Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Is "The Big One" just around the corner?

There's been speculation for well over a year that Steve and/or Donna Gaines will be somehow involved in or the focus of some big "miracle" presumably calculated to draw in the masses. Along with the "name it and claim it" topic of late, we now have a "miracle" of sorts. True, this one doesn't involve either of the Gaineses, but hey, I guess it's close -- considering it's Steve's deacon chairman.

With giving down and staff layoffs on the horizon a reality, could this be the precursor to "The Big One"?


Quote from Steve: "God is an encouraging God, is he not? And God will do those... ummm... now listen. He... he may not turn electricity on for you. But he might do something else... if you'll just look around, God is encouraging you. Sometimes, though, you're just not receiving it... because you're not looking for it."

What's next? Huckstering anointing oil and prayer cloths at the end of BBC's Sunday morning broadcasts? "Faith nails" and "miracle coins" in the bookstore?

Joel, Oral, and Benny would be proud!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jesus Delivers to Your Home!

In both September 21st morning services, Steve Gaines told this story about Donna wanting a new dining room set. He claimed they couldn't afford to go out and buy one, so he'd been setting aside "just a little" money every month.

The scene: Steve is at home on Saturday afternoon, grilling in the back yard with the family, when the doorbell rings. (Just wondering if you can hear your doorbell in your back yard? Maybe they've got a speaker back there.) He goes to the door, and there stand two men with a furniture truck behind them.

One of them exclaims, "Hey, you're the preacher on TV! We watch you on television on Sunday morning!"

Steve said, "Who are you? Heh heh heh heh."

He said the man laughed and said, "Uh, my name is so-and-so. We're from High Point, North Carolina."

Okay, time out for a second here. If these men are from North Carolina, how do they watch Steve Gaines on television? Bellevue's services are broadcast on two channels -- Channel 3 and Channel 50, both local Memphis stations.

Back to the story...

He [one of the men] said, "We got a truck out here with uhhh... furniture on it that is discontinued. We had already made a couple of deliveries in the neighborhood, but we just decided to randomly go up and down the street and knock on doors and see if anybody needed any furniture."

Now, at this point, would a prudent, intelligent person not ask himself why two guys in a tractor trailer rig (from High Point, NC) would be going door to door in his Cordova, TN neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon selling furniture off their truck? Basically, there are two possibilities. The stuff is either junk or it's hot, perhaps both. Apparently plenty of other people, when confronted with the same scenario, have asked themselves that same
question. Was this really "uncharted waters," too?

Here is a good
article from 2005 on this same scam.

And while the price may have been attractive, and assuming it wasn't stolen, what about the

9:30 Video

At the beginning of this version we hear Steve explaining why they can't afford a dining room set. "So we... you know... we didn't have... have... you know... we didn't... we... I'm not poormouthing... I'm just saying... you know... we got kids in college, 's with a wedding, and all that.... " Have you ever noticed when Steve Gaines is uhhh... "not embellishing"... he stumbles all over himself?

In this version he says, "We went out and looked at 'em [dining room sets]. Have you priced them lately? May... m... m... may I just say this to you? Sev... simply... five hundred dollars won't buy one."

Near the end he says, "I'm telling you, it was about a fourth [the price] of the stuff we'd been seeing out in these stores." (Compare these two statements to what he said at 11:00.)

He ends with, "And if you don't agree with that story, I don't want one letter about our dining room suit. Amen? Not one!" So much for talking with the pastor. He doesn't want to hear from anyone who doesn't agree with him about everything. And people have criticized former members for not going to the pastor? He's about as approachable as a rattlesnake. (Not calling him a snake at all.)

11:00 Video

In this version, Steve is again explaining why they can't afford a dining room set. He says, "And we've had a wedding lately. We have two kids in college, and we're buying cars and and things like that, you know... for... for kids and helping them with that and all that... so... so I said, 'Lord, you know, we just don't have it, Lord.'" I'm sorry, but Steve Gaines very conservatively has to be making at least $300K a year. He gets a housing allowance (tax free). The church gave him a new SUV. He certainly gets other perks. And he can't afford a dining room set?! Puhleaze!

Then he assures us (again) he's not lying. He says, "Now this is the truth. I'm not embellishing it. I... I... wish... you... you... could just see my heart to know that there's no embellishment in this whatsoever. This is not just a good preacher illustra.... This is the truth." Such Herculean efforts to convince us he's not "embellishing"!

Later he says, "Now you think I'm making this up. Am I making this up? She's [Donna] on the front row."

Then regarding shopping, "We don't have time to go look for that kind of stuff. We stay busy, and we don't have time to go shopping." Hmmm... at 9:30 he talked about shopping for and pricing dining room sets. Now they're so busy they don't have time to shop!

Moral of the story? "God delivered a dining room set to us with ten chairs and a hutch, and I paid $200 less than I'd set aside. God delivers when you seek him first. Amen? Amen!" {applause}

Or... there's a sucker born every minute.