The Disney Bible

**FROM THE XIAN SATIRIST**

As many know, I’m a big fan of hashtag games. The other day we played on of my favorites: #PutADisneyCharacterInABibleStory.

Then I had an idea to compile some of the best of them and create THE DISNEY BIBLE!

Enjoy!

Genesis

eva

Pocahontas

101-dalmatians

kaa

prince_charming

Exodus

sebastian

anna

Numbers

Eeyore

Joshua

Judges

ursula

tangled-rapunzel

bambi

Eeyore

Winnie the pooh

robinhood

Ruth

Little-Mermaid

1 Kings

Jafar

Wall-e

2 Kings

Baloo

1 Chronicles

Proverbs

Jonah

Matthew

Mark

Alice

pinocchio

Luke

tink

John

Lumière

Acts of the Apostles

Buzz_Lightyear

bambi

Captain-Jack

1 Thessalonians

Revelation

beast

Maleficent

There were a whole bunch of good ones, so go check out the hashtag.

And share this with your friends so they can see the Disney Gospel, too! 😉

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Using Kids as Pawns in Theological Battle

pawn1

The title sucks, I know. It’s long and dry – not the kind of click-bait social media craves and gets from Upworthy – but it’s what I want to talk about.

Every once in a while you’ll find someone online who has a special thing for criticizing a single person. It’s not always bad or negative. Sometimes the critic is going after an unscrupulous leader who seems to be untouchable. So the critic comes against the leader time and again in an effort to show people the truth. On Twitter you can see people do this against Fundamental Baptist leaders. I’ve had an occasional Tweet or dozen about Mark Driscoll under #DriscollSchoolofEthics

But in most of the cases I’ve seen, those of us who try to call attention to the dealings of people in power talk about the people themselves.

We don’t use their kids to attack them.

Unfortunately, we’ve just seen this very thing happen.

JD Hall has a special fixation on bringing to light the errors and misdeeds of Ergun Caner. I’m not an expert on the matter. I don’t personally know either man. Caner certainly seems suspect in some of his claims. From an outsider’s perspective, though, it seems Mr. Hall’s fixation goes beyond revealing Mr. Caner’s behavior – Hall is determined to ruin Caner.

Then yesterday it took an terrible turn.

When called on pulling Caner’s son into the fray, Hall defended himself with:

The problem as I see it is that Hall wasn’t calling out poor behavior in a young man for the sake of rebuking the young man or correcting his behavior. The only reason Hall for bringing a minor into the picture was as a launching pad to further his argument against Ergun Caner.

In a blog post defending himself, Hall writes:

Furthermore, there was no “attack.” There was no “going after.” Much of the vitriol was in response to the characterization of my tweet as an “attack” or “going after” a “child.” Again, consult the Twitter feed. There was no such thing. I pointed out public error – error that Caner himself should have pointed out to his son a long, long time ago.

Yet I doubt that Hall points out public error in all young men who do stupid things on social media. Rather, these remarks were directed towards the man he is intent on bringing down. The specificity of the error pointed out speak to the truth – that Hall is utilizing the actions of a minor as a springboard to further his attack on the father.

Hall claims 1 Timothy 3:4-5 as biblical grounds for using the son to attack the father:

4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (ESV)

But Paul doesn’t really go into great detail about what this kind of parenting looks like or how to handle good, godly men and women who have children who behave poorly. No matter what we do as parents, children will ultimately walk their own path. Too often I have seen this very passage used to batter Christian parents.

It is poor justification for bringing the teen into the mess. The astounding immorality he refers to simply isn’t. The boy’s Twitter feed might have been scrubbed, but from what I see it is not astounding immorality. Hall is making mountains of molehills.

Don’t get me wrong – this is not a defense of Ergun Caner – this is a critique of JD Hall’s methods.

This should not have happened.

What do you think?

Why Disney’s Frozen Will Destroy Your Soul!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme.

Still…the message being sent out by the main song isn’t a great message.

You know the song – “Let It Go.”

If you’re a female under the age of 12 you’ve got the whole thing memorized the way school children use to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance.

As an adult you may not have it memorized but if you have an internet connection you’ve at least HEARD of the song.

Here, have a listen:

I guess my real problem is just with one single stanza:

It’s time to see what I can do,
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free

This is a horrible message to be sending to people!

I’m a big believer in Xian Liberty. That is to say, there are many aspects of human behavior the Bible doesn’t address that fall under personal conscious and freedom. At the same time we cannot escape the fact that there IS right and wrong. God doesn’t say, “Anything goes, guys – just be good people and you’re in!”

Even the New Testament, with all of Paul’s “freedom from the law” talk, still contains sin lists and standards of acceptable and unacceptable behavior for people of faith.

Now we have a generation of young people belting out, “No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free!”

We forget that no right, no wrong, and no rules merely leads to anarchy and chaos. Then the strong dominate and the weak die off. It’s a horrible system when you apply it to all of humanity.

In the end, no, I don’t think Frozen will actually destroy your soul. But I do get concerned about the ideals that pop culture is putting into the heads of young people.

So I choose to use the lyrics as an entry point for conversation with my kids. Let’s talk about right and wrong and rules. I’ll use Frozen like Paul uses the Statue to the Unknown God in Acts 17. Perhaps I’ll be able to get through to my kids the kind of life God desires them to live.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch Frozen with my daughter for the 10th time 😐

In the meantime, have a laugh with these other bits poking fun at Frozen…

Xian Movies Suck

So today I came across the Facebook page and trailer for a new Xian movie – David and Goliath.

It’s horrible.

Of course, the producers are bemoaning the fact that Hollywood rejected the movie because it contains too much God.

Phooey.

Hogwash.

What a load of crap.

The trailer shows one of the worst movies EVER MADE.

Bad acting. Bad casting. Bad cinematography. Bad writing. Bad EVERYTHING! No wonder Hollywood doesn’t want to touch it.

I don’t want to touch it. I don’t want it to be remotely associated with my own faith.

Let be honest. All Xian movies suck.

Once upon a time people of faith put out quality material in the artistic world. Now we settle for cheap knock-offs….

Truly, I cringe every time I hear about a new Xian movie being produced. The faithful rally and proclaim, “Let’s show the world that we can make quality entertainment, too, but without all that nasty worldly stuff! Let’s go support this film!”

The problem is that we can’t make quality entertainment. Not really. We end up coming up with cheesy and trite art that doesn’t really MOVE anyone. Sure, the faithful will love it because they’re supposed to. There’s nothing else out there that presents our particular worldview, so it’s this bunk or nothing. Every time a new one comes out I hope and pray that it will be good. Not just a heartwarming, family-friendly film, but GOOD cinema. Hasn’t happened yet.

–  Left Behind (any of them)

Facing the Giants

Fireproof

Courageous

One Night With the Queen

The Book of Daniel

Son of God

None of these would be what I would call compelling art. I wouldn’t call them art at all.

I don’t want to hear, “This is a great Xian movie.” That’s a backhanded compliment. Why can’t we simply make good movies?

I know, I know. It’s tough to be a Xian in a business like Hollywood. Even Kevin Sorbo complains about how being a Xian prevents him from getting roles. That’s funny, ‘cause I thought it was his acting that did that.

I long for the day when Xians can lead the forefront in the arts. We’ve become so focused on the content – making sure the message supports conservative Xian values, that we’ve lost sight of the artistry.

It wasn’t always this way. People of faith used to produce quality art. Whether it be C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in D, we used to care about the quality of art.

Now we get bad movies and an endless supply of Amish romance novels.

Barf.

Will someone please step up? Are there any artists out there who can say, I’m a person of faith and I’m not going to settle for putting out crap.”?

That’s the person I want to make the next Xian movie.

Dear Oprah, You Make Me Want to Barf


That may be a little extreme. I don’t actually feel a gag reflex to puke. But that’s the emotion (and it’s a REALLY strong emotion) I feel reading about your upcoming tour “The Life You Want.”

It’s not that I have a problem with empowering people. I think it’s a good thing to help motivate people to be the best they can be. Even the Apostle Paul (he wrote bunch of stuff in the Bible) once wrote:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

Here’s the difference between a your empowerment and what Paul is talking about: you want people to get better to live a better life for THEIR glory. You even say, “Take your glory and run!” Um…what? Paul wants people to get better and live a changed life for CHRIST’S glory.

You are ME-CENTERED.

Xianity is CHRIST-CENTERED.

This tour is just another in a long line of scams on humanity. It plays to our instinctual drive to be successful. But success isn’t the goal of humanity. And, contrary to what you, Joel Osteen, and others teach, success is NOT possible for everyone.

The Bible (that’s the book that Xians from era to era and culture to culture agree is the revelation of God to humanity) makes it quite clear that sometimes bad things will happen even to the best of people.

Jesus (he’s the ONE the Christian faith recognizes as God-incarnate, the Messiah and Savior of humanity) said:

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

It’s not about “The Life You Want.” The Bible notes:

Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

There’s so much more than living your best life now (that sounds so familiar – it would make a catchy book title). Our best life now means nothing because this life ends. What really matters is living life now with eternal focus. That means we take the focus off of us and put in on Christ and his kingdom.

It saddens me that many Xians will be sucked in to your scheme. Many will be fooled into thinking that you have the ticket to a happy and fulfilling life. Your pseudo-spirituality will sucker a lot of shallow people who don’t realize that Xian faith is exclusive to Jesus; that life will have ups and downs; that good and faithful people will sometimes live hard and crappy lives and die broke.

Yeah, you make me want to barf.

So until I’m blue in the face I’m going to tell Xians that this is hogwash. My hope is that there are enough of us willing to spread the message that your message stinks.

Sincerely,

The Xian Satirist

American Jesus Madness – 2014 Bracket Analysis

Okay – here’s the deal. Zack Hunt is once again doing his American Jesus Madness Bracket, pitting pop-cultural Xianity against itself to determine a Champion for the year. If you haven’t filled out a bracket (or have no idea what I’m talking about) you REALLY need to check it out: American Jesus Madness.

Just like March Madness Brackets we’ll begin with the Round of 32. Here’s my expert analysis on the match-ups and who is favored to win.

Round of 32

Diogo Mordalo (Son of God) vs. Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings)

No contest here. Putting a (controversial) new movie Jesus up against a classic is a no brainer. With all the hullabaloo coming from Evangelical circles about the missing content of the Son of God and the “New Age-y Roma Downey, I don’t think this movie will get much traction. Advantage: Jeffrey Hunter.

Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth) vs. Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ)

This is another no brainer. No liberal Jesus movie will ever win in the Xian American culture. The Right railed against The Last Temptation of Christ when it came out and will quickly shut it down in this match up. Advantage: Robert Powell.

Brian Deacon (Jesus, 1979) vs. Ted Neely (Jesus Christ Superstar)

Similar to the previous match-up, a left-leaning Jesus musical has no shot in this round. Additionally, conservatives who know nothing about either movie will most likely pull for the Jesus film – the man playing Christ is named Deacon, for crying out loud! It’s an unfair advantage, to be sure, but it is what it is. Advantage: Brian Deacon.

Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) vs. Jeremy Sisto (Jesus, 1999)

Putting the sissified Jesus from the 1999 film up against Caviezel’s Christ in the Mel Gibson blood bath is another easy call. And with Caviezel you must include the Catholic vote, which makes this math-up a blood bath all its own. Advantage: Jim Caviezel.

Christians’ Old Love for Duck Dynasty vs. Christians’ New Love for Matthew McConaughey

Xians have come out of the woodwork with their love and support for McConaughey because of his declaration of thanks to God at the Academy Awards. The newfound love will ultimately be short-lived, however. Xian culture is used to hearing such declarations from award show winners (what makes McConaughey different is that he’s white. The usual winner thanking God is not, so to see a white man do it – well, he must be genuine. Right?), and he’ll soon be forgotten. The Duck Dynasty love, however, has proven to be enduring. The call is close AT THE MOMENT but ultimately will swing away from Hollywood. Advantage: Old Love for Duck Dynasty.

Mark Driscoll vs. Integrity

We have another easy call in the Round of 32. Driscoll has shown repeatedly just over the last 12 months that he can go toe-to-toe with integrity and come out unscathed. While one would seem to want Integrity to win, if history teaches us anything it is that Driscoll will give a real beat-down. Advantage: Mark Driscoll.

Rachel Held Evans vs. Every Calvinist Dude on the Internet

This one’s gonna be a nail-biter. RHE is a favorite among the younger generations and the disenfranchised. Every Calvinist Dude on the Internet is quite scrappy – a born fighter. Still, one can only take so much of “I’m chosen” and “Did you see my beard?” Advantage: Rachel Held Evans.

Greg Boyd vs. Assault Rifle Jesus

Honest show of hands: Who in their right minds would pick anyone over Christ packing heat? C’mon – it’s Jesus…with a gun. This pushes all the right buttons of the Right, and when they unify they can be something else. Advantage: Assault Rifle Jesus.

Mark Sandlin vs. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

The founder of The Christian Left vs. a (seemingly) certifiable loon. It’s gonna be a fight to the finish, but guys like The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse just never really go away. You might knock ‘em down but you can’t kill ‘em. It’s like Apollo Creed trying to take down Rocky. The guy just never seems to quit. Advantage: Third Eagle of the Apocalypse.

Nicolas Cage’s Left Behind vs. Kirk Cameron’s Left Behind

Two movies. One plot. 14 years apart. While Cameron launched to Evangelical fame with his Left Behind, two words will tip the scale: Nic Cage. The man does.not.stop. Admit it – no matter how bad a Cage film is you’re still most likely gonna see it. Cage is the total package. He’s done films for adults that you’d NEVER let your kid see but he’s also done the family friendly National Treasure films (which is required viewing in Xian households). And remember, Cage has been to hell and back in multiple films. He’s the living incarnation of the Apostles’ Creed (he descended in to hell…). Advantage: Nicolas Cage’s Left Behind.

Gay Wedding Cake vs. Christian “Persecution”

No contest. Gay Wedding Cakes make great attention-grabbing headlines, but Christian “Persecution” is the perpetual motion machine science could never invent. Any small disagreement can re-launch the “Persecution” train, making it a behemoth in the ring. Advantage: Christian “Persecution”.

Pope Francis vs. Every Pope Ever

Frankie is showing himself to be a real contender. While Every Pope Ever carries a lot of clout (Catholics and Church Tradition, huh?), the current Holy Father is really catching on with the younger generations of Christians who have been looking for a leader to move the faith into a new century. The only question is, “Does he have staying power?” Still… Advantage: Pope Francis.

Stephanie Drury & Matthew Paul Turner vs. Christian Culture

Drury and Turner really are the Dynamic Duo when it comes to calling Christian Culture out on the mat. Even so, Christian Culture has shown itself to be a resilient beast, able to single handedly support chicken fast food chains and indie Christian films that no one with any artistic sensitivity should want to watch. This will be a fun bout to watch, but ultimately the religious Christian Culture will overpower dissenters. I mean, the religious culture did manage to crucify Christ himself…. Advantage: Christian Culture.

Real Life Steven Furtick vs. Coloring Book Steven Furtick

This match-up is gonna be the one to watch. It’s so big because Real Life Steven Furtick seems just the opposite: he’s LARGER THAN LIFE! He’s so large he managed to do something no other pastor has done. He’s turned himself into Coloring Book Steven Furtick. This is clearly Superman battling Bizarro. His difficulty is going to lie in the fact that Coloring Book Steven Furtick is the incarnation of the larger than life persona of Real Life Steven. That’s hard to kill. In fact, it can be reproduced over, and over, and over, and…well, you get it. Advantage: Coloring Book Steven Furtick.

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Tattoos vs. Albert Mohler’s Suits

This one is quick and painless. Albert’s suits look sharp, but they come off. The permanency of Nadia’s tats reveals her commitment and that X-factor that mere suits could never convey. Advantage: Nadia Bolz-Weber

Ken Ham vs. Reality

Ken Ham talks a good game…if you’re looking to hear the same religious work-around Xians have been throwing at science for decades. Sooner or later reality is gonna come back and bite Ham in the butt. Advantage: Reality.

If you made it all the way to the end, congratulations! Obviously the expert analysis is going to get shorter with each progressive round. In my next post I’ll take a look at the Sweet 16.

Until then…

The Disturbing Truth About Polygamy

Are you going to watch the season premier of “My Five Wives” on TLC?

That was the question I was asked the other day. To be honest, I had never even heard of the show. I had heard of “Sister Wives” – the Mormon family with one husband, four wives, and a troop of kids. It seems that four wives wasn’t chaotic enough for TLC – they had to up their game and bring in a family with five.

While I didn’t watch the opening of the show, it did launch a rather interesting discussion about the Bible and polygamy.

Here’s the tough truth – there is no biblical mandate against having multiple wives. The verse that most Christians use against polygamy is where the Apostle Paul instructs that leaders should be husbands of one wife.

On the surface this seems to be a clear indicator of the Christian view of polygamy. Except that polygamy wasn’t rampant in the time and area Paul was writing. It doesn’t make sense that he would be addressing a problem that wasn’t really a problem. There is some merit to the argument that Paul is referring to divorce/remarriage rather than polygamy (but that’s a discussion for another post). Suffice to say, the Bible never comes out and says polygamy is sin.

But TXS, wouldn’t it be considered sinning if you’re having sex outside the bonds of marriage?

The biblical standard for sexual fidelity means within marriage, yes. But it’s not outside marriage if you’re having sex with one of the women you’re married to.

Interestingly, in the OT, polygamy was not about getting more nookie but about preserving the clan/family line and protecting women. With no male child a family line might die out. Multiple wives made possible the preservation of the family line. As for protecting women, in the ancient world there was no possibility for social advancement for women. If you didn’t get married you had a good chance of being destitute. Polygamy allowed for women to be taken into a family and cared for when they might not have been okay otherwise.

Several characters in OT stories have multiple wives. They are never condemned. But here’s the thing – it never ends well and always causes drama and grief. To my knowledge, every character we’re told about that is involved in polygamous families has some serious issues to contend with.

Some have accused me of letting culture set the tone for what is and what is not appropriate. And to some degree, yes! Culture does play a ROLE in determining right and wrong. What “good” Christians in America might consider jail-bait is considered prime marriage and child-bearing material in other cultures. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was likely a young teen when she became pregnant. We can’t use our culture to critique another culture when the Bible is silent on the issue.

In the end I wouldn’t treat it as a salvation issue – the Bible never says that you’re excluded from eternity with God if you have multiple wives. I don’t judge the polygamists in that regard (they are Mormons, and I do hold to a  clear position that Mormonism is NOT the Christian faith), but THEORETICALLY it would be possible for a Christian to be a polygamist and still be saved.

But overall I DO think it’s definitely on the “pretty dumb idea” list. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a polygamy advocate.

If I tried to marry another woman my wife would kill me – she doesn’t believe in divorce!