Posts Tagged ‘compromise’

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.

That sound you hear is millions of Christians staring at their Thomas Kinkade tchotchkey-du-jour in their house and hurling a plate of nachos at it. CRASH!

Thomas Kinkade gets his own picture - a mug shot

Looks like that 'light' is shining too brightly into his bloodshot eyes

Yes, it’s true. The great talent. The anointed vessel. The child of God Thomas Kinkade, affectionately known as “The Painter of Light,” evidently had a mind that went dark when he took the wheel while seriously under the sauce, thanks to FOX News:

Police initially pulled over the Mercedes driven by artist Thomas Kinkade in the city of Carmel last weekend because the car didn’t have a front license plate, Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Richards told The Herald.

Police then detected the smell of alcohol and conducted a sobriety test during which Kinkade, 52, “displayed signs of impairment to the officer,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Robert Lehman said.

Doh! Seriously? What’s this dude thinking? I’m sorry but he’s a painter. Did he think “Don’t you know who I am” would work, because odds are if you must ask that question, they probably don’t know who you are.

MEMO to the Man in the Mug: You’re Thomas Kinkade, not some frat boy on a two-day binge. What are you doing? Yes, Jesus forgave you the minute you began sipping but there are many holders of your precious, illuminated artwork that may have forced them to forget you.

Toxicology tests are still pending, but take a gander at the beleaguered artist here. Although he appears a few fries short of a happy meal, this guy can throw down on a buffet, and that means he gets thirsty.

Yes, he was hammered. Yes, he will try to fight this. Yes, he will blame medication. And no, many folk won’t believe him.

Thomas Kinkade and a roll of toilet paper. Funny stuff.

Thomas' believes in the rock and his name is on the... what again?

In fact, in a Christian book store in my fare burgh, would you believe his art was “taken to the back for business reasons?” Yes way. Christian folk can be some of the most narrow-minded, yes? Too bad I love them. Many folk think I am a tool as well.

Kinkade’s art has now slid down the value meter and could end up as Exhibit A if he just ignores this ever happened… that is, until we get a nice discount.

God’s people are far from being perfect, but you have to be smarter than that to cover up for your own humanity.

Poor guy. What kind of picture does this paint for “America’s Most Collected Living Artist”? My guess it looks like a Picasso right now.

By the looks of national TV ratings, not many people have been watching the “Miss USA” pageant for the past… decade.

And with the exception of Carrie Prejean and her Christian eh, purchased endowments, no one on earth could name the last nine Miss USAs, save Donald Trump. And he could only do it with his wife’s help.

Enter newly crowned Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih. Come on down! You’re the contestant on “Something is just not right.”

Sure, she's cute... but look behind her mosque.

According to ABC News (and the aforementioned link… with video), the triumphant walk for the new Miss USA took her straight into controversy as a Muslim woman who flaunts her beauty, and who once flaunted it so well she won a stripper contest.

Shortly after the release of pictures showing Fakih cradling a dozen roses across her strapless white dress while balancing a shimmering tiara on her head, came photos of Fakih in red short shorts, a tiny tank top and towering stilettos while balancing against a pole.

Fakih won the “Stripper 101″ contest which was sponsored by a Detroit radio show Mojo in the Morning in 2007.

Well, good times. Had this mess came out about Prejean before the gay marriage hullabaloo, she would have been lampooned. But then again, her mouth and insatiable appetite deserved that ire anyway.

But here is this nice little Muslim girl, and because we can’t hate on any other religion sans those associated Jesus Christ, this ‘private dancer’ gets a pass for earning a quick buck.

Keep it classy, America.

However, since Christians aren’t allowed to espouse any views against this flashdance, then what about her homies in Hezbollah? According to FOX News, meh?

In an interview Tuesday with Lebanese television, Hezbollah official Hassan Fadlallah reportedly had few glowing words to describe Fakih, who became the first Muslim American on Sunday to secure the crown. “The criteria through which we evaluate women are different from those of the west,” Fadlallah told the television station, AFP reported.

In other words, “We haven’t seen the tape yet, but when we do, her USO tour will be interesting.”

Of course, even comparing her with Hezbollah, the hub for terrorism is a farce… and a conservative one at that. Thanks CNN:

“Absolutely not,” Fakih told CNN’s Octavia Nasr. “That is a stereotype and a prejudiced statement made by only one reporter who had made that title before I was crowned Miss USA.” The blogger’s accusation “was completely made up out of her own prejudiced mind,” she said.

So, back to the stripping.

Anyone outraged by this? Not so much because only the people who work for Donald Trump and the families of contestants seem to watch this mess any longer.

However, it is alarming how many people aren’t talking about this. Typically, that number directly reflects the many people who were lighting their torches and arming themselves with pitchforks over what we believed was a kind-hearted Christian speaking her mind and faith.

Can anyone say, “Double standard.”

What Fakih is no more worse than half the women who begin as drunken troglodytes during Spring Break and end up as fodder for “Girls Gone Wild” or something they will surely regret when they reach… sobriety.

Heck, she was wearing more clothes in the video than on stage during the swim suit competition. The premise is the flagrant double standard.

The winners of this competition used to be positioned for role model-hood. Entertaining the masses while showing girls around the world how to be a dignified woman with purpose and passion.

Instead, with the inclusion of silicon valley (no, not the tech place in California) and scruples so elastic, I could slingshot a canoe with them, the Miss USA contest is no more than a contest for 15 minutes and an opportunity to get lots of swag in the name of yourself.

Is that the Arab-American way? Nah, but she’s a step in the right direction. Unfortunately.

In life, there are certain signs that are visible; yet silent that scream “Danger Will Robinson” as your brain begins to go into screen saver mode much more frequently. Things such as:

  1. Folk calling you at 7 p.m. and their first sentence is, “I didn’t wake you, right?”
  2. The term “Good Grass” now only applies when discussing the neighbor’s lawn.
  3. You pee every morning like clockwork at 6:30 a.m. – only you don’t wake up until 8 a.m.
The connection from church to gay isn't that far for some priests

I post. You decide. And possibly giggle.

Another is when you are successful, powerful, influential and suddenly… you hire a lawyer?! Really? Such is life for one Joseph “Pope B16″ Ratzinger, according to this article from Yahoo! and AP.

Everything is groovy at St. Peter’s Basilica. You know, the guys in funny suits harking to every whim, a nation at your disposal and a world as your footstool for those kicking red shoes (this ain’t Kansas anymore, B. Word. Up.)

Until one day, Il Papa gets a call that his righteous judgment is in question about a serial child molester who was never defrocked, much less punished by law. Oh, and you were the one at the helm when it happened over a period of one… or two… eh, decades.

And so, in a fit of divine inspiration and sublime panic, the Vatican realizes God isn’t enough protection for this ballyhoo:

But as the Vatican reels from a swirling clerical sex abuse crisis, the Holy See has turned to an unusual advocate: a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley, Calif., whose obscure interest in sovereign immunity law and fluency in Italian landed him the job of the pope’s U.S. lawyer.

There’s a mantra in public relations that says, “Perception is reality.” So, which one is this?

Does the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church just need some legal advice or is there something to hide? Is he sweeping something under that big funny hat of his or just in need of a friend who happens to understand this enigmatic “sovereign immunity law”?

[His] latest project: defend Pope Benedict XVI against allegations that he personally, and the Vatican generally, turned a blind eye to decades of rapes and molestation of children by priests. The Vatican has vehemently denied such reports, saying the pope has done more than anyone to root out abusers.

“What is most important for people to know is that he does understand, that his heart is moved,” Lena said. “He has seen the files, he gets it, and indeed he got it long before most others did.”

Yet, there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room wearing a nice, flowing robe, blinging with some gold-encrusted crucifix and that nice, silk beanie missing the twirling propeller. We know when confronted with a sinister man who sexually abused hundreds of deaf boys – and admitted it – the once Cardinal Ratzinger was more concerned about the media hit than the welfare of the acolytes.

To borrow a slogan, "They need hope and change."

And now? It seems the Holy See is still concerned about the perception instead of the reality.

I appreciate his recent tearful homily in Malta where the Pope said he would “seek justice for pedophile priests and implement effective measures to protect young people from abuse.” However, if you knew the Catholic Church had so many raging freaks on the down low, why not come out swinging the moment the black smoke billowed in the Vatican sky?

Is this apoplectic concern because you are tired of the madness, or just sick of being called out for it?

Pope Benedict even visited some of these victims. According to the USA Today story:

“He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future,” the Vatican statement said.

I applaud that. I get that. But there’s still that lawyer thing. Out of nowhere is a simple man who probably smells of Chai tea, fresh ink and day-old Brut cologne. Yet, he is the appointed counsel for the Holy See… who is supposed to getting his counsel from our holy Father.

Lawyers provide protection, comfort and peace in the midst of a tumultuous storm, but is that necessary unless you are out in a boat amidst a hurricane? The Vatican certainly is getting pelted with a flurry of law suits, and rightly so. However, there is a demand for stronger action against these freaks who abuse innocent boys.

Please? Defrocking a priest is a slap on the wrist compared to the righteous judgment they deserve; yet that doesn’t even happen to some of these dudes with soiled collars.

There are good priests, phenomenal in their church and communities who watch this mess and know their names are stained because of the work of these dolts. Those bad seeds should be plucked out and exposed for the fools they are, but instead, their fearless leader gets legal representation.

It just smacks more of hiding than fighting… and in a time of despair, there needs to be some righteous indignation and holy fisticuffs coming from the Papal offices. Instead, we get a sinewy finger pointing in our direction as if it’s our fault.

Consider this story from USA Today and a report from the Pope demanding “We must repent.”

“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent,’ which seemed too tough,” ANSA [the Pontifical News Agency] quoted Benedict as saying. “But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives.”

Sorry my brother but we need to repent daily for our sins… but this ain’t one of them. Enough posturing, blaming and running. People demand backbones from their leaders – not wishbones.

The Papal office is supposed to be the divine revelation of God. What the Catholic Church needs, nee should demand is for that office to become the divine representation of God as well.

And that is something not found in a legal brief or a courtroom. It comes with prayer, repentance and an earnest desire to hearken to the Spirit of God. If there is anyone on this planet who is capable of focusing on God’s will, it’s this guy. Church – and I mean all of us – we need to pray for the Pope as never before.

Lord Jesus, bring peace to this petulance. Bring hope for the hurting. Bring a solution for the suffering.

Whether you attend a Catholic Church, this guy needs our support because there are more than a billion ardent people looking to Rome for an answer and some action. They don’t need to see legal writ or spin control. They need action and an unction from Pope Benedict to put an end to this sardonic behavior, face the evil that it is and sick the legion of heaven on it.

Heck, I saw “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” I know that can happen. Perception is reality. Remember?

Maybe he can add a baptismal to give it credibility?

So, aside from his regular global telecasts, annual believers’ conventions and running his ministry from high atop a hill in North Texas, it seems Kenneth Copeland has been wheelin’ and dealin’ with his local government.

And that always makes for a salty headline when discussing a “mand of Gawd.”

According to the AP, the Tarrant County tax appraisal district has agreed to exempt the $3.3 million jet owned by Kenneth Copeland Ministries from property taxes. Get that? “Agreed” to do it. There was kissing up and shilling done under the table here.

Again, always good to hear when discussing a televangelist.

The Tarrant Appraisal District’s concession is at the heart of a settlement reached with the Newark-based television evangelist’s ministry last week. KTVT-TV of Fort Worth and Dallas reports the district also agreed to drop its requirement of salary information on the ministries’ directors.

See there? While little man here is in his staff meeting thanking God for his faithfulness, what lies at the heart of this matter is he had to rob Peter to pay Paul. How shady… and oh yeah, un-televangelistic like… is that?!

Essentially, Kenneth Copeland has been at the center of a vicious mudslinging federal investigation led by Sen. Charles Grassley where he wanted to know what was being used for God and how these six televangelists could bling like a New York City rapper.  A good metric for his suspicions would be to discover what he is paying his top executives (because you know his rank-and-file is making minimum wage or anointed food stamps).

Tarrant County thought that was a good idea so they took Grassley’s hand off and ran for the end zone. And, of course, they wanted to spike said ball down Copeland’s gullet. And wouldn’t  you know it, an agreement was made.

KCM agrees that the plane isn’t “totally” used for ministry activities and his triple-figure board of directors can be kept in seclusion – for now. Classy, and completely reeking of spirituality.

I suppose it’s a good thing that he made the jet his – and his alone. Why? Because when the cops come barreling down his door for tax evasion or some other ballyhooed IRS activity, he’ll be “leave-ing on a jet plane… and don’t know when [he'll] be coming back again.”

Ah, I love the classics.