Posts Tagged ‘TV’

TV is changing the world, but is it changing the Church?

If you’re a football fan, you may have seen the megalopolis Jerry Jones erected in Arlington, Texas (outside of Dallas).

Some say it’s because God deserves a sanctuary that large to watch his favorite team. Others believe it’s some sort of obfuscated version of overcompensation. And then there’s that amazing video screen. Lord have mercy, it’s huge. And unfortunate.

Imagine sitting anywhere facing the sideline. Of course, you pay $400 for a glorified nosebleed seat and you are faced with two choices – watch a bunch of guys who look like ants on the field of green below or gaze upon the wonderment of a 159′ x 71′ TV screen. In HD, no less.

You bet you are watching the TV screen. Who wouldn’t?

You get back to your car and feel like you have lost five pounds. Your pants fit the same. You still look a little bloated in the cheek. And those $18 nachos you threw down your gullet didn’t help your GI tract. Then it dawns on you, with parking, eating and the seat costs, you are out close to $600… for watching TV. Think you’re going back after that epiphany? Me neither.

Considering that realization, I was reading the greatness of CNN Belief’s blog and found a nice opinion piece on a horse of a different color; yet, with the same flashy saddle – TV watching in church.

People listening to their pastor preach on Sunday morning may now ask a question that no one has ever asked before: Is this live or is this on tape delay? They are pastors like Rev. Ed Young, senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas. Young broadcast videos of his sermons from his “mother” church to other congregations in Texas and even one in Florida.

Beam me up, Scotty. With the rapid growth of churches these days, the need for TV screens is a must because there is always that one seat in the back behind a structure beam. Well that, or some oblivious woman with her “crown of glory.”

However the issue is with the satellite congregation. Ostensibly, they are watching church on TV. Sure, there’s a live worship team and the occasional assistant pastor edifying folk and making announcements but when the senior chieftain takes the stage, it’s showtime. The lights dim, the crowd quiets and on goes… the TV?

Has this become the pseudo-church? We all experience fellowship of a different ilk watching a game and grubbing down on BBQ fresh off the grill at a friend’s house. So why can’t this be the same? Simple – it’s not.

That power you experience from above is not the satellite

Church is not meant to be entertainment. It’s a hospital for the hurting, a refuge for those reduced to tears. Church can be a fun, a blast even, but when the saints go into screensaver mode instead of the monitor they are watching, we have an issue.

Geoff Surratt, author of “The Multi-site Church Revolution,” said at least 3,000 churches nationwide use some variation of high-def video to spread their pastor’s Sunday morning sermons. Some broadcast hologram images of pastors that float suspended in the air behind the pulpit, while others project images of ministers on large video screens. Some sermons are broadcast live, while others are pre-recorded.

Even worse, “pre-recorded” church. What’s stopping people from mailing it in from Netflix or peeping TBN and DayStar for church? Who needs a church building anyway when you have DVDs and iSermons, right?

The Bible clearly shows that if we have fellowship with God, then we should have fellowship with his people. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Facebook is fun but a little disengaging with all that poking going on. Twitter is great to follow other people’s conversations (even though most well-known Christ followers don’t follow back). However, what is so social about social media is that it has limits in its socialism.

Can’t the same be said about satellite churches? You are together in the company of believers, but then again, not so much. Everyone is watching the TV, separate from any attachment and once the TV turns off, they all go home. Just as if they hit the remote control.

And if you don’t believe me… didn’t the Word become flesh and dwell among us? It wasn’t transmitted in HD. You know, like a football game.

UFC 116 just happened… and for those of you either don’t in the know or in the care, it was off the chain! Great fights, good drama and one intense heavyweight championship in which a former WWE superstar arrived as an MMA powerhouse, Brock Lesnar.

Oh, sorry?

Does my rah-rah session of mixed martial arts shock you? What is a fire-baptized, spirit-filled child of God (and martial artist of almost two decades) doing watching MMA?

Easy. Thoroughly enjoying it.

Once a Power Ranger now an MMA Hero

Who needs white armor when you have all that ink

And I’m not alone according to this story in the Houston Chronicle about a man with not a familiar name, but definitely a familiar past and now he is making a mark for Christ in the world of the UFC, Strikeforce and MMA.

Meet Jason David Frank (yeah, this cat), the owner and creator of Jesus Didn’t Tap, a reference to “tapping out,” or forfeiting a fight.

His line of Jesus-branded MMA merchandise is on display on his studio walls, on the backs of his young students and even on cars across the country.

By the way, Frank famously fought evil villains with white metallic armor and a talking saber as Tommy on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (Parents everywhere along the wall just became interested in this story. Whatever works.)

For Frank and his Christian fans, Jesus Didn’t Tap is more than just a logo; it’s part of their philosophy. “Jesus is the only one that truly didn’t tap. They say, ‘Oh, he was nailed to the cross so he couldn’t tap.’ Well, you can verbally tap, you can verbally cry, ‘I quit! I give up!’ That’s not what he did. He got crucified for all our sins,” said Frank, 36, who wears the company’s logo tattooed across his forearm.

No sport is perfect. And whether we are viewing and cheering the bone-chilling tackles on a football field or a sweet rear-naked choke in the Octagon, it is still sport… and I can still be saved enjoying it.

This is not a Christian world, folks. Therefore, in the midst of it, we should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate. That’s precisely what Frank is doing as he positions “Jesus Didn’t Tap.”

And this “trend” isn’t going anywhere.

Think about it? You got some dude jacked up on machismo and bitter from some so-called Christian who scorched his earth. Is there anyway he comes to church via your invitation? Uh, no. However, invite the guy for some UFC or Strikeforce pay-per-view and he is in there.

Fighting ministries help churches reach out to men, who are less likely to attend services, believe in God or consider religion important in their lives, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

And you aren’t crazy about that statistic, consider the Bible and Paul’s final words to Timothy:

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT).

Jesus is alive in the world of MMA

MMA meet WWJD

Fight. I know, I know. It’s not showing the turn the other cheek mentality. Consider, we “wrestle” not against flesh and blood. Besides, I have actually had someone to whom I was witnessing try to kick my blessed assurance.

And yes, I turned the other cheek… because he sucker-punched the first one. So, in the name of Jesus, I had to throw down my “I must protect this house” card and proceed to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry.

Then, I shared the Good News of Christ. It worked too… he’s saved today.

Wall Watchers, we need to pray for brands like this that want to be all things to all men, all Paul professed.

Several MMA sites sell Jesus Didn’t Tap gear alongside top secular brands like TapOut and Affliction. Their shirts depict Jesus fighting the devil (and winning, of course) and slogans like “Jesus loves me and my new tattoos” and “Putting the Jew in jiu jitsu.”

On the real? Jesus didn’t tap… and neither will any of us in these last days. Praise God for the real face of Christianity that despite what the world thinks of Jesus, we can turn that cheek too and introduce them to another side of a complete God.

Once again, HiScrivener’s “Legal Prejudice” theory strikes gold with yet another example of how no one gives a flip about offending the Body of Christ. Shoot, stray dogs get more respect and advocacy than Christians do these days.

Jesus Christ in his own talk show on South Park

WWJI? "Who Would Jesus Interview?!"

Exhibit A: The crack pipe smoking crew at Comedy Central… and I used to love this channel, so this pains me.

A couple of weeks ago, the makers of South Park (never seen an episode; don’t care to do so) created quite a kerfuffle when they depicted a search for the Prophet Muhammad. As you can imagine, the Nation of Islam were shouting “Allahu Akbar” to anyone with a fancy title at the network.

According to the New York Times, South Park received a “death prediction” because it’s a huge no-no to have Muhammad on anything except Muslim approved propagandaer, materials.

Now, these are guys on South Park that have very little scruples. Bashing religion is open season over there, but this “prediction” got up their dander.

“After we delivered the show, and prior to broadcast, Comedy Central placed numerous additional audio bleeps throughout the episode,” the message said. It added that the network was not allowing the episode to be streamed on the Web site, where “South Park” shows generally appear after they are broadcast on Comedy Central.

Muhammad wasn’t removed, but his likeness was. A small victory… and so, they have found someone bigger to pick on at the repugnant network. Jesus Christ. In fact, not just for an insulting cameo appearance, but an entire near-sacrilegious show.

According to the Huffington Post, we see Comedy Central is far from done and ostracizing the Body of Christ:

Comedy Central said Thursday that it has a cartoon series about Jesus Christ in the works. “JC” is one of 23 potential series the network said it has in development. It depicts Christ as a “regular guy” who moves to New York to “escape his father’s enormous shadow.”

Although “JC” has been a reoccurring theme in South Park, the fun and yuks will continue if this gets approved as ‘God’ is presented as an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life. Yeah, because that’s friggin’ hilarious!

And once again, the ONLY God-fearing individual who is saying anything is William Donahue, president of Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights. (And before you complain about what he is – or is not – saying about the outrageous travesty inside the Catholic Church… have you spoke out against this mess. No? Then, moving on…)

“It’s not certain what is more despicable: the nonstop Christian bashing featured on the network, or Comedy Central’s decision to censor all depictions of Muhammad,” he said in the aforementioned link.

Now while the overreaction of death threats is way out of line and nowhere near indicative of what true Islam resembles, I understand the angst and have been waiting… and waiting… and waiting for these high-powered TBN preachers to do something about this. Alas, nothing has happened unless Jan and Paul Crouch are planning on a call drive to Comedy Central in the near future.

No? Moving on again…

So, in an effort to prevent the presumed sandstorm of Christian acrimony, we have this tepid explanation from Comedy Central:

“In general, comedy in its purest form always makes some people uncomfortable,” said Comedy Central head of original programming Kent Alterman.

I get it: The real stuff is always the funny stuff. But there is a line that is not so blurred to some of us who actually rever Christ, holmes.

Comedy Central has crossed that ubiquitous line and the Body of Christ has yet to defend it. Muslims fight for their deity. Scientologists fight each other for theirs. Christians? We just whisper after church at Luby’s and “pray for people to do it for us.”

Here goes nothing: two addresses and please, I’m not asking for chain letters, but forward this on to folk and DO SOMETHING!

  • Tony Fox, corporate communications executive vice president of Comedy Central, can be reached at (212) 767-8746 or tony.fox@comedycentral.com.
  • Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central, can be reached at (310) 407-4790 or doug.herzog@comedycentral.com.

And when you reply, be sure to let them both know that while the network calls this ballyhoo “comedy”, we – as a united body of believers – will work to make you and your sponsors uncomfortable.

Anyone with me? God, I pray so.

Okay, no more Mr. Nice HiScrivener.

The insolent negligence on behalf of the Catholic Church and even His now-apparent-not-so-Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is overwhelming. Any one seen the latest from the New York Times? No? Here’s the headline:

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Courtesy: New York Times (He's the tool "praying")

Here’s the summary: Reverend” Lawrence Murphy was a priest in Milwaukee, Wis. who apparently had no business being a priest, much less around kids. This sinful derelict was worked as principal at the St. John’s School for the Deaf from 1950 – 1974.

Get that, DEAF kids. Murphy was ousted from that position when he was found as a crooked malefactor who “admitted to molesting at least thirty, and may have sexually abused more than 100 boys at St. John’s.”

He admitted to denigrating the lives of more than 100 boys to solely cop a feel. Priestly, ain’t it?

What happened to Murphy? Apparently no one asked and thanks to the old gray lady, we now know. NOTHING!

Who’s to blame for this unrighteous reprobate getting by for child molestation? Pope Benedict XVI.

Now before you get off claiming I’m a blasphemer and “touch not mine anointed,” this is reporting the facts. And, before you get all dexterous, think about this – some sleazy assistant principal who claims he’s a Christian at your son’s school gets handsy and your kid tells you about it. What do you do? Pray about it because you want to make sure God approves? Uh, not so much.

You grab the closest gun, vial of holy water and march straight to the school.

Now, say that same dude did it to 100, 200 or even 300 boys. Deaf boys. And the principal was told about this heinous act MANY TIMES and still did nothing to his assistant. Who are you mad at now? Hmmm… yeah, that’s what I thought. Back to the story.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

Classy. 300 kids who already can’t talk have to deal with nightmares of a so-called “man of the cloth” molesting them and these nefarious nitwits are primarily concerned about a negative PR hit.

Seriously!? By the 70s, priest and child abuse were as much of a tandem in the headlines as Sonny & Cher; yet, no calls to parents, no punishment for the priest and no public apology. Nothing. Instead, then Cardinal B16 sat on his blessed assurance and looked for the closest Persian rug to sweep ol’ Murphy under.

Evidently, that broom was busy for the next 20 years…

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

Two years later, God finally intervened and Murphy died… still a priest! Good riddance, but as a certain book Il Papa has read declares, “God is not mocked… a man sows what he reaps.”

News came out following this tool’s death that Murphy has been accused of soliciting sex from children in the confessional and in the middle of the night in their dormitory or his bedroom… for more than 20 years.

You cuss at a referee in sports, you will be suspended. You do drugs on the job, you are fired. You molest and abuse more than 300 kids over a span of two decades, no defrocking (removal of priestly duties and that dirty collar), no nothing. If you’re a crook, I know where you can get a gig.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Did Murphy have pictures of other priests? Something on tape? Tell me he was this master spy who could take down the Papacy with the dirt he had, which is why he went away without a spank on the wrist – much less handcuffs.

As to why Father Murphy was never defrocked, he [Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi] said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.” He said that Father Murphy’s poor health and the lack of more recent accusations against him were factors in the decision.

His health?! Who the hell cares about his health after he damaged the mental health of more than 300 kids who, up until Father Pervert got in touch with them, loved God and wanted to worship him. Now how’s their relationship with Christ? You think they blame God for the nightmares? Just a skosh.

His health. Kushite, please!

Listen, as a child of God and someone who works with the media, I clearly understand the Church is under attack. Name the denomination or religion and I’ll show you a story:

  • Catholics – Child Abuse
  • Episcopalians – Openly gay appointed Bishops
  • Baptists – Pastors who make Glenn Beck look tame
  • Mormons – Holy underwear and multiple marriages
  • Pentecostals – Old fashioned and starving kids
  • Evangelicals – Um, Ted Haggard, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson and so much more…

What do all of these groups have in common? Jesus Christ! All claim to follow him and none are doing a great job. Every time there is a headline that makes the planet scoffs, who gets the blame? Father Murphy? These idiots in pulpits? Nope. God.

The world is still in God's hands. Praise the Lord.

Ultimately, the question always comes from a good-minded Atheist, journalist or Christian, “Why are these bad things happening in the church under God’s nose, and why does he allow them?”

Answer: I have no clue, but I can assure you for each one of these sinister dealings, there are millions of well-intending, spiritual-living, God-adoring people who negate this news on a daily basis. The only problem is these folk don’t have the headlines so people go on blaming God despite the righteous works of many.

There are wolves in wool everywhere and it is up to us – those who love God unashamedly and unabashed – to stand up, speak out and shut down the negativity with God’s work. Pastors, evangelists, teachers and lay people – we need to unite and crush the works of the enemy. Where is it happening? Everywhere. So how can you help? Fervent prayer.

You know things are getting bad when kids are dying on the inside and the only concern is, “How is this going to affect our reputation?”

Somehow, the Lord is in control and despite the ire of the enemy and the obvious victories he is earning, God will have the final say.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. (1 Chronicles 29-11 AMP).

Until then, let’s do a better job Church and slam the frock out of any demonic force that tries to get in our way. As for the Pope, enjoy the PR. According to Google, you are getting a lot of it.

We all know Jesus is awesome at work, for work.

For most, if you side with righteousness in the commercial marketplace, you will get righteous sales. That’s a non-issue because the body of Christ may be many things, but one thing is irrefutable – we are loyalists to a fault. If it smells like a duck, we will quack all the way to the express lane to get a feathered friend on sale.

But now, Jesus is becoming passe as secular nitwits are using the Son of God to shill instead of be sacred. For example, PETA goes butt naked with supermodels looking like angels. Every faith-based entity has a stolener, borrowed marketing slogan of its own. Megachurches are trying to become the “big box chain store in the sky.” And let’s not forget the Holy See going iPope.

Everyone has a gimmick and it seems Jesus is being forced to become Donald Trump, pimping ideas and lending his name to everything in sight.

Lindsay Lohan Superstar

What’s new? Enter Lindsay Lohan, the narcotized and stupefied starlet who seems to yearn for “Groundhog Day” in an effort to recreate her 15 minutes of fame.

According to the UK celeb rag OK!, Lohan has decided to rock the crucifixion pose for a French fashion magazine. Because when I think of hot holy water, I dream of Lindsay.

Quite naturally, Bill Donahue with the Catholic League, was ready at the mic to drop his two cents down the gullet of Lohan:

“Not only is the pose inappropriate, the timing is offensive” because the sacred season of Lent starts next week, Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League. “The “spiritually homeless” Lohan recently Tweeted that “i’m all about Karma…what goes around comes around.”

He continued: “If she believes that, then it behooves her to apologize to Christians before it’s too late.”

Aside from the lack of taste and judgment, why?

I mean, what are you sporting for fashion? The latest in finely shewn, camel-haired togas… just like back in the days of JC and the Boyz?!

The girl is no Madonna. Or Kayne West for that matter. So is it a symbolic attempt to resurrect a dead career, or is the girl truly crying out not to be left behind?

This poor doltish girl has journeyed from Kabbalah to Judaism, Christianity to Scientology. And now, she’s gone Vogue with Jesus.

Perhaps Mr. Donahue should attempt his hand at sign language interpretation because those hands are open for a reason. Whatever the case, this ill-advised ingenue is trying to say something for her salvation. It’s just too bad no one that cares knows what it is.