Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

I’m under attack.

This was the summation of Bishop Eddie Long’s long-awaited and legally approved response from the much ballyhooed pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. As if the swolled Bishop had a kingdom resting atop Stone Mountain in Georgia, he gives yet another aged rally cry used from scandalous preachers in the past.

It’s the most ragged page out of their ruddy playbook. You see, it’s not the sin they committed; it’s the fiendish acts Satan has committed against them.

At least, that’s what they want you to believe because why else would the media, the lawsuits and the cries of a rather perturbed country come against the “Mand of Gawd?” See for yourself:

From the Washington Post story referred earlier:

“Please hear this: I have been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know that I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” said Long, who also preached a short sermon on surviving painful times. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” the bishop said to roaring applause as he dropped his microphone on the pulpit with a thud, took his wife Vanessa’s hand and left the stage.

The story forgot to mention the rose petals thrown at his feet, the serfdom bowing at his presence and the trumpets saluting his retreat in the sunset as well.

Leave the pomp and circumstance aside, it doesn’t take away the fact that this is yet another alleged and shamed preacher who used the power of God given to him for the service of the Lord’s kingdom to use for his own megalomaniacal purposes.

There is another serious problem:

Long never directly said he is innocent, but he made clear that he would not leave New Birth, and church leaders vowed to stick by him. “We stand behind our pastor. And there is a period behind that,” church elder Darius Wise said.

We are but sheep, right? And sheep are known for one other thing, besides providing some sweet sweaters… they love the taste of Kool-Aid. Regardless of the flavor, it all tastes the same. Whatever the Mand of Gawd says it tastes like, that’s the winner.

Eddie Long vows to fight the drama

Bishop Eddie Long, left, embraces a friend Sunday at his Georgia megachurch. 'I am not a perfect man. But this thing I'm going to fight," he said.

The man never avowed his innocence and allegiance for the Lord, only that he will fight for his own kingdom. Doesn’t he realize there is more at stake than the precious TV rights provided him by TBN and Daystar?

He has a family, a congregation, a gaggle of supporters… and oh yeah, the lives of four young men who believe Bishop Eddie Long used his authority in the Gospel to rape them.

That leaves quite the scar on one’s spiritual upbringing, you know. And there’s the tragedy with the megachurch these days.

They are not led by God, just for him.

Man, full of ruddy clay, riddled with angst and heaping with drama run these edifices… and are surrounded by a heaping troupe of Yes men.

Who will tell these dolts, “No.” If they value their job, not a soul. And whose to say what God is saying to these egomaniacs. Not all leaders of huge churches have this personality, but we have seen many that do… and they all follow the same playbook when confronted with scandal.

What’s the harm in taking a sabbatical to properly deal with this mess? Go away, get better and get beyond this drama. Think that will happen… uh, no.

And why? There is no competition for his throne. He has a legion of lawyers to protect him if there is an overtaker among the peons. And you waited a week to deliver your “David and Goliath” speech (of which the lawyers have used in statements as well).

Shoot, I was expecting “Unleash hell” sans the Maximus brutality. “Taking  authority” is his fabled tagline after all. Although I think the dude just needs to take a much needed vacation.

Yet, there he goes, off in his Bentley and a sack of five stones at his leisure. Hope you and your legal team have good aim, Bishop Long. Because if you miss, there are more than 25,000 people who will fall with you.

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!

Imagine: You are not one of those hypocritical nutbags who picket abortion clinic and fancies the occasional bombing, all under the guise of God’s love.

Instead, you are a nun… who is the administrator at a hospital… and one of your patients is 27-years-old, pregnant and about to die. The catch? The delivery of the fetus will kill her.

As children of God, we are taught to value life. Now, you either value the one dying on a hospital bed or the one said fainting soul is about to deliver.

Confused? Watch the tape from CNN:

Nevermind WWJD for now. What would you do?

The local Catholic diocese knew what they would do – they excommunicated the nun “automatically.” There’s the love of God for you. Keeping it classy, Phoenix Catholic guy:

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

Listen, I despise abortion and I think most girls and women who get them flippantly do so without considering the grave consequences, the impending guilt and the fact that they are just using a doctor’s tool as after-the-fact birth control for a casual night of having fun in most cases.

Exception? Meet the golden rule. At least where narrow-minded Catholic bishops are concerned.

The battle for human life isn't always an easy one to explain

Sometimes, you just want to run head first into the sign, right?

Here lies a woman with her entire life in front of her, and with a cancerous uterus that is choking that precious life out of her. She is pregnant and if that baby is born, it will do so without her mother from day one.

Did Sister McBride make the right decision? Did she pay little regard for one life to save another? Do you even care because all you hear is “Blah blah blah… abortion… blah blah blah.”

On one hand, you have the hospital – a Catholic hospital – backing Sister McBride’s decision:

“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper [USA Today].

Then, we have head of the local diocese who could care less:

“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.”

Sister McBride had to make a split-second decision despite the scowl of her boss upstate. She didn’t have time to consult her Monsignor in a time of despair. She couldn’t say 18 rosaries before the baby time of gestation was up. The clock was ticking and two lives were in jeopardy.

She made a choice, and for that moment of sheer anguish, she was given her walking papers and kicked clean out of the Catholic Church. Nice.

Never mind the theological impunity Catholics believe they have to kick a child of God out of his or her home. It’s wrong, but blame anathema I suppose?

Would God ever disown a child who has accepted the blood of Jesus? No.

Believing this stance was probably too wussified, the Pontiff’s bible architects of the Middle Ages believed the Papacy should exercise the right to oust someone from the graces of the church because of a grievous slip-up. And the rest is history.

So, um, who is excommunicating all the predators inside the Catholic Church? No one, you say? Moving on…

Father Kevin O’Rourke, a canon lawyer at Loyola University in Chicago, is familiar with McBride’s case and say it is “very unusual” for a nun to be excommunicated. He says, “In order to have an excommunication be valid, the person has to act out of deliberate desire to violate the law…there has to be malice involved.” O’Rourke says there doesn’t appear to be malice involved in Sister McBride’s decision.

If you are so hell-bent on bashing this woman, then show me the malice in this story.

She’s not one of those twisted counselors who guide a 16-year-old girl away from parental reason just to have a “simple procedure.” This is a nun caught in a metaphysical tug-of-war and I don’t think you will hear any arguments from the woman whose live she saved as a result.

Yes, the agony of losing a child is beyond something to bare. Tell that to the girl’s parents who would have lost their daughter if the baby was delivered. No one wins.

The moral of the story is: there are no moral absolutes here. As Christians, we have to accept shades of gray, don’t we? Because if you can color this story in only black and white, I would like to introduce you to a spiritual box of 64 crayons and abruptly stick your head in the sharpener.

There is no right or wrong in situations like this. 50% of the people affected will be hurt and offended. And only one person gets blamed for it.

However, instead of cloaking the nun in the arms of a loving Savior, for whom she has dedicated her entire adult life; the Catholic Diocese would rather use said arms, wax WWE and clothesline the hell out of her.

Now that was a wrong decision. Think anyone is going to hold the Bishop accountable? Meh?

Sister McBride is taking her exile in stride by taking the high road – no comment, no post thoughts. Although she is no longer considered “Catholic”, she is still very much “Christian.”

And isn’t that what really matters?

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.

We all know Jesus is awesome at work, for work.

For most, if you side with righteousness in the commercial marketplace, you will get righteous sales. That’s a non-issue because the body of Christ may be many things, but one thing is irrefutable – we are loyalists to a fault. If it smells like a duck, we will quack all the way to the express lane to get a feathered friend on sale.

But now, Jesus is becoming passe as secular nitwits are using the Son of God to shill instead of be sacred. For example, PETA goes butt naked with supermodels looking like angels. Every faith-based entity has a stolener, borrowed marketing slogan of its own. Megachurches are trying to become the “big box chain store in the sky.” And let’s not forget the Holy See going iPope.

Everyone has a gimmick and it seems Jesus is being forced to become Donald Trump, pimping ideas and lending his name to everything in sight.

Lindsay Lohan Superstar

What’s new? Enter Lindsay Lohan, the narcotized and stupefied starlet who seems to yearn for “Groundhog Day” in an effort to recreate her 15 minutes of fame.

According to the UK celeb rag OK!, Lohan has decided to rock the crucifixion pose for a French fashion magazine. Because when I think of hot holy water, I dream of Lindsay.

Quite naturally, Bill Donahue with the Catholic League, was ready at the mic to drop his two cents down the gullet of Lohan:

“Not only is the pose inappropriate, the timing is offensive” because the sacred season of Lent starts next week, Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League. “The “spiritually homeless” Lohan recently Tweeted that “i’m all about Karma…what goes around comes around.”

He continued: “If she believes that, then it behooves her to apologize to Christians before it’s too late.”

Aside from the lack of taste and judgment, why?

I mean, what are you sporting for fashion? The latest in finely shewn, camel-haired togas… just like back in the days of JC and the Boyz?!

The girl is no Madonna. Or Kayne West for that matter. So is it a symbolic attempt to resurrect a dead career, or is the girl truly crying out not to be left behind?

This poor doltish girl has journeyed from Kabbalah to Judaism, Christianity to Scientology. And now, she’s gone Vogue with Jesus.

Perhaps Mr. Donahue should attempt his hand at sign language interpretation because those hands are open for a reason. Whatever the case, this ill-advised ingenue is trying to say something for her salvation. It’s just too bad no one that cares knows what it is.