Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Peanut Butter Salvation

Folio Weekly, a Northeast Florida news and opinion magazine, has an excellent article on the downright pure nuttiness (ha!) that has infected some of the local megachurches.

Peanut Butter Salvation: Why a Southside megachurch thinks that goldfish swallowing and toe-licking will lead the next generation to God.
(link is to a PDF)

Some interesting quotes from the article:
Creaming the underarms of one of his youth leaders with
peanut butter was only one of Pastor Turner’s “challenges” at
the Deerfield Boulevard campus on Sept. 9. He
also liquefied a Happy Meal in a blender and challenged
four volunteers to chug it. And he tossed
raw pigs’ knuckles and chicken feet into a vat of
milk and selected two female volunteers to take
turns bobbing in it until one, then the other, surfaced
with a chicken foot in her teeth.
I guess it shouldn't shock me. I grew up hearing about people handling snakes. What's a raw pigs foot got that a snake doesn't? Er...maybe some parasites I guess.

This is how they are attracting teens to church. By staging "Fear Factor" like shows. What teen wouldn't want to see that? But where does this segue into Jesus? What lesson is being taught?

At least one parent wasn't impressed:
“It’s inappropriate anywhere, but that it’s
happening in a church is just horrible,” she
says. “What would you think if that was happening
in a home?”
The mother suggests that the act between
a minor and an adult in a private home
would seem not only inappropriate, but perverse
— and possibly illegal. But she says Pastor
Wyatt, 37, and other church leaders didn’t
concede there was anything wrong with what
they’d done. The woman decided not to allow
her son to attend the church again.
Yay! He was saved! (from that church).

In my opinion, this is what happens when inexperienced, uneducated people are put in charge of the lives of teens without any proper thought or supervision. Unfortunately, the story is worse when they are left with the supposedly experienced and educated...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Local Church Turns to Rationality for Swine Flu Prevention

I thought this was a pleasant surprise given the flu quackery from like likes of Fluff-Po:

Church Preaches Flu Prevention
Talking To Congregation About Staying Healthy

POSTED: Sunday, September 27, 2009

BRUNSWICK, Ga -- The congregation at First Jordan Grove Baptist Church studied more than just the Bible on Sunday. They also heard advice on how to stay healthy during flu season.

Pastor Ken Adkins said some members of his congregation have contracted the H1N1 virus and he wanted to make sure church members -- especially children and the elderly -- know how to protect themselves from getting sick.

“There is a lot of hugging, kissing, and handshaking going on in churches before, during and after church and Ibelieve people must begin to be more careful when it comes to this illness," Adkins said. "A church should be a place of empowerment."

A nurse was on hand for Swine Flu Sunday to give advice like washing your hands often and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze.

Church members were also given bottles of hand sanitizer during the service.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Boy Makes Me Proud

My son is now 10 years old and just started 5th grade. Aside from driving me crazy like any child should, he sometimes provokes good intellectual discussions that make me smile because it seems like at least somewhere along the line I did something right as a parent.

The other morning we were on the way to school and somehow got on the subject of the different types of gods people worship. I'm not sure how the conversation started but we talked about how when people didn't understand how things worked they attributed them to a god. So there were many gods: water, sky, thunder, moon, sun, etc.

I said something like "People wondered what that great warm ball of light was that rose every morning in the east. They thought it was a god and perhaps that worshiped it for fear that it wouldn't come up the next morning."

And my son responded: "You would think they would test that out and not worship it one day just to see."

Ah, logic. He makes me proud.

The conversation continued. He said that once people were able to go into outer space they knew God wasn't in the sky. I told him that some cultures believe God is everywhere and in everything, they are pantheists. He liked that idea, he thought it made more sense than trying to put God into one thing or another. We also talked about how the Christian god started out as something of a mountain god or sky god and evolved into an all knowing, all seeing, omnipotent type of god. At this point he got bored (he is 10 after all) and we changed subjects to something about school and homework and how his teacher is mean... :-)