If Church History Were Reported By Upworthy

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The website Upworthy is notorious for it’s gushing, over the top, massively politically correct headlines. So what would it look like it Upworthy reported on key events in church history? Probably something like this.

  • Saul used to be a Christian killer. Then he saw something that totally changed his mind. #OpenMinded
  • The Pope tried to censor Martin Luther. You’re never going to believe what Luther did next! #StandUpToBullying
  • The Council Of Nicea met to discuss the identity of Christ. They had no idea what they were in for! #Shocked
  • St. Augustine used to sleep around and objectify women. Then THIS happened! #Hope #TearsOfJoy #YesAllWomen
  • The Muslims thought they were in control of the Holy Land. What the Pope did next will shock you! #CrusadeAgainstBullies
  • John and Charles Wesley THOUGHT they were Christians. But these inspiring people changed their minds. #MoravianRoleModels #YesThis
  • Jonathan Edwards preached what he thought was an ordinary sermon. Then things got REALLY crazy. #SinnersInTheHandsOfAnAngryGod #ButWeAllHaveOurOwnViewOfGod #WhyDidWeRunThisStory?
  • John Knox was told to stay out of Scotland. But he had other ideas. #DoTheRightThing
  • John Bunyan was put in prison to keep him from preaching. What he did in prison will make you rethink everything. #Progress
  • William Wilberforce saw a problem he didn’t like. So he did something about it. #BeTheChange #PayItForward
  • They told Charles Spurgeon that he was too young. They didn’t expect this. #YouthMovement

BREAKING: Blogger Persuades Thousands Through His Polarizing Statements and Massive Oversimplification

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(SALEM, OR) – Thomas Henson, known more commonly as “Bloggin’ Tommy”, has once again proven himself to be a reliable and persuasive orator. His most recent blog post, entitled “Thoughts and Stuff”, a 5,000 word Tour-de-Force covering subjects ranging from the legalization of marijuana to the pervasive faults of the evangelical church to the utter stupidity of conservative theology, was warmly received by Thomas’ mom, as well as all the people who agree with him.

When asked to comment on the reasons for his success, Henson said, “I really think it boils down to my ability to make incredibly polarizing statements and to drastically oversimplify issues. For example, in my most recent post, I said, ‘The modern church has completely failed Jesus.’ That sentence dropped like a bombshell on people, and I really think it won a lot of people over to my side. It’s like, I managed to sum up the entire problem in one piercing sentence. Not everybody can do what I do.”

Marcus Hellman, a longtime friend of Henson, said, “Tommy has this amazing ability to boil complex issues down to the lowest common denominator. For example, he recently said, ‘Anyone who believes in a six-day creation account is a total moron with absolutely no understanding of science.’ In that one sentence he completely nailed it! I mean, how could you possibly disagree with a statement like that? Tommy has the ability to help people see things from his side. That’s why so many people love him. He just puts the facts right in your face.”

When asked about his future plans, Henson said, “I plan on taking down Congress, Calvinism, the gold standard, the religious right, the religious left, the religious middle, and the inerrancy of Scripture. I’ve got a big year ahead of me!” Henson also managed that he plans on getting an apartment with some of his buddies.

The Olympics Would Be More Awesome If…

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I wrote this during the last Winter Olympics. In honor of the upcoming Olympics I thought I would post it again and add some new ideas.

I’m all for the Olympics. I think it’s great that every two years, the world joins together to celebrate what matters most: Visa.

But, in all honesty, I think the Olympics could be improved a bit. Here are just a few suggestions:

Incorporate an aging classic rock band into the opening ceremony. I watched the opening ceremonies for a grand total of five minutes, and then changed the channel out of sheer boredom. I mean, seriously, you can only watch athletes waving at the crowd for so long before you want to punch someone in the face. I probably wouldn’t have changed the channel if Bon Jovi had been setting a guitar on fire. The Olympics could learn from the Super Bowl here. Bruno Mars put on quite a show at the most recent Super Bowl. Maybe he’s available for a follow up performance.

Impose a minimum weight requirement of 250 pounds for all male figure skaters. Male figure skaters aren’t big guys, even if you include the 4o pounds of sequins that they wear. Most of them weigh approximately 110 pounds. Thus, it isn’t quite as difficult for them to pull off a triple axle. It would be much more interesting to see a 250 pound guy named ‘Larry’ try the same move. Especially if Larry was wearing short jean shorts and a greasy white t-shirt.

Encourage More “Cross-Event” Athletes. Remember when Hershel Walker, the running back for the Eagles, was part of the US Bobsled team? That was awesome. I would love to see more athletes following in Walker’s footsteps. For example, I would love to see Shaq on the ski jump team, or Kobe Bryant on the curling team, or David Ortiz as a figure skater.

Add rifles into events other than the biathlon. I’m not sure who decided that skiing and shooting a rifle would be a good idea, but it seems like it might work in other events too. Speed skating seems like a sport ready for rifles. So does figure skating, for that matter. Alternatively, the judges for figure skating could be equipped with rifles. If a performance wasn’t up to par the skater would be shot. The possibilities really are endless.

Play the ‘Chariots of Fire’ theme song before every event. I guarantee that every world record would be shattered if this simple practice were adopted.

Have Morgan Freeman to do all commentary. Morgan Freeman can make a documentary on dung beetles sound fascinating. I would watch curling if Morgan Freeman was calling the game.

If anyone on the International Olympic Committee happens to read this, please feel free to contact me for more suggestions.

What else would you add to this list?

BREAKING: Small Church In Illinois Finally Gets It Right For Jesus

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(Amboy, ILL) - After 2,000 years, a church has finally gotten it right for Jesus.

“We’re really proud of our accomplisment,” said Pastor Fred Riddle, the longtime pastor of First Church of God in Amboy, Illinois. “Over the years a lot of churches have tried to get it right for Jesus, so we’re feeling really proud that we actually managed to get it right. I like to think the apostles would be proud”

When asked about what specific things his church has gotten “right”, he replied, “Oh you know, pretty much everything. Worship, evangelism, end-times theology, the spiritual gifts. There are no worship wars going on in our church, because we pretty much got the whole worship thing nailed.”

Long time member Beth Francis said, “I really respect people who go to other churches. I mean, I know those other churches are trying their best. Yeah, they mess up a lot of things, but at least they’re trying. Of course, I wouldn’t let my kids go to another church. But I certainly do respect those other churches for trying so hard!”

Pastor Riddle said, “How do I know we’ve gotten it all right? It’s just one of those things you know in your gut. When I compare our church to all the other churches I get a good feeling in my G.I. tract. That’s how I know we’re on the right track. I’m kind of surprised more people haven’t been coming to our church to see all the great things we’ve got going on here.”

The church currently boasts a membership of 42 adults and children.

Christian Athlete Sees His Vertical Increase By 40 Inches After He Memorizes Philippians 4:13

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(The Holy Herald) – Terrence Wilkins was just an average kid with average athletic skills. He is five feet, four inches tall, and used to sit the bench for his Junior Varsity basketball team. Until last Thursday, that is.

“Yeah, it was kind of crazy. I came home from practice on Wednesday, and I was really discouraged. I had done really poorly in practice, and coach told me that if something didn’t change, he was going to have to cut me from the team. That’s when I remembered that Jeremy Lin [point guard for the Houston Rockets] is always talking about Philippians 4:13. So I decided then and there that I was going to memorize that verse and that I was going to believe it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ALL THINGS, yo!” Terrence rolls up his sleeve to show that he has written “ALL THINGS” on his arm in magic marker.

His coach, Rob Thomas (not the guy from Matchbox 20), describes what happened the next day at practice. “I still can hardly believe it myself. You’ve got to understand, Terrence is a small kid. He probably weighs 110 pounds, and up until Thursday he couldn’t even touch the bottom of the backboard. On Thursday Terrence walked into the gym, grabbed a basketball, and proceeded to do a 360, through the legs, off the backboard, slam dunk. His head was literally twelve inches above the rim. My jaw practically hit the ground.”

“Yeah man, it was sick!” says Wilkins. “As soon as I started believing Philippians 4:13, my vertical increased by at least forty inches. I can now dunk from the foul line. I also hit twelve three pointers in a row in practice. People were like, ‘What’s up with you dude?’ I just pointed to the sky so they would know I was giving glory to God.”

Terrence is exploring playing AAU ball this summer.

 

How Bono Got His Name

I recently found out that U2 is made up of “Bono”, “The Edge”, Larry Mullen Jr. (drums), and Adam Clayton (bass). Of course I knew the names of “Bono” and “The Edge”, but I didn’t know the names of the drummer or bass player. When I heard their names I thought, What kinda names are those? Larry and Adam? Where were they when the nicknames were being handed out?

Then I discovered that Bono’s real name is Paul Hewson and The Edge’s real name is David Evans.

How the heck did this happen? How did one half of the band end up with cool nicknames while the other half of the band retained their accountant-like names? Here’s how I imagine it went down (imagine all this in an Irish accent).

PAUL: Alright boys, we recently changed our name from “The Hype” to “U2″. Me and David have been thinking that we should all change our names as well. You know, to sound more like a rock band.

LARRY: Change our names? What for? I’m quite fond of the name “Larry”, thank you very much. It was the name me mum and da’ gave me when I was born on New Years Day. I don’t think me mum would be too happy if I went prancing about with a new name. And when I go down to the pub on a cold October night all me mates say, “Hey Larry! Come on and get a drink!”

DAVID: Yeah mate, but the name Larry is so…I dunno, boring. It’s not exactly rock ‘n roll material, you know? It doesn’t make you want to shake, rattle, and roll.

ADAM: Okay, so you want to change your bloody names. But what have you got in mind? Are ya thinkin’ you’d like to go by Sarajevo and Joshua, or something cheeky like that?

PAUL: Well, I still haven’t exactly found what I’m looking for, but I’m thinking of calling meself “Bono”.

LARRY: Bono? Bono!?! Where’d ya come up with that dandy? Did you hear it on the telly? If you ask me it sounds like some kind of street with no name. Take a left on Bono street and stay straight on the highway. You’re kidding me, right mate?

DAVID: I kinda like “Bono”. It sounds like an atomic bomb or something like that. It might not be the sweetest thing, but it definitely has a ring to it.

ADAM: I’ll tell you what it sounds like: it sounds bad.

DAVID: It don’t sound bad. In fact, I will follow Paul’s example. I think I’m going to start going by the name “The Edge”.

ADAM: Sweet beautiful day! Where did you come up one? It sounds ridiculous. The Edge? Come on mate, I’ve seen you move in mysterious ways before but this takes the cake.

DAVID: It just popped into my head one day. It’s stuck in my head and I can’t get out of it. And I quite like it. The Edge! Makes you think of a bloody rattling saber, doesn’t it?

LARRY: It makes me feel numb, that’s what it does. Like the dentist jammed one of his giant needles right into me heart. I haven’t felt this bad since that bloody Sunday when I flipped me car on the highway.

PAUL: Fellas, David and I are going to do this with or without you. So what do you say?

LARRY: You can call yourself Bono or Ghandi or the Angel of Harlem for all I care. I’m sticking with Larry.

ADAM: I’m with Larry. I’ve got my pride, and I’m not changing my name.

How To Make Me Feel Insecure In 10 Seconds Flat

Generally speaking I’m pretty secure in who I am. Contrary to the angsty U2 song, I pretty much have found what I’m looking for. I’m married and have kids and drive a Honda mini-van and use phrases like, “Is this poop on our bed?” I’ve pretty much given up on the notion of trying to be cool, and I’m okay with that. I’m open about the fact that I’m a dweebish nerd who enjoys video games and science fiction. I tend to make a lot of offhand Star Wars references.

In my younger days I was obssessed with making a good impression on everyone. I wanted to wear the cool clothes (Starter jacket), the cool shoes (Reebok Pumps then Doc Martens), and listen to the cool music (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.) Now I’m more of a sweatpants or gym shorts guy. I’m okay with looking like a person who has given up on life (as Jerry Seinfeld would say).

But there is one way to make me feel insecure very fast: start talking about cars.

My dad passed on a lot of great knowledge to me. I can identify Beatles songs by their opening riffs. I know the difference between a Stratocaster guitar and a Telecaster. I insist upon drinking good coffee. But car knowledge does not run in my family.

I know little to nothing about cars. When I’m around a group of guys who know a lot about cars I feel like a twelve year old kid trying to hang with fifteen year olds. They use strange terms and speak in a series of grunts and clicks and subtle nods. They pop open the hoods of their cars and stare intently at the engine. Then the conversation starts. It typically goes like this:

GUY #1: “Last night I bored out the double defibrillator and popped the pistonite radiator. Thing was all gunked up so I had to strip er’ down to the crankshaft. The crankshaft was bent so I had to sight it in at 100 yards.”

GUY #2: “Is that a 458 or a 329?”

GUY# 1: “Originally it was a 372 but she didn’t have enough pickup on the hills so I added in a capacitor and four tesla coils. I also opened up the muffler port and installed a roundhouse shifter. Now she roars on the straightaways.”

ME: “So, uhhh, what sort of wiper fluid does this bad boy take?”

GUY #2: “I’m restoring an old Pontiac Trans Am. The modulator was totally shot and the bubble point was misaligned. I’ve got a buddy whose going to help me replace the old modulator with one he pulled out of an old Cessna airplane. He thinks we can zero point energy the flush switch.”

ME: “Yeah, I’ve got a buddy who beat Call of Duty on like, the hardest mode. Talk about stressful.”

GUY #1: “Shoot, you shoulda asked me first. My old T-Bird has double down picker upper that easily could’ve replaced your modulator. You’d have to up the metachlorien count on the double down but that wouldn’t be a problem if you used the right exhaust fluid. I’ve got a buddy who has a lot of extra exhaust fluid. Exhaust fluid ain’t cheap you know.”

GUY #2: “Yeah but wouldn’t that cause the sump breaker to overheat? The last time I did that I sprained the reactor spring in my headlights. The last thing I can afford is a sprained reactor spring.”

ME: “Yeah that could be a problem.”

GUY #1: “Heck no! If you align the pickup sticks with the square burner you’ll only get a little bleed out. You know what they say: ‘Bleed the pickup stick until it burns.'”

ME: “Yep. And don’t forget about the brakelight fluid.”

The longer the conversation progresses the more uncomfortable and insecure and little kiddish I feel. I feel like a foreigner trying to follow a complicated conversation in a foreign language. I feel like I’m back in junior high school. Like I’m a punk trying to fit in with all the cool kids.

Will I ever be comfortable talking about cars? Probably not. But if you ever need to know the difference between Tatooine, Endor, and Hoth, I’m your man.

+photo by dok1