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Nice tune, eh?

While I am humming the Stevie Wonder part of that chummy song, I think of an unlikely tandem not often read about in ecumenical circles – Creflo & Gregory Dollar.

OK, HiScrivener. I’ve heard of – and laughed at – one of them, but who’s that other guy? Well, for starters, he is the white adopted son of TBN-evangelist Creflo and skilled TV producer of Dad’s show (no smarmy comment, he’s good at his gig) .

love-in-the-darknessI KNOW?!

Evidently, he has a book coming out, “Love in the Darkness: My Life as Creflo Dollar’s Son” and is making the rounds with the media (I know… insert your jokes here. There’s a few of them that can be applicable).

Dude even has a customized, and albeit morose, MySpace page.

In it, [Greg] Dollar tells of how “a white boy, unusually abused, out of control, and hurting, was rescued by a black man.” It continues, “Gregory Campbell is forced to grow up too fast and too hard,” explains the official synopsis of the book, referring to Dollar by the surname of a former stepfather.

This is a perplexing story.

On one hand, you have a preacher – a talented teacher – who by any conceivable comprehension has traversed down a path where the Gospel serves him instead of the other way around. And then you have a guy with a church of eight who meets this tortured soul and snatches him, despite color, creed or culture, and takes him in from the cold.

To add to the drama, and precarious timing, we have this:

His father’s critics, however, will likely see the book as an attempt to paint a sympathetic view of the prosperity preacher, who is one of the six televangelists under investigation over allegations of opulent spending and possible abuse of their nonprofit status.

Yeah, there’s that. But, call me a sap. I choose to celebrate with the younger Dollar and his Prodigal Son story. He is the epitome of that parable – out and about and still welcomed inside. And that, regardless of the faux exterior of righteousness, warms my heart… if only for a while.

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We are in the high holy days of Lenten.

And, if you are of the Catholic ilk, what are you laying down for the season? Chocolate? Sex? Anything? Well, if you have heard from the Vatican lately, you probably aren’t reading this post.

The Italian branch of the Roman Catholic Church wants its followers to forswear text messaging, social-networking Web sites and computer games in the run-up to Easter. While many Italians traditionally give up fatty foods or, in extremis, alcohol, the appeal to go without some of the trappings of the modern world, including Facebook, iPhones and computer games, on Fridays — and on other days if possible — is unprecedented.

Hey Pope, who's in your five?

Hey Pope, who's in your five?

And now for one of the most hypocritical and hilarious things I’ve heard in a while:

The Pontiff warned on his YouTube site in January that “obsessive” use of mobile phones or computers “may isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.”

The Pope has a YouTube site… that (wait for it) has not shut down and is operational as of 10 hours ago. Nice.

Maybe while you are at it, unplug all those power breakers that are most likely running on some sort of electronic panel.

Rock it Old School, playa.

Have high mass by candlelight, never mind not having electricity. People will think it’s Christmas… right until Easter. How sacrosanct is that?!

Genius move, Il Papa. Just keep your site active for all those people who will give up chocolate instead. People still need to get their video voyeur on. And then, can call all their friends in CCD class with those rollover minutes they are saving.

Thanks to some well-laid masonry by “Another Brick in the Wall,” A Little Leaven, we have a fine clip of heresy on this week’s video evangelism.

So, there’s this mega-conference. You know the ones, bring in all the big wig preachers to blather on a particular subject, attract all underling pastor who, when they get all growed up, can be just like them.

Well, the paternal dunderhead at the Exponential ’09 conference is some tool named Gary Lamb, who seems he doesn’t know the first thing of the lamb, nor how he acted on this planet.

As a matter of fact, Gary is so out-of-sorts with Jesus (yet, he is this hired gun pastor) that he thinks a surefire way to lead some woman down The Romans Road,” and bombinate about soul-winning is that – and this is a direct quote – one of his biggest regrets is that he didn’t club a church lady with a baseball bat, punch her husband in the face and set fire to the church organ.

Don’t believe me? Watch why this utter charlatan doesn’t belong in this conference, much less any church. Enjoy.

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

What the famed prayer sculpture could look like now

Oral Roberts University has been going through the ringer lately. You know, having a president with a case of self-entitlement the size of this hair gel account and him bringing along a wife who has a hankering for cute co-eds and some text messaging will do that for a college. OMG!

Now, the lineage is gone (as is the endowment… allegedly), the frisky woman and her hot flashes have vanished, the debt is still an anchor around its academic neck and no leadership in sight… until now.

So, did they learn from their lesson, find a real academic and leave the TBN crowd behind? According to this story from the Tulsa World, um, kinda.

A pastor and missionary who turned a small Christian college into a recognized liberal arts university was named Wednesday as the candidate for president of Oral Roberts University... Mark Rutland is the author of 13 books and has a 30-minute syndicated daily radio program, “Herald of Joy.” He has also founded ministries in Ghana and Thailand.

So, we have a radio preacher here with a sterling reputation for hooking up megachurches to not pay its taxes?! Hrm.

ORU revealed in 2007 it was $55 million in debt, but a fundraising campaign has cut that amount to about $16 million.  A 2006 article in the Tampa Tribune referred to Rutland as a “turnaround man” based on his success in saving a megachurch in Florida that was $15 million in debt.

Multiply that kerfuffle by four and you have the trouble brewing at the Oral Roberts University. Rutland is an educator, but has been a missionary all his life. Trust me, this is a field to sow some seeds of accountability, deliverance, redemption and trust. Those are his lost children and the angst of public perception will be his persecution.

“I believe that the first thing that needs to happen is, at the wider constituencies at Oral Roberts, trust has to be restored,” he said. “The kind of balanced and thoughtful leadership has to happen there that can restore the goodwill of their constituencies and restore the confidence of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the world.”

Well, he’s off to a great start. He agrees with me. Good times and keep your eyes peeled, Wall Watchers.