U. S. Church Groups

I am currently reading a book on Christianity in the U.S. and I come across interesting denominational types. here are a few with a brief description.

Nothingariansthis sect “has no churches, no discipline, but a very large number of members. It boasts of great antiquity. It was founded in the first century in Achaia by one Gallio, of whom it is said: “He cared for none of these things.”

Come-Outers–people who separated from other religious types to come out from among them and be separate. Often came out of Extreme Wesleyan, Holiness Movement stuff.

Merry Dancers–Offshoot of the Shakers. “Others dubbed them the “Merry Dancers,” because of their ecstatic worship. “They were,” as historian George J. Varney writes, “at this time fanatical in religion and intemperate in their indulgences.”

Nice to know we haven’t traveled very far.

Antichrist On History Channel

I did not feel like watching TV last night, but alas, I persevered and went ahead and did anyway. I happened across the History Channel, which, for a brief moment, was not showing any footage of World War II, but rather a documentary on the antichrist.

“Well, that could be interesting,” I thought to myself. “Yes, yes it would” I answered to myself. “Fine then. Let’s watch it!” I replied. “Can do, big man!” I replied to my reply.

So anyway, I did. It wasn’t bad, in fact, I thought they did a pretty good job for a secular purveyor of television filth. They sell the videos of the series on the History Channel web site. Here is a sentence from their description of the show:

Aided by interviewees with eminent clergy, scholars, historians and psychologists, this incisive program examines the evil enigma from every conceivable angle.

I may have to disagree with the eminent idea. Among others, they interviewed Benny Hinn, a university of Wisconsin professor, Jerry Jenkins, and the guy who wrote the Late Great Planet Earth who was off by 20 years (so far) as to the return of Christ.

All in all, though, I enjoyed the show. They got into dispensationalism and its “founder” J. N. Darby. It was a tad belittling and the conclusion was that Bible prophecy is a fable and something to cheer poor Christians. But that is to be expected.

I can see some History Channel employees digging up this video at some point in the future trying to see if it lends any help as to why a whole bunch of people just disappeared. “Even so, come quickly” I thought to myself. “Indeed.” I replied.

About Mel

I’ve had several posts in the last few days about Mel Gibson’s little drinking problem. I want to make sure you know that this is not an attack on Mel, it’s an attack on the idiotic Church. I like Mel and his movies and if he wants to make more, I say “go for it.” I have nothing against him nor am I rejoicing in a downfall.

What I hope to do is point out the ridiculous nature of the Church when we act like desperate people in need of acceptance. If you remember back to early 2004, you will recall the clamoring the Church did to bask in the glory of a secular movie producer coming to “our side.”

It made me rather nauseous then and I don’t want people to forget just how dumb it is to put any man on a pedestal. If you don’t remember back that far, perhaps this will refresh your memory.

5,000 pastors gather to hear Mel Gibson–“Mr. Gibson said he showed it to one agnostic friend, “and the next day, he read all four of the Gospels.” The crowd gasped. “

You can always visit supportmelgibson.com so you can defeat with your Bible the anti-Semitic charges against The Passion.

Robert Shuller said to Gibson that “I can’t tell you how I admire, respect and applaud you. May God give you the blessing you need, where you need it most.”

Bill Hybels, “If Mr. Gibson is not a believer, I have no idea who is.”

Relax out their folks. Perhaps we can see that Mel’s time in church was for a little thing called “profit.” I don’t blame him, it worked and that’s why he’s successful in the business. He’ll give an account and so will we. Let’s be a bit more discerning next time, shall we?

Another Pastor’s Wife Flips Out

Tammy Estes went to church last night with about 60 other people when she stood up with a gun. Most of the people left but 10 stayed behind to talk with her. They then became hostages.

Turns out that Tammy is the pastor’s wife. She is allegedly upset over rumors about an affair. No word as to how many of those 60 people were edified.

That’s Better

My shattered world is starting to be pieced back together. Mel has apparently issued an apology for his drunken actions.

In a one-paragraph statement issued Saturday through his publicist, Alan Nierob, Mr. Gibson said: “I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone I may have offended.”

Mr. Gibson acknowledged an ongoing battle with alcoholism and said he was taking “necessary steps to ensure my return to health.”

I wasn’t terribly offended, I just want another God-honoring movie about Jesus. Get busy Mel.

With Friends Like This. . .

A blitzed Mel Gibson launched into an obscenity-laced tirade when he was busted on suspicion of drunken driving early yesterday, threatening an officer and making anti-Semitic and sexually abusive remarks, according to a police report.

The “Passion of the Christ” director repeatedly said, “My life is f—-d,” according to the report by Los Angeles County Deputy James Mee.

So we got that going for us. Guess that whole killing of Jesus deal may have been anti-semitic eh? Should have known.

Disturbing Reading

I was reading an advice column in a Focus on the Family magazine today written by a Bill Maier, who is a “psychologist-in-residence” at FOTF.

A reader was asking about witnessing to a grandchild after a grandparent in the family died. Here is a section of his answer that he gave after telling her to use “Principles simple and geared for her level of maturity.”:

“Explain that the Bible promises us that if we believe Jesus is Lord, pray to him and are honest about our faults, He will forgive us and give us eternal life.”

Now, I’m sure by pointing out a problem with this I’ll be accused of attacking Lordship salvation, but that’s not my point. Even John McArthur would tell a child they have to believe that Christ died and rose again, it’s called “the Gospel.” The power of God? Ring a bell there, Bill?

And to use a word like “faults” is not exactly good theology either. He didn’t die for your bad teeth or inability to cleanly field a ground ball, He died for your sins, the transgression of God’s perfect Law of Holiness.

It is amazing how far we have traveled from the simple truth of the Gospel. Dr. Dobson may want to get a new psychologist or at least a new residence. Matthew 7:21

Bogged Down In Psalms

As you may have heard, an Irish bog-digger discovered an ancient copy of the Psalms in a bog. The book dates from 800-1000 A.D. He discovered the book after noticing it by the shovel of his backhoe.

The whole thing sounds rather implausible to me, I’d wait this one out to see if this is for real, just like with Floyd Landis. Anyway, even beyond the miraculous discovery, the book was found open to Psalm 83, which says, in part,

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

Much is being made of this, of course. This is God telling us to find peace for Israel. To which I say, “whatever.” Israel has faced much worse than what is going on now, let’s not forget that Israel appears to be winning.

It may surprise people that Psalm 83 has been made available quite extensively outside of this bog for quite some time.

Ironically Speaking

Psalm 119:104 says, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” It’s not a verse you come across often. It sounds rather harsh. I thought we weren’t supposed to hate?

I read the verse a week or so ago in a book. The author was talking about how Christians should really have more emotion and hatred when it comes to other religions (false religions, not denominations) and humanistic philosophy.

Instead we shrug it off and act Seinfeldian about it, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” But there is something wrong with it. The stuff we do, the stuff we give our money to, the stuff we let influence us. Should we melt into it or hate it if it takes us from Christ?

“Of course we should hate it. Be not conformed to this world, brother!” Ah yes, but you know why I remember this verse? Because I wrote down the reference on the bookmark I was using. Ah yes, somewhat ironic eh?

Money Problems

The Catholic Church is running out of money. A huge financial crisis looms as priests, brothers and nuns are aging and retiring. In order to pay their pensions, the church needs approximately $926 million per year.

The majority of the retirees are nuns, making up 82% of those receiving a pension.

In other news, the Catholic Church would have a lot more money if their priests kept their hands off young children.

Our Relationship To Religion

I have often heard it said that “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.” I understand the point and would agree, for the most part. However, religion is religion. It’s man’s way of dealing with God.

“Religion” has come to mean mindless ritual, formula and tradition and if that’s what is meant by the quote above I certainly agree. However, Christianity is very much a religion as the dictionary defines it.

James 2:26,27 tells us what religion truly is. It’s not just something you go do at church, it’s a way of living. James says that saying and doing religious things means nothing if you later go out and let your tongue flap all over saying sinful things.

The way you live your life can make all you do religiously completely worthless. This is much of the history of Judaism. They did the sacrifices, they went to the temple yet their heart was a long ways away and their lives were not changed in the direction of God.

“Religion,” in the Greek, means “worship, ceremonial observance.” What’s even more interesting about the word is that its root word means “to frighten or trouble.” Words mean things. Religion is based on a fear, reverence and awe of God. You can’t do this for an hour a week and not have it impact the remainder of the week. True religion scares the life into you.

Church Sues Pastor

A pastor of a church known as the “Jesus Saves” church has made off with $25,000, pews, the pulpit and some Bibles. In several unrelated incidents, the pastor thought the things were his. And the money, well the money was rerouted through a separate corporation the pastor had set up, you know, like most pastors do.

He has returned the items when police came calling but the money issue is still there so it’s going to court. Reminds one of 1 Corinthians 6:1-7.

We Need More Big Fish

We are all familiar with the story of Jonah and how he didn’t want to go to Nineveh. Most people assume Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because they were Gentiles, let them rot.

However, not only was Nineveh Gentilish, it was also the capital of Assyria. Assyria is known for its bloodied history. They were an evil nation that beheaded people, burned children and put people on stakes as a means of killing them. You might say they violated the Geneva Convention.

Jonah wanted them all to die, not get saved. They were bad people, look what they do to others.

Today, while accidentally listening to Christian radio, I heard yet another Christian commentator tell us that it will be nice when the evil terrorists are all dead. Israel should attack, attack, attack until they are all dead.

Now, I’m all for Israel attacking because seriously, I can’t stop it anyway. But for Christians to sit back and wish for the death of other people makes me cringe. I’ve heard this often enough to know it’s a common thought amongst believers. As long as they are bad enough, what ever that means, we should hope they die.

But any Believer who happens to be paying attention will know that one bad group of people will be replaced by another. Let the nations duke it out, war is necessary don’t forget (Mark 13:7), but let’s get the saber-rattling out of Christianity. It has no place. Ask Jonah.

Something To Do With Your Wives

So You Think You Can Dance? is a show on TV I can honestly say I’ve never seen, not even while “flipping through the channels.” I’m happy about that and even more so now that I see that the whole show is full of Mormons.

It’s a little known fact that Mormons like to dance and, apparently, they are quite good at it. Even the two above, although eliminated recently, are proud Mormonites. I was unaware that lying on the floor constituted dancing, however, like I said, I never watch the show so what do I know.

Anyway, the young lady lying on the floor “says her faith hasn’t been an issue despite the suggestive costumes that ballroom dancers wear.” That seems rather apparent.

The Bible Down Under

Out of the blue God knocked up the whole bang lot…. God said ‘let’s have some light’ and bingo … light appeared.” Thus begins one of the best-selling books in Australia–The Aussie Bible–written in Australian slang.

The 90-page phenomenon was promoted as a “ripping yarn about Jesus of Nazareth” in which Mary was “a pretty special sheila,” Jesus was “God’s toddler,” and the Three Wise Men were “eggheads from out east.”

Hellfire or put another shrimp on the barbie?

Pray For Rain

Prayer has all but been eliminated from all facets of public life. However, every once in awhile it makes a comeback, primarily this occurs when people really, really, really want something.

Lubbock, Texas currently wants rain. Their mayor has encouraged all citizens of Lubbock to pray and fast on Sunday for rain. The town tried this back in 2004 and it worked!

“Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we’re asking him for his mercy and his help,” Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Learning Who To Blame

Minneapolis, MN is located in Hennepin County. There is also a major road in the Twin Cities called Hennepin Avenue. Well, today I learned an interesting fact about where the name Hennepin comes from.

Louis Hennepin was a Catholic missionary and he explored the Minnesota area in the mid to late 1600’s. Hennepin did not feel that he had to adapt to Indian lifestyle to convert them. In fact, he wrote, “the way to succeed in converting the Barbarians, is to endeavor to make them men before we go about to make them Christians.”

Even back then you could see the humanism that would eventually overspread MN resulting in the only state to vote for Dukakis and elect a professional wrestler as governor. Ah, the debt we owe the Catholic Church groweth with each passing day.

I Am Woman, Hear Me Pray?

Women’s Issues Working Group of the Tidewater Sowers of Justice, a Catholic group, and The Twelve Wise Women, a Protestant group, have joined forces to raise awareness for how dumb men are in the Church.

They “presented an unusual dramatization, “Women of Vision: A Celebration of St. Mary of Magdala.” “God is as much feminine as masculine,” Sister Margaret McCabe of the Daughters of Wisdom religious order told the audience of about 75 at the conclusion of the celebration, “and we can call on that feminine.”

That movement, ecumenical in nature and outspoken in tone, challenges the patriarchal church, both Catholic and Protestant, to rethink its fundamental assumption of male dominance,

“Our disregard for the Earth,” she says, “is disregard for women and anything without power,” a consequence of the patriarchal world view. “All the diverse groups” seeking to reform that world view “need to get together before we blow ourselves up.”

I’m just still amazed they could find 12 wise women.

9/11 Jesus

Oliver Stone is coming out with a new film “World Trade Center.” It is, ironically enough, about the World Trade Center. It recounts the story of two guys who went in to save peoplcaughtht in the rubble. A couple tidbits from an interview with the two guys the film is based on.

Did you experience life-saving visions, as portrayed in the film?

Will: Some people who have seen the film told me, “That Jesus part is a little corny.” But that actually happened. I was brought up as a Catholic. I am not overly religious but I had lost the will to live at that point when I made my peace with God. When I closed my eyes–I don’t know if I passed out– I saw Jesus coming toward me. I was really thirsty. When I saw Jesus, I knew. I didn’t see His face [but] he had a bottle of water in his hand.

I snapped out of it and that’s when I yelled to John, “We’re going to make it out.” I can’t explain to anybody how horrific it was down there. I tell people if there are things in the film that sounds corny … I mean, it was what happened.

Did you actually pray the Lord’s Prayer during your ordeal?

John: They only showed it once (in the film) but in reality I said the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary over and over until the rescue workers got there.

Will: We prayed together at times.

I wonder where Jesus was for the rest of the guys. Seems he could have done something a bit more helpful than bring a bottle of water to a guy.

Do You Know Where Your Minister has Been?

The fellow in this picture looks like a nice old man, certainly not mischievous. He happens to be the Eucharistic Minister at St. Cecilia’s Church in Clearwater, Florida. Seems like the kind of guy that would be doing that.

His name is Tony Signorini and Tony has a past. Clearwater is home to the Clearwater Monster. The Clearwater monster would come out of the Gulf of Mexico and wander around on the beach, leaving huge, bird like footprints.

No one could figure out what made the tracks. Just when news of the Monster died down, he would show up again. Turns out, 60 years ago, Tony had some fun with people. He has recently revealed his secret. A charming article ensues.

What’s in your minister’s past?

Not So Christian Colleges

More and more colleges and universities are dropping their religious affiliations due to excessive indoctrination. Colleges like Georgetown College, Wake Forest and Furman have all left the Southern Baptists

By reducing their ties with religion, colleges feel more equipped to educate without indoctrination and theological restrictions.

This may change my picks for March Madness next year. Go Wake Forest!

Floyd Landis

The Tour de France is still going on this year even though Lance is not in it. Turns out, yet another American wins. Floyd Landis had an amazing comeback to take the Yellow Jersey.

Interesting background on Floyd. He grew up in PA and was raised as a Mennonite. In the first bike races he entered, and won, he wore sweat pants as it was against Mennonite rules to wear shorts.

His dad told him riding a bike was a waste of time. Floyd kept riding as a means to break out from home and now the ex-Mennonite has won the Tour de France.

I would be interested to know where he is with religion these days but can’t find anything on it. He seems a bit nicer of a guy than Lance. Nice job Floyd. Way to make them Frenchies even more upset!

Statue Of Liberty

World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church, quite a mouthful, has recently put up a 72-foot high statue of the Statue of Liberty holding up a cross and the Ten Commandments. The purpose of the statue is to get people to find true liberty in Christ.

“She depicts and combines Christianity with patriotism to showcase the origins of God’s design for America. . . Yet, Liberty’s message is still incomplete. It lacks spiritual liberty and significance. Millions find freedom from physical or social tyranny, yet they are enslaved in spiritual bondage and dictatorship by a spiritual enemy named Satan.

“So where is America’s symbolism for God and His plan for man’s spiritual liberation? It is spiritual liberation that opens the door to man’s complete liberation in all other areas of life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially.”
(Thanks to Spruce Goose for the link.)

British Hate Children

A new study on how British folks spend their time is out. The results are not encouraging if you are British. If you’re an American, it’s just more proof why rebelling was such a good idea.

A typical working parent spends just 19 minutes a day looking after their children, official figures revealed yesterday.

The findings come at a time when record numbers of women are working as huge mortgages and soaring household bills force them to earn a living.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will have a huge mortgage too.

What you do to the least of these, you do to me.

Murderer Pastor’s Wife Update

Everyday I get stupid emails about free money from some guy in some weird country who desperately needs my help. I wonder who falls for these things?

Apparently, Mary Winkler does. It is now believed that these scam emails, called the “Nigerian scam,” were responded to by Mary. This caused huge problems for their finances and their marriage, leading to arguing, which then led to Mary shooting her pastor husband in the back with a shotgun.

Hell’s Lullaby

Luke mentions sleep three different times and I think there is a point to be made about these times.

Luke 8:23,24–A huge storm hits the boat carrying Jesus and the disciples. The disciples are totally freaked out. Jesus is sleeping.

Luke 9:29-32–Jesus is praying and is “transfigured” and Moses and Elijah show up with Him. The three guys are shining bright and chatting. Peter, James and John are sleeping and miss most of it.

Luke 22:44-46–Jesus is sweating drops of blood while praying with an angel ministering to Him. The crowd is gathering to take Him away. The disciples are sleeping.

During the transfiguration when two dead guys come talk to Jesus and during the last moments on earth with Jesus, the disciples are sleeping. Then, when some wind comes and they get wet, the disciples are wide awake and Jesus is sleeping.

What this clearly shows us is that we are awake at the wrong times. We are worried and afraid for the wrong reasons. The Church slumbers on as people are going to hell all around us. Ah, but we wake up to fret over how we’ll pay for the church’s new air conditioner.

Living In Good Soil Means You’ll Get Dirty

My son very happily and calmly woke up this morning. He came out to the living room, climbed over the back of the couch and plopped down by my wife. I went over and began tickling him and having fun.

I was using my scruffy face to tickle him and ended up with his foot in my face. As I was about to tickle his foot with my face, I happened to notice his foot.

You gotta love little boys in the summer time. They do know how to get dirty. But dirt means you’re alive, you’re moving and living. People who don’t do anything seldom get dirty. Here’s hoping you are well soiled today.