July 22, 2014

Saturday Ramblings 1.7.12

Twelve? Did I just type “12″ in the headline? I did. It’s 2012 now! Our first Rambling session of the new year. And it’s a doozy. Mr. Bones is back from a long but well-deserved vacation. Adam Palmer checked in with yet another technology as religion story. The Synonymous Rambler went back into hiding. We’ve got a lot to cover, so … shall we ramble?

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. It’s a topic very few of you care about, seeing as Chaplain Mike’s essay on this topic drew (as of this writing on Friday night) only 232 comments. CNN found time to look into Mark and Grace Driscoll’s tome on their sex life. Slow news week, I guess. And now we are learning there are such things as “Christian sex toys.” And you thought the Jesus Toaster was bad? Look, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start building another ark right now.

Ok, if that last story didn’t make you toss your cookies, this one will. Ted Haggard was called to start a new church in Colorado Springs so he could show that the “resurrection power is for today”? Really? Oh, God, forgive us. (If you really want to learn about Ted’s time on Celebrity Wife Swap, I seriously think you need to reconsider your priorities, but ok—you can do so here.)

And let’s get this last stomach-churner out of the way. What happens if you announce God wants you to run for president, and then you drop out after a poor showing? Is that bad on you, or bad on God? The campaign moves to New Hampshire this week. One restaurant has decided it’s had enough of politicians. Sounds like just the place where I now want to go eat.

Pat Robertson has a secret. God told him who is going to be the next president. But Pat isn’t saying who. Stay tuned.

Chuck Smith, the founding pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, announced this week he has lung cancer. He was interviewed by Greg Laurie, one of Smith’s disciples. I visited Smith’s church a few years ago. I wanted to see where the Jesus Movement got its start in the late 60s. I was a little disappointed to see the former hippies Chuck Smith baptized in the Pacific Ocean now wearing coats and ties. I mean, who in the world wears a coat and tie in California?

Calvary Chapel is a cool church, but not the coolest. And no, your church is not the coolest either, unless you go here.

And not too far from the world’s coolest church, there is a new religion. Adam Palmer points out that the Church of Kopimism (“copy-me-ism”) is open for business in Sweden. All you really need to know is that CTRL+C and CTRL+V are their religious symbols. Ok then…

Look, don’t mess with us in Oklahoma. We have tough widows here. Just sayin’…

These two stories were side-by-side on Christian Post this week. One is news, and one is a PR release.  Yet I am guessing most readers are talking about how troubled people can find success in life rather than how brothers and sisters in Christ can escape with their lives.

Before we get to our celebrity birthdays, a very big birthday candle is lit for Joan of Arc. Joanie turned 600 yesterday. She doesn’t look a day over 400.

Other celebs who are a year older include Sir Anthony Hopkins; Andy Summers; John Denver; J. Edgar Hoover; Isaac Asimov; Cuba Gooding, Jr.; Roger Miller; Jim Bakker; Dabney Coleman; Van Dyke Parks; Bobby Hull; Stephen Stills; Mel Gibson; Jane Wyman; Dyan Cannon; Michael Stipe; Walter Mondale; Robert Duvall; Danny Thomas; Lou Holtz; Syd Barrett; and A.J. Hawk.

Stephen Stills has always been underrated for his skill on the guitar. In homage to Chuck Smith, here is a vintage Stills number from 1972, a nice mellow tune to start off your Saturday. Enjoy.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESo0UvcRBY4']

Comments

  1. It is rumored that Stephen Stills used to go see Jimmi Hendrix play and that Jimmi would pull him up on stage and make him jam. He’s my favorite out of the whole CSN&Y scene with a unique guitar sound especially in later years (though I was a big Neil Young fan separately). At one time I had an album entitled Stills Young band that was actually pretty good. And who could forget that the guy almost got picked to be one of the original Monkees (but apparently had bad teeth so he recommended the guy with the beanie on his head).

    • It Doesn’t Matter is from one of the most underrated albums of all time — Stephen Stills and Manassas. Your ex-hippie chaplain remembers almost getting trampled trying to negotiate the crowd going into their concert back in the day in Chicago, but he made it and loved every bit of the music.

  2. Yes, you do have tough widows there in Oklahoma, and brave, and loving.

    Thanks be to God the law STILL allows (in some places, anyway) a mother to protect the life of her baby and her own life.

    Thanks be to God that she had access to a gun to stop her would-be assailants. Who knows how many other innocent lives she saved, also (from future attacks of the perpetrators).

    • Tim Becker says:

      She was on the line with 911 for 21 minutes and that wasn’t enough time for cops to get there? Darn good thing she had a gun.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Was she arrested for a Firearms Felony? That’s what would happen in California.

      • Elizabeth says:

        My husband was a deputy sheriff in our county (no where near OK, but…) for over 13 years and response times could be 20-25 minutes even going lights and sirens, so yes, it wasn’t enough. Very glad she was prepared to handle the situation herself.

  3. Oh man…that article about Christian sex toys was over the top. I can just imagine the follow up to Mark Driscoll’s book. To capitolize on the situation Mars Hill will release their own brand of condoms with Ecclesiates 3:1 imprinted on the pack 8-O If I see that for sale at Wal Mart of CVS…I’m running!! 8-O

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Just like Ribbed Trojans, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)! Don’t use those HEATHEN condoms!”

      Dude, I’ve been in Furry Fandom for 20 years. After encounters with the sexually weird types that fandom seems to attract, I have heard of “sex toys” not even Driscoll has dreamed of. (“I wish I had never heard. I wish I had never seen. Ia, Ia, Cthulhu, Fthagn…”)

      The thought of “Scriptural” versions of them hitting the Jesus Junk store circuit… Not enough alcohol in the world to get those images out of my head.

      As well as being the Ultimate End State of Christianese Parallel Pop Culture.

  4. When it comes to Michelle Bachmann running for President I often wonder…who is wrong? God or Michelle Bachmann? Never mind I’ll pass on the question…..

    BTW.. Jeff your link for the restaurant not serving politicians isn’t working. But in regards to Pat Robertson I’m hoping the next President will be either Bert or Ernie from Seseme Street. Or maybe Big Bird….?

    I also thought the story about Chuck Smith was interesting. About 4 years ago the Los Angeles Times did a story about a split between Chuck Smith and his son. Does anyone know what the latest with that is? I’ve read on the internet that Clavary Chapel is quite an authorterian denomination. Does anyone have any experience with it here?

    • A member of our congregation went there for many years. He says “it’s their way…or the highway”. If you question their teachings they will kindly show you the door.

      It’s just “Southern Baptist Christianity with a laid back California twist” (says my friend).

      Whenever he (my friend) hears one of their preachers (there are many) on the radio, he says it feels like they are trying to place the handcuffs back on him.

    • Matt Purdum says:

      Totally! Went to a CC in Florida for three years. Absolute control freaks. And their “through-the-Bible” approach to preaching is a big flag they wave that’s supposed to make them superior to other churches. But if you need dispensationalism, complementarianism, consumerism, gay-bashing and right-wing politics, Calvary Chapel is definitely for you.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Don’t forget rabid anti-Catholicism (Pastor Raul Rees, Calvary Chapel West Covina). Rees used to quote Hislop’s “Two Babylons” like it was the 67th book of the Bible, except that position had already been taken by Jack Chick publications.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      But in regards to Pat Robertson I’m hoping the next President will be either Bert or Ernie from Seseme Street. Or maybe Big Bird….?

      Bob from the Church of the Sub-Genius? Or the Communist Gangster Computer God on the Dark Side of the Moon Parroting Puppet Gangster Assassins through Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls?

      (Actually, I’m lobbying for Princess Celestia. Most benevolent, approachable, and even playful god-figure in today’s pop culture.)

      I’ve read on the internet that Clavary Chapel is quite an authorterian denomination. Does anyone have any experience with it here?

      Just it’s headquartered about 20 miles from where I live, and back in the Seventies I used to hear their radio shows all the time on the Christian stations. I’ve always gotten bad vibes from Calvary Chapelites; nothing I could really point to and say “Aha!” but they seemed to embody the worst features of a lot of Fundagelicals, under a surface of Love-Bombing.

      And as for the Interview of Pastor Chuck Smith (CC Costa Mesa) by Pastor Greg Laurie (CC I-can’t-remember right now), I kind of doubt Pastor Laurie asked Pastor Smith about Lonnie Frisbee.

  5. Ok. The religious conservative darling candidate Rick Santorum is going to outlaw pornography while pastors turn sermons into tawdry sex tabloids and religious sex toys are just fine and dandy. Just slap “Christian” on anything and it’s ok; remove the label, and it’s taboo. How insane! The “Christian” label is like Clark Kent’s glasses, but in reverse. Who are we kidding? If someone is looking for more to the meaning of life than sex, why on earth would they turn to religion?

    • Christian comedy. Christian art. Christian rock. Adding “Christian” to anything is like adding “processed” to “cheese”. So much better.

      • Back in the 80′s, there was a guy that dressed like Jesus who would wander around the UGa campus handing out flyers for the “Nudist Christian Church”. I don’t know if he gained many disciples, but the girl that walked around with him…You know, the one wearing really tight football pants and a t-shirt I’m pretty sure she wore in elementary school…She sure sold a lot of t-shirts with his pic and the NCC logo on the front.

        I’m not sure if it was the “Christian” or “Nudist” tag that made that a profitable venture. Maybe the combo? Kind of like “Christian Dating”? Or “Christian Karaoke”? “Christian Zumba”? Separated or together, those two things are just daggum fun, .no matter what

      • I just saw a story about a church in Michigan which has a built-in tattoo parlor. I actually have no problem with tattoos. But again, why does it have to be Christianized? This gets into why evangelicals could benefit from Luther’s teaching on vocation. Churchianity devalues any activity of its members not performed in church, but then legitimizes the exact same services if performed as an “outreach” of the church (it’s not legitimate unless the church is doing it). We need to get back to the concept of gathering and scattering: gathering to worship and to be fed and the scattering into our neighborhoods to serve through our vocations, including running a tatto parlor. I guess that has been said here enough at iMonk to be trite. Preaching to the choir.

      • ‘Adding “Christian” to anything is like adding “processed” to “cheese”. So much better.’

        I’m sure I’ll be repeating this at some point this week. Shall I say I heard it from “dumb ox”? :)

  6. The religious conservative darling candidate Rick Santorum is going to outlaw pornography while pastors turn sermons into tawdry sex tabloids and religious sex toys are just fine and dandy.

    Eye of the beholder. Right?

    • What is pornograghy anyhow? Who defines it? I mean you may think its Hustler style videos…and as Christians have shown some consider the Tele Tubbies to be pornograghic. What about political attire? Does Rick Santorium consider Departments such as Health and Human Services to be Pornograghic? The Natioanl Endowmenat for the Arts? Is CNN pornograghy? The Washington Post’s editorials? Who defines what is pornographjic?

    • I can’t write links, but everyone should look up the Tom Lehrer song “Smut” — a classic, and so helpful in defining.

  7. Last night I was thinking about Tim Challis and some of the others neo-reformed and what they say about women. And you know what I’d love to see…..

    I’d love to see former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher attend Mars Hill or Tim Challis church and take on some of these individuals. I mean consider…do you think Maragret Thatcher would allow herself to be pushed around? Would she allow herself to be censored? Put in her place and told when to speak and whether or not she can? Watch some of this debate when she roasts member of the Labor and Liberal Parties of Great Britain!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49cYeA55Y_8&feature=related

    I love how at 8:29 she talks about how much she is enjoying herself. But the female Prime Minsiter who stood down communism…man I’d love to see her be confroned by Tim Challis or Mark Driscoll. If such a thing could happen I’d bring my lawn chair, grill some food, and nuke some popcorn and drink a Miller as I watch Margaret Thatcher take them on and dismantle the system. I mean from a serious stand point…I think she would show the fact that complimentarism is not even needed? Would she have gotten to where she was if she played by “the rules?” Some of that she discusses in her autobiograghy “The Path to Power”.

    But I think people like her should put to rest this ridicilous debate about complimentarism…..

    • I would think people like Deborah and Jael would’ve put to rest this ridicilous debate about complementarism around 1250 BC (give or take a century) …

  8. Did you know that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife? Think about it.

  9. Hey, Rachel Held Evans gets quoted in the CNN article about Driscoll’s book. Cool! I like Rachel.

    Good article about Joan of Arc. I wrote a paper about her when in college. She surely is an interesting person.

    “What happens if you announce God wants you to run for president, and then you drop out after a poor showing? Is that bad on you, or bad on God?” Good one, Jeff.

  10. You don’t need to start building another ark, Jeff — the rainbow is God’s promise never to destroy the world by flood again (destroying portions of the world by tsunami is apparently exempted) — but you may need to get some asbestos undies since it will be destroyed by fire next time (the elements shall melt with fervent heat, etc.)…..

    • Maybe Jeff needs to go and look at a converted missile silo that has been turned into a self sustaining end of the world hiddy hole: http://www.survivalcondo.com/ (I know it is a link but it is an amazing treasure trove of crazy link.)

    • Ken Ham might sell him his, given his financial woes.

    • cermak_rd says:

      Oh dear, you’ve activated a memory of a poem:

      Robert Frost

      Fire and Ice

      Some say the world will end with fire,
      some say ice
      From what I’ve tasted of desire,
      I hold with those who favor fire
      But if it had to perish twice,
      I think I know enough of hate
      To say that for destruction ice
      Is also great and would suffice.

      • cermak_rd, I have always liked that Frost poem. For one thing, it’s easy to memorize.

        • cermak_rd says:

          Yes, very easy to memorize. In high school, we were required to memorize poetry. I decided, as I was a fan of Frost to do “Mending Wall”. I pulled it off and got extra credit for not doing “Annabelle Lee” which pretty much the whole rest of the class did.

          And “The Road Not Taken” has been the leit motif of my life, I think. Though I’ve reevaluated what it means to me over time and vacillated on the question of whether all the difference was good or ill.

  11. Here’s a theory: what if God DID tell Bachmann AND Santorum AND Cain AND Perry all to run for President? But what if He did it so all of them would cancel each other out, embarrass themselves and lose, thus allowing a non-evangelical to win? What if His goal was not (as the candidates might assume) for one of them to be President, but for all of them to pratfall, so as to fully discredit the concept of the “Religious Right,” end the evangelical (Babylonian?) captivity of the Republican Party, and force His people to stop trying to take over the world via the ballot box and refocus them on seeking His kingdom and loving people?

    I mean, if you were God, and you wanted to end this whole Kingdom Now/triumphalism/Moral Majority nonsense, wouldn’t this be a way to go about it? And if you specifically wanted candidates who would make the Religious Right a taunt and a byword, wouldn’t the above candidates (plus Gingrich) be the ones you’d pick?

    God is good, isn’t He? :D

    • Bingo! I’ve been wondering if God hasn’t been trying to do this for some time now…Actually I feel fairly certain He’s trying to turn american christians back to the priorities Jesus emphasized (feeding the hungry, ministering to the sick and needy, clothing the naked etc) – unfortunately most keep missing the hints…
      That’s why these election seasons are so hilarious and sad at the same time – the more the religious right/dominionists bump heads with the reality – (post-Christendom society, disillusioned with ‘christian nation/religious rightism’ electorate) the more desperate and silly they become – dumping god knows how much money, blood, sweat and tears into their We’re-going-to-rule-over-them-from-the-top-and-make-US-’christian’ project….resorting to all manner of manipulation, fear-mongering (Remember the Letter from 2012?) trickery and even outright dishonesty to try to get their foot in the door…. It’s a project that Jesus never taught or endorsed: a project that in fact is antithetical to everything Jesus taught and lived!

      I tremble to think of the accounting God’s going to take on many religious right figureheads – the time and money they’ve spent trying to gain political power should have been used in better ways – even Reagon gave them only lip service and yet they keep trying, and as time passes they look more silly and pitiful….

      It’s high time american christians, especially the right/fundamentalist side, would humbly bow out of the political limelight where they will always look pathetic – get on their knees and beg God and the nation for forgiveness – stand up in newness of heart and mind – go out into the highways and byways and serve whoever they can with grace and humility in apolitical/non-political ways.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        That’s why these election seasons are so hilarious and sad at the same time – the more the religious right/dominionists bump heads with the reality – (post-Christendom society, disillusioned with ‘christian nation/religious rightism’ electorate) the more desperate and silly they become – dumping god knows how much money, blood, sweat and tears into their We’re-going-to-rule-over-them-from-the-top-and-make-US-’christian’ project….

        And the louder and more shrill they become.

        “The wildest fantasy fiction ever written is found in a wartime country’s news media the day before that country loses the war.” — James Dunnigan

      • Andy: I think its also high time that american christians, on the right side, begin to thank God for the leaders we have and pray for those leaders each day. (especially our president). Me thinks that until we and/or they do,God will graciously give to us the kind of leaders that do not fit our political plan.

        • I would add repentance to the ‘need to do’ list as well… they (and we as well) need to repent for the years and dollars we’ve spent chasing after money, power, cultural capital and relevancy instead of just following Jesus and being humble servants to our neighbors and enemies. Maybe some of the sought after changes would actually have the space (and God’s blessing) to happen…

    • How about these conservative candidates are so stupid and full of themselves that they can’t see that their efforts will splinter the conservative vote enough that none of them win the primaries? Now, let’s see…who entices people to puff up with pride and their own self-grandizement to the detriment of the whole country, while all along convincing them that they are on a religious crusade? Hmmmm. Could it be….

      • “There’s a leak, there’s a leak in the boiler room
        The poor, the lame, the blind
        Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
        Killers, thieves and lawyers
        God’s away, God’s away
        God’s away on business, business” – Tom Waits

        “I watched with glee while your kings and queens
        Fought for ten decades for the gods they made
        I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedy’s?’
        When after all It was you and me” – from Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          “PLEASED TO MEET YOU!
          HOPE YOU GUESSED MY NAME!
          (doo doo doo doo… doo doo doo doo..)
          ‘CAUSE HUSTLING YOU
          IS THE NATURE OF MY GAME!
          (doo doo doo doo… doo doo doo doo..)”

    • I hope you don’t mind Ray, but I quoted your profound theory elsewhere – I think it’s really good by the way.

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Twelve? Did I just type “12? in the headline? I did. It’s 2012 now!

    And they’re already talking Mayan Calendar in the break room at work. Expect a LOT of Mayan Calendar and Secrets of Nostradamus on the cable TV documentary channels from now until next Xmas. And “Just like Nostradamus 2012, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” books, films, and Rapture scares running concurrently.

    And now we are learning there are such things as “Christian sex toys.

    Just like “Praise Ponies” — yet another example of “Just like Fill-In-The-Blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” (I have this mental image of vibrators, “restraints”, and other “erotic play accessories” with Bible verses printed on them. How close did I come?)

    Look, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start building another ark right now.

    Between this, Elections 2012 Politics Politics Politics, and Mayan Calendar/Nostradamus, I’m holing up in Ponyville until it all blows over. Clop these horseapples. (And they call Furries and Bronies “weird”…)

    Ok, if that last story didn’t make you toss your cookies, this one will. Ted Haggard was called to start a new church in Colorado Springs so he could show that the “resurrection power is for today”? Really?

    Ah, yes, “God Called Me to Plant another One True Church.” Is the male prostie Ted got caught with on the Board of Elders?

    And let’s get this last stomach-churner out of the way. What happens if you announce God wants you to run for president, and then you drop out after a poor showing?

    This is God’s Anointed Whats-Her-Face after Iowa, right? They were covering her speech on morning drive-time radio; after it started thirty minutes late, she started rambling on and on about “clouds of Witnesses” and various Mom, Apple Pie, the Flag, the Founding Fathers, etc. After 5-10 minutes of this, the radio guys said “to hell with this” and turned her off, checking back every five minutes or so as she kept rambling and rambling and rambling God and America and Founding Fathers and…

    Pat Robertson has a secret. God told him who is going to be the next president.

    GAWD (that’s how it’s pronounced under such circumstances) has been telling a lot of Christian that, ever since Palin in 2008. Whats-Her-Face, Perry, now Gingrich. Apparently getting THE Endorsement personally from Jesus Christ (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP) has surpassed the usual pilgrimage to get it indirectly from Bob Jones U.

    But Pat isn’t saying who. Stay tuned.

    I’m on the edge of my seat. (Did Pat announce this with a smug “secret Gnosis” look on his face? Must really be a trip to be God’s personal confidante…)

    “Did we go crazy, or did everybody else?”

    “There will come a time when men will go Mad. And they will lay hands on the sane among them, saying “You are not like Us! You Must Be Mad!”

    • Who is going to be the next President?

      Let me just implore spiritual inspiration here – ah, yes, the powers are communicating – it will be…

      … An American!

      Who is…

      …male!

      Hope that narrows it down for ye all :-)

    • Actually, it’s 2112, and the Tea Party, neo-cons, and cultural warriors are the priests of the temple of Syrinx.

      “We’ve taken care of everything
      The words you hear the songs you sing
      The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.
      It’s one for all and all for one
      We work together common sons
      Never need to wonder how or why.” – Neil Peart (from Rush’s heavily Rand-inspired album “2112″)

      (Defeat Ayn Rand WITH Ayn Rand. That’s my motto.)

    • Robertson has the gift of prophecy and Driscoll has the gift of discernment. Well, I guess we’re all in good hands after all.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Att his point, I’m ready to write-in Cthulhu.

        Why settle for the Lesser Evil?