“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Enroll now in the Canine School of Evangelism

I was taught to “dog” people about their faith. But maybe a ministry with mutts would be more effective to reach others with the message of the gospel. So I am thinking about starting a new seminary with man’s best friends as the instructors and role models for the students. My inspiration for this “hounds-on” approach to ministry training came from an article in American Way Magazine. The story was about dog training programs that have been implemented into prisons across America. The concept is simple yet brilliant. These programs take dogs from overcrowded shelters and place them with prison inmates for training. The animals live with the inmates 24/7 and are trained by them to become adoptable pets or even companion animals. One of the difficulties in training guide and companion dogs is finding dedicated trainers who have enough time to interact with the animals. The prisoner trainers have nothin’ but time. The American Correctional Institute says that idleness is a major cause of violence among inmates.
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – End of the Spear controversy finally reaches NY Times

The New York Times is called by some “the newspaper of record” in the United States. I guess that is fine if you don’t mind waiting a week or two for the paper to catch up with the culture.  This is a regular pattern where the newspaper is days or weeks late on stories that internet sites and blogs have discussed and already moved past. Maybe I can sell internet service to the paper to help them stay current. The Times was again a late arriver to the “controversy” surrounding the movie End of the Spear. The headline in yesterday’s edition misleadingly read, “Christians boycott film with gay actor.” The implication, whether intended or not, was that this was a widespread and organized boycott of the film based on the single issue of a gay actor (Chad Allen) playing the lead role. In paragraph 10 of the story the writer finally writes that “some” evangelicals have boycotted the film. I guess  that qualifier wouldn’t have fit in the headline.
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Research Shows that “Grumpy” Virus Can Be Controlled

Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down… Who knew that salty comedian George Carlin was on the cutting edge of scientific research when he made that observation about ways to stay young. A recent story by Knight Ridder writer Eric Adler in the Kansas City Star reports that a growing body of psychological research is bearing out the power one individual’s mood can have on others. (http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/living/13476128.htm) That’s right, my friends. Grumpy people are contagious! “It is one of the most robust phenomena I have ever seen,” said University of New Hampshire researcher Richard Saavedra. “And it’s all unconscious.” Adler reported that in May, Purdue University psychologists presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. Janice Kelly and Jennifer Spoor took 43 pairs of undergraduates and asked them to complete a task. One was designated the leader, the other the subordinate. The leaders were shown movie clips, this time of the “choice” scene in “Sophie’s
Continue reading...

“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – A Guaranteed Winning Exit Strategy

When I used to visit my family in Kentucky I remember the saying they used when someone thought a little differently. “That boy ain’t right!”, they would note with a smile and shake of the head. That is how I feel today after my “ain’t right” brain somehow linked two widely disparate stories. Story number one was found in The Week Magazine and told about a growing number of multimillionaires who are leaving their money to themselves in the hope they will someday be brought back to life. The Wall Street Journal had originally reported that these very future investors are having themselves cryogenically frozen with the hope that medical advances will allow them to be revived. I don’t know about you but I am really not interested in coming back to life on this planet. Woody Allen’s classic line comes to mind when he said, “I refuse to believe in reincarnation because I don’t want to have to sit through Ice Capades again.” According to the
Continue reading...

“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.
Continue reading...

“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
Continue reading...

“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
Continue reading...