Archive for September 1, 2008

It is not about WHO is singing, but rather TO WHOM is singing.

It is not about WHO is singing, but rather TO WHOM is singing.

As you know, the Wall has been illuminated with the diabolical acts of Michael Guglielmucci. While his actions of sex, lies and videotape have been despised, his music carries on, forcing some to ruminate is the sound of music the melodies, others united in worship or just a cash register exclaiming “Ka-ching!”

“Healer” is still an anthem in Christian circles providing hope for those who are sick, and inspiration for those who are dying. You know, kinda like Guglielmucci convinced the world he was.

Planetshakers Insider has a thought-provoking post that I don’t think many people have considered: “Who gets the credit for the music that this fraud wrote?”

Planetshakers has removed references to Michael Guglielmucci, crediting his role on these albums, from their web-site [sic].

Why? It was his work, despite his motive, those words were from him. The music was performed by him. And the accolades for the blessings it created were directed toward him. So, shouldn’t he get some of the credit?

If you don’t think so, why not?

Look at the encomiums bestowed upon athletes that cheat; they still have the records. Consider the notoriety serial killers are provided through the media; those miscreatints still get fan mail.

Case in point: If you gave the glory, you should still get the honor. Taking Guglielmucci’s name off musical credit is sour grapes and a sorry attempt of PR.

I’m not sure what, ethically, is the best outcome; however the current outcome seems a bit luke-warm… To keep selling most albums featuring Mike Guglielmucci’s work, but hide the fact that he worked on them. To me this seems like a “middle of the road” compromise on a touchy ethical subject.

It’s worse than a “middle of the road” compromise, it’s theft. Either you throw the song away – and with it, all memories of Guglielmucci – or, you espouse the belief that if God can use the jawbone of an ass, he can use the vocal chords of one as well.

You have seen stories like this on the Wall, and in headlines everywhere. A church caring for its community buys a bulk order of gas, promotes it to the public and sells it back to whosoever will for $1 per gallon.

Sounds sweet, doesn’t it?

However, thanks to the Christian Post, some cynical folk in the Church suggest ulterior motives for these churches that strike gold in the media and new visitors while others worry about drilling for oil elsewhere.

Church leaders have debated for years whether modern marketing techniques cheapen the faith or are an effective — and necessary — means of evangelizing. Even those Christians who believe some marketing is helpful disagree about how far they should take the approach.

You tell me… is it genius outreach, focused marketing or just a kitschy PR stunt? Regardless, well-meant outreach does anything but “cheapen the faith.” Here’s a thought: You have an avowed atheist and his family of five driving an SUV to this gas station. You think he is going to tell the preacher at his window,” You know, never mind. I’m going to go pay this $4 per gallon over there. Thanks anyway.” My guess is no.

When you have folk that are staging prayer groups at a gas station to lower prices, I would say people are desperate for “change”, and not just at the pump. Whatever the cost.

To respond to the ne’er-do-wells among church marketing, we have Rev. Tim Lucas, who has done one of these gas outreaches:

“We canceled services that day, and said our service to the community will be our service,” said the Rev. Tim Lucas. “This wasn’t a gimmick, ‘Hey, come to our church.’ There was no bait-and-switch. We didn’t try to convert people. We just wanted to show we care,” he said.

Does this outreach effect butts in seats? Yes. Why wouldn’t you want to go to a church that cares so much… and anytime you put $1000s behind your faith, it’s more than capitalism. Does this outreach reek of marketing? Yes. But who cares when the news shows up to cover something GOOD that a church is doing.

In other words, stop hatin’ folks. If these churches want to spend all that money, give it back to the community, provide people a brief respite from the oil companies gouging AND have the nerve to put out a press release… let them. I don’t see your church doing it? And that’s probably we ain’t talking about it. “Oh, thank heaven,” indeed.

For decades, HiScrivener has carried a theory without refute.

During that time, the government has removed all sense of Christianity from school and public life. The ACLU wields a larger sword than ever. The FCC considers eff bombs to be unfit for TV, but “G.D.” and using Jesus Christ as an expletive is perfectly acceptable. In other words, if you hate Christians, cool. Get in, the water is warm.

Civil rights, check. Gay rights, check. Women’s rights, check. Human rights for illegal citizens and convicted killers, check. Heck, even animals – thanks to PETA – have almost human-esque rights. All that is deserved, needed and worthy of applause. Well, except for the human rights for killers. Why use a sterilized needle again? Anywhoo…

But Christians? Nada. There are blatant hate crimes committed against the Church daily, and often go without reprecution. Who cares? Look at the stereotype – money-grubbin’, scripture-twistin’, hypocrisy-havin’, fake-witnessin’ shenangians. If I didn’t believe in Jesus Christ, I think I would despise Christians as well. But thank God I understand there’s so much more to salvation than the misguided actions of a few.

Well, for years, you have heard of “Anti-semitism”. Get ready, Church, the loathing against the body of Christ has gone without moniker. However, thanks to the Pope, we have “Christiano-phobia” at our defense. HUH?!

The Vatican’s Foreign Minister warned on Friday against anti-Christian hatred, saying it should be fought with the same determination used to try to eradicate anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic sentiments… “One must fight effectively against ‘Christiano-phobia’ as against ‘Islamo-phobia’ and anti-Semitism,” Mamberti said during a speech on religious freedom.

Real linguaphiles hanging out in St. Peter’s Basilica, eh? Hey fellas, Is this hatred or fear? Does the Vatican even understand the difference?

I’m a nice dude – not that burly, gruesome or have a felony on my record. I get that some folk can’t stand me as an overt Christian and as someone who exercises a panache for the snarky. That said, no one needs to fear me… except my lil’ Wall Watchers when I shoot them “the look.” Chilling, huh? Now then, be afraid. Be very afraid.

While I know there is a “legal prejudice” in this country – and if you consider the widely accepted acts of tyranny aptly entitled “Christian persecution” worldwide – this appellation is inane. Does the Vatican have a psychologist on staff who can explain to the Pontiff what the heck a “phobia” is?

Here’s a thought: This statement was done by a representative on the Vatican and not some megachurch preacher. Why? Is it because of the angst people have against the Catholic Church because its own stereotype (altar boys and priests ring a bell)? That makes sense because that’s hate – and fear!