Archive for March, 2009

Eight is EnoughCharles in Charge… then God showed up in Willie Aames‘ life and booted Scott Baio clean out of the picture and into VH1, or some such. Oh yeah, and somewhere in between fame and infamy, they hooked up for “Zapped!” (Anyone? Bueller?)

So, what was young Tommy Bradford to do? Well, after he kicked his drug habit, bad B movies and got over himself and his curls?

BIBLEMAN!

Looks like Dr. Fear made his way to Olathe, KS

Looks like Dr. Fear made his way to Kansas

Genius, right? Armor, swords, computers and those tights (yikes)!  It was great, traveling from church to church until the powers that be at whatever looney, cracked organization ran things and Bibleman vanished like a fart in the wind. Pity.

So, what’s Willie Aames up to now? Well, according to the Kansas City Star and E! Online, not so much but filing bankruptcy and having a community garage sale. WHAT?!

There was a plush leather couch and chair and a giant television. Also, a lion head mounted on an oak pedestal, along with stuffed wild boars and other wildlife he hunted. Some other items included crystal and posters of him when he was young. He had the blond curls that helped launch his acting career at age nine. Now he is 48 and the curls are gray.

Now while I’m sure all the broke pimps in town gathered ’round to get first dibs on that hot stuff, but what’s more important to note is why?

Why wasn’t eight enough? No one there to invest his money?

Why isn’t Charles in charge of the finances he studied so much in the Bible?

Why wasn’t Willie Aames – a boy would be Bibleman – better prepared for life, liberty and the pursuit of his happiness? I mean, dude went on Celebrity Fit Club 2 chasing the legacy of Scott Baio.

Now, that it seems this alter-ego super-hero has slowed down, what brought him here? Today, this driveway couch salesman is a broken man whose wife left him after 22 years, broke, tried to kill himself last Thanksgiving, calling his boys for a ride since his is in the pound and above all, flat broke.

However, it is Willie Aames. You would expect cameras scattered among his fur rugs and stuffed duck-billed platypus, right? Apparently, he did as well.

The big cameras that focused in and fur-covered mikes that dangled from poles were not just from television networks. People are making a television documentary of his life, hard times and how he gets through them, said Sarano Kelley, a California life coach for athletes and celebrities.

From ABC to TBN to VH1, Willie Aames is on his own search for significance. Again, why? Is it necessary? He went to hell and back, and hell lost. There was ample reason to praise God, but evidently Hollywood really is the Death Star, and its tractor beam could not let go the kid who was Willie.

He lost his identity. He lost his money. And sadly, it seems he lost his reality in Christ. Wall watchers, this is a man, a brother in Christ who is in peril.

Pray he remembers all of those scriptures he quoted. Pray he picks up that Sword of the Spirit he used in battle. Pray he dawns the armor of God and fights the real enemy who is fighting him. He really does kill, steal and destroy. And by the looks of this story (and apparently what the agape door of his garage looked like), he has almost killed, stolen and destroyed everything.

I would say pray Willie Aames forgets where he came from and focuses on where he is at… but, here he is – selling his drawers, autographing Teen Beat posters and begging for attention. Funny how things come full circle, eh?

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god-and-twitterIn today’s voyeuristic fishbowl called the “Internet,” I believe it’s dubbed, are millions of people who have much to say on news, politics, religion or a veritable potpourri of all of the above.

And then, there are those folk who just don’t have a lot to say, but say a little, a lot. Those are the owners of Twitter accounts.

For each shopping excursion, dining experience and fart-and-fall-down moment, people can “tweet” ad nauseum and sound like that aggravating bird outside your bedroom window at 5:45 a.m. (!!!)

Anywhoo, there’s a new trend in the blogosphere with imposter Twittering and people following the fakes with more allegiance than the real people.

Which is what brings me to the highest ratings Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power” has earned since 9-11 and the latest imbroglio that caused Junior Schuller to fly the coop.

Thanks to this story by the San Diego Union-Tribune, we see Robert Schuller as been Twittering with 1,000 followers in two weeks. Only, not so much.

Schuller’s impostor displayed copyrighted images and trademarked sayings from the Crystal Cathedral and “Hour of Power” Web sites on his Twitter account and had attracted nearly 1,000 followers in two weeks, said Greg Fayer, an attorney representing the church… The San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. confirmed that the user was an impostor and suspended the account late Tuesday, co-founder Biz Stone said in an e-mail Wednesday. A new account was set up Wednesday for the real Schuller, said Mike Nason, the church’s spokesman.

Now, as we have seen lately, this is the most attention anyone has paid to his dazzling, monotone banter since the Reagan administration. But, thanks to this faux boring old guy who has lost his conviction, Schuller is back!

Schuller’s impersonator – who remains unidentified – seemed to know a lot about that history and the preacher’s life, said Nason, the spokesman. The impostor said in his early tweets that he was Schuller’s assistant, but then went on to say he was Schuller himself and even talked about the preacher’s wife, Nason said.

Well, maybe not.

What’s next? WWJT… What Would Jesus Tweet? Glad you asked…

  1. My toga is fitting a bit tight. All these carbs with bread loaves and fish dinners. Oy!
  2. Trying to crash in this boat. The boys are whining. I’m going for a walk.
  3. Lazarus is having a party. I’m four days late. Dude, smells like someone died.
  4. I’m so talking to Dad about these hairdos I see on TBN.
  5. Why do people keeping asking Mom, “Mary, don’t you know?” I’m right here. Duh!

But this story does beg an interesting question? What snarky, techie moniker to the gurus clad in Star Trek t-shirts and living in their mother’s basement provide a fake Tweeter?

OH! I know, I know. Let’s start by calling this dude, “a Twit!” Thanks, I’m here all week. Try the veal. Be kind to your servers.

Bishop Earl Paulk:

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

Here’s the million-dollar question: What’s his legacy?

Is he a remarkable man whose ministry began at the age of 17 and spawned a megachurch amidst urban sprawl in Atlanta, seen by millions on TBN and attended by tens of thousands?

Or, is he an octogenarian debauchee whose reputation for getting handsy since the 60s (allegedly), has countless cases against for sexual harassment and allowed his son believe he was his nephew for more than 30 years?!

Either way, he’s notable, that’s for certain. But, is that a good thing?!

Don Paulk, a retired minister [and his brother, but more about that later] at the Cathedral, said he hoped people would remember Earl for his good works and forgive the scandals. “Preachers are just like anyone else — they’re a man,” he said.

Yes, “they are a man” [bad grammar alert, but hey, he’s a preacher so cut him some slack].

BUT… do they have to lie under oath about being an unscrupulous perv, practice “laying on of hands” to his choir leaders and see his megachurch attendance go from 12,000 to less than 1,000 in months as a result of your deceit?!

I can’t say I was ever a fan, but when you have a national ministry like his was, and an apparent anointing like he did, you should appreciate the mantle God placed upon him… despite the trophies of debauchery, aberration and prevarication he laid proudly on that joker.

That said, what does it say about a man who in a matter of mere months sold his church for $24 million, plead guilty for lying under oath – you know, as in laid a hand on the bible he was supposed to be so familiar – and then died practically alone, ridden with cancer, hand-in-hand with the brother whose son was actually his (yeah, I just can’t get past that part)?

As recently noted in CNN from Paulk’s real nephew:

“As most of you know, my family has been walking through a very long nightmare season in connection with things concerning him,” [said nephew, Bishop Jim] Swilley wrote in his blog post. “Please pray for some much needed healing and closure for us all.”

Prayers won’t do Paulk any good. And although I’m sure he’s hanging with Jesus right now, many people are thinking with their carnal hat and considering the other path for good ol’ Pauley Paulk.

Again, what does that say about his legacy? I once heard a pastor say, “Live as if the town gossip lives with you.”

That mentality creates accountability. And accountability breeds integrity. The thing of which it seems Earl lacked more than parishoners. The thing that should be never be said of anyone who goes by the title “Bishop”, much less “man of God.”

His legacy, you ask? Perhaps quoting a preacher with a little less more luggage than what the Beverly Hillbillies trotted over to the Hollywood Hills would be appropriate as an epitaph:

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

Godspeed, Earl. Some say you will need it to outrun the demons who will be chasing you down.

You may have heard from a vociferous evangelist or a old school Pentecostal preacher, “Jesus will go right in the club to get you out.”

Amen and thank God for that. But what if Jesus walked into that club and saw it was Open Mic Night?

Well, thanks to really eerie and completely unexpected video of this week’s video evangelism, we get our answer. I think.

P.S. Why does Jesus always have to sound like a Shakespearean ac-tor? If we are to be all things to all people, how come he doesn’t sound more like Chris Rock or Cheech Marin? Just a thought.

American Idol is hogging the weekly TV ratings again, and if you saw this week’s Motown series, you know why. (Incidentally, for the rest of you who said, “No”… I say, “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”).

Recently, a piece came out from MTV about American Idol that happens to have many folk in this country buzzing.

danny-gokey-gone-idol

American Idol cares about the environment, just not the guy who made it

No, it’s not about the show being rigged… allegedly. It’s not surrounding the jacked-up voting process and whose tail should have been in the bottom three [COUGH…Megan Joy…COUGH].

What does that chic have to do anyway to get in the bottom three? Spank a puppy on a street corner? Trip an old lady as she crosses a street? Pimp slap Simon? Anywhoo…

Nah, this country would rather rant and rave about the outward expression of faith. Figures.

This season, though, a large number of those faithful viewers have more than a casual pop-culture interest in the show: They’re Christians who are also watching because more than half of this year’s crop of finalists — including Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, Kris Allen, Scott MacIntyre, Matt Giraud and Lil Rounds — either have a strong affiliation with the church or are worship leaders in their communities.

So, nicely done by MTV, right? They talk about all the Jesus Freaks gracing the sound stage and instantly there are watching parties among youth groups across the country. Not so much.

According to this follow-up by MTV, many of American Idol’s viewers just want Jesus to be put in the bottom three.

We learned two things about “American Idol” fans last week when we ran a story on how this year’s show features more Christian-affiliated finalists than ever before: Most of you don’t care what religion a singer is as long as they’re good, and the rest of you think even pointing out religion on “Idol” is “absolutely outrageous.”

Anyone remember last season when the producers of American Idol decided to make an iTunes-friendly worship song out of “Shout to the Lord”?! Well, now it seems the world’s most famous talent show is rocking like the BarackStar to shill for Christian voters in an effort to crush the competitors in the ratings.

True, this is a singing competition and not a preaching contest. It’s a stage, not a church lectern (although in some of today’s megachurches, that is interchangeable). We vote for the most talented, not the most godly.

But, what’s wrong with a vignette that discusses a singer’s faith? Are there that many folk out there in TV Land with guilty consciences? Is the conviction of the Holy Spirit spreading faster than rumors about Clay Aiken’s eh, preference? (Or that Adam Lambert with that Freddy Mercury voice).

Whatever the case, folk are irate about it and quite honestly, they need take a break.

The question is, “What does faith have to do with their singing?” Answer: LOTS!

My faith equips me to put my pants on while I’m standing up, much less write this blog. Imagine singing in front of 30 million people. You think you might ask “God” for a little help before that drop of pee trickles down your leg?! Don’t need faith to sing like that… on that stage. Puh-lease. You need faith to walk your doggy these days.

Naturally, this is just another effulgent example of America’s only permissible prejudiceChristianity.

Ah well, here’s to hoping the aforementioned “IDOLators” gather ’round their Bibles and have a Gospel night. Sure, the ratings would blow but at least folk would sing a lot more than Hillsong and Mercy Me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We can all only imagine.