Month: June 2013

Christians: How NOT to React to Secular News – #DOMA

Christians have not been setting a good example on social media today. The Supreme Court ruled The Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Reactions have been anything from “they're heathenous sinners, but I'm called to love 'em” to…well…I wanted to share these with you. First up, we have a random pastor: Next,

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#VRA Ruling Opens Door For Death Of #PatriotAct

The defeat of certain provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act has raised an interesting question for me. If laws that work need to be revisited and overruled by the Supreme Court, shouldn't someone file a suit to get the Patriot Act on track for the Supreme Court? Think about it. The majority ruling cited

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I See What Ya’ Did There, @GlennBeck

Glenn Beck, Professional Clown

I don't know why I do it to myself, but I listen to Glenn Beck's radio program.

Yes, seriously.

This morning, during one of his live advertisements for gold, he makes this statement:

I don't know how this all ends, but it doesn't end well.

He is – of course – talking about the continuing economic malaise the global economy is experiencing.

I've heard him say this – or things like this – numerous times. It wasn't until this morning that I realized what a weasely, chicken little-y, media whore-y type of statement it really is.

Essentially, he is able to keep his “the sky it falling” rap afloat without offering any evidence of it. Sure, he spends his entire broadcast presenting “evidence” of what he believes is the truth, but he is nearly never correct about any of his wild-eyed bloviating.

Why do I care?

If it weren't for the fact that Mr. Beck has such a broad reach – and has taken to shrouding his every move in the discussions he has with and visions he gets from God – I wouldn't care that much. I'd still listen, but not actively.

Glenn Beck is an entertainer. He's an actor. He's a visionary entrepreneur.

To be trusted for actual news or sincere opinion, he's not.

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Sunday Night Miscellany: Christian Protest Strategies #Brazil #Merica

I'm going to share this on all social media, but I wanted to share it here first.

I have been following the Instagram account of @antoniocarloscosta, ever since I got back to the US. Since we left Brazil, the entire country has broken out in protests.

The burgeoning middle class has discovered it has rights, and it's beginning to exercise them.

Anyway, Pastor Antonio Carlos Costa leads a group called “Rio de Paz (river of peace).” His group has been organizing in the midst of all these protests – including protests along Copacabana Beach.

Above, you'll see Rio de Paz protesting at the base of “Christ the Redeemer.” For my money, it is one of the greatest protest images I've ever seen. And, it's organized by a Christian group.

The other photo is unfortunate. It's a Christian protesting in this country.

Note the difference.

 

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Persecution Schtick Makes Christians Look Like Dopes – @TheIRD

A screen-grab from the 'Fortnight for Freedom' website

A screen-grab from the ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ website

 

If it weren’t for @TheIRD, I would have no idea what the above event is.  I’m talking about Fortnight for Freedom – an effort by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to bring attention to what they feel is a war on religious liberty.

There is, of course, no war.

At all.

It.

Doesn’t.

Exist.

That hasn’t stopped the USCCB from creating this event from whole cloth.  What is it?  It’s a two week event that begins today, and ends on July 4th – which isn’t heavy-handed in the least.

Independence Day.  Get it?

What does @TheIRD have to do with it?  Nothing.  They just featured a blog post from one of their interns about it.  The thing is, @TheIRD uses any excuse to add another layer to the myth – yes, myth – that religious liberty in this country is under attack.

It has become no more than a schtick to them – or any of their ilk.  The phony cries of a “war on religious liberty” are more often fundraising pleas, than actual concern for actual instances of incursions on those who seek religious liberty.

Whenever some semi-prominent religious person is shouted down by someone with a differing opinion – or some small town nativity scene is forced to move from city hall to the church grounds – certain Christians hit the airwaves to cry foul.

It also doesn’t help that pompous media figures posing as journalists bring the offended parties on their FOX News shows and ask questions to get answers that aren’t actual journalism – but shilling to a particular population subset.

Why does this persecution schtick make us look like dopes?

This story from Patheos recounts 6 recent stories of actual persecution against Christians in portions of the world where Christians face actual opposition.

American Christians are so spoiled and weak.  Is it any wonder that the church continues it’s decline, considering that a mere disagreement with a Christian is construed to be an attack on religious liberty?

It seems silly to have to explain this, but your First Amendment rights mean you have the right to say what you want.  It also means that others have the right to say what they want.  Free speech rights do not protect you from people saying they disagree with you.

When we don’t act like we understand that, we look like dopes.

Now, the Fortnight for Freedom has more to do with the USCCB’s snit with HHS over reproductive issues. It’s still not a war on religious liberty.  It’s figuring out that your religious rights stop at someone else’s reproductive system.

So, I mean, come on.  Let’s act like adults who understand that we don’t always get our way, and not petulant children who throw fits when we don’t.

*dismounts soapbox*

SERMON from 6-16-13: “Open Outcry”

This past Father’s Day, I preached on Psalm 5.1-8.  Here’s part 1: Here’s part 2:

David Barton – @DavidBartonWB – Hoisted By His Own Petard

According to Wikipedia, a petard (peh-tard) is a French bomb meant to deal fatal damage upon one's enemy. Once in a while, a petardier would fail to detonate a petard far enough away from himself – and would, thereby, be hoisted in the air by the explosion. David Barton failed to get his petard far

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Notes From The Pastor’s Office #25 – Capoeira

 

In this episode, I share with you my experiences with street capoeira.

Enjoy!

It's not the last of my Brazil specials, but it's a more entertaining one.

 

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SERMON from 6-9-13: “What Brazil Taught Me…” (parts 1 & 2)

In this message, I use my experiences in Brazil to help me preach Psalm 146. Here's part 1:

And here's part 2:

 

 

Notes From The Pastor’s Office #24 – “From Brazil Again”

On a hike down Sugarloaf Mountain (look it up), I guide you through a tour of the Rocinho favela. Enjoy!

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