Holding prophets accountable

What do you know? There is a movement among Charismtics to hold prophets accountable.

Unfortunately, in church circles where prophetic ministry is still accepted, we tend to go to one extreme or the other, either welcoming prophecy with little or no discernment or virtually shutting it down with a hypercautious attitude.

Today, in light of the failed election prophecies, which received widespread media attention, and which followed on the heels of the failed end-of-COVID prophecies, prophetic ministry has a bad name. Not only so, but many believers have become spiritually disoriented, while many pastors are asking, “Who cleans up the mess now?”

I fearlessly predict that this will have no effect whatever. Hell, Oral Roberts’ blinking-neon scam got him a television program, and Pat Robertson controls an entire network.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Deranged screed of the day

With all due respect, it was the invasion of the zombie apocalypse, as far as I’m concerned. It was probably one of the most sad, depressing speeches I’ve ever heard.

Quite honestly, the word that I have for his speech: It’s cruel. What he’s intending for the American people, the result is cruel.

I think one of the most cruel aspects of what he’s proposing is snatching 3-and-4-year-olds out of their parents’ arms, putting them in government-run preschools [where] they’ll be learning critical race theory.

I’ve observed this curriculum. I’ve seen this curriculum that they’re planning to use with little 3-and-4-year-olds. It is the LGBTQ curriculum. It is the critical race theory.

Our little children will be indoctrinated before they even get to kindergarten.

Michelle Bachmann

The GOP is now living in a dark fantasyland, in the fever swamp of their own nightmares.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Shrinking Our Invisible Friend

What do you know? There are folk out there who don’t believe You-know-who can do anything He wants.

Of course, many people do believe God actually is the Giant Force in the Sky. They believe God can answer any of the desperate pleas of devoted “prayer warriors,” performing miracles, turning the tornado from the path of their own homes (even if the tornado just destroyed the homes of three praying neighbors). Many people do believe this.

For a church trying to present a reasonable message to a rational, scientific world, I find this unfortunate.

I sure hope this guy has sense enough to keep his mouth shut when he’s amongst Southern Baptists — because protecting him is one more thing Our Invisible Friend won’t be able to do.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

“… the individual known as Caitlyn Jenner …”

You’ve probably wondered from time to time as this dreary pandemic drags on, “What’s with Albert the Pious these days? Is he still utterly insufferable”

Yes. Yes he is.

Gavin Newsom is also planning to run for reelection in 2022. So if he does win the recall question, he’s likely to do so by the way, he is likely to be back on the ballot in 2022. And the only real action when it comes to most statewide elections in California is on the Democratic side. So it’s also true that if Republicans have any chance to regain the governorship in California, it is probably by recalling Gavin Newsom and electing a Republican to replace him.

How likely is that? Well, it’s probably not very likely in the first place, just given the voter registration and population patterns, but it’s now unlikely for another reason, and that is the fact that the best known declared Republican indicating a desire to run in this race is the individual known as Caitlyn Jenner, previously, Bruce Jenner.

So: a clumsy locution in order to gratuitously demean Jenner — who surely knows a thing or two about sexual identity.

Mohler is exhibiting not merely ignorance; we expect that from conservative Christians, and from fundamentalists especially. There is real mean-spiritedness here, too, a nasty dismissal of Jenner’s own lived experience as meaningless and irrelevant — an attitude bound to be repeated in pews all across the land next Sunday morning. Seriously: There is no defense but to put the Godly as far out of your life as you possibly can.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

All gods die

I reproduced yesterday a tweet from Religion News Service that points toward something worth thinking about for a moment — and repeating: People invent the gods they need, and all gods eventually die.

How else could it be? The Arabs who lived in the harsh environment of the Middle East conceived of the universe’s supreme power as harsh. The Chippewa Indians who lived in the upper Midwest around the Great Lakes, where the forests and waters were rich with food, supposed that the universe’s supreme power was amiable and generous.

But now, with chicken-to-go and Coca-Cola available every few miles, there’s no work for those gods — they don’t satisfy any actual need, though some people seem to like the idea of having an Invisible Friend.

H.L. Mencken once wrote an essay about this, and it remains a worthwhile read.

Graveyard of the Dead Gods, by Henry Louis Mencken, 1922

Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year – and it is no more than five hundred years ago – 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey.

Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatilpoca. Tezcatilpoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year. Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quetzalcoatl is? Or Xiehtecuthli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitles? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them.

But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsalluta, and Deva, and Belisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose – all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them – temples with stones as large as hay-wagons.

The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake. Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence.

What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley?

What has become of:

Resheph

Baal

Anath

Astarte

Ashtoreth

Hadad

Nebo

Dagon

Melek

Yau

Ahijah

Amon-Re

Isis

Osiris

Ptah

Molech?

All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following:

Arianrod

Nuada Argetlam

Morrigu

Tagd

Govannon

Goibniu

Gunfled

Odin

Dagda

Ogma

Ogryvan

Marzin

Dea Dia

Mara

Iuno Lucina

Diana of Ephesus

Saturn

Robigus

Furrina

Pluto

Cronos

Vesta

Engurra

Zer-panitu

Belus

Merodach

Ubilulu

Elum

U-dimmer-an-kia

Marduk U-sab-sib

Nin U-Mersi

Persephone

Tammuz

Istar

Venus

Lagas

Beltis

Nirig

Nusku

En-Mersi

Aa Assur

Sin Beltu

Apsu

Kuski-banda

Elali

Nin-azu

Mami

Qarradu

Zaraqu

Ueras

Zagaga

Ask the rector to lend you any good book on comparative religion; you will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest dignity – gods of civilized peoples – worshipped and believed in by millions. All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal.

And all are dead.

Posted in General | Leave a comment