Music: B- there was a brass ensemble, a fucking choir in robes, an organ, AND a piano to start. They sang a bunch of songs before the service really started for realsies. I don’t properly remember much about that part, but I wrote down the lyrics “’tis a glorious church/ without spot or wrinkle/ washed in the blood of the lamb” and also “i sing becuz i’m happy, I sing becuz i’m free”. The choir got off the stage after it sang those few numbers to kick off the service (ok this place really had a fucking STAGE though). There was an old dude leading the singing, and at one point the organ player gesticulated to add another verse as this guy was walking off cuz the pastor had left for some reason and I guess they didnt want the dead air (live filming!!!). Also a dude with a hippie vibe playing a classical guitar hymn by himself. Lots of clapping after the songs.
people who will die in the next 20 years: 1/3 though it’s a little hazy.
pastor charisma: D- they had a guest pastor, he sucked bad. their usual pastor shouldn’t get a mark cuz he didn’t do his thing that much.
décor, iconography: kinda epic, huge fuckin purple curtains. A million flatscreen tvs.
scare quotient: no satan talk really, but there was talk of demons. But evil was not really a huge focus I think, it was mostly talking about being pure or whatever.
number of people: probably about 150?
The real story:
Calvary Temple got the dubious honour of being the first fucking church me and jess went to together. We’ve been talking about doing this for forever at this point so the buildup was putting this place in a tough spot. They definitely needed to come through hard to even come close to meeting our expectations. Unfortunately, they failed.
Some notables tho: a fucking video about an orphanage in UGANDA where they take abandoned or orphaned babies, and they need your money, and all the child care workers there are black but seemingly this place is run by north american whites. COOL. Also, a totally made-up story about a baby – buried alive, found by a dog who proceeds to eat it starting by the umbilical cord. Obviously the baby is saved and now loves life and soon will love jesus when it learns about that shit. Jess REALLY looked appalled during this.
They had this guest pastor from a traveling, musical, family ministry do a sermon. Before that though, they showed a commercial for their products, like a infomercial (books, dvds, cds, all very expensive). Anyway, this guy sucked. He would always say shit like “you know” “it’s like” where you could tell that he just didn’t know how to make his point strongly, like he needed to guilt us into accepting his pathetic performance. Like this “cmon guys! You know what I mean right? Right?!?!” meh.
He really went ham on the whole thing, like he wanted to cover all this ground and didn’t have time to fully articulate and argue a single point. Maybe he did this to try and hide the fact that his points were weak cuz he sucked at public speaking. No wonder his is a traveling ministry, no one would offer him a church. Anyway, yeah, he talked about his struggles being addicted to porn. He took off his suit jacket to reveal a heavy chain with a padlock on the end. Woah right? How fucking brilliant. IT’S A METAPHOR, MAN. He had also previously told this bizarre, offensive story of an american slave, where he called black people “coloured” and just generally made a point for white people shutting the christfuck up about making metaphors using slavery.
He also tried all this crowd participation at the end, like getting people to raise their hands if such and such whatever. Like almost no one raised their hands, and he had a hard time finding people in the audience to play along, which he blamed on “a demon sitting on your hands”. He then repeated this exercise and TOTALLY fucking pretended there were way more people with their hands raised this time. It was unbelievable. Absolutely anyone there with good vision was just “he’s fucking lying”. Crazy. No one watching on tv could tell though maybe. And then he wanted to get all these people to come up front who maybe needed help with something like an addiction or bad habit or whatever. And he wanted them to stand in a line all along the front of the stage. But people didnt want to do that, they just clustered in a group, and he struggled so much to get people to do this totally arbitrary thing, maybe it would look better for the cameras or something? And anyway he just had this total control freak way of trying to get this little ritual thing to go exactly how he wanted it to, and it wasnt working at all and he just looked like a pathetic douche. It was kinda like someone throws their own birthday party and wants to play a complicated game and everyone is just too bored to try and play by their rules and it’d be funner and more natural not to anyway. So whatever, it was hard to watch. Then we left cuz it was over.
Man, watching that service fall apart at the end was brutal. It was like all their flatscreens in the world couldn’t help them in the hands of this incompetent dweeb. As we were leaving, that pastor’s family had this table with their cds and shit. The mom was playing around with her phone and her son and daughter were doing huge pathetic smiles at everyone walking by. It looked kinda like “please buy our stuff or we don’t get to eat tonight” but not because of being broke but because of some brutal dad who uses guilt tripping and god to impose harsh sacrifices. Sad.
Some choice lines, completely out of context:
“being a woman is a horrible thing” “porn-addict” “spirit-bling” “colored man” “[god says to him, about porn addiction] you and that slave are exactly the same” “god wants us to know truth like women know childbirth” “grace is god’s supernatural enabling” “the only way to grace is by getting on your face” “there’s all kinds of sin that can come out of your phone” “approximately 80% of people who go to church are addicted to something” “i love being free, it’s so great” “if you wanna give the devil a black eye…” “don’t talk yet, please people” “60% of men and 25% of women are addicted to porn”