Posts Tagged ‘church and state’

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.

The P.C. Express continues in an concentrated effort to rid the world of a God that spoke his mind back in the day, had any sort of opinion of social issues or you know… could have a gender.

Forget the family. Make it one room fits all.

And to save space, the Scottish Church now has one bathroom

First, there was the “Genderless Bible,” which started the debate that Jesus died for all kind – not mankind, just all kind. Ridiculous. And now, we have the deranged actions of the Scottish Episcopal Church in which the slew of female priests are getting miffed about all the personal pronoun usage going one-sided when discussing God as a “he”.

The Telegraph (UK) discusses this new – and mildly defective – form of worship, which removes words such as “Lord, he, his, him” and “mankind” from services, has been written by the church in an attempt to acknowledge that God is “beyond human gender”.

The controversial changes were discussed at the church’s General Synod recently. The minutes of the synod reveal that female priests had asked why God was still referred to as a man. The altered version of the 1982 Liturgy sees masculine pronouns removed when they refer to God and the new approach has even been extended to humans. For example, the word “mankind” has been taken out and replaced with “world”.

Man. Woman. Pat from SNL?

I suppose Pat moonlights in Scotland as a priest.

Seriously?! This milquetoasting of the Scriptures is allowed to exist. I get a slew of politicians doing their best not to upset their constituents, but to have this bastardization of deity to exist within the walls of the Church is appalling. It’s heresy.

And guess what female priests of Scotland? This is going to put quite an increase in his testosterone. There’s more…

Direct quotations from the Bible have been spared change, because of a reluctance to interfere with the word of God. However, the blessing at the end of services has been changed by some ministers from “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” to “Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier”.You know, I once heard that if someone performs a task, they liked to be thanked for it. Tsk. Tsk.

“The changing of God language is a little tricky,” admitted Rev Darren McFarland, convener of the church’s liturgy committee. “We are not saying God is not masculine. God is also feminine. The problem is trying to use human language to describe the indescribable.

What’s interesting is he could be right… but I am fairly certain they are not that smart to be this mischievous. The Hebrew and Christian scriptures have  traces of maternal imagery that have not been overridden by the patriarchs. This includes breast and nursing imagery, of which even the title of God used in Exodus 6:2-3.

Did you know (because I know these old sods didn’t) that El Shaddai is traditionally interpreted as the Almighty, but may be interpreted as the Many Breasted One from the Hebrew word shad, meaning breast, instead of using the Akkadian word shadu meaning mountain.

See, how can God send his son here to be touched with all of our feelings, if men and women feel differently?

Maybe, because HIS characteristics are to fully understand both men and women. We are made in HIS image, after all… or should we redefine that one as well?

How I missed this one in the Christian Post, Wall Watchers, I have no idea… but back in later July, an esteemed junior college or remedial high school Augusta State University threatened one student, “Change your Christian beliefs or you won’t graduate.”

Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been pursuing a master's degree in school counseling at Augusta State University since last year, but school officials have informed her that she'll be dismissed from the program unless she alters her "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct," according to a civil complaint filed last week.

Seriously… any more questions about my theory on Christianity being the only legalized and unprotected prejudice?! So, there has to be a catch for a school to go Orwellian in the middle of a semester, right?

Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been enrolled in the College of Education’s School Counselor masters degree program since fall 2009. She has expressed her Christian beliefs in class discussions and written assignments, but it was her views regarding gender and sexuality that irked faculty.

And there’s the rub. Talk Jesus and we will tolerate your inane blather. Debate gay rights and off with your head!

So, here’s this post-grad student – who incidentally is PAYING MONEY to attend this institution of higher education – that stated in a regular class she believes that “sexual behavior is the result of accountable personal choice rather than an inevitability deriving from deterministic forces.”

Ostensibly, the whole “Homosexuality is a lifestyle, not a state of being” thing.

Then, the school administration channels Harvey Milk and hurls the book at her… the pink one laced in nice chiffon.

Keeton was notified that she would be asked to participate in a remediation plan. Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, an associate professor who also oversees student education and discipline, explained that the faculty wanted to see Keeton’s writing skills improve and that they are concerned with some of her beliefs and views pertaining to GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) issues.

Has anyone cared to tell Ms. Anderson-Wiley that they are concerned with her blatant anti-Christian attitude? Of course not, because that would unconstitutional and unethical. But tell a student to go to summer school for gay sensitivity training and it’s just another dutiful day at Augusta State.

Americans have free speech and freedom of religion, unless that American is Christian and then your speech is subject by any idiot with a weed against God and your religion is held under a magnifying glass thanks to the public sins of a misdirected few.

What’s more aggravating is… you guessed it… where are all the Christians to say anything about it?!

The cross connects us... so why aren't Christians more connected.

Is there nothing that will unite us?

Say what you will about the GLBTQABCDEFG community but they are amalgamated and refuse to let anyone talk noise about them. Name a sociological group of people and nine times out of ten, they stick together like a family should.

However, welcome to the Church where we eat our young and treat the accosted members of our group like bastard children at a family reunion.

Anyone see a problem with this? Pastors? Body of Christ? Is this thing on? [Crickets].

“A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here,” said David French, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform.”

Yes indeed.

This story is national news. It is a clear attack against Christianity. And an egregious attempt to side step the U.S. Constitution. So, let’s try this again… do you care? If so, contact William A. Bloodworth, school president through his office at:

Judy Cooke ,
Assistant to the President
Rains Hall
706-737-1440
jnmorris@aug.edu

Or, for starters, tell your pastor. I double dog dare you because trust me, folks. And for the hate mongers, save your innocuous, non-sequitur comments. I don’t have a problem with gay people having equal rights. Everyone in this country is protected by the same freedom as I am. Only show people that disagree with you the same friggin’ courtesy! And Christians are the hypocritical ones?!

This is just the beginning and if you don’t learn to say something now, you will get trampled upon in the future. If I am going to get smashed, I am doing it swinging for Christ.

The Bible says, “With God all things are possible.” It’s such a shame that these days without God’s people, that’s hard to come by.

Plenty of headlines. Choose one.

8.5 percent.

Many don’t relate to the number of America’s unemployed. Mainly because percentages are faceless, unless you are one of them. Now add the statistics of those not receiving benefits any more because it’s been too long or those who were making a nice living and are now settling for sacking groceries.

Add those – the underemployed – and that terrible but nameless number spikes to 17 percent. To make it real, there are more than 309 million people in America. Doing the math, there are 54,075,000 people in this country dealing with the economy worse than most.

Now that’s real. And what is the Church doing about it? Praying about it? That’s sweet considering 10 percent of your church is probably one of these people in need of a miracle. Anything else?

An article from a Charisma magazine says we should doing much more in lieu of a government that is not:

With unemployment at record highs, churches and Christian organizations are stepping in to help job seekers both practically and spiritually. Ministries such as Florida-based Christian HELP and Career Solutions in Dallas began helping the unemployed find work long before the recession hit in 2008. But since the unemployment rate shot up, the groups say the ministry needs—and opportunities—are growing.

The Church is to be a place where we take care of each other, but how many churches have job boards in the bulletin or employment workshops on Wednesday nights? Prayer changes things… but so do prayerful people doing things.

“Most people don’t realize just how deeply affected people are, and the church is not doing near what it could do,” says [Career Solutions founder David Rawles, author of Finding a Job God's Way] Rawles, a former human resources executive at GTE and Disney who developed career coaching curriculum for churches.

It’s no secret the birth of this blog came as a result of being unemployed. I was begging God for something to do to bless him while I was waiting for him to bless me… and the ‘Wall’ happened.

That unemployment lasted many months and took quite a toll on my life. It’s bad enough if you are single dealing with it. Now, raise a family and be without work? It’s torturous and although I greatly appreciated the prayer, I would rather some hand me a business card, you know?

According to the article, some churches across the country are taking a cue from these necessary ministries and creating job placement groups for their congregations:

Entrepreneur Tim Krauss estimates that less than 40 percent of churches offer some form of employment ministry, but he hopes to change that through his Job Connection. The online service enables churches to list available jobs in their areas while weeding out scams. It costs $195 to set up, with a monthly service fee ranging from $95 for churches of 6,000 or less to $245 for larger congregations. So far, more than a dozen ministries are on board, including Willow Creek Community Church and Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, and Second Baptist Church in Houston.

If that investment is what it takes for your congregation, then it’s worth it. The Church is a safe haven for the hurting, and right now there are more than 54 million people hurting. And this is the pain that can cause addictions, divorce or even death.

Pastors and church leaders, I encourage you to consider a ministry like this in your church. You know some of the unemployed, but there are many more that may surprise you. Bring in community advocates, job placement experts, human resource recruiters and even hold a job fair for the community in your lobby.

Whatever you do, do something. Now is the time for the Church to stand up and lend a hand because that action alone could be the difference:

“At the very least [the ministry has] provided a better hope,” says [a facilitator of a similar church ministry in Michigan, Geoff] Brown, who became the first to find a job through the ministry. “And I think that’s the biggest thing I needed after nine months of unemployment—hope.

“Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”

Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral now $65 million in debt

Ironic, no?

It’s a quote of the dramatic many equate to some movie from the roaring 20s or some such, but not so fast. It’s actually one of the plethora of pop culture references that are really biblical writ.

The passage is from 2 Samuel 1:25 and it could so be the headline for many ills plaguing the Church today.

Take the plight of Robert Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral.

We have gone from Elder Schuller kicking his son clean out of the pulpit to the entire ministry being on its last gems dealing with $65 million in debt.

And now, according to the Orange County Register, some of those vendors are demanding their share of what’s left in the offering plate:

Over the last two months, three businesses, including an equipment financing company and two television stations, have filed lawsuits against the Crystal Cathedral stating that the megachurch owes them more than $2 million for services rendered. Several vendors who provided their services during the church’s “Glory of Christmas” pageant also came forward last month saying that they are owed tens of thousands of dollars.

I have worked with enough megachurches to know this is a rather unfortunate, but never-ending, trend. There is this feeling of “God will cover our bills… and our vendors” brooding in churches everywhere in this great land of ours, and most of that mentality finds a delta in the pastor’s office.

Although I am so completely resisting the yearn to hyperlink here, I know of one in particular that held a Christmas lights parade, signed a contract for the generators and never paid because (and this is a direct quote) “God wanted us to have this parade and he used that company to bring it.”

The ticket cost? More than $150,000.

From marketing to missions, the path to hell is not lined with good intentions. It’s unpaid vendor’s invoices from churches.

I wish I knew why this sanctimonious, impious attitude takes place, but despite the churches that do pay their bills, they are a barrel full of monkeys that don’t and just fling poo at the phone every time it rings.

Robert Schuller is now the 800 pound gorilla in the IRS room, and so, he sends his baby girl to do his bidding: beg for mercy.

Leaders of a financially distressed Crystal Cathedral met with vendors and creditors Friday morning to discuss possible debt payments, according to a statement issued by the megachurch’s current leader, Shiela Schuller Coleman, daughter of Cathedral founder, Robert H. Schuller.The purpose of the meeting was to gather all these vendors, suppliers and friends into one place and apologize for the delinquency of the accounts that we currently have with them,” Coleman said in her issued statement.

In the words of a sage sports prophet,Juuuuuuust a bit outside.”

MEMO to the Schullers – and any other pastors who enjoy fleecing vendors: “God bless you” don’t pay the bills!

You can’t call up the phone company and tell the man, “Um, please don’t turn off my cell. I need it for business. And besides, Robert Schuller asked for my forgiveness. Now you can’t shut off my… (dial tone)…” Don’t you think this mindless charade of an apology was a skosh overdue?

Vendors who attended Friday morning’s meeting said they had no idea there were so many creditors. When asked, cathedral administrators told them that there are as many as 185 creditors waiting in line to be paid.

That’s a lot of people wearing blind man glasses holding the ubiquitous pencil coffee cup saying, “Brother, can you spare a dime?”

And it’s not any fault of the people who call that church ‘home.” Their tithes and offerings go there. Their service is there. Yet, that money stays there. Well, at least it used to before a cavalcade of attorneys came walking down the aisle looking for a handout.

Maybe if that would have happened sooner, the church would still be open and vendors would have their bills paid for services rendered. You know, like they do in the real world. And folk say megachurches don’t need to be run like a business. Stories like this beg to differ.