“Spontaneous” baptisms.

So church attendance is declining and, along with it, the number of baptisms.  So what is a megachurch pastor to do?  Certainly not tell the truth.  No, the congregation needs to believe that god is making sure things are going well.  So when things aren’t going well, people’s faith might start to decline…unless you lie.

A Southern Bapitst megachurch pastor in North Carolina, already under fire for buying a $1.6 million house, is in the spotlight again for “spontaneous baptisms” that turn out to be not nearly so spontaneous.

Steven Furtick, 34, routinely draws about 14,000 worshippers to several campuses of Elevation Church in and around Charlotte. The church, launched in 2006, have been listed by Outreach magazine as one of the top 100 fastest-growing churches in the country.

Part of that growth has been attributed to Elevation’s flashy baptism ceremonies, particularly as the Southern Baptist Convention grows increasingly concerned about declining baptism rates as a key measure of evangelism and church vitality.

But a new report from NBC Charlotte suggests that Elevation’s supposedly spontaneous baptisms are carefully planned ahead of time, with people planted in the congregation to start the walk down the aisle.

Assuring people you’re preaching the truth even as you demonstrate moral comfort with lying.  Better make sure he has a $1.6 million home from which, I’m sure he promises, he is doing the lord’s work.  Hey, it’s the TRUTH!  And if the truth must be maintained by deception, then by god that’s what we’re going to do!  Otherwise the church may die and then where will people get their morals?

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

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