I always enjoy coming across Christian’s who approach their ministry with humor and light-heartedness. I have no idea how I came across this one but it’s pretty good. It took a while to figure out how to surf the site, not all the links work, but it’s worth the effort.
Their stated objective is: “This is the official publication of ‘The Institute for the Study of Atheianity.’
We are a group of bumbling Christian scholars studying the Natural habits of non-religious people in order to one day control them.”
Gotta like that!
The Chicago Bears signed Muhsin Muhammad to a six year contract the other day. I don’t know, call me a bigot or religio-phobe, but I’m not all that thrilled with rooting for a Muhammad. I’m sure he’s a fine individual. He is described as having “intangibles.” Oh great. That’s all the Bear’s need is more people with intangibles. I’ll be excited when they get someone on the team with a tangible–like the ability to catch a ball and still be able to move afterwards.
Anyway, how is it that in one aspect of life I find it hard to be in support of Muslims but when they catch a touchdown I’m all for them? Does that make me a hypocrite? Am I backing off of beliefs for the sake of a dumb game and an even dumber team? I don’t know, makes you wonder.
The season of bracketology is approaching. I got this great idea, anyone who’s interested can join a bracket group on Yahoo! and we can have a little friendly competition amongst ourselves. When the brackets come out on selection Sunday, you have three days to enter your bracket for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll keep you posted on the details.
You thought TV in America was controversial! A new hubbub is brewing in Britain after a live exorcism was broadcast. The exorcism took about two minutes and didn’t feature any violence or shaking. In fact, the guy who was de-possessed said “It was the most relaxed deliverance I have ever had.”
What’s wrong with that statement? How many has he had!?
I find it interesting that exorcism is making its way into the news more frequently, maybe it’s just that I’m looking for it but I don’t know, it seems to be creeping up all over.
The reason why many are upset is because those who submit to an exorcism are often mentally disturbed and they fear what this TV attention will do to them. I guess there’s one simple way to solve this little problem, answer this question: What would Jesus do?
19 people ice fishing on Lake Erie have been rescued after the chunk of ice they were fishing on broke off and started floating away! What a trip that must have been. Redefines the “one that got away.”
Stories like this always make me wonder, what exactly in evolution makes the strong go rescue the weak? Wouldn’t having 19 competing fishermen drifting off improve your ability to catch fish and live? Aren’t morons who fish on thin ice deserving of their fate?
Love and compassion don’t fit into evolution and is the greatest argument against it. They can throw “why do bad things happen to good people” at us but we can just as equally throw back, “Why do people do good things for each other?”
Economists are examining whether a belief in God determines the amount of work you do. Comparing various nations based on their belief in God and their work output seems to indicate that those nations with more people believing in God produce more. Interesting.
But it’s hard to make direct correlations like this because it doesn’t always hold up–China produces tons and maintains an atheistic outlook. But it is interesting to see how it fits together. It’s also interesting from the standpoint that you can’t serve God and money and yet nations who believe in God have more money! Wonder how that works.
A man attempting to walk his way across the Canadian border in the middle of nowhere (he has a felony on his record and thus cannot cross legally) was found disoriented and frostbitten. What was his reason for doing this dangerous trek in winter? Political asylum? Drug trafficking? Attempt to get cheap prescription drugs for his dying grammama?
He was attempting to meet a woman he met on a depression chat group. Ah, the power of love to empty the brain.
People are calling attention to a new crisis in their churches–child abuse under the guise of exorcisms. The purpose of the drive is to get pastors who believe in exorcisms to learn about protecting children and to get parents who attempt to drive out evil spirits thru beating to knock it off.
Coming on the heels of dealing with fallen angels and Satan in the weekly Anti-Itch, it’s amazing what poor theology can do. Even if demon possession still occurs (which I find doubtful since Christ defeated principalities and powers in the cross) no exorcism involved the physical beating of the one possessed. A word was spoken and the demon left. Even when the demon didn’t leave, like with the disciples, there is no evidence of doing any weird things or using physical force to get the desired result.
If Scripture remained the final authority many of our issues would be resolved rather quickly.
Well, apparently there is one less reason to hate the Minnesota Vikings now. It appears as though our old pal Randy Moss is on his way to the Oakland Raiders, which is just fine. There’s no team that deserves him more. That’s too bad, I was just getting to the point where I really didn’t like the Vikings after living amongst their fans for 7 years I almost developed a fondness for their losing ways. I sense the fondness creeping back in, bummer.
A 13-year-old boy in Florida has been suspended from school for 10 days due to a “level 4 offense.” Level 4 offenses are reserved for those making threats with weapons and has previously been used with bomb scares. This boy had a rubber band on his wrist that the teacher asked for and reportedly he threw it on her desk.
However, all things are open for personal spin, according to the school, “if he would have aimed it a little more and he would have gotten it closer to her face he would have hit her in the eye.”
“If” is a pretty big word. If I had gotten lucky in my aim I could have taken out teachers with pens and spit balls many times but the bottom line is that I never had real good aim with those things, nor rubber bands for that matter. On top of that, how many times have I been hit in the eye with a rubber band? It gets better. People need to lighten up.
There still may be hope for the kid though, they have to have a series of meetings with the school board to decide his fat. Another fine use of time and resources in the pursuit of educating our young’uns.
Some Coptic manuscripts have been found in tomb of one of the Pharoah’s in Egypt. The last notable Coptic documents were the Nag Hammadi Scrolls. Researchers are currently working at translating them and hoping to find out more information about the early life of Christianity. It is believed that early Christians may have hidden the scrolls here while under Roman persecution.
So there’s a big flap about these tapes that were secretly recorded between President Bush and a reporter. I want to highlight a few paragraphs of a story about these tapes:
But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: “Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I’m not going to kick gays, because I’m a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?”
Later, he read aloud an aide’s report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: “This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It’s hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however.”
I must say I agree with Mr. Bush on this one. Christian groups are getting way to fired up over homosexuality, not that it’s not wrong, but they are not the enemy, they are potential brothers! Instead of hammering them left and right, why not show a little love? The kind of love we reserve for steroidal athletes, liars, adulterers, disobedient children, gossipers, gluttons, lazy, arrogant, irresponsible people.
Scientology gets another appearance in the news. On the film set of War of the Worlds, Tom Cruise has set up a Scientology booth where actors can go for an assist–healing for injuries thru massage I guess. Scientology literature is also available for those looking for something more permanent than an assist.
Boy, Mel Gibson didn’t even set up any Catholic booths at his movie. Some are wondering where the Catholic and Jewish booths are. It’s just funny and sad all at the same time.
Televangelist Gene Scott has passed away at age 75. Scott was an eccentric teacher of the Word. He is quite enjoyable to listen to and taught a dispensational basis for scripture interpretation, was excellent at Church History and biblical languages.
He had his things though. He frequently cussed in his sermons, smoked a cigar and believed some far out things about pyramids and stuff. Pastors are required to at least believe 5 way-out-there things just to keep their listeners going toward Christ!
He’s the kind of guy you have to listen to at least once. His web site offers live broadcasts from his University Network as well as archived sermons.
“Be ready always to give an answer” is a great life verse, but often there aren’t any questions and other times, the questions that are there are tough! Martin Luther had an insightful reply when he was asked “what was God doing before He created the world?”
“He sat under a birch tree cutting rods for those who ask nosey questions.”
Amen! Luther cracks me up. I wish I could have sat and talked with him, he seems like an average guy trying to make the best of a bad situation and I tip my cap.
Marcel Proust is a guy I have never heard of, know nothing about him, but I saw a quote in a book that I thought was interesting. It reads as follows:
It has been said that the highest praise of God consists in the denial of Him by the atheist, who finds creation so perfect that he can dispense with a creator.
Interesting, but not sure I agree. Seems to me the highest praise of God would be to praise Him! How does elevating the creation over the Creator bring the Creator glory? Seems to me if you celebrate the creation over the Creator, the Creator would be a little upset that you missed the whole point of the creation. Romans 1 seems to refute this quote.
I don’t know, what do you think?
Perhaps there is a positive trend in Hollywood?
The number of R-rated films has declined and PG films are doing better by far than R-rated films at making money.
This trend is chalked up to the new guidelines Hollywood enacted a few years back prohibiting the promotion of R-rated flicks to kids.
However, lest we be too positive, it could also be because today’s PG-13 film is equivalent to yesterday’s R-rated film. PG-13 films have more violence, sex and foul language than equally rated films of 10 years ago.
All depends in how you look at it.
One of the points of this morning’s message was to illustrate how the Spirit has worked differently over the years, which is clearly seen by looking at the life of ol’ Samson.
My intent was not to give an entire teaching on the passing of “sign gifts” but I know there is much interest in the subject. If you are interested in a more full study of 1 Corinthians 12-14 you need to get George Gardiner’s “The Corinthian Catastrophe.” And it’s only $6 at Christianbook.com!
I disagree with a minor point in his interpretation of 13:12 but otherwise he’s excellent. Several years ago we listened to a set of tapes by him on the Charismatic movement, also highly recommended.
A new study on conversation says that people are talking more and more but saying less and less, most conversations sticking to traffic and television.
Ronald Carter, a big-shot studier of conversations, says ‘Too much chatter means we keep our real thoughts to ourselves. We risk becoming rigid and thoughtless in our opinions.’
In other words, the less you get into deep discussions the more likely you are to hold thoughtless opinions and refuse to endeavor to find the truth. Interesting input for the Church. The more we develop friendships and show a place of acceptance where thoughts can be discussed, the more opportunity there will be to sway opinion in our direction.
The only way to hold a conversation between two opinions and dig for the truth is if love is the motivator–something we’re uniquely qualified to do!
The Christian archeological world just took a blow so one would think perhaps they would back off awhile, refocus, re-examine their approaches.
The tomb of St. Paul has now been found and amazingly enough it has been found right where the Catholic Church said it was in the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
You know, that’s fine if it is and not surprising if it isn’t, but I just hope believers don’t pin their hopes on these things to buck up their faith. I also hope that people will not be taking pilgrimages to the site to get healed (after a nominal fee) and yet, something tells me it’ll happen just that way whether the find is legitimate or not.
If you have time and more patience than I have, you may be interested in this article dealing with a child custody case, three religions and a child’s baptism and how the state can decide who can baptize who when. Unreal
When you sit back and watch Satan at work in the world, it’s truly amazing how many things in this one story he has influenced. How many tiny variables in life he can manipulate to cause division and hurt feelings that’ll never go away. He’s amazing, he really is.
Charges against the Philadelphia Four have all been dropped. After viewing footage of the encounter of the “Conservative Christian” protestors among the homosexuals, it was seen that they did nothing wrong or harmful to anyone.
In an amazing statement, one hardly believed to actually have been said by a judge in America, the judge said, and I quote, “We are one of the very few countries that protect unpopular speech. And that means that Nazis can March in Skokie, Ill. … That means that the Ku Klux Klan can march where they wish to. We cannot stifle speech because we don’t want to hear it, or we don’t want to hear it now.”
Wow, where did that come from?
I was talking on Sunday about The Angel of the Lord and showing how He was secretive about His identity just as Christ was.
I happened to be reading in Matthew 16 just now and saw Christ ask the disciples who people say he is. Then he asks the more important question “Who do YOU say I am?”
Peter gives a very good answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
“Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ (16:20).”
What? His own disciples, the few people who had a clue, couldn’t tell anyone that Jesus was the Messiah? That’s pretty weird instructions for a guy trying to set up a Messianic Kingdom aint it? Jesus did not come the first time to set up a Kingdom. He came to die to allow a Kingdom to be set up the Second time He came.
Awhile back I read a book about the James ossuary (the burial box supposedly containing the bones of “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”) and believe I made a few posts about it as well. It’s back in the news.
The owner of the piece, Oded Golan, is being charged with antiquities forgery as it is now strongly believed that this whole deal was a giant charade, one repeated several times by this guy after further investigation.
This whole deal is going to create some trouble for Christians and Christian organizations that jumped on the bandwagon, such as the magazine Biblical Archeology who strongly defended the find.
It’s always a good reminder to base your faith on issues of faith and not look to physical things or people to bolster or prove it. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The actress who used to star in TV’s Dharma and Greg, a show I’ve never personally seen, has made it her mission to clear the planet of all people who criticize Scientology.
Scientology has to be one of the weirdest cults ever invented. Some guy specifically did it to make money and boy did he. As far as I understand it, the main way to move up to higher levels in the religion is to pay increasing amounts of money. It’s basically the cult of the rich and famous.
Scientology’s magazine is called Celebrity, which might give a clue. Tom Cruise and John Travolta are the other Hollywood types who get the most Scientology hype.
I suppose I should be careful, I might get cleared. But boy, you thought your faith was weird.
Blink is a new book by Malcolm Gladwell, who writes about business trends and so forth, about how our brain automatically makes snap judgments in a few seconds and how we can tap into that power.
In his first chapter he talks about a Dr. John Gottman who has learned how to study film of a couple’s 15-minute conversation and with 95% accuracy determine whether their marriage will end in divorce. His findings are pretty fascinating. Here is his web site to find out more about him and his marriage studies.
Some human bones found in Ethiopia about 40 years ago have been re-examined, leading scientists to call them about 200,000 years old.
“An author of a study of the bones says it’s believed Homo sapiens arose about 200-thousand years ago.”
What I find interesting about that statement is that “it’s believed” the bones are that old! Hmm, I thought faith and science had no correlation? I thought people who lived by faith were idiots in comparison to the wise, all-knowing scientists.
I guess I’ll go on believing the first human were created about 6,000 years ago then if it’s only a matter of belief.
We were in Trig’s yesterday and I was waiting for the children to catch up and heard two guys talking about Valentines Day. The one guy says about buying a card “Well, you gotta do it otherwise you’ll suffer for days.”
I’ve never quite gotten that whole deal. Why would a woman feel particularly special having to have a holiday force her man to show some love? Why would a woman feel special when the only reason her man is doing anything is because he doesn’t want to suffer for days?
That’s a recipe for love?
Love has lost it’s point. We’re not kind to someone we love because we’re guilty, afraid of the consequences of not doing it, or because someone forces us to. We’re kind because we love them and if you can’t get over yourself long enough to love on a regular basis, well, stay single because you’ve got nothing but troubles ahead. If you’re already hitched, get some help!
Certain Hindus are upset with Valentine’s Day. Apparently, this “holiday” made it’s way into India about 10 years ago and the youngsters have really taken to it. So much so that shops are cashing in big time.
Hardline Hindus are upset with this importation of Western culture because it isn’t Hindu culture where I believe they have arranged marriages still. I can see their point. But threatening violence to stores and parties seems a bit over the top to me. If your idea can’t win by itself, not sure violence is going to do the trick.
The Fishing Father, a Catholic priest from Saskatchewan, has been in the news lately, not necessarily for good reasons either.
The Fishing Father caught an 18.3 pound walleye and posted his picture on the internet. Somehow, a bunch of different people took the picture and claimed that he caught it in all kinds of other lakes, no indication as to why this happened or who did it.
Anyway, the Fishing Father is getting lots of publicity now and so has decided to start a relief fund for fishermen who work in the Indian Ocean who were affected by the tsunami. Taking lemons and making lemon basted walleye dinner!