Baptist Pastor Encourages Lying to Children!

Published from a comment.
“It’s ok to lie to children”, “There is no original sin”, and “We are born sinless,” says a Baptist pastor.
Greg’s sermon on the 28th of May 2017 was on the topic of heaven from his series on “frequently asked questions”. As usual, there were many embarrassing unbiblical bungles in Greg’s “sermon”, but let’s review the ones that must not be neglected as they were weighty mistakes and if left unaddressed could mislead the church.
Greg’s began by citing the common questions about heaven.
“Where is heaven?”
Greg says “Heaven is up, but where is up?” and then Greg laughs, he shows pictures of a milky way galaxy, directs his laser pointer at the different part of the galaxy and repeats, “where is up? Here, here or here?” He then irreverently says “Jesus looked up and prayed, but there is no up” Greg closed the question by stating “no one really knows where is heaven” This phrase “no one really knows” became the underlying theme of his sermon. In pretending to be ‘scientifically informed’ and smarter than his audience, Greg ended up ridiculing Christ, the Creator of the Universe.
Greg’s next question on Heaven was, “Will my pets be in heaven?”
Greg informs the church that his wife is convinced that her pets will go to heaven. Greg then raises a question, “won’t pets need a saviour to go to heaven?” and provides his wife’s answer to his hypothetical question. According to the pastor’s wife, who has been listening to her husband teach and preach the bible for over 20 years, “pets don’t need a saviour because unlike her husband, her pets are perfect and sinless, and therefore don’t need a saviour.” As silly as this comment may be, it is not entirely wrong, Greg’s pets at least don’t watch or show porn in the church. Back on point, in that sermon, Greg quoted his wife so often, it was hard to tell who was preaching, Greg or Greg’s wife. Greg says in passing that only humans have souls, but “no one really knows.”
Greg misuses Isaiah 11:6 to suggest that our pet may go to heaven.
Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
But that verse is talking about a new heaven and new earth, which means all creation (including all the animals) will be newly created!
Greg tells the church, we need to change our answer to this question depending on who is asking the question.
According to Greg, if a theological student asks, then the answer should be, “Absolutely not, animals don’t go to heaven” but if a 6-year-old is asking, then the answer is “of course, fluffy is going to heaven.”
This would be funny if it were stand-up comedy, but a pastor encouraging the congregation to lie to children is no laughing matter. If Greg was suggesting that we do not hurt the children’s feelings, then there are many other answers that would be less deceitful, while ensuring the child’s hopes are not destroyed.
One could say that we God made pets for us to enjoy here on earth, God has prepared far better things in heaven, and based on Isaiah, animals in heaven will better, they will not grow old, fall sick and die.
Greg closed the questions by saying again that “No one knows, and the Bible is silent on the matter.” But the bible is not silent on the matter; it’s just silent to Greg because Greg does not sufficiently read or study the Bible.
Will babies and children who die young go to heaven?
It’s hard to tell if this whole topic was a big joke for Greg. His demeanour seems to indicate that he does not believe that there is such as place as heaven. He states that there is no original sin and that children are born sinless, so Children may go to heaven when they die young but that no one really knows.
But again, the Bible is not silent on this topic; Greg is simply ignorant about the verses that speak to this subject. When his son with Bathsheba died, Kind David declares in 2 Samuel 12:23, “But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Unless Greg believes that King David, a man after God’s own heart is going to hell, the verse clearly indicates that King David, inspired by the Holy Spirit knew he would see his son again in Heaven.
Greg avoided taking a clear position on any of the questions by saying that “We don’t really know because the Bible is silent on it.”
Should we accept this ill prepared, half hearted sermon from a pastor who takes home about hundred thousand a year? Possibly more with all the benefits and kickbacks. In other jobs, people have to work extremely hard to make that kind of money, but a pastor has all week to prepare for a 30 minute “sermon”, and that’s what we got.

One thought on “Baptist Pastor Encourages Lying to Children!

  1. Paul, please publish my comment.

    Is Groupthink occurring in Moonee Ponds Baptist Church Leadership?

    What is Groupthink?

    Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”.
    Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.
    A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.

    How can we tell if Groupthink is occurring in the current church leadership?
    One way to tell is when the leader’s irrational decisions go unchallenged. Take for example the recent church meeting where Greg – the pastor and BUV got a member voted out for raising a complaint about Greg’s bullying behaviour. This is an obvious example that Groupthink is prevalent in the church leadership. A member has the right to raise complaints about the pastor’s abusive behaviour, without the fear of such extreme retaliation. In this instance, based on Greg’s confession, the grounds were legitimate. A Pastor is a bully if he goes around calling member “idiots” for questioning his decision to change the pews. There is no provision in the church constitution for the church leadership and BUV to do what they did. Since the complaints were grounded on Greg’s abusive name calling, why was the pastor not removed?

    Are the members of the leadership similar in their background?
    Moonee Ponds Baptist Church is an ethnically diverse church. Until Greg’s took the pastoral role, the leadership (9 deacons and 3 elders) consisted of members from different ethnic groups. Since Greg took the pastoral role, he insisted and kept the leadership purely of middle aged Australian (4 Deacons and 2 Elders). The only new member of the diaconate is a woman who “incidentally” raised a petition to get the previous pastor removed. Maybe Greg is ensuring that she does not raise a petition against him. This is incredibly strange, but no one will ask any questions about it.

    Is the group insulated from outside opinions?
    Greg has labelled any dissenting voice as insubordination to his “God given Authority” over the church. He has bullied members into leaving the church when they challenge his theology or abusive leadership style. He calls himself – “The benevolent dictator.”

    Breaking the rules.
    How is Greg getting away with a 4-member diaconate when the Constitution stipulates that there should be a minimum of 9 members? Greg insisted 4 years back that he does not want to increase the diaconate membership “for a short time”, but it has been 4 years. The constitution stipulates a 9 member diaconate to avoid groupthink, and that is exactly what is happening.

    Lacking Moral Judgement.
    In Moonee Ponds Baptist Church, a pastor will not be removed for lying to the congregation, preaching heresies, bullying and intimidating members, or even showing porn during service – as long as he is from the same background as the inner group.
    In Moonee Ponds Baptist Church, a pastor will only be removed if the influential inner-group do not like him. When this group, (led by a member who is currently serving a deaconess) do not like a (non-Australian) pastor, they started a petition to get the pastor removed, on the grounds that they don’t like “his style,” thus breaking moral grounds to get what they want, rather than do what is right.

    Irving Janis provides the following Symptoms of Groupthink:

    1. The illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
    2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
    3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
    4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
    5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
    6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
    7. The illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
    8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

    Greg recently preached (in his “exposition” of the letter to the Ephesians) that the Moonee Ponds Baptist Church will cease to exist 15 years from now if members continue to resist God’s plan. This may happen, but Greg is the one killing the church, and it’s Greg’s plans that some are resisting, not God’s.

    The long-standing members who have left the church are not new Christians or nominal Christians; they are good Christians who are firmly grounded in the word of God. Is that not a telling sign that they don’t agree with Greg and his liberal theology? Only a few faithful are now left in the church, and they are quietly hoping that Greg will soon leave so the church can be spiritually rebuilt from the ground up.

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