This is the one hundred and forty-eighth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip from a sermon by Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18
Fornication is defined as a man and a woman sleeping together before marriage. This sin is condemned throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament. We are all sinners, but not all sin is equal. The Bible teaches that fornication is so serious that it can get you thrown out of the church.
If you are saved and sleeping with someone you aren’t married to, you need to repent of that sin. If you are living together, and you’re not married, then you are living in sin. If you plan to keep coming to church, your options are to get married or stop living together.
The Bible teaches that we should only have physical relations within marriage, so if you aren’t married yet, you need to deny that ungodly lust and wait until you get married to enjoy the benefits of marriage. If you aren’t ready to marry the person you are dating, then you shouldn’t be sleeping together. Have some self-control and respect for your body!
People who commit fornication for the first time often do not end up marrying that person but go on to be with person after person. Our bodies were not designed to exchange bacteria with hundreds of different people. In fact, there are infections people can get that are not considered STDs per say but are virtually unheard of in people who got married as virgins and have had only one partner. I realize that people die and their spouse can remarry, but sleeping with more than a few people in your lifetime is very unhealthy. In fact, the Bible calls it filthy.
So many women today are in relationships where they would like to get married, but the guy won’t marry them. These jerks need to do the right thing, but the women are also to blame. Unfortunately, the old adage still holds true: Why buy the cow if you can get the milk free?
— Steven Anderson, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Flee Fornication, January 16, 2017
All of us, virtually every moment of every day, exchange bacteria, viruses, dead skin, feces, urine, dirt, buggers…..shall I go on?….with hundreds of different people. The very act of breathing exposes us to countless bacteria and viruses. I wonder if Anderson is aware of the fact that he has likely been exposed to “atheist” bacteria, even without having carnal relations with atheists.
Bruce, I would be curious to hear how your old church handled this issue. It really seems to be a bedrock sticky wicket that says more about the pastor of the church than anything else. I am going to a Methodist church now where they will pay your electric bill or give you a grocery store gift card but will not hand over cash. Seems sort of mean even if it’s likely a better idea.
I grew up in a home where money was hard to come by. Dad always had a job, but never seemed to have enough money to pay the bills. This is why, as a youth, Dad moved us from town to town and school to school. When people learn about my well-traveled upbringing, they often ask, did you move a lot because of your father’s work?No, we moved a lot because Dad didn’t pay the rent (my parents never owned a home). Clothing, lunch money, and spending money were hard to come by, and when Dad did buy me clothes, they were often cheap Rink’s Bargain City (Bargain Shitty) knock-offs. My first pair of Levi’s came not from my Dad, but courtesy of a five-fingered discount at a local clothing store. This would not be the last time I shoplifted.
Medical and dental care were almost nonexistent. I can count on one hand the times I went to the doctor growing up. It was only after my parents divorced and Mom signed up for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Medicaid that I received regular medical and dental care. To this day, I remember going to the dentist as a sixteen-year-old boy, only to be told, yes, your teeth need work. And once your Dad pays his bill, I will be glad to fix them. Talk about embarrassing.
Early on, I realized that if I wanted money of my own that I was going to have to work for it. My first jobs were raking leaves, shoveling snow, and mowing yards. My first “official” job — at age fourteen — was daily emptying the trash at a local nursing home. As a teenager, I worked all sorts of minimum wage jobs. Once I had my own money, I was then able to buy my own clothes, pay for school lunches, and fund my social activities.
I have said all this to emphasize that growing up poor deeply affected how I dealt with people as a pastor. Having suffered the embarrassment of using food stamps and the indignity of being forced to wear welfare glasses (see photograph above), I knew firsthand the struggles of the poor. These experiences made me compassionate to those whom the Bible calls “the least of these.”
In what follows, I will detail how I interacted with the poor in the churches I pastored; what ministries I started that specifically ministered to the disadvantaged and marginalized. During the twenty-five years I spent in the pastorate, I had the privilege of ministering to countless people who were down on their luck. Yes, I met more than a few con-artists, grifters, and lazier-than-a-coon-dog-on-a-cold-winter’s-night users and abusers. I am sure that my kindness was taken advantage of. I took the approach that my job was to help; it was God’s job to sort out motives. Now, this doesn’t mean that I was an easy mark. I wasn’t. I rarely gave money to people, knowing that doing so often fed drug or alcohol addictions. If someone needed gas I took them to the gas station and paid for the gas. When homeless people asked for money, I offered them a meal at a nearby diner. When people needed help with their utilities, I directly contacted the utility and paid the bill. Of course, I couldn’t have done any of these things without the gracious financial support of church members.
Over the years, the churches I pastored had food pantries and clothing rooms that were open to the public. Having suffered the indignity of being singled out for being poor, I made sure that we never embarrassed the poor. If someone said they needed help, we helped them (within the limits of our finances). While I certainly wanted to see people saved, I never made helping poor people contingent on them attending church. I took the approach, freely received, freely given. Unlike many holier-than-thou, self-righteous Baptist preachers, I never had a problem encouraging people to avail themselves of services and benefits offered by the state welfare department and federal food banks.
For eleven years, I pastored a Baptist church in Perry County, Ohio — the northernmost county in the Appalachian region. It was there I saw abject and generational poverty. Good jobs were hard to come by, and once the coal mines closed, those who had well-paying mining jobs were forced to work jobs that often paid minimum wage. The unemployment rate was double-digit, ranging from ten to nineteen percent. As is now the case, the number of unemployed was much higher than the official numbers suggested. Once unemployed workers stopped receiving unemployment benefits, they were no longer counted. These unemployed workers turned to the welfare department for help, trying to eke out an existence on meager government checks and food stamps. Some worked jobs that paid cash or turned to growing marijuana.
The majority of church members were on some sort of government assistance — usually food stamps and Medicaid. Most church families had at least one member gainfully employed. The highest paid man in the church made $21,000 a year (except for a year or so when a nearby church had a split and a number of their middle-class members attended the church — they later left, taking their money with them). Annual church offerings peaked at $40,000 a year, when attendance averages neared 200. Most years, the total offerings were in the $20,000 range. My largest annual salary during this time was $12,000. Five of our six children’s births were paid for by Medicaid, and for several years we received food stamps. Now, this doesn’t mean we didn’t try to improve our lot — we did. I pumped gas and worked as a mechanic at a local gas station, sold insurance, worked in restaurants, and delivered newspapers. I believed then, and still do, that there is no shame in being poor. Work hard, do what you can, and live on the results. (In retrospect, I certainly would have done many things differently, but I, to this day, believe all work is honorable and has value, regardless of its pay.)
During my eleven-year stint as pastor of Somerset Baptist Church, I spent a significant amount of time helping the poor, both in the community at large and in the church. When a man said he would come to church if only he had shoes, I gave him a pair of mine. When members needed money, I loaned it to them or paid their bills. I sold cars to several church members, no money down, pay me when you can. One church member took advantage of my generosity, buying a car from me and never paying for it. This person sat on the front row on Sundays. I often found it hard to look at him without thinking, hey deadbeat, pay me for the car. But then I would think of Jesus and the Sermon of the Mount or remember my own poverty-filled upbringing. I knew this person’s family history — how he grew up in abject poverty, dropping out of high school and becoming a drug addict. I knew he had spent time in jail and hadn’t had a driver’s license in years. (I helped him get his license reinstated.) As Jesus did for the poor of his day, I had compassion for him, even if he, at times, irritated the heaven out of me. (He was, despite these failings, one of the kindest, most helpful men I have ever known. If I needed help with something, I knew I could call on him.)
For several years, Polly and I took in foster children, mostly court-referred teenagers. The county paid us a stipend for giving these teens a home. I have plenty of stories I could share about our foster children, but I will just share one for now. We had two teen boys living with us who decided that they wanted a bit of freedom. They stole our car (a dealer loaner, as our car was in the shop having a new motor installed), checkbook, and credit card, and took a joy ride to New Jersey. They ran a red light in Jersey and were pulled over by the police. After finding out there was a warrant out for their arrest, they were arrested and returned to Ohio for prosecution. Prior to their court appearance for felony theft, the judge called me and asked me to come to his office for a visit. He asked me what punishment I thought he should mete out to these boys. I told him that I felt that they should be punished, but that I didn’t want to see them go to prison. He (we) decided that he would give them the maximum sentence at a youth detention center, but release them after thirty days. Needless to say, they learned their lesson. One of the boys lived with us again. We forgave him, believing that this is what Jesus would have us do. More than a few people thought we were crazy (and maybe we were).
From giving homeless people a place to stay at the church to feeding the homeless men who frequented the streets of Zanesville, Polly and I, along with the church, tried our best to minister to those in need. As a pastor, I had many shortcomings and faults. I deeply regret my Fundamentalist Baptist preaching and its emphasis on sin instead of grace. I wish I could have seen the disconnect between my hellfire and brimstone preaching on Sundays and my compassionate, patient help of the poor the rest of the week. If I had been the bleeding-heart liberal that I am today back in my Perry County days, I suspect the church would have been known above all else as a place of love and safety for the disenfranchised. I could easily have been a Steven Anderson (please see Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Lazy Bums Want Us to Act Like Compassionate Christians by Steven Anderson), propping up hate of the poor with Bible verses, but fortunately my life experiences softened my heart, and as Jesus did, when he looked at the poor I had compassion on them.
Several years ago, after finding out that I had helped someone with a particular need, my mother-in-law told me, Bruce, why you’d give the last shirt off your back if someone needed it. (Polly grew up in a middle-class home — new cars, vacations, home ownership.) She then said — perhaps thinking of what the Bible said about helping others — well, I guess that is not a bad problem to have. In retrospect, I can see how some of my liberal giving caused her to be concerned. Here we were barely keeping our heads above water and I was giving money, food, clothing, and other things to the poor. If I had to do it all over again, I would have certainly provided a better life for Polly and our children, but I would never have wanted to lose my compassion for others, especially those at the bottom of the economic scale. While my children did without while Dad was sacrificially helping others (and if they hated me for doing so I would understand), all of them — especially the oldest three — have told me that these experiences helped to make them into the hardworking people they are today (Our family has what we call the Gerencser Work Ethic®: work hard, do your job, don’t miss work; be the best employee you can be.)
As I re-read this post, I am uncomfortable with its personal focus. I am not the type of person who, after helping someone, publicizes my largess. Works of charity ought to be done in secret — without fanfare or applause. No need to let everyone on social media know that I did this or that for someone. The good feeling I receive from helping others is enough. Paying it forward is a good way to live, and even if there is no karmic justice, I want to be known as a man who loved and cared for others.
When people come to the church office asking for money, I ask them where they went to church on Sunday. If they name another church, I tell them to go ask that church for money. If you have an account at Bank of America, you don’t walk into Wells Fargo asking to make a withdrawal. The truth is, most of these people don’t go to church anywhere, and there are certain criteria in the Bible about who we are supposed to help.
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
Our first priority should be members of our church who have a genuine need, especially the widows and the fatherless. Even the widows have to meet certain criteria as outlined in 1 Timothy Chapter 5.
The Bible does not teach that we should give away free money to every drug addict and whore that shows up on a Tuesday asking for money. These people have despised God’s commandments, despised chastity, and despised the institution of marriage. They are wasting what little money they have on lottery tickets, cigarettes, and worse. They go from church to church asking for money yet lack the character it takes to show up and even sit through one church service.
These lazy bums don’t want to hear what the Bible says, but they want God’s money. They want to use our church as an ATM machine when they don’t even have an account here. If you can’t stand the Bible and can’t stand preaching, then you should go somewhere else looking for money instead of a church.
With all of the government programs and charities available, people in the United States are not financially destitute. If they were really that hungry, they would be willing to sit through the service. These people need spiritual help more than financial help, but unfortunately, most of them are not interested in hearing the Word of God.
This is the one hundred and seventeenth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip from a sermon preached by Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Anderson says that wicked people hate Christians. Not so, Pastor Anderson. Speaking only for myself, I hate YOU Pastor Anderson. I hate everything you stand for. I hate your xenophobic, bigoted, homophobic preaching. Simply put, I hate your hate.
Over the past eight years I have been told more times than I can count that I am going to hell At first, such proclamations bothered me. I thought, man if I am wrong I will fry in hell f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Since I spent fifty years hearing and preaching sermons about a vengeful God of wrath who sends unbelievers to hell — a place of never-ending pain, suffering, and torment — it should come as no surprise that eternal damnation was deeply imprinted on my mind. It took me several years to totally free myself from stray thoughts about being wrong and ending up in hell. I now view such thoughts as a hangover of sorts. Past Evangelical beliefs can be hard to shake, often hanging on for years after people deconvert. These thoughts are similar to vestigial organs that once served a purpose, but no longer do so. At one time, threats of judgment and hell reminded me of the great price Jesus paid for my salvation. They also reminded me of what happens to those who refuse to believe the gospel and be saved. Threatening people with eternal punishment is effective when attempting to increase church attendance. This is why Evangelical pastors encourage congregants to invite the unsaved to church. Once there, these sinners can hear what “God” thinks of them and their sin. Using a carrot-and-stick approach, pastors promise eternal life to those who will believe, and threaten eternal judgment for those who won’t. Needless to say, this kind of thinking can really fuck with mental wellness.
These days, threats of hell no longer elicit a what if I am wrong response from me. Of course, Evangelical zealots say that the reason for this is because God has given me over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). I have crossed the line of no return, and my eternal destiny is sealed. I think this is one of the reasons many Evangelicals treat me so poorly. I am beyond help, so there is no need to treat me decently and with respect.
Recently, a person with the name I LOVE MY MESSIAH took it upon himself to let me know what he thought of me and where I should expect to spend eternity. Enjoy!
Text of Email
Name: I LOVE MY MESSIAH Email: cheweychewey
Comment: Maybe that is why your health is failing sir. You say the Steven Anderson’s of the world are many. I don’t know him personally , but count me in. I was very happy to hear you say they are many. I was beginning to think “YOUR KIND” were many. Whether you believe or not does not make Jesus Our Creator not exist.
Makes no difference what religion or convenience you create to suit your hedonistic lifestyle. He will return and there will be judgement. Makes no difference at all that ignorance make him a fictional character. Well so long you had better hang outdoors allot and get used to the heat. It’s gonna get allot hotter for you folks!
GOOD LUCK !
Time: June 23, 2016 at 9:01 am IP Address: 126.96.36.199
This is the eighty-fourth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of sermon preached by Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Those uninitiated into Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) thinking will likely think Anderson is insane. He is, but his view of women is quite common among churches and pastors who proudly claim the IFB moniker.
Steven and Zsuzsanna Anderson and their eight children. November 2015
This is the seventy-fourth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip from a sermon preached Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona. Note all the children on the front rows.
Steven Anderson pastors an Faithful Word Baptist Church, an IFB church in Tempe, Arizona. Pity the children.
This is the seventy-third installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip from a sermon preached Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona. The saddest thing about this video is a child’s laughter as Anderson rails against “filthy sodomites.” There’s no hope for Anderson, save him finally coming out of the closet and admitting he is a repressed homosexual. There’s still a glimmer of hope for the children of Faithful Word members. Sadly, as each week passes, and their minds continue to be assaulted by the homophobic, bigoted Anderson, hope’s light grows dim. My heart aches for children who are raised in such toxic environments.
This is the sixty-eighth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip from a sermon preached by Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona. This video clearly shows that Steven Anderson has taken over Fred Phelps’ throne and is now the most vile and disgusting man in America.
(video removed from YouTube)
The original video was removed by YouTube. It can still be viewed here.
The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?
But the bad news is that this is now gonna be used, I’m sure, to push for gun control, where, you know, law-abiding normal Americans are not gonna be allowed to have guns for self-defense. And then I’m sure it’s also gonna be used to push an agenda against so-called “hate speech.” So Bible-believing Christian preachers who preach what the Bible actually says about homosexuality — that it’s vile, that it’s disgusting, that they’re reprobates — you know, we’re gonna be blamed. Like, “It’s all extremism! It’s not just the Muslims, it’s the Christians!” I’m sure that that’s coming. I’m sure that people are gonna start attacking, you know, Bible-believing Christians now, because of what this guy did.
Now let me just be real clear: I’ve never advocated for violence. I don’t believe in, you know, taking the law into our own hands. I would never go in and shoot up a gay bar — so-called. I don’t believe it’s right for us to just be a vigilante… But I will say this: The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death, in Leviticus 20:13. Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed. Because, in Leviticus 20:13, God’s perfect law, he put the death penalty on murder, and he also put the death penalty on homosexuality. That’s what the Bible says, plain and simple.
So, you know, the good news is that at least 50 of these pedophiles are not gonna be harming children anymore. The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re gonna continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle… … I’m not sad about it, I’m not gonna cry about it. Because these… 50 people in a gay bar that got shot up, they were gonna die of AIDS, and syphilis, and whatever else. They were all gonna die early, anyway, because homosexuals have a 20-year shorter life-span than normal people, anyway…
This is the twenty-sixth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip from a sermon preached by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
This is the twenty-second installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip from a sermon preached by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. This sermon clip is rich in irony, complete with the uneducated Anderson giving his congregation a lesson in the Bible’s Greek language.