Archive for February 19th, 2009

An observation from the mailbag (along w/ my own thoughts):

One ADM writes:

I have observed a strange thing. Churches will spend time and money on the most shockingly moronic videos of their pastors engaging in things like shaking their fannies into the camera (a memorable church-produced “Christmas” video) and worse. The videos are posted on YouTube, available to the entire world. Some of them are up for more than a year. Then, when I post a link to this infamy on Slice to demonstrate the shambolic state of evangelicalism, there is a sudden embarrassed rush to hide the videos as “private”, or to remove the videos altogether. One church just kept editing out the comments from Slice readers who pointed out the disgraceful behavior of a so-called “pastor.” Why is this? Are these people suddenly overcome by something called shame?

Observations:

1) She overlooked another possibility. No one wants to deal with her or her readers. Its easier to pull a video down than to talk to the unpleasant Slice of Laodicea hordes. That’s something to be really proud of.

2) She also overlooked that many Christians have an ability apparently missing from her gene pool – the ability to laugh at themselves.

3) Shame is an unhealthy byproduct of guilt, both of which are derived from sin. The last time I checked, producing sub-par-quality art (or high-quality silliness) was not enumerated in a list of biblical sins. Rather, acting peaceably w/ brothers & sisters IS something desired, and thus, the churches who pull down/privatize videos and erase anti-Christian vitriol (from other Christians) are following Christ’s example far more than the harpies and vultures who’ve ascended from the Sludge of Laodicea to stab them in the back…

And more bitter slicing:

it is difficult to imagine that Christianity used to produce some of the finest minds in the world. The brilliance of men like John Owen and Jonathan Edwards who submitted their minds to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, continues to shine down through the centuries. Harvard and Yale were at one time Christian institutions, dedicated to the Gospel and developing minds to the glory of God.

Fast forward to 2009 and the rotting corpse of Western Christianity. This buffoonery is what now fills churches today—the entire idiotic scene inspired by a children’s cartoon of singing and dancing vegetables. Infantalism rules, literacy is dead, and God-given intellects are dead, suffocated under years of video game playing, movie and television watching. Hard to believe that Christians used to produce books like “Bondage of the Will”, and translations of the Scriptures from the original languages. Today, pastors and church laity are reading “graphic novel” (comic book) versions of the Bible because they struggle to grasp anything beyond a one syllable word.

Observations:

1) Where to even begin? Apparently historical criticism was not taught in the Milwaukee schools years ago, as the writer cannot seem to discern cultural shifts from theological shifts to save her life. Moaning that the digital age doesn’t meet the success criteria of the print age – and that this is, somehow, a theological issue is more pathetic and sad than frustrating. The shift from modernist print means of communication to post-modernist visual means is a cultural one, that no amount of “spiritual maturity” (neither the author’s definition, nor the actual definition) will “cure”. Which begs the question – must one convert to modernism before one can legitimately accept Jesus? Apparently, one shrill voice believes so…

2) Buffoonery is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I find much of Christian Talk Radio to fit the bill of “buffoonery” and irrelevancy than a YouTube video parodying VeggieTales – the key difference being that the folks in the video are purposely acting a certain way to reach a certain audience, whereas many in CTR are buffoons without purpose or method to their madness.

3) We’ve covered Manga and Graphic Novels before, but perhaps it should once again be underscored how silly and stupid the screeching about this form of art/communication is. Graphic novels have become an effective means of storytelling in modern culture. Much like translating the scriptures from a hodge-podge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin documents into English, translating the scriptures from words into pictures is not going to be a perfect translation – however – it takes the most important story we have to tell and puts it into a format that can best be understood by a certain audience of people. So again, must we convert the “illiterate” pagan from visual media to written media before they can be converted to Jesus?

To sum it all up, it just seems that the shrewish nattering from Laodicea is primarily an elitist, snobbish, country-club view of Christianity – far more in danger of missing Christ in this world and the next – that the targets of its poison-tounged diatribes.

But all hope is not lost.

Even Saul, on his walk to Damascus, was converted from a slanderer and persecutor of Christians and Christ to a living testament to the ability of the Messiah to change hearts and minds…

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