Archive for July, 2009

There are many ways to answer that question, but one in particular, look at growth of the church body.

For instance, if you are still bumping into church members at the club, liquor store or the adult shop, both you and the “other dude from bible study” need to reconsider that whole membership thing and work on the salvation part of things.

Another is check the childrens ministry. Are the kids happy? Are they engaged? Or, if they are slightly more daring, are they bolting out the back and stealing Dad’s car making the getaway!? Yeah, that happened. Check the video, we’ll be back.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A person considered to be a “very small driver” trolling through traffic would get my attention as well. Did you see that kid trek out of the car? That boy needs to holler at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field committee. He’s got a future.

And all because he didn’t want to go to church?! That’s sad. Granted, it’s in Utah, so there’s no telling what kind of church little man is petrified of visiting, but it begs the question… what makes it so bad?

Is the puppet show that awful? I know some folk just have smoker’s cough and thinks that’s a great character voice, but I wouldn’t tell the old man’s car because it blows that bad.

Maybe the children’s pastor is one of those retiree volunteers who obviously hasn’t had a kid in about 25 years? You know the type, balding, rotund and breath that could stop a Peterbilt in its tracks? That combination does not make a lovely church experience for the kiddos.

Or if it was a LDS church, maybe all the talk of the holy underwear spooked him out a little? I mean, freshen it up, Mormons. Put some Super Heroes on that handmade stuff. Maybe some sweet “Hello Kitty” bonnets for the girls and Mormon bloomers with the “Batman” insignia across the tail.

Anything, but just don’t let this happen again, because that’s not a shining indictment on any pastor.

“Ooooooh. You’re THAT church.” Yeah, not so much.

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The Anglican Church of England, much like the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, like to share. I know, sweet, right?

Aerobic exercises during mass (“Stand,” “sit,””kneel”… “roll over”), pawing out of the same hands for the Eucharist and sipping out of the same cup (or chalice, depending on how shee-shee your particular house of worship wants to be).

Church. For when you really want to take cover.

Church. For when you really want to take cover.

Sound familiar? Well, now we can add communicable disease to the collection, thanks to this story from CNN.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York are recommending that churches stop sharing the chalice at communion over swine flu fears, the Church of England said Thursday. The archbishops wrote a letter to all Church of England bishops with the recommendation. It follows government advice not to share “common vessels” for food or drink so as not to spread the virus.

The “common vessel” in question in typically reminiscent of the mug Indiana Jones went trolling during his Holy Grail excursion, made nice with the Knights Templar, fought a gaggle of Nazis and bumped into James Bond. Not Roger Moore or the current blue-eyed dude. The other guy.

Anywhoo. The same golden chalice is given to the every believer standing in line waiting to take a sip of the wine. Sure, the cleric wipes it every time, but does that single cloth once-over does a lot for some slob with herpes and meningitis?

And, now we need to worry about folk walking around with swine flu. Nice. As if eternal damnation wasn’t enough to worry about, we have the dreaded H1N1.

“The Department of Health have recently advised us that ‘in a pandemic it makes good sense to take precautions to limit the spread of disease by not sharing common vessels for food and drink,'” the archbishops write in the letter.

Yeah, I would say that’s a good call. As if the dude walking up to the Bishop with the surgical mask draped across his grill wasn’t enough warning. So, lather up in Purell folks. Your next communion really could be your last supper.

(A little too dramatic? Man, I need to stop watching the news.)

Please. You think I'm going to use a beefcake picture?

Please. You think I'm going to use a beefcake picture?

[Editor’s Note: Now work with me, Wall Watchers]

It’s baffling how Americans – nee, the new politically correct Christian-Americans – idolize anyone solely because they put out a decent movie every couple of years.

Take Mr. Angelina Jolie, otherwise known as one Brad Pitt.

Sure, there’s the greatness of “Se7en,” “The [severely underrated] Assassination of Jesse James” and the great “Fight Club” (“With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.” Classic.)

But then there’s bewildering moments on film such as “Meet Joe Black,” “Cool World” and “Freddy’s Nightmares.” (Yes, he was in this miserable flop.)

But now, we have the reason why he should not be exalted above anyone or anything – or anyone in Hollywood for that matter – because he is one seriously flawed individual in need of a Savior, like us all.

BILD: Do you believe in God?
Brad Pitt (smiling): No, no, no!

BILD: Is your soul spiritual?
Brad Pitt: No, no, no! I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.

Okay, unbeknown to him, this isn’t that funny. And what’s with that jacked-up spiritual math?!

So, he basically could care less if there is a God, but when really pushed to talk about 20 percent of the time, Brad isn’t quite convinced God exists?! Huh?

This sad commentary (as he was ironically shilling for his latest flick… as in the real meaning of the word, Man without a father, as in God.” It’s a blog, you never know what you have to explain these days… but there’s your payoff) creates one question for me.

Since Brad is apparently open to all religions, how come a Mormon missionary, J-dub and his Watchtower pamphlets or a tempered street corner, pentecostal preacher hasn’t gotten a hold of Brad by the nap of his neck?!

If that happened, he would be surprised to find out he and Jesus could be “Friends” after all. (Thought I forgot about that one, eh? Thank My Fair Lady for that lovely pop culture reference.)

Hell HumorIn the world of crime fighting, you know there is more than way to catch the bad guy. At some time, even the most swarthy foes get stupid and get caught.

Evidently, this side of the Apocalypse, the same can be said for the Prince of the Power of the Air. That’s right, Wall Watchers. Your most hated adversary and mine, Satan. (Ba-dum-bum-ching).

Oh, you didn’t hear? Yeah, some dunderhead in Boulder, Colorado was convinced Ol’ Slewfoot was chillin’ in his garage, so said buffoon tried to smoke him… literally. By trapping the devil in his garage and uh, burning him to death?!

Meet Gary Lee Shestak, 48, who at a frenetic 2:30 a.m. scene was arrested with an ax and reeking of kerosene. Why?

A few hours after the 2:30 a.m. fire, Shestak approached a police detective and fire marshal with an ax, which he was carrying with the blade “pointed toward the ground but outward in the direction of police and firefighters,” according to [Boulder PD spokeswoman] Huntley. Detective Kipp Euler asked Shestak, “who was staring vacantly,” if he needed help, to which he replied: “Can you help me kill the person inside the garage?” Huntley said.

Detective Euler needs more than a commendation for this apprehension. Dude needs a medal and someone to check his pulse.

I would have lost it, crying like a schoolgirl and laughing completely in this guy’s face. But not this guy. Oh nooooo, he was as cool as the other side of the pillow.

After the suspect was subdued, Huntley said, he told Euler that he thought Satan was in the garage and was trying to kill him.

To which, I would have asked, “If I had an infernal being from the fiery pit after my tail, what makes me think a lighter and a bag of Kingsfords is going to deter the pursuit?”

I would pelted the demon with ice cubes, a bucket of water or just mean mugged him with my icy glare. But fire?!

And where was Satan’s comment in all this mess? Anyone care to ask him, “Um, sir? Why did you single out this fool? He watch too many episodes of “The Omen” and began to get cute?”

Whatever it was, the denizens of Boulder, Colorado can rest easy with this guy off the streets. Although Satan is still on the loose, maybe they can let that Jesus guy do his job and keep the neighborhood flame-resistant.

Rest easy, Colorado.

Once in a while, a real-life “Indiana Jones” story takes place and makes my Seminarian sweat glands work overtime where My Fair Lady gets to meet my inner history dork.

Why? Imagine the Roman Empire. No, really.

You know, outside of a clear unibrow working, she's cute for a 2500-year-old.

You know, outside of a clear unibrow working, she's cute for a 2500-year-old.

You see, not all roads lead to Rome. Just ask Emperor Constantine who believed even his Roman roads led to the Cross of Christ.

So much so that he established his own headquarters in Byzantium or Constantinople, which is now known as Istanbul, Turkey.

That once Christian powerhouse is now home of Muslim central outside of Mecca.

Why the history lesson?

Thanks to MSNBC, we discover archaeologists were digging around a former Constantine crash site, the Haghia Sophia, and were touched by an angel… literally.

The seraphim figure — one of two located on the side of a dome — had been covered up along with the building’s other Christian mosaics shortly after Constantinople — the former name for Istanbul — fell to the Ottomans in 1453 and the cathedral was turned into a mosque.

Sure beats a summer cottage in the Hamptons

Sure beats a summer cottage in the Hamptons

The Haghia Sophia (seen here), better known as the Church of Holy Wisdom, was the centerpiece of the Byzantine empire until the Muslims took it over.

And once they kicked the good Christian folk out of the place, the Imams went looking for angelic faces in the frescoes because Muslim custom prohibits human representation.

So, the Muslim clerics went to a local Home Depot and bought buckets of plaster. Fast forward more than 2,500 years later and we find some angel staring back like she walked out of a plastic surgeon’s shop.

Some of the mosaics were revealed when the domed complex was turned into a museum in 1935, but the seraphim had largely remained covered, Ahmet Emre Bilgili, who heads culture and tourism affairs in Istanbul, told The Associated Press. “It is the first time that the angel is being revealed,” he said, adding that the figure had been covered with metal and plaster. “It is very well preserved.”

Breathtaking. Not one wrinkle, crow’s feet (or foot, as it were) or liver spot. That cherub still looked resplendent. And never mind her bulging eyebrows. It’s an angel. And now, Muslims are questioning this as an act of God – ours, not theirs.

For nothing will be impossible for God (Luke 1:37 NASB).

God can use anything to reach anyone at anytime. Halleujah.