29 June, 2008

In All Seriousness

Dear Boxers,

I'd like to break from our regular satire for a moment and ask for your prayers. Right now there are two families we are friends with who have young children in the hospital with very serious illnesses.

The first is a four-year-old girl named Lilly Pillow. Her family is a member of our home church in Mississippi, and right now she's in the hospital with encephalitis and viral meningitis. The last I heard she's having up and down days, and is still currently in ICU. While she's been responsive, she still has been having some seizures. I'm afraid I don't know much more than this at the time. Suffice it to say, please be in prayer for little Lilly and her parents John Michael and Sarah Beth.

The second family some of you might know from The Mango Times. Little Joe Fletcher, the seven-week-old son of Andrew (Fletch) and Kendra was rushed to the hospital just the other day. As it turns out he has been diagnosed with Enterovirus, a very serious illness. You can read more about how Joe is doing both at Fletch's blog and his wife Kendra's blog. At Kendra's blog you can find some recent updates and specific prayer requests.

Thank You,
Tom

28 June, 2008

The Three Degrees of Devin Bacone


Bentonville, TN – O be careful little mouth what you say.

The Southside Baptist Church congregation, which had Sunday morning attendance of 500 at the beginning of 2007, dwindled to 150 by the start of 2008, prompting the leadership to call an emergency meeting last month.

Everyone agreed that false rumors about the pastor were the cause of the demise, but how could such be stopped? With cell phones, email, and coffee shops all around, the task seemed insurmountable.

Pastor Wallace Greenly made the suggestion to hire a private investigator to determine the source of the rumors, and all agreed.

The findings were startling. After detailed interviews with over 300 “exit-ers” there was no doubt of the common source. Every single one of those who have left after believing a rumor about the pastor could be connected (by at most 3 people) to Devin Bacone.

Sociologist Halton Forester, Professor Emeritus of the University of Chicago’s Dept. of Sociology, explained “Marconi articulated the earliest explanation for social networks via his transmission experiments of radio stations after the turn of the 20th century. It’s a small world phenomenon. All humans can be connected with no more than 6 degrees of separation. Southside’s discovery that one individual is responsible for disrupting a small population of 500 with no more than 3 degrees of separation is not only possible, but quite probable.”

Devin Bacone is a reasonably athletic, somewhat articulate, and always helpful 49 year old man who came to Southside in the summer of 2006. Was it really possible that this middle aged man could be responsible for all 350 people leaving?

TBNN representatives conducted our own research by interviewing someone we thought would be unlikely to have discovered the information from a middle aged man such as Devin Bacone. Ms. Gladis Walker, a 30 year member in her mid 80s testified, “I left two months ago in April because that Pastor is trying to run the show down at Southside. He thinks he owns the place.” We asked Ms. Walker for an explanation. “I was visiting my niece, Milly Sexton, and I heard first hand information about the pastor from Janet Wilkens who was there visiting my niece.” TBNN left a voicemail for Janet Wilkens. We received the following quote by text message: “I heard firsthand information from Tom Parker, my second cousin.” Through further investigation, we discovered that Devin Bacone and Tom Parker are regular hunting partners.

So there it was. There were three degrees of separation from Devin Bacone to the “exit-er.” Devin Bacone to Tom Parker to Janet Wilkens to Ms. Gladis Walker.

O be careful little ears what you hear.

26 June, 2008

JOIN THE ARMINIAN REVOLUTION TODAY!!!!

Dear Comrads,

For some time now it has become evident that our dear religion is in trouble. For years now our churches, seminaries and homes have been plagued by a heresy that threatens to destroy us. Yes, I'm talking about Calvinism. For years, these Calvinists were confined to the fringes of Christianity, but over the past few decades they have been making a resurgence in many denominations. NOW IS THE TIME! I call upon all Arminians of solid conviction to take action to stop the spread of Calvinism throughout the world.

Now is time to root them out. Perhaps they are in your church or your school. It is possible that even your pastor himself is one! The word must get out. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be distributing these posters. Place them wherever you can. Let us end this wave of heresy before it grows worse.

Sincerely,
Comrad Foma Karlovich Slavsyn

25 June, 2008

Church Sued Over Trademark Infringement

Chicago, Il - Recently the members of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Chicago have found themselves in a bit of a predicament. It's been over 25 years since the small congregation was founded, and through the years there has been little trouble. But that all changed just recently when the church discovered that they were being sued for trademark infringement by a major U.S. corporation, whose name has not yet been released.

The issue at hand dates back almost two years ago when the church remodeled their sanctuary and added a new church sign in an effort to "freshen up" their image. New chairs were installed, a fresh coat of paint was applied and a new piano was brought in. In addition, the church's new sign was updated each day with new, fresh sayings to encourage people. All this was coupled with the church's new slogan "I'm lovin' it."

"I really don't understand what all the trouble is about," said pastor Lester Boyton. "We're just a small congregation trying to get by. All we did was change up a few things here and there to make it easier on the people."

Since the physical changes two years ago the church also began doing other things a little differently. Pastor Boyton explained some of changes to TBNN.

"We used to have our worship service from 11AM-12PM, but now we start at 6AM and go until 10:30AM, that way people can come when it's most convenient for them. During this time too, we also have breakfast for people if they need it. We have fresh apple pies or some handy English muffins with eggs and ham and such. After the morning service at 10:30 we have lunch also for people who want it, but we usually keep it simple with just hamburgers and french fries, and maybe a salad for those who request it."

According to Boyton the case is set to go to court later this summer. TBNN was unable to uncover any further information about the unnamed plaintiff in the case, but several top members of the journalistic profession are looking into the situation.

24 June, 2008

"Whosoever Conference" Open to All Who Choose to Attend

WILMORE, KY - Asbury Theological Seminary announced last week the that the first annual "Whosoever Conference" will be held on its campus this coming November. This conference, inspired as many others have been by the upcoming John 3:16 Conference, will not focus on all of John 3:16, but instead will simply focus on one word: whosoever.

Dr. Stanley Hicks told TBNN, "We are very excited to take a few days to study this word in depth. We all know that meaning comes from words, so we are happy to look at the meaning of this word. The KJV makes it clear that whosoever will, will in fact be saved."

Dr. Philip Warren indicated that at the conference seven different seminary professors will look, respectively, into the Hebrew meaning of whosoever, the Greek meaning of whosoever, the Latin meaning of whosoever, the King James meaning of whosoever, the historical meaning of whosoever, the contemporary meaning of whosoever, and, most importantly, what John Wesley taught about the meaning of whosoever.

Dr. Elizabeth Hines, director of the Religion Department, said, "In addition to announcing the formation of this conference, we are also happy to tell everyone that it is open to all who choose to come. We would never turn anyone away. After all, we want everyone to come. We have left it entirely up to them, but we sure are hopeful that a lot of people will show up."

She went on to say, "Just as Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts, we are knocking on the doors of those who might attend. If they come, we will be overjoyed!"

21 June, 2008

The Partial Gospel Baptist Church

Spartanburg, WV –Cumberland Park Full Gospel Baptist Church of Spartanburg, West Virginia voted last Sunday evening to change its name to Cumberland Park Partial Gospel Baptist Church.


The name change was originally sparked by a TBNN post back on February 19, 2008. In the post “72 Bible Verses that Simply Can’t Mean What They Say," Elder Eric, D. TSaB, reported on the published statement of Asbury Theological Seminary to help evangelical churches fend off the increasing threat posed by Calvinism.

"Someone from the church read the post, looked up the verses, and left everyone confused, especially me, said Pastor Walter Barnhill. "At the very next business meeting, we established a committee to see if we could determine what the verses really meant."


After months of study, the committee brought its findings before the church at the June 15th business meeting. The committee had a simple conclusion stating, in part, "Our best conclusion is that these 72 verses mean exactly what they say.”

Upon the reading of the report at the June 15th business meeting, confusing discussion ensued until someone asked, “Perhaps we should not be Full Gospel after all?” Before the meeting ended, a motion was passed to change the name to “Cumberland Park Partial Gospel Baptist Church” and amend the church’s statement on scripture to the following:

SCRIPTURE
*We believe that almost all of the holy bible is the inspired word of God.
*With only 72 questionable verses (see attached list of exceptions) the holy bible is a revelation from God to man.
*We believe the holy bible is the closest possible revelation (see attached exceptions) to the infallible and authoritative word of God that exists today.
*We believe the holy bible has supreme authority in almost all (see attached exceptions) matters of faith and conduct.
*We further believe that the holy bible is almost entirely (see attached exceptions) inerrant in the original manuscripts.

Pastor Walter Barnhill is adamant that the heart of the Gospel remains unchanged, “The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody and is waiting for you to choose Him.”

18 June, 2008

Pastor Caught in Reformed Website Scandal

Battle Creek, Mi - John Hodges, the associate pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Battle Creek, stood before an emotional and confused congregation this past Sunday and tried his best to explain what was going on with the church's senior pastor, Dr. Charles Hollingsworth.

"I know we are all in shock," said Hodges from the pulpit. "Believe me, I'm hurting from this too. But I think one thing that brother Charles needs right now is our prayers and our support. He's been placed on sabbatical indefinitely, but we want to work with him and spend some time trying to help him through this deeply troubling period of his life."

The trouble for Hollingsworth began about a month ago when the church installed a piece of software called Covenant Eyes on all of the church's computers. The Covenant Eyes software is intended to help guard against someone surfing the web for explicit material through accountability, remotely monitoring all internet sites visited on a particular computer and logging them so that they cannot be changed. The program then sends the information to designated accountability partners. In the case of Liberty Baptist various members of the Deacon's board were assigned to keep the pastoral staff accountable. While the main intention of the program is to guard against surfing explicit websites, the log information shows every site visited, including sites designated as "safe." Thus, it was not long before pastor Hollingsworth's accountability partner made some shocking discoveries.

"I got his weblog in my email, and I was looking it over carefully," said deacon Patrick Downes. "Everything looked fine to me, I didn't see anything inappropriate, but I kept seeing this one site over and over again called monergism.com. From what I could tell he was visiting this site a lot. So I decided to take a look and see what it was all about."

Downes describes what he found as "shocking" and "disgusting." As it turns out monergism.com is an entire website devoted to Calvinist and Reformed writings, cataloging everything from the Puritans to contemporary theologians. Downes soon found out that Hollingsworth had been deeply engaged in reading the works of John Owen, John Calvin, Sinclair Ferguson and C.H. Spurgeon.

"My heart sank when I found out he had been visiting all of these sites," said Downes. "I immediately contacted brother Hodges. We went into the pastor's study one night when he wasn't there and started up his computer. As it turns out he'd been downloading articles and even printing them out. We also found he'd started up a friendship with a local PCA [Presbyterian Church in America] minister, having coffee with him and things such as that. It was just terrible."

For the time being Hodges has been named interim pastor of Liberty Baptist while Hollingsworth has been placed on "Sabbatical." Hodges, who is supposedly overseeing his "rehabilitation," told TBNN that he has put Hollingsworth on a strict reading diet of Ergun Caner, Dave Hunt and Charles Finney. TBNN was unable to reach Hollingsworth for comment. Hodges further noted that Liberty Baptist is planning to buy the popular Net Finney software to ensure this kind of incident does not happen again.

17 June, 2008

Bibleism Surfacing in More and More Churches

Across America a new form of exclusion is on the rise: bibleism. This new form of self-perceived supremacy is directly related to the version of bible favored at a particular church. Those on the outside looking in face harsh treatment and/or shunning within their very own bodies of Christ.

Sally Wilson, a member of Bakersfield (CA) United Methodist Church, said, "Our whole denomination uses the NRSV, but I like my NASB. It comes closer to the original languages than does the NRSV. Alas, it has been a while since the UMC cared much for what the bible actually says, so I shouldn't be surprised. Nobody in my Sunday School Class likes my bible."

The versions that appear to be connected to the most bibleism are the KJV, the TNIV, the ESV, and the Message. Not surprisingly, the versions are used and promoted by specific groups. TBNN has learned the following:

-The KV is, obviously, favored in KJV-only churches. If you try to attend one of these churches with something like the NIV, you can expect to be immediately ushered to your car and cast into Hell along the way.
-The TNIV tends to appear most frequently in mega-churches, where style takes precedence over substance. Egalitarians like this version because of the gender-neutral language. If you show up with an NASB, you will be given dirty looks and called either a misogynist or "Mr. smarty-pants!"
-As for the ESV, you'll find them dominant in the Reformed sphere, especially among young white males, ages 18-35. Disciples of John Piper tend to refer to the ESV as "the real bible." If you go to one of these churches with something like the NIV, you can expect someone to immediately share the gospel with you before they ask whether or not you are, in fact, saved.
-The Message is most often favored in churches with absolutely no doctrine at all. Therefore, many members of Health, Wealth, and Prosperity churches carry the Message. If you happen to go to one of these churches on any Sunday while carrying, let's say, an NKJV, you can expect to be treated as if you just stepped out of Puritan New England.

Justin Eversole, a relatively new Christian, tells a story that is becoming all too familiar. According to Justin, "I'm a pretty new Christian. When I got saved, a friend of mine gave me a new bible - the New Living Translation. Since then I've tried out six different churches, but no one likes my bible. The local independent baptist church only uses the KJV. I tried a Presbyterian church, but they wanted the ESV. The NKJV was the bible of choice at a Southern Baptist church close to my house. I tried a Catholic church, but no one there even took a bible to church. Everyone at the Assembly of God church carried something called the 'Spirit-filled bible.' Finally, I went to a Methodist church on the other side of town, but everyone just used the pew NRSV. I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere I went. I may try a new community church down the road - they don't know what they believe."

New Lifeway research indicates that when a person visits a church that shares his bible version convictions, he is likely to join that church. However, if the visitor carries the wrong bible, he feels excluded or down right disliked. Clearly, he will not be joining that body.

In light of this, more and more churches are advertising themselves as TNIV-only, ESV-only, Message-only, etc. TBNN has even come across a new church in Louisvlle that is ESV Study Bible-only. Unfortunately for them, it won't be released until October.

14 June, 2008

The "Ox in the Ditch" Loophole



TBNN: We are here this morning with Mr. Bartholomew Tucker of Cutter Crossing, Tennessee. Mr. Tucker, we are pleased you were able to join us today in the TBNN studios.

Mr. Tucker: It’s truly a right special pleasure to be hyer. When we droved in this mornin’, ya know, the funniest thing happened. They have this little building with this big man a sellin’ big ole thick hotcakes with a hole cut right smack out of the middle of them things. So we stopped and had some of those funny hotcakes.

TBNN: um… yes…

Mr. Tucker: Well, I right reckon them thar hotcakes were better ‘an any I’d had ‘fore.

TBNN: um… I see, you had four.

Mr. Tucker: Naw, I had ‘bout eight of ‘em.

TBNN: um… Mr. Tucker, do you remember why you are here today?

Mr. Tucker: Yep, you wanted me to tell you about Ole Blue, my ox.

TBNN: ‘at’s rite… um… you are correct. Tell us how Old Blue came to live in the large ditch next to your home back in Cutter Crossing.

Mr. Tucker: Well, it all happened ‘bout 18 year ago, I reckon. I was on my way to church when I looked up and Ole Blue was stuck out thar in the ditch. Well, ya know the scripture whare the Lawd said we don’t have to go to church when our ox gets stuck in the ditch?

TBNN: um… yes… there is a mention of an ox in Luke 14:5

Mr. Tucker: I’ll take yore word on it. But anywhoed, I knewed there was that scripture where I don’t have to go to church iffin my ox is stuck in the ditch. So I didn’t go. I spent the day a tryin’ to get Ole Blue out of the ditch.

TBNN: And did you succeed.

Mr. Tucker: My great grandpappy was part of the succession from da Union. So, I guess you could say I succeeded too.

TBNN: um… yes… how did things turn out with Old Blue?

Mr. Tucker: Well, I worked right near through all of that mornin’s church service trying to get Ole Blue unstuck. But he was stuck for shore. I took off the rest of the afternoon and went hunting down in Shady Grove, Alabamy all that week, and a fishin’ on Saturdee. When I come back and got up on Sunday morn, that Ole Blue wasza still stuck in the ditch, but he WUZ able to walk around some, soze I gave him some hay.

TBNN: So, Old Blue was in the ditch all week.

Mr. Tucker: Yep, that’s how it started. I spent that second Sunday putting up a temporary shelter so Ole Blue could get some shade. The temporary shelter didn’t protect Ole Blue completely, so we tore down his ole barn and built a fine sturdy barn right ‘round Ole Blue right thar in that ditch. It took a month o’ Sundays to get that right nice new barn built. But we were faithful each Sunday to do the work. Our whole family clan had to help. I figured iffin Ole Blue belonged to the family, then my whole family could claim that Luke verse you were a talkin’ ‘bout.

TBNN: Now, Mr. Tucker, I believe the verse refers to the ox being stuck in the ditch, not living in the ditch.

Mr. Tucker: We all like to make up our own interpretins, now, don’t we?

TBNN: um..

Mr. Tucker: Besides, the family actually came together and a started havin’ fun around Ole Blue every Sunday. We even started a calling it Family Ox Day. We prepared everything on Saturdee evenin’ so as to have a good Family Ox Day the next day when we woked up. Ole Blue became a permanent part of our family’s life. We’d have picnics and set up all kind a family fun doings around Ole Blue. It was such a good thing for the whole family, how could we destroy that by taking our ox out of the ditch?

TBNN: um…

Mr. Tucker: Anywho… moving forward, all my younguns is growed up now. But Family Ox Day hasn’t stopped cuz all 5 of my kids have established fine homes with an ox of thar own right thar in a ditch next to thar houses. We all thank the Lawd for our family oxen. Many people can’t afford thar own ox in a ditch. We’ve been blessed.

TBNN: Well, thar… um there you have it folks! Looks like the Tucker family has found quite a loophole with their oxen.

12 June, 2008

Hinn Granted First HWPG Sainthood

In an exclusive report, TBNN has learned that Benny Hinn has been recently granted the first official "sainthood" by Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel leaders. TBNN learned that a group of HWPG pastors, which included big names like Creflo Dollar, Leroy Thompson, Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland, met in Atlanta, Georgia last week to discuss the prospect of "sainthood" for those who had contributed much to the HWPG cause. During the meeting the group discussed possible choices for the first ever "sainthood" amongst HWPG advocates. Over the course of the meetings Hinn's name repeatedly came up.

"Yeah, I thought I would have been a good choice myself, but I didn't want to bring it up," said Creflo Dollar. "And because no one else at the meeting wanted to nominate me, I sure enough wasn't going to nominate one of them. But Benny wasn't there so I threw out his name. That man's made it. He ain't no broke preacher. He's got some pie baby, and that's the truth!"

After several hours of consideration the group unanimously chose Hinn to be canonized as "Saint Hinn, the Rich." According to participants at the council, a number of factors contributed to Hinn being chosen.

"Well, the man has healed many," said Kenneth Copeland. "And his ministry is worldwide, plus he's got that cute little accent which really adds a sort of cultural flair to the whole deal. Overall though, we looked primarily at his bank account and his possessions. That man's got a lot of stuff and that's proof he's got a lot of faith."

The council plans to meet annually to choose a new "saint" each year. Hinn was unavailable for comment.

11 June, 2008

Kazoo Player Livens up Praise Band

Portland, Or - Paul Dooley loves what he does. While he lives the life of a single, mild mannered 42-year-old accountant who lives with parents during the week, on the weekends he is nothing less than a minor sensation at his home church. A life-long member of Cornerstone Church in Portland, Dooley had longed to be a member of the Praise and Worship band since his early days, but met rejection over and over again.

"I remember when I was 14, I tried to join the Praise Band, but they said that they didn't need a Tuba player" Dooley told TBNN. "Then when I was in college I asked if they would let me play the theremin in the band, but they nixed that idea too. After that I tried the accordion, the washboard and finally a crystal glass array, but each time I was rejected. It seemed that no matter what instrument I played they were never interested."

But finally in March of this year, Dooley approached the band leader once again this time thinking he had finally found a winner. Dooley's instrument of choice? The kazoo. And since his entrance into the band, the church's time of praise and worship has seemingly been raised to new heights.

"At first I was reluctant," said Praise Band leader John Conway. "But, surprisingly, in all my years of knowing Paul, this was the most reasonable instrument he'd presented me with, so I thought I'd at least give him a shot. I'll admit, though, I didn't expect much."

But to everyone's surprise, Dooley's kazoo playing has served to only heighten the worship experience at Cornerstone. Each Sunday now, Dooley stands in front of his microphone, kazoo in hand and offers his own musical interpretation of the songs as he accompanies the band.

"Sometimes I just play the melody and sometimes I'll play some harmony or throw in a descant or counter-melody," said Dooley. "Sometimes I'll even do an intro or a solo to set the mood."

"Ever since Paul has joined our band we've been taken to new heights in our worship," said Cornerstone's pastor Alex Paulson. "When he does that slow moving intro to Storm I get tears in my eyes every time."

10 June, 2008

Single Verse Conferences Spreading Like Wildfire

Inspired by the upcoming John 3:16 Conference (click here), many other religious groups have decided to hold single-verse meetings within the next year.

The purpose of these various conferences appears to be to take one bible verse out of context and then use it to support what the group already believes. Some groups are rallying around their verse of focus, while others are trying to destroy their chosen verse. What each group is trying to accomplish should be obvious.

TBNN encourages you to sign up and cheer for the conference that best fits what you already believe. Some people will, of course, want to attend multiple gatherings.

Find your favorite below (in alphabetical order):

Arminian - The I John 4:14 Conference - "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world."

Baptist - The Acts 8:36 Convention - "Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, 'See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?'"

Calvinist - The Romans 9:13 Disputation - "As it is written, 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.'"

Catholic - The John 6:54 Council - "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Charismatic - The I Corinthians 14:18 Celebration - "I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all."

Disciples of Christ - The Acts 2:38 Pool Party - "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"

Episcopal - The No Scripture, Just a Few Nice Platitudes Assembly

Health, Wealth, and Prosperity - The Job 42:12 Gathering - "Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. "

KJV Only - The Psalm 12:6 Declaration - "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times - the KJV."

Liberal - The Galatians 3:28 Egalitarian Confab - "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Lutheran and Presbyterian - The Acts 16:31 Synod - "So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"

Mennonite - The Matthew 5:39 Get Together - "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

Methodist - The Leviticus 1:3 Choice - "If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD."

United Church of Christ (UCC) - The Romans 1:27 Misinterpretation - "Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due."

09 June, 2008

Pat Robertson Declared Obama Running Mate

In a surprise move to many, Pat Robertson announced today that God has declared him to be Barak Obama’s running mate. “I’m as surprised as anyone,” commented Robertson. The prompting followed an extended fast of four days in which God reportedly showed the widely known television evangelist that Hillary Clinton would soon drop out of the running. “I have been very concerned for this great land of ours,” said Robertson. “In watching the democratic race going on in South Dakota and Montana, I guess I saw enough on TV that it percolated down into wherever it is that visions come from. God must have seen I was finally ready to hear from Him. I certainly wouldn’t have thought this up by myself.”

Robertson last ran for president of the United States in 1988, when he was soundly defeated for office. He returned to the Christian Broadcasting Network. When asked what response he expected from his announcement on Tuesday’s broadcast of The 700 Club, he replied, “Well, I’m sure there are millions of true believers out there who are anxious to see an evangelical candidate reach higher office. Already, we have money pouring in from God’s people, who apparently are hearing the same message from God that I am.”

Obama’s campaign headquarters has not officially replied to this development, but reportedly, the spokesman that TBNN’s Dr. Bill reached was heard to call out whether anyone in the office knew about Robertson’s decision to become Barak Obama’s Vice President. “There was this um, pause, and then sort of a roar went up that I couldn’t interpret either way,” he said. “I’m not sure but I don’t think this is absolutely a done deal.”

James Dobson’s organization did immediately reply to our calls. Spokesperson Sarah Lineberry told us that, “Dr. Dobson is whole-heartedly in favor of this exciting news.” He is encouraging all five of his democratic friends to spread the word that an Obama victory is a victory for the Gospel.”

Several other evangelicals have already taken up that banner of support for Robertson. “Who knows?” said Jeffery Somers, Prison Fellowship Ministries director for the Southwestern states. “Maybe God has spoken to Pat as a way to get democrats to think about what an Obama victory will mean to us all. I sure hope Obama goes along with this amazing offer. It’s sure to make a huge difference this coming November!”

07 June, 2008

Today, I'm Rededicating My Life to Golf

Today I'm rededicating my life to Golf.

Why?

Well, I feel that I need to rededicate my life to Golf because I’ve never really done anything with my original commitment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m truly a golfer at heart. I know for certain that if I were to die today, I would be remembered as a golfer. There is a certificate that says so hanging over there on the wall.

I made my commitment to golf as a young boy at golf-camp. I signed that certificate and my instructor signed it and wrote the date, July 18 1979. I knew deep down in my heart at that time that I was totally committed to golf.

After that childhood golf-camp, I wandered away from the desire to play golf. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but since that camp when I was 9 years old, I’ve never actually seemed to be able to find the time to play a game of golf. But today, at age 38, I know my rededication will be real.

Don't get me wrong. My life has not been completely devoid of golf. I have watched some golf on television on occasion. I saw Tiger Woods play a few years back and he was doing quite well. I also remember seeing Arnold Palmer on a tractor commercial or something. I was able to recognize him because we saw pictures of him at my golf-camp.

Anyway, once again, I have decided to make golf my sole purpose for living. As soon as I get a few things straight in my life, I’ll be out there on the golf course every Saturday in no time. I know I can do it.

You know, come to think of it, I have brought out the golf clubs up to twice a year. My father had given me a brand new set of clubs the Christmas before I went to camp as a kid. They were too big for me, but he said I'd grow into them. My father was an avid golfer. He was on the course at least 3 times a week. He often went with Grandpa. My grandfather passed away before I committed my life to golf, but I remember him golfing every Saturday

In any case, I do have a fond memory of that Christmas when my father gave the golf clubs to me. Now, almost every Christmas, I get them out of the garage, polish them some, and try to show them to my kids. They seem to try to act interested, but I'm not so sure they are. I don’t want to push golf on them.

Sometimes I bring out the clubs near the first day of Spring close to Easter. Last year it was Easter day that I took them out in the back yard and hit a few balls with the putter. I spent time polishing the putter then too.

Am I concerned that my children have never seemed to have any desire to dedicate themselves to the game that is so important to me? I am a little, I guess. I’ve never had a chance to play since they were born. But, as I said, they have seen me with the clubs every Christmas and close to Easter. Sometimes I’m saddened to think that they don’t see the need to dedicate themselves as I did.

One of the reasons that I’ve been unable to play gold is because every Saturday Morning and Wednesday afternoon, I go fishing. Over the last year, I only made it out to the lake about 92 times because of sickness and funerals and weddings and stuff.

I know I should be on the golf course, I guess. But it’s often crowded out there. Saturday is the only day I have for just me. I need to get away from the crowds. There can also be a lot of meanness out there on the course. The golf course is filled with hypocrites. Everyone of them golfers is a hypocrite if you think about it. I know they are asking "Can I play through?" with a smile. But, they would be thinking the whole time how much better they are than me.

So today is a big day for me. I’m planning to go down to the Bluewater Country Club and sign up for a 30 day trial membership. I am definitely making this commitment today. Yes, today marks a new day in my life. I am, once again, an avid golfer.

Unfortunately, I won’t have time to stick around and play a game after I join the club. I have got to get a new door handle for my fishing tackle shed. The thing keeps coming loose.

04 June, 2008

FYI

Just to let you know that unless Elder Eric, Brother Slawson or Dr. Bill have anything to add this week that there probably won't be a post until Saturday. I was asked to preach this Friday night at a special prayer meeting in Russian and that's going to be taking up the majority of my time until then. Please forgive this lull. Again, the archives are always open. Enjoy.

-Tom

03 June, 2008

UCC and S

The United Church of Christ, which is the most liberal of the American mainline denominations, has a history of pushing the limits of Christian orthodoxy (click here for more on that). However, in its latest move, the UCC has stunned even some members of its own denomination.

Last week, at a gathering of the denomination's national leadership, UCC President Dr. Marcy Mills announced to the world that the UCC would be changing its name to the "UCC and S." Mills informed a somewhat shocked audience that the "S" stands for "Satan."

According to Mills, "We are proud of our tradition of tolerance, openness, and willingness to change in the UCC. As we have looked over our history, we see that Satan has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Yes, he does cause problems, but he's not all bad (click). Like everyone else, he needs a second chance. Some people even believe he can be saved (click)."

Henry Weeks, also a member of the UCC leadership committee, told TBNN, "We do not judge. In fact, Jesus Himself told us not to judge (click). We can't know for certain what is in Lucifer's heart. We want to be open to all people, including the devil."

The denominational name change will become official at the annual national conference scheduled for August in San Francisco. Although a minority within the UCC appear to oppose the name change, Dr. Mills is confident that everyone will eventually rally around the name "UCC and S."

Thomas Drake, UCC spokesperson, said Monday, "We deeply desire to reach all people with the good news that if you attend a UCC church, you can find what you are looking for. You can learn that God loves you just the way you are. You can find out how to be a better person. If we as a denomination are willing to open our arms to Satan, then no one will feel rejected by us. Like Jesus, we take a stand against rejecting anyone for any reason."