Hey, Irritate Him!

Read a thing on junk mail. Direct mailers work 1% of the time–50 people will respond to a direct mailing of 5,000. Email direct mailing has a success rate of 0.2%! Magazine cardboard subscription inserts work 14% of the time.

Television has to interrupt awesome shows, like American Gladiators, with stupid commercials. We Tivo through them or apply the remote, forcing them to do product placements and annoying logos everywhere during your show. People who want your money have to become more irritating to get it.

If you are dependent on people for anything—their time, money, energy, etc.—you have to become increasingly annoying to get it. If your church needs money they will be increasingly irritating.

Christians are not supposed to be irritating. We are not to throw our burdens on others or be dependent on people. We can successfully accomplish this because the Bible tells us that God can meet all our time, money and energy needs.

We are dependent on God for these things, which means we are to irritate Him, not other people. The great thing is that God wants us to irritate Him. He tells us to “pray without ceasing,” which means–irritate Him all the time! He loves it and abundantly provides.

Boycott Sports Illustrated

Man oh man, I can’t believe this. I’m going to have to boycott all sports pretty soon. This is outrageous!

Sports Illustrated is planning for its Masters preview a cover photo depicting Tiger Woods as Jesus Christ in a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

Now, Tiger is pretty awesome, but I know Jesus, and Tiger, you’re no Jesus. Again, February is a great month to boycott sports, but seriously, they better resolve this by March.

Joel Osteen

Article on how Joel does church.

“You know what, some people are just never going to understand or never going to agree with me. You know, I believe that God is a good God and some people just don’t believe that. They think I ought to go out and tell people all that they are doing wrong and all that. And that’s just not me. I don’t think I’m going to change them. If anything, I try to search my own heart and make sure I’m on the right course.”

Non-Specific Prayers

Applications for how to pray often include: “Pray for specifics.”

Whenever I pray for specific things it focuses me on those things, probably causing me to do my will in regard to that thing rather than God’s.

Furthermore, if I pray for a specific thing for a person–that they get better, overcome depression, that God may blow them into smithereens in His mercy—I tend to veer into prideful praying. I know what they need, so do this.

I become a jerk when I pray like this, imagining I know how to fix them and then lay it on them.

However, when I look at the various prayers of the Apostle Paul, he prays pretty generic stuff for his people: that they be reconciled to God, that they grow in knowledge and judgment in their love, that the word may have free course, be blameless, quit sinning, etc.

Now, those are specific things, but notice he never says anything close to, “Lord, make Stephenas stop being a gossip.” If I were to pray that Stephenas stop gossiping, you better believe my pride would be in full gear.

I know how bad a gossip Stephenas is because I’m not one; I pray.

Our flesh is a good pray-er. It knows how to sound spiritual while really reveling in pride. Being generic with our requests may be the way to go. Just a thought; a theory maybe. I’d be willing to be proven wrong.

Dana Jacobson Is Baaaack

Well, we lost again. Dana Jacobson did not get fired from ESPN for her anti-Jesus attack. I guess we continue our ESPN boycott. Hope she gets fired by March.

ESPN host Dana Jacobson went back on the air Monday, beginning her TV show with an on-air apology for her recent anti-Jesus remarks.

“I want to once again say how truly sorry I am for my poor choices and bad judgment that night. I have taken responsibility for what I did say and do and realize why it was wrong,” Jacobson said.

“Several people told me last week mistakes do not define us. It is how we respond to those mistakes that does. I believe that,” she continued. “I hope you can forgive me and allow my future to define me.”

Yeah, right, not likely. At least not until March.

Kenneth Copeland’s Holy War

The US Senate is investigating several wealthy televangelists to see if they are improperly using their donated funds. None of the good Christian folks being investigated are cooperating with the Senate, in a show of good Christian citizenry.

One of the guys most ticked off about being investigated is our pal Kenneth Copeland. Here’s his very Christ-like response to the government’s requests for a peak at his records.

In a Jan. 22 closed-circuit broadcast of his 2008 Ministers’ Conference obtained by Roll Call, Copeland pledges a holy war against “Brother Grassley” and the Senate for attempting to get a look at the controversial ministry’s finances. Grassley wrote a Nov. 6 letter to Copeland and five other prominent ministers requesting a variety of financial information.

Holy War, Batman! I’m gonna go out on a limb here and just go ahead and give a guilty verdict.

“You can go get a subpoena, and I won’t give it to you!” Copeland storms. “It’s not yours, it’s God’s and you’re not going to get it and that’s something I’ll go to prison over. So, just get over it!” he tells Grassley, jamming his finger into the air. “And if there’s a death penalty that applies, well just go for it!”

Solid Rock Church

Solid Rock Church is in Monroe, OH and has been talked about here before. They are the church with the six-story high statue of Jesus out front. They also have a 32-foot-wide, blue neon dove affixed to the sanctuary ceiling. Class.

The six-story statue known as Touchdown Jesus sometimes pulls in passing motorists on I-75 for prayer, says Tom Ballinger, outreach minister for Solid Rock Church in Monroe.

Mike Harden is a columnist for the Columbus Dispatch and takes a rather cynical view of this church, imagine that. however, he has a sentimental conclusion. Maybe big Jesus’ help people. What’s wrong with that?

Christ-Free Substitutes

The point of Christianity is fairly simple. As Harry Ironside said, “Christianity is Christ.” As the Apostle Paul said, “that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

Having the life of Christ be manifest in our bodies is tough. Hard. Not something your flesh is real interested in doing. So we get busy finding our Christ-free substitutes that make it look like something is happening.

*We focus on spiritual gifts and experiences. Because speaking in tongues and getting healed is easier than living the life of Christ.

*We focus on church. Because being busy in church is easier than living the life of Christ.

*We focus on legalism. Because keeping our hair cut, tithing, wearing slacks and not drinking beer is easier than living the life of Christ.

*We focus on our distorted view of liberty. Because continuing to sin is easier than living the life of Christ.

Instead of the substitutes we should be focusing on Christ. Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to live the life of Christ.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Google Earth Does The Bible

A group of artists has created scenes from the Bible as if captured by Google Earth. They wanted to give a God’s eye view of these supposed events.

“We like to disorientate audiences a little with all our work. And with this piece we felt technology now allows events which may or may not have happened to be visualized and made to appear dramatically real,” say The Glue Society’s James Dive. “As a method of representation satellite photography is so trusted, it has been interesting to mess with that trust.”

They have done Adam and Eve in the Garden, Noah’s Ark, Israelites crossing the Red Sea, and the crucifixion.

Religious People Are Losers

In case you didn’t know, if you are a believer in God you are a loser. You have few friends and are generally lonely. The reason why is because loneliness makes people long after God. Oh, and it also makes people fond of their pets.

The reason lonely people want God is because in evolution in order to survive you needed a group to help you along. If you don’t have a group to belong to, well, you make up one, like a Triune God, a group of God. Sweet. Loneliness gone.

“Owning pets and religious beliefs and practices are both known to increase a person’s sense of well-being.” This is the group mentality helping us evolve even though we don’t have a group.

So anyway, loser, the reason you like God is because no one likes you. Deal with it.

Wally Rogers

Wally Rogers teaches language arts at Irasburg Village School in Vermont. He has gotten in trouble for posting the Ten Commandments on the wall of his classroom as well as having religiously themed books present.

But now he’s crossed the line. The ACLU is on the job and Wally is getting busted. What broke the camel’s back? Wally distributed a handout entitled, “Why Jesus is Better than Santa Claus.”

Don’t go messing with Santa Clause their Wally, everyone knows that. Wally is about to get the boot. Pray for poor Wally and his crusade to eliminate Jolly Old St. Nick.

Satireday: Church Prostitutes

You thought it was bad for churches to give away shot glasses, check this one out. New Vistas Fellowship, a 1,400 member non-denominational church in suburban Los Angeles, is offering free prostitutes to all new members in the month of February.

“We expect this move to cause our Christian brothers to be offended, but getting people to church is more important than the sensibilities of my brothers. People are going to hell.” Said Pastor Ray White.

Well that’s nice. As with most pastors, he cites the necessity to engage the world where they are and the world has clearly shown that sex sells, why not use it to sell Jesus?

“Temple prostitution has a proud tradition, it is in the Bible so it’s not like we’re making this stuff up. I spend most of my week with people who visit prostitutes and I want those people in church. The idea just makes sense to me,” Pastor White added.

It may make sense to him but, as expected, Christians are outraged by this stunt.

“I mean seriously, tricks are not for kids of the eternal Creator,” says Betty Tyson.

Can’t argue with that.

Michael Lindsay On Evangelical Power

Faith in the Halls of Power by Michael Lindsay is a new book that seems fascinating to me. Lindsay addresses how Evangelicals have handled their power. His opinion: not too well.

“Lots of books are written about how Christians should deal with personal finances,” Lindsay said. “Nothing is written about how Christians should handle power.”

“We’re the world’s elite. Even average Christians have tremendous power. Think about it. Most of the world makes only $2 a day. We spend more than that on a Starbucks coffee. How do we handle that kind of power?”

Go here for a good book review.

Go here to buy me this book.

Boycott ESPN

Dana Jacobson let out a string of profanity in relationship to Notre Dame and Jesus the other day and has found herself suspended for a week. I joked yesterday that we are to now boycott ESPN, which is pretty easy to do in January. Well, it’s even better.

The Christian Defense Coalition plans to lead a public demonstration and prayer vigil outside of ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, on Friday, January 25, at 12:00 noon.

The statement by the Christian Defense Coalition uses the offensive word that Dana spoke four times in the part I saw. I don’t get that. No one in the world would have known she said this, no one even knows who she is. It’s only by Christian loudmouths that this stuff was made public.

Furthermore, by calling attention to it, the CDC has now caused many a brother to stumble by repeating her stupid word. Oh wait, by linking to it I just caused you to stumble. See, it’s the stupidity of it.

Sheep before their shearers are stone silent.

Characterizing Character

Our youth group meets at a local public school. Being the bastion of Satanic power that public schools are, I enjoy reading their propaganda on the wall. In the gym there is a poster with this quote on it, “Character is what you do when no one is looking.”

I have heard many people say this and I find it to be entirely ridiculous.

Character is very much also made up of what you do when people are looking. In fact, if you look up the original quote rather than taking the common adaptation of it, the quote reads “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”

I think the change is good but even then, I still think it’s pretty stupid. The actual definition is “tried and proved.” Character is actually defined as a reputation, what others think of you because they’ve seen you handle trial and testing.

This is the way the Bible uses the word (Romans 5:4). Paul tells young men considering being pastors to be tested as deacons first to prove their character (1 Timothy 3:10). Character is only known if people are watching.

But, of course, I should have known this at the beginning. Anything on a wall of a public school is no doubt useless drivel. Always good to have reassurance that this remains true.

Jesus Potato

Jesus has shown up in a pastor family’s potato as a sign. Here’s what sign the miracle brings, get this:

Renee says she had been looking for an excuse to get out of making potato salad. “I was hesitant about making the potato salad because Sister Frankie makes the potato salad at church and I said lord if it’s not for me to make potato salad then send me a sign.”

Boy oh boy I bet Sister Frankie is a bit ticked about this. It reminds me of the people of Israel arguing over who their leader is Korah or Moses. At least Sister Frankie didn’t get swallowed by the earth.

She persevered in making the rest of the potatoes for her potato salad. How was that potato salad? “It was good. It was the best you ever made…it was almost as good as Sister Frankie’s,” said Bishop Brewster.

“I just want people to know God is still as real today as he was back then and he can show up anytime he gets ready,” said Pastor Brewster.

Dana Jacobson Hates Jesus

The Catholic League is upset over some remarks that ESPN anchor Dana Jacobson made in a drunken tirade during a celebrity roast.

She uses bad words mainly addressed to Notre Dame, Touchdown Jesus and Jesus in general. Her apology fell a tad short of the Catholic League’s desires.

“My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words.”

The Catholic League is more upset over the comments about Jesus than they are about Notre Dame, for some reason, which she did not address. They want her fired just like Jimmy “The Greek” was.

Boycott ESPN!

The Blasphemy Of VIsion

I wrote yesterday about my pet peeve against Christians talking about dreams and visions, something to shoot for in life. The reason I find it blasphemous is because it belittles God’s Word and elevates our own ideas.

But a further element of blasphemy is that secular sources think Jesus “just had a vision,” a dream to shoot for. Here’s a fine case in point on a MLK essay from yesterday.

Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King and John Lennon were all great dreamers. A dream is defined as “a fond hope or aspiration; to imagine as possible.”

Jesus Christ, the Jewish born Messiah of Christianity and Islam dreamed of a world living in peace.

To me, that is plain and simple blasphemy. Jesus Christ and John Lennon did not both have a dream of world peace. Jesus Christ knew that when He reigned as King there would be peace–that’s not a dream, that’s fact, it will happen.

I never get the impression from Jesus that we are to create peace on earth. Not that His followers aren’t peace-lovers and peace makers, but He never once tells us to make the whole world at peace, in fact, He pretty much tells us that is impossible.

Wars and rumors of wars must happen, don’t worry about it. Keep going. He didn’t have a dream or a vision, this is God in the flesh telling us the facts. We give off the wrong impression of our God when we chalk up our factual, trustworthy faith as visions and dreams, boy I sure wish we could be happy.

We will be, when this stupid world order is done with. It’s not a dream; it’s a reality you can live now if you’d pay attention to God’s Word and quit making up other stupid “dreams” to go after.

The Stupidity Of Vision

The other night I heard a sermon on the radio about how we need to find our vision. It stirred up all manner of pet peevish thoughts in me. I hate it when Christians talk about needing “a vision.”

He stressed that we are not to tell God what to do but God tells us what to do. Which is fine, but then he proceeded to tell four things you can do to get a vision for your life.

Here’s my main peeve with this: Scripture nowhere tells us to seek a vision. Native American religion teaches people to seek visions as well as modern pop-psychology/business gurus. But the Bible? Nope.

Any Bible character receiving a vision was generally asleep or doing something completely unrelated. None of them sought it. All the visions they were given were odd, they didn’t make any sense and few of the people were thrilled to carry it out (think Moses or Jonah).

Whereas Christian sermons say “Where there is no vision the people perish (verse taken way, way, way out of context) and you don’t want to die do you? So get a vision. Here’s how.” Unscriptural and bordering on blasphemous.

Generally, the outcome of seeking a vision is that we get distracted onto this physical, temporal dream of ours and meanwhile leave undone the many things the Bible clearly tells us to do. There is absolutely no Biblical precedent for any sermon I’ve ever heard on vision. It’s not there.

Here’s God’s vision for you: Do what God says in His Word. We walk by faith not by sight (vision, eh!) and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Jesus Kidnapped

Jean Mansel of Oakbrook Township, Mich., says someone took her 80-pound cement Jesus, and left a ransom note to indicate why. The note read:

We are holding Jesus ransom until you clean up the poopie from your wieners and trust us we see you take your wieners for long walks w/out picking up their poopie in our yards. This has upset us dearly so please clean up all the wiener poopie, if you want to see Jesus unharmed. Sincerely, Lindy Lane Residents.

However, today I see that now Jesus has been returned. Not sure it’s good news though, “Mansel tells WZZM-TV that it was taken by relatives but she declined to explain. She’d only say the whole ordeal has now become a family situation.” People are weird.

Cat Lover

Chris and Kirk Raymond and Skoda, all of Richfield, are still going strong with their Pet Tribute Creations (http://www.pettributecreations.com/). Kirk Raymond, a whiz at Photoshop, places likenesses of deceased pets in the arms of Jesus or another religious figure, then frames the picture.

Oh dear Lord, please, please, I’m begging you, come quickly.

Orthodox Christians At Jordan

Thousands of Orthodox Christians made a pilgrimage on Friday to the Jordan River site where Jesus is believed to have been baptized.
Orthodox Christians pilgrims make their way toward the annual ...
Western Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6, or 12 days after Christmas. The Orthodox, who continue to use the old Julian calendar, mark the date on January 18.

Many will bathe in the river as a re-enactment of their own baptisms, while the less adventurous will fill bottles with water from the river. This year, however, authorities prevented pilgrims on both sides of the river from entering the water.

Glad I didn’t follow through with my travel plans to be there this year, what with being prohibited from actually getting wet, hardly seems worth the trouble. Guess I’ll have to substitute my own polar plunge in its place. As Jesus told us, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Satireday: Jews Boycott Geico

Geico helps people save money on car insurance. Apparently their huge savings are not enough to convince people to buy their insurance so they use a gecko to make their coverage more appealing.

This was all fine and dandy until Rabbi Moshe ben Zakkai let his followers know there might be a problem.

“I feel embarrassed to make an issue out of a cartoon character, but the Scriptures are final and geckos are unclean.”

The rabbi is pointing to the obscure reference to geckos in Leviticus 11:29-31 naming them as unclean animals.

“It doesn’t seem right to buy insurance sold by an unclean animal. That’s all. I’m not militant, I just want my Jewish brethren to realize they are dabbling with the unclean.”

An anonymous Geico spokesman said that they will consider using a kosher ad representative. However, increased marketing research to find inoffensive icons may prevent people from saving 15% on their car insurance.

“I mean, seriously, if a gecko is offensive it may take a large amount of money to find a suitable replacement. We mean no offense. He is a British gecko and they did help beat the Nazis.”

Wall Street Journal Notes Rise In Petty Pastors

Good old fashioned church discipline is a rising trend in protestant churches, according to the Wall Street Journal. Churches are increasingly excommunicating and shunning members for unrepentant sin (read: unapologetic pastor hatin’).

Causes for this trend include the moral laxity of most church members, the supposed position of the church as a moral leader and also, it’s just plain fun!

The revival is part of a broader movement to restore churches to their traditional role as moral enforcers, Christian leaders say. Some say that contemporary churches have grown soft on sinners, citing the rise of suburban megachurches where pastors preach self-affirming messages rather than focusing on sin and redemption. Others point to a passage in the gospel of Matthew that says unrepentant sinners must be shunned.

The article lists several different examples of modern day shunning, most because of lying and gossip about the pastor, which seems like the best reason to do excommunicating in my book.
[Shun]
Basically, my opinion of the article is that pastors are sick and tired of the disrespectful attitudes most Americans have toward authority and also because of the preposterous number of idiot pastors ruining it for the rest of us.

Get your respect back by booting everyone who doesn’t respect as they should. That’ll learn em.

Above Reproach

I saw a flurry of news stories on pastors that struck me as pattern forming.

***Pastor Corey Jerry Pritchett was sentenced to seven years of jail time for swindling “investors” in a fraudulent investment scheme. Many said they implicitly trusted him because he was a pastor.

***Pastor Michael Dowd speaks in tongues, and when he’s not doing that, he’s talking almost nonstop about why Christians should embrace evolution. . . and who believes our behavior can be accounted for by not only the apes but also the lizards in our ancestry, he’s a popular oddity on the lecture circuit.

***The “Reverend” Earl Paulk, formerly a prominent minister, was charged with perjury for lying during a deposition last year in a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him.

*** Former Clinton pastor the Rev. William Procanick accused prosecutors and police this morning of taking his comments out of context regarding allegations that he inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl.

***Life in prison for drug-dealing Coatesville pastor. FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES CALLS FOR LENIENCY AS DEFENDANT’S FAMILY EXPLAINS PASTOR SOLD COCAINE TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP NEEDY PEOPLE.

***A Brampton man who worked as a pastor and teacher at a Mississauga private school has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student.

Goodness churches, where are you getting these guys? Read 1 Timothy 3 sometime and go from there. The End is a’comin.

Case And Point

Awhile back I did a post about a dumb article I read about how the church was supposed to reform society just like Nehemiah and Ezra did. My point then and now is that the “revival” didn’t work.

Yesterday a temple seal was found from Nehemiah’s day. If you look closely at the top of the seal you will notice a curious symbol.

See it? See it? Right above the altar thinger and their uplifted hands? Here’s what it is:

A crescent moon, the symbol of the chief Babylonian god Sin, appears on the top of the altar.

Got that? It’s a heathen god’s symbol included in a temple seal. This is our example for reforming society. I say we must be doing something right, eh?

Temple Seal Found=Bible Is True!

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem’s City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

“The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible,” she said. “One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the biblical source as seen by the archaeological find.”

The Temech family is talked about in Nehemiah 7:55. Cool.

“These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city.” [Nehemiah 7:6]… “The Nethinim [7:46]”… The children of Temech.” [7:55].

See! IT is true! It is true! I knew it just had to be.