make a choice

they said it was right
i knew it was wrong
they told me to rethink
it didn’t change my mind

they made me choose between
community and loneliness
feeling part of a family and
standing on my own

i couldn’t stay and
let it erase who i was
no matter how painful
the decision proved to be

so I walked away
with my head held high
my friends left in the mire
of conformity and error

but i can’t be responsible
for who they choose to be
when my own identity is
in danger of disappearing

i won’t lie and say I don’t miss them
but I never really
fit into their crowd
always just on the edge of belonging

the truth is, though,
i’m better off living in the light
seeing the truth and living in it
instead of following the crowd

i’ve always been a loner
so readjusting was easier
than if I needed people to feel
whole or valuable

speaking the truth can
carry a hefty price
but i counted the cost
and paid the price

integrity instead of conformity
compassion instead of condemnation
love instead of judgment
empathy instead of scorn

when i stand before God
and answer for how i lived my life
i want Him to see my heart and know
i honored what He called me to do
more than what people thought of me
because that matters more
than all the money or power
in the world

9-10-2020
©plfreitag

Faux-vangelicalism and the modern mega-church

The current faux-vangelical movement posing as Christianity will use you up and spit you out on the other side like a chewed up peanut shell unless you happen to be related to the leadership in the particular cell to which you belong. I am still recovering from how I was treated.

My kids and I were active in choir, youth group, nursery, ushering, and other areas of service. However, since I was a fat single mom struggling to make ends meet, I was overlooked for many opportunities because I didn’t fit the image they wanted to project.

We were there every time the doors opened. We cleaned, did dishes, taught Sunday School, were involved in prayer groups, attended small group meetings, and helped any way we could. Even after years of serving, there was still a divide between the chosen few and the rest of us.

I was good enough to be on the worship team, but not to do special music, because I hadn’t been hand-picked by the pastor. If he spoke about someone needing help, people fell all over themselves to volunteer while others struggled to survive or feed their kids.

My daughter made friends with the pastor’s son and one Sunday I was approached by the daughter of one of the associate pastors, who informed me I needed to tell her to stay away from him. We were from the wrong side of the tracks because her dad wasn’t around.

I went through a crisis of faith and missed some services. I got a personal visit from a friend who told me an associate pastor wanted me to call her – she couldn’t pick up the phone & do it herself. They kicked my kids out of choir. Nobody checked on us. We were on our own.

They brag about how many people they feed on Sunday (you have to sit through a 4 hour service with grumbling tummies first) and then they drive home in their luxury cars to their multi-million dollar mansions where they’re unreachable by common people.

One person washes the pastor’s car & fills it with gas, takes his clothes to the dry cleaner & picks them up, and chauffeurs him to the airport for his first class flights. Someone else mows the yard (26 acres) and takes care of the animals. Their own family waits at home.

They raffle off Hummers and luxury cars while church members can’t pay their rent or clothe their kids. They accept donations from businesses and then brag about giving those items away as “gifts from the ministry” after keeping what they want.

If you’re not part of the inner circle, you can’t access the pastors. They have bodyguards and secretaries and people whose job it is to keep you away from them. These people who claim to operate under the power of God whine about being drained by the needy.

Jesse Duplantis “needed” a second private jet. Why? 1. Flying commercial was too exhausting because he had to sit near people with needs. (How did Jesus ever get anything done without a Gulfstream?) 2. To get up in the sky, closer to God. (What about omnipresence?)

They get up on the platform for the 1-hour offering teaching on Sunday morning and brag about giving Brother So-&-So a new Rolex, luxury car, or bespoke suit. How much does $5K to a fellow grifter really impact someone living in a $2M mansion? Seriously?

They ask us to give “sacrificially.” This means rent money. Your car payment. Your utility bill. If God doesn’t come through to replace it, you didn’t put enough faith behind your gift. In the meantime, they’re buying another vacation condo in some exotic locale.

Mom and Dad paying for your Bible College tuition? Young and attractive? Here, let us give you a scholarship for a full ride. If you’re a struggling single parent scraping together enough to afford the monthly tuition payment, tough luck. You should have planned better.

Bible? What Bible? Use your cell phone, and text, tweet, or post on FB between scriptures. They may say Bible College students can’t do that, but nobody’s enforcing it. Get pregnant from hooking up with another student in spite of the rules? Time for a quickie wedding!

It all looks good on the outside…fancy buildings, well-dressed staff, lights and sound and smoke during worship…but they’re rotten to the core. It’s all about money. It’s not about God, the Bible, living right, or showing the love of Jesus to others. It’s a game.

Like the 45th President, these charlatans have stopped pretending to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” as directed in Micah 6:8. Money is now their god, and Jesus sits in the back row when He’s allowed in the building.

God sits in the heavens and weeps over how far the modern evangelical church has fallen, supporting a treasonous, lying, hate-spewing fear-monger whose one desire is power and more power. Those who are called to shepherd believers will be held accountable for their betrayal.