Thinking Out Loud

June 19, 2019

Wednesday Connect

It’s Pride Month in New York City, but apparently even some gay residents of NYC think this is ridiculous.

This image is from Pastor Dave Gipson. Click the image for more. It’s not new, though; so why are we featuring it today? Because there really is a Bacon Bible available now, but just not what Dave had in mind. See below.

No, it wasn’t that the sermon was really boring, but who reading this hasn’t been tempted to stretch out during the pastor’s 5th point of a 3-point sermon? Click the image to find out why these people are sleeping.

Every once in awhile, as in The Truman Show, former cast members try to sneak on the set and make a surprise appearance.

If you read yesterday’s post you know we had a major crisis on the technical side of the blog, and there are enough complications producing this weekly list without having to learn a new editing system. But somehow it all came together at the last minute.

■ Liberty University has made some big cuts to its Faculty of Divinity.

Some of those let go were well-loved professors who’d been at Liberty for over a decade. The terms of their departures include offers of severance and also nondisclosure agreements. Some changes were likely overdue, Falwell said in an interview Friday. He believes the divinity school needed to adapt to a changing culture where students are less likely to work full-time for churches… Unlike most universities, where faculty members can earn tenure and the job security that comes with it, almost all Liberty faculty members teach under one-year contracts that are renewed annually… Some pointed out the timing of the non-renewals came long after the academic hiring cycle’s peak, potentially making it difficult for affected professors to find full-time employment…”

With faith teaching such a big part of its heritage, it looks like “the largest Christian university in the world” is today a little less Christian.

■ What’s the first thing you think about when you see the acronym, CBD? Even for readers here, that might be shifting, and it’s affecting Christian Book Distributors who’ve lost their edge on search engines, as they point out:

Over the last 12 months, there has been a rise in popularity of a medicinally used product derived from the cannabis plant—cannabidiol, commonly referred to as ‘CBD.’ Across the country, people see signs for ‘CBD sold here,’ which creates brand confusion. In the past, a Google search for ‘CBD’ would place our company at the top of the results page. Now “our CBD” is nowhere to be found in the search results, only sites for the cannabis product are listed, and paid ads are no longer allowed. As this wave of popularity over the “other CBD” is not likely to subside, we will stop referring to ourselves as ‘CBD’ and will also drop the word “Distributors” from our company name. Going forward, we will operate under the name of ‘Christianbook.’

■ The NET Bible (New English Translation) is the latest to fall under the spell of Thomas Nelson Publishing, but hopefully the relationship lasts. “Thomas Nelson has a history of snapping up distribution of new, innovative translations. Looking back over the years, one remembers: The Everyday Bible (New Century Translation), The Voice Bible (a translation using dramatic script) and The Expanded Bible (an alternative to the Amplified Bible), but sadly, within 2-3 years the company loses interest and suspends marketing and the printing of new editions.”

■ The Southern Baptist Convention Convention: Let me get this straight, “Messengers strengthened their stance against sexual abuse and racism by overwhelmingly approving two amendments to the SBC Constitution” But, “The constitutional amendments will require a second two-thirds … vote at next year’s SBC annual meeting.”So basically, nothing is in place for another 365 days. Granted, they took a much-needed step, but a crisis of these proportions requires a crisis response.

■ Family of boy with autism asked to leave the church: This story from across the pond has been creating some heat. The father of the boy writes,

Tristan is nine years old, and is a clever and joyful child, who loves church buildings, services, and choral music. He is also non-verbal, and expresses his excitement by calling out and laughing. His expressions are often loud and uncontainable. It is part of who he is, so there is no realistic way for him to be quiet. Many autistic people are like Tristan in this way. Right before the Kyrie, one of the ushers informed me that you had instructed him to remove us. Tristan’s expressions were apparently interfering with the enjoyment of some of the other visitors, which was very inconsiderate on our part, because tourists come from all over the world to hear the Evensong.”

There has since been an apology from the Dean of Chapel at King’s College, Cambridge.

■ Oh no! It runs in the family! Jonathan Osteen makes his debut at father Joel’s church, fathered by his grandfather John Osteen. “Jonathan Osteen stepped into his parent’s shoes on Saturday night, speaking for the first time. The 24-year-old son of Joel and Victoria Osteen spoke from the pulpit with a Father’s Day message at services at 7 Saturday evening and on Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11.” Fast forward to the 1hr 8min mark.

■ Coming soon to the Roman Catholic Church: The pastor’s wife. “In a potentially groundbreaking move, the Roman Catholic Church on Monday cracked open the door to ordaining married, elderly men to the priesthood to meet the pastoral needs of Catholics in remote areas of the Amazon. The proposal would respond to the dearth of priests in the region by ordaining viri probati, or men of proven character, as they are known in Latin. It is the kind of exception to the celibacy requirement that church experts say — and church traditionalists worry — could be a step toward the ordination of married men in other areas of the world.”

■ A 13-year old girl with courage: Addison Woosley spoke against abortion at her city’s council meeting. She summed up the passion of the pro-life movement so very well, but was not well received when she compared it to slavery. A five minute video from the frontlines of this highly-charged debate. (Seriously, watch all of this, even after she stops speaking.)

■ Only God knows whose are his, right? But is there some minimum standard, or some necessary experience, or some basic knowledge requirement necessary before we can call someone a Christian?

■ If your national newscast this week didn’t report on the protests in Hong Kong, you’re watching the wrong channel.

■ Leadership Lessons: Not sure if I’ve seen this one before or not, Should pastors share the criticisms they receive with their spouses? Discuss among yourselves.

🇨🇦 Canada Corner: The article calls it “Quebec’s strict secularism bill,” noting, “A new law in Quebec prohibits the wearing of religious symbols or clothing by some government employees, including public school teachers, state lawyers, judges and police officers…Quebec’s majority government passed the bill, 75-35, using closure June 16 after long hours of deliberation. Some last-minute amendments concerning surveillance provisions made the law more stringent than anticipated…Bill 21 includes a notwithstanding clause overriding some parts of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

■ The South Carolina Pastor’s wife and three children were in the van while he was outside with a friend changing a tire. It was the last thing he did. The suspected drunk driver who killed both men outside the vehicle was free despite unresolved charges for an attempted murder.

■ The Bacon Bible, pictured here and recently published, is not the same concept as the one pictured at the top of today’s column.

■ Behind the LifeWay closure decision: Brad Waggoner, acting CEO, explains “the toughest decision in our 128 year history.” Retail losses in the last 5 years have been 50 million dollars. (5½ minute video.)

■ Philanthropy: “Giving to religion — perennially the biggest sector — is estimated to have declined by 1.5% in 2018 (a decrease of 3.9% adjusted for inflation), with a total of $124.52 billion in contributions… Una Osili, an associate dean at the Lilly philanthropy school, said giving to religious institutions has been lagging behind other sectors for several years. Reasons including declining attendance at church services and a rising number of Americans not affiliated with any particular religion.” The RNS headline states that a $3 Billion drop

■ How our teaching sounds to the uninitiated: “The content of the message? I have to admit, listening to it as an unbeliever might, it was so irrelevant I can’t imagine why anyone would listen. It would make sense to Christians, but to anyone else? Would anyone else ever start to find it interesting or worth believing? It was just a way to spend time yacking. Logic, reality, honesty. Not on the radar screen. We’re talking about filler for the weakened mind, and nothing for the serious thinker or seeker.”

■ Ever knocked a few years off your age when someone asked? Research indicates people want to feel younger, because they have a fear of being old.

■ After 16 years, Drew Marshall, the host of ‘Canada’s most-listened-to spiritual talk show’ is calling it quits. The last decade of the show has not been without controversy. “He kept his struggles with faith to himself until 2010, when he “came out” on air about not being sure if there was a God…” At the end of the radio journey he says, “‘I’m a hoper, not a believer,’ he said, explaining that he ‘hopes there is a Creator.’” (Full disclosure, I was once a guest on the show, and my wife was on the show on two different occasions.)

New Music: From the Christian reggae band Christafari, Kokopo (Broken Spears) from the forthcoming Musicianaries album tells an amazing story about taking the good news to the people of Melanesia…

…and don’t miss their new 11-minute short film, The Love of Jah., as the band celebrates 30 years in ministry this year! (Note: Film contains disturbing scenes of drug use, etc.)

New Music: From the band Trinity, Tryin’ to Live. The band consists of four Dutch guys mixing South American and Irish folk with African beats; and is the latest from Dove award winning producer Ian Eskelin.

♫ New (Old) Music: For those of you who prefer something more conservative, at the K-LOVE Fan Awards Matthew West and Mandisa team up to sing Blessed Assurance.

■ Far from the sister publication to Vogue Magazine you remember, “Teen Vogue, however, has shifted gears from the usual glamour magazine fare to progressive indoctrination, including advising teenagers how to circumvent state laws and parental consent to attain abortions, advocating normalization of LGBTQ lifestyles and even promoting prostitution as a viable career choice.”

Don’t miss this one. The Pipester is always with us. In this Twitter item, the real gold is in the comment thread as people recount the silly things John Piper has said over the years

■ Move over, Jerry Jenkins; these California nuns shared your love of gambling; but they also gambled their personal reputations. (And lost.)

■ A Catholic priest says the ridiculous practice of burying a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in order to sell your house drives him nuts! “I respond, ‘I will bless this statue, but I will not bless it if you plan on putting it in the ground.’

■ Today’s closing item is for all the church sound tech guys, people who were sound tech guys, and people who were asked to be sound tech guys and ran in the other direction: Friends don’t let friends wrap up microphone cables incorrectly.


  1. The original video of Sing Hallelujah to the Lord has been deleted and removed by the censors in YouTube. Must not promote Christianity, donchayaknow? I checked.

    Comment by Jesus Wins — June 26, 2019 @ 8:08 am

    • The one we linked to, which is one of the oldest and most original versions, is still intact. At least one video connecting the song and the protests is still intact from last week.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 26, 2019 @ 9:29 am

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