Posts Tagged ‘family’

Benny Hinn and Paula White red handed, literally

I love my pastor, but I ain't holding his hand!

Sounds so seedy, doesn’t it?

Both went to Rome for a Vatican getaway, allegedly at the Pontiff’s behest (yeah, like he needs her advice).

So when all of the sudden out of the catacombs arrives an ill-mannered paparazzi photographer and snapped the two during their Italian tryst shopping for a glove that fit for two, the evangelical world stopped on a dime.

Naturally, both “independently determined” this report was utter poppycock (although they repeated each others’ press release), and the news kept on coming. From blogs to mainstream Christian media, no one believed them and everyone doubted them.

Hinn is a husband scorned by an ex-wife who thinks her own miniskry is taking off and White… well, she thinks she is at a swap meet outside Compton most of the time anyway so we will just move on.

Indubitably, they both took a hit and considering both are in the news more for what they are not doing for the Gospel, I would say this could create a ripple in the financial blessings of both of their worlds. Something had to be done… and wouldn’t you know it?

Benny Hinn came forward in an exclusive with Charisma magazine. Well, kinda.

Evangelist Benny Hinn recently admitted at a crusade in Oakland, Calif., to having a “friendship” with fellow minister Paula White while he’s still married after a tabloid pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13. But the well-known healing minister says the relationship is over.

Paula White and Benny Hinn still just friends

Yes, we're single and we like to mingle.

So, here’s a thought:

Brother Benny, what in the world do you call the “things” you have with fellow male ministers in the TBN circuit? Holy Ghost encounters?

No, you call them friendships, you dolt. You know, like the rest of the world.

You may roll with the Holy Ghost a lot more than most of us, but I’m fairly certain that doesn’t mean you are smarter than the rest of us.

Here’s a news flash – I’m married, and I have “friendships”. With women. [Cue scary music]. And guess what, I don’t fly them to Rome to buy Gucci, fool.

But just in case the Church wasn’t on to the rouse Captain Nehru was exhibiting, there’s more to this uh, “confession”:

“A friendship did develop,” Hinn said of White in Oakland on July 30. “Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.”

Dude, your wife split and Paula left her man while he was sick and bankrupt. A classy catch she does not make, but meh? Whatever floats your coifed hairpiece… eh, hairdo.

So, you were friends, big deal. MEMO to Benny Hinn’s internal PR-ish department: I have friends and I don’t fly their narrow behinds to Rome and hold hands longingly. Friends don’t let friends get caught by the National Enquirer. Only “Hollywood lite” folks with too much time on their hands. Well, in this case… in their hands. (Thanks, I’m here until Tuesday.)

To wrap up the interview, we have the most real words Hinn echoed:

“I don’t care how strong you are,” Hinn added. “I don’t care if the anointing of God is mighty on you. Nobody wants to be alone. I don’t care who you are. I am a human being just like you.”

Yes, Brother Benny. Yes, you are. You stink like us. You mislead like us. You lie like a dog like us. And you did all of them with this report.
“Birds of a feather flock together” is an old adage for a reason. It’s been true for so many years. You know who marries cops? Lots of other cops. Lawyers? That’s right, attorneys and the occasional paralegals.

So, why is it so hard to believe that national televangelists would not find more than just “common ground” in each other’s company?
That’s understandable… still rather gross, but at least we get it.

Admit that and you gain respect. Admit to a harrowing “friendship” as if you are some eunuch with a slow pulse and people laugh at you even more. Surely, you must have asked the Holy Ghost that one.

Well, then again, maybe not.

When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. (Acts 2:1-4 MSG)

Yeah, those were the good ol’ days, eh?

Today, the church spends cash, not time, to muster God

Courtesy: Jews for Jesus

Folk gathered together. In one accord even. Ready to worship God just because he is God.

They were not concerned about what tunic to wear in case “that saint” sees them. They did not get all up in a stiff wind when Captain Christian walks by and does not call on them to be the fill-in usher.

No, these were people who loved Jesus because he loved them, didn’t have sins in the closet (largely because they didn’t know how to hide them) and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t matter what song was playing softly in the background, they could still press in and experience Christ.

It seems people are spending all kinds of cash to bring God down to their level instead of time in prayer to get the Church to go up to his level. That should not be. Big churches are nice only if they can be broken down one small church at a time.

These days? Not so much.

People are pretentious, megalomaniacal, self-centered and disinterested in dealing with common prayers. And those are just a smattering of today’s megachurch pastor. Let’s not discuss the “Sunday brunch attending, no manners having, get on my last nerves being” saints just warming a pew. Lord have mercy.

There are some that desire to touch the hem of his garment still, which is why, according to this story in the Denver Post and Yahoo! News, some folk are leaving the church and deciding to be the Church elsewhere.

Megachurch, meet microchurch. Growing numbers believe the tiny house church, also called a simple church or an organic church, might be the mightier transformer of Christian lives. A recliner becomes a pulpit. A sofa and some armchairs serve as pews… The key element is that the group is small enough for everyone to participate fully and to connect intimately. In this, the new followers believe, they are like the earliest Christians, who also met in small groups in homes.

See through a brand to get to the man Jesus

Go to the Golden Gates! Not the Arches.

To many Christians these days, size indeed does not matter. And egos are still in check. People no longer want to sit in a cozy chair and hear about Jesus. They want to get involved in a group and experience Jesus!

They aren’t interested in “Mr. Megachurch’s Ego Boost Tower of Babel.” They believe they have as much right into the Holy of Holies as the guy with the stained collar does. So why not demand it, or better yet, change your surroundings to demand it? Many already are, but why now?

Religion surveyors, theologians and other experts say millions of American adults are experimenting with new forms of spiritual communities. Many are abandoning traditional church because, among many reasons, the Americanized church has become, for them, too corporate and consumeristic.

Odd, isn’t it?! America sits through church on Sundays minding their watch religiously. And why? To get to Luby’s.

Sunday is not about an embrace; it’s about a brand. Worshiping God is not about the music carrying you into heaven; it’s having a concert with eardrum splitting decibels so loud, you can shout to heaven.

There are ATMs in churches. Starbucks in churches. Merry go rounds in churches. And I get it, so spare the rhetoric of “we need to attract the lost before we bring them to Jesus.” Yes, but you are allowing the church to do all the work.

Get that? “WE bring them to Jesus.” Not the church, not the church’s accutrements, not the megachurch pastor’s whimsical way with ministering the Gospel. All that is fluff. It is about you getting off your blessed assurance and making the invite.

Perhaps that invite would be easier to someone’s living room than a nouveau riche ‘Upper Room’? Who knows?

“It’s kind of seen as an alternative or radical kind or approach,” [Reggie McNeal, church consultant] said. “An increasing number of people are saying that they don’t want to go to (any) church so there better be a way for church to just be where people already are.”

By and large, folk are tired of being fake and wearing a mask. They already do it to work, around “Friends” and even at home. Let us begin to be real at church and if you can’t, perhaps you should consider finding another place to worship.

Only understand this: There is no perfect church, only a perfect Jesus. Serve wherever. Worship whenever. Pray however. But, for the love of God, if you can’t do any of that in the privacy of your own home, church is nothing but lip service.

Spare the Carmex, folks and get real with Jesus!

Ever heard people say to plan for Christmas, you should begin in the summer? That phenomenon is already happening and raising quite the kerfuffle in the global media.

But for the ubiquitous festive stocking of the yuletide shelves that you would think.

Jesus ad campaign depicting the holy fetus?

So, what happens when this one says "Da-Da!"

First seen on KDFW in Dallas, by way of the UK’s Telegraph, it seems a British-based organization is not only interested in taking another ‘invasion’ but also doing with the Christ child taking a Polaroid… while in-utero.

ChurchAds.net has concocted what they believe to be a quippy ad campaign with the headline, “He’s on his way!”

Francis Goodwin, chairman of ChurchAds, said: ”This is the kind of thing proud ‘parents-to-be’ show their friends and family – passing round the scan of the baby, or even pinning it up in the office. Our poster reflects this new way of announcing the news of a new arrival and places the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context.”

“Ultra-contemporary.” Sweet.

I agree the pregnancy became tangible when I got the print off in two versions of my first child – one, when I saw the full body and two, when I saw the close-up of his business. (What a proud daddy!)

But, do you think Mary would know that her baby boy would one day be posted on a sonogram-ish advertisement plastered all over the UK? Although this is good for the giggle, I feel you ChurchAds.net.

Here’s why:

Research has revealed that 85 per cent of people agree with the statement that “Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country”. But it also shows that only 12 per cent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail.

Folk still pray to Santa-Baby-Jesus-Claus thinking salvation comes in a wrapped box. They’re not as ignorant as they are apathetic.

I applaud efforts like this because at least they are trying to wake folk up and make them think. Albeit, six months early, people are definitely thinking.

Parents? What do you think? The superimposed halo kinda’ throw you off? Don’t let it. Just think about it like this: Jesus really isn’t ‘away in a manger’, he’s warm and cozy in another kind of inn.

Merry Christmas.

Marriage has been considered sacrosanct among Christ followers, cardinal among people of faith. So why can’t more Christians stay married?!

Come on, people. Yous gots some ‘splainin’ to do, according to this recent article by WOW News’ The Voice.

According to the article, marriage goes deeper than the ubiquitous 50 percent end in divorce. We get that, but on a quest to find love and catch lightning in a bottle, a few people in the Church are shattering that bottle not only once, but twice with 67 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages not making the cut.

In the words of a stoic and much-maligned street poet, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

Laura Baker, founder of Prasso Ministries, says that people who divorce once are likely to do it again because they are searching for identity in another person’s love instead of the love of their Heavenly Father…

“It’s easy to think that the answer is in a new relationship, but if the person is looking for their identity in the love of another person, the relationship is likely to fail,” Baker says. “Our identity can only successfully be found in the love of our Heavenly Father and in the identity He provides. Once that is settled, new relationships have a chance to flourish.”

Here. Here.

Divorce is so common in the church that seeing a “Divorce Care” group plastered on the marquee doesn’t even make the pastor flinch. This is a pandemic issue that makes the Swine Flu seem like the common cold.

Shoot, some good-intending folk in the Church have even created kitschy terms to cover divorce, like calling people “Re-single.” Cute, and would spouses then become “pre-used”?

Although some marriages in the Church last about as long as a test drive, it seems many consider marriage as a leased relationship – if you get tired of it, hand in the keys for a new one.

Why are Christians so quick to give up? I’m not talking the women in an abusive relationship or people that get married to one person who is a polar opposite of the shrew they became. I mean the “irreconcilable differences” crowd. That just means you two can’t get along and are sick and tired of being sick and tired, so its kaputz for all that “for better or worse” crap.

Does My Fair Lady get on my nerves? You bet. And trust me, the feeling can be mutual but we meant business when we got married. She is all that, and that’s as good as it gets for me. We will not separate because God said that we should not separate. If he wants that, he will back it up with his blessing, right?

“Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).

While I applaud people for trying to find love and working to find a passion that was lost, look in your own marriage first not in the butterflies of some hottie batting eyelashes at you. Temptation – whether it’s the chocolate in the checkout lane or the seductress checking your groceries – is from the devil. And why would God bless any union devised on those roots?

Dearly departed, avowed atheist and genius comic George Carlin once quoted:

“I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?

Only if you mean it, brother. Just saying.

Christmas is a time to gather with family, eat like a glutton, think about the Christ child… and how he lived. How many Jesus movies did you watch this past week?

Me? 516. At least it felt that way with every church party I visited. I enjoy them wholeheartedly but after the 200th time, maybe its claim to the “Greatest Story Ever Told” wanes a skosh.

Anywhoo, during those wonderful films, I began thinking of all the people who claim they don’t believe in God; yet, they can be heard referring to “Jesus’ day.” How do they really know anyway?!

A Jewish home in the shadows of the Church of the Annunciation. Ironic. (Source: Dan Balilty, AP)

Then, this story from USA Today comes out and I now have a referral point to that ubiquitous time in history.

Archaeologists said Monday that they unearthed remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that dates to Jesus’ era, a simple structure of two rooms and a courtyard, said Yardenna Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

I love how the aforementioned folk who don’t believe in Jesus of Nazareth are fascinated by everything else in Nazareth.

While these diligent archaeologists are not claiming it is the house where Jesus lived specifically, a young Jesus may have played around the house with cousins and friends, Alexandre said.

MEMO to the Pulpit Pimps and False ‘Profits’ out there: it’s okay to admit Jesus didn’t come from riches, but rags.

This was a modest community – you know, living in dirt homes, wearing tattered tunics and driving camels. And for many in Christendom, that now visual fact could bring healing to the millions who feel a seed here and keeping up with the Joneses there have done nothing but destroy their credit… and their faith.

Yes, later in life, you can argue the Christ-child wasn’t doing that bad financially.  Spare the doxology and psychobabble, this isn’t that kind of post.

My prayer is we can all take from this discovery and confirm where the Gospel message’s focus should be – it’s about who you are and are destined to be, not what you have and what you are determined to get.

That… or call Hollywood and claim we have the makings of a new movie, “Jewish Boyz in the Hood.” Nice.