Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Poor and Disabled in the Churches

[As I write this, some churches are exceptions to the below. Some area churches have helped me and offered the community charity.  Some have done so with a good spirit as well. These are trends I am seeing out there otherwise in the church world]

Some time ago I noticed the pastor's wife of the church I had just left posted this meme on her Facebook wall. It was otherwise full of gung-ho anti-welfare Republicanism. You know I can understand those who argue for limited government to a point but one thing never escaped my notice. They never offered any other real options for the poor or disabled outside of plucking their new middle class level job off the rainbows and unicorn Fox News job-tree. Their lives have been so different from my own.

Sometimes it got very tough being in that church. The pastor would rant and rave about how those who don't work, won't eat. Yes, it's in the Bible but there's a lot of verses that are ignored too, about fair day's wages for a fair days work and not oppressing the poor.

Psalm 12:5King James Version (KJV)
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

We both would cringe inside as the pastor lectured about those who took advantage of welfare or people who "didn't want to work" over and over.  Fox news ruled his mind. He never took the bankers to task. I tried to tell him different but failed. He would say nice words to me but not really listen.

As I wrote before I walked from that church the day it raised it's praise of war to the zenith. The pastor's son had taken to the pulpit to discuss his times in combat, unlike his thousand yard stare brother who had been there too, this guy seemed gleeful as if military combat was like summer camp. That was straw that broke the camel's back and I knew we didn't belong there anymore.

Class-wise we were the only poor people in that church, from what I could tell the lowest level above us was lower middle class. Everyone owned a home and had large intact families. Four families in the church were related to the pastor. There wasn't one single person outside of one widow, or child-less person in that church either out of 100 people which always gave me a strange feeling. I've seen that in churches I've visited, Single over a certain age? Childless? Those people just were not there.  It was like only nuclear families were allowed. It seemed a given that the people in that church, expect certain lifestyles and incomes. Sadly this was the outlook of the entire church. To be poor in many of today's evangelical churches means you are considered a "bum" who did not work hard enough. You didn't do what was "right" to get ahead. You don't fit in. It's like the white picket fence life is mandated.

Sadly classism is a growing problem in the churches. I am sure there are exceptions to this rule but when Rick Warren got a hold of Drucker a business executive to write Purpose Driven Life, there is a reason that churches were affected by the change of churches into a business model. Some churches of course reject Rick Warren but some of his work has had a cultural impact that has infiltrated society as a whole.  Churches are more focused on solving global poverty rather then dealing with the poverty right across the street or the train tracks. Pastors are more like business men then ministers and the most successful "sell" and get as many butts in seats as possible. Years ago the whole "seeker sensitive phenomenon was more about sales. Churches became more like 'consumer" organizations where salesmen or pastors were told to get in there and "hustle".

Poor church members don't work well in that model. If you are poor enough and groceries are negotiable and you can barely keep a 12-13 year old car running, there is not going to be any money for tithing. I don't believe in the 10 percent tithe but that is a whole other article and subject. In my old town I had people telling me, they didn't go to church because the pastors were always demanding money. Some told me point blank, "We are too poor to go to church.". I'm in that boat now.  In my case, I have strong beliefs that have taken me out of the churches, I'm not interested in things that range from Patriarchy/Quiverful to the Prosperity gospel, but yes, being poor influences church membership.  

Poor people don't make the pastors rich. I hope that doesn't sound too cynical, but think about the pastor who wants a good salary, a church full of very poor people who can barely throw a fiver in the basket weekly isn't going to pay his bills. His attention is going to go more towards the established and wealthier families handing over 10 percent of their entire income. More and more I'm with the people who start discussing how Paul was a tent-maker and provided for himself.

 Some of these people were going without medical care and necessities so I understood even as I was in a church myself back then. One thing that always got me, is I noticed some pastors living far higher socioeconomic levels then some of their church members. It seemed odd to be trying to dig out money I didn't have for some guy to have a newer car and huge home. We see the super-wealthy televangelists and others who live like millionaires but this happens on the lower level a lot. There's still a few humble folks out there, but there's many pastors living large who are out of touch with realities of the USA economy.

I became a Christian as an adult, and well, having recently left the church world for good, I'm mulling over a lot of stuff. I'm in a "wrestle" with God moment, arguing night and day. The best I can say is "I am still talking to God." I already had my atheist years so throwing down and walking away from the Christian faith is not an option but I do fear my own falling away. Maybe my faith is growing more real and this is some kind of "growth" process. A lot of what I saw in the Christian world while I had much to enjoy in my first good church, bothers me now, it seems appearing good there is actually more important then being good.  The fakeness doesn't appeal to me nor false displays of righteousness. I have discussed before in other articles along with a guest blogger, how people are told God will solve all their problems and guarantee them a great life, which in my mind is ensuring there are lots more atheists and others against God out there.  It is concerning how  "No" seems to be the answer to so many prayers lately.

The "Christian" world is troubling me on many levels. "Christians" seem "meaner" to me. Not all. I have good Christian friends and others who have a kind faith I meet all the time, but around a lot of Christians, I felt "judged". Hey I was a non-Christian long enough to know how that can go down, how I was screamed at for going to hell and told I was no good. It affected even the way I witnessed the gospel to others. Today I will witness once or twice but don't harangue people.

Among the church set for so many years, I noticed a lot of the same attitudes about the poor, that bothered me. Many loved the politicians that told people to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and went on and on about self reliance. They believed poor people had become poor via sin. That laziness, sloth, and drug and alcohol use were a given among the poor. In my case, they saw us as "lazy". My first church was rural and poor and more friendly, but I encountered more of this later as our own fortunes fell.

No one would imagine that my husband worked 14 hour days at the newspapers for years. Even now as poor as we are, he can spend the whole night hunched over the computer doing work. I was looking for more freelance work for him today and checking out job listings for him. The jobs are jokes, many jobs he can't physically do because they are manual, but all part time, temp and paying 8 dollars an hour. I swear wages have not advanced since the 1990s. I even checked out some newspaper jobs for him, we don't have money to move, but they are very few in number, and the pay for one was $25,000 a year which is what was offered in 1999 for reporter jobs. We know he is not in good enough health with caretaking duties to go back to the long days required in newspapers, it's troubling figuring out what to do.

 Of course many "Christians" have told me disability and welfare are evil, and to be frank, it was hard to be on social security disability and have a bunch of smug people tell me social security was a "slave system" and that only the wicked depended on the government. Roosevelt was still discussed as evil incarnate for the likes of Ronald Reagan who seemed to destroy the economic system that worked far better before. I noticed the Tea Party and Libertarian types who sought to shame me, always owned their own homes, had land and extensive families networks and safety nets I never could dream of. Their jobs and businesses were secure. Life for them had an easier path. To me the dogging out the poor and disabled made no sense. Why not have the attitude of "By the grace of God, go I?".

Here too, with Christian Republican set, they never offer any real options in place of social security and other helps. Some would sneer at me saying I hadn't overcome my liberalism of my UU days. Lets get real.  What church, charity or family is going to cover thousands of dollars in medical costs? A medicine I need to breathe daily and I have to use a nebulizer to take costs $1,066 retail PER MONTH. This med changed my life by the way, in terms of functionality, it helped my walking.

That's just one of my medicines, at least 2 others cost $700 bucks a monthly pop and I'm on more. I manage to keep myself out of the hospital via lots of maintenance medical care and nursing care when needed, but lets just say to me none of these people are realistic. They also scream about people "sucking off the government tit" at the behest of their brainwashers on radio stations and news programs. I have said to a few, "Ok so your answer to me is to go to the gutter?"

They thought they were special. I got the feeling many believed their blessings came to them because God had specially blessed them and they believed people lacking those things, did not obey God or did something to deserve their lot. Even if a church was not immersed into Word of Faith teachings that taught that prosperity came via closeness to God, I feel like this was a belief in many churches nonetheless. Really even in your non-Word of Faith churches, even "conservative-evangelical" the prosperity gospel has filtered through, like when the pastor at the last one taught, that if "you do right: God will bless you for it". What's that say about all the good people killed in wars and concentration camps and martyrs. My brain feels confused. Good home lives meant you were a good person. Identifying with the poor was identifying with the wicked and those God had not blessed.

 One guy who has influenced the churches greatly is a man named Dave Ramsey who had had financial seminars in the churches for years. That fellow had advanced "hate the poor" philosophies in the churches. His books seem to think expendable income is a given and that frugal living will save us all and anyone can afford a house and good cars if they are just practical and don't make budgetary mistakes. Many of the financially struggling were assured that Dave Ramsey would show them the way out.

 His prejudices are plain to see on his own website. Supposedly rich people are more moral and read a lot more. What would he think of my apartment with it's literally thousands of books. I never buy books, books can be gotten for very cheap. We used to sell books on ebay years ago for a little bit of money. This man's prejudices against the poor are sickening.  You mean poor people don't make to-do lists? I have right now detailing what car repairs need done. What is the deal with #11? What's wrong with speaking your mind? The idea that the poor sitting around eating junk food is also pure prejudice. Many poor people cook beans and pre-plan meals to the extreme.

When poor in the "Christian" community one is literally pounded with the "self reliant" gospel. Ayn Rand who was a Theosphist by the way and anti-Christian to the core is more adhered to then anything Jesus Christ said about the poor. Her gospel of selfishness has definitely taken root in some of the churches over the gospel of Jesus Christ. I read Fountainhead and her books in my 20s. She definitely seemed to advance self-service and a sociopathic attitude towards life. One pundit wrote of Ayn Rand I read years ago saying there were no children, old or disabled people in her books. Well children need care and giving, so wonder her fictional world was a child-free one.! Her philosophies today is one reason that so much of the "evangelical" right wing pairs themselves up with the most heartless bastards. It's one reason that Trump who has been divorced several times and who has lived by the gospel of "me" for decades--by the way he was born rich with a business owner father, is being endorsed by the Republican party.

There is a cold cruelty in much of the church world and it is showing in their politics. Some here may tell me why don't you go into more liberal churches, but I don't agree with their teachings either, so I will remain an outsider for life. There are Christians leaving the church system.

One of my husband's said to me, "Well the best Christians don't go to church" and I got what he meant. Even the liberal churches, hey I'm an ex-UU had the immense class issues too. Religion is used to shame the poor, time and time again, and they teach totally against what Jesus taught in this. I get the feeling that if Jesus broke out the loaves and fishes for the poor around these right wing evangelists types, most would get angry and say he was making the poor ,more dependent who wanted to suck off the system. Hey when their politicians say this stuff, they give them more votes. They don't care about billions being handed over for wars and bankers, the poor are easy scapegoats, they want to toss overboard. I believe many will find Jesus saying to them, "I never knew you". The war praisers I left in that last church definitely are in a precarious spiritual position.

Many of them are fearful of identifying with the poor and this is one way the politicians get laws passed for people's own demise. Even the anti-union movements had a lot to do with this. Why do right wing Christians hate unions? Even if some went corrupt, I don't get that one. It worries me how America is growing to be a more hateful place, and the 1% are laughing and running to the bank as more is handed to them from all the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" Steinbeck style.  Many of them call themselves "Christians" as their love of money and propriety takes precedent. They are choosing denial rather then truth and throwing all ideas of Christian charity under the bus. They scream and shout about the socialists, as the "threat" while advancing the powerful and corrupt themselves.

More and more their wolves in the pulpit are united with the powerbrokers of our society and they have gotten their congregations to do likewise too. Forgotten is that Jesus was sent to the cross via the religious and state system married together. Today religion and state are unifying in a muddle-mess of power and sociopathy worship, this is why the poor are being disenfranchised from the false Babylonian churches.

I think the cloaks of denial is bring more coldness and cruelty to the poor and disabled too. They are afraid of seeing us and want us hidden away. They don't want to know what all the empty store fronts and full soup kitchens and food pantries mean for their future too. Many disabled and other people have learned to be careful of do-gooders who will beat us down with a present in one hand and a boatload of criticism and false judgment in another. Philanthropy can be  used for sadism. Many poor get tired of in some religious circles of being the "pitied" and of being the "other".

There are good people out there who let you keep your humanity, there is one Lutheran woman in my town, who I believe has a true love for the poor but there are many who do not. They want to take it away. They see the poor as less then "human". You literally are not a human being to them. I know this feeling all too well.  Their own fears lead them to deny that they could be in your boat. When I see someone worse off then me, I don't think "Oh look at that old drunk, or what did he do to end up behind that shopping cart?" I think "What happened to him?" He is a person to me. Compassion is an emotion getting in shorter supply.

I had a discussion with an older man at a church food pantry on this. One thing I had said during that course of the conversation was, "How come poor people who are Christians don't have our own church families taking care of them?" This poor old man told me three churches had treated him like he was invisible. I said if Jesus showed up wearing his robe and sandals with some dust of the road on him, they'd throw him out and yell "Get a job you bum!" He told me about his last pastor who drove a Cadillac.

Yeah the liberal world isn't much different either. It's not any easier on the poor. The New Age went into that book "The Secret" think and grow rich and money will come to you!  This became a new Social Darwinism of it's own. Strange how there is an overlap with Ayn Rand there too.  Rich New Agers told me "I lacked good karma" and have directly told me I must have been a very wicked person in my last life to have these severe disfiguring health problems and money problems." One psychic--medical intuitive to be exact,  I visited during my UU days, told me, that I had been a very wicked woman in my past life. He gave me details of these lives which seemed very made up and was now equalizing my karmic position via suffering.

This oddly happened to me with some of the "Christians" too.  It is an overlap that I was sure to notice. By the way I am learning to keep my mouth more shut about any problems outside of this blog. I think it will help me. One person I dealt with basically became a spiritual abuser using my abuse, and troubles to tell me that in a Christian context, I was "wicked" and "paying the price" for it.

[this verse is supposed to be spiritual healing not, you will never have any health problems in your life]

 The spiritual abuser told me because of my abuse and severe health problems I needed freed via "deliverance". She told me God wanted to heal me. She told me I did not have a natural disease--well the one I took 17 years to get diagnosed but at that time it wasn't diagnosed yet. If disabled be very careful of any Christians that promise "deliverance" or "healing" via prayer. I even faced this in the Catholic church where some charismatic Catholics told me, that if I had enough faith God would heal me. Problem is if you are still sick 5 years later, they see you as not having done what you were "supposed to".  I can see many people already having lost their faith under some pressures I've been under. Here the message too was, same as the karma New Agers, if you suffer, it's your fault. If I had not read the book of Job, they would have destroyed me with their false teachings.

 It is a place where many abuses and false theology and doctrines can abound. Even if one is questioning, and keeps an open mind that examines what they have to offer, these religious types can wiggle into your mind in an insidious fashion. Deeming themselves always the supreme experts, being a deferential scapegoat here, is not a good position.  I thought surely something is spiritually awry being so poor and sick. Isn't God supposed to be blessing me? It only troubled my mind. Thankfully I broke away from the person in question, but one question I still ponder in that context, why are the suffering always the ones who are deemed wicked and the prosperous are the good? The Bible actually says the exact opposite.

Psalm 73:12
Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

What does that say about Jesus Christ who ended up suffering the most on the cross? I never attended any Pentecostal or Charismatic churches in my case, but they are notorious for this. I've met ill people who took a pounding from those who told them they need their demons and curses of illness and financial problems drummed out of them.  Those are dangerous places to admit you have any life challenges. My spiritual abuse came via an online "friendship", but in those churches, a disabled person will be told they have been "cursed" by the demon if illness or told that once delivered God will heal all their health problems. They are not seen as human either. They are seen as a problem to be reckoned with. The only answer is to be healed. If you failed to do that, you are a spiritual failure.

I never judged poor people myself this way but I figured out even in the churches I was in, that the main message was "Bad Things happen to Bad People" so what does that say about Jesus Christ on the cross?

There seems to be an open war on the disabled, suffering and poor in many of these churches. Their bad politics speak to their dark hearts.  I believe that false teachings have taken over, and they are not preaching the comfort and goodness of God but drawing a net around people giving false hopes and dreams and answers for this life they focus on instead of eternal life. It ties into the sheer hatred shown many groups of people too. I can't go hate everyone like one certain party seems to want me to do. I'm not politically correct but I figure that is a path of evil too many of them are going down. The whole "Lets blow up the Islamic world"  following the Plan for a New American Century "Christian response", gets on my nerves, and yes I care about the Jewish people too.  By the way Iran is next on the list for the war mongers. The churches seem like they will be cheering to the day mushroom clouds are on the horizon.

The day I sat there, watching the pastor's ex-soldier son gleefully speak of killing people of another religion made me sick to my stomach. It's even hard to explain. A dark spirit has taken over many churches and I was feeling it that day. That very moment I knew I would be walking for good. Really they have become religious sock puppets to the elites who want their globalist wars and wars of civilizations. Evangelical churches almost seem to lust for Armageddon and can't wait until it gets here.

So why should I expect the treatment of the poor and disabled to be any better? All I know is I am done with the lot of them.  I will see where God takes me now.


  1. The only way I am getting out of my disability is through the funeral home. I am glad people like that are not the medical directors that decide who will get disability and who won't. To look at me you wouldn't think I was disabled but I can hardly walk through the grocery store without sitting and resting for a spell. My red blood count stays perennially too low to keep the rest of me oxygenated.

    1. Me too. Whatever is wrong with me there's no fixing it either. Even if I took off more weight it won't fix the lungs or ears and a lot more that is wrong. The promises of false healing did nothing but burden me. It was another "race" and "competition" I was expected to win and I am tired. Sorry your red blood count stays so low. I battle ongoing anemia and when that is in full swing, I can barely move so a worse form of that I don't even want to imagine. "Invisible" disabilities are hard to contend with in that way.

  2. The last time I went to church was about a decade ago. I was living in New York and had no family or friends, so I decided to find the closest greek orthodox church and pray. It took me by surprise that in the middle of my prayer, when I was absorbed and had my eyes shut, a dickhead started tapping me because he wanted me to put money in a small basket he was carrying around to collect donations. The idiot had already passed twice already, but I guess donating twice was not enough.Another time I was in desperate need of help, so I went and I spoke to the priest of another greek church in Queens. He told me I was crazy and had to go back home...

    1. Sorry the guy pressured you to give while you were praying, yeah like twice enough wasn't enough for him to get the hint. I remember in the last church trying to roll the dollar bills and crinkle them up so the others couldn't see how little I was giving. It stressed me out. They would pass out these envelopes for checks too in any church I've ever been in. I see religion as a total money-racket more and more. Sorry that one other clergy member would not help you. I have asked for help at churches before, nothing more embarrassing then that. Some treat you okay but some it's like you are gum on the bottom of their shoe. I always wonder why no one wants to help with a real job for my husband.

  3. Its rather silly how churches don't seem to understand poverty even with Jesus' teachings. One thing I never understood is how a person living on $800 a month was supposed to tithe 10%, and believe in God for the rest. Well, they are supposed to trust God, which is good, but that would put them in a place of crisis, of trauma, and this is normal?

    And also, I was told that if I don't tithe on the little that I do have, then I certainly won't tithe if I was rich. Well, I believe I would find it easier to tithe if I was rich. That whole thing never made sense.

    Lots of times at the food bank where I volunteer, I meet traumatized people. I am not to embarrassed to mention here that I would have a hard time with simplest tasks like bathing myself when I had no money and couldn't pay my bills, I mean it was just too hard. Self-care takes a lot of emotional work. But you meet people in church who say that soap is cheap, and yes it is, but it is never that.

    What I'm saying is that when you are poor things are so hard, its terrible. The self-care goes out the door for me, and I imagine it is that why for a lot of people too. I've seen it.

    And for me, yes people pushed me to find work, I could find any job, I studied engineering, I have a degree people would kill for. But I was broken, and no one would understand it.

    1. I never tithed even in my first church. Back then I had more energy even though I was very disabled to do some volunteer work and church activities like helping to sew quilts for missionaries and since I can't sew well, I'd cut the squares or do a few straight stitches.

      Giving 10 percent would have meant no food or being in the street for me. Those money pressures I think keep the poor away. At least my rural church helped us and most were nice about it but the rural town as a whole was dying and poor so there was a little more sympathy. There's part of me in losing this church family didn't want to expend the energy and go through the loss again. The new churches weren't as close or friendly or as accepting of disabilities and far higher in socioeconomic status.

      I used to laugh at the tithing sermons inside, you are kidding me right? The clergy class have abused a verse Malachi 3 which really the 10 percent was for collection for the poor to be given to them NOT THE PRIESTS or clergy in Israel.

      Yes the poor are traumatized. it never ends either. A lot of life is just frightening, and scary where you do run out of food or things you need. Two people who can't walk are petrified of being without a car. It's like we don't deserve anything.

      Being in the position of begging makes people angry. One illness and you can lose your job and see the streets. My husband had bad enough gout, he should have been in the ER this weekend but we have to wait for the free clinic appointment tomorrow, which means 400 dollars vs. 20 or 40 that will be added to the free clinic tab.

      Yeah self care goes out the window. I don't get to eat what I should be eating all the time. I laugh at the diet queens with their mountains of vegetables that would cost endless money. Paleo and gluten free and health food stores are beyond my means.

      It does bring depression and well yes, even getting things done costs money. Recreation is out the window, hobbies, going places, seeing people. Some of the spiritual abusers told me, my wickedness was even keeping the money away. I guess my Catholic family even believes that one a bit since the rich ones see themselves as morally superior.

      The car brakes took our last dime on Saturday. We are always under the gun. The job listings are sad beyond pathetic. All minimum wage. He already makes minimum wage at home. It's like the job listings of the no hopers and then I seem to see all these people who made good, and I think how did they do it?


    2. Yes everything is harder when you are poor and more expensive. There seems to be no let up. You stop looking forward to things. Christmas [Saturnalia] is a spit in your face too. I went into a store to buy the "luxury" item of India Ink for 4 dollars--comic related thing. This is the only non-food, non car repair or medical related item I will probably buy all month-I haven't bought even a magazine in YEARS--I get old ones for free at the library and I saw people with full carts buying hundreds of dollars of presents. These floral arrangements just to put a basket on a table were $79.99, I know where I could get one of those for 2.00 dollars at a thrift store.

      Some have said to me, why don't you go get a job. Trust me you can be hunched over a walker, tell a person I can't breathe outside, tell them you threw up twice for going to the dentist when the temperatures were borderline and still be told "get a job". Republicans seem to think anyone can get a great middle class job. Well I watched my husband for years take tests for govt jobs--he'd pass and always some jerk behind a desk would destroy our life with a flick of a wrist and a turned down thumb, and other dead end no hope things. He wouldn't even have the right clothes now if he could get a job.

      So I have been there Joan S. I have been told things like why don't you make something of your art and to almost spin miracles. Everything seems so easy to everyone else. It gets to me. My husband has a college degree too and me too. If you are Aspie or a little bit overweight or even have minor health problems or committed the crime of growing older, the work-world is merciless.

  4. Yeah, I've been noticing that lately, merciless worldlings always have e-z advice. Guess what those busy-bodies can do with their NON-help!

    1. Merciless worldlings, I like that phrase, sums them up. Their advice isn't worth much is it? Some think they got you pegged and don't know half of what a person deals with. I'm done with the slummers and pity-makers.

  5. Dear Peeps and Friends, some things in the (Bible-chapter-reciting) fundamentalist church i attend, don't quite add up either. Things moments. What keeps me going, is fear that i will fall away - and back into the old life...don't want that. So 'am keeping my guard up. What a way to have to live. Talk about hanging by a hem!

    1. That is the kind of church I just left and was in before. I know exactly what you mean. I know God will tell you where you need to be. It's not always easy flying solo with no church but in my case things were too extreme at this last one. The last place was beyond the pale. Understand the hanging by a hem. :( It's not easy, I know. I fear falling away too.

    2. I agree with Sue here, its so hard to not fall into behaviours I don't want to, and church helps keep me stable.

      Unfortunately, churches, Christians don't understand bullying, sociopathy, and they believe they only need to be saved. I think they ought to understand the truth.

      And churches need to understand the truth about poverty, and its not about a man not willing to work. The only person I've ever met not willing to work was my ex, and they are so few are far between, not enough to line up the welfare line, not enough at all. Very little the church knows, I feel.

      I'm just remembering how it felt like when I couldn't take care of myself very well. A tiny hole in a shirt needing repairs meant nothing to me, I was up against buying food, paying rent, amounting to hundreds of dollars I didn't have. It was all just too much. So when I see people that are unwashed, unkempt, I totally get it, makes sense.

      And being bullied all my life is hard to take, even now, I'm aware but I'm angry, that don't make a very nice Christian, when I have to show compassion, and all I see are people smirking everywhere I go. Ok, thanks for the rant, lol.

    3. Understand churches keeping you stable. It is hard not having church family, or one that a person feels okay going to. The "unchurched" feel that way so I understand. I don't think Christians understand bullying or sociopathy. There is a denial about what true evil entails.

      I haven't seen the people unwilling to work either. Most can't get jobs, some are beaten down by low wage work, where you are abused everyday or physically they can't hack things like standing for 8 hours a day. That's one thing not talked about how standing at a fast food restaurant for even a short part time shift kills your legs and feet. There were some jobs I had where I was forced to stand and move for 8 plus hours and the pain was ungodly even in my 20s. A lot of poorer people their bodies have broken down and it gets worse with age. My husband is not capable of a restaurant job or standing minimum wage work like at a store. He can't walk now barely. I think the churches don't know a lot either. If you think about it a pastor's job while some may have to do a lot of home visits or the poorer ones fix and do janitorial work for the church, its not the same.

      Yeah I understand the not taking care of one's self very well. I have to dedicate a lot of time and money to the medical end. Decent food costs too much. One can see class level in looks, how old ones clothes are, what does the hair look like. I have two stitched holes I sewed on the dress I'm wearing right now. I have not ever had a perm and a haircut that has cost money since 2004. Just paying the basics feels impossible. I am so glad you understand. The money they seem to want for everything is insane. I am surprised more don't throw up their hands but then the street awaits. I'm tired, its like the world has whipped both our butts and yelled "yeah you deserve it you ingrates" while the rest live like kings.

      I had worse poverty where I had no money for laundry, that one really sucked. Doing the clothes in the sink doesn't seem to get them as clean. I get it when I see people like that too. My husband needs new clothes, when people are bigger the thrift stores don't help much. Your size isn't anywhere.

      Yeah the bullying stinks. Most churches I discussed in this article, its more covert stuff. You want to think best of a place and imagine making friends and more but then realized they didn't tell you about certain events or were demanding a present to go to every church event. They wanted 25 dollars for the two of you to eat that the church dinner. One nice lady talked to me I still have FB contact with but outside of her, no one did.

      Yeah then one feels the guilt, oh no I'm not a very nice Christian having thoughts like this. The sin of envy has taken over my heart but then I wondered how come I never met others in my boat? Maybe they got smarter quicker and just stayed home. LOL I have seen the smirking people too. Well at least now I have freed myself from the "please like me" mode. Some place where I have to hide all my troubles and even worried about the car's loud muffler at the front of the church door when my husband dropped me off, so relieved not to be there anymore.

  6. Dear Peeps, from what i gather, most people are very busy keeping that money-mask in place. It continually amazes me to see people driving $50k cars, living in $300k houses, and going around in back-yard clothes - at the office! Ya'd think the office would be the place to show off ones duds. While upper management dresses the part, i can't help but to suspect there are alot of wanna-bees out there, desperately wanting people to think they're well-to-do, when the reality is rather threadbare linnens in the closets of those barely-afforded mcmansions. i hear alot of va-ca talk, and cannot help but to suspect a whole lot of scrimping for the sake of being the center of attention two or three times a year. Fakers are annoying. And the Lord commands us to love and pray for fakers. i don't love them freaking people. Yep, the Christian life is hard. It will take a miracle of Biblical proportions for me to quit being such a bayoch.

    1. Sue, it seems to me at least where I live now, maybe this is a nationwide trend, that people are busy hiding any money problems and yes wearing money masks. Maybe many are on the credit card train and it hasn't pulled into the station yet. The jobs aren't matching the wages that would allow for the people I see buying tons of gifts for the holidays. I noticed one laughable trend, people doing made up conversations on cell phones, to appear "busy" and important, I guess it is the same thing. Sounds like being "house-poor" is a thing. Yes with the vacations it gets to be a bit much too. Yes the Christian life can be hard. The fakers get to me. There's so few willing to get real. The more fake, also judge those who can't do the show-off parade. LOL I need a miracle too.

  7. What you wrote is so powerful, and hits directly at the moral state of the visible church at large, and state of conscience of the nation as a whole. I hope you don't mind if I share with you some of the stuff Ive been studying...I think it's relevant to your piece.

    Narcissists and sociopaths are masters of defining morality for the rest of us. It gives them moral leverage they can use to control us...controlling us through our own conscience. I think this is one reason Jesus got so pissed off at the religious rulers of his day. They were in a position of power over the masses, and were using that power to re-define morality in a way that benefited them. The Pharisees created a moral environment, or culture, that provided the leverage they needed to steer the people, via their conscience, to do things that did NOT benefit the poor, or oppressed, or needy, but benefit their own pocket books, prestige and ego.

    Controlling the moral culture. This is why the DOD spends millions of dollars to put on lavish displays before the start of every NFL game. We call it patriotism, but it is actually a means to establish a moral base from which to manipulate the masses through the conscience (sense of right and wrong) of the masses.

    Jesus pronounced a curse on the rulers of his day for doing this.

    Here's one for you that I've been pondering: Ever heard this in church? "The devil is out to break up families". This is establishing a moral base from which to work that keeps countless people trapped in abusive relationships with their parents. If this maxim were true, then it would put Jesus Himself in the same class as the devil. It was Jesus Who said He came to bring a sword, not peace, that would turn mother against daughter, daughter against mother, etc.

    The God I serve is the God of the oppressed. The God I serve is the God of the broken hearted, the outcast and the abuse victim. He is the God of the poor.

    Thank you Peep for sharing your thoughts with us...they are treasures from heaven if you ask me.


    1. Hi Smakintosh, thanks for your thoughts. I agree about the visible church, the moral state of the churches is intertwined with the lack of conscience of the country as a whole.
      You summed up something very well for me here smakintosh, how the narcissists and sociopaths, all tell us what the "right way of doing things" is, judging our "morality". They are setting the standards now, the twisted, warped, devilish ones, that are used to pound people into the ground and literally "wear out the saints". How many millions are told they are "bad" people for not measuring up to their skewed morality--the money game is just one of the aspects too. So yes they use this moral leverage to induce false guilt and control.

      I agree this is why Jesus was so angry at the religious rulers, he didn't hold back. He called them vipers. Yes Pharisees redefined morality itself, and we see this today now, with the RULES of society which often don't overlap with the commandments of God but are made up "rules" and "structures'. The white washed tombs going on about the gnats. Matt 23:27.
      It was all about their prestige and power, yes those games continue to this day.

      I agree about the DOD and the modern gladiator games. Patriotism is a great manipulator. The church I left definitely had that intermingled with their war praising. Pictures of soldiers, fighter planes, my country right or wrong, you know that whole drill. They do influence peoples consciences directly and close them down. No one thought, about the discrepancy of a man "celebrating" combat which includes KILLING, from a church pulpit. A person doesn't have to be a pacifist to be upset by the "celebration mode" there.

      Yes he pronounced a curse on the rulers of his day and I am sure there is a one for the modern ones who have forsaken God.

      Oh I have heard the devil wants to break up families lines a million times. The last pastor preached this one during a sermon on forgiveness. He talked about how wrong it was to "cut people off" The Bible tells us to depart from the wicked so he ignored many parts of the Bible on that one. Many people hear that one and also Honor your mother and father and believe they have to sit with the wicked and take abuse for decades. I agree it does put Jesus in the same class as the devil. Jesus warned of the division that would come. The division has come for me. I hint of these things but the religious aspects also were a strong part of why I had to walk. Forbidden to speak of God [at all] or the Bible in someone's house? Even to keep company, I am committing idolatry by endless biblical edicts. I agree, you serve the same God I do. Not the false "god" [Baal] of the powerful and patriots and those who worship power and mammon. The camel going through the eye of a needle was a real warning Jesus gave. Thanks smakintosh. I appreciate your kind words.

    2. Wow, I've been on the receiving end of narcs defining reality many times in my life. It is a terrifying position to be in. This is where they play really dirty, and mess with your mind, can get a hoarde of people in on it too. I chose my ex because he was very "compassionate". You should have seen him, crying over a scene in a movie, that didn't make me cry. "Why are you not crying, did you not see the person die?" Sigh it was a fictional movie, I felt no urge to cry. He was all that for crying. Blamed me for being horrible, and I felt horrible. Or when princess Diana died, he cried for days. Told me I was cold. And made me feel like a first class heel. "Her life was worth so much, you would never be like she was." Even my narc friends and other people would say that I was cold for not listening to my "husband". That he was trying to help me be a better person. I mean, what the? I didn't cry over things like they thought I should have.

      Oh gee, I'm losing or getting off topic. I know narcs define the moral code, and just wanted to agree with Smakintosh here. So many stories I can tell you about that. Other narcs even, just remembering how my ex did it.

    3. Ugh a narc who can turn on the waterworks is one of the most dangerous kinds. I'm used to the cold fish types, but those who cry like that and then get mad that you are not making the same displays. Notice how he used even Princess Diana to put you down. :( You know that brings back a memory, sometimes my narcs would call me cold, it usually had to do with being an Aspie or if I didn't go nuts enough over a Christmas gift they wanted to show off with. Narcs and others will team up and label the SG all sorts of things, they will say you are a terrible person, even with no contact, "Oh how dare she, she is so cold!" followed by "I did so much for her". Yes the narcs have co-opted the moral code. I believe they are changing our society in really sick ways. Yes some do the phony compassion thing.

  8. Hello, everyone, this is Mr. Peep checking in. I see a lot of chats with Mrs. Peep reflected here. A couple of thoughts that come to mind:

    Go-go politics and finance go hand-in-hand with go-go religion. The Rick Warren phenomenon is simply the contemporary version of, say, "The Man Nobody Knows," a 1925 bestseller that portrayed Jesus as "the world's greatest business executive" whose 12 disciples were plucked from the ranks of under-performing entities -- I'm not making this up! The man who wrote it, Bruce F. Barton, was an advertising executive looking for a way to make the Man Upstairs more accessible to the next generation.

    All this is my way of saying...if pastors get used to getting spoiled, it's not a coincidence, because these things have been going on for a long time. I see our current troubles as eerily reminiscent of the 1920s, right down to the yawning gaps of inequality, blurring of government and capital, and gangster-ish business moves.

    As far as the last church goes, I got increasingly irritated by the incessant drumbeat for tithing -- my feeling is that folks should give whatever they feel is appropriate, without being pressured to hit some kind of unforgiving benchmark. On that score, Elli G., I'm sorry you had to face such pressure in such an in-your-face fashion.

    My lasting memory of that last church is passing by the pastor's truck, which stood parked by the side -- a glittering, gray, tank-like beast, mind you, not some kind of mid-sized beater that had seen better days. So whenever the tithing drum started pounding, I thought, "He must have picked out a second one."

    Of course, one problem with this stuff is that -- in many cases -- you're never really sure what you're actually supporting. As a child of the '70s, I do recall my former church giving a detailed rundown of where our contributions went each week -- which mission got what, pastor's expenses, etc. -- so even if you didn't agree with all of it, at least you had some idea where it went. I haven't really seen that kind of breakdown since.

    This brings me to another point not mentioned in this post -- mission trips, which critics often dismiss as "religious tourism." At one of the other churches we attended (for a time), I remember the pastor having some kind of ongoing trip to Jamaica -- but I don't remember hearing a lot of details about what he was doing there, and what kind of impact he was making.

    Then again, a lot of folks here could use the help -- and, in most cases, you wouldn't even need to buy a plane ticket to go on some long-distance trip to see them, let alone help them out. No religious tourism required...what a concept! The mind boggles.

    1. Hi Mr. Peep. :)

      Yeah Rick Warren just copied that guy, I remember reading about that book years ago. The business men wanted their religious cut years ago. Another recent book, I read is called

      It talks bout how the corporations got in on the action and a lot of the political shenanigans in the churches. Religion and state are more then married in America.

      I agree the spoiled pastors goes along with the 1920s and a repeat of the "cleaning out the till".

      Yes the constant calls for tithes got annoying. I laughed when you told me you had noticed his huge new truck and told me maybe he wanted to buy a new one. He wasn't suffering at all monetarily. I'm even disturbed by my last pastor who I liked, by the way and kept contact with buying a 60 foot boat, running and biking in expensive marathons also necessitating travel and going on constant vacations across the USA with his four children. His wife is a stay at home Mom but the money seems to pour in nonetheless. I kept thinking Wow, these pastors are doing so much better aren't they? And these churches aren't huge they were running, 100-150 people. I think there is a reason there were no poor people in that last church, some came from surrounding rural areas, and we know there are people living lower down the socioeconomic scale in this area, both rural and in the city.


    2. I don't think many know what they are supporting at all. I think it is rare a church would run all the expenses down like that. Ah yes they love their mission trips cough vacations around here. Remember the church we went into to watch that one documentary and that pastor had traveled the entire globe to the Dominican Republic and a few other countries? These pastors seem to think there are no people around here to help. All you have to do is drive on the road behind the mall and Aldis to see shacks that make our humble apt look like a palace. It sickens me, so wonder they bang the globalist drum like a gong. The guy going to Jamaica, it was an obvious vacation, he went every year and I heard him tell others, he stayed in this older hotel. You never see any of these guys go anywhere cold, you mean there's no remote areas of Canada that need preaching? No eskimos? Bojork and pals in Iceland don't need a few bibles? There's always a beach near by and some palm trees and this is not by accident. You see these pastors spend literally thousands of dollars to go overseas. I saw a high school friend where they got 20 kids in a youth group to go to another country and thought how much thousands of dollars did that cost just for the plane tickets? Supposedly there's no one to help in America. I dare say in the upper middle class enclaves, some seem woefully ignorant of any poor people in America at all. I knew I didn't want to give money for their vacation plans.

  9. I really loved this article, a lot. The brutal honesty is so refreshing. Too,many live in a bubble. If we are going to reign with Christ, we will have to suffer with Him, as he did. Remember that Jesus did not even have a place to lay his head, he too was homeless, and his Mother Mary, she was poor along with Jesus's family. Remember those who shall think of themselves first,shall be last. I heard this story one day from a promenant pastor, he put it like this, there was a kids event happen at the school and ice cream was to be served, so you can image the kids all huddled in the basketball court area where the Ice cream was being served and adults were aware of the object lesson the pastor was to give, and immediately the bullies were at the front of the line, and the shoving was very obvious as the weakest smallest child was at the very last of that line with a real discouraged look about their faces of being shoved to the back, and when they all were lined up and quieted down, the pastor said Now everyone turn around in the opposite direction facing this wall 180degree turn, so they did as parents watched on from the bleachers. Just then the pastor told the group starting with the smallest child that the line starts here. And He said the last shall be first and the first shall be last. The bullies of that line were not happy, and quite embarrassed. The parents were heard with Amens. Now that is what it means to be like Jesus like the last meek child of that line, bumped and bruised hearts as he thought he was last and when he saw he was first, that glimmer of Hope made the rest of that boys day of confidence, and God is beautiful like that, I hope you find good Christian friends who will be like, JESUS for you. Even He had to love the same ones, who didn't really accept him, and are now lost for eternity. Hope this helps, not all men have faith and not all Christians love Jesus or His Saints.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I agree about people living in a bubble, and a lot of the evangelical world is like that now, it got worse even during my time in, like when older people were dying off, some of the older outlooks did with them. Yes those who reign with Christ will suffer in this world. Some are made to pay prices for not "selling out" or joining with the wickedness.

      Its true Jesus was basically homeless and so were Mary and Joseph earlier on. Agree with the first and last verses, many who are on top in this world are getting their reward now.

      I am glad that pastor preached that. It had to alarm him to see bullies fighting over ice cream, that's is pretty sad among adults who probably could afford some gourmet foodie ice cream down the street if they wanted it. Glad that little boy was put first. Thanks. :)