Archive for January, 2010

Our brave men and women need all the inspiration they can muster to fight for us overseas. Some have their family picture in the pocket. Others have voice mails of their loved one on the phone. And even a few believe their selfless act of admiration is being done in the name of God.

Evidently, a company called Trijicon believes that is the case as this one awesome armory that makes hand-crafted guns… with a freshly engraved inscription that is usually a biblical scripture.

Although no one bother to read the serial numbers on semi-automatic machine guns unless they are ne-er-do-wells just out of welding shop looking to wipe off serial numbers, someone complained, according to this story from WOW News’ Religion News Blog.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations on Wednesday said the continued use of the sights with the religious references would send a negative message to the Muslim world.

The only message most Americans want sent to THAT Muslim world starts with a Army boot clean in Osama’s behind.

And seriously, how is some dolt from the Taliban going to get that close to one of our guns?! Oh yeah, unless he steals it, which in that case, he deserves to get “delivered.”

I wish I had more to say but the great Stephen Colbert has more… watch both the intro and the following clip. Genius!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Onward Christian Soldiers“, posted with vodpod

Holy Tweet!

Have you read this story on Yahoo! news? According to the AP, “Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: ‘Go Forth and Blog.'”

“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,” but priests are “challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,” he said.

Why the sudden urge to get the penguin nation online? It’s marketing without fear of image. Much less, accountability.

The theme for his annual World Communications Day message, “New Media at the service of the Word,” saluting technology in the service of evangelism, was released Saturday. The event is May 16.

Yoohoo! Someone at the Vatican have a PR team? If not, call a brother because I need to buy a new house, a few cars, some furniture and perhaps have of the West Coast. My papal retainer would be large.

Did anyone within a mile of the Holy See bother to whisper in God’s Bulldog’s ears, “Um, Il Papa. Yes, In nòmine Patris, et Fìlii, et Spìritus Sancti to you too. Listen, we have a problem. I don’t think people are going to take too kindly to you telling priests to troll the Internet. It didn’t go so well last time.”

Some parents warming the pews of your local St. [insert your favorite canonized Catholic dude here] church may not be comfortable with a clarion call for priests to get happy on the IM, create an avatar and type “OMG” with a fiendish grin, as if they said the Lord’s name in vain and can get away with it.

I don’t mind the Pontiff having a YouTube account. I don’t mind the news that Pope B16 wants his homies to get online in droves. He’s serious:

The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.”

That’s a good point. I mean, isn’t that what we are doing online in the first place… or at least one of those places? Elders within the fold see it a wee bit differently:

Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the Vatican’s social communications office, said that Benedict’s words aimed to encourage reflection in the church on the positive uses of new media. “That doesn’t mean that (every priest) must open a blog or a Web site. It means that the church and the faithful must engage in this ministry in a digital world,” Celli told reporters. “At some point, a balance will be found.”

“Social communications office.” Who’s this guy think he is? Barack Obama?!

Pope, to quote a noted street prophet, “I ain’t mad at ‘ya.” I only wish you would have considered that same sin God washed away before you assumed everything was squeaky clean.

A couple of years ago, Kenneth Copeland made a distinguished list – not the Lamb’s Book of Life, the final 12 on American Idol or even a follower on my Twitter account.

No, after decades of proclaiming faith in that noted southern drawl, he bellowed his way on Sen. Charles Grassley’s list of reprobate televangelists.

Since then, Copeland has nothing but flaunt the hand of God while giving the U.S. Senate’s ranking Republican on the Finance Committee probing into his surreptitious pocketbook the finger. A pentecostal one, nonetheless.

We have heard the litany of ills he has wiped on the face of his followers. We have documented the stories of him fleecing his sheep in order to make the Kashmir sweater “God wanted him to have.”

And now, we have this… he is even stealing from the lost and those who were ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Classy.

According to Rich Vermillion, a former – and scorned, let’s keep it real – minister in Copeland’s fold, we have this national press release, “Kenneth Copeland Accused of Humanitarian Aid Fraud.”

While shilling for his book, Vermillion notes an incident that would even have the nation’s most renowned Pulpit Pimps cashing in their peacock plumb from their silk hats:

The book details the 2005 relief efforts made by Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Copeland’s promises to form a new ongoing aviation humanitarian-relief ministry also called Angel Flight 44 (AF44). However, Rev. Vermillion now says that the aviation ministry was never formed as Copeland pledged: “It is as if Kenneth Copeland had NEVER said such a ministry had ALREADY been formed, nor had repeatedly promised that such an aviation support ministry would be further developed and ready for disasters–such as that which just occurred in Haiti a few days ago.

The release and book discusses Copeland’s oath to raise “several million dollars to build an airplane hangar and buy helicopters, airplanes, food and supplies for Angel Flight 44.” Only one small issue – he never did it.

You think the money came in? Sure it did. Ask Rick Warren how that goes when you pull a lever and look for your congregation to run to the polls.

A better question is you think Copeland gave the truckloads of cash back that was backed up to his hilltop compound? Um, not so much.

In fact, according to Vermillion’s eyewitness account, “the new ministry has not been accounted for [sic].”

I’m quite certain the victims of natural disasters everywhere would like a word with you, little man. Namely considering what the Church – not Pat Robertson’s mousey house is doing – but God’s people are doing for the Haitians.

Home of Santeria, Voodoo and all sorts of diabolical mischief or not, these are people with nothing, children with nowhere to go and families with no food. Yet, here’s Kenneth Copeland flying the friendly skies and cushioning his seat with cash. Your cash.

And we wonder why instead of fellow brothers and sisters lining along the Wall proclaiming the truth of Christ, we have the lost, the hurting and the bitter hurling Molotov Cocktails at these bricks. This mess makes us look terrible, but if “God’s chosen ministers” are full of more crap than a Christmas turkey, who’s to say us Jesus minions aren’t as well?!

MEMO to COPELAND: When the old spiritual sings, “I’ll fly away,” it wasn’t talking …because of guilt or shame. Evidently, you have both while swirling in the clouds. At least you should.

Without hesitation, if you were to ask me, “HiScrivener, what music do you prefer when you need a quick pick-me-up,” I would answer before the first verb came out of your mouth.

Sure, I like some old school hip-hop as much as the next (or even Nu Soul), but that’s not it. I fancy some New Jack Swing to feel good, or even classic soul to get a little chill. I have even been known to throw on “The Eagles Greatest Hits” or anything by Stevie Ray Vaughan when mowing the grass.

However, none of those melodious genres can put a smile on my face and a tap in my step as quickly as Southern Gospel.

Whether it’s something you would hear from the Gaithers or anything when the great Donnie McClurkin is waxing nostalgic on a live CD, praise that name of Jesus and this brother is feeling good.

So, when I visited another brick in the Wall, Wickle, and saw the name “Ray Stevens,” I was so in. Glad I did because although this song is a classic and helped me get my groove on, and the visions in the video are all too familiar, this genius song forces the Church to consider who it is we worship rather than the tools he uses.

(And I meant that as vessels… not dimwits. But eh, a little Freudian slip never hurt anyone.)

Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8 NKJV).

There isn’t a child of God alive that hasn’t heard this scripture attached to a message on tithing or a capital fundraising campaign. Now, let’s keep the pulpit pimps out of this conversation… this is for the real people doing real stuff for Jesus.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a continued problem with money in today’s churches according to a recent USA Today article.

Citing a national survey by LifeWay research, it seems the Church needs a stimulus package wrapped in swaddling cloths because it ain’t getting it from the people warming the pews:

  • 28% reported raising less money than in 2008.
  • 57% said the poor economy was hurting their church.
  • 70% reported increased requests from people outside their congregation for assistance.
  • 43% budgeted more money to help more needy people.
  • 3% were considering closing down their churches.

Of course, these harrowing statistics don’t include the scheming rallying cries of Rick Warren and Rod Parsley who pleaded for a rapid-fire stimulus package of their own… and got it.

No, these numbers reflect the corner church in your community, the pastor of 40+ years in your neighborhood who loves the Word of God but doesn’t have the benefit of TBN.

In 2009, pleas for cash have rose dramatically while answers for change have decreased at the same rate. Of course, it’s the economy. The question is about the faith side of things though.

“Churches have not yet entered the recovery,” says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. “Historically, they tend to recover financially when unemployment decreases, usually after the economy as a whole” recovers.

And why is that?

Many, many Christians across the U.S. hear the vitriol of a bill collector on the other side of their phone far more than the comforting, dulcet tones of their pastors. Where do you think their cash goes?

Is that still robbing God or just keeping the lights on?

Full disclosure: I have said before that building this Wall was cathartic for me. I was unemployed for months, with no light at the end of that tunnel. Actually, the only light I could see was a truck speeding toward me to run me over.

Did I tithe? For a few months… and then I bought groceries, paid utilities and made sure my home wasn’t repossessed. Erstwhile was that scripture in Malachi chiming in my head, but I had to believe Jesus knew my heart.

Is it that important to God because I felt guilty?

Crown Financial Ministries says that there are actually about 2,350 verses on finances and possessions in the Bible. That is more verses – more material – than all 13 letters in the New Testament that Paul wrote! God obviously cares about our view of possessions to instruct us that much about it.

So, surely he knows the hearts of all these nameless statistics who want to give, but can’t. Right?

God loves a “cheerful giver,” and how full of glee can you be when your phone is ringing off the hook with ne’er-do-wells looking to collect a check? Not much.

Sure, you may “reap sparingly,” but at least that reaping will come while the heat is still on in the house. Wall Watchers, these numbers got a brother thinking. What are your thoughts?

That insight could be a blessing to many brothers and sisters dealing with this… or are one of those numbers themselves. Peace.