Re: still Spitting out pieces of his broken luck...
- From his website:
[My name is Alan Kern. I have been a pastor and missionary for some twenty-five years to South Africa, Canada, and the U.S.]
One of the things that strikes me about this is the lack of saying what group he has all this experience in. In any normal recounting of such experience, you would expect someone to say something like, "I have been a pastor and missionary for 25 years with Foursquare Gospel and Christian Fellowship Ministries...." Obviously, we all know this, but he leaves it out. Why? Again, it is obvious. You don't want to reference a group you criticize, and especially an organization that threw you out.
Similarly, I knew another ex fellowship pastor. This man totally condemned the fellowship, and agreed with me that it was corrupt from the beginning. However, when he wanted to get back into "ministry," he wrote a proposal to the religious group he was seeking the position with, and he referenced all of his experience as a fellowship pastor and missionary. He got the position.
I wonder what goes on in these guys' heads when they go to another religious group, after trashing the fellowship and admitting it is messed up, and applying to that religious group for a position, touting their "experience" in the "ministry"? Must be pretty strange.
When I look at motivation, I hardly see a "holy calling" as the central theme with these guys. One exceptionally honest pastor, who left in the 1990 exodus, told me that his main reason for continuing to pastor was that it was the easiest way for him to make a living. Once again we have that constant issue of the religious professional. If a religious professional has any measure of real success, then he tends to have a very comfortable living. Once someone has experienced that on a high level, it is very difficult for them to do anything else for a living that will bring anywhere near the benefits of their religious position. Call me cynical, but I think a lot of these guys are just like that one honest pastor. It's just the easiest way for them to make a living, and there really isn't any higher calling from God motivating them.
In relation to this "call of God," I look at the fellowship system. The pastor who wants to plant a church looks for a disciple who has the ability to pull together at least a small core of people. He also looks for someone who is totally sold on fellowship propaganda. This is what determines "the call of God to preach." It's no big spiritual mystery, but is related to men who can fit into Wayman's Multilevel Religious Greatest Move of God program. And just like in most multilevel marketing programs, most of the people who get into the whole marketing thing are just used for as long as the top guys can use them, and then are replaced after they burn out, to maintain a healthy downline. It's WamWay.
It's not that these men don't want to "do something for God," per se. However, I had to conclude that most of the motivation came from going to those conferences and seeing the superstars of Waymanland do their thing. It was a call to success in the religion business. You too can be a diamond director. If you were in one of the larger churches, as I was, then this idea was constantly before you. The pastor would preach to a large cheering crowd, and marketing slogan of Wayman would come to mind, "If you do what I do, you can have what I have!"
In a way, these guys who leave the fellowship and join another religious group are like people who left Amway and went to sell Mellaleuca. Their new product is just so much better than the old one.
Then again, some of them are lucky enough to have a loyal wife with a good job. That way if the "evangelist" doesn't get enough meetings, at least the bills are paid.
I'd rather drive a truck.