Celebrity Evangelists Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron use their super-special patented intellect-bypassing straight-from-Jesus (who rather ironically discussed and debated the Torah the teachers of the law in his day) evangelism method to bring the Gospel to people who are already Christians. And by "bring the Gospel to" I mean "nag into reluctantly siding with you in the most insignificant issue even remotely related to the culture war".
C. Michael Patton over at Parchment and Pen has a few interesting thoughts on the vid.
The problem is focusing on the trivial sin of saying G-D. Well, let me correct this. He is focusing on listening to someone say G-D, not actually saying it yourself! If that is not straining out a gnat while ignoring the camel, I don’t know what is. Our postmodern culture is smarter than this. Not only can they smell hypocrisy from a mile away, they are on the hunt for it. All this does is serve to confirm the postmodern suspicion that Christians live in a naive world that has no real depth or understanding.
In the end, there are much bigger fish to fry than a faulty folk interpretation of the third commandment. Whether or not one listens to someone say G-D in an entertainment flick is a non-issue. The message of the Gospel is not that God created man, he rebelled by going to a rated “R” movie and was condemned to death, so God sent His Son to pay the penalty for rated “R” movies. Forgive me for being simplistic with such satire, but that is what people are hearing when the focus of peoples rebellion becomes such things.
I would love to see the expressions on Ray and Kirk's faces if they ever sit down to watch Kevin Smith's theological dick-and-fart comedy Dogma.
Kent Hovind (the pastor wannabe-scientist who shows us that Genesis chapter 1 is to be taken literally but Romans 13:5-7 isn't) still in prison for tax-evasion, has been having conversations with God, including this one which I found rather interesting:
Hovind: God, are you squeezing me to get something out of me, get something into me, or get me in a more usable shape?
GOD: All three and more, son. If I told you everything I was doing, your little brain would not be able to handle it all.
I’ve gotten some prayers and writings from you that you didn’t have time for in the free world. I’ve had you read things, watch things, hear things, and experience things that have changed you forever. I can squeeze things into you and out of you at the same time.
I’m getting some oil, fragrance, and juice out of you that is helping nourish, refresh, and bless some of your brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m also using you to convict and convert others who were not My children until they saw you get squeezed like this.
At first I thought he was lying to garner support for his followers to attempt to get him out of prision when Hovind first said God was talking to him in prision, but now I see how wrong I was. Turns out he thinks his cellmate, Bubba, is God.
Fred Clark over at Slacktivist posted something a few weeks ago that brings out the cynic in me this holiday season:
Project Angel Tree is a Good Thing. Or it would be a Good Thing if the people running it would just get out of the way.
The program, part of Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship, collects and distributes Christmas presents for the children of prisoners. This is heartwarming and noncontroversial. It's also a fine example of Matthew 25-style Christianity in action: "I was in prison and you came to visit me." What's not to like?
Well, it turns out there's a problem. The folks at Prison Fellowship want to help these little kids at Christmas, but not quite as much as they want to spread the Gay-Hatin' Gospel.
Trent W. alerted me to this story via e-mail. It seems the Friends Congregational Church of College Station, Texas, is no longer allowed to collect Christmas presents for the children of prisoners. The United Church of Christ congregation had been supporting Angel Tree for 10 years before they were told this fall that their help was no longer wanted.
Initially Friends Congregational was told that this was because they were in conflict with Prison Fellowship's "Statement of Faith." Had that been true, it would have been strange enough. After all, you're not required to swear the Marine Corps Oath before your donation will be accepted by Toys for Tots. But it turns out that wasn't the real problem.
The real problem, as this letter from the church to Prison Fellowship (.pdf) explains, was that Friends Congregational doesn't hate gay people enough.
The letter goes on to pose three questions for the straight and extremely narrow ministry:
- To the child whose parent is in prison, does it matter who is providing him or her with gifts at Christmas?
- Is God displeased that a gay man or woman goes Christmas shopping for a child orphaned by society, or is God overjoyed that a child such as this is receiving love mirrored after God's love: expecting nothing in return?
- Finally, at the end of the day, does it really help or does it hinder the mission of Angel Tree Ministry to disqualify churches like ours on the basis of an anonymous giver being, as you suggest, deviant from Scripture? If you feel that it helps, then we are sad to say that you have your work cut out for you, because all of us sinners who breathe God’s good air deviate from Scripture every day. This includes everyone from our congregation to the well-intentioned members of the Prison Fellowship Board.
May the Lord bless all you lukewarm Christians and unclean godless sodomites this holiday season.