July 12, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 5.8.10

Greetings from the iMonastery where things have really gone to the dogs. So it is time to grab a plastic bag and proceed to clean up the yard. Yes, it’s Saturday Ramblings, the pooper-scooper of the Internet Monk community.

A 1,000 year flood (the kind of flood that only comes along once a millennia) hit Nashville this last week. Churches throughout central Tennessee responded very quickly, offering shelter and food to those driven from their homes by the flood waters. Pete Wilson’s Cross Point Church was among them, and on Wilson’s web site you can see some of the damage caused by these wild waters. You can donate to the American Red Cross by texting “redcross” to 90999. $10 will be charged to your cell phone account and all monies will be given to the Red Cross specifically for Nashville relief efforts.

Survey results show today’s 18-29 year olds tend to think of themselves as spiritual, not as Christians. Even though a majority (65%) call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Thom Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.” Read the whole article from USAToday here.

A street preacher in England was arrested for telling a person passing by that, yes, he believes homosexuality is a sin according the Bible. Dale McAlpine was arrested and held in a cell for seven hours this week after his comment. (And why do I have a feeling this story will draw the majority of comments this week? Why not the dog story below?)

We have been talking a lot about creation and evolution here at the Internet Monk. I thought we might appreciate a cat’s-eye view of this topic from one of the best comic strips going, Get Fuzzy.

I cannot make up stuff as good as this–I really can’t. Fido now has his own worship service, complete with communion “treats.” I have to think God is laughing Himself silly over this. At least, I hope He is. Sigh…

Before we get to our birthdays of the week, we are sad to pass on the news of the death of one of the greatest men ever associated with the game of baseball. Ernie Harwell, the longtime announcer for the Detroit Tigers, died this week at the age of 92. Joe Posnanski writes a great farewell for Harwell, who considered everyone he met his friend. Harwell started each baseball season by reading a passage from the Song of Solomon on the air. We are a poorer place today without Ernie Harwell.

Birthdays this week include Cheerios, introduced this week in 1941; Joseph Heller, author of Catch 22; Dr. Benjamin Spock (the pediatrician, not the Vulcan with pointy ears); Bing Crosby; Dick Dale, the greatest surf guitarist of them all; Willie “Say Hey” Mays; and Audrey Hepburn. And a very special Happy Birthday goes out to the iMonk’s own editorial director, Chaplain Mike, who celebrated his birthday on Monday. Happy birthday, Chaplain Mike!


  1. JoanieD says

    Happy belated birthday, Chaplain Mike! I hope you had a great week and thank you for all the work you put into this blog.

  2. Happy Birthday Mike.

    The study of the 18-29 years olds is interesting. We (the church) need to give full support to college ministries as they attempt to impact lives at that crucial period.
    I thought the link to Driscoll’s thoughts on the matter were interesting as well. He stated,
    “…young people are committed to churches not built for them but built by them. Around the country young people are flocking to churches that have clear authoritative Bible teaching about real life issues, are lead by authentic leaders, include night services, use online social media, embrace technology, serve the poor and suffering, strive for community, encourage creativity, and allow young leaders to lead at the highest levels.”

    He also thought that the study reflected something he has noticed:
    “young people are more spiritually honest. The days of feeling some sort of cultural pressure to adhere to historic Christian truths is simply gone. Subsequently, we may not be seeing younger people less devoted to Jesus Christ but simply more people being honest so that those who in the past would have professed faith they did not possess or practice are simply being honest which is more admirable than being a hypocrite.”


  3. God may or may not find the various forms of “pet services” amusing, but I doubt he would laugh at the idea of Fido or Fluffy receiving “communion treats.” Fortunately, when you re-read the article, it’s a separate sentence from the “human communion” and the “pet blessing;” so I’d prefer to believe the treats are unrelated. Hopefully.

  4. At first glance I was as surprised as you about the doggie communion service. Then I clicked the link and saw that it was an Episcopalian church. For some reason, that explained it all! 😉

  5. Not to be a party pooper, but according to my resources Cheerios birthday/first introduction isn’t until June. Perhaps I’m the one missing something.

    • I see the date of June 19 as when Cheerios was first produced, but May 1 when it was introduced. Nice to have two birthdays a year, isn’t it? More presents that way!

      • Hmm. How can it be introduced without it first being produced? Is this like a pre-incarnate appearance of Cheerios? 😉

  6. David L says

    “Survey results show today’s 18-29 year olds tend to think of themselves as spiritual, not as Christians. Even though a majority (65%) call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Thom Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.” ”

    I feel there are several factors at work.

    One, as was mentioned above, it’s now much more “OK” to not be a Christian. Just 40 years ago, not being a Christian would have caused someone at my high school a lot of grief. It would have also closed a lot of doors if you were running a local business, such as a grocer or insurance salesman.

    Second, it’s all about education. Around the 60s high schools started teaching physics with more than inclined planes and stop watches. Then, and now, they get into quantum theory, relativity, etc… And similar issues in high school chemistry. And more kids go to college. These subjects create a strong conflict with many fundamentalist church teachings. This was rare before the 60s. Now it’s common. (I’m not trying to start a fight here, we have those going on under other postings.) But when you have people teaching “religion” with little science background to kids studying quantum theory, some core beliefs of many people come into conflict. This creates a serious choice for many young people. And the answer of many is to be come indifferent.

    As a side note when I was at the Univ of Ky Engineering college they had pictures in the common areas of the graduating classes going back decades. Prior to 49 or so there were MAYBE 40 at most in any one year. After that the numbers quickly jumped above 100 and then to 100s. The GI bill was the start of this. The same thing happened in high schools in the 60s with our space race tech emphasis combined with the baby boom created a huge number of high school graduates who basically knew more than their elders in some areas of learning. And we’ve been experiencing the heart burn ever since. (Many (most?) adults didn’t even graduate high school before WWII.)

    Basically society has changed. And in ways that in many was should have been religion neutral but the “church” made it non neutral so people “walked”.

    • ” inclined planes and stop watches”

      David L, you brought back the nightmare of physics classes right there for me 🙂

      Suffice it to say, I was always much better at biology.

  7. When the sole point of Christianity is escaping hell, and it’s all based on what you believe and not anything you do, then you can see why young people are walking away.

    We’ve also made belief in the Bible the same as belief in Jesus, and presented this to young people who’ve been raised in an incredibly technical world that is founded on science, science that in many ways contradicts the literal reading of scripture. When they see that, they throw the baby Jesus out with the Bible bathwater.

    And then young people also find themselves on the opposite side of Christians on many moral issues, whether it be the invasion of Iraq, health care reform, gay marriage or the environment.

  8. Louis Winthrop says

    Rainer assumes that “Christianity” must consist of certain features, which his church presumably promotes, and dismisses less insistent interpretations as inchoate (“mushy”) or nominal. I wonder why USA Today (or Dunn, for that matter) chose to select this as something particularly deserving of wider consideration. But then, I don’t get the cartoon either.

    Blessings of animals actually have a venerable history which includes the Catholic, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches. For obvious practical reasons, though, this would usually be done outside the sanctuary.

  9. Mitch Albom has a nice tribute to Ernie Harwell too at http://freep.com/article/20100505/COL01/5050493/

    Ernie was the voice of baseball for me growing up. I would never forget my grandmother who would sit for hours following the game on radio. And the voice was always Ernie Harwell.

  10. Happy birthday Chap Mike; thanks for your service to the Kingdom and the King of Kings by moderating this blog (among other duties) your efforts are seen and may you reproduce real life and love in those who read here.