Well Merry Christmas to you and your family! I wish you all the best. You can click here to read this passage and read more of the story of Jesus–a portion of which is quoted in the clip below. We’ll talks soon…
Now that may sound stupid to you. But most of us who’ve grown-up in America were told there’s Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, and Jesus. We teach kids they’re all real, but they’re not all real. Eventually our kids will be okay with Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy being cute little white lies, while accepting Jesus and God as completely legit—right? Not really. At least I don’t think so, and it’s something I talk about in my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. So Santa is something that my wife and I have spoken about in depth, because ultimately we want to be honest with out children.
Will we tell our kids about Santa?
More importantly, will Santa be the one who gives them their gifts?
On a humorous side-note, it’s funny how many atheists (and some agnostics) have railed me over the years for teaching my kids about Jesus and God—something that can’t be proven. You know, they want to wait to introduce ideas of faith and religion to their kids when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.
Sounds so intellectual and enlightened, right?
But these people have had no problem telling their kids about a fat guy sliding down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and eating the cookies and milk, his elves, flying reindeer, and somehow doing this at midnight in every home all around the world. What’s with that? Do I have a problem with the story of Santa? Not at all. We’re not Grinches. We tell our kids the story of the real Saint Nicholas. But we’ve decided that’s where it stops. Sorry Santa. No cookies for you at the Berggren home.
It’s not always easy. Last year our middle child (who was 5) confessed that he told a friend at school that day that Santa isn’t real. Of course, this is something we have coached our children notto do extensively. So we reprimanded him.
This issue may not be a big deal to you, and I understand. For us, this all came together when our oldest was about three. Like most, he was still enamored by the story Santa. We had to explain it again.
And when he added “…and Jesus and the Bible!” we were floored. Now, I’m sure there are some (that don’t believe in God) that love the fact my son made that connection. But for us, Jesus is real and we explained that to him all over again.
So there is a little dynamic about our family and Christmas. I’m sure you have some funny family dynamics as well. It’s what makes life interesting.
*Some of this has already appeared in my article 10 Things I Hate About the Holidays.
Over the 22 years of my Christian faith I have visited many churches and left most of them. That’s not to say I haven’t settled down at churches. I’m not a ‘hopper’. The shortest I’ve ever attended a church I considered my ‘home’ is two years, and the longest is 9 years. But I’ve always made it a priority to find a church home–a place where I attend regularly, volunteer, and give.
Although some church experiences I’ve had have been unpleasant (they include people, after all), I’ve never been kicked out of a church. Sure, I’ve been alienated, reprimanded, and even gossiped about, but never been kicked out.
That’s what happened to Libby Ashby. She appeared in an erectile dysfunction ad that ran late at night (click on that link if you want to watch it). Subsequently, she was kicked out of her church.
The ad is funny, plain and simple. Sure, it’s a little awkward to watch knowing what I do (the background and all). If I had not known that, I’d probably give a smile and forget about it because it’s silly and stupid.
What I can’t help but wonder is if the church leaders would have been as outraged if it had been a commercial for a casino? For plastic surgery? For smooth tasting cigarettes? Or something else like that?
As George Michael said, “Sex is natural and sex is good.” The ad seems to imply that the couple is married, which is the right Biblical context for sex. So what is so offensive about the ad then?
So is ad Libby wrong or is the church leadership wrong?
Personally, I think this is a case of CD (Church Dysfunction). HA!
So we had some friends over last night. We were relating some hilarious stories from our past weekend’s events (Thanksgiving). Mine included getting food poisoning on vacation, my 3-yr-old eating the pellets from the candy machine meant for feeding the ducks (because he thought they were candy, since they were in the candy dispenser), and my 6-yr-old running head first full stride into a mirror (in a mirror maze). Good stuff.
Anyway, a friend was relating the events of the weeks. Now, it was only Tuesday, so what could possibly be going on already?
He works at the public school up the street. This weekend they put up all the Christmas decorations around the school. But who could ever imagine Christmas decorations would mean trouble? Unfortunately, it does in this day-and-age where people cling to the false virtues of political correctness and ‘tolerance’ (because those crying about tolerance, never seem to be themselves).
First, everyone on staff (all the teachers etc.) were instructed to call the trees “Holiday Trees” and not Christmas Trees–because Christmas Trees are highly offensive, right?. As if that weren’t enough, a parent complained the first day the decorations were up (Monday) about the “Holiday Trees” being lit. So they had to take down all the lights on all the trees.
And it makes me wonder, who complained? it must have been either an Atheist, Agnostic, Jewish person, Muslim, or Hindu (or something). And why? Why is someone so annoyed or angry or bored, as a person, that they have to create controversy where there is none?
I’m sure you’ve heard about this nonsense in the news in some distant California town, but it’s another story to hear about this firsthand down the street in Atlanta. It’s sad really. How have we decided we have a human right in the US not to be offended? And we’ll spend money and effort defending that?
Besides, who gets offended by a Christmas Tree? Because the Christmas Tree is not actually a religious symbol (not even a Christian one). That’s the implied tension in this dispute–that a Christmas Tree is a Christian symbol and therefore not appropriate at a public school. Actually, that’s all false.
The Christmas Tree is actually a pagan symbol. The irony.
Most people have a healthy dislike of pretense, hidden agendas, moral compromise, and philosophical contradictions. The challenge is how to turn this tension into something positive and productive. I am convinced this means we have to talk about things no one is talking about, do things no one is doing, and live in a way that most people don’t want to live. Non-conventional and out-of-the-box thinking must become familiar friends, because changing and growing demands defying the instinctive habit of trending toward what is natural, easy, and comfortable.
An unauthorized approach to Christianity means figuring out how to navigate the often turbulent and chaotic intersection of real life, simple faith, and raw emotion. To do so is to focus on developing a tendency and strategy that is practical and helpful. It is meant to be a refreshing simplification and back-to-the-basics reboot of this ancient faith. It is a mindset, behavior, and philosophy. And by default, it is also a necessary call to action in which principle must always take precedence over popularity and substance must win over style.
It is pursuing individual purpose while seeking to relentlessly follow the teachings of Jesus. It is marked by a willingness to go against the grain of what is convenient and comfortable—or even politically correct—in this endeavor. Since the grit of life is peppered with hard times and difficult decisions, it favors the common sense of proven wisdom rather than obscure theories. It is bare bones, honest, and raw, but it is important to note that it does not seek to be abrasive or offensive.
The end-all goal of an unauthorized approach to Christianity is to create an enduring faith. This means dealing with the frustrations of faith (and all areas of life that faith impacts) head-on in order to reconcile the tensions and work toward practical and helpful resolutions. These areas include opinions, values, views on current events, marriage, parenting, professional pursuits, hopes, dreams, etc.
To me, this is how faith perpetuates and endures. And it is very much inspired by the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to a group of followers in the town of Philippi:
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” –Philippians 2:12-13
When I was getting my theology degree, one of the things I learned is that an illustration (in a sermon, for example) is like a window. It helps you see into the house (what you’re trying to communicate; getting your point across). But there is a limit. If you have a house of all windows, it’s like a greenhouse: The structure is not sound and cannot support itself. Your message gets lost and never reaches your audience.
Illustrations should help communicate the message within your content, but they cannot replace it. I suppose they are a lot like special effects in a movie. They help tell the story but they are not the story itself, at least not in a good movie. So the idea is to balance. Special effects should drive the story and illustrations drive the message.
Below is a church illustration gone amuck. It makes no sense and adds nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it is done very well. It is very high-budget and a lot of time was spent on it. But I think it distracts rather than adds. It’s a perfect example of an illustration gone bad–or, perhaps, taken too far. All it seems like is a bunch of Christians trying to be cool/hip/trendy/artsy–and it’s just is stupid. Maybe that’s harsh, but that’s what I really think.
Here it is. What do you think?
So there is a new movement. It’s called “It Gets Better”. It is in response to the many suicides of teens who struggle with their sexual identity. Truly a horrible situation.
It’s no secret that this is an issue that is difficult for Christians to navigate, especially the church. I have stumbled upon a video of professing Christians who are openly and practicing gays and lesbians. It is linked below.
I’m not really going to comment on it. I just wanted to bring this trend to your attention. There is, however, one line in it that I STRONGLY disagree with. It is this:
“You were made whole and perfect the moment you were born.”
That is wrong. In fact, no matter who you are or how you were created, that is very dangerous thinking. As Christians, we must understand that we were born broken people into a broken world. This is why Jesus came and died–to redeem us of our broken state and put us on a course toward being whole. In theological terms, this is known as the process of sanctification.
Please feel to post respectful comments.
Have you heard of the Insane Clown Posse (ICP)? No? Yes? Either way, they are a rap group that have been going strong for the last 20 years (believe it or not). They mainly rap about how awesome they are, how tuff they are, smoking pot, and sex (but mainly the last two) and they call their fans Juggalos or Juggalettes.
I remember when they came on the scene. Their schtick was/is to wear clown make-up all the time. And while wearing that clown make-up they rap (very poorly, I might add). Me and my homies thought the blatant rip-off (and a bad one at that) of KISS mixed with horrible music wasn’t worth spending money on.
Oh, I did listen to a few songs in sick fascination (like staring at a three-legged dog). I have even been known to watch their video of the song Miracles several time (Warning: If you watch it their are plenty of explicit lyrics) because it is astonishingly bad. It’s like watching the first couple of weeks of American Idol–those are the best shows, if you ask me.
Anyway, guess what? They have recently come out as evangelical Christians. That’s right folks. The cussing, sex, smoking dope, and drinking they have rapped about has been part of a 20-year secret strategy to tell people about Jesus and God.
They released a song called Thy Unveiling revealing all this in which they say:
F*ck it, we got to tell.
All secrets will now be told
No more hidden messages
…Truth is we follow GOD!!!
We’ve always been behind him
The carnival is GOD
And may all juggalos find him
We’re not sorry if we tricked you.
So praise the Lord, right? All those songs about chopping people up and shooting women was somehow all secret Christian rock and rap? Nope. Not exactly. Sorry boys, it doesn’t work like that. Words matter. Actions matter.
I’m not saying God won’t accept ICP for who they are. I’m not saying that Jesus didn’t die to forgive even them of their sins. NOT ALL ALL, homeboys.
I’m just not buying it. I think ICP is getting older, feeling guilty for a bunch of things they’ve done, and are starting to get worried about their eternal destiny. And it’s very hard to admit that the last 20 years have been a waste. So they write some revisionist history. That’s a little easier. Plus, that way they don’t lose their fan-base and can still make a living wearing clown make-up and writing bad raps.
But here is my advice if you really believe (or once did): apologize for the past and move forward. You might lose some fans, but hey, truly following Jesus is like that. It’s hard, and never cool, and will alienate you from some people.
But that’s how we roll.
And maybe even then ICP will be in the unique position to write better music after becoming Christians. It’s rare. Mostly when someone like them (known artists and musicians) become Christians they start making bad Christian music and movies. But ICP can break that trend. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be hard, since their music is so bad.
Sorry guys–just trying to keep it real.
This is kind of funny. A local preacher in a town in Georgia wants the mascot for the High School changed. Why? Well because it is the Devil! (see photo of the Warner Robins High School Demons below)
It seems that a pastor at Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ was uncomfortable when he
realized his own son would be among hundreds of students shouting
‘Go Demons!’ to cheer on the school’s sports teams, but particularly in
football, where the Demons have won four state championships over the
years. He says if they don’t change it, he’s moving his son to another school. (source here)
I know I might sound like a jerk, but I find this a bit humorous. So let’s show some team pride:
I’m going to a conference tomorrow so I’m not sure how much I’ll get to post this week. It’s a conference for church leaders. That’s why I’m highlighting this church banner below.
Sometimes in life we are too close to what we are doing. We either need to step back and take a long view–or have an outside perspective to bounce our ideas off. That’s why I’m going. Hopefully, the conference will give me some perspective for the future.
This is something the church who made the banner below desperately needs. I don’t want to have an epic fail like that in my life, if I can help it. (And if you don’t know why the banner below is so wrong, ask a friend).
I say it’s important to be open, teachable, and ready to change in life. It keeps us moving forward.
I’m sure you’ve heard. Saturday is September 11.
To mark that day Reverend Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL is going to have a “Burn the Koran Day.” (source here)
This is guy is an idiot.
Yes, I judged him, but this is exactly the kind of person Jesus (and God) would have me judge. Jones is a man who claims to follow God and represent Jesus, but is doing something that is angry and damaging. So I believe I can call him an idiot with a clear conscience.
There is some warped irony in all this too.
“Dove” is in the name of his church. The dove in Christianity is a symbol of peace. In Genesis 8 after the flood, a dove returned to Noah with an olive branch in its beak, revealing the end of God’s judgment and the beginning of a new covenant with man.What he is doing is not peaceful not will not promote peace.
Also, the dove symbolizes God’s spirit. When Jesus was baptized by John (this symbolized the beginning of his earthly ministry) it is recorded that a dove descended from the sky. The dove represents the Holy Spirit in Christianity. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove when he was baptized in the Jordan River:
… and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)
This was a symbol God’s love and approval. Jones is not being loving.
“Outreach” is also in the name. So who is this reaching? Plus, if you are going to do effective outreach it should build bridges not burn them.
Does Reverend Jones and his congregation have the right to do this? Yes, of course. the Reverend is well within his Constitutional rights to do have a Burn the Koran Day. I talked about this idea with regard to the Ground Zero Mosque here. Incidentally, anyone who is a strong advocate of that mosque being built should also be as a strong advocate of Jones burning the Koran as a matter of integrity. This issue is based on the same rights and freedoms. But I’m gonna guess most who support the mosque without reservation also condemn Jones without hesitation. Or would these individuals also stand passionately against burning Bibles as well? Just wondering. Perhaps that is another conversation.
But a “Burn the Koran Day” is unwise and not right (as a matter of conscience).
Furthermore, it is not peaceful. It is not loving. It is not a good representation of the teachings, life, and ministry of Jesus. In fact, Jones make a mockery of all this with his attention-whoring stunt. This is no way to get more people to go to your 15 member church.
I just can’t imaging God looking upon all this and saying:
“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Not sure if you’ve heard of Jim Wallis. He’s been making the rounds in Christian circles for several years due to his books like God’s Politics: When The Right Gets It Wrong and The Left Doesn’t Get it, his blog God’s Politics, and his site Sojourners. His is also making the rounds in politics as he has thrust himself into policies and campaigns. Most recently, he his one of President Obama’s spiritual advisers.
Did you know Wallis is also a liar?
To tell you the truth, Wallace has always made me uncomfortable. I have seen and heard several interviews with him and there was always an uneasiness stirring in me as I listened. Perhaps this article from Christianity Today reveals something about his character and what I was sensing. For the record, in it he claims that he was not aware of a huge contribution. Call me a cynic but I do not believe that for a minute. He is the CEO. He knows what and who is giving, especially the big donors.
As you read the account below, I am sure you will be saddened by the blatant misrepresentation of the teachings and character of Jesus. I’m sure his organization has done some good, but the ends don’t justify the means.
Here is the article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey:
Jim Wallis has admitted that Sojourners has received funding in thepast from liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Last month, Marvin Olasky asked Wallis to admit his affiliations on the left when reported on the money from Soros in World magazine.
George Soros, one of the leading billionaire leftists—he has financedgroups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuangovernment—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. A yearlater, here’s how Jim rebutted a criticism of “religious progressives”for being allied with Soros and MoveOn.org: “I know of no connections tothose liberal funds and groups that are as direct as the ReligiousRight’s ties to right-wing funders.”
Since then Sojourners has received at least two more grants fromSoros organizations. Sojourners revenues have more than tripled—from$1,601,171 in 2001-2002 to $5,283,650 in 2008-2009—as secular leftistshave learned to use the religious left to elect Obama and others.
In a Patheos interview, Wallis suggested that Olasky was lying.
“It’s not hyperbole or overstatement to say that Glenn Beck lies for aliving. I’m sad to see Marvin Olasky doing the same thing. No, we don’treceive money from Soros. Given the financial crisis of nonprofits,maybe Marvin should call Soros and ask him to send us money.
“So, no, we don’t receive money from George Soros. Our books aretotally open, always have been. Our money comes from Christians whosupport us and who read Sojourners. That’s where it comes from. In fact,we’ve had funding blocked, this year and last, by liberal foundationswho didn’t like our stance on abortion. Other liberal groups were happyto point out to them that our stance wasn’t kosher on abortion, so ourfunding was blocked.
“So tell Marvin he should check his facts, and not imitate Glenn Beck.”
Want to see for yourself what someone apparently did not want you to see? Click here to download the PDF, go to page 225, and you’ll see the grant to Sojourners.
You can also see the 2006 grant by downloading the 990-PF for that year and going to page 125. And by the way, look at page 114 of the 990-PF for 2007: another $100,000 grant to Sojourners “to support the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaign.”
Wallis released a statement through a spokesperson to Patheos.
I should have declined to comment until I was able to review the blogpost in question and consulted with our staff on the details of ourfunding over the past several years. Instead, I answered in the spiritof the accusation and did not recall the details of our funding over thedecade in question. The spirit of the accusation was that Sojourners isbeholden to funders on the political left, which is false. Theallegation concerned three grants received over 10 years from the OpenSociety Institute that made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners’funding during that decade — so small that I hadn’t remembered them.
CT has asked Sojourners if Wallis has any further response.
The last couple of weeks the Christian community has been buzzing about legendary vampire author (remember Interview With The Vampire ?) Anne Rice ‘quitting’ Christianity. If you didn’t know, she became a convert about 10 years ago. More specifically, she released some statements on her Facebook fan page. They were things like:
“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me…But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”
She also said that she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” She said that she is leaving ‘organized’ religion’ but is still a follower of Jesus Christ.
So what can I say to Ms. Rice? What needs to be said?
Ah yes, trying to balance being a follower of Jesus, current events, and your worldview. I know it well. I do it every week here on my blog.
I do it in my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. In fact, your (Ms. Rice) “not calling yourself a Christian” is a challenge I make in my own book. I get it.
It’s my own Interview With The Savior. HA!
Following Jesus, Ms. Rice, isn’t easy. In fact, being Jesus wasn’t easy. That’s what I discuss in my post on why Jesus Was So Darn Offensive.
Remember how they killed Jesus because he was so divisive? That’s just one idea to keep in mind.
I understand. I also don’t want to be perceived as “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” And I’m not any of those things.
But sometimes, just sometimes, words of Jesus call us to value certain things, regardless of our own popularity, that are unpopular with some people. And since my faith informs, guides, and corrects my worldview, there often ripples that go in all directions and splash people inadvertently.
That is why I, as a ‘Christian’ (and I admit, I reluctantly use that term at times), am also things like anti-lying, anti-stealing, anti-divorce, anti-adultery, anti-substance abuse, anti-crime, anti-relativism, anti-pluralism, and, well, you get the idea. Sometimes people like to flirt with edge of those things. I don’t. And when I don’t, if I happen to have a relationship with someone who does, it makes them uncomfortable. Sometime it even makes them mad.
It’s not that I do anything to make them mad. I just won’t do what they do. They think I am ‘judging’ them. I’m not. I just refuse to compromise one certain things. Some positions I hold are essential, if you will, and some are nonessential. It’s the essential ones that make people mad. But that’s how I try to honor Jesus, or follow him, as you say.
Sadly, this had ended many relationships over the 22 years that I have been a Christian. Not by choice, just by default.
The truth is, it’s not that I am anti anything. It’s that I am pro stuff: pro-family, pro-fidelity, pro-justice, pro-life (yes, I am pro-life), pro-moms, pro-dads, pro-reconciliation, pro-forgiveness, and so on… And I don’t compromise my principles (the essential ones) based on comfort level, environment, or company.
It’s not easy. I understand.
I wish someone would have told that sooner, Ms. Rice. It sounds like you have never had a spiritual mentor. I haven’t either. In fact, I’ve never had a mentor in any area of life.
I’ve had to just stumble around and clumsily learn things the hard way. Would you have listened if you had a mentor, I wonder?
Well, perhaps you will listen to the words of Jesus himself:
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, motheragainst daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”–Luke 12:51-53
Just something to keep in mind, when people don’t like your positions. It’s doesn’t mean to go out of your way to divide. But sometimes, by default, your values will. We all fall in love with the popular warm and fuzzy Jesus. His words fill Holiday cards, because he is so very marketable.
But let’s not forget the less popular Jesus. The one they killed because of his values and positions–which is what his words above are alluding to.
Know why Jesus said this? Know what he meant?
Sometime, just sometimes, following Jesus (or God) isn’t about your reputation, image, popularity, feelings, or convenience. If it is, it leads to moral relativism and philosophical pluralism every time. Even if you, Ms. Rice, try to leave ‘organized’ religion or stop calling yourself a Christian (which I support, rhetorically speaking)…it will suck–that is, if you base your ‘following’ on the words, life, and teachings of Jesus.
I hope this was helpful, because it was meant to be.
I wish you all the best, Ms. Rice!
I know I usually post something humorous and light on Monday. Not today. Sorry about that.
I wanted to tell you about some missionaries that were killed last week. This article says that:
Ten members of a medical team, including six Americans, were shot and killed by militants as they were returning from providing eye treatment and other health care in remote villages in northern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the team said Saturday..Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press that they killed the foreigners because they were “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity.”
You can read the rest of the article here. It is very sad.
I wanted to let know about it because missionaries often risk their lives every day in order to bring some level of healing, both physical and hopefully spiritual, to people. Say what you want about Christians, but these types of people represent the best of us.
So perhaps take a moment to remember them today and pray for their families.
So world famous televangelist Benny Hinn has been making headlines because it is alleged that he is having an affair with fellow televangelist Paula White. Now, I don’t know if this is true or not. One thing is for sure, there are plenty of people who hope it is so they can tear these two down–especially the media. The media salivates at stories like this.
I’m pretty familiar with both of these. I don’t like them. It’s nothing personal. I just can’t stand all the hootin’ and hollerin’ and money-grubbing they do when they ‘preach’. Like I say in my book , it’s like God is broke, Heaven is about to be foreclosed on, and Jesus has to get a second job just to help make the mortgage. It’s disgusting.
I especially find Hinn revolting. I feel he is an embarrassment to Christianity. His theology is bunk and he makes a mockery of God in his live ‘performances’.
Below is a video mash-up of some Hinn moments to the song Let the Bodies Hit the Floor. It’s pretty funny. And it’s the only way I can tolerate watching this. Still, there is a sense of sadness as I watch these things.
This is an aspect of Christianity that I wish were not there. Perhaps I am being small-minded and judgmental. It wouldn’t be the first time. But I always wonder what Jesus might think about this stuff.
Does it bring him honor?
I was doing a radio interview recently and the kept calling me “Reverend Berggren”. It was a bit awkward, especially considering it was the morning drive on a rock station (and not a Christian one). Now the truth is, I am actually an ordained minister (scary, huh?). But the term means something to me, which is why I just prefer being called Jason.
So what does the term Reverend stir up for you? Do you think of someone who is filled with respect, devotion, sacrifice, or character? Or do you think something different? Someone who is money-grubbing, pushing an agenda, or manipulating people?
A week or so ago a popular Reverend was teaching at a conference in which he said these things:
*the civil rights movement in America is about “becoming white,” not equal rights
*told black attendees of the conference they will never “be a brother to white folk”
Meet Reverend Jeremiah Wright from Chicago. Now, I’m not trying to pretend that I can identify with the experience of African-experience in America. But is this really the kind of thing you would expect to hear from a representative of Jesus Christ? A Reverend?
The term Reverend means something very different to me. I am ashamed of Mr Wright and can’t believe or both ordained ministers and representatives of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I suppose we come from two very different schools of ministry. And I am happy about that.
I just don’t understand how a true Reverend can be so filled with bitterness, malice, and be so irreverent. Just thought you should know.
PS-Did you know the president went to this mans church and listened to Rev. Wright preach for 20 years? I would have left as soon as I heard anything like this.
Here an interesting article from National Geographic. These explorers claim to have found Noah’s Ark (and not the water park)–the real Noah’s Ark. They say they have even carbon-dated the wood and it comes in at about 4,800 years old. That would put it at about the right age. I’m not saying it’s legit, but the video below is entertaining.
Of course, there are plenty of skeptics out there, and rightly so. Some say it was a set-up by some people who hauled the wood up there as an elaborate deception for stupid Christians. Or perhaps it is a shrine or a house someone built inside of this mountain. Sometimes the skeptics sound more ridiculous than the Christians, don’t they?
Anyway, you can watch the explorers below. It’s fun either way.
School officials have determined that rosary beads have become a gang-related symbol. But that didn’t stop Raymond. They have become a symbol of comfort to him as he copes with the death of his brother and uncle.
I understand the need to be cautious, protect the kids, and prevent gang activity, but at what point does this protect reward the guilty (the gang members) over the victims (like Raymond).
It’s one thing if it was a particular gang sign, drawing, etc. But rosary beads?
This is a normal part of culture. If gangs adopted carrying #2 pencils, or wearing white t-shirts, or walking with hands in your pockets would all that have to be banned? At what point do you stop?
This is stupid. I think school officials have crossed over the line. You can’t ban everything. Sometimes you have to find a different approach rather than infringe on the rights on the innocent.
Right? Or is my point a Hail Mary?
It’s Monday and I know you need a laugh. So I have found something extra special for you–and it may make your week.
I have watched this video about 10 times this weekend. I can’t stop laughing!
It is a mash-up of two things I love (and even love to poke fun at): heavy metal music & church/Christians (incidentally, I talk about both of these in my book ). And it may be the best video mash-up I have ever seen.
It combines the song Angel of Death by the infamous band Slayer and some Pentecostal church services (of which, I have been to many).
BE WARNED: There are 2 bad words in the pop-up comments of the video, but you can turn them if if you want.
Here’s an interesting situation. Seniors at this retirement home were recently told they had to stop praying as a group together before eating. Now let me be clear, they can pray to themselves. They just can’t pray as a group.
Because the meals for the senior citizens at the program are mostly covered with federal money.
Now it’s not that a resident complained or anything. It’s that an employee from the company that caters the food said it might be a violation of federal guidelines–the separation of church and state–for him not to report it. So he did. And the city attorney is looking into it.
This is so ridiculous. People need to get a life. Separation of church and state had nothing to do with a group of old farts sitting around and praying before the eat a federally funded meal. Give them a break (and me too).
This is such a stupid over reaction. Let’s no forget that the “separation of church and state” clause isn’t actually in the Constitution. And let’s not also forget that the government can not prevent the free exercise of religion either. I mean, many seniors live off federal funds (and many people live on welfare, for that matter). Does this mean they can’t participate in prayer too? Or are we allowed to pray while driving on federally funded roads? How far can this go?
I think there’s a case here in defense of the seniors. I think this a violation of their rights.