how not to do a christmas pageant

Church attendance is a topic that few ever admit to talking about, but church leaders usually do. There exists a balancing act between trying new things to drive up numbers and staying true to what works.

Regardless of your view on how church worship ought to look, the Christmas pageant always seems to be the one time where caution is thrown to the wind, and ridiculous things are tried in an attempt to one-up last year’s pageant (or the church down the street).

Therefore, for those of you thinking about bringing a live camel into a worship service…don’t do it!

Listen to the old Hollywood adage: never work with live animals!

HT: Scott Bailey

so here’s my problem with nonsensical charismatic / pentecostal worship

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Prov. 22:15)

unless, of course, the child’s parents and the church authorities are fools as well, in which case, they have no rod. (they’re welcome to borrow some of mine. there’s plenty.)

i don’t know whether to laugh directly at this kid because this is funny, or be angry with his parents and that church’s leaders for allowing this ridiculous nonsense. the child is obviously emulating what he sees on a sunday morning, which gives me even less comfort. i do not see the value in a style of preaching that is little more than a cheerleader screaming theological palaver in a metered cadence.

seriously, what is this? how is this in any way beneficial, worthwhile, or even spiritual? at least someone had the sense to subtitle it with equally ridiculous, phonetically correct subtitles. allowing children to do childish things in an otherwise sacred setting simply because some think it’s ‘cute’ is sheer stupidity. it reveals the foolish nature of the child’s parents and the church’s leaders. it is sheer and utter nonsense. the parents should be embarrassed and the church’s pastor should be canned.

then again, when church is little more than a pep rally, what can you expect?

i’m a fairly smart guy, but i fail to grasp the purpose and value of dancing like a nut in church. church is not jazzercise. seriously, join a gym. if you’re going to jump around like a jackrabbit that’s gotta pee, at least call it what it is: a show. seriously, get a band and some music and sell some tickets. because that’s what it is.

at least someone had the sense to dub some heavy metal over this nonsense. seriously, when church becomes the place to go for a weekly pick-me-up, both church and parishioner have failed. i suggest you leave that congregation, visit a starbucks to get your shot of espresso, and re-examine your life.

(HT:Jim West)

church processional fail

cf. 1 sam 5:3

demo fail: why i hate hate hate at&t

i love apple. i love the iphone. but i despise with all my heart at&t and the craptastic service they fail to provide.

i hate at&t so much, i’m considering ditching the iphone and getting a droid, not because of any problem with the iphone, but because i’m forced to use the disservice that is at&t.

but, today i learned that it’s not just me. ladies and gentlemen, even steve jobs feels my pain:

(and yes, i know this is a wi-fi issue, but it does not change the amount of at&t’s suckiness.)

10 ways christians tend to fail at being christian: a response

Huffington Postthere’s a great post by john shore on 10 ways christians tend to fail at being christian on huffington post. i shall list them below with my responses:

  1. too much money
    agreed. xnty has become a means by which to have commercial success. it was never intended to do that.
  2. too confident god thinks we’re all that and a leather-bound gift bible
    agreed. when xnty became ‘tolerated’ by rome, it fundamentally changed xnty. by the time xnty became the state religion, its members felt entitled and not persecuted. today, the ‘persecution’ some xns say they face in the us is actually the rightful questioning of their entitlement.
  3. too quick to believe that we know what god really means by what he says in the bible
    agreed. it seems that people can warp the bible into supporting just about anything these days. xns need a better hermeneutic, a better understanding of context, and an improved sense of the difference between literalism and biblical themes.
  4. too action-oriented
    disagree. xns are not action oriented enough. one of the main problems of xnty today is that they believe that if they hold the correct doctrine or worship properly and enough, they are good xns. xns should actually do what the bible has asked them to do – love others, cup of cold water, service, etc.
  5. too invasive of others generally
    sort of agree. xns are called to minister to the lives of others. if there is no interaction, then xnty is irrelevant. i agree if by this he means xns shouldn’t be as evangelical/pushy as they are. again, xns should focus more on service and less on making more xns like themselves.
  6. too invasive of others personally
    see above.
  7. too quick to abandon logic
    agreed. in an effort to defend the text and maintain an unnecessary claim of textual infallibility and inerrancy, xns are far too quick to even entertain abandon the laws of physics, exit the realm of science, and enter into the realm of the miraculous. if god is who he says he is, he can handle a few tough questions.
  8. too fixated on homosexuality
    agreed. see here.
  9. too insular
    agreed. xns should be out there serving and less sectarian. jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners. today’s xns put up gated communities to keep these out.
  10. too uneducated about christianity
    amen and amen. this is why i do what i do. if xns knew, really knew, what the bible said, how to read it properly, its context, and its purpose from a genuine academic perspective, we wouldn’t have ‘xns’ protesting gay funerals and healing people on tv for money. xns should seek a critical education of the biblical text and not retreat to a sectarian education of a school pushing a particular doctrine.

in honor of earth day 2010

Recycle Logomost of you know i’m an advocate for the environment. i recycle my coffee grounds, use my organic npr cotton tote bags when i go to trader joe’s, drive an original, pre-hatchback toyota prius (175,000+ miles), advocate for the voter-approved super train from la to the central valley, want desperately a metro train in los angeles, grow my own vegetables and herbs, and belong to several environmental organizations including the national geographic society, global green usa, ducks unlimited, sierra club, and santa monica mountain trails council inc. (yes, i believe i’m the only living member of du and the the sierra club.) so, i can safely say that i take the environment fairly seriously.

that said, i don’t like militants, obnoxious nutjobs, or people who yell for any reason. replanting trees is just as much an environmental exercise as is eating what you kill when you hunt. humans eating other animals is just as ‘natural’ as when other animals do it. and as for research and testing on animals, as long as it is done as humanely as possible, i’m all for it; that’s all part of being a natural animal on the top of the food chain, and it’s how we evolved to be where we are as a species. thus, as much as i am an advocate for the environment, i cannot stand environmental militants. to me, they are just as disdainful as religious or political militants.

therefore, in honor of earth day, i offer to you what is without exception the single greatest environmental protest fail video ever. enjoy!

how *not* to propose marriage

Woman rescued after falling off cliff as the result of accepting a marriage proposal.

Woman rescued after falling off cliff as the result of accepting a marriage proposal.

for those considering proposing marriage to that special someone while hiking on a beautiful mountain trail, be careful not to let this happen to you.

It began as a romantic hike, and ended with a helicopter rescue after one of the hikers fell and was injured, just moments after she accepted a marriage proposal.

i could go so many places with this:

We’re told after she said, ‘Yes’, she lost her footing and fell onto a large, jagged rock.

so ladies, this is one way to say ‘yes’ but really mean ‘i’d rather die than say yes.’ or, perhaps she was so excited, she lost her bearings and passed out. either way:

marriage proposal fail!

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