Daily Archives: 13 Aug 2018


We all have just one second to live.

When Your ‘Church’ is a Corporation, You Focus on Baptisms, Not on Disciples

Of the 50,000 people Saddleback claims to have baptized, how many of them are disciples of the Crucified and Risen Lord?  Jesus doesn’t tell us to make baptizands, he tells us to make disciples.  The true ‘measure of success’ in the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with baptisms, or offerings, or mission trips, or gas cards given out, or school supplies provided, or any of the metrics the world uses to determine ‘success’.

In the Kingdom of God what’s demanded is discipleship.  So again, how many of these 50,000 are disciples?

Oh to be sure Rick Warren and all the Rick Warren wannebes occupying pulpits across America can feel pretty good about themselves if they can boast of their thousands of baptisms.  And for them, that’s what matters.  But they aren’t like Jesus who said

No one who does not carry his cross and come after me can be my disciple. ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, anyone who saw it would start making fun of him and saying, “Here is someone who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who was advancing against him with twenty thousand?  If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace.  So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple without giving up all that he owns. (Lk. 14:27-33)

And they aren’t like Paul, who said

I am thankful I did not baptise any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptised in my name. Yes, I did baptise the family of Stephanas, too; but besides these I do not think I baptised anyone. After all, Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel; and not by means of wisdom of language, wise words which would make the cross of Christ pointless. The message of the cross is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:14-18)

No- rather, they are like the King of Tyre, who like them loved to boast and to whom God says

Your heart has grown proud because of your beauty, your wisdom has been corrupted by your splendour. I have thrown you to the ground; I have made you a spectacle for kings. By the immense number of your crimes, by the dishonesty of your trading, you have defiled your sanctuary. So I have brought fire out of you to devour you; I have reduced you to ashes on the ground before the eyes of all who saw you. Of the nations, all who know you are stunned at your fate. You are an object of terror; gone for ever.” ‘ (Ezek. 28:17-19)

Pride precedes destruction and a haughty spirit a fall.  And nothing is more prideful than boasting in the accomplishment of facade.

Calling it A Church Doesn’t Make it a Church- And This Isn’t a Church

No sermons at this church: Congregants wander silent and barefoot through nature at Church of the Wild

Nope. Not a Church. Sorry not sorry. It bears none of the marks of the Church and simply falls short theologically of what εκκλησια means.

The sound of drumming filtered through the trees and called the people from their cars.

Toting folding chairs and slathered in bug spray, they came from the parking lot — some young, some old; some in pairs, some alone; many in Tevas, a few barefoot. Without speaking, they set their chairs in a circle in a leafy clearing in McLean’s Turkey Run Park. They grabbed drums laid out on a patterned blanket, gripped the instruments between their knees and joined in the pounding.

“Your hands know what to do,” intoned professional drum circle facilitator Katy Gaughan. “Just drum! There is no right way and no wrong way.”

On a hot and muggy Sunday, Church of the Wild was about to begin.

The church, which meets once a month in parks across the District, Maryland and Virginia, draws about 50 congregants. Services, presided over by the Rev. Sarah Anders, typically run an hour and a half. Worshipers drum, sing and listen to recitations of poetry in an effort to connect with nature and fulfill the church’s stated goal: honoring “the mutual indwelling of the Divine with the Earth and all of its beings.”

Not a church.  Not close to a church.  Nothing like a church.  Calling it a church makes the one who does so a liar, and not it a Church.

Signs of the Times: No, ‘Opinion’ Isn’t The Same Thing as A ‘Fact’

Signs of the Times: Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnel and the Rest of the GOP

Apparently There Aren’t As Many White Nationalists As We’ve Been Led to Believe…

Or they’re too lazy to get out and march.  And given the fact that photos I’ve seen of most of them are of folks too large to walk and too old and inbred to read, I wouldn’t be surprised if that weren’t the case.

Several members of the press expressed their “extreme disappointment” that the white nationalist rally they hyped up for an entire week was only attended by 30 people Saturday.

“We really wanted to use this to inflame the race war, so we were pretty bummed when we couldn’t get a good shot of millions of neo-Nazis marching through the streets of Washington,” said one CNN reporter. “Would have fit perfectly with our narrative. Oh well.”

The media stated they’ve seen greater numbers of people even at low-attendance events like anti-NASA flat earth protests, Hillary Clinton rallies, and Episcopal Church meetings.

“It was just sad.”

Reporters and journalists on the left vowed to continue to stoke the fires of racial tensions, hopefully getting more people to show up whenever another rally is announced.

“There’s always next year,” a somber MSNBC anchor said.

People are the Worst

No One Who Approves of Abortion Can Disapprove of What this Depraved Woman Did

Because abortion is the same thing.

Authorities say a woman who gave birth in a car and put the newborn inside a trash bag faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted of murder by child abuse.  News outlets report that 21-year-old Brennan Hailey Geller of Lexington, South Carolina, was arrested Monday. The warrant says she gave birth Friday night and drove home with the baby in a trash bag on the floorboard. A statement from Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon says authorities became aware of the case when Geller was treated at a hospital Saturday for blood loss.

She aborted her baby.  She didn’t have to.  She could have taken it to any hospital or fire station or police station and left it- with no criminality.  But she didn’t.  She murdered it.  That’s abortion.  And no one who supports abortion has the moral wherewithal to accuse this woman of a crime.

An Interview with Judith Lieu

Read it here.  With thanks to Mike Bird for the heads up on ye ole twitter.  Here’s my favorite snippet-

We can never dispense with study of the New Testament in Greek and against a Hebrew background. Fortunately, there are good translations around — and it is often helpful to compare translations so as to become alert to ambiguities — and guides and commentaries. When I’m teaching students, I tend to use the NRSV, although we get our students to compare the Greek if they can, so that they can understand how translation works. My own default is to refer to the Greek, and I do enjoy preaching. I’m a Methodist local preacher in a very strong tradition of preaching.

Today With Calvin: The Arrest of Servetus

Calvin arguing with the first Emergent- Servetus

Miguel Servetus arrived in Geneva in mid 1553 with what Calvin saw as a death wish.  Indeed, Calvin remarked to a friend upon hearing of the heretic’s arrival:

“I know not what to say of him, except that he was seized by a fatal madness to precipitate himself upon destruction.”

Servetus arrived under these circumstances:

… in the middle of the month of July, a man was seen, on foot, entering the gate of the old city; he turned into a little inn used by strangers, called the Auberge de la Rose, and situated on the lake. The night before he had slept in the village of Le Louyset, where he arrived on horseback. It was easy to recognize in the traveller a man of education; in the southern expression of his eye, there was deep thought and dreaming phantasy, and somewhat of passionate excitement: he indulged in some light expressions. The people of the inn wishing to learn more about him, asked if he was married; he answered, that a man could find women enough without marrying. Some one observed him going to the church where Calvin preached.

Servetus the philanderer meandered around the town, listened to Calvin’s sermons, and basically stayed to himself.

After remaining about a month at Geneva, he resolved on making a journey to Zurich. For this purpose he engaged a boat to carry him across the lake; but just as he was on the point of departing an officer appeared, and took him prisoner in the name of the council. This event occurred August 13, 1553.*

Today is the anniversary of that arrest. What follows is the infamous trial and execution of the man who went to the hornet’s nest and shook it and poked it and provoked it and acted surprised when the hive broke out and stung him to death.

Servetus really did have a death wish. Happy “Arrest A Heretic” Day.
*The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (Vol. 2, p. 192).

Zwingli in Tönen und Worten erleben

Mit «Im Schatten der sieben Fürsten» kommt Ende Oktober ein Projekt zur Aufführung, das sich auf künstlerische Weise dem Reformator Ulrich Zwingli nähert. Zwei Chöre aus der Region spannen hierfür zusammen.

Etc.  Oh to be there….   Ok people, I clearly need a very wealthy sponsor who will fly me at a minute’s notice over to Switzerland for various events there.  Pony up.

Racists are Made, Not Born

It’s worth reminding ourselves that ‘People are not born hating, people are taught to hate. All that it takes is a very skilled demagogue to turn neighbors into enemies’. – Kati Marton