Archive for the ‘Age Quod Agis’ Category

You would think if Abraham came down from Mount Sinai fresh from a conversation with God these days, the chat would have been a skosh different, no?

Perhaps, the angel of the Lord would have mentioned the kerfuffle on MySpace, the mysteries of big-name religious figures refusing to follow like-minded folk on Twitter, the dangers of texting while driving and for the love of God (well, himself), why is Bristol Palin still on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Why people really join churchMost likely the first modern Commandment would have something to do with privacy rights on Facebook.

Well, meet Rev. Cedric Miller of New Jersey – a pastor who believes the forbidden fruit had a QWERTY keyboard and came with status updates.

A New Jersey pastor [of Living Word Christian Fellowship] is giving his married church leaders an ultimatum: delete Facebook or resign

…“One or the other spouse is on Facebook and reconnects with an old flame,” Miller said. “It’s even gone to the point where there have been inappropriate reconnections.”

It’s interesting what the leering media finds newsworthy. Somehow, someone heard about these conditions and decided to make this “a mountaintop experience.” And this thing has come across the globe like the buzz about a certain burning bush.

So, here’s the question: Is he right?

Yes, there are many people in this world that use Facebook to reconnect with folk from back in the day or to keep in touch with people today. However, for all those who like to corral contacts for their personal ego storehouse, there are many, many more that use this web portal for hook ups with those flames that have never been put out.

Answer: Yes.

Because as we have seen with serving the Kingdom, you have to err on the side of extreme caution because if you don’t, there is certain to be a snare with your name all over it.

Ask any megachurch pastor that have been in headlines lately. Sex, philandering, getting frisky… and why? Because they have power and they can.

This pastor doesn’t have the recognition, at least he didn’t at the time of the ultimatum, but he wanted his staff to serve the Lord wholeheartedly nonetheless. If you think Pastor Miller doesn’t have to go far for proof, you’re right:

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years.

About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. And a do-it-yourself divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported late last year that the word “Facebook” was appearing in about one in five of the petitions it was handling.

Again, this site was made for online booty calls and many people, including My Fair Lady, use Facebook to speak with family across the country who are too lazy to write an e-mail and too distant to pick up a phone.

If I was in that ilk working at Living Word, I would be both offended and armed with a myriad of examples to tell this pastor what is up. However, if I was a person who hid my Facebook account from my spouse, sent clandestine status reports and was looking for that one sheep that got away, then good on the pastor for bringing this up.

Then again, it’s not guns that kill people… people kill people, right? So, it’s not Facebook that’s killing marriages… shady fools who should have never been engaged kill marriage. They just use Facebook quite a bit to do it.

Ah yes. Another scintillating video from Cross Eyed (or video evangelism).

While on a sabbatical of my own this week, I ran across a delightful chiding from none other than John MacArthur. Since the inception, “well wishers” to The Writing on the Wall have tried to tell me I’ve been a little harsh on one Joel Osteen (namely our landmark series on “Victoria’s Secret“).

Sure, I think he’s corralling a ton of lukewarm sheep in the manger ready for slaughter. Yes, I believe his Caspar Milquetoast stance on, well everything, is liable to get a menial child of God a sardonic beatdown. And you bet, I think there is a little bit of John Osteen respecters who believe the boy is shaming his old man’s ministry.

However, thanks to this hide tanning by John MacArthur. I am not alone. Big shouts out to the teacher here.

[And a masonry shout out to the fine outlet 'Defending. Contending.' for the find.]

An age-old question among Christ followers revolves around… the lottery.

I know, don’t you feel dirty reading that? And why? Because while you have been told gambling is a sin, you’re all ridden with angst that you can’t get some of that money.

No worries. I hate lotto players too.Vehemently.

In Mexico, visit this house of the... drug Lord?

This story from the USA Today creates a different conundrum: If a drug kingpin builds a church, will God inhabit the praises of those people?

“We know that the narcos … look for a way to redeem themselves in religious terms, by doing some good work. Obviously, sins cannot be washed away by a donation or a collection,” said the Rev. Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, the country’s largest.

This is a legitimate house of worship in the village of Tezontle. A place for Mexicans to glorify the Lord. You think they know how this modern church was built?

Well, the story continues to tell us that on a wall of the nouveau riche chapel, a plaque says it was donated by the leader of the violent Zetas cartel.

“Donated by Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, Lord, hear my prayer,” reads the bronze-colored marker, which says the chapel was built in honor of Pope John Paul II. Lazcano, who is wanted in both Mexico and the U.S., has more than $7 million in reward money on his head.

I’m sure there are some who believe this was Lazcano’s (or Lazcano Lazcano’s) mea culpa. Others may say this was his opportunity to show goodwill to the country that wants him incarcerated… or worse.

Either way, how would you feel worshiping in this house? Better yet, going to confession?

You know, you’re sitting there reading the hymnal and these beautiful red and blue swirling lights are seen outside during mass. The priest breaks out an AK-47 from under his robe. And the altar boys dawn bandannas while shouting with clinched fists to the congregation.

Sounds like a quaint Sunday to me. Sweet. Only one thing, with the holidays looming, stay away from the mules in the Nativity scene. I’m sure they’re not what you think they are.

Tonight is Halloween.

See the title? Is that something you can say? If not, you should.

Think about it: Children and parents from all over your neighborhood are coming to your door looking for a handouts all night long.

Consider them as Jehovah’s Witnesses, only in drag. Or in super hero panty hose. And cute.

You have a golden opportunity to quell the ire of the enemy and let people know that this is just another day to thank God for his faithfulness.

If you don’t who will? Think about that witnessing chance while you watch this video. Peace.

 

In Hollywood, where doth my help come from?

“Christian Movie.” It’s a phrase that has plagued both Hollywood and the Church for decades because the two sides don’t really talk, even if there was the awkward Thanksgiving dinner.

Separate: The two don’t have an inkling enough knowledge of the other to understand what the market demands. Together: Former “celebs” who get real with Christ are considered sellouts because the first that happens is TBN fawns all over them and gets them preaching.

So, what does it mean to be a “Christian Movie”? Is it focus on the “Greatest Story Ever Told,” because honestly, if you have seen the movie (aside from the meaning, people), it really is not the greatest. Not even Top 10.

The one that changed Christian film making was not “The Omega Code,” which looked like the IRS came and repossessed the movie set halfway into the film. No, it was “The Passion of the Christ.

Real. Violent. Authentic. Visceral.

And an A-list celeb created it, without the aforementioned megalomaniac drool from Paul and Jan. Then, of course, that A-list celeb went off the deep end and offending every Jew, black person and woman on the face of God’s planet. So much for his clout. Next?

Sure, Kirk Cameron made a nice swim through a resurrection (of his career) but that was short-lived, and short-marketed. “Fireproof” was nice, really nice, but it lacked the big Hollywood backing.

No one was really 'running' from the Church to catch this one

Recently, Disney saw a glimmer of hope in this once forgotten Christian market, and put out a movie that had all the makings of the next great “Christian Movie.” To use the introduction from a riveting BrandWeek article:

On the face of it, Disney’s feel-good drama Secretariat seemed to have all the makings of a hit with the God-fearing crowd: Its writer and director are devout Christians, it opens with a lengthy Bible quote, it uses an earnest spiritual tune at a key emotional moment and it’s uplifting. Then there was a specific marketing campaign to the faith-based audience, spearheaded by filmmaker Randall Wallace, who has legitimate street cred in those circles.

Quick show of hands for all the Christ followers who saw this flick? Yeah, me neither.

This is a movie that supposed to be the feel-good hit of the summer and Hollywood was counting on the Church. Only, it wasn’t marketed to the Church, so who knew?

Therein lies the rub.

The Church either goes one way or the other when it comes to movie selections:

  1. We are either incognito at Rated-R flicks – Groucho Marx glasses and all – and only be seen watching Pixar movies with the kids.
  2. Or, we go see any horror or drama made with a staunch “So what” to anyone in the Church that has an issue with your film-viewing pleasures.

Then there are those in-between who really want to see God show up in films outside of anything dealing with the crucifixion, resurrection or anything starring Charlton Heston.

Why? According to this story, Christians aren’t as naive and sheepish as Hollywood thinks:

Any movie that has a happy ending or a hopeful message gets peddled to Christian leaders and faith-based media. That crowd may be conservative, but they’re not dumb, said entertainment industry veteran and marketing consultant Mark Joseph.

“The traditionalist audience is far more savvy, post-’Passion,’ and is tired of being told that ‘Polar Express’ or ‘Rocky VI’ are actually allegories about Christ,” said Joseph, also a film producer who’s worked on The Passion of the Christ and other marketing campaigns. “This group is suspicious of Hollywood.”

Not only is this group “suspicious” of Hollywood; they are also lazy to demand otherwise from it.

Yes, I paid good money to see “Inception”, “Iron Man 2″ and “Robin Hood” this summer. And why? Because I am a child of God that can see a movie that doesn’t exalt Christ and still find pleasure in it. Sure, I wish it mentioned, alluded to or flat-out praised him, but if it doesn’t, I’ll go for a gripping storyline and stimulating writing any day.

And no, I didn’t pay a dime to see anything else from TBN studios, the “Veggie Tales” movie or “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.” Why? Just because the American Family Association gives it two crosses up doesn’t mean it’s good; it just means it’s sanctified.

Jesus made the ministrel of music. We should own it.

Amen!

It’s the same old problem that has plagued Christian music and fashion. We demand quality too.

When the world had old-school hip hop, the Church had D.C. Talk. (Sure, later came DII, SFC, PID and Freedom of Soul… but toby Mac and the guys pretty screwed that up for the rest of them). When the world had friendship pins, Swatch watches and Coca-Cola shirts, we had cheaply made Garanimals with an icthtus emblazoned on the crest.

Sigh.

In short, just because you have a fish on your business card, doesn’t guarantee me doing business with you. It only means I am leery of you because you expect a hand-out or a hand-up. We need to earn our keep in Hollywood, and not be afraid of the backlash just because we admit we love Jesus in public circles.

It’s happened with music (e.g. Hillsong, Mercy Me, David Crowder, anything alternative that has made the crossover, and on and on and on). Now, it’s time to stop trying to remake the Passion and just get passionate about evangelism with a great movie.

We need to vote with our dollars, in addition to our prayers. (And please, we do NOT do that).

So my definition of “Christian Movie”? It’s a great movie that happens to talk about Christ and sticks to the meaning of his message.

You know, rather than a lukewarm message of love and hate, right and wrong with a crappy script, a couple of has-been actors and something that goes straight to DVD cloaked as a movie.

Think about it people. When we demand more, we will get more. Peace.