Posts Tagged ‘identity’

This is a story with the happiest ending of all.

Once upon a time there was a man named Jesus who came to this jacked-up place to sacrifice his life for mankind.

You see, his Daddy determined a perfect sacrifice is what was necessary to redeem the lives of the rest of us. So, there he was. Resting on the cross, burdened with the sins of every nasty person on earth, asked by the masses, “How much do you love us?”

And he opened his arms t…h…i…s much… and he died.

It was a gift to all of us, but like with any coupon, you have to redeem it in order to reap the rewards. You know, that implies a choice. As in, a choice all of us have to make in order to experience what happened those more than 2,000 years ago.

Fast forward to today and we meet a boy named Barack who completely lied through his grape Kool-Aid stained lips and pearly whites to every child of God he met in order to win their vote. He told them he would go to church for a vote. And that he would talk about Jesus for a vote.

But… not so much. Just ask him, like this chic did.

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Seriously. Anyone catch that dazzling epiphany?

I am a Christian by choice,” Obama began, standing beneath a blazing sun, when asked why he is a Christian. “I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said.

“Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings.”

Man, that’s deep. He may be calling on Jesus, but I call B.S.

Doesn’t he understand this didn’t fool a soul?! He is a Christian… wait for it… by choice. Oh. Oh. Wait. One other thing. He is also subject to… wait for it… by the forces of gravity.

Yes, sports fans. As much as Barack Obama is compared to the Messiah, he really can’t walk on water, doesn’t encounter stigmata or get offended when folk cuss using his name. Yet when confronted by a mild-mannered victims of his romancing swoons of deceit regarding his faith, he issues two half-baked verses and connected them to some universal thought that would make Carlton Pearson shout for joy.

“This is a country that is still predominantly Christian, but we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists” and others, he said, adding that “their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own, and that is part of what makes this country what it is.

Country? Yes. Kingdom of God… you know, heaven? No way.

Someone needs to get a memo to our betrothed president and let him know that Jesus Christ is not a politician. In fact, he could care less. So while Barack Obama is wailing on and on about how folk in this country are singing Kumbaya, he still isn’t any closer to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ unless he stops farting around and gets real.

Choose that… then you’re a Christian. And not one second sooner. That’s no story, Mr. President. That’s real life. Brother.

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I’m under attack.

This was the summation of Bishop Eddie Long’s long-awaited and legally approved response from the much ballyhooed pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. As if the swolled Bishop had a kingdom resting atop Stone Mountain in Georgia, he gives yet another aged rally cry used from scandalous preachers in the past.

It’s the most ragged page out of their ruddy playbook. You see, it’s not the sin they committed; it’s the fiendish acts Satan has committed against them.

At least, that’s what they want you to believe because why else would the media, the lawsuits and the cries of a rather perturbed country come against the “Mand of Gawd?” See for yourself:

From the Washington Post story referred earlier:

“Please hear this: I have been accused. I’m under attack. I want you to know that I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” said Long, who also preached a short sermon on surviving painful times. “I feel like David against Goliath, but I’ve got five rocks, and I haven’t thrown one yet,” the bishop said to roaring applause as he dropped his microphone on the pulpit with a thud, took his wife Vanessa’s hand and left the stage.

The story forgot to mention the rose petals thrown at his feet, the serfdom bowing at his presence and the trumpets saluting his retreat in the sunset as well.

Leave the pomp and circumstance aside, it doesn’t take away the fact that this is yet another alleged and shamed preacher who used the power of God given to him for the service of the Lord’s kingdom to use for his own megalomaniacal purposes.

There is another serious problem:

Long never directly said he is innocent, but he made clear that he would not leave New Birth, and church leaders vowed to stick by him. “We stand behind our pastor. And there is a period behind that,” church elder Darius Wise said.

We are but sheep, right? And sheep are known for one other thing, besides providing some sweet sweaters… they love the taste of Kool-Aid. Regardless of the flavor, it all tastes the same. Whatever the Mand of Gawd says it tastes like, that’s the winner.

Eddie Long vows to fight the drama

Bishop Eddie Long, left, embraces a friend Sunday at his Georgia megachurch. 'I am not a perfect man. But this thing I'm going to fight," he said.

The man never avowed his innocence and allegiance for the Lord, only that he will fight for his own kingdom. Doesn’t he realize there is more at stake than the precious TV rights provided him by TBN and Daystar?

He has a family, a congregation, a gaggle of supporters… and oh yeah, the lives of four young men who believe Bishop Eddie Long used his authority in the Gospel to rape them.

That leaves quite the scar on one’s spiritual upbringing, you know. And there’s the tragedy with the megachurch these days.

They are not led by God, just for him.

Man, full of ruddy clay, riddled with angst and heaping with drama run these edifices… and are surrounded by a heaping troupe of Yes men.

Who will tell these dolts, “No.” If they value their job, not a soul. And whose to say what God is saying to these egomaniacs. Not all leaders of huge churches have this personality, but we have seen many that do… and they all follow the same playbook when confronted with scandal.

What’s the harm in taking a sabbatical to properly deal with this mess? Go away, get better and get beyond this drama. Think that will happen… uh, no.

And why? There is no competition for his throne. He has a legion of lawyers to protect him if there is an overtaker among the peons. And you waited a week to deliver your “David and Goliath” speech (of which the lawyers have used in statements as well).

Shoot, I was expecting “Unleash hell” sans the Maximus brutality. “Taking  authority” is his fabled tagline after all. Although I think the dude just needs to take a much needed vacation.

Yet, there he goes, off in his Bentley and a sack of five stones at his leisure. Hope you and your legal team have good aim, Bishop Long. Because if you miss, there are more than 25,000 people who will fall with you.

NEWS FLASH: His statement cometh.

“Categorically Deny.” Two words in issued while submerged in hot water scream another two words louder in the human vernacular than any other, “I’m guilty.”

Of course, that’s what Bishop Eddie Long‘s lawyers had to say late yesterday as he posted a well-crafted and certainly sincere statement to his website.

All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.

Eddie Long sans cleric outfit

Maybe it's a P90X before and after shot?

Well, that’s reassuring. Granted, this media feeding frenzy of him boinking armor bearers (my assumption on the armor bearers can be read here) and sending pictures of the Bishop all swolled in spandex (more on that in a moment) has the Christian nation in quite a kerfuffle. One famed and scarred preacher in particular (again, keep reading for that gem).

However, as a pastor, I suppose Bishop Long is only used to showing out on Sundays, so he will wait until then to visibly “categorically deny” these heinous charges:

I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time.

Again, that’s nice. I mean, if I was a member of his church, I would certainly feel fine about him waiting almost a full week to tell me he’s not guilty.

Before we throttle that crisis communications strategy, let’s review. Better yet, let’s allow ABC News to do that:

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I’ve been around the Church for years. Decades even. And nowhere in my experience with consulting pastors do I see a passage of scripture that suggests rocking the UnderArmour to impress your sheep. Does that help them graze more effectively? Do you get more well-shewn Kashmir sweaters if the flock is exposed to the “gun show”?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Back to the statement.

Bishop Eddie Long is hemorrhaging over this alleged incident, and yet, he allows his attorneys to make public statements for him… and that’s supposed to make it all right?!

It’s bad enough he doesn’t care enough to immediately respond to this mess, he is having a gaggle of white folk talk noise to his highly not-so-white congregation. Yeah, that’ll do it. You dolt.

It is completely obvious why he “feels the Lord” telling him to wait until the Sabbath to respond? In all his years of impromptu preaching, even the verbose Eddie Long will need a ghostwriter for this message. It will caked with legalese and PR speak… you know, like any good Congressional representative busted for the same thing. (What? Too soon?)

There will nothing genuine about this retort because it didn’t come from him. The only that clearly did come from the Bishop are those pictures and the aggressive needs delivered by now four men.

However, he pleads for mercy and understanding… and patience… has earned Eddie Long one fan: Meet Ted Haggard.

The man who hand-led his family through a harangue of male prostitution, drugs and oh yeah, “categorically denying” it every step of the way has decided that what Eddie Long needs is his valuable endorsement:

Good times, Bishop Long. Good times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, no? But hey, we still have this:

Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.

And the world brother. Because believe me, we will all be listening. You know, just the way your lawyers planned it.

The P.C. Express continues in an concentrated effort to rid the world of a God that spoke his mind back in the day, had any sort of opinion of social issues or you know… could have a gender.

Forget the family. Make it one room fits all.

And to save space, the Scottish Church now has one bathroom

First, there was the “Genderless Bible,” which started the debate that Jesus died for all kind – not mankind, just all kind. Ridiculous. And now, we have the deranged actions of the Scottish Episcopal Church in which the slew of female priests are getting miffed about all the personal pronoun usage going one-sided when discussing God as a “he”.

The Telegraph (UK) discusses this new – and mildly defective – form of worship, which removes words such as “Lord, he, his, him” and “mankind” from services, has been written by the church in an attempt to acknowledge that God is “beyond human gender”.

The controversial changes were discussed at the church’s General Synod recently. The minutes of the synod reveal that female priests had asked why God was still referred to as a man. The altered version of the 1982 Liturgy sees masculine pronouns removed when they refer to God and the new approach has even been extended to humans. For example, the word “mankind” has been taken out and replaced with “world”.

Man. Woman. Pat from SNL?

I suppose Pat moonlights in Scotland as a priest.

Seriously?! This milquetoasting of the Scriptures is allowed to exist. I get a slew of politicians doing their best not to upset their constituents, but to have this bastardization of deity to exist within the walls of the Church is appalling. It’s heresy.

And guess what female priests of Scotland? This is going to put quite an increase in his testosterone. There’s more…

Direct quotations from the Bible have been spared change, because of a reluctance to interfere with the word of God. However, the blessing at the end of services has been changed by some ministers from “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” to “Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier”.You know, I once heard that if someone performs a task, they liked to be thanked for it. Tsk. Tsk.

“The changing of God language is a little tricky,” admitted Rev Darren McFarland, convener of the church’s liturgy committee. “We are not saying God is not masculine. God is also feminine. The problem is trying to use human language to describe the indescribable.

What’s interesting is he could be right… but I am fairly certain they are not that smart to be this mischievous. The Hebrew and Christian scriptures have  traces of maternal imagery that have not been overridden by the patriarchs. This includes breast and nursing imagery, of which even the title of God used in Exodus 6:2-3.

Did you know (because I know these old sods didn’t) that El Shaddai is traditionally interpreted as the Almighty, but may be interpreted as the Many Breasted One from the Hebrew word shad, meaning breast, instead of using the Akkadian word shadu meaning mountain.

See, how can God send his son here to be touched with all of our feelings, if men and women feel differently?

Maybe, because HIS characteristics are to fully understand both men and women. We are made in HIS image, after all… or should we redefine that one as well?

It all began with “The Passion of the Christ,” I suppose. And thank God it did.

Then, from the ashes of cutting floors everywhere sprouted wonderful films “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof” that did something most Christian movies didn’t – made Hollywood stand up and take notice.

Typically, and unfortunately, the term is “Christian movie” and not “movies that are Christian”. There is a difference because perception is reality and people determine that reality with their movie ticket. (Tell that to the makers of “The Omega Code“… woof!)

The Potter's House in Dallas, Bishop T. D. Jakes

If Jakes can fill this house weekly, a box office is far from unlikely

And now, comes the prolific Bishop T.D. Jakes – from preaching to writing to screenplays. Now, his movies are giving Hollywood pause, as seen in a recent article from the Christian Post:

Bishop T.D. Jakes is attempting to change the “Hollywood machine” – what has at times been considered a “tool of the devil” by Christians – into a platform to potentially reach millions of unchurched with Christian messages.

Jakes just completed shooting of his third film, “Jumping the Broom” described as “an upcoming faith and family movie that follows the clashing of two families from different backgrounds during a weekend wedding.”

Pastor of the more than 30,000-member church The Potter’s House, Jakes told The Christian Post that he was drawn to this film when he looked at the script and saw the many ways it speaks about bringing together people from different backgrounds.

The story about a husband and a wife from fictional Taylor and Watson families with divergent socioeconomic backgrounds is also a step – in the bishop’s mind – to de-alienate Christians from Hollywood. It’s a chance for Christians to get their message out through Hollywood’s “megaphone.”

Mel Gibson. Kirk Cameron. And Bishop T.D. Jakes?!

There’s a troika you wouldn’t expect, but it seems they have done the unthinkable – given Hollywood a little faith.

As a megachurch pastor, however, Jakes is looking for that “sweet spot” where he can find harmony between Hollywood’s definition of entertainment – where blood, gore and sex often overrule moral concern – and Christian, family values. “We are trying to find balance. I find that people, as a rule, don’t go to see films that are overtly medicinal. They really want to be entertained, so we are trying to find our sweet spot between entertainment and humor and message.”

A school of Christian fish. Classy.

WARNING: Certainly a bad driver

This is something so close to who I am in that an ichthus needs to stand for something more than shady business people, dolts looking for short cuts and manners that would Emily Post dog cuss your mama. Say what you will about the man, but his methods to bring awareness and glory for God is working.

“Christian movies” are largely considered to be cheap, poorly written, terribly acted and carries those three familiar words that most Christ followers have become accustomed, “Straight to DVD.”

Apparently, that’s the not the case any more. “Jumping the Broom” (which is slated for a Mother’s Day 2011 release) has an all-star cast featuring the incomparable Angela Bassett… and uh, a bunch of other folks whose name I don’t remember. (I’m so partial. Sue me.) Certainly, the script has dynamic possibilities. More importantly, there’s a cryptic message to be learned as well.

The term “Jumping the Broom” comes from slave wedding ceremonies that would offer both the husband and wife a chance for “Decision Making honors” in the home with a test of jumping height. Whoever wins, wins.

Such is life for what Bishop Jakes is trying to accomplish – let’s see if a “Christian movie” can jump high enough to capture box office supremacy for at least a week. It will create a buzz in Hollywood and could make the elite question what they do and how they do it.

Oh sure, the blood-gore-sex recipe will never fade, but possibly productions with a purpose can still make a profit. And let’s be honest, in that town, that’s the Gospel truth. Preach on, brother. Preach on.