Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


I'm spending a lot of time at our "church booth" at the Boone County Fair (Illinois).

The Boone County Beauty Queen rode by yesterday and waved to me.

She's very smiley; which is really good because she's the "face" of the fair.

While none of us would ever dare to claim being the face of our church because only Jesus is the face of His body, we are kinda the face of the church because we're who/what people on the outside see first; which means it's really good if we're smiley (i.e., invitational, inclusive, welcoming, and big on agape).



Have you seen that commercial for McDonalds that mocks a biker who gets caught in the rain?


I wrote about that in my book on biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church: "While I've had as much psychotherapeutic education and experience as many shrinks who get megabucks for what I do as a part of my service to the church, I don't pretend to know for certain why bikers have an especially elevated status in the disdain of our purveyors of political correctness. I have two guesses: (1) the insatiable lust to control and compel others to conform to their way of life; and (2) jealousy."

You can read the rest, uh, when it's published.

Getting back to the commercial, I thought, "I'd rather ride in the warm rain on a chrome pony than sit in a cool cage of monotony."

If you've never ridden, you won't get it.


My dad likes to jingle change in his pockets and whistle while I'm putting.

He's taught many things about competitive sports to me.

Here's three more.

He said this about club selection: "If the shot calls for a five iron but you can't hit a five iron, don't hit a five iron."

He still says this as he gets older and I pretend to be younger by pumping my chest and asking what he's gonna hit after I hit a lot less club than I know he's gonna have to hit: "I don't give a __ what you hit! You hit what you need to hit to get the job done and don't worry about what I'm gonna hit to get the job done."

He always asks why I putt left-handed but play right-handed; and when I explain that I putt left-handed because I can't putt right-handed, he always declares after a few moments of silence after my response to his interrogative, "I've got news for you! You can't putt left-handed!"

I think he's drawing some analogies to Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.


Speaking of being/doing who/what He ordered for you, PBHO is catching everything but heaven these days.

Though he's become the, uh, face of whoever's ruining, I mean running, the show these days, he doesn't seem to be uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, getting much time to prepare for those daily speeches, press conferences, rap sessions, beer summits, and photo ops.


Be that as it is, did you catch his reassurances about the health plan that nobody in D.C. except the anonymous authors has read?

He said our government will make our health care as efficacious as our mail service.




I've been getting a lot of mail; and if it's especially nice or obnoxious, I relay it to you.

If you haven't figured out I have no need for people to agree/disagree avec moi, I'm sorry; but I don't.

I'm just trying to get people to think, expand wineskins, and stop embarrassing Jesus through some churches with connections to Him that are coincidental at best.

And considering how tired I am right now because of the fair added onto the rest of my life and ministry, I'm glad for the help.

Besides, KDers can be really nice or, uh, obnoxious.


Here's one that really got to me; because it's from a PCUSA EP in the near South; and for those who ain't Presbyterian by birth/choice/grace, an EP is kinda like a bishop with some/most of 'em being more or less like the RC versions.

He wrote, "I guess we've not run across (or over) one another before. I'm a fairly regular KD reader - linked first by Hans on Presbyweb...I appreciate many of the things you write and I wanted to share my recent e-mail to my family...My new daughter-in-law is an Army Germany...I really wanted her to read KD...She sent her Harley-Davidson to Germany...She is, much like her new daddy-in-law, one of the more conservative clergy from this particular franchise. I know she'll very much enjoy your thoughts...So will my other son. My wife will as well."

I'm blushing.

It's kinda nice to have a few fans; especially considering how many of the others are out there.

Then he wrote this to his family (excerpts):

Here's the link: Sometimes it's a
bit eclectic, but you have to read at it for a while.

I find him refreshing and I can't imagine how anyone can be
so observant. Sometimes he's a bit irreverent, but I like that,
too. I also think he's fairly brilliant.

So far so good!

He goes on:

I decided my new daughter-in-law should be aware of him.
As a pastor, she may resonate with him more than others.

He is a Presbyterian pastor in the heartland of America who
has at least one major indiscretion in his past.

Uh, oh.

He continues,

Who hasn't had at least one?

He was quite an "up and comer" in the church when
it happened.

His main task is to honor Jesus and he, quite frankly,
doesn't care whom he ___es off when he does.

Who says good can't come when someone has had
bad times?

I like his fundamentals. I like his theology. I like how
he wants to follow Jesus.

It's also really neat that he rides motorcycles and that he
plays golf and that he is a forgiven sinner.



After weeping the first time after reading it, I paused and asked God's forgiveness for thinking nobody was gettin' this genre.

I was wrong.

I am sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love even those of you who really ___ me off in a Christian kinda way.

After all, if He can do for me what this EP figured out, I know He's got some great things in store for and through you for Him and His if you'd stop being such a tradition-bound, jingoistic, anal, defensive, apostate, fainthearted, suck up to the ecclesiastical establishment, tight-___ed wineskin, general pain in the aspirations of anyone trying to love Jesus by loving like Jesus as explained in Holy Scripture, and...


I've gotta get back into character.


I've asked my favorite devotional writer in Oklahoma to write one of the forewords to my biker book; cautioning her that my summer summary sermon series on it is really tame compared to what's in it.

I said it's real, rough, raw, and maybe even redemptive.

She wrote back, "I, like you, walk in His grace and love! That's what redemption is all about! And, yes, I believe I know your heart - a pure heart that desires only that people would love as Jesus loves; and a heart that loves the Savior passionately and pursuantly."


I wish she'd talk to a few folks who hate me for enabling our third worship service to start nine minutes later.


Here's some feedback from Washington (state).

"Regarding tithing," he writes, "I have a couple comments and questions regarding and pertaining to recent KDs."

"First," he, uh, starts, "I appreciate that you don't know what individuals give or don't give. I don't know if that's by your church's bylaws or your personal sense of ethics. I always chafed against the pledge method often used because somebody at that church would know. I've always wanted to do this with complete anonymity and that's now impossible if I want the income tax credit."

I didn't know that.

Neither do most churchgoers...obviously.

"Second," he, uh, continues, "In these challenging economic times, I'm testing the notion as to whether I will really have enough if I continue to give as I set out to at the beginning of the year. I've heard other pastors claim that the requirement for the tithe was released at the point of the new covenant in favor of the freewill sort of offering; but then claim that a tenth is something many people should consider as a minimum figure. The NT definitely supports the idea of acting according to a personal decision; but I don't see a tithe emphasized there, just an offering. Curious if you had any comment about that."


He went on to make a nasty comment about the Yankees which I cut from this edition.

I'm the editor and I love the Yankees.


Somebody in Idaho has written to KD!

Until now, the only people who've ever written to me from Idaho were from a church's pastor search committee that wouldn't forgive me for what Jesus did (go back to the EP letter).

He begins, "If pastors are going to positively prepare parishioners to meet the Lord, they need to know if they tithe. Yes, non-tithers will be saved by the blood of Jesus just like the tithers. However, I wonder how often God wants to puke when posers - defensive and secretive non-tithers - defend the right to keep their disobedience in the dark."

No wonder I never got to...

He goes on, "The American Church needs to fire John Wayne who is America's heroic messianic symbol for personal freedom and independence and who has been used as the ambassador for private faith in America. I am sick and tired of parishioners telling me that their faith is 'a private matter' between them and God. There is nothing in the Bible to support that claim!...The American Church is going to hell because we worship privatized personal faithlessness with disregard to the Bible and God. For those who worship John Wayne and privatized religion, I wonder if God might say this to them as He sends them to hell, 'Don't talk to me about the blood of Jesus, you said this was a private matter between you and me. You lived as if Jesus blood was not necessary for you. Thus, I have decided to judge you as you are without the blood of Jesus since you wanted to do this as a private matter. Yes, it's a private matter between you and me and I am the Court of Appeals. Enjoy your one-on-one private time with Satan. Next!'"

He ends, "That felt good."


C'mon, just like you can't blame Jesus for some Christians, you can't blame John Wayne for some cowboys.

Or something like that.

Moretheless, I think I'm better off in Boone County.


And, somewhat finally, a word from a favorite non-biker in California on helmets: "To prolong your metaphor, you have to remember the drive for helmets is not about safety. It's about money. The insurance industry is engaged in a step by step campaign to reduce financial risk by legislating behavior. Seat belts, helmets, child car seats are three examples. Do we think the drive to eliminate transfats is just an altruistic effort by well-meaning legislators? It is insurance companies coupling with government to sacrifice individual freedom for the financial higher good. As SF Mayor Gavin Newsome would shout, 'Whether you like it or not!'"

"Jump," he jumps, "to Obama Care. The socialistic push to sweep all members of society into a massive mandated participation in health insurance is another example of subsuming individual choice. A large percentage of the so-called 'uninsured' in America are young people who know they are ridiculously healthy and have fractional need for major medical coverage. If they do not join the socialist program, the government will be given the power to literally take the money from their bank accounts."

"Oh," he injects, "and funding for's coming...just wait...whether you like it or not."

On that positive note, let me tell you about yesterday's scene in the surgery waiting room of a local hospital. People were ___ing and moaning about PBHO's health reform stuff. I'd never seen anything like it in a surgery waiting room. Everybody was involved! So as I passed by, I decided to chime in, "Hey, hey, hey! Don't worry about the costs anymore. Everything's gonna be just fine. There's gonna be plenty of money for everybody as soon as we zap all of the octogenarians!"

Nervous laughter followed.


Maybe I will try the Tilt-O-Whatever at the fair this year.



Blessings and Love!

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