Archive for January, 2009

Back to the football theme, this week in video evangelism is a classic – and one I never knew existed. Thankfully so, I should say because my heart can’t take much more.

I’m laughing so hard my chest is burning.

In the Super Bowler, “Big Game” spirit, please enjoy this song claimed as the only “Christian Football Waltz.” Ya’ think? Please enjoy “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)”

No, really. I know I’ll look at the game differently now that I am part of “his master game plan.” Excuse me. Have. Tears. Fighting. Must. Keep. Composure.

hiswayTomorrow is the “Big Game.”

That’s a familiar phrase that has been echoed in radio and TV, and seen on print or online for eons. Why?

It’s marketing tyranny by the NFL because NO ONE on this planet is allowed to say in a paid forum those two precious words in the same sacred breath – GASP – “Super Bowl.”

The “No Fun League,” as many in the know love to call it, even control how it’s viewed.

jesus-starbucks1And naturally, the last group to get any kind of rights is… any guesses… anyone… yeah, the Church. (Legal Prejudice? Someday, someone will believe me.)

It seems for years that churches weren’t permitted to have viewing parties. I suppose since booze wasn’t a player (save in a Catholic church), the NFL felt guilty for airing all those Budweiser commercials? Never mind bars, strip joints and every home with a barbecue pit does it, but church? Oh no. That’s where the NFL draws the line.

Until now, thanks to this story from Church Executive magazine.

jesus-budweiser1Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have been working on this issue since prior to the Super Bowl game in 2007, when the NFL warned churches that viewing the Super Bowl broadcasts on large-screen televisions at church-sponsored gatherings infringed on the League’s copyright in the broadcast. Institute attorneys also worked with several members of Congress to craft legislation that would create an exemption to the Copyright Law for religious organizations.

Copyright infringement? Um, what? This is a church. Puh-lease.

So, all these other establishments with 100 people howling inside and blustering drunk doesn’t qualify?! Well, it turns out that was the contingency the Rutherford Institute used to tell the NFL they were full of pleather poppycock.

OK, pastors, don’t say you weren’t warned. Here are your Sunday rules:jesus-staples

…Churches can legally host Super Bowl parties on their premises; churches may show the game on whatever size screen they want; while churches may not charge admission, they may take up a donation to help with the cost of the event, if desired; finally, to avoid any copyright infringements, churches may want to call their event a “Big Game Party” rather than a “Super Bowl Party.”

You know why the focus on churches. Ever been to the T-shirt section of a Lifeway Bookstore? Um, do these pictures scattered throughout the post give you any ideas? Or at least, unlike Christian shirt makers, an original idea?! IJS.

Enjoy the kick-off tomorrow, boys. And uh, let’s work on those “divine revelations” next week, shall we?

Just when you thought we were done with the Ted Haggard saga, this story gets… well, a little more haggard. Oy!

A day at the Haggard Household

A day at the Haggard Household

As if the media tour and family harangue wasn’t enough for this guy, who is officially a tool, we have this unfortunate story from CNN stating where there is smoke, a brother is bound to get burned.

And so, not to bury the lede…

A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said.

This tragic story gets seedier by the minute. Boy, when some skeletons come out of the closet, they really can punch you in the mouth with some humerus (get it? Humor, as in this mess is hilarious. Humerus, as in bone… Skeleton? Ah, never mind. Sigh.)

So, thanks to this story, we discover the acolytes at New Life Church “agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges” to not rat out the dude who was, you know, the most powerful evangelical on the planet! And so they paid the “man’s” moving expenses, college tuition and just to keep it on the up-and-up, his counseling. Thinking sexual abuse could cause scars, regardless what slug caused them.

Peep the brilliant (uh, not so much) public relations here:

This was compassionate assistance. It was to help him move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet,” said [Rev. Brady] Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Are you kidding me?! Listen here, bub. Forget the stain your ilk have placed upon that once thriving church in Colorado, the evangelical movement and the Body of Christ as a whole (because, believe me, WE ALL take a beating for this in the workplace). Let’s just focus on one person – this “man”.

Imagine the irrefutable anguish your Keystone Cops approach to sweeping sin under the rug caused him. He may have serious issues reaching salvation, all because your boss was horny and handsy and you didn’t have the temerity to bust him in his grill and say, “Hey, uh, pastor. I know you are the man of Gawd and all, but this mess really isn’t right. Maybe you should have yourself checked.”

ted-haggard-loserBut no, this is a microcosm of most of the megachurches in America – no accountability! These charlatans are permitted to exercise their autocracies as theocracies and do whatever they want to whomever they want. It’s… well, an atrocity! And it’s shameful.

No wonder atheism is so rambit in this country! If I didn’t dearly love Jesus, I would cash in my Christendom for a Ginsu knife collection or something just so people I know wouldn’t come back at me with bewilderment and vexation asking, “Does everyone you know act like the fools on TBN and those in the news?”

Wall Watchers, we need to pray for the countless Christians in megachurches. People need to worship the living God, not some dimwitted man with a bad haircut. People need to serve Jesus, not the “vision” or “mission” of some tool with his eyes set on that gated community in the sky.

You know, Ted. You once called yourself a “loser” and yours truly defended you in several forums. Because say what you will, this man did mighty exploits for God. However, you cashed all that in for a cheap massage, an ugly dude, a movie deal… and this?! No, maybe – just maybe – you were right all along. Loser.

If you attend St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Fla., I just have to know… does your church look like the Pier 1 Imports catalog or other interior designers utopia? Better yet – and more appropriate – TBN?

Oh, so the priests saw their crime on CSI. Nice.

Oh, so the priests saw their crime on CSI. Nice.

Well, while you have been enjoying the megalomania of revolving high back king’s chair, ornate 18′ vertical mirrors, medieval candelabras, and, oh, those dumb couches found in the waiting room of pretentious offices that you can’t even sit in… anywhoo, all that stuff was actually paid for $850,000 of your money.

Mazel Tov, and nice choice. Oh, you didn’t pick that out?

Yes, according to AP, your two dunderhead priests took the cash right out the offering plate for years. I suppose another aspect of this economy that needs attention is Social Security because Rev. Francis Guinan is 66 and his Monsignor, John Shekan is 81. So, where was all this hot cash? Right above your nose?

Two priests who authorities say for years stole cash from their Florida church’s offering plate and hid it in the church ceiling and offshore bank accounts to pay for lavish lifestyles will soon face a judge. Their trial is scheduled to start Wednesday in an embezzlement case authorities say could be one of the biggest to hit the U.S. Catholic Church.

And back in the WWJD files: these sacrosanct nitwits decide before prosecutors could charge them, they “left the country and their church amid an international scandal.” Stay classy, fellas.

Prosecutors say the priests plucked cash from the offering plate and spent it on upscale homes, gambling trips to Las Vegas with a mistress, even a $275,000 rare coin collection.

You steal money… to buy money?! If you ask me, they are too dumb to be mastermind criminals, much less men of the cloth. Enjoy your 30-to-life in jail. Who knows. Maybe you can take a Monet or a Rembrandt in that 6 x 9 cement block you will calling home?

Your parishoners can only hope.

tedhaggardbookFrom a personal masseuse and pushing pills to embarrassing his family and eradicating his ministry, Ted Haggard has been one busy boy.

And now, with a shudder and two snaps in a circle, he fights back with a one-liner that sounds like he pulled out of his crate of homiletics: “[My] sexual identity is complex… and can’t be put into stereotypical boxes.” And then, continues to say the relationship with his wife is stronger than ever.

Uh, I’m sorry?

Lately, Ted has been on a media whirlwind tour, and possibly to lure out some ratings for his tabloid expose on HBO. And so, after speaking about his exile from TV, his church and you know, the public’s conception of a nice guy, he owns it:

“I am guilty. I am responsible,” Haggard, 52, said Friday in a phone interview. “I got off track, and I am deeply sorry and I repent … I’m moving along in a positive direction.”

Good on ya’, Ted. But um, you care to shed some light on that “stereotypical boxes” commentary:

Asked whether he could define his sexual identity, Haggard said: “The stereotypical boxes don’t work for me. My story’s got some gray areas in it. And, of course, I’m sad about that but it’s the reality.

Dude, “gray” isn’t the word, as if it’s some metallic silver as seen through the eyes of an old woman. I mean the murky monochromatic gray of the old woman’s hair… and possibly cuticles.

Hrm, well at least he is looking toward redemption and deliverance while trekking down the highway of regaining his ministry. There, get that out of your frilly closet, brother.

Now back living in Colorado Springs, Haggard said Friday he hopes to build his business selling insurance and debt-reduction software and is considering marketing himself through a speakers bureau to share his story — “if the terms were right. I have to earn a living. If what I have is helpful to other people, then I want to make that available to them,” he said. “If it’s not, then I’m perfectly happy building my business.”

Ah well, there’s always Amway. I hear they sell pills… and so, it all comes full circle.