SENTINEL 1-12-2012
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Is Your Preacher a Pimp?

I'm just askin'

The Firpo Files

(Sentinel, January 12 - 18, 2012)


Have you ever seen these churches where the preacher prances in the pulpit with pompous prestige as the plate is passed? They perform while pitiful parishioners ply prayers to God because they're so poor! You've seen the First Family of the church: Rev. Chicken Wing, Mrs. Chicken Wing, and their cute little winglets (God bless ‘em!) as they come strutting down the aisle after making a grand entrance.

And please don't let him have a private jet paid for by the church. Jesus could have literally flown on the wings of angels. He chose instead to make his grand entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Now, ask yourself Reverend, with all your extravagance, pomp and circumstance, are you in reality allowing the Devil to ride you like an ass? "Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?"--Galatians 4:16, New World Translation.

Jesus Jams Hard: Not only are they spewing false doctrines, Paul characterizes some preachers as "men who are suppressing the truth." (Romans 1:18, NWT) As for others Jesus revealed that they "have assumed the authority of Moses, and have effectively sat in his judgment seat. Therefore, hear what they have to say and follow their instructions, but don't do what they do because they say the right things but don't do them."--Matthew 23:2, 3, Carr's Christian Translation; order the book Modern Matthew: Good News for Today--College Edition below to see how Jesus words influence subjects from microbiology to cloud computing.

Is it generational? "You're no good low down snakes," continued Jesus, "and, not surprisingly, the line of forefathers you just mentioned was snakes too. In fact, you're the latest manifestation of generations of no good low down scummy prophet-killing serpents."--Matthew 23:33, CCT.

Drinkin' Deacons: "Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine ... they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. ... ‘Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message?'"--Isaiah 28:7-9, New International Version.

Religiously Inclined Healthier: Happily, Jesus also mentioned the serenity of sincere ones who are "conscious of their spiritual need." (Matthew 5:5, NWT) "A new study has found that the more time a person spends in church," writes the Psych Central News Editor, "the lower their blood pressure." In plain language the article concluded: "In other words, those who were religiously active were healthier [overall] than those who were not religiously active."

No Collections!: With over 7.5 million members Jehovah's Witnesses don't tithe, and you'll never find a collection plate in their places of worship. They also have no paid clergy. Elders and ministerial servants work for free, and all pay out of their own pockets--as they are able--to finance the kingdom preaching work. That's right. Unsolicited voluntary donations toward a worldwide Bible education work.

"During the 2011 service year [September 2010 - August 2011] the Witnesses spent over $173 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments. Worldwide, a total of 20,595 ordained ministers staff the branch facilities. All are members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah's Witnesses." (2012 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses) Not one of them, degreed professionals included, is salaried. They're all happy volunteers.--Acts 20:35.

"Signs" of the Times: "It has been a few years since my wife and I learned Russian Sign Language and began visiting sign-language congregations and small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses who are deaf," writes one Witness. "In this country, more than 100 ethnic groups and 70 distinct cultures share one common spoken language, Russian. The deaf among us use yet another language, Russian Sign Language."--The Watchtower March 1, 2012.   

Witnesses print material in well over 500 languages (436 of which are on their Web site). But there are an additional 55 different sign languages! A few of these are American Sign Language, Australian Sign Language, British Sign Language, Lengua de señas ecuatoriana, Irish Sign Language, Chinenero cha Manja cha ku Malawi, New Zealand Sign Language, Panamanian Sign Language, Lenguaje de señas paraguayo, Russian Sign Language, South African Sign Language, Lengua de signos española, and Zimbabwe Sign Language. (To see them all, visit www.watchtower.org)

Amazingly, "In 2000, the Mexico branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses started a project to preach to all Nahuatl-speaking people [modern-day Aztecs!] in their own language and to organize Nahuatl language congregations for those who were attending meetings in Spanish. A translation group was set up to produce Bible literature in Nahuatl. Efforts were also made to teach Nahuatl-speaking people to read and write in their own language." (March 1, 2012 Watchtower) All free from Jehovah's Witnesses.

Peace and blessings to all. Amen.