Archive for August 6, 2008

The naval sojourner known to the masses as Popeye once exclaimed, “That’s all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.”

So like the anchor clanker, I must let off some steam, eats me spinach and hum “Anchors Away” as I feverishly type. This should be a doozie.

Back when the Wall was being constructed, trends and stories were evident but one stood out from the rest like Kate Moss at a Jenny Craig study group – Todd Bentley.

I heard about the knees in the gut and literally knocking out some chic’s teeth, but I considered that charismatic ballyhoo and let it ride.

After all, I saw a guy get laid out in the power of God and landed with such veracity (no thanks to an apt “catcher” with alligator arms) that his toupee flew off at least 15 feet. True story.

But once you hear the same issues over and over and over again, you begin to think maybe it really is your breath that stinks and not everyone just making ugly faces at you. So I delved into the WWWorld (armed with my WWWord) to search for a respite and a resolution.

Initially, a BIG HEARTY shout out to the ‘other bricks in the Wall’ in here: Pulpit Pimps, I’m Speaking Truth and Slaughter of the Sheep. OTHER huzzahs to noted visitations of mine: Independent Conservative and Real Christianity. Those delicious blogs, and the vast array of information I found in the mainstream, helped with this much belabored post. (In other words, pack a lunch. You’ll be here awhile).

[BTW, what’s a brutha’ to do for a link on your blogrolls?! We’re like-minded, share the same interests and could even have Tupperware parties… and some such. IJS.]

So, if I have been putting this off for a slow news day, then why the impetus now? Click and grab the barf bag:

Ah, after you grab the spearmint gum, wasn’t that portentous? A study Bible based on meetings that most theologians consider to be the largest sciamachy in Christendom since Jonestown?! And Todd Bentley doesn’t think we think that he thinks this will buy him a few more tattoos – wherever on his portly carcass he can find uninked flesh. Um, not so much.

What’s the beef? (Tee hee. I made a funny). Here’s a guy proclaiming the works of the Lord, laying hands on folk and doing it in the name of Jesus, right? WRONG! What’s the adage? “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…” Listen, after weeks of broadcasting live on GOD TV and his own tooled Web site, directing countless of people to Jesus (and evidently to the nearest ATM) and seeing them healed, isn’t it a little odd that dude would suddenly pack up his tent and leave the campfires of revival?!

Not if that duck was actually a CHICKEN! Note the lovely ABC News expose that allowed all of us to look behind the curtain to see just how withered the Wizard of Lakeland is:

It was so nice that ABC Nightline had to do it twice. (BTW, I know one of the producers on this piece. The joy that was had creating this voyeuristic butchery was utterly contagious).

Proof?! He said he has proof. Written proof, yet for some reason, he is opposed to due diligence as if it was a disease and he needs a healing for no immune system. He blacks out names, numbers and networks. Yeah, that’s too legit to quit, eh? Dude, let a pro give you a quickie on PR 101. Kinda like the book you should publish, “Revival for Dummies”. (And yes Melvin, that photoshopped picture is genius!)

If you have to hide your results, they may look contrived. If you feel the need to pimp yourself to the media only to act like the biggest tease at an all-girls’ school, you may look like a ho after all. If you need to vociferously promote your healings and beg the media to cover you, then turn around and run from the press when they can collectively smell the drivel you are shoveling, you may not be working in the same anointing of Christ who incidentally didn’t require a PR firm yet is still substantiated these millenia later. Hmmm…

In other words, the jig is up. This shameless story belongs on a special illuminated spot on the Wall. You were called out and like the bully that sticks a hamhock in the gut of unsuspecting folk, and run with tail tucked between your legs counting your cash all the way.

Evidently, there wasn’t enough duckets in your collections, because now you have this uh, “Bible” to sell. Great. Dude goes out and crushes about 15 Happy Meals between services, shows off a little more ink, crack some old lady in her mullet and instantly we have America’s next great fiction novel.

Whatever happens, rest assured, he will follow one example of Christ as he has given up the ghost! Think he will come back? Not unless he is escorted back to Lakeland with a subpoena. That guy has waddled to his last pulpit and drop kicked his last saint. If you have read any of the aforementioned sages, many scriptures discussing a false prophet and wicked fruit has raced across your vision like dead presidents has with Todd Bentley’s. However, here is another you may not have seen:

“Vengeance is mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand” (Deuteronomy 32:35)

Kinda’ takes the wind out of those large sails you call ‘jackets’, huh?

Remember the adage mentioned earlier? “Quack, quack bro.” You better find a nice pond where you can fly south because if you are the anathematic malefactor these videos and those countless testimonies portray you to be, then get used to that unfavorable and merciless heat. You are going to be feeling a lot of it where you are going.

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Victoria takes it too, namely for public appearancesAnd what is it? She’s got a date… with a judge, according to this story from KTVT-11 (CBS) in Dallas.

You may remember the Lakewood diva was on a flight from Houston to Vail, Colorado when suddenly Missus Tiara wasn’t greeted with the “first lady” red carpet of which she is accustomed.

That doesn’t stroke well when she noticed some spillage of club soda on her posh seat in first class. Following her appalling discovery, she cops a major ‘tude, throws a flight attendant against a bathroom door and elbows her in the left breast. Sounds justified.

FAA personnel then showed her another red carpet – that dingy one leading out of the plane and to the clink inside the airport.

So she paid a fine of three large and thought she would be done with it. Right? WRONG! You see Vikki, folk see you on TV. And when you decide to go all Bruce Lee on some hapless stewardess working for Continental Airlines, that spells “c-a-s-h-c-o-w” (No offense, Lady Victoria).

Is this lawsuit frivolous? Sure it is, but it’s entertaining. Get this:

Brown [said hapless stewardess] wants an apology and punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of Victoria Osteen’s net worth as part of her suit.

You know, if some dunce can sue Mickey D’s for offering hot coffee and said nitwit spills the coffee in her lap… and wins MILLIONS, anything can happen. I got ya’ back, Ms. Brown. Just remember what Don King would say, “Only in America.” And then again, as a certain football player has said in the past:

This has already been a fun post on the Wall, but it begs repeating, what’s the use of the Ichthus?!

I understand its creation in the early Church and how it was subterfuge for believers who would drag their feet a certain way, but today, it’s more “Secondhand Witnessing” as stated so well in this blog post on “Today’s Christian Woman.”

“HiScrivener, it’s an expression of my faith and everyone on the freeway can see I love Jesus.” I get that, but you ain’t perfect, leadfoot. Folk get on our nerves driving such as blue hairs in the fast lane, people on BIKES in the slow lane and what seems to be the visually impaired driving big pick-em up trucks who can’t decide what lane they want to be in at all. I’m just saying your nerves are the devil’s playground too, Mister and Missus Fishy Driver. Be mindful.

What brings this up? Meet Thomas Howell, pastor of the First Commandment Church of the Living God in East Walnut Hills (outside Cincinnati, Ohio).

This spry 71-YEAR OLD preacher hearts Jesus on the freeway too, but in a moment of vehicular reality (and an apparent fit of rage), he was caught. You know, being a deranged, psychopathic human on the road with a fish behind the wheel.

Howell was driving his car from his College Hill home to his church the morning of June 23. He turned at the intersection of Burnet and Forest avenues when, he testified, a car cut him off. The other car was driven by April Evans, a cook at two local restaurants. She testified the preacher pulled up alongside her car, pointed a gun at her, called her a name and asked if she knew who she was messing with before threatening to shoot.

Stay classy, Rev. Wall Watchers, this would indeed be a really bad example of witnessing on the road. Why not, run her off the road, get her to hit a stop sign and then get out and pray for a healing? It could be a revival service at the local Conoco. Man, that’s church, right Rev.? Just make sure you are being transparent. Take it away, Tommy:

Howell denied to police and at Monday’s trial that he ever pointed his gun at her. In fact, he said he never removed it from his holster that day. Then how, the judge wondered, did Evans know that Howell – a man she’d never met before – had a gun. “I think that the only reason Ms. Evans would know that (Howell) had a gun in the vehicle is that he pointed it at her,” the judge said in finding Howell guilty.

DOH! Maybe that Ichthus should have been left in the Christian bookstore in the first place? You just aren’t that great at this “extemporaneous preaching” are you? My sole prayer is that you didn’t have a WWJD bumper sticker. I mean, you wouldn’t want people to think you were actually following heavenly orders, right? Oh yeah, you already screwed that part up. Oh well, enjoy your prayer services in the clink.

FOX News recently did a brilliant expose on a faceless and merciless pandemic that has throttled the Church since the Reconstruction era, and the summation quote is right here in the story:

“I and my wife are stepping out in faith that God will provide for us,” he told FOX News.

Stepping out for what? Working at a church and not having insurance to protect your family. MEMO to the English major here: There is a Grand Canyon of separation between “stepping out in faith” and being pushed out of the friggin’ boat!

This is a inane and unforgivable aspect of working for the Lord – “God bless you” don’t pay the bills. Yet, more and more church workers are forced to deal with this every day. What’s worse than the smaller church where EVERYONE is plagued with “Spiritual Roulette”, is when folk work for some megalomaniac living high on the hog but they are only pulling in $25K, has a raggedy trailer and can’t pay the bill collectors that call daily.

An executive pastor of a small Heartland of America church can’t call the lien holder on his house and say, “But, but, I’m a pastor. What if I prayed for you? Would that help my balance?” If the child of some senior pastor at a local independent church runs ill, what happens? He takes baby to the ER and stands on a table in the waiting room, preach 30 minutes on healing and tries to collect an offering to pay for the hospital fees he will soon incur. Why? No insurance. He, uh, “stepped out of the boat” too.

Faith is the Christian’s umbrella to endure any storm that comes our way, but material blessings should be our dang galoshes and raincoat because that’s how we take care of our family, our bills, ourselves and oh yeah, THE CHURCH! It’s a cycle of blessing, and the sooner the Church realizes that, these pastors who have a call but no covering will be protected. Because you know, while the government is bailing out large corporations, the small businesses are left to suffer.

So, the next time I hear a wobbly-kneed argument about “There’s another church asking for money,” here is Exhibit A. These are more than churches, people. They are small businesses, with employees who have needs just like flipping burgers, sitting in a cube or revolving around your corner office. It would be a shame if your boss spoke to you like that come payday, huh?

There is a special place on this wall for church workers, ministry minions and others in the mission field languishing without protection (and a small hedge fund) for your families. You are doing the majestic work of God on earth. God’s people should take care of you much better than they are. God is faithful, so while you are hanging out in the sea of life with your spiritual floaties, remember you are not alone.