Thinking Out Loud

May 15, 2019

Wednesday Connect


So once again, we find ourselves with a link list where the lead items all concern the conservative church knee-jerking about a woman in ministry. I am so glad I follow a different God than theirs. There. I said it. And I’m not even a fan of this week’s featured target. But she deserves better.

■ Woman “A” doesn’t think Woman “B” (as in ‘B is for Beth Moore’) should preach, even on Mother’s Day. “When a pastor invites a woman to sin by taking over the pulpit, he drags her and the women of his church right back to post-Fall Eden.” …

■ … and then Woman “B” (as in ‘B is for Beth Moore’) had a few things to say about it herself. “…Then I realized it was not over Scripture at all. It was over sin. It was over power. It was over misogyny. Sexism. It was about arrogance. About protecting systems. It involved covering abuses and misses of power. Shepherds guarding other shepherds instead of guarding the sheep.” …

■ …Or appropriately, this summary of the events: “Beth Moore preaching on Mother’s Day in the SBC, and men are losing their minds.” (Right now, as I type this, probably many a complementarian is pulling out his hair or dealing with elevated blood pressure. As for me, I’m making myself a sandwich. This is not a hill to be on.)

■ Going about it the right way: “Even though the Roman Catholic Church teaches that all life has dignity and abortion is a moral evil, a Catholic college in Montana is dictating to its Students For Life group how they should criticize Planned Parenthood, both on campus and online.”

■ Months later, the botched adoption story continues. The Canadian government simply refuses to move for this couple who now alternate between their home in Canada and, most recently, Ghana. Click the link, and be sure to read the whole thing. A travesty for which Canada should be ashamed… 

■ …and while we’re talking Canada, sadly, the movie Unplanned will not be playing in Canadian theaters. The two largest film distributors in the country said ‘content’ as the issue, “not lack of consumer demand.

■ Persecution Watch: “In a blow to the country’s Christian and other minorities, the military council in control of Sudan has affirmed that future legislation should continue to be based on sharia law.”

■ Donald Lawrence, a Gospel music artist claims to be doing more than just singing: “‘Spiritual Song Psychotherapy (and) Spiritual Lyric Psychotherapy Is a concept I’ve toyed around with for the last 8-12 years,’ he revealed. ‘It’s the idea of delivering spiritual psychology/ psychotherapy to (the) listener in song form knowing that repeating a healing phrase over and over will have a certain neurological effect, changing the way the listener speaks and thinks while also changing the way the subconscious reacts to a past challenge…'”

■ Quotation of the Week: Garrison Keillor in an article on Julian of Norwich (14th Century): “In 1351, Pope Clement VI himself railed against his own highest-ranking clergy: ‘What can you preach to the people? If on humility, you yourselves are the proudest of the world, puffed up, pompous and sumptuous in luxuries. If on poverty, you are so covetous that all the benefices in the world are not enough for you. If on chastity — but we will be silent on this, for God knoweth what each man does and how many of you satisfy your lusts.'”

■ We saved the best RHE tribute for last: Ed Cyzewski’s tribute to Rachel Held Evans. “She showed so many of us that we could do the heavy lifting of theology and still share compelling stories and narratives…One pastor noted that she had created a work of pastoral performance art that resembled the prophetic tradition…I cannot fathom the scope of this tragedy for her family at this time. Everything about this feels wrong and unfair for her children and husband…”

■ Essay of the Week: The Housechurch Movement Ruined My Life. “People who have written books and lead conferences will volunteer to come and teach your group how have a meeting with no one leading, but often the “model” of how to do housechurch often is restrictive and strangles things that would bring life to the group…Also, there are some house church experts who ban musicial instruments during singing because anyone playing a guitar would be “too much of a leader” in a fiercely leaderless movement. As a result, singing worship songs often loses something that only an instrument can provide, and its not a small thing that gets lost.” This is a longer piece, and while it’s subjective, it’s thoroughly considered and worth the time.

■ Warren Throckmorton points out that Gospel for Asia is saying to those entitled to receive funds out of the class lawsuit filed against it, essentially something like, ‘Once you get your money back, consider donating back to Gospel for Asia.’ A mass mailing reads, “I have submitted our claim in this settlement for 100% of what we are eligible to claim. I plan to take all the money I can from my claim, minus an amount I will need to set aside for taxes, and donate it back to GFA to their general fund to help cover the 11 million dollars it has to raise for the settlement.” Writers such as that one are presented as believing they are in disagreement with the lawsuit. Others might feel, ‘Once bitten, twice shy.’

■ Burning sage to rid your house of evil spirits? Charisma first reported on this in December, but it’s becoming more widespread: “This practice of saging a house is common among followers of New Age and shamanistic beliefs, and sadly, is becoming increasingly popular in Christian homes. Why would this practice go against Christian beliefs?” Read more here. Or this answer at

■ How the church widely deals with people with a porn problem: “For instance, in many church communities over the last several decades, sins like pornography use have essentially become earners of scarlet letters. Porn is seen by many as the unpardonable sin. But if we continue preaching, discipling, and counseling this way, we will soon find that we’ve excommunicated our church into oblivion!” (Read that last phrase again.)

■ Comparing my religion: Comparing our Christianity with our Jewish counterparts, even as, in this article, American Jews compare their rate of engagement with their Canadian counterparts. Relatively speaking Canadians are all in. (My guess is the same isn’t true for Christianity, but then again, if we’re measuring engagement as opposed to raw attendance numbers, I am willing to be proved wrong.)

■ Arizona pastor banned in Ireland: “Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan signed an order under the Immigration Act 1999 forbidding the entry of Steven L. Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, ahead of a visit to Dublin that Anderson said he had scheduled for May 26. His visit’s purpose was to preach to an unspecified congregation, according to the newspaper. It was the first exclusion order signed since the law was enacted.”

■ Nepotism is alive and well at New Destiny Christian Center, as televangelist Paula White (spiritual advisor to one Donald J. Trump) turns the lead pastorate of the church over to her son Brad. “Does it seem like favoritism to elevate an associate pastor and donor relations coordinator as senior pastors when, seemingly, there are more qualified church members on staff? To me, yes. But I can also understand that it is probably challenging to build a church or parachurch ministry and not want to choose your child, who you trust, as successor.”

■ Debriefing Mother’s Day: “When we expect others to fulfill our need for affirmation, a root of idolatry is revealed. God sees you. God loves you. God rewards those who faithfully serve Him. You will only find yourself fulfilled when you are working to please your Creator.”

■ Noteworthy here for its excellent portrayal of a large American Roman Catholic family in the 1970s, ABC-TV has cancelled The Kids Are Alright. This “gem of a show” isn’t getting to see a second season.

■ Group Publishing is back this year with WonderFull World, another VBS for adults. Actually they’re women’s retreats in a box, but since we started calling them adult VBS, it kinda stuck here at Wednesday Connect Central. This one has a travel theme.

■ Lev Bure, the 19-year-old son of actress Candice Cameron Bure, and nephew of Kirk Cameron was one of five younger leaders who got to preach this week at Shepherd Church, a non-denominational church in Los Angeles. Lev spoke on “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

■ We linked to this guy’s video when he toured a Greek Orthodox Church, so we thought we’d check out his discovery of Anglicanism. However, this “Ten Minute Bible Hour” does run 53 minutes, so we didn’t quite finish. Really good though; he picks good churches/pastors to film/interview.

■ Finally, for me, the punchline was in the last paragraph. The man standing through his car sunroof with his hands raised at speeds up to 100 mph while the car was on a cruise control “thought it would be a nice way to praise God for a minute.”



  1. It’s good that we can still laugh Paul.Your top picture made me howl. Naughty but ….!

    Comment by Mark — May 15, 2019 @ 2:26 pm

  2. Good grief! What were you thinking?

    Comment by The Purging Lutheran — May 15, 2019 @ 7:17 pm

    • The picture or this week’s introduction?
      The picture was part of a collection of Christian memes, and was captioned, “My favorite Bible verse.” Of course I didn’t want anyone thinking it was my favorite Bible verse.
      So in the spirit of locking the barn door after the horse has escaped — somewhat literally here — I decided to check out how some Children’s Bibles let the verse play out:

      • She wanted men who behaved like animals in their sexual desire. (ICB, dodging most of the content)
      •There she had longed for her lovers. Their private parts seemed as big as those of donkeys. And their flow of semen appeared to be as much as that of horses. (NIrV; nothing edited there.)
      • But that didn’t bother her. She turned to even greater prostitution, sinning with the lustful men she remembered from her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. (The original Living Bible, which Ken Taylor wrote for his kids to hear at dinnertime.)

      While we’re at it:
      • That whetted her appetite for more virile, vulgar, and violent lovers—stallions obsessive in their lust. (The Message)
      • She lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is like that of horses. (Tree of Life Bible)

      No getting around it, is there? It’s in the Bible.

      (My wife says not to worry, the kid is clearly reading from the New Testament.)

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 15, 2019 @ 7:36 pm

      • That’s not a good answer. The verse and photo together are way beyond inappropriate. It looks like the Mom and daughter are amused by what they are reading – which is not what anyone would think when reading the story of the two prostitutes.
        Second, dumping the verse out there with no context is using the Bible to be funny or shocking. That’s not right. I expected more from a Christian blog. You can be funny without being profane – which is what the verse/photo combination is.
        I just started following you but now wonder whether I should look elsewhere.

        Comment by Susan — May 15, 2019 @ 8:07 pm

      • Wow. Just wow. After everything else that’s been posted here for eleven years?

        But better to cave than offend readers.

        The pic is gone.

        Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 15, 2019 @ 8:39 pm

  3. I am truly saddened by the reaction to this Paul. Do people not laugh anymore about anything without getting offended. I immediately saw the irony of the picture and laughed at it in the way that it was intended. I do hope that there will be laughter in heaven. It will be a glum place otherwise.

    Comment by Mark — May 16, 2019 @ 4:27 pm

    • Generally speaking, Christians don’t have a sense of humor. The capital “C” Church does not have a good relationship with humor, satire, or farce (The Babylon Bee notwithstanding.)

      This blog doesn’t get a lot of comments. Most blogs don’t see anything approaching the comment stream they would have had a decade ago. So when two presumably disconnected people get that offended, it’s probably better to not have the exercise of my liberty cause someone to stumble. So to speak.

      You have to assume the people so offended don’t click on the Matthew Pierce links when they are posted here because he often gives new meaning to the term inappropriate. I am a little more careful linking to his stuff, but sometimes they’re just too funny, even if he is certifiably insane.

      The point is, that unless you’ve produced your own version of The Jefferson Bible — where you’ve excised what you don’t like with scissors — you’re going to run into that verse someday, and so might your kids.

      As Charlie Brown often said, “Sigh!”

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 16, 2019 @ 4:56 pm

      • Paul, I’ve got a great sense of humor but apparently I’m one of a few people who don’t see the humor of a little girl reading about how much sperm a well hung donkey ejaculates. Please feel welcome to put your picture back up to keep your readers and yourself happy.

        Comment by The Purging Lutheran — May 17, 2019 @ 11:30 pm

      • Lastly, you see a ‘meme’ and use it as a platform for humor or to get some theological point across. What your meme is is a picture of a real young girl presumably with her mother. It might be a stock photo of two actors, I don’t know, but they *are* flesh and blood. What happens though is the meme, like pornography, dehumanizes the people and uses them in ways unintended. I doubt anyone asked them their permission to be used in such a way but as we know ‘the internet is forever’ so I guess they’ll just have to deal with it.

        Comment by The Purging Lutheran — May 18, 2019 @ 1:43 am

  4. Dang it, I missed the picture.

    Comment by Heather G — May 16, 2019 @ 9:39 pm

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