Christianity… A Hard Sell

I just recently finished up listening to Kevin DeYoung’s sermon series on the book of Leviticus. KDY is the senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and therefore an unashamed Spartan fan.

He preached through Leviticus from February to July of last year, but because the church makes all his sermons available online (for free!), one can listen to them at one’s leisure. Go here for the whole Leviticus series.

Leviticus? What’s in there but the moldy trappings of a now defunct bloody sacrificial system? Not to mention, a bunch of regulations that frankly seem irrelevant to us who don’t live in an agrarian society and outdated sexual mores that are beneath our “enlightened” 21st Century selves?

While I can devote an entire series of posts of all the things KDY uncovered in the 18-part series, I will try to sift through the largesse.

In Sermon 4 (“Sin Offerings”), he expands on sin, no, not the TV station formerly known as the Spanish International Network (currently known as Univision).

Rather to the our constantly missing the mark of God’s law. Something which all human beings (save for One) are born into, act out and puts us at enmity with God.

Sin, as KDY points out, is an “objective category”. That is, it’s not relative to our whims and fancy, as he put it, “God’s values ARE whether we value them or not”. Because we are born at enmity with God we don’t like to hear about sin, especially our sin though we all feel more comfortable pointing out the sins (real or perceived) of others.

KDY rightfully asserts that he abhor hearing about sin and because of that he says,

Christianity will always be a hard sell. Real Christianity. Because it confronts head-on our love of autonomy. ‘I want to be the reference point… I want my feelings, my desires to be affirmed… It want to be the center of the universe… I want you to exist to make me happy… God exists to make me happy… I am the moral reference point, everything else is decided right or wrong based on what it does to me and how I like it… If there is a God surely He exists to meet my needs and affirm my beliefs.’

Sin is not simply being untrue to yourself no matter how many times the Disney movies tell you that it is

Indeed…

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This Should Drive any Fútbol-loving “Minuteman” Bonkers

No, I don’t refer to the usage of a Spanish word in reference to the group of ‘concerned’ citizens which has done so much to bolster US-Mexican relations (below).

MinutemanAP
Where’s the love?

Rather, this is in reference to the fact, that as of right now, the highly-anticipated World Cup qualifier between US-México on August 16 will not be aired in English in these United States.

Which, for this transplanted Mexican, is not that big of a loss, and this for a variety of reasons. First, ESPN would have been the channel to air the match and we don’t have cable. Secondly, even if we did have cable I’d much rather watch fútbol on Spanish television.

Whether it’s Telemundo with Andrés Cantor or Univision/Telefutura with Pablo Ramírez and Jesús Bracamontes, the Spanish guys call a much better game than anything ESPN can put together.

As for my monolingual fellow fútbol fans who are trying to get a petition going to get the game in English. What in the world for?

Telemundo will carry the game and none other than Mr. Cantor will provide exciting play-by-play. Granted, it will be in a language you won’t understand but who’s counting? Spanish is everywhere you turn and give or take 50 years, oh never mind.

Besides, events like Tim Howard’s bellyaching (gloriously captured below) back in February are much more colorfully presented in Español.
SOCCER-WORLD/

Yes, I know Rafa Marquez is a dirty player, and hit Howard. However, I also know that the replay showed that on this particular play, “El Pato” Howard as Univision’s Pablo Ramirez so lovingly calls him, hit Marquez hard on the back. Rafa gets tossed, Howard stays in the game, oh well. I won’t get into how Giovanni Dos Santos was dragged down in front of the U.S. goal.

As far as August 12th is concerned, to paraphrase an infamous movie character, soon we will reveal ourselves to the Norteamericanos, soon we will have revenge.

Univisión Steps Its Game Up

Univisión, as most people know, is a Spanish-language television station. Contrary to popular perception:

  • it is pronounced Uni-vees-ee-on not Uni-vision
  • its programming does not consist solely of variety shows featuring large men surrounded by ladies in late evening wear (that would be rival station, Telemundo), nor does it consist solely of sitcoms set in classrooms with middle-age people dressed as schoolchildren and a sultry cougar as their teacher

Here are some things that can be observed about the network,

  • There is fútbol on Sundays
  • The novelas (soap operas) are not perpetual like their American counterparts but all of them have basically the same story line (dirt poor, preferrably indigenous-looking, girl falls in love with rich European looking dude, but social and economic forces prevent the pairing until… it is discovered that poor girl is the sole heir to a shadowy magnate’s vast fortune thereby erasing said social and economic forces but upper-class blond/blue bombshell antagoinst still remains to be vanquished… undoubtedly she suffers a horrible fate which is roughly karmaic in nature, and the heroine and her prince live happily ever after)
  • There are no ads for State Farm Insurance but ads for Estate Farm are legion
  • Hosts and station luminaries like to pretend that people from different Latin American countries can all be happily lumped into one big happy family

All this to point out that the wildly popular station is overtaking some of its English-speaking counterparts,
Rapid growth for Spanish-speaking television news

Felicidades Univision!

Javier Bardem’s Way of Sticking it to the Church

Mr. Bardem is a Spanish actor who tonight took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the film, “No Country for Old Men”.

During his acceptance speech, he humorously thanked the Coen Brothers, who directed the work, for putting “one of the most horrible haircuts in history over my head.” (see below)
bardem.jpgMiramax Films

Leaves one to wonder if Jav realizes that this ‘do has been back in style amongst some sectors of today’s youth. Though, in infants the ubiquitous bowl cut is always fresh, right moms?

To sate my natural curiosity I went over to Wikipedia to read up on the presumably talented Bardem and found an interesting factoid about him. The factoid linked to a story on Univision’s website in which he is quoted as saying,

El actor español Javier Bardem aseguró en París que se casaría “mañana mismo” si fuera homosexual, “sólo para joder a la Iglesia”. [Spanish actor Javier Bardem asserted in Paris that he would marry ‘tomorrow’ if he were homosexual, ‘only to stick it to the church.’]

The Wikipedia’s entry translates “joder” with the f-bomb (“get married tomorrow, just to f*** with the church”). This is a tad harsh and the Spanish word doesn’t carry nearly the vulgarity associated with that English word, I believe my paraphrase to be somewhat more accurate though I won’t deny any colloquial influence.

Nevertheless, I thought it interesting that Bardem would seemingly protest the Church’s (The Roman Catholic Church) stance on homosexuality by theorizing on the best way to be uncharitable towards the very people whose lack of (in Bardem’s view) tolerance and acceptance he disagrees with.

Given the irrationality that is the hallmark of the darkened human mind, Bardem’s words are not surprising.