City Business Church

It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16

Name:
Location: Washington DC, United States

Monday, October 31, 2005

AND #8 GOES TO….

PRAYER TUNNELS: (From Feb 11th 2005) What, exactly, is a prayer tunnel? I get prayer and I get tunnel, but “prayer tunnel” just doesn’t quite work. Does the tunnel pray? Are they praying for the tunnel? Why aren’t there prayer bridges? Let’s set the scene for those who have never experienced a “prayer tunnel”. Two rows of “Prayer Warriors” line up facing each other. Then both sides raise their hands in an arched manor in order to create a “tunnel”. And finally, people in need of prayer move through this “tunnel”. You might have seen something like this at a high school basketball game (without the prayer, of course). I spent some time looking in the Bible and I can’t find any examples of prayer tunnels. (Although I think that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and he walked out of the tomb, the disciples formed a “tunnel” for him to run out of, but this was mostly just a bunch of high fives and chest bumping.) So it appears this is just another gimmick used by the church to…. Actually……I really don’t know. What is the point??? Maybe it is supposed to be like going to the drive through at Wendy’s. Sure you could dine in, but sometimes you just want to eat on the road. “Welcome to City Business Church, would you like dine in or carry out prayer today? Please pull forward through the next tunnel.” What kind of prayer goes on in these tunnels anyway? “JC he’s our man, if he can’t do it no one can” “Here we go Jesus, here we go (clap, clap) Here we go Jesus, here we go (clap, clap)” “J-E-SUS, Jesus, Jesus, He’s the best” Disclaimer:I believe in the power of both prayer and tunnels. I just don’t like the combination of them. Honestly now, all you who have been involved in a prayer tunnel recently, what is the point? Were you really effected or effective? It might be fun though, the next time your pastor gets up to preach, if you all ran forward and created a prayer tunnel for him to run through before his sermon. Let him finish off by jumping through a WWJD banner. A quick chest bump with the worship leader and he is ready to go. “OK team, before I begin to preach today, I would like everyone to get in a huddle. All right, on 3…1,2,3, GO JESUS!” This actually is a great idea, “Prayer Huddles”. Now…. “Break”

Friday, October 28, 2005

Welcome to CBW, please enjoy your stay.

So I’ve heard for sometime now about how CBC wants to plant 9 or so churches around the Portland area, but recently I heard that when they announced this plan in church they showed a map of Portland and had these nine red dots slowly appear. The dots then spread until the entire map was covered with CBC red. That’s when it hit me. They won’t be happy just being City Bible Church in Portland, OR. They won’t rest until they’ve become City Bible World… I sure hope Jesus comes back soon, ‘cause I couldn’t handle seeing statues of Frank

Thursday, October 27, 2005

WE DO TAKE REQUESTS

We are getting close to conference season @ CBC. They recently began advertising for the next Generation Unleashed Conference under the slogan “Divine”. Yes it is a bit presumptuous but whatever…. I believe it is because of this upcoming conference that we received a request to re-post an old classic, and so that is what I am going to do. We had to go all the way back to Thursday December 16th 2004 to bring you: I tithed to CBC and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Tickets to NW Breakthrough - $75 Parking @ the conference - $20 Water Bottle w/CBC logo on it - $2 Knowing that the hype only last 2 weeks - Priceless

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Is City Bible growing?

I'm taking a break from the Top Ten to ask a quick question. Is City Bible's membership actually increasing in numbers? I'm asking because I just read a comment from FICM stating, You can talk about alleged church growth at CBC, but the simple fact remains, that over the past 5 years, attendance at CBC has steadily decreased to the point that they actually removed half of the seating so it wouldn't be so painfully obvious that they were half empty. Is this true? I was cruising the new hip CBC website and found this little statement in PF's bio. Under Pastor Frank's leadership, City Bible Church has continued to grow and become an influential, multi-campus church impacting the culture in Portland, Oregon, the Northwest and across the country. I thought this statement was odd, because usually when a company (and that's what this church is.. a company) brags about their growth they throw in a figure like, "Attendance has increased 20% in the last five years" or "our congregation has increased 50%" ...but it just says the church has "continued to grow". Kind of vague if you ask me. Anyway, I don't think the church is growing in numbers. They may be growing in "complaints about tithing" but not in actual people.

Monday, October 24, 2005

#9 - Worst. Blog. Ever.

This post came out because six months into the blog, we were hearing from friends and family that the City Bible Eldership was still reading our blog, and they hated it. Nothing pleases a Morton boy more, than hearing someone in a leadership role is angry. Its fuel to our soul. Worst.Blog.Ever. Word on the street is City Bible is still running around telling everyone this blog is horrible. Which, of course, pleases me to no end. It means they're still reading it. So CBC let me share something: What's really horrible is how many people have left your church, because there is no way to change the church from within.This blog is really just a byproduct of your preaching. But whatever... In keeping with the "Worst.Blog.Ever." theme, let me share a hypothetical knock knock joke between me and Pastor Frank. Catalyst: Knock Knock Pastor Frank: Who's there? Catalyst: Interrupting Cow Pastor Frank: Interrupt- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOOO! Pastor Frank: Catalyst, you're an idio- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOOOO! Pastor Frank: I'm leavi- Catalyst: MOOOOOOOO! (I find this joke works best with those individuals aged 5-11, the immature demographic). (And yes, I'm bored.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Come support our man Zach

How many Pulitzer Prize winning papers have written articles about this blog? One. Who is responsible for writing this article? Zach Dundas. What do we owe him for this task? Our lives. How can we repay him? Go hear him speak. On Saturday, October 29, Multnomah Biblical Seminary will be hosting a conference on ending the culture wars in favor of building loving community. Many people of local fame will be present, including our biggest fan Zach Dundas (He isn’t really a fan). I would strongly encourage you to consider attending this special event. You may find a link to this event on the School of Theology web site, or you may use this link:http://new-wineskins.org/Events/ I'll see you all there.

Keeping it clean.

I would like to appoligize in advance for the nature of this next post. It is extremely distasteful and inappropriate. Sometimes I forget who reads this blog, and sometimes I remember but post anyway. Sorry. We have received over 70,000 hits in little under one year and for that we want to say “THANK YOU”. A lot of people have asked how we got so many hits, to which we always reply "Keep it clean, dude.". Now a lot of blogs out there try getting hits by writing “Anna Kournikova Nude” somewhere in there blog, but thanks to you all we don’t have to stoop to that level. You won’t see the header “Katie Holmes Naked” anywhere on our site. We’ve been able to keep it clean thanks to your support. And because we haven’t written “XXX” or advertised “FREE PORN” many would think this site has suffered, but I believe that we have been rewarded. We are a clean blog where you will never see “College Girls Uncensored”. Thank You.

#10 - Thus Sayeth, "The Frank"

As was promised, here is Number 10 of our Top 10 posts. I believe this post came about when JP randomly emailed me a prophecy, and I had no choice but to put it up on the blog. From March 7, 2005. My brother JP moves in the prophetic. Here is his prophecy regarding the future of City Business. The Frank would say to you-a, "Give me your money and watch me pour out blessings upon my church." "I'll cover this "city" church with plasma screen TV’s; I'll replace the carpet and update the lighting" say's the Frank "Rise up oh check book of faith, write down a figure far beyond your means, and I shall stretch out my hand and receive this check. I shall take this check and deposit it in the bank of profits, now is the time, this is the season" Thus sayeth the Frank.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Shall We Pray?

Prayer. It’s interesting isn’t it? Essentially prayer is asking God to intervene with our lives, right? It’s asking for Divine intervention, a miracle. Even if it’s as small as finding a parking spot at Starbucks it’s still a miracle. Strip down our prayers and what do they really sound like? Father God, Please stop what you are doing and come take care of my problems. Your Son. Or if you’re really spiritual: Father God, Please, Father, stop what you are doing, oh Lord, and come, Jesus, come Jesus and take care of my problems, Father. Your Son. Of course we, as followers of Christ, believe that God loves to hear these prayers? Don’t we believe that he will always stop and listen? God cares for us so much, it really doesn’t matter what our prayers sound like. But should there be more to it? What part do we play? Shouldn’t prayer be followed up with action? They say faith without works is dead but isn’t prayer without action the same? When Mrs. Smith gets abused by her husband she should pray that God “softens his heart”, but she should also kick him in the balls and call the cops. When Mr. Jones can’t get his son Johnny to listen, he should pray that God “breaks down the walls”, but he should also take away little Johnny’s car, allowance, and cell phone and tell Johnny to get a job. At the same time when Andy gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, there’s nothing to do but pray. And that’s what should be done. My point is simply this, Prayer should be a given. Pray. Always pray. Start with a prayer, end with a prayer. But I’m tired of people using prayer as an excuse. Do you want to know why there are so many lousy pastors out there? It’s because Christians always want to take advantage of God. If someone’s going through a rough time, simply pull out a handy scripture and tell them to “Pray about it”? If that doesn’t work, ask them about the “secret sins” they must have in there life. When they get upset and leave the church because you aren’t helping them, go tell everyone how “bitter” they are. And in three quick steps you’ve turned them off of Christ. “Don’t worry bro, we’ll be praying for you.” Why not mix in a therapist every now and again? Would it be so hard to say “Gee-wiz Tommy, I’d like to pray with you about this; but when were done, you really should seek professional help.” Now, my mother will take great offence to all this. She loves prayer about as much as anyone I know. Last night she told me when you pray you should spend as much time listening as you do talking. “You can’t have a good relationship when only one person is talking”. She thinks I’m under-spiritualizing everything; but then again, she left CBC too. Bitterness must run in the family.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Patient Passion

Here is a recent comment from reader "Patient Passion." (Where do people come up with these names?) Anyway, I thought it a strong enough statement to deserves its own thread: I have been watching this blog for the last several months. It amazes me how deeply hurt and disenfranchized some of the posters are. For this, my heart is saddened. I think it is good that people have a place to come together to discuss their hurts and concerns for a congregation that has obviously touched a lot of lives (positively or not.) I would be careful, though, to examine how you judge Pastor Frank and the church. Do we really presume to know all of Frank's motives and heart? I know I don't...any more than I presume to know any of yours. We know for a fact that he is subject to the same sinful nature that is in all of us. It seems to me that there are only three possibilities regarding Frank's concepts and practice of tithing and fund-raising. Either he's wrong, and he knows it. He's wrong and he doesn't know it. Or, he's right. I don't know about you, but I don't pretend to have God and his infinite nature even close to figured out. I leave room for the possibility that some of my thinking could be flawed...that my views of Christ and his way of doing things are a bit limited. In fact, the Bible confuses me in a lot of ways. I consider myself and intelligent and educated man. But, I can't fully wrap my mind around the Word. All of this is to say, that our judgements are influenced by our own potentially flawed intelects. I don't believe in relativism. I do believe that the Word of God stands as truth. I also believe that the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word to reveal its truth to us. So, in all that the Spirit is showing you, is CBC at fault? Have you left room for God to work in mysterious ways without contradicting his own nature? If the answer is yes, than I pray that God changes Frank's heart and brings him into alignment with His truth. And that CBC follows suit. If the answer is no, than I pray God would change our hearts to better see what he's doing through CBC and Pastor Frank. At any rate, I think we all have some praying to do.

Monday, October 17, 2005

He said, Ashish said...

This is in response to the post Beliver's Do This? (listed below) Ashish, First, let me thank you for taking the time to read our little blog. It means a lot to us that PBC students are studying our work. I would like to take a moment to discuss a few of your points. You say: 1. They claim Forward Together is something the church is doing so somehow the leadership can make more money. -I’ve never said that and I don’t believe it. The leadership is not out for personal gain, but seems to care too much about the image of CBC. It’s more of a corporate money problem then an individual money problem. 2. Financial freedom is something that should be sought out by the local church. -I Agree 3. The church body should desire to expand and see more people saved. -I Agree 4. These and other similar things were what Forward Together was all about. -No -Sorry, but Forward Together is about the expansion of CBC’s kingdom and not the kingdom of God. 5. Just ask and they’ll be more than willing to tell [you] what [is] happening with the money you put into the church. -Has anyone ever actually tried this? I’m just curious. I don’t need to know the results, but I’ll bet no one has “dared” to question them. 6. They claim Pastor Frank (or PF) is only about ‘giving’ sermons, and that somehow he’s only emphasizing one aspect. -I spent 10 years @ CBC and from every November through every January all we heard about was Faith Harvest (giving). Now, by my calculations that equals 1/4th of all sermons preached each year. Combine that with the “tithing” sermons slipped in every couple of months and you’ve got 1 in 3 sermons being preached on giving. If that ratio was set somewhere in the Bible I wouldn’t complain, but I just can’t seem to find it. 7. …you’d realize that the season the church is in right now, expansion and growth are at the forefront. -Season? What is this Hockey? That’s one hell of a "season". 8. There is no biblical support for slandering our leadership. -Probably true, when you look at CBC leadership as “elders of Christ’s church”; however if you see them as misled Pharisee’s there’s a bit more room to move. I think if you stop idolizing CBC’s leaders and really listened and watched what was going on you would be equally “Unimpressed”. I for one am appalled.

Believers do this?

This is from Impassioned Imperfections (http://myguitarzz.wordpress.com/) I thought it was worth posting. Sometimes you go about thinking that you won’t ever come across something like this, but the more I read it the more I am in shock at what these so called Bible-believing people do to slander the work of God. For sometime now I’ve known of the blog citybiblewatch.blogspot.com(also known as City Business Church blog) and at times I’ve been disgusted by their sense of entitlement to belittle the work of God. They somehow confuse integrity with flakiness, and emphasis into overbearance. I’ll go through a few areas where I don’t appreciate what they do. These things have brewed over as I’ve seen what kind of stuff this blog produces.

  • They claim Forward Together is something the church is doing so somehow the leadership can make more money. I’ve attended CBC for all the years I’ve been here, and I can honestly say that CBC has been completely open to the entire body about their financial dealings. You can go look at their books. Just ask and they’ll be more than willing to tell what happenning with the money you put into the church. It’s horrific to think that so-called believers can slander the work of God. And by the way, financial freedom is something that should be sought out by the local church body. The church body should desire to expand and see more people saved. These and other similar things were what Forward Together was all about. To claim that there is some hidden agenda is almost preposterous.
  • They claim Pastor Frank (or PF) is only about ‘giving’ sermons, and that somehow he’s only emphasising one aspect. Seriously if you think about this carefully, you’d realise that the season the church is in right now, expansion and growth are at the forefront. Why shouldn’t a Pastor encourage the believers to give more money. Is it not the responsibility of the body to finance it’s own expansion. Like I said earlier, it’s a season in CBC where that must be emphasised, but it doesn’t mean that’s all that is emphasised. Imagine if you will someone criticizing a farmer because all he does in the months of September and October is harvest. The farmer would nicely tell you that is not the case, but rather it is a season where that’s the emphasis.
There are some good posts and reflections on this blog that I feel should be applauded but the whole basis for this blog was just despicable. I’m not afraid to say it because with every great work that God does, there’s always going to be people who rise up against it. Here’s what their blog has for it’s follow-up for it’s title:It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16 Just despicable. I’m appalled, almost saddened by it. Call me a loyal CBC member who believes in CBC, but according to the Bible if we are not in agreement with leadership the steps we need to take do not include slander, misrepresentation, and twisting of facts. We should rather approach the leadership and hear out the facts, if that does not work then pray, if still you feel ill towards it then leave the church in all humility and love. There is no biblical support for slandering our leadership, be it church or national. It’s wrong and I don’t care if I’m the first blogger to stand up and say it. Thoroughly Unimpressed, Ashish Joy

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Oregon Museum of Prosperity and Image

As you may have heard, CBC has updated their look. The are now an edgy 21st century, emerging church for the youth. It’s amazing what a graphic designer can do for your image. Their new look comes complete with a new logo and slogan "discover. experience. celebrate." Now, their logo looks like an updated version of the NBC peacock and their slogan reads like OMSI’s mission statement (thank you Anna for pointing that out), but apparently CBC believes that a new look will…? I don't know. …validate Forward Together? …increase giving? …help reach the lost? (now I’m being ridiculous) I’ve taken some time to browse through the new website (www.citybiblechurch.org) and I am going to share with you my favorite excerpts. What they said will be in blue and what the meant to say will be in red. Enjoy. What should I expect when I come? "We can wear what’s comfortable" Church really isn’t about what you wear. We’re more interested in serving your real needs, experiencing God, enjoying being together and celebrating life. So dress casually and you’ll fit right in. Dress casually in $200 jeans and you’ll fit right in. (Currently we are wearing 7 For All Mankind Jeans, but if all you own are Citizen’s, we’ll make an exception. And remember, a Luis Vuitton handbag will make up for non-designer clothing.) If sin separates me from God how do I get reconnected?"It all about the "F" word: forgiveness. Edgy, but no. Actually, it’s all about the "G" word: Give (to us) The only question is will your kids have more fun than you will? We are willing to cover up sexual relationships as long as no one gets pregnant. Frank Damazio, senior pastor of City Bible Church, is known for his relevant and transforming Bible teaching. Frank Damazio will at least make reference to the Bible in every sermon. On occasion he will even put scriptures up on the screen for you to read. We Care: How can we help you? Whether its food, clothing, personal, marital or financial counseling we want to help you. We will provide you with food, clothing or financial help, if you can pass our rigorous "Personal Profile" interview. What’s the best part about the new CBC? A lot less talk on giving. We’ve spoken and they’ve listened. Because of all the outspoken thoughts and comments on this website and others, PF has had no choice but to cut down on "Giving" sermons. You can now feel free to visit CBC without the pressure of constant giving. Thank You.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It worked for Hank

Thank you all for sending in your nominations for posts of the year, we are excited to see who will come out on top this year. So far we have received 15,277 votes. Keep them coming, and remember you can text your vote to us by sending the message TITHE plus the name of the post to 4265 (HANK). While we wait for the final tally, I am going to post an old blog that I wrote awhile back, but didn’t quite make the cut. Remember our motto “If it makes fun of Hank, print it.” Looks like PF wrote a new book titled Biblical Principles for Releasing Financial Provision The promo reads like this: Learn how to obtain the favor of God and receive financial provision in your personal and business world with Biblical Principles for Releasing Financial Provision, a new release by Frank Damazio & Rich Brott. Now available in the bookstore. “Learn how to obtain the favor of God…” Now I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m pretty sure it should go like this: Chapter 1 – Ask forgiveness for your sins Chapter 2 – Accept salvation It’s not a long book, but it’s power packed. There is a chance however, it might go like this: Chapter 1 – Take over a large successful church Chapter 2 – Co-write a book titled Biblical Principles for Releasing Financial Provision Chapter 3 – Wait for checks to come rolling in. Not quite as life changing, but at least it should be a quick read. If you think this should be nominated for Post of the Year, send an email with the header “Faithful Giver” to mortonjp14@hotmail.com. God Bless.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Winding Down

Have you listened to a City Bible sermon lately? They're pretty good. And by "pretty good", I mean the word "tithe" isn't peppered constantly throughout the sermon. And this, JP and I have decided, was the ultimate goal of this blog. Or course we're not arrogant enough to think that our blog alone prompted this change at City Bible... ...alright, actually we are that arrogant... Anyway, the one year anniversary of this blog is fast approaching. And to celebrate the Pope and I have decided to list our Top 10 posts, write a farewell post, and then finally end this wonderful experiment in humor, religion and large lopsided breasts. And while JP and I are quite content to list only our Top 10, we thought that perhaps some of our readers may have their own favorites. Thus, feel free to email us at: justin.morton@gmail.com and mortonjp14@hotmail.com In conclusion, the agenda for the next month and a half is to post our best blogs, pat ourselves on the back for doing such a wonderful job, and then get back to what we do best. For Johnpaul that's taking care of a wife and raising three young children, and for me that's trying to determine which Capitol Hill bar is going to have the hottest interns tonight.

Friday, October 07, 2005

iCHURCH*

Is church just about dressing up and stepping into a Christian Culture every Sunday? What’s the significance and purpose of Church? Is it a place where you meet your friends? Is it something you “do” once or twice a week? Or is there supposed to be something more? Something that leaves you transformed because it’s in the context of this community of people that you are changed by God’s presence and refreshed by the meaningful relationships of those who stick closer than a brother? Church. What’s the big deal? It’s God’s big deal. He came up with the idea and He’s moving forward with the idea. The church is His bride, His family, the one who He died for. Church is the hope of the world, the revealer of His wisdom, the place of His residence, the people who He has entrusted with His life and power. Church is the big deal. When God said that He would build His Church, He desired to create a community that was truly interactive, the kind of community that you would be involved in. It’s about interacting with His presence in a such a way that you discover the joy and life of getting to know Him more closely; you experience the power and reality of who He is and you have the opportunity to celebrate Him, His life and the friendships that He surrounds you with. Church is a community and an experience that you interact with, it really ought to leave you transformed… more fully devoted to Jesus.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Top Ten Christian T-Shirts

City Bible is doing a great job not talking about money. As such, me and JP don't have much to write about. So, we checked the internet and came up with our Top 10 Christian T-Shirts. Here we go: 10 - Jesus offers you his protection. 9 - Satan - You're Fired 8 - Every time you take a breath, 7 people go to Hell. Don't be one of them. 7 - So What if I pray like a girl? 6 - Megachurchsurvivor 5 - My God Kicks Your God's Butt 4 - Jesus Died For Pedro (and he died for you too Romans 5:8) 3 - Satan is a Nerd 2 - Body Piercing Saved My Life and the number 1 Christian T-shirt.... (drum roll please) 1 - MORE COW BELL! (Alright. Well, maybe that's not Christian, but in some circles, Will Ferrill is a religious figure.)