The Latest in MegaChurches.
I have never been to a big creepy megachurch
. This is my first confession. I have never been to, say, Lakewood Church in Houston
, the biggest glossiest megachurch of all, which just dumped
a staggering $75 million to renovate the former stadium for the Houston Rockets and turn it into a massive pulsing swaying arm-raisin' eye-glazed weirdly repressed House o' Jesus
I have never been to World Changers
in Georgia or New Birth Missionary Baptist in Texas
or Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa
or the Potter's House in Dallas
or the Phoenix First Assembly of God
, et al., all of which claim well over 15,000 regional followers (some 20,000 or even 30,000) and most of which operate much more like careening multitentacled corporations than humble homes of spiritual connection
and love. But, you know, quibbling.
posted by The Jesse Helms
on Aug 4, 2005 -
"If you love someone, you want to give something of yourself to them... Go big or go home you know?" Show that special sweetie of yours that you care with the magic of mutual self-mutilation.
Really, how often were you using that ring finger, anyways?
posted by Simon!
on Jul 8, 2005 -
Christian Video Games set to make comeback?
Tired of destroying the same old cliched monsters, day in day out? Want to engross yourself in a more morally sound, Religious video game experience? Well if the Christian gaming community has their way, we'll soon all be playing them (or at least a few % of gamers):
"As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of us draw nearer to him as we develop and grow as a business,"
the Christian game company says
posted by 0bvious
on May 24, 2005 -
"I felt like hurting someone before, now I feel like hugging people".
Only weeks after professing his belief in Jesus Christ, former Korn
guitarist Brian “Head” Welch
was baptized in the Jordan River
last Saturday. With “Jesus” tattooed across his knuckles and “Matthew 11:28
” along his neck, Welch received full immersion in the historic river
, along with 20 other white-robed Christians from a Bakersfield, CA church. Welch said the ritual baptism, “washed away his anger.” "My songs are God saying things to me, him talking to people. He's going to use me to heal people and people are going to be drawn to it, just watch, they will be.” For the latest information
(and a free mp3
) go to Welch's personal website, http://www.headtochrist
posted by matteo
on Mar 10, 2005 -
"I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord,"
said George W. Bush yesterday. (Really? I do.
) While giant crosses are banned from next Thursday's inauguration,
Jesus likely won't be,
despite Michael Newdow's protestations. By the way, the benediction is scheduled to be delivered
by The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell,
who also got the honor in 2001. Back then, he said
to millions of bowed heads gathered to mark the beginning of the Bush presidency: "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names, Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say, 'Amen.'" After gay rights, is discrimination against atheists the next great civil rights battle of our time?
Or should we just shut up and move to France?
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Jan 12, 2005 -
Born-again liberal Christians.
Do you think that mainline denominations are hemorraging members? Wrong. Fundamentalist Christianity is the way of the future and all US Evangelicals worship the same political party? Not so fast
, buddy. Many scholars
think that it's time for liberals to take Christianity back. Oregon State
's Marcus J Borg
, for example, argues that Christianity "still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions". He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God
, simply doesn't work anymore for too many people.
It is an argument for an alternative to the literalist and exclusivist tradition
that has dominated Western Christianity in the modern era. According to Borg, "So different are these two views of Christianity that they almost produce two different religions, both using the same Bible and language
. A time of two paradigms is virtually a tale of two Christianities
There is, for example, an alternative view to the Resurrection Narrative not as report of an actual, physical event
but as means for Jesus' early followers to express the miracle of his continuing spiritual presence
among them, after his execution
. It is in short an 'emerging paradigm which has been developing for over a hundred years and has recently become a major grass-roots movement within mainline denominations'.
Just don't be afraid
to ask questions
. Not even about the dogs beneath the Cross
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 19, 2004 -
(Scroll All the way down). Vintage 21, a "community of God seekers, God followers, and God doubters" has made a series of excellent videos which take a satirical look of what Jesus is NOT like.
posted by superbird
on Oct 12, 2004 -
Jesus Boots perfected!
NYT: In the last 150 years, Americans have patented about 100 water-walking inventions. The first, in 1858, was by H. R. Rowlands, who lived in Boston, not far from where Mr. Rosen resides, in Newton, Mass. Most of the subsequent patents, Mr. Rosen said, are iterations of that same idea. "Unfortunately," Mr. Rosen observed, "none of them actually work."
posted by skallas
on Aug 3, 2004 -
"How do we nurture the healing side of religion over the killing side? How do we protect the soul of democracy against bad theology in service of an imperial state?
OVER THE PAST few years, as the poor got poorer, the health care crisis worsened, wealth and media became more and more concentrated, and our political system was bought out from under us, prophetic Christianity lost its voice. The Religious Right drowned everyone else out. And they hijacked Jesus. The very Jesus who stood in Nazareth and proclaimed, 'The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor.' The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all of you will be fed, not just some of you. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcast, who raised the status of women and treated even the tax collector like a child of God. The very Jesus who drove the money changers from the temple. This Jesus has been hijacked and turned into a guardian of privilege instead of a champion of the dispossessed. Hijacked, he was made over into a militarist, hedonist, and lobbyist, sent prowling the halls of Congress in Guccis, seeking tax breaks and loopholes for the powerful, costly new weapon systems that don't work, and punitive public policies."
Bill Moyers on democracy excruciate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Jul 15, 2004 -
"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate
, is the only historical figure named in
the Nicene Creed
-- Coptic saint
or eternally damned
, his role in the greatest story ever told
has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine
, Dante Alighieri
, John Ruskin
, Mikhail Bulgakov
, Monty Python
. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence
about him. His role in the death
of a certain
healer and apocalyptic
preacher is still being debated today
and historians alike
. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator
, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France
. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession
through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus
can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo
on Jun 24, 2004 -
Religious right fights "Dress-up Jesus" refrigerator magnets "...Urban Outfitters is offering a refrigerator magnet set depicting Jesus on the cross. A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit. The sign above the cross reads, "Hang in there baby!"....A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit....and a Dr. Seuss hat."
- So reads an Action Alert sent to the several million members of the Reverend Donald Wildmon's American Family Association
which urges concerned christians to bombard Urban Outfitters with letters
condemning the allegedly blasphemous magnets. But there is no need to even buy them when you can play "Dress up Jesus" online! - "Dress up Jesus by dragging the items to him with your mouse."
, reads the offending website. From the AFA's suggested letter text : "While you may think it is "cute," your decision shows a great disrespect toward people of faith everywhere."
- To say that I dislike the AFA would be to put it mildly, but are the refrigerator magnets indeed disrespectful ?
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 18, 2004 -
ISeeJesus.com Possible scenario: A church has suffered years of ever lowering attendance. A church elder contracts IseeJesus.com. The following Sunday a righteous and long time congregant notices a pattern of a familiar face in the swirls of dirt and mineralisation on the side of the church...Word spreads and each Sunday sees more people in the pews and more money in the collection plate.
posted by tippiedog
on Jan 14, 2004 -
Mel Gibson wants to do a movie on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life.
The only issue? He wants to do it totally in Latin and Arameic without subtitles. A cool way for Hollywood to branch out from the norm, or artsy pretension from a rather boring actor? Time may tell. Seen also on AICN
posted by Ufez Jones
on Sep 25, 2002 -
Jesus junk mail.
(As an update to last year's Texas story
) Every household in South Carolina will receive a videocassette of a bad film about Jesus
this week. The Special 9-11 Remembrance Edition features an introduction by three members of the NY Fire Dept. Regardless of how you feel about Jesus H., isn't there a better film to send to every household in South Carolina?
posted by found missing
on Sep 9, 2002 -
What Would Vissarion Do?
A former Russian traffic cop realizes that he is the reborn Son of God. Several devoted disciples agree, yea and verily. Insert own 'water into vodka' joke here. On second thought, please don't.
posted by Dirjy
on May 24, 2002 -