You know, I love mug shots where the perps have big grins on their faces. Specifically, the cat ate the canary kind of look. This week’s headlines managed to present one that couldn’t be missed, and dare I say, I think there are even twinkles in the eyes of these men. In the mug shot, you see three of six men who took it upon themselves to heckle Joel Osteen, pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. All seven were eventually escorted out of the church and booked on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass.
Now, according to a statement given by Osteen’s church, the hecklers weren’t there bashing God, but Osteen, referring to the mega church pastor as a “liar”. Turns out the six men that were hauled out of there were members of another ministry called Church of Wells, located in Wells, Texas. And this isn’t the first time these fellows have gone to outside venues, even the high school in their hometown of Wells, and raised some serious Cain with the city’s residents. According to KSLA News, church members, including an elder, have had multiple run-ins with local authorities over the last year while protesting outside schools, churches, and universities.
This church has been rather ill received throughout it’s community, and they seem almost proud of this, using the push back of the local residents of Wells as proof they are persecuted for simply trying to share their gospel.. This small church has a major martyr complex to say the least, and they are picking a fight with the more mainstream Christian public. It’s a feud, fueled by the religious rhetoric of the likes of evangelical pastors like Ravenhill, Knox, and Barnard.
It’s a struggle for what they perceive to be true expression of love through purposeful suffering. Of course, Osteen and other mainstream pastors take a more empowering, somewhat inspirational approach with much less intentional exposure to incited punishment.
The difference between the two churches is astronomical in approach. While Osteen supports putting your life down for Christ, The Church of Wells has the attitude that you must turn people to Christ, even if it means you force potential believers to kill you in order to prove your belief to them. It’s quite a sight to read such doctrine being espoused by radical Christian extremists, and I recommend you peruse this rarely exposed level of religious woo at the Church of Wells website.
Just don’t go reading and watching the material on the site all alone. At the very least, cook up some popcorn to munch on while you listen to a carefully selected onslaught of evangelical Youtube sermon highlights, sprinkled with desperate street preaching, that is all set to a woeful sounding melody of “poor me” style hymns.
One of the striking things about the behavior of the renegade church is how there are specific tactics used in order to generate the most negative response they can find. Purposeful button pushing that will surely not yield the result of a willing conversation, but inevitable revulsion at such hard line Christian principle being screamed from any venue available. Schools, Fourth of July celebrations, gay bars, and even the streets of Ferguson, seems to be their venues of choice. You can tell they are on a mission...Read the rest here at my blog The Bluegrass Skeptic