Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pentecostal Couple Married 77 Years!

According to Ray and Lillie Agnew, both prominent in the UPCI's Harvestime Radio Ministry back in the day, it takes God and determination.

And they just survived the tornadoes in Missouri. (Check out the board stuck through their bedroom wall.)

Watch it all here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Viral Hit: How Great Thou Art

Looks like country star Carrie Underwood has a surprise viral video hit (over 1.5m views since last Friday) with . . . "How Great Thou Art"!

Not to nitpick, but she's obviously out of synch with the music as it starts, but nails it at the end in a big way.

Personally, it's great to see another classic hymn proclaiming Christ making a grand reappearance on the internet! Encore! Encore!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Advertising in 2011: Fanta Anyone?

Got a low-selling brand you must promote without a serious budget? You could always go the fun, viral route!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Great Quote: Images Will Change the World

“When a religion aggressively proselytizes and seeks to transform the world, its most important resource is its images. It is image that transforms the imagination, and it is imagination that engenders a lifestyle. And what globalization does better than anything else is transform the imagination. That is why the entertainment and advertising industries are the first wave of the emerging global consciousness.”

Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire

I don't see how this quote diminishes the calling of writing (or any of the other arts we often cover in sister blog Word), as writing is about using words to create powerful images (via metaphor and otherwise) in the mind.

This quote is more about a healthy use of the arts to reach others.

Good Friday: Is It Special?

I'm curious how special we treat Palm Sunday and Good Friday in our Pentecostal churches. On this, our Holy Week, I wonder if your church makes a special effort to recognize it as "holy" with any special efforts besides presentations on Easter itself...

Maybe I'm wrong, but my observations indicate we do very little across our community to indicate its uniqueness to humanity. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nazi Germany used as trump card in argument for 823rd time this month. Sadly, it still works.

Today's link takes us to an article about the need for America to keep the Bible at it's heart if it wants to continue to thrive.

Now, I, as the person who is very much for the separation of church and state instinctively did not like the article as it chastised Libya's revolution for trying to seek freedom through "the barrel of a gun" but praised America's existence for being founded with a spiritual dimension and a Biblical ethic at it's core. The contradiction here being that America would not exist without the that same barrel of a gun that defended our cessation from England in the Revolutionary War.

But yet with the many historical inconsistencies and narrow arguments alluded to by the author, I couldn't just shrug this article off as just another piece of conservative propaganda (just as much as "liberal" propaganda will hit us over the head with the need to "go green"). In fact as I sat in front of my computer after reading the article, I realized I was feeling some remorse with a slight tinge of bitterness and a whole ton of frustration. The problem was that I couldn't figure out why this article in particular struck me so raw.

And then I realized what it was.... my frustration wasn't with the article as a whole (because it's just silly), but rather with one line.... and I quote

Forget the Bible and America will go the way of the first Protestant nation – Nazi Germany.
That's it.... That one line used by the author irked me to no end. Why? Because it had nothing to do with the article. Nazi Germany is not brought up before this sentence nor at any point after. If you read the whole article, there is nothing the author offers as to explain the logic of this sentence, nor is the logic apparent in the sentences preceding the sentence.

The dude just used Nazi Germany because he knows it will shock us. He knows that the Nazi's are one of the hardest things for us to swallow....He is using the tragedy of at least 6 million Jews to validate his argument even though the Bible has nothing to do with Nazi Germany. I theoretically have more of a claim to use the Nazi trump card because I had actual relatives who died in it, but I'm not that kind of an idiot. Simply because I know I can't relate to what happened to my relatives. It's a world beyond me. Everytime I find myself at a Holocaust Memorial either here in Michigan, in D.C. or in Jerusalem, I find myself speechless because nothing I can say or even think could calculate in a justifiable manner what happened in the Holocaust. Yet Vishal Mangalwadi whoever he is, feels the need to display the worst kind of irreverence to the tragedy of the Holocaust as to compare a Bibleless society as that of Nazi German because he knows that if we make the bad guy out to be Nazi Germany, the other side of the argument is going to look like a saint.

However, many Christians and ministers who even went to church and avidly read the Bible were Nazi's. Nor did Nazi Germany ban Bibles in any manner from being read within the country. But I have yet to read an atheist say "if we don't get rid of the Bible now, we will end up like Nazi Germany." Because to make such an allusion is asinine.

And it's not just the author of the article that has written such nonsense. I the Nazi/Holocaust allusion as a trump card all the time from Christians, Jews, Liberals, Atheists, Conservatives, etc.... and all the Holocaust and Nazi Germany is invoked for is simply as a tool to win an argument. But the problem becomes especially difficult when someone invokes Nazi Germany without giving any logical reason why.....

(Here is where I openly and hypocritically attempted a psychoanalytical logical argument ascribing that his treatment of non-Biblical nations is much closer to reflecting the ideology of Nazi Germany than a non-Biblical nation reflects Nazi Germany, but I will refrain because I realize anything that comes out from this point on is pure, 84 year old man crankiness)...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food for Thought: Feeling vs. Obeying

" the biblical narrative God never seems concerned with how anyone feels, only with whether they go or don't go, whether they say no or yes." -Judith Rock, from "Inherited but Never Inhabited" in Image, No. 68

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Food for Thought: Relationship with God

"It turns out that it's pretty easy to have a 'relationship' with God when he isn't personally showing up, asking you to do things." -Screenwriter Erich Hoeber, on his new comics project, The Mission.

Monday, April 04, 2011

On the goings and doings of a nation gone skeptical

Last week I went to a meeting titled "Heretics Bible Study Group." It's a monthly Bible Study group in which the attendees critically discuss various aspects of the Bible. Most of the members are atheists. All are skeptics. I was the only believer (but supposedly there is one other believer who frequents the group).

My mother and father were horrified that I went and thought they were witnessing my demise into atheistic doom. I am sure my mother even prayed for me. She may have even used rosary beads even though she has never been Catholic.

A few of the people who knew I had attended always asked the first question something along the lines of "did it ever get scary?"

And my initial response is always to giggle.

Because the way I think most Christians think about atheists is that they somehow have a "secret code" to prove the non-existence of God. So when I am asked if the meeting every got "scary," they really mean "did they ever tell you the secret code to get you to stop believing in God?"

I can easily tell them "no, i was never scared." But I feel that would mislead. Because I never went thinking I would even be tested. My Christianity rests on faith. It's an entirely different plane than "empiricism" or   "rationalism."  Many people on this blog know that I am somewhat more of a "skeptic" but in no way does this entail a lack of belief in God. I think doubt is not opposed to faith, but works in conjunction with faith ("faith is the substance of the things unseen").

So my interest in the Bible study that i attended and will keep on attending is finding myself in a group of like-minded individuals in terms of discussing the Bible in a critically-engaging approach.

Notes about the group study:

-Most of the atheists there were former Christians (one was an ex-Pentecostal). Sometimes they would get lost in polemical rants against the "stupidity" of Christians. I would quickly chime in of the lack of logical in their "rants" which was politely accepted.

-One of the attendees was a humanist. I don't like them (the difference between a humanist and other atheists is that humanists don't believe man is "fallen" or "incomplete"). My glorious moment was calling out the humanist on an unfounded leap in her logic.

-I was able to share my beliefs which were taken with absolute openness. Never once did I feel that the group was against me (I think this "feeling" was helped by a few "critical" remarks I made of the atheists' stance regarding some things).

-Best Part: The topic of discussion that day was about the Trinity! Which was a delight for me to discuss (because, naturally the atheists hated the logic of the trinity, and had never heard of a Oneness Christian).  The  Jewish atheist in attendance said he couldn't figure out why Christians don't just say that Jesus was a manifestation of God in flesh! I struggled not to yelp in delight.

Anyways, excuse my rants without a purpose...