September 30, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 6.23.12

Greetings, sports fans. Welcome to the in-mourning edition of Saturday Ramblings. Why are we in mourning? The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the godless Miami Heat Thursday in the NBA Finals. It was hard for the Thunder to handle Miami’s “Big Three:” LeBron James, Duane Wade, and the refs. Well, there is one consolation. Soon, in some faraway, impoverished, third-world country, children will be happily clothed in “OKC Thunder—NBA Champions” t-shirts. Sigh. Shall we?

History was made this week at the Southern Baptist Convention as the denomination elected their very first African American president. Fred Luter is a former street preacher who leads a church in New Orleans. Well done, SBC.

Meanwhile, a document trying to clarify what Baptists mean by “salvation” is bringing out the “h” word among those who are debating the wording of the document. Even the—gasp!—“sinner’s prayer” is being looked at closely. This is going to take some sorting out, but again I applaud the SBC for even being willing to bring these things to the table for examination.

Have you been to a good Hutterite service lately? What? You don’t know who the Hutterites are? Well, your ignorance can now be laid to rest, thanks to the National Geographic Channel’s “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites.” You’d think this group of 59 people, clinging to their traditions, would be glad for a little face-time on the tube. But no. The higher-ups in the Hutterite sects engaged Larry Ross Communications to express their displeasure. Yep. A group you’ve never heard of is featured on a TV channel no one watches and is now complaining with a press release no one will read. Ain’t this great Saturday Ramblings fodder?

Never been to Cornerstone, the Christian heavy-metal fest just outside of Chicago? Better get going. This is the last year for the nation’s longest-running Christian music fest. Meanwhile, the second annual WildGoose Fest is going on this weekend in North Carolina. Over the Rhine will be at the WildGoose Festival. Guess which one I would go to?

Eagle-eyed iMonk Daisey found this story about the ordination of a minister in Maryland. So what?, you ask. So this. The minister is 11 years old. He preaches in church on Sundays, and tears it up in fifth grade the rest of the week. Don’t you feel like a slacker now?

We often like to end this portion of the Ramblings with an outlandish story that I defend by promising you I did not make up. Today, though, I have not one of these stories, not two, but four. Four. And I did not make up a single one of these. Really.

For instance, an Islamic group in Egypt says that Muslims are not to eat tomatoes because they are … Christian. Ok, if you cut a tomato in half, I suppose you can see something of a cross on the inside. But I don’t like tomatoes and have always considered them of the devil. So, am I now committed to eating these disgusting pieces of fruit?

Don’t like tomatoes any more than I? How about toast? Could I interest you in a piece of toast with the image of Tim Tebow praying? Just such an item recently sold on eBay for $85.00. The top half of a grilled cheese sandwich came out of the grill with the likeness of Tebow tebowing on it. I wonder if any cheese was stuck to the underside…

With toast goes butter, right? And what better to go with Tim Tebow toast than … Big Butter Jesus. The pale yellow statue outside of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio (home of the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall!) that was struck by lightning and burned down in 2010 is being rebuilt. Now, will Heywood Banks come up with a song to go with the new, er, artwork? Of course he will! (If you haven’t heard this song, do yourself and give it a listen. But don’t have any coffee in your mouth. We are not responsible for damaged keyboards or computer screens …)

And finally, one of our favorites here at the Ramblings factory, Ed Young Jr., concluded a sermon series about engaging in our culture by sharing about … bullies. The fashion preacher said the Bible doesn’t teach us to be passive in the face of bullies. Hmmm…I do recall something somewhere about turning the other cheek. Never mind. Young’s message “was focused heavily on the different types of bullying people endure and how the Bible helps in responding to such situations.” Well, I suppose if you have a hardcover Bible it could be of some use in responding to such situations, if you get what I mean.

Hippy dippy birthdays this past week were celebrated by our very own Synonymous Rambler, who took the week off from finding rambling fodder to blow out birthday candles; Stan Laurel; Joyce Carol Oates; Roberto “no mas” Duran; Igor Stravinsky; Clyde “Red” Foley; Dan Jansen; Venus Williams; George Mikan; Sir Paul McCartney; Roger Ebert; Oz Fox; Moe Howard; Lou Gehrig; Ann Wilson; the Tazmanian Devil; Garfield; Chet Atkins; Brian Wilson; Lionel Richie; Butch Patrick; Ray Davies; Kris Kristofferson; and Carson Daly.

Wow. Who to choose? It would have been easy if I hadn’t already shared a Brian Wilson video with you on Thursday. You did watch that, didn’t you? Well, didn’t you? Sir Paul could be a good choice. Moe in a Three Stooges clip would help you laugh on a Saturday morning, as would the Tazmanian Devil—or Laurel and Hardy, for that matter. No, Oz Fox and Stryper were not given a moment’s consideration. Really, there is only one choice today. Have you spotted it yet? (Of course you have. His name is in boldface.) Enjoy.

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  1. No one could pick it like Chet.

  2. My family buys meat from a local Hutterite Colony. great chicken for soup!

    And not being passive in the face of bullies eh? That WHOLE Ed Young article is oozing with “theology of glory”…i think i’m going to puke.

    “Forget what the media says , never turn the other cheek…instead just resort to 18th century Wahhabism”

    sigh… Happy birthday Carson Daly!

  3. Richard McNeeley says

    Chet Atkins made it look so easy.
    Bang the Drum All Day Happy Birthday Todd Rundgren.

  4. Adrienne says

    Hey ~ our “fests’ are a great celebration of the local “flavor”. In my neck of the woods we have the very popular “Lebanon Balogna Festival” and “Hinklefest” – what is Hinklefest you asked – it means “Chickenfest”. As you often say Jeff, could I make this stuff up? This very weekend a new “fest” is being held right here in my town – The “Jesus Fest”. So come on over!!

  5. You’d think that their over-the-top statue being struck by lightning would have been a big hint to the folks at Solid Rock Church.

    I don’t know if I’d consider Chet the “only” choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love his stuff and I own a lot of his recordings, but I’d be hard pressed to choose between him and Ray Davies. Heh, heh! And now I’ve dated myself by professing undying love for The Kinks. Oh well…

  6. It’s not really accurate to call Cornerstone a “Christian heavy metal” festival. There’s been a fair share of heavy metal bands there, but they’ve also hosted some of the most talented Christian artists including Daniel Amos, the 77s, Adam Again, The Choir, Vigilantes of Love, Sixpence None the Richer Steve Taylor, and, yes, even Over the Rhine. The list could go on and on.

    • You’re right, Phil. But because they “launched” a number of heavy metal groups such as P.O.D. and Demon Hunter, they’re kinda stuck with that label…

    • I went to C-Stone back in the 90s when metal was kind of bigger — I think mostly because it was the only CCM festival around that didn’t think putting a token youth-group friendly band on a side stage was good enough.

      Cornerstone was amazing, and I’m really sad to see them fold. If you have a choice, go to the last one. There’s nothing like it.

    • Jeremiah says

      Cornerstone was far too awesome to be simply dismissed as a “heavy metal fest”. I could go on for hours about it’s (& JPUSA’s) significance… especially in making room for places like this (internetmonk) to exist in North American Christendom. But as for the music: Glenn Kaiser Band; Larry Howard & Glenn Kaiser Blues Night; 77’s Unplugged; The REZ Band 40th anniversary reunion; Ashley Cleveland; Glenn Kaiser (again – worship this time); Ember Days; The Crossing; The Wayside; Joy Williams (the lady half of the Civil Wars); Iona; Aradhna; The Violet Burning; The Choir; & more to come… the place has been a haven & venue for ALL kinds of Christian Music and art and great teachers… I am sad to see it go and sad I won’t get to take my kids there as they are getting old enough to appreciate music and art and such…

  7. Won’t it be great in Heaven when we can interact with people and not be preoccupied about the pigment of their skin?

  8. Richard Hershberger says

    Just to clarify, there are some forty thousand Hutterites in North America, mostly in the upper midwest plains straddling the US and Canada. That 59 figure presumably is for the one particular colony.

    The Hutterites are a fascinating group. They are genuine Christian communists (not to be confused with being Communist, in the Marxist sense). And of course they have excellent scriptural basis (far better than the idolatry of capitalism currently fashionable in some parts of the church) for this: one need only read the beginning of Acts. They aren’t the only Christian group to try this. Monasticism, at least in some forms, is similarly communist. But the Hutterites have managed it with full families, and for centuries.

    I sometimes see the argument that marriage is between one man and one woman based on Adam and Eve, and getting around the awkwardness of stuff like Solomon’s wives by further arguing that Adam and Eve coming before Solomon shows that their relationship is normative. I cheerfully point to the Hutterites and the early church depicted in Acts and point out that if we are serious about this logic (and not merely cherry picking to support our previously held position) then it follows that we must all become communists. This observation is not generally received well.

    • It is easy to wax romantic about communal Christian groups, but the Hutterites have huge social problems ranging from authoritarian, abusive leadership to inbreeding.

      • Richard Hershberger says

        Was I waxing romantic? If so, it was inadvertent. The Amish are another group that looks better from a distance. The comment I have heard from non-Amish farmers in areas with lots of Amish is that that they mistreat their horses and their women. They also share with some versions of Evangelical Protestantism the distasteful practice of keeping their offspring uneducated, thereby narrowing the economic escape routes. The amazing thing about Hutterite communism is not that they make it work well but that they make it work at all, as communism is so contrary to human nature.

        • Plus the Amish have a huge meth problem, believe it or not.

          There are various levels of communal living, but if you mean sharing wealth and possessions (or most of them), this can really only be successfully practiced by traditionalist religious groups which have long ago established or discovered most of their ground rules. The world is full of “intentional communities” which have either folded, or turned into something far less communal. Economists should really study this–it’s a great laboratory to show what works and what doesn’t.

          All human societies educate their young. The question is what kind of education they should receive–an assimilationist, “English” (-language) education that will socialize them into the values of the host society (much of which is useless from a strictly pedagogical point of view), or something that will prepare them for Amish adulthood. If one argues that the young should have a choice–well, how much choice did we have?

  9. That Other Jean says

    An eleven year old ORDAINED minister? Because an eleven year old has the maturity, wisdom, and humility to lead a congregation, even if both his parents are ministers, too. Sure. (cough) Marjoe Gortner (cough) Poor little parrot.

    Oh, and Jeff, I’ll eat your share of tomatoes, possibly while watching the National Geographic Channel, but not while watching The Hutterites. I feel sorry for Hutterite women, and have nearly irresistible urges to throw things at the TV when they’re being bullied into keeping “in their places” by Hutterite men.

    • How does one confess one’s sins to an eleven-year-old? I suppose many would have to be explained to him…

  10. Jeff…you misspelled Dwyane Wade’s name…

    Sorry I watched him in person when I was in school. Fantastic player!

  11. Chet Atkins over Sir Paul McCartney???

  12. I don’t know. The Hutterites are not some little upstart sect–they are related to the Amish and have been around for hundreds of years and are one of the most successful communitarian movements ever. They have been the subject of some good anthropological studies. I’m not sure it is fair to be snide about them just because you have never heard of them.

    On their treatment of women–like the Amish, they set themselves apart from society and hold to more literal views of the Bible than most fundamentalists you know–so yes, the position of women looks pretty 18th century.

    Just because they have stayed out of the spotlight for the most part doesn’t mean they should express discomfort with how they are portrayed on TV, even if it is on an unwatched channel that appears to have given up integrity in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to get viewers.

    • I do know of the Hutterites, Eric. I come from a pretty strong Amish part of the country.

      This particular group invited the cameras in to their community. The producer of the program may or may not have had an agenda, but he did not put words in their mouths or cause them to do any particular act that showed up on screen. You can’t invite someone into your house and then complain when they see you as you are…

      • We did a post on Hutterites two years ago: Extreme Community

      • Hutterites don’t live in the same areas as Amish, but they come from the same anabaptist background. They are mostly in Canada, having fled being drafted into various wars. Different movement, but shared roots. For better or worse (mostly better), they’ve received a lot less attention than the Amish.

        There are somewhere around 40,000 Hutterites, not 59. Probably a forth or fifth of the number of Amish. Perhaps some of what is going on here is that the one colony invited the TV crew in and the other 39,041 are not happy about it.

        Anyway, I like your posts and the blog, but I just feel like your comment in this case hinge on the fact that you never heard of them and that this is some freaky little cult of 59 people. (Well, maybe it *is* a freaky little cult, but it if so, it is a freaky little cult of 40,000 people that has been around since the 16th century.

        Thanks Mike, to pointing out your earlier, informative post.

  13. flatrocker says

    Praise the lard and spread the word – brilliant.

    Oleo Lord – what have we become?

  14. Final Anonymous says

    Jeff, in the sports fans section, let’s also remember the 10th anniversaries this week of the passings of Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, and a sad but ultimately inspirational season for baseball fans. RIP DK 57

  15. If you’re from Seattle, you’re not really that unhappy about the way the basketball finals turned out 🙂 Though the whole thing was kind of a lose/lose for us up here in the Great Northwest.

  16. “If you don’t spread this [message about tomatoes], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”


  17. Thank you for writing this resource on your website.