September 27, 2006

The Story of My Life, So Far

OK, maybe not quite, but I relate to WAY too much of this song:

New Weird Al-ness is out, and I've already bought two songs off the CD (thanks, iTunes and Blingo!!).

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 10:13 AM | Comments (101) | Add Comment
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September 18, 2006

Church And State -- Gotta Keep 'Em Separated

(title apologies to Apologetix)

The IRS is demanding that All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA turn over all their documents and emails so that they can determine whether the church violated any campaign laws and should lose their tax exempt status. The church is notoriously liberal, and is very active in social causes, so government policy is often mentioned in sermons.

From this Sunday's response to the IRS:

... we would argue that this entire case has been an intrusion, in fact an attack upon this Church’s first amendment rights to the exercise of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
...
Our faith mandates that always stopping short of endorsing or opposing political candidates, the church can neither be silent nor indifferent when there are public policies causing detriment to the least of these.

I'm sure that I wouldn't fit in at All Saints. I'm sure that I disagree with the folks there on matters of politics, morality, and theology. But I have one thing to say after reading the statement from yesterday.

Amen.

Our faith requires us to speak out. Our faith demands that we are not silent. And that is what the rest of the world refuses to hear, or understand. Faith is not an option to us -- it's an integral part of who we are. We can't not speak out and be consistent with our faith.

And so, while I would most likely stand opposed to All Saints and rector Ed Bacon, I want to let them know publicly that I am 100% behind them in this. This is an attack on freedom of religious expression that should alarm people of all faiths everywhere. We must speak out on this, or we will all lose.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:22 PM | Comments (394) | Add Comment
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September 11, 2006

One More Reason to Hate the UN

THIS is absolutely stupid. It's a lousy idea, and it needs to be fought. The fact that the American representatives seem to be backing this thing is embarrassing to me. The UN proves that it is completely irrelevant. It's time (past time, actually) for the US to withdraw and kick them out of New York.

In my own humble opinion, of course.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 06:03 PM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
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September 09, 2006

Revelation's Seven Churches Part 1: Ephesus

This is a rough transcript of a message first delivered on September 6, 2006 at Fairlawn Baptist Church.

Revelation 2:1-7, ESV
2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

more...

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Veggies on NBC

So Veggie Tales has come to NBC, with a few ... edits. And I've been wondering how I felt about those changes. From Phil Vischer's blog:

At first we were told everything was 'okay' except the Bible verse at the end. Frankly, that news really surprised me, because, heck, we're talking about NBC here. God on Saturday morning? It didn't seem likely. Since we've started actually producing the episodes, though, NBC has gotten a little more restrictive. (I think they actually sat down and started watching a few VeggieTales videos. "Hey wait - these are religious.") So it's gotten trickier, and we're having to do a little more editing. More than I'm comfortable with? Frankly, yes. But I had already committed to helping Big Idea with this, and I really didn't want to leave them in a tight spot. Plus, the new stuff we're coming up with is really fun, and at least some new kids will meet Bob and Larry on NBC, and maybe wander into Wal-Mart and buy a video with all the God still in. So it could be better, but overall it's not a total loss. The new stuff is really cute. You'll like it.
Sounds to me like NBC didn't do their research. They figured that Classic Media would provide them some nice, safe, kid-friendly stuff to air, and Classic decided to promote their hottest new product. Then NBC got cold feet.

We watched this morning -- the Veggies were on at 9 eastern, and 3-2-1 Penguins was on at 10. Would I have liked to have seen more Bible, more of the "God stuff" that NBC wanted cut? Absolutely. But I think we're losing focus here. Watch the rest of what passes for kids TV these days. The Veggies have an opportunity to offer a ray of light, a more positive alternative to what's being shown already. There isn't enough decent programming for kids on TV, and complaining that they had to edit the Veggies is really a tad counterproductive. When Big Idea was bought by Classic, there were fears that the religious nature of the shows would be compromised. Well, the next video they're doing is about Gideon, and they're promoting the one after that about Moses, so I really think that we over-reacted there, and I think we are now as well. Let's be happy that NBC is airing some decent programming.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:50 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 04, 2006

Quick Note

Just to let you know that I'm still around, and that I WILL be continuing to blog here. Between work and the new church, I haven't had a lot of time, but I'm working on a schedule that will include time for both blogging and podcasting.

For those who miss it (and I know there are a few of you, judging from the emails I've gotten), This Week in Church History will be returning as a semi-regular feature, and the Mark study will be continuing. I may be moving the Mark study to another blog, depending on whether that works out or not -- I've got some ideas for the Fairlawn website that may include a church blog, I just have to explore options for hosting, etc.

This Wednesday at Fairlawn I'm starting a seven part series on the letters to the churches in Revelation. I'll be posting some sort of transcript of those here as well -- I say 'some sort' because I don't preach from a manuscript, even though I often write out a lot more than just a simple outline. What I post will be close to what I preach, but won't contain any rabbit trails that I decide to run down as I preach.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:58 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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