Noisy Worship Music

When your church gathers for worship, what are you really doing? If you truly want to worship, then you should be giving ascent to the things God says are important. What, then, are the things God really wants to see from you when you gather for worship? Does he want to see good musicians and a talented vocalists? Does he want to hear skillful arrangements and prayers laced with tender piano music, led by an up and coming worship leader with diving board hair? If you have a kick-butt worship band, and everybody comes and raises their hands and sings out really loud, and the offering plate is overflowing, and everybody is having a great time… if you have all of this but your church does not have any sort of outreach to the poor, needy, broken, psychologically troubled, physically handicapped, or the otherwise down-and-out, and your church favors the…

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BVOTD #14: The Homeless Man is Your Boss

Backwards Verse of the Day: Luke 22:25-30 Since Jesus was going around announcing his Kingdom to everyone, the natural questions started to arise among his followers. Who will be the chief of staff? Who will be the Press Secretary? Communications Director? Secretary of State? Who will be VP? Its hard to run a kingdom alone and his disciples knew that when Jesus’ kingdom is fulfilled he’d need to surround himself with the right personnel. Naturally, then, they wondered: “Who is the greatest?” This is not a school-yard conversation between bullies. This was a legitimate question to ask when one expects to be in the inner circle of a revolutionary new king. This is how Jesus answers the question: And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest…

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Jesus Made Me Puke

Yeah, you read that title correctly. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine published an article called Jesus Made Me Puke where he goes undercover to a church retreat in Texas to get a look under the hood of evangelical Christianity. Here’s the accompanying photo. Of course, while we are told to respect all religions and are spoon fed this “all paths lead to God” nonsense, Christianity is routinely treated with ridicule and contempt. Taibbi could have gone to a church with some intellectual credibility, but he rather chose to go to the Christian circus that epitomizes evangelical cheese just to watch the Charismatic chaos. He wasn’t disappointed. Stay with me, I’ll get to the puke part in a minute. Here’s the drill: he pretends to be a seeker and attends Cornerstone Church’s Encounter Weekend. That’s John Hagee’s church, and he is a Christian Zionist who wants to fast-track Armageddon so…

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BVOTD (#13): Worship God Like a Baby

Backwards Verse of the Day #13: Luke 10:21. I believe that the Bible teaches that God equips infants to glorify God in their own unique way. We adults are conditioned with certain beliefs and assumptions in our day to day lives that we use to filter out certain possibilities when we observe things. When something strange or unusual occurs, we are much more likely to find a plausible, even scientific explanation for it than to explain it in terms of spirits or supernatural phenomena. Children don’t have these filters. They passively make millions of observations every day which go unexplained until they build up a reservoir of explanations that they build into their psyche. I was thinking of this while reading through Luke, where Jesus makes this cryptic statement: I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and…

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Deceptions at the Gas Pump

I did some calculations. My car gets around 22 MPG in the city, or less. If gas is $3.79 per gallon, that means I’m paying roughly 17 cents for each mile I drive. [Rant on] I fill up at a station three miles from my house; that’ll be 51 cents. When I drive to class (11 miles away), that’s another $1.87. If I want to come home that evening, I shell out another $1.87. I went to a pre-wedding party (aka wedding showers where boys are invited and nobody gives away sexy underwear) tonight and it cost me $4.59 for the trip. When we think of price per trip instead of price per gallon, the pain takes on a whole new perspective. Going to the grocery? Add $3 to your bill. To the movies, add $1.50 per ticket. Not to mention the fact that grocery stores are adding in “fuel…

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How to Turn Friends into Enemies

Here’s the way I go about making enemies: 1. Start a blog. 2. Ask a friend to host the blog on his web server (for free!). 3. Install a plug-in on the blog which… 4. Crashes your friends web server repeatedly for a couple of days, the same server that just happens to bring your friend a portion of his income. 5. Freak out, sweat, and try to get calm. Call your friend to tell him what happened. 6. Hope he doesn’t hate you now. That’s exactly what happened to me the last couple of days. My friend is hosting this blog for me and I crashed his web server with this blog. At first, I thought someone got mad at me for the Planned Parenthood post and hacked into it. But we concluded that it was a plug-in. Sorry, Josh! Don’t hate me…

Real Man Candidate #3: The “Jackass”

Johnny Knoxville first splashed onto the scene in the MTV show Jackass. The title pretty much sums up the show. This show is by dudes and for dudes. I can’t think of a single girl who likes it, so I’m making Johnny Knoxville my Real Man Candidate #3. If you’ve witnessed the whole YouTube culture of guys almost getting killed because they were doing something stupid on videotape, this is where it all started. For example, This guy broke his neck jumping off a roof onto a trampoline. [Disclaimer: This video is painful just to watch. If you get queezy, just skip it. I’m not condoning this, but you just need to see the idiocy for yourself to appreciate it.] The problem is misplaced courage. Courage is indeed masculine, but when teenage boys with too much time on their hands get their hands on a skateboard, camcorder, and a Jackass…

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