Pastors Need Jesus Too: What if Your Worst Moment Went Viral?

So you may have heard this lady pastor, Alois Bell, went to Applebee’s and completely gypped a waitress. What’s worse, she signed her name and vocation, and on the receipt gave a snarky sermonette on tithing.

The Unforgivable Sin

The receipt was posted publicly:

Receipt that went viral

The righteous indignation of the e-community exploded, and Christian and non-Christian alike spewed their collective fervor towards this woman’s atrocity. Her ill-conceived words went viral.

As someone who has worked in tips-driven jobs I empathize with the waitress. I’ve been on the stiffed end of a pizza delivery countless times. I worked as a bellman last summer. After breaking my back and sweating my face off to get a family of ten’s luggage up 23 floors, I’ve also been rudely neglected.

That guilty family wasn’t pastors. Or in ministry. Or even Christians as far as I know. They were people. They may have been forgetful. Or maybe they had a bad day of travel in the rain trapped with a screaming infant stabbing their senses.

Maybe they were just cheap.

Misplaced Viral Rage

Pastor Bell has publicly apologized for her shameful act, and as far as I’m concerned that should end the pious diatribes against her and pastors in general.

I don’t appreciate it when anyone makes Christians look petty and hypocritical. But I can’t understand how our national rage can get so misplaced and pretentious:

Today in America, more Children will die in the womb from abortion than total Americans died in the 9/11 attacks.

Today in Nigeria, Christian families are getting their heads systematically machete’d off for their simple faith in Jesus Christ.

Today there is a child, mother, miscreant, or emotionally damaged soul who needs your compassion and grace.

No viral movement of outrage for them.

Are we too busy joining the witchhunting mobs of e-anonymity to care about the people in our neighborhood whose anguish in life is much worse than not getting tipped?

What if Your Worst Moment Went Viral

Humans, Christians and non, are weak creatures. We’re emotional. Grumpy. Always pointing to someone else’s eye boogers when Noah’s Ark protrudes from our own sockets.

What if you watching the worst thing you ever viewed on the internet, went viral…on the internet?

For the unforgiving world to see.

What if the worst thought you ever had about your Spouse, Child, Parents, Best Friend, Church, or workmates went viral on the internet?

For the unforgiving world to see.

Pastor Bell would be nominated for sainthood if the shame of our soul nether-regions ever escaped to Twittersphere.

Such a horrifying prospect may actually be the best thing to happen to us.

No more hiding.

No more posturing to impress people we don’t like anyway. The religious facade stripped away for people to see what God sees everyday.

Our universal need for grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ would shine ever more brighter. We’d see others are also jacked up paupers with disturbing issues and maybe authentic fellowship would result.

I pray God turns our viral righteous anger on behalf of those people who really need it. And I pray it would lead us to praise of the one who sees all of us, knows all of us, and loves all of us with eternal affections through Jesus Christ.

Bryan Daniels

Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

43 thoughts on “Pastors Need Jesus Too: What if Your Worst Moment Went Viral?”

  1. Thank you for this. We should try to see things through each other’s perspective. It won’t provide an excuse for our actions, but will help us view some wrongdoing with more compassion.

  2. I cringe when I see this stuff blasted all over the earth. It’s a cruel thing to represent Jesus by doing something he certainly wouldn’t do. But you do a fine job of putting it in perspective. Christians are often hypocrites, but those enraged against Christians are hypocritical too. Christians should lead by example and focus our outrage on the things that matter.

  3. It is pain as the muscles tear and somewhat die only to grow again stronger and bigger for the arm of the strongman. When God find the pharisee in us; I fear it is painful in many personal ways but as that spirtual muscle dies is it not the grace of God that truely blesses us and our strength against the world and our indwelling pride. Incidently I see no evidence for her apparent office as pastor in the scriptures as that being divinely appointed to a woman. Prophetess yes, Judge yes, speaker of tongues yes , Healer yes, Queen yes. Apostle, Teacher, Pastor, Bishop, (Open to correction from the King James Bible only, thankyou.) Peace.

  4. I agree with your post, Bryan. 100%

    I do, however, want to bring a broader view to the table from the perspective of many in the hospitality industry.

    I, too have waited tables and tended bar for many years. The one common thread that stands out in every place I worked was that servers hated Sundays because the Christan masses were the worst to wait on. The were not Christlike in their tipping, their treatment of staff nor their attitudes in general-CONSISTENTLY. Servers would do everything possible to get out of Sunday shifts as often as possible for these reasons. One place i worked made 1 Sunday shift per month mandatory because it was so bad. Last Tuesday I had lunch with a local restaurant manager who told me, when the subject of my youth group FB page came up, that Sundays were the worst day of the week at her place of business due to the same reasons I listed earlier. She does not have any desire to attend church because of what she sees every Sunday from many, many Christians, consistently. It isn’t that this is one single snapshot that went viral, this type of behavior goes on regularly and consistently. If we can be all pleasantries in church Sunday morning and hell on wheels at lunch 15min after 12:00, we have no business scratching our heads and wondering why a server would do this, why people are not thronging to the church, etc.

    I guess if it were an isolated incident, it would be different. Unfortunately for the lost that the Lord wants us to reach, it isn’t.

    We ALL, as Christians, need to check ourselves on every day that ends with Y and make sure we are representing Jesus to the rest of the world as best we can. Not a Pharesee, here. [You already know that] I’ve had some pretty bad moments myself, but our bad moments as a body and a whole should not begin like clockwork every Sunday at eateries across the county to the point that wait staff should have to be mandated a Sunday shift each month in order to spread the unpleasantness and lack of money fairly among a restaurants staff.

    Blessings little brother,


    1. Are you sure they were Christians…you sound like Ghandi who once said “if it was not for the Christians I would be a Christian!” So easy to get on in the world when all you have to do is say that Eve made you bite the apple or the devil made me do it. Ghandi was not a Christian because God did not want Ghandi, simple really. I would not be a Kitchen assistant if I was not needed as a Kitchen assistant and like God the Head chef is not constrained to my compliance. God took the brunt of Ghandi and his ignorent words first as He does with whatever the world throws at His people. What I wish to say is this “Jesus said you will recognize them by the fruit” The greater treasure is for the poor waiter is to be able to discern the heart of his tables patrons and bask in the joy of true knowledge. He or she will know that God is with them and that whatever they may face His grace will be sufficiant for the day, He will provide all for the spirit and the body. Take the knocks, bite the bullet, pray for your enemies endure the cross. Your reward no may man may concieve in his own mind independant of God. I am a Kitchen porter, pot washer, pan basher, Chef de Skivy, the Kitchen scum, the scavenger, the pan man, the pot grot, I eat of others plates I see no tips at all! Jesus never gave me a job for the money primarily he gave me the Job to be glorified as God, period.

  5. Unfortunately, we are excellent at pious diatribes. Forget baseball that is our real national pastime. How do we reverse that phenomenon, there’s a question.

  6. Who’s worse – a pastor with a moment of pique or the waitress who outed her? The internet gives too much power to folks who don’t deserve it. We’re far to quick to revel in the worst of one another. Most often discretion is the better part of honor, but it seems we’ve lost that attribute all together.

  7. Great thoughts Bryan,
    I once kicked a trash can because I was mad at a woman who was out of line. I didn’t kick her or her kids or raise my voice. I just kicked the can. I paid dearly for that, because some people were so offended that a pastor could be so vile as to offend a defenseless trash can. I know now that trash cans are people too (sarcasm) and people get offended if you take your anger out on them.

  8. Thanks for the post Bryan. As a pastor myself I especially appreciate your words. I think that this just illustrates that we always need to make sure that whatever we are doing, we make sure that we are attempting to live as Christ.

    THe enemy is always looking for some reason to accuse the bretheren, and we need to live beyond reproach.

  9. Galatians 6:1-2; Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

  10. Some very wise words, brother. May we have a heart of compassion and love for others who have made mistakes. It’s great to hear that the pastor admitted wrongdoing. Thank you for writing this up. Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”

  11. And we wonder why so many will not darken the door of a church … and I’m talking about believers. So many of our churches today were forged in the fires of revival, but forgot that one of the main principles of revival is that the Gospel is not about us, but about others. When we forgot that, we turned off the faucet to the Spirit of God.
    And all we were left with is “church”.
    Small wonder we are barely a faint shadow of what we once were.

  12. Amazing! I stopped halfway down and went back to the top to re-read. This is some good stuff, just wish everyone could read this. I’ll do my part in sharing!

  13. Great post … I had a moment many years ago and brought it to God so many times he must have been sick of me…. then one day in great love he spoke and said he sees our successes not our failures but that yes it was not one of my better days! Like a loving Father the matter was closed.

  14. Your post is very timely. A good motto for all of us to remember is this… “Don’t do in private anything you wouldn’t want published on the internet.”

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