This man is offering to sever unwanted soul ties for $500

 

 

 

Brad shares a deep insight into the scripture reading, and your heart leaps within you in affirmation. When you expand on Brad’s idea with a vulnerable example from your own spiritual journey, his eyes lock with yours for an electrifying moment. Before you even realize what’s happening, your very souls are linked together.

 We can all relate to those times in your church small group when you and another member are just really jiving, and whether you like it or not, you just formed a soul tie. 

 knot

Although these experiences can be heady, they are deleterious to our future relationships. Take it from Mary Anne McAllister, a long-suffering victim of an accidental soul tie despite being married for seven years to the man of her dreams. “I try to connect to my husband when we pray together, but all I can think about when I close my eyes is that one time when Jo-Jo McGee said ‘yes Lord’ in response to one of my prayers back in 2006.”

Rex Hood, a self-educated theologian and pastor, is offering freedom from these soul ties. “The best solution is prevention, obviously. I think we would all agree that any sort of connection with anyone who is not your future spouse will lead to devastating emotional and spiritual consequences for the rest of your life. But if the worst happens and you accidentally bond with someone of the opposite sex in your Christian community, there are certain… options.”

 

young-man-2939344

From here, the details get a little mysterious. Rex’s professional site does not disclose his particular methods, and his entire business relies on personal recommendations. He does have a 3.5 star rating on yelp, with some customer’s claiming “$500 is worth freeing my soul from over a decade of intimate, mixed-sex small group discussions!” He has, however, been spotted entering the homes of soul-tie victims with essential oils, a 4 ft wooden cross, and Michael W. Smith cds.

Rex remains unfazed by some accusations that charging $500 to sever each soul tie is a bit exploitative. “If you don’t think your soul is worth at least $500, I probably can’t help you anyway.”

 

For those with knotted souls and a little extra cash, it just may be worth it.

 

C. Gallo is a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA. She enjoys writing lies that make her lolz. Some of the characters in this story may be fictional, then again they may be real. Any resemblance to real persons or businesses might be on purpose, to cause controversy and drive up her blog views. 

 

 

 

 

A tale of too bigsies

When I first started attending my former mega-ish church, I was overwhelmed by the experience in the best of ways. Coming from a childhood church with a mean age of 74, and enrolling in a grad program that strongly emphasized materialism as the only reality, it was a balm to my soul to be surrounded by thousands of people my age who were whole-heartedly worshiping the same God.

It was difficult to meet people at first, but I did eventually meet some people when I volunteered to help out with the kiddos for about a year, and then later when I joined a “small” group that was ~100 people. Another great thing about this church was that they regularly have ‘drives’ that ranged from collecting school supplies for local kiddos to fixing cleft palates for kiddos overseas. Most importantly, the theology of this church is solid. They have a strong focus on the gospel, and go deeper than some of the other big churches I’ve been to in the area.

I mention these positive features up front because I want to emphasize that this post is not about poo-pooing this particular church. I am, however, going to share the issues and concerns which ultimately became such a big to deal to me that I didn’t want to come to the services anymore. I would still serve, but then I would slink home after I had “put in my time,” like a guilty church mouse.

So what were these issues and concerns?

1) Lights off during worship and sermon

This was kind of symbolic, but why do we need to put a spotlight on the leaders and not be able to see each other? It promoted a sort of concert-y, celebrity atmosphere that I found out of line with the biblical presentation of churches and church-leadership.

2) Commercialism

Sometimes we would have guest speakers or worship leaders, and Lo and Behold their new book or CD would be for sale at our church resource area. I felt uncomfortable seeing crowds of people lining up to buy merch in a church. It reminded me of when Jesus turned tables in the temple for desecrating the temple with their vending. Maybe that’s a little unfair, but.. I thought of it, and it gave me the heebie-jeebies.

3) Celebrity culture

Many of the guest speakers and worship leaders mentioned above were celebrities of sorts in Christian Land. Granted – people usually gain a celebrity status because they’re very good at something, and I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to recognize someone for being an especially gifted musician or speaker. But sometimes it felt like that there was an undue emphasis on the star power of the people on stage. Even if they were 100% focused on glorifying God, I would see people in the audience snapping pictures and sending to their Christian friends and relatives. Again, just kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.

4) Emphasis on church “brand”

This church does an annual volunteer rally in which they gather everyone, hand out prizes, give talks about church culture, etc. A lot of the ideas they talked about were basically telling us Best Practices for Customer Service. It’s not that I don’t want people to feel comfortable and welcome when they come into church, but… I think what most people need is sincerity, not polished perfection. In concordance with this customer service idea was this overarching, unspoken theme that we were an Organization that had a Brand. And our job as Volunteers was to promote that Brand by adhering to the values and goals of the Organization. It just made me wonder — even if the leaders claim that all of this is ultimately for the purpose of bringing glory to Jesus, is it really? Or is it more about their brand, which is inextricably linked to the name of the pastor? Would they be willing to do a church event with “lesser” churches to help the community, if they couldn’t slap their name on a huge banner outside? There’s a good possibility I’m being unfair, but I would guess no.

5) Passively ignorant leadership

As a volunteer, did anyone in the leadership really know who I was, what I truly believed, how I lived my life outside of church? Not in the least bit. But, because I passed a criminal background check and mentioned during my “interview” that Jesus changed my life in some way, I could be plopped into a position of spiritual leadership within the church, most likely over kids. I think there’s a balance here – no one wants a church leadership team that’s booting people for not posting enough scripture on their fb page, but… it made me a bit uncomfortable to know I could be performing satanic rituals during the week and then teaching children in Sunday school.

6) Lack of accountability

I could easily choose what sort of persona I wanted to project each Sunday. If I stopped going to church at all, if I embraced an obvious sin.. I truly doubt anyone would notice. Please read my tone correctly – I’m not pouting about this, just stating it matter-of-factly. I’m not sure it’s possible for it to be any other way in a church this size, structured the way it is. But, I have really felt the need for older women who aren’t necessarily my pals to speak truth into my life, to hold me accountable, to counsel me about family stuff that I don’t necessarily want to share with other family members. Let’s bring back Sunday school, amiright?!

7) Stretched too thin to tend

There was a time when I was very concerned for the mental health of one the other volunteers, but for various reasons I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to reach out myself.* So, I called the church and asked them if a man on the leadership team could check in on this person. The lady I talked to sounded genuinely concerned, took down all the info, and told me she would have someone call me. They never did.** Maybe someone reached out to my friend and just didn’t call me back to tell me, maybe not. But it struck a wrong cord within me that with something this serious, I couldn’t even get a callback. Beyond this episode, there are some things the pastor at this church brought up that I would truly have liked clarification / expansion on. But does he stick around after his sermons to chat with people? Nope.

8) Work to belong

There was no membership class for this church. To be a “member,” you have to volunteer. I get their point in some ways, but I really dislike this for a few reasons. One, some people truly do not have the capacity to dedicate 3+ hours of volunteering + another 2 hours of attending services on one Sunday. People work, some people are not mentally or physically capable… some may be saved, but in a very spiritually dark place and not necessarily ready to be the face of the church. So what about them.. they’re poo in the eyes of this church? It came across that way to me. Secondly, I really think it’s promoting an anti-gospel ethic: work to belong, work for community. I believe with my entire heart that is *NOT* the church’s heart behind their reasoning, but even so— it can still be the result, intended or no.

*************

AGAIN, let me re-emphasize that I’m not trying to trash this church, but the points above really bothered me. I know that there is no perfect church. There are, however, different degrees of health among churches. Maybe some churches – even if the leaders have the purest hearts of gold – are simply too big to provide the sort of real community and approachability of leadership that promotes spiritual health. 

It’s also worth mentioning that I strongly disagree with church-hopping. It’s unhealthy for the spiritual growth of individuals – and the health of the church as a whole – for committed Christians to come into church with a consumer mindset (e.g. I want this sort of worship, these sort of programs, this sort of experience, blah blah blah, me me me). It can be healthy to feel a little uncomfortable in your church – it probably means you are contributing to the diversity and broadening the reach of that church. Clumping into churches with people that look, think, talk exactly like us is how we have such imbalanced churches – those that are awesome at reaching out to the community, but have weak-sauce theology vs. those churches that seem to care more about theology than being the hands of feet of Jesus.

BUT I think most every Christian would agree that sometimes, it’s legit to move on. The main reason I moved on was because I came to the point where I dreaded going to service. I was talking to my ‘rents about it, and they were like “Okay, soooooo — why not try other churches?” And ever since then, I’ve felt this great freedom and peace, and have been greatly enjoying my visits to other churches in the area.

All this being said — I would genuinely like feedback from my fellow Christians about these points I brought up. Fire away!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*A hard lesson I learned in 2016 (?) was this – it’s not a great idea for a single woman to take on the role of a single guy’s “helping friend.” It turns weird fast.

**so I reached out to another friend, and he very kindly reached out to this person. [praise hands] Christian community FTW!!!

 

 

Staying butthurt at the church will do little more than hurt your butt

Because this is my blog, Ima be real and tell you all that I have been through many spiritual funks… especially in the last 5 years.. especially with the church. There were times I adopted this ‘tude like, “Hey! I’m a wounded spiritual animal, and until the church or God steps​ up their game to win me back, I’m going to stay at home and sulk.” Then I sought out the company of other butthurt Christians so we could commiserate about how crappy or annoying other Christians were.

— I say all of this with zero formal theological training, so if you see anything that looks like the Gospel According to Galloswag, 1) please let me know and 2) please discard it from your mind. Far be it from me to lead someone astray with my own rambles! —

butthurt
This little guy kept a grudge at the church, and look where it got him. (pixabay free image)

Because this is my blog, Ima be real and tell you all that I have been through many spiritual funks… especially in the last 5 years.. especially with the church. There were times I adopted this ‘tude like, “Hey! I’m a wounded spiritual animal, and until the church or God steps​ up their game to win me back, I’m going to stay at home and sulk.” Then I sought out the company of other butthurt Christians so we could commiserate about how crappy or annoying other Christians were.

But guess what? The silent treatment doesn’t work with God and the church. I couldn’t emotionally manipulate them into screeching to a stop so they would pat my head and apologize for all the grievous acts they had committed. Nope, they marched on merrily without me as I stewed away like a persecuted pot roast. I get it, y’all. I’ve been one of the Butthurt Brethren. But I beg you, DO NOT stay there.

potroast
This pot roast may feel persecuted, but I would still eat it. (pixabay free images)

If you’re currently butthurt at your church, the Church, &/or God, here are a few thoughts I have from my own experiences. Hopefully they will be helpful.

  • Don’t romanticize your rebellion
romance
What it looks like to smooch with your rebellion, smh (pixabay free images)

Sometimes my butthurt was just pure contrariness, and I would find comfort in romanticizing my rebellion as a “spiritual journey” or something equally cheesy. But I wasn’t journeying, I wasn’t theologically confused, and I didn’t lack clear direction. The bible is devastatingly straightforward for the most part. The problem was that I was 100% sure what I was (or wasn’t) supposed to do, and 100% sure that I didn’t want to do it. The struggle was actually against myself: knowing what I knew, feeling what I felt, what would I do?

  • Don’t project your spiritual dryness
dryleaves
When I’m a dry little pile of leaves, the life of others gives me the crankies. (pixabay free images)

You know how when you feel ugly, the beauty of others is offensive? So it goes with spiritual beauty too, it would seem. When I feel spiritually “bleh” because of my own choice to distance myself from God, the blasted perkiness (aka joy) of others makes me want to screech in frustration. When I feel insincere, I doubt the sincerity of others.

  • Do extend the grace shown to you to other Christians

Now, there have been times when I had legit grievances against the church. I’ve encountered blatant racism, blasphemy, and deception there. In fact, no one has hurt or disappointed me more in the past 5 years than people who I met in the Christian community. So why continue?

On a grand scale, the church is Jesus’ bride*, and I doubt Jesus is impressed when I claim to follow him while trashing His bride. What kind of hubs would be alright with that? On a smaller scale, the church hurts people because the church is people and people hurt people.** Yes, I have the right to be offended at some Christians. But instead of seizing this opportunity for personal vindication, why not seize it to exercise my freedom to forgive? Christians are supposed to set themselves apart by the way we love one another, and love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.***

As a final note, in a strange way the disappointments and hurts I’ve encountered within the Christian community have been great motivators for me to keep pursuing God in word and deed, because I really don’t want to discourage my Christian community the way I’ve been discouraged. Not so I can be built up as some righteous super star, but so they’ll be encouraged to keep the faith, too. Upward spiral!

spiral
SPIRAL UP! (pixabay free images)
  • in toto

I’m not advocating for anyone to bury their bad feels and pretend everything is great when it’s​ not. But for the love of your own LIFE please learn from yer ol’ Galloswag and do not waste time pouting, lest you grow into a bitter, shriveled, humiliated grape. Please don’t make your story be “I used to go to church, but now I go around trashing the church.”

Grapple, rassle, yell it out, but KEEP IT MOVING FORWARD. ❤

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Ephesians 5,  2 Corinthians 11, Revelations​ 19, 21

**Important​ caveat: if your church is full of false teachers, get on out of there! You expect to find sinners in a church just like you’d expect to find weak people in a gym. But one of the main goals of a gym is muscle growth, so if a gym’s trainers and longtime members are content pumping 2 pounders, somethin ain’t right. And one of the main goals of a church is spiritual growth, so if a church’s leaders and long-time members are content with their habitual sin and are preaching blasphemy, somethin ain’t right.

*** John 13 , 1 Corinthians 13