January 17, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 3.17.12

Top o’the morning, iMonks! Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Time for the wearin’ o’the green. Except for me. Red and khaki is still the color choice at Target. Besides, I’ve been battling a virus for nearly two weeks now. I am sporting my own shade of green these days. So it’s our special St. Patrick’s Day edition of Saturday Ramblings. What’s so special about it? Well, we’re rambling, it’s Saturday, and it’s March 17. What more do you want?

Thanks to Adam Palmer for this list of Sir Isaac Newton’s sins. Poor Wilford. Poor Wilford’s towel.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is stepping down from his position next January. Several potential candidates to be the new head of the Anglican church are already being discussed. So, do you prefer the way of most popes, who are chosen only after the death of their predecessor, or this way, where church officials will have most of a year to choose the next Anglican leader?

There is something troubling about a group of megachurch leaders teaching others how to deliver sermons. Oh, I’m sure they’re good at it. Very good indeed. And that is what troubles me. Am I making any sense at all?

I have no idea of what to make of this. Card counting Christians? Gambling teams from a church? Sigh…

I love politics! The only thing funnier is watching an old episode of Fawlty Towers. For instance, the majority of Republicans in southern states still believe President Obama is a Muslim. This week, the president referred to Republicans as the “Flat Earth Society.” I think he has a point there. Hilarious!

Meanwhile, most Americans do not believe that religious liberty in our country is threatened. Your thoughts?

Last week we reported that Harold Camping said he will no longer be making predictions about the world’s end. That upset this, er, businessman, who sells insurance to care for pets whose owners are swept up in the rapture. Really. Even the Synonymous Rambler had trouble swallowing this one.

Could it be that your local “family friendly” Christian radio station isn’t so family-friendly after all? Oh my. Share your thoughts one at a time on this one, iMonks.

A painter in North Yorkshire, England, claims that in sanding a barn to get it ready for painting, he found the face of Jesus. Not to be outdone, a woman in Tampa, Florida, took a picture of her TV screen only to see Jesus praying. The show that was on? The Bachelor. Now why would Jesus be praying for that show in particular? (I’d think he would be praying for Mary and Matthew from Downton Abbey…)

Happy birthdays this last week go out to Sam Jaffe; Claire Booth Luce; Chuck Norris; Sharon Stone; Carrie Underwood; Shannon Miller; Lawrence Welk; Douglas (42) Adams; James Taylor; Adam Clayton; Casey Jones; Frank Borman; Kirby Puckett; Sir Michael Caine; Billy Crystal; Mike Love; Sly Stone; and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

St. Patrick’s Day means we turn to the Emerald Isle for today’s bonus video. I love the Chieftains. If that makes me a cliche’, so be it. And this is one of my favorites of theirs. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXwl7vzwaSw’]





  1. Downloaded the new Chieftains album the other day and am enjoying.

  2. Jeff, you are on my Cool List for mentioning old eps of Fawlty Towers (which are side splitting funny) and Downton Abbey in the same rambles post. Next time chuck in Sherlock Holmes and it’ll be a Cool Hat Trick.

    Thanks for this as always!

  3. A happy and enjoyable feastday of our native apostle to you all! Just be moderate with the beer, corned beef and cabbage 😉

  4. I rarely hear what we would call a “sermon” from mega-church preachers. They deliver what we would call, ‘Bible studies’. Informational, instructional, about Jesus, about the gospel, using the law ( what ‘we do’) to try and make us better.

    A good sermon uses the law (‘what we should, ought, or must be doing) to kill off the listener in the pew to any pretention that he or she actaully might be doing a good job of handling their humanity. The law is to kill (St. Paul).

    Then the gospel is done to the hearer. Their sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake (the preacher proclaims). The Word is done to the sinner. And the gospel is handed over…free of charge…with no additional law piled on afterward.

    This is something that I think most mega-church preachers do not do.



    I left the same comment (more or less) over at that site. The fur should start to fly any minute now.

  5. petrushka1611 says

    The article about CCM: Sojourn puts out some very good stuff. If you don’t mind me posting a long comment, here’s an unpublished review I wrote of their “Water and the Blood: The Hymns of Isaac Watts, Volume 2.”

    Sojourn, made of musicians from Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has released six full albums so far; this disc follows Over the Grave, their first record of hymns by the revered pastor and hymn-writer Isaac Watts. They carefully update his words and write new music for them, and arrange the songs in a captivating alternative country style. I respect that they don’t ignore the Appalachian music that surrounds them–banjo, standup bass, and pedal steel guitar are right there with electric and acoustic guitars, and the darkness of the Kentucky hollers and mines haunts the sound. The singers don’t sing with the loathsome breathiness of so many pop and Christian musicians, and tacky synthesizers and syrupy strings (and panflutes!) are absent, saints be praised. There’s even some well-done black gospel at the end of `Absent from Flesh.’
    The diction could be a little better; a few singers slur through their consonants too much, like Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams, but I can understand most of the words just fine. The music doesn’t get in the way, either. Paul Mahern, the producer, has worked with Over the Rhine and John Mellencamp, among others. The music is creative and tasteful, though sometimes derivative: the album opens a lot like Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot does, and the guitar-and-bass line in ‘From Deep Distress’ comes straight from the Allman Brothers’ song ‘You Don’t Love Me.’ But those are minor quibbles–these folks have put a lot of good work into this.
    The songs: it’s not every day a worship band does a song called ‘From Deep Distress.’ Grief, a major theme of Biblical psalmody, is verboten in most Christian music. There is a true happiness in ‘Compel My Heart to Sing’ and ‘Let the Seventh Angel Sound,’ a happiness that sounds like it comes from people who have actually lived through some soul-rending times. The chorus to ‘Seventh Angel’ has a particularly fetching melodic line. ‘Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past’ owes a debt to Bob Dylan’s albums since Love and Theft; I’ve been hoping for years that someone would make Christian music that sounds like this. For me, the highlight of the album is the chorus to ‘Blest Be the Lamb,’ which reads, “Blest be the Lamb, my dearest Lord, / Who bought me with his blood, / And quenched his Father’s flaming sword / In His own vital flood.”
    Sojourn gave me a download for this review, so I haven’t seen the artwork, but I know the lyrics with chords are available for free on their website. You can buy the CD or download MP3 or FLAC files, and a vinyl pressing is reportedly on the way.

    • The Sojourn team puts out some darned good stuff, and the Gilles in particular. All their songs are exceptional listening, and much of it is very useful for most churches. They really do provide a shining example of what Christian song can be. They’re becoming the Hillsong of the reformed world: quantitative output of quality church song.

    • OMG! How have I not heard of this group before?!? I checked out their Website (my CD wishlist just got longer again) and then found that all of their albums are available on Spotify, as well. I’m going to be letting the music director at my church know about them real soon – I expect that several of their songs will be showing up in a Maplewood UMC service in the next year or two.

      Additionally, they post their “play lists” and litugies from their Sunday worship services on their Website as blog posts. I’ll be spending weeks mining them for more new music. Thanks, Petrushka!

  6. Oh boy…first one had to contend with John Piper, then Mark Driscoll, then Albert Mohler, now its Perry Noble. Is this the same Perry Noble that tied tithing to the Sermon on the Mount?


    And now now this same Perry Noble is going to teach others to preach? 😯 I don’t know which is worse hearing Mark Driscoll talk about sex, John Piper getting sexually excited about a tornado, or listening to a sermon by Perry Noble. I need my barf bag again…excuse me while I step out….. I’ll be back in a few minutes…

  7. Oh my stomach hurts….. not from laughing but due to being quesy….

    On the CCM stations let me make an observation. First many CCM stations are cheesy
    and reflect the prosperity gospel. I listened to KLOVE in California, hadn’t listed to years, but
    yes it is cheesy.

    However there is something else I want to point out….

    The worship leader criticizing the radio station’s first stink was about total depravity. I’d like to know
    what she means by that…. Is this a concept where she means everyone is just sinful? Or is this the hyper reformed, Neo-Calvinistic take where God hates people and the maggots crawling in the dog crap have more value to God than people type of total depravity? Reason I say this is that I think Soujourn Community Church is part of that movement, and its also in the backyard of Albert Mohler’s jihadist trianing ground… Oops I mean the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. So that means a lot, some of these folks would brush off many people here and elsewhere due to their “my way of the highway…” totaliterian approach.

    So I am suggesting that be kept in mind when reading the article.

    Oh and Jeff….what about the spat between the porn industry and Rick Santorium? I saw that on CNN earlier today. Classic culture war!! I thought I’d see that in the ramblings today….

    Oh well I’ll enjoy St. Patricks day and I’ll make sure that I won’t wear green as I wouldn’t mind being pinched by Martha or some other Irish lady… 😀

    • I saw that about Santorum and the porn industry, Eagle, but never went back to check on it. Perhaps in a future Rambling?

    • That was the first thing that struck me too, Eagle.

      “Unable to hear foundational Gospel truths proclaimed during the programs and songs – such as total depravity, redemption, repentance and forgiveness….” Hmm. One of these is not like the others.

      The second thing that struck me in that article is the tin ear I fear too many evangelicals have to music qua music. The unspoken assumption behind the whole article is that a song essentially functions as a sermon with a melody (what the sermon is about seems to be what’s being argued over). I prefer to think that religion is more than just propositions (n.b. more, not less). If I want to be preached at while en route to somewhere, I’ll listen to talk radio rather than a music station.

      • Who says that CCM even intends to adhere to hyper Calvinistic theology? This is nothing but the old utilitarianism that many fundamentalists of the past have bequeathed on their children. Fear of rock and roll and the contemporary pagan culture drives them.

        All that being said, the best we can hope for CCM is that it be inoffensive and harmless with occasional burst of introspection. It is NOT intended to be “worship music”, although some of it is used as such. It is primarily a venue for Christians who are musician to express themselves without swimming in the cesspool of contemporary music (in which, I must comment, they would utterly fail!).

        • Unfortunately, the cultural ghetto the CCM industry has created isn’t necessarily any better than the cesspool of contemporary music, and is in many ways worse. The fact is that your average evangelical church will not hesitate to take anything heard on CCM radio and import it into Sunday morning as worship, because “worship” is a genre of music in evangelicalism. And the calvinists (don’t have to be “hyper” to accept depravity) are anything but shy of culture; they seem to aspire to be culture makers these days, for better or worse. I am of the persuasion that much of their music is a breath of fresh air. Even the parts about depravity give a moment of much needed honesty when contrasted against the “everything’s great” veneer of pop-evangelicalism.

      • It sounds like the person is equating total depravity with human sinfulness. I wonder if they even realize that total depravity is a specifically Calvinist doctrine, or if it’s that they think that Calvinism = THE Gospel.

        • Lines like this,

          What people needed instead were sobering truths, “that we are sinners who will fall into the hands of the Living God either as His enemies or His reconciled, redeemed children.”

          certainly make it sound like the latter.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “For God so hated the world that he sent his Only Begotten Son to destroy it and burn all Utterly Depraved Sinners in Eternal Hell…” Jonathan Edwards on steroids.

          • HUG, this is from my “quotes” file, (Martha of Ireland, March 10, 2012):

            “His power was shown in calming the storm, not in sending it down on the heads of those who did not listen.”

        • Before my falling aaway I was involved in a fundagelical mega church here in the DC area. There was a small groups pastor who I clashed with one time who tried putting me in my place when I raised concerns and questions about the small group program. This was back in 2005, 2006? He almost shut me out in this meeting, and I had to push back with this “WTF?” totaliterianism approach. Arrogant as hell. I noticed in his Facebook page that he talks about Sojounrers regulalry and went to SBTS and is invovled in an Acts 29 church plant in the DC area.

          So those who are Christians in the Washington, D.C. area is going to have another Acts 29 church, clone…and I wonder more sermons and talks about the Biblical basis for blow jobs? Oh fun….that sounds like a redeeming “gospel”

        • I wonder what the Chapel services are like at SBTS? Are they akin to the fervor and passion of the Nuremburg rallies of 1935 or 1936?

          • I guess I don’t have as many issues with CCM as many other I-Monks, because to me it is just pretty music on the radio. I have never heard anything in the genre at Mass, and I don’t think I ever shall, nor do I purchase any of the songs.

            Having said that, some of the better songs are pleasant reminders in rush hour traffic that God is still in charge of the Universe and that He loves me. Has the secondary benefit of keeping my fingers all together when I get cut off by an idiot swerving around with his cell phone.

            Sometimes a song makes me smile or get misty, but I get the same thing listening to the Moody Blues and the Eagles!

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I wonder what the Chapel services are like at SBTS? Are they akin to the fervor and passion of the Nuremburg rallies of 1935 or 1936?

            Or the grim bureaucracy of a Communist Party Congress enthusiastic for Comrade Stalin?

            P.S. Eagle? I’ve got a copy of a 1943 OSS intelligence profile on A.H. which cites several witnesses who describe Nuremberg Rallies as “Revival Meetings”.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          It sounds like the person is equating total depravity with human sinfulness.

          It sounds like they have a Party Line that ALL must conform to.

          I wonder if they even realize that total depravity is a specifically Calvinist doctrine, or if it’s that they think that Calvinism = THE Gospel.

          Got it in one. Especially if Calvin isn’t Calvinist enough for them.

          • Speaking as one who has been a Christian Gnostic (Churches of Christ), then a full-blow, 5 pt. Calvinist (just so you know my “credentials” seein’ as hows we’s throwin’ labels ’round) and now consider myself beyond Evangelicalism and Calvinism and any “-ism” which touts itself as The Gospel (and none are)…

            I get the idea from comments by HUG and Eagle especially that perhaps you’re reacting to a charicture of “Total Depravity” rather than to an informed understanding of it. “T” does not mean that people are totally evil through and through, but rather that the reality of sin has wormed its way into the totality of our being and existence. People still do good and right things of their own will, but the Will itself has been tainted by sin and is incapable in a natural state to act purely and truthfully in a consistent manner.

            What is the alternative to the systematic expression of Total Depravity (or more recently–Total Inability)?

            Paul said in Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” This is a radical indictment of all natural “virtue” that does not flow from a heart humbly relying on God’s grace. As Robert Capon has aptly pointed out, “The opposite of sin is NOT virtue, but faith.” The terrible condition of man’s heart will never be recognized by people who assess it only in relation to other men. Romans 14:23 makes plain that depravity is our condition in relation to God primarily, and only secondarily in relation to man. Unless we start here we will never grasp the totality of our natural depravity.

            Capon, in his book The Astonished Heart, made a remarkable observation about Calvin; “Calvin was right–half the time” We all rely on some brand of systematic theology in our thinking about God and attempts to articulate how God “works”. However, systematic theologies are NOT the Gospel. Therefore, I try to hold my systematizing loosely, to not make a fortress out of it, but rather to recognize that any systematic theology is simply my best attempt to articulate an understanding of God and His action in this creation — kind of a lean-to against the gentler storms of life. Perhaps the best attitude is that of Job; “I abhor myself and repent in sackcloth and ashes.”


        • Um, yes, many reformed do insist that the tulip IS the gospel. (Though I don’t think they’ve really though through the implications: that makes tulip deniers into gospel deniers, and Calvinists are therefore the only real Christians.) But Calvinists don’t necessarily own the depravity market: Lutherans believe it too, I’m pretty sure. Though, since we also hold baptismal regeneration, it really is a completely different ball game.

          I’m starting to wonder, though… Is it possible that in their zeal for brand loyalty, perhaps some of the reformed have stretched their understanding of Total Depravity to the point that what they are really teaching is Utter Depravity? The former merely teaches that the un-regenerate man is spiritually dead an incapable of choosing or responding positively to God prior to the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. The latter teaches that man is as wicked and sinful as he could possibly be; there is no redemptive value in anything that he does, and he patently seeks to be as evil as possible. I don’t think the reformed are supposed to hold Utter Depravity, but from what I’m hearing, it seems that many of them are leaning that way.

          • Robin Cranford says

            Miguel, your explanation about total depravity versus utter depravity really clears up a lot about much of neo calvinism.

          • Robin Cranford says

            One last question Miguel, do you think that if they believe man is utterly depraved, then do the leaders of these churches believe that they too are still utterly depraved or are they only talking about everyone else?

          • petrushka1611 says

            There was a prof at the (non-Calvinist) university I work at who told a prospective student that Jesus was a Calvinist. I don’t mind people being Calvinists, and I’m greatly indebted to many who point people to Christ, but…there are some who are much more concerned with pointing people to their theology. And it’s difficult for all of us to avoid that.

          • As best I understand, all “depravity” theories (utter/total/partial?) are about the inability of the unregenerate man (unbeliever) to choose Christ of his own initiative, and not about a state of excessive wickedness (which was already covered in the doctrine of original sin). Once a man is a believer, however, he is now been given the freedom, by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, to choose Christ and walk in faith. So I think depravity only applies to non-Christians, where as believers have been regenerated and are now free to do good as faith leads. This does make one wonder, though, why some reformed preachers seem to treat believers as if they are totally depraved. A good rule of thumb is, does the preacher constantly go after other persons’ sins, or is he more prone to confess his own?

            Not that Christians are esteemed better than unbelievers for being regenerate instead of depraved. Both are still sinners, but Christians have been freed from bondage to sin.

          • It would really be nice to have an “edit” button…I never seem to spot the significant spelking problems until after posting.

            BTW, I’ve never been a “full-blow” Calvinist….. ;o0


    • May you be pinched as you would desire, Eagle 😉

      The Total Depravity as Foundational Gospel Truth part did make me go “Some of us don’t accept that doctrine”, but then again, if I’d just spent weeks listening to Christian Radio, I might be inclined to believe in the utter worthlessness of all human endeavour, as well.


    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Oh and Jeff….what about the spat between the porn industry and Rick Santorium? I saw that on CNN earlier today. Classic culture war!!

      Quick! Somebody get a camera crew up to Mars Hill Seattle and get a live comment from Bee Jay Driscoll!

  8. Dan from Georgia says

    Kudos to the nice website. Just ran across it a few days ago. BTW, Kirby Puckett passed away a few years ago.

  9. Newton’s list of sins was interesting! I wish I had more detail on them, just to satisfy my curiousity.

    • I especially got a kick out of these:
      “Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them
      Wishing death and hoping it to some
      Striking many”

      • Anyone else wonder what happened between Ike and the Smiths to prompt THAT?

        • And what made him punch his sister?

          • He was a nineteen year old teenager 🙂

            It’s like the first-season episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “The Pack”, where Xander is acting strangely and Buffy is worried:

            Giles – “Xander’s taken to teasing the less fortunate?”
            Buffy – “Uh-huh.”
            Giles – “And, there’s been a noticeable change in both clothing and demeanor?”
            Buffy – “Yes.”
            Giles – “And, well, otherwise all his spare time is spent lounging about with imbeciles.”
            Buffy – “It’s bad, isn’t it.”
            Giles – “It’s devastating – he’s turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Of course, you’ll have to kill him.”

        • “I’m sorry, Isaac, but you can’t stay out till midnight on the weekends building water watches.”

          “But Father, all the other youths are doing it!”

          “No, Isaac, your mother and I are firm on this.”

          “I hate you! I wish you were dead! I’m gonna burn this house down with you in it!!!!”

          Any bets there was flouncing out and door-slamming involved?


  10. I was sadened to hear Rowan Williams was stepping down. He was a christian leader I really respected.
    Maybe I just love to see a suffering servant leader instead of a celebrity. But Rowan was given an almost impossbile task of trying to keep the flock together, instead of letting them tear each other part over sexuality.
    I think he has done the job better than anyone else could. here is a great article from the Atlantic about him.

  11. Roger Daltrey’s “See Me Feel Me” still can bring me to tears. Such a vulnerability in his voice.

  12. Richard Hershberger says

    Regarding the Christian card counters, is the issue here that they are gambling, or that they are counting cards while gambling? Back in the day, the church took a dim view of gambling, in the same way it disapproved of playing baseball on Sunday or divorce. The modern American church is, for the most part, OK with all three nowadays. (It can be instructive to look at19th century Sabbatarian polemics. This helps put into perspective whatever has people riled up today, and how it might look to future generations.) So the notion of a group of Christians getting together to hit the casinos is not really any more remarkable than their joining a bowling league.

    If the issue is the card counting, I can’t get worked up over this. Yes, the casinos want us to think this is cheating. The casinos are lying. Card counting is taking information openly available and using it to play intelligently. The casinos are trying to convince us that there is a rule that you have to play stupid.

    Oh,and threats to religious liberty? Of course my religious liberty is threatened. If, hypothetically, I became Muslim and started praying at a mosque, this would undoubtedly garner a negative response, potentially some of it from the government. That is assuming that opponents of religious liberty haven’t blocked the construction of that hypothetical mosque. Fortunately I feel not the slightest urge to become Muslim. As a white middle class American Protestant male I enjoy a privileged position in society, so long as I stay within those limits. So while my religious liberty is quite openly threatened in principle, as a practical matter I am just peachy.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      To me, it’s another “News of the Weird”.

      But if they start on about their Card-Counting Ministry et al, they have taken it (and themselves) way too seriously and are on the way off the deep end.

  13. I never listen to Christian radio in the first place…. I would definitely never listen to it if it were run by the capital-R Reformed crowd. I’ll stick to my heathen music.

  14. I want Newton to help me make a water watch – I’d be OK if he felt it a sin to stop at midnight Saturday.

    “Helping Pettit to make his water watch at 12 of the clock on Saturday night”

    Different world we live in now.

  15. I don’t think I’ve heard any of the Cheiftains’ music since a friend lent me some records back in the 80’s. They must have evolved over the years, or else they invite a lot of others to sing with them.

    A lot of you imonkers from my g-g-generation will recognize Behind Blue Eyes from The Who’s album, Who’s Next. I think Roger Daltry performed it as well here as he did back in ’71.

    Speaking of inviting others: for a Jamaican-Irish connection, go to youtube to hear Ziggy Marley teaming up with the Chieftains on Redemption Song.

  16. Religious liberty? Seriously??? Republicans overwhelmingly passed anti-bill of rights legislation like NDAA (and yes, signed into law by the President), and conservatives are worried about religious liberty? Doesn’t anyone remember the Clinton administration re-tooling organized crimes laws to prosecute abortion protesters? It seems that these new laws could easily be used to persecute religious organizations and its members. Also during the Clinton administration, key Democrats attacked the missionary activities of YWAM. How difficult would it be for an administration to label similar missionary organizations as enemy combatants? These same Republicans decrying attacks on religious liberty failed at their oath to protect and uphold the constitution by passing NDAA and the anti-protest trespass bill, and evangelicals seem to have responded with a collective “ho-hum”.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Religious Liberty plus Power Struggle equals Power Struggle.

      Because it all depends whether The Right People (like Me) are the ones on top with their boots on the Other’s necks. Hooray For Our Team.

      • Yeah…uh…hurray. “Our Team” will use the law to label anyone a terrorist who doesn’t believe in a literal six day creation or that contraception is of the devil. It’ll be like the good ol’ days, when the roundheads threw devout high-church Christians like Jeremy Taylor into prison. Fear and democracy never mix. The constitution may not be perfect, but it presumes the accused are innocent until proven guilty. It addresses justice but recognizes that even the best of us are prone to fraud, injustice, and witch hunts if left to our own designs.

  17. “NewSpring Church Pastor Perry Noble advised the thousands of pastors watching online to begin with the Word of God and not a VH1 video or popular song.”

    Allow me to do a spit-take with my Guinness this early St. Patrick’s Day morning. Isn’t this the guy who lead off an Easter service with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”?

    The other major issue is that while there may be some solid, great, gifted pastors of big churches, I’m not sure they have anything more to teach about preaching than an average pastor in rural Minnesota would.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Isn’t this the guy who lead off an Easter service with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”?

      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

      • Easter Sunday. Watch it and weep.

        • Okay, Miguel, you did something I would not have thought possible. I will never again complain about hymns at Mass, even “As I Kneel Before You” or “City of God” or even singing some modified pop song from the 1970s. Not by comparison with that production.

          For Easter Sunday?

          If I have to be subjected to a rock star entrance by the minister, I’ll take this kind of one.

          • Glad I could help. Catholic hymns are not all that bad. “Canticle of Turning” is becoming a favorite of mine. But feel free to keep borrowing our good ones 😛

            Now THOSE are some musicians that I envy. Every single boy in that choir has a guaranteed musical career that is much brighter than mine.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          OK. I could potentially see it as a gimmick.

          But Hellfire-and-Damnation on EASTER SUNDAY?

          What’s wrong with this picture?

          • “Look at me! We’re not fundamentalists! We have cool hats and preach in hawaiian shirts and have a kicking band! Look, we’re just like you, so why not come join us?”
            This is the end-game of church-growth relevance. Helfire-and-Damnation on Easter? Hell yes! As if they had a different message at other times? Drink-the-coolaid-or-go-to-hell is a tried and true method of getting hand raisers (aisle walking is soooo Billy Graham). Hand raisers are a guaranteed way to make your stats show that your numbers come from conversion, and not from other congregations.

          • To paraphrase HUG, “Just like AC/DC only CHRISTIAN (TM).”

            Side note to Miguel: if they raise their hands do they get to go to Heaven or to Hell? Just askin’.

          • I’m not sure raising one’s hand makes much a difference at all where one goes after death. [insert cliche nazi gesture joke here] Whether they repent and are baptized, on the other hand…

        • Miguel, this video just shows why our iMonastery is so necessary…

    • They have to tell potential pastors that to preach a sermon in a church service, it’s best to start off with somehting out of that big black book on the lectern called the Bible???

      And I thought Catholic homilies were bad!

  18. Irish joke:
    Patty is frantic for a parking space, late for a meeting and promises to quit drinking and go to church every Sunday if the Lord will help him out. Almost miraculously a space appears, he lifts a dismissive hand toward the sky and says, ‘Don’t bother about it now Lord, I’ve got one here.”

    • Then there was the Scotsman who both drank whiskey AND went to church every Sunday.

      The vicar asked him, “How can you reconcile your behaviour in the pub on Saturday nights with your singing and praying in church on Sunday mornings?”

      His answer: “I don’t try to.”

  19. The article on CCM says, “We don’t need more self esteem programming with little religious language,” the experienced pianist and vocalist shared. “We don’t primarily need more encouragement to feel good about ourselves.” What people needed instead were sobering truths, “that we are sinners who will fall into the hands of the Living God either as His enemies or His reconciled, redeemed children.”

    May I humbly suggest that what we don’t need is music playing into our ears 24-7, whether it’s wholesome (Calvinist) music or not. One reason CCM is dippy is that it has to be played all day long. If people were willing to accept silence or conversation as the norm, then listen with all their attention to music once a day or so, we’d have fewer stupid songs and more good ones.

    • Amen Damaris…

    • My thoughts exactly.

      C.S. Lewis had something to say about living in a world of noise — and that was half a century ago.

    • Played all day long: sounds like Christian elevator music.

      • That, or one more humorous parallel with “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, where hideous music is played loudly over the intercom as part of the Nurse Ratched’s behavior control.

    • Amen. My dentist used to play CCM as the office muzak. I could not stand it. Getting the crud scraped off my teeth to some half-talented tenor straining over his love affair with Jesus set my nerves on end. Thankfully, the dentist now plays oldies. I’ll have to work on my optometrist. “Which is better? One or two? (I wanna spend the night with Jeeeeesus!)” Ugh.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Thankfully, the dentist now plays oldies.

        Just so long as he isn’t tuned to the same Oldies station as the PA system at my shop several years ago.

        Playlist of only 20 songs, repeated over and over. Ten were “Dope is Groovy”, the other ten were “Get Out Of VIETNAAAAAM!”

        I’ll have to work on my optometrist. “Which is better? One or two? (I wanna spend the night with Jeeeeesus!)” Ugh.

        Yeah. Nothing like hearing someone go Bella Swan over their Cosmic Edward Cullen with the Shekinah Sparkles. (Or Harley Quinn over their Cosmic Joker. Or Ayn Rand over her serial child-killer of the Roaring Twenties.)

    • Totally in agreement, Damaris. “Music” has become just another commodity to consume.


  20. Joseph (the original) says

    this is the one day my half Portuguese & Heinz 57 variety ethnic background takes on a more Irish flavor…

    my last name is Ostrander. today it becomes O’Strander in honor of St. Patrick & those of Irish ancestry…

    These things I warmly wish to you-
    Someone to love
    Some work to do
    A bit o’ sun
    A bit o’ cheer
    And a guardian angel always near.

    blessings iMonkers far & near… 😉

  21. The Chieftains are superlative! It’s always difficult to decide if their the front men or the side men…they could play with anyone any style.

    Hearing them in the 80’s brought me into contact with the Celtic genre. Haven’t looked back since.

    BTW, that video must have been early 90’s? Daltry could still sing.


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