September 30, 2020

Saturday Ramblings

Oh joy. Today is the annual neighborhood garage sale in your Rambler’s neighborhood. I’ve spent the week culling out junk that I didn’t even remember I had, dusting it off, and putting ridiculously low prices on it all. As you are reading this, I’m sitting in a lawn chair, hoping that it all sells for any price so that I don’t have to do this again next year. Well, that is, if I don’t collect more useless junk between now and then. Some of what I found this week is not even worth putting a price tag on. I’ve assembled all of these worth less than worthless items for your enjoyment. We call them Saturday Ramblings.

Three prominent evangelical leaders have expressed their desires to move on from their current pastures to those that may, or may not, be greener. And another has been invited to leave, at least for a while, by his board. So, if you’re looking for a job, there are four more available.

The Pope is “saddened” over the scandal at the Vatican regarding sensitive and confidential documents which seemed to have grown legs and wings. Who is the culprit? Well, it would be easy to say the butler did it, but apparently that is just the tip of iceberg. I don’t think Peter had these kinds of problems, do you?

If you haven’t freshened your church’s website in a while, you may want to get to it. Seems that research shows that many “unchurched” people visit church web pages. I know I would be in the group that seldom visits their own church’s website. Do you frequent your church’s?

Chaplain Mike often reflects on what Luther referred to as the sacrement of vocation, or how our everyday work is holy to the Lord. John Knapp has written a book that claims the church fails to support those who do “secular” jobs while applauding those who are “in the ministry.” This looks like a very good and important read.

But your Rambler won’t be reading it. It’s the first of June, so it’s time for college football magazines to hit the stands. Sigh…Look, football doesn’t really start until the World Series is over. Can’t these magazines at least wait until we’ve had a day or two of summer? (Oh, the first magazine I saw has Oklahoma ranked second and Tulsa 41st. Could be a fun year!)

A popular—at least in his circle—snake-handling preacher in West Virginia died this week of … a snake bite. A photojournalist who had been acquainted with the preacher for more than a year offers her view of the preacher’s last hours. It’s a sad story. I really don’t know how to respond to this. Is this true faith gone amuck, or someone tempting God and losing?

It appears the Bible code theories just won’t go away, even though they have been proven time and again to be false. And I wonder what you would find if you took every 14th letter from one of Chaplain Mike’s essays? Could it be a prophecy as to when the Cubs will win a World Series? (The 12th of Junever.)

The Synonymous Rambler wondered why I would include this last story. I’ll admit that it turns my stomach, but it has gotten a lot of press this week just because it is so hideous. Look, this four-year-old has no idea what he is singing. Some very warped adult taught it to him, and he is given a standing ovation by a bunch of other suit-wearing warped adults. A good example of a church that would do more good if it just closed its doors. (Gee, Jeff, why not tell us how you really feel…)

Now, back to happier things. A lot of celebs celebed their birthdays this week, including Al Jolson; John Wayne: Peggy Lee; James Arness; Levon Helm; Stevie Nicks; Lenny Kravitz; Hank Williams Jr.; Sally Ride; Helena Bonham Carter; Bob Hope; Dolores Hope; Ian Fleming; Vincent Price; Sam Snead; Bruce Cockburn; Peri Gilpin; Gladys Knight; John F. Kennedy; Mel Blanc; Bob Evans; Clint Eastwood; Andy Griffith; and Ronnie Wood.

Oh, I know the grief I would take if I chose anyone other than Bruce Cockburn for our Saturday bonus video. Hey, I like Bruce myself. If you don’t know the music of this Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist, this is a great introduction to him. Enjoy.

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  1. Jeff , Jeff.. the world will end when the world series 🙂

    anybody heard about the neo-reformed camp calling N.T. wright a heretic? sorry if that was off-topic.

    the snake-handling preacher story is pretty sad.

  2. “I really don’t know how to respond to this. Is this true faith gone amuck, or someone tempting God and losing?”

    Perhaps just a another candidate for the Darwin Award?

  3. I read that it has been confirmed that John Piper will step down from his Minneapolis church, succeeded by Jason Meyer…

  4. The story of Mack Wolford is sad and surreal. But in it’s own strange way, it is a rare example of a religious leader who actually practices what he preaches, in contrast to the modern pharisees so prevalent among evangelicals who tie weights on their followers they themselves are unwilling to lift. The saddest truth is that Wolford’s snake handling simply pails in comparison to the absurdity of the evangelical circus. He probably couldn’t get a booth on the midway.

  5. btw, don’t click on that link of the four year old singing. I just did, and my antivirus just blocked a virus coming from that site.

    • Just checked it again, Marc. No virus warning here. I have gone to this site throughout the week without any problems–other than wanting to gag…

      • Tokah Fang says

        With somewhat personalized ads, its possible for some subset of users to get virus laden ads while others don’t.

    • David Cornwell says

      I think the virus is called “hate” wrapped up in a Christian self righteous veneer. Using this kind of thing to corrupt a little one is horrific. How can anyone laugh at even the idea of another human consigned to hell?

      My anti-virus didn’t warn me, but maybe it should have.

      • 50 years ago it would have been the same sorts of songs about blacks. The circus never ends.

  6. Josh in FW says

    Thanks for sharing the piece about the Church needing to support Christians in their “secular” jobs. This is a topic that has been of great interest to me since the section on business ethics that was squeezed into the business school curriculum at Baylor. I can’t remember the name of the book we read. I think it was something straightforward like Christianity and the Marketplace. I remember the author came from a Mennonite background.

    Do any of you have any book recommendations on what it looks like to be a Christian participating in the marketplace?

    There are constant practical questions. What fees/interest rates are excessive/abusive? What is a fair wage? What is an acceptable work environment? To what degree are we responsible for examining the practices of others we trade with? When is litigation appropriate? Is it ever appropriate to not follow the letter of the law when it comes to every little government regulation and guideline (before you answer this one think about your own driving habits)? What is the modern equivalent to leaving the corners and fallen crops for gleaners?

  7. From the Bible code article: “This is symptomatic of a tendency in religious thinking to relativize the nonrelative. This is ironic, of course, since in contemporary debates, it’s conservative religionists who often accuse secular and progressive people of relativism.” That is an insightful statement. Anything which disagrees with a religious/conservative belief is relativized, particularly science.

  8. Classic tune from Bruce Cockburn. Fan since 1979. His music is only exceeded in greatness by his lyrics (even if he is down on America – sort of the great harlot kind of thing.). Thanks for posting that.

    • Not sure he’s down on America or rather the injustice that we allow. I’m listening to his “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” right now, and with our continued drone strikes that song needs to be heard.

      He was also down on international banks, way ahead of the ’08 crash. His “And They Call it Democracy” comes down hard on the IMF.

      But “Wondering Where the Lions Are” is good Saturday morning fare. Thanks, Jeff.

  9. Richard McNeeley says

    Happy Birthday Peter Yarrow.

  10. Feeling a little silly, as until today I only knew “Wondering Where The Lions Are” as a Bill Mallonee tune (he does it on the Roaring Lambs compilation). But then, not as silly as when I found out “I’m Looking Through You” was NOT a Mark Heard original …

  11. Couple unrelated thoughts:

    We have found that most visitors to our church have found the church through google. They have visited our website and listened to a sermon before they even step foot in the door.

    Second throught – Yay Bruce!

    Here is the video I would have picked though –

  12. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    There’s no glory in being persecuted for your faith if you started it.

  13. About the Bible Code article: Isn’t it interesting that Jewish Bible Code supporters claim that they work only for the Old Testament and not the New Testament, therefore proving Christianity to be a fraud? And yet that apparently didn’t stop the people at TBN from jumping on the Bible Code bandwagon back in the late 90’s when the Bible Code was in its heyday.

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