Steady, just a few more feet. There, stop.
Wow, I can tell this isn’t your first time inside a backhoe.
Okay, hop on out and let’s fill her up.
With what? Why, with stones, silly! Why else do you think I asked you to meet me at the Cubic Zirconia Cathedral Ministries Rock of Ages Quarry?
Which, by the way, we picked up for a song. I’m telling you, it pays to be the CPAC Chaplain. Long story short, at the last CPAC, we negotiated an amazing five-year deal with the Cheney Family for Pew 3-A. As it turns out, with the Middle East wars winding down, Haliburton “just happened” to be unloading a few quarries. So they threw in this one for a sixth year on the Cheney Family Pew plus a facility building to be named later.
We’re thinking the Mary Claire Cheney Gay Reparative Therapy Center. What do you think?
By the way, this place used to be a uranium mine, so let me know if you start feeling dizzy.
Let’s get to work. We have to fill that backhoe shovel completely, and the event is immediately after the morning service. Darn, I wish I had brought along a few homeless corvée laborers.
Say, that’s a nice one! Definitely the pointier the better.
Are we going to use the stones for the Annual Household Pets Prayer Circle? Um, no. That’s during the middle of the service between Third and Fourth Offering. Say, is that why you brought that herd of llamas with you? Also, as a reminder, it’s $50 per animal, but if you can’t pay upfront, we’ll just add it to your monthly membership invoice.
No, the stones are for the Community Punishment Potluck right after final announcements. Deb Tewksberry. Real pity; she’s such a looker. Always sat with her husband and three little girls in one of the front pews. But, what can I say, caught in the act is caught in the act.
At first, the whole thing threw ministry leadership for a loop. The elders met. Someone suggested Christian mediation toward reconciliation with her husband. Then Trent Dokker was really moved by the Spirit. He did a little research: turns out the Tewksberry Family is way behind in its annual giving commitment; plus, he noted that in John 8, Jesus said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”
But! Jesus didn’t say you couldn’t be the second one to throw a stone.
So, we got our R&D team involved and came up with a prototype we’re calling the Robo-Stoner 700-A. Push a couple of buttons, and Robo-Stoner takes care of the first stone; then parishioners can finish the job!
Brilliant! And Biblical!
Um, good question. No, you’re right, it definitely takes two to tango. Come to think of it, I can’t recall who the gentleman fornicator was in that whole mess. Seems no one knows.
Oh, you must be mistaken. I highly doubt you saw Deb and I whispering sweet nothings to each other at the Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop. You saw us at the Cubic Zirconia Lazarus Lanes Bowling Alley too? Well, it’s perfectly normal to have one’s arms wrapped that way around someone when you’re trying to show them the finer points of the 3-7-10 split!
I’m not sure what you’re trying to suggest. So what if she was polishing my ball? That’s just normal Proverbs 31 godly woman behavior.
Hey, hold still. You’ve got something on your back. Let me just—
Well, gosh darn, I didn’t mean to hit you quite so hard—and I totally forgot I had a stalagmite in my hand. Oh well, good thing I’ve got this backhoe. And no witnesses. Except you llamas. I swear, if any of you ungulates so much as breathes a word, you’ll all end up on potluck plates.
Please turn in your hymnals to No. 1969.
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me
5. Ohio Megachurch Invents Hands-On Therapy for Sex Addicts, according to The Columbia Dispatch: “Vineyard Church Must Face Lawsuit Over Counseling Pastor’s Affair”
I meant what I said last week. I am sick and tired of reading about pastors and priests who can’t keep their peckers in their pants. Let’s read this opening statement together:
“An appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit can move forward against a Columbus megachurch accused of negligence by a woman who had an affair with an associate pastor who was counseling her for sex addiction.”
STEVE ROBBINS, wherever you are, your name just appeared in bright red letters in a national religion column. Hope your allegedly despicable pecker-poking actions were worth it.
What would Jesus do? I’m fairly certain he would NOT have boned a struggling sex addict.
As if that wasn’t facepalm-worthy enough, read this: “To join the church, potential members must agree to settle all disputes through Christian mediation, said Vineyard’s senior pastor, the Rev. Rich Nathan.”
Right, because megachurch sex addiction counseling worked so well the first time.
Men of the Cloth, I’ve got my eyes trained on you. Keep. It. In. Your. Jesus-Underoos.
4. Is a Reverse Schism About to Occur?, via The Independent: “Could the Archbishop and the Pope really reunify the Church?”
Years ago, I had an idea of how to reunify all of Christendom. However, the entire premise was inspired by a bottle of Smirnoff, so there’s a chance I wasn’t thinking everything through clearly.
I got it into my head that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians are allowed to take communion in the Coptic Church—which, in case you didn’t know, is the formal Christian church in Egypt. And, which, in case you didn’t know, isn’t entirely true. Yet, I thinks to myself: if only every Christian were to become Coptic, the Church could become one again.
Then I realized this would require Jerry Falwell to grow a long beard and don a flowing black robe, at which point I passed out and hit my head on the sharp corner of a table—and later vowed never again to try and repair the Great Schism of 1054.
That said, I think Pope Francis may be thinking along similar lines. As these things go, he actually has a wee-bit more authority than I do. So does Archbishop of Canterbury Paul Vallely. And both men have handlers to help them go easy on the vodka.
Anyway, this is a very interesting developing story. Let us knock on wooden relics and maintain hope.
What Henry VIII hath torn asunder, let an Argentinian rejoin.
3. The Prosperity Gospel Strikes Again!, over at Christianity Today: “After Teaching Churches How To Store Up Treasures on Earth, Speaker Faces Fraud Indictment”
I don’t have a prophetic mantle. Bushes don’t ignite in my passing wake. I can’t outrace a monarch’s chariot down a mountainside. But I’m pretty sure about the following statement:
If you happen to find yourself in a Prosperity Gospel Megachurch, and you are not forced to attend such a church against your will: you are a spiritual idiot.
Here’s a quote from Christian wealth management expert Ephren Taylor II in promotion of his “Building Wealth Tour”:
“‘We’re going to show you how to get wealth and use it for the building of his kingdom,’ Taylor announces in an ABC video about the event.”
Here’s a summary of the whole article: Allegedly, allegedly, allegedly, allegedly. Swindle, defraud, falsely represented, finance wife’s “music career.”
If you want to read more about this tale as old as tithe, head on over to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website.
CHRISTIANS, STOP THROWING MONEY AT CHARLATANS IN LEISURE SUITS!
2. Conservative Presbyterians Grieve Over Humans Beings Allowed to Legally Love One Another, over at Christian Post: “Conservative PCUSA Group ‘Grieves’ Vote Allowing Pastors to Bless Gay Marriages”
In case you didn’t know, there are nearly 2 million Presbyterians in the United States of America. That’s approaching roughly 1 percent of the entire population.
So it was a pretty big deal this week when the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly voted to allow its pastors to perform same-sex marriages in states where doing so is legal.
The vote was 371 to 238.
Conservative Presbyterians are mourning this decision. They wrote a letter about their grief.
Maybe the conservative Fellowship of Presbyterians should read my essay about “What Every American Should Know About the Biblical Definition of Marriage.” (I could have sent them the direct link for this article, but it’s so much more fun sending them the link embedded in George Takei’s Facebook page.)
1. Sunday Morning Religion PSA, over at National Public Radio: “The Origins of the Shiite-Sunni Split”
The United States invasion of Iraq was immoral. Prepare to pay for the consequences. In the meantime, take a few minutes to actually learn something about Islamic history that impacts contemporary events—which is more than that hideous war criminal George W. Bush ever did.
That’s a wrap!
Please turn in your hymnals to No. 0,000,005. This is my friend Josh Cole’s cover of “Drive” by The Cars. He’s one of the good guys.
who’s gonna hold you down
when you shake
who’s gonna come around
when you break
We used to include a really long boilerplate for the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.
But we’re pressed for time. The November 2014 Elections are only this many days away!
And one-third of the country heading to the polls are fundamentalists who have probably paid to attend a Prosperity Gospel wealth management seminar! They’re going to be voting for:
—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—And 38 State and Territorial Governorships.
Um, please follow the lead of the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly and vote for the advancement of civilization.
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