“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – AOL Blasphemous???? Nope, just annoying.

I had to drop America Online years ago for spiritual reasons. Every time I would get “kicked off line” at the worst possible moment by AOL I would have a very difficult time applying Ephesians 5:4. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o /> I dabbled with instant messaging to communicate with a college-aged son. But my exposure to America Online has been from a distance in recent years. Today I found a story. about my old nemesis. Here is some of that report about a new advertising slogan that some are finding offensive. “America Online is now acting like God – using what some consider to be His very name in a marketing pitch for e-mail, voice chat, video chat, instant messaging, text messaging and other forms of communication. AIM’s new slogan is “I AM.” A customer interviewed at the site was not happy with the marketing approach.
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“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Jesus Goes on Trial in Italy

You may have heard the news that a judge in Viterbo, Italy has been given the unenviable task of ruling whether Jesus actually existed. That would be a great example for the Southwest Airlines commercial campaign.  Need to get away? Opening arguments began Friday in the case of an Italian priest accused by an atheist of breaking two Italian laws.  The Reverend Enrico Righi is the defendant in a case filed by an old schoolmate named Luigi Cascioli (the next class reunion should be fun). Cascioli filed a criminal complaint in 2002 after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that “Jesus did indeed exist, and that he had been born to a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.” Cascioli claims Righi broke two Italian laws by making this claim. The laws alledgedly broken were the “Abuse of popular belief” or fraudulently deceiving people, and “impersonation” or gaining by attributing a false name to someone. “This complaint does not wish to contest the freedom
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“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Note to self…Don’t Tick off Oprah!

I would not be surprised to turn on the Simpsons TV show this week and see Bart writing on the blackboard… I will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to OprahI will not lie to Oprah Whew!  Was I the only guy sweating yesterday as I watched discredited author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces) get taken to the woodshed by the Queen of Daytime? Comedians call some laughter the “laugh of recognition.” I would call my response yesterday the “squirm of recognition.” Any guy who has ever been caught in a lie knows the helpless feeling that Frey experienced. We understood that deer in the headlight stare, the stammering, and the defeated body language. The only thing I could not relate to was having to experience this on national television with a studio audience cheering
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“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – The Main Passion of Kanye West is Pride

I have been on the periphery of fame and fortune for most of  my career. My real job as a television sports director has allowed me to observe incredibly wealthy people up close. It seems that the deadly duo of money and celebrity affects nearly everyone they touch and generally not positively. I have often told my sons that the children of rich and famous parents are usually maladjusted. And that is why I have taken the burden of mediocrity on my career. I did it for them. It is hard to imagine what celebrities go through in their lives. A life without privacy has to be difficult. The craving for celebrities in America has become a cottage industry with mulitple magazines and shows following every inane tidbit of their lives. This week Rolling Stone magazine went for shock value by picturing rapper Kanye West on the cover as a Christ-like figure with a crown of thorns on his head. Fake blood trickles down his face as he takes
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Confessions of a Bad Christian…We Won! Or did we????

Several friends forwarded the congratulatory email they received from American Family Association President Donald E.Wildmon. The missives were probably to taunt me because I disagreed with the whole campaign.  “Because of your efforts, NBC cancels Book of Daniel”, the message read, “The sponsors dropped the program. NBC then decided it didn’t want to continue the fight.”                                 yay That is the most excitement I can generate over that news. My take on the show was it was a cultural open door to engage unchurched people in real discussions about Christianity and particularly Jesus. The hip and not very helpful Jesus of the show was a great starting point for some discussions if have had over the past month with unsuspecting viewers. Now the watercooler talk turns to how Christians want to censor television and have no sense of humor. If you have an apologetic defense for that please let me know. I don’t. So we won the battle. My question is simple. Was this
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“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – A Gentle Proposal to deal with Chad Allen, End of the Spear, Every Tribe Entertainment and One Another

I have been reading with my usual mix of amusement, sadness, and disbelief the growing debate over the movie End of the Spear. Some in the Christian community have decided to grab the pitchforks, light the torches, and storm the gates of Every Tribe Entertainment, the production company behind the movie. In case you have been a cloistered monk until today I will give you a bit of background. Here is the mission statement from the company’s website. To create quality entertainment for a broad audience that inspires hope through truth. Every Tribe Entertainment grew out of the hopes and dreams of film-makers and individuals who desire to make a difference in our world and in our culture. Frustrated with the lack of quality story content in films today, and driven to provide more than just entertainment in our films, Every Tribe was founded to bring to life stories of courage and strength of the human spirit. Courage, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness, faith and love.
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“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Critics on both sides put new movie on the End of the Spear

H.L.Mencken wrote that criticism is prejudice made plausible. I have a suspicion that recent reviews of  End of the Spear have revealed as much about some critics prejudice as they have about their views of the movie. And it is very possible that it is my prejudice that makes me suspicious. The movie opened Friday to criticism on both sides of the cultural divide. Many in the Christian community were critical of the “soft” presentation of the gospel message. Many secular critics were appalled at the overtly Christian message. Hmmmmm. Others in the Christian community were apoplectic over the casting choices in the movie. We will address that tomorrow. Today lets take a look at the critical reviews of the movie End of the Spear. I have said before that if I had heard a preacher tell me that hell would be eternity spent with movie critics I would have hit the altar much sooner. These people really seem to be unhappy campers. The following
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