Marc van der Woude posted a couple of funny headlines from Larknews.com, a christian satire site. I checked it out, and as a financial controller for a christian charity foundation, I found especially the following one very funny:
Hellbound man enjoys free church offers
GREELEY, Colo. — Glenn Birde, 36, a self-described agnostic, has attended more church events in the past year than most longtime believers. His reason: He loves the freebies churches dole out to unsaved people. “He’s gone to ballgames, boat shows, Go-Karting,” says his wife, ticking them off on her fingers. “We hardly ever see him anymore. He’s always running out to some church thing.”
This summer First Covenant Church paid Birde’s way on a three-day bass fishing trip sponsored by their men’s ministry group. Cost: $250. Oakhill Lutheran let him into their $8-a-head Super Bowl party, and he even won a door prize. Cost: $40. Last winter Birde snagged a free spot at Living Way Baptist’s marriage retreat in the Rockies. His hotel and meals were covered for the entire weekend. Cost: $550.
“I felt a little cheesy being there on the church’s dime,” says his wife. “But Glenn was excited, and the hotel spa was fabulous.”
In spite of heavy exposure to the Christian message, Birde remains totally immune to evangelism efforts. When people try to convert him, or at least get him to consider the claims of Christ, he just shrugs and smiles.
“For some reason it has no effect on me,” he says. “I really am in it just for the chips and soda.”
Some churches have gotten wise to Birde’s ways, but none turn him away.
“Anytime you give something away, you just factor in that Glenn will be there,” says one assistant pastor. “When people show up for the free stuff, we’ve started to say, ‘That guy’s just Birde-ing.'”
Birde even rates the churches on their efforts to “save” him.
“Fountain of Life has a pretty good pitch,” he says, referring to an independent charismatic church. “The Lutherans and Methodists don’t really say much about God. The Baptists backed me into a corner and argued with me, so I quit going there. The Unitarians were lame. The Pentecostal place was flat-out freaky.”
Birde cut the interview short to “hit the Nazarene church’s newcomers dinner” — his fifth this year. •