February 13, 2009
The day after I was installed as pastor of my first church back in 5/77, an older elder confessed and offered, "The pastors before you had me buy beer for them and put it on the back porch of the manse in a brown paper bag so no one would know about it and I'll do the same for you."
I went to the local distributor less than an hour later and bought a case of Bud.
When we came to "new business" at the next deacons meeting, I was told then asked, "We've received reports that you have been seen buying beer in town. Is this true, passsstoooor?"
"Yes," I replied, "I was in line behind the elder who offered to get it for me; but, you know, Jesus wasn't a teetotaler. I was reading about a wedding reception. They ran out of hooch and Jesus restocked 'em with even better stuff. I don't drink a lot since getting really drunk on New Year's Eve during my freshman year in college. Come to think of it, I haven't been able to drink blackberry wine ever since. But, sure, I like a cold beer or glass of wine or even a mixed drink every now and then."
I was never asked about it again.
Dumping your garbage before others dig it up can save so much time/energy/emotions required to keep up pretensions as well as generating some credibility.
That's why I kinda like PBHO.
Though I still don't know where he was born or what he's gonna do as if he has any clue himself, he does have moments of candor like when he admitted inhaling and said, "This is no longer a Christian nation."
Unlike a lot of mainline clergy who are so good at concealing their feelings and fidelities/infidelities as some kinda professional security blanket, PBHO is starting to open up since winning the biggest political prize on the planet and generating more trust that he can't be trusted to advance/enhance foundational American values.
Staying with PBHO and his legion who - talk about irony - demonize anyone who doesn't idolize him, his nemesis Rush Limbaugh said this on 12/4/08 at D.C.'s Mayflower Hotel during some get together hosted by Hillsdale College: "But honestly, when we look at auto executives being grilled on TV by liberal members of Congress about their irresponsibility, can we take it seriously? Has anyone ever been as irresponsible with money - and in their case other people's money - than these very same self-righteous members of Congress?"
The self-perpetuating bureaucracies of mainline denominations do it all of the time with the tithes, offerings, and voluntary per capita apportionments of faithful women and men who are still deluded enough to think their donations are being used to honor Jesus as prescribed in Holy Scripture.
Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeedddddddddddd me, Seymour!
Al Franken who's gonna be seated as Senator from Minnesota as soon as Norm Coleman's pesky legal challenges are exhausted/ignored owes $70,000 in back taxes, interest, and penalties.
Tim Geithner has no comment.
Is it true that PBHO and his legion favor higher taxes as long as they do not have to pay them?
I read William Allen's Nazi Seizure of Power when it came out in 1984. It's the best book that I've ever read - apart from Exodus - on how democratic societies become totalitarian so easily/quickly: idolatries and the "true believers" who advocate/enforce 'em.
I just came across "How Hitler Won Over the German People" by Ian Kershaw on Spiegel Online which was written about a year ago (1/30/08) that complements Allen with some scary observations/prognostications: "'Today Hitler Is All of Germany.' The newspaper headline on 8/4/34...signifying a complete bond between the German people and Hitler...Fuhrer adulation constantly trumpeted by the uniform propaganda of the mass media...Germans were 'believers in the Fuhrer'...consciously directed to creating and building up the 'heroic' image of Hitler as a towering genius...those disapproving were mainly forced into silence...[Fairness Doctrine?]...The 'superman' image of Hitler...there was new direction, energy, and dynamism...[Change!]...And if the image differed from reality, it was the image that left the lasting mark..."
Abraham Lincoln: "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
Now go back to the PBHO quote in the second section of this KD and start connecting the dots.
Some say there's a bear in the woods.
Some say there is no bear in the woods.
Isn't better to be prepared just in case there's a bear in the woods?
Ohio: "You wrote, 'It's kinda sick; but lots of people feel good when other people feel bad which makes 'em feel better about feeling so bad.' As the Russian Wolfhound said to the other inmates in the pound in Lady and the Tramp, 'Miserable creature always looks for more miserable creature. And when he finds one, he is happy.'"
Florida: "I am always soooooo impressed - and a little envious - when you have a positive judicatory experience. I have let go of that particular hope...Truth is I don't care...None of that has anything to do with enabling, countenancing, or even witnessing to the failures of an archaic, unfaithful, process-worshiping distraction from ministry."
North Carolina: "Why do local ministerial meetings feel like Rotary-light?...No mention of God, Jesus, Bible, salvation, atonement, or sanctification. I was sitting with the leaders of the local mainline denominations. It seemed to me that everyone was careful not to mention anything Christian...No wonder the local Bible Chapel that never sends anyone to our meetings has grown so much."
Pennsylvania: "Close to 55, she was dying. The cancer was winning. The hospice's chaplain was Presbyterian. He could have been Methodist or anything else. He said to the family that they need not fear because it didn't matter whether they believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Mohammad, or anyone else because 'god' would take care of everything. The chaplain was a prominent PCUSA pastor; and the best that he could offer was a gratuitous blessing from an unknown god. No wonder no one is attracted to mainline congregations anymore. By the way, the woman's daughter in her early 20's who goes to a non-denominational fellowship that still believes in Jesus and the authority of the Bible took the chaplain to task and asked him if what he said to them is the best that he has to offer. He didn't say anything."
Kansas: "You ask what's wrong with mainline denominations? It's simple. Your clergy are either cowards in the face of a hostile-to-Christianity culture or just so spiritually unprincipled that they can't act on what they never believed."
Florida: "The Fairness Doctrine applied to programming not news...News was exempt...However, I can recall that many local stations were leery of the FD because they were never sure when they were crossing the line...So news talk radio stations that have talk shows - which are not classified as news - are the stations affected...So if the FD comes back, what that means is that a local station that runs Rush Limbaugh would be put in a position to have to offer three hours to a liberal talk host. This presents several problems: (1) There aren't many liberal radio talk show hosts available, which means the conservative one would have to be let go; (2) Most liberal talk shows have no audience which means running a liberal show means no income; and (3) Who defines fairness?"
My favorite newswoman in the South: "As a reporter who has stood at the scene of dozens of motorcycle accidents, I cannot contribute to your chrome pony fund."
My sister: "These are tough times! Buy it yourself!"
Me: Aside from experienced chrome pony jockies generating far fewer accidents than their four-wheeled counterparts, my sister may have found the answer for KD's foes who have been searching for a way to silence moi.
And from a caring friend in our family of faith comes a video proving darkness cannot overcome light: http://media.creativepastors.com/mediapreviews/index.php?stream=Upside_Down_MPEG1.
Sticking with the theme of clearing/cleaning up the confusions/deceptions which are more conspiratorial than coincidental, a few lines from Eugene H. Peterson's Tell It Slant: "Too often the living word is desiccated into propositional cadavers, then sorted into exegetical specimens in bottles of formaldehyde. We end with godtalk...There is no 'Holy Ghost' language used for matters of God and salvation and then a separate secular language for buying cabbages and cars. 'Give us this day our daily bread' and 'pass the potatoes' come out of the same language pool...There is a lot more to speaking than getting the right words and pronouncing them correctly...I want to tear down the fences that we have erected between language that deals with God and language that deals with the people around us...I want to insist on a continuity of language between the words we use in Bible studies and the words we use when we're out fishing for rainbow trout...Just as Jesus did."
When Jesus spoke, people were not confused about faith and morality. They were convicted/compelled/converted.
Unlike, uh, you know who, Jesus said something soteriologically instead of nothing eloquently.
It's the difference between light and darkness.
That's good to keep in mind in the struggle for our sociopoliticoreligioeconomic culture's soul.
While light discloses to save from darkness, darkness confuses/deceives to detour/distract from light.
Blessings and Love!
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