Posts Tagged ‘episcopal’

Meet the Schullers. So cute back then.

Once upon a time, in a TV far, far away was a chisled-chinned boy named Bobby.

Now, Bobby’s daddy was a famous preacher who decided to hang up the tunic and enjoy his golden years. Bobby took the reins of the “powerful” ministry, dawned the pastor rapper medallion and began preaching on TV, reading biblical prose off teleprompters and giving kitschy anecdotes about people who sound like they just traipsed off the set of “Leave It to Beaver.”

Three years later, Daddy missed his bling and kicked Bobby to the curb. Instead of an amicable “Aw gee, Daddy” parting of the ways, it’s been more like the exodus and the Red Sea.

Daddy lost control – and it seems, his mind. First, it was musical preachers. Then, Junior quit his job and left the church all together. Afterwards, the megachurch began hurting for the tithe it used to get, and the light bill wasn’t getting paid.

And now, we have some musings from Junior’s rather eloquent wifey, which has been captured in the Orange County Register.

Evidently in the story here, Bobby missed the bling too and he is getting his own church and Internet ministry. To which, this proud pontificate shouts, “Bravo!”

What appeared as “Father Knows Best” on TV, is actually a scene from “Gunsmoke” in reality. Family members are firing off opinions at each other and who is left to suffer – as usual in Christendom – the people.

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Looks like Daddy needed to read his marquee

Pathetic. Ratings were up. Membership was increasing. And pop gets a hankering for his old gig and creates this mess.

It’s shameful, because not only are some people out a good pastor in Junior Schuller, but most folk don’t call the grandiose Crystal Cathedral “home” any longer.

Let’s hear what his bethrothed (and fellow blogger), Donna has to say:

“These days Robert has been very hard at work developing a new Christian ministry, which will allow him the honor of continuing to speak inspiration and hope to the world,” she writes. “He will do this once again spreading the good news of Christ on television and on the World Wide Web. More to come on this very creative and new way of doing ministry when it is time.”

Well, unless he is planning on doing it shirtless from horseback while musing about the Tetramorph, I can’t imagine how much more sensationalized… er, creative TV ministry can get. But, that’s besides the point.

What’s important is Bobby is all grown up now, away from his father’s ecumenical teet and having church on his own… the way it should have been all along. And it seems it runs in the family, as his own son – anyone on the name? anyone? Bobby. I know. I was stunned too – is leading a church and something called the St. Patrick Project.

The ministry itself has seen better days. What once was held in the nurturing bosom of the Crystal Cathedral is now being held at the American Legion Building nearby. A quick hagiograph makes me think Bobby is banishing snakes from his building or teaching the veteran curmudgeons about the Trinity with a Shamrock, but I could be wrong.

However, one thing I am not wrong about is this:

All of this could have been avoided if Robert Schuller acted more like a father and less like a pastor. What’s worse is that folk shunned from the Crystal Cathedral (and other nameless churches around the globe) understand that analogy all too well. Thanks for keeping up the status quo, Pastor.

Junior, make us proud… since you know, Pop is too bitter right now.

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I once heard a pastor extol some genius when discussing some inane practices of certain legalistic denominations, “Ladies, I have a prophecy: If the barn needs painting, paint it!”

Oddly enough, the people who laughed the loudest were the women who looked like TBN rejects. Nice.

A "cut" below the rest

A "cut" below the rest

So, I took a stroll down Amnesia Lane when I read this story about some tool who did a little more than painting his own barn.

Meet William Blasingame – a 66-year-old Episcopal priest from Staten Island, a tool whose mid-life crisis came late and a fool whose tail is on the line for the big house as he stole almost $85,000 from his church for… wait for it… paint, er… plastic surgery and botox!

As the lovely story in the New York Post gets nice:

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the cutest clergyman of them all…

Blasingame is busted by the Staten Island D.A. for his vanity run-a-muck and jonesin’ for botox, plastic surgery and some sweet duds like gold-embossed suits and leather shoes imported from London.

So, for his quest for the needle of youth, Blasingame could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of second-degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

And look at him. Who’s the cute priest? Who’s the cute priest? It ain’t you, holmes.

Can you imagine warming a pew at the historic St. Paul Memorial Episcopal Church and Sunday after Sunday, the Rev. looks more and more surprised by standing still. He starts coming to the pulpit with his own soundtrack, “Send in the Clowns.” And then there’s the appearance of his eyebrows going north until they meet his receding hairline?!

Since Blasingame isn’t a big fan of biblical truth and spiritual dogma, allow me to crack open my KJV66:

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase. (Proverbs 13:11)

plastic-surgery-demotivational-postRegretfully, this is a scripture not many sideshow televangelists recollect during their weekly pontifications. You have to work at everything, including looking young.

But, in the event of keeping one’s ministry relevant, these Ponce de Leon groupies [COUGH… like Paula White… and her ex-hubbie… GAG] become Blade Runner and go under the knife.

The question is Why? People get old, it’s a fact of life. I understand surgery after pregnancy. I get physical deformity. But lypo or getting a face lift so tight that if you sneeze, your ears would clap, I no comprende?!

We are supposed to be living epistles, not walking edifices. We are to be witnesses for God’s glory, not a testimony for man’s genius. Where’s the rub? TV preacher, you come across as a fraud to what you are proselytizing. How can attest on how God “accepts you the way you are,” when you can’t even accept the way you are?!

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. But at least I’m in my own skin and not some plastique counterpart that forces God hand to play peek-a-boo and guessing who I am. And then when you are so addicted to it that you begin fleecing your sheep to make Armani sweaters, Houston we have a problem.

To include "repositioning yourself" on the couch and catch "Return of the Jedi"

To include "repositioning yourself" on the couch and catch "Return of the Jedi"

It was a day of pomp, circumstance and about two million of the Obama’s closest friends. But none of that hullabaloo stopped the BarackStar and family from going to church for the first time as the first family.

So, off they went to St. John’s Episcopal Church, better known as “The Church of the Presidents”, to hear the dulcit tones of “America’s Best Preacher,” Bishop T.D. Jakes… because when you want to kick things off, a brother has to go all out. Right?

According to Time magazine, his message for concise and was the polestar of the day’s festivities:

Dallas pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes offered a warning as well as a blessing: “You cannot change what you will not confront,” he said. “This is a moment of confrontation in this country … The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple, and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.

I’m sure there was more homiletics involved, but he was personally asked by the president to preach, so what do you expect? A fire and brimstone message of how sinners will burn in hell, even those with a peculiar middle name that sounds remarkably Muslimer, anti-Christian?! Not so much.

However, if the mand of Gawd (S’up ST) was fallible in any area of his fecund message was his small talk and proclivity for pop culture references, according to the great Jeffrey Weiss of the Dallas Morning News:

According to the media pool report of Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day Prayer Service, Bishop T.D. Jakes messed up on his pop-culture science fiction… and ended his prayer with: I say to you as my son who is here today, my 14-year-old son – he probably would not quote scripture. He probably would use Star Trek instead, and so I say, ‘May the force be with you.”

“Keep it real.” I love it when that phrase sticks close to the vest… or the collar. Nice, indeed.

Do you have the TiVo set to record the historic presidential inauguration? If not, you may miss the world’s worst attempt at being P.C.

obama-messiahOriginally, the BarackStar chose a controversial source for enlightenment – Rick Warren – to kick off his administration in prayer.

Not such a problem, right? He figures that dude isn’t that well known for preaching in the name of Jesus, so his GLBT faction won’t get so terribly upset. Yeah, not so much.

So, he gets frantic. What can he do to appease the atheists, calm down the liberals and get his homosexual voters down from the edge. Ah, according to WOW News’ The Seeker, have an openly gay Bishop pray for him too. Yeah, that’ll fix ’em.

On Sunday, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop will offer a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural event for President-elect Barack Obama. The selection of New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson for Sunday’s event follows weeks of criticism from gay-rights groups over Obama’s decision to have Warren pray at his Jan. 20 inauguration.

And just for kicks, “Bishop” Robinson doesn’t even plan to pray with the Bible citing issues the KJV doesn’t match his shoes:

“While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans,” Robinson said. “I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer. This is a prayer for the whole nation.”

Uh, yeah. About that? Either you are an ordained Bishop in the very Church that supposedly calls Jesus Christ, LORD, or you just dig wearing black because it makes you look like an ar-teest. And if so, please sit down and shut up!

Well, that’s what I say. Rick Warren has said something too, but eh, it’s all kosher to him:

President-elect Obama has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of good will together in search of common groud,” he said in a statement to Christianity Today reported on the magazine’s Politics Blog. I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen.’

Aw shucks. You know, I thought when he won the election, his desire to “be president of every citizen” was kind of a moot point. He is president of every citizen, but even politicians have to stand on something. That is, unless there’s room on that fence you are currently practicing your balancing act upon. Hrm?

One of my most immense pet peeves is the inane question, “What religion are you?” Argh!

I understand people outside of the Church, and some of the lukewarm fish inside of it, don’t know – or don’t care – to understand the difference between denominations and religion. But, there is a huge difference.

And then add to the mix, “What faith are you?” Oy! I’m liable to go back to seminary and fasten a seat belt because my head is spinning like a drunk in the middle of Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

So says HiScrivener: Faith is an ardent belief in a deity. Religion is a codified doctrine to follow a deity. Denominations are defined by the methodology people choose to celebrate their deity.

jesus-relationship-not-religion

According to this story in the New York Times, people are truly searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ, rather than fancying a stroll into some religious house of worship, apothegm and dunderheads.

For at least a generation, scholars have noted that more Americans are moving among faiths, as denominational loyalty erodes. But the survey, based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans, offers one of the clearest views yet of that trend, scholars said. The United States Census does not track religious affiliation.

So, being a Zionist, can I wake up and decide to become an Orthodox Jew just to feel a little closer to God? Come to think of it, my pastor just doesn’t bring me into the Holy of Holies anymore. Perhaps, I watch my Gandhi DVD, get a little flummoxed at his stance for non-violence and throw away my crucifix to become Hindu. How about that? Besides that, I love hamburger and I get to worship cows. Nice.

Isn’t that what religion, faith and denominations are all about? Bowling for Jesus? A slot machine to insert your dimes and pray for all cherries, and DING DING, salvation is yours? Seriously! This world doesn’t seem to have a clue, and you know what Church? It’s possibly all our fault!

A journey all of us should fancy

A journey all of us should fancy

Question: If we are the salt of the earth, does the way you live for Christ make folk thirsty for your faith, religion or denomination? Evidently, we still need water out there.

In the Pew survey 7.3 percent of the adult population said they were unaffiliated with a faith as children. That segment increases to 16.1 percent of the population in adulthood, the survey found. The unaffiliated are largely under 50 and male. “Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13 percent of women,” the survey said.

The Word of God in James’ letter tells us this:

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Here. Here. Those “orphans” and “widows” are not the homeless, the destitute and the maligned. They are not “Baptists,” “Catholics,” “Episcopalians,” and what not. They are people all of them – each with real issues who happen to warm a pew in a Baptist church, a Catholic church, an Episcopalian church or whatever megachurch they attend, or at least brag about attending.

Do you see the difference? The world doesn’t. Jesus did.

My prayer? I hope we all can begin to see this stark difference as well, and start to witness people throwing away their “church membership” cards and just appreciate being part of the Church as a whole.