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How NOT to preach at a funeral


Buzzard

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I recently had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral at First Baptist Church Atlanta, the church of Charles Stanley

 

fba.org

 

Dr. Stanley appeared on one episode 19KAC and J'chelle referred to him as a "hero."

 

The majority of the service what your standard funeral where people shared the life, love, and achievements of the person who passed. Despite my acute knowledge of the teachings of this church, there was absolutely nothing off, odd, uncomfortable, or snarkworthy about the service... until Pastor Paul Diamond opened his mouth for the "message."

 

He began his 45 minute word salad by thanking people for "choosing" to come to the funeral. He gave some platitudes for the deceased, never mentioning him by name. He said that the diversity of those in the room was a testament to the life that was touched... then he went head first into teh krazy.

 

He began his descent into asshole by going through the "good person" test from our favorite asshole, ray comfort. He asked people if they had every lied and had them raise their hands, declaring them liars. He then asked if people ever stole, calling those that raised their hands thieves and those that didnt liars... then of course he got to adultery and blasphemy. Needless to say, it got quite uncomfortable. I was at a funeral, not confession.

 

Once he was done clarifying that everyone present was a sinner he bounced right into the typical "you're all going to hell" message we've heard so often from these people. Unless you accept Jesus, and by that I mean THEIR version of Jesus, you're about to get toasty.

 

"It is better to visit a house of mourning than a house of feasting." He jumped all over this one for a while. Its better to be dead, because you're chillin with god, than it is to have your life ahead of you. In fact, we should be THANKFUL for murders and THANKFUL for disease because it return people to their maker.

 

I'm sorry... WHAT???

 

He rambled on for a good 10 minutes about how we should all take comfort in knowing that the decedent was a good member of their church and was, therefore, happy with God experiencing rewards I cannot fathom because I am an ebil heathen jew.

 

For about the first 15 minutes of teh krazy I was thinking to myself "gee, we must have just gotten the JV pastor because this guy is a SHITTY speaker." He struck me more as a dentist explaining how to brush back and forth than a fire and brimstone pastor. So I pulled up my linked in app...

 

linkedin.com/pub/paul-diamond/13/1a9/42a

 

Yeah, he has a BA in theatre and is an associate pastor, interested in "evangelism." No other work history noted. No degrees or anything qualifying him to tell me that I suck anywhere on linkedin or on the FBA website, just his page on the "chosen people."

 

fba.org/chosen-people

 

There is apparently a video he did about passover but I'm too pissed to watch it.

 

Now, he goes off on his history. HE IS JEWISH. Born to a Jewish mother, and apparently with still Jewish parents. He explained how the ONLY way to heaven is by "washing yourself in the blood of the savior." By accepting Jesus, by putting aside arguments... the ONLY way is through christ. Apparently he hasnt sold his family yet. At this point I am texting all the jewish people present, along with the known gays, muslims, buddhists... WTF!?!? A few actually left.

 

After 40 minutes of spewing Ray Comfort's vile garbage all over the casket of my friend (who I know didnt believe it because we've discussed it) he finally got around to mentioning the family and sat his ass down. The service ended and as I was leaving I was treated to one of the famous "trillion dollar bills." :angry-banghead: NO ONE was talking about the deceased anymore, everyone walked out saying "what the hell just happened?" Including the true bible believing/quoting Christians among us...

 

So, why start a thread about this? I've been to funerals before. I've been to fire and brimstone small church in south georgia funerals. I've NEVER been to a funeral that turned into an evangelical session. Whatever happened to praying for the soul of the deceased and supporting the family? What happened to "judge not lest ye be judged?" What happened to allowing people to be sad and not THANKING GOD THEY'RE DEAD?

 

The church is HUGE. It had multiple smaller sanctuaries that easily held several thousand people and full banquet rooms. Their bookstore had Duggar shit but atleast I didnt see the pearls. Then there was this in the hallway:

 

943748_2998187690757_355867846_n.jpg

 

I believe that would be jebus having a personal one on one with Stanley. How is that not heretical??? Really, they're just shooting the shit with jesus sitting on his desk?

 

I knew that Stanley was of the "Gothardesque" ilk, but I was honestly unaware that this church was cut from the same cloth and so close to me. :shrug:

 

I think, the next time I say I'm going to a funeral, someone remind me NOT to do it because this is more than I can handle.

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The family of the died person allowed that talk like that??

And I just want to publically say I feel it is not good to call Jesus Jebus, because even though I dont believe what they believe, its not Jesus fault they twist his message. I am not asking you to stop saying Jebus, only saying my opinion to respect the names of the ones people see as holy.

If I went to a funeral like that, I would leave from creepy-ness!

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The family of the died person allowed that talk like that??

And I just want to publically say I feel it is not good to call Jesus Jebus, because even though I dont believe what they believe, its not Jesus fault they twist his message. I am not asking you to stop saying Jebus, only saying my opinion to respect the names of the ones people see as holy.

If I went to a funeral like that, I would leave from creepy-ness!

I'm not sure that there was any way to stop him once he got started. Quite a few people left, but they were all seated behind the family and in a megachurch, you cant really see whats behind you. I like to think that they disagreed with what he was saying but stayed out of respect rather than agreement.

I tend to use "jebus" when the message is twisted or is being used in a ridiculous manner but I understand what you're saying.

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The pastor that did my sister-in-law's funeral wasn't as bad as that but it was still just awful. He spent nearly that same amount of time talking about himself and how wonderful he was, complete with some proselytizing. He mentioned my SIL exactly once, at the beginning of his facking stupid self serving garbage, about how he taught her in Sunday School once. *eyeroll*

I finally caught his eye and gave him the evils and tapped my watch and I wasn't subtle about it either (we were all in the front row) - he blushed and wrapped it up quickly. Stupid asshole and all his I'm the holiest dude on the planet, Jebus-y shit. My SIL wasn't a xian and her funeral was supposed to be about HER, not some jumped up ego filled 'pastor'. My in-laws only asked him because of the aforementioned slight connection from years and years earlier and because they didn't feel like they could ask any of the family members who are pastors, to officiate. His wife overheard me saying something about his bullshit, at the luncheon afterward and tried giving me the evils, and I just looked at her and said "Don't even start with that bullshit. Your husband was a complete embarrassment today and he should be ashamed of himself. This was about my SIL, not your husband's bizarre need to tell everyone how holy and wonderful he was. So bugger off." Gah. Stupid effers.

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And I say Jebus because I want to. *shrug*

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I'm not sure that there was any way to stop him once he got started. Quite a few people left, but they were all seated behind the family and in a megachurch, you cant really see whats behind you. I like to think that they disagreed with what he was saying but stayed out of respect rather than agreement.

I tend to use "jebus" when the message is twisted or is being used in a ridiculous manner but I understand what you're saying.

Thank you to explaining. Yes, I understand now. :handgestures-thumbup:

Now I hide my face to bring different culture here again, but I have to say it. If this funeral happened where I live, there would be people screaming "shut your mouth you son of a bitch", women would be screaming that the funeral is being spoiled and men would grap the speaker by the hair and throw him on the street shouting bastard. Then we would all start crying and laying over the coffin saying sorry to the died loved one. Craziness but heart-felt emotional people here.

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Yep, been to a funeral like that before. I was floored there was hardly any mention of the deceased. The bozo pastor said he was not there to morn the deceased. He was there for soul winning and even had an altar call. Twlight Zone level five.

I just find that whole type of ranting to be about the ego driven speaker. It is completely disrespectful to the deceased and their mourning family.

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Ah, youtube... here is pastor asshole's son's messianic bar mitzvah from THIS DECEMBER

8zulWMzdpaI

Listen to him speak and you'll know what I mean when I said he was the "JV" pastor.

I'm now SERIOUSLY confused. Stanley allows messianic bullshit in his baptist church? How does one reconcile his family following a messianic life while preaching baptist doctrine?

Oh, and apparently a bar mitzvah is demonstrating your love for jesus and your willingness to follow him.

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I'm rather surprised we didn't have an altar call at my mother's funeral. The preacher went on and on about how you needed to get saved or else you'd go to hell. I just sat there cringing and swearing under my breath. My brother's family is Jewish. They have had to get used to people trying to convert them. Our mom and dad never did. They always showed the utmost respect for my sister-in-law's faith. My mom's sister was also mad. We knew that Mom would have hated that service.

ETA: Buzzard, I wouldn't be surprised that First Baptist Atlanta has had a messianic outreach for a long time. They converted my roommate almost 40 years ago. I hope for her sake that she unconverted. I know her family thought she'd flipped.

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93T3tuGOpUw

Aaaand they seem to have given up the messianic shit - David was baptized this past easter - 8:45 by his father.

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The tzitzit has 613 knots from the number of mitzvot commandments in the Torah. I would love it to ask that boy if he does these 613 rules. There are some ultra orthodox haredi fundamentalist Jews in some neighborhoods who would love to stone that boy, so we have crazy religious nutz too.

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That wading pool in front of a climbing wall is so tacky! Most Baptist churches I've been in had a proper baptistry behind the lectern and choir loft.

Also, Paul Diamond totally looks like he's wearing a rug.

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Watching that clip reminds me of why I will never step foot in a baptist church ever again. Oh, the horror stories I could tell....

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Ah, the memories! I've been to many a funeral like that. And to a few that really did have altar calls. (The preacher claimed the family requested it.) Of course, that's back when I was drunk on the koolaid & didn't see anything wrong with it.

The last funeral I went to was my sister's MIL. It's a long story, but my sis always talked about her MIL like she was a terrible, heathen, evil woman. The pastor of sis & BIL's church agreed to preach the funeral, but not in HIS church (IFB). It was held in a nearby SB church.

Turns out MIL was a sweet, kind Christian woman who was a charter member of the church, which was originally Southern Baptist. But about 15 years ago the current pastor came & pretty soon convinced the congregation to leave the ebil SBC & become KJV 1611 only/no pants for women/no sports etc. for anyone. MIL said God hadn't told her she needed to change & left the church. She was basically shunned after that, & she became disillusioned & stopped going to church at all.

I was extremely uncomfortable at her funeral. Everyone, including sis & BIL, acted like she was burning in hell, & the ass of a preacher did everything but come out & say it. You could tell her family/friends from outside the IFB church were angry & upset. The hosting church served lunch for the family afterwards & none of them stayed, only sis & BIL & their fellow church members.

Sidenote: Asshat preacher never spoke to my mom & me at all. We were wearing pants, and he walked right by us & looked at us like we were trash, with me standing there with my hand out to be introduced. He'd met my mom several times but didn't acknowledge her at all. :evil:

Just cremate me & scatter my ashes in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Oh my. This has triggered a childhood memory I completely forgot about. Admittedly, I went to a massive amount of funerals because my father is a rather well known evangelical pastor around the area I grew up in. Anyway, he was asked to do a funeral along with another pastor. The person that passed was a young person. The grandparents knew my dad, and they wanted him to speak. My father did not know the deceased, but he spoke with the family to get some information. My father got up and spoke about the deceased and spoke to the family, etc. Nothing too bad, I guess. And then the next pastor gets up. Holy hell. The guy flips out and tells everyone this person was burning in hell and everyone in the audience better get right with Jesus or they will burn too. :shock: I know when my religious wingnut of a mother gets offended, it was bad.

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Wow.

The first person I thought of was classmate's brother, when we were in middle school. He committed suicide. I only went to the wake (I think because my parents were afraid the funeral would get too fire and brimstone-y), but my mom went to the funeral and I remember she told me the priest made a big deal about how only God knows what he was thinking and God is forgiving so we can hope he is in heaven like everyone else who has passed. Pretty much the opposite of this funeral.

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Ah, youtube... here is pastor asshole's son's messianic bar mitzvah from THIS DECEMBER

8zulWMzdpaI

Listen to him speak and you'll know what I mean when I said he was the "JV" pastor.

I'm now SERIOUSLY confused. Stanley allows messianic bullshit in his baptist church? How does one reconcile his family following a messianic life while preaching baptist doctrine?

Oh, and apparently a bar mitzvah is demonstrating your love for jesus and your willingness to follow him.

Between the coughing, the lady in the front row having hot flashes, and the boy's quiet voice it was hard to hear this. It certainly lacked the dignity and pageantry of a real bar mitzvah.

I have a friend who is Jewish and a Baptist minister. When he was a teenager he and his mother converted from Judaism to the Baptist religion. Their ethnic identity remains Jewish of course but they only practice the Baptist faith.

I wonder what Diamond's Jewish family thinks of all of this?

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David doesn't seem real convinced about any of this, I don't think he wanted his father talking about his baptism at the beginning of the video. Then when it was his turn he's chewing gum. His father had his hand on his neck to dunk him! The other pastor used a cloth over the mouth of the others who were baptized when they were dunked.

And what's with that climbing war behind the baptismal font? Surely people don't climb on it, if they fell they'd split the head open on the marble.

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At the funeral for one of my grandfathers, the priest was pretty much a tool. My grandparents on that side were Byzantine Catholic, so there was tons of incense, a cantor, etc. The priest was very strict, by the book, and despite knowing my grandparents, didn't bother to personalize the service and actually speak about him at all. What he did do, though, was give an awesome lecture on who exactly was NOT eligible to come up for communion, and how wrong it would be if you took it and weren't eligible. If you even thought you might not be eligible, please stay in your seats. It's safer for us all. My immediate family was not Catholic, and we were sitting there like- Dude, we're not going to come rushing you for the communion wine, calm down!

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Stupid question - but what's an alter call ?

It's when your alter ego is called forth to make an appearance. :cracking-up:

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Stupid question - but what's an alter call ?

At the end of the service they will play music, sometimes they will have everyone close their eyes and pray, and the guy preaching tries to get people to come down to the front crying and confessing their sins. I've been in services where the preacher would say things like "I'm not going to close this service until somebody from this side of the church comes down. God has laid it on my heart that somebody from this side is fighting the devil. Give into Jesus and come down." I've been at altar calls that have lasted 30 min.

That picture is over the top, but I have been to so many funerals that are like this. One of the reasons I hate going to funerals.

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At the end of the service they will play music, sometimes they will have everyone close their eyes and pray, and the guy preaching tries to get people to come down to the front crying and confessing their sins. I've been in services where the preacher would say things like "I'm not going to close this service until somebody from this side of the church comes down. God has laid it on my heart that somebody from this side is fighting the devil. Give into Jesus and come down." I've been at altar calls that have lasted 30 min.

That picture is over the top, but I have been to so many funerals that are like this. One of the reasons I hate going to funerals.

That is an ALTAR call.

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