Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Our family of faith like most others of all flavors and franchises is not immune to the rippling effects of our failing national economy.

Recently, I confessed to our session (governing officers), "Geez, I'm an ecclesiastical geezer; but I've never been pastor of a church during this kinda some-say-recession-but-it-feels-more-and-more-like-an-emotional-depression-at-least. I remember the recession of the 80s; but I was pastor of a really wealthy church that didn't notice it. Somebody's gotta minister to the rich! So please be patient with me as I try to be a faithful undershepherd through this. I'm learning as I go."

I added, "I don't know if there's a connection, but it's also the first time that I've been a pastor when our country's President has never been spotted with the First Lady going in or out of a church on Sunday mornings. I know he says he gets text messages from pastors around the country on, uh, spiritual stuff but..."

I may be wrong but I'm beginning to think the culture takes the church less and less and less seriously because a new tone about worshiping in church is being sounded/shown by...



Maybe that's why IHOP (pancakemakers) has sued IHOP (24/7/365 prayers) for daring to use IHOP to, uh, market whatever it is that they do (prayers) that doesn't correspond to what they do (pancakemakers).

Or something like that.

Surely, Americans aren't smart enough to realize IHOP (International House of Pancakes) is different from IHOP (International House of Prayer).



I wrote to IHOP - the pancakemakers - about it.

Actually, I got on their website and sent a note to 'em; suggesting they're acting kinda silly - Anyone who has a Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity breakfast feature on the menu can be silly! - and may end up turning off a lotta Christians who like pancakes with their prayers.

I don't expect an answer.

Again, there's a tone at the top that's relegated Christian kinda concerns to the outhouse of socioeconomic relevance.


The Kansas City Star's Donald Bradley has written a great piece on the polemics.

Go to the 9/14/10 edition via

If it weren't really happening, the quotes from the pancakemakers would be hilarious; not to mention fodder for SNL.

They - the pancakemakers - look as foolish as that imam in the big apple trying to pretend he ain't a jihadist in syncretist's clothing.

Mr. Bradley's inquiries to the litigious are equally befuddling; 'cause they're as split on what they think will be the final score as sportswriters are about the merits of Boise State playing for the big one.

I hope Mr. Bradley stays on the story.

He's an excellent writer; and the discerning get the bigger picture between the lines.


I met IHOP's (prayers) founder and lead pastor or whatever he's now called when I was a young and famous pastor in Kansas City back in the early 80s.

He had just emerged from years of monkish study and spiritual discipline and felt called to plant a ministry in the cult capital of the Midwest.

We were introduced by a mattress salesman who also happened to be one of the best evangelists that I've ever met.

Anyway, when I said I thought planting a church/whatever had to be so much harder than inheriting one, he said, "You're wrong, brother! It's much easier! You just gather people who really love Jesus and exalt His Word and they are eager to pay the bills. It's not like those old wineskins that are so bound to tradition, religion, denominationalism..."

I knew he was a budding ecclesiastical superstar - charismatic in the best sense of the word and more passionate about Jesus and Biblical Christianity than a mainline cleric like me would ever encounter in, uh, mainline franchises.

That was almost 30 years ago.

You can go to for more links and stuff on him (viz., Mike Bickle).


I think about my decision to limit really traditional vestments to really traditional things like memorial services, weddings, and sacraments (scroll down to the 9/14/10 edition).

Aside from looking silly in vestimentum more appropriate for folks still chained to Elizabethan English, I'm just trying to expand my wineskin to encourage others to expand theirs by way of example.

It's a, uh, Biblical thing to do.

The genesis of my evolution - Don't go there! - was looking down at my favorite Bass Weejuns.

I polished 'em every day.

They glistened.

I looked down, took one off, and looked at the sole.

There were holes in the sole.

The metaphor was/remains inescapable.

You can look good.

You can speak good (the word is well for those who think that kinda distinction is still important).

But when you look at the soul, are there holes?

The war of the IHOPs points to the hole in the soul of America.

And if the tone doesn't change at the top pretty soon...



Blessings and Love!

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