Transcribed from Podcast #1 Ross and Carrie and Pastor Melissa Scott
Mistake #3 Ross & Carrie: “Then there was this long, white-haired security guard forcing this other lady, this disambulatory woman, like clearly she was tired and she wanted to be seated and he was like, NO NO we stand for the singing, get up. It was like one row away from us and two seats removed. We were just watching this. You need to live up to these expectations, get up! We know that you’re old and you may have a disability, but you MUST stand! You must stand, Jesus! And that was our first visit. Great impression right off the bat.”
Ross and Carrie prattle on some more, clearly appalled about the event they had witnessed with the security guard, how uncomfortable they felt, how they wanted to intervene. They even made it sound like our security guards run around the church aggressively finding feeble old ladies just so they can yank them out of their seats.
Well, contrary to the histrionic reenactment by the “not so dynamic duo,” here’s what actually happened: The white-haired security guard sits next to his wife each Sunday morning. She was not some stranger. Both he and his wife have been attending for 30+ years and they both know the directive laid down by Dr. Scott decades ago: “If you’re too sick to walk, then you stand. If you’re too sick to stand, then raise your hand. If you’re too sick to raise your hand, then lift your finger. If you’re too sick to move your finger, then blink your eyes.”
What Dr. Scott has always said is “do something!” Take some sort of faith action when you’re sick, rather than laying down in a defeated, passive state. Of course it’s been abused by modern-day, faith-healing hucksters like Ross and Carrie’s BFF, Peter Popoff or Jerkoff or whatever his name is. But even Jesus commanded people to meet him half way, “Rise up and walk.” He didn’t say, “Lay there like a beaten-down dog you poor wretch and I’ll throw you a healing bone.” No, the sick and lame had to take some sort of faith action while believing in His words of healing.
So once again, Dr. Scott was consistent with his values. The Sunday before he died he felt awful, way too sick to come to church. But he willed himself to deliver his final message of faith to the congregation — and show up he did. Of course Ross and Carrie aren’t literate enough in the original language of the New Testament to know that belief and faith are not synonymous terms. Even Satan “believes” in God with fear and trembling, so what’s so great about being a believer? Yet they carry it as a badge of past honor that they were former “believers.” Belief alone isn’t going to help anybody, it is merely one component of faith. Faith requires action while trusting in God’s promises.
Anyways, not to get too theological, nor reveal too much about their personal lives, but the security guard’s wife came down with a medical condition roughly twelve years ago that has left her incapacitated in certain ways. The man, however, has stuck by her side without the aid of a nurse and he has been her sole caretaker all this time. So, no, our security guards do not run rampant seeking out old women to bully. This was a man with his wife. Even so, his action was not random nor mean-spirited, harsh or extremist like R&C tried to make it out to be with their histrionics. This man, of all people, knows what physical activities his wife is capable of performing — far better than the judgmental duet podcasting about it.
And this is what gets me about Ross and Carrie. They claim to be these free-thinking, liberated atheists, yet they’re little more than two sniveling, evangelical Christians who’ve merely switched sides of the street. That same obnoxious, self-righteous spirit that is so quick to judge and condemn others before they even know the whole story is so typical of evangelicals. I wonder how long they’d last as caretaker and nurse if their spouse suffered the same fate? God only knows, but they certainly have no problem assessing another person’s difficult situation in a matter of seconds before passing their all-knowing judgment upon him.
Mistake #4: Church Security
I’m not going to quote everything that Ross and Carrie said on the matters of security and overall church operations because they go on and on about it. Suffice it to say, they freak out that the service is not public; they freak out that a reservation is required; they freak out that there is a sign out front warning potential disruptors that doing so is a crime; they freak out that we have volunteer security guards and off-duty policeman keeping the peace; they freak out that they have to sit in assigned seats and they can’t roam about freely talking on their cell phones; they freak out that there are no fellowship groups…and to all of this they assign the warning, “red flags.”
All I can say is, somebody’s expectations are skewed. Dr. Scott used to teach on Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life and how abnormal the real Christian life would appear to modern-day churchmen who have conformed to the world’s way of doing things.
So, let me guess what kind of church Ross and Carrie grew up in…I just bet there were kids running up and down the aisles, babies screaming, simpletons talking on their cellphones during service, people carrying on inane conversations while the preacher is talking, people interrupting to get up every five minutes for a Starbucks break or to go the bathroom. In other words, out-and-out disrespect for God’s house and God’s Pastor. And since the fish typically rots from the head, it’s very likely R&C were taught by some metro-sexual, man-pleaser of a Pastor who was too much of a physical wimp as well as an intellectual wimp to engender any respect from his congregation.
Dr. Scott rightly denigrated the modern-day act of “fellowshipping” as little more than a mens’ bullshit session and a ladies’ gossip circle. So guess what? We don’t fellowship — thank God.
And if someone is too worthless to meet a girl out in the world, he’s certainly not going to use our church as his personal, Christian dating service. Nor is some slick salesman going to worm his way in under false pretenses in order to pitch congregants on his latest “opportunity.” When they try, they get their asses kicked out. If some religious zealot tries to take advantage of the crowd gathered and use it for his own, self-aggrandizing purposes to prophesy or give his testimonial, he gets his ass kicked out. If stalkers and other dangerous people try to slip in to do harm to our Pastor or our congregation, they get their asses kicked out. We can do this because we are NOT a Public Service. Of course I wouldn’t expect R&C to know anything about the law since they seem so ignorant on all the other matters they freely spout off about.
Yet Carrie mentions in another forum how she went to the live taping of the Dr. Phil show and was instructed not to get up to go to the bathroom for 5 hours! Well, guess what? We have a broadcast that went out live on TV for decades and still goes live on the internet. If some yahoo jumps up and starts dropping the “F-Bomb” and it goes out live during family hour, we are liable to the FCC. So shutting off cell phones, sitting new people in the back near security are not the random actions of control freaks, they serve a purpose. And since 1975 we have dealt with pretty much every kind of freak and interloper that’s tried to interrupt and make his voice heard on live television.
Ross and Carrie continually mock our security as being too intense and controlling, but I submit, if that black church in South Carolina that got shot to pieces by the white supremacist had been as diligent as our security team, most of the victims would be alive today. We certainly would never let some goofball off the street get within shooting range of our Pastor. But it’s obvious that Ross and Carrie grew up in a church that was little more than a Romper Room for adults. Good for them, but we live in the real world. A world where lunatics can still buy guns in America and for some odd reason seem to like to shoot up schools and churches. A world where religious zealots and dangerous stalkers are a reality.
So, suffice it to say, our Pastor’s safety and our congregation’s safety is much more important to us than Ross and Carrie’s comfort. Their smart-ass remarks and lackadaisical attitude belies their general contempt and bias towards the Christian church. In their minds an inane TV program like Dr. Phil deserves more rigors and respect than a live, Christian broadcast. Maybe one day if their podcast gets big enough, they can know what it’s like to deal with a deranged stalker or a religious zealot who thinks they’re doing God’s will by destroying them. If that day comes, they’ll long for volunteers as dedicated as ours who would tend to their safety. But more likely their fans and followers will just pay them lip service on Facebook, and Ross and Carrie will have to pay hired guns like Michael Moore does with his band of former Navy Seals. Bum rush Michael Moore at a live event and see what kind of treatment his security team gives you.
Ross and Carrie never bothered to scratch the surface of Dr. Scott’s teaching before they churned out their podcast. If they had, they would have heard him say one hundred times, “This is not your typical church. If you want a typical church, go look in the yellow pages.” Of course Google was after his time, but in his time it was still the Yellow Pages. And I’ll add to that: If a person wants a “free-for-all” for a church service where everyone’s opinion is equally valid no matter how asinine, simply find a Unitarian church and revel in the blind leading the blind.
What we love about our church is that it’s so atypical. No one judges you; no one hassles you; no one digs into your past sins; no religious freaks try to witness to you or proselytize to you or try to save you. You can just quietly do your own thing. People are friendly and they say hello, but we’re there to learn and study. PERIOD. If we want to bullshit in a so-called, fellowship session like Ross longs for, we can join a Meetup group.
What’s ironic is, Ross and Carrie freak out and start casting judgment how our church is so unlike their old church, but do I need to remind you? They quit their church. Why on earth would they want us to be exactly like the church that they left? These two are just so full of contradictions I don’t know what to say.
Even with all the notifications they received when they used a fake name to get in, R&C still found it hard to believe that in America, people can assemble privately without having to put up with disruptions. As a private assembly, we can remove people quickly whereas public services cannot. Even people like Ross and Carrie who were clearly there for the wrong reasons — not to study and learn, no of course not, these two already know-it-all because they watched a couple of Richard Dawkins videos on YouTube. They came to our gathering to mock, critique, pass judgment, and eventually were bound to start hassling the congregation and proselytizing to them on the glories of their new-found, liberating lifestyle. Gimme a break.
More Ross and Carrie mistakes and mischaracterizations to follow…
– Richard Harvey is a journalism major from San Francisco and a guest poster on this site.