My dad alerted me today to a half-page advertisement in Thursday's Pioneer Press for the "I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church." Yes, that's what it's called. I'm not sure why. It's definitely one of the more interesting church names I've ever heard.
The advertisement is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, not to mention several items which point to the shaky theology of the leadership of the I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church. The wording and phrasing of the ad is so bad, in fact, that it makes me think it was translated from another language into English for the purposes of the ad. Since these folks probably paid upwards of $5,000 for this ad, I hope for their sake that's the case. Here's the content of the ad (note: all of the bad grammar and spelling belong to the ad, not to me):
Dear Friend in Christ,
A new church is about to open in the Whittier neighborhood. Its success mainly depends on the hearts of those who want to make something really positive and powerfully wonderful happen.
The "I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church" is refreshingly different in its approach to what is the heart of our many fine Christian churches scattered around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.
Although preaching is a valuable means of communicating the word of God, we prefer to focus on acting "hands on" by the means of serving that of which we have already learned. We want to take what we know and apply in our lives - starting in the community. We have seen how the joy of serving is contagious. When onlookers see how we live the word, they will witness honest faith.
Our building which houses our church (members) will mainly be used for these purposes.
1. Bible study occurring anytime 2 or more care to gather.
2. Discussing the different projects of service we are currently doing and their progress. Determining what other needs our community demands that we will have to address, and plan how to effectively handle them. Then addressing the impact these actions may have. We will be vigilantly aware to keep refining our means of service to be the most utmost efficient.
3. Addressing problematic concerns of members and guests by means of relating our own true life experiences and their resulting outcomes. No advice, speculation, or guessing given. Members will follow these and other ground rules as best they can.
4. Events and activities - of course, there will always be a time to have soe fun. We will play and socialize as well.
At the bottom, on either side of the ad, there are two ornate crosses and the words "Generous givers change our emotions." Below this it says "You may become a donor who: makes us satisfied - any amount; makes us happy - $100; makes us excited - $500; makes us most joyful - $1,000; makes us extremely grateful - $10,000; makes us cry - $100,000 or more."
A few comments for the folks at the I Follow Jesus Holy Truth Church, based on this ad:
1. Your church's "success" (whatever that means) does not "mainly depend on the hearts of those who want to make something really positive and powerfully wonderful happen." Your church's "success" depends on God.
2. You say your church is "refreshingly different" in that it is at the heart of what other churches in the area are doing. How's that different?
3. Preaching is, in my opinion, the most effective way the word of God is communicated to the world. Serving is good and noble, but don't serve the community at the expense of the preaching of the word.
4. Never (NEVER!) quantify your level of satisfaction based on the amount of a monetary gift. This runs the almost certain danger of alienating someone who can only give $5.00. According to your scale, that person can only make you satisfied - not even happy, let alone "most joyful"! Ever heard of the widow's mite?
5. This ad really looks atrocious. At the very least, make sure that words are spelled correctly and your grammar is accurate. People are watching.
The more I think about it, I think this might be a scam just to get people to send whoever placed this ad some money. Either way, it's definitely unique.