31 August, 2007

Wanted: Senior Pastor

The First Presbyterian Church of Warrington, South Carolina is again seeking a senior pastor. We are a congregation of about 100 active members established in 1875. Duties include all preaching and teaching responsibilities for Sunday morning and Sunday nights with exegetical sermons an average length of 45 minutes. Pastor will also be responsible for all teachings on Wednesday nights and the adult Sunday School class. In addition we are currently without a youth pastor, so the pastor will also be temporarily responsible for all youth activities, Bible studies and fellowships. Pastor is also responsible for all hospital/shut-in/sick visitation of members, former members, close friends of either as well as any family of the stated by a relationship of 4th cousin twice removed or better.

The pastor will be expected to plan an lead an annual missions trip and coordinate all fund raising activities for the trip.

We believe it is the call of a pastor to be in touch with his people. The pastor should be available 24/7 to talk with any member of the congregation or the above stated persons either face to face or on the phone. Furthermore, the pastor will be held personally directly responsible for the spiritual well-being of every member of the congregation.

We also believe it is important for the pastor to make himself known throughout the community at large as a means of outreach for our church. The pastor will be expected to attend all special sporting events of the youth of the church including all homecoming events, chaperoning the high school dance, prom night, playoffs, and any cheer leading competitions and or functions. Furthermore we highly encourage and anticipate ministry to persons in the community at large above and beyond ministry within the church so far as it does not interfere with the immediate responsibilities to the above stated persons associated with our congregation.

The Pastor will also be present at all Session meetings, Diaconate meetings, and all committee meetings including Women in the Church.

The pastor's wife will be expected to teach children's Sunday School and head up the Christian Education committee as well as plan all Summer VBS functions, and hold a ladies' Bible study without compensation.

The pastor will also be available for all funerals and weddings of any of the above stated persons regardless of when it occurs or what personal circumstances might be going on in his life of the life of his family.

Duties are expected to take approximately 40 hours per week, with two weeks of vacation per year. A manse is provided, but needs some work. You might want to investigate purchasing your own house. Annual salary will be $35,000 if you pay for your own health policy. You must have your own cell phone and reliable vehicle. It is expected that the Pastor's wife will work also to supplement income.

Inquiries may be made to Ruling Elder Dave Wellington Sr., Ruling Elder, Dave Wellington Jr., or Ruling Elder, Dave Wellington III. Further questions may also be address to either Deacon Everett Wellington Sr. or Deacon Everett Wellington Jr.

30 August, 2007

Book a Flight - Get a Free Book!

HOUSTON, TX - Yesterday, TBNN reported the launch of AIROST (click here), the new airline of Lakewood Church. The airline will officially begin service on October 1st of this year.

Our inside sources at Lakewood informed TBNN today of an exciting announcement coming later this week. Pastor Osteen's latest book, entitled "Become a Better You," will be released on October 15th (that is not a joke). The exciting part is that anyone who travels via AIROST will receive a copy of Pastor Joel's new book absolutely free.

The pre-release advertisement for the book indicates that Osteen will tell us his "7 keys to improving your everyday life." While these seven secrets have been kept under lock-and-key prior to release, our sources at Lakewood have informed us of what they are fairly certain the seven will be.

Here they are:
1) Think positive thoughts.
2) Preach positive self-statements to yourself such as "I can do it," and, "I think I can."
3) Be good and do lots of good things.
4) Avoid negative people at all costs.
5) Refuse to accept feelings of guilt or dwell on the past.
6) Give generously to Lakewood Church. Remember, "God only loves a cheerful giver."
7) Smile a lot and be happy.

The book's forward was reportedly written by Dr. Phil.

We have also learned that even though the book will not hit the store shelves until October 15, "Become a Better You" will be waiting on the seats of AIROST starting October 1st. As you are flying, the book will help you relax, amaze you with Osteen's knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek, and cause you to look forward to the next great expository sermon series at Lakewood. So, if you want first access to Pastor Joel's key insights, you had better book your tickets today.

Order tickets online at www.baduseofyourhardearnedmoney.com.

29 August, 2007

Your Best Flight Now! Fly AIROST

Houston, Tx - Lakewood Church announced today the launch of their new airline company AIROST. Beginning October 1 the airline company, officially owned and operated by the 29,000 plus member church, will primarily begin servicing "church members "who live across the United States enabling them to fly into Houston each weekend for services . In addition Lakewood Church is also building a private airport on church property just south of the city that will serve as the base of operations.

"We're just so excited" stated Joel Osteen, the church's pastor. "We feel this is a positive development in the life of our church. Over the years our membership has reached outside of the bounds of the Houston area. We have people all over the country who would love to attend our church, but cannot because they live so far away. Now, AIROST will give them that opportunity to attend."

AIROST will begin with flights in and out of the newly built Lakewood Airport on Thursday through Monday of each week with daily flights between Houston and the select cities of New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Las Vegas. While the airline is primarily intended for "church members" a limited number of tickets will be sold to the public for each flight.

"We plan to sell about 50% of the seats to non church members" stated Osteen. "These can be purchased online through the church's website. Anyone is free to fly AIROST so long as they don't mind the the airline being owned and operated by a church."

On board the, the flights will resemble most other commercial airline services. A crew of flight attendants will serve the passengers during the flight, though no alcohol will be served. Instead of movies, videos of Osteen's preaching will be shown. And immediately after the safety presentation by the crew the passengers will recite the following statement of belief in unison,

This is my airplane: I am seated where I am supposed to be; I have what I'm supposed to have; I can do only what the flight attendants say I can do. Today, I will be flown above the clouds. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is calm; I will never be the same. I am about to leave the leave the ground, take to the skies, and take wing on one of the best flights I'll ever have. I'll never be the same - never, never, never! I'll never be the same, now let's fly this plane!

Current and prospective members of Lakewood may reserve flights in advance by contacting the church. Tickets go on sale to the public September 15.

25 August, 2007

Contemplation: Harolds, Swans, & Sinos


Baton Rouge, LA -- As a very small child, I did not know what a sino was. I don’t remember being overly concerned because the Sunday School teacher and my mom seemed to say it with such confidence that a discussion of the word would probably just take time away from more important things like playing blocks or puzzles. So, I just kept right on singing. I guess I was around 8 or 9 when I finally realized that Jesus loved me and this I know as opposed to Jesus loves me this sino.

As a married adult with no kids, I was more knowledgeable of words. But in my early 20’s I still lacked those organizational skills which would prevent me from scheduling two simultaneous activities, each requiring a long evening’s energy. Such time ignorance also hindered my urgency to ask why the choir was singing “Make a Swan.” I did eventually ask my Sunday School teacher, a member of the choir, what they were singing. I discovered the song was actually Make us One. I found it hilarious and made the mistake of telling him my error, which he told to a couple of other members. We knew we should never look in each other’s direction during that song.

Totally separate from preparing today’s article (which I began formulating on Monday morning) one of my kid’s was discussing a history test during our family’s Tuesday morning breakfast. Specifically she asked about the word “heraldry.” I confidently explained that the word had at its root the word “herald” which meant “to proclaim” like Hark the Herald Angels Sing. (I must warn the reader here that, with my kids, I try to always speak confidently of history and word meanings and it’s up to them to check out if I’m wrong. But, that’s beside the point.) The angels were proclaiming or heralding the announcement of Jesus the Messiah’s birth. All four of my kids were shocked at the news that the angels were not all of the same name: Harold. Yet, they simultaneously seemed very relieved that the mystery had been solved.

The seeds of this article were actually planted on Monday morning when a positive and encouraging K-Love caller claimed to overhear her 5 year old singing, “I am a friend of God, He calls me Frank.” Before she could ask, her 8 year old spoke up and said, “No, it’s not Frank. It’s not Frank, it’s Fred. I am a friend of God, he calls me Fred.” I, at that moment, began to wonder. Does the truth of the literal words really matter?

Could it be that the feelings generated by the perceived words are really what counts? Since we all have stories like these, it began wondering if any of the old great revival preachers who have gone before us may have had similar experiences. Shockingly, much like the news revealed about Mother Teresa this week, I was able to successfully find a unique set of letters. After extensive searches through a private London library, I discovered a “lost” letter collection of C. H. Spurgeon. (The library find was “accidental” and was meant to just pass time after a canceled flight to Tibet.) These letters had been withheld from the collection sold in 1905 to William Jewell College. “They never made it on the S.S. Cuban,” said the private library curator who wished to remain anonymous.

At first, I was only able to find passages indicating struggles that Spurgeon had with his feelings. For example:

“If our salvation depended on actual faith or words, we’d be lost one day and saved another because our faith waivers from day to day and we never actually say the same words, nor should we engage in such vain repetition. Since we cannot know the exact words that display belief, we can be assured of the feelings. Salvation depends on feelings. We live by feelings. Even if those feelings are weak, they are still feelings. Weak feelings are better than no feelings at all. The spiritual element of feelings about God delight me. Feelings, sweet feelings. Be it ever so feeble, there’s nothing like feelings. I dread lest sloth or pride should overcome me and I should dishonor the gospel by neglecting feelings, deep feelings, and sin against God.”

I knew I was on the right track. I felt I was getting close. Then I found what I was looking for. Spurgeon wrote:

“I hope that you have enjoyed your visit with us last Tuesday evening. As we had discussed truth, I thought of earlier days and was immersed to the chin in remembrances. In particular, it charms me as I think of my error in concluding the words to be ‘bull-work’ rather than ‘bulwark’ in Luther’s hymn."

No doubt, Spurgeon was referring to Hedge’s recent English translation of Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God. In particular, he was amused at his own mis-hearing of the line, “a bulwark never failing.” Spurgeon went on to explain that, though he had the wrong words, the feeling within him was a positive one, so the actual words did not matter.

Through my contemplations and studies, I have learned a wonderful lesson. I now have a deeper appreciation for the ambiguity of truth. Regardless of the actual words used, my feelings and the all-encompassing role that feelings play in my life are the only truth I really have. My truth may be different than yours. It is comforting to believe, that whether I’m a “Friend” or a “Fred,” whether “I know” Jesus or “sino” Jesus, or whether the angels were “heralds” or “Harolds,” I am free to enjoy my truth-journey.

24 August, 2007

Youth Pastors Everywhere Praise Halo 2 - "Bible Edition"

Bellevue, Wa - Youth ministers across the United States eagerly awaited Thursday's unveiling of Microsoft's latest game for their popular Xbox 360. The program? A modified version of the already popular video game Halo 2, only with Bible verses added. First reactions to the product were almost unanimously positive.

"I think it's a tremendous idea" said Michael Redmond, youth minister at Twin Oaks Church of God in Lexington, Kentucky. "The guys in our youth group spend two, three, sometimes five hours a day playing Halo, and probably no time reading their Bibles. Now they can play Halo and still get a fresh dose of God's Word each day."

"This is what I've been waiting for for a long time" said David Kia, youth pastor at Bayside Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington. "Now the kids can read their Bibles and still have fun!"

The "campaign" version of the popular video game is set in a fantasy future world in which a lone hero must conquer an alien force that is seeking to destroy the earth. But most players often prefer to play against one another in rounds known as "slayer" or capture the flag. In these instances players either play against one another on the same machine or on multiple machines via the internet or LAN connections. At times as many as twenty to thirty players can be in a match against one another. Halo 2 Bible Edition combines the regular version of the game with Bible verses that appear on the screen at various times, often complimenting the battle scene.

While parents, especially Christian parents, have often wrestled with the morality of the game, with Halo 2 Bible Edition many parents are feeling a greater sense of comfort.

"It used to bother me that he played that game so much" said Elizabeth Grimes of her 13 year-old son Danny. "He would sometimes wake up on a Saturday and play all day long without stopping. He never read his Bible either. But now I'm much more at ease. With those Bible verses always flashing up there I can be assured that he's getting a good dose of the Good Book. I ask him every day now 'Danny, have you played your Halo today?' and if I don't think he's played enough I make him go in there and sit down and play some more."

"Two Sunday nights a month we're going to do away with Sunday night Bible study altogether and just have a Halo tournament" stated Redmond. "It's definitely a much more exciting way to learn about the Bible."

Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates commented on the new release
Gates. "What we've simply done here is catered to a particular audience of people, specifically Christians, by incorporating these verses into the game."

Gates went on to further state that more editions of the game are in the works for other religions.

"We are working on a number of other Halo 2 versions such as the Buddhist version where no one gets killed, they simply give food to one another. The one we're most excited about is the Halo 2 Jihad Edition where you get to kill all of the infidels. We think that one's going to be a hit."

23 August, 2007

New Church Growth Strategy Seems Murky to Some

BUFFALO, NY - What do you do when you are a downtown church in a changing neighborhood? What options do you have when you live in a city that is gradually losing population? What can be done when your church is dying a slow death, and there doesn't seem to be any fix for the problem?

Blizzard City Church, located in downtown Buffalo, seems to have found the answer. After years of gradually declining attendance, Blizzard City has been growing rapidly over the last 18 months. How is this happening? Pastor Wilson Hays told TBNN, "It must be a work of God. We can't understand it. We did start something new about a year and a half ago, but I don't think that is the primary reason for our unprecedented growth." Others, however, aren't so sure.

TBNN wanted to get to the bottom of this. We asked Pastor Hays, "What is this new strategy your church implemented?"

Hays responded, "Well, I wouldn't call it a strategy, but we did have a plan. We decided to make coming to church a better investment. Before we did this, we only had about 60 people in morning worship. That would yield a weekly offering of $1000-$1500. Now we have close to 600 in attendance, and our offering usually exceeds $22,000. Even if we give a little of that back to the folks, we still come out ahead, and so does God's kingdom."

We wondered what "give a little back to the folks" means. However, we could see that we weren't going to get a straight answer out of Pastor Hays, so we went elsewhere.

Nick Lewiston, a former member of Blizzard City, told us, "I left the church when I found out what was really going on. About 18 months ago, the church began to treat the offering as a raffle. The more money you put in the offering plate, the more chances you have to win."

"Win what?" we asked.

"Win the weekly drawing, or the 'Jackpot' as some call it. You see, for every $50 you put in the offering plate, the church puts a ticket with your name on it into a big hat that sits at the front of the church on the stage. At the end of the service the pastor pulls three tickets out of the hat. The three winners then split 10% of the offering. As far as I am concerned, it's scandalous!"

We needed confirmation to believe this. Annie Coleman, who is a recent addition to Blizzard City, shed some light on the situation for us. Coleman said, "The services are so exciting, and people give so liberally. We really are joyful givers. Everyone is so happy and excited to be there on Sundays. As the service moves along, the enthusiasm almost reaches a fever pitch. After the sermon, people are very anxious during the invitation. Honestly, it's hard to wait until the very end. And then they announce who wins. It's great!"

We asked, "Don't you see anything wrong with this?"

"Why?" responded Coleman. "At my former church, there was no excitement. Here, people love Jesus and are thrilled to meet together to worship Him. We also give a ton of money, much of which goes toward international missions. If the church gives a little bit back to the people, then that is just a bonus."

Blizzard City is reportedly in the process of buying a 60 acre plot of land in suburban Buffalo. Their $11 million building project is scheduled to begin in the spring.

According to Pastor Hays, "God is really blessing us. We have at least three new couples join each week. We are bursting at the seams. Last month we had to go to two services and two Sunday Schools. We desperately need that new building. What I am excited about is that we are going to be able to pay it off in cash. No debt at all - what an example to our people!"

It all sounds good at first. Still, some, including TBNN, find it all a bit murky.

22 August, 2007

Episcopal Church Proposes Merge with Buddhism. Dali Lama "Rejects" Idea

Bullhead City, AZ - Emotions were high again on Tuesday amongst members of the Anglican Church at large. The reactions from both conservatives and liberals within the troubled fellowship were prompted by the suggestion by Katharine Jefferts Schori, the current presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church in America, that the church merge with Buddhism. The statement comes in the midst of controversy among Anglicans worldwide as to whether fellowship with the American branch of Anglicanism should be severed due to pervading liberal trends.

"The similarities between our two religions are striking" said Schori to a congregation during a special service in Bullhead City held in honor of her visit. "I have heard the Dali Lama preach a number of times. I read the words of Confucius, and they strike my soul. Buddhism teaches peace with all life, as does the Episcopal Church. Buddhism teaches respect for all things, as do we. Buddhism teaches love, tolerance and patience, and so do we. In all, I believe it would befit us to explore an avenue of bringing our two religions together into one."

Reactions were strong from both sides of the church.

"This is exactly where Christianity needs to be heading, to Buddhism" stated former Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong. "In order for Christianity to survive we have to do away with it completely and become Buddhists. All of this Jesus stuff has got to stop."

"Now we understand why more and more faithful believers are seeking to break with the the UEC in America" stated Rev. Roy Lainer, the rector of Trinity Church in Birmingham, Alabama. "There's nothing remotely Christian about the denomination anymore."

While the suggestion caused division amongst an already divided denomination, reactions were heightened with the suggestion to merge was criticized by the Dali Lama himself.

TBNN was able to reach the Dali Lama for an exclusive phone interview concerning the matter. TBNN's own Brother Slawson personally conducted the interview due to his fluency in the Lama's particular Mongolian dialect.

Brother Slawson: "Mr. Lama, or do you prefer to be called Dali or Dali Lama?"
Dali Lama: "My friends call me Georgie, but Mr. Lama will be fine."

Brother Slawson: "Fine, Mr. Lama, what is your response to Bishop Schori's suggestion that the United Episcopal Church merge with Buddhism?"

Mr. Lama: "Spices are fine things. One puts salt on rice and it will not be bland. One may put curry and it will become more flavorful. But too many spices will make the rice inedible."

Brother Slawson: "Um, I see, so let me ask that another way. How do you feel about Bishop Schori's suggestion that Episcopals in America and Buddhists become one."

Mr. Lama: "The flavor of the apple is good. It's sweetness makes one smile. The flavor of the onion is good. But it's sweetness makes one cry. Man must both smile and cry over sweet things, but he cannot do so at the same time."

Brother Slawson: "Ummm...okay. Whose your pick to win the world series?"

Mr. Lama: "Cubs baby. Woo hoo!"

Brother Slawson: "Thank you Mr. Lama."

TBNN attempted to reach Schori for an interview but she was "unavailable" for questions. TBNN will continue to monitor the situation.

21 August, 2007

Search Continues for "Accepting Jesus into Your Heart"

ATLANTA, GA - When in church, we are often told that the bible is full of amazingly wonderful things. We are exhorted to read our bibles because not only does this help us know and serve God better, but also because the riches of scripture can never be exhausted. The pastor informs us repeatedly that no matter how much we study, we will always come away with something new.

Others, however, are more interested in finding something in the bible that many just assume is there. They are determined to find the answer to the age-old question, "Where exactly does the bible tell us to accept Jesus into our hearts?"

A joint venture to find this elusive phrase was initiated by the Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) back in 1994. The GBC, in partnership with Moody Bible Institute, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, and Lakewood Church, has been focused on this task for the past thirteen years.

According to Dr. Daniel Moore, head of the GBC, "For years we have been telling people that they need to accept Jesus into their hearts. It is what we tell folks they need to do when we're out on Tuesday-night visitation. All of our VBSs focus on this. I've even given my personal testimony of when I was eight-years-old and accepted Jesus into my heart. Well, the GBC was asked in 1993, by a local layman no less, where in the bible this could be found. We laughed at first, but then realized we were in trouble. We determined at that point in time to find it."

The search continues to this day. TBNN has learned that the group effort of churches, agencies, and seminaries has poured over two million dollars into the project. How can this be defended?

Dr. Moore answered, "To us, this is the heart of the gospel. If we can't tell people to accept Jesus into their hearts, then what good news do we have? This is about our core doctrine. If there is no gospel, what are we even doing here?"

TBNN decided to go to some of the investigators. Dr. Donald Haskins, professor of biblical languages at Southwestern, told us, "A group of our experts, myself included, has scoured the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to the best of our abilities. So far, we haven't found a blame thing. Bibleworks couldn't even find it. More significant than any of that, it isn't even in the KJV!"

Haskins told us that out of desperation, they have sent several researchers to Israel to dig for better manuscripts of the old and new testaments. "I know it is a long-shot, but it must be there somewhere. We'll just have to keep digging until we find it."

Dr. Michael Sanders, at one of the dig sites near the Dead Sea, informed TBNN, "We have found several pieces of pottery and a few coins. So far, though, no bible."

Back in the USA, Dr. Moore of the GBC seemed almost resigned to the inevitable conclusion. "I told myself that I would find the phrase 'accept Jesus into your heart' somewhere in the bible. I started over a year ago and still haven't found it. I've read the whole NT three times and the OT once. I just can't find it."

Moore continued, "To be sure, I found plenty of commands to 'repent and believe' and statements about 'confessing and believing.' Those sound good, but I'm afraid they leave out a bit of the beauty of a person inviting Jesus into their heart to live."

What will the GBC do now?

"I don't know," responded Moore. "I suppose we are going to have to go back to square one and reexamine the gospel. I mean, do we even have it right? Do we know what we are talking about? I'm afraid that if we do this, we're going to have to deal with issues such as sovereignty, election, repentance, obedience, and other things of that nature. Ugh! But before we give up, we'll keep looking. I know it's there somewhere because I invited Jesus into my heart a long time ago, and once saved, always saved!"

18 August, 2007

Family Longs to Belong

Dallas, TX – They’ve been looking for approximately 11 years now, but the sad truth is the Evans family has been unable to locate a church home. “I don’t know what it is about us. Sometimes it seems we’re invisible. Other times, people just won’t give us space,” said Davis Evans, 38, husband of Eva, “29ish.” They have been unable to find a satisfactory church, and now with kids Marci age 7, Jamie age 5, and Caster age 3, they are starting to grow concerned.

For example, last week the Evans family visited Thirstonwood Baptist Church, a 3000 member congregation southwest of Dallas. “It was typical of big churches. We walked in, sat down, sang a few hymns, heard the sermon, and left. Not a single person spoke to us,” said Eva. This is an all-too-familiar experience for them at larger churches.

They tend to get the opposite treatment at small churches. “I felt trapped. I wanted the family to load up in the minivan, but we couldn’t get away from Walford Baptist Church,” said Davis. “It was awful. Every single person in the church wanted to speak with us. Everyone was so anxious to tell us just how friendly they were and how wonderfully great their little church family got along. I could hardly breathe.”

Since beginning their search 11 years ago, the Evans claim to faithfully attend a church until it becomes obvious to them that they are not of the same mind. We know scripturally, we are to be of the same mind. Davis cites Philippians 2:2, “make my joy complete by being like-minded.” The Evans also referred to 1 John 3:10. “If people don’t love us, they are children of the devil.” Eva added, “You can’t always see it at first, but if you watch carefully, you will know in your spirit whether the people of the so-called ‘Church’ are children of the devil. I can discern fairly quickly whether they sincerely love us.”

TBNN representatives have no doubt that Eva and Davis are of the same mind. When the family gets in their 2002 Honda Odyssey after church, they immediately whip out the notebooks, jot down some notes, and compare. About 2 years into the search, they developed a check list. They admit to tweaking it through time to give churches a better chance. TBNN reps were able to acquire a copy of the current 1st-hurdle checklist:

1. Bulletin typos: 3 maximum
2. Every family member personally greeted by the pastor
3. Asked all our names: 1 minimum, 3 maximum
4. “We’re so glad you came” statements: 1 minimum, 5 maximum
5. All restrooms are clean and have both papers
6. Praise instruments: 3 minimum, 6 maximum
7. Temperature: 68 minimum, 73 maximum
8. Church does not have “Calvary” in the name
9. Hands raised during worship: 3 minimum, 8 maximum
10. “Lord” or “God” said during closing prayer: 12 maximum

A single mark eliminates the church from further consideration. “It’s a good thing we’ve kept careful notes. During the last 3 years, on more than one occasion, we’ve entered a new church only to discover that we’ve heard this pastor before at a previous church, maybe 7 or 8 years earlier,” said Davis.

If a church meets all 10 basic hurdles, the Evans then separately rate the church on the four dimensions of Compassion, Love, Sincerity, and Cleanliness. “We come to the same conclusion almost every time. Unfortunately we’ve always eventually found something that glaringly stands out as unscriptural,” said Eva.

Marcie and Jamie have become helpful as of late. After years of hearing numerous post-service discussions by their parents, the two older children have apparently also become excellent discerners of church imperfections. “I chuckle every time I think of Marcie’s first experience with church discernment when she was only 4,” said Davis. “We were about to begin our usual van discussion, but before Eva or I could say anything, Marcie spoke up and said “it smells”. We immediately looked at each other and knew we didn’t need to discuss this church further. We still chuckle when we think of that. We’re proud of the deep spiritual discernment our children have developed. We are happy that our family is able to grow spiritually despite the lack of true Biblical churches. We know we’re doing something right.”

“Some days we ask ourselves, ‘maybe we should give that church another chance?’ But we cannot and will not deny the Bible’s teachings of oneness,” said Davis. “God would never expect us to be in a church where we are not of the same mind. Although we don’t attend any Sunday School or Bible Studies, we are able to teach each other on Thursday night. ‘Whether two or three’… and we make two.”

The shortest they have attended a church is 12 minutes. They knew almost immediately that there was a problem with Marrs Mt. Baptist Church when Jamie was about 1 year old and a nursery worker gave early warning signs. “She seemed annoyed when she had to stop changing one baby to help us with little Jamie,” explained Eva. “This was not the proper respect that we, as first time visitors, deserved. We were also offended by the sign on the door stating, ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’ It was sacrilegious.”

The longest they have attended a church is 10 consecutive weeks. They just knew they had found a church home in the spring of 2003. “We were properly greeted by the members. The handshakes were true and honest. Not too friendly; neither did they ignore us. The bulletin seemed in order with less than three mistakes (the maximum they will tolerate and still consider themselves of the “same mind”.). There was a mix of hymns with some gentle praise choruses. That first day, the Pastor invited us to eat out at Ryan’s. We received Tuesday night visitation from 3 deacons. We received a well-written letter from the Children’s Minister inviting us to a Saturday afternoon Slip-n-Slide party. We really felt the Spirit so we kept coming back. But after three weeks, things started to change. You could tell this was not a deeply sincere church. It had all been surface. The warm greetings subsided and turned into simple nods on some days. No more personal invites from the Pastor after week seven. The pastor obviously had time, but chose to take out other visitors rather than us. By the 9th week, he stopped answering his cell phone on the first ring. Only 2 deacons visited each time after the initial home visitation. We received no more letters, only a monthly newsletter that everybody got. We knew then that we were wasting our time with another insincere group. We no longer felt special. They were like all the rest. I just don’t understand it,” said Davis.

Eva continued the sentiment, “We want to be part of a group of people just like us. We are open, honest, loving, and accepting of true Biblical behavior. We just can’t seem to find people of the same mind. There is so much insincerity out there. Believe me, we’ve tested numerous churches. We long for spiritual maturity in a church. We need to feel the presence of God and His power. We’re just not feeling it anywhere.”

Many church shoppers apparently feel their pain. TBNN researchers did find a recent Lifeway survey showing 98.7% of those who changed churches, did so because (1) they felt like the church was not helping them develop spiritually, (2) they felt like the church was not helping them engage in meaningful work, (3) they felt like the church was not judging them properly, (4) they felt like the church was changing things they didn’t like, (5) they felt like the pastor wasn’t preaching well, (6) they felt like the congregation was not treating them well (7) they felt like they couldn’t feel the Spirit there, (8) they felt like cliques were running the church, (9) they felt like people were hypocritical, and (10) they felt like the pastor was judging them. The remaining 1.3% said they changed churches over disagreements concerning Biblical truths.

The Evans wanted us to ask you, the readers of TBNN, to email TBNN2.0@gmail.com if you believe there is a Biblical Church that would be of the same mind as the Evans family. They are desperate enough to move to your area if you have sufficient evidence to suggest that your church qualifies.



UPDATE 6PM SATURDAY EVENING

Thanks to Chris, we have located a very likely home church for the Evans family:

I've attached a photograph [below] of a church that I believe to be the perfect church. My assessment of the church is based on the following careful criteria:

1. Adequate parking, sanctuary seating, & classroom space for all ages.
2. The sermons are never too long or too short.
3. Prayers are never too emotional or too monotone.
4. The music is never too traditional or too contemporary; nor is it too loud or too soft, or too fast or too slow.
5. Worship is never too formal or too casual or too Charismatic.
6. The members are never overly friendly or overly standoffish toward visitors. The last time I was there, everyone present knew my whole family by name.
7. No tensions, controversies, disputes or political struggles exist between the pastor, deacons, or any groups or individuals in the church.
8. Bulletins never have any typographical errors or inappropriate announcements, listings, or declarations.
9. No one claims anything as their own - such as pews, classrooms, or parking spaces.
10. Best of all I've never heard the pastor say a single thing I disagreed with - either from the pulpit, at the front door, in his office, or on the street.



Yep, it's the perfect church. BTW, it's located in Birmingham, England. We should all move there.

By grace,
Chris

17 August, 2007

Pensacola Christian College Trains "Missionaries to Mega-Churches"

Note: Some of the names of people in this article have been changed to protect their identities.

Memphis, Tn - It is a typical Sunday morning for a man we will call John. He wakes up early, spends some time reading his Bible over a cup of coffee, prays, and then gets ready to go to church. Only for John, "going to church" doesn't mean the same thing as it does for everyone else who will be going there on this Sunday morning. About a year ago John joined a rather well known and a rather large Southern Baptist church in the Memphis area, but for John the decision to join had little if nothing to do with his desire to fellowship with other Christians and grow spiritually. For John joining the church had everything to do with evangelism and missions, evangelism and missions not outside of the church to the community, but inside of the church to its members.

"Years ago I felt the call" stated John. "As I entered P.C.C. years ago I met new friends, many of whom felt the call to missions. Some of my friends went on to Africa, others to South America. I began to feel a burden for all of those lost souls out there that attend these liberal, apostate Baptist churches out there, you know the ones that use guitars in worship and don't believe in the King James Bible. There's no way that most these people can be saved. They need to hear the gospel."

John is part of a larger plan of action conceived by P.C.C. over a decade ago. The plan involves training men and women to be secret missionaries to "mega churches" throughout the United States. Students are trained to learn how to become involved in the churches, how not to appear offended with the New International Version is read, how to endure contemporary music, and other liberal tendencies.

"If the student follows his or her training well, no one will even know why he or she is there at the church" stated Dr. Michael Keaton, head of the Biblical Studies department at P.C.C. "Their goal is to get involved and to, as quickly as possible, gain a teaching position so that they can spread the true gospel throughout the so-called church."

"So far it's been a tough go" stated John. "It's very difficult attending Sunday after Sunday and having to put up with all of that mess that's passing off as the 'gospel.' I'll never forget the first time that they started playing those drums during the worship service. My heart just sank. I started praying for all of those some 10,000 lost souls around me. Then the preacher opened up his Bible and started reading from the NIV. It was all I could do to keep my composure. Then one day in Sunday School the teacher used an example from some movie called Lord of the Rings. I just closed my eyes and prayed for his lost soul."

John eventually hopes to work his way into being able to teach a Sunday School class in the future.

"I've made a lot of acquaintances" he stated. "There are some nice enough people, but they're just lost as a goose. But I've volunteered with a lot of church activities like soup kitchens, fixing up people's houses and stuff like that. I've also volunteered to teach some children's Sunday School, and have been put on an alternates list."

As it turns out John is not the only "missionary" that is working in the church.

"There are 60 of us here at this one particular church" he stated. "We all know each other behind the scenes, but we play it down in church. Each of us has the same goal, to truly bring this gospel to this church and see it become a shining example of Independent Fundamentalism for the future."

16 August, 2007

Youth Pastor Fired - Teaches Too Much Bible

HAGERSTOWN, MD - Youth pastors leave churches on a regular basis. Youth pastors are even occasionally fired. However, youth pastors are not normally fired for teaching too much bible. That's what happened last month at Exciting Grace Lutheran Church.

Jeremy Willis, former youth pastor at Exciting Grace, contacted us at TBNN to tell his story. He is still upset and shocked at the situation.

According to Willis, "After graduating from bible college in Richmond, I really wanted to serve the Lord in youth ministry. I mailed out my resume all over, and was quickly contacted by Exciting Grace. When I visited the church, we had a great meeting. The search committee told me that they really wanted their kids to learn the bible. They said that the parents were not doing a good job of it, and that I needed to be the one to do it. I also met with the youth. The whole visit was exciting and encouraging."

That was in October of 2005. Unfortunately for Willis, by early 2006, the grumbling had begun amongst the parents and youth.

Willis told us, "I went to Exciting Grace looking forward to teaching the bible and leading the youth to grow in their knowledge of and obedience to the Lord Jesus. Because of that, on almost every occasion that the youth gathered, I taught some bible. We usually also played some games, sang songs, and ate unhealthy food. However, the focus was God's Word. I get thrilled to see teens who dive into the bible. I love it when their eyes light up when they understand a concept for the first time. That was apparently not what some people wanted."

It appears that Willis' vision for youth group differs from that of many of the folks at Exciting Grace.

Wendy Simpson, who has two children in the Exciting Grace youth group, told TBNN, "Kids spend a lot of their day in school. They need a place where they can go to feel relaxed and accepted. They don't need a lot more instruction. They have hard lives at school. Where better for them to have exciting fun than at church? Pastor Willis just taught too much bible."

Rev. Phil Chambers, senior pastor at the church, would not grant TBNN an interview, but did send us a letter. In it Chambers said, "Jeremy Willis is a fine teacher of the bible. However, our youth and parents have a vision of a youth group that centers on the needs of the kids. Youth these days need a place where they can have good, clean fun in a safe environment. Mr. Willis' dismissal has nothing to do with him personally, but rather speaks to the difference in vision about what a youth group should be. Teaching the bible is fine, but just not too much bible."

Willis is currently out of work and looking for another youth position. He summed up the situation this way, "When they interviewed me, they told me they wanted bible. But when I got there, that wasn't the case. What they really want is exciting fun."

Who will be the next youth pastor at Exciting Grace? Mrs. Simpson, who we quoted above, told us, "We need someone who knows their bible, but also someone who likes to have a good time. Skills such as juggling, horseback riding, and pie eating are all desirable."

15 August, 2007

Wilkinson Writes New Book on "Obscure" Verse

Atlanta, Ga - Millions of Christians across America are eagerly awaiting the next expected best-seller by Christian Author Bruce Wilkinson. Wilkinson, most well known for his Prayer of Jabez that hit the Christian book world by storm, has undertaken to write yet another "small" book that seeks to draw meaning and purpose out of what many consider to be an "obscure" portion of Scripture.

"I was meditating by my window one morning" stated Wilkinson during and interview, "and I was looking out of my kitchen window at two birds playing in a birdbath. I looked down at my Bible and this verse just jumped out at me, 1 Chronicles 26:18. In the King James it reads, 'At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.' I stopped and just closed my eyes for a moment. I felt like I was being told something here, something profound. I was having an epiphany of sorts. It was as if someone said to me 'Bruce, think on this verse.' And so I did, and I've put those thoughts on paper."

After Wilkinson's "epiphany" he immediately began to devote his time to discovering the "secrets of this obscure verse."

"I've come to the conclusion that this verse has a deep meaning" stated Wilkinson. "But it's not really the meaning of the verse that is important I've discovered. Believe me I searched high and low to try to find out what a 'parbar' is, and I still have no clue. What is important, though, is the process of uncovering the meaning of the verse. That's why it's in the Bible. It's an exercise for our minds to try and figure it out. So it teaches us that when we go through Scripture and pick out random and difficult verses and try to figure out what they mean, it shows God how much we really care and how truly scholarly we are in striving to understand his Word. When God sees how devoted we are then he's pleased with us."

At Parbar Westward has been written by Wilkinson to teach Christians how to go through the Bible and find the most difficult verses, then how to expound upon them, thus proving to God one's devotion and wisdom.

At Parbar Westward is set to go on sale this weekend.

14 August, 2007

Church Offers ESL; Motivation in Question

ROME, GA - At Rome Independent Baptist Church, English as a Second Language (ESL) has become a top priority. Pastor Mark Franks told TBNN that the entire church is behind their new project, "Everyone is very excited about all of the new ESL classes we will be offering this fall. We have folks teaching that I never thought would be interested in ESL; some might not even be qualified. I guess when God is moving in peoples' hearts, you just can't predict what is going to happen."

At TBNN, we don't question the need for ESL, but we did want to know "why?". In a relatively small community like Rome, GA, why offer so many different ESL classes? What is the motivation?

According to Pastor Franks, "About six months ago, several of the older ladies of the church brought a concern to me. They had seen some people at Wal*Mart that did not look white and did not seem to be speaking English. These sweet ladies were immediately concerned that the foreign language speakers did not have access to the bible. They suggested that we start several different ESL classes as soon as possible."

After a deep breath, Franks continued, "After setting up an ESL committee, we checked in with local government offices to get some demographic data. We discovered that we have more immigrants in this area than we realized. Do you know that we have eight different language speaking groups right here in Rome? Amazing! Because of that, we are preparing ESL classes right now for Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Greek, Malaysian, Portuguese, and Arabic speakers; well, maybe not Greek."

We inquired, "Wouldn't it be a lot simpler in terms of time and effort to first get bibles to them that they could read now? We are sure that the bible has been translated into all eight of the languages you mentioned."

With his smile disappearing, Franks responded, "I'm not sure I understand."

We rephrased, "Teaching English takes a long time. While it is a noble task, it will be quite some time before any of these people could read a bible in English. So why not first distribute bibles in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, etc. to the folks who need them?"

Franks seemed to now comprehend the situation. He said, "The King James Version only comes in English. It can't be translated correctly into other languages without those people missing out on some of the inspired Word of God. By teaching them English through ESL, within just three to four years they can have access to the holy scriptures."

Well, the motivation for the ESL classes now seemed crystal clear.

We had one last question for Pastor Franks, "What about the millions of people in the world who don't speak English and won't ever make it to Rome, GA? Will they ever have access to the bible?"

Franks answered excitedly, "Yes! As a church, we are saving up to send a couple from our church to Zimbabwe to teach the people there English. It is exciting to spread the good news of the KJV!"

11 August, 2007

The Perpendicular Bible



Nashville, TN -- What was once only considered a mere quizzical play on words has resulted in a symmetrically improved Bible from the folks at Thomas Nelson.

Thomas Nelson has acquired the necessary rights to produce the Perpendicular Bible. The Perpendicular Bible currently only comes in the KJV/Amplified variety. As you can see from the picture above, the Amplified Bible has a single column in the center of each page. The KJV wording is sideways in a single row across the bottom. However, if you turn the Perpendicular Bible 90 degrees clockwise, the KJV appears in the far left column. An alternative version has KJV in the center column of each page with the Amplified along the bottom.

"We actually got the idea from jokes," said Bill Patterns, spokesman for Thomas Nelson.

As it turns out, at least two parallel/perpendicular comic categories exist. First, wordplay humor has been tried in the style of "Why did the USC student drown in the back of the pickup?" The parallel/perpendicular Bible "joke" can be applied to any two versions. For example,


After rigorous analyses, we at TBNN have concluded the above joke is an attempt at a pun involving each of the words "right" and "angle." Geometrically speaking, "right" can mean 90 degrees while "angle" represents two lines or rays intersecting to form perpendicularity. Of course, "right" within the joke is ultimately meant to indicate "correct" while "angle" denotes "viewpoint." I must admit that it does at least fall in the category "light chuckle."

Second, physical humor with parallel/perpendicular Bibles has been attempted as given in the picture below. A seemingly impossible claim (much like claiming to be both 100% male and 100% female), the two Bibles may be both parallel and perpendicular. If you look closely, you have a strong argument that the Bibles are simultaneously 100% perpendicular while remaining 100% parallel. (Please ignore the ever so slight lean to the left of the KJV/Amplified.)



"It's true," said Patterns. "Humor sparked the idea, but practicality was the determining factor."

"Finally! A dual Bible I can read," said Marcie Jordan a 20 year member of Creeknook Baptist Church. "I'm no longer embarrassed to read from column to column in Sunday School. With the old parallel Bibles, I would accidentally read from the KJV column straight to the Amplified column. I would forget to skip a column and go to the next page. This can't happen with the Perpendicular Bible."

Pattern's list of practical uses includes:
1. Reduced "double reading" where the reader accidentally reads the parallel column.
2. Reduced frustration as a result of decreased double reading, leading to better spiritual growth.
3. The perfect pew Bible. Those offended by a particular version can place their arm across the bottom of the Bible.
4. Bible lending is encouraged. No lengthy explanations are required before someone can borrow your Bible.
5. The perfect dual Bible gift for an elderly person. The elderly can easily use the Perpendicular Bible. Thomas Nelson has eliminated the "this is confusing" attitude towards parallel Bibles.

10 August, 2007

Man Forms Orginaization for Tonally and Rhythmically Challenged Charismatics

Aregood, Il - They don't have rhythm. They don't have music. Could they ask for anything more? "Absolutely" says Mark Heistberger, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Rhythmically and Tonally Challenged Charismatics (NARTCC), a newly formed organization to help charismatics who struggle to sing on pitch or keep a steady beat during a song. Heistberger grew up in the Assemblies of God denomination, one of the nation's largest charismatic groups. But Heistberger always knew that he was a little "different" from the rest of his family and his church.

"I just never seemed to fit in" stated Heistberger. "I even remember when I was three years old being in the children's Christmas musical. The director told me 'Marky, just mouth the words, don't sing, you're throwing everyone off.' All throughout my time growing up at the church I could just never get it right. My pitch was always off, my claps were always off, my swaying was always off. I suffered through a lot of strange looks and dirty glares from people."

Over the years Heistberger discovered that he was not alone in his plight. As he discovered a number of good people in his own denomination struggled also with rhythm and tonality.

"I started looking for help, and soon found others like myself who were just deficient at singing and keeping time" he said. "In charismatic denominations like ours worship is very demonstrative, often with a lot of singing, swaying, dancing and hand clapping. Well, those of us who are challenged in these areas are often discriminated against because we sing off pitch and clap at the wrong times, or because we are swaying right to left while everyone else is swaying left to right. Or because we try to dance and look ridiculous, we're made fun of. Well, it's time for the dirty looks and funny stares to end. What we lack in ability we make up for in heart."

Heistberger formed NARTCC earlier this year with a two-fold purpose; to provide support for tonally and rhythmically challenged charismatics and to raise the awareness of the problem amongst charismatic churches.

"Our focus is primarily on charismatic churches" he stated. "In other denominations, like Presbyterians and Baptists it's no big deal if people can't sing on pitch or dance. But amongst charismatics I've know men and women who have been turned down from the ministry because they couldn't sing."

NARTCC is already planning to hold its first national conference next summer in Chicago. Each day of the conference will begin with a three-hour-long worship service.

"We want the rhythmically and tonally challenged to experience free and uninhibited worship for the first time in their lives perhaps" said Heistberger. "We're expecting in excess of 3000 people. What a glorious sound and site it will be to me when 3000 tone deaf people join together with one voice and swing out of time to the music."

09 August, 2007

Zondervan Launches "Build-A-Bible"


GRAND RAPIDS, MI - TBNN has learned that Zondervan plans to launch a new advertising campaign just in time for the Christmas rush. The new Zondervan ad blitz will promote their newest, greatest product: The Build-A-Bible.

In the past, Zondervan has offered choice to customers when they are looking for bibles. Options have included various bible versions, multiple cover colors, and numerous study bibles. This has been good, but not good enough. The obvious solution, according to Zondervan spokeswoman Elaine Wallace, is to give the customer the choice in every option of the bible purchase.

Wallace told TBNN, "Zondervan has always wanted to offer the most free-choice to the customer, and now we can deliver on that. Instead of picking from one of, say, 30 different bibles, the customer can now, literally, build his or her own bible."

How does this actually happen? Wallace spelled out the process to us, "The customer will simply go to our website and fill in a Build-A-Bible form. Options are wide ranging. We will, of course, offer all of the current options. However, the greatest new tool is that the customer can pick and choose what sections of scripture he or she wants in his or her bible. We have thought a lot about this, and have some advice for folks of different denominations. For example, our Catholic customers might want to leave out passages that indicate that salvation comes through God's grace alone (Eph. 2:1-10). Methodists probably need to request that we not put Ephesians chapter 1 in their bibles because that chapter is so strong on God's sovereignty; actually we would probably also have to delete Eph. 2, John 6 & 10, and Romans 8-11. Presbyterians may want to delete passages, such as Acts 2:38, that suggest that repentance comes before baptism."

This was shocking to us at TBNN. We asked if she had any more advice.

"Of course," replied Wallace, "Southern Baptists can leave out passages condemning pride (Prov. 16:18), the Disciples of Christ can delete scripture that makes it clear that baptism is not required for salvation (Rom. 10:9-10), and Unitarians can leave out most of the bible, especially John 14:6. As for the cults, they already have their own false writings to rely on."

"Is that all?" we inquired hopefully.

Wallace responded, "Why, no. If you have a woman pastor, you can ignore/delete I Timothy 2:8-15. If your church has one strong senior pastor, then you can ignore the many N.T. passages that show that churches were led by multiple pastor/elders. If you think remarriage is O.K. after divorce, feel free to wipe out I Corinthians 7:10-11. Finally, if you are a hyper-Calvinist and think that missions is a waste of time, then we'll cut out Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 for you.

"We can even repeat certain scriptures for emphasis, and place them at key points throughout the bible. One idea we had for our egalitarian customers is to place Galatians 3:28 at the very beginning of each of the 66 books."

Wallace concluded, "The choice is yours. You have complete free-will over this decision. Build a bible the way you have always wanted it. Meet your needs through the word of God, or at least the words you want."

You can find Build-A-Bible at www.watchoutforthelightningboltoveryourhead.com.

08 August, 2007

The Word on the Street

Who do you think would win in a fight between Joel Osteen and Rick Warren?

"It would be no contest. Joel Osteen has got the prettiest teeth I ever done seen. All he would gotta do is flash them pearly whites one time in Rick's direction and that sucker would be blinded on the ground. I been thinking about getting me some dental work myself. Joel is my inspiration." - Gunner Bohannan, Deatsville, Arkansas







"My money's on Warren. He is one big dude, and Osteen is just a little ole whinny pip-squeak. I tell you who could take both of them fellers is ole Robert Schuller. He looks all peaceful and calm and all that but he got some kind of mafia ties or something going on. I could see him like, snapping and laying down some whoopstank on them boys if they give him any flack." - Percy Gullion, Amarillo, Texas





"I think question should be 'Who do you think would win in a fight between Joel Osteen and Rick Warren?' Now there's an important question that needs to be answered. I've often wondered about that question, but that's not what you're asking. Wait, that was the question right? Oh, um, hang on a second. I'm not sure I know who these two guys are that you're talking about. Nevermind." - Nate McKennan, Seattle, Washington

06 August, 2007

Church Adds "Lord's Breakfast" to Ordinances

Hoover, Al - The members of Greasy Road Baptist Church in Hoover are looking forward to this upcoming Sunday in a particular way. This Sunday will be the first of its kind for the church as they celebrate a "new ordinance" together. The small congregation of about 50 members frequently looks for opportunities to "fellowship around the table," often having bi-weekly church fellowship suppers, dinners on the grounds, and potluck lunches at each others houses. So when pastor Danny Pudens recently suggested adding another time of fellowship it was heartily received by the congregation.

"Each month we celebrate the Lord's Supper" said Pudens. "But as I was reading in the Bible I started to get convicted about something. If there was a Lord's Supper there must have been a Lord's Breakfast on that same day. And that's something we've missed completely. If we are truly going to obey the Bible we need to have a Lord's Breakfast also."

Pudens brought the idea before the congregation during the monthly business meeting in July, and the motion passed unanimously. Now the congregation will begin observing "The Lord's Breakfast" each month beginning with August.

"It's going to be a fine time" said Pudens. "The ladies are going to cook up some biscuits and gravy, some grits, bacon, eggs, sausage, pork cracklins, hash browns, and some fresh hot coffee. We also hope to have us some apple tarts, banana nut bread, some ham and some omelets. Of course we're just trying to obey the word here. It's not about the food, but it's about obeying the Bible."

The promise of the new ordinance has also brought a number of new "conversions." Because only baptized members of the church may partake in the ordinances, a number of church attendees were concerned that they would be left out of the meal.

"We had ten young people walk the aisle last Sunday and say they wanted to be baptized" said Pudens. "We are going to do the baptisms this Sunday before the ordinance so that they can participate. We wouldn't want them to miss such an historic event in the life of our church."

Pudens went on to further state more "convictions from Scripture" that the church is considering.

"We are striving to be more and more Biblical here" stated Pudens. "We're examining the Scriptures and we might even have a Lord's Lunch. We've also thought about having a fish fry to commemorate when Jesus fed the masses. Obeying the word is just so satisfying."

04 August, 2007

Sound Biblical Doctrine... Hallelujah


Columbus, Ohio – Note: TBNN is pleased to have Rod Parsley as Saturday Morning's guest writer.

Rod: “I’m happy to fill in today for Brother Slawson. But I must warn you, you won’t get any satire from me. What I’m gonna present is the sound Biblical doctrine. Nothing else but sound… did anyone hear me?... I said sound, yes… sound Biblical doctrine. Nothing else. Forget that satire. Do I hear an ‘Amen?’

"I’m glad you’re reading this post today because I believe you will receive a special blessing from reading with us today. I want you to focus and concentrate all the efforts you can. Reach within yourself. Feel within yourself. Use your mind. Use your brain, hallelujah. Can I get an 'Amen' anywhere here, hallelujah.

"As I was saying, brothers and sisters, we here at TBN... um... I mean TBNN want readers. We want you to read and read and keep on reading. The only way... I say the only way... I'll say it again... the ONLY way for you to get sound Biblical doctrine is to read sound Biblical doctrine. Read when you wake up, read at work, and read before you go to bed. Tell others to read. Tell your grandma to read. No one is too old to read. I say this because I believe, especially today with today’s post, that if you read it, you will understand more things. Your mind will expand. As you read, the truth will be revealed.

"You know, Joseph was a reader, hallelujah. Joseph read dreams. He read dreams when those who dreamed those dreams couldn’t even remember they had dreamed them. Hmmm? You tell me that’s not reading? You tell me that’s not reading? Well I know you are reading today so you can receive a blessing. And I believe you will, hallelujah. You're getting the truth today. Nothing else. Only sound Biblical doctrine.

"Which of our readers believes he will receive a blessing? Who? Who? Who? You know who you are. You know if you are reading this right now and thinking, 'I don’t want to be here reading this.' But you must, you must, you must you must, hallelujah. Right where you are, give out a shout! Give it out! Give it out! Give it out and give it up! You know you can’t receive any blessings until you read from the heart. Read it… Read it… Read it… hallelujah.

"Like the writing on the wall, you must read, brothers and sisters. You don’t want to miss a blessing. You must see the writing on the wall before it’s too late. See it. Some of you see it, shout 'hallelujah' if you see it. You are reading. You are here reading right now for a special purpose, hallelujah. I see right now we are less than 250 away from 76,000 visits to this site since it began earlier this year. I want that gap closed today. I want us to meet 76,000 and pass it up. Let's fly right on by 76,000. Maybe even 76,100 before midnight tonight. I want to see it. I have the faith. Do you? Keep reading if you do. Keep reading if you have the faith. Keep reading for sound Biblical doctrine.

"Do you hear me? Can you hear me? Do you really want a blessing? Are you really sure you want a blessing? A blessing? I’m talking about a real, in the heart, deep down, in the mind, using everything you’ve got to feel that blessing. Feel it. Amen. Can I get an 'amen?' Can I get an 'amen?' Amen, hallelujah.

"Some of you are tempted to stop reading right now. Stop those thoughts. Rebuke those thoughts. Don't you touch click that 'X'. Don't you click that 'Back'. I know your flesh thinks it doesn’t need to read right now. Rebuke it! Rebuke it! Rebuke it now! Read on, brothers and sisters. You think I've acquired all of my possessions by sleeping? You’ve got to get your eyes focused. You’ve got to read with those piercing eyes. If you’ve only got one eye. You’ve got to read with it. Use what you have. Have faith that you can see with both eyes and you will. Just believe it. Believe it! You can only receive a blessing if you read. If you have no eyes, get someone to read for you.

"I’ve traveled the world. I was in Boswana and Peru and Nosgales. You know we had people reading all over. We preach sounnd doctrine all over the world. People are reading reading reading reading. You know how they get a blessing? You know how you get sound Biblical doctrine? By doing just what you are doing today. By reading. If you’re glad to be sitting here reading let me hear you say 'Amen.' I want to hear it louder. Louder. Louder. Say 'Amen' if you are receiving a blessing from reading. You know you’ve got it if you said Amen. Say it again. Shout it! Shout it! Shout it! Hallelujah.

"This is no 'tea leaves' service. This is no magic show. This is true reading. We have real readers out there brothers and sisters. Real readers seeking sound Biblical doctrine. You read. You read. When you’ve exhausted everything, you still read. You must persevere. You must. Read on! Read on! Read on! Click a few links on this site and then come right back here. You can help us out. Build up our page views. Send links to your friends. I want to see 76,000. Just 76,150 is all I want to see today. At least 75,800. It would be downright sinful to see less than 75,800. Keep reading, hallelujah. If you really want a blessing, you must keep reading. Click and read. Read and click. I know some of you are feeling it now. We aren’t like those other blogs. We have real material. We have real reading. We have sound Biblical doctrine. Like today. If you feel it, say 'hallelujah'. If you feel feel feel it. Oh man, hand me a towel. Hand me a towel so I can see to read more. The readers need to read. Hand me a towel.

"Who else read in the Bible? Who else? Wait. Wait. Hold on, brothers and sisters. I have the answer. It’s coming to me. I think it’s coming to me now. Yes! It was Theo. Theo was a reader. Theophilus? Yeah, that’s it! Theo was a reader. He read Luke. He read Acts most likely. Luke was a great historian. Theo read Luke. He read it. Luke wrote it, so Theo read it. What else could he do with it? Was he going to eat it? No! He was going to read it. Let me hear you say it! Read it! Was he going to use it to prop up a short leg on his table? I should think not! Do you hear me brothers and sisters? Let me hear an 'amen.' Theo was a reader. Theo was a reader. No table-proping here. No table propers there. Here a table-proper there a table proper everywhere a table proper? Not here, hallelujah. This is sound Biblical doctrine.

"I'm going to have to stop writing soon. I hate to have to leave. Before I let you go, I must… I must… I must ask you. Have you read today? Have you felt the reading of today deep down? I say… I say… I say… Have you read today? Did you sit and stare at letters or did you make a choice to read today? Did you make a choice to read this very page with all the letters and spaces? You know you can even read spaces. You can. I do it. I do it. You should try it. Look at the spaces. They are there for a reason. They are important. The punctuation. It’s there! It’s there for a reason. Moses used punctuation. We know Moses used Punctuation. Just look in the original. Look right here in the original. Open your Bible. What do you see? Punctuation! Punctuation. Why? Why? Why? So you can read it hallelujah. What else do you see? Page numbers! That's right. Page numbers! So you can keep track of where you've read. Thank you for reading with us today. We know you received a blessing, hallelujah.

"You won’t get meat and substance on many of the other blogs like this post today. Don’t try. You may hurt yourself. Hmmm? Amen. Substance. Substance. Substance. That’s what my ministry is all about. So read. Read. And when you’ve done all to read. Read more."

03 August, 2007

Robertson Predicts Seven Year "TV and Internet Famine"

Pat Robertson, founder of the 700 Club and the "Moral Majority" has made a number of "prophesies" in the past concerning future events. The religious leader and political activist has been both praised and criticized over the years for his predictions, many of which have failed to come true. But on Thursday Robertson made one of his most "unusual" prophetic statements about the coming decade. He began by relating a dream he had had earlier this week.

"I had a dream last night" said Robertson during a press interview. "I saw seven high-tech computer systems all running Windows Vista, and I saw seven old 386SX machines running DOS. The old DOS machines devoured the newer machines. I woke up and pondered this dream. I then went back to sleep. Again I dreamed and saw seven brand new HDTV systems and seven old analog black and white televisions. The old TVs devoured the HDTV systems."

Many have already noted the similarities between Robertson's dream and that of Pharaoh's in Exodus. Robertson believes that this is no coincidence.

"This dream can only mean one thing" he stated. "For seven years we are going to have an abundance of developments in the areas of high-definition television and the internet. These seven years of abundance will be followed by an internet and television famine, in which no TV or internet will be found in the land."

Despite Robertson's confidence in the divine nature of his revelation his "prophecy" has been mocked by many. But some are concerned and are taking special measures to prepare.

"I'm stocking up" said Edward Long, a used car salesman from Baltimore, Maryland. "I've got a brand new TV down in my basement that I'm not touching until the famine comes. I've been recording my favorite shows on DVD and buying up all of the movies I can. I'm also going to get onto this satellite internet thing. Maybe it won't be affected."

Robertson has made repeated attempts to contact President Bush concerning the matter, but he has yet to be received.

"I've tried to call George W." said Robertson, "but so far I've heard nothing from him. This country has got to take action now and store up for the times of trouble to come. Perhaps he could even get some special measures passed to make me second in command of the country or something and let me coordinate the effort."

02 August, 2007

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01 August, 2007

Television Preacher Sued for "Slandering in Tongues"

Pensacola, Fl - For almost ten years Charles Winters has been a familiar face on Public Access Cable in Pensacola. The "fire and brimstone" Pentecostal Holiness preacher, affectionately known as "Brother Charlie" is known for his impassioned church services that air on Friday nights at 7PM. His services, filled with "miraculous healings," people being "slain in the Spirit" and an abundance of speaking in tongues, generally runs in excess of two hours.

But as of late Brother Charlie has found himself the target of a lawsuit that threatens to ruin his ministry if he is found liable. The trouble started when a local Pensacola man, Terry Farnsworth, accused Winters of slandering him in one of his sermons while speaking in tongues. Farnsworth is now suing Winters for $1.4 million dollars. Farnsworth, who lives in a small two-room trailer with his mother, girlfriend, half-sister, his three children, seven dogs and a rabbit, commented on the situation.

"I was sitting here last Friday with my mamma and my daughter Bo Raylene, and we was watching Brother Charlie" said Farnsworth. "We really like to watch him because he just will gets so excited and start all that tongue speaking. Well, about halfway through the show he starts that business. I believe that some people speaks in tongues and some is supposed to understand what they saying, that's my gift. All of a sudden he says something and I know what he's saying. I hear him say 'Terry Farnsworth is no good trash. He don't do nothing but drink beer, and he ain't got no job. Terry Farnsworth is a lying thief.'

Upon hearing the alleged "slander" Farnsworth stated that he told his mother what he had just heard.

"I told my mamma what I just done heard and she said that I needed to sue this man" said Farnsworth. "I talked to my neighbor who's got a brother who's a lawyer in prison and he said I could sue this man for slander."

A court date for Farnsworth's case against Winters has not been set yet. Farnsworth further stated he hopes to settle out of court with Winters. But Winters is determined not to budge.

"I said nothing, nothing of the kind against Mr. Farnsworth" stated Winters. "I've never met the man, nor do I have any idea about who he is. When I speak in tongues I say that which only the angels can understand. That's what tongue speaking is all about, saying something that's only between you and God. It's not supposed to be understood by people. Just the angels."

"If we go to court I'm suing for $1.4 million" said Farnsworth. "But if he don't want to go to court I'll just take $50,000 in cash. I feel bad suing a preacher and all that, but he don't need to be saying stuff like that on television.