Religious ideas and beliefs should not be above criticism or beyond satire we use both...we're different. * No written or expressed guarantees are made about the use of alternative, metaphysical or spiritual enlightenment tools, services and supplies. This site is for entertainment/enlightenment purposes only and is done in parody..."It's a joke son..."~Foghorn Leghorn


Even the the wisdom of heresy has it's own specific tune and melody unique to the wisdom of heresy.~Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pastor Leandria Johnson Tells Church To Stop Sucking Her Titty

Pastor Leandria Johnson Tells Church To Stop Sucking Her Titty


Pastor Leandria Johnson has just taken preaching where no other pastor would have dared to go - she just told the congregation "stop sucking my titty." It was just as unscripted as it was shocking, and it just jumped out of her mouth once she hit the climax or shall I say, once she jumped "into the spirit.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pope Francis Sends Video Message to Kenneth Copeland - Lets Unite

Pope Francis Sends Video Message to Kenneth Copeland - Lets Unite



His Holiness' message begins at 31:00 minutes

Pope Francis sends a message to leading 'Word of Faith' teacher Kenneth Copeland via Bishop Tony Palmer saying that Charismatics and Catholics must unite.





The Real History of Christianity…

by Bill Zebub


What is it that blocks otherwise intelligent people from looking objectively or critically at Christianity? Is it like overlooking the defects of a loved one? Is it denial, like refusing to see the signs of drug abuse in a loved one? Is this how the myriad contradictions are reconciled within the believer’s mind? While all religions are fabrications, Christianity deserves special investigation because of its aggressive history, namely in the forced conversions and the murderous removal of opposing sects. It is this very sort of abusive power that has controlled what the masses hear, but anyone who wishes to discover the true origins is by no means completely blocked. It is not an ordinary thing, however, for someone to actually research history, especially when it applies to religious farce.
The one thing that is common to all forms of Christianity is the myth of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. It should be interesting to note that the story of the resurrection did not exist in the earliest manuscripts. Further, the Gospels were composed during times when hundreds of Jews were being crucified each week. They were written for a Greco-Roman audience. If the events did actually happen, the obvious role of the Romans in the trial of Jesus as well as his execution “had to be whitewashed and presented as sympathetically as possible” (Holy Blood, Holy Grail 348). There was absolutely no criticism of Roman oppression, nor any mention of Jewish revolt. The Jews were cast in the role of villains, but this is historically illogical because they (the Sanhedrin) had the right to pass death sentences. They did not need Pontius Pilate. Further, if they had wanted Jesus to be killed, he would have been stoned to death, not crucified. Crucifixion was exclusively used by Rome to execute the enemies of Rome. It was never a Jewish form of capital punishment. If he really was crucified, he did something to provoke Roman wrath, not Jewish wrath.
The three Synoptic Gospels have Jesus being arrested and condemned by the Sanhedrin on the night of the passover. This could not be real history because the Sanhedrin, by Judaic law, were forbidden to meet over Passover. The Gospels state that the arrest and trial occurred at night, but the Sanhedrin “were forbidden to meet at night, in private houses, or anywhere outside of the precincts of the temple” (Holy Blood, Holy Grail 349).
The story of Barabbas being freed in exchange for Jesus is pure fiction. Two Gospels describe a Roman custom of freeing a prisoner during passover festival, but no such policy ever existed on the part of the Romans. A Roman procurator, especially someone as ruthless as Pilate, would likewise never consent to the pressure of a mob.
Pontius Pilate, as he is depicted in the Gospels, appears to be a decent person who consents only reluctantly to the crucifixion of Jesus. History paints a different picture of him. He was a procurator of Judea from A.D. 26 o 36, and he was a cruel and corrupt man. Why is there no criticism of him in the Gospels?
Another historical impossibility in the crucifixion story is the removal of the body of Jesus from the cross. According to Roman law at the time, a crucified man/woman was denied burial. The person was left to the elements, birds, and animals, which completed the humiliation of this form of execution.
There is no verification of a significant crucifixion in the writings of historians such as Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Epictectus, Cluvius Rufus, Quintus, Curtis Rufus, Josephus, nor the Roman Consul, Publius Petronius. The crucifixion also was unknown to early Christians until as late as the Second Century.
The punishment for robbery was not crucifixion. The New Testament accounts of the crucifixion depict two thieves being crucified along with Jesus. Crucifixion was never the penalty for robbery. On the other hand, the Romans spoke of Zealots as ‘Robbers’ in order to defame them. Zealots were crucified because of their crimes against the Roman empire.
Muslims have never attributed the crucifixion of Jesus as true. “And they killed him not, nor did they cause his death on the cross” (The Koran, Surah 4). Although the premise of this essay is that all religions are fabrications, it is interesting to note how they regard each other.
“Messiah” is a term that Christians think had specifically been applied to Jesus, but for people living at the time of Jesus, the idea of a divine Messiah “would have been preposterous, if not unthinkable” (Holy Blood, Holy Grail). The Greek word for Messiah is Christos. The term generally referred to a king. For Zealots, the term implied a lost king, someone from the bloodline of David who would liberate them from Roman tyranny. In one Gospel, the lineage of Jesus is traced to David, which is ironic because his father is named as Joseph, which contradicts the myth of the immaculate conception in which Jesus is birthed by a deity as well as a mortal woman.
“Many of the now-called persecutions of the early Christians were due solely to the fact that they were criminal activists, not religious devotees. As Marcellinus Ammianis (c. 330-400), the famous Roman historian said of them in his time, ‘the atrocity of the Christians against opponents surpasses the fury of wild beasts against men’.” (The Bible Fraud 96) Rome was tolerant of all religions except Druidism. They resented religions that presented political rivalry.
Gospels that do not appear in the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Truth, and the Gospel of the Egyptians, were mentioned by the early church fathers, like Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, and Origen. These texts date no later than A.D. 150. What is interesting about them is that they escaped the censorship and revision of the later Roman orthodoxy, and they were written for an Egyptian audience, so they weren’t slanted to the Roman ear. The Gospel of Thomas was unearthed in 1945. This, and other works that were salvaged, are collectively called the “Nag Hammadi” scrolls. In one such scroll, Jesus speaks:
I did not succumb to them as they had planned and I did not die in reality but in appearance, lest I be put to shame by them. . . my death which they think
happened. . . their error and blindness.. . . And I was laughing at their ignorance.(Holy Blood, Holy Grail 381).
Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is actual history, and apparently they believe that totally different stories are equally valid. According to Luke, when Jesus was born he was visited by shepherds. According to Matthew he was visited by kings. There are many such contradictions, and the validity of any is questionable, if not utterly fictitious. For instance, Nazareth did not exist during the lifetime of Jesus, but it did exist at the time of the writings which occurred much later.
It wasn’t until A.D. 325, at the Council of Nicea, convened by Roman emperor Constantine, that it was decided, by a vote, that Jesus was to be depicted as a god, not a mortal prophet. A year after this the Council of Nicea, Constantine ordered all works that challenged the official orthodox teaching to be destroyed. In A.D. 331, he commissioned and financed new copies of the Bible. It was at this point that crucial alterations were made, and the new status of Jesus was fabricated. Constantine never converted to Christianity. He was actually baptized when he was on his deathbed, completely unaware.
The Bible is only a selection of works. It has been subjected to drastic editing and revision. One ommission from the Gospel of Mark, which gives a different account of raising Lazarus from the dead, depicts him as calling out from the tomb, never having been dead in the first place. After which, the passage reads:
And going out from the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. . . and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night. (Holy Blood, Holy Grail 321)
Clement freely acknowledge the existence of the secret Gospel of Mark. In a letter to one of his underlings, a man identified only as Theodore, Clement writes in regard to people who criticize Church writings: ”Even though they should say something true, one who loves the truth should not, even so, agree with them” (Holy Blood, Holy Grail 319)
On no subject has the world been more blinded or deceived than that of the church’s portrayal of the character and integrity of the presbyters. “In the early days, the New Testament was oral. During that time, the presbyters were beggared entertainers of the public, and nothing more” (The Bible Fraud 165). For the first 300 years, the church had no organization and the clergy had no special title. They were called presbyters. The word originally meant ‘old man’ and when it was simplified into Old English it was changed to ‘preost’ which today is ‘priest’.
The three presbyters credited with the founding of the church were Irenaeus (115-202), Clement of Alexandria (160-215) and Tertullian (160-210). In The Canon of the Bible. Professor Samuel Davidson said of all of them:
The three presbyters of whom we are speaking had neither the ability nor incli nation to examine the genesis of the documents. . . No analysis of their authen ticity and genuineness was seriously attempted. . . The ends which they had in view, the polemic motives, their uncritial inconsistent assertions, their want of sure data, detract from their testimony. . . The very arguments they use to estab lish certain conclusions show weakness of perception (The Bible Fraud 166)
The presbyters could not agree about which stories or writings should be publicly spoken. The scandals of their debates were embarrassing to the later church and many records of these deliberations were suppressed. One of them, Eusebius (260-339) is on record saying ‘It is an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by such means the interests of the church might be promoted’.
One of the most vocal critics was Celsus, who wrote a book called ‘True Discourse’ which was destroyed by the Fifth Century Church. He wrote:
They openly declared than none but the ignorant were fit to hear their discourses and that one of their rules was ‘let no man who is learned come among us’. They never appeared in the circles of the wiser and better sort, but always took care to intrude themselves among the ignorant and uncultured, rambling around to play tricks at fairs and markets” (The Bible Fraud 170).
Toward the end of his life, St. Augustine confessed that Christianity was ‘a religion of threats and bribes unworthy of wise men’. Ironically he is called ‘Doctor of the Church’.
St. Jerome, a transvestite who was taught to read and write Hebrew by an old monk, was paid a large sum of money in A.D. 382 by Pope Damasus to reword and restructure the Bible, which later became the Vulgate Bible. He was commissioned for this task despite being accused of heresy for preferring to read Pagan literature.
The presbyters had strange beliefs. They believed in the Phoenix, and Clement said that he saw it. Origen not only believed in the Phoenix, but he insisted that the sun, moon, and stars were living creatures who were rational because they moved across the sky. He argued that because stars could only be seen at night, the air was populated by demons. St. Justin Martyr believed in demons and said that they were the offspring of angels who had sex with the daughters of men. He went on record saying that the insane were possessed by the souls of the wicked who had died in sin, and claimed that this possession was proof of the immortality of the soul. Theophilius claimed that the pain of childbirth and the fact that snakes slither on their bellies is proof of the story of Eden. Tertullian believed that the hyena changed sex, and that the stag renewed its youth by eating poisonous snakes. He also taught that volcanoes were the openings of hell. They also thought that the Garden of Eden was not on earth.
The presbyters of the Second. Third, and Fourth centuries developed the Christian texts. The earliest version of the Gospel of Mark had no mention of Mary or the virgin birth, or any of the prophesies about a Messiah. It did not have the term “Son of God”, and it did not contain the family tree which links Jesus to King David. In it, Lazarus was alive when Jesus came to him in the tomb. It also did not contain any story about any resurrection.
Rabbi Ebion authored the Gospel of the Hebrews (Essenes). The presbyters had a copy that they falsified and later named the Gospel of Matthew. Rabbi Ebion’s document was the original Hebrew language version of the Matthew Gospel, and there are some alarming differences. Most notably, it did not contain the first two chapters that are read today. It likewise has no story of any resurrection, no family geneology of jesus, not any Old Testament references to Jesus fulfilling prophesies. The Catholic Encyclopedia now states that the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew were added in the Third Century. The earliest form of the Gospel of John, like that of Luke and the others, do not have the story of the virgin birth. In A.D. 374, St. Epiphanius listed 118 passages where the later Gospels differed from earlier manuscripts.
Many of the earliest texts that were written that were originally included in what would become the New Testament were later removed and suppressed, like the Gospel of Peter. It was said to have contained heresy.
Emperor Constantine ordered all presbyters to attend a council in Nicaea in 325, and they were to bring with them their manuscripts. The council, over which he presided, was to decide what Christianity was, and which writings were to be used. It was at this council that it was decided to preach that Jesus was divine, not just a man. This was a bitter debate. Arius from Alexandria, and his followers, argued against the notion. Nicholas, whom the Santa Claus myth is based on, was so enraged at Arius that he punched him. Arius was later poisoned. The whole affair became so violent that Constantine called on the army to restore order. After a process of elimination whereby surviving representatives were permitted to vote, Jesus became a god by a vote of 161 against 157.
Constantine instructed Eusebius to compile a uniform collection of writings from the collection of presbyters’ manuscripts, with the instruction “make them to astound!” This was the first Christian New Testament. Constantine decrees that these were to be considered the “words of God”. Constantine proclaimed Jesus to be the “Prince of Peace” although that title was originally bestowed on Augustus. The New Testament was also to be bound with the Old Testament to give the appearance of combining the two religions. Constantine then ordered that anyone possessing the earlier manuscripts should be beheaded instantly. E also sent Joseph of Tiberias to Jerusalem to construct a small temple over the site of a cave that was to he referred to as the birthplace of Jesus. He offered bribes for influential people to accept the new creed.
Constantine issued edicts forbidding other sects to hold meetings, and many were put to death. After the council of Nicaea, various records were forged to establish that Jesus was a historical personage. One such fabrication was inserted into the writings of Josephus (which has long since been exposed). No such passages were found in any copy of the works of Josephus prior to Eusebius.
I t should be noted that Constantine drowned his wife in boiling water and killed his son, which is hardly the way that Christians like to depict him.
The Roman Catholic Church apparently inherited Roman cruelty and lust for dominion. No other Christian sect was tolerated. The Cathars, in France, like many others, rejected the notion that Jesus was in any way divine. Further, they denied the validity of all priests, bishops, et cetera. To them, there was no intercession between a person and his/her deity. They doubted the story of the crucifixion, and they certainly saw no relevance in it. They regarded the cross as an emblem of Rex Mundi, lord of the material world, which was a world that they rejected. Their common ideal was that life on earth was to transcend matter and to renounce anything connected with power.
This denial of Roman Catholic authority met with tragic consequences. In 1208 Pope Innocent III ordered their extermination. Over 30,000 Cathars, which included children, women, and the elderly, were brutally massacred over a number of years.. Those who escaped the sword were burned alive and subject to other horrific deaths.
In A.D.1607 a committed of 47 men took two years and nine months to re-write the Bible, which is now called the King James Bible. It removed seven books from the Catholic version. King James chose Sir Francis Bacon to edit the manuscripts. It should be noted that the earlier Greek versions were not written until around the Fourth Century, and before that, the writings were in Hebrew and Aramaic.
Since the Dead Sea scrolls were found, close associates of the Vatican were placed in dominant positions in every phase of the translation. Priests regulated the flow of information and controlled its release. J. Edgar Hoover commented, “It can be held certain that information that is withheld or suppressed contains truths that are detrimental to the persons involved in the suppression” (The Bible Fraud 51)
Flavius Josephus recorded that the Essenes considered it a grave sin to reveal anything to outsiders. Dr. Barbara Thiering boldy claimed that the Dead Seas Scrolls dated from the time of Jesus instead of before his birth. The official dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls was based on writing, but the writing of the scrolls is in cursive, which cannot be dated. Additionally, dating had to allow error of up to sixty years because the scribe can be very old or very young. The Dead Sea Scrolls described a way of hiding information in stories. The stories would themselves have meaning, but beneath the surface lurked important details, which in Dr. Thiering’s interpretation were secret histories which needed to be protected from the marauding Romans. The word “pesher” is used to name the procedure. The authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls used the “pesher technique” when they transcribed Old Testament books, like when they wrote about Babylonians marching toward Judea, but the message is really about the Romans during the time of the writing of the scrolls. Part of this technique is to give words special meaning. Applying this to the New Testament, where the word “wicked” appears, as in “wicked men” the passage refers to “the wicked priest” so particulars are made out of universals. (The Wicked Priest is a figure described in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and scholars bitterly argue as to the true identity of this character. Some argue that it is Jesus.). If the hypothesis is to hold, the “pesher” must be true in every instance of the term, etc.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Says Girls Should Marry When They Are 15 Years Old?

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Says Girls Should Marry When They Are 15 Years Old




Jesus never spoke against homosexuality but he did speak out against divorce.

 "The earliest marriers, those adolescents who enter marriage in their mid-teens, experience marital failure rates closer to a sobering 80%."


Why We Should Raise the Marriage Age

by Vivian Hamilton

My last series of posts argued that states should lower the voting age, since by mid-adolescence, teens have the cognitive-processing and reasoning capacities required for voting competence. But that is not to say that teens have attained adult-like capacities across all domains. To the contrary, context matters. And one context in which teens lack competence is marriage.

Through a single statutory adjustment — raising to 21 the age at which individuals may marry — legislators could reduce the percentage of marriages ending in divorce, improve women’s mental and physical health, and elevate women’s and children’s socioeconomic status.

More than 1 in 10 U.S. women surveyed between 2001 and 2002 had married before age 18, with 9.4 million having married at age 16 or younger. In 2010, some 520,000 U.S. teens were married, divorced, or widowed. In an article published last month, The Age of Marital Capacity: Reconsidering Civil Recognition of Adolescent Marriage, I describe more fully the social costs of early marriage and argue for an end to the practice.

The High Costs of Early Marriage

For decades, age at marriage has been the most consistent and unequivocal predictor of marital failure. Of marriages entered at age 25 or later, fewer than 30% end in divorce. Of marriages entered before age 18, on the other hand, nearly 70% end in divorce. The earliest marriers, those adolescents who enter marriage in their mid-teens, experience marital failure rates closer to a sobering 80%. Not until age 22 does marital stability improve significantly and do marriage dissolution rates begin to level off.

The costs of child marriages (entered before age 18) and early marriages more generally (entered at age 21 or younger) extend beyond their dissolution. Early marriers are more likely than those who delay or avoid marriage to discontinue their formal educations prematurely, earn low wages, and live in poverty. Women who marry early develop more mental and physical health problems than those who marry later. And following divorce, mothers (and their children) tend to suffer greater economic deprivation and instability than do their never-married counterparts. (See here, pp. 1799-1806)

Neither attaining age 18 (the near-universal age of presumptive marital capacity) nor obtaining the consent of parents and/or  judges (generally required for those individuals seeking to marry before age 18) has an observable effect on marital stability. Only delay and factors integrally associated with it — such as more years of education — reliably increase marital stability.

Causes of Early Marriage Instability

Why are marriages entered at earlier ages so unstable? And what can be done about it? The answer to the first question is complicated; the answer to the second question is not.


Adolescents have the cognitive capacity to understand the nature of and consent to enter marriage. Yet modern marriage demands relationship skills and requires levels of emotional maturity that were not required to sustain the marriages of the past. (For those interested in the evolution of marriage in the United States, see here, pp. 1789-97.) Adolescents lack these capacities. Instead, adolescent cognitive maturity exists alongside socio-emotional immaturity. Developmental neuroscientists have begun to explain the neurological bases for the coexistence of these characteristics and now posit that two neural systems develop along different timelines. Psychologists too have long observed that during adolescence, individuals’ commitments and relationships tend to be in flux as they engage in a period of identity exploration that extends into the early 20′s. The development before marriage of personal identity and relational skills, which comes only with time and life experience, seems to improve the likelihood of marriages’ success and endurance.

Adolescents, moreover, will not have attained the postsecondary education or work experience increasingly required to obtain well-paying work in our information- and technology-based post-industrial economy. Women who marry before age 19 are 50% more likely to drop out of high school than are their unmarried counterparts, and 4 times less likely to complete college. Low-paying work and occupational instability hinders the ability to support a family, and financial insecurity stresses the marital relationship.

Higher educational attainment, on the other hand, seems to have a protective effect against marital instability, and that protective effect has grown significantly in recent decades. Among white individuals, having at least 16 years of education (compared to having less than 12) reduced the odds of marital failure by 39% between 1990 and 1994, compared with an 8% reduction between 1970 and 1979. For African Americans, the protective effect of education is even greater — 16 years or more correlated with a 75% reduction in the odds of marital failure between 1990 and 1994, compared with 19%  between 1970 and 1979.

The median age at first marriage has steadily risen to what are now historic highs for both men and women (to 28 for men, and 26 for women), evincing popular acknowledgement of, and adaptation to, the new social context of marriage. The continued existence of too-early marriages, however, unnecessarily imposes significant costs — on early marriers, their children, and society. The state does well to respect individuals’ life choices, even when improvident. When those choices impose sufficiently high costs on others, however, the state and its legal institutions abrogate their proper roles by failing to respond appropriately. The high costs imposed by early marriage require a legal response through which the law, too, adapts to the new social context within which its members enter and endeavor to sustain marriage.

A Proposal

States should consider raising the presumptive age of marital capacity to 21 or 22. Empirical evidence suggests that delaying marriage to 22 would result in the most effective increase in stability. Stability continues to improve every year after 22, but at a much slower rate. At the same time, a number of age-related rights already accrue at 21. Given its current existence as a marker of maturity of sorts, then, there may be less political resistance to having the right to marry also accrue at 21.

States would also do well to remove altogether statutory exceptions allowing adolescents younger than 18 to marry. Again, however, given that age 18 is currently the age of legal majority in most states, there may be less resistance to a policy change that sets 18 as the minimum marital age, but that requires young people aged 18-20 to obtain judicial (not parental) approval before obtaining a marriage license. Parental approval has provided little or no safeguard against the instability of early marriages. Statutes might thus impose clearer (and higher) standards for judicial approval.

Law is only one of the influences on family formation, but legal change bringing the marital age in line with the modern social institution will go far to alleviate the strain on individuals and cost to society imposed by early marriage.

- Source: http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2013/01/why-we-should-raise-the-marriage-age.html

Raising the marriage age is a true step forward for women


Israel raises minimum marriage age to 18


Time to Innovate: UN International Day of the Girl Child 2013
Around one in seven girls marries before the age of 15 - some even marry as young as eight. . Child marriage profoundly impacts girls’ physical and mental well-being: it risks damaging their health and disproportionately exposes them to domestic and sexual violence. And child marriage almost inevitably puts an end to education for millions of girls.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

CHRISTIAN GROUP CANCELS EVENT FEATURING ‘DUCK DYNASTY’

CHRISTIAN GROUP CANCELS EVENT FEATURING ‘DUCK DYNASTY’ STAR OVER THE ROBERTSONS’ LATEST BUSINESS VENTURE

A Christian organization for at-risk youth in Tennessee has canceled a fundraiser event with “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson after learning that one of America’s most famous families is getting into the wine business.
The Robertsons are set to begin selling “Duck Commander Wines” next month. Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Greeneville., Tenn., said there was an inherent conflict between having Robertson appear and the organization’s mission of helping adolescents.
Family Ministries Cancels Event Featuring Duck Dynasty Citing the Robertsons Latest Business Endeavor
Willie Robertson and Korie Robertson attend the 61st annual BMI Country Awards, Nov. 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn. (Getty Images for BMI/Michael Loccisano)
The organization told Fox News it harbors no ill feelings toward the “Duck Dynasty” clan, and is just worried about sending mixed messages.
“Our greatest responsibility is to the young people we serve,” development director Derek Bell said on the group’s Facebook page. “Therefore, we feel that in light of the recent news that the stars of the show ‘Duck Dynasty’ are partnering with Trinchero Family Estates to launch Duck Commander Wines, to continue with this event would send mixed messages to the young people who go through our Adolescent Drug and Alcohol program.”
The organization said half of the adolescents it works with go through a drug and alcohol program. A mostly teenage crowd was expected to turn out for the event, Fox reported.
“Our message must be consistent. The lives of those children may well hang in the balance,” Bell said.
The group apologized to anyone who had already purchased tickets for the April event; the venue, Viking Hall Civic Center, is currently offering refunds.
The event was to raise funds for the ministry’s “School Expansion Project” — a 10,000-square-foot expansion effort to help increase the organization’s ability to serve young people.


A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, Ecclesiastes 10:19

Wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. Psalm 104:15

The talking snake says: "You’re in luck! The apostle Paul told us everything God said was GARBAGE.





Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Budding Star of Progressive Christianity

Bolz-Weber’s liberal, foulmouthed articulation of Christianity speaks to fed-up believers


By Michelle Boorstein,

AUSTIN — Nadia Bolz-Weber bounds into the University United Methodist Church sanctuary like a superhero from Planet Alternative Christian. Her 6-foot-1 frame is plastered with tattoos, her arms are sculpted by competitive weightlifting and, to show it all off, this pastor is wearing a tight tank top and jeans.

Looking out at the hundreds of people crowded into the pews to hear her present the gospel of Jesus Christ, she sees: Dockers and blazers. Sensible shoes. Grandmothers and soccer moms. Nary a facial piercing.

To Bolz-Weber’s bafflement, this is now her congregation: mainstream America.

These are the people who put her memoir near the top of the New York Times bestseller list the week it came out in September. They are the ones who follow her every tweet and Facebook post by the thousands, and who have made the Lutheran minister a budding star for the liberal Christian set.

And who, as Bolz-Weber has described it in her frequently profane dialect, “are [mess]ing up my weird.”

A quick tour through her 44 years doesn’t seem likely to wind up here. It includes teen rebellion against her family’s fundamentalist Christianity, a nose dive into drug and alcohol addiction, a lifestyle of sleeping around and a stint doing stand-up in a grungy Denver comedy club. She is part of society’s outsiders, she writes in her memoir, its “underside dwellers . . . cynics, alcoholics and queers.”

Which is where — strangely enough — the match with her fans makes sense. The type of social liberals who typically fill the pews of mainline churches sometimes feel like outsiders among fellow liberals in their lives if they are truly believing Christians; if they are people who really experience Jesus and his resurrection, even if they can’t explain it scientifically; if they are people who want to hear words from the Apostles in church, not Thich Nhat Hanh or Barack Obama.

In her body and her theology, Bolz-Weber represents a new, muscular form of liberal Christianity, one that merges the passion and life-changing fervor of evangelicalism with the commitment to inclusiveness and social justice of mainline Protestantism. She’s a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left.

“You show us all your dirty laundry! It’s all out there!” the Rev. John Elford of the University United Methodist Church booms, as if he is introducing a rock star, leading the cheering crowd into an impassioned round of hymn-singing.

Bolz-Weber springs onstage to do a reading from her book, but first she addresses the language that’s about to be unleashed on the pulpit: “I don’t think church leaders should pretend to be something they’re not.”

The crowd erupts into applause.

Bolz-Weber pulls out a few kitschy items that she raffles off to raise money for a local charity. She waves a gift certificate for a free tattoo. Then she speaks to her new reality:

“You ladies over 70 dig deep, because you know you want it!”

God without answers

Bolz-Weber’s appeal is unquestionably part packaging: dramatic back story, cool appearance, super-entertaining delivery. She launched a successful church for disaffected young people and has headlined youth gatherings tens of thousands strong. For a part of American religion that’s been in a long, slow institutional decline, this gives her major credibility.

She’s on a plane nearly every week to headline church leadership gatherings because of the way she articulates the place of the religious liberal in America. Next up is Calvary Baptist Church in Washington’s Chinatown, where she will speak to an overflow crowd of more than 600 people Tuesday evening.

Her message: Forget what you’ve been told about the golden rule — God doesn’t love you more if you do good things, or if you believe certain things. God, she argues, offers you grace regardless of who you are or what you do.

Christianity, Bolz-Weber preaches, has nothing to do with rules; it is the process of things constantly dying and then being made new. Those things, she says, might be the alcoholic who emerges into sobriety, some false narrative we have about ourselves, religious institutions that no longer inspire.

“I think God is wanting to be known. And my experience of God wanting to be known is much more in the person who is annoying me at the moment rather than in the sunset,” she says. God is present in these challenging interactions, she says.

“I never experience God in camping or trees or nature. I hate nature,” she told the Austin crowd as she paced the stage. “God invented takeout and duvets for a reason.”

This emphasis on experience over rules challenges conservatives, but it also bothers progressives who have turned church into what she views as essentially a nonprofit organization.

“This isn’t supposed to be the Elks Club with the Eucharist,” Bolz-Weber said in a taxi ride before her Austin talk. Religion should be “something that’s so devastatingly beautiful it can break your heart. Instead it’s been: ‘Recycle.’ And ‘Don’t sleep with your girlfriend.’ ”

Bolz-Weber says she abhors “spirituality,” which she sees as a limp kind of self-improvement plan. She prefers a cranky, troublemaking and real God who at times of loss and pain doesn’t have the answers either.

“God isn’t feeling smug about the whole thing,” she writes about Jesus’s resurrection and the idea that the story is used as fodder for judgment. “God is not distant at the cross. . . . God is there in the messy mascara-streaked middle of it, feeling as [bad] as the rest of us.”

This very physical way of talking about God is thrilling to a lot of people who grew up in liberal Christianity.

“Here’s Nadia — boom!” said Jeff Krehbiel, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor in the District who leads a national group on revitalizing U.S. congregations. “For her, this isn’t some metaphor, this is something real that changed the world and changed my life. How do we talk about this as people who want to use their heads? . . . I think people like her are resonating with a growing group of Christians who are asking the same kinds of questions.”

To Carmen Retzlaff, a newly ordained Lutheran pastor who came with her husband to the Austin talk, Bolz-Weber is liberating — partly because she’s “unapologetic” about her faith. “She talks a lot about JEE-sus” — Retzlaff giggles here — “which hasn’t always been a place of comfort in an increasingly secular world. I really love that.”

Some people, of course, really hate that. Her memoir’s title, in fact, comes from the nickname given to her by one of her critics who opposes female clergy. The book is called “Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint.”

From drugs to the pulpit

At the core of Bolz-Weber’s five-year-old Denver church, the House for All Sinners and Saints, are people who felt hurt by religion — as she did.

Early on, she says, she was aware of hypocrisy, homophobia and sexism in her fundamentalist upbringing. As a teenager, she had a thyroid disorder that caused her eyes to bug far out of her head, and she always had the feeling that she didn’t belong. She marinated her anger in drugs and alcohol for about a decade.

Yet she never stopped believing in God. She dabbled for years with Wicca and experimented with every liberal faith group, from Unitarians to Quakers. She performed stand-up as a type of no-cost therapy.

It was going through anti-addiction recovery that finally soothed her anger. Her encounter with a tall, cute, Lutheran seminary student named Matthew Weber brought her back to church. They married in 1996 and have two children.

She first heard the call to pastor in a downtown Denver comedy club at which she and a bunch of her old runaround pals gathered in 2004 to eulogize a friend who had hanged himself. As the only religious member, she was asked to lead the service. Her vocation to her fellow outsiders was born.

Four years and a seminary degree later, Bolz-Weber founded what today is casually called House. It’s a start-up of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with an “anti-excellence, pro-participation” policy. It meets in the parish hall of an Episcopal church.

Seating is arranged around an unelevated circle, lay people can pick up a card and help run the service, and sermons by Bolz-Weber are usually 12 minutes tops. Singing is all a capella and every service has a creative, congregant-run, interactive program.

“Sometimes I ask myself, why aren’t we at 1,000 people? This church is unbelievable,” said Aram Harotunian, a former evangelical megachurch pastor who goes to House. “For 21 years, I felt I had to keep people in line, and it felt like bondage to me. House has a lot of people burned by religion, and this still holds for me. It’s the only church I can stomach.”

But House has had its own unconventional crisis in recent years, after the suburbanites started showing up.

“It was awful,” Bolz-Weber writes. It seemed as if her “precious little indie boutique of a church” might be overrun by bankers and doctors. She called her pastor friends to ask, “Have you ever had normal people take over your church?”

The church had to call a meeting that is now basic House lore. The newcomers described how they felt inspired by the liturgy, and the younger outsider-types who had been there from the beginning wound up saying it was kind of nice to see someone who looked like their moms or dads but was accepting.

Bolz-Weber characterizes herself as having had “a heart transplant.” This is typical for someone who presents herself as the “anti-pastor”: cranky, intolerant, egotistical, but always open to Jesus making her better.

Growing pains

These days, about 180 people show up each Sunday, an eclectic mix of homeless and corporate types, punk teens and suburban baby boomers sitting on stacking chairs in the rented hall. Bolz-Weber’s growing popularity has forced the questions: How deeply into convention can she stand going? Can she stomach the idea of hiring staff? Of being mega?

The congregation is “becoming big and it’s freaking her out, because that’s not her gift,” said Harotunian. “It gets to her identity — what kind of pastor does she want to be? A lot of people think she’s going to climb the ladder. But I don’t think she can do that. It’s very precarious.”

For her part, Bolz-Weber is open about wondering how long she can be a nonstop tweeting-and-traveling machine.

“Christianity is supposed to give me a mild sense of discomfort. I don’t get to be in control,” she said. “It’s always putting me into something new.”

SOURCE: 
'Progressive Christianity' is an oxymoron . . . just like 'Intelligent Liberal'

A word from Pastor Cletus


"Jesus told us that we need to become like children if we want to get into Heaven. You see, Jesus doesn't want us to get puffed up with so-called education and knowledge, which is why He has anointed Barack Hussein Obama II.  Scientists would have you believe that salvation can be found in the accumulation of knowledge. They say that "knowledge" will set you free. This is hogwash according to our Lord and Savior. Through Jesus, we know that all knowledge outside of the Holy Bible is a lie. A child could tell you that! During this time of Thanksgiving, science has yet to provide an explanation as to why there are still so many turkeys available after they were all killed last year. We will tell you why: Jesus blesses us with those turkeys, end of story. We don't need to read a book to find out where they come from! They come from Jesus!"


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giant Statue of Jesus Christ Erected in Syria?

Is this really the right time to erect a 105ft statue of Jesus on mountainside in war-torn Syria?


  • Statue appeared in an area where Christians are being persecuted

  • Has stood for three weeks without being vandalized on destroyed

  • Backers of the project say erecting statue is 'what Jesus would do' 

  • Exodus 20:4 comes to mind.  Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 

The height of the bronze statue is 39 m together with the plinth, which is taller than the statue of the Christ in Rio de Janeiro (38 m). One can see the sculpture from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. (Public Radio of Armenia)
A new statue of Jesus Christ was erected on top of a Syrian mountain this week. The statue is taller than the Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Interfax reported:
A sculpture ensemble depicting Jesus Christ called ‘I have come to save the world’ has been erected on top of a 2,000-meter high mountain in Syria.
The statue has been placed on a historic pilgrim route from Constantinople to Jerusalem, at the Cherubim Monastery in the community of Saidnaya at an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level, the Moscow Spiritual Academy, which supported this peacekeeping project, said in a statement.
“The ensemble with the blessing Christ in its center, seen from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, is designed to bring peace, mutual understanding, and hope for common salvation to a region engulfed in the flames of war,” it said.
The warring parties suspended hostilities and were watching the statue’s installation, which took three days, it said.
The monument was installed on October 14, when some Christian churches celebrate the feast of the Intercession of the Theotokos, and on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria
Workers preparing to install a statue of Jesus on Mount Sednaya, Syria which arrived in two pieces
Syrian Christians believe that the second advent of Christ will happen on the mountain, on the route that pilgrims took from Jerusalem to Constantinople.

    Backers say it is there simply because 'Jesus would have done it.'
    The main armed groups in the area halted fire while organizers set up the statue which was assembled from two pieces.
    Christians in Syria believe that the second coming of Jesus will happen at the site
    Divine inspiration: Christians in Syria believe that the second coming of Jesus will happen at the site 
    Smaller statues of Adam and Eve stand close to the work which was inspired by Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue. 
    The project, called I Have Come to Save the World, is run by the London-based St Paul and St George Foundation and was financed by private donors from across the globe. 
    The plans were started in 2005, but were hit by many set backs including the deaths of key backers and the 2011 uprising against president Assad.
    Fighters held their fire as the statue was put up. It has been paid for by backers from across the globe
    Fighters held their fire as the statue was put up. It has been paid for by backers from across the globe
    And for as long as it is there, the statue will offer some support to the region's besieged Christians.
    Sunni Muslims dominate the revolt, and jihadists make up some of the strongest fighting groups. 
    Other Muslim groups along with the 10-percent Christian minority have stood largely with Assad's government, or remained neutral.
    Churches have been vandalised, priests abducted and last month the extremists overran Maaloula, a Christian-majority town so old that some of its people still speak a language from Jesus' time.


    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Pope Francis Suspends 'Bishop of Bling' Tebartz-van Elst

    The Vatican has suspended a senior German Church leader dubbed the "bishop of bling" by the media over his alleged lavish spending.




    Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is accused of spending more than 31m euros (£26m; $42m) on renovating his official residence.

    The Vatican said it deemed "appropriate... a period of leave from the diocese" for the bishop.

    The suspension comes two days after he met the Pope to discuss the matter.
    The BBC's Stephen Evans: "Outside the cathedral, people expressed some satisfaction that the bishop had been suspended"
    "A situation has been created in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties", a Vatican statement said.


    It said a Church commission would rule on the matter, but did not say where Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, 53, would go or what he would do while the inquiry was held.

    The head of Germany's main lay Catholic group, the Central Committee of German Catholics, Alois Glueck, welcomed the Vatican's decision.
    He said: "Pope Francis's decision offers the chance of a first step toward a new beginning in the Limburg diocese, because the situation has become an increasing burden for the faithful there, and in all of Germany, over recent weeks."

    First-class flight
    Bishop Tebartz-van Elst - and his spending habits - had become infamous in Germany, where many people pay Church tax to the state. The tax raised 5.2bn euros for Catholics and 4.6bn euros for Protestants in 2012.

    Calls were made for the bishop to resign after he was accused of lying under oath about his spending.

    He was criticised for a first-class flight to India to visit the poor.


    But his official residence is at the heart of the criticism, after renovations were originally costed at 5.5m euros.

    German media are reporting that the residence was fitted with a bath that cost 15,000 euros, a conference table for 25,000 euros and a private chapel that cost 2.9m euros.

    The story has attracted heavy coverage and has stoked controversy among Catholics.

    Continue reading the main story
    Media round-up

    The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily calls the Pope's move a "wise decision". "Apparently Limburg marks the start of a process of opening up to scrutiny funds and assets which have been piling up over centuries as a result of endowments and inheritance cases," the paper says.

    The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily feels the Pope has been "merciful" but doubts that the bishop will be allowed to return. "When peace returns to the diocese in Tebartz-van Elst's absence, it is difficult to imagine that this peace should subsequently be put at risk again," it says.

    The news magazine Der Spiegel says many in the Church are finding it difficult to understand the Vatican's decision. The weekly quotes a local Church worker who "sighed heavily" at the news and asked: "Is it really true that the suspended bishop will be able to come back here, to Limburg?"

    Profile: The 'Bishop of Bling'
    It was in Germany that Martin Luther launched the Reformation five centuries ago in response to what he said were excesses and abuses within the Church.


    "Luther's 1543 book, "On the Jews and their lies" took Jewish hatred to a new level when he proposed to set fire to their synagogues and schools, to take away their homes, forbade them to pray or teach, or even to utter God's name."


    The BBC's Alan Johnston, in Rome, says all this was bound to play badly with the new Pope, who has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of senior clerics whose lifestyles seem a little too lavish.

    Pope Francis has also signalled his intention to clean up the Vatican's finances, appointing a commission to advise him on reforms.

    There is no surprise in Rome that the Vatican has ordered the bishop's suspension from his duties while the spending row is investigated, our correspondent adds.


    Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is the daughter of a Protestant pastor, said that she had expressed "hope that there will be an answer for believers, for people's confidence in their Church".

    In his absence, the bishop's diocese will be administered by Limburg's vicar general, Wolfgang Roesch.

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24638430