Posts Tagged ‘pentecostal’

It’s been a slow news month in the world of ecumenicism. I mean, if it weren’t for Louis Farrakhan shooting off his lip again, Kenneth Copeland’s jet and Ed Young’s palatial “tax-exempt” estate (wink), I would not have enough spray paint on this wall to fill a huffer’s need to get high.

I mean, slow.

And then I see this Barna survey from WOW News’ Religion News Service (by way of Houston [Chronicle] Belief) that made yours truly want to go to the local CVS and shave the fur off every Peeps in that place with a dull but seasonally festive razor blade.

Though most Americans describe Easter as a religious holiday, less than half of U.S. adults surveyed link it specifically to the resurrection of Jesus, a Barna Group study shows.

Here's your compromise! Oy Vey!

Anyone heard of Passion plays? How about the “Passion of the Christ“? Perhaps those dudes rocking the Birkenstocks and bedsheets who literally and passionately walk many miles in Jesus’ shoes with timber crosses draped across their shoulders… oh you know, around Easter?!

Apparently, no one in this friggin’ survey.

Is this HOLY-day really all about chocolate, bunnies and those stupid eggs? Why would a bunny lay eggs anyway? Because those little buggers are too fuzzy when they come out and it tickles the mama rabbit?

Looking closer at this depressing survey, it seems parents either are straying from religion or young people are watching way too much TV:

  • 42 percent tied Easter to the Resurrection
  • At 73 percent, baby boomers (ages 45 to 63) were the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday
  • This, compared to two-thirds of those ages 26 to 44 and Americans 64 and older
  • The youngest group of adults (ages 18 to 25) were least likely, at 58 percent, to use that kind of description

There you have it – kids forget eating your carrots. Why? It isn’t sacrosanct. They are carrots, not communion wafers. So, enlighten us future leaders of tomorrow, how would you describe this amazing day the Lord hath literally made:

  • A Christian holiday
  • A celebration of God or Jesus
  • A celebration of Passover
  • A “holy day”
  • Or a special day to go to church

Classy. At least they didn’t say the day church kids have easter egg hunts… oh, what? They do that?! MEMO to all church folk, even the ones who are appalled by this survey: You do understand the etymology of the word “Easter”, right? Yeah, it’s cultic.

The Teutonic goddess of fertility had a catchy name, “Eoster,” which was derived for the ancient word of “Spring.” Cute, right? So, what about the stupid rabbits? Glad you asked…

Although Easterer, Resurrection Sunday celebrates Jesus Christ from the dead, the rabbit was chosen because it is a symbol of fertility, which is often times associated with the beginning of spring. (Hmmm… where have we heard that before?)

Proving you can go to the well one too many times, the German Catholics wanted to create a mythical figure to reward good kids and humiliate the brats during… Lent. (Yeah, I know, you thought Christmas. God bless the Germans for creativity, but meh?)

Back in the 1700s, Germans were not permitted to eat eggs during Lent, so they had to do something with the overabundance of chickens and their eggs during the Easter season.  In order to use all these eggs, the Germans created the tradition of painting and eating eggs given by the Easter Bunny (Source: My seminary, but here too)

Oh, HiScrivener, it’s okay because I paint only red eggs for the blood of Christ.

You don’t have to justify it – I have babies. I get it, but while you are feeding your kiddos a huge block of sugar and advising some humanistic 8-foot rabbit left it for them, consider what really happened on this day… and then 50 days later. (Hallelujah!)

While this day is about “Christian celebrations” and a “holy day,” the story to tell the kids is not about Peter Cottontail but about Jesus Christ. He may not have left us chocolates, but what he did leave is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

We’re back. A wheelbarrow full of concrete mix, lots of water and ready to get my masonry game on brick-by-brick on this amazing wall God has allowed us to build over the past year plus.

Although over the HOLY-days, religious news was scanty, I did locate one editorial from AOL’s “Sphere” that tickled my fancy and got my charismatic pants shuckin’ and jivin’.

In case you didn’t take two Tylenol PM on December 31, you may have ventured to a New Years’ Eve party (or two). Perhaps, you heard the hollow-throated Dick Clark on TV (so, so sad)? Either way, if you are an “open-air” street preacher, you would be hard pressed to find more of a bountiful harvest than one of those shindigs, as Steve Friess opines:

Yet these revelers did so both with great amusement and plenty of spite, reactions to a far more incongruous sight for the wildest party Sin City throws each year: A row in the middle of Las Vegas Strip of about 30 evangelical preachers waving gigantic placards warning of eternal damnation for the “porno freaks,” “baby killers,” astrologers, Mormons, Muslims, gays and “so-called Christians” in their midst.

Hell no. You will go. Read my sign. It's about time.

Let’s get this clear: I unequivocally admire street preachers.

I have often exclaimed that anyone can do what a megachurch pastor can do if the spirit is right. You know, the band is playing something smooth, a message has been shared about God’s redemptive power and then out goes the nets.

Trust me, with an atmosphere like that, an Atheist could reel in a fine catch of new souls for the glory of God.

Now, get that blinged out pastor on a dusky-hued street corner mano-y-mano and they become slack jawed troglodytes who can barely stammer their way out of Genesis. If you can win one soul in that situation, you are a pro at this Jesus thing.

That said, here’s my question: Does picketing the lost really do anything but harm to the greater good?

Look at the picture. They are smiling for four reasons:

  1. They are completely hammered on boxed wine.
  2. They read the signs and think the tools holding them are well… tools.
  3. They can’t believe Criss Angel gave them a dollar and made it disappear.
  4. Or… all of the above.

Either way, do those signs really plant a seed? I remember the days when I used to roam the streets aimlessly and not one of those signs outside a night club throttled my zeal to go inside and forget they were freezing their blessed assurance outside.

When Jesus finally got my attention, it wasn’t because of those magical seeds planted by Johnny Appleseed barking at me from a turned-over milk crate. I heard Jesus because of a still, small voice that shared love, care and change.

Don’t take my word for it:

Friendly is not a word most would use for the reception the posse of proselytizers received standing shoulder-to-shoulder outside the Mirage Hotel-Casino in a swarm of hundreds of thousands of partiers. The preachers took turns on the bullhorns, with a typical message coming from a fellow named Jeremy from New Mexico who shouted: “You’re on the road to hell right now. Hell is a place of fire and brimstone. Must you all go to hell before you understand that God is not playing around?”

Granted, the message is right. However, is the method? People will hate us completely. It’s in the Bible and we should expect it, but at least, let them hate because we are showing them God’s love.

How many times in the synoptic chapters do we read of Jesus encouraging his 12 eager ragamuffins to dollop some paint on a piece of animal hide and find the town floozie to make her feel bad enough to beg for forgiveness?!

Wall watchers, if there’s anything we need to do in 2010 is get real with God and encourage everyone – the lost and the found – to do the same. Lukewarm only gets you one thing in life and I’m in no mood to become one of God’s lugies!

If I see a transgression, I’m calling it out but I want it to stick. I want it to matter. Does picketing outside gay night clubs with completely inappropriate signs, “God hates fags” matter to anyone other than the dolt who wrote it?

The art of a harvest begins with properly planting a seed. If that seed is thrown on dirt, they’ll only get dusty and blown away. Put that seed in some soil, regardless how damp it is, and that thing has the potential to blossom.

I know we will all remain steadfastly committed to calling out the slack, the false profits, the riff raff and the scam artists. However, if we see anything remotely resembling a picket sign, call it out and teach its author how to make it matter.

Maybe if there are no more picket signs and no more hurling denominational malarkey, we can finally create a unified message of God’s reality and make more of them stick. Maybe then, they will read. Maybe then, it will matter. Maybe.

Answer: Rick Warren.

"Psst. Yo, brother. Can you spare some of that stimulus money?" (Source: AP)

Despite what popular opinion is about the guy’s psychopablum and mushy mandates of the Gospel, I really have never heard of this guy beg for a dime.

What with the books, the appearances (presidential and every other type) and his sizable bank account, I thought at least he was above this.

Perhaps he was inspired. Hmmm… [cue harp music]:

Not too long, we tagged the Wall with the bemoaning of one Rod Parsley who believes Satan is stealing his cash.

Now while I firmly believe Ol’ Slewfoot is fully capable of such a diabolical act, we discovered this $3 million beg was not the case.

Turns out some “teacher” at World Harvest Church’s baby sitting factory for BeBe’s kidser, daycare pummeled some kid, the parents sued and oh yes, won $3 million from Parsley!

Spare the Rod, spoil the child, I say. State of Ohio – 1. Devil – 0. You twit.

Fast forward to the aforementioned (and linked) story from the New York Times and we find a destitute and dang near poverty-stricken Rick Warren [honestly, I’m surprised].

In an urgent letter posted on the Saddleback Church Web site on Wednesday, Warren says expenses are up because parishioners are out of work and ”the bottom dropped out” when year-end donations dropped dramatically. He asks parishioners to donate $1 million before the new year to keep the Orange County church out of debt.

This is a pill, albeit horse-sized, that’s much easier to swallow. It’s no secret the economy blows and people are praying for God’s understanding and mercy as the tithe stays in the storehouse from it which it resides for now.

The slightly shady part is Warren knows the press monitors his Web site as much as his church members do. And to put that up online, you don’t think somewhere in the recesses of his mind there was a thought, “You know, this could become a national story. Sweet.”

Here’s an idea, mands of Gawd (shout out IST): Exercise the same faith you espouse when praying for the throng of folk who, you know, are near poverty, have no money to tithe because they need to keep on the lights and are believing God for more than just you staying on T.V.

If the Lord is big enough to answer their 911 calls to heaven – and he is – then he “sho’nuff” can answer yours.

However, forgive our Savior if he’s a little preoccupied with those who probably can’t get a loan and doesn’t have the cache reserves that you two have. Happy New Year.

It has become a Pentecostal mantra, a beatitude for the spirit-filled, a calling card for Holy Ghost believers ready to wage war on the devil – “The anointing destroys the yoke!”

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27 KJV)

With that being said and the Church saying, “Amen” can someone please explain what in the Huckleberry Finn is going in this woman’s hen house?! I mean, if what you see in this video is “from God” then isn’t this yoke pretty outstanding?!

This month’s “God Sighting of the Month” comes to us from a quaint farm in Burleson, Texas where the visionary in question probably hasn’t come close to quoting this verse in Isaiah’s book of prophecies because I’m afraid to see what kind of “Shando Shando” moment you would need to obliterate this yoke.

You be the judge. Glory!

Oaths.

Funny things, aren’t they?

People take an oath when they get married, and how’s that working out for half of this globe? Oaths are performed when swearing someone into office, and that seems to be for show. And then, there are those oaths that a witness takes when they are about to lie their tail off about the plantiff.

You know, it’s a good thing those don’t mean a thing to God; otherwise, he would smoke some fools like Zeus with a lightning bolt.

Those are most of the examples of which I can imagine. That is until Acme Arena member Bene Diction decided to challenge meer, request I write about this Holy Ghost hullabaloo.

Brian TamakiNow I will warn you, this story hails from the New Zealand Herald. You would expect praise heaped upon Kiwis (quite honestly, some of my fave Wall Watchers are Aussies and Kiwis), but this fool is one big pitted-out prune.

Meet Brian Tamaki, leader of one of New Zealand’s largest megachurches, Destiny Church.

Evidently, he liked the view from his pulpit, peering over his serfdom, so he decided it would be a good move to promote himself from pastor to bishop and insist the male members [only them] of the church were his “spiritual sons”. That’s sweet, namely around “Father’s Day.” Good times, uh, Dad?

However, during that same service, the adoption became indoctrination as:

At a special service during the church’s annual conference in Auckland at the weekend, about 700 male members of the church swore a “covenant oath” of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a “covenant ring” to wear on their right hands.

Look, dude. You call it what you want, but that is a Promise Ring! As in what I gave my 5th grade girlfriend back in the day. (Then, when that relationship didn’t work out, I gave it to what was behind Door #2).

According to the story, these men were former addicts, criminals and all-around bad seeds made nice. So, what a better way to welcome these emotionally challenged boys than make them wear slightly eerie promise rings and signed oaths that read:

“To you Bishop we pledge our allegiance, our faithfulness and loyalty. We pledge to serve the cause that is in your heart and to finish that work. Success to you and success to those who help you – for God is with you.”

That sound you hear was a mighty rushing wind… of me, dashing to the bathroom. Please, I think I have a little throw up in my mouth.

Remember Jonestown

Courtesy: Covertress. Peace.

People, that is not a church service. That is a cult warm-up session.What’s next? A nice, refreshing glass of Kool Aid?

Now, Bene clearly dissects that oath, which is worth the paper it was printed upon, but for grins here are some low-lights:

  • How to act toward dear ol’ Dad: The “sons” are told that “Bishop is the tangible expression of God”, so they need to understand how to properly approach their man of God “to protect the anointing and not transgress this special relationship”. They must ensure that Mr. Tamaki and his wife are both honoured, cared for and given appropriate respect. “Bishop is a people person. Often it is better we offend others than him.”

That’s sweet. However, if Dad were to instruct all his Bebe Kids to actually read the Bible, they would discover:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14: 16-17 KJV).

The day some greasy haired toolbox takes the place of my Jesus, I’m checking out of this place with the quickness. Next?!

  • How to act around Daddy Dearest: Don’t start talking or gesturing to somebody else while Bishop is speaking. The “sons” must never openly disagree with Mr. Tamaki in front of others and must “be careful not to become familiar (which can lead to contempt)” with him “due to his friendliness and openness”

I love the trend here. Here’s “Dad” demanding to be called “Mr. Tamaki” in a legal-ish contract. What? Are these 700 men the bastard children at your family reunion? Moving on.

  • How to act around those not digging Dad’s get-up: They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. “You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop.”

Brother, you have one of your goons touch a serious brother, he’ll show what the “laying on of hands” is all about. And trust me, he will stop that dead in its tracks.

When did Jesus ever demand this of his disciples, much less the rest of throng who followed him? Never. Outside of the Sermon on the Mount, the only oath he made them take was this:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

Now, that’s telling it like it is. Problem with Tamaki is he can’t love his neighbor like himself because he apparently doesn’t like himself that much. How else would you explain this self-deified regimen? He heard from God this would be a swell idea. I don’t think the Lord’s voice could penetrate all that hair product personally.

start-your-own-cult-today-how-to-religion-funnyThe word is out on this cult-figure tool. He knows it, so he decides to send the goon squad over to the local news station for a nice talk.

In a statement today, Destiny Church objected to what it alleged was inaccurate commentary by an “unidentified” individual in the TV3 news item, and the hidden camera footage. The statement said Destiny Church “had always had an open-door policy towards the media and general public and believes this trust has been breached by TV3 in their covert approach in this instance”.

The statement also said “a number of comments made by the individual (in the Campbell Live item) were grossly inaccurate” and questioned the credibility of its source, “which the programme fails to identify”.

It wasn’t like TV3 hired James Bond to go in there cloaked in subterfuge and yank the mystery out from the man. A reporter got a copy of this inane oath and told the world. Tamaki is eating a lot of crow, so he’s a skosh tweaked.

This isn’t biblical, but MEMO to Brian Tamaki: You can only put cologne on without taking a shower so many days in a row. After a while, that stink is going to be detected.

In other words, this story reeks to high heaven and Tamaki’s tail end is at the front of it. This is not of the Lord. Jesus is not pleased with you trying to make involuntary robots out of these people. You should be ashamed of yourself, but that will happen the day we get raptured.

Oh, and the worst part…

Oath takers paid $295 – plus a $5 administration fee – for the ring symbolising their loyalty to Bishop Tamaki. Some were given the option of paying the ring off over time. Members were also asked for $10 to fund the Destiny School building extension, and a gold-coin donation to Destiny Television Ministries.

After reading that, I have another saying… but um, I’ll just keep that to myself.