Digging into the Vault: Please Beat Florida…PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not that I actually expect this to happen.  I am a realist, you know.  But just on the off chance…

Here is a nifty little rant that I put up the morning of Florida-Georgia 2007.  I think it might have worked–Georgia actually did beat Florida that year.  Take a gander, people.

Who knows?  A Georgia fan can always hope and dream.

Digging Into the Vault: Joe’s Deep Dark Secret

I joined Facebook a couple of months back.  Since then I have been amazed at how I have had the opportunity to reconnect with people from college, high school, and even elementary school whom I have not seen or heard from in ages.

I have also been amazed at the amount of change that has taken place in the lives of my friends since the time that I last knew them.  Many are now married, some have kids, and some have moved to faraway places.  Some have undergone even more major changes than this, such as changes in religious belief and even changes in sexual orientation.

I have undergone some major changes as well.  One of the most serious changes is that in recent years I have come to terms with certain developmental issues which have been part of my life all along.  Those of you who have already been tracking with me here for some time, feel free to take a pass today; this is not for you.  But for those of you who are just now finding me, whether through Facebook or otherwise, this is for you.  Some of you have already found this without any help from me; thank you for your responses.  As for the rest of you, go ahead and read on.

Those of you who knew me back in high school and elementary school, you probably knew all along that something was weird about me.  At last you will have the opportunity to put a label on it.

Read Joe’s Deep Dark Secret

Digging into the Vault: Happy “Fall Family Festival”?

Today is Halloween, and so I thought it would be appropriate to take a trip into the vault and review a Halloween rant that I wrote a couple of years back.

Believe it or not, there once was a time when Halloween was widely celebrated among evangelicals.  And then, sometime around the late 80s / early 90s, this guy named Mike Warnke showed up claiming to have been a high-ranking Satanist prior to being saved.  He got us all to think that Halloween, which we had previously thought was just a fun and innocent celebration, was instead a monstrously evil thing.

Later on Mike Warnke was exposed as a fraud and vast tracts of his ministry were discredited.  But dead issues, like dead people, never just disappear into nothing.  They always leave behind a rotting corpse or some other sort of decomposing residue.  And in the case of the Mike Warnke thing, the rotting corpse was Halloween.  Never again would our attitude toward it be the same.  We became grossly obsessed with anything having to do with Satanism, witchcraft, and the occult, and the evangelical media fed this obsession like you wouldn’t believe.  Prominent evangelical media figures such as Bob Larson and, to a certain extent, Frank Peretti, made their living filling us up with all sorts of information and exhortation about the evils of Halloween and anything else that could be shown to be even remotely connected with the occult.  And we bought it.  We believed that dressing up our kids as goblins or vampires would turn them into goblins and vampires.  We believed that placing pumpkins on the porch would surely invite all the demonic forces of hell into our homes.  We had done the same things in the past without any sort of issue, but now the wool has been pulled off of our eyes.  Now we see everything clearly like we never did before, and we’ll be damned if we make the mistakes we made in our previous ignorance.

Man, please.

At any rate, here is my Halloween rant:  Happy “Fall Family Festival”?

And if you’re interested in further reading, here is Michael Spencer’s annual Halloween rant over at the Steve Brown Etc. blog.

Digging DEEP Into the Vault: Christians Shouldn’t Judge Gays

Today we are going to dig deep into the vault and reach WAAAAAAAY back to a piece that I wrote for the school paper when I was in college (the first time around).  Just to give you an idea how far back in time we are going–Ray Goof was still the head football coach at Georgia when this was written.

I figured that this piece would be timely right now because we just had Gay Pride weekend down in Midtown this weekend.  A lot of the conversations at lunch after church today had to do with the craziness down there.  There was a fairly good bit of laughing and joking about gays–which we as evangelicals figure is okay because homosexuality is condemned as sinful in the Bible, and we aren’t like that.  So I just quietly smiled and laughed along–and then ran home to my blog to say what I REALLY think.

If I had written this piece today, it would probably be very different.  It would probably be a bare-knuckled rant addressed to fellow evangelicals with a much heavier emphasis on the fact that we need to lay off making fun of gays and relate to them as real people.  It is definitely an interesting experience to see how one’s thinking changes over time.

At any rate, just kick back and enjoy a little bit of vintage writing from way back in the day. Continue reading “Digging DEEP Into the Vault: Christians Shouldn’t Judge Gays”

If College Football Were Like Contract Bridge

(originally written in January 2003)

College football season is just right around the corner. Well, not exactly. The start of the season is still a couple of months away. But that isn’t stopping the sportswriters, pollsters, pundits, and others who make their living by observing the college football scene from cranking into high gear with their speculations on which teams are going to win their conferences, which conference is going to be the strongest, which players are going to have the greatest impact during the coming season, and which team is going to be No. 1.

I have an idea which could clear up a lot of the uncertainty in college football and its never-ending quest for a means by which to determine a true national champion. No longer would we need to worry about the BCS poll, the computer polls, strength of schedule, quality wins, or any of the incessant tweakings to the BCS formula to make it yield a true national champion. Why not make college football like contract bridge?

Contract bridge is played by two teams of two players. Each player gets thirteen cards. On his turn, he plays one card. Whoever played the highest card gets to take all of the cards that were played. This is called a trick. The game continues until all the cards have been played and all the tricks have been taken. Kind of like Spades, but with a twist: Before the game even starts, each player must bid on how many tricks he thinks his team can take. Whoever has the highest bid gets to play first. If his team wins at least the number of tricks that he bid for, then they win. If they come up short, they lose.

Here is what I am proposing. Before the start of the season, each team would bid on how many games they think they can win during the season. Any team that does not bid at least six wins is ineligible for a bowl. Any team that does not get the number of wins that they bid is ineligible for a bowl. A bid of six wins would get you into the Independence Bowl, the Seattle Bowl, the Continental Tire Bowl, etc. A bid of seven wins would get you into the Peach Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, or the Cotton Bowl, but they would give higher priority to a team that bids for eight wins. In order to get into the BCS, you have to bid at least nine. If you bid ten or eleven, then you get bonus points in the BCS poll.

The Bulldog Tooth

(originally written in August 2004)

James Ryle is the pastor of a large charismatic church in Colorado. He became very influential in charismatic circles during the 1990s when he gave several well-known prophecies (well-known in charismatic circles, that is), the most famous of which is the “Beatles Anointing Prophecy.” In this prophecy he claimed that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and revealed to him that the Beatles were anointed by God to revolutionize the music scene in America and around the world. This they did in fact do; there is no argument about that. But “the four lads went AWOL,” squandering their anointing in the pursuit of selfish gain and worldly acclaim. Eventually, God withdrew their anointing. Now (that is, at the time this prophecy was given, which is now several years ago), God is ready to pour out a similar anointing once again. But this time He is going to rely exclusively on Christian musicians.

James Ryle has a buffalo horn (in honor of the Colorado Buffaloes, his alma mater). He claims that God speaks to him directly through it, giving him personal and specific revelation on anything and everything, from current events to hard-to-interpret Biblical passages to Colorado football scores. He made quite a name for himself by predicting the scores of Colorado football games during their national championship run of the early 90’s, when Bill McCartney (now the head of Promise Keepers) was the coach.

Hey! There it is! If I want to be anointed of God, I know what I must do. I must go out and procure the tooth (or possibly the tail) of a bulldog and start using it to predict Georgia football scores. Why not? Head coach Mark Richt is a committed Christian, and he has Georgia poised to contend for the SEC Championship (and possibly the national championship) on a year-in, year-out basis. This could be my ticket to the big time!!!

So there it is. I now have my bulldog tooth ready, and I shall now demonstrate that I am anointed by God to speak prophetic truth to this generation by predicting the scores of Georgia football games in the 2004 season. Continue reading “The Bulldog Tooth”