Sunday, November 20

Not from

Dumbfounded doves
Our spring-like 75 degree days have confused the mourning doves. They're starting to nest on the back patio again. However, we're suppose to plummet into the mid-60's by Friday.

Senior moment
Frank H Smith was flying his home-built aircraft at 8,500 feet when he lost power Saturday afternoon. Looking around, he saw that traffic on a stretch of US 1, near New Hill, North Carolina, was light enough that he could put it down without endangering anyone. And he did just that.

This is really a pretty amazing story in and of itself. However, the thing that really amazes me about it is that Frank is 87-years-old. I'm surprised that the FAA doesn't have some kind of regulation prohibiting people that old from flying. But the fact that he was sharp enough to find that spot and execute an emergency landing suggests that at least in his case there isn't any diminished capacity. I'd fly with Frank.

CS Lewis Evensong service
An Anglican church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will hold an Evensong service on the anniversary of the death of C S Lewis, November 22. Excerpts from his writings will be read during the traditional prayer service. If I were within driving range that would be an interesting evening.

Charismatic craziness
J Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma magazine is frustrated -- to say the least. And in recent days he has taken to lambasting the inconsistencies in his own Charismatic movement. For example:

How would you feel if your pastor announced from the pulpit that he had uncovered a "new revelation" in the Bible? His discovery: That a church leader can have more than one wife.

Hopefully, you and everyone in the building would run, not walk, out of that church and never come back until the pastor had been replaced. But I am afraid too many of us gullible charismatics might stay in the pews -- and eventually give the guy a standing ovation plus a $10,000 love offering...

We've been bewitched. What matters to us today are the carnal things. We want flash, bang and the wow factor. If a person can shout loud enough and get everyone to swoon at the altar, we don't care how he or she lives at home. Morality is irrelevant.

Grady sees this as a new problem. Really, though, Pentecostalism, in all its flavors, has struggled with this whole scenario for the past 100 years (e.g. the whole Aimee Semple McPherson fiascos). Any movement which sees emotional intense experience as defining and normative is by nature subject to emotional manipulation.

I'm not saying that there is no room for intense emotion in Christianity -- not at all. Nor am I even suggesting that all Pentecostals have hidden immorality issues. But Pentecostalism is the bi-polarism of the church in the sense that predictably you are either totally up or totally down. If you're up all of your energy goes into staying there. And if you're down the focus is on getting back up. In that climate other issues of balance (such as integrity, catholicity, and theological consistency) too easily slide to the back burner -- no time or energy left for them. It seems to be an inherent struggle within the movement. Grady shouldn't have any problem finding fodder for his columns.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A couple things:
1. Being bipolar, I always cringe whenever I see a reference to something as being somehow bipolar or schizophrenic because most people have no idea what they are talking about. I do appreciate your usage of it here, however.

BTW: Schizophrenic doesn't mean more than one personality. I keep meaning to write Philip Yancey for using it as such in What's So Amazing About Grace as a reference point.

End of sermonette 1.

I'm glad that someone at Charisma is saying these things, but...
1. It bugs me to no end when people mention events but don't name names. It's not because I'm nosey (OK that's part of it), but if the situation is so egregious and affecting so many people, then why not name names.

2. I would be even more impressed with the article if he took to task the magazine in which his column appears. Charisma has long fueled the desire for the flash and bang.

Just take a look at the advertisements.