“Every angel is terrifying.” ― Duino Elegies
My mother was admitted to the hospital with sudden, severe pain in her legs which limited her mobility. There was little that could be done for her except for pain management and intensive physical therapy. She didn’t need acute care but she did need physical therapy and lots of help with her activities. She needed to go to a rehab facility. Unfortunately, those facilities now have COVID and my mom is almost 92. I offered for her to come to my house but our first floor is torn up and that is where she would need to stay. So, at the last minute, we had her return to her elderly congregate facility. The wonderful people who run things are so good that not one elderly resident(it is a large place) has contracted COVID.
It’s a holiday week and getting help has been a bit difficult. However, she is safer there than just about anywhere. 2020 has been one heckuva year.
So, there’s plenty to discuss from the last two posts. I’ve decided we all need a laugh. Todd Wilhelm has a talent for putting together funny videos. He outdid himself this time. It got great play on Twitter.
Do you know who Paula White is? She is quite unusual as is her theology. She is charismatic, into prosperity theology, and has some interesting ideas about demons who rule over other countries. It makes for an interesting combination. You need to know this in order to understand the video.
Now the guy walking around in the background is Paula’s son who is praying for her as she preaches. However, I found it amusing to speculate different reasons for what he is doing. “Looking for the men’s room” or “Is this a TED talk? Take a stab at it, if you’re in the mood.
So have fun and enjoy a really funny video thanks to Todd.
Numero Uno, first, gold
The video is pure comedy gold. I checked Todd Wilhelm’s Twitter account and see a new holy alliance between Paula White and Kenneth Copeland.
Did they meet in the plastic surgeon’s waiting room?
And if so, did Copeland give her any pointers on how to ramp up the shake-down of the pew serfs so that she can also acquire a new business jet?
For many years, it has seemed to me that much of what is called prayer is essentially “outsourcing our own work to God (or, as here, to other supernatural entities).”
It would have been more effective, I think, to take a page out of Nehemiah’s prayer strategy and, after praying beforehand , mobilize human and material resources and go to work to solve the problem timely. PW should have been advising her US adherents to assist with GOTV efforts prior to and on election day. Alien angels coming for the purpose of manipulating election results are likely to get into trouble with ICE, not to mention with the various state elections officials.
Between some veins of Christianity and politics the crazy is out of control.
I learned today that Kenneth Copeland is almost 84 years old. Wow, just wow.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
He’s that young?!? I swear he’s 300 years old and judging by that laugh he’s trying out for the position vacated by Emperor Palpatine.
I always thought that he had died and was preserved through plastination by Gunther von Hagens.
I just don’t know what Voodoo trickery they used to revive him – can’t be Christian, given his vampiric attitude towards the body of Christ.
I personally don’t find the video funny. This was Paula W praying the night of the presidential election for the outcome she desired. I found it scary.
How many (African) angels can dance on a pinhead?
What is scary to me is that she is one of Trump’s “pastors.”
I believe in prayer, and I believe God answers prayer when it is within His will. I don’t believe we can control the universe if we just have enough faith. That would make us God, rather than God being God.
But think about this: my community is made up mostly of people in that particular faith track. When means rather than social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, avoiding crowds, or doing any public health means to battle the coronavirus including vaccines when they arrive, you do deny loudly and forcefully so Satan can hear you that there is no coronavirus no coronavirus no coronavirus. If you get sick you head for the hospital all the while ordering the virus away, ordering Satan to remove his hand from you, proclaiming or confessing only the positive of what you want. “I am healthy I am whole I will rise up.” Until you don’t. And then your family buries you and figures you did not have enough faith, or they did not have enough faith, or somebody somewhere spoke negativity.
Now look at the actions of our president re the virus. See what he has been trying to do? And why he gets so angry when folks discuss covid? See him trying to do the same positive confession over the election?
And scarier yet: see how many Americans have in essence embraced voodoo calling it Christianity? See why they get enraged at the sight of a mask? Why they insist on holding their large loud services indoors no distancing no masks?
And ask yourself this: when they speak against something, or speak their positivity, just who are they praying to anyway?
And it is happening at our local SBC churches as well.
There are so many things that come to mind watching that video, and after reading about “her”….. but,
I have a rule, I only post on the TWW using my real name! What I want to say would be best not associated with it!
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
I saw that! Did you see the thin when he told people to lay their hands on their bald heads and expect hair to grow?
I would like to hear this guy belt out some gospel music – sounds like he has the wherewithal to do so…
(meaning the guy in the video)
Another NAME IT AND CLAIM IT Magick spell.
“Just like The Secreat, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”
I would respond to Samuel Comer and Linda, but I would be unable to make my points without violating this blog’s longstanding policy regarding discussing politics.
You should see when the various Atheist blogs and YouTube channels (like Friendly Atheist and Telltale) cover the World’s Richest Televangelist. Even they describe Reverend Haw Haw’s antics and facial rictus as “DEMONIC” while his congregation orgasms in worship.
P.S. That is the “HAW! HAW! HAW!” laugh sound effect from all those Jack Chick Tracts.
P.P.S. I wonder how much of that facial rictus comes from plastic surgery? They say Liberace had so many facelifts in his career that he could not close his eyes when he slept. (And cosmetic surgery actually makes sense for an entertainer to whom looks are a part of their livelihood.) Or it could be those “Enzyte” Male Enhancement pill commercials from a few years ago (starring Bob the Tetanus Guy).
Sorry did not mean to bring politics per se into the discussion. What I meant was that our theology has repercussions in the real world. I lived for about 14 years very near where Andrew Wommack began his schtick and claimed to raise someone from the dead possibly. As you can imagine that has taken a huge toll on the actual physical health of the people in that area.
And should any head of state embrace that theology, it has huge ramifications. I do know some on the continent of Africa have bought in, and it plays havoc with the missionaries I know trying to teach simple hygiene and disease prevention.
“Abracadabra” = “I Speak and IT IS SO!”
(I was going to include a link to the Ozzy Osborne song “Mister Crowley” but the intro is way too long and the visuals on the videos got too graphic.)
Of course not.
There Can Be Only ONE World’s Richest Televangelist.
Why do I keep thinking of Tatted Todd of Lakeland and his pet angel Emma?
“ANGELS! ANGELS! ANGELS! SHEEKA-BOOM-BAH! BAM!”
No words….Who believes this nutcase stuff ? Comedy central !
( sad in it’s own way though.
*drily* Yes. And all I could think of at that point was “spray-on hair from a can.” In fact, I can’t even get that image out of my head.
I’ve been cane/crutches/walker/wheelchair because of a congenital hip defect my entire life. I’ve had these folks try to pray it out of me, forcibly lay hands on me, and publicly question my faith. The worst encounter I ever had was with a lady in a Costco parking lot, when I was on crutches and pushing a shopping cart. She walked beside the cart while I gimped along and kept saying that Jesus could heal me. She never once offered to help with the groceries.
I love Jesus and I know God can heal, and he often has other purposes in our fragility. I don’t believe in healing on demand or denying reality.
Unfortunately, this is more common than many realize….. such a disgusting way to treat someone…
if one looks at human history, so many “unfortunate situations” have been “prayed over” , and the “unfortunate situation” just got worse…. does that mean all of the “g$dly” people lacked faith?? I could go on and on, but….
There’s been a profound demographic shift for this election. People who traditionally didn’t think their vote mattered came out to vote. This scares the voting blocs (of which evangelical Christianity has been one of the most influential). The table is going to be a lot more crowded and old testament style authoritarianism isn’t going to work.
I like this video, there’s some truth here.
Read this Twitter thread from a COVID ICU nurse that recently went viral:
The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.
“Think of it as Evolution in action.”
— motto of The Darwin Awards
We spent many years in ND. It breaks my heart to know what our little corner of that state is now enduring. I posted for prayer on a forum I USED to frequent. Just a simple pray for the folks in ND just heard on the news they have the highest per capita death rate in the world from covid19. The forum blew up with nasty remarks about people spreading the lie that there is such a disease, that masks help, the whole nine yards.
All while I have a family member working emergency medicine.
For a good alternate take there is an article in the Grand Forks Herald about dismissing the covid deaths with a shoulder shrug.
I live in a state (Missouri) where we have public health directors quitting over death threats to them. One had people following her young children, photographing the kids, then making threats. She quit yesterday.
Our local pastors are pushing church attendance even as we are having a crisis here in MO over rising cases in the rural areas and not enough medical care. We are close to being overwhelmed.
And I bet those same leaders will wonder why when this is over Max and other dones will no longer follow them.
And his hair is as black and thick as Bill Got Hard’s.
Why am I not surprised that she didn’t once offer anything real in this here and now?
And by God’s Grace I’ve done well in life with the disability. And I think the blab it and grab it folks miss how God uses trials to grow us and refine us. If God chose to heal me or if I continue as Wild Walker Woman, currently chasing my 250 students online, I will continue to serve my Lord that I love.
Because that would have been Acting in the Flesh(TM) and she was too SPIRITUAL(TM).
i.e. ALL FAKE NEWS! WHERE WE GO ONE, WE GO ALL!!!!
And how said leaders will be featured as type examples on Atheist websites and podcasts for the next 20 years.
This is pure gold. And this seems as good a time as any to say that I’ve been reading off and on for years, more regularly the past few months. I enjoy reading but don’t normally comment because the thing that is troubling me the most about Evangelicals right now is something I can’t comment about on here. Could any of you kind people direct me to a place where discussion about politics, especially politics passing itself off as religion, is allowed? I’ve already checked out Warren Throckmorton’s blog. It’s fine but not really what I’m looking for… I’m having a genuine faith crisis and am somewhere between No Longer Evangelical and None. I used to think that the behavior of my fellow Christians would never threaten my faith, but alas, what looks like good to them looks like evil to me and I cannot help but question why my understanding of scripture seems to be ass-backwards from other evangelicals.
If this makes it past censorship, thanks, and many many thanks for any suggestions.
They certainly appear to miss how temporal challenges are not always prayed away, from persecution and tverioaus trials right down to Paul’s thorn in the flesh. But then, factoring in such things might not play well in the constructed fever pitches from hirelings and grievous wolves.
Lots of Public Health Directors receiving threats and sometimes complete lack of support or opposition from their respective elected governments. At least my county seems relatively sane though we’ve been warned that the hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed in 3 weeks unless we abide by the now tighter rules (exponential growth can be frighteningly quick). Almost all the churches and other religious gatherings are abiding by the rules (or being even more careful); quite a few with large parking lots have been sites for covid-19 testing and flu shots (e.g., the San Jose Gurdwara). There are a few exceptions, Calvary Chapel San Jose is being pursued by the county for violating the rules ($350,000 in fines and a temporary restraining order so far). North Valley Baptist eventually moved to outdoor only services.
Thank you for this Linn.
I have long believed that women are the stronger of our species, despite what Ware and his fan-boyz prattle on with.
Wade’s blog often includes political discussion. But sometimes the comments section can be a bit brutal. Wade is TWW’s e-pastor. https://www.wadeburleson.org
Ken F (aka Tweed),
I would not recommend Wade’s blog as a destination for people going through a faith crisis.
Among other things, he recently complained about a notorious hit song by publishing every word of the lyrics, including profanity. He also implied that the artist deserved punishment involving a rope and eternity in hell.
I’d recommend exploring the Blogroll here, although I’m not sure how often it is updated.
Two thoughts that may be helpful …
If you are in part interested in the question “is it possible to take the Scriptures seriously but not end up where so many US evangelicals have?”, I think there are many resources out there that may be helpful.
I’ve found NT Wright’s proposals about how we ought to read the New Testament more as “history” than as “source material for systematic theology” (though it is that too; it’s a question of emphasis and balance — and also parsimony; perhaps our theological systems have become too elaborate) to be very helpful.
Wright ends up more or less at the same place as the Church has historically, with some important adjustments. For example, his understanding of substitutionary atonement is significantly different from the historic Protestant view.
I’ve found Wright’s reading of Jesus’ prophetic ministry to be transformative for my own thinking, and while it hasn’t alleviated my disillusionment with the churches, it has preserved my hope that something better than what we are seeing is at least possible.
There’s another thinker that I have found helpful, but he is not for everyone’s taste as he questions some core Evangelical conceptions. Andrew Perriman’s “P.OST” ‘blog on post-evangelical theology is always thought-provoking. He, like Wright, is reading the texts as history, but goes a bit further than Wright in his theory of the meaning of their historical situation and the implications of that for our understanding of what the Scriptures mean to us in our very different historical situation.
I hope that your disillusionment with the churches does not destroy your interest in the Scriptures or in the deeply beautiful (and IMO deeply important) story of Jesus. Some or perhaps many of the churches may be mangling the story, but that’s not the fault of the story itself, or of the story’s Author.
I’m sorry for what you are going through. Although TWW does very much limit political discussion, the people here have a very broad range of religious beliefs and experiences. This is a fairly respectful bunch, I think.
Linn–I appreciate your comments and hope you are doing well. My husband had polio as a child and it left him with some mobility issues. He has figured work arounds and lived pretty much as he pleased despite his disability for over 65 years. Now with covid we do NOT want a serious illness to trigger post polio syndrome so we are isolating. My lungs were damaged with near death bacterial pneumonia a decade ago, so we both have quarantined since mid March. We look forward to getting the vaccine at the soonest possible date, and will still distance and mask until our county numbers drop. (We got a mask mandate a couple of weeks ago and numbers are starting to drop.)
I say all that to say this: not a day has gone by I don’t think since his polio that he hasn’t given it to the Lord for healing if it is God’s will but if not for aid in living a good life. We have prayed for covid19 to just naturally burn itself off and disappear (pandemics have done that at times.)
And so far he still has a bum leg from polio and I still have bum lungs and the world is still coping with covid19.
Sometimes God’s answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is later. But He always answers and His choice is always the right one for humans living in a fallen world.
My daughter is also a teacher and knows how hard virtual schooling is.
Praying for you!
If you’re not checking in on Copeland’s TV channel you are missing out — this stuff is NUTS.
His son-in-law man George Parsons is having a Sunday morning service where he’s showing YouTube clips on vote counting, knocking over tables, prophesying that Trump is winning, playing sound off of their phone into a microphone, reading The Passion Translation (the crazy Bible translation “given” to a Bethel-type), and random yelling and “Tongues.”
And they say they’re not worried….sure, Jan.
Yes. A lot of Wades posts totally trigger me. I don’t go there any more. It in no way helps me spiritually.
This man is a Christian with a different perspective. You may find some resources on his pages.
As a Christian, I find it difficult in this political environment. I have not fit in the US religious environment for some time.
I agree. His site is a mixed bag, with some occasional odd topics, and only a few regular commenters (who more often than not go off on political or conspiracy tangets). However, if one is looking for a Christian site that includes political discussions, it’s worth checking out. I chose to quit engaging with the commenters on that site quite a while ago because the dialogue routinely got too contentious. Maybe that is unavoidable when mixing religion and politics.
I get a similar vibe from Wade’s blog as I do from Calvary Chapel — nothing I can put a finger on and say “AHA!”, but a general feeling that something has gone Wrong.
And though my “vibe detector” is not perfect, I’ve found it to be right often enough to trust it.
In my faith tradition (RCC) there seems to be a pattern that Saints who were known for healing miracles were often chronically ill themselves. Their miracles could heal others but not themselves.
“The Crazy is Strong in this One, Padawan.”
Sounds too weird for me, and I’m a Weirdness Magnet.
When the subject is Weird Preachers, Eighties-vintage Gene Scott was more my speed.
In real life I’ve known more than one wounded healer, not just in the spiritual sense but also in the medical sense. One relative had juvenile diabetes and decided as a young child to go into nursing. Another had a disabling disease and decided to be a doctor; that one practiced for about 50 years.
This goes to the distinction between the medical cure and other aspects of healing, coming to terms with loss. As a bereavement volunteer, I’ve met many widows and bereaved children who help one another. They can’t bring the dead person back to life, but they can share comfort and a hope of adjusting and living well.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
Had forgotten about, Gene Scott! To say the least, his shows were entertaining. I think I remember one that had horses parade in ! Don’t remember where things like angels from Africa, etc.
Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful reply Samuel. You’ve articulated both the problem and yes what I am beginning to suspect might be something of a key to getting past it. Yes, I *am* asking myself if it is possible to take the scriptures seriously and not end up with an American White Evangelical mindset and *do* suspect it may have something to do with emphasis.
For background purposes I converted only 7 years ago in my forties and was converted alone in my living room with a Bible- so the Bible is very important, and my conviction-which I still hold- that it is inspired is also very important. I ended up attending a very small reformed church denomination because of that; my conversion experience was a conviction that I was reading the inspired truth and if taken literally, TULIP seemed to follow.
The trouble with that is that it seems to me that that literal and supposedly harmonized reading, even with allowances for “twin truths,” seems in practice (if I take the actual collective conservative Evangelical mindset as the real logical outcome of doing so) to cause what looks to me like minor points overshadow the overarching message of Christ’s teaching. So yes I’m wondering if somehow it can be a question of emphasis.
I do still believe scripture is inspired and that everything in it is important, yet cannot help but think somehow many Evangelicals, especially in the reformed camp, are missing the forest for the trees. That matters of holiness are more important to them than loving their neighbors, or that they’ve forgotten that their neighbors aren’t just the folks they attend church with. That they seem more interested in passing laws that protect their way of life and make their way easier than ones that help others.
So yes I will check out N.T. Wright. I know of him from watching James White podcasts. By the way, James White is a pretty good example of what I’m talking about with messed up priorities.
Yes I’m aware that this problem isn’t new or different and that many others have struggled with it. Post conversion, Reformed theology was very appealing because it felt like a bulwark against doubt, against gray area, something black and white and certain to hold onto. But that’s looking pretty ugly right now.
And it really isn’t helping that so many people who supposedly share my faith and values are believing obvious lies and outlandish conspiracy theories, think freedom to do as they please is more godly than compassion, or think that losing favored status equals persecution. (shoutout to John MacArthur on all three of those)
Thanks again. Sorry for rambling. I’m not very good at writing anymore.
Gene Scott used to be what you watched in my home when you couldn’t sleep at night. There wasn’t much else on, and he was always good for a laugh.
This is a big thank you to everyone who replied with suggestions. I’ve read them all and am looking into them. Wade Burleson’s blog is next. I may be undergoing a faith crisis but am not easily triggered. I want to confront the uncomfortable stuff.
Excellent. I’m sure you’ll benefit from exploring.
When I first got cable in 1984, Channel 30 on my hookup was a 24-hour Gene Scott channel. (“GIT ON THOSE TELEPHONES!”) I used to keep it on as a default filler, watching what that maniac with all the funny hats was going to do next. He got written into a story arc of some near-future SF fics that were circulating in my local fandom. The guy was just so COLORFUL.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
The guy (Scott) was like a Dago mobster collecting ‘protection’ money* from little shop owners on the streets of Chicago in the good old days.
*and if ya’ didn’t pay-up, your eternal destiny was of course hell.
Headless Unicorn Guy,
I wasn’t yet a Christian when I first encountered Scott, but he was so flamboyant and out there that he was sometimes hard to turn off. Between the hats, the scantily clad women, the cigars, and the fancy End Times charts, he was pretty hard not to watch. I first was acquainted with him in the 70s. I left home in 75, went away to college, then overseas for almost a decade. Every time i came home, he was still on!
I’ve found Stephen McAlpine’s blog really interesting. As an Australian pastor, he has a bit more of an outsider’s view on American politics, which I find helpful.
I just spent about an hour there and agree. Thanks!
As spiritual warfare as a form of American civic religion for conservative whites goes there’s a book called Passing Orders: Demonology and Sovereignty in American Spiritual Warfare. It looks like a must-read on viewing spiritual warfare trends in the U.S. in socio-political terms.
I’ve been vacationing from blogging for a while, reading through about forty books on the topics of diabology, exorcism, spiritual warfare, The Watchers tradition as part of the reception history of Genesis 6:1-4 interpretation, and recent scholarship on divination as political speech in ancient near eastern empires. I’m only about fifteen books through the planned list.
There’s been an explosion of scholarly work in Enochic literature in the last forty years and some discussion and debate on territorial spirits.
Esther Acolatse has written a couple of good books on the topic of spiritual warfare from an African pastoral perspective and she’s highlighted a pattern that may have been shaken up a bit since 45 got elected–where mainline/liberal theologians tend to draw on Wink’s outworking of Stringfellow to define powers and principalities in geopolitical terms (i.e. the powers of capitalism, etc.) whereas conservative evangelical/charismatic groups have tended to define spiritual warfare almost entirely in terms of individual and clan-based spiritual purity codes (whether in African contexts or to some degree even in the United States). Strategic/territorial spiritual warfare stuff has been part of post-Latter Rain Pentecostal/charismatic groups for generations (even though I thought that stuff was heretical in my Assemblies of God days) so it’s curious to see this stuff get so “mainstream” with White’s connection to the Trump administration.
A necessarily brief but interesting survey of the last 100 years of evangelical, fundamentalist and charismatic Episcopalian approaches to exorcism and deliverance ministry came out a few years ago by James M. Collins. Collins restricted himself to white Anglo-American churches and mentioned that a comparable survey of African American approaches to spiritual warfare merited a monograph but he wasn’t the scholar to write about that. Still, may be of interest to readers/commenters interested in these topics.
One of the biggest parts of what I’m afraid is often the scam of spiritual warfare talk is to say “nobody talks about this stuff because it’s too controversial”, as though the idea that Christians could potentially be demonized wasn’t proposed by John Livingstone Nevius back in the 1890s. Even Merrill Unger (of DTS) sniped in a 1977 book he wrote that the market of books about spiritual warfare was glutted and it’s only gotten more glutted in the last forty years.