Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's a Dog's Wife!

A pastor officiated at the wedding of two dogs at an Evangelical church in Grand Rapids, Michigan this month. Is it true that dog’s have souls? Calling out from under the altar I hear a loud voice: “How long, Soveriegn Lord, holy and true?”

What’s behind this dog door? Check it out! Not surprisingly, the internet uncovered this article from 2002 on the dog’s pastor's trial for groping women while conducting "exorcism type rituals" at the same church. Here is the church website with a photo of the pastor and his (no frump) wife.

Five will get you ten the luky dogs will stay together longer than the rest of the Christian marriages this ordained bounder performed so far this year....

Friday, November 25, 2005

Future Faithless Religion!

There's a new choice in town if traditional religious beliefs aren't your cup of tea. Check it out: Universism! Goodness me, after seeing this, there are hardly any words left to describe the spiritual, intellectual and moral breakdown in our society.

Universism claims to be the world's first "rational religion." Remarkably they have discovered preciously how to reach into the heart of humanity's religious impulse. Once in there, they’ve uncovered not faith, but mystery. Of course! Not complacency, but awe. We should’ve known! In the end the Univerismite has found that an essential element of the human experience in harmony with reason - not in spite of it.

In short, what do these Universists know that other religions only wish they knew? In their own words, they “know the fuller our understanding of the universe, the greater our appreciation for a reality beyond our imagination. We celebrate individual reason, inspiration in nature, and hope in progress”.

It doesn’t get any better that that or does it? Jesus says: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17.3).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Superman: Even So Come Quickly!

I just finished catching the new teaser trailer for the Superman Returns movie to be released Summer 2006. First off, what is with the title? Superman Returns? Did he leave for a trip? From the look of the trailer, I see it as a total remake starting from the beginning, so isn't the title already misinforming? Wouldn't a better title for this remake be Superman Begins, similar to the Batman Begins from last Summer?

The story link seems to suggest that Superman has returned after a long absence. Does this new Superman movie pick up where the Chris Reeve films ended? In the new teaser trailer, the narrator, Marlon Brando - the closing of Jor-El's monologue in the Fortress of Solitude, from the 1978 Superman, who I am guessing is Superman's father, tells about how he is different from all the other people of Earth, because he is from another world.

The narration is underscored by the original John William's Superman Krypton theme and it builds up to the final shot of the trailer which is Superman hovering above the Earth at the edge of space. It is the words at this point that caught my attention. The narrator says something like this: There is good in these people; that is why I am sending them my only son. I thought, "Hmmm, where have I heard that before?" A guy who is not like the rest of the people, has great powers and abilities, and is an only son sent from another world.

I am only curious if Saddleback Community Church, in conjunction with Fuller Seminary and Christianity Today, will put out a study guide to help aide the discussions in small group Bible studies as to the Christian imagery found in the movie. Can't wait to see!

Say it! The whole Superman mythos is about a "heavenly" father sending his all-powerful son to Earth to be raised by a human family and save the world. How much more Messianic can you get, really? Really?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wedded Bliss for All or None!

I just got back from the annual ETS meeting (courtesy of The Lockman Foundation) in Philadelphia and a soft glance back into the week’s MSM uncovered the following article from the Washington Post. Check out this highly symbolic and testy action by a church on the religious left.

This report contains all of the sources that you expect in another one of the oldline denominations that, sadly, will almost certainly spin apart over the issue of sexuality and marriage.

In this case, a pastor has actually banned marriages in his church - as a protest that he cannot legally marry gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered. Thus, the crotchety main headline: “Wedded Bliss for All or None.”

Again, that raises the question: What would a bisexual wedding be like?

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Sacred Idolatry!

An Emergent attack on the authority of the word!

Is the Emergent Church spearheading an assault on Holy Scripture? The following linked article, "Emerging With A Christian View Of Scripture", takes a close look at ECM's attack on the Bible and then contrasts it with our glorious Lord Jesus Christ's view of these sacred and Holy Scriptures.

In addition, this piece which was taken from the emergent website,, shows you how the emergents are attacking the authority of Scripture in the lives of believers. They call a reverence for God's Word "worshipping the Bible"-idolatry. Those who desire to obey the Word are accused of being uninterested in the "heart of the Creator". But what they never admit is that without the Bible, we don't even know who the Creator is. Everything about the heart of the Creator is found in the Bible. Without God's Word, we know nothing of who God is and who we are as His creation. Watch out for these attacks on God's Word and identify them for what they are.

Here is an important article from The Ankerberg Theological Institute which will help you to learn how to defend God's eternal infallible and inerrant Word .

David Crumm from the Detroit Free Press has written a piece on Rob Bell of the emergent Mars Hill Church. Check out this article on Bell's attempts to "disorganize" the church.

By the way, where did the Emergent mess come from? Herescope has an interesting article about the roots of the so-called "emergent" movement. When you look at a diseased tree, you have to check out the root system to understand what is wrong. The same is true with fads and unbiblical movements. The roots will tell you what you need to know.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Meet Ted Haggard!

Meet Ted Haggard the NAE's optimistic champion of ecumenical evangelism and free-market faith.

Christianity Today puts an adoring spotlight on Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals. Bill Clinton is an Evangelical, Haggard says. Jimmy Carter is an Evangelical. Hillary Clinton, he says, is not. Want to place a small wager on this one?

Anyway, it is supposedly Evangelicalism’s finest hour. Indeed it is time to grasp the widespread public acceptance and socio-politico-econmic opportunities within our reach. This is what the sociologist Alan Wolfe calls the “opening of the evangelical mind,” a cultural renaissance among conservative Christians. Though their parents may have taught them to take refuge in a parallel Christian subculture, the stuff these people found in Christian bookstores bored and embarrassed them. Now, life is good! Really good! Just ask Ted as he sits in his penthouse office suite that looks out on the awesome Rocky Mountains.

Meanwhile, the persecuted church around the world is hunted like vermin. Christian schoolgirls are beheaded in Indonesia just for being Christians and Ake Green waits in Sweden to go to trial in front of the Swedish Supreme Court this week for preaching the Scriptures in his small village church. And Once again we see an attack by Islamists, justified with faith language killing 57 and wounding more than 100 innocent people.

Acording to Ingrid Schlueter at Slice of Laodicea, none of this seems to register in Ted Haggard's Rocky Mountain Xanadu.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery...

Harper's Magazine's piece on Ted Haggard, Soldiers of Christ is available online.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Paul Nussbaum article on Haggard is also available online.

Haggard's website has more info on his books, beliefs, and biography.

New Life Church offers mp3 sermons and more information for visitors.

The NAE website has more information about the organization, it's government affairs office, and other news.

The Association of Life-Giving Churches, New Life's church network, has the goal of seeing "churches, no matter their denomination, age or style of worship, promote and facilitate freedom of operation for the Holy Spirit."

CT interviewed Haggard after his election as president of NAE: Ted Haggard: 'This Is Evangelicalism's Finest Hour' The new president of the National Association of Evangelicals talks about the current state and future goals of the association and evangelicalism. (June 3, 2003)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Paris Is Burning: What's Religion Got To Do With It?

Paris Is Burning: What's Religion Got To Do With It?

Religion has everything to do with this. These riots were bound to happen; it was just a matter of time. However, be aware that these events are nothing, just minor skirmishes - wait a few more years and you will see real urban warfare in the streets of Europe. As of today the rioting has spread to 300 towns in France. In fact, some MSM news stories are asking is this the beginning of Jihad in Europe?

Note that there are other large immigrant communities in Europe, and they somehow manage to fit in, work and live peaceful lives (not that it helped a certain Brazilian!). So what motivates these young men? What causes them to go out to riot and destroy? Well, it is a bunch of things, and it is Islam! The hate and anger against the infidels is flowing out of the mosques, into the streets, and nobody, neither the French nor the Muslims, have a clue. It is of no comfort to me, but be certain that, like the Muslims, the French will reap what they sow. It will not be pretty!

Let's blame the French leaders and politicians as much as the Muslims in the streets. Also, blame the Imams and the Muslim Councils, which at refuse to understand the consequences of the basic teachings of their faith or much less examine the controversial actions and writings of their Prophet. This denial is deadly and it is at the heart of this problem, like it or not! All parties have ignored reality and played word games with each other. Many innocent people will be hurt because of denial, dishonesty, indifference and lack of honesty on both sides.

Take a look at the following to see the panorama of problems across the spectrum that this issue is highlighting:

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Presto Salvation!

Do words mean anything? Are there some words that simply shouldn't be spoken in vain, like calling on the name of Jesus Christ, for example? This website features a Salvation Challenge game that may turn your stomach. Read the promo and weep!

Salvation Challenge TM is a family game for 2-6 players. Each player starts with one million in kingdom cash. Players need to get ‘saved’ by landing on Calvary and making the salvation call, “Jesus save me”, before they are able to carry out certain activities

Once Saved the players enter a race, to see who can be the first to give one million cash to missionaries, who further advance God’s kingdom..

To treat holy things in such a trivial fashion, for entertainment no less, is silly at best and contemptible at worst. Ironically, it seems that fundamentalists are often as prone to this kind of thing as mainstream Evangelicals. Nothing, apparently, is sacred.

Note the line: "The game clearly shows the way of salvation in such an easy way that people only have to add faith to the salvation call.."

User-friendly salvation! Just add a little fatih and stir!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Psychoactive church!

Uniao do Vegetal (O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal church or UDV) is a church which is known fundamentally for its usage of Hoasca (or Ayahuasca) as a sacramental entheogenic herbal tea. The 130-member American branch of this Brazilian church wants to import a sacramental hallucinogenic tea - banned from the U.S. because it is a Schedule I drug - but is key to their religious rituals.

We don’t know much about the church or why and how they use the hallucinogenic tea (Some answers can be found here). However, illegal narcotics and church and a Supreme Court with a history of restricting drugs all make for an interesting law/religion story that will certainly divide traditional political alliances in all sorts of interesting ways.

Rather than impacting First Amendment law, the case deals with a federal law that gives protections to religious exercise than what the Supreme Court had previously given. Two lower federal courts have barred the government from seizing the sacred drink. The Supreme Court refused last year to lift the preliminary injunction issued by the federal district court in Albuquerque. But the justices did agree to hear the administration’s recent appeal to trump the religious needs of this small South American church.

As the major church-state clash of the court’s new term, the case has drawn the attention of mainstream religious groups, including the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals and the American Jewish Committee. Now I find this curious since each of these organizations, among others, are filing briefs in support of the church.

There must be some mind-expanding stakes on the table!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Supreme! Alito nominated!

President Bush has nominated Samuel Alito, a 3rd Circuit judge, for the Supreme Court.

From this AP article:

Judicial conservatives praise Alito's 15 years on the Philadelphia-based court, a tenure that gives him more appellate experience than almost any previous Supreme Court nominee. They say his record shows a commitment to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, ensuring that the separation of powers and checks and balances are respected and enforced. They also contend that Alito has been a powerful voice for the First Amendment's guarantees of free speech and the free exercise of religion.

Also: Time has a short article that discusses differences between Alito and Scalia.