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Exploiting the Suffering of Others
September 12th, 2008 under Christianity, ChristianWalk, God, Politics, poor, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 1 ]

I saw this pick today on Snopes.com. It’s a great site for checking all those goofy emails I get about Obama!
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One of the lines from the Snopes article is this:

“I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us how fortunate we are and that we must never take things for granted.”

I would like to say that I was shocked at the above statement, but most might not even see the problem with it. I guess that’s why Rudy “9/11” Giuliani isn’t such a joke that Republicans would ignore him.

The fact is that many are so self-centered that they can only see the suffering of others as an opportunity to exploit it or an opportunity to express thanks that we are not like them.

Thankfully, that’s not Jesus’ approach. In John 9:4, Jesus says, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” This is Jesus’ response to seeing a blind man. His disciples are looking for someone to blame, but Jesus sees it as an opportunity to reach out and touch the afflicted.

That’s why I’m pessimistic about the Fall election. Rather than seeing this election as an opportunity to provide health care for the poor, take care of our world, and become a more hopeful, helpful nation, my guess is that Americans will once more be motivated by fear and greed. Dang I’m pessimistic! Of course all of this will be couched in the idolatry of Nationalism and self-righteousness.


NOBTS Professor Challenges Gustav
August 28th, 2008 under Baptists, God. [ Comments: 3 ]

Joel Rainey’s blog is always very interesting. I wish I had his gentle and caring spirit. Today, a guest blogger, Dr. Jack Allen, a missions professor at NOBTS (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) laid down this challenge for Gustav:

So, I have a counterintuitive plan. I am challenging Gustav to finish what Katrina could not. Come on in brothah! I dare you. Bow up to Cat 5 and waltz right up the Mississippi. I do not care. You, Mr. Hurricane, cannot touch me, this city, or anyone in it without the express permission of your Creator. If He says to have a go at New Orleans, then fine. Otherwise, stop making people scared. We have better things to do with our time.

Very interesting approach.


Christians Committing Sins
August 18th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, God, Hypocrisy, Politics, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 1 ]

commandments.jpgLast time I checked, the command NOT to bear false witness is still one of the Ten Commandments. I’m no Old Testament scholar, but I think that’s one of the Old Testament commands that still applies (Hope the crawfish prohibition doesn’t!).

Anyway, I just received an email that was critical of Obama in one of those ridiculous claims. I went to Snopes.com, copied the link that explained that the claim was false and sent it back to the sender. I should have also quoted the Scripture Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

I didn’t. I didn’t want to look like a jerk. But then again, wouldn’t somebody who claims to be a Christian that spreads false information about someone be considered a jerk? I’m not sure. But according to Exodus 20:16, someone who spreads lies about someone else is considered a sinner. Before you send crap to your email list (whether it’s about McCain, Obama, Hillary or W), please check it out, otherwise you are sinning against God. As a theologian, I know that God don’t like that!


Help Prisoners by Donating Books
August 4th, 2008 under Books, Christianity, ChristianWalk, crime, God, Poor, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

prisonerreading.jpgI use Bookmooch to recycle and get used books. It’s a pretty cool way to get free books and even donate books to charity. This past weekend one of the books I have listed was “mooched” by a prison ministry. I read about the ministry and was convicted about sending some of my books to them.

You can send the books to:
Prison Book Program
C/O Marlene Cook
1306 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169

It’s a great ministry that fills a tremendous need…According to an article I read today,
A recent report by the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, stated that for the first time in history more than 1 percent of adults in the United States — one in 99.1 persons is held in jail or prison. Also, As reported in the May/June issue of Correctional News, the United States leads the world in the number of inmates per capita, with 750 inmates per 100,000 residents, according to the Pew report. During 2007, the U.S. prison population increased by more than 25,000 inmates to almost 1.6 million inmates, and local jails throughout the United States held 723,131 inmates at the end of 2007.

Prison Fellowship provides the following rationale for Christians to minister to prisoners:

God, unlike the world, has always chosen to identify closest with those who are isolated and broken. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40).

I know that I also have a lot of atheist readers. Feel free to send books to the above address because it’s a good thing!


Hannity Fan Kills Liberals
July 30th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, FoxNews, God, homosexuality, Hypocrisy, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 2 ]

hannity.jpgHere’s a link to an open letter to Sean Hannity from a former co-worker of his. It seems that, Jim Adkisson, the man who killed two people, wounded five others, and left an entire Unitarian Congregation in Knoxville and country shaken by his actions testified in his own written notes, that the rampage was fueled by Hannity’s words in the book, Let Freedom Ring.

In the article at Religion Dispatches, Candace Chellew-Hodge chronicles Hannity’s hatred of homosexuals and his bitter paranoia.

“If the Left succeeds in gaining and retaining more power, the well-being of future generations will be at greater peril. I fear (our children) will inherit a nation that is less free and less secure than the nation we inherited from the last generation. It is therefore our job to stop them. Not just debate them, but defeat them.” — Sean Hannity

Stuff like this is exactly why I will not stop “Kicking Against the Pricks.” Folks like Hannity, O’Reilly and the Fox News folks and the idiots who listen to them are the real threat. Funny how Christians were quick to condemn Marilyn Manson for the Columbine shootings but I haven’t heard anyone trying to get Hannity off the air! I sure hope the gun used wasn’t from some Baptist church gun give-away!

They are not Christians. They do not speak for Christ. They hurt the cause of Christ more than anyone else I can think of.

The Christ of Scripture speaks of a God who welcomes all to the banquet. This Christ calls us to love our neighbor, love our enemies and turn the other cheek. This Christ slams self-righteous religious folks and demands that we be humble, meek, and loving. I see none of those qualities in the Fox folks or those who watch that crap.

Once again, I call all Christians to boycott Fox. Read Chellew-Hodge’s article. It’s very touching. Here’s one more excerpt:

The sad irony here, Sean, is that if Mr. Adkisson had gone to that Unitarian church and told them he was out of a job and his food stamps had just ended, they would have helped him. They would have fed them from their food pantry and used their network of friends to help find him a job. Not because they’re liberal socialists, but because they understand that it’s not “us” against “them.” Instead, what made this country great is that we pull together in times of crisis—we bear one another’s burdens and put aside our differences in order to be of service to one another. They would have reached out to Mr. Adkisson without asking him if he was Democrat or a Republican or a liberal or a conservative. Labels don’t matter when someone is in need—or they shouldn’t.


Why Pray?
July 30th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, God, Poor, Quotes, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

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I saw this banner at one of my favorite sites: Unreasonable Faith. My son introduced me to this blog and I’ve really grown to enjoy it. Here’s Daniel’s response to the banner:

Is it really surprising there is a market for this kind of book, since unanswered prayers are the only kind that exist?

I feel sad for people who are stuck thinking their prayers are unanswered because their technique is bad or because they don’t know “God’s secrets” to prayer.

By the way, since I’ve stopped praying, I’ve noticed I still get the things I want… about 50% of the time. Same as before. And think of all the time I’ve saved!

The other day, there was also this interesting quote on the site:

24,000 children died today from starvation. What makes you think God will answer your prayers?

—Atheist bumper sticker (via William Lobdell)

Daniel raises some tough questions for Christians. I welcome his perspective. The above quote has changed my prayer life quite a bit!


Stress in the Big Easy
June 19th, 2008 under Cancer, Christianity, family, God, Katrina, Recovery, Shirley, Shirley Jr. [ Comments: 3 ]

Pandora'sIt’s been a tough day. I took my lovely wife to the doctor’s office this morning for her quarterly check-up. Four years since her final treatment for cancer. It seems like only yesterday. I hate that office. We got the bad news there. It’s always pretty packed with folks. Folks waiting for the bad news. Folks waiting for good news. Folks with wigs, using walkers, terribly tired, terribly scared, and terribly sick.

Visit to Pandora'sI watched people trying to stay awake. Two people were trying to work the 500 piece puzzle. Several had their spouses with them and some had their kids and grandkids with them. All alone was Sister St. Dorian. Just her and God. It was kind of sad. Her big black horn-rimmed glasses matched her skirt and head covering. Even though she looks to be in her late seventies, Sr. St. Dorian rose rather quickly when her name was called. She released the break on her walker and pretty quickly left for the door. I prayed for her.

As soon as the wife went in for her results, I left the waiting room and went to the lobby of the hospital. I couldn’t stand being in the room any longer.

Great news! She’s fine. I dropped her off at work and headed to the NOBTS library to work on a chapter for the next book. On the way I saw such devastation. I forget how terrible it still is in Gentilly. I get angry and depressed when I drive through my old neighborhood. “Guess they’ll never convict Jose Vazquez, Jr.’s murderer,” I thought as I drove past Vasquez’s restaurant on Gentilly. It hasn’t been touched since Katrina.

Trip to Pandora'sGot to the library, made a quick run through the New Orleans Blogs and saw another jerk is using the floods in Iowa to trash New Orleans. I love it when someone who’s never been here explains why Katrina was our fault. It really sucks around here. I know it could be worse. A lot worse.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Other days I feel like Sister St. Dorian. Alone in a scary place. Just me and God. Gotta hop up now. Got work to do. Can’t wait to pick up Shirley Jr from camp and Shirley Sr from work. I owe the little one a snowball. We’ll go by Pandora’s. Life is good.


Follow Jesus, You Maroons!
May 22nd, 2008 under Baptists, Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, FoxNews, God, Hypocrisy, Racism, Rant, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 3 ]

Woman at the WellWarning…this is a rant. I’m really ticked so there might be a few offensive phrases. See the picture on this post? It’s Jesus with the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan woman. Jews hated Samaritans. Jesus didn’t. He saw her as a human being. God’s kind of like that. You know, loving, not a racist, etc.

I’m flippin’ sick and tired of so called Christians making negative comments about “those Mexicans.” Five words: shut up you flippin’ moron! Read your Bible. Think a bit. Would Jesus be pissed about them coming here to “our” country? I don’t think so. In fact I know he wouldn’t. He’d tell you alleged Christians that you must, Jeez I know this will be a shock, love your neighbor. OK, they’re taking our jobs and costing us lots of money for providing their children with healthcare and education (Why is it that I usually hear this from old retired farts who don’t work anyway?) Let’s just pretend that these “Mexicans” are costing us lots of money and are our enemies.

Guess what? Take a look at your dusty old Bible again! Jesus says we’re supposed to love our enemies. Holy Crap! What to do? Why don’t you shut the heck up, think for a freakin’ minute, turn off Fox News and read the Gospels. Out loud. It’s really not that complex. Do you honestly believe that Jesus would be pissed about providing heathcare for children? We’re one of the richest countries in the world. If we really are a Christian nation (which we’re not) we should be glad to help those in need and not just those who have oil under them and are in need.

Why can’t you ignorant racist bigots realize that your ancestors were probably immigrants too? Of course that really shouldn’t matter if you’re a Christian because you’re supposed to LOVE them anyway. They are children of God, whether you like it or not. Their children are human-freaking-beings created in the image of God! Love them too!

In case you forgot. The Christian’s primary citizenry is the KINGDOM OF GOD not the United States. I know that makes me sound unpatriotic, but if I’ve got to chose someone or something to be obedient to it’s going to be Jesus. Not George Bush, that Hussein Obama guy you like to trash and certainly not that foul mouthed old fart that called his wife the “c” word. If following Jesus hurts the American economy then so be it. If it means I might have to, God forbid, make sacrifices like spending more money on others and less on myself I’ll gladly do it. Jesus’ sacrifice makes anything I do seem a bit lame anyway.

Sorry to break the news to you. If you’re going to follow Jesus, you’re going to have to love those “Mexicans” just like he does. If you’d like the scripture references email me at howie (dot) luvzus (at) gmail (dot) com. I didn’t provide them here because I didn’t want to waste your time and they should be a given anyway.

I wrote this because I love those “Mexicans” and hate to hear you trash them. They’re my brothers and sisters. I also wrote this because I love you too and it pains me to see you miss out on the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to someone in need.

Now shut up and follow Jesus, you maroons!


Guys: Don’t Pee Sitting Down!
January 28th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, God, Humor, Social Issues. [ Comments: 4 ]

“>
This sermon is about how men need to Pee standing up! KJV lovers are kinda wacky! Some folks give me a hard time about my use of Acts 9:5. Well, listen to this guy who rails about how the Bible teaches men to be real men. You can show this by peeing standing up.

Sorry Shirley, looks like you’ll need to start looking before you go!
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Steven L. Anderson is pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church…a soul-winning, independent, fundamental, King James Bible-only Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

Steven’s Sermon, Why Billy Graham is On His Way to Hell, can be found here.


The Devil and Mr Darwin
December 7th, 2007 under Christian Crap, Christianity, God. [ Comments: 1 ]

devil.jpgIt seems most of my cool stuff comes via Becky, one of my favorite bloggers. Here’s another one from Reuters:

More Americans believe in a literal hell and the devil than Darwin’s theory of evolution, according to a new Harris poll released on Thursday.

It is the latest survey to highlight America’s deep level of religiosity, a cultural trait that sets it apart from much of the developed world.

The poll of 2,455 U.S. adults from Nov 7 to 13 found that 82 percent of those surveyed believed in God, a figure unchanged since the question was asked in 2005.

It further found that 79 percent believed in miracles, 75 percent in heaven, while 72 percent believed that Jesus is God or the Son of God. Belief in hell and the devil was expressed by 62 percent.

Darwin’s theory of evolution met a far more skeptical audience which might surprise some outsiders as the United States is renowned for its excellence in scientific research.

Only 42 percent of those surveyed said they believed in Darwin’s theory which largely informs how biology and related sciences are approached.

You may want to look here for various opinions by religious leaders concerning evolution. I know I won’t change any minds, but what the heck.
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In looking around the internets I just realized that when I went to the national meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego a few weeks ago to present a paper, I missed an opportunity to sit in a scholarly discussion about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Crap!

I guess I’m not really on the cutting edge of Religious Studies.


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