I referred early in the week to the Tag Team of Spenser and Hansen and their double take on the cracked culture of Christian Celebrity.
Here’s a GMaB* post from yours truly.
St. Peter (meeting with the Disciples in Jerusalem after the Ascension): Would someone mind move that menorah, it’s lighting the wrong side of my face. And I’m sure this isn’t the Amarone I ordered. Why can’t any of you get anything right? Get me the head servant! Now!
Michael points to the J. Lee Grady editoral from Charisma Mag. (I’m a former subscriber who self-identifies as a post-charismatic as well as a post-Charisma Rag Mag reader.) Grady has written some powerful editorials @ Charisma, but appears to be careful not to name names. The BHT’s Philip Winn comments,
J.Lee Grady writes insightful and powerful editorials with which I agree at least 80% of the time. The rest of the magazine contains ads from some of the same preachers Grady calls out in those editorials, and he never mentions them by name. At first it’s fascinating, and I had a lot of respect for his willingness to stand up to those financing his operation. But then the lack of names began to bother me. It bothered others, too, and came up in the letters to the editor quite often. Why omit the names if not to preserve the advertising?
I would echo all of Philip’s assessment. Charisma is filled to overflowing with ads for the latest crazy charismaniac nonsense. Bishop and First Lady This invite you to hear a stellar cast of Anointed Apostles, Super Apostles and Worshipful Masters. (Ooops, sorry, that last one was for a Freemason event not advertised in Charisma.)
St. Thomas the formerly Doubtful: I can’t decide the interior for my new chariot. Do you think the Purple would go with my new wardrobe. I had it slaved-in from Rome. And I want bigger horses than John’s. I don’t care if people think he’s the disciple Jesus loved most. I’m the one who stuck my finger in Jesus’ wounds.
Grady shares interesting if rather anonymous insight into the Crazy Charismania World (CCW) in his latest editorial. The Deadly Virus of Celebrity Christianity
Some bigheaded preachers demand rock star treatment. If the apostle Paul were around today he might throw rocks at them.
Just when I thought we charismatics had finally taken enough abuse from the egomaniac ministers in our midst, I’ve learned that some of our leaders are taking things to a new extreme. We’ve moved beyond the red carpets, limousines and entourages of the 1990s. A new strain of the celebrity virus is spreading in large segments of the church.
One friend of mine in Texas recently inquired to see if a prominent preacher could speak at her conference. The minister’s assistant faxed back a list of requirements that had to be met in order to book a speaking engagement. The demands included:
* a five-figure honorarium
* a $10,000 gasoline deposit for the private plane
* a manicurist and hairstylist for the speaker
* a suite in a five-star hotel
* a luxury car from the airport to the hotel (2004 model or newer)
* room-temperature Perrier
St. Paul: Listen, they want me to go up to Rome. I’ve got my people trying to sort out travel arrangements. Some people suggest I WALK. ARE THEY NUTS! I am The Apostle Paul for Heaven’s Sake.
I’ve got one of my many assistants doing the negotiating. Mark? No I had to fire him. He wouldn’t get with my vision for my ministry.
By the way, are any of you guys using an effective Ghost Writer. I’ve got a lot of things I’d like someone to wordsmith for me.
At a charismatic conference in an East Coast city recently, a pastor stood on a stage in front of a large crowd and smugly announced that the guest speaker was “more than an apostle.” Then the host asked everyone to bow down to the person, claiming that this posture was necessary to release God’s power.
“This is the only way you can receive this kind of anointing!” the host declared, bowing in front of the speaker. Immediately, about 80 percent of the audience fell prostrate on the floor. The few who were uncomfortable with the weird spiritual control in the room either walked out or stood in silent protest.
One has to ask the question of whether the Grady editorials are just a way to assuage the conscience of the owners of Charisma. "Yes, sure we take the money of these shysters – but hey, we do sort of call them out in J. Lee’s editorials." The BHT’s John Halton wryly comments,
…clearly what Charisma needs is a new owner who will take a robust attitude towards preserving journalistic independence and resisting commercially-motivated distortions of editorial content. Step forward, Rupert Murdoch!
St. James: I am Jesus brother! That means I’m in charge. It’s about blood-lines, people.
What!? Yes, Mom. Yes, I had a good meal this morning. No, my blood sugar isn’t low. I’m just fine!
Like I was saying when I come into a room people need to take their kippahs and off, and would a little bow really hurt them. I am Jesus’ brother after all.
Hey! Who just muttered "half-brother!"
Truly knowing my call to be a servant, I’m off to raise funds for poor Benny Hinn. He needs heaps-o-cash to get that new jet his "Ministry" so desperately needs.
May the "don’t touch the Lord’s anointed" Games begin!
*GMaB = Give Me a Break!
UPDATE: Somehow I managed to miss Bene D’s post on this from a few days ago.