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Ask Your Pastor This Question On Sunday

Tired of the same old Sunday rituals?

Here’s a fun way to enliven the conversations.

Ask your pastor this question:

Why would you NOT trade places with Joel Osteen?

Poor Joel has been a magnet for ridicule and derision.

Most of it, well deserved.

He is notoriously vague on Christian doctrine.

He is notoriously outspoken on pop psychology mental health.

And his perpetual grin, be honest, CAN’T be sincere.

You can say a lot of things about J.O.

But you can’t say he isn’t a success.

He is wildly successful.

So it’s fair to ask your pastor why he would not want Osteen’s success.

Make sure you warn the pastor that answering this question requires some soul searching.

Do not accept trite answers like:

“Oh! I would trade places with him then preach THE PROPER gospel message!”

Such thoughts are noble, though naive.

How did the Osteen empire become the behemoth that it is today?

Was it Joel’s unflinching proclamation of Biblical truth?

Bwahahahahah!

(Sorry, that was unprofessional.)

No.

The titles of Osteen’s best-selling books hint at the secret to his success.

“Your Best Life Now”

“Think Better Live Better”

“I Declare – 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life”

“You Can You Will”

Behold! The key to Joel Osteen’s mass appeal.

Each book a redundant recitation of the power of positive thinking.

These books have sold millions of copies.

And oddly, no reader has ever duplicated Osteen’s success using the principles.

…shouldn’t there be at least two Lakewood Churches?

No matter!

The consistently absent piece of the Osteen puzzle is Jesus.

Sputter and spew if you must

“Joel Osteen talks about Jesus all the time!”

He talks about a character named ‘Jesus’, that’s true.

And to give credit where due, Joel’s Jesus sounds like a great guy!

Joel’s Jesus wants to make people happy.

Joel’s Jesus includes EVERYONE even people who don’t want to be included!

Joel’s Jesus loves everyone.

Joel’s Jesus never criticizes or judges.

And Joel’s Jesus…

…this is the most important part…

doesn’t ask anything of his disciples.

THAT is why millions of people flock to Joel’s Jesus.

He’s giving away money, happiness, fame, success and straight teeth FOR FREE!

It’s much easier to acquire a 10 million dollar mansion with a message like that…

…than by telling people, “the wages of sin is death”.

So the deeper question becomes:

Is it possible to achieve Joel Osteen’s success while adhering to New Testament doctrine?

If your pastor thinks he can do it, then ask him one more question.

What do you think this means?

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?   For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. – Matthew 16:24

Jesus Would Sign The Nashville Statement

 

What is the Nashville Statement?

In a nutshell, it’s Christianity.

I didn’t say it’s ‘God’s Word’.

But it borrows HEAVILY from God’s ideas.

If God decided to sue for plagiarism, He’d have a strong case.

Because the Nashville Statement clearly explains the Christian position…

…it infuriates people.

And that is bad.

It’s ALWAYS bad to upset people.

I learned this from conversations with upset people.

The Nashville Statement is Christianity so it runs contrary to Modern Church Doctrines (MCD – blessings be upon it).

MCD preaches “conversation over truth”.

Talking about stuff is morally superior to answering questions.

It’s arrogant when you strive to be ‘right’.

The Bible says the truth shall set you free.

MCD says the truth could hurt your feelings so we’ll avoid it. (Have some coffee.)

MCD preaches “culture over principle”.

The modern church adjusts the gospel to changing times.

Monogamy is outdated.

Single mothers rock!

Dismantle the patriarchy!

Homosexual couples have love to share! Let them adopt kids!

God loves you! God loves you! God loves you!

In the modern church, that’s ALL God does.

He doesn’t judge.

He doesn’t discipline.

He offers no opinions…

He condemns nothing…

…except The Nashville Statement, of course.

It’s charitable to call this stupidity…

…because it might be wickedness.

Do not accuse me of  “not understanding how hard it is for Christians to engage the LGBT community“.

I get that it’s hard to engage LGBT people with the gospel.

Because it’s hard to engage EVERYONE with the gospel.

People are stubborn and foolish.

The gospel is a mirror that reflects a person’s soul.

It exposes the awfulness of the human condition.

Modern Church Doctrine downplays the awfulness in favor of sweet platitudes.

“Nobody is perfect!”

And that is precisely the problem.

God rejects everything that isn’t perfect.

Black, White, Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Liberal, Conservative, you and me…every one a wretched sinner.

Enter, Jesus.

Perfection in place of our putrid personhood.

That is the truth.

 

If you’re offended by the truth, you’re doomed.

Christians who TRULY love you will not hide the truth to spare your feelings.

Because the truth will set you free.

 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5-11

2 Truths About The ‘Osteen Scandal’ That Nitwits Won’t Understand

Wrote one of the least controversial articles in my recent memory.

And created a boatload of controversy.

Sort of.

Controversy requires opposing viewpoints.

An angry, semi-coherent screed isn’t actually a ‘viewpoint’.

Just like banging a drum isn’t actually music.

(Try to identify a piece of music without the vocals and other instruments…I defy you.)

I’m going to say this as gently as I can…

…some of you Christians are embarrassing.

I’m going to attempt (one last time) to explain what’s going on with the ‘Osteen Scandal’.

 

For the record, I am NOT a fan of Joel Osteen.

I am a HUGE FAN of critical thinking.

Firstly…

Critics of Joel Osteen hated him long before the hurricane.

Years before the flood waters hit Houston, folks called Osteen a selfish, egotistical, huckster.

The storm attracted national attention and the critics seized the opportunity.

There was NO WAY Osteen would get credit for doing the right thing.

If he opened the doors of the church…he didn’t open them soon enough.

If he handed out groceries…he didn’t hand out blankets.

If he handed out blankets…he didn’t hand out shoes.

No matter what Osteen does…it isn’t what Jesus would have wanted him to do.

During a disaster, Joel Osteen’s sermon notes are irrelevant.

He’s a ‘false teacher’.

I get it.

Guess what?

When you harp at Joel about God’s will for the Lakewood Church building…

…you’re officially a ‘false teacher’ too!

You’re just less successful than Osteen.

The Bible contains no specific hurricane protocols.

Osteen said he was praying for the flood victims.

But God is telling you that he should do more.

God is talking directly to you about Joel Osteen’s faithfulness.

Your personal contribution to flood relief…

…is explaining how Scripture clearly opposes Joel.

Then, you turn around and accuse me of being JUDGMENTAL!

If you still can’t see your stupidity…beg God for wisdom.

Hypocritical Christians are bigger than the KKK!

The Ku Klux Klan is a hateful group of closed minded nitwits.

But the KKK wears robes and hoods, so they’re easy to spot.

You hypocrites don’t wear hoods so you think you’re better than the KKK.

You’re  not.

You’re just as hateful and closed minded as the clan.

However, you’re a bit more arrogant.

You don’t think the rest of us can see you.

3 Things That Are Not Joel Osteen’s Fault

Boy, that Joel Osteen, huh?

He’s made a gazillion bucks (estimated) preaching that God is a big, warm, teddy bear who just wants people to be happy.

A bunch of those people believed him…

…then their houses washed away in a Hurricane.

So now those same people want Joel to step up and correct God’s error.

Even though I am enjoying watching the Osteen chickens come home to roost…

…I am compelled to write the truth.

 

So here are 3 things for which  Joel Osteen cannot be blamed.

Joel Osteen is not responsible for Hurricane Harvey

Natural disasters are not within Osteen’s power to manifest.

There is only one person who can control the weather:

Donald Trump.

The hurricane was created to advance white supremacy.

Trump has yet to publicly denounce the gale winds and flood waters.

Suspicious, don’t you think?

Joel Osteen is not responsible for anti-Christian hypocrisy.

Humanist, atheists, pagans and non-believers are a frothing, flock of outrage.

Utterly dismayed by Osteen’s refusal to “open the doors of the church”.

The church doors have been open many times before, and these twits haven’t bothered to go in.

They’ve no use for Christianity until it comes time to criticize Christians.

Suddenly, the godless are experts on the subject of God!

They are theological scholars, brimming with the wisdom of a thousand Facebook memes.

Osteen is a Christian and that is reason enough to attack him.

The hurricane is merely a useful distraction.

Joel Osteen is not responsible for Christian hypocrisy.

Christians, here is an important question to answer BEFORE you wag your finger at Joel:

“How many flood victims are living in your house right now?”

None?

You don’t even live in Texas?

Then…

…shut your yap.

Instead of moralizing on Twitter, get in a boat and go pull some people out of the water.

Or haul some groceries to Lakewood Church!

(Yeah. Lakewood is organizing some flood relief efforts.)

You sickening, sanctimonious slug.

Your own righteousness is a filthy rag.

Do you really think you should criticize Joel’s?

I applaud the selflessness of everyone helping out in Texas.

No matter who they are…

…or how they do it.

 

Episode 53 Harassed By A Handicapped Guy

THIS EPISODE: I’m talking about being bullied by a handicapped person. Luke and Mandy (Peaches) join me.
First, we’re video taping the beginning of this podcast! It’s fascinating but I can’t do it for the whole episode because I am incapable of operating two devices at the same time.
I tell the tale of a guy with Parkinson’s scamming me. I gotta tell you, Pkarlgh, it bothers me to be lied to even when the liar is handicapped.
The video ends and I ask the question, “Is it okay to lie to people as long as you’re handicapped?” The Peaches doesn’t comment right away so I yell at her.
At times, it seems better to me to get ripped off than to deny someone who asks for help. Then I tell a story about a colostomy bag.
Luke may have accidentally invented a fantastic technique for dealing with people who are asking for food. Emmi kind of throws a tantrum then goes suddenly silent. Don’t panic, Pkarlgh. Luke just put her to bed.
We ponder whether or not it’s good to setup a GoFundMe account just because you want stuff (like pizza). Maybe some people don’t have family to help them because they’ve alienated their family.  BUT MAYBE NOT…We don’t judge!*
I had a guy ask me for money minutes after being mugged! (No kidding.)
It seems important to note that Jesus didn’t hand out cash to people. (Could be my hatred for the poor bubbling to the surface but I don’t think so…)
Peaches snaps at me when I try to interrupt her so I retreat (temporarily) to escape her wrath. She tries to make the point that Jesus didn’t help people based on the color of their skin or their gender. (Then she points out that Jesus WAS a person of color!  I’m telling you, Pkarlgh, she’s out of control!)
(Notice that Luke hasn’t said much so far. He’s still in the room. Hunkered in the corner just waiting to throw out an incredibly profound comment…)
Peaches admits she’s difficult to get along with and tries to blame it on a disability.
We decide it’s not possible to affirm or deny support for EVERY GROUP IN EXISTENCE! (Luke says some stuff but it’s not the profound statement yet…keep listening.)
I answer the question, “Do you like Donald Trump?”
We confirm that riots do not effectively express an argument.
Then, we sidetrack talking about urine filled balloon. And I offer a million dollar idea for you, Pkarlgh. It’s right  there, all you need to do is run with it!  See you on Shark Tank!
Peaches brings us back to the topic she wanted to discuss. When you’re trying to decide whether to be pro-hatred or anti-hatred, you need to know which group stands for anti-hate and it’s hard to know when they’re both throwing pee filled balloons at each other.
We make a decision about people who draw conclusions based solely on the source of an idea. (People who do this are idiots.)
Then we talk about the American Disability Act and probably offend everyone who uses a wheelchair. We mention oil spills too. THINK OF THE TURTLES!
(I didn’t realize the microphone was so close to the coffee machine!!  It kinda sounds like somebody is taking a leak but it’s coffee. I promise.)
I confess that I used to have anxiety using products from evil corporations.
It would be a great idea to let racist, hateful people talk. Let them talk and talk. Then, nobody will pay attention to them.
Then Luke unleashes a fantastic quote that would have ended the podcast if he had said it earlier.
And then it’s back to colostomy bags…
———————-
*Yes. We do.

Check out this episode!

The Best Way To Wound A Simpleton

First, you should never upset someone intentionally.

Having said that, here is the most effective way to upset someone.

Attempt to convert them to your belief.

Weak minds go into a tailspin when they suspect they are being influenced.

Simply professing a contrary opinion sends the drama levels off the chart.

“Don’t force your religion on me!”

“You’re a bigot!”

“Don’t be hateful!”

You should  WELCOME conversion attempts.

It’s a chance to test the strength of your own beliefs.

Suppose your religion teaches that it is an act of worship to use a hairdryer in the shower.

Someday, in the comment section of your blog, we might have this discussion:

Me: “Maybe you could turn off the shower before flipping on the hairdryer.”

You: “Stop forcing your views on others!”

Me: “Does your religion DEMAND the water and hairdryer be running at the same time?”

You: “…I don’t know…let me check.”

*researches the question*

You: “Actually. It doesn’t specify.”

Me: “Why would a religion encourage a practice that electrocutes the most devout followers?”

You: “Shut up! You voted for Trump!”

By the way, the second best way to wound a simpleton is…

…tell them you voted for Trump.

If you think it’s absurd to stand in a running shower with a hairdryer then…

…you’ve been indoctrinated.

Somewhere in the past, somebody preached this message:

“Stand ye not in running water with electrical devices.”

And you believed.

Somebody may challenge that belief someday.

If you’re smart, you’ll explain why you don’t shower with a hairdryer.

If you’re a simpleton, you’ll just get triggered.

The Scientific Fact that Proves Christianity False

Just 50 years since Time Magazine suggested God is dead, we’re on the verge of proving God never existed.

These are certainly exciting times!

Christianity gave birth to science.

Now science, like an adolescent child, surpasses the parents wisdom!

According to a ‘new theory‘…God isn’t necessary for life to exist!

The theory suggests that life in this universe is unavoidable.

Life is not ‘an accident’ but an inevitable result of the ‘laws of nature’!

You hear that?!

The laws of nature created life!

If the theory proves true, obviously there is no God.

To get life, all you need are the laws of nature!

This is fabulous news for you nitwits who are desperate to make atheism seem reasonable.

Because you nitwits can’t think.

And ignorance is  bliss.

Here’s the truth:

There is no scientific fact that disproves God.

I’ll illustrate this statement with a little story.

So you can ignore it.

Imagine, while walking in the woods, you discover a bunch of logs lying on the ground near a stream.

There is a groove cut in the middle of each log allowing water from the stream to run through it.

The logs are end-to-end and the bottom of each log lies on top of the next log forming a trough.

You follow the trail of logs for a quarter mile and discover the water is emptying into a small pond.

Now.

 

It is true that the laws of nature dictate that water runs downhill.

It is true that the laws of nature dictate the pond be created as the water collects.

BUT

Listen carefully…

…this is where I’m going to lose you.

The laws of nature DO NOT explain the aqueduct of logs.

Likewise…

Even if the laws of nature demand that life arise…

…that does NOT mean God doesn’t exist.

Because God is necessary to explain the laws of nature.

But I don’t mean to rain on your parade so pretend I didn’t say anything.

Better yet, pretend you don’t understand what I’m saying.

Or even better yet, call me a deluded religious fanatic!

The reason there is a conflict between science and religion is because…

…some people don’t understand either.

A Good Question To Ask If You’re Stupid

Heard a child say this about Freddie Mercury (lead singer for Queen)

He’s a god!

Heard a sports announcer say this about Magic Johnson (not lead singer for Queen)

He’s a god!

Heard a history teacher say this about Zeus (yes, that Zeus)

He’s a god!

So it’s no wonder we’re confused about God.

At some point, God went from being the unique, omnipotent inventor of reality…

…to just a really talented musician.

No disrespect to Magic Johnson but dunking a basketball isn’t as impressive as designing a person who can dunk a basketball.

We mistake the created for the creator.

Which never happens when we eat dessert.

This cupcake is a pastry chef!

And it doesn’t happen when we see art.

This masterpiece is an artist!

We don’t do this because…it’s stupid.

It’s even more stupid to say “Man is God”…but we do it anyway.

Then, when we try to actually talk about “God”, we encounter stupid questions like,

Which God are you talking about?

 

This is akin to raising your hand during a tour of the Sistine Chapel and asking:

Which Michelangelo are you talking about?

Nobody asks that question because we don’t call everybody who picks up a paintbrush “Michelangelo”.

If you don’t know anything about Michelangelo you should reason…

…he was NOT an ornate plaster ceiling.

Likewise, if you don’t know anything about reality you should reason…

…it was not created by an old man in the sky…

…or a spaghetti monster…

…or a mythical turtle…

…or Magic Johnson…

…or Freddie Mercury…

…or nothing at all.

So stop calling people gods.

And have a cupcake.

This Is How I Keep Sexism Alive In Church

WARNING: The following article contains sexism, bigotry and discrimination. Reader discretion is advised.

I’m guilty of sexist discrimination.

I treat people differently depending on their gender.

Even at church.

I’ve been discriminating against women for years and I didn’t even know it.

This article convicted me.

I owe my Christian sisters an apology.

Allow me to confess my bigotry.

During every Sunday morning service we take a couple of minutes to greet people.

Often, my friend Jack greets me by sneaking up behind me…

…and grabbing my butt.

Not a gentle pat.

A five-fingered, cheek crushing squeeze.

He doesn’t release quickly either.

He’ll hold on until I make some kind of submissive noise.

“Gaaaaaaah!”

Then, I turn around and punch him in the shoulder or chest (whichever is closer).

And that concludes the greeting ritual.

There’s another dude at my church…

…we’ll call him ‘Conde’…

…who refuses to accept handshakes as greetings.

Instead, he demands I greet him with a ‘holy kiss’ as mentioned throughout the New Testament.

Usually, I respond by punching him in the shoulder or chest (whichever is closer).

Occasionally, I oblige him.

The bible does not specify exactly how to give a ‘holy kiss’.

So there is freedom to express our individuality.

For my ‘holy kiss’, I do a tight, full frontal embrace while pressing my face into the brother’s cheek hard enough to leave lip prints.

As of this writing, Conde is the only person to ever receive a ‘holy kiss’.

And that is why I am convicted.

I’ve never greeted a woman with a holy kiss.

Just thinking about it makes me uncomfortable.

What’s worse is…

The reason I don’t greet women by grabbing their butts is BECAUSE THEY’RE WOMEN.

That is sexism no matter how you slice it.

Whew! I feel better already.

Confession is good for the soul.

Has This Scam Taken You For A Ride?

Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

He also contributes to the destruction of American intellectualism.

The video is a passionate sermon in which he exposes one of the oldest ‘scams’ in history…

…making money.

He offers an (undocumented) history of the taxicab industry as proof of the villainy.

Listening to Wolff, you might conclude that taxis killed more Americans than Syphilis.

(He doesn’t SAY that but he doesn’t DENY it either!!)

Clearly, the public needs to be protected from the scourge of public transportation!

And nobody does a better job of protecting people than…

…a government committee!

A wise council of infallible humans motivated by a selfless obsession with other’s well being.

Committees care nothing for making money.

Wolff explains that the committee knows how to ensure taxi riders are safe…

…mandatory increases in taxi fares.

Thank God!

In Wolff’s words:

“Now the price of a taxi ride is fairly high but at least you know…you’re safe.”

Embraced by the arms of government overreach, enjoy your ride!

Your cab driver will be sober because…the committee demands it.

The cab will be properly maintained because…the committee demands it.

You’re going to pay more for the ride because…the committee demands it.

Wolff’s big, shocking revelation is that Uber operates outside the jurisdiction of the taxi cab commission.

This is what the Professor of Economics calls ‘a scam’.

His outrage is that “…any crooked, capitalist hustler sees an opportunity…”

Opportunity pisses him off.

And he gets payed to say so!

By the time the video ended, I agreed about the scam.

The scam is Richard Wolff teaching a class.

Shouldn’t there be a committee looking over his lecture notes?

Given the choice between riding in an unsafe taxi…

…or sitting through a semester of Wolff’s teaching…

…I’ll pick the death cab every time.

Because I might walk away from a car crash.

Nobody survives Wolff’s ideologies.