Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. -Mark Twain
(Yes, Ed is gesturing towards his crotch according to FBC Jax)
Imagine this. You are in the final approach to DFW airport and the landing gear is down. Just before wheels touchdown, you fly over Fellowship Church in Grapevine (directly in the landing pattern). Surrounded by spotlights and media is a huge bed. In the bed are Ed and Lisa Young holding a 24-hour vigil, pontificating about how much good Christians need sex. (My guess is that all pilots will request that particular approach to DFW on Friday). Reformers, take special note: The Sex Gospel is born!
Dee is a former member of Ed’s church
You think I am joking? Oh no, I never need to make things up about Ed Young Jr. His life is a running parody that never seems to end. You see, I was a member of Fellowship Church for a short time back in the 90s when it was called the Fellowship of Las Colinas. Ed wanted to move the church, build a castle worthy of God and acquire a huge amount of land at the crossroads of some major roads. In fact, the planes go right over the church into DFW. A number of years ago, Ed had Fellowship.com painted on the roof to advertise the church to bored airline passengers who had their electronic devices turned off for landing.
Here is some “been there, done that” counsel for those of you who feel foolish for getting involved in a bizarre church, I say, “Welcome to the club.” I gave money to this church and was friendly with the Youngs who, for a short time, lived in my neighborhood called Hackberry Creek. That was back when they were still slumming. Just get the heck out like we did. Chalk it up to experience. Who knows? It might provide some fodder for a blog one day. If any readers would like to discuss their experiences or commiserate with an understanding ear, please find my information under “The Basics.” I would be happy to regale you with my own experiences.
Ed is SBC approved!
For those of you unaware of the number of posts we have done about the Youngs, here are a few links to get you started- link, link, and link. Also, just click on Ed’s name in on our blog's category area for more information. Approximately 1 year ago, the Youngs were under media investigation for their ridiculously extravagant lifestyle. Their excuse is this. Everyone can obtain their mansion and jet if they just give 10% of their income to Ed.
But, before you tune out, thinking he is one of those bizarre televangelists, think again. Ed is a bona fide SBC preacher. His antics, which have drawn the scrutiny of the media, sadly prove, once again, that the SBC will tolerate just about anything except women pastors.
Ed makes incredible bank off of the church.
“According to WFAA-TV News Dallas, which conducted an investigation on Young in 2010, the pastor earns a salary worth about $1 million per year and generates untold profits from various intellectual property holdings including books, sermons, television programs, and mailing lists obtained from church marketing websites.” Link
Ed allegedly owns or leases(or should I say some sort of trust owns) a mansion in Grapevine, an expensive condo in Miami, a private jet, a $10,000 espresso machine, lovely cars, and one heckuva wardrobe, etc. I once heard him complain about how much Tony Romo makes. (Don’t worry, Ed. I saw a picture of Romo’s house in Las Colinas. Your mansion on Lake Grapevine beats his).
Many questions have arisen over the fact that Ed (or maybe a corporation or two) makes money by marketing his sermons which he “owns” even though he is paid an ungodly (yep-if the shoe fits) chunk of change by the people at his church to create his sermons for Sunday.
"The Bed-In" Ed's Latest Gospel Effort
CNN interviews Ed and Lisa about their initiative to “preach Christ.”
Here is part of the PR release
“Sleeping in is one thing. Staying in bed for 24 hours is another. But spending 24 hours in bed, on the roof of your church is another thing altogether. But that’s exactly what Ed and Lisa Young, pastors of Fellowship Church, are doing. Beginning at 6 am Friday, January 13 and ending at 6 am Saturday, January 14, the Youngs will be in bed.
The catalyst of the “bed-in,” as they are deeming it, is the release of their new book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse.
The book, releasing January 10, is a call for married couples to have sex for seven straight days, with the promise that the amazing results will last far beyond the week.
During the upcoming “bed-in,” which will stream live on the book’s website http://www.thesexperiment.com, Ed and Lisa will engage the audience through a number of interactive methods.
Throughout the 24 hour period, Ed and Lisa will be doing live interviews, both in person and via Skype. They will be answering relationship questions live via Twitter(the hashtag is #sexperiment) and Facebook. And some of Young’s most popular teachings about sex and relationships will be highlighted.”
FBC Jax Watchdog chimes in
Tom Rich, at the ever-excellent FBC Jax Watchdog had some further information on this series here. Please visit his site to see some "interesting" pictures that Ed uses to advertise his missionary effort.
“Do Christians – does ANYONE – really need Ed and Lisa Young to tell them how to have a great sex life? Apparently Ed is a financial expert and tells you how to avoid curses through tithing – and now he is going to tell you how great sex can be, as though we didn't know! Do people need to be enticed to come hear his sermon series with a promo video entitled "Locations" depicting seven locations for sex in your house: the kitchen, the landing of a staircase, a car in the garage, the living room
And Fellowship Church members I'm sure are proud that their "tithes" withdrawn from their checking account are being used to produce another "Sexperiment" promo video entitled "Bang" featuring images depicting male orgasm, very similar to the images that KY Lubricants uses to sell their product lines of couples' lubricants: space shuttle launching, a car going into a tunnel, a geyser expelling water and steam – and finally a cork exploding out of a bottle with the words "Start your year off…with a BANG." Yes, Christians, you need your pastor and your church to tell you to have MORE SEX!"
Do Ed and Lisa know that they have become the laughingstock of both Christians and the secular media? Do they care?
Ed loves face time, always has. Perhaps he is naïve, thinking that any and all attention is good attention. Or, even worse, does the potential cash flow overcome any godly inhibitions? I have spent the last couple of days perusing the secular sites. I would hope to see some interest in learning about the faith of Christians because of this series. After all, isn’t this the goal of the Great Commission?
However, except in the press releases from Ed and his publishers, I have been hard pressed to find one positive comment either by Christians or non-Christians.
Here are three sample comments from the Huffington Post on-line
- “Why do I get the distinct impression that this stunt is strictly for the money? Your Rolls-Royce getting a little dirty and you need a new one, Pastor Young?”
- “Can religion get more ridiculous?"
- "Watch the bed-in? I have something more important to do like go into my basement and watch the paint peel.”
Are the Youngs assisting in the dumbing down of the evangelical church?
Mark Noll decried the state of evangelical thought back in the 90s. He said that the problem with the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind. I wonder, did he ever think about how much worse it could get?
A recently released Barna poll here states "One of the most significant gaps uncovered by the research was the fact that most people cannot recall gaining any new spiritual insights the last time they attended church," the report states.”
Can you imagine listening to this nonsense in church? I can, I listened to it back 20 years ago and found it boring and silly back then. It was evident to me that Ed was enthralled with big money and I watched as he bulldozed through anyone who disagreed with him.
Do Ed and Lisa Young have any shame?
One would think they would have learned their lesson with the media investigation and expose of their excessive lifestyle. If it were I, I would have been mortified that I had been “found out.” But, I think that such shame is found in those who really understand a commitment to serving Christ, not money. So, as long as the Youngs get to keep the dough, they have no embarrassment. As the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil” Folks, you are seeing this lived out by this couple. Use them as a lesson in how NOT to do church.
Does anyone think it is coincidental that Ed’s book released the same time Mark Driscoll’s sex book, Real Marriage, is released?
I never thought I would live to see the day in which I can’t figure out which pastor is doing more of a disservice to the image of the church: Ed Young or Mark Driscoll. From a purely public relations point of view, I think Ed trumped Mark. Knowing Driscoll, he is not pleased. In fact, I find this part of the ridiculous drama rather amusing.
Does anyone out there think that Sexperiment will lead one more person to Christ or “heal” a broken marriage?
It is obvious that the Youngs don’t. Lisa told people to seek counseling prior to applying the suggestions in the book. Hmmm, are they a bit concerned they may have stepped over the line and lawyers might come to call?
Has Ed and Lisa Young’s physical appearance undergone a transformation?
I remember them when they were about 20 years younger. Various features including bone structure and hair distribution seemed to have been modified but that may be the camera angles. How does one stay 30 forever? Or could they be participating in one of the more popular pastimes of the Dallas set-a visit to the doctor? Perhaps Lisa’s cookbook on “eating raw food” is the answer?
Where are the grownups in Fellowship Church?
Is there anyone capable of standing up to Ed and telling him to settle down? Lisa has abdicated her role-nice clothes and fancy cars have silenced her. Where are the deacons or elders? Have they been fired and replaced by guys who kind of enjoy a good show?
Years ago, I asked them why people couldn’t ask questions in Sunday school class. Lisa, sitting with Ed in their latest new car, said the following. “They can’t ask questions because you don’t know what questions they will ask.” Little did I know that this would become their bottom line. No questions are allowed. And questions could not be asked because there would be many, many questions about their behavior that they could not answer. To this day, I have been told that many questions are not accepted at FC. Here is a question to ask. What are they afraid of?
However, I then gave them my parting shot. I believe this is the last thing I ever said to them. “You have put people in charge of your Sunday school class that you don’t trust. So you must control everything that is said in the classes because you can’t trust your “teachers” to answer correctly. Where is the Holy Spirit in any of this?” They drove away, no answer.
Here is some parting thoughts for attendees at Ed’s church.
- Did you notice I said Ed’s church? I said it for this reason. This church, in no way, reflects a Jesus that I know. It is a caricature of the Bible and you have been bamboozled, albeit by a master manipulator. Did you know that the Sermon on the Mount was not a lecture by Jesus on sexual techniques?
- Read your Bible, very, very carefully before you read anything by Ed.
- Visit a couple of other churches: Bent Tree Bible Fellowship and Irving Bible Church come to mind but there are many others. Listen to their pastors, talk to them. Compare them to your current leadership.
- Go online and try to figure out why people are laughing at your pastor and his wife. Don’t fall for the old canard that people will persecute Christians. I assure you that it has nothing to do with “Christian” witness of the Youngs.
- Ask why Ed should get paid to write his sermons on church time and then get the intellectual rights for the same sermons. Think about it. If you work for a drug company and develop a new drug, do you get the profits or does the company?
- Compare the lifestyle of your pastor to the lifestyle and example of Jesus and the apostles. Did you know that all of the apostles, save one, died as martyrs? Do you think Ed would lay down his life for the poorest and least influential among you?
- Check out Ed’s latest and greatest idea. Did he come up with it himself or merely “borrow” the idea from another?
- Does Ed carefully teach the Scriptures or merely use proof-texting?
- Think about Jesus. Do you think He would lie in a bed on the roof of some terribly expensive building and pontificate about sex?
- Ask where all the proceeds are going from book and sermon sales, especially books developed from sermons that Ed presented in church. Remember, he is being paid handsomely from your “tithes”. Shouldn’t said money go to benefit the church?
- If you cannot find out where the money is going, ask yourself why you feel you can trust the Youngs with your hard-earned money.
- Are there other ministries that may be more deserving of your money? How about those that care for the destitute?
- Look at the lives of Francis Chan and David Platt, current day pastors. Ask yourself if you think your pastor would ever give up his lifestyle to minister to sex slaves or live in an impoverished area of Dallas.
- Talk to some people who have left the church. See if they have some common concerns. Ask why so many staff members have left. If the answer is finances, ask when the Youngs will give up their condo to help those who served so faithfully.
- Find out if the Youngs are hiring family members and how much money they are being paid. If they won’t answer you, ask why you should tithe when they won’t answer. Would you invest in a company that hid financials reports?
- In fact, try this. Go up to Ed and ask him how much he makes from the church, including benefits, etc. If he won’t answer, ask why.
As I draw to a close, remember this. Nothing really good ever happened on roofs in the Bible.
- First there was David and Bathsheba?
- Then there was Absalom in 2 Samuel 16:22: So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. (Thanks to our commenter, Appalled for this).
- Then, there was Ed and Lisa. Could it be that God is telling us something?
I leave you with this thought. Years ago, John Lennon and Yoko Ono took to their bed for a love-in to advocate for world piece. I always thought that was rather silly. However, in light of Ed’s latest stunt, John Lennon seems downright altruistic.(And he doesn't appear touched by a plastic surgeon or makeup artist). He, at least, was protesting a war. What is Ed doing? Merely selling the Gospel of Sex. (PS Lennon coined the term "bed-in," not Ed).
1/11 10PM: Eagle's father was just diagnosed with a stroke. Please pray join us in praying for him.
Lydia's Corner: Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 Psalm 51:1-19 Proverbs 22:24-25