29 September, 2008

Paraplegic Frustrated over Inability to be Saved

FORT WORTH, TX - Nick Woodlawn was a proud atheist until four months ago when a close friend, who is a Christian, asked him to read Tim Keller's The Reason For God.  After reading the book, Woodlawn began to question  his own beliefs and assumptions about the meaninglessness of life, the relativism of morality, and the value of chasing after the pleasure of the moment.  

After a few weeks of pondering whether or not God exists, Woodlawn decided to "try out church."  He decided to attend one Sunday with his friend at Corinth Baptist Church just outside Fort Worth.  Since Woodlawn had very low expectations, he was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the people, the quality of the music, and the power of the preaching.  Woodlawn later told TBNN, "Pastor Frank Volk preaches through scripture verse-by-verse.  That really spoke to me because I could tell that he didn't have an agenda.  He just tells it like it is."

Woodlawn was also pleased by the sensitivity of Corinth Baptist.  They have installed a wheelchair ramp at the entrance to church facility.  Since Woodlawn is a paraplegic, the ramp helped a great deal.

After about two months of attending church with his friend, Woodlawn was seriously considering giving his life over to God.  By that time, he had heard Pastor Volk explain the need to repent and believe in order to be saved.  On this particular Sunday, Woodlawn was ready to surrender.  After a powerful sermon on Romans 10:9-10, Woodlawn wanted to finally become a follower of Jesus Christ.

That's when the unthinkable happened.  Pastor Volk concluded the sermon by saying, "If you want to know Jesus, just walk the aisle.  If you want to finally give your life over to Christ, simply walk down here and see me.  If you finally want to stop running from God, then just run up here.  If you want peace and the promise of everlasting life, simply step out of your seat and walk right here."

Woodlawn was simultaneously stunned, offended, saddened, and outraged.  Sitting toward the back of the church in his wheelchair, Woodlawn stayed where he was.  How could he possibly "walk the aisle" when he couldn't walk at all?

These days Woodlawn hardly sees his friend.  While his friend still attends Corinth Baptist, Woodlawn mainly stays at home playing on his Xbox 360.  When asked about church, Woodlawn told us, "For a while there, I felt like I belonged.  However, after the pastor said what he said, I realized that they are just a bunch of insensitive hypocrites.  I thought the gospel was a message of grace.  Then the pastor added a work: being able to walk the aisle.  I don't need that.  Instead of Tim Keller, I've started reading Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.  No more church for me."

27 September, 2008

Rodgers May Be Removed Over Pro-Choice Issues

Albany, Texas-- The Albany Gazette is reporting that Jim Rodgers may be publicly removed from the pulpit of First Baptist Church Albany as early as this Sunday. An unnamed source within FBC Albany reported on condition of anonymity that a majority of deacons within FBC Albany have substantial evidence that Pastor Rodgers may no longer be pro-choice.

Suspicions have arisen over the last month for a number of reasons. “We can't give details now, but evidence involves websites, books, sermons, conversations, and even actions. We never saw this coming,” said another inside source.

Jim Rodger’s resume was a perfect match for First Baptist Church Albany earlier this year. Both he and his wife, Sharon, had attended Bob Jones University. Sharon home-schooled their three kids using materials exclusively from Pensacola Christian College. During his sermon in view of a call, Rodgers announced from the pulpit (on the first Sunday in March of 2008) that he felt a calling to FBC Albany. During a special called meeting the next Sunday evening, Jim Rodgers was elected Senior Pastor.

Most importantly, Rodgers was pro-choice. When asked whether or not he was “one of those Calvinists,” Rodgers answered appropriately, “It’s the individual who chooses God.” Even during more difficult questioning during deacon board interviews, when asked about the term “election” in the Bible, Rodgers stated accurately, “Individuals are elected based on God’s foreknowledge of their faith choices.”

Stay tuned to TBNN for the latest on whether Pastor Rodgers has changed his pro-choice stance.

22 September, 2008

Anglican Church Plans to Apologizes to Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah

Canterbury, England - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowen Williams officially announced today that the Anglican Church would be issuing a posthumous apology on behalf of "all Christians everywhere" to the Biblical character of Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah. As the story goes from Joshua chapter 7, Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah sinned when Israel entered and conquered Jericho by taking some of the "accursed things" that God had "devoted to destruction." When Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah was discovered he, his entire family and all his possessions were stoned and burned.

"We really feel like he got too hard of a punishment," commented Williams. "Who among us hasn't been tempted to steal at one point and time or another. Sure, he deserved to be punished in some way for what he did, but I don't think stoning him and his family was the right thing to do; it was rather extreme in my opinion. Joshua and Israel could have used a bit more discretion."

TBNN was able to obtain a portion of the statement which reads,

"Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah: Several thousand years after your death, the Church of England on behalf of all Christians everywhere owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still, and for stoning and burning you and your whole family. We try to practise the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends for depicting you as a sinner all of these years. We know that the God of the New Testament would not have done such a thing to you."

The full statement is set to be released this Friday.

20 September, 2008

Sanford Church Experiences Stellar Growth

I want to begin by saying how much I truly appreciate the opportunity Dr. Brother Slawson has given me to share my testimony of how Church growth can be generated through specific programs.

It all really started about two years ago. It dawned on me how some Church bodies are small, while others are quite large, and Church size may be alterable with specific programs. I sat and asked myself questions like, “Could this Church body be a lot bigger if I were able to implement some programs on a consistent basis?” and “What exactly can be done to grow this Church body?”

I knew substantial growth was possible because my two sister Churches in town were very large. Also, I knew for a fact that other Church bodies around the country had more than doubled in size that were once smaller than my Church body. One Church body had grown to nine times the average.

I set my mind to research the idea wholeheartedly. How did they do it? A consistent behavior that stuck out was pizza parties. One Church body experienced growth through youth pizza parties once per month. So, what if I had 3 pizza parties a week? If one pizza party a month led to growth, why not a pizza party on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night at my house for a solid year?

I attribute at least 150 lbs of my body’s growth to the pizza nights.

Also from my research, I knew some had experienced growth through prayer breakfasts. I began leading a men’s prayer breakfast at IHOP every other Sunday morning. I attribute another 200 lbs of my body’s growth to men’s prayer breakfast.

The rest of my substantial weight gain is, no doubt, attributable to a combination of all the little things I saw others doing. For example, I joined as many committees as my schedule would hold. Committee membership allowed me to sit for hours and discuss a wide variety of topics, and very little movement was required. The only times I had to move this Church body was when I had to get out of my chair to retrieve my own doughnut holes and pastries. (I got this suggestion from the North Beach Diet, which I highly recommend for growth.)

The last 150 pounds of growth has occurred as I have spent most of my days in bed during the last 6 months. Through email, cell phone, webcam and conference calls, I have been able to virtually correspond with virtually everyone virtually all the time. In other words, once growth momentum was in full force, I was able to keep up with all of my duties while in bed, all without losing any of my growth. I’ve really had to do nothing lately, and I’ve still continued to grow.

Now, after many programs, parties, I am very proud to say that, though I started at a mere 180 lbs, I am now up to 850 pounds. I now have the largest Church body in the state of Louisiana.

Sure, I’m not the largest Church. Some of my Church cousins in other states are much bigger. But, most of those have many more resources. I am not able to afford more expensive programs. Most of my growth has had to come through high fat content food obtained cheaply.

I want to thank TBNN for allowing me to share my story today.


Sanford L. Church

Editor’s Note: Sanford L. Church is a faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church in Madisonville, Louisiana. His two sisters, Claire Church and Cherise Church, currently weigh between 550 and 600 lbs each. His largest cousin, Joel Church, currently lives in Lakewood, Texas, tipping the scales at a startling 1422 lbs.

19 September, 2008

"Jesus" Returns as Lightning

Park City, Alabama
Amateur photographer Malcolm Fhorbes believes he has captured a truly supernatural appearance of Jesus Christ. This photo, taken on the shore overlooking Daphne’s Bayfront Park was snapped at just the right moment. “I was reading Luke’s Gospel in chapter 17 just a few seconds before I took this picture,” says Fhorbes. Even through the lens I could see the resemblance to our Lord. Combine that with the fact I was reading in the Bible about lightning, and well, there you are.”

The remarkable photograph appears to be in the form of a man walking on water. “I only wish he had framed up enough to capture the face!” sighed Malcomb’s pastor, Rita Preston of 1st Unity Church of Park City. “I just know it would have been the sweetest, most accepting and loving, lightning sort of face.”

“Since when did Jesus become bow-legged?” snorted detractor Harold Wallace, a local Park City barber. “Next you know, we’ll be havin’ all the weirdoes comin’ down yeaha lining the beach for another glimpse. We get lightning yeaha right reg’lar. No tellin’ wha folks ah be a tellin’ themselves they been seein’ out thar.”

Malcolm believes otherwise. “This was a divine appearance. I saw it with my own eyes; I know this is real.”

18 September, 2008

Girl with No Birth Record Deemed "Not Really Alive"

Martal, Brazil - Young and playful, little Maria (that's the only name she has) likes to spend her afternoons with her friends catching bugs or just playing hide-and-seek in her small Brazilian village. For her, life is slow, simple and hard. Orphaned almost 6 years ago, she is one of the many poor children of Brazil who live from day to day not knowing where they came from or what the future may hold for them.

At "seven something" little Maria also faces another predicament, one which could ultimately make her an outcast among her own small group of friends. It all started about a year ago when missionaries arrived in her small village of Martal to setup work among the poor and orphans. Life began to instantly improve for many in the village as a new orphanage was built and a clinic was setup to provide basic medical care for people. Maria was instantly taken into the orphanage.

"I liked my new home very much when they brought me to the orphanage," she said. "It was clean and I began to make new friends with other girls like me who had no mother or father."

All seemed to be going well for little Maria until just a few weeks ago when the orphanage began filing records on all of the children. When it came time to process Maria's birth record, none could be found anywhere.

"This presents us with a genuine predicament," said Roger Forth, the missionary who runs the orphanage. "It's very hard for me to believe that she doesn't know when she was born. I think it's obvious that if one is really alive he or she will be able to know the exact moment in which it happened. If little Maria can't produce this information then we have no credible reason to believe she's really alive to begin with."

While some have objected to the stringent requirements, others working with the mission are in firm agreement with Forth's position.

"I think Roger is exactly right on this one. How can you really be alive unless you can go back and remember a time when you weren't alive?" said fellow missionary Parker Gillis. "I can tell you the exact moment I was born. I have my birth certificate at home and it has my birthday clearly written on it, right down to the minute. If ever I doubt that I'm alive I just look at that birth certificate and I'm assured that I really exist."

Until little Maria is able to produce a credible testimony of her exact moment of birth, she has been deemed "not really alive" by the orphanage and thus ineligible to remain there. She is currently residing with an elderly lady in the village until she can find other arrangements.

"I know it must seem cruel," commented Forth. "We're not trying to be mean or anything, but we must reserve our space for those who are truly alive, specifically those who can go back to a time and place and tell us specifically when their birth experience happened. I seriously doubt that anyone without that knowledge is truly a person."

13 September, 2008

Pray Hands-Free Without Ceasing

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08 September, 2008

Woman Petitions to Join Baptist Brotherhood

HENDERSONVILLE, NC - While growing up, Gloria Phillips knew that she was not exactly like the other girls at Harmony Baptist Church. The girls enjoyed their time together in Girls in Action (GA's), focusing on cooking, sewing, and learning about missions. Gloria, on the other hand, wished that she could be with the boys in Royal Ambassadors (RA's). RA's seemed like so much more fun to her since the boys got to hunt, camp, and play kickball.

As she grew older, Gloria realized that she enjoyed spending more time with the boys in youth group than with the girls. She dreaded having to attend Acteens. Now that she is an adult, her least favorite activity of the month is the meeting of the Women's Missionary Union (WMU).

Gloria recently decided that she just couldn't take it any more. That's when she did the unthinkable. She petitioned the church to join the Men's Brotherhood. In Southern Baptist life, the Brotherhood is a gathering of the men of the church to discuss men's issues such as sports, hunting, and fishing. There is also a great deal of eating. Occasionally, spiritual issues even come up. For example, does God care who wins this week's college football game?

Since Gloria is much more interested in Brotherhood-type activities, she asked the Deacon Board if she could join. According to Gloria, "I realize that this is a bit out of the ordinary. However, this is the way God made me. I also know that we are all one in Christ, and that God does not look at us differently. After all, Galatians 3:28 says, '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.' How can the deacons argue with that?

As of the writing of this post, no answer had yet been given to Gloria. TBNN did manage to interview one of the deacons, who wished to remain nameless. He said, "I understand Gloria's wishes, but this is taking things a bit too far. The church has already become far too feminine. As men, we need a place to call our own. Sure, we only meet for breakfast once a month, but we know that we've got that time to look forward to. If a lady, no matter how masculine, comes into the Brotherhood, it will change the whole dynamic. We have to draw the line somewhere."

When asked what she will do if the Deacon Board rejects her request, Gloria lamented, "If that happens, I'll probably have to leave the church. I've been told by some very friendly ladies from work that their Church of Christ is extremely welcoming toward people like me."

06 September, 2008

Episcopalian "Scholar" Discusses Past Failures

Madisonville, LA -- Young Bobby Tines was smaller than all the other boys in his RA class. Most would have considered him frail.

Bobby knew the books of the Bible and in order, at that. But he had to sing the Books of the Bible song in his head before he could find a verse. This worked to his disadvantage in Southern Baptist Bible Drill competitions.

During those painful childhood years, he never found a verse first, much less won any Bible drill competitions. In fact, out of the 20-30 boys in his RA classes from 1977 through 1982, he came in dead last every single year in the Bible drills through his local Southern Baptist Church.

It never really seemed to bother Bobby though. He appeared content to successfully find verses and know the order of books, even though he was always last. It was just the way Bobby usually was in things. He was much the same in most of his classes at school, especially in the subjects of math and reading.

After Bobby grew up, around the turn of the millennium things turned when he found true love and married Norma Jean Wilder. Norma Jean was a devout Episcopalian. Bobby was content to become part of the Hope Episcopalian congregation in Madisonville. He faithfully read the scripture prior to most services. He was glad that the sermons were planned up to a year in advance because he would have time to find the passages beforehand.

Well, it didn’t take long before the long time members of the Hope Episcopalian Congregation began to take notice that Bobby was quite handy with the Bible. He not only seemed to know where most passages were, but also had obviously memorized some of the lines in the vast collection of 66 books.

Once a boy who needed special help to keep up with the other kids, Bobby now was considered a Biblical scholar among his wife’s Episcopalian friends.

Today, Bobby rarely goes a full week without another member of Hope calling him for information about what the Bible says about a topic. "It's really boosted his confidence," said wife Norma Jean. "He changed his hair, started working out, and improved his posture."

Bobby has even had a significant impact on many of the more educated members of Hope. Dr. Jonathan Belgrin, a faithful member since childhood, admitted, “Though I still phone Reverend Pat Welsh-Gadsby when I want to discuss politics, I now go to Bobby for all my Biblical discussions.”

The Reverend Pat Welsh-Gadsby suggested, "Mr. Bobby Tines demonstrates the growth potential offered in an Episcopalian congregation, regardless of your past failures in other denominations."

05 September, 2008

Unpaid Advertisement: Body Stopper Helps You Worship Without "Dancing"

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01 September, 2008

Thomas Kincade Bible Set for Release

Serious Preface: Before today's silliness I would echo my brother's request from yesterday. Please be in prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Gustav. I am particularly concerned as a good 75% of my immediate family live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (including Brother Slawson!) So as most of you are waking up and reading this Monday morning, they are going to be hunkered down. Thanks. Now you can laugh...

Word Publishing is gearing up for its latest release the Thomas Kincade Bible of Light. The Bible features over 400 inspiring paintings by the popular artist intermingled with the NIV version of the Bible.

"This is an exciting new release," said Michael Patterson, chief editor for the project. "We think that this Bible will really inspire people as they read God's Word each day, or each week, or month. It also makes a great conversation piece, so one might could say it is perfect as a tool for sharing the gospel."

The Bible is set to go on sale this Friday at major Christian retailers around the country, and will be available in genuine leather, calfskin or gold leaf. The Bible also comes with a deluxe display case. Prices range from $189.99 for the genuine leather edition to $679.99 for the deluxe gold leaf, Young Pastor's Study Edition with built-in security alarm for the display case.