Author Topic: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?  (Read 2517 times)

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Offline neopagan

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Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »
The megachurch I attend (as a closeted atheist) decided last year to get all down and dirty with missions to "unreached people groups."  They had several meetings, sermons, $$ drives, to get everyone all pumped up about going out to the farthest reaches of the globe to win lost souls for jeezus!

Some of their actual calls to battle:
     Be prepared to move somewhere uncomfortable to your western viewpoint
     Be ready to reach out to the downtrodden
     Be happy to suffer inconveniences for jeezus
     Give $$$
     Blah, blah, blah

So late last year, they built up to the big "reveal" on where months of study, research, prayer, guidance from the holy ghost Casper, etc have lead the all knowing brain trust linked directly to god to set up camp to win him some followers.  Where did they pick you ask...?

... Sana'a, Yemen?
... Mogadishu, Somalia?
... anywhere in Haiti
... Detroit??

Nope, you are all wrong!  BRUSSELS, Belgium

The church announced this live via a Skype connection to their missionary they sent, who is sitting in a coffee shop eating a pastry. 

I didn't even get to apply for this missionary position 

I rest my case... it's ALL a scam
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 11:34:42 AM »
Have you BEEN to Belgium?   ;D

But seriously, this is just.....words fail me. 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 11:44:22 AM »
Nope, you are all wrong!  BRUSSELS, Belgium

What a bunch of spineless, candy assed, pussies. 

How did you resist saying aloud "are you shits fucking kidding me?"  I'd demand my money back.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 12:11:29 PM »
Isn't Belgium Catholic?  Don't they already know Jesus?  Is there anywhere on Earth that has not heard of Jesus and all the other supporting characters?

I hope your church sent more money for the poor missionary and the suffering they were going thru for Jesus.

This, among many, is one of the reasons I left the church.

On a side note:  I had to go to a visitation for an aunt that died.  It was Catholic so I knew the rosary would be said.  Every time I have been to one of these the priest leads the service.  Tis time the priest could not be bothered so he sent a record...like a 45 from long ago...of the rosary to play so he would not have to be there.  Pissed off the relatives so they told him to forget it and one of the relatives did it herself.  Damn priests can't even do what they are suppose to do.  Maybe he had a hot date with an alter boy.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 12:14:21 PM »
No money from me...
I mouthed the exact words to my wife during the big announcement... are you fucking kidding me?  She growled and later said something about gods will.  I threw up. lol

I thought it would be downright ballsy of them to say hey we are calling off the whole Brussels show to minister to our neighbors in Moore 25 miles away (!!!!!) who have been hit by tornadoes... but no such dream came true
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Offline Nick

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 12:16:37 PM »
No money from me...
I mouthed the exact words to my wife during the big announcement... are you fucking kidding me?  She growled and later said something about gods will.  I threw up. lol

I thought it would be downright ballsy of them to say hey we are calling off the whole Brussels show to minister to our neighbors in Moore 25 miles away (!!!!!) who have been hit by tornadoes... but no such dream came true
That would show they really care.

Why not suggest it.  Be a rebel.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 12:18:24 PM »
Isn't Belgium Catholic?  Don't they already know Jesus?  Is there anywhere on Earth that has not heard of Jesus and all the other supporting characters

The church actually said there were a couple hundred thousand muslims there who needed a jeezus flea dip.
Not to mention the godless barristas!
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 12:22:40 PM »
from Nick...

"That would show they really care.

Why not suggest it.  Be a rebel."


I would if I didn't fear flying into a blind rage at whatever bullshit excuse they came up with.

Maybe they could send 45s of the gospel to Belgium instead. 
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Traveler

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 12:32:59 PM »
According to Wiki, 31% of Belgians claim to be nonreligious. Between that and the majority catholics, that's probably why they're going. You're right, though ... hypocritical bastards.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 12:36:17 PM »
Is that 31% nonreligious because they do not know Jesus or because they have been exposed to religion and see it as the bullsh*t that it is?
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 12:48:57 PM »
Is that 31% nonreligious because they do not know Jesus or because they have been exposed to religion and see it as the bullsh*t that it is?

Ha... it could mean Belgium might be a nice place to be if that is the case.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Energized

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 03:50:27 PM »
... $$ drives...
     Give $$$

... BRUSSELS, Belgium

What's the cost for airfare?
How much will it cost to feed the missionaries?
How much will it cost to keep the missionaries in hotels? (maybe they'll stay with other TrueBelievers while there, thus saving some $)

So! All this cash to fly people, feed people and house them. How many tens of thousands of dollars? Spending anything more than 1 cent on this bullshit is too much.

Meanwhile, like most cities, I am sure you have a homeless shelter that could benefit from this cash.

People need to give their head a shake...

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Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 04:27:11 PM »
^^^^^  get this... they rented out several apartments for the "missionaries" to stay in.  Judging from what you can see in the Skype chats on the bigscreens on Sunday, the missionaries are struggling along with all the modern conveniences in very nice apts. 

Also, the church was (as usual) begging for $$$ to send these special MP3 players and programs with the bible translated into various languages the muslim emigres there speak - of course the software for the bible program just happened to be made by a member.

Meanwhile, homeless shelters and tornado victims can just keep on praying....
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 05:10:34 PM »
Heh heh you said missionary position.

BTW Belgium is awesome. I'd be a missionary there like a shot. Not all xians are crazy.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 05:17:11 PM »

I thought it would be downright ballsy of them to say hey we are calling off the whole Brussels show to minister to our neighbors in Moore 25 miles away (!!!!!) who have been hit by tornadoes... but no such dream came true

I thought most people in Moore were already very much acquainted with God? (unless I mis-understood the 1000 or more whiny posts following the tornado)

Maybe your church has determined that having someone in a modern country with muslim refugees gives the most 'bang for the buck' in terms of opportunities to effectively spread the message of Christianity. Has the rationale been fully explained by the church leaders?

As an atheist who provides no financial support to the church, why do you even care? Are the Christian members of your church deceived or co-erced into providing financial support? Just because others constantly church bash, doesn't mean you have to as well.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 05:54:53 PM »
Nothing like trying to put others at risk of being killed for leaving their fake religion.  Does that put a warm spot on the Christian heart?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »
Do you think a muslim would convert to Christianity lightly and ignorant of any possible negative consequences?

Does concern for possible negative consequences prevent atheists from trying to draw people away from belief in God?
 
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Offline Betelnut

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 07:23:43 PM »
Man, Neopagan, your post gave me a laugh when I needed it.  That is hilarious.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 08:20:06 PM »
Do you think a muslim would convert to Christianity lightly and ignorant of any possible negative consequences?

Does concern for possible negative consequences prevent atheists from trying to draw people away from belief in God?

I'm sure you would love Muslims, Mormons and JW's moving into your community with the express purpose of converting you and your family to their faith. Staging wild drug-fueled baby-eating sex orgies and not inviting you. (Oh, that's atheists. Never mind)

Passing out their literature to young people, pressuring them to attend their services, meetings and social events.  Well, JW's don't have any social events, Muslims keep the genders separate, Mormons don't allow chocolate, coffee or Coke, and none of them drink alcohol, but I am sure they all manage to have loads of fun knowing that they are going to heaven.

I have a pretty negative attitude about overseas missionaries in general, although I have generally liked them on a personal level. They tend to be nice people, if culturally offensive and politically clueless. The short-timers are largely ineffectual, which is why I don't worry too much about them. The long-timers usually "go native" to some extent and just become another group of strange ex-pats.

The ones to worry about historically are those with big money and/or big guns backing them up.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 09:08:26 PM »

The ones to worry about historically are those with big money and/or big guns backing them up.

the ones that sailed on the Mayflower?
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 10:32:20 PM »

I thought it would be downright ballsy of them to say hey we are calling off the whole Brussels show to minister to our neighbors in Moore 25 miles away (!!!!!) who have been hit by tornadoes... but no such dream came true

I thought most people in Moore were already very much acquainted with God? (unless I mis-understood the 1000 or more whiny posts following the tornado)

Maybe your church has determined that having someone in a modern country with muslim refugees gives the most 'bang for the buck' in terms of opportunities to effectively spread the message of Christianity. Has the rationale been fully explained by the church leaders?

As an atheist who provides no financial support to the church, why do you even care? Are the Christian members of your church deceived or co-erced into providing financial support? Just because others constantly church bash, doesn't mean you have to as well.

I don't doubt Moore's familiarity with god... they are down with him and his tornadoes.  What I do doubt is the usefulness of sending people halfway around the world to a nice place to reach a few Muslims who have admittedly not been receptive to their sales pitch - all the while there's a mess in the church's backyard.

As for the rationale and explanations, there was a collective pause when Brussels was announced and more than a few comments like, wow that was a surprise - Brussels??  Of course they have warmed up now...  I would say it makes no sense or bang for the buck given the circumstances... why not pick London if you want muslim immigrants?

Finally, I am a recent convert to atheism... last six months.  I have spend many years tithing and giving to the cause, so I have a dog in the fight still stillso to speak.  I choose not to give now and have directed my charitable giving elsewhere, even to some pseudo religious causes.  I try not to church bash, since I still have many friends there.  I do bash the hypocrisy I see and the "deceptive" sales pitch in this case.  Were members coerced, no not technically - but they certainly had no vote.


If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 10:38:07 PM »
Nothing like trying to put others at risk of being killed for leaving their fake religion.  Does that put a warm spot on the Christian heart?
This has been a major issue for the teams over the there.  I was surprised "leadership" did not seem to have realized the cultural implications of trying to convert muslims.

Literally, we are treated to stories of how hard witnessing is due to the muslim culture and how hard it is to "break in."  Hate to say told ya so but I coulda told em so if they'd not kept it such a damn secret... What a weird way to pick a place for missions... secret reveal!!
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2013, 01:44:38 AM »
Nope, you are all wrong!  BRUSSELS, Belgium

What?! Where?! Point me towards danger neopagan!!!!

Seriously though, what denomination was this? Latter day saints? Cause I remember reading an article about one of those preaching in Brussels a while back. He hadn't met with much success ... or indeed ... any. And the interview did take place in a bistro and yes, he was eating a pastry.

Though, in fairness, there are plenty of souls to win in Belgium. Church (Catholic, of course) approval is down to 13%. Church attendence is even lower ... and there's the half a million Muslims. Target rich environment, what!

Be prepared to move somewhere uncomfortable to your western viewpoint

Actually, this is a sentiment that's common to many US-ians ... not just Christian busybodies.
I sometimes listen to AFN The Eagle, with NATO HQ nearby, there is an actual shortwave radiostation here that caters to the US servicemen and women. And judging by that, most of these people stay inside the compound as much as possible. They have their own US-ian schools, libraries, movie theaters, sports clubs, gyms, stores and starbucks. Natives, in radio announcements are often regards as ... aliens basically.[1] Contact with the locals is discouraged except when part of a typical bus-herd. So, yeah, I can sort of imagine how living in Brussels might seem uncomfortable to a US-ian. Though ... compared to Sana'a ... hmmm.


 1. Oooook, that's not entirely inaccurate.
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Online rev45

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2013, 06:51:04 AM »
If you ever get to help decide for future missionary locations you might throw in the Piraha tribe in the Amazon.  Maybe their group will have better luck than the ones that went before them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirah%C3%A3_people
http://freethinker.co.uk/2008/11/08/how-an-amazonian-tribe-turned-a-missionary-into-an-atheist/
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2013, 08:29:51 AM »
Do you think a muslim would convert to Christianity lightly and ignorant of any possible negative consequences?

Does concern for possible negative consequences prevent atheists from trying to draw people away from belief in God?

What the fuck are you even talking about and how does it have any bearing on this conversation?

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2013, 08:45:15 AM »

What?! Where?! Point me towards danger neopagan!!!!

Seriously though, what denomination was this? Latter day saints? Cause I remember reading an article about one of those preaching in Brussels a while back. He hadn't met with much success ... or indeed ... any. And the interview did take place in a bistro and yes, he was eating a pastry.

Though, in fairness, there are plenty of souls to win in Belgium. Church (Catholic, of course) approval is down to 13%. Church attendence is even lower ... and there's the half a million Muslims. Target rich environment, what!
[/quote]


FIJI,
This church would be your run of the mill Southern Baptists megachurch.

Here's the Brussels blog on their site - it's about what you'd expect although not updated very well.  Every good thing is attributed to god...  A lot of work done in coffee shops! 

http://www.hhbc.com/march-27-2013-brussels-belgium

All I can say is, if you can Skype with your church back home, in my view, you haven't gone too far out of the way (or out of your comfort zone) to find "unreached people groups."  Sure, there are exceptions but wow....

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2013, 08:52:35 AM »
Maybe your church has determined that having someone in a modern country with muslim refugees gives the most 'bang for the buck' in terms of opportunities to effectively spread the message of Christianity. Has the rationale been fully explained by the church leaders?

Or maybe the church is lead by hypocritical and spineless douchebags who saw this as an opportunity to have an extended vacation at the expense of church members?  Or worse, maybe the church leaders are con men and charlatans ripping off the credulous and stupid?

Are the Christian members of your church deceived

Every xian is deceived.  If not by their church leaders specifically, then by their stupid beliefs in general.  And the secret reveal makes it more of a deception.  They made sure the "missionary" was already there before giving anyone a chance to object or make better suggestions. 

or co-erced into providing financial support?

Absolutely. Every xian is urged to give what they can to support the church, which is a financial black hole accountable to no one.  It is in the NT.  1 Cor 16:2, Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38, Proverbs 11:24, malachai 3:8.  The worst is Mark 12:41-44, because it coerces the poor to "give 'till it hurts".

And it is always done in the name of jesus H christ and doused with guilt.  If jesus H were real, he'd turn over the tables at neopagan's church.  And then he'd fly to Australia (economy class) to kick you in the nuts. 

Here is Billy Graham doing some arm twisting:
http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?ArticleID=3871
Quote
My question is this: What is the most important thing in your life? Is it Christ and His will—or is it something else, such as money?

What a piece of shit.  Billy Graham, that is. If that's not coersion, nothing is.


Just because others constantly church bash, doesn't mean you have to as well.

Yeah, it must be church bashing and not reasonable criticism of an obvious waste of money when there are much better ways it could have been spent. 

You know, just because other xians slavishly support their churches' leaders no matter what crimes they commit, does not mean you have to be a tool too.


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Offline neopagan

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2013, 09:07:41 AM »
Maybe your church has determined that having someone in a modern country with muslim refugees gives the most 'bang for the buck' in terms of opportunities to effectively spread the message of Christianity. Has the rationale been fully explained by the church leaders?

MM-
This comment had me thinking last night as I stared at the ceiling while another wild thunderstorm raged and I kept my ears alert for the latest tornado siren...

The entire "buildup" to the big American Idol-style reveal of where the church would be sinking their talons into was built on the premise of reaching people who had no opportunity to hear "the gospel," where the climate was such that the word could not penetrate the darkness (I won't go into the logical fallacies inherent in those assertions - they were not mine). 

I don't doubt the x number of Muslims in Brussels are a hard nut for xians to crack (especially if they are hazelnut covered in Belgian chocolate - mmmm).  However, it's not some third world country where no churches, believers, TVs, internet cafes, prostitutes wearing crosses, etc happen to be. 

I mean, come on, if you are in missionary academy awaiting you assignment and you open your envelope and it's Brussels and your buddy next to you gets the Piraha tribe in the Amazon (see above from Rev45) then you'd probably be doing a little happy dance and start boning up on your Skype skills.  Your buddy should bone up on malaria meds and get familiar with the trots.

So, in answer to your last part of the question - yes, the rationale was explained by leadership - but the outcome didn't jibe with the rationale... ergo I see it as complete hypocrisy that allows this megachurch tucked away in Oklahoma's most prosperous area to "do god's work" with minimal pain and suffering.  (Insert the whole 1st world problem argument here)

If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Where should a church send missionaries to minister?
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2013, 09:14:06 AM »
Screwtape, you're intelligent. More intelligent than most, certainly me.

But you're a spiteful, mean-spirited SOB and you seem to have an ego the size of Alaska. And I would bet an awful lot of money that many members agree with me. If you are even remotely related in real life to the person on display in this forum...well, it's a shame.

And I am not going to waste whatever time I choose to spend here interacting with you any further.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.