Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cement Heads

Proverbs 18:19, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle."

Titus 3:9, "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
Proverbs 18:13, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

*Note: In this article, when the word 'Church' is rendered as shown here, the author is referring to man's design of a Business Entity Institutional 'Church' system. When he renders the word church in all lower case lettering, he is referring to Christ's authentic, legitimate first century House church model, which He created and continues to build.

I must admit, I like a good debate from time to time. Not always, but on occasion there will be a statement made by someone that makes my antennas spring upward. At that time, I can't always resist from getting into a 'conversation'. During these conversations, there are times when I get my point across and there are times I don't. I've learned to agree to disagree, and have recognized when I'm the one being schooled. I've also learned when it's time to stop before things get outta hand. Usually, I know it's time to stop when I run into what I like to call a 'Cement Head'.

A Cement Head by definition is one who likes to engage in arguments. These contentions are usually fueled by a haughty and prideful spirit. These are also the type that resists logic and acceptance of sound doctrine. When Jesus saved them, it was truly a miracle, because only He could get through their thick heads. Hence the name Cement Heads. It seems that they are either self-righteous individuals, or ones that have a thirst for controversy. Whatever the reason or motive, Cement Heads are people I prefer to walk away from once I detect what they are. Usually, these Cement Heads are saved individuals who believe they are "right" (and others are wrong) because they received their indoctrination from a high Profile preacher (and I'm not referring to Jesus). There have been times though, (and I'm not Proud of it) when I wanted to toy with them, and turn them into a spiritual pretzel. I know, I know, that wasn't very "Christian" of me and I didn't heed Titus 3:9 shown above. I should've just walked away. No good was to come of it, but Boy, it felt good! But, no matter what my motives were, I'd like to concentrate on a Cement Head's disposition when it comes to being adverse to subjects that happen to be the three main themes of this blog.

Income Tithing, the Institutional 'Church' Business entity system and Professional Clergy for pay are the opposed hot topics I am referring to. I can see how these topics might draw Cement Head flies in to feast on a dish of Argument Stew. To challenge the belief that these three topics are perfectly acceptable within Scriptural boundaries, is to incite Cement Heads to come out of the woodwork and either voice their varied opinions or come to the rescue of one they may feel is threatened by the idea that they are accused, in some diabolical way, of evil doing. Just recently there have been people from all over (online) that turn a deaf ear to logic and just go into attack mode without hearing the whole matter. It's a wonder they call themselves Christian. There's no love, no grace, no meekness, no long suffering. It's as though they missed the class, Christianity 101. I can see how the Crusades started centuries ago. It was started and carried on by Cement Heads who blindly follow men who are blind and illogical. I believe there was a whole country in Europe in the 30's and 40's who did the same thing. They were called Nazis. Believe it or not, there are a few pockets of them running around today. Following orders is more important to them than making moral, logical and ethical decisions. And sometimes that's what we have when a loyal follower of a froward man gets into a religious establishment's setting. They react how their leaders react. Is there such a thing as a Christian Nazi? You bet'cha! They're called Cement Heads.

Although my articles are not pointing to any specific individual, there have been those who think I am writing about them personally. Usually, it's those who are pastors who bristle that they have every right to receive compensation for performing a duty that is clearly outlined in Scripture to be a free ministry. Then there are those who tithe ten percent of their income and blindly hand it over to a business 'Church' entity to help fund it's budget without searching the Scriptures to see if that is what God said to do. There are some Cement Heads (but very few) that'll challenge me on the Institutional 'Church' versus Jesus' Biblical house church comparison. The number of them is low because not a lot of them have searched this issue out for themselves. That's also true regarding the other two topics. They haven't bothered because their indoctrination on these topics runs very deep. Plus, no one in their 'Church' is gonna bring it up, because if they did, they'd be ostracized and squashed like a bug. To most within the Institute, to think of questioning how 'Church' is run is to question why we need air to breath. Most just don't think about it. And, a lot of times if one brings it up, they go into panic mode running to their pastor to see what he thinks! And that's where they get their indoctrination from. Him! A flawed man who is as confused about what is sound doctrine and what isn't as much as anyone. Don't let that pretty diploma fool you. When it comes right down to it, what we have here is an example of a Cement Head being led by a bigger Cement Head with a Bible degree. The result? In the ditch they go! My point is, none of us are infallible no matter how much education we have and you or I do not have license to attack anyone without good reason. Only Cement Heads cast themselves into a fight just for the sake of fighting.

Although passages such as Psalm 119:165 tells believers, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them", there are still those who get offended. And, sometimes, it doesn't take much! As a matter of fact, there is Probably some brother or sister out there right now who is offended at the title of this message. Raise your hand if you're one of them! See? They consider name calling an offense, yet they haven't learned anything from their kindergarten days when all of us were told, "Sticks and stones will break our bones, but names will never harm us!" Actually, there was a certain "pastor" who recently said that my articles were "worthless crap" and called me a serpent and a false teacher. (He later confessed that he never read any of my articles). Why would a respected pastor and a man with a cloth use such language? (Man with a cloth; get it?) I'll tell you why. Because someone recently posted three articles I wrote a long time ago entitled, 'Should Pastors Be Paid?', 'The Hireling', and 'Take The Tithe Test' on a social network's comments thread. You see, many of his members and his distant followers read what others in their circle post. When this pastor saw it, he went into panic mode! This ran so deep within him, he immediately gave a sermon condemning Biblical house church. And boy, was it slanted.

He became reactionary. Now, he feels that he has to perform some sort of damage control exorcism by discrediting those of us who believe in Biblical church. I suppose he's trying to salvage what he can from his customer base. I say 'customer base' because he sells DVD's on the internet. Whether he makes a buck off of them or not is irrelevant. If he sells, he has a customer base. At the very least, he has a following. Damage Control would be a predictable action from him. There are a lot of preachers out there that hate to admit that they are wrong (about anything). It would make him look bad if he had to admit that he was (even unwittingly) leading his flock and followers astray. It's not very dignified for a pastor to say, "Oops! I was wrong!"

Obviously, he was threatened, because his livelihood was being brought into question. He assumed this even though I wasn't accusing him personally. In my article 'Should Pastors Be Paid?' he assumed I was targeting him and him alone. Why? Because of association. He's a member of the 'Pastor's Fraternity.' He got so irate that when I asked him where he learned calling other people names, he said, "Jesus!" Whoa! The truth is, and I have maintained that he's a "good guy, but obviously under a lot of stress," he should have had a bit more self control, being a pastor and all. But, I still wasn't offended. I knew when I got into writing about these subjects that there would be those who would choose to over react. Blow-back is just part of the ride. To be fair, this "pastor" an acquaintance of mine and truly a good man simply over-reacted. The Problem is, he didn't know when to walk away. If I was attacking him, don't'cha think he would have the spiritual maturity to let the Lord deal with me? You'd think he would, right? But no. He had to act like a,... well, you know.

I know that this pastor started his 'Church' in a house. And after a time he did what most pastors do. He rented a building to meet in. Guess how he paid for it? C'mon, guess.... That's right! The tithe! He taught about tithing and how we are ALL commanded to shell out ten percent of our income to pay for "God's work." That was lie number one. At the time, he had no intention of receiving pay from its members. He said, "My intention from the beginning was to pastor the 'Church' for free!" (That was mighty big of him, seeing that Christ's church was to operate without charge to begin with) but I do see that he had good intentions just the same. Up until recently however, he was supporting his large (and I might add, wonderful) family by operating his own personal business. He was harassed by those who complained about his hard preaching on the internet regarding homosexuality and he lost two of his three biggest clients. The brass he worked for got wind of these complaints and because they didn't want the 'Gay' crowd boycotting their business, they decided it was easier to let him go. Ultimately, he was forced to close his business of selling and installing safety equipment in commercial buildings. He was now branded a 'Hate-Monger.' When he was forced to close up shop, he apparently turned to receiving pay from the 'Church' he 'pastors.' It seems convenient, that all of a sudden, the doctrine of tithing became a topic of interest in his 'Church.' Hmmmm? I wonder why?

He does believe in Income Tithing and has, on occasion, "preached" on the subject to finance the building he rents. In any event, apparently Income Tithing has Provided a sort of back-up plan for him to get by for the moment. I don't believe that was his intention, but that's how it has worked out. I don't for one minute think (or believe) that he means anything but good. He's just doing what most pastors in his position do. He's following the prescription written by the early Institutional Business Entity 'Church' Fathers instead of searching the Scriptures on this particular topic. Thomas Aquinas was the first to come up with the idea for clergy receiving pay from the laity. In fact, and to make matters worse, these two words don't even show up in the Bible! But pastors freely use them as if they're in the Bible. When pastors use them, they lead others to believe they're in the Bible. But, they're not! They just don't appear. Neither do "under shepherd", "Church service", "altar call", "sermon", "liturgy",  and more that would lead us to believe that the Bible somehow backs up the practice of having a liturgy and two classes of people who make up a church. Liturgy is a made up word that means 'order of service.' The two classes of people are the laity (us common folk) and the clergy (the illuminated ones in charge). Guess who came up with the idea of two classes of people in the 'Church?' If you guessed the laity, you don't pass 'Go' and don't collect $200. It was the clergy all along. It's the old 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the people are bullied into doing what the other twenty percent wants. Sounds like our government, doesn't it? And that's how it works in an Institutional 'Church' set up by man.

One might think that the money to pay for a pastor, a building and a budget has to come from somewhere, right? Well, that's the Problem. My blog shows that Christ's model for HIS church assembly doesn't need, or require a paid staff, para-church ministries, a building or even the slightest budget. It also shows that Income Tithing us used and Promoted by most 'Church' leaders today to finance an enterprise they label 'Church' by saying that Christ endorses it. Now, try and educate people against an indoctrination such as this. A doctrine they've been reared on since infancy. It's not that easy! This is one reason I've seen so many Cement Heads voice their opinions from near and far. They speak on a subject before hearing the whole matter ~ see Proverbs 18:13 (above). And, that's what some of you are doing right now! Don't worry; you haven't fallen into the Cement Head category just yet. Allow me to give you the rest of the story and then make your choice...

Let me begin by pointing out that most saved people here in America are members of an Institutional 'Church' system of one flavor or another. They could be of a number of brands of Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Calvinists, and even cults such as Catholics, the LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses. Just because someone is saved doesn't mean he or she is in the model for church Christ created or prescribes. There are more saints in China today (by FAR) that meet in authentic Christ honoring house churches than all of the Independent Fundamental Baptist 'Churches' and other denominations combined across the globe. And they don't pay their pastors one red yuan to feed them Bible! As a matter of fact, there are an estimated 200 million underground house churches scattered throughout China (and more in India) that are being hunted down and persecuted just because they honor and love Jesus Christ.

These people don't demonstrate or call attention to themselves by advertizing in the Yellow Pages like the average 'Church' does here. They don't have a colored ad that shows a fancy name, a building and a Senior Pastor as their biggest features. They don't try to recruit with Programs or carnivals. They grow through persecution. Are we starting to get the picture here? The church they meet in are Biblical house churches. But in China and India, some can't even meet in homes because the government raids the house and then imprisons them, or worse. Where do they meet then? Just like those persecuted in the first century, they go underground. This is what the Bible describes as Christ's authentic, legitimate church. Its not the social clubs we meet in today. Some don't even have a pastor and the ones that do, usually have a plurality of elders (pastors) that make consensus decisions on where to meet and what they'd be doing.

By the way; In the Bible it shows that the churches were established before the pastors. That's right! But, pastors today insist that to have a church, you first must have a qualified pastor. Not so! Where were the pastors in Tutus 1 when Paul left Titus in Crete to ordain elders in the cities? There weren't any! But because the churches there were being over run by false teachers and who subverted "whole houses, teaching things they ought not for filthy lucre's sake," (verse 11), Paul who ordained Titus left Titus there to ordain elders. Sometimes it might take years to develop an elder in a church. Do you think they came from a Pastor mill like they do today? No! Pastors were (and should be in our generation) recognized by the body by their knowledge of Scripture and their walk with God. Plus, they had to meet the criteria found in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1. They weren't imported. They were appointed locally. But to be appointed, they must be pulled out and separated from a group. That group was a house church.

If you're wondering why the persecution we find in China isn't known to us here in the States, its because most Institutional 'Churches' are state controlled. If your 'Church' has a name and a checking account, it is subject to federal mandates (FDIC). It is registered with local authorities, law makers and enforcers. They have the power to dictate what is being said or taught. If the pastor ruffles enough feathers, as our pastor friend above did, the Feds will find a way to make their lives miserable. My point is, until we know the whole matter regarding how Satan set up his religious establishment mechanism, we shouldn't be so quick to rush in and spout off on someone just because he writes about it for people to learn for themselves what is true and what is a deception. That's what a Cement Head would do.

There was another Cement Head, just yesterday I encountered. He's a man in a house church no less (we find them everywhere) who came down on a friend of mine who dared to share the truth about house church in a short video she made. After posting it on a social network, this man commented to her that she was usurping authority over men because she was "teaching." First off, she was sharing. She wasn't teaching in a group setting. Not only that, her husband asked her to make the video. Also, if the Cement Head had bothered to read 1Corinthians 11:5 after I pointed it out to him, he would've seen that a woman who engages in Prophesying is perfectly fine as long as she has a head covering (such as long hair). It's when she is shorn and doesn't have a head covering is when it's not. By the way, the Cement Head in question didn't even know what the word Prophesy meant. And just in case you don't either, it means 'to reveal the truth.'

He contended that revealing the 'truth' for women was limited to teaching children, other women and soul winning. But, to approach a man and tell him these things, it's JUST NOT DONE! Says who? Prophesying doesn't limit which truth she can share, or who she can share it with. If she runs into a man who is hungry, and is kind enough to get him something to eat, and presents the gospel to him and wins him to Christ, (which she did) how is that usurping authority over a man? The Cement Head was making up the rules as he went along just to support his prejudices. This is what Cement Heads do. She does believe, as I do, that a woman shouldn't usurp authority over men. But that's not what she was doing. She was on a computer. There was no group she was sharing with locally. She published it to share. If men don't want to see it, then I suggest they click the pause button and move on.

If only this Cement Head knew how much this friend of mine does for the Lord on a daily basis, he'd be put to shame. Not only is she a mother of four, but her youngest, a one and a half year old boy, has a number of debilitating health conditions and is autistic to boot. She puts more mileage on her two feet, regardless of the weather, to win souls, with her four little ones in tow than you or most pastors will ever cover. And, she does this every single day! She'll give money out daily to the homeless and starving. She brings groceries to those who live under bridges or abandoned buildings once a week and encourages every one she meets with a smile and her testimony. Her and her husband give out more than ten percent of their income directly to those who need it, but not to a business entity 'Church' organization. In other words, they give directly to the people, not the offering plate. She writes articles for her blog, paints Bible scenes for Christian children's books for no pay, and paints even more Bible scenes to illustrate and Proclaim the gospel on another blog she has. She is learning how to write and speak Hebrew and Arabic to reach Jews and Muslims alike. On top of all this, she and her husband has opened up their home for believers to meet for fellowship and the Lord's Supper every Sunday. Not to mention all the house work and home schooling that she does. I'd like to see most of us put that on our resumes. I know that the paperwork that would come in would amount to a very small stack. And this Cement Head has the gall to criticize her and the method she chooses to share.

After reading this far, one of the first things a Cement Head would say is, "Show me some Scripture to back up what you're saying! All you've shown me is YOUR OPINION" Sure! I have over 90 articles loaded with Scripture you can look at inside this blog. Take your pick! Among the titles one can choose apart from the one's already mentioned are, 'When church Isn't a church Anymore', 'Should Churches Have a Name?', 'Is 'Church' A Multi-Billion Dollar A Year Industry?', 'Are You In A Cult?', 'The Squared Triangle', 'What Is The Tithe Cycle And Who Was Exempt From Tithing?', 'Does Hebrews 7 Teach Us To Tithe?', 'Church Without Clergy', 'Filthy Lucre' and 'Ministries' for starters. Try these on for size and get back to me. Sadly, most Cement Heads won't bother because to do the research is too much of an effort. In other words, they're all talk, but no action.

Don't get me wrong (or assume too much). I'm not saying that pastors or others in "Full Time Christian Service" are dishonest people looking to make a buck. Quite the contrary! The vast majority are in it for the love of Christ and live at (or below) poverty level. What I AM saying however, is that apart from most of these people being saved, they are in the wrong vocation. The vehicle they are operating isn't supposed to be a vehicle for Profit, or to earn a living. The 'Church' Fathers have wrested Scriptures like 1Cor 9:9, "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?" and 1Tim 5:18 to make it sound as though they are perfectly within their rights to gain a living from their assemblies. Not so! These are references to a passage of Scripture in Deuteronomy 25:4, which teaches the natural law of sowing and reaping. In other words, an elder (pastor) is stationary and can make a living locally by working a trade or owning his own business. As he does, and as he feeds the flock of God faithfully, God will bless the work of his hands from his secular job so that he might Provide for his family. These passages have nothing to do with making a ministry into a paid career choice. But, Cement Head pastors will defend this false teaching with their last breath if they have to because they don't want to admit that they are unwittingly misleading their flocks. At this very moment, our pastor friend I mentioned earlier has posted a sermon he gave today on 'Pastors Being Paid' just to refute my article. As I said before, he had to perform some sort of damage control, and this is it. He has quite the following on You Tube. Me? Not so much. But I will post this on my social network if people are interested in reading it.

Getting back to our Full Time Christian Service friends... Most all of Christian Service here in America revolves around man's false concept for 'Church.' It is a business entity that chooses to be a business. As a matter of fact, Paul even contended with those in the synagogues at Ephesus over who Messiah was and even disputed with those at the 'school of Tyrannus.' Institutional 'Church' para-ministries such as Christian Academies, Bible Colleges, Seminaries, are a Product of, as one friend calls it, "the tradition of the elders." This was never Christ's idea for His assemblies. He knew that once church becomes a business, it becomes an Organizational thing instead of the living Organism it was meant to be. But only a Cement Head would try and deny this.

A rather famous preacher in the IFBC system touched on this issue in a message he gave before his decease. He said in part, "There are some things, as a believer I wouldn't fuss over, like what flower arrangements should be used at a wedding. It just isn't worth my time or effort to do so. There were some things however that I would fuss over, but I wouldn't fight over. An example would be if I found that teens were texting each other during the meeting. That's a common curtsey I would expect most should know. if it is breached, I might fuss over that, but I wouldn't fight over it. Then there are things that I would fight over, but I wouldn't die over. For instance, if I found out that someone was twisting core beliefs in our church, I would defend those beliefs using Scripture, but I wouldn't die over them. For instance, I would fight over the doctrine of baptism as opposed to what the Catholics teach, but I wouldn't die over it. Then, there were things I would die over, like not denying Christ."

That message stuck with me for years, and I still draw from it today. It seems to me that sometimes we may be allowing our traditions to outweigh what Scripture teaches just because that's what we've been taught. Just because we were taught certain things doesn't mean they're Scriptural. Without really thinking about it, we go overboard in picking and choosing our fights. The only things Cement Heads are armed with in most cases is a quote or two they heard from somebody else. There is no evidence of discipline being used in searching the matter out using God's Word as their guide to find out what is right and what isn't. I am thankful for those that do because they are the ones where I know that an argument surfacing would be more of a surprise than an expectation. Let's face it; there are those out there who genuinely love to argue just to cause a disruption. This isn't new at all. It's been happening ever since Satan slithered himself through the grass in the garden of Eden.

At one time, Paul (then known as Saul) was a Cement Head of the Cement Heads! He persecuted and infiltrated Christ's church until Jesus brought him to his knees. The good thing is, he was no longer a Cement Head after that. Oh, he still had his moments when he contended with a brother or two, but as he grew more mature in the Lord, the less he contended. This is my challenge to all of those Cement Head brothers and sisters out there. Be like Paul. Follow his example. Learn from his mistakes and put an end to being so contentious. At least learn to hear the whole matter before challenging it. Let's approach one another in love and in the spirit of learning something before we start spitting venom. This admonishment goes out to all those who fancy themselves above reproach and without error. Sorry, but there was only One of those; and they crucified Him!

Let us be mindful of and refrain from becoming (or continuing as) Cement Heads. It's not a good witness, nor is it a good testimony. Being 'image conscious' is not nearly as good as being 'testimony conscious.' I pray that this article acts as a jackhammer and crushes the cement off some of our heads. Grace, and thanks for visiting.


  1. Good Job on this Bobby! I especially like the lady you mentioned! lol Like this also, "These are references to a passage of Scripture in Deuteronomy 25:4, which teaches the natural law of sowing and reaping. In other words, an elder (pastor) is stationary and can make a living locally by working a trade or owning his own business. "

  2. Thanks Alyssa! I hope it get's through to our Cement Head friends out there without having to use a jackhammer.