Tag: Joel L. Watts
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Idolatry! Little Boy’s Hideous Prayer to Barack Obama! (VIDEO)

Now that I have your attention, let me ask you a question:

Why did you click on this link?

If you are a Christian and clicked this link because you wanted further confirmation of the evil or destructive person you believe the President of the United States to be, than let me do some iron-sharpening for you.

First, here's the video in question:

The first time I was made aware of this was a Facebook post featuring a story from The Christian Post, an online, Christian news source. They recently published a story featuring an interview with myself and Joel.

Well, on Sunday, this little boy's mother posted this video under the title “Prayer for President Barack Obama.”

Dijya catch that? “For,” not “to.”

This boy's mother posted a video for herself, her family and her social media circles. Presumably, she posted it because she thought it was sweet that her son would think to pray for the President of the United States.

However, this little boy said a prayer and addressed it to the wrong person.

So, Christian America – mostly white, Christian America – has a collective freak-out. Forgetting that they've probably laughed at a YouTube video of a little white child botching a prayer, but in a cute way. Because this is a prayer for – not to – this POTUS, then it's the “America needs to repent because this child proves all the worst things I've created in my mind are true” meltdown.

This video will be everywhere soon. Rush Limbaugh will play it on an endless loop and remember his United Methodist roots, only so long as he can deride the president. Sean Hannity will devote an entire television segment to it. FOX News will feature it every hour for the next two news cycles.

All because a mother thought a video of her son praying was cute enough to post to YouTube.

Christian. Yes, you. Please do your soul a favor and not lose your mind over this.

Who knows who might take your next YouTube video out of context?

‘The Christian Post’ Quotes Me & @eJoelWatts

After seeing yet another Christian “news service” include only the conservative outlook for the future of the UMC and the question of full-inclusion of the LBGT community, Joel Watts and myself made it an issue. The reporter was very gracious and sent us an email interview. This story is the result.  

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Joel is Right, but Needs Further Clarification

The Cross, the Church and the Flag

My friend, Joel, posted an interesting theory about the decline of the mainline church and the anti-intellectual streak within evangelical mainline enclaves.

How much better would we be if we had taught questioning our faith instead of absolute intellectual surrender when the New Atheists and Ken Ham arrived?

Essentially, he suggests that this “intellectual surrender” has forced the church to surrender credibility in order to maintain uniformity of thought. When a person with a question is told to “just believe” or that their question represents a lack of faith, why wouldn't that questioner find somewhere else to be? This is my paraphrase, but I think this is what he's saying.

I believe his theory to be correct, but insufficient.

We in the church must, first, disabuse (this word not used accidentally) ourselves of the notion that commercial success and the American Dream are synonymous with faithful Christianity.

They're so not.

They may even be the antithesis.

However, those who foster an unquestioning faith tend to experience the greater numeric church success.

Unless these ideas are separated by as much ground as we can get between them, the numeric success experienced by anti-intellectual evangelicalism will motivate the defense of the status quo – and his theory will wither on the vine.

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Thank You, @eJoelWatts, For Cleaning-Up My Sloppiness

My friend, Joel, is one of the smartest guys I know. He's written this book, and co-edited this one (check 'em out, won't you?). If I need some sight-read exegesis, I go to him.

Alright, slobber-fest over.

You'll remember this post containing this episode of my vlog (you should, since it was this morning) about this article from HuffPo:

First, I used shorthand for the footwashing because I was trying to keep the vlog under 5 minutes. People watch longer and pick up more of your information if your video is between 3-5 minutes. The exact details of that story were the casualty of that effort.

Second, I used the Pope's words incorrectly. I used a short-cut based on HuffPo's short-cut. Like making a copy of a copy, each version is worse than the last.

I made this mistake. As a responsible bloggger, I want to apologize for this sloppiness.

I realized just how sloppy it was because of the diligent scholarship of Joel.

In this post, he adds this response to my response to Pope Francis' Wednesday homily:

You get it. Il Papa is not actually saying our works redeem us. His claim is that all of creation is redeemed by the blood of Christ…to do good works.

I was impressed with the original blurb about the Pope's homily, because it showed how different this Pope is showing himself to be.

My vlog emphasized the Pope's recognition of the sacred in all of us – not just Christians. There are far too few prominent Christians making claims so “bold.”

As for Joel and I, we're cool. He's a scholar. I'm a pastor. Many of the skills required to do either of these things are interchangable, but we are inter-dependent on each other.

Pastors need scholars to stay informed. Scholars need pastors to stay grounded.

To sum up, I'm sorry for using a sloppy illustration. You can count on this not happening very often, from this point on.

Oh, Let Me Answer That for You, @eJoelWatts

Joel has certainly taken a liking to the new Holy Father (evidenced here, here and here). He called out those of us who were quick to be pessimistic about this new Pope, once news began to spread about his demeaning comments about the LBGT community.  I was one of them, and I gave my mea culpa:

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