Sweeping Dirt

I read Psalm 103:13,14 the other day and can’t stop thinking about them. Well, let me rephrase that, I have stopped thinking about them from time to time but I keep coming back to them.

They are verses of mercy. God feels sorry for us because we are just dust. He knows what He is dealing with: piles of dirt. This is humiliating that God sees us as piles of dirt and yet comforting because we know He feels sorry for us!

At the same time, since we’re just dust, it won’t offend God to sweep us up either.

Man does not like to think of himself as dust. It makes me laugh when Christians mock evolutionists for saying we are just evolved swamp goo. The Bible says we’re dirt so it’s not too far off!

Man likes the part about being the pinnacle of creation, a force to be reckoned with. We downplay the dirt stuff. We don’t like to view ourselves as vessels of clay needing mercy. Hell is filled with these people.

People have had problems understanding how a good God could allow a place like hell to exist. I guarantee you if piles of dirt started acting rebellious you’d sweep them up too. Every time you sweep a floor you are showing the justice of God’s judgment.

Confess Your Eco-Sins

Forgotten to recycle any newspapers or tin cans recently? Feeling guilty because you neglected to carbon offset your flight to somewhere, anywhere, outside England this summer? The Roman Catholic Church is at hand with a new line in “green confessions” to help eco-sinners to find forgiveness.

“It is not, I hope, blasphemous to do this. I do not think it is. It is just an attempt to make people conscious of the way they live. The Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment.

“I know the Pope has now set up his own airline, but I am told the Vatican will be planting trees every time it flies. I do think the way we treat our environment is important.”

He “hopes” it’s not blasphemous to do this? That’s a good beginning. I thought these guys were infallible? The Vatican actually plants trees every time the pope fires up one of his planes? I find that hard to believe.

Bynum And Weeks

More news has come out on the beating of Juanita Bynum by her pastor husband Thomas Weeks. Apparently their difficulty as a couple begins with financial dealings.

Bishop Weeks and his wife moved to Atlanta from Washington, D.C. in 2006. The power couple was expanding their ministry; they moved into a $2.5 million home and had big dreams for the future, but Weeks left several unpaid creditors behind.

records reveal a $63,000 judgment against Weeks from copier giant, Xerox Corporation, a $22,000 judgment against Weeks from jewelry store Tiffany and Company, a $13,000 judgment from a credit card company and a $6,000 judgment from Ford Motor Credit. In total, there is more than $100,000 in judgments against Weeks. Three of the creditors say Weeks still has not paid the debt.

Money continues to be a driving force of ruined marriages and failed ministries. Money is overrated. Don’t fall for its deception.

Theology Destroyers

In my studies in theology and hanging around people who know theology, there seems to be two main destroyers of good theology.

1) Defending man
2) Defending behavior

Let me address both briefly.

1) Defending man: Rather than go to Scripture we go to our guys. We look up our words in our favorite dictionary written by our favorite guy and then we cross-reference it with commentaries by our favorite guys and sermons and letters and whatever else. Four hours later everyone realizes that we’ve actually ceased talking about the Bible and are now totally consumed with defending the reputations of our guys.

2) Defending behavior: People do stuff. The things they do often conflict with the stuff they thought they believed. Rather than changing the things they do, they change their theology to fit around their experience.

Is there any release from this? I’ve heard many times that the good theologian approaches scripture with an open-mind and no prejudices. Well, please, how is that possible? My conclusion is that no, there is no release from it fully.

At some point some one has said whatever it is you are thinking so you’ll end up finding your guy on this subject and that subject and that’s not all bad, as long as you’re defending theology and not them.

It is also impossible to form a theology not based on your experience. I don’t know that this is all bad. At the same time, scripture is supposed to change our experience at some point, not just be a book to back up our idiocy.

My point: I have none. I’m just thinking.

Suing Over Jesus’ Trial

A CASE on behalf of Jesus Christ has come knocking on Kenya’s High Court door, lodged by a fervent Christian group that wants his conviction declared null and void and his crucifixion illegal.

They want “the court to declare Jesus’s trial null and void … because the (ancient) court that convicted him was not properly constituted, the prosecutors violated the law of the time and the trial was a sham”, Mr Indindis said.

Boy, that Kenya is one wild and crazy place. I wonder if they throw out the trial against Jesus if my legal stand before God will also be called into question. Boy oh boy I hope not.

A Cure For Benny Hinn?

The good people in Kenya have taken justice into their own hands, and perhaps this type of justice should be more well spread.

A mob was bitter that a man, who the preacher had promised to cure through prayer, died during the ‘healing’.

The mob was so upset they burned the pastor’s church down, caught him in his hideout and cut off his genitals! Hello! That’ll clean up some false teaching.

Kenya has been known for weird religious activity and a little vigilante castration couldn’t hurt.

Knot Jesus

Jesus has now shown up on a fence in a backyard.

“No one noticed it until now,” said West. She says whatever the image is, it’s helped renew her faith after a life-threatening illness. “I’m a breast cancer survivor. I’ve been through a lot recently. I take this as a sign things will be ok from now on,” West said.

Boys Adrift

Boys are growing up to be unmotivated and lazy men. It’s a trend, so much so that the movie “Failure to Launch” was a top movie about this very phenomenon. It is causing much anxiety amongst psychologist types.

Boys Adrift, by Leonard Sax, gives five reasons why boys are unmotivated and lazy and what we can do to help boys persevere.

He has a balanced approach, doesn’t go to weird extremes, some evolution crap in it but all in all well done. This is a true problem and not only is it destroying men but also families and churches.

Man was created in the image of God and Satan has done a mighty work to belittle God. It’s a battle worth fighting, even if you don’t have a boy of your own, you should know what’s going on and be prepared to help.

Jesus In Mass Twice!

Not only do Catholics believe Jesus is present in the elements of Mass, he has also decided to be present again during mass in a Catholic chapel in Laredo, Texas.

After the Mass, people lined up at the altar, hoping to make out the image in the consecrated host displayed in a gold monstrance. Their reports varied: some said they saw Jesus in black and white, others said they saw a baby Jesus, and some insisted that Jesus appeared wearing a crown of thorns.

“I’ve got chills. It makes me very emotional,” said Laura Hovel, a high school teacher. “He appeared here because there are so many people who need help.”

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day
I spied a young Messiah wrapped in white linen
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay

“I see by your outfit that you are a Catholic”
These words he did say, as I boldly stepped by.

OK, I’ll stop there.

Meanwhile Ted Haggard. . .

Recently disgraced pastor Ted Haggard issued a summons for his supporters to send him cash money as he plans on moving into a halfway house to do counseling. Unfortunately, several odd things are in that plea for money.

1. The address to send money to Haggard is a PO Box for a sex offender named Paul Huberty.

2. A pastor who knows the situation says that Ted is also not going to move into a half way house or counsel people.

This pretty much means that nothing in his plea for money is legit. Making many people wonder what’s up with Ted?

Brady Boyd

A pastor from a suburban Dallas megachurch has been chosen as the senior pastor at New Life Church, which has battled declining attendance since the firing of disgraced church founder Ted Haggard.

More than 95 percent of New Life members backed Brady Boyd, 40, in an up-or-down vote by secret ballot on Monday. He will begin serving immediately, associate pastor Rob Brendle said.

New Life Church has seen a drop in attendance by about 4,000 people. Perhaps more distressing is a drop in revenue, which has dropped 10%. Good luck to him, what a situation to step into.

The Power Of Loving Your Church

When I began pastoring I read many books on how to pastor. I quickly became disappointed and discouraged with them. Most make no sense and are man’s ideas rather than biblical points.

I’ve found a few exceptions, and so far, David Hansen is a guy I fully enjoy. He doesn’t so much tell you how to pastor as share how he does it. He has a tendency to romanticize, but don’t we all, but all in all I think he knows whereof he speaks.

Love is the key to the relationship of the pastor to the church. Jesus Christ fully demonstrated what love is, thus Jesus is the pastor’s guide in how to love a group of people. It aint easy and may not result in what it seems the world thinks success is but it works for eternity.

If you’re a pastor, check out David Hansen’s couple of books, especially this one. If you’re not a pastor but want a window into the pastor’s life, his books will be beneficial for you as well.

Growth Is Annoying

I was reading through some stuff I wrote a few years back and was blown away with how dumb I was. Did I really believe that?

Just yesterday in my sermon I told people that not understanding the Bible is a good sign you are unsaved. The spiritual mind will discern spiritual things. I believe I was careful enough to say that learning was a process and there are many things beyond us, Paul said he had not yet apprehended, but the Bible should continue to make sense to us.

Yet, I’m so dumb sometimes. Things I would argue about with 100% certainty now seem goofy to me. Is the conclusion merely, “Well, keep your mouth shut more.” It’s probably not a wrong conclusion, but probably not the only one.

One of the benefits of saying stuff is that other minds will be able to comment on it and help you grasp it. The danger is to spout off and never listen. Every time I read the Bible I get new insights. Every time I talk to a believer about the Bible I get a fresh take on it. It’s cool.

Changing opinions is a sign of growth. You have a better understanding and adjust accordingly. Being consistent may be a sign of being inert. The more I know the more I know I don’t know and that’s annoying but that’s also growth.

When I became a man I put away childish things.

Sooners Fan Rips Texas Fan

Aggravated assault charges have been filed against a University of Oklahoma Sooners fan after officials say he grabbed a University of Texas fan between the legs during a scuffle in an Oklahoma bar.

Why does this make the Anti-Itch news? The OU fan who initiated the scuffle was a church deacon. I hope I can use the past tense anyway.

Steven Parrott

Yet another pastor has made the news, this time for borrowing money from parishioners and never paying them back. Parrott even hit up a grieving mother for her son’s insurance money after his death.

Parrott told people that God told him that they should loan him money, he always promised to pay it back but it doesn’t happen.

Yet another pastor who never should have been. It is also of note that a very high percentage of these pastors who have gotten in trouble lately are Pentecostal. That should wake up some people but alas, I doubt it will.

Paula And Randy White

Yet another pastor should not have been.

Paula and Randy White founded the 22,000 member megachurch, Without Walls International Church. They were both pastors. They announced Thursday to their church that they are going to get a divorce.

Randy White said he would continue to lead Without Walls and would focus on being a “great pastor” and a “great dad.”

Paula White said she would also continue to preach at Without Walls when invited by her husband. She also said Paula White Ministries would continue to be based in Tampa.

Yup, both “pastors” will continue to open their mouths and pastor. Unbelievable. The qualifications of a pastor as given by Paul say that a pastor should be a one woman man. This is Randy’s second divorce.

Christ tells people to avoid teachers who have bad fruit in their lives because they are false teachers. I don’t get it. Of course, Paul also said pastors should be men so they show from the get-go that they could care less about biblical qualifications.

Two Sides On Swearing

In the latest issue of Wired Magazine (Sep. 2007) there is a book review on a book about the brain. One of the chapters is about swearing. Here is a quote from the article.

“The experimental psychologist also takes a fresh look at the “poo-poo theory,” which proposes that swearing was actually the first form of language. He points to the fact that brain damaged patients who lose the power of articulate speech often retain the ability to curse like a sailor.

“‘Since swearing involves clearly more ancient parts of the brain, ” Pinker says, “it could be a missing link between animal vocalization and human language.'”

That’s right, evolution makes you swear. I guess one could then postulate that he who swears is much less evolved than he who does not. Here’s God’s take on the subject.

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” I’m gonna go with God on this one. The wisdom of the world: unreal.

Seven Tips To Get More Out Of A Sermon

1. It helps greatly if you actually go to church and also helps if you listen.

2. Nurseries are there for a reason and that reason is not for other people’s children. At the same time, get your kids used to sitting and listening early on or else you will raise a person who will never go to church or listen.

3. Bring your Bible and use it. Read along. Even if your church uses PowerPoint, do the hard work of holding a book and turning pages. If your pastor does not use the Bible then go to a different church.

4. Get a good night’s sleep and make sure you’re awake before getting there. Go outside for ten minutes before you leave for church.

5. Talk to people before and after church, not during, unless you have a really funny quip to share with the person next to you. (Your funny quips help you remember what the sermon was about.)

6. Do not open snacks in wrinkly paper during church. Don’t even think about bringing a cell phone. The path to hell is clogged with people checking their cell phones.

7. Take notes, unless writing distracts you from listening. Take notes in picture from unless drawing prevents you from listening. Keep your hands filled with the Bible to help you concentrate.

Juanita Bynum

Bishop Weeks, the wife beating husband of Juanita Bynum, turned himself in to police yesterday.

After a hearing at the jail, Weeks’ bond was set at $40,000 and his case was referred for grand jury action. He was released on bond Friday afternoon. One condition of his bond is that Weeks have no contact with his wife or her sister.

The minister faces charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats following a confrontation in which he left his estranged wife badly bruised, police said.

He should have an interesting, edifying sermon in store for tomorrow.

50 Cent

Rapper 50 Cent had a startling revelation the other day: he was born like Jesus, no, not in a manger and there were indeed no wise men, he was immaculately conceived!

50 Cent Picture 76

“I asked her, ‘Mom, how come I don’t got a dad?’ She said, ‘Because you special You was born through the immaculate conception, like Jesus,'” Contactmusic quoted him, as saying.

Good one, ma! It also explains his earlier foray into Anti-Itch news.

Juanita Bynum Update

Juanita Bynum, a popular minister to women, was beat up by her estranged husband the other night. She is now planning on following Christ’s example by pressing charges.

Her husband, the Rev. (!) Thomas Weeks, who left the scene of the attack, plans on turning himself in to police today. He maintains that there are two sides to every story and that Juanita started it!

Oh you gotta love the maturity on display by two church leaders. Unbelievable.

Progressive Insurance Goes To Church

The president of an insurance company that hired private investigators to spy on clients during a church confessional issued a public apology Thursday.

A Henry County couple, Bill and Leandra Pitts, charged that Progressive hired private eyes to tail them as part of an investigation into injuries the couple said they sustained in a 2004 auto accident.

The investigators, the Pitts’ said, sneaked into their church in August 2005 posing as prospective members. Then they talked their way into a private confessional meeting at a church member’s home in hopes that the Pittses might make an admission that would damage their case, which has since been settled.

Now we wait and see if the good Christian folks will sue Progressive for mental anguish. No word as to whether they were lying about their injuries or not, which is the interesting part to me that went unmentioned: So, are they lying?

Elijah Done Wrong

Ever pick up a book and think, “Ooo, this is gonna be good!”

Then you get a quarter into it and you think “OK, he’s got time yet, stick with it. “

Then you get half done and think, “OK, not quite what I was hoping for but the finish could redeem it.”

Then you get three-thirds done and you think, “Oh this is so disappointing, maybe there’s hope though, but I doubt it.”

Then you get done and you think “How could someone take such a captivating subject and make it so dry, ineffective and uninspiring? What a waste of time.”

I’ve had that happen to me. This was one of those books. It’s out of print, finally a bad book out of print! There was nothing heretical about it, it’s just that he managed to take the life of one of the most fascinating Bible characters and completely miss the point. I won’t even get into his cheesy applications. Goodness. What a waste of time.

Juanita Bynum

Juanita Bynum, a preacher whose fiery and frank sermons about women’s empowerment have won her a national following, was attacked by her husband in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel early Wednesday morning, police said.

She got her start when TD Jakes invited her to speak at his worship conference. She found a handy niche–converting promiscuous females, of which there is no lack–and began accumulating prestige and money.

Her ex-husband and her were attempting to reconcile their divorce when they broke into a fight.

But while at the parking lot about 4 a.m., the two got into a physical fight until a bellman at the hotel pulled Bynum’s husband off her, Officer Ronald Campbell said. “She was bruised up and battered,” Campbell said. “She had purple bruising around her neck and upper torso.”

Here’s the kicker of the entire story. “The husband, who is also a preacher, left the scene.”

Oh my goodness. Sometimes I think this stuff is funny, but this is just sad. We have way too many churches and ministries and way to many unqualified people in positions of leadership and we’re making a mockery of Christ.

Come quickly.

Mother Theresa’s Crisis Of Faith

According to a new book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, Mother Theresa doubted her faith and wondered where God was in many recently revealed letters of hers. She expressed the emptiness of works based salvation, whether she knows that’s what she’s doing or not.

The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”

In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the “dryness,” “darkness,” “loneliness” and “torture” she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God. She is acutely aware of the discrepancy between her inner state and her public demeanor.

“The smile,” she writes, is “a mask” or “a cloak that covers everything.” Similarly, she wonders whether she is engaged in verbal deception. “I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God — tender, personal love,” she remarks to an adviser. “If you were [there], you would have said, ‘What hypocrisy.'”

Idolatry And You

The Bible is full of idol worship. Seems like everyone was doing it or had plans in the works to get it done. I believe this is the outworking of man’s desire to live by sight rather than faith. It makes us feel better if we can see our God.

But this begs the question: why isn’t there more idol worship today?

Romans 1 answers that beggarly question. In verse 23 it says people changed the glory of God into animals to worship, like golden calves and such like.

But then God turned them over to their lusts (v. 24), gave them a reprobate mind, and they proceeded to worship the creation more than the Creator (v. 25). Then the chapter delves into the grossness of homosexuality (vs. 26-28).

People stopped worshipping idols to worship humanity. At least idol worship points someone to a god of some sort, reaching beyond one’s self to a higher power. But today’s idolatry is subtler: it’s the worship of you.

Life is spent meeting your needs, you can do anything you want, be all you can be, you deserve a break today, you, you, you, you, you.

Homosexuality is the gross conclusion of humanism, but it begins subtly. Looking down on homosexuals for being worse than you is a start.

Paul says he counted his life loss for the excellency of Jesus Christ. No longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. I am crucified with Christ. I am gone.

It’s the only answer to idolatry.

Christian Junk Mail

This is a great example of how not to market your church product to me.
Make my church the place women want to be? Riiight. What, am I running an ice cream parlor now? I can’t figure out if this is an invitation for pastors to pick up chicks or what.
I read that sentence and didn’t even waste my time with the rest.
I’d rather have my church be the place where followers of Christ want to be, quite personally. I’m sure that’s horribly sexist and whatever, but you know, there’s only so much a guy can take.