. I could not force them to "reach lost people" like the web site said they would do. But they weren't doing it now. And it looks to me like they weren't going to do it.

So where do you stand on this? Are you reaching lost people now? Or are you just TALKING ABOUT reaching lost people? Here's an excercise for you:

  1. Go stand in front of the church facing north.
  2. Look to the west down Church Street
  3. Walk to the west and count the houses on the right side of the street and the front doors on the left side of the street where the apartments are.
  4. Contunue walking west to North Branch Street
  5. Turn South (left) on Branch Street.
  6. Continue counting the front doors on both sides of the street
  7. Turn East (left) on Main Street and continue counting.
  8. Include all the "front doors" of all the apartments.
  9. Turn North (left) on Locust Street and continue to the church.

Now answer these questions:

  1. How many residences (front doors) did you count?
  2. How many of those front doors have you ever personally visited?
  3. Who do you know who lives behind even one of those front doors?
  4. Do you CARE who lives behind those front door?
  5. Do those people know the Lord?
  6. Why do those people not walk to FBCAlamo every Sunday morning?


Are you just gonna bitch and moan or are you gonna take action?
Are you going to let those people go to Hell or are you going to take action?
Are you going to wait for a non-motivated church staff or are you going to take action?

Since it is clear the church staff doesn't care, what are you going to do about it? Jesus said "Go and make disciples." How long are you going to wait?

Are you going to do it or are you going to complain?


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision.

We prayed about it and God told us to move to the country!

Sure, God told some people that they would suddenly become evangelical, but not until they move to the country, away from the people. Until then, it's status quo except for Cattle-Car Sunday.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate,
contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and
-- John F Kennedy

Yep, just bend the truth a bit and it becomes a myth as opposed to a lie. If the roof leaks, don't fix it but tell the folks it is because the building is old. Then just let the roof fall in so you can publicly announce, "See, the roof is falling down and we need to move."

A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally
believes to be true.
-- Demosthenes

We wish to be evangelical. We even tell folks we are. But we really don't reach lost people. We claim to be evangelical. But we are not evangelical enough to reach lost people who live within walking distance of the church. So we tell folks we need to MOVE AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE in order "to reach lost people." How illogical is that?? We aren't reaching lost people now, but if we repeat that myth over and over, perhaps the folks will stop thinking how illogical that is and just accept it as truth.

We WISH we had a new building. So we tell folks we need it "to reach lost people." We don't reach lost people now, but we tell folks we do. Then we repeat it over and over.

In matters of religion it is very easy to deceive a man, and very hard to
undeceive him.
-- Pierre Bayle

Repeat it long enough and often enough and enough folks will soon believe it. Now, many have said "we need to move," "we need a new building," etc. Some have said "we have prayed about it" and "it is God's will." Yet nobody has given a legitimate reason why. When I give arguments, they just keep repeating the myth, over and over, trying to convince me...or trying to convince themselves that the myth is true.

It is "God's will"..."to reach lost people"

Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision.
-- Robertson Davies

"Inner Vision." I suppose that is the biggest myth. God somehow miraculously spoke to some members of FBCAlamo but God forgot to speak to ALL the people of FBCAlamo. Some think GOD told them to move away from the people and they would instantly become evangelical. Some others know the truth.

The Holy Spirit is telling some to move and telling some to stay.

Did God somehow speak to you? Did God tell you to move to the country? Did God tell you to reach lost people? Did God tell you to WAIT until you move to the country until you begin to REACH LOST PEOPLE or did God tell you to reach lost people now? Which was it that God told you?

Like I said in the very first post, if you aren't reaching lost people now, what makes you think you are going to reach lost people later?

Guess what?

If you aren't reaching lost people now, you won't reach them later. Not a prediction of doom. Just the truth.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Microsoft and FBC Alamo - Not Much Difference ?

The bully computer giant Microsoft is attempting to takeover Yahoo in a hostile David/Goliath tale. According to the Associated Press,

Microsoft also emphasized it's prepared to "pursue all necessary steps" to
get the deal done, raising the prospect that it could take the bid directly to
Yahoo shareholders with a so-called "exchange offer" or escalate the acrimony
even further by trying to oust Yahoo's 10-member board later this year.

Does that sound familiar to you? Microsoft has an agenda and is prepared to "pursue all necessary steps" to build a new takeover Yahoo.

"Pursue all necessary steps"

The only difference is, Microsoft never claimed it is "God's will" to takeover Yahoo. In that way, Microsoft is far more honest than many Christians when a takeover is imminent. If Yahoo won't sell, you oust the 10-member board. Nevermind that half the stock-holders don't want to sell. Ignore them. Wear them down. Shout them down. Work behind the scenes and replace the 10-member board. It's a business decision. The bully is gonna win,

If the people won't support your move to the country, you get new deacons. If church members think it is a bad move, then you shout them down or ignore them or rebuke them publicly from the pulpit. Or as as one church staff member said, "get on board or get off. Those are the two options you have." It's a business decision. The bully is gonna win.

Shout 'em down, that's what Jesus would do. Might makes right or might makes "the will of God."

"God's will" has nothing to do with it. It is simply a business deal. That's why Microsoft is more honest than some of the Christians that we all know and love. Imagine that, Microsoft more homest than Christians!

Imagine that!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cattle-Call Baptism Day...A Passive Effort

The big day is coming up. Well, at least it's an effort, albeit misguided. Amazing how people equate Physical Action with Spiritual Movement. They are NOT the same thing!

When you can't win souls, you build a building. (Illusion)

When you don't lead people to the Lord, you do Cattle-Call Baptisms. (Illusion)

When you refuse to go one-on-one to reach lost people, you have a Cattle-Call Evangelism Sunday and snatch members from other churches. (Illusion)

None of the above are bad per se, but cattle-call baptisms do not replace The Great Commission. How long will the people of FBCAlamo forsake the simplicity of The Great Commission? Remember the "Instant Evangelism" post? Perhaps you should re-read it and tell us what has changed in one year. How many "lost people" have been "reached" in one year? Is that tiny number with going into debt $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 for a new Baptist Country Club? What about The Great Commission? What about ACTUALLY reaching lost people NOW?

Are the people of FBCAlamo working The Great Commission? Are the staff members of FBCAlamo working The Great Commision?

Is there any wonder why people are satisfied with the passive actions of a Cattle-Call Baptism Sunday!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Softball for Jesus or Soul Winner? Which Will It Be?

"A dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself."
-- Archibald MacLeish, poet and librarian (1892-1982)

Do you think for yourself? Do you question things? I question things. I try to look at things in a different way. I don't buy everything I am told. So I have been called a dissenter by those who think I am trying to stir up trouble. Are you also a dissenter?

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry."
-- Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

To paraphrase, "Error shrinks from inquiry, truth never does."

So what is the truth? Is FBCAlamo interested in "reaching lost people" or in building a new country-club for worhip? Ask yourself what is the truth. Then ask the pastor why you are not individually reaching lost people. Ask the church staff why they are not individually reaching lost people. Ask your Sunday School leaders why they are not individually reaching lost people.

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
- Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

The facts are, the building is not falling down, it is being systematically ignored and allowed to deteriorate.

Facts are that the truth is being hidden or twisted in the name of Christ.

Facts are that nobody is doing personal evangelism.

Facts are that mass baptisms and "church member swapping" is being substituted for the Great Commission.

Facts are that some folks at FBC would rather have a new building on the highway than reach lost people.

Facts are that softball and pretty chairs are more important than reaching lost people one-on-one.

Don't ignore the facts.

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
-Susan B Anthony, reformer and suffragist (1820-1906)

God wants us to move and let the building and the people around it go to Hell. God said to do it. It is God's vision. It is God's will. Nevermind what Jesus said about going and making disciples, it is God's will to abandon our prime location in the geographical center of the county. It is God's will for us to abandon the people who live within walking distance of the church. It is God's will for us to say we are going to sell this building to another church while claiming we must move out because of bees and asbestos and parking. Yes, we know what God wants us to do. God wants new pews and audio/video. But especially, God wants softball for Jesus.

We prayed about it. Yes, God told us that's what he wants.

We even said so in the Crockett Times newspaper.

"True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess."
-- Louis Nizer, lawyer (1902-1994)

To paraphrase, "True Christianity is the life you lead, not the creed you profess."

Talk is cheap. Truth is heavy. Why run from truth? Why not confront error? Why stay silent against error? Why not confront those who say one thing yet obviously practice something else?

"The high minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think."
-- Aristotle, philosopher (384-322 BCE)

So, are you looking for truth? Or are you going to be satisfied with the status quo at FBCAlamo? Are you going to embrace the truth about the situation or are you going to whine "They voted for it" which is itself only a half-truth?

Truth or error?

Dissenter or status quo?

Facts or myths?

Soul Winner or Softball for Jesus?

Are you going to speak up or let error become pseudo-reality?