Archive for April, 2010

Ed Young loves his jet as much as he loves the cash.

Your money at Fellowship is... leaving, on a jet plane...

Earlier this month, we spray painted all over the Wall the alarming tale of yet another megachurch pastor who can’t get enough of his private jet.

In fact, Ed Young enjoys the jet so much, he takes it to locals so novel for “evangelism” that he requires two floaties, suntan lotion and a rubber ducky. Case in point, the follow up story Dallas TV station WFAA-TV did on Ed Young that depicts a man who would rather get a lovely stamp on his passport than you know, do something for Jesus.

Ed Young — the pastor at Fellowship Church in Grapevine [Texas] —  may soon have to answer for the numerous trips by the leased church jet to resort locations.  It’s luxury air travel that costs tens of thousands of dollars per trip.

Tens of thousands?! Unless that dude is coming back to his church with countless tales of missiological exploits, something tells me folk tithe ain’t going to the building fund.And evidently, he’s feeling the heat from the first go-round:

While Young is not legally or professionally obligated to disclose anything to his congregants, he did respond to our report about his travel three days after our initial story aired in February. “This year I am flying commercially like a mad dog to places all over the world,” Young said. “I have also chartered planes.

“THIS YEAR”... as opposed to last year when he took his family to every island in the Bahamas via a church-paid-for jet?! I wonder how many of the church members get to ride that thing, seeing how they paid for it and everything.

Sorry? No one? Hrm.Yet, somehow, that jet is getting some mileage in the name of God:

Using dates, times and destinations dating back to March 2007 when the jet was acquired, we plotted the trips on a monthly calendar. The record shows the jet was used on 416 days in less than three years.

Among those trips were some well known missionary locations and evangelism hot beds, such as:

In addition to the trips to Miami, the church jet took Young on a five-day trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where — in addition to visiting a few area churches —  fishing was on the menu for him and his attorney, Dennis Brewer.

We asked the church for a list of its ministries. None was located in Cabo San Lucas. Add to that six trips by the church jet to the Bahamas, one to Anguilla, one to Belize, and one to England. Again, when asked for a list of foreign ministries, none of those countries was mentioned.

I missed the DVD series that discussed and regaled about the lost souls Ed Young went fishing… er, sorry? Wrong kind of fishing? Well, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

You know, in a day of necessary transparency, there are still a gaggle of ne’er-do-well preachers that is ostensibly in the dark. Their finances, their duties, their ministry needs – each are cloaked in “privacy” and the “Lord’s bidding.” I understand if you have some discretionary cash, and I’m not mad at you.

Write your books. Sell your software. Copyright your conferences. But do not sheer your sheep!

In a day when money is more of a commodity than anything, the last thing any good-intending Christ followers needs is for some fool to come around and treat their tithes and offerings like a free lotto ticket.

Of course, Young has an answer for that one:

‘When I do anything personally, whether it be on a commercial aircraft or a charter aircraft, I always, always, always pay for it,” Young said. “I have teams of accountants watching every single penny.”

Their watching your pennies… but who is watching them? And sure he pays for it… with whose money? Until those questions are answered, there will always be a lack of sincerity when it comes to “fellowship” with this cat.

Unless, of course he is outside a pool in the Tropics.

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I'm too sexy for my Clerics

Am I the only fop that hasn’t seen this about a once-famous girl idol gone swiftly into a realm where no Episcopalian has ever gone before?

Meet Barbie – only she found Jesus… or perhaps raided Madonna’s reject collection. Check out the threads.

Our fashion model is rocking the latest in Episcopal Vicar wear today. Fresh from her spa appointment, the heifers munching on their Funyuns were saying, “Faw-faw-faw-faw-faw.”

And if there mouths weren’t pushing maximum density, I’m certain that would sound like, “Girl, when I get with Jesus, that’s exactly how I’m going to church.”

From WOW News’ Religion News Service:

The 11.5-inch-tall fictional graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif., has donned a cassock and surplice and is rector at St. Barbara’s-by-the-Sea in (where else?) Malibu, Calif.

She arrived at the church fully accessorized, as is Barbie’s custom. Her impeccably tailored ecclesiastical vestments include various colored chasubles (the sleeveless vestments worn at Mass) for every liturgical season, black clergy shirt with white collar, neat skirt and heels, a laptop with prepared sermon and a miniature, genuine Bible.

I doubt this is an evangelism tool from Mattel, so why in heaven do this? Do the dolts running this age-old brand really believe they will up their market share with this – Episco-Barbie?!

Turns out our evangelical babe isn’t from Mattel at all. It’s a gift from Rev. Julie Blake Fisher, an Episcopal priest in Kent, Ohio to her friend, fellow female priest, Rev. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, rector of Christ (Episcopal) Church, in Manlius, N.Y., near Syracuse.

“I got a phone call from my husband who said a large package had arrived; Julie had told me that she was making something for me. She used to be a dressmaker and she makes gorgeous stoles, so I thought she was making me a stole,” said Cleaver-Bartholomew. “When I came home and there was this enormous box, I knew it wasn’t just a stole!”

Fisher had made Episcopal Priest Barbie and a few vestments two years ago for the children in her parish to dress. And now, homely girls everywhere are asking Santa Jesus for this doll. (Incense not included).

You know, this is actually a smart move because as all divas know, black works with everything.

For the Jesus aficionados searching for the latest trinket for your little princess, I wonder what’s next [cue harp music]:

  1. Pentecostal Barbie – She can have the same raggedy hair and little girls will save money as they make her clothes too.
  2. Baptist Barbie – As the women serve in various outreaches, now they know they can look smart and work those pumps.
  3. Jehovah’s Witness Barbie – Good thing it’s only a doll because – like the real-life version – this one won’t talk in church either.
  4. Megachurch Barbie – Accessorize for the Lawd! And, when anorexia hits, rock the clerics and hide those stretch marks, girls.
  5. Mormon Barbie – She will work the Vicar look head-to-toe, only hers will be in 100% polyester. (Pair of Missionary Kens definitely not included).

Well, well. Tim Tebow, America’s sweetheart quarterback. defies logic once again as he gets drafted to Denver. In the first round, no less.

Even more amazing is that no one has been this giddy over a white Bronco since O.J. Simpson.

If eye paint could only speak

NCAA: That crap in your eye better be a tear from now on, kids.

But seriously folks, this country can’t enough of the man who walks on Swamp Water. What with the global missionary work to domestic witnessing via interviews in which Jesus always gets a shout out, it’s remarkable this guy isn’t a traveling evangelist in the Church of God circuit.

And now, the country and the sport has one more reason to hold him in apogee – the soon and suitably-soon-to-be-called “Tim Tebow rule,” as noted in this story from CBS News.

The NCAA rules panel announced that eye black with messages and wedge blocks will be banned in college football next season.

Yeah, because heaven forbid these student athletes exercise the right to spell during a football game. What’s the big deal anyway? Someone putting the game on pause too long to read Tim Tebow’s eye black?

Dear Lord, say it isn’t so.

What about the rest of the football nation that thinks its Feng Shui to put their area code in the schmutz under their eyes, as if the Mayor of “202-town” will call President Obama, “Dude! You see that? D.C. is on TV. West side!”

According to a similar story in the Huffington Post, this has “nothing” to do with Jesus, evangelism or Mr. Timothy Tebow:

“When this rule was proposed the committee did not focus on any one team or student athlete,” said Cameron Schuh, a spokesman for the NCAA. “That measure reinforces what the intended use of eye black is, which is to shade the eyes from the sun.

I call B.S. on this play.

Does the gray hi-lighter Tim uses in his eye paint somehow chemically altar the eye black and cause blindness when in direct contact with the sun? Of course not. This smacks of this country’s legal prejudice against the Church rising up once again and no one is around to say a word – not even Tebow.

And why would he? The boy will become the highest-paid “leader” in NFL history and will probably be carrying a clipboard most of the year. Yet, there he will be – in the pros – eye blacked out and evangelizing to the nation. Just like a soldier on God’s team should.

Makes sense too because with every vicious and bone crushing hit we see on television and Tebow witnesses from the sideline, there’s a reason for church with the cries of “Dear God” clamoring from the stands. It’s Sunday… what else do you expect?!

In life, there are certain signs that are visible; yet silent that scream “Danger Will Robinson” as your brain begins to go into screen saver mode much more frequently. Things such as:

  1. Folk calling you at 7 p.m. and their first sentence is, “I didn’t wake you, right?”
  2. The term “Good Grass” now only applies when discussing the neighbor’s lawn.
  3. You pee every morning like clockwork at 6:30 a.m. – only you don’t wake up until 8 a.m.
The connection from church to gay isn't that far for some priests

I post. You decide. And possibly giggle.

Another is when you are successful, powerful, influential and suddenly… you hire a lawyer?! Really? Such is life for one Joseph “Pope B16” Ratzinger, according to this article from Yahoo! and AP.

Everything is groovy at St. Peter’s Basilica. You know, the guys in funny suits harking to every whim, a nation at your disposal and a world as your footstool for those kicking red shoes (this ain’t Kansas anymore, B. Word. Up.)

Until one day, Il Papa gets a call that his righteous judgment is in question about a serial child molester who was never defrocked, much less punished by law. Oh, and you were the one at the helm when it happened over a period of one… or two… eh, decades.

And so, in a fit of divine inspiration and sublime panic, the Vatican realizes God isn’t enough protection for this ballyhoo:

But as the Vatican reels from a swirling clerical sex abuse crisis, the Holy See has turned to an unusual advocate: a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley, Calif., whose obscure interest in sovereign immunity law and fluency in Italian landed him the job of the pope’s U.S. lawyer.

There’s a mantra in public relations that says, “Perception is reality.” So, which one is this?

Does the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church just need some legal advice or is there something to hide? Is he sweeping something under that big funny hat of his or just in need of a friend who happens to understand this enigmatic “sovereign immunity law”?

[His] latest project: defend Pope Benedict XVI against allegations that he personally, and the Vatican generally, turned a blind eye to decades of rapes and molestation of children by priests. The Vatican has vehemently denied such reports, saying the pope has done more than anyone to root out abusers.

“What is most important for people to know is that he does understand, that his heart is moved,” Lena said. “He has seen the files, he gets it, and indeed he got it long before most others did.”

Yet, there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room wearing a nice, flowing robe, blinging with some gold-encrusted crucifix and that nice, silk beanie missing the twirling propeller. We know when confronted with a sinister man who sexually abused hundreds of deaf boys – and admitted it – the once Cardinal Ratzinger was more concerned about the media hit than the welfare of the acolytes.

To borrow a slogan, "They need hope and change."

And now? It seems the Holy See is still concerned about the perception instead of the reality.

I appreciate his recent tearful homily in Malta where the Pope said he would “seek justice for pedophile priests and implement effective measures to protect young people from abuse.” However, if you knew the Catholic Church had so many raging freaks on the down low, why not come out swinging the moment the black smoke billowed in the Vatican sky?

Is this apoplectic concern because you are tired of the madness, or just sick of being called out for it?

Pope Benedict even visited some of these victims. According to the USA Today story:

“He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future,” the Vatican statement said.

I applaud that. I get that. But there’s still that lawyer thing. Out of nowhere is a simple man who probably smells of Chai tea, fresh ink and day-old Brut cologne. Yet, he is the appointed counsel for the Holy See… who is supposed to getting his counsel from our holy Father.

Lawyers provide protection, comfort and peace in the midst of a tumultuous storm, but is that necessary unless you are out in a boat amidst a hurricane? The Vatican certainly is getting pelted with a flurry of law suits, and rightly so. However, there is a demand for stronger action against these freaks who abuse innocent boys.

Please? Defrocking a priest is a slap on the wrist compared to the righteous judgment they deserve; yet that doesn’t even happen to some of these dudes with soiled collars.

There are good priests, phenomenal in their church and communities who watch this mess and know their names are stained because of the work of these dolts. Those bad seeds should be plucked out and exposed for the fools they are, but instead, their fearless leader gets legal representation.

It just smacks more of hiding than fighting… and in a time of despair, there needs to be some righteous indignation and holy fisticuffs coming from the Papal offices. Instead, we get a sinewy finger pointing in our direction as if it’s our fault.

Consider this story from USA Today and a report from the Pope demanding “We must repent.”

“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent,’ which seemed too tough,” ANSA [the Pontifical News Agency] quoted Benedict as saying. “But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives.”

Sorry my brother but we need to repent daily for our sins… but this ain’t one of them. Enough posturing, blaming and running. People demand backbones from their leaders – not wishbones.

The Papal office is supposed to be the divine revelation of God. What the Catholic Church needs, nee should demand is for that office to become the divine representation of God as well.

And that is something not found in a legal brief or a courtroom. It comes with prayer, repentance and an earnest desire to hearken to the Spirit of God. If there is anyone on this planet who is capable of focusing on God’s will, it’s this guy. Church – and I mean all of us – we need to pray for the Pope as never before.

Lord Jesus, bring peace to this petulance. Bring hope for the hurting. Bring a solution for the suffering.

Whether you attend a Catholic Church, this guy needs our support because there are more than a billion ardent people looking to Rome for an answer and some action. They don’t need to see legal writ or spin control. They need action and an unction from Pope Benedict to put an end to this sardonic behavior, face the evil that it is and sick the legion of heaven on it.

Heck, I saw “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” I know that can happen. Perception is reality. Remember?

Before I delve into this rant that has a brother scalding under the ministerial collar, allow me to share a divine perspective:

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)

God hates fags is not even close what God wants to say

Sure, they can spell and coordinate colors. But, yeah, still stupid.

Now while others are acting too spiritual, let’s be real. Every one of us has transgressed at least one of these abysmal things that God hates – not feels uncomfortable, not strongly discourages, not doesn’t get a good feeling… no, he HATES these things.

That’s necessary to stress because while it is good for fun and yuks to bash a gay person in order for folk to feel all glorified, God does not hate gay people! Not one bit. If that were the case, it would be listed there.

Apparently, there is one sorely misled and misinformed group of “believers” that love to pray to God and in their spare time, they picket dead U.S. soldiers funerals and blame their death on “fags”. Keeping it classy in the 21st century.

Well, much to their chagrin and the applause of the rest of us, one military dad is taking their heathen behinds to court, according to MSNBC.com:

Hundreds of grieving families have been targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church, which believes military deaths are the work of a wrathful God who punishes the United States for tolerating homosexuality. Most mourners try to ignore the taunts. But [Marine father, Albert] Snyder couldn’t let it go. He became the first to sue the church to halt the demonstrations, and he’s pursued the group farther than anyone else.

I’m flabbergasted it took this long. Those people resemble as much of Christianity as Adolf Hitler did of God’s love. These are vile human beings who believe the Bible is there for them, and them only. They’re not out for witnessing, outreach or the Great Commission. All these troglodytes care about is saying what’s wrong with life and who is to blame for it.

In other words, if I was in the habit of hurling eff bombs like hand grenades, I would unload an arsenal on these tools. It’s shameful what they do… and try to pass it off as God’s will, way and work in this earth.

Snyder’s lawsuit accuses the Topeka, Kan., church of invading his privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He has the backing of his ex-wife and his two daughters, but Snyder insisted on being the only plaintiff.

Yeah, because that’s how you thank the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom – or worse yet, died for it – by defaming the way in which they did it. MEMO to Westboro: You are in Kansas. The next time there’s a tornado, please take a very close look for Auntie Em twirling in that joker. Please?

If those DBs had done anything in their bible study classes except figure out what catchy headlines to plaster on their Wal-Mart poster boards, they would have read and researched a few things in the bible that may show them how idiotic they are:

“If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!” (Hebrews 10:26 MSG)

Still not making a dent?

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. (1 John 4:7-9 NLT)

Listen, there is nothing that says love about these signs, actions or people. They are disgusting representations of what Christ demands from his children. And, honestly, the next time it rains in Topeka, I would drive as far and fast down the Kansas turnpike as possible. Things could get a little hot.

Oh, one other thing, if any of these soldiers are British, you’re only telling their parents that God hates cigarettes. In that case, thanks for the public service announcement. Now, you may shut up.

By the way, save your free speech argument. The U.S. Constitution never meant to allow this kind of mental disease, badgering and borderline torture for the parents of dead soldiers who have to endure these attacks.

Privacy is protected, as is free speech. With this being the blurry line between the two, I think we just need to have the pastor of this “church” and old man Snyder rock the Octagon and get down with some MMA action.

That’ll show someone a righteous action – the “laying on of hands ministry” and the “vengeance of God.” Have mercy.