Sleeping Christians–The Point

Yesterday I did a post entitled Sleeping Christians. In it I expressed mock outrage at a toy put out by Burger King. I went to Blog Explosion and used up 20 credits to get some casual surfers to stop by and see if I got any reaction.

I did. And it proved one of the main points I was trying to illustrate.

When Christians spend their time being outraged the world thinks we have an awful lot of time on our hands. When we find sexual perversion in every cartoon or toy, the world thinks WE are the sexual perverts.

There are better things for us to be doing with our time. With all the real problems in the world, why do we try so hard to find more?

The Money Driven Church

A church in Florida recently had a meeting where local residents expressed their displeasure with the church. The church is in the process of adding a youth center and parking areas. At the same time, the church is also looking into leasing land to T-Mobile for a cell-phone tower.

Residents are also not thrilled about that.

Some residents said they worried about possible health risks from having a tower in their neighborhood. Most, though, were upset about problems with the current projects, saying they were noisy and raised clouds of dust that harmed their children. Residents also complained about the church destroying large trees.

I think it is best that churches become as obnoxious as possible. It’s yet another way to be all things to all men. But I’m not quite sure that’s what Paul had in mind.

Sleeping Christians

I’m not quite sure how hyper-sensitive Christians have missed out on this opportunity to protest something. Maybe they are all on vacation or something. Perhaps I will be the first to enlighten them to the newest threat to our children.
The other day it was approximately 127 degrees outside and my wife didn’t want to make supper so we went to the local Burger King. We got kid meals for our kids. They each got one of the Fantastic 4 promotional toys in their meals.

It was Mr. Fantastic, a superhero that can stretch. There are a few things I wish to point out about this toy.

1. the awkward pose he has.
2. purple gloves
3. purple boots
4. he’s named Mr. Fantastic.

If a teletubby is bad for our kids and turning them into flaming homosexuals, I’m not quite sure how this Burger King toy is not doing the same thing. Where is the outrage?

My Daughter

Our middle child, Elizabeth, is not the most motivated child on earth. She enjoys activities that involve sitting. Her older sister and younger brother are both crazy people who never sit still.

I’ve been trying to get Elizabeth interested in something and help her enjoy life a bit more. I thought I would work along with her sitting desires and help her do her own blog.

So now, for the enjoyment of the world, is a completely useless, uninformative but unbelievably cute blog.

Easier Catechism

Are you Catholic and stupid? Well, that is no longer a problem!

A new easier and shorter catechism has been released by the Vatican since the old one was long (691 pages) and hard to follow for some people.

The new one is only 205 pages and is made up of a series of questions and responses.

So that’s a relief. Now I’ll have something to do at the next Catholic funeral I attend.

It’s Not About Me

And, surprisingly, it wasn’t.

Max Lucado wrote another book. It’s just like all his other books. He makes great points, barely develops them but illustrates them continuously.

I really enjoy his writing and would enjoy it more if he cut out about 25% of his illustrations and took his points deeper. But if you want an easy read with some good stuff, this is the book for you.

Lucado covers some attributes of God, what we’re here for and what does that look like? Good reminders as well as some good insights into things you may not have thought about before. Not bad Max.

Pretty Stupid Eh?

A new survey by national Geographic shows that 32% of Canadian readers believe the theories put forth by The Da Vinci Code. They particularly like the idea of a bloodline still existing from Christ. 16% of Canadians have read the book and 32% of those 16% are morons, is the official result.

How can people so easily accept theories put forth in a book sold in the Fiction section and yet have so much trouble trusting the Bible?

Perhaps because we’re busy turning the Bible into a novel. Zondervan found that hardly any 18-34-year old folks were reading the Bible and they also don’t trust religion. So Zondervan decided they’d change up the Bible into a new format.

Genesis is no longer called Genesis, the book just starts with an opening chapter called “Things Started out Great.” They spice up some other sections as well.

“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me.”

So we got that going for us. So who’s more stupid, Canadians who believe the Da Vinci Code or Americans who turn the Bible into a novel? It’s a toss up.

We Don’t Like Your Parenting

As a father of three, I get to spend lots of time with my kids, other kids and other kids’ parents. In doing so I get to observe how other people raise their kids.

I ran into an interesting mother last week at a playground who had one precious little two-year old daughter. The mother talked in the typical sing-songy voice and did such things as offer to go get some water for her little charmer when she fell and got a wee bit of dirt on her mouth.

I knew with the hyper-parenting on display that this kid was going to do something to one of mine. Sure enough, right on cue, little cutesy-wutesy shoves one of my kids. This is when hyper-parent dove to one of the deepest levels of parenting, one of my biggest pet peeves about other parents, she said, “Oh Sammy, we don’t push other people.”

I felt like saying, “Well, maybe you don’t push other people but Sammy sure does.” What’s with the “we” stuff? If my kid shoves another kid I’ll either ignore it because the kid probably deserved it or if they didn’t, I would say “Hey you, don’t push people.” There’s no “we” there. The kid just did something wrong, use a direct pronoun like “you.” Otherwise it gets buried under a larger group pushing people rather than the one turkey kid who did.

Bugs me, that’s all. Get a backbone, confront your kid properly. Quit being a hyper-parent that produces creepy kids and use some good pronouns.

Secret Priests

A secret ceremony occurred the other day ordaining a woman into the Catholic priesthood. The Catholic Church has not recognized any women who claim to be ordained as priests.

Since she is a secret priest, she can’t really do anything a real priest can do, but it was more than likely just a protest kind of thing.

It’s amazing to me how a secret ceremony is in the BBC news and on the Anti-Itch Meditation blog. Hmm, gives whole new meaning to “secrecy” I guess.

Good luck to her. All the jokes that come to me are being censored by the Anti-Itch Humorosity Filter. Maybe yours will pass the sensitive filtration process.

When Jesus Came to Harvard

Harvey Cox writes about a course he taught on Jesus and moral reasoning at Harvard. He recounts his experiences in the classroom and shows how he taught the life of Christ. The point of the class was to get students to recognize moral decisions and help them solve them by examining how Christ did.

There are few treatments of Christ more confusing than this one. It’s what happens when you study scripture from a philosophical or comparative religions background. The arguments and discussions they have over the simplest verses is amusing. Most of which totally miss the point of the verse anyway.

Each discussion with his students ends with, “The conclusion of our discussion was indecisive. Who really knows?” Which begs the question–why are you writing a book about something you admit you know little about?

He also enjoys using the word “denouement.” I have seen this word before, even had a scant idea of what it meant, but this guy throws it in every other page. (It means–how a complex series of events was worked out).

The book was highly annoying to a believer but I suppose tremendously enlightening to an outsider looking to be further confused by Jesus and not wanting any prompting to accept him. You may enjoy it if you are looking for how the world currently thinks about Christ.

Jeff Weddle, Fatalist at Large

I suppose I should be upset about the recent Supreme Court ruling that the government can take anyone’s property when they jolly well feel like it. There’s a large part of my political self that is offended by that.

But there’s a large part of my Christian self that thinks, “So what, let em have it.” I think we forget about what world we live in and how upset we can get about our piece of turf we’ll inhabit for 70 years. Jesus had no place to lay his head. Paul had no home. Our citizenship is in heaven.

Fighting the temptation to get earthly minded is tough. But eternal perspective tends to help out.

Saying this, and the post on abortion which follows, probably makes it sound like I am a fatalist. To some extent I am. “Whatever” is a Weddle Family Philosophy dating back about 83 years at least. We’re supposed to care and make sure justice is done while here, but we’re also to be continually looking for our new home.

If that’s fatalism, well, so be it. They can have it all. I’ve got eternity.

Jesus and Babies

Hear me carefully now, I do not like abortion. I don’t like it. I think it’s a despicable practice. I think it is murder.

However, I do think the Church has gotten a wee bit carried away with their rantings about it and making people who have abortions feel like they are destined for hell.

Perhaps we overvalue the “sanctity of life.” When Jesus was born lots of babies were killed (Matthew 2:16-18). Couldn’t God have done it another way, since He’s in control of everything? Couldn’t God change Roe vs. Wade?

There’s a reason why it’s here. Perhaps it’s God’s way of getting more people to heaven since the Church is fairly inept at doing so.

But it also needs some perspective from time to time. Just think about it, that’s all.

You Gotta Have Faith

Faith is all around us. Today I did a 100 mile bike ride. I knew I could do it but about 68 miles into it I began to wonder but cheered myself up with “I do believe I’m strong enough to pull it off.” So I did.

The Chicago Cubs are selling bracelets this year that say “believe.” Please. Any dope who puts his faith in the Cubs is pathetic indeed.

It’s nice to have some faith in yourself or things or other people but most people and things let you down at a certain point. The ability to exercise faith is not a problem for people. The ability to apply faith in the right thing is the tough part. A case and point you’ve just gotta see.

Big Dog Down

I am part of Big Dogs Endurance Cycling web site where I keep track of my biking miles. I’m pretty much of a weenie on the site compared to the others but it’s still neat to track progress and compare it to others.

I just saw that one of the other members, Dr. Bob Breedlove, was killed in a cycling accident in the annual Race Across America (RAAM) yesterday. Apparently he slumped while on the bike and swerved into an oncoming pick-up truck.

You never know when it’s your time. Be careful out there.

A Good Writing Book

Writing books tend to be annoying. They usually take one of two forms 1) a rah-rah you can do it cheerleading session or 2) here’s how you can totally sell out but make lots of money by doing boring writing you have no interest in but pays the bills.

I’ve read and written enough to know I don’t like either approach or advice. I finished reading On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and I must say, it’s one of the best books on writing I’ve read. It is considered a classic and I can see why.

He takes a very straightforward approach, keeping focused on the craft of writing. He explains style, voice, word usage, clarity and all kinds of good things. He even covers how to use “that” and “which,” two words THAT I have trouble using. I recommend it highly for anyone who wants to improve their writing of books, articles or emails.

Disney is Even More OK

The Southern Baptist Convention is in high gear and one of the proposals that passed was to end the Southern Baptist boycott of Disney. In order for a “boycott to be successful it had to have a beginning and an ending” is how the chairman explained it. “We felt like it was time to end it. We’re hopeful Disney will do what the resolution calls for,” he added.

So, let me get this straight, the boycott, although it didn’t accomplish anything, is now successful because it’s over? Why didn’t they just stop the boycott the day after they started it and celebrate how quickly Southern Baptists responded?

Ah yes. I will continue to boycott boycotts and feel just fine.

The Dangers of Fundamentalism

I suppose I would be considered a Christian Fundamentalist. It’s nice to know that my Fundamentalism is now ruining America. It’s true, read this article to be enlightened.

Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:

There are warning signs, however, that American science is losing its edge, and may even have peaked. One reason is that as religious and political fundamentalism tighten their grip, they are beginning to sap America’s intellectual vitality.

history shows that fundamentalism leads only to stagnation and disaster.

Whatever Europe is, it is emphatically open-minded, especially about science, the most important activity yet invented.

They cite the fact that scientific journal articles are now being written by more Europeans than Americans. This is because Fundamentalism has led the US to back off on stem cell research and other stuff. Basically, they are celebrating the fact that the rest of the world now does more science than the US.

Well, welcome to the club rest of the world. I wonder how the US led science all those years seeing as how we were founded by Puritan Fundamentalists and stuff.

This article is complete crap. Read it if you want to be infuriated by bad journalism. Unbiased, of course.

South 41

On our little trip, we had only one “lost” experience, which is pretty good for us. We were going across 41 from west to east from Ishpiming to Munising, MI. We were cruising along, enjoying the sights around Marquette and following 41, assuming it would keep going east.

After awhile on our road I kept thinking, “Hmm, seems as if we should be seeing Lake Superior again.” I noticed the road sign “SOUTH 41.”

“That’s weird. I wonder why they call it South 41?” I asked while pondering why a road that ran east was called “South” anything.

“Maybe we’re going the wrong way” My wife chimed in.

“Maybe we are.” Sure enough, we were supposed to get off on 28 east, I believe it was, as 41 turned to the south.

Funny how the immediate thought is that the sign people are wrong! Why would they misname this road like that? How confusing.

People look for direction from scripture, then they wonder why scripture says what it does. Clearly the Bible must be wrong so we can keep going the way we want to go. Certainly God is wrong, not me.

You’d be surprised how well the Michigan Department of Transportation knows their roads and you’d be surprised how well God knows how this whole place works.

The Itch is Back

Took a few days off to go with the family up to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. Had a fine time. I didn’t do anything except be on vacation. It was nice. Except for trying to sleep with a 5-year old, a 3-year old and a 2-year old in a tent or hotel.

Stayed in Munising.
Played in Lake Superior.
Camped at Mclain State Park
My son and I tried filling up Lake Superior with rocks.
Camped at Fort Wilkins State Park.
Went to Fort Wilkins
Went to the Mountain View Road in Copper Harbor.
Went on the boat tour of Copper Harbor Lighthouse.
Came home and slept in my Select Comfort Adjustable Air Mattress.

It was nice as could be expected. Ready to go again and that’s what vacations are supposed to be for.

The Needy Church

Church giving is in trouble. Many denominations are struggling to make ends meet, leading many churches to cut staff and hours. Some blame it on the stock market instability, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on September 11.

I don’t think any of that has anything to do with it. Charitable giving has been increasing, reaching $250 billion in 2004. Meanwhile, church giving has still been going down.

Two reasons why I think this is:

1) The church has become rapped up in politics and social issues so why not just give to those causes instead of the church? The church is just eating the cake they made. Since it’s not fulfilling any spiritual function you might as well give to the RNC instead.

2) Churches have gotten sucked into the money trap and need more and more. While staffing 32 people per church and buying more land and buildings they need more money. People get sick of having their money used for “stuff” rather than eternal purposes. I’d quit giving too.

If the church returned to its actual biblical purpose–edifying believers–instead of trying to fix the world and buy it all up, I think giving would take care of itself. However, I think this is an economic cycle which will correct itself. The church has gotten carried away, this will help by cutting out the chafe.

Are You Talkin Ta Me?

A priest in Romania ordered the crucifixion of a nun he was “in charge” of. After she was crucified and gagged and left alone for a few days, she died. Now he is being charged with murder.

The reason for her ordered crucifixion was that she was demon possessed. But here’s the “best” part–the proof of her being possessed by the devil is as follows:

she “had to be punished, she had an argument with the Father during a Sunday mass and insulted him in front of the congregation.”

Let this be a lesson to all you “laymen” out there, don’t mess with your priest or pastor. Never argue with them. And never, ever, no matter what, insult them in front of others. You too could end up like sister Irina.

Sick aint it?

Hollywood Religion

There are two religious systems that get a lot of attention due to their high-profile members. Kabbalah has gotten a lot of play lately due to Madonna and other fruitcakes. Scientology was pretty much invented for rich people. The way to progress in the program is to buy the next level and the dollar amounts go up and up. Tom Cruise and other fruitcakes keep that in the news.

Lots of people join these religions to “be like Tom Cruise.” Perhaps we look at that and think, “Pssh, what a bunch of losers. Just because Madonna does something, they do it too? How lame.”

But consider your own faith, why are you in it? Are you a Christian because your parents or spouse were? Are you a Christian because they weren’t? Are you a Christian because you knew a nice Christian? What people are in the way of you and God?

It’s an interesting question. Obviously you can’t underestimate the influence people have on us for our decisions, but if you’re Only in something because of a person, be careful.

Prayer in Hindsight

Many Christians complain about God not answering prayer. “Why doesn’t He hear me?”

I, for one, am glad He doesn’t answer prayers the way we want Him to. Here’s one example from history from August 1, 1777.

“I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America.”

This was written in the Journal of John Wesley. Glad God didn’t come through on that one! Stupid Brits!

My prayer that my first child be a boy was not answered. Thank God too. If the boy I have now had come out first, good Lord I wouldn’t have any daughters. I would have had one kid and called it quits.

God has a plan, He wants to hear from you about it, but He’s still got a plan and it all works. Not my will but yours be done worked for Jesus, it’ll work for us.

Jobs on Jobs

Here is a link to a commencement address by Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer.

If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the gist of it:

1) Life only makes sense in reverse
2) Follow your heart, find something you love, only do what you love
3) We’re all going to die so make sure you’re doing what you need to do.
4) Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

The whole thing is basically a bunch of humanistic hooey, but he has some legitimate points as well. Staying hungry, not selling out for money, is what allows people to really do what they love, to do the right thing rather than what everyone else is doing. It reminds me of a guy like John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, the disciples and, of course, Jesus Christ Himself.

Money is the great temptress. Tempting us into comfortable routine, denying adventure and doing what others expect us to do. Money makes everyone the same. Rich people all own the same stuff, know the same people, do the same things. It’s those who are on the outside who truly live and are free to do the right thing. They may not do it, but still, the option is there.

If you have to look to cover yourself and your assets, soon your decisions are all made on what’s best for your stuff rather than what’s best for your stand before the Lord. So, stay hungry. Stay foolish.

We are fools for Christ.

Go On, Get Out Of Here

A Bishop in the Anglican Church, who goes by the title Right Reverend, which has got to be the coolest church title, even better than pope, said that people in his diocese should “get out more.”

His appeal is a rah-rah approach to getting believers involved in Church Army Sunday, where various evangelists go out and make a difference.

Evangelism is hard. That’s why churches try to keep their people busy–as long as we’re in church we don’t have to evangelize but we can still feel spiritual. I think it is important for all of us to not forsake the ministry of evangelism we all have.

I think it’s high time churches start doing less to free up their people to do the work of the ministry in their lives.

United Church of Confusion

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is gearing up for its annual meeting. One of the top proposals of the meeting is a vote as to whether they consider Christ to be Lord and divine. You can read the proposal here.

The reason for the proposal and vote is that many churches and pastors do not teach that Jesus is Lord or divine. The proposal even says many people refer to the UCC as the “Unitarians Considering Christ.”

It is reported by several papers that the proposal will fail. What’s that say about mainline denominations when they have to see if they really believe in Christ? No wonder no one goes to these churches anymore, what’s the point?

Insuring the Church

Had a meeting last night with a representative of Church Mutual (insurance provider for churches) to go over our policies. He shared with us that they have two new sexual misconduct claims a week from churches.

He also explained that the more stuff a church has the more susceptible they are to lawsuits. If a church doesn’t have anything, what would people get for suing you anyway?!

The more stuff churches have the more they have to spend resources to care for the stuff and the more susceptible they are to losing their stuff. Jesus had no place to lay his head, he never got sued! They just killed him!

So, pick your poison. We live in a sick world.

Pastor Joke Ahead

The woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus and Jesus said the famous words, “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.”

The crowd thinned out, Jesus looked up at the woman, and out of nowhere a rock comes flying in and hits her in the head.

Jesus turns and says “Oh, mom. . .”

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