Friday, February 23, 2007

Soap & Tattoos

I've seen a lot of silliness and foolish things in churches and from Christians in my time. A couple of years ago I wrote about a church that was offering communion for pets. (http://www.seriousfaith.com/daily-devotionals-bible-teaching-detail.asp?teachingnumber=413)

I thought that was about the craziest I'd ever hear about until I heard of churches up in Canada and down in Florida where the people themselves were howling, barking, roaring and clucking like pets, complete with fleas and the ability to sense a coming earthquake.

Recently I flipped on one the "Christian" channelS, and saw yet another preacher promising instant miracles if only you would call him and ask (they don't even have to solicit a donation, that's a given). The instant miracles really didn't catch my attention (already been done a thousand times) but the strange yellow square object in his hand did.

I listened for a few more minutes to find out that this was a "miracle producing olive oil bar of soap" (yep, you read that right) and if only you would let him send you your very own bar to wash with, you would be covered in miracle producing power.

That was followed by the usual preaching crusade with a never ending line of people who wanted to come up on stage and testify about how the miracle working olive oil bar had healed them of breast cancer, removed their back pain, brought them financial blessing and turned the Detroit Lions into a real live professional football team. (the last one really didn't happen!)

Of course the most talked about and obvious benefit was its miraculous ability to bring prosperity and abundance to the user. If the ridiculous and dangerous aspects of this kind of chicanery needs to be explained (and evidently it does to all the miracle-bar-of-soap-power-handkerchief-bottle-of-healing-oil-prayer-cloth-touch-your-hand-to-my-hand-on-the-TV-screen Christians out there), then we are truly in a sad state of affairs in today's church.

I'd love to say that that's the wackiest thing I've seen recently, but alas, it's not. Our local news station ran a story about a church in our area whose pastor runs a tattoo shop out of the church. This pastor went on to explain that getting a tattoo was a spiritual experience and brought you closer to God (I'm assuming he wasn't talking about getting an infection and dying). Never mind that this "Pastor" (aka, the spiritually mature shepherd leaders of God's assembly of Believers) looked about 20 something years old and was adorned in such a manner as to proudly display that his extreme worldliness had no affect on his Christian testimony.

This was reported with a straight face as if ALL CLAIMS to be a church or a pastor or a religion or a Christian must be treated with equal seriousness.

I'm not sure if God laughs, cries or rolls his eyes at this kind of nonsense. Lord help us!

11 comments:

G said...

Let me be the first to say "Nice piece, Brent".

Take care, G.

Greg said...

I want to order some of the soap. Do you take personal checks? :)

Welcome to this corner of cyberspace! I'll link you to my blog ... it's a great community of people spread out over the world.

Stoogelover (Long Beach)

B0Z said...

"Worldliness" is the best way to describe tatoos.

Kim<> said...

Good introductory piece. I've often regretted how the press gleefully shows the "fringe" as representing the whole of Christendom. But, someone who offers a valid response to a situation, or displays sincere faith, those stories or either not shown or dismissed with a back wave of the hand.

Do you think that some of those people offering things such as the soap really do believe what they're saying? Could it be that they have been duped, as well? I would rather believe that than that they are thieves and liars in the Name of Christ. Sad, either way.

Thanks for your commentary.

Blessings, Kim<><

Mike said...

False Prophets just seem to be becoming more and more bold. They seem to try to outdo one another as they go for the buck. Their love of money drives all of this. They are unregenerate charlatans whom we must flee from. I do wonder at the discernment of those flocking to those whose only intent is cleaning out their bank accounts.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

john dobbs said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Brent. Now just go ahead and convert over to WordPress...you'll do it eventually after becomign frustrated with this blogger stuff ... did it for a long time!

Anyhow... I'll link you on my blogpage as well.

Favi said...

Brent, you have to understand that up here in Canada, we got us some serious problems. First, it's hard to make a big church out of ice blocks. Second, because they are so confining, our barking dogs are quick to spread fleas to us (we use them for choir back-up since they can howl like wolves). Third, it ain't for "the love of money" that we'll try anything; it's because we discovered that baptising our huskies in olive oil smothers the fleas. Fourth, after they shake themselves off, I found that after being sprayed with their olive oil, it washed off my Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval tattoos from my hand and forehead. So God even blesses us pathetic Canadians while we trudge over the frozen tundra. We don't sport any olive trees here, but I could sell you a pint of whale blubber oil which will prevent everything from zits to tornados. And it comes with a limited life-time warrantee too. All the best - Favi

Anonymous said...

Sad to see I can't even hang onto my faith. I keep yelling out to Jesus as I walk down the street, come on Jesus send her back, that's not fair! Even with all my feeble shortcomings Jesus saw fit to work an actual real miracle healing of a hand wound from my left wrist bone to my left little finger knuckle. It was a serious scratch and normally would have taken 5-6 weeks to heal as I am a diabetic. All I did was leave it in Jesus hands at midnight and two hours later I awoke to find it totally missing. Sad that I don't trust Jesus to be my redeemer at this level more often. Broken hearted for two days and on the third day I am findng my ungrateful self saying... but... but... what about the rest of me! LOL short lived appreciation, even miracles are not the solution. It is humbling to be in the hands of the Living GOD.

So the scar is not going to be there as the wound was removed. It will always be a serious reminder for me that I can not dismiss nor forget.

How can I relate to charlatans? It is sad to see people bilking others for donations in Jesus and GOD's name for personal gain and disregard for giving His name Glory and no concern for dishonering his name. Sad reminder of the world we live in.

Miracles are for people, not animals, to heal a person so they never lose faith, and can follow Jesus and GOD, sew the wheat all the days of their lives.

Keep up the postings. I always enjoy reading

Jeff Vincelette Valdez Alaska under the 7 stars of the big dipper full of the Holy Spirit. LOL
We all wish!

Chuck (Michigan) said...

In your recent series about "True Evidence of Salvation", you springboarded off Matthew 7. How unfortunate for staunch bible-believing Christians that so many will be saying "Lord...Lord" and will never know God. Equally sad is how many people follow the games and gimmics of these so-called Spirit led "leaders" in trying to find God. Thanks for being open, honest and, in my opinion, right on target!

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Welcome to the blog world.

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

Anonymous said...

Brent, these examples are exactly why you can't afford to recognize the "baptism" of many groups!