Crazy Things Church Leaders Say & Do, Extra-Biblical Nonsense

Pastor Rod Parsley Rides Zip-line During Church Circus, oops, Service

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Clown, oops, Pastor Rod Parsley is pastor of World Harvest Church which serves more than 12,000 each week.

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Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 6.32.45 PM
World Harvest Church

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Is it me, or does the church kind of resemble a circus tent?

“That is OUR pastor!”    And then you hear a quick comment about “offering.”  Yea, put your money in the plate and what circus will the church offer next?

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, teachers who go down zip-lines during church services, who polish shafts, who lay completely on top of bishops during ordination ceremonies.  Lord, help us all!  Amen.

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50 thoughts on “Pastor Rod Parsley Rides Zip-line During Church Circus, oops, Service”

  1. Rod Parsley is one of the sickest and baddest of wolves out there!

    He’s smart, charismatic, quite manipulative and mean. Has built himself a mini empire.

    Again, WARNING: Parsley’s a highly dangerous wolf. Keep Away!


  2. What in the world? What??? “Who lay completely on top of bishops during ordination ceremonies? zip lines? polishing shafts?” I about fainted when I watched this Jack Schaap video on You Tube: Jack Schaap “polishing a shaft” (warning: suggestive material) The circus has gone mad, and I agree Lord, help us all. (Someone, can’t recall who, posted this video over at TWW)


  3. Okaaaayyyyy. Is this an example of the faith that some claim Homeschoolers Anonymous doesn’t endorse enough? A pastor zip-lining to the tune of Mission Impossible? Some of these wackos are starting to make my former cult look normal.


  4. No comedy writer could have ever come up with a better name than, “Rod Parsley”. “Church Circus”. I like that. And I am soooo stealing it…


  5. I don’t really know anything about this “church”, but I’ll bet they say things like “We model our church after the New Testament church” or “We are a biblical church”. Where do people get the idea that this is what Jesus had in mind when He said “I will build my Church”? I’ll tell you, the more I see of the absolutely WHACKED things that pass for the “church”, the more sure I am that I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I will be perfectly content to be one of the “nones” for the rest of my days on this earth.


  6. I have lived in/near Columbus, Ohio all my life and I knew World Harvest was bad but… wow. I had no idea it was this bad. I just had generic notions “prosperity gospel, money hungry, gimmicky.” And the people I’ve known who used to work there who have hinted, if not outright said, what an abusive environment it is.

    Through all that, I never pictured … a zip line. Is that even legal?!


  7. Sarah – That’s a good question. I’m sure it would need to be permitted. It seems a permit would need to be filed with the city. Oh, and you’d think they’d also need to notify their insurance company, too.


  8. And this is precisely why I now tithe only to food banks & shelters. My entertainment is not worth more than others suffering.


  9. No comedy writer could have ever come up with a better name than, “Rod Parsley”.

    In one of the old Pink Panther cartoons, they filked Elvis Presley into “Pelvis Parsley” for a b/g movie poster.


  10. I used to tease my congregation that for Easter service I was going to descend to the pulpit on a zip line. It was a joke. What I thought made it funny was that I was sure no one would actually do such a thing. I guess it wasn’t so funny after all.


  11. craig, good to see you, bud!

    personally, i don’t have any problems with some guy parachuting or zip lining onto the pulpit stage. . necessarily. . but it is telling of the culture of spectacle and personality that thrives in these places. .

    church should be fun at moments. . this zip line action on it’s own i have no beef with. . but i do condemn RP for what he teaches and for how he bullies and fleeces the flock of God.


  12. That’s just it, monax. And pastors can effectively use all sorts of visuals for their sermons. It’s the whole message there, so that’s the issue. I admit, I do have a bias against mega-churches. I do not see how they can effectively connect with people. So many of them seem like a . . . . circus.

    But I have a hunch that our church youth group might like a zip-line.


  13. Hi David, I agree the abuse and teaching are more disturbing than the zip line. I wonder, though, how a pastor could get the focus on our Lord after such a stunt.

    By the way, I also used to tease my congregation that I was going to read my undergraduate paper on Kierkegaard if my sermon got too boring. I sure hope no one has been dumb enough to try to pull that one off.


  14. I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.


  15. One of my favorite SK quotes fits this topic like a glove. After pointing out that we tend to get things mixed up he writes, “We go to the theater to be edified. We go to church to be entertained.”


  16. Speaking of going to church to get entertained. I’m sure Pastor Craig delights his parishioners. Late last summer, he sent me an e-mail and gave me permission to post it. His article was one of my most popular posts and had a record amount of comments. If you are newer to the blog, be sure to check this out. You are in for a treat 🙂 Oh, and you must read the comments.


  17. Hi Julie Anne, that was a lot of fun. Thanks for the reminder. You’ll be glad to know that Pastor Vick won his anti-SLAPP but lost his suit. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but decided laughing is better. He also started a fake blog to try to draw people away from his real blog and show how good looking he really is.


  18. David, Thanks for the link to Smith’s post. That’s very timely. In the PCA right now there’s much talk about blogging etiquette. The basic point seems to be that our posts and comments should treat people the same way we’d treat them face to face. There’s certainly wisdom in that. (I can’t resist pointing out the echo of our friend Levinas).


  19. Moreover, Craig, Romans 12:10 instructs us to:

    Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor


  20. I wrestle with how to live that when facing abusive leaders who claim to be brothers. There are first of all those who have suffered under their abuse, and these must be honored first because they lack the powers of their abusers. They need us to clearly and unambiguously call evil evil. They need our love, patience, and affirmation. I’m not sure it even makes sense to honor the abuser before we do everything in our power to make sure victims are safe. Then what does it mean to honor the abuser? How do we get abusers to hear the voice of the one they claim as Lord? I don’t have all the answers, but I find humor, as long as it doesn’t become mocking, to be an ally. The whole point of my “news article” was to show in the strongest way I know the absurdity of a pastor suing members of his congregation.


  21. As to the question of loving one another with brotherly affection and outdoing one another in showing honor, it is not clear to me that everybody claiming to proclaim the word of the Lord qualifies for the designation of brother or sister. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15 ESV). Jesus tells us that, “. . . whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50 ESV). If, having the ability to act, I remain passive in the name of honoring a “brother,” am I not aligning myself with the Pharisees: “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, AND NEGLECT JUSTICE and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. (Luke 11:42 ESV, emphasis added).


  22. HUG,

    In one of the old Pink Panther cartoons, they filked Elvis Presley into “Pelvis Parsley” for a big movie poster.

    I thought of that, too! I saw that Pink Panther cartoon a while back… thought the Elvis parody was priceless.


  23. Monax,
    I read your blog post in regards to your church. Be careful. I sure hope that you also have the testimony of two or three along with you. Even though you have a really great spiritual interpretation of Jeremiah, it can be interpreted differently by others as a legit “fear for your life” threat. I respect you a lot, and I don’t want to see this turn bad for you. I know very well injustices that you speak about. I had my problems in the Navy with my division officer, and I was vindicated in the end almost 2 years later after I wrote letters to several US Congressmen back in 1984. But I was always respectful to the authorities of my chain of command in the process. I even spoke to my commanding officer in the passageway one day, when he asked why I was writing all these letters to congress. In the military, respect is expected based on the position, and is not considered an “earned” respect.

    In Julie Anne’s case, she was warning others via google. You went right to the source. Just be careful. That Jeremiah reference can be a tricky one to balance with their lawyers.


  24. thanks Ed, i made sure all my bases were covered before i engaged them.

    and i wouldn’t have picked this fight if the victory hadn’t already been secured.

    it’s a process now. . as i’m bringing our church abuse situation to light. pray for us, please.

    my interpretation of Jeremiah is neither here nor there. and i’m already making good on my threat to expose these elders.

    i attempted to make my self absolutely clear so there would be no “fear for your life” nonsense. i wrote:

    As I will continue my efforts to hold you accountable, please know: I have and will continue to do this by the book. And by the book I mean both biblically and legally. You Elders are just digging yourselves deeper and deeper into your vipers pit with this!


  25. I will be praying, that is for sure. But you know, the city of “brotherly” love is not far east of you. Maybe a church if Philly is better that Pittsburgh? Just kidding. I know how thorough you are in research, but what I saw is the possible lack of the 2 or 3 witnesses, which may be extremely essential in the matter. Being a lone ranger has unforeseen consequences sometimes.


  26. from the outset, Ed, i’ve resigned myself to the reality that most people won’t understand (at least initially) what i’m doing or why i’m doing it.

    i’ll be called all sorts of things from well-meaning brothers—like lone ranger and whatever else—as i make my stand.

    believe me, i wouldn’t have undertaken this campaign unless properly armored (empowered, counseled and after years of prayer and fasting), but even now i know every battle will wound me in unexpected ways. and wounds are wounds.

    the false pastor i’m exposing has a strength in numbers mentality.

    my mentality is strength in righteousness—even if i must stand alone.

    and guess what, Ed, the righteous when they stand never truly stand alone.


  27. Monax,
    Yes, you posted that link before, and I got a huge laugh out of it, and even now. Well, if you need help, in anything, let me know. I know that I probably can’t help, except to pray, but if you need something that I can actually do, let me know.


  28. Pastor Craig said:

    How do we get abusers to hear the voice of the one they claim as Lord? I don’t have all the answers, but I find humor, as long as it doesn’t become mocking, to be an ally. The whole point of my “news article” was to show in the strongest way I know the absurdity of a pastor suing members of his congregation.

    You did it so well, too. All I know is that when you are surrounded by stories of abuse, it feels so good to laugh and to laugh hard. This was worth many laughs 🙂


  29. thanks, Ed, i appreciate that. .

    regarding “fear for your life” interpretations: you’re probably aware of the Prestonwood Baptist bullies who publicly branded Chris Tynes a “terrorist” after characterizing this long time member to police as “potentially violent,” then banned him from his own church permanently for attempting to hold these leaders accountable.


  30. I remember one time a visiting pastor rode his motorcycle up to the entrance of the sanctuary…. I remember the motorcycle, don’t remember his message…


  31. Hi Monax

    Yeah – I’ve also been warned about, and condemmend, for being “A Lone Ranger.”
    Anything to get someone to “Shut-UP” – It hurt at first – But – Now I like it. 😉

    You might NOT realize it But…
    That’s a favorite line used by “The Abusive Religious System” to keep butts in the pews. I had been called that more then a few times by those who didn’t like what I had to say. 😉 Just ask a Pastor: Did anyone, in the Bible, go to church, join a church, tithe to a church? And – How come NO Disciple of Christ was called to be a “pastor” leading a church? When they have NO answer, the name calling begins: Rebellious, Heretic, Lone Ranger. etc.

    Then I have a “Light Bulb Moment.” And now I enjoy being called a “Lone Ranger” by those who do NOT like the idea that I’m *Free in Jesus* and can fellowship where ever I sense the Lord is leading. I NO longer have to be part of, pretend, attend, send support to, a 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church.

    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    2 Cor 3:17

    You might be to young to remember the TV show “The Lone Ranger” of the 1950’s. 😉

    But – The Lone Ranger was the “Good Guy.” 😉

    Fighting all the “bad guys” who were taking advantage of, and abusing, the “innocent-ordinary-sociable guys” who didn’t know how to defend themselves.

    Kinda like what happens on this site. 😉

    And The Lone Ranger was never alone. Glory… 🙂
    The Holy Spirit – I mean Tonto was always there with him, **by his side.** To rescue him, patch up his wounds, after the bad guys left him for dead.

    John 14:26
    But the **Comforter,** which is the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name, **He shall teach you all things,**
    and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    Comforter in the Greek is Strongs #3875 – parakletos – and it means…
    Thayers – summoned, called to ones side, esp. called to one’s aid.
    one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense,
    one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor.

    Seems to me, Monax, you have a lot in common with “The Lone Ranger.” 🙂
    With the Comforter by your side.


  32. Hi Amos,

    fwiw, as a child I identified more with Tonto than the Masked Man.

    And, Yes, I don’t mind (in a human sense) taking a lone stand for truth and justice. Nevertheless, in this effort I know I’m not alone. Poised in the wings are an invisible host of angels and children of light waiting to enact their supporting roles.

    The prophets of Old like Jeremiah were often the only ones who spoke out against the ruling powers. And the powers would do everything within their power to silence them. Even foreign powers as we see in 2 Kings (6:14-17):

    Therefore [the King of Syria] sent horses and chariots and a great army [to Dothan], and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

    So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


  33. I used to tease my congregation that for Easter service I was going to descend to the pulpit on a zip line. It was a joke. What I thought made it funny was that I was sure no one would actually do such a thing. I guess it wasn’t so funny after all.

    Something you need to learn, CraigVick:

    In an Age of Extremes like today, no matter how crazy and off-the-wall you can get as a joke, there’s going to be some True Believer out there twice as crazy, twice as off-the-wall, and DEAD SERIOUS.


  34. I remember one time a visiting pastor rode his motorcycle up to the entrance of the sanctuary…. I remember the motorcycle, don’t remember his message…

    Somewhere on YouTube, there’s a video of a Hip & Edgy(TM) youth pastor riding a motorcycle into church to make some Hip & Edgy(TM) point. Well, the throttle sticks, the bike wheelies, and by the time he gets it back under control he’s crashed through the stage set, wiped out a couple tables, and ran over a couple people sitting at those tables.


  35. I thought of that, too! I saw that Pink Panther cartoon a while back… thought the Elvis parody was priceless.

    Well, they DID call him “Elvis the Pelvis” for some of his onstage dance moves…


  36. I have only seen Rod Parsley on the Christian Channel maybe once for less than 5 minutes, several years ago.

    I made a “judgement” when I mentally questioned his sincerity having a hard time paying attention to what he was saying.

    I failed to seek an honest conclusion if Parsley was being more “theatrically” motivated or more “spiritually” motivated. (because I didn’t stick around to watch the rest of the “show”)

    According to World Harvest Churches’ Doctrinal Statement it appears to Charismatic.

    Also in the Doctrinal Statement they openly embrace to Old Testament requirement of tithing, going out of their way of emphasizing 10% “before taxes”,
    Also mentioned was the emphasis of where offerings (which is above the tithe) usually go, such as church facilities. (soup kitchens weren’t emphasized)


  37. As a believer, I totally am ashamed and embarrassed that he would have the audacity to behave in this manner. No wonder the world thinks Christians are nuts. Shame on him!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  38. Preacher Rod aint no Christian he been practicing Eckankar he such a bad example dat his own son dont want nothin to do wit God all his fav youtube vids yellin f words Preacher Rod a fake crook wit Eckankar as his real religion that church aint nothin but money makin


  39. This is what happens when you outsource your own spiritual development to someone else. Rod has been an embarrassment to Christians in Columbus for over 30 years. He is unapproachable and is always surrounded by his body guards. He is constantly begging for money instead planting his own seed so he could harvest a seven-fold blessing. Hmm wonder why his flock has never called on his own lack of giving?

    However the evangelical church is chalked full of immature pastors who want to treat their members like a bunch of children. If you could not have a conversation with your pastor about say his view on tithing, end times, or use of spiritual gifts, or say predestination and disagree with him both privately and then publicly then you too are in church susceptible to significant error. I have been in 5 churches (3 of these were top- 5 largest evangelical churches in Columbus) over the last 35 years and only one encouraged a vigorous debate about non-essential points of theology. The others faked transparency from the pulpit but refused to engage in dissenting debate about theology! It is the same spirit of arrogance that empowers pastors who adopt the attitude of “this is my church.” And “when I want your opinion I will give it to you,” Parsley is a clown and is easily made fun of but if you have outsourced your thinking and find that moving into Christian leadership at your church requires complete conformity and a healthy dose of sichophancy then move on and find a mature pastor.


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