Posts Tagged ‘religion’

As those of us who grew up in the black church know full well, things are done a little differently at times.

The Spirit needs to flow more heavily through a family member of the pastor. The big girl is kept in the choir to make it look bigger in some places. And every Sunday is a fashion show that would put ‘Operation Runway’ to shame.

New Birth pastor gets just that on the cover of Gospel Today magazineBut never have I seen something the likes of what Bishop Eddie Long has allegedly been doing in order to save face amidst some much needed PR.

Any Gospel Today subscribers in the house or on the Wall? Before you answer that proudly, check the latest cover story:

Bishop Eddie Long at the center of the scandal that rocked the church world.

According to the story I read in CNN’s Belief Blog, many subscribers were feeling like throwing this publication into the fiery furnace upon seeing – and reading – this article.

Some Gospel Today readers thought the magazine was downplaying  Long’s allegations, and others thought they shouldn’t have featured him at all. The biggest problem readers had was Long’s relationship with “Gospel Today” – he’s the chair of the magazine’s board.

Listen, I realize this phrase may not be in the Bible, but I believe the publication’s CEO “Dr.” Teresa Hairston needs to hear it anyway: “Conflict of interest.”

I’m sure that may have come up in journalism class. If not, then perhaps, “PAYOLA!”

How about that one?

Evidently, it didn’t and Ms. Hairston is popping her neck about this ballyhoo:

Hairston told readers that her magazine did not explore the legalities of the Long scandal, and chose instead to present a “biblical perspective.” Yeah, that’s quaint, namely when you pen this blast from your ivory towers:

Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long’s resignation! They’re not even members!!

Sorry. I’ll save that memo for the police and the lawyers of the alleged victims who are seeking justice on their behalf. Because if Long did half of what they accuse him of doing, a resignation is going to be the last thing they ask handed to them on a silver platter.

Write that. Pen that. Quote that.

Mess like this in the hallowed pulpits across America needs to cease immediately. We should demand more of our leaders and not become inundated with a feeling of “Yes man” and “People pleaser.” Our job is to worship the Lord and respect the elders of the Church… not the other way around.

Of course, the light’s on but no one is home unless this is “handled according to the Word of God.” I’m no Bishop, but here we go:

It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit. (Hebrews 2:1-4 MSG)

Yes, indeed. A MEMO to Eddie Long and Teresa Hairston: “Get a grip!” Don’t look at me. It’s in the Word of God.

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.

It’s been said, “There aren’t words large enough to describe Jesus.” Well, let’s make that real estate as well.

While Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, we have known our Savior also has a summer cottage in Rio de Janeiro. There he stands, high atop a mountain in a tropical climate becoming the centerpiece of postcards everywhere.

Giant Jesus in Poland

Jesus. Truly Above All Else!

Now, with real estate prices tanking, the time is ripe for the Lord to secure a winter home as well. And he found some prime real estate according to this story in USA Today.

Rev. Sylwester Zawadzki, the 78-year-old priest who created the statue said it rises 108 feet, or 33 meters — one meter for every year that Jesus lived. Other members of the construction team, however, gave differing figures. One said it rises 167 feet if you include a mound it sits on and the crown on the head. By comparison, the statue in Brazil’s Rio is 125 feet tall.

There’s some creative license, which is nice. Chiefly, Giant Jesus has a gold King’s crown fitting for a risen Savior versus the Crown of Thorns noted in every Catholic church across… well, Poland.

Apparently, the locals think Jesus making a home will be good for the local economy too:

They believe it will put their town of 22,000 on the map for tourists and Roman Catholic pilgrims and bring in needed money to renovate the historic buildings in the tiny town center.

“I am extremely proud,” said Danuta Gordzelewska, a 60-year-old who watched as the statue’s head was lowered into place.

Gordzelewska has donated money to the statue, which was funded by contributions from as far away as Canada. “It’s special to watch something being built that later generations will have.”

Yeah! Stimulate that, Congress. What! (Not a direct quote from the statue. Just sayin’.)

So, there he is.

In the humble Polish town of Swiebodzin stands the only begotten Son of God with arms open wide and becoming the bane of existence for all planes as the Lord refuses to leave the flight path for anyone.

Yes, Ghost Rider, the pattern is so righteous and full.

Jesus protect the Church from poor excuses for Christians

Movies like this wouldn't exist if there wasn't the need

Quick quiz: Think of a Christian who has a recent positive contribution to mankind. [Cue Jeopardy music]

No, not that guy. He died for your sins and does heavenly stuff like that everyday. Come on, someone else. Someone more… human. Yeah, that’s seems to be an issue going around.

According to the Denver Post, there’s a new Barna poll out there and the saints aren’t looking too well.

One in four Americans said they couldn’t think of a single positive societal contribution made by Christians in recent years, according to a nationwide survey released Monday. Also, one in 10 adults said they couldn’t think of a recent positive contribution because Christians hadn’t made one, the Barna Group reported.

Think about that: 25 percent of all Americans – many of which are saved – can’t think of one thing a Christian has contributed to society.

Why? That’s because most of the Christians they encounter are just “Christians.”

You know the type: Go to some milquetoast collection of sanctimonious, pretentious tools on Christmas, Mother’s Day and on Sundays after a weekend bender, get a feel good catch phrase the pastor found in a Bartleby’s collection book and go back to work acting like a total heathen all week long.
And those are most of the “Christians” considered in this highly biased poll. Regretfully. How do I know?

Barna researchers asked two open-ended questions: What were Christians’ recent positive contributions and what were the negative ones? “Overall,” researchers noted, “there was a more extensive and diverse list of complaints about Christians and their churches than there was of examples of the benefits they have provided to society.

This is what blows. Forget the amazing Christ followers who are being persecuted overseas. Ignore the missionaries in foreign lands translating the Bible and fulfilling the Great Commission. Avoid thinking about the millions of church volunteers who serve the Lord because there’s a need.

Yeah, give them all the Heisman! Let’s focus our energy on all the D-bags that selfishly fill up the pews of churches across the country and who make us all look bad.

Those folk aren’t doing us any favor, saints. Yet, what are we doing about it?

Maybe I am just speaking to thin air, but this concerns me a lot. What can I do to impact the world around me… and take away attention from the rest of these dolts. They’re not making a Christian life any easier.

The fraudulent televangelists. The pathetic pastors. The deplorable witnesses.

What’s even more upsetting is for every one of the aforementioned, there are a half dozen awe-striking stalwarts for the Gospel. You can find them in the mission field, on the job, at the church and yes, even on TV.

These questions were basic. The answers were terrible. The response? Well, that’s up to the rest of us (because it’s not like we can reach those big-time pastors on Twitter or anything. Just sayin’.)

Can you blame this church for calling a spade, a spade. Or better yet, the Church, a haven for a bunch of self-righteous jerks? Not me.

And apparently neither can Christ Covenant Church in Beaumont, Texas – the transparent refuge for a bunch of tools. Well, watch the video. You’ll understand:

Yes. WAY!

For centuries, the Church (yours, mine, just about everyone’s) has been under the collective microscope of every person outside of salvation. And why? The answer is as simple, as it is complex.

Think “The Great Commission.” Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)

The problem with this – and Jesus knew it when he put it into motion – is that evangelism is a sales job. We are promoting a better life with Christ Almighty. And the only the runaway sheep can find the shepherd is to follow him… and like-minded sheep.

Remember, sheep follow. And since they can’t physically see Christ, they have to go with the next best thing: Christ followers.

So, what happens if said Christ followers are – shall we say – “a bunch of jerks”? My guess is atheism will go through the roof… oh, would you look at that? It is! And it’s all our fault.

Yes, when Jesus said “Go therefore”, he knew very well what it was there for, only he wanted us to get out of the way. We didn’t, and that’s why thought-provoking churches like this one in Beaumont, Texas are calling us all out.

“Jerks.” Well, we’ve been called a lot worse. Now, we need to fix it and the church’s lead minister has a nice idea.

“How do we tell this community that we want to be different? This is like our mea culpa. We know we’ve failed,” said Chris Beard, the church’s lead minister.

I know. I know. Some of you are too sanctimonious to have this junior-section, Affliction-wearing t-shirt guy speak for you, but unless the lost realize the fraudulent televangelists, the hypocritical pastors, the two-faced Christians out there (and you know who you are) do not speak for us, then evangelism will continue to be a difficult proposition these days.

After all, what is the number one cause for atheism and cynicism these days? Christians. Well, the jerks.