Daily Archives: 24 May 2011

Innovations in the Church? Not So Fast, Vicar

How dare you introduce innovations into the Church simply on your own authority and without consulting the Church? I speak only of those churches in which the word of God is publicly and faithfully preached. For if every blockhead who had a novel or strange opinion were allowed to gather a sect around him, divisions and sects would become so numerous that the Christian body which we now build up with such difficulty would be broken to pieces in every individual congregation. Therefore no innovations ought to be made except with the common consent of the church and not merely of a single person. For the judgment of scripture is not mine or yours, but the church’s. — Huldrych Zwingli

Joel’s So Close to the One Month #1 Blogger Ranking he can Smell It!

Here’s his one month ranking as of right now-  1 month 67,763

Here’s mine– 1 month 67,546.

And here’s the longer term 3 month trend for Joel– 3 month 70,751

And mine- 3 month 66,080.

So long term I’m still whooping him but one month short term…  he’s very close.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if by this time next week only 1 or 2 separated #1 and #2?  It’s a real horse race!

One thing’s for certain, and this I’ll guarantee- if Joel hits #1 people who NEVER mention the monthly rankings will be wetting themselves with delight in doing so.

File This Under the ‘No Duh’ Heading… Oil Speculators Manipulated Prices and Made $50,000,000

It’s about bloody time.

Federal regulators charged five oil speculators Tuesday with manipulating the price of crude and making a $50 million profit from the scheme.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleges the speculators bought enormous amounts of actual crude oil for sale in Cushing, Okla, during the early months of 2008.

This created a perceived shortage of oil in Cushing — a major point for oil delivery — and drove the price of oil futures contracts higher.

The speculators then bet the price of oil would fall by selling so-called “short” contracts to other investors. When the speculators sold their actual oil holdings in Cushing en mass, the price of oil did fall, netting the group a hefty profit.

Keep investigating and I reckon you’ll discover that it was going on before that, has continued past that, and still is typical practice up to this very moment.  So evil.  So very evil.  These totally depraved ‘capitalists’ are everything that’s wrong with economics today.  So who are the vile miscreants?

The speculators charged in the suit are Parnon Energy Inc. of California, Arcadia Petroleum of the United Kingdom, Swiss-based Arcadia Energy, James T. Dyer of Australia and Nicholas J. Wildgoose of California.

Dig a little deeper.  I’m confident there are Texans and New Yorkers in there too.  Sickening.  Let the imprecatory prayers commence.

A Purely Wicked Waste of Money

What could and would you do with $100,000,000?  I bet you have loads of good ideas, from helping flood victims to aiding tornado victims to setting up an endowment for poor students with promise.

Harold ‘the Deceiver’ Camping didn’t come up with any good ideas so he evilly wasted that amount on his perversion of the Bible.

Harold Camping shelled out some $100 million to advertise his May 21 Rapture claim—money that came largely from the sale of a TV channel and a radio station, says a Family Radio employee. “A lot of reporters have got it wrong,” said Matt Tuter. “The largest portion of money did not come from donors.” And it was used “to make a fool of himself to the whole world.” (Tuter emphasized he is an employee of Family Radio, not a follower of Camping, who co-founded it.) Camping has actually predicted the world’s end at least 10 times, Tuter tells the Christian Post (and now he’s predicted it again). Most of those predictions weren’t made public. Most people at Family Radio don’t subscribe to the predictions—and Tuter pushed some would-be donors not to contribute. “I remember when the organization was normal!” Tuter says. “It was not always about Harold Camping.” But Camping has long fancied himself a seer of sorts.

Perversity.  If Camping really believed the Bible the way he claims to, he’d be the first to urge his followers to carry out the penalty false prophets deserve.

Scott Bailey is Wicked

It’s not me portrayed in the film.  It’s.  Just.  Not.  Bad Scott, bad.

If Anyone Deserves a Heckling, It’s Bibi

Good for the heckler.

As Netanyahu was addressing a joint meeting of Congress, a woman in the gallery stood and shouted, “no more occupation, end Israeli war crimes.”  Police immediately hustled her out of the gallery and Netanyahu continued speaking.

People are far too unwilling to speak truth to power.  I applaud those who will.  Had I been there I would have joined in.

If You Think I’m Colorful and ‘Crude’, Why Don’t You Read Ezekiel 23

Sometimes people complain that I’m a bit too colorful and I’ve even been accused by a certain mennonite of being crude.  When such silly accusations fly I always think of Ezekiel 23.  Let’s face it- if my easygoing, good natured mention of this or that current event is deemed unseemly what do people make of it?

You’re right, they probably don’t read it.

So here’s what it says- (in vv17ff) –

The Babylonians came to her to the bed of love and defiled her with their harlotry. And when she had been defiled by them, she became disgusted with them. “She uncovered her harlotries and uncovered her nakedness; then I became disgusted with her, as I had become disgusted with her sister. “Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt. “She lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses.“Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom because of the breasts of your youth.

Yes, you read that right.  Judah, the ‘people of God’, the ‘apple of God’s eye’ are described in the most graphic terms as a common whore.  A lust driven strumpet who likes her men ‘fleshy’-

She lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

And yes, that means just what you think it means.  So if you think I’m a little colorful, you must really hate Ezekiel.

Have a Genital Disease? Well Guess What, There’s a Saint for That…

And his head’s for sale…  You can’t make this kind of lunacy up.

The severed head of a man said to be the patron saint of genital disease will go on auction in County Meath on Sunday.  The skull is allegedly that of St Vitalis of Assisi, an Italian Benedictine monk from the 14th century.  It belonged to an Anglo-Irish family from County Louth, and is housed in a Queen Anne case dating from the 17th century.

And I LOVE the next line!

There has been no official verification of the claim.

Isn’t that fantastic!  Just fantastic!  [And doesn’t the head look a lot like Jim Linville?????  Is it just me, or could this be his ancestor???!!!][via Chuck Jones on FB]

It’s Heartwarming to Know that British Church-Goers Aren’t Shallow…

Never mind hymn… look at her! Church doubles congregation by hiring blonde 29-year-old reverend.

That’s right- she isn’t interesting because she’s particularly theologically astute or an excellent exegete or a caring chaplainy-sort. She’s interesting and the church is thriving because she’s ‘attractive’.

A new blonde curate in her twenties has sent the congregation of a sleepy church soaring since taking to the pulpit. Reverend Stephanie Nadarajah took up the post at St Mary the Virgin Church in Caterham, Surrey, at the age of just 29 after giving up a job as an NHS boss. And in the past six months – as word got around about the new ‘attractive, blonde curate’ – the congregation at the church has rocketed with at least 150 locals turning up every Sunday.

I bet the newly interested in ‘spiritual things’ are all males in their teens. But maybe she has some middle aged admirers too…

Local Andrew Spencer, 52, said: ‘It’s great to see an attractive young lady at the church. ‘She’s not just a pretty face though – she’s intelligent and a great listener and is really doing a good service for everyone around here.

Oh Andrew listen to yourself. The first thing you said about her had to do with her looks. That’s the first thing you mentioned because that’s what’s most important to you.

Anyway maybe the shallow Brits are on to something. Maybe if churches were pastored by hot babes attendance would rise, everywhere.  Perhaps they’ve hit upon the key to church growth…  Down with theology, up with hotness!

Introducing Romans: Critical Issues in Paul’s Most Famous Letter

Richard Longenecker’s volume by Eerdmans was sent along for review (thanks Eerdmans!).  Introducing Romans

… takes a comprehensive look at the complex backdrop of Paul’s letter and carefully unpacks a number of critical issues, including:

  • Authorship, integrity, occasion, date, addressees, and purpose
  • Important recent interpretive approaches
  • Greco-Roman oral, rhetorical, and epistolary conventions
  • Jewish and Jewish Christian thematic and rhetorical features
  • The establishing of the letter’s Greek text
  • The letter’s main focus, structure, and argument

My review is here.

If Calvin Weren’t Already Dead, The Church of Scotland Would Just Have Killed Him

Or he them.

Scotland‘s largest protestant church has swept away centuries of tradition and voted to allow gay men and lesbians to become ministers, opening up the prospect of the church allowing civil partnerships for same-sex couples.  The Church of Scotland imposed a temporary moratorium in 2009 on admitting gay and lesbian ministers after Scott Rennie became the first openly gay clergyman in a homosexual partnership to be officially appointed as a minister in the church.  The church’s general assembly, its law-making body, voted on Monday to lift that moratorium, officially officially allowing gay ministers to take on parishes for the first time since its formation 450 years ago.  The general assembly also allowed serving gay and lesbian ministers who have kept their sexuality private to openly declare their sexuality – a proposal bitterly resisted by evangelical and conservative ministers.

How very unfortunate that the great Church of Scotland, whose heritage reaches back to the likes of Calvin and Knox has fallen prey to modern society’s dismissal of scripture in favor of the sorriest sort of cultural accommodationism.  Via.

Evidence of Muslim Violence Against Christians in Nigeria

In a photo Here.

In northern Nigeria, Muslim mobs reacted to the news of Goodluck’s election on April 18th by launching massive simultaneous attacks against Christians in almost every northern state. The mobs massacred hundreds of Christians, torched more than 300 churches, and destroyed countless Christian homes.  In Kaduna state, where Christians suffered the greatest losses, our sources estimate that at least 300 people were slaughtered in the towns of Zonkwa and Kafanchan, alone.  Today, close to a thousand families are displaced and living in camps set up by the government. More than 200 families lost their homes, and hundreds more have fled their homes in fear of continued attacks.

Very sad and so totally unnecessary.

Aiding the Tornado Victims in Joplin

Baptist Disaster Relief is mobilizing and will be providing all manner of essential items for the victims of the horrific disaster in Joplin as soon as possible.  It’s an aid organization you can trust to use your donations wisely.

If you’re a Southern Baptist you can donate to your State D.R. organization (every State Convention has one) or you can donate directly to relief efforts in Missouri.  They could sure use your help.  Please, think about it (and then do it).

Total Depravity: The Vilest of Despicable Mothers Edition

Deseret News reports

A Salt Lake woman was charged Monday with attempting to sell her 13-year-old daughter’s virginity for $10,000.  The woman, 32, was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.  The woman’s boyfriend reported observing several text messages between the woman and a man named Don discussing sex acts between him and her daughter, according to charges filed in 3rd District Court.  The mother admitted to police she had made an arrangement with Don to have sex with her daughter in exchange for $10,000, the charges state. She also said the man had taken her and her daughter to Victoria Secret to model lingerie and also modeled lingerie at home.  Prosecutors say the woman also sent photos of her daughter wearing lingerie to another man named Will, who was going to pay for the photos.  The teenager initially agreed to the arrangement with Don but later changed her mind, the charges state. Bail was set for the mother at $250,000.

Who would do such a thing?

Felicia Rae McClure

There are disgusting people in this world but when a mother turns around and tries to sell off her own daughter’s virginity they should be spent to a special kind of hell. Police in Salt Lake City found this out the hard way when they charged Felicia Rae McClure with aggravated sex abuse of a child and felony sexual exploitation of a minor for trying to sell her 13-year-old daughter’s virginity to some dude by the name of “Don” for the price of $10,000.

I concur.

Could it Be?: The ‘Discovery’ of the Tomb of Jonah

First it was the Jesus Family Tomb. Then it was the Nails of the Cross. Now, the same folks who brought you this nonsense are about to go for more sensationalistic cash with their latest discovery: “The Ossuary of Jonah.”

Word that soon the world will hear an announcement that the ossuary of Jonah has been ‘discovered’ at Talpiot, near the putative ‘ossuary of Jesus’ family’ has come around through a source in Jerusalem ‘in the know’.

Specifically, what has supposedly been discovered is an ossuary with a fish with scales with an individual emerging from it.  This is, it will be suggested, the very ossuary of Jonah.

But there’s already a problem with the alleged claim: this motif first appears in Duro Europos in the 3rd century.   And even more importantly, such graffiti would never appear on an ossuary.

Like the ‘Jesus tomb’ press release, the upcoming announcement of  the discovery of ‘Jonah’s Tomb’ appears to be aimed at generating  publicity for an upcoming book (by Tabor [UNC-Charlotte] and Jacobovici [Canadian on the Discovery Channel] and through Simon and Schuster) and tv special.

Is it the real deal?  Who knows till the claim is fully fleshed out with meticulous detail.  But these days, when so many claims are made and the media grabs hold of them and promotes them without bothering to check into them with more than just their promoters, skepticism is in order.  No, skepticism is demanded.  Just look what a hoopla was made of the ‘ossuary of James’ and the ‘family tomb of Jesus’ and ‘the lead codices’.  All nonsense but all vaunted by the ignorant media as though they were the real thing.

The truth is, you have a better chance of finding the bones of Jonah’s big fish (in popular talk, the ‘whale’- but of course we all know that ‘big fish’ means only that and not ‘whale’) than you do in finding accuracy in the media when it comes to the bible or ‘biblical archaeology’.

But come to think of it, I think I have some of the big fish’s bones in my freezer.  Now I just need to have connections at the Discovery Channel to turn the ‘find’ into a special.

Oh No, The History Channel is Planning a 10 Part Series on The Bible…

I can’t help it.  I’m skeptical that it will be accurate.  Made for tv ‘documentaries’ so seldom are.  In fact, of the hundreds and possibly thousands that have aired you can probably count on your hands the number that could be described as ‘good’ or ‘accurate’.

First, the producers are just that, producers.  Nothing more and without expertise in the subject.  Second,

“The Bible” is using the New International Version, the translation preferred by evangelical Christian leaders, and the New Revised Standard Version, Dubuc said. A committee of theologians and scholars is being assembled to consult on the series.

NIV?  Bummer.  And the committee?  Well who knows about that.  Could be knowledgeable folk or it could be people like Harold Camping and Benny Hinn.  ‘Theologians and scholars’ doesn’t mean the same thing in Hollywood as it does out in the rest of the world.

History is owned by the A&E Television Networks, which itself is owned jointly by NBC Universal, the Walt Disney Co. and the Hearst Corp.

Oh well if Disney and NBC are the ones ultimately responsible….  Skepticism.  It’s what’s for supper.  The series may turn out to be well done and actually useful.  We shall see I suppose.  But my default position on any media coverage of the Bible is pure unmixed suspicion.  They’ll have to ‘show me’ it isn’t more of the same.

Camping’s Latest Foolish ‘Prediction’: October 21

I wonder how many people will be foolish enough to 1) continue to support the charlatan.  And 2) actually believe his latest idiotic ‘prediction’.

Harold Camping’s new favorite phrase: Better late than never. The California preacher has an easy explanation for why the rapture never came to pass on Saturday: He was five months off. Doh! The actual rapture will be Oct. 21—he had originally said that was the day on which the planet would be consumed by a fireball. It turns out Saturday was “an invisible judgment day” in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said in a statement to the press tonight. “We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment.”

Please people, don’t believe for a second that this deceiver knows what he’s talking about.  The news will report it because that’s what the news does.  But don’t fall for the rubbish.  Camping represents the worst sort of pseudo-christianity, pseudo-theology and pseudo-scholarship.  And he’s worse than the ark hunters and other nutbags because he persuades the gullible and simple minded to destroy their lives for his lunacy’s sake.  Don’t fall for it.