So, let me see if have the science right. The frontal lobe of our brain is the active area when we speak. When someone speaks their language, it is reflected in activity within that lobe. Yet when the person was speaking gibberish, I mean in tongues, the frontal lobe fell silent in terms of activity. So the people who desperately want the unbiblical version of of Charismaniacal tongues to be scientifically justified conclude that the inaction of the frontal lobe indicates that God is speaking through them. I hate to be Debbie Downer here but isn't it more likely that the frontal lobe shows no activity because the gibberish of church tongues is simply not a language? I am all for bringing our beliefs more into the mainstream but things like this only serve to make Charismatics seem foolish. Onto the discovery that pastors are losing relevance!
"A NORC/AP poll of 1,137 adults released this month shows that doctors, teachers, members of the military--even scientists--are viewed more positively than clergy. The less frequently people attend church, the more negative their views. Among those who attend less than once a month, only 42% said they had a positive view of clergy members--a rate comparable to that of lawyers, who rank near the bottom of the list of professions." -- Religion News Service (RNS)
Even scientists! Gasp! Seriously, the first question thing we must realize is pastoring was never meant to be a popularity contest. Pastors who stay true to the Gospel will speak much harder truths than any scientist ever will. The modern-day purpose driven experience however turns it into a popularity contest. Consider the various sins of Mark Driscoll, formerly of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. A church he had built into 15,000+ attendance very week. It still stuns me to this day that most people view his primary offense as being how he treated other people, which was horrific. To me steaking $250,000 in tithe money to cheat the NY Times Best Seller list was far more egregious. RNS continues delving into their research:
"While frequent church attenders still hold clergy in high regard--about 75% viewed them positively--they give them only passing grades on a number of personal attributes. Only 52% of monthly churchgoers consider clergy trustworthy (that number drops to 23% among those who attend less than once a month) and 57% said they were honest and intelligent (compared with 27% and 30% among infrequent attenders). "If you buy into the religious worldview, then the religious leader looks completely different than if you don't buy into the religious worldview," said Scott Thumma, professor of the sociology of religion at Hartford Seminary. "The perception from the outside is pretty bleak." The survey confirms previous studies. A 2018 Gallup survey of the public's views of the honesty and ethical standards of a variety of occupations found that only 37% of Americans viewed clergy "very highly" (with 43% having an "average" view of clergy). It was the lowest Gallup recorded since it began examining occupations in 1977." -- RNS
Lowest since 1977. Well, what has happened since then? We had the televangelist thievery of the 1980s, culminating with the Baker and Swaggart scandals. The 1990's saw the church jump off the theological cliff in Toronto and Pensacola with demonic outpourings. This was of course accompanied with the release of the Purpose Driven Church, which started the cult of personality pastor movement. The end of the 1990s saw the emergence of the New Apostolic Reformation accompanied with a fierce dominionism and the establishment of false signs and lying wonders churches such as Bethel and IHOP. As we turned the century the groundwork had been laid for the emergence of the apostate church you see today. Besides the Todd Bentley low hanging fruit, you had pastor after pastor fall from grace and a church protect the wolves at the expense of the sheep. I am surprised 37% found them highly honest and ethical quite frankly. Just some final points from the research:
"Perhaps as troubling, the NORC/AP poll, conducted May 17-20, showed that even monthly churchgoers don't want clergy influence in their lives on a number of issues. Americans across the board said they didn't want clergy input when it came to family planning, child rearing, sex, careers, financial decision-making, medical decision-making or voting. Clergy, the poll suggests, are growing irrelevant." -- RNS
People are not stupid beloved. they see the financial maleficence among pastors so why would they go to them for financial decisions? So they can be asked about their tithing? I know of a local pastor who told a newly married couple that they were not conceiving because they were not tithing correctly. They see the Robert Morris' of the world claim God will curse their money if they do not give him the first ten percent. Family planning and child rearing? Physician heal thyself. There is a reason why pastors qualifications in the bible include children who are obedient. Sex? The hypocrisy within the church is rancid when it comes to the one topic no one wants to talk about until they are married. And why would they anyway? How many pastors and Christian leaders have affairs, divorce their wives and are simply "restored" like magic. Voting? Are you kidding me? The church is nearly completely compromised by the world when it comes to politics. Half the people are told from the start that they are wrong and in some cases in danger of hell based on their voting record but people see the hypocrisy. They see what the other side supports that is also not biblical. The damage of the NAR dominionists in this area is crippling the church today and politics is now the number one idol within the walls of the church. The research suggests what should be obvious -- when you create a man designed church that is not based on the shepherd model found in the bible, your so-called pastors will become irrelevant.
The third link above is to a recent report regarding a faith healer who claims 99% of people he prays for are healed of spinal alignment issues. The author is Stephen Strang of Charisma News and the charlatan in question is Stephen Strader. Let's dive right in to the heresy pool:
"My longtime friend Stephen Strader says 99% of the people who need spinal alignment get healed in his ministry meetings. But what could possibly be the reason for the incredible healings he is seeing? He says it has everything to do with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I recently invited Strader--pastor of Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida--onto my "Strang Report" podcast. Strader was born again at 8 years old and baptized in the Holy Spirit at 12, and he still walks in that power today. "To this day, 99% of anybody I pray for who needs their body aligned, they're instantly healed in my meetings because of that transfer of anointing," he says.