Archive for January 5, 2009

ron-burgundy-talks-haggardMassage? Er… I meant, message. Yeah, that’s it. Sorry, I must have been thinking about something else. OK, maybe not.

Anywhoo, by now, I presume lest the rock you are living under has been flustered with erosion, you have heard about the trials and tribulations of Ted Haggard.

Well, for those of you still enjoying the comforts of your sedimentary abode, here’s your chance to hear about the sex-laden, drug-abusing, gay-massage having rouse of the former president for the National Association of Evangelicals.

No, the autobiography wasn’t enough. Dude is now taking his tale to the airwaves – HBO, no less to get all those family-friendly details.

In an HBO documentary set to air Jan. 29, disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard says he never claimed to be heterosexual, as was once reported, and he continues to struggle with same-sex attraction. But he’s committed to living a heterosexual life because he believes it’s better for children to be raised by a mother and a father.

Stay classy, brother.

So, “The Trials of Ted Haggard” covers this once godly and now gasbag father of five post-excommunication from his church and ministry after being caught in the throes of man love. Never mind the fact his kids and wife have to relive this melodrama, but now with HBO’s “no frills” approach to production [if you have seen the Sopranos, you know I am so kidding] the real seedy parts will be put out there… really out there.

Now, although I completely disagree with his Lazarus obsession with this personal drama refusing to let it die, I am completely in his corner about this:

“The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more,” he says.

Yep. That’s the Church – welcome to the home of parents who eat their young and bury their dead, while yet living.

Yes, what Ted did was atrocious. Yes, what Ted is doing is even worse. And yes, if he would have opened up to one person about this, he would have been bashed with scrutiny, instead of bridled with God’s love.

He had nowhere to turn. So what’s it say about the Church that the only place a pastor, a stalwart in Christendom had to feel safe and get solace was in the arms of a gay prostitute and a drug dealer?! How’s that for sobering? And you thought I was just going to talk about my Tivo, eh?

OK, shout out to all Kiwi Wall Watchers, this one is for you!

Besides, can you eat food looking at you?

Besides, can you eat food looking at you?

We are in the first working week of the New Year, and already we have a God Sighting of the Month. Good times!

But this isn’t from the Roman Catholic Church, or even the states, it’s in New Zealand (for those who didn’t know if I was talking to a breathing fruit or not) and found on a piece of Pita bread.

And where? For sale online, no less.

The TradeMe auction shows a photo of the pita bread, which broke into pieces after being put in the oven. One piece, the seller says, resembled the face of Jesus. “I was tempted to eat it but for some reason I didn’t,” the seller says in their auction listing.

To that, enter your own transubstantiation humor here.

Of course, the branding/PR guy part of me wants to know if Jesus’ ministry was formed in the days of multimedia and bottom line outreach, would the bread Jesus broke look like this shred of table scraps for marketing purposes to hit the store shelves nationally? IJS.

The man set atop of a hill has belonged to the same church for more than 50 years – First Baptist of Dallas.

I KNOW! Billy Graham has always been known for his Tar Heel ties, so who knew his home church was in the Lone Star State. (PR, anyone? IJS.)

Well, all that is about to change according to the Dallas Morning News.

Mr. Graham joined First Baptist Dallas during his first crusade in the city, held at the Cotton Bowl in 1953. First Baptist Dallas was then led by the Rev. W.A. Criswell, and was widely considered the preeminent church in the Southern Baptist Convention. But the globe-trotting evangelist has never lived in Dallas, and visited the church only rarely through the years.

And there you have the ubiquitous rub.

Sure, Dr. Jeffress (Dallas pastor) is sorry to see his most notable member uproot his church ties closer to home. And yes, Rev. Don Wilton (Carolina pastor) is humbled and honored to accept Billy Graham’s church membership in his twilight years.

But the story behind the story is this is a church has claimed a member who never attended for more than five decades!?

prosperity-gospel-for-dummiesNot that I am going to name any names, but you think this is the mystery behind all those outrageous numbers behind megachurches that claim tens of 1000s of members, all in an effort to keep up with the Osteens… er, the Joneses.

The modus operandi of these miniskries is typically, “If someone attends, fills out a card then they are ‘member emeritus’.Seriously?

What’s the shame in havng 9,500 REAL members of your church? But no! It has to be 25,000 because… why again? You expecting a federal grant and have member requirements? I can go for that, maybe. But if this sheep-on-steroids-counting is for the sheer awe of it all and to validate your fake ecumenical title, then I call B.S.

Just because you are among the privileged to have a prosperous megachurch, doesn’t mean the Gospel is spread any more effectively if you blatantly fudge who is warming your pews.

Which proves the moral of this quaint story: Once again, Billy Graham is teaching us the mysteries of the Church. Well done, sir.