Christian Football Picks: Week 17

Each week I pick football games based on the current state of God’s opinions on things as given by modern Christianity. We are 29-15 going into the last weekend. I will attempt to pick games with “playoff implications.”

Detroit at Pittsburgh
God has favored Pittsburgh this year in interesting match-ups demonstrating God’s approval of industrialization. Lions killed Christians and Detroit is just a pit. This one is easy.
Pittsburgh 31
Detroit 17

New York at Oakland
New York is home to the guy who got his name changed to Jesus Christ. Is this endearing to God or does it make Him upset, so upset that He would make the Giants playoff run harder?
Oakland 24
New York 21

Washington at Philadelphia
As the year draws to a close we get news shows recapping the major events of the year. Most people think our country is either the reign of antichrist or Christ Himself. Is there no middle ground? We’ll see what God’s opinion of our government is by whether He allows Washington into the playoffs.
Washington 27
Philadelphia 10

My Guy

One of my favorite preachers is Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church. There is a link to his site on this page. Listen to some of his sermons and tell me he isn’t awesome.

It appears as if Mr. Hutcherson has gotten himself caught in a hubbub about gay-rights in Washington state law. There is a proposed law to ban discrimination based on sexual-preference for jobs. Hutcherson thinks we should have the right to choose who works for us, even if it means not hiring for sexual-preference. I would agree.

But about 30 people picketed outside the high school where Hutcherson’s church meets. I know, 30 people, who cares, but it makes the news.

“It’s hard to get around what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality,” Hutcherson said. “We believe in an inerrant word of God. That means there’s no mistake. Biblical truth overrides culture and time.”

“We can’t be literalists when it comes to interpreting scripture,” said Corsaro, who also is co-chairwoman of the Religious Coalition for Equality. “It’s not the perfect word of God. It’s heretical to superimpose 21st-century context and values on first-century context and values.”

So, there it is, to believe the word of God or not. Too bad believing it is so inconvenient. I was disturbed to see that Mr. Hutcherson threatened a boycott of Microsoft as a solution, however. Oh well, no one is perfect.

Jeanetic Satanism

Swedish youth are buying lots of Cheap Monday jeans. The jeans are tight-fitting and cheap. Perhaps you think that’s bad enough. But it gets worser.

They also have a logo that features a skull with a cross turned upside down on its forehead. The logo’s designer admits he has a “great dislike” for organized religion and said the logo is an “active statement against Christianity.”

Some youth are ripping the logo off and some even take the jeans back when they realize what the logo implies. Others wear them and enjoy greatly disliking religion.

Change Of Heart?

Well, I’m back from my week of three Christmas’s. I must say, it is somewhat of a pain to lug around the three kids and pack the car and unpack the car and pack the car and unpack the car and pack the car and unpack the car. It’s also a pain to have children who develop strange eating patterns that take weeks to restore. Driving home in sleet and snow wasn’t real fun either. And whenever we are gone for a few days our house always smells funny when we get back. Then we got snow and it took us four tries before we could get our car up the driveway.

But, I got a new digital camera for Christmas! Maybe I do like Christmas. Nah, I just like new digital cameras. Here’s my first ever picture on my new camera. My life has just taken a swing in the upward direction.

Bad Theology Continues To Kill

A nun was crucified by a priest and four other nuns during an exorcism ritual. She was rescued but later died from an adrenaline overdose. The five killers thought the nun was possessed of the devil so they chained her to a cross, gagged and deprived her of food and water for several days at the remote monastery in June. Authorities had maintained the treatment proved fatal and she was already dead when other nuns called for an ambulance.

I don’t recall where crucifixion is suggested as an effective treatment for demon possession. Know your bibles. Your life depends on it, in many ways.

The House That God Built

New Year’s Eve is a great excuse for people to go out and get drunk, as if they needed another excuse. Instead of getting drunk, why not go to church?

Well, if church isn’t open on Christmas, why would it be on New Year’s Eve? A church in Texas thought the same thing, why go to church? So to give people a reason to, they are giving away a free house during their New Year’s Eve service.

“It encourages people to come to the service, and it helps keep people off the street with all that revelry going on,” Pastor Walter Hallam said. Once people attend the New Year’s Eve service, the hope is they’ll keep coming once they realize “church is perhaps not as bad as they remember when they were young.”

What if we thought church was better when we were young? The church has given away a car, a motorcycle and furniture in the past.

Backwards Bible

A Hindu youth from northeastern India has written a Bible in inverse, or “mirror language”, which is to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI as a Christmas gift, a cleric said.

Boy, won’t he be disappointed, after all that work, to only be told that the Pope has already gotten the Bible all backwards for the last two thousand years.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Ironic

Churchgoers planning to attend Christmas services Sunday at Christian Methodist Episcopal Church instead found themselves staring at charred ruins after an early morning fire destroyed the church. “It may have burned for more than an hour before anyone was called. By then, it had spread,” said Rev. W. Edward Lockett, who has led the church for more than 20 years.

What’s wrong with this fire? It should know that it shouldn’t be at church on Christmas Sunday (had to get one last shot in before this year passes). I find it somewhat ironic that the fire had progressed so far because NO ONE WAS there! Ironic. Very ironic.

Hope Joel Osteen’s wife wasn’t behind this.

Share The Love

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to share some love.

Kwanzaa is a celebration of the African heritage that many African-American people are celebrating to hold on to their culture and distinctives. In fact, Kwanzaa is now taking a role in many black churches.

“In the black church, it is now becoming an acceptable celebration. Kwanzaa is in harmony with the church,” said the Rev. Marvis P. May, pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Baltimore, where May has marked the pre-Christmas season of Advent by walking his parishioners through the principles of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is celebrated over the next seven days. Observers will be “lighting red, green and black candles, watching African drummers and making homemade gifts in recognition of kuumba, the Kwanzaa principle of creative expression.”

Enjoy!

Miracles of Jesus

The three-hour mini-series on the Miracles of Jesus aired yesterday on the Discovery Channel. I saw about two of those hours. It was pretty good. Well done, balanced, almost favorable toward Christ.

It had some existential camera angles and MTV editing that is headache inducing at times and it also portrayed Jesus a bit more violently than I think He should have been. He seemed to have to wrestle with everyone he healed and throw people on the ground and stuff. Not sure what that’s about.

Check your local listings, it is a good show.

Boy Named “Thing”

Johnny Cash hit it big with his song “Boy Named Sue.” It’s a touching story of a father who names his boy Sue so his boy learns to be tough and defend himself since his dad was taking off and wouldn’t be able to teach him that. Sue concludes that he’ll name his boy, Bill or George, anything but Sue.

There’s a worse name to call your boy, and God does it! Jesus is called “That Holy Thing.” I’m serious, look it up, Luke 1:35. Perhaps it was growing up with all your friends calling you “Thing” that made Jesus strong enough to endure the pain of the cross.

Father knows best. Seemed to work out OK. That Holy Thing was to be called the Son of God. Now that’s a name to hang a hat on. That name will take you places. God calls us His sons, it’s a great name to have. It’ll make you tough. It’ll get you to eternity. Be born again and let God name you His Son.

Novel Idea

Tonight, the oldest log church in the Adirondacks will hold its first-ever Christmas service. The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Blue Mountain Lake was founded in 1885. It’s never been open in the winter, but its reverend told North Country Public Radio that Christmas falling on a Sunday this year inspired him.

Well good, someone was inspired to have church because Christmas is on a Sunday. Amazing how it inspires other churches that stay open all year to close. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Second Coming?

A Manhattan man’s holiday spirits soared to celestial heights Friday when a judge gave him permission to change his name to Jesus Christ. Jose Luis Espinal, 42, of Washington Heights, said he was “happy” and “grateful” that the judge approved the change, effective immediately. Espinal said he was moved to seek the name change about a year ago when it dawned on him, “I am the person that is that name.”

Espinal, who is unemployed and unmarried and has no children, said, “This was not done for any reason other than I am that person. You’re dealing with the real deal.”

When pressed on why he thought he was Jesus, Espinal said, “Because I really like nachos.”

OK, I made that last part up.

Just Needs A Wife With No Name

A man from Holland, who is described as “deeply pious,” but not sure what they mean by that, has decided to build a scale model of Noah’s Ark and float it on Dutch waterways. The ark he is building is about half the size of that described in Genesis.

“I have studied six translations of the Bible and arrived at a construction drawing,” he told the daily. When complete, the ark will be 70m long, 9,5m wide and 12,9m high. It is being constructed in a shed at one of Huibers’s businesses.

He plans to moor his ark along the way for the devout — and the merely curious — to inspect. Huibers wants to set up a foundation to run the ark and plans to use the funds raised to build a full-scale version in a couple of years.

Cool, I’d pay to see that.

Christian Football Picks: Week 16

Each week I pick football games based on the current state of God’s opinions on things as given by modern Christianity. Games are on Saturday this week so everyone can go to their churches that are closed for Christmas. Currently we are 27-14, but 41-0 in our own eyes.

Buffalo at Cincinnati
A guy from Buffalo sold a statue of Jesus that authorities believed had drugs stuffed in it. Not sure if it’s true, but still, selling Jesus to begin with is pretty risky and he must have done something to garner suspicion with the all-wise customs officials. I say he’s guilty
Cincinnati 34
Buffalo 17

Jacksonville at Houston
Jacksonville was visited by Jesus on a nacho pan. Obviously God favors Jacksonville, and probably nachos too. Eat up. Plus, Houston is home to Joel Osteen who isn’t nearly as happy anymore now that his wife ruined his hard-fought testimony. God don’t like that, never been a real fan of women to begin with. Don’t go there.
Jacksonville 28
Houston 17

Philadelphia at Arizona
The woman who embezzled money from her church for breast implants lived near Philadelphia. God certainly doesn’t like people stealing His money nor does He like that whole sex thing, not good. But the Cardinals represent the Catholic Church, which ran an ad in a magazine with the Virgin Mary wearing a condom on her head. Tough one. Both deal with sex, both are wrong and stupid. Hmm
Arizona 24
Philadelphia 21

First And Last

The King of the Jews was a title that got Jesus into lots of trouble. Matthew 2:2 has the wise men asking Herod where the King of the Jews was born. Not sure where they get this “wise man” title from. That was a pretty stupid question to ask the king.

Herod burns with jealousy at the proposition that there is a threat to his throne. He orders babies to be killed. If the wise men hadn’t opened their big mouths and called Jesus “King of the Jews,” many lives would have been spared.

Towards the end of Matthew, the title King of the Jews is basically what gets Jesus killed by the Romans. Again, He was viewed as a threat to the government. Jesus never refuted the title, He let it serve its purpose.

This one title lead to death both times it was heralded. Jesus used some pretty poor marketing. He could have settled for “the guy who some other guys follow” or “leader of some scrubs.” But no, He had to go for King. How petty we are in our little power. Threatened by God’s glory and power.

Our God reigns, deal with it.

Fallible Catholic Magazine

America, a Catholic magazine, recently ran an ad featuring a statue of the Virgin Mary wearing a condom over her head. When readers saw it, they were outraged. The magazine has since apologized, claiming ignorance.

“We were embarrassed to have readers call our attention to the offensive advertisement that escaped our unknowing eyes and appeared in the December 5 issue … The offense was compounded when we learned in the advertiser’s reply to a concerned reader that he had intended his art as an assault on Catholic faith and devotion.

“We have taken several steps to tighten our advance review of advertising and express our outrage to the artist.”
The problem came about because America’s editors only saw the ad in black and white before it was published, and the condom was not as evident, according to the magazine’s associate editor, Rev. James Martin.


“When our ad person saw it in black and white, she didn’t see anything,” Martin said in a telephone interview. “When I got the magazine in color, I noticed the ad, I thought it was a little odd, but we regularly get ads for all sorts of strange religious art.”

I’m sure he’ll now have to apologize for calling other ads “strange religious art.” Nice one. That’ll settle em down real good.

What’s In Jesus?

A BABY Jesus nativity figure bought on eBay by a Church of England vicar has been seized by US Customs officials who are searching it for drugs.

The doll was sold by a guy in Buffalo, NY. A place that certainly would be selling Jesus and most likely shoving him full of drugs too. Who knows.

Jesus Pans Out


The Stadium Club Restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida has been visited by Jesus. Workers noticed the image of Christ on the bottom of a pan used to warm nacho containers. I know, if I were Jesus, which I’m not, I would show up in a bar in Jacksonville on a nacho warming pan. I think Isaiah even prophesied something about that didn’t he?

Fear of Glory

We have shown that the happy birth of Christ freaked out lots of people. After saying “fear not” to Zacharias, Mary and Joseph, there’s one more recipient of this message–the shepherds.

The shepherds have a good reason to be afraid–the glory of the Lord shone all around them. That would be scary, God’s got lots of glory to shine. God’s glory can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you are. The angels tell the shepherds that they’ll be OK, this is good news.

God’s glory can fry you if you’re a sinner. But if you’re one of His, you’re fine in His glory, in fact, you can bask in it. The shepherds respond perfectly–”let’s go to Bethlehem and check this out!” They got a taste of God’s glory and wanted to see the rest.

The Good News of Christ’s birth is that sinners can now be saved. God’s glory won’t fry us anymore, now it brings peace. It brings salvation. Fear not!

Original King James

An original first edition, first printing volume of the 1611 King James Bible has been found at the University of Manitoba.

Sweeney [head archivist at the University] says certain typographical irregularities – such as the use of the word “he” instead of “she in one specific place – prove the book is not just an early version, but the original first edition, first printing. Only about 50 first edition, first printings of the King James Bible exist in the world. Others have sold for more than $400,000 at recent auctions, Sweeney said.

The Bible also comes with a card that claims the Bible belonged to King James I himself, but that has not been verified yet. The University of Manitoba plans on selling it on eBay to raise money for women’s lacrosse uniforms.

OK, I made that last part up.

Jewish Dilemma

For the first time since 1959, in a coincidental convergence of calendars, the first night of the Jewish festival of lights will fall this year on Christmas Day.

The Chicago Tribune has an article about the Jews and how they feel awkward having to be Jewish around all this Christmas stuff. A rabbi from Lakeview, IL said “I think it’s great. When we usually hear about Christmas, Hanukkah has already happened. But this year we really need to struggle and reflect on how to be Jewish in a Christian society. I think it’s a good thing for Jews to think about.”

The article also talks about families with Jewish and Christian spouses and what to do, what to do. I guess it’s easier to have two faiths represented when they usually don’t impact life then, eh? Why is it just a struggle right now? I have a perfect solution–both spouses could go to Willow Creek on Christmas Sunday. Problem solved.

Jesus Miracle Picture Show

Brock Gill is a Christian illusionist who has been asked to do a series of television shows about the miracles of Jesus.

According to a press release from Vertical Ministries, the miracles documentary will highlight eight miracles including the raising to life of the widows son, the feeding of the 5,000, walking on water (performed by illusionist Andre Kole) and changing water into wine.

Various biblical historians as well as critics of Jesus miracles are interviewed, showing both a pro-miracles viewpoint as well as the arguments against them. The ultimate question is left up to the viewer to decide. Check local listings for exact air times.

The shows will air the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Even if the show came down on one side or another, isn’t the viewer still left to decide? Oh well, I’m just surprised they are allowed to talk about Jesus on Christmas weekend. Not all churches even do that.

Fear Of Being With A Sinner

Fear surrounds the birth of Christ. “Fear not” has been said to Zacharias and Mary so far. Joseph is next. If anyone has something to be afraid of, it’s Joseph. He has to marry a woman who is already pregnant, not even by him! Just being with a pregnant woman is enough to make me tremble.

Joseph contemplates the best way to get rid of her. He doesn’t want to make a public display out of her. This shows the love he had for her, even with this proof of “infidelity,” Joe is looking out for his woman, albeit still not wanting to marry her.

An angel shows up and says, “Fear not. Go ahead and marry Mary.” Don’t be afraid to be with one who looks like a sinner. Joseph’s testimony had to encourage Jesus when He grew up and hung out with publicans and sinners. Jesus was condemned for eating with these unclean types, but He came to save those who were lost.

Sinners are out there. They need Jesus. You have Jesus. In order to give them Jesus, you have to be around them. Fear not!

Your Best Wife Now

Joel Osteen, author of “Your Best life Now” and pastor of 30,000 member Lakewood Church, was kicked off a plane after his wife got in a verbal disagreement with flight attendants.

“She failed to comply with the flight attendant’s instructions, and they were asked to leave the flight,” FBI spokeswoman Luz Garcia said. The flight was delayed for more than an hour while the Osteens’ luggage was retrieved, Garcia said. The Osteens took another flight to Colorado, where church spokesman Don Iloff said the family was skiing Tuesday.

Iloff said Victoria Osteen stepped into the jetway to talk with the flight’s pilot and other personnel while her husband and children remained seated in first class. Joel Osteen and the children later left the plane to join Victoria Osteen, who suggested the family take another flight.

So much to say but how to say it.

Church Expansion Project

A woman has been charged with embezzling $325,000 from her church. She was in charge of finances for 5 years. She spent the money on a new home and breast implants. The church, meanwhile, was falling into disrepair.

A church elder, Don Lewis, showed pictures of needed repairs the church had been unable to make and compared them to photos of Lacombe’s large, well-kept [wait for it. wait. wait. . .] stone home, saying the theft shook the trust of some parishioners.

Fear Of Being A Blessed Woman

The birth of Christ is shrouded in fear. God must get tired of trying to do things on earth, only to have people either fall over or argue with Him, is there no middle ground?

The next person after Zacharias to get the “fear not” message is Mary. Gabriel shows up and tells Mary she is blessed and favored among women. Mary is immediately afraid! “Right, what do you want?” She’ll make a good mother.

She’s not even heard about having a baby yet. She’s just nervous at being called a favored woman. Reminds me of the stand believers have in Christ now. We are all accepted in the beloved and it freaks us out. “What do you mean God? What do you want now?”

God has a plan for us. His plan shows that we are favored, that we’re accepted. God loves you and has cool things in store for you. Fear not.

Metrospirituals

Here’s an article on a new trend in religion: the metrospiritual person.

Provocative and controversial, this is hipster-style worship, a fusion of status, money, luxury and spirituality. Hippie values for yuppie pocketbooks. The holy trinity of metrospiritual is simple: honoring the planet, healing yourself through optimal well-being and exploring other cultures. “Metrospiritual” businesses adhere to holistic and socially responsible values.

If you wish to puke more today, feel free to read the whole article. You puked about it here first.