Posts Tagged ‘evangelical’

Ted Haggard and his shirt

Courtesy: TallSkinnyKiwi.typepad.com

No, no. I mean starting a new church.

What did you think I meant? You Wall-watching gutter minds. Oy!

Anywhoo, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Ted is back with a vengeance and holding a “prayer meeting” on November 12 at… his house.

(Hey, isn’t that how he first got in trouble with his gay-lover-masseuse-meth-dealer-dude in the first place?)

Back to the story:

“We wanted to do something in our house to connect with friends,” said Haggard, whose ties to New Life ended in scandal three years ago with the revelation that he’d been involved with a male prostitute in Denver.

For the record, Haggard began the Colorado megachurch, New Life Church, with 25 people in his basement. The rest is history as he would become a force in ecumenicalism – one of the top pastors in America, voice to the president and leader of the National Association of Evangelicals as his own church surpassed 14,000.

Neither had a comment about Haggard and his new start-up, but suffice to say, I don’t think there is going to be a neighborhood sleep over any time soon.

“For this prayer meeting, I have no goals,” Haggard said. “I have no secret hope that more people will come. I am not driven as I was. Before I focused on the Great Commission. Now I focus on helping other people.”

MEMO to Sweet Teddy: I know you may be a little rusty on the Bible but the “Great Commission” (making disciples and all) is helping other people.

Haggard has been a busy boy since his unceremonious interlude with Mike Jones. He’s been selling insurance, giving “talks” on weekends and, as we posted on the Wall a while back, traipsing his family on national TV to “Divorce Court.”

Still classy after all these months.

And speaking of Mike Jones, the church volunteer Lothario had this to say about Haggard’s interloping with a home church service:

Ted Haggard certainly has the right to do what ever he wants and deserves to be happy in life.  But make no mistake: Ted does nothing by accident. This will be in the press, two months before Gayle’s book is released and then his book to follow.  At this point, publicity is publicity.

 

But to sum it up, if Ted and Gayle were at Disneyland,they would never leave Fantasyland.  But this time they have Oprah as Tinkerbell to spread the fairy dust.

Crazy, not stupid. Of course, this is about public relations. Ted knows how to work the press, just check Google. It hearts Haggard. Dude needs cash, credibility, and above all, cash.

Having a Tupperware party at his house won’t cut it, but get that on national TV and possibly with a TBN cameo, and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Question to all of us is: Should he be taken seriously?

forgiveness on the wall

Suitable, it being tagged on the Wall

Before we answer with a diatribe laced with vitriol and expletives, remember Capernaum anyone?

Peter decided he could quantify forgiveness because of the acts aginst him by some schlep he knew. He thought seven was a good number, seeing how he took that numerology class in Temple a few weeks back.

Jesus threw Peter a curve ball saying, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 NKJV).

Did Jesus wants to give Peter a pop quiz on his times tables, or was that a metaphorical way to say, “Dude, if I had a dollar for every time you screwed up…”

“No one can possibly keep count of such a high number of offenses,” writes John MacArthur in reference to 490 (the result of “seventy times seven”). “But that is precisely the point! Keeping count has nothing to do with true forgiveness. If an offense is sincerely forgiven, it cannot be held against the offender.” (John MacArthur. The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness. Crossway Books, 2009)

I don’t know about you , but I passed 490 years ago. [Shoot, who am I kidding, months ago.] My check would so bounce past food stamps and into welfare. However, God is bigger than that.

Do I think Haggard should be back in charge of a church now? Certainly not. There has got to be work God still has to do in his heart and his family’s life.

Do I think Haggard is forgiven? If he marched up to the throne of Grace – not before he marched up to his wife who is still with him –  and begged for it, you bet.

Do I think this is a great idea? No way… but I do understand. Albeit, a little.

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I once heard a sage pastor, who was a bit of a chauvinistic dinosaur, say when “edifying” the ladies on dating:

I have a prophecy – if the barn needs paint, break out a coat and get busy!

While the gasping and swooning was inaudible, many men were sitting in their seats and biting their lip until blood came out their nose. Ah, church. Ain’t it grand?

Look Ma, no swine. (Courtesy: AFP)

Look Ma, no swine. (Courtesy: AFP)

I was reminded of that rotund pearl of wisdom when I read this atypical story on Yahoo! about “religiously correct” make-up and a possible spiritual conversion.

For Muslim women who feel they are violating Islam’s teachings by using skin creams with alcohol and pig residues, Layla Mandi [pictured] has the answer: religiously-correct “halal” cosmetics. The Canadian makeup artist who converted to Islam is marketing cosmetics called OnePure, which she says have the luxury feel of international brands minus the elements banned under Islamic law.

For those not in the know, Kosher is to Jewish what Halal is to Muslim. It’s more than preference; it’s dogmatic law.

That said, why for, Mandi? (By the way, is it just me, or does this Muslim adherent look like some hottie outside of any beach town in the states?)

“Muslims don’t want to go around and pray five times a day having pork residues on their body,” said Mandi, in her early thirties and swathed in a slim black abaya, or cloak, with wisps of blond hair sticking from under her head scarf. “I came to the Middle East to learn more about people’s needs. Most were pretty shocked when I told them there were pork products in their skin care items so they were very interested.”

I realize it seems like she is saying there are Muslim women bathing in pickled pig’s feet, but to them, it’s the same as some Quranic women who just feel the need to douse a little foundation underneath her Hijab.

Suffice to say, this is big news in the world of marketing to Muslims, and considering the economy, good times for make-up manufacturers and the aforementioned direct sales syndicates. Again, what took so long?

I have been cooking with Morton’s Kosher salt for years, but I don’t think My Fair Lady smells bacon when she dabs on a little lipstick.

Moreover, how long is it going to take all those home-schooling mamas at church peddling Mary Kay and Avon on the side to start adding “We’re little piggy free” to all their make-up baskets?

And then there is the issue of yet another ridiculous, and soon-to-be-waaaaaay-overused PC term. Anyone catch that diabolical moniker? “Religiously Correct.” Oh. God. Help. Me. Please.

You know, let’s not stop there. In the spirit of dare not offending any religious follower, adherent or believer, how about:

  • Bovine-absent hamburgers for your favorite Buddhist. Sure, they call those vegans but let’s not worry about that right now.
  • Tantric-lite sleeping aides for that slumbering Hindu in your family. Let him or her get that Yoga on and feel refreshed once euphoria is reached. Namaste.
  • Something all of us could enjoy for a week or two, the acclaimed demon-free days. That’s right, just live without the temptation to visit ne’er-do-well Web site or charge the emergency credit card into a third-world credit rating.
  • For your friendly neighborhood Rastafarian, try the latest in marijuana-free brownies. Because when you need to cram for the next exam, why just have hippie lettuce rolled up in a fatty when you can tap into your inner Betty Crocker and get your baking on?

And for those of you needing something a little closer to the vest, wait… there’s more:

  • Condemnationally correct Baptists
  • Alcohol-correct Catholics
  • Musically included Church-of-Christs (real word?)
  • Follically and hairstyling correct Pentecostals
  • Financially correct Evangelicals (with a special emphasis on megachurch pastors and televangelists)
  • And for a bonus, just in time for Christmas, Universalism… with limits! Go figure?!

I love documentaries.

Call it a pet hobby of mine, but a well-done documentary is about as satisfying as a “Twilight” marathon for a 12-year old (or some of the 30-ish-year-olds I know).

But this one by Dan Merchant, “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers” should be amazing… you know, if supported by the Church. I discovered this film – due to hit theaters nationally September 25 – through a blogger on Examiner.com who links to the Wall.

First, a masonry shout-out to Shawn Paul Wood (the aforementioned examiner) for the love. Second, thanks for the insight. This movie looks great!

Want to see more? Check out this week’s video evangelism post, which is an excerpt from the genius Monty Python film, “The Life of Brian.” Wall Watchers, this movie is something we definitely need to get behind. Peace.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Cross Eyed: Lord, Save Us From Your F…“, posted with vodpod

In April, we posted on the Wall the plight of Mr. Thomas A. Rich… or as he is known to the Christendom blogosphere, FBC Jax Watchdog.

In that heralded post seen here, I hurled this visceral harangue about free speech, not acting like a pastor and potential bruising a man’s walk with God by confirming his fears about the eye of his defection.

Although Mr. Rich has been sniffing around and not barking much, he is taking a huge bite out of Pastor Brunson’s tail with… wait for it… a law suit.

The blogger, Tom Rich, claims his identity was unfairly revealed by JSO and church officials after he posted “critical articles on his blog called FBC Jax Watchdog about Pastor Mac Brunson of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville in 2007.”

Michael Roberts, Rich’s lawyer, told First Coast News the blogs were not threatening. Roberts said Rich was basically banned from the church after church officials learned his identity and filed a trespass warning with JSO.

All he needs is to be mustachioed

All he needs is to be mustachioed

Okay, we have some ill-wind blowing here. Evidently, our fellow blogger of the cloth got a bit too up-close-and-personal with the rotund reverend and now Mr. Rich isn’t welcome in Brunson’s church or those in the greater Jacksonville area thanks to his vitriol.

Hrm. Nowhere, seriously? I know there is a smaller pentecostal or evangelical church that could use the press.

MEMO to the Dog: Mix in something other than a Southern Baptist church where Mac doesn’t have the pastor on speed dial. The dude is uber-connected. Just sayin’.

Back to the show…

So, why sue to get back in church? Why make a mountain range out of the molehill known as a blowhard pastor doing what his ilk does… whatever the heck he wanted and not a “Yes Man” in sight to tell him erstwhile.

Rich declined on camera interview but said on his blog, “I desire through this lawsuit that an equally powerful message will be sent to influential church trustees and powerful pastors who seek to squelch dissent of their members through unbiblical bullying and intimidation tactics.

Please, visit the Other Bricks in the Wall. Perhaps, the ACME Arena. Or even, WOW News

Every blogger perched high atop the Wall are purveyors on a mission. Some discuss theology. Others rant about life and God. Most unveil the muck and the mire inside the pulpit. All are church-going, Jesus-loving folk.

I have a dollar that says Mr. Rich is as well, but he – like most of us – had some grievances with the goings-on in the pulpit so he exercised his freedom of speech to say what he wanted, when he wanted. And proceeded to do so with the thunderous yawp of, “You’ve been served.”

Much could be said of Mac Brunson.

After he crawled off the floor and got his thumb out of his mouth (you see, his feelers were hurted), he used his free speech to throw out an edict that Mr. Rich was banned from his church… and then got really juvenile by text messaging all his homiletical homies to be on the lookout for this dude who talks … eh, types smack.

Sure, what Mac did was not pastoral. What he did was class-less. What he did was waaay below what he is capable of doing (I know that first-hand). What he did was not in the WWJD mold. But, what he did was served lawfully.

So, whose side am I on? God’s.

As I channel the spirit of all Southern Baptist preachers out there, allow me to give you the three steps to not going this far, as told to us in Matthew 18:15-18 (CEV).

If one of my followers sins against you, go and point out what was wrong. (1.) But do it in private, just between the two of you. (2.) If that person listens, you have won back a follower. But if that one refuses to listen, take along one or two others. (3.) The Scriptures teach that every complaint must be proven true by two or more witnesses. If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church. Anyone who refuses to listen to the church must be treated like an unbeliever or a tax collector.

In Mr. Rich’s opinion, there was sin, so point it out he did. Technically, it was private because “FBC JAX” was anonymous, that is until Mac went snooping. Did Mac listen? Of course not, so the now unveiled Mr. Rich made it a little public, or created witnesses.

So far, so good. Right?

Here’s the rub: “If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church.” Um, Mac is that church, so who is Mr. Rich going to tell? God… or some other judge? Yeah, he hollered at Judge Mathis, or whatever TV judge is on in Florida.

You see, is it really what church was designed to be if you have to take legal recourse to get your blessed assurance back in the house? Not so much. Wouldn’t you have no other choice than to “forsake the assembly of the saints together” if you go this route? Then why do it?!

Thank you FBC JAX for the post office shot

Thank you FBC JAX for the post office shot

Ego and mean mugging is not worth this, Thomas. Mac will win this match and you will get throttled by other like-minded pastors. That’s just how certain pastor folk are – cliquish, insular and aristocratic. We can’t change it, we can only hope to contain it.

Wall Watchers, let’s pray for Thomas Rich. I don’t know him, but I would imagine deep down in places he doesn’t talk about at parties, he’s hurt.

Thomas, go back to God on this one, keep uncovering the unhallowed preacher folk, find another house of worship and keep on writing… because, quite frankly, we need more of you than we need more of them.

Coming to earth - in a theatre near you

Coming to earth - in a theatre near you

Last year, you may remember the fair warning to have your pets spayed or neutered in commemoration of the Mayan triune barnyard animal, Quetzalcoatl, who is a third snake, third bird and with some man parts sprinkled in there somewhere.

Brief history lesson: The Mayans had this quirky calendar back in 10 B.C. that ends December 21, 2012. I don’t know why?!

Maybe someone back then knew the economy would blow, the GOP couldn’t filibuster in Congress and “America’s Got Talent” would be on for another season. Woof!

Anywhoo, it seems 2012 is so far away, so the Q-Dog (and please know, being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., that pains me to write :)) has decided to make a special guest appearance to our fare burgh.

And darn nice of him too considering he is going to kill us all in a few years for his “Age of Transition.”

In case you haven’t been to the movies lately, it seems Quetzalcoatl’s transition will slither a few years early, just in time to come to a theater near you. So, starring as bird-snake-guy would be John Cusack?!

Okay, a few issues with that thrilling score and fireball-laden preview:

1. Mankind’s earliest civilization was indeed not the Mayans, which neared due north of Anno Domini line. That distinction has historically gone to the Sumer, which hailed from the Fertile Cresent near that Garden of Eden thingy. Oh, and that more than 9,000 years before for those doing the math at home.

2. The preview – I presume the Q Dog’s warning to us all – speaks of this year. And of course, O Cristo Rendentor (the noted Jesus statue in Brazil) is the first sacrosanct thing to get pummeled in the wake of the Mayan bird-snake-guy. Figures.

3. The Vatican is second on the dog doo list. Classy. Haven’t seen a synagogue or a mosque yet, but eh, I’m sure that’s just a co-winky-dink.

4. A large isthmus is hurled in the ocean. Yeah, I think hydroelectricity may save California’s energy crisis too. [Idea credited to Al Gore or somesuch. Carry on.]

5. We are asked to “find out the truth.” Well, unless I see 2012 in my Bible somewhere, I don’t think I’m going to find it helping your Web traffic and marketing efforts. Oh, sorry, that’s what you wanted me to do… drat.

Lastly, I would like to opine about this teaser that has been airing in theatres for about a year-and-a-half, which means the Q Dog is really trying to us non-Mayans’ attention.

So, we have this monk running for the hills to ring a bell. Who will hear that tribal gong? Well, don’t worry about that right now.

What’s important is there is a flood a’coming. Question is, says who? Anyone in production… er, ancient Maya heard of Noah?

I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life (Genesis 9:14 NIV)

If this is the case, then why is that monsoon hanging ten over the Himalayas?!

Answer: That’s Hollywood.

However, it also preying on the lost and the scared. People are apocalyptic by nature. Those who have no hope stored up for heaven think hell is just a rain drop away. And they will look anywhere for a sign of impending doom, from eerie books of faith to ancient civilization to astrologers’ conferences discussing the coming of “what’s his name”.

It’s called faith, and we need to use it – not only to believe Jesus is coming back when he wants, but also to use and tell others of that glorious day.

Regardless if you are Dispensationalist Premillennialists, A-mills, Post-mills or even Historic Mills… it doesn’t erase the Bible… and I don’t need a movie for this headline:

Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

It’s going to happen, and whether you believe in Jesus or not, one thing I can tell you is there is no bird-snake-dude named Quetzalcotal coming to “transition” you into anything but a movie ticket, a bag of popcorn and about two hours of sweet thrills.

No one can say 2012 is doomsday or the Apocalypse, but I would rather wait upon the sound of a trump as validated through more than 2,000 of proven history than a mythological being that no one has ever documented in reality.

Anyone care to search for that truth? Just read a Bible… or I’m sure you can go to Blockbuster. I think there should be some copies of that Mel Gibson flick to rent. You know, if you like that sort of thing.