Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I've done lots of mediations over the years (click on the "Mediation" box above to hire me); discovering most relational fractures are caused by hyper-sensitivities more than anything else.

For example, while mediating a severance package for a pastor in Illinois a few years ago, I interviewed an elder who confessed the genesis of her disaffections: "When I got back from my Caribbean cruise, he didn't even ask if I had a good time."

Just after that, a Missouri woman said her pastor had to "go" because he wasn't "concerned enough about the feelings" of a young married relative who was forced to step down from leadership in their youth ministries because she was involved in multiple affairs in the church and community.

A little over five years ago in a neighboring church, I did my best to make the peace between a female pastor who accused a male pastor of discriminating against her because of her ethnicity and gender and that male pastor who accused that female pastor of using her ethnicity and gender to get her own way with him, members, officers, other staff members, and even higher judicatories.

And so it goes in today's church "where the cross once made of silver now is caked with rust" (go back to the first video).

While it may come as a shock to hyper-Arminians and hyper-Calvinists, hyper-sensitivities more than theological debates/divergences make life miserable in today's churches.

Of course, today's church, so much more than less, is only mirroring what's happening in the world in a less than Romans 12:1-2 kinda way.

Whether it's the continuing aftershock of 9/11 or 24ish paranoia or the realities of a crumbling empire, people in and out of the church have an increasingly common denominator: hyper-sensitivities.

Everybody seems so touchy these days.

I'd say bitchy but that would upset the sensitivities of some folks.


Speaking of ___y (you fill in the blank to suit your sensitivities) people, Aurora, Illinois is really catching it (scroll down to KD's 2/22 edition) for their ordinance that limits outdoor "seasonal" displays to 60 days before and after holidays.

Editor of one of America's leading religious publications: "I'm really concerned about free speech, especially when it comes to light displays. My friends...have lights ringing their front porch year round. I don't think it has anything at all to do with Christmas and everything with the spirit of being the light of the world, a light in their neighborhood, a safe and happy home, a joyful people...They live in ___ and let's say it's not the #1 neighborhood for yuppies with kids relocating to the area. So, maybe it would never occur to anyone to attempt to regulate what could or couldn't be displayed on the porch, around the windows, over the doors, or shining via neon through the windows...On the other hand, ___ lives in a gated community in ___. They have pretty strict rules about what may or may not be parked in view of the street, barking dogs...She is a bit fanatical about holidays. She decorates for ALL of them - inside and out...The lights and ornaments change and its all very tasteful, but...She was notified...So, she took down the lights? No! She ran for president of her neighborhood association, changed the rules, and now runs neighborhood-wide contests for best decorations, hosts parades, closes streets for block parties...You get the picture. No sour lemons! The lemonade freely flows! The kids now offer to decorate for elderly neighbors...I think everyone is happier - or they just move - because Scrooges just don't live long in places where joy abounds."

U.S. Customs agent in Chicago: "I used to live not far from Aurora. They have more important things to worry about than making sure everyone's Christmas lights are down in an appropriate time frame. Let's slash the gang violence and drug trafficking; but perhaps the 'officials' in Aurora think that the drug pushers and gang members are actually boosting the economy. They are burning good tax dollars sending around people to issue tickets for something so...I wonder if it's the same person who goes around in the summer with a ruler to measure lawn length. Talk about wacky priorities!"

Two comments.

For the editor, you've made the point that the Christophers have been trying to make for years that seems to escape too many communities and churches: "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness." Of course, as an old missionary said, "You can't give away what you ain't got for yourself!"

For the agent, "You go, girl!"



Staying with ___y people - reminding me of the comedian who said, "My mom did not see the irony in calling me a son of a ___" - Hannah Storm dresses like she should be on Fox instead of ESPN while sporting a documentable hyper-sensitivity about anyone who comments on, uh, just about anything about her that she doesn't like.

Of course, she's a child of privilege who was legacyed into the business by her daddy; but you can read all about that in other sources.

Anyway, she got Tony Kornheiser, co-host of the network's PTI, suspended for two weeks effective 2/22/10 for saying this about the 50ish (6/13/62) reporter who dresses like those moms at the malls who act/dress like their daughters because they're BFFs: "...horrifying go-go boots...[with a skirt]...way too short for somebody her age...[and a shirt] she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body...She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

While Kornheiser's apology (on-air as well as in private to the former Hannah Storen of Oak Park, Illinois) sounded about as sincere as Tiger's (scroll down to KD's 2/19 and 2/22 editions), an ESPN big shot said such "hurtful and personal comments...are not acceptable and have significant consequences."

O.K., uh, geez, sigh, but, "Stick and stones will break my bones but names..."

I've always liked Hannah.

She's almost as hot as Sarah.

But here's the difference.

Sarah reloads rather than retreats; and she doesn't go ___ and moaning about it to, uh, boys.

Come to think of it, now I know why Hannah's not on Fox or MSNBC.

They leave sensitivity to others like, uh, ESPN.


Times are tough.

People are on edge about almost everything almost always.

While I'd like all of us to try a little harder to respect everybody's sensitivities, it's hard to keep up with all of 'em.

So here's my suggestion.

When in doubt, don't.

But if you've got to throw stones, make sure the target is wearing a helmet and remember to wear one for the inevitable returns.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


To the chagrin of my friends who long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more in America, I've always liked PBHO; and I pray daily for him to succeed in consonance with Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.

It's hard not to like a guy who drinks Bud Light, plays golf, admits smoking and inhaling and liking dope in formative years, roots for the White Sox in a Cubs town, and makes no attempt to conceal the flaunting of victory's spoils while scolding everybody else to sacrifice.

That's why I trust him to be who he is: a rookie who talks a good game without knowing the score of a game that is hard to identify.

Of course, he's got three more years of OJT to prove he ain't no JC.

Staying with that a second, I was having a hard time figuring out how he actually got to the, uh, White House; considering he could only talk eloquently about his expertise without credentials/experience and had to overcome a racism that's still deep in the heart of more than Texas.

I won't even try to speculate how JB became VP and NP became SH; but if that Spears chick and Lopez homey can cash in on their lack of talent, I guess...

And maybe that explains the PBHO phenomenon even more than the transferring of a big chunk of America's hatred from GWB to JM.

I've got another theory.

Everybody knows Chicago sports the most corrupt political culture in America; yet a solid majority of Americans refuse to entertain anyone trying to connect the dots of that culture to PBHO.

We have been led to, uh, believe that everyone but PBHO is tainted by the corrupt political culture of Chicago.

Nothing good can/could come out of Chicago except for PBHO.

And there it is!

The parallel.

The sign.

Now I know why PBHO was, uh, elected and remains so popular: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"



Speaking of the messianic, my favorite ecclesiastical website didn't post my timely report/commentary on the major religious story of the year so far: Tiger Woods' mea culpa on 2/19/10 (scroll down to the previous edition).


Every major news source on the planet ran it live and KD was one of the first to hit cyberspace with some interrogative dribble more than idolatrous drool; but instead of posting KD's semi-exclusive, I had to read about John Knox Presbytery's meeting in Madison, Wisconsin that approved the ordination of a flaming gay guy as if that were shocking news for a mainline denomination, endure another post from the talk-about-anything-but-Jesus mainline about the PCUSA calling on PBHO to abolish nuclear weapons (Whoa! Didn't see that coming!), cheer/lament (depending upon mood/perspective) the Barna Group's recent research revealing declining support for PBHO among Christians,...

O.K., I'll admit those were more important than the TW story.

And, yeah, I'm a little embarrassed about spending any time/energy/cyberspace on such a whore-hacker.

But I did get less than 666 responses; which has got to mean something.

Be that as it was but remained only among truly dedicated KDers who still got it/him/Him, here are the two best and then I'll put the un-posted story to rest.

From a famous PR guy in California: "O.K., I have to admit I would have staged TW the way they did...They had to control the presentation and prevent a shark frenzy of questions...It was Punxsutawney Woods because he came out of his burrow, admitted his dark shadow, and ran back into 6 more weeks of sex addiction therapy...What was obvious to my eyes: 1. Scriptedness - His presentation was painfully rigid and unnatural. He leaned on his notes for precision and only looked up when the script said, 'Look up!'...Hardly felt genuine, even if the words said, 'I am being genuine right now.' 2. Apologetic (?) - Maybe for who he is...the emotion of the moment seemed to be evident but quickly gave way to a more dogged mood of recitation of his failures. This produced an uneven tone where the words did not connect with the sense of his true feelings. 3. Touch Points - He hit every predicted touch point. 4. Buddhism - What was thunderingly clear was the absence of moral-ethical underpinning. While he said what he had done was wrong, he never convincingly contextualized it as a moral failing. He promises to be a better Buddhist by focusing on what is internally important. Huh? 4. Photo Op - The hug with mom was inevitable and will be the takeaway visual...stony...not emotional."

From a photojournalist in Pennsylvania: "And there you have it, folks. The answer is Buddhism! I've had it wrong all these years. The GREAT ONE has spoken; so I must rush out to find a temple. Fake tears. Fake contrition. Words written by a PR firm. No questions. Controlled media environment. It's all about the money. Nothing else. Gotta go! I have to hurry out and buy some incense. My house is gonna smell good today. Gotta get some Tiger Gatorade and Nike golf balls. Gotta get ready for his return! As they say, Messiah will return! What did he say at the start? 'Hello, world!' It's all BS! And anyone who bought any of it is as full of ___ as he is!

Despite my favorite website's lack of interest in this one, I've been following it pretty closely because, well, uh, sigh, we're in another messianic age.



Turning attention to the real One, Aurora, Illinois, not to far from where I wrote the TW piece that wasn't posted or picked up, has outlawed Christmas 'round the year.

They've got an ordinance that limits outdoor "seasonal" displays to 60 days before and after holidays.

That means anyone still celebrating Jesus, uh, I mean Christmas, will get a 14-day notice to remove their decorations/devotions; and if they don't, they will be crucified, uh, I mean fined $50.

Dan Ferrelli, spokesman for Aurora, says it's a "quality of life gives the message that people don't care about their neighborhood."

New resident Sharon Cohen disagrees: "Why should the city be able to tell me what I can and can't put on my porch?"

Constitutional law professor Dan Kobil agrees with the new resident who disagrees with the anti-around-the-year Christmas grinches of Aurora: "It raises a free speech issue...The hanging of lights and decorations is a quintessential reflection of views...and is clearly First Amendment expression."

Christopher Hajec of the Center for Individual Rights: "The ordinance could violate the right to free speech if it singles out one holiday as opposed to other decorations."

While I don't know for sure, this could be another example of the pachyderms and jackasses in America's established political parties enabling a viable third party even before we figure out who of the two previously mentioned qualify as...



Blessings and Love!

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Though I smoked pot during the last half of my senior year in high school and gave it up shortly thereafter because I was spending too much $ at Burger King and on Hendrix albums, I never needed acid or peyote because my mind has always been bent enough.

But as I watched Tiger's big press conference from the PGA Tour Media Center in sunny Florida a few hours ago from my tundra-region study in Illinois, I thought someone had dropped something into my Arizona Diet Green Tea with Ginseng 'cause I feel like I'm trippin', man!

Whoa, dude!

I haven't seen such a scripted, staged, insincere, and awkward moment since one of my homiletics students tried to paraphrase an old Spurgeon sermon.

There were handlers' fingerprints all over that fellah; and nobody's gonna buy those stilted rather than warm fuzzy hugs with everybody but the PGA commish which has gotta mean something that someone will, uh, disclose.

Well, God knows you know everybody's gonna be speaking and writing on this for a while; so I thought I'd drop some acid, uh, I mean lines, uh, I mean comments of my own before reading the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as others imagine it to be.


Speaking of reactions, did you catch Gloria Allred who had her own scripted, staged, insincere, and slightly less awkward moment with Tiger-jilted porn star Veronica Siwik-Daniels nano-seconds after Tiger exited through the royal blue curtains and back to some rehab joint punctuated with Buddha statues?

I wanted to puke; especially as Gloria and Veronica held hands and hugged and wept and...

Barf me with a spoon!

She's a porn star who knew Tiger was married with two kids and...

Not even those five inch fake eyelashes accentuated by her grade school RCish uniform dark skirt and, uh, unintentionally/intentionally suggestive blouse blurred the fact of what she did/does for a living which doesn't evoke tons of sympathy for her cries of being pursued, used, and dumped like a $5 hooker in Juarez.


Gloria Allred.

Help me, Jesus!


She's in a profession strikingly similar to Veronica's; servicing whoever's writing the checks.


Does anyone really think any of these characters ain't on the make?



Three of yesterday's predictions (literally) are swirling in my noodle.

First, in a conversation with Foxy SH, Ms. Cupp (pictured above) said, "I don't need anything like an apology from Tiger Woods. He owes that to his family...Why would you believe him when he says he is sorry?...Tiger is a serial liar who has covered up for years. If he had any conscience, he would not have gone to sex rehab, he would have gone to church. That is where he should be!"

Go Brit, uh, I mean Tiger!

Second, my dad (no picture) wrote, "Rumor has it that PGA players will be stationed outside the building where Tiger is to make an appearance. Their job will be to wait to see if he will return to the tour. This will be indicated by the appearance of gray smoke. MSNBC and Katie Couric will follow up on tips that GWB is to blame for Tiger's behavior."

Are you telling me that this is all about sponsorships, endorsements, and $?

Third, a preacher in Ohio: "This reminds me of the time my wife asked if I loved her enough to die for her. I said, 'No. Mine is an undying love.'"

If Tiger lied to Veronica along with the other 328 babes that he pursued and, or, uh, whatever, how can we be sure that he wasn't lying today?


Did you notice how he seemed to be reading posture and body language notes while speaking so stutteringly for someone who's usually so fluent: "Now look straight into the camera like you've practiced for two weeks...Now sound angry when you talk about people saying Elin whacked you with a nine iron...Now shed a tear or look like you're trying to shed one...Now hug the babes after mom but no full frontals because, uh, well, you know...Man-hug the men but nothing to indicate, uh, something that will make 'em look into the steroids thing and..."?

Did you notice how he apologized to wife, kids, mom, dad, Finchem, all Americans, global fans, illegal aliens, aliens from outer space, and Buddha buuuuuuuut not a nod of regret to the babes, Accenture, or John Edwards?

If he's so confessional and repentant, why didn't he take questions or...?



Well, despite the obvious, I hope he really meant that stuff about being sorry and promising to overcome the past for something better in the future.

I feel especially sorry for the kids and Elin; but not the idolaters.

I pray all of the promises of 1 John 1:1-10 for him.

Gotta go.

I'm getting ready to move a man with Alzheimer's this afternoon and thinking this whole thing seems even more complicated than the game that seems so incidental right now.



Blessings and Love!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



More than my mom and favorite photojournalist are thinking some Muslims wallowing in their merde are about to target moi with a fatwah because of the last KD (scroll down to 2/15/10).

I haven't been this frightened since a denominational executive said I'll never be elected moderator of the franchise nor fulfill my mom's wish expressed on 5/8/77 that I become President of PTS.


Hey, hey, hey, ragheads don't scare me!

Aside from my special forces buddy who has taught me how to use the sword like Eli in a hyper-Pauline kinda way and spiritual resources available for anyone with Him (e.g., 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 John 4), I've been targeted for vocational/literal assassination since disclosing/exposing pewsitting/pulpiteering hypocrites/apostates because any connection between Jesus and mainliners is coincidental; so that possibility/probability/eventuality has always been as close as my lust for a Road King.

Of course, I'm not really into martyrdom.

It's one of those charismata gifts used only one time.

It's kinda like plastic debt.

If you don't attack it with God's grace through expected/unexpected sources, it'll catch up with ya and get ya sooner or later.



Truth is Muslims ain't payin' much attention to me.

I know because I can't even get my friends/family/congregants to buy my books, read KDs, finance this website, help find a publisher for my biker book, or...

I'm kinda anonymous/innocuous/irrelevant/ignored.

I feel like a member of Congress.

Did you hear about the latest poll?

6% of all Americans trust Congress.

Of those polled for that, uh, poll, 7% of 'em still believe Elvis is alive.

No wonder Evan Bayh quit.


I've always liked Evan Bayh; though he's a lot younger than me and has double-minded positions on abortion, civil rights, gays, and most moral issues while being barely just right of moderate on Iran, Iraq, Israel, national security/debt,/trade/Obamacare, the environment, and education.

When it comes to boy wonders, comparing PBHO to EB is like comparing a BB gun to heavy artillery.

While PBHO came out of nowhere - O.K., he was birthed in the capital of political corruption (Chicago) yet miraculously emerged without taint/stain to become President with a distinguished career of accomplishing, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, absolutely nothing while talking about it eloquently - it's been in EB's blood - Remember his daddy! - and, uh, unlike you know who, he was the 46th Governor of Indiana before serving as Indiana's junior U.S. Senator since 1999.

You could see this coming.

He was overlooked as VP by his party in the last three campaigns.

While Washington's political climate only mirrors what's happening in America's churches as extreme ideologues (PBHO included! Don't kid yourself! Look at the record!) from left and right demand litmus tests on their extremes before developing alliances, EB seems truly statesmanlike by comparison as well as nature/study: "There's just too much brain-dead partisanship...the extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromise."



Reaction has been searing.

"He's finished," said an unidentified jack___, uh, Democratic consultant, "because his party needed him to stay and fight, and he ran away. People won't forget."

Barney Frank, who I swear looks and sounds and acts more like Elmer Fudd every day, sauntered in, "I don't understand how you make things better from the outside. I share the frustration, but I would have hoped he would have stayed around."

Hey, Barney, maybe it's because EB has never felt comfortable sharing any room, uh, position, uh, whatever with you!

Parenthetically, mainliners like me - excuse me while I choke and spew on that confession - have been using Elmer's rationale for remaining faithfully in increasingly apostate denominations; so I will leave it to others to be less hypocritical than moi in addressing that one.

So why did he do it?

Was it the Scott-Brown-handwriting-on-the-wall possibility?


EB was beating all challengers by 10 to 20 points in all polls.

Health or family problems?

He looks good and he ain't no TW or JE.

Is he thinking about concentrating on a run for the White House?


He says no; but they all do that.

Besides, he has formed committees to look into his aspiring possibilities in the past.

I don't know.

All I know is he's a lot more decent than those who he's, uh, left behind.


Coming from Illinois, I don't like admitting the people of Indiana tend to elect pretty decent folks to help run the country.

Not perfect.


A lot more decent than who we come up with in Illinois.

Change that.

A lot more decent than who we come up with in Chicago.

Of course, any connection between Chicago politics and you know who is purely coincidental.


Bye Bayh!



Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei huffed and puffed on 2/8/10 about Muslims delivering a big "punch" in the kisser of infidels on 2/11/10 that would leave 'em "shocked" and "stunned" as they partied in celebration of the 31st anniversary of Iran's Raghead Revolution.

Well, uh, they, uh, hopped around like Pentecostals on crack last Thursday; but no TKO or even something that caused a skip in the heart or stagger to the step of, uh, humanity.


My guess is Israel's Mossad will pound 'em in the pork chops - Oops! - before they can draft/brainwash a toddler or two to drop off a dirty bomb at some local day care center in Elat.

Oh, yeah, contemporary Muslims are such mighty and noble warriors.

I like the take of Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) who mocked Muslims and scoffed at big Bill while being interrogated on The Factor; saying civilization is dealing with such geniuses (aka Muslim terrorists) that, since 9/11, they can't do better than bargain-basement bombs in shoe soles and underwear in their jihad that's starting to look a lot like a bad batch of jumping beans from The Dollar Store.

Or something like that.


Aside from those extremist Muslims acting like Red Sox fans around the trophy case of the Yankees and moderate ones showing deference to the extremists (aka looking the other way and keeping their mouths shut lest they catch hell from their brethren) like MLB's commissioner has been doing to steroid users for longer than anyone can remember, I don't really have anything against Muslims.

As far as I'm concerned, they can go to hell if they want to with all appropriate apologies to hyper-predestinarians.

But they do generate a lotta fear in people, like Jews and Christians, who should know better.

My mom always calls or writes after I disclose something about 'em: "Bobby, I wish you'd lay off the Muslims before one of 'em comes and gets you!"

Even a really smart friend near Pittsburgh wrote in doggerel fashion, "My fear is some nutcase Muslim will target you. It only takes one reader to forward your words to a sleeper cell and you're the next Rushdie. But it boils down to this. Are you willing to stand up for Jesus? Or are you willing, like so many other so-called Christians today, to sell out for silver? I am sick of political correctness. I am sick of bowing to evil. Your father and my father were veterans who preserved our freedom. Those who never served are now giving it away. I admire the Israelis - pre-emptive strikes. Stop it before it spreads!"

Maybe I'll never get to pay off my plastic or own a Road King.

Ah, aside from a street preacher who served in our special forces in Vietnam who has taught me how to use the sword like Paul and Eli (Think about that one!), I approach Muslims with about as much fear as ecclesiastical pollutants in pulpits/pews who want to muzzle me for disclosing their hypocrisies/apostasies (e.g., 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 John 4).



Alas, again, a lotta people who should know better are afraid of 'em; so KD did a quick survey: "Why are people so afraid of Muslims?"

We received 666 responses.


Only 222.

Maybe because Muslims only account for 33% of the ___'s identity.


Not really.

Anyway, here are representative attempts to answer the question from a plethora of responses.

Confessing Church founder (PCUSA): "Could it be that fundamentalist Muslims want to annihilate the West? Could it be that the word jihad scares the ___ out of people? The real fear comes from the unknown. Who is a fundamentalist Muslim? Who is not? Why don't those who are not speak out against those who are? That's the scary part!"

Illinois teacher: "Most non-Muslims don't understand what true Islam teaches and the only Muslims they hear about are the ones that are practicing their faith in name alone, much like many Christians."

Former PCUSA preacher now lawyer in New York: "Because a large number of their leaders say it is their religious duty to kill non-Muslims; and Muslims have been acting on that instruction all over the world."

Rhode Island resident: "I'm not. I'm much more afraid of crazy ex-wives!"

Illinois teacher: "For the same reason we put Japanese Americans in internment camps during WW2. We are afraid of those who we perceive as the 'enemy' especially when we don't understand their culture or their beliefs...Gut level fear makes people irrational."

Former employee of a major news service: "Because they want to kill us. They hate our way of life."

Former Baptist preacher now lawyer in Pennsylvania: "Could it be that the Koran teaches, 'Repent or die...NOW?' Could it be that their 1200+ year history is a history of slaughter? The fact is Islam is NOT a religion of peace (GWB). Anyone who reads their holy book will see that. Radical Islamists are simply believers in their book. Literalists."

Preacher living near the NFL Hall of Fame: "In the USA? Mostly because they're foreigners. I worry about them because Islam is far from a 'religion of love.' It demands total loyalty and the penalty for any perceived insult to the religion is death...While not all Muslims will go on jihad against the infidel, they all give tacit support. Indeed, they MUST give support...Also, while not all Muslims will go on jihad, they admire the zeal of those who do and approve even if, for political reasons, they have to say how sad it is to the American public...There is no freedom in Islam."

Major trade magazine publisher in Florida: "Because Muslims actually believe and practice their faith...five times a day...By contrast, our PCUSA preachers, especially the 'specialized' bureaucrats, say, 'It ain't necessarily so.'"

Retired military chaplain and pastor in Tennessee: "Three basic reasons: (1) Muslims are taught to kill anyone who doesn't ascribe to their deity; (2) They are committed to their long-term goal of eliminating anyone who doesn't ascribe to their deity; and (3) They openly declare their beliefs and dare anyone to challenge them."

Retired ecclesiastical bureaucrat in Alabama: "Because they kill people who are Christian or convert to Christianity. The first enemy of Islam is the Jew, the second is the gentile, and the third is anyone who is not a fundamentalist Muslim."

South Carolina pastor: "We don't play soccer with them."

A faithful denominational executive in Kentucky: "First, people fear the dark...Islam is largely an unknown...Second, there is a corollary. There are sufficient religious leaders in the Muslim community who choose to keep their faith that way (unknown)...Finally, they have a strict cast system that we don't understand."

A prophetic voice in Oklahoma: "Those who know the origins of the Muslim faith understand the demonic authority of their religion. We do not hate Muslims; but we understand their hatred and goal to conquer and destroy anyone who opposes them. They are a threat to freedom in America and around the world...On a personal note, my friends who are missionaries consistently warn us that Muslims are growing rapidly all over the world."

The dean of evangelical pastors in Rockford, Illinois: "After deciding to immerse myself in Islamic literature and culture to understand what so many are so concerned about, I conclude Islam is the greatest threat the world has ever faced."

Brilliant scholar who studied under me: "Psychological - people need comfort and sameness. People are most comfortable with their own. Axiological - people have values of beauty. People prefer beauty and reject ugly. For example, virile heterosexual white men prefer Halle Berry to Rosie. Social anxiety - even non-racist whites have problems with blacks and Latinos moving into their neighborhoods. Didn't you notice some racism when you opened your home to a black student? Didn't somebody leave your church because they were really a closeted redneck? Muslims bring those factors into the equation. They are way out of the American comfort zone. However, if they develop more doctors and lawyers and daughters who look fresh from Hollywood, things will get better and fear will dissipate."

Major distributor of religious news: "It is unwise not to fear people who adhere to a religion that promises great rewards for killing themselves in the process of killing as many innocent people as possible. Some say only 10% of Muslims are Islamists. If so, that means there are 'only' 130 million such extremists...While I hear your constant call for Christians to love everyone, including Muslims, like Jesus loves them and me, be on guard! Just as we welcome people into the church or inherit church officers, as you also write about a lot, we must be vigilant about wolves in sheep's clothing."

Former renewalist in the PCUSA: "We are afraid of Muslims because their holy book tells them to kill non-Muslims. They also pray demonstrably which makes us uncomfortable."

Former White House advisor: "What part of Hadith 9:4 don't we get: 'Wherever you find infidels, kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection'?...Their desire is to spread fear, intimidation, and hatred in all non-Muslim societies...What is most virulent is their willingness to kill non-Muslims and Muslims alike with abandon...What is particularly ravenous about the Islamofascists is they are happy to slaughter moderate Muslims...Their methodology of killing is intended to spread fear to all who oppose their agenda. It appears to work...Worse, the so-called moderate Muslims are silent in the face of this Islamofascist killing. This silence is the same as tacit agreement. It is the inability of the larger Muslim community to suppress their own radicals that drives the biggest wedge between civilized people and the so-called 'good' Muslims...We are wise to fear and mistrust Muslims. Their willingness to lie and slaughter in the name of their religion is sufficient. This is not an attitude born of xenophobia or prejudice. It is a fact born from blood and murder. Until moderate Muslims purge their religion of the radicals, there will be no open trust between Muslims and the civilized world."

Elder in New York: "I fear any person who allows their moral compass to be set by another. It was that way with Hitler Youth, Pol Pot, and a lot of Muslim clerics who issue fatwahs against anyone with a brain to question their religion."

Photojournalist in Michigan: "I am not afraid of Muslims as long as they're buried; facing away from Mecca with a pork chop in their coffin. They are hateful killing machines; and I'm sick and tired of people who defend those so-called non-fundamentalist Muslims who don't have the guts or good religion to take on those who supposedly bastardize their faith. It's like Christians in churches who let the bastards hurt their people and pastors and don't just kick their asses out of the church until they get their ___ together. I'm not sorry for getting carried away. I am just so tired of supposedly 'good' people letting the idiots run wild in our world and church. People are not good when they let bad flourish and go unchecked."

Nurse in New Jersey: "Between the facial hair and head and face coverings, you don't know what lies beneath. Screw them! If they want to ride in our airplanes, they need to take it all off!"

Prayer warrior in Indiana: "People are so afraid of Muslims because they are EVIL. Everything about them is exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught. He loves. He forgives. He died for us. He didn't want us to kill people for Him. He died for us! There is no light, no love, no tolerance, and no free will in Islam. It is a religion of total darkness and hopelessness."

Lawyer and renewalist in California: "They hate the one true God of love and have invented one to correspond to their hate. Islam is a manifestation of what John spoke of in Revelation - the beast...Ultimately, of course, Christ conquers the beast; so I'm not afraid of Muslims. But we would be foolish not to be knowledgeable and wary...On a personal note, my grandma's family was entirely wiped out by Muslims because they were Armenian. Armenia was the first Christian nation and the Muslims (Turks) persecuted them and offered them to convert or die. 1.5 million Armenians refused to convert. They died. Islam is a false dangerous religion and those who follow it worship a false god who demands worship of himself and tries to bar the worship of the one true God of love."

Apostle in Illinois: "They are peaceful until they have a majority. Then they kill anyone who disagrees with them."

Former military intelligence officer: "Islam is the religious refuge of the poor, ignorant, and hate-filled."

Army chaplain who has served several tours in Iraq: "According to the most authoritative biography of Muhammad, he was a super-sensitive guy who did not like any criticism; even ordering the murder of a woman who criticized him while nursing a baby...Everybody but Muslims are second class citizens in their religion...Islamic law does not treat women with equality...The extremists call moderate, peace-inspired Muslims unfaithful for not following the murderous sword verses of the Koran and violating the intent of dhimmi laws...They feel they can outwait the West."

Praise team leader in South Dakota: "They raise their children in a culture of hatred."

High steeple preacher in Texas: "We tend to fear anything or anyone that might kill us...A guest preacher addressed that fear with a five finger acrostic that every Christian should use daily to remind us of what attitude Jesus would have us have toward Muslims: I (I) S (sincerely) L (love) A (all) M (Muslims)."



A friend responded, "I would venture the fear comes from their founder. They are just following the violent example of their founder."

Right on!

Jesus never personified or prescribed violence as an acceptable antidote to persuade, proselytize, or pommel antagonists.

Irascibly irreconcilable Christians who hit, hurt, and hate in their Christian kinda way have no kinship to Jesus.

Conversely, history discloses/exposes Muhammad as a harsh polemicist who embraced and encouraged violence to persuade, proselytize, or exterminate.

Islamic terrorism is totally in character with Muhammad; ergo, murdering Muslims are just following their leader.

Jesus is the source of all love; manifesting Himself through His faithful in forgiveness and mercy.

Muhammad is the source of so much merde being dumped around the world.

It's time to flush.

That may sound crude; but it's true.

A civilized world needs to identify and isolate savages (see Romans 16:17-18).

Jesus was right.

Some folks need to be born again and from above to overcome the merde.


Blessings and Love!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Getting back to the parlor of Kansas City's 2nd Presbyterian Church (scroll down to the 2/8/10 edition), I'll never forget another apocalyptic moment that provided a precursor to the unscientific survey conducted by Ted et moi that was recently confirmed by the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Research Services (again, scroll down to the 2/8/10 edition).

Our session - that's the really important decision-making judicatory in a local church that's into presbyterian polity - was discussing one of those hot button issues that generate more emotional passion than intellectual/spiritual precision.

After several saints tried to look at it through the eyes of Jesus and Biblical Christianity, an elder who had made it through the process to ordination because she must have been a member of the same sorority as the woman who chaired the nominating committee took off her readers attached to a beautiful gold necklace that she didn't get at Walgreen's, twirled a lock of her gorgeously frosted hair in a way that suggested some kinda imminent self-gratification, and snapped in an inappropriately condescending way, "I know that's what Jesus and the Bible say, but I think..."

That's when it hit me.

Auto-suggestion rather than divine revelation in Jesus and Holy Scripture has become the new authority in mainline denominations.



All kinds of adulteries take place in church parlors.

I know.

Stop smiling.

It takes one to know one.

When how we feel and what we think rival God's revelations in Jesus and Holy Scripture, all kinds of adulteries take place in...


I wasn't stunned to receive some emotionally sharp and intellectually/spiritually dull responses to that 2/8/10 edition of KD.

Most clergy/others expressed dismay bordering on fatalism about the reasons why so many of today's mainliners don't really believe what they affirmed/pretended in ordination: (1) Young women and men who had just finished seven years or more of "higher" education in preparation for ordination as ministers of the Word and sacrament(s) really didn't understand the vows/promises/interrogatives-demanding-declaratives as in consonance with the Biblical witness to Jesus as upheld by their constitution; or (2) They lied to get ordained because, well, uh, they spent a lot of time and $ to get to that point; or (3) They changed their minds as they reimagined Christianity from other sources considered to shed "more light" than traditionally and constitutionally confirmed.

Some clergy/others were ___ed that I suggested a lack of integrity among those who don't really believe what is assumed they believe; suggesting changing times demand more flexibility in ordination standards (aka believe whatever the ___ you want to believe as long as you're nice about it).

After over three decades of hanging out in an increasingly apostate franchise in which your guess is as good as mine as to what anybody thinks it's/He's all about anymore, I wasn't stunned by the responses.

I just went back to the parlor where so many adulteries have been...



Betraying a personal naiveté that I had assumed was gone in the wind of the past three decades, I was befuddled as well as amused by the responses of others more than clergy to the exchange in a local supermarket (scroll down to the 2/4/10 edition):

I met a woman in a local supermarket who left our family of faith at First about ten years

She said, "I've heard about your service for people like me who left the church...[scroll
down to the 2/1/10 edition]...but I want to tell you why I left. It's because of people like...

I interrupted, "I really don't care why you left. If you love Jesus, you will forgive 'em
and receive their forgiveness. Besides, Christians have no right to tell the world how
to get along if..."

She interrupted, "But it's important for you to know why I left! I was wronged. I am
still so furious about..."

I interrupted, "Furious? Wronged? Friend, if you were so right, that means you're still
right. But if you were and are so right, why do you sound and act so wrong? Why do you
sound and look so miserable? People who know they're right have what Oswald Chambers
called 'strong calm sanity.' Frankly, you're not very calm or sounding very sane about
something that happened a long time ago."

She threw up her hands and walked toward the meat counter.

I was castigated for not allowing her to vent, saying I didn't care why she left, and challenging her countenance.


Aside from being reminded that "others" expect today's clergy to be some kinda good humor women/men who agree with the last person they've talked to as if there are no standards of belief and behavior, I didn't know venting was a fruit of the Spirit, enabling rationale for irreconcilation was Biblical, and being miserable for Jesus was an alternate form of discipleship ("If you're happy and you know it, then...").

Seriously, I confess I was a little ___ed myself because I knew she wanted to slander/diss/discredit/dehumanize/damn my predecessor who's also a good friend and served as one of my mentors in VMTC.

As far as caring why she left, what does that have to do with anything redemptive? It's over. You can't move into the future if you're always looking at your behind!

Homey don't play those games.

BTW, she is miserable; and she is sooooooo contorted because she is still living in an irreconcilable past. You can't get better if you're slumming in your sickness!

My favorite devotional writer put it best: "When Jesus becomes greater and I become lesser, something wonderful begins to happen in me. My perspective changes, self-absorption diminishes, and love flourishes! Joy abounds! I can see people in a different Light. Eyes that were once clouded now see clearly through His eyes" (go to for more).

Christians talk/walk differently from, uh, others: "I know that's what I think, but Jesus and the Bible say..."

Let me put it another way.

Until we return to a heavenly perspective as patterned by Jesus and prescribed by Holy Scripture, those parlors will continue to host all kinds of adulteries.



Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



It was almost thirty years ago in the parlor of Kansas City's 2nd Presbyterian Church.

Ted (RIP) and I were hosting a meeting of mainline clergy who still believed in Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.

Ted asked, "Do you think the Bible is still the compass of mainline denominations?"

About 75% answered pejoratively.

I asked, "What percentage of mainlining clergywomen/men believe Jesus is who He said He is as confirmed in the Bible and upheld by most of their denominational constitutions?"

The highest estimate was 60%.

When word reached our regional denominational shill - uh, I mean bureaucrat, uh, I mean thought cop, uh, I mean executive/superintendent/bishop-hallucinating-inquisitor - Ted and I were scolded, "Whether you are right or wrong, you are upsetting people in the pews who don't need to know about the theological struggles and debates of our clergy."

Except for churches with the cajones as well as constitutional literacy to put guys like him in their place when it comes to picking a pastor, I was blackballed; reminding me of a young - though I was kinda young back then myself - kinda peer who scoffed when Ted and I urged taking on our franchise's establishment for Biblical Christianity, "It's O.K. for you guys to fight the ___s; but I can't afford to get a bad recommendation from our executive presbyter because I want to relocate and you know how he can..."


Bonhoeffer - not to mention Jesus which is fine with most mainliners - wrote/enfleshed something about that.

Moretheless, that was almost thirty years ago.



Recently, about three decades later, the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Research Services released survey results betraying about 50% of pulpiteers/pewsitters in that leading loser of today's mainliners reject Jesus as the one and only way to salvation.

The lowlights of that report (viz., "Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians"):

45% of PCUSA pastors disagree that "only followers of Jesus can be saved."

60% of PCUSA "specialized" clergy (e.g., professors, chaplains, bureaucrats,
and the like) disagree that "only followers of Jesus can be saved."

According to one analyst who factored in "neutral" and "not sure" responses, 65% of the pastors and 78% of the "specialized" clergy reject Jesus as the one and only way to salvation.

Members and elders in the PCUSA answered similarly.

And so, as Emperor Joseph II said to Wolfie, "Well, there it is."


So how did it happen?

Here's my guess: (1) Young women and men who had just finished seven years or more of "higher" education in preparation for ordination as ministers of the Word and sacrament(s) really didn't understand the vows/promises/interrogatives-demanding-declaratives as in consonance with the Biblical witness to Jesus as upheld by their constitution; or (2) They lied to get ordained because, well, uh, they spent a lot of time and money to get to that point; or (3) They changed their minds as they reimagined Christianity from other sources considered to shed "more light" than traditionally and constitutionally confirmed.

Etiology aside, none of 'em have the integrity to demit.

Instead, like their beloved syncretists/secularists in American government/law/commerce/education who have succeeded in excluding Jesus and the Bible from public discourse/decision-making, they are succeeding in their darkly conspired quest to rid their denomination of Jesus and Biblical Christianity except by coincidence or when convenient to advance the dictates of Christocentric/Biblical social responsibility.

In other words, the illiterate at best and darkly defiant at worst have the votes.



Getting back to Wolfie and taking his words a tad out of context which should not trouble mainliners who've been doing that to Biblical Christianity for a long time according to that recent study that confirmed those suspicions so long ago in the parlor, Salieri's curse in the face of the crucifix seems hauntingly similar to the thanatos libido of mainliners: "From now on, we are enemies...I will block You. I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature as far as I am able."

Mozart's conclusion seems appropriate: "Confutatis maledictis."

That seems about right; though I leave it to God for his ultimate suspicion: "Flammis Acribus Adictis."


Ah, let's turn to the plain English of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s concern for an American government/law/commerce/education and church that forget about Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture: "The judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning...Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust."


Two months before being assassinated, he warned, "God has a way of putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, 'Don't play with Me! Don't play with Me, Israel! Don't play with Me, Babylon! Be still and know that I am God! And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power!"

I can hear Phil Ochs singing to America and her churches, "And here's to the land you've torn out the heart of..."

America's churches, especially in the old so-called mainline denominations, are disappearing as their witness to Biblical Christianity dissipates.

America is...



Blessings and Love!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



A brother in the South told me to see it.

My wife wanted to leave after the first ten minutes.

Though I won't recommend it to the intellectually stifled/stunted or nascent to Christendom because it's counter-productive to introduce the frontier to folks who haven't stepped into the forest - the profanity and violence along with other implied perversions will dissuade engagement of the important/vital/apocalyptic message embedded in The Book of Eli among those who insist on separating entertainment from education/enlightenment and vice versa - I agree with Roger Ebert: "I'm at a loss for words...It grips your attention, and then at the end throws in several WTF! moments...They make everything in the entire movie impossible and incomprehensible...Now do yourself a favor and don't talk to anybody about the film if you plan to see it."


The big message is about today's big problem in America from top to bottom; revealing the etiology of our civilization's rise and fall.


Lots of films about the last days are being produced and watched.

Go figure.

The Book of Eli is among that genre's best.

Starring two of our best actors - Denzel Washington (Eli) and Gary Oldman (bad guy) - it's about a prophetic/apocalyptic guy (Eli) on a mission from God to get the world's last copy of the Bible into the hands of the good guys for reasons that you'll have to discover for yourself in keeping with Ebert's caution/counsel.

Set sometime after a devastating nuclear war has rendered America just about listless/lifeless, Eli gives new meaning to Sword of the Lord.


You've got to see it to...

Just don't say I recommended it.



Staying with swords, Tim Tebow is about to slice away at one of America's most sacred cows on Super Bowl Sunday by starring with his mom in an ad that is sending the abortionists into apoplexy.

Supposedly, the ad heralds the merits of being pro-life.

Of course, nobody but the creator (Focus on the Family) and broadcaster (CBS) of the ad have seen it; which hasn't stopped anybody from assuming content.

Admittedly, it doesn't take much discernment to hazard a good guess that it ain't gonna get him an invite to the White House.

Leading the Gators to two national college football championships and winning a Heisman along the way while highlighting his game-day eye black with Bible verses, TT doesn't shy away from a love for Jesus that compels him to love people by pointing them to Him for the confident living and eternal life concomitant to commitment to Him as personal Savior and Lord over all matters of life.

Noting pro-abortion as the politically correct position/mantra of these, uh, last days, TT, they say, is putting lots of $ at stake by, uh, coming out as a pro-lifer before the NFL draft and cashing in: "...the Super Bowl controversy is playing out at exactly the same time as the mounting criticism of his passing skills and his suitability for the pro game. Given the NFL's well-known aversion to controversy, is he putting his draft prospects in even greater jeopardy by aligning with Focus on the Family and its anti-abortion stance?" (Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today, 2/1/10).

Time out!

First, only people who have not actually played the game aren't experienced enough to know it's more about the fight in the dog rather than the size of the dog in the fight; ignoring the Eric-Liddell-Kurt-Warner effect on athletic success.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, those armchair quarterbacks who never took an actual snap are quick to say TT will end up at HB, TE, or LB.

I prefer to pay attention to people who've been there and done that: "Who cares what Mel Kiper thinks?...He's probably the greatest college player ever!" (Tony Gonzalez)..."You're talking about a guy who is a leader, a guy who would walk into a lion's den with a pork chop on his chest!" (Tony Dorsett)..."They always said about me I never had the skill set to be able to be an elite quarterback!" (Kurt Warner)..."You don't have to worry about the talking heads. They're just there to talk!" (Maurice Jones-Drew)..."As a coach, I always like winners...TT doesn't have the classic throwing motion. He doesn't have the accuracy, maybe, right now...the big thing is he makes the people around him better. And he's won...I think he's going to be a great player in the NFL!" (Tony Dungy).

KD: "He is Peyton Manning with mobility and a bigger version of Michael Vick with proven poise, leadership, and a brain."

I hope the Giants are smart enough to draft him; 'cause God knows they need a leader with some passion.

Second, what's so bad about an athlete having an expressed conscience in a country that still kinda protects free speech?

Sally Jenkins (Washington Post, 2/2/10): "I prefer the idea of Tebow's pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants...Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one."

Jemele Hill (ESPN, 2/2/10): "Tebow reportedly will appear in a commercial with his mother...But it won't be one of those deals where he and mom imitate the Manning brothers and challenge each other to an Oreo-licking contest...I'd rather see an athlete behave with conviction than degrade himself to make money. I'd rather hear Tebow talk about what God has done for him than read another story about an athlete who beats up his wife or girlfriend."

Oswald Chambers (long time ago): "A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God...Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but 'to reveal His Son in me.'"

Eli (movie): "You can either carry the cross or be the one banging in the nails."



I met a woman in a local supermarket who left our family of faith at First about ten years ago.

She said, "I've heard about your service for people like me who left the church...[scroll down to the 2/1/10 edition of KD]...but I want to tell you why I left. It's because of people like..."

I interrupted, "I really don't care why you left. If you love Jesus, you will forgive 'em and receive their forgiveness. Besides, Christians have no right to tell the world how to get along if..."

She interrupted, "But it's important for you to know why I left! I was wronged. I am still so furious about..."

I interrupted, "Furious? Wronged? Friend, if you were so right, that means you're still right. But if you were and are so right, why do you sound and act so wrong? Why do you sound and look so miserable? People who know they're right have what Oswald Chambers called 'strong calm sanity.' Frankly, you're not very calm or sounding very sane about something that happened a long time ago."

She threw up her hands and walked toward the meat counter.

I thought of verses that will judge those who left but don't show up on 2/15/10 to show they know Jesus as reconciler: "But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people!" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).



Blessings and Love!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



VP Al Gore and Osama bin Laden blame America for global warming.

That's gotta mean something.

While I'm all for global warming because I don't like winter except for Christmas and the Super Bowl and figure Jesus will come back before it's a real more than imaginary problem anyway, most of my friends around this time of the year think it means they're both nuts.



Speaking of blame, that's the main game today.

Everybody seems to be blaming somebody else for what's wrong in church and society.

It reminds me of going into Trenton State Prison to meet with Rubin "Hurricane" Carter on behalf of the New Jersey Council of Churches when I was their seminary intern; and hearing everybody behind those bars was innocent.



Frankly, I don't care who's to blame anymore for anything.

That's not gonna get us anywhere anytime soon.

Yeah, we seem to be into lex talionis; which, I think, accounts for all the emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually blind trying to lead the...

I think Jesus has a better, even, uh, divine, plan: "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."


Anyway, I've been thinking/praying about that for a long time.

It went into high gear just before kick-off at a Belvidere High School football game last year as an elder pointed and said, "She was a member at First but left about 20 years ago." Then he pointed again and again and again, "He was a member 30 years ago...25 years ago...20 years ago...15 years ago...10 years ago...I think he left after you came!"

That conversation has stuck with me.

People leave churches for many reasons; usually burning bridges to many relationships and remaining unreconciled which is an insult to our Lord who bled for the unity of Christendom.

Anyone familiar with discipleship patterned by Jesus and prescribed by Holy Scripture knows loving like Jesus proves love for Jesus and hears His echo about disunity: "This should not be so."

Again, that conversation has stuck with me; and I have been asking our Lord ever since for some way to plant His seeds of agape among folks who have been disaffected so the world will see how Jesus bridges and overcomes the separations, segregations, and other sins that enable divorce, distance, and continuing dysfunctions among people who should know disunity betrays infidelity to Him.

Or as I learned about myself and too many others in an apocalyptic moment many years ago: "I realize I don't love Jesus because I don't love you because I've got to love you to prove I love Jesus."


During prayer on 1/27/10, our Lord compelled me to call people to worship who have "left" our family of faith at First over the past 30 years (more or less) on 2/15/10 at 4:00 p.m. in our chapel for a Blessings and Sacrament Service.

The service will not be for continuing members of First; and while no one should/could/would restrict anyone who feels obliged to attend such a worship service by His command and our constitution, I am hoping continuing members respect the sensitivities of non-continuing members who will attend this gentle pastoral moment of invitation, welcome, inclusion, and agape.

Just as some services are designed for leadership, youth, judicatories, and so on, this service is for those who have "left" First over the past 30 years (more or less).


The service will be for those who have "left" our family of faith with no interrogatives or interest in why or when; not to welcome them back into active membership, for some have become active in other wonderful Christocentric and Bible-based sister congregations, but to invoke His blessings and go to the table of holy communion together to acknowledge mutual forgiveness along with confessing, "There is one body and one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all; who is above all, and through all, and in all."

It will be an opportunity to experience the blessings of Matthew 5:21-26; 6:14-15 and 1 John 4:7-11.

I anticipate other blessings with Jesus as the focus and filter.


Word has spread very quickly about this service in our neck of the words and around the country.

I urge anyone who feels His nudging to use it: duplicate, forward, snail mail, e-mail, tweet, text, or whatever!

I don't know many blessings that our Lord doesn't want us to share; no matter what the young tart said before singing her song during a "Christian" concert: "The Lord gave this song to me to share with you; and if you sing it without my permission, I will sue you."


As word has spread about this service, I have received many questions from our family of faith and around the country.

1. "Do you expect me to forward this to people I know who left us for whatever

Absolutely! If He brings 'em to mind, it means you are being nudged to
invite 'em! And, indulge this salting to sting to spiritual sobriety, if
you don't, you will feel the guilt of being guilty of missing this

2. "I would like to see who comes. I guess I'm just curious. Do you
mind if I watch from the back or sit in the back?"

I don't know if 2 or 200 will show up. That's not the issue. The
issue is obedience not success. No, I do not believe it is
appropriate to satiate your curiosity on this one. No, I will not
report names to anyone. No, this is not a game, trick, scheme,
ploy, or anything else pejorative to get folks back into our family's
flock. This is about providing an opportunity to be reconciled
to Him by reconciling to others through Him at His consistent

3. "Should I send this to people who left other churches and aren't
a member of any church because they were hurt by another
church or got mad at another church or just strayed away
from another church for whatever reason?"

Absolutely! The Church consists of everyone who loves Jesus
and is trying to love Jesus by loving like Jesus. I think of those
times when we baptize a baby who does not live near us. We
represent the Church during the sacrament. So, yes, invite
anyone who has been disaffected from any part of the Church
to this service of reconciliation.

4. "What if someone can't make it on February 15? Will the
service be repeated for those who can't make it?"

Our Lord has special times - kairos moments - and I believe
this is one of 'em. God opens a window and then closes it.
We either seize the moment or lose it. Grudge-holders are
gravediggers and the only graves being dug are their own; so
I would run to this service if I needed to be reconciled to His
Body! However, knowing the Lord prompted this service in
prayer on 1/27, I have no idea if/when/what He will prompt

5. "What if someone is offended by me inviting them to this
service? What if they say I'm making them feel guilty?"

Well, friend, people are always offended by the truth of
Jesus. Jesus wants everyone to be reconciled to Him
and His. Read the beatitudes! It will happen. You will
upset people with this truth. But, remember, salt stings
on an open wound while saving from gangrene. Here's
a tough question for you. Are you more concerned about
being liked or loving Jesus as your Lord and Savior by
loving the hell out of people? I mean that literally!
BTW, people who feel guilty usually are; unless, of course,
they're really sick. Normal folks only feel what's real.

6. How do you define someone who has "left" the church?

First, I don't believe in the silly/artificial/worldly use of
"inactive" and "active" membership rolls. How bogus!
You're either active or not. Certainly, real shut-ins -
and you know what I mean - military personnel, folks
working in foreign lands, and students away at school
are active by mitigation and worship with other parts
of His Body.

Furthermore, "inactive" designations are as unbiblical
as the old RC campaign before the new one (?) of
hawking passes out of purgatory through that old
pyramid scheme to build St. Peter's.

Second, the primary responsibility of all Christians is
to worship God to honor Him and align hearts with Him
and His.

7. I work until 5 like many people. What about people
who don't get off work until 5 or later?

Go back up to Q&A #4. Christianity is not about
convenience. When I look at the cross... Besides,
if folks can get off work to go to other stuff, why not
an appointment with God to enable reconciliation with
Him and His?

8. Exactly, how will the service go?

I will show up in the chapel at 4:00 p.m. sharp; knowing
some folks will arrive early to prepare themselves in
personal prayer while others will arrive later because they
think it's rude to be on time. We will start with a few gentle
worship songs, hear from the Word, go to the table via
intinction with appropriate prayers, close with a song,
and then have a benediction. While I will greet folks
after the benediction at the chapel's entrance/exit,
I will not stay around to chat. This is between Him
and... I'll probably go to my favorite HD dealership
after the service to break the 10th commandment.

9. I bet nobody comes! How about you?

Well, friend, I urge you to read the call, explanation, and
so on about this service. It's about obedience to Him.
Nothing more. Nothing less. Psst. Here's another
revelation about the service. He is going to reveal to
an undershepherd who is reconcilable and obedient to
Jesus and who is...



A story from the Kirk (Church) of Scotland comes to mind.

A fellow left his church a few years before the new pastor arrived on the scene. He left because of strained relationships with a few other members.

The new pastor went to see the disaffected member and sat before the fireplace with him in total silence.

After what seemed like a very long time, the pastor took the tongs, picked out a bright and burning coal from the fire, and placed it on the hearth.

Both watched as the coal grew cold, dimmed, and died.

The pastor turned to the fellow and said, "We miss you at the kirk."


The Psalmist said/promised, "God inhabits the praises of His people."

Worship can be defined as aligning hearts with God; using liturgy to enable that intimacy.

Effective worship, requiring personal investment even more than professional preparation, is evidenced by the fruit/proof/signs of intimacy with Jesus as listed by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23.


Again, I don't care who's to blame anymore for anything.

Church and society are just too fragile for that obsession these days.

So I've/we've gotta try, uh, Him.



One more revelation/discernment.

People who come/go to the table together want to love Him by loving like Him because they are His.

People who don't come/go to the table together, uh, have different and much darker loyalties.



Blessings and Love!