The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: Sept. 1, 2018 — Labor Day Edition

September Fields (2014)

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: Sept. 1, 2018 — Labor Day Edition

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.

• Helen Hunt Jackson

For Labor Day — Some less than sanguine quotes about work…

  • Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? (Edgar Bergen)
  • Work is a necessary evil to be avoided. (Mark Twain)
  • My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. (Abraham Lincoln)
  • All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. (Aristotle)
  • I always give 100% at Work: 10% Monday, 23% Tuesday, 40% Wednesday, 22% Thursday, and 5% Friday. (Unknown)
  • Sometimes I can’t figure out if I am in preschool or high school. Oh, wait. I’m at work. (Unknown)
  • It’s a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can’t eat for eight hours; he can’t drink for eight hours; he can’t make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work. (William Faulkner)

Ending the Johnson Amendment?

While some evangelicals are cheering, a group of Baptists in Missouri is opposing elimination of the so-called “Johnson Amendment.”

From Baptist News:

A moderate Baptist organization in Missouri reiterated its support for a provision in the federal tax code barring churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates that has suddenly emerged as an issue in one of the most-watched U.S. Senate races in the nation.

Churchnet —  a ministry network of 150 churches with 43,000 members also known as the Baptist General Convention of Missouri – issued a statement Aug. 26 opposing repeal of the “Johnson Amendment”…

…Churchnet, a member body of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty that last year joined a large coalition of faith groups opposing President Donald Trump’s stated goal of repealing the Johnson Amendment, says the rule is good for churches.

“The ‘Johnson Amendment’ protects house of worship from candidates seeking endorsement during a political campaign,” said Brian Ford, executive director of Churchnet. “As a life-long Baptist and ordained pastor, I can’t imagine how damaging it would be to erase this legislation for local churches across the nation.”

“As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to be in community with one another, even those we disagree with on a myriad of political and social issues,” said Ford, who has led the group started in the early 2000s since 2016. “We need to continue to live into this tension, not ramp it up.”

The Calvary Chapel Chronicles…

Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel ocean baptism

As a product of the “Jesus People” revival in the early 1970s, I was deeply influenced from a distance by the ministry of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA, and especially through the songs of Maranatha! Music.

Therefore, I appreciate Michael Newnham’s retrospective series at Phoenix Preacher about Calvary Chapel and hope you will take time to read and follow along as well. It explains how a lot of us came into evangelicalism, and it also reveals the roots of many of the problems that led us out of evangelicalism.

Here are Michael’s posts so far…

For Labor Day — Some inspiring quotes about work…

  • Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. 
  • We work to become, not to acquire. (Elbert Hubbard)
  • It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. (Alan Wilson Watts)
  • Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it. (Madeleine L’Engle)
  • The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. (Frederick Buechner)

I want this guy on my team…

Recently 61-year-old William Lytton took a swim off the coast of Massachusetts. Then every ocean swimmer’s nightmare happened. He found himself in the jaws of a massive shark, thought to be a great white.

Well, William Lytton wasn’t going to take this. He started punching the shark over and over again on its side, near the gills. The shark apparently wasn’t interested in such a feisty meal, so it let go its grip. Lytton made it back to the beach and was air-lifted by helicopter to a local hospital. Thus far, William Lytton has had six surgeries to repair his injuries, and there are more to come.

Now that’s a fighter.

Reminds me of another of my great maritime heroes…

Questions of the Week…

Will we ever escape 1968?

Is the Russian punk group Pussy Riot a Christian band?

What’s meat, anyway?

Why are black people still punished for their hair?

As a pastor trying to make changes, what is worth fighting for?

Will a concert spark the next “Great Awakening”?

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein!

In honor of the great Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday on Aug. 25, and in recognition that the immigrant experience that has always been an essential and often contentious part of these United States, today we present “America” from West Side Story.

An honor to serve Senator McCain and our country…

Luke, the son of some of our best friends, had the honor of carrying Senator McCain’s body into the Capitol as a member of the Military Honor Guard.

We are so proud of Luke and are grateful that he is getting this opportunity to serve his country in such a meaningful and unforgettable way.

75 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: Sept. 1, 2018 — Labor Day Edition

  1. “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    The World’s the Way It’s Meant To Be,
    I GOT MINE…”
    — Glen Frey


  2. What Seneca’s getting at is “It’s All Librul Media Fake News”.
    The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.
    (Again, that’s what passes for Christian(TM) these days.)


  3. These days, Climate Change Denial is SCRIPTURE(TM), right up there with YEC and The Rapture.

    Librul Media Fake News and all that.

    And if it’s for real, then invoke End Times Prophecy and It’s All Gonna Burn Anyway and clutch your Rapture boarding pass even tighter.

    How is it that Christians became the poster children for “Whatever it is, I’M AGAINST IT!”?


  4. Unfortunately, Pope Francis has to ACT — and SOON — or he’s just going to be another Church high-up who was at the very least Asleep at the Switch.

    Morning drive-time talk radio is already calling him “another patron saint of child molesters” and afternoon drive-time is appending “-Pedophile” to his title like they do with ALL bishops and priests these days. (You DO know that the reason Catholics are against birth control is to breed more altarboys for the priests to molest, don’t you?) THAT’s what’s going viral, and these days what goes Viral becomes TRVTH.

    To paraphrase Calvin & Hobbes:
    “What does ‘A lie, repeated often enough, becomes the Truth’ mean?”
    “It means Reichsminister Goebbels had never seen Social Media.”


  5. I concur, StuartB.
    I live near Ground Zero of the Calvary Chapel movement in Southern California. And from my experience Calvary Chapel distills down and concentrates all the ways American Evangelicalism can go sour. CULT in all but name.

    Calvary Chapel DOMINATED local Christianese AM radio from the Seventies through at least the Mid-Eighties. PastorChuckSmithCalvaryChapelCostaMesa followed by PastorRaulReesCalvaryChapelWestCovina followed by Pastor[Name]CalvaryChapel[City}. “Non-Denominational Fellowships” (like the one that sucked me in) which were Calvary Chapel Clones in all but name. Blindly reciting SCRIPTURE as Moonie Thoughtstoppers. PastorRaulRees’s rabid anti-Cahtolicism, quoting Alberto Rivera and Alexander Hislop (“Two Babylons”) Chapter and Verse. Theology and Wreched Urgency straight out of Jack Chick. You couldn’t get away from Papa Chuck’s influence; truly there was truly No Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel.

    I ended up sucked into the tail end of the Jesus Movement in the Seventies, into an independent Shepherding CULT and End of the World CULT. Small “One True house Church” with cult compound, a blend of Calvary Chapel, Jack Chick, and Hal Lindsay. The damage is still there.

    P.S. Maranatha Music was a Calvary Chapel Subsidiary? No wonder it was plugged on heavy rotation on that same Christianese AM radio!

    P.P.S. Going to be reading those Phoenix Preacher links this week.


  6. West Side Story was about people from Puerto Rico who are citizens not only of the USA but Puerto Rico. Also in the mix, the only Puerto Rican in the cast was the amazing, beautiful , talented, sexy and under appreciated Rita Moreno…

    The formal name for this is “racebending” — making a non-white character white in an adaptation; casting a white actor in an ethnic role is a subset of this.

    The race-bending example on my shelves is the cover of a Juvenile SF space-opera double novel, Gods and Androids by Andre Norton, (reprint of two early 1970s Norton novels). The cover of the paperback printing I have shows a sandy-haired white human teamed with a parafeline alien. From his sidekick, this has to be the main character of the novel Android at Arms (1971), Prince Andras of Inyangye. Yet in the text of the book, Prince Andras is always described as DARK-skinned, with short nappy hair; the physical features in his land have Swahili-sounding names; a band of mercenaries in one chapter stand out as offworlders by being light-skinned and blond; and once when Prince Andras describes a Witch-Hunt in his realm’s Dark Ages (when they acted like barbarians), he describes a BANTU-style “Smelling Out”. From those, Prince Andras should physically resemble Shaka Zulu more than a sandy-haired white guy.

    Only today, the reaction against this has gone way overboard into a reverse racism. During the days of racebending, the better white actors would research and show respect to the ethnicity they were portraying; I remember a story of Ricardo Montalban (ethnically Creole Spanish from Mexico City) cast as a Sioux in How the West Was Won going to the actual Sioux/Lakota Nation to make sure he got the role right. (Montalban himself was passed over for lead roles several times because he wasn’t “white” enough.) Except today it’s “The actor’s actual ethnicity MUST match that of the character, but only if he isn’t White, NO EXCEPTIONS under threat of Social Media Boycott” in some South Park parody of Affirmative Action.


  7. > Too truthful? It’s how I honestly feel.

    You are spot on, maybe . . . even this assumes those revivals were real. If they were so enormous, so significant, where are they in the data? They are hard to find.

    I am of the opinion that these revivals simply did not exist, as in “never happened”. It is not uncommon for events to APPEAR very large and significant to those who live in small and/or isolated communities.

    If one takes a step back and a cold look at the numbers: Azusa St attendance peaked at somewhere between 300 and 1,500 – hard to say, reports are so varied, and records dubious. But take the high side for sake of argument. 1,500 people in Los Angeles? And? Yes, even in 1906, that isn’t earth shaking. Sure they ran a little newspaper – but so did everyone else at that time. And a circulation of 40K? Meh. By the mid-1910s it was over.

    These events have been very successfully franchises, building a lot of mythology around them.


  8. Francis won’t ‘defend’ himself against the accusations of his enemy, no. If he speaks, it will be, it must be for the sake of the victims of the perpetrators.

    I do not think Francis would consciously allow a predator to continue hurting innocents, no. He is a humble man, and would be the first to acknowledge he himself is ‘a sinner on whom God has looked”.


  9. Amen.

    May Our Lord move the hearts of the faithful to LISTEN to the victims and to work for justice for the victims. The perpetrators need to go to jail. Full stop.

    And the victims need the just benefit of full financial help from the Church so that they can seek professional counseling and/or psychiatric care as needed for the rest of their lives. The Church has a responsibility to these victims in that it did not fully protect them from harm because some in ‘authority’ kept silent when they needed to roar. The Church cannot fail to help the victims now. It must be done, what can be done, although for many, the damage is so very severe. ‘Libera nos a malo’.


  10. While I appreciate the Phoenix Preacher series, it’s hard for someone who grew up in the shadow and amongst the remains of Azuza, Calvary Chapel, Sister Amiee, Finney, Toronto, and…whatever 1968 was…to see it as nothing less than an utter abomination with devastingly rotten fruit that is destroying our world and country, from Reagan up to Trump and probably beyond.

    I get it. People got ‘saved’. Many still are. They discovered or rediscovered a different form of Christianity than what their stodgy old parents and grandparents followed. They found a fire and a passion.

    And they ruined the world. They have caused more harm and devastation to generations than the last world war did.

    I wish it wasn’t celebrated so much. Or looked back on so fondly. Because pretty much every major issue we have can be laid at their feet.

    Too truthful? It’s how I honestly feel. I haven’t been convinced otherwise.


  11. And I pray for the many good people of the Catholic Church, like you, Christiane, as you face the terrible ordeal that wolves in sheep’s clothing have brought upon you; and for the victims who were the recipients of the wolves worst depredations: protection, healing and true peace to you all.

    And may the perpetrators find their way to true repentance by way of Christ’s cross.


  12. True, Andrew. All that rain in August, unprecedented, and we haven’t even entered the heart of hurricane season yet. The creeks and streams are choked, the ground is saturated. God help us this Fall if any big weather events come in.

    Andrew, I intend to email you. I’d like to get together again sometime soon.


  13. It’s too late by any standard that would keep us where we were before 1900. Any talk about keeping the global average temp increase under 2 degrees is a pipe dream.


  14. Robert and I live in the same county and wow; exactly as he’s reported – and I hear my friends (mostly climate-change deniers) explaining!! about it too, but not making the connection. Someone I know said they hadn’t seen so much water rising since Hurricane Agnes; and those weather events are the only times I remember having such flooding; when a hurricane comes through. Well this summer (more precisely, one month Aug) we’ve had unprecedented rain; more than a few flooding events (at times closing major highways in the area) but none of the rain connected to a hurricane… I believe we’re entering that season now.
    Yeah, something is up, but I doubt our legislative reps will do much if anything, nor will he try to influence his constituents’ minds in a new way either. Our evangelical mega-church congressman Mr. Smucker I believe, is not too open to notions of climate change, etc (as a matter of principle or sticking to “christian” dogma…)


  15. You’ll be glad to know Rick that instead of being having no time left to survive if we don’t make change by 2020 the climatists have moved the date back to 2035.


  16. I’m not a big Francis fan; I suspect he was meant to be only window-dressing, and was supported in the beginning by the reactionary prelates because they thought he would give the Church a badly needed good face and good public relations. But he got out of their control, and now they’re trying to reel him in. He should be held accountable for whatever he had done, but the lying bishops and their enablers are not credible accusers. Just don’t think that his resignation and the reversal of Church mentality to the pre-Vatican II era are going to solve this problem. They won’t; it would be just more window-dressing.

    Also, homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing, nor is the former the cause of the latter, though the anti-Francis faction want us to think so.


  17. “It seems clear to me that, whatever the pope may or may not known or been told, there is a highly organized group of Vatican prelates that are leveraging the accusation against him because they view him as dangerously and threateningly permissive and unorthodox.”

    That may be true, but does that mean we should just turn a blind eye to it? If he has done what he has been accused of doing he needs to be help accountable whatever the motives of those who want to see him gone the most.


  18. It seems clear to me that, whatever the pope may or may not known or been told, there is a highly organized group of Vatican prelates that are leveraging the accusation against him because they view him as dangerously and threateningly permissive and unorthodox. They would like the world to believe that the plague of abuse that has been uncovered is the result of “liberalization” of the RCC that started in the 1960s, and the softer tone toward sexual matters (most emphatically including homosexuality, one of their main targets) struck by Vatican II and some in the hierarchy since then, most recently and strikingly culminating in the compassionate approach of pope Francis. They would also like the world to believe that the resignation of this pope, along with other church leaders they view as permissive, and the reversal of this tendency to be soft on sexuality (and homosexuality), would rectify the problem. Don’t believe it; it’s a crock. This problem is rooted in the long, long history of patriarchal abuse that goes back hundreds and even thousands of years; it has been uncovered not by the Church or Church reformers, but by the governments of liberal democracies in various states and countries; and the anti-Francis prelates only want to return to a time when such horrors were committed by Church authorities with impunity, and no risk of discovery.


  19. Like the Buddha quote in “A Fish Called Wanda”?

    The first part is cut off. Jamie Lee Curtis calls Otto (Kevin Kline) an ape. He proudly responds, “Apes don’t read philosophy.” She says, “Oh yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it.”

    The sum total of Buddhism:


  20. The senior pastor of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America parish retired at the beginning of the summer. The assistant pastor, who at 80 years of age is his chronological senior, had also planned to retire in the early fall, due to health issues. The pastorate was her second career, after retiring from teaching, and our congregation was her first church; she has served for 12 years as our assistant pastor, although she had to pick up much of the pastoral slack for a year or so when the previous senior pastor left the parish suddenly and without much prior warning ten years ago. During that whole time she has served at our church, because of developing health issues, she has depended on her husband for help in doing much of the footwork that her pastoral duties required, as well as help at home. Over the Summer he had a health issue himself, though he seemed to be getting better. But in the last week, a sudden crisis overtook him, and, after several emergency surgeries, he died in hospital yesterday. I cannot tell you how shocked and saddened this has left our congregation. I have not seen our assistant pastor since last Sunday, when I took her to the hospital emergency room to be with her husband while my wife conducted the Sunday service in her place. I can only imagine how devastated she is. They had planned to go on an extended rest and relaxation trip this fall, and to start enjoying retirement time together; now he’s gone, and she must go on without him. I ask for prayers for her, for the repose her husband’s soul, and for our congregation.


  21. Unfortunately it seems with just about anything that what really matters isn’t the truth but whether or not the person in question is on your side.


  22. As a 6-year-old, I would eagerly sit in front of our black and white television set and listen to Bernstein whenever a Young People’s Concert was broadcast. He did connect with the children in the audience. He was a musical genius, and it’s a shame he wasn’t able to compose more. Turner Movie Classics ran some of his other old broadcasts recently – the one on Bach was phenomenal. May the Lord grant LB rest in a place of verdure and light.

    (I know he was Jewish – and the Jewish Messiah became incarnate and was raised in order to include all humans, so when I hear someone noteworthy has died or is being remembered in this way, I pray for their soul. Observant Jews do that even now, you know – it’s not just a Catholic and Orthodox thing, but something that the early Christians inherited from Judaism…)



  23. Mainstream media has made it into a conservative vs liberal issue, which has stymied real journalistic investigation into the matter. It is not about that ultimately, but that’s the only trope people want right now. The problem, as always, is the secrecy and cover-up – and in this case, favoritism and blackmailing as well.

    I think the best coverage synthesis and links to good sources can be found at Or read Rod Dreher’s posts on the subject.



  24. I’m opposed to the repeal, and I’ll tell you why. I want my pastor to be able to look one of our nutty “You have to support candidate XYZ from the pulpit, Pastor” congregants in the face and tell them, “I can’t do that. It’s against the law.”


  25. –> “It’s been zany the number of 100 year weather events we’ve had in the last decade.”

    As I’ve been telling people why I’ve gone from a global warming skeptic to a global warming believer: Evidence that demands a verdict.

    I don’t care about whatever stats you want to show me, I don’t care how much you believer or not…with what we’re witnessing, there seems to be evidence that demands a verdict.


  26. LOL! I had an opportunity to go with a group from my former big-box non-denom church, but since I’ve switched to a small Anglican church, such displays don’t interest me. I much prefer a more sacred expression of worship, but each to his/her own.


  27. “What if there’s a moral revival in American Christianity and pastors start speaking out en masse against racism or gun-worship or misogyny? There’s no reason to trust that the dominant form of Christianity 20 or 50 years from now will adhere to current conservative values.”

    Preach it! We live in a time where true Christian values are seen as liberal, as in bad (disclosure: I’m a die-hard moderate). We need a Holy Spirit hurricane to go through the church.


  28. I think it is fascinating how events and issues are interpreted or understood. West Side Story was about people from Puerto Rico who are citizens not only of the USA but Puerto Rico. Also in the mix, the only Puerto Rican in the cast was the amazing, beautiful , talented, sexy and under appreciated Rita Moreno so again it shows how the liberal and hypercritical Hollywood system was as false then as now when the other extreme is in vogue, the first casualty of Hollywood or war is truth, I guess.

    So they just took Romeo and Juliet and made them gangs in NYC. The women in the clip are Republicans and the men are Democrats. As a matter of fact, it seems like the guys were singing Democrat talking points. The women ask the men “why do you come here”?. My answer would be because Rita Moreno was here. Natalie Wood was given the lead , the billing and the pay over Moreno which is a business decision but she had her voice dubbed I believe which is okay, she was not a singer.

    So Rita Moreno won an Academy Award, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy . Yet , she was type cast as the fiery Latina but had a great career due to her talent. I case I am being too subtle I am a fan of Rita Moreno especially 1961 Rita Moreno.

    West Side Story might be about gangs, star crossed lovers, Puerto Rican attitude on America or just a good musical but I do not think of it as a tale of immigration unless me moving to Georgia or New York would be an immigration story. Actually me moving to California would be an immigration story as California seems like it is in a different country. Only in America. However thanks for the great clip , it got me going back to 1961 for a while


  29. I am so far out of he loop, I thought Manual Labor was the President of Mexico and I might add an unpopular President as most are trying to avoid him. I have a young nephew looking for a job, he has to very careful he says or he may find one.


  30. No mention or even a link to the accusations made against the Pope and much of the Catholic church hierarchy? The biggest scandal rocking Christendom right now seems a newsworthy item.


  31. Hey Burro, I was born and raised in a small town forty miles south of Atlanta (Griffin) . Where is this “outpouring” taking place?


  32. I think historians will always consider 1968 an “Annus Mirabilis” but be assured time will do its work. In about twenty, twenty five years, as the last of the boomers die off, all those old arguments will seem merely quaint when they’re thought of at all.

    Will we ever get past our racial insanity? It was my very great pleasure to date an African-American woman when I was young and when I found out what black women have to go through with their hair to emulate caucasian “styles” I was utterly flabbergasted. When I asked her why she endured it and didn’t just let hair grow out naturally she replied, “Because I don’t live in Africa”, to which I had no reply.


  33. Robert F. Good points about the Johnson Amendment which really was about Lyndon Johnson trying to stop not religious groups per sec but non profit organizations who opposed him in the early 1950’s like the Hunt brothers.
    Trump signed an executive order but the real change must be done though Congress though the IRS code.
    It is mainly a signal issue that Trump like most political parties give to their supporters. In essence, other than the symbolism it changes nothing.

    As the churches have lost influence in the secular world and their impact is waning it is as some have noted almost a generational issue. In many areas religious opposition to a candidate would be a good thing for that candidate.

    However it does stem back to the IRS issue under Lois Lerner when certain groups were placed under close review for their non tax request.

    As noted by others time and events will make this issue moot like my wife asking me my opinion.


  34. Agreed. No more automatic 501c3 exemption and these folks can politic all they want. And they are still welcome to the exemption if they open their books and demonstrate their activities benefit the public. What honest church would oppose this?


  35. That this “Awakening” is sponsored by Trinity Broadcasting fills me with all sorts of confidence. . . not.


  36. > I think conservatives see repealing the Johnson amendment as a short-term gain

    Yes, I have heard them say that point-blank.

    > . What if there’s a moral revival in American Christianity and pastors start speaking
    > out en masse against racism or gun-worship or misogyny

    The Conservatives are correct about at least this: what you describe is unimaginable.

    > the dominant form of Christianity 20 or 50 years from now will adhere to current
    > conservative values

    Seems like a safe bet to me, at least for 20-30 years. 50? Who knows, at that point you will have rolled the generational counter. Nobody attempts to plot out that far. If American Christianity has a REAL moral revival then Conservatives can advocate for a new version of the Johnson Amendment in order to keep that “activist religion out of politics”. Rinse, repeat.

    > If you make a weapon like that available to people, *everyone* will start using it,

    Yes. Yet some collateral damage is fine – perhaps even useful!!! – as long as you win in the narrative.


  37. Maybe he wants to be the CCM Bob Geldof?

    Will he get paid for this gig?

    But then again, I guess when all you have is CCM lemons, you make CCM lemonade.


  38. I think conservatives see repealing the Johnson amendment as a short-term gain for themselves, but in the long term it could hurt them as much as anyone. What if there’s a moral revival in American Christianity and pastors start speaking out en masse against racism or gun-worship or misogyny? There’s no reason to trust that the dominant form of Christianity 20 or 50 years from now will adhere to current conservative values.

    They’d end up with a situation very similar to the one where conservatives lobbied for years for businesses to have the right not to serve people on moral grounds, and then all of a sudden restaurants started kicking out Trump cabinet members because of their immoral behavior. If you make a weapon like that available to people, *everyone* will start using it, and the end result will just be more division and angry rhetoric.


  39. “”””He (God) says ‘I’m tired of your sacrifices and I’m tired of your music.’ That really got my attention. He said, ‘Turn it off. I can’t stand it.’ He said, ‘You know what I’m looking for? I’m looking for justice to roll like a waterfall.’ And it rocked my world,” Smith revealed.”””

    . .. . wait…. so your response to that is to organize a concert? What? What?

    Head + Desk. Head + Desk.


  40. “”””There’s a massive antenna on top of that arena,” he illustrated. “I’ve been in arenas all around the world and never seen anything like it. Is that coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.””” – Mr. Smith

    Seriously? I fear Mr. Smith is off his meds.

    “””The prophetic worship and prayer evening will be pre-taped and aired as a special later in the fall by TBN.”””

    Prophecy, on tape delay! Head+Desk.

    Did Mr. Smith loose his savings in the Bernie Madoff scam? Or did he buy one too many McMansions?


  41. Yes, we just need another 30 years. Then I will be 75. 😦

    This is one way in which I envy the Millennials; they will get to see an America beyond the Boomers, provided America survives the Boomers.


  42. > any ‘awakening’ that came out of Nashville

    The Music City Revival: when Jesus came to the Grand Old Opera! Wow.
    Can you imagine the merch revenue possibilities?

    > CCM.

    Is that still a thing? I’ve heard from credible people the market has evaporated.


  43. No, he actually existed (Insert Smiley Face Emoji HERE).

    He existed, but the earliest Buddhist scriptures, which are part of the Pali Canon, were written down more than four hundred years after his death. During the interim they were orally transmitted. As a result, much material that only “sounds like the Buddha” is probably said throughout the Pali Canon to have actually issued from the Buddha’s mouth. But that’s not really a problem in Buddhism, since the teaching is not of an individual person but a way of life and spiritual liberation. In order for it to really be bogus, it would have to not sound like the Buddha; the included quote does sound like him, especially if the word “work” may be understood to mean dharma, which it may.


  44. Churches have been playing the political game for a long time anyway. And that’s not just White evangelical churches; African-American churches are very political, inviting campaigning politicians to speak in their churches as a matter of course. The mainlines are often not overtly political at the congregational level, but at denominational headquarters politics is everywhere, as is much of what they express in the public square. The Johnson Amendment is just a pretense behind which churches and denominations pretend they are apolitical.


  45. Strange how strange the talk of ‘awakenings’ and ‘revivals’ seems to me now. There is supposedly one taking place in a small charismatic church 40 miles south of Atlanta, kind of like the Pensacola ‘revival’.

    I would be frightened, more than uplifted, by any ‘awakening’ that came out of Nashville or CCM.

    Back to my dogmatic slumbers…


  46. The trend over the last few years has been more and more rain. This summer has been the worst; but I should say, this half summer has been the worst, since the first part of the summer was not that wet. It’s not just the frequency and amount of rain, it’s the volatility of the weather, the suddenness and unpredictability, which in the last years has been even worse than normal weather forecasting unpredictability. To my understanding, global climate change models call for much near-term local weather unpredictability as part of the overall movement toward local climate change.


  47. Welcome to the Party! 🙂

    I live in the ‘hood of “Highland Park” so named for being at the top of the city [although the park is a very low bowl which the now buried streams can backup into].

    In the last decade I’ve thanked my great great grandfather numerous times for choosing this spot. It is awkward to get to the rest of the city as you have to go D-O-W-N then, of course back, U-P. But if that river reaches ME – we’ve got serious ark-required problems.

    It’s been zany the number of 100 year weather events we’ve had in the last decade.


  48. I support the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

    “As a life-long Baptist and ordained pastor, I can’t imagine how damaging it would be to erase this legislation for local churches across the nation.”

    Admitting how very little faith he has in the institution he loves. Sad.

    If the moral discernment of a church’s leadership is not sufficient to protect them from being political chumps then what value to they bring to human society?

    Also should probably repeal their tax exempt status.

    If you keep claiming you are special, agents of a divine kingdom breaking into the world: prove it.

    Rise or Fall, no more state issued baby bumpers.


  49. And the local ATU (transit workers union) long ago negotiated that they get the day off, so those low wage workers who most likely have to work on the holiday have to either hike across the city or pay a couple of hours wages to Uber/Lyft to their jobs.

    The irony of Labor Day in America runs deep.


  50. Completely off topic, but I can’t help myself. Yesterday, in my home county of Lancaster, PA, we had torrential in the whole area. Several inches fell in the space of a couple hours in towns throughout the county. 10 freaking inches of rain fell in 3 hours in one town about 20 miles from where I live! 10 inches! in 3 hours! After a summer of unprecedented, record-breaking, torrential rainfall and flooding. With more rain in the forecast for the next week. I am now officially an anthropogenic global climate change alarmist — I’m all in.


  51. It’s 6:30 a.m., Saturday morning. I am at work – but voluntarily so. My job is one of those – no work, no pay.


  52. “Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.” On the contrary, I find inspiration usually comes just about anywhere, but especially in the shower. 🙂


  53. What I find ironic about Labor Day is that the people who are supposedly honored by that day, and are in most need of a day off, are the most likely to still be at work on that “holiday”. :-/


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