Archive for the ‘Religion Potpourri’ Category

And in other news: the sky is blue, water is wet and our economy is not doing so hot.

Seriously, why is this a headline? This stark revelation makes him no different than Al Sharpton – it’s media pimpdom. “Oh, I’m out of the news for a little while, so what can I talk about that will make the spotlight shine brighter in my relaxed hair?”

It’s a perfect storm really. Muslims. 9/11. Obama. And now Farrakhan. Well, Mazel Tov brother minister.

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday an Islamic community center and mosque planned near ground zero should be built because Muslims were among those of many faiths who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “Why then should a mosque, a cultural center, not be constructed a few blocks away?” Farrakhan asked at a news conference in Washington, where he was joined by a coalition of African-American Muslims.

Barack Obama and Louis Farrakhan

See who is looking over your shoulder?

Let’s play that same game of logic, shall we brother minister?

You know, Jews died in the 9/11 attacks as well, so would you mind having interfaith dinners at the fellowship hall of said mosque. You would rather kiss a white woman, wouldn’t you?

This is separatist prattling as usual. Get that, “joined by a coalition of African-American Muslims.” Yes, there are a bevy of white Muslims but none of them stand for the “white man is the devil.”

Sure, they abstain from pork and pray five times daily, as all good Islamic believers do, but they have that pigment issue that prevents them from being asked to break bread.

Yes, Muslims have a certain unalienable right to practice their religion in America. Yes, stereotypes exist in this country. And yes, thanks to the tragic attacks on 9/11, Muslims are the ire of every evil stereotype there is, despite the right to avoid them.

There are good-minded, kind-spirited Muslims everywhere. There are also sardonic human beings that are extremist swine that murder in the name of their religion. Likewise, there are benevolent people who love Jesus Christ and represent him daily. There are also malevolent, twisted people who propagate their pablum to pad their pockets and mislead people, all under the guise of God and blessings.

The point is this: When you talk religion, you will hack off half the people in any room. And why? Because of the extremists. They exist in any religion, or lack thereof (I can think of a few Atheists that go way out of bounds).

MEMO to Farrakhan, while some televangelists and false prophets are creating a rouse to swindle money and fake healings, none of them got on a jet and killed thousands of people because they believed heaven was a place of vestal virgins waiting to congratulate them.

Do us all a favor? Go find a real cause and speak on that. Your support for the Ground Zero Mosque is about as inevitable as President Obama supporting one of your shindigs on the same day he is expected to have lunch with a gaggle of black pastors.

Moving on…

So, I’m reading WOW News’ CNN Belief Blog and I find a story that seems appealing. One sentence into the thing, I’m incensed and feel like dog cussing some folk… but for the grace of God.

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

This is a must-read for any real Christ follower

To some, that sentence may not mean a thing and you’re thinking, “Grow up, HiScrivener.” To others, you are reading beyond the text and seeing the pandemic upon us – lukewarm pablum, uncommitted Christ followers and milquetoast preachers who the last time they experienced any “fire and brimstone” was slipping while placing a Duraflame in the fireplace.

[Author Kenda Creasy] Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Now that’ll preach!

And the girl is legit too. Dean, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of “Almost Christian”, is testifying about something many of us have been exclaiming for year. The Church has become a social club, not a hospital for the hurting. Why else do they call these big box churches “Evangelical Lite“?! Because there is nothing heavy being taught in these places.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with megachurches providing the pastors in charge are serious about teaching the Word of God the way it needs to be taught. However, if some of the altruistic benefactors of no condemnation and bumping up the church numbers to one-up the next toolbox are only interested in the weekly offering, then Houston, we have a friggin’ problem.

“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”

Some do, but visit any “The Largest Megachurches” lists on the Internet and most of them are pioneered by guys who are very successful for rehashing and requoting Zig Ziglar, Sun Tzu and their grandmama. Their needs to be more passion about Christ, more conviction about living for Christ and honestly, if some folk warming a pew can’t take it – split!

The Church is a house of love, but we live in a world of hate. And if you aren’t getting some tough love and challenges on Sundays, what good is it?I would continue, but quoting her is too much fun:

Some adults don’t expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex. Others practice a “gospel of niceness,” where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says. “If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation.”

MEMO to Pastors everywhere: Get this woman to teach in your church the first Sunday possible!

This is Freedom Tower, but whose freedom are we talking here?

This is holy ground, and we are free to say that.

In case you live in an Amish colony, don’t have electricity by lacking of paying a bill or are on the Kardashians, odds are you are well-versed in the “Mosque-erade” ballyhoo involving with President Barack Obama and an Islamic activity center that has a bead on some choice real estate near Ground Zero of all places.

Around 9/11, this country was unified on all fronts. No one could screw with us. Nowadays, meh? Not so much.

How soon we have forgotten… until recently, when this moderate Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf decides to get his Donald Trump on and purchase some prime real estate in Uptown NYC.

You know the area. There were these two way tall buildings there once, and their sudden and tragic demise cause people like everyone to hate people like him. Including me for a time (who lost many friends in law enforcement, some frat brothers and almost a member of my family).

Is he a terrorist? I doubt it. Is he like those hellbound agents? Probably not. Does he worship the same god and is therefore painted with the same crimson-stained brush? Definitely.

Anywhoo, this country is in a tissy over this fool who thinks it is a swell idea to build an Islamic activity center two blocks away from the hallowed grounds of 9/11.

Fast forward to last week where we find America’s leader at a breakfast with a bunch of fasting Muslims and he says this:

Muslims “have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” Obama said at an Iftar meal at the White House for Muslims breaking their Ramadan fast late Friday. That includes “the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”

This country flipped its lid. Well, 50 percent of it. You would think he gave the silo codes to Osama, with a lipstick stain on the envelope. Chaos. Concern. And a whole lot of cussing.

What the what? This is not the sound bite you need to offer at this point in your career sir.

Now, his reputation is taking a beating. His approval ratings are taking a bath. And some seedy people with very little in terms of dental hygiene want to take him for a long ride. We’re talking vitriol of the highest order. In fact, a recent Washington Post poll shows 1 of 5 Americans are convinced Obama is a Muslim.

Immediately, he makes that loud, annoying beeping sound when he backs up that fast and says:

The proposed location has touched raw nerves — and on Saturday Obama clarified that he was not addressing the appropriateness of the mosque’s particular location. “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” Obama said on a visit to Florida. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about,” he said.

This is a view of 1600 Pennsylvania through America's View Master

He’s right. I don’t like it, but he’s right.

If I am so grateful for those men and women who fight the Taliban and all other foreign scourges so I can stay at home and worship Jesus Christ until I am blue in the face and bruising my knees… then, I have be as equally grateful that other people can do the same with whatever deity they worship, no matter how much I disagree with it on a theological level.

But… and this is where our fearless leader missed it… there is freedom of religion and a freedom to stop stupid business decisions. This “activity center” would become target practice for many people, and shame on the dimwitted NYC board to not figure that out. Shame on the government for sticking their nose in a city issue. And shame on most folk who called Obama into treason for his statement.

Shoot, I understand what he said and I lost people at 9/11. He did talk about the “right” to do it, not whether they were “right” to do it. And that’s the rub.

As long as President Obama continues to vociferously support Muslims despite things like this, people will continue to look at the White House vehemently like that (note picture). Sad but true.

Next time, have a little patriotism and understand just what you are saying Mr. President. Our country is not fodder for a speech. This stuff is real, and albeit unfortunate and incorrect to hurl all Muslims in the short Taliban bus, that’s how they are viewed as long as idiots like the aforementioned Imam are not throttled for bringing up an idea like that. And then your cronies think it’s a heckuva idea.

Politicians screw it up all the time because they leave their subjectivity at the door and are too busy glad handing for the next vote.

MEMO to Obama: the American people do not care to see you talk about this and trying to make inroads with disenchanted religious groups. They want jobs, money, jobs… and oh yeah, money.

Jesus was awesome that way because he cared less about being P.C. and more about being J.C. (Yeah, I’ve been saving that one.) There’s something to be said about that because he was about his Father’s business, not sticking his nose in everyone else’s.

Megachurches are no longer “Mega” these days. Unless, of course, you consider the megalomaniacs building these ornate and appalling edifices.

Sure, some of them are huge because they have to be – see Willow Creek, The Potter’s House or Second Baptist Church for example. Huge congregations demand a huge facility.

They do not demand statues that get struck down but mythological figureheads. Nor do they have to feature life-size cherubs bedazzled and blinged out greeting you lowly sinners at the door. However, I truly thought I had seen it all. That is until I was reading the New York Times a couple of weeks ago and saw something from Sao Paulo, Brazil that would make that big Jesus statue hide his head in shame.

Meet a group of saints that think it’s a snazzy idea to rebuild Solomon’s Temple for $200 million (and carry 10,000 seats). Yes, that Solomon’s Temple!

According to a post on the blog of Bishop Edir Macedo, the founder of Brazil’s evangelical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which is building the replica, the structure will be 180 feet high, making it nearly twice as tall as the Christ the Redeemer statue that towers over Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Macedo also said that stones of the same type used by Solomon had been ordered from Jerusalem to be used in a complex which will also house 36 Bible schools, television and radio studios and a 1,000-space parking lot.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, the Church comes through in splendid fashion. Keep it classy, folks.

Are you kidding me?! What purpose does this serve? Moreover, how does this honor God. Solomon built that amazing structure because he had something amazing to put in the Holy of Holies. Oh yeah, and he could.

What do you have, you narcissistic, over-compensating twit? Other than an obvious little-man complex.

And whose high-tone behind are you planning to park in seats of gold. Better yet, marble toilets? I realize Solomon probably peed in a trough, but this is the 21st century, baby. You got to represent, right? While you are at it, make sure you throw in one of “order while you watch” areas like the big stadia has. I mean, if your followers are going to watch a game, they may as well be entertained with dollar hot-dog Sundays and Salty Pretzel Wednesdays.

Here’s more lovely pictures, in case you enjoy the taste of throw up in your mouth.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:29 – 31 NKJV).

A cross or a tree, Jesus still died for our sins

Imagine worship without this picture in mind? Me neither.

Rappers, athletes, entertainers and Christians alike adorn themselves in bedazzled crosses or even a blinging crucifix to show how upstanding with the Lord they really are. Why? That’s the universal symbol of where Jesus gave his life for us.

Yet, thanks to this story from CNN and AOL News, we read one Swedish theologian who believes that’s not the case and perhaps the aforementioned verse in Acts is closer to the truth of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The Gospels do not say Jesus was crucified, Gunnar Samuelsson says. In fact, he argues, in the original Greek, the ancient texts reveal only that Jesus carried “some kind of torture or execution device” to a hill where “he was suspended” and died, says Samuelsson, who is an evangelical pastor as well as a New Testament scholar.

What the what?

First, I doubt dude was just doing an exegesis on the temperament of Christ, when perchance he tripped and slid his pen over to the crucifixion. No, he set out to do this and knew he would get the 10-inch headline before we had a chance to refute this hullabaloo.

So, congrats?

Anywhoo, it begs an interesting thought… although based in a wheelbarrow of bunk. Why does Paul write that in Acts? “Hanging on a tree.” I have read that verse many times and just considered it a synonym to two trees in the form of a cross. Didn’t you?

“When the Gospels refer to the death of Jesus, they just say that he was forced to carry a “stauros” out to Calvary,” he told AOL News. Many scholars have interpreted that ancient Greek noun as meaning “cross,” and the verb derived from it, “anastauroun,” as implying crucifixion.

“‘Stauros’ is actually used to describe a lot of different poles and execution devices,” he says. “So the device described in the Gospels could have been a cross, but it could also have been a spiked pole, or a tree trunk, or something entirely different.” In turn, “anastauroun” was used to signify everything from the act of “raising hands to suspending a musical instrument.”

Yeah, can’t you see every crucifixion scene in Hollywood depicting the Christ hung on a saxophone? Dimwit, of course that’s not what this instance means. Listen, crucifixion was different in different lands, nonetheless it was the death du jour for the Roman Empire. In fact, Caesar is said to line the main streets with crucified criminals … on crosses … to show the rest of the country, “Screw with Rome and do so at your peril.”

Roman crosses

Whatever the shape, a cross is all he needed.

Crosses are mainly Ts, for the Greek letter Tau. Legs had to held together and arms had to be spread apart to display surrender, helplessness and also eliminate any opportunity for preventing asphyxiation, because all that weight will certainly choke you if the pain doesn’t first.

For me, the moral of this story is this: Who cares. This should do nothing but galvanize our faith.

Jesus’ gift to us should not be relegated to a T, X or any other letter of the alphabet. Let jewelers and people who adorn the Vatican worry about that.

This guy may or may not have tried to undermine Christianity. I doubt it, but he did know this research would get his name on the theological map. Again, kudos Magellan.

Regardless of the research (and it is impressive), the end of the story is still the same.

Whether Jesus was hung on a high Tau with just “INRI” inscribed at the top, the regaled low Tau as seen in Catholic churches everywhere or even on a tree with branches flailing in either direction, the fact is irrefutable – he died, rose again and lives forevermore awaiting a triumphant return.

And for that, I’ll still wear my Christian jewelry, worship at the feet of Jesus and envision him there for me… on a cross, an X or a huge sequoia. Makes no difference to me. I’m still saved as a result.