July 17, 2019

Saturday Ramblings 9.22.12

Greetings, fellow iMonks. I’m getting up off of my sick bed to see what a mess has been made while I was gone. But it’s not too bad. You all pick up rather nicely after yourselves. And I see the substitute teacher (aka Synonymous Rambler) actually made you do some classwork. Impressive. And you all played nicely too. Well done! But I do have a heaping plate of leftovers to get to, so shall we buckle up and ramble?

First of all, thanks to all who have donated to InternetMonk over the last two weeks. It doesn’t matter to me how much you give, but that you give at all tells me you are thankful for what you read here and for the opportunity to be able to join in the discussion when you want. I cannot tell you how much your giving touches me. Thank you all in a very big way.

As the violence in the Middle East continues to boil over, Brian McLaren opines that the best path is that of showing the Gospel through love. Should this not be what is shared throughout Western Christendom at this time? Oh, sorry. I didn’t know we were all still supposed to be protesting an advertisement for Dr. Pepper. I guess my fever has gotten my priorities all confused.

A judge in Illinois ruled that just because you call your frat house a monastery doesn’t mean it is one for zoning purposes. Who knew? What about calling our iMonastery a frat house? Does that count?

One of the big news items taking up space in the ether this week has been the discovery of a papyrus fragment that supposedly points to Jesus having a wife. If you don’t want to read all the various news stories about this, RNS has a summary here. And Jimmy Akin says, “Isn’t this special?” in his own way.

Bishop emeritus Emil Wcela makes a case for the ordination of women in the Catholic church … as deacons. Don’t think this is a slippery slop, he says. Women would not and cannot be considered for any office beyond deacons. Still, anyone else here want to vote for Damaris and Martha of Ireland to be the first ones???

Adam Palmer points out correctly that the day we all look forward to, Pulpit Freedom Sunday, is fast approaching. What is Pulpit Freedom Sunday, you ask? It is that great day when preachers all across this land of ours get behind their pulpits and pull a fast one on the IRS by preaching a sermon where they endorse a specific political candidate or party. Joy of joys. If you can’t wait unti the first Sunday in October to hear a preacher shill for (most likely) a Republican, then you might want to visit Ridgway Christian Center in Ridgway, Colorado. They jumped the gun by encouraging all Christians to honor God by voting Republican and—oops!—may be in trouble with the IRS.

Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll shows many Americans distrust the national media when it comes to reporting the news, especially political news. In other breaking news, clouds sometimes bring rain.

While out promoting his new book, Joel Osteen stopped by Soledad O’Brien’s show on CNN. The topic of homosexuality came up, and while Osteen did a fairly good job of tap-dancing around the issue, I find it interesting that in his response he labels “being critical” and “being negative” as sins. Tough luck, Cubs fans. You can only say nice things and believe your team is doing a great job from now on.

Guess what book scholars now say was very influential in Shakespeare’s plays? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t written by Joel Osteen. And guess what inspired Mr. Spock to be such a good Vulcan in Star Trek? Hint: Still not Joel Osteen.

A book read and used by Elvis just sold at auction for a hefty price. Elvis’s, uh, unmentionables didn’t. Perhaps if they had been washed …

Remember that historic fresco that was “restored” (read: ruined) by the elderly woman in her church? Well, seems tourists have been flocking to it in droves, paying about five bucks a head to get in and laugh at it. And now the woman who, from the kindness of her heart, changed a picture of Jesus into something that Picasso may have come up with while on a three-day drunk wants a cut of the gate. For charity. Of course. (Still, I’d pay the five bucks to see it now. Who wouldn’t?)

And I certainly would have paid good money to see this comedy routine. Take this on the road, fellows! America needs you more than ever.

And while Wednesday was Talk Like A Pirate Day (thanks, Synonymous, for pointing that out!), Tuesday was National Cheeseburger Day. Or was it International? In any case, I want to go to Atlanta for this late night treat. Anyone up for an iMonk roadie? We’ll have to limit it to 24 so everyone can get a burger.

Finally (saving the best for last), guess who’s back??? Bigger and better than ever, Jesus has returned. To Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, that is. (Just a few miles from my hometown of Lebanon, Ohio, I might add.) The original, dubbed Big Butter Jesus by Heywood Banks (see video below), burned to the ground after being, um, struck by lightning several years ago. Now Jesus is new and improved, standing 51 feet tall with his arms outstretched to motorists passing by on I-75. “Hug Me Jesus” as the statue is now being called has a lightning rod installed. So how will God bring this one down? More importantly, when will Heywood Banks have a new song ready for us?

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mf2u9VWAhM’]

Happy birthdays go out to Agatha Christie, Fay Wray, Tommy Lee Jones; Dan Marino; Prince Harry; Allen Funt; Lauren Bacall; Peter Falk; Robin Yount; Hank Williams, Sr.; Jimmie Johnson; Bud Greenspan; Kerry (on my wayward son) Livgren; Adam West; Mike Royko; H.G. Wells; Leonard Cohen; Stephen King; Don Felder; and Bill Murray.

Like fine wine, Leonard Cohen’s voice only gets better with time. His songs are deeply tinged with his mix of Buddhist, Jewish and Christian influences. I don’t know what God is going to do with Leonard Cohen, but oh I hope he is in heaven. I want to pull up a chair and listen to him sing as only he can. I can’t choose just one. Here are two. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqTuWCiM4g&feature=related’]

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZtziyBxL0o ‘]

 

 

Comments

  1. “I find it interesting that in his response he labels “being critical” and “being negative” as sins.”

    It’s the same old human, pharisaic law that he’s been peddling all along: if you think positively, you can create your own success, reality; if you fail, well there must be a sin/negativity in your life. It’s enticing, but it becomes a crushing weight. Law never, never saves.

    However, I don’t understand why one must go to someone like Osteen to find a positive message out of Christians. It just seems that those who supposedly understand the gospel correctly are, well, sullen or as pastoral as a calculus text book. I don’t believe the Norman Vincent Peale power of positive thinking; I do believe that because of the cross and the empty tomb, I have the boldness and courage to dare success.

    Why is this message so unpopular? Because the gospel says clearly, “You didn’t build that”; Jesus did. It’s why the religion of conservatives is now Randianism. It’s also why Osteen has an audience.

    • “I do believe that because of the cross and the empty tomb, I have the boldness and courage to dare success.”

      I’m pretty sure that might be the best quote I’ve read today (please don’t be offended that I just woke up :))

      • As they say, eat a toad for breakfast, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. 😉

  2. Negativity isn’t even mentioned in the New Testament, I believe. And neither are the words success, or progress, in relation to the Christian life.

    The paradigm is death…to life.

    Preachers ought use pulpit freedom Sunday to preach that message. And watch them (those in the pews) all just…go away.

    • According to Osteen Jesus was sinning – many times. Such as “”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.” Hmmm – not exactly politically correct there Jesus. And – uh- You also used that 4 letter word a little to loosely – HELL – uh – you need to tone that one down for sure. So Jesus I won’t be looking for you on any prime time talk shows. Or at our local mega church either if you don’t rework your message. Of course, I am one of the Chief of Sinners because – confession time here – I drink Dr. Pepper warm with a slice of lemon or a cinnamon stick in the Winter. Whooo boy – am I in trouble now.

      “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

      Hope you are on the mend Jeff. Your sense of humor remains intact.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    As the violence in the Middle East continues to boil over, Brian McLaren opines that the best path is that of showing the Gospel through love. Should this not be what is shared throughout Western Christendom at this time? Oh, sorry. I didn’t know we were all still supposed to be protesting an advertisement for Dr. Pepper.

    Dr Pepper ad? Which Bright Red Christian Murder Flag does this one trigger — Homosexuality or Evolution?

    Bishop emeritus Emil Wcela makes a case for the ordination of women in the Catholic church … as deacons.

    Though the RCC has never ordained priestesses, in the early centuries AD we did ordain Deaconesses. I would assume that “the ordination of women as deacons” (Deaconesses, actually) would be similar to our current order of Permanent Deacons.

    What is Pulpit Freedom Sunday, you ask? It is that great day when preachers all across this land of ours get behind their pulpits and pull a fast one on the IRS by preaching a sermon where they endorse a specific political candidate or party. Joy of joys. If you can’t wait unti the first Sunday in October to hear a preacher shill for (most likely) a Republican…

    “Jesus Christ: a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party….”

    Ever wondered why so many Soviet-era Russians were serious alcoholics? Because vodka was the only escape and/or relief from 24/7/365 Politics Politics Politics Political Political Political.

    • “Jesus Christ: a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party….” No kidding. I’ve never been told to vote Republican at church because, from the conversations I’ve had with people, the assumption is that Christians vote no other way. I’ve heard just about as many snide comments about Democrats there (at church) as I have about Muslims. Love for those unlike us? Might be a foreign concept at far too many churches.

    • “Dr Pepper ad? Which Bright Red Christian Murder Flag does this one trigger — Homosexuality or Evolution?”

      Dr. Pepper used the “e” word in their ad.

    • ” Because vodka was the only escape and/or relief from 24/7/365 Politics Politics Politics Political Political Political.”

      No spam?

  4. The “comedy routine” with Stephen Colbert and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan sounds like it would have been great to see. I wish it had been recorded. I love that the Cardinal kissed Colbert’s hand!

  5. Jeff, you must be slipping. You missed a golden opportunity to mention Prince Harry’s birthday suit.

  6. Lover, Lover, Lover, come back to me. “I never never turned aside,” he said, “I never walked away. It was you who built the temple, It was you who covered up my face.” Nice! My thought for the day :0)

  7. Hmm. The ordination of women as deacons (deaconnesses, whatever) in the RCC a “slippery slop.” Now that I might pay to see 🙂

  8. It is getting harder and harder to take McLaren seriously. I am trying to read him with charity, but it seems he is almost constructing his own little world out there – a world where Christians are pretty terrible and get called out by McLaren every time he puts fingers to keyboard.

  9. Is it wrong that I hear the opening of “Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life” whenever I see touchdown Jesus? (I know that song from Bloom County, of all places)