Sister Octomom and Her Minions

Just when you think the Octomom circus cannot get any more bizarre, Halloween strikes early at the Suleman household:

Octomom

Yes, Nadya “Octomom” Suleman dressed up not only as a nun, but a pregnant nun. As if that weren’t enough, she decked out her brood in “devil” costumes. Because nothing says love more than making your child look like the spawn of Satan*. The only thing missing was this woman carrying a sign saying, “I’m carrying Rosemary’s baby”.

This whole thing reminds me of the first time I attended a “harvest festival” at a church. Biblical character costumes were in abundance. For example, you had a few Samsons, Davids et al, but strangely enough, no Jezebels or Whores of Babylon. Comic book heroes were strongly represented as well, but perhaps the most disconcerting was the kid rocking the costume represented to the right.

Problem ChildThat’s right, at a church “harvest festival” someone dressed their kid up as Lucifer*.

I’m not here to hand-wring over the wisdom/folly of these festivals but if you are going to attend one of these “Non-Halloween Celebrations That Just So Happen To Fall on Halloween”, you might want to leave the pitchfork at home, no?

I guess one could make the case that Satan is a Biblical character?

*Yes I know that in all likelihood the prince of this world looks nothing like what pop culture thinks he looks like. For this, I must quote CS Lewis

I know someone will ask me, “Do you really mean, at this time of day, to reintroduce our old friend the devil-hoofs and horns and all?” Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is “Yes, I do.”

I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person, “Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.”

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When Sharing is a Must

The Ten Commandments are set in stone, so to speak. However I think that there is one more unspoken decree that seems to be inviolable, at least when you’re in a church service. Here’s a hint (of mint?):

So you’re sitting in service and come to the realization that you have dog breath. You remember you brought a pack of gum and decide to remedy this problem.

Then you remember that you are obligated by common decency to offer some to those around you. This cannot be avoided, it is an unwritten rule: Thou shall share your gum in church service.

Last Sunday, I sat there with my dog breath when I whiffed a hint of mint. As the idea for this post began to brew, a dear sister placed 2 sticks of gum on my notebook (I suppose the other one was for my wife).

Coincidence? Nay!

Remember folks sharing is caring.

Minister goes Undercover in the UK

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

Jesus payed much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ. — From “If We are the Body” by Casting Crowns

According to this story, “Priest disguises himself as a tramp to teach his own churchgoers a lesson.”

A Methodist minister in the UK dressed up as a homeless person (he “bought some scruffy clothes at a charity shop, ripped the trousers, and put on a straggly wig and thick, broken glasses” and “splashed lager” all over himself”) and stepped into his church and perhaps to no one’s surprise (given the comments at the bottom of the piece), none of his congregants recognized him, judgmental and condescending people that Christians are, especially the lot that attends church services.

At the risk of sounding like noted Christian toxicologists, there is much work to be done within the Church as to how we perceive people who look and smell differently. Given our penchant for the theology of “our Sunday best”, this flock’s reaction might be replayed in many an American (most definitely Mexican) church service (perhaps this drove the Casting Crowns lyric).

The perhaps pathological focus on dress and outward appearance is surprising to me, especially when the average churchgoer (who might or might not be a genuine Christian, remember attendance, even perfect attendance does not a Christian make) is completely oblivious to any serious understanding of doctrine and thus its application.
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American Christianity’s Magic Word: “Just”

Added a new link to the Humor section, Stuff Christians Like, the site is a spoof of Stuff White People Like which blew up here on WordPress earlier in the year.

The fact that the site is a spoof itself of a “secular” idea does not escape the author’s notice per the inaugural post,
#1. Putting a God Spin on Popular Secular Ideas

Entry #96 Using God’s favorite word (“Just”) took me back to a post over on Purgatorio titled, Just the Lord’s Prayer, in which the clever people over there interject “just” into the Lord’s Prayer.

Even the relatively short time (5 years) I’ve spent immersed in American church culture, I’m still puzzled at the prevalence of this word.

Does the profligate use of “just” in public prayers reveal something more significant than the existence of Christianese?