Incongruous Circumspection was threatened by Mark and Annah's Henchman!
Aww...the Henchman Apologizes...Sort of
Mark Reid Tries to Preach Out of a Jam
This post begins a series where you will enjoy a front row seat in a meeting that happened between my brother, Zach, and his “pastoral” husband and wife team of Mark and Annah Reid. They rule the Ramsey, Minnesota church, Freedom Christian Center. (Be careful with this link. If you’re running a KHTML or Gecko (Firefox or Chrome, respectively) rendering engine browser, the site does funny things with your application window sizing.)
The content of this series is an actual transcript - word for word. I will be interjecting comments, observations, warnings, guffaws, and maybe a tad bit o’ sarcasm.
Finally, the reason I am doing this in a series is because the transcript is much too long winded to fit in one blog post. I hope you stay on the edge of your seat through all 100 posts. Just kidding!
Here we go!
Zach introduces the transcript:
(Just in brief, I'd like to introduce those who are in involved in this meeting, as to their names and their roles at FCC
Mark Reid: Senior “pastor” (Husband of Annah).
Annah Reid: “pastor” (Wife of Mark).
Zach(me): Worship Leader (at the time of this meeting).
Note: Leading worship involved playing and singing songs with the worship team (musicians and vocalists) to lead the congregation.
Altogether, my family and I have been attending FCC for four years. All the while, I have been involved in the worship team, and for the last two-and-a-half years, have been officially leading it.
You may find that, at times, the transcript seems quite off-subject because I am continually seeking after the "why" of what Mark and Annah do as pastors. I act as a devil's advocate frequently, especially due to the fact that I am documenting this whole meeting. However, much of it comes from confusion as to what they are really seeking from a worship leader, or anyone who wants to be a part of THEIR church. I emphasize THEIR, because the impression I have gotten from this meeting is JUST THAT. It will be their way, in their time, in their opinion.)
Zach isn’t exaggerating here, as you will see. Please put any soda pop you are currently drinking beside the couch and swallow NOW! Spitting soft drinks is the number one cause of keyboard replacement (not to mention spates of invisibility).
(I had served Mark and Annah…)
Key statement here. Zach served Mark and Annah. Not God. No need to remember this, though. Mark and Annah make sure to let Zach know it, many times during the meeting.
(…diligently for the past two-and-a-half-years. Even so, as you will see, they continually attack me as being in rebellion.)
Red flag here. Get used to it, though. It gets much better. Now, to the actual transcript.
Mark: The reason I think it's really important that we talk face to face is because --- a couple of reasons --- we haven't been able to do that – not any fault of yours – both of our schedules haven't been good, but I feel like there's been a breakdown in communication, and actually the last couple of weeks I've felt like you've actually been distant to the point of: you come in and out and there's really no communication.
Communication is huge for this rogue”pastoral” team. You’ll see that they think it shows respect, honor, obedience, worship, love, adoration, blah blah blah…
I think the last time we got together, it was over food, which probably is not the best idea, as far as to focus on stuff, but that time we were kind of going back and forth about "spirit-filled", what that is, whatever, and that's not even my point.
Mark. Please just get to a point. We’re falling asleep here. I’m losing readers by the letter! Also, who the heck told this guy that meeting over food was a bad idea???? Any good soul knows that food builds bridges, solidifies treaties, massages friendships, gets the girl, etc. This bloke needs to learn a thing or two.
Do you remember a leader's meeting, I think two times ago when I was talking about the establishment of Solomon's kingdom?
Wait. Wha…!????! Establishing Solomon’s kingdom? What on earth does that mean? Who’s the king? You’ll find out soon enough that it is actually Annah with Mark as the queen.
My bottom line was, I was talking about when Solomon established his kingdom.
Right. You said that already.
Everyone knows Solomon as a king of peace.
Actually, I know the guy as a dude who was pretty virile. The wisest crack in the world and he had 700 wives and 300 other ladies on the side. Classy guy to look up to.
The whole time he ruled he had peace, but what I was talking about when he established his kingdom, literally some heads rolled, because he wanted to establish who was the authority in his kingdom, and after he knocked off all the people that were opposing him --- literally, he reduced their height by about 12 inches
I have no idea what he means by “reduced their height by 12 inches” and I don’t really care. But, as you read the rest of this thought, you’ll notice the veiled threat.
--- then he had peace. Right?
Yep! I’ll translate for Mark here because he rambles too much.
“I’m the king, Zach. The king gets peace when all peeps line up under his authority. And, if they don’t, violence (from the king) can ensue.”
In other words, pastoring ain’t all about flowers and bunnies. You have to be vicious. No matter how allegorical this chump was getting, it was still a veiled threat.
Also, it appears that Mark missed a key verse or two in 2 Chronicles 7:19 – 22 which says,
19“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,20 then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.21 And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, 'Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?'22 Then they will say, 'Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.'
Yep. That was God talking to Solomon at night after the consecrating of His temple. Does that sound like Solomon had peace because of some magical authority structure? How on god’s green earth can you read authority into the peace of Solomon’s time?
Let’s belabor the point. I like doing this because the cult of authority is so heavily based on little pickings and choosings from the stories of the Bible. If you really read them in context, it’s quite frightening how people can twist this stuff to serve their own power trip and selfish purposes.
In 1 Chronicles 22, David calls Solomon, his son and tells him the following:
7b"My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God.8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth.9 Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.10 He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.' 11 "Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you.12 Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God.13 Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.
So, what do we get from that? We see that David shed too much blood, according to God. So, God wanted David to charge Solomon with building the temple because Solomon didn’t shed much blood. Also, he tells Solomon that IF HE FOLLOWS THE LAW GIVEN TO MOSES, HE WOULD PROSPER!
The doctrine of authority? Is that what gave Solomon peace? Of course not!!!! God promosed Solomon peace, just because. Yep…because he was God and can do those types of things.
Another gleaning from verse 8: Why would God tell David to tell Solomon that Solomon was to build God’s temple because David shed too much blood and then cause the nation of Israel to not have peace (translation: in those days, negative peace meant fighting battles with other peoples, i.e. shedding blood)? Might that have been a promise of no shedding of blood by Solomon during his reign? I think so. But, with the blatant promise of peace, we really don’t need conjecture.
Ok…enough. Let’s move on to more USDA Choice Grade A material…
And so, my bottom line in that, I said I don't want to have to visit over and over again who's the boss.
So, Mark says that he is the boss and Zach isn’t.
I don't want to portray myself as a boss as a pastor, but…
So, Mark says that he doesn’t want it to seem like he’s the boss of the church.
…the other thing…
The other thing? I must be losing it. That means there are only two or a few things. But, we’ve been down a bunch o’ rabbit trails by now. I’m confused. Oh well…
…is in Hebrews 13 it says, "submit to those who have the rule over you so they can do it – they do it for your good; they watch for your souls – " and then it says, "so they can do it with joy". Right?
And here, Mark states, unequivocally, that he IS the boss.
This is classic. Mark says he’s the boss, says he doesn’t want to be, then says that God is forcing him to be so Zach better get in line so that Mark can have joy. Mark makes sure to emphasize that if he doesn’t have joy, then Zach is not in submission. Pathetic. It’s nothing but psychological, mind-numbing, double-speak. I addressed Hebrews 13 in this blog post.
And so what the bottom line that I think is very important is…
Mark’s gotta lot o’ bottom lines…
…myself and Annah, as the founders of this church,…
Apparently, to Mark, being founders of a church is quite important. Funny thing is, the church isn’t a building or a club. Unfortunately for Mark, the church had already been founded after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whoops!
…what we have for a vision of this church,…
Yes. Mark and Annah’s vision is what matters. Anyone else that may have ideas, if the “pastoral” team disagrees, the ideas are S.O.L..
…what we'd like to see on the worship team, what we'd like to see in evangelism, what we'd like to see in Bible studies, what we'd like to see in clean-up crew – every area…
Ok. I understand that every single one of my readers are seriously astute, but I have to interject here for the under-8-year-olds that are devouring this missive – Notice the key word variance here – “WE”. Everything is about how Mark and Annah want the church to function. I ask, “Where the heck is God in all of this??!!” Oh, naturally, Mark has an answer for that….read on…
…– it is not controlling or micromanaging to oversee that and have that the way we want it.
Yes. Classic psychological mind-numbing. Define something to a ‘T’, then swear on your life that it isn’t what you just defined. “We want this, and this, and this, and this, and this. But, we’re not controlling or micromanaging!” This would be easy to laugh off if it we’re a rogue boss trying to keep an employee in line. But, we’re dealing with a guy who calls himself and his wife “pastors” and defines this crap as the proper way to run a church.
And that’s it for Act One. This is a great introduction and preparation for what is to come. Stay tuned for Act Two.