Thinking Out Loud

January 27, 2014

Google Doesn’t Lie, Does It?

This just in: People think Mormons are hot!  But they also think Buddah is fat, which somehow seems politically incorrect.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a former writer for Christianity Today who now lends her talents to Religion News Service. As a religion writer you’d think she’d know better than to play the Google game; the one where you type in a key word to see how Google auto-completes it. Or would she? Perhaps she trusts her reporter’s instincts that Google doesn’t lie, and that the commonly asked search criteria reflect both the perception and the reality of how religious groups are viewed.  So here’s what she posted on Twitter last night:

Why is…

Christianity: important?
Islam: so strict?
Hinduism: polytheistic?
Buddhism: important?
Catholicism: important?
Mainline Protestantism: declining?
Evangelicalism: on the rise?
Pentecostalism: so popular?
Jesus: white?
Muhammad: called the seal of the prophets?
Hare Krisha: a cult?
Buddha: fat?

Why are…

Baptists: in the south?
Methodists: liberal?
Presbyterians: called the frozen chosen?
Episcopalians: rich?
Evangelicals: turning Catholic?
Atheists: so angry?
Jehovah’s Witnesses: so nice?
Mormons: so hot?

Evangelicals are turning Catholic? That’s news to me. Unfortunately for you, what follows is merely a screenshot, you’ll have to do the search yourself. I did both the regular web search, and a separate one using Google Blog Search. And finally, I’m ashamed to say, I did a Google Images search for “hot Mormons” and “hot Mormon.”

I don’t want to talk about it.

Why Are Evangelicals Turning Catholic

January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 !

Filed under: Faith, Humor — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:25 am
Bruxy Cavey:

“We treat faith in our culture much like a painting that you hang on the wall. It’s something you go and look at. Look at my faith. Faith is a beautiful thing. But biblically faith is a connecting concept to connect you with something else. It’s not an end point destination that you stare at but it’s something you stare through. In other words, faith is more like a window that you install in a wall, not a painting you hang on a wall. It is something designed to help you see through the wall or whatever barrier is there to see … the outside of your particular world.” ~Bruxy Cavey, author of The End of Religion and Teaching Pastor of The Meeting House, a sixteen-site church in Ontario, Canada from the series Get Over Yourself, part six, December 13, 2009


“Do you know the people at #47?”
“Yeah, their kids play soccer on the teams my brother’s kids play on.”
“Have you ever talked to them?”
“Once or twice; they kinda keep to themselves.”
“Did you know they were Christians?”
“I know they go off to church every Sunday.”
“Ever ask them about it?”
“Yeah, one time; I said, ‘I see you go to church on Sundays.’”
“Did they tell you they were Christians?”
“They said they were Calvinists.”

December 30, 2013

Latest from the Church Curmudgeon

On the one hand, he has 63,300 followers on Twitter. On the other hand, not everybody is on Twitter and this deserves a wider readership, not to mention preservation since Twitter offers little in terms of accessible archives.  Welcome back to more from my favorite presence in the Twitterverse,  Church Curmudgeon:

Church Curmudgeon

  • Our drummer hasn’t seen many dangers or toils, but he’s sure gone through a lot of snares.
  • Who among you, if his son asked for a donut, would give him a scone?
  • Worship leader found the old choir music closet. I told him they’re Greek manuscripts. Doesn’t know the difference.
  • When Noah realized how long he was going to be on the ark with those animals, he felt like he’d been hit with a 2 by 2.
  • A guy got caught stealing an idol from our local museum in hopes of auctioning it off. Baal has been set at $50,000.
  • The church cut the Senior’s group budget to 20 bucks per event. So tonight we’re going to party like it’s $19.99.
  • Please pray for the children’s director, who fell off a ladder and suffered injuries to her head and shoulders, knees & toes, knees & toes.
  • I tried to cancel my meeting with Hank from the King-James-Only church, but he didn’t receptus my textus.
  • Headed over to the seminary barbecue this afternoon. Otherwise known as casting a pig into a herd of D. Mins
  • They kicked the guitarist off the worship team, and won’t let him come back until he finds Gsus.
  • It would be easier for the congregation to lip-sync if they’d put the right words up.
  • It’s one thing to be at a loss for words in worship. It’s another to write a song called “Jesus, I’m All, Like, Dude”.
  • When my pastor’s discouraged, I’ve always found that a note reminding him how to do his job helps me feel better.
  • If you leave your Bible at church, we highlight all the really weird passages to make your children wonder about you when you die.
  • Blowout deals on hymns at How Great Thou Mart.
  • You can’t debunk someone who had nowhere to bunk in the first place.
  • Today, in an effort to be more accurate, the tech team is just going to type in what they think we’re singing as we go.
  • Changing our vision statement from “Excellence in All Things” to “Somebody Has to Be Below Average”.
  • Joel Holstein – Your Best Life Cow
  • People don’t care about how much you grumble unless you grumble about how much they care.
  • I love how people who mock the Bible for having food laws change their whole diet on the basis of a Facebook link.
  • Pastor’s “attending” a webinar today. I’m assuming this will lead to a degree from a webinary.
  • If our creepy puppet ministry saves one creepy kid, it will be worth it all.
  • What’s the SleepNumber® on your pew?
  • In a better world, there would also be a theologian named OT Wong.
  • If you don’t think God is patient, forgiving, and long-suffering, consider that He has read ALL of Twitter.

Well that covers about a 90-day window, but is just a small part of the 4,600+ Tweets on the curmudgeon’s feed.

So is it just me, or is Church Curmudgeon a Christian publishing deal waiting to happen?

Church Curmudgeon eschatology

October 29, 2013

Top Ten Reasons You Wouldn’t Want Your Parents to Name You ‘Messiah’

I have this linked on tomorrow’s post, but it seemed too good not to share in full here.  Send the creator known as Flagrant Regard — who gave kind permission for Thinking Out Loud to reblog this — some stats love by reading this at source

In Tennessee this week, a judge was cited for his ruling that a couple who’d petitioned to have their new-born son registered with the first-name, ‘Messiah’ could not do so on the grounds that, “The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ.” 1

While we agree that the judge was a little over-zealous in his ruling – that people should have the right to name their kid almost anything they want – we DO think that growing up with the name, ‘Messiah’ may have its drawbacks.

Here now (ala David Letterman format) are the

TOP TEN REASONS WHY YOU WOULDN’T WANT YOUR PARENTS TO NAME YOU ‘MESSIAH’

10. Getting caught swearing by people who are happy to note, “Well that sure doesn’t sound Aramaic to me!”

9. Having to avoid common sayings that could offend such as, “I’m just hanging around” or “Really nailed it” … (sorry!)

8. Trying to live up to the high expectation your mom has that you’ll treat her like Holy Mother Mary at all times

7. Problem when there’s a shortage of grape juice at the family dinner and everyone turns to you, begging for you do something about it

6. Finding that, when another kid named ‘Messiah’ in your class is the one causing problems, you hear yourself telling the teacher, “But I’m not the Messiah you’re looking for!”

5. Your mother talks about you to her friends, saying, “Oh he’s fine – just don’t cross him.”

4. Being chided by your professor of religion (right after he informs you that you’re failing his class), “If you are indeed who you say you are, throw yourself into your work and I’ll give you all the great grades you see before you.”

3. High probability of bullies in the schoolyard whacking you from behind and shouting, “Okay Messiah, who hit you?”

2. Being told by your family waiting at the airport for your arrival during the thanksgiving holidays, “Yeah, we saw you coming in the clouds” every flippin’ year

… and the NUMBER ONE REASON FOR WHY YOU SHOULDN’T NAME YOUR CHILD ‘MESSIAH’ …

1.Far too easy for psychiatrists to figure out what kind of complex you’re developing.

© 2013 Flagrant Regard

(1) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sns-rt-us-usa-tennessee-judge-20131025,0,617443.story

October 8, 2013

Edgy Christian Comic: Insert Image

Filed under: Humor — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:16 am

Insert Image by Wes Molebash - Prayer Soap

Insert Image is the continuing story of Miles and JP from Paper City Church, as created by Wes Molebash. There’s a new comic panel every Monday.

having trouble viewing the complete image? Click here.

July 25, 2013

This Christian Logo is Actually for Real

Filed under: Humor — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:15 am

Late last night, after reblogging a spoof Christian logo that InterVarsity’s twentyonehundred productions put on their Facebook page earlier in the day, I found this at Stuff Fundies Like, and this is not a pretend logo, this one is for real.

Independent Baptist Mission for Asians

Darrell, the proprietor of SFL, wrote:

We’re going to Asia and taking them the KJV.
Boy, oh, boy won’t they be happy?

Be sure to read the comments. If you grew up in a Fundamentalist environment click the image to visit the blog; this is your tribe.

May 26, 2013

Soulwinning in Africa

Filed under: Humor, missions — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:39 am

Great quotation from Stuff Fundies Like, though you might want to click through for the photograph, which really makes this sing:

“People are so much more open to the gospel in East Botswana than they are here in the USA.”

Somehow the willingness of people to take tracts (that they can’t read), listen politely to a Romans Road presentation (that they don’t understand), and allow themselves to be coerced into saying The Prayer(TM) (that they can’t possibly grasp) translates into the idea that the rest of the world is still open to the Gospel while cold-hearted and money-minded Americans just aren’t that interested anymore. This, of course, means that money is much better spent on planting Independent Fundamental Baptist churches in Guinea-Bissau than caring for the homeless people who keep making a mess of the street in front of our church.

If you believe that the most effective evangelism is done in foreign lands by people who have little formal training, don’t understand the culture, and barely speak the language…you might be a fundamentalist.

May 4, 2013

Expository versus Topical Preaching

Filed under: Church, Humor — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:21 am

I know this is contentious with some people. Hope this helps clarify things.!

Expository versus Topical

From Todd Rhoades who sourced it at Sacred Sandwich.

March 24, 2013

Faith Based 404 Explanations

Filed under: blogging, Humor — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:10 am

Why the webpage you want isn’t loading:

404 Faith Explanations

February 2, 2013

Sitcom Sendoff Reveals Series’ True Colors

Filed under: Humor, media — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:54 am

30 Rock Cast

Maybe it was the fact it has been a most stressful week, or maybe it was watching online on the smaller screen, but either way, the finale of 30 Rock just didn’t seem funny.

It reminded me somewhat of the last episode of Seinfeld, where the characters all end up on trial for violating a specific ordinance and yet equally on trial for the totality of their character.   I remember watching that episode and thinking that for all the humorous situations and new phrases the series introduced into the language, basically these were not nice people.

A similar moment occurs in 30 Rock where Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) tells Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) that he is essentially “an alcoholic with a great voice.”  The show just seemed sad. Egotistical hedonism and materialism are the religions of choice. A better ending might have been last week’s program, where Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) is named President of NBC. For that and other reasons, that episode had a better ‘ending’ feel to it.

So much of today’s popular television fare continues to strive to push the envelope. Laughter is a surprise reaction, so the more outrageous a character or plot development, the more potential success in terms of critics’ reviews and viewer ratings.  If the story line and characters become predictable, the show’s edge is lost. Furthermore, most programs overstay their welcome and we would all be better served if North American networks followed the BBC model where shows have much more limited runs, but last longer in the public consciousness.

You can only exploit a premise so long and so far.

At the end of the day, shows like 30 Rock are more about the depravity of man than anything else. Tina Fey is a naturally funny actor and producer and I would certainly give any future projects she created a chance. But the best American television has to offer does not necessarily reflect the best to be found in individuals.  The show doesn’t reflect well on U.S. culture; or then again, maybe it does, and that’s the center of the problem.

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