Televangelist Perry Stone Claims It Was All Due to HIs Italian Heritage. Hasn’t That Been Tried Before? How’d That Turn Out?

In 1998, Hubble captured this colorful view of Saturn in infrared light. NASA/Hubble

“There must always be some who are brighter and some who are stupider. The latter make up for it by being better workers.” Bertolt Brecht

Ghislaine Maxwell was just found guilty on 5 out of 6 charges.

This situation reminds me of the following saying from Run Forest Run.

I make it a point not to discuss politics on this blog. However, the following situation was so well known and the excuse so utterly ineffective that I wondered why anyone with half a brain would try a similar tactic. Please don’t descend into political commentary in the commentary. The question is “How did Perry Stone miss this debacle, spewed all over media?”  If he saw it, why did he channel this particularly well-known incident?

The former governor of New York had to step down after harassing women, implying his Italian heritage “Made me do it.” It was all a misunderstanding.

USA Today wrote If Gov. Andrew Cuomo fights sexual harassment charges, he’ll regret his statements.

Note, in particular, the points I’m trying to make.

  • He claimed that “he wasn’t a superhero.”
  • His Italian heritage was to blame for him kissing and hugging everyone who accused him.

If critics thought New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would relent in the face of 11 women accusing him of disgusting acts of sexual harassment, they do not know Andrew Cuomo. The man who once said “I am not a superhero” is now denying that he is actually a super villain who groped and harassed young women, including a current staff member.

…Cuomo spent much of his statement arguing that he is often misunderstood about his kissing, hugging and touching. As he spoke, pictures showed him kissingeveryone short of “a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine.” The culprit, it would seem, is not “Love Potion No. 9” but his Italian heritage. Cuomo insisted that his mother taught him to hug and kiss everything short of lampposts.

Televangelist Perry Stone claims he isn’t perfect and his Italian heritage is to blame for his actions.

Who is Perry Stone?

According to EqipBlog

Perry Stone, an ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee),1 which is a charismatic Pentecostal denomination that affirms essentials doctrines such as the inspiration of the Bible, the Trinity, and salvation through Christ;2 however, much of what he propagates through his ministry is controversial and, at points, heretical.

You can find his own, lengthy bio on his website here.

Yet, in the same way other Pentecostal stereotypes don’t apply to Stone, the uneducated, “backwoods” image doesn’t stick to him either. “I don’t say this boasting, by any means, but I have about 60,000 hours of Bible study and over 20,000 books in my library,” he says. “I study every possible theological theory to ensure that what I believe can be proven; that I can prove what I’m teaching people. I’m not the kind of person who only studies what I believe to enforce what I believe. If you’re going to defend your faith, you have to know what others believe.”

He supposedly has an accountability board that appears to include his own son.

Why is Perry Stone in trouble?

The Christian Post wrote: Televangelist Perry Stone slams secular media after report alleges sexual misconduct

…Longtime Tennessee-based televangelist and Bible teacher Perry Stone warned his followers against trusting secular media Monday, days after a local publication accused him of sexual misconduct.

…“Information can be twisted by the god of this world so easily. So when you’re dealing with a Christian system who wants to be honest … secular individuals, it has been proven, they will give a false scenario and then you know, two, three years down the road come back and apologize for it and I don’t want to go into collusions and all that,” he said.

Apparently, the FBI may now be investigating him. The FBI cannot confirm or deny ongoing investigations but local folks claimed they have spoken with the agency. According to the Chattanooga Times Fee Press which wrote: Women in Perry Stone’s ministry allege sexual misconduct, say FBI is investigating televangelist

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began questioning people connected to Stone and his Cleveland-based ministries, according to five people with direct knowledge of the interactions.

At least seven people connected to the ministry, including some couples, have shared information that investigators sought about sexual misconduct allegations against Stone as well as the evangelist’s connections to Bradley County law enforcement, according to the five people.

…Meanwhile, more than a dozen people connected or formerly connected to Stone’s ministry told the Times Free Press they are becoming more concerned about the perceived lack of accountability for the internationally known spiritual leader a year and a half after allegations of inappropriate conduct involving women were first made public.

Some are angry at the board of directors at Voice of Evangelism, believing the ministry did not involve law enforcement or fully investigate claims of misconduct against Stone by women in his ministry, which included groping, unwanted kissing and showing women he was aroused.

Apparently, the ministry claims they sent out a voice file which they said were words from the Holy Spirit!

Days ago, we sent a voice file of the words spoken by the Holy Spirit that was spoken recently, to be translated (not interpreted), to several Arab friends, as there [were] three different dialects. All three sent back the same message from what they could understand. One part was a warning for me personally, from the Lord, exposing some people who were plotting and making war against me and the ministry,” Stone said, in part.

Dee, at this point, is banging her head on the table. It is sure nice that the Holy Spirit seems to it his way. In my particular walk, the Holy Spirit tends to slap me upside the head more than pat me on the head.

Didn’t Mark Driscoll’s wife give him a similar warning which eventually led them to hightail it out of Seattle?

Forgive me, I’m Italian and he’s “not perfect.” Didn’t I just say this above.

So, it appears that Stone felt it to his advantage to use the Cuomo defense. Does Stone know how that turned out for the FORMER governor? According to the Christian Post as linked above:

Stone later explained that the allegations against him were misinterpreted social behavior that is seen as normal in Italian culture.

“I am not a perfect man,” he said. “People have taken me hugging and kissing them on the cheek wrong. I quit that. I’m Italian. My whole family holds hands, rubs backs. I didn’t know you can look at somebody and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and they can take it wrong.”

I guess the Holy Spirit defense didn’t work so he’s trying the “I’m Italian” defense. As the great Yogi Berra said:

It’s deja vu all over again.

You see, it appears he did some similar before and had to step down but he’s back.

According to Ministry Watch in More Allegations Surface Against Televangelist Perry Stone:

His Cleveland, Tennessee-based ministry, Voice of Evangelism, announced in July that he had taken a leave of absence after admitting that he had acted inappropriately with female employees.

“I confess at times I’ve been inappropriate in all this weariness of just non-stop ministry,” Stone said in the message. “I let my guard down and I’ve asked, of course, God to forgive me for that. I sat down with my family, with my beautiful, precious wife Pam, the love of my life. I asked her to forgive me. And I very humbly and very sincerely ask those who have been hurt or offended by my actions to, please, also forgive me for those things.”

But a few months later, Stone was back in the pulpit.

A woman jumped up in a service and called him a “nasty perv.”

Stone said he was going to have her arrested. Here it is, straight from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, for your listening pleasure. If she is reading this, please contact me; I would looooove to speak with her.

And there is more. Does that surprise you?

The first thing I thought of when hearing about this is “Bet there is money involved.” I was pleased to see that Ministry Watch (Waren Cole Smith) went down that road.

According to Ministry Watch, the alleged FBI investigation is about more than Stone touching women as some groups seek to distance themselves from the ministry.

This disruption is not the only consequence of the increasingly public concerns about Stone.  Remnant, the young adult dance team that sometimes traveled with Stone, announced it would no longer be connected with the ministry. The Times Free Press said at least two members of the board of Stone’s ministry, Voice of  Evangelism — Frankie Powell and Wayne Penn — left after allegations were raised.

… the bureau is gathering information about the misconduct allegations, as well as Stone’s finances and connections to local law enforcement, like the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.”  Voice of Evangelism has contributed more than $36,000 to the Sheriff’s Office since 2018, for the purchase of in-car cameras and body cameras.

…Stone’s ministry classifies itself as a church and no longer releases financial information.  However, its Form 990 from 2012 listed revenue of more than $17-million, though more recent reports indicate that current revenue might be in the $14-million range.

So let’s leave it here. Do you think he will resign or attempt to tough it through like certain politicians? It won’t work. I think he’s a goner.



Televangelist Perry Stone Claims It Was All Due to HIs Italian Heritage. Hasn’t That Been Tried Before? How’d That Turn Out? — 66 Comments

  1. From my reading of the situation, this appears to be continued fallout from what happened in July 2020. (In other words, it never ended.) While it’s kind of futile to speculate on what the FBI is doing, I’m thinking that if the cops were taking money from Perry Stone’s ministry and then not doing anything about legitimate criminal complaints regarding Stone, that could be violating the civil rights of the complainants. Or it could just be your basic bribery of the local police to not investigate charges, which can’t be handled by the state police or another county in Tennessee because of the various connections. Again, it’s really hard to say what the FBI is up to.

    I also think that Stone is going to hang on as long as he can, and I suspect his remaining board is going to assist him in that endeavor. Taking in $14 million a year is not chump change. Oh yeah, I’m really really TIRED of organizations hiding behind being a church to keep from disclosing their finances. To me, if the organization is doing that, they are up to shenanigans.

    Also, I’m glad Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted. While I was on a call, I checked my phone, saw the news and said out loud HOT D***. Oops. Oh well, it was good news.

  2. I knew I forgot something! I admire the bravery of the woman who stood up and called out Perry Stone. Thanks for doing that!

  3. Todd Wilhelm: Perry Stone went all “Matt Chandler” on that woman! Anyone who continues to attend a “church” he leads needs to wake up and walk out.

    Not likely.
    Did you hear them close ranks about their king, hoot and applaud him?

  4. The pandemic of mauling – under the banner of the “right” to treat the police to cameras – is going to lead to a backlash of Italian hating.

    The chic exotic religion gambit gets tried out every now and again over here, as well.

  5. Why, oh why, do any people still follow this guy and other power-hungry creeps?

    One look at him and one listen to him makes my con-man meter go “off the scales” (or whatever they say in Startrek).

    Why, oh why, are there so many people this gullible?

    He ought to be making 14 cents and an old button, not 14 million!

  6. Gus: Why, oh why, are there so many people this gullible?

    He ought to be making 14 cents and an old button, not 14 million!

    Jesus neither collected money nor built a dynasty. He didn’t build anything. The disciples that followed, the same.

    As long as faith is a money venture, there will be cons & the dues-paying-conned who believe paying dues is their path to a better life here & Heaven later.

    Better to earn a living, support yourself + family, pay taxes, and finally follow Jesus in lifestyle NOT in paying dues. Never, ever pay for access to God. God never ever charges a fee.

    Israel’s OT system of levitical activities no longer exists. Jesus split the curtain to the Holy Place, IOW, to access to God. We have direct free access without the old system.

    Following Jesus in lifestyle is our access and Jesus collects NO money for Himself or His teaching, preaching disciples. No collections.

    Books? Paul wrote letters and passed them around, no fee. Conferences? Paul was hosted but never pocketed $$$. He also practiced a trade to support himself.

    Church as capitalism is not church, it’s capitalism cloaked as church, IOW, a con.

    We all have equal, free and direct access to God. This is the Gospel that needs to be preached. Anyone who doesn’t is not preaching the Gospel. Go direct with God. Cut out the middleman. Jesus accomplished this and gave us His Holy Spirit, free, no fee. If there’s money involved it’s neither God nor Jesus nor God’s Holy Spirit.

    America is drowning in toxic waters of false teaching. The false teachers are capitalists, full on building their empires.

    We have the Word of God, the presence of God, free access to God and peer followers of Jesus. We can do better than the fake con. We can fully live with direct Spirit filled access to our Creator God and His people.

  7. Muff Potter: Not likely.
    Did you hear them close ranks about their king, hoot and applaud him?


  8. Gus: He ought to be making 14 cents and an old button, not 14 million!

    Here’s a pastor & congregation that make sense. On their website, they don’t think women should be pastors – so there’s that. Room to grow. However, this is not a capitalist scheme. It’s a community of followers of Jesus, it seems.

    For those interested, the retired Pastor Jeff Black’s daughter is “LB” as in “Lincoln’s Bible”. LB is a screenwriter, a researcher of the MOB, a regular on Narativ Live with Zev Shalev, and she has a recent podcast called “The World Beneath”.

    In any case, LB’s dad, Pastor Jeff Black, makes sense. He purchased a fixer-upper for retirement that he and his friends then fixed up. No Golden Parachute.

  9. Michael in UK: The chic exotic religion gambit gets tried out every now and again over here, as well.

    “Organized religion and organized crime can be frighteningly similar at times. Both tend to rely on unwavering loyalty and on participants passionately defending their own. In ministry and in the Mafia, when things are going well you’re well fed and fiercely loved,…”

    “…but make one bad move, cross one wrong person – and it’s horse heads in the bed and concrete sneakers. In either house there’s often a startlingly narrow line between a holy kiss and the kiss of death,…”

    “…and learning how to stay on the boss’s good side becomes a matter of survival.” – John Pavlovitz, in A Bigger Table

    Here at TWW, Dee & Todd have covered multiple instances of Mobster religious leaders, such as Pavlovitz aptly describes.

    Loyalty. To the man.

  10. Ava Aaronson: Israel’s OT system of levitical activities no longer exists. Jesus split the curtain to the Holy Place, IOW, to access to God. We have direct free access without the old system … This is the Gospel that needs to be preached.

    Amen! I’ve been a Christian for 70+ years. It has been my observation that most American churchgoers don’t get this. Thus, they still trust in religious law and never completely merge into a relationship with the Living Christ which is free from jots and tittles of the teachings and traditions of men. It is so easy to be ensnared by ministers and ministries which substitute themselves for life in Christ.

  11. Oh brother, a TGC video making year-end appeal for $$$:

    TGC President Julius Kim: “Hi friends. As we come to the end of another year, I want to say thank you for trusting and supporting The Gospel Coalition”

    “For the last 16 years, The Gospel Coalition has focused on resourcing Christians and churches, rallying them around the Gospel for all of life for all the world. We support the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s that simple, we have no agenda beyond that”

    “If you and your church has [sic] been equipped by TGC over the years, would you consider making a year-end gift to support our ministry? If so, simply go to tgc dot org forward slash give to make a gift”

  12. 9Marksist Jonathan Leeman this year again pushed sales of his disgraced dad’s (music minister turned ‘financial advisor’) Christmas devotional hymnal:

    The senior Leeman ran afoul of the Securities & Exchange Commission several years ago, and the decision against him became final earlier this year:

    “David Leeman shall disgorge $24,343.50, plus prejudgment interest; and…pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $3,750; and (d) pursuant to 17 C.F.R. § 201.1100, any funds recovered by disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties be placed in a fair fund for the benefit of investors harmed by the violations.”

  13. Jerome: TGC President Julius Kim:

    Julius KIM?
    If his full name includes “Jong-Un” or “Jong-Il”, it would explain a lot.

  14. Jerome:
    Oh brother, a TGC video making year-end appeal for $$$

    And sister…

    Indeed. Another appeal to feed the Beast.


    “Stand fast therefore in your liberty wherefore Christ has set us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5.1

    Yeehaw! Free. And standing fast. Is there any preacher or teacher who actually teaches this? Or are they all feeding the beast of more, more, more?

    Moses collected gold and such, supplies, for the Tabernacle. He halted collection one day with, “Enough.”

    (Moshe Rosen of Jews for Jesus spoke of this text. He was different.)

  15. Ava Aaronson: We have the Word of God, the presence of God, free access to God and peer followers of Jesus. We can do better than the fake con. We can fully live with direct Spirit filled access to our Creator God and His people.

    This. Really the whole comment, but especially, this. A thousand times over, YES!

  16. Jerome: making year-end appeal for [more] $$$:

    From Exodus 36: making the appeal to STOP contributing; enough is enough.

    ” … the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD has commanded us to do.’

    “After Moses had given an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman should bring anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’

    “So the people were restrained from bringing more,…”

    The above is a text for sermons, preaching, teaching, daily devotionals, etc.

    Feed our families, pay our bills & taxes, help each another (needy orphans, widows, displaced, etc. – NEEDY). Boulder, Colorado folks today, God willing, will help each other out. If anything, churches in the safe areas can provide shelter.

  17. I’ll go out on a limb here, and I could be very wrong, but I think that Perry Stone has about as much Italian blood as I have Vulcan.

  18. Muff Potter: I think that Perry Stone has about as much Italian blood as I have Vulcan

    I was just poking around with public genealogy records. There is no indication of Italian ancestry in Mr. Stone’s father’s or mother’s family except for one maternal great-grandmother who may have been Italian by birth (last name Luprece) but was brought up by German foster-parents. The whole family, both sides for 2-4 generations, are from West Virginia coal country.

    Mr. Stone’s maternal grandfather, John Bava, co-wrote “Will I Meet Mother in Heaven?” with Bobby Osborne. It was recorded by the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers.

  19. Max,

    Maybe the economy is down.
    Or donors are coming to their senses.
    Or the org has pipe dreams with big eyes for never ending $$$. Bigger airplanes*.

    *Jesus road a loaned donkey

  20. Ava Aaronson:

    . . . Boulder, Colorado folks today, God willing, will help each other out.

    The YMCA nearby has become a shelter and The Salvation Army will be providing meals.

    So far my house is not in the evac area and, as long as things stay calm (no more 100mph winds), we should be OK.

    Earlier today I was on a road that the neighborhoods on both sides have since burned.

    I couldn’t tell if I was making a turn east away from the chaos on the correct road or not. The smoke was so thick and the winds blowing so hard that I couldn’t see street signs nor could I see any buildings on the sides of the street for me to recognize where I was. It was like a blizzard of ash and smoke going by at 60 mph or more.

  21. Cynthia W.: I was just poking around with public genealogy records.

    “Play in public; pay in public.”

    … appeal to the general public for $$$, your funding, then expect your audience to be in your (their) business.

  22. Ava Aaronson:

    Thx for sharing. Grateful you are okay and got through. Praying for you and the region.

    Thank you! Lots of folks are going to need it.

    Sadly, we heard a report of a football coach for one of the high schools in the area who died trying to save his house.

    I am sure there will be a fair number of tragedies coming to light in the next couple of days.

  23. Afterburne,

    In my area, it’s the Mormons who are the most prepared for natural disasters.
    They are a practical and real world oriented people.

  24. Ava Aaronson: Jesus rode a loaned donkey

    “And Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, (celebrity preachers have mansions), but the Son of Man has nowhere that He can call his own.” (Luke 9:58) … (parenthesis mine, but appropriate)

  25. Ava Aaronsonm: then expect your audience to be in your (their) business

    Quite. Mr. Stone is lying. You don’t even need to log on to or FamilySearch to verify it.

  26. Max:

    I prayed for you just now … for God’s protection and provision.

    Thank you.

    We were fortunate in that the high winds died down after dark. We were not far from the evacuation area but were ultimately not included since things calmed down. I am guessing that once there is a clearer picture of the damage that there will be around 1,000 homes destroyed. Damage included a spectrum from entire neighborhoods gone, one side of a street but not the other being spared, to a house here and there within a neighborhood.

    On a lighter note, being that Boulder might be considered one of the ultimate liberal hippie enclaves, any reports that the high winds in the area were caused by everyone one in Boulder taking one long simultaneous hit on a bong are (probably) incorrect.

  27. NC Now,

    So the Maxwell family showed up to support their trafficker of even innocent middle schoolers? How classy of them… now they can visit their favorite trafficker in prison. For decades… or even for life.

  28. From the Chattanooga Tines Free Press:

    On Nov. 30, after the disturbance at the Tuesday night service, Bryan Cutshall, a longtime employee of the ministry who had just been promoted to lead another of Stone’s organizations, compared the woman accusing Stone of sexual misconduct to the crowd heckling Jesus before he was crucified.

    “What you just witnessed happened at the trial of Jesus the day before he was crucified,” Cutshall said. “This is Satan and his plan against Jesus and those who support him. You’ve just come into the trial of Jesus.”

    So….Bryan Cutshall is comparing Perry Stone to Jesus.

    And (from information in the links in Dee’s opening post) Perry Stone preaches End Times stuff.

    Rhetorical question(s): Are Perry Stone and his followers going to go down the same cultic path other End Times cults have gone? And if so, how many followers will end up dead?

  29. researcher,
    “End Times Stuff” messed up my head back in the Seventies.
    The damage is still there.

    And in the past four years we’ve seen a different Second Coming preached by the likes of Kat Kerr and the My Pillow Guy.

    Unlike Heaven’s Gate, they’re not going to just off themselves, but with the extreme politicization you find now, they’ll take as many as they can with them behind Hale-Bopp.

  30. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    P.S. Here is a description of Heaven’s Gate from the “Beam Ships from the Pleiades” chapter of UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture by Gregory L Reece (best thing I ever found at Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg).

    Does this resemble End Times Fundagelicalism to you?

    The teachings of Heaven’s Gate did not differ all that much from the teachings of other contactee organization nor, for that matter, of the Adamski-era contactees themselves. However, instead of the openness to others that is a common theme espoused by those claiming contact with extraterrestrials, Heaven’s Gate was a closed society, suspicious of the outside world. In place of the kooky fun of most contactees, Heaven’s Gate was deadly serious. Unlike Ruth Norman’s transformation into a galactic queen upon the death of her beloved Ernest, Herff Applewhite never recovered from the death of Bonnie Lou Nettles; Bo lost his Peep and did not know where to find her. Shaved heads led to castration, which led to suicide.

    Unlike most other contactee groups and practically all of the individual contactees, Heaven’s Gate found little that was good in human nature, little that could give them hope. What hope they had was thought to be coming from above, a starship in a comet’s tail. They had given up on transforming the world; the best they could do was to escape it.

  31. Headless Unicorn Guy,
    Backstory and references for the above cited text:

    In the early 1950s during the first flush of UFOlogy, several people (“contactees”) claimed to have been contacted by the alien visitors in the flying saucers; at first directly in-person via Close Encounters of the Third Kind, later through telepathic trance channelling. Most of these went on to start “flying saucer cults” centered around alien “space brothers” (usually long-haired para-human “Nordics”; “Greys” did not enter the Alien Visitors scene until around 1970) warning Earth people of their sins leading to disaster (usually nuclear war).

    These usually spent a lot of time in a Holy War with the “Nuts & Bolts” UFOlogists of NICAP (who couldn’t care less about aliens, they were obsessed with the hardware of those flying saucers/alien spaceships). Frank Edwards’ Flying Saucers – Serious Business! is a good snapshot of this Nuts & Bolts UFOlogy/Conspiracy/Not-a-Cult universe circa 1965.

    The Adamskyites (founded by George Adamski around 1950) were the first of these “contactee cults”. (Aside: my intro to UFOlogy was through Adamskyite literature at age 15. Bad craziness.)

    Ruth Norman, (AKA Archangel Uriel, AKA “Spaceship Ruthie”) was founder of the “Unarian Academy” (AKA “Spaceship Ruthie’s Cult”) outside San Diego, one of the few surviving classic saucer cults.

    Herff Applewhite (“Bo”, later “Do”) and Bonnie Lou Nettles (“Peep”, later “Ti”) were the founders and leaders of the saucer cult “The Two”, better known as Heaven’s Gate of mass-suicide fame. From their early days as “The Two” (AKA “Bo & Peep” or “the Bo-Peepers”) they were considered the all-time WEIRDEST of the saucer cults.

  32. Headless Unicorn Guy: “End Times Stuff” messed up my head back in the Seventies.

    End Times belief was a fringe movement within my high school youth group and college fellowship. Many believed firmly in the Rapture, maybe because it was easy and gratifying to picture people floating up out of their cars, or the wild scenes at the breakfast table as those Left Behind realized who was missing.

    Both groups lacked specific teachings and details, though. People would say, “Not everybody believes this.” Even these two troubled groups allowed members to have some flexibility of interpretation and some critical thinking.

  33. Friend,

    It’s amazing what can be manufactured from the pages of the Bible.
    At times it winds up a bizarre sort of Origami that defies logic and proportion.

  34. researcher,

    Church Operatives Viciously Implement Deception


    The time of signs began at Ascension and Jesus asked us to continue to look for them and pray.

    There are and will be MANY desolating abominations in all meanings of “temple”.

    Either a rapture will occur hours before His coming (not 3 and a half years), or – interestingly – the Coming is actually the people of His Body seen coming upwards.

    The two pieces of information I get, combined, are about the siurvival of the integrity of our faculties and our help to our neighbour for theirs (our crown / talent; their head or other covering – in addition to literal meanings of course; their opportunity like the boy at the feeding of the Thousands, whom the disciples brought forward, to exercise their gift in turn, paying forward the Holy Spirit help they received from us).

    Our God’s is the only reliable pyramid scheme but Christians think it’s the only unreliable one.

    I sense relevant scriptures these days are:

    – they went home by another way and not as agreed, and didn’t report as agreed
    – find your brother outside the temple (don’t do the thing the denomination requires in your relating)
    – shake the dust of that town (denomination) off your sandals
    – don’t go down into the house (denomination)

    (among any other meanings)

    I’m an ever firmer believer in pluralism of denominations. Don’t share cutlery.

    Holy Trinity = Room for the other other namely the widows and orphans which is all of us.

    He ain’t heavy = Christ’s burden = my brother

    (Evangelicals sharply intake breath about the idea of looking after “Us”, they have to “look muscular”)

    TOP HERO: ELIJAH – HE ATE TWICE AND HE SLEPT TWICE. That’s the level life is at.

    I say lots of Our Fathers, that’s prayer for all.

  35. Samuel Conner: re: the Bertholdt Brecht quote, there is this countervailing (or perhaps it’s complementary) perspective, also from a Germanic point of view:

    There seems to be a lot of Moltke’s third category, “stupid and energetic”, in the church news lately.

    I wonder if “efficient” would be a better word than “lazy”? I’ll have to look up the original German to see what shades of meaning I might get out of it, and I imagine there are many commentaries out there. Things get lost in translation, even when the languages are close cousins.

  36. Friend: End Times belief was a fringe movement within my high school youth group and college fellowship.

    All I know is It was pretty sizable for a fringe movement.

    Until I discovered D&D and pulled out of Fellowship(TM), I literally heard nothing else. There could be no salvation outside of Rapture Eschatology and Global Thermonuclear Armageddon Any Minute Now.

    That way lies Madness.

  37. Jacob: ’ll have to look up the original German to see what shades of meaning I might get out of it, and I imagine there are many commentaries out there.

    As the Austrian guy who does Youtube’s Military History Visualzed channel puts it:

  38. Muff Potter:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Had they been told that the Jews are the source of all that’s not good, they would have bought into that one too, hook, line and sinker.

    What do you think “The Deep State” and “The New World Order” are code words for?

  39. Muff Potter:

    It’s amazing what can be manufactured from the pages of the Bible.
    At times it winds up a bizarre sort of Origami that defies logic and proportion.

    The example I keep returning to is how the Demon Locusts of Revelation are plainly and clearly helicopter gunships armed with chemical-weapon “stingers” and flown by long-haired bearded hippies.

  40. Muff Potter: It’s amazing what can be manufactured from the pages of the Bible.

    Yeah, like New Calvinism! Twist Scripture to fit your theology, take text out of context, apply crafty eisegesis and you can torture the Bible to say anything you want it to!

  41. Headless Unicorn Guy: code words for

    It’s funny because my mum’s mum’s mum converted from Jewish to C of E (which she had married into) when my mum’s mum was 5, who then married into RC. On our other side they went RC on a (non-aesthetic) whim after spells as C of E and non conformist. And all because of Kaiser Bill’s War! Most of my “catechising” came from secular RE teachers. I’ve got bold exploring in the bloodline.

    During the earlier 1970s I was put intrusive questions by someone from a “house fellowship” which was one of the sad spells; the boss there used to try to promote giggling (outside services) with the phrase “breasts and bottoms” though I didn’t see any; we used to sing some nice songs though, far better than the soppy nonsense of these days, and unamplified. Later in the 1970s I attended the original, good, “Life In The Spirit” seminars.

  42. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    So many of that generation (and since) inside and outside the churches were taught to reify = The Word Is The Thing.

    Which isn’t even true of God most of the “time”.

    The preachers believed in the Absolute via New Thought, Swedenborgianism, Manifest Destiny, Spinoza etc.

    Eschatology and the charismatic in the meanings of the OT, Jesus, Paul and James have never been genuinely controversial. Entrenched forgetfulness afforded opportunities for the oppressions that we see in churches and will continue to see when the Macarthurs and Pipers make their fashionable turns to the “left”. Normal providence and salvation got blasphemed by the ruthless and prevalent manoeuvrers.

  43. Max,

    And my Time Of Signs eschatology (i.e since Jesus’ Ascension) is merely “watch and pray” (the latter being the punch line).


    Words on any subject allude, and where allusions intersect (like Three Musketeers) we can have meaning.

    Lancelot, Bossuet, Peirce and Moore agree (calling it affirmation or assertion). (This is my interpretation via Gilson and Passmore.)

    Spiritual belief if needed should be taught (by example in living) alongside. (Believing Thomas asked the best questions and Jesus gave him the best answers. Why do neurotic nuns have a downer on him, Elijah and the post-conversion Jonah?)

    Michael in UK: isn’t even true of God most of the

    As “thing” can be seen as including providential (or any) occurrences as the early Russell averred (according to Passmore) during his “classes of classes paradox” phase, it is true of Him then. Preachers and their hangers on aren’t Him!

  44. Max,

    That was kind of my thought when I read this line: “ I study every possible theological theory to ensure that what I believe can be proven; that I can prove what I’m teaching people.” What sort of theological house of cards must one build in order to persuade oneself that all one’s stances can be “proven?” Personally I find people who approach faith this way annoying at best, toxic at worst. This sort of thinking from a pastor seems almost as skeevy (in a different way ofc) as the “I’m Italian!” BS.

  45. Televangelist Perry Stone Claims It Was All Due to HIs Italian Heritage. Hasn’t That Been Tried Before?

    If your title references The Cuomo Defense, Psstor Pee-Stone is yet another example of how Christians can’t come up with anything original, only knock off what the secular/heathen world does except with God-talk.
    “Just like Fill-in-the-Blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  46. CMT: This sort of thinking from a pastor seems almost as skeevy (in a different way ofc) as the “I’m Italian!” BS.

    “I went to seminary” can also be used to convince folks that they teach nothing but truth. Beware of any recent graduates of Southern Baptist seminaries! … they’ve been indoctrinated with New Calvinist aberrations in belief and practice.