Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Would you buy a used Savior from these men? 
Sunday, January 14th, 2007 | 03:18 pm [commentary, hagerstown, religion]
Steve

National problems are also local problems.  The whole country sees Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and shakes its head, but here in Hagerstown we have a few nutsack evangelicals who are uniquely our own.  More than a few, now that I think about it.  I mean, Ashley’s parents go to a church where the children put on a skit that implied non-Christians killed at the World Trade Center had it coming, for Christ’s sake.  There are three church leaders around here that stand out from the pack, the slimiest of the slimy.

 

Larry Aikens is the senior pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Temple, located on the National Pike just west of Huyetts Crossroad, eight miles outside of where I grew up in Clear Spring.  Back when I was a kid the senior pastor at Emmanuel was a guy named Ed Hampton.  He appeared in a series of mini-sermons that ran on Antietam Cable during commercial breaks, called A Moment of Truth.  Hampton had all the charisma of a pair of socks, so how he ever got on television is beyond me.  He retired to the position of pastor emeritus in 2003 and Larry Aikens took over as senior pastor of the church and the host of A Moment of Truth.  Check out that picture.  Suit and tie, red silk hanky in the breast pocket, perfectly swept and rigidly fixed hair, a smile that says “If you’d like to hear more about the parable of the farmer, I’d be happy to tell you during your test drive of this lovely 1999 Buick Regal, a steal at only $9,800.”

 

Pastor Aikens runs a mission-minded church – it says so right on his website.  Emmanuel Baptist has flung missionaries as far as Brazil, the Netherlands, Scotland, Cameroon, Kenya and Vietnam to proselytize to the natives about how evil and misguided their ancient faiths are.  Emmanuel Baptist, like the other churches I’m going to mention, doesn’t list anything too blatantly intolerant on its beliefs page, but if you read between the lines you find they aren’t the most ecumenical bunch.  “You must believe in Jesus for salvation,” for instance.  Guess you’re shit outta luck, Abdul.

 

Tim Fisher is the founder and pastor of Covenant Life Church International, in the old Church of God building on the Dual Highway in Hagerstown.  If Larry Aikens is a used car salesman, Tim Fisher is the guy who shows up on your front porch hawking Amway five minutes after you’ve sat down to supper.  Larry Aikens uses his 60 seconds of fame on A Moment of Truth to do some half-assed preaching; when Tim Fisher is on TV, it’s an unabashed “Come to my church, please!” commercial.  The church website even has a link to the latest commercial . . . or it will, at least – that page is under construction.  A quick skim of the Sermons page finds some interesting, though vague titles:  “How Stable is Your Stable,” “The Cross or the Plank,” “Bloody Jesus,” “Step Up,” “Step Up Again,” and a four-part series entitled “Don’t Bear the Care,” whatever the fuck that means.

 

The real star of the Covenant Life Church International website is Pastor Tim himself.  Check it out and you’ll find not one picture of Jesus, and really not all that many scripture quotations – but there are four pictures of the dynamic young Man of God[tm] in action.  From Pastor Tim’s bio:  “Pastor Tim preaches the Gospel with an exciting, dynamic style that is unmistakably his own. The anointing that God has placed on his life has resulted for countless lives being saved, changed, and baptized in the Holy Ghost.”  He’s a hell of a guy – just ask him.  Fisher wasn’t born with such a knack for self-promotion; he picked it up from a friend of his, founder of Voice of Evangelism Ministries, star of Manna-Fest TV, Pentecostal superstar Perry Stone Jr.!

 

Perry Stone’s not from around here, thank Christ, but his website is linked to Pastor Tim’s, and it’s clear that the two men have much in common.  See if you can detect a pattern in the questions on Stone’s FAQ page, for instance:  “I have heard you speak about your heritage in the ministry. What is that heritage?”, “Why did you name your ministry, ‘Voice of Evangelism?’”, “You now have a very large outreach ministry that reaches people from around the world. How was this outreach ministry birthed and what impact do you see it having on men and women, globally?”, “You have been noted as a "prophecy minister." However those who follow your ministry say you preach much more than prophecy. Can you comment?”, and of course the most pressing question of all, “Speaking of Partners, do you have a Partner Outreach?”  I bet I know the answer to that one.

 

Finally, there’s Pastor Alan Greijack of Gateway Ministries on Greencastle Pike just outside Williamsport.  If you live around here, you know the place I’m talking about.  It’s our very own aspiring megachurch.  Larry Aikens and Tim Fisher want nice big congregations to brag about and to see their faces on TV; Alan Greijack will stop at nothing short of world domination.  Every time I drive by, it seems the church has expanded.  It’s like a hydra that’s constantly growing extra heads.  I think it might also be a dark matter black hole.  Greijack is also the star of Gateway’s very own television show, Fresh Fire, which features shitty contemporary Christian music followed by Greijack’s sweaty, sibilant preaching.

 

I couldn’t find any pictures of Pastor Greijack on the website, which is wise on the webmaster’s part since Alan’s not the best looking fellow in the world.  I did, however, find this disturbing-as-fuck flow chart, illustrating the church’s trickle-down theory of religious authority:

 


 

No wonder a man as ugly and unlikable as Pastor Greijack has been able to build such a huge congregation and build a sprawling and ever-expanding church – the man takes his orders directly from Christ.

 

So yeah, no donations of megalomaniacal Christian leaders are being accepted currently in Hagerstown.  We’re full up.

Technorati Tags: , ,
Comments 
Friday, October 12th, 2007 | 03:46 pm (UTC) - Peace
Anonymous
Hello Steve,

I stumbled on your page after doing a search for a Pastor. I guess the only thing that I can do is tell you that I'm praying for peace for you. Perhaps it's your anger from something in your past that has you feeling this way, but the one thing that I know is that I serve a Savior who has given me that peace to not be angry at the world and to love others as Christ loved the church. Perhaps you've never heard it said to you before, and I'm sorry if you haven't but I'm telling you today that "Steve, I love you", just as you are. I pray that God would fill you with his Holy Spirit and change your life forever. It's obvious that you are seeking something, if not, you wouldn't have been compelled to look through all of these sites to find out what they are saying. That feeling that you get that something is missing in your life? Everyone has it, some of us fill it with stuff, some of us try to cope with it through drugs and alcohol, but nothing seems to work; there's still this emptiness that nothing seems to fill. You can fill that emptiness with the love of Jesus Christ, he will fill it with love and peace and joy! He's here for all of us, all we have to do is believe in hearts, repent of our sins and accept His gift of eternal life. He's given this gift to all of us, some of us chose to reject it while other accept it and enjoy a life of peace.

So I leave you today Steve, asking for God's peace to come upon you and that He would make himself real to you today! That you would come to know His saving grace and one day look back and know that God has been there all along with all of your struggles and trials. He's been there Steve, and He's here right now, it's His spirit that is compelling me to tell you that God is real and He's here for you if you only just let Him in. Ask God into your heart today, your life will never be the same!

I pray this in the Mighty name of Jesus, My Lord and Savior!
Sunday, October 14th, 2007 | 07:09 pm (UTC) - Re: Peace
I wish you had left an email address or something so I could respond to you in person. The only thing more irritating than someone pushing religion is someone anonymously pushing religion.

Why, Anonymous, do you assume my criticisms of the pastors mentioned in the article come from anger? I just re-read it to make sure, and I don't think I come off as angry at these guys at all. Disgusted, sure — phony preachers like Aikens, Fisher and Greijack make my skin crawl. There's mockery aplenty in the article, but no anger. I'm not advocating the utter destruction of the world's evangelical Christians; I do think we should take a few minutes every now and then to belittle their absurd, elitist and exclusionary beliefs, however.

I feel sorry that you felt moved to respond to what I wrote, but could only muster the same trite "come to Jesus" hokum we've all heard a thousand times before. Pray for me if you want to, but recognize that I don't think any amount of prayer, by itself, will ever make any difference at all. Describe the wonderful, life-changing power of Christ in your life if that gets you off, but realize that your private, personal revelation is not mine, and has nothing to do with me, and that your testimony to the truth of Christianity is applicable only to you and means absolutely nothing to me.

The only thing that is going to convert me to Christianity is a personal, unique revelation experience of the sort you believe you experienced. Given how skewed and immoral I find much of Christianity, and given how rife the Bible is with contradictions and real, provable scientific and historical inaccuracies, it's gonna have to be one hell of a revelation.

Thanks for the form letter, Anonymous.

--Steve
Saturday, October 27th, 2007 | 03:56 am (UTC) - Re: Peace
Anonymous
Actually I apologize, the only option was to leave it anonymously, my email address is rosiejohn@myactv.net. I didn't mean to imply that I was not willing to identify myself, there just wasn't an option other than signing up for another web account.

I'm sorry that you have been misled by so many in the "Christian" community. I'm a firm believer that there are a lot of Christians that are going to hell because they speak about God and know all the "right" words to say but very few really "know" Him. What does that mean? It's like having a girlfriend, she's your girlfriend because you have taken the time to get to know her, you listen to her and you talk to her every day I would assume. Well it's the same thing with God. He wants us to know Him. He doesn't want to be that person that you come to see once a week, or when ever the urge hits you. It's a daily relationship. The world sees so many so-called Christians living the same life as them and they figure that most of them are hypocrites and not to be trusted. I understand your concerns completely.

I'm not here to convert you or shove Christianity down your throat, I'm only here to say that your surface assumption of these gentleman is only that, an assumption. I personally know Pastor Greijack as he is my pastor. Yes, I'm one of those radical Christians who attend there. And since I would seem bias to you, I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise about your opinion of him as it is only your opinion, you are free to your opinion.

And your relationship with God is your choice. It's like the symbol of Jesus on the cross; there were 3 crucified that day; one chose to acknowledge Him and the other chose to curse Him; Jesus stood in the middle ready to accept them both and only one of them chose eternal life. That is the world today, some of us choose to follow, others take a different path. I can't make you want to know God, it's your choice. I pray that the Holy Spirit would touch your heart and move you in a way that you would want to know more about the gift of grace that comes with repenting of your sins and turning your life over to Him.

I have to be honest with you Steve, I've been thinking and praying for you for the past couple of weeks and you almost seem like Saul to me. If you don't know the story, Saul was an apostle who before he became an apostle went around punishing the Christians for talking about Jesus. Saul didn't believe in Jesus and did everything to put anyone who tried to talk about Jesus in prison. But one day on the road to Damascus, he had a close encounter with Jesus and after that became a follower and served God with all his heart, he had a passion to go out and tell and teach others the "good news" of Jesus Christ. I'm believing that one day that will be you Steve! Impossible you say? Did I tell you that I serve a God who works in impossibilities? :o) Yes, I'm believing that one day you will look back on your life and be able to tell of how you came to know Jesus and what your life was like before you had your "close encounter!"

God bless you Steve, I pray that one day the "scales" will be lifted from you eyes and you will come to know the Jesus that I know, the Jesus that I talk to everyday, the Jesus that serve and love for all the days of my life!

And just so you know again, I do love you Steve, and I'm not angry with you for your comments. The enemy is hard at work trying to turn as many people away from the one thing that we were created for, to worship and love the God who created us.
Monday, August 20th, 2012 | 04:55 am (UTC) - *evil cackle*
Have you heard what's going on at EBT lately? Stick your ear to the ground, you'll laugh your ass off. NONE of the "ruling class" are there anymore and I do believe, if told correctly, that the rest of the deacons and such had to threaten to call the police to uproot them from their "Save The Alamo" stand! Pastor Aikens was my preacher. Notice the past tense long before everything blew all to hell and back. I really liked him and I won't go back w/o him there. But hey, my husband and I called it, back in 12/09, when they started that great big church, and the radio station, both at the same time, (would the TV station, so coveted like Williamsport has, be far behind?), that "Pride goeth before a fall". Nailed it!

Yes, I'm Christian, yes I believe in many of the things you call exclusionary, but ya know what? They are! Nature of the beast. You may not believe it cuz I cuss, but that's OK too, I still am. I just believe in a deeper, less showy, "mega-church" mentality. I'm actually even MORE tight on my faith than EBT was/is!! But ohhhhh yeah, plant your ear to the ground, it might be quite edifying! LOL I'm not sure I have all the details right - I was told by someone who couldn't stand that church, so spite may figure into it - but I'm sure it's more right than all the faux-sorrowful, head-shaking, grieved-faces that goes on, lips sealed, cuz hey, it's a sin to gossip. (Dang it!) Go in the direction of running off w/ his secretary and POSSIBLY - I don't want to smear the man if this isn't right - embezzlement??

His youth and music preacher have abandoned him to start a new church - something Lighthouse - and he's left waiting for the cops to be done w/ him, as he cries on his prior sec.'s shoulder. They lost it the minute they wanted that TV worthy church and Pastor Aikens saw himself preaching whole hour long sermons. Totally went downhill from there. Gotta give the man his props tho - he led me to the Lord, and that's not fake. I'm sure God can use just any old body to do it if He needs it done. Ya know?

And as for Tim Fisher, lemme tell you about his "commercial". It's a phone ringing, asking if we'll answer when God calls. Hey dude! Are YOU going to answer YOUR phone when I'm a lost pagan, who finally decided, for whatever reason, that I wanted to go to church and I need to know if you have vans or buses for ppl who can't get there otherwise? You NEVER answered my call - just wiped that message right on off yer phone there, didn't'ja?? Guess I wasn't worthy enough, so I'm for sure God will never call MY phone then, either, huh? Hey! Cute stuff! MUTE!!!

Such an entertaining blog, made me smile through the whole thing. And yeah, we are kinda exclusionary. Comes from believing that you'll only get to heaven through Christ. I had ppl praying for me, while I was as pagan as you can get - 10 years or more - and yet I found myself wanting to go to church, just popped up in the middle of the night, surfing the 'net. Prayer works, so don't feel you need to justify anything to anyone if you get a hankering for church. And it does smooth the bumps in the road - as too many folks have had too many of lately - to know that God will see to your needs, both of the heart AND of the belly, the elec., the cable, the rent... Yeah, He is that faithful. If you get the hankering, don't turn it down directly, 'k? You might find some rather surprising things! I did.

Peace, dude.
Sunday, October 14th, 2012 | 12:01 pm (UTC) - alan greijack
Anonymous
How dare you talk about my grandfather that way. At leas least he believes in the lord our savior. If you just visited his church, you woukd be blown away. Now, i am going to do what a true chridtian would do and say...God bless you and your family. He loves you.
Sunday, October 14th, 2012 | 12:08 pm (UTC) - alan greijack
Anonymous
How dare you talk about my grandfather that way. At leas least he believes in the lord our savior. If you just visited his church, you woukd be blown away. Now, i am going to do what a true christian would do and say...God bless you and your family. He loves you. I will definitely have Alan read over this so he can preach on what a sick world he have and how people like you are just plain idiots.
:-P hahahahahahahaha pay back!!!!!!
Sunday, October 14th, 2012 | 02:43 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
You are such an idiot! .......God bless.:-P
Thursday, January 17th, 2013 | 01:39 am (UTC) - tim fisher bad
Anonymous
Steve you were right on with Tim Fisher!I used to attend his church,boy was I fooled! He is not a god fearing man that some think! If you like a church where there are clicks the preacher is invovled in. Where the preacher takes the men out a couple times a week doing boy things like movies,weight lifting,sports and so on while the rest of the family sits home then this is the place for you! He also has a habit of speaking ill behind a lot of the congragations back,not a good thing! Another thing I found interesting is all the gadgets this guy owns everything under the sun he and his whole family has. How is it he has a helper at his home for years he pays weekly and houses he buys for family members? All this on his oh so humble salary. Something simply doesn't add up. Did I mention one of his favorite tv shows always sunny in philydelphia. Now that's a god fearing man!
Saturday, January 19th, 2013 | 12:55 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I think Christine had it right if you don't have money there's no bus to pick you up at Tim Fishers church!
This page was loaded Apr 20th 2014, 3:10 am GMT.