Friday, May 30, 2008

Thoughts for a Friday Afternoon

Doug Giles is the Very Antithesis of the stereotype pastor. I discovered him over at where he has a weekly column. Pastor Doug is embarking on a series of thoughts entitled "The Detergent Church".


I was being interviewed on talk radio a couple of weeks ago when the "talent" turned the discussion to my faith and my thoughts on the state of the Church in America. I'm sitting there thinking, "You invited me on your show to talk about school violence and student stupidity, and now we're talking about Jesus? Okay, whatever. God is one of my favorite topics, and as long as I get to plug my latest book, A Time to Clash, 757 times in the next 15 minutes, I'm good."

So, I informed my host that my faith was stonkin' and in my humble-yet acerbic-prophetic opinion I thought a good chunk of the American church was melting like a little Twinkie under the hot sun of assertive secularism.

The Story Continues...

Friday, May 23, 2008

C'mon America, This is just Pathetic

I don't typically quote the Washington Post in this Blog. but here's an interesting little turdlette of news from page A6:

To Date in the 2008 Primarypalloza, the vote count falls thusly:

On Tuesday Evening, 97.5 Million votes were cast in the American Idol finale.

We love to piss and moan about the state of affairs, and wring our hands lamenting that the country seems to be going to hades in a haversack. Yet we can't be bothered to get up, get out and cast our votes.

In a Democratic Republic, our vote is our voice. If we don't vote, we've no one but ourselves to blame for the state of things.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where the Heck is Suburbia Majora?

I've been asked on some occasions just where the heck is this Suburbia Majora you claim to reside in. Apparently, I seem to be the only person in the kingdom of Blogspot who lives there. OK, I confess... It's a tongue in cheek thing.

Looking down at our Big Blue Marble from space at night, one's attention is grabbed by a scar of light that cuts across the eastern coast of North America. This light source runs from Boston, MA to Richmond, VA and tells the viewer that they are clearly viewing a sort of Megalopolis. This light represents six major U.S. cities, scads of minor cities and all of the connecting arteries. Deep in the indiscernible darkness of all this light lies Suburbia Majora.

Suburbia Majora seems to be a pan geographic web consisting of cul du sacs, planned communities, draconian home owner associations, nail salons, youth soccer leagues, soul numbing traffic, and Chinese takeout joints. In Suburbia Majora, localities seem to exist only for the purpose of tax levies. Outside of that, there is no trustworthy means of determining your precise location. Every Bloom strip mall has the requisite video store, dry cleaner, pharmacy, and Chinese takeout. Why for the love of all that's holy, you could be in Falmouth or Celebrate Virginia. For that matter, you could be in New Castle or Newtown Square. Maybe though, the most troubling aspect of Suburbia Majora is that it is a land of "petty kings" and there sealed castles.

I grew up in Coatesville Pennsylvania when it was still a vibrant city of promise. Day and night, the smokestacks belched out smoke that became a haze in the evenings. Sounds like the mill whistle and the thunder of tapped steel was white noise. For all of this, there were row homes and doubles, all of them having front porches. from May through September, these front porches became a hub of life as neighbors swapped stories, indulged in gossip, told jokes, and watched the neighborhood children play. You knew your neighbors, and they knew you. "Warts and all", there was community.

This is not so in Suburbia Majora. Here in this hermit kingdom parents rise early, perhaps as early as 3:30 AM. The garage door goes up and the family goes their way. Dad is off to sit in traffic or load up into the van pool. Mom drops Ashley and Justin off at the before-school caregiver. Then she, in-turn, sloughs off into the traffic. The dance is repeated in the evenings until finally, the garage door shuts and the king, his queen and their progeny are tucked safely into their castle.

NEXT: The problem with all this (Stay tuned)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Statement from the Archbishop of Myanmar

The Archbishop Myanmar (Burma) has released a statement as to where his country is in the aftermath of the cyclone. The entire statement can be read here.

Here are some Highlights...

At the time of writing, the official death toll from Cyclone Nargis stands at 78,000, with over 56,000 people still missing. Approximately 1 million people are reported by the Myanmar Government to be homeless. In Yangon, even after 14 days, many parts remain without electricity supply. Those who are able have resorted to generators; those who cannot have to rely on candlelight in the night. While most major roads have been cleared, debris and detritus have yet to be completely removed. The work is tedious and labour-intensive. Without electricity supply, piped water supply has been disrupted. Telecommunications have also yet to be fully restored.


Once more comprehensive reports have been received, the Relief Committee will identify what specific assistance is needed and the items which may be provided to the Church of the Province of Myanmar. Immediately we have already identified the need to cleanse whatever water supply is available. As it is now the rainy season, canvas sheets are important. Also, there is a need for trauma counsellors to work with the survivors of this tragedy. We hope you will work with us on plans and options for medium-term resettlement and rehabilitation efforts, even as we address the short-term concerns for survivors.

Our Prayers continue.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I think I answered my own question...

On my last post, I mused over whether the response of the Myanmar Junta was driven by stupidity or schmutz-infested souls. After further review of their conduct, I'm convinced that its a case of abject evil, pure and simple.
This is a case that truly cries out for intercession on behalf of the citizens of Burma, and imprecatory prayer that the Almighty would smash the jaws of the Junta.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Myanmar's ruling Junta: Abject stupidity or abject evil?

Once more, any doubts I may have had concerning the existence of a personal devil and the objective reality of evil has been wiped away by the week's events in the besieged country of Burma.

On Saturday, Cyclone Nargis slammed onto the Burmese coast shredding buildings and rice fields with 120 MPH plus winds. It left the Irrawaddy River Delta in a state of near total devastation. Upwards of 50,000 souls perished and millions are now at risk due to a lack of potable water, food or substantive aid. It should be noted that Al Gore was quick to add to atmospheric greenhouse gases by attributing Nargis to global warming.

This event differed from the 2004 Tsunami in the fact that where the Tsunami offered only moments of warning, Cyclones can be accurately tracked and their landfalls forecasted with relative accuracy. This wasn't Galveston, September 1900, this was Southeast Asia, May 2006. The ultimate insult lay in the fact that the Indian Government warned the Myanmar Junta 48 hours before Nargis's impending landfall.

I really don't spend any time using the seat to sling jeremiads at third world tin-pot despots, I make a loud exception for the ruling cabal holding Burma hostage....

Gentlemen, Hell holds exquisite torment for those who lead unknowing captives to violent destruction. If you knew of the impending devastation held by Cyclone Nargis and failed to warn those you suppose to govern, shame on you!! Fall on your faces and wail before the Almighty that He might forgive your murders. Repent that He might show His mercy.

Keep those Burmese survivors in your prayers. Pray that they be delivered from the darkness, pray that they may bask in the Light of Christ, and pray that they be delivered from their present distress.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday Night at the Catbird Seat

Paul was sucinct in his appraisal of love. After he gives us a full spectrum view of just what love is, he tells us what he (and we by extension) are without love. Our orthodoxy may be beyond question. Our theology may be spot on and our knowledge of the Liturgy may be first rate. Why, we may even be totally conversant in the 39 Articles.

All of this said, if we lack Love, we're of no effect. We're mere windbags who do little more than contribute to the greenhouse gases.