Noah’s ark, manna, and a convenient device for ignoring the inconvenient point

So shortly after writing a post about how the last thing the world needs is another bunch of Christians building a life-size replica of Noah’s ark, I learn that — you guessed it — yet another church is building a replica of Noah’s Ark.

This time it’s John Hagee’s church in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee’s son, Matthew (whose singing is much better than his theology), says the purpose of the $5 million project is to convince people “to say it happened,” because clearly the question of historicity is the only thing that matters in the story of Noah. And because building a replica proves something happened, just like the way Peter Jackson proved the existence of Rivendell.

And what else should Hagee’s Cornerstone Church spend $5 million on? I mean, it was either this or else waste all that money on something like feeding all the poor children in San Antonio for a year.

Chaplain Mike at Internet Monk posted this promotional poster from Cornerstone’s website:

If you can’t read the image, it says:

Cornerstone Church invites you to attend the unveiling of its newest addition, a 28,400-square-foot Noah’s Ark-inspired building!

The Ark boasts true-to-size animatronics animals, custom-designed wall murals, synthetic trees and grasses, LED shooting stars, custom wood-plank carpeting and more. The building will host the children’s church Sunday school as well as Mother’s Day Out program. With its unique, stimulating, and larger-than-life elements, the Ark experience will truly bring to life the famed Bible story and be an inspirational adventure to all who enter.

  • Continuous Tours
  • Carnival Rides
  • Biblical Puppet Shows
  • Story Readings in the classrooms by Sunday school teachers in Bible costumes
  • Moon Bounces, Face Painting & Balloon Clown Artists
  • Hot Dogs, Roasted Corn, Kettle Corn & Cotton Candy

I am dazzled by this. It’s so appalling that it almost wraps all the way back around into a kind of delight.

Here’s more from the delightfully appalling/appallingly delightful Christian Post article:

“I want them to say it happened,” Executive Pastor Matthew Hagee told mysanantonio.com. “The Ark was real. Salvation is real. What God desires for Noah, God desires for me. For Noah, it was a boat. And for me, it was Jesus Christ.”

… Hagee, son of founding pastor John Hagee, described The Ark, saying it has vestibule entrances with outdoor scenes of the ship’s hull, crafted with alder wood panels. At one vestibule will be a talking macaw playing host.

Each of the animals in the central area of the hull – from a tortoise, sheep and zebra to a rhinoceros, lion and elephant – will be named for a great church figure from history, as a springboard to lessons on John Bunyan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Charles Wesley and others.

Nine of the 16 creatures will be animatronic, created by Animal Makers, a Southern California firm that specializes in robotic animals for Hollywood movies. Some are new, and some were formerly leased. The rhino, for example, had a short appearance in the John Cusack film 2012.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find any church with animatronics,” Michael Chanley, executive director of the International Network of Children’s Ministry, was quoted as saying. “It communicates so much value to the family, ‘We don’t just want your kids to come here and learn. We want them to experience God,’” he said.

You’ll recall that the Apostle Paul rebuked the church in Corinth for not having animatronics. That communicated such contempt for the family, and it denied children the chance to experience God the way one only can in a sacred space like the Hall of Presidents.

I’m not sure that moon bounces, kettle corn, or a talking macaw named Hudson Taylor will really help to achieve Matt Hagee’s goal of convincing visitors of the historicity of Noah’s ark. But those carnival touches — Chaplain Mike calls it the “Disney-ization of Christianity” — serve the same purpose as that preoccupation with proving the historicity of a story that never itself demands such an interpretation. The whole point of both of those is to distract from the whole point.

Fundies and inerrantist evangelicals like to pretend that they take the Bible more seriously — and more “conservatively” — than other Christians, and yet they’re always willing to go to outlandish lengths just to avoid engaging the meaning of the text. Read them the story of Noah and they’ll start talking about the carrying capacity of all those cubits, reciting arcane non-facts suggesting that the hydrological history of the Grand Canyon “proves” there was a global flood in antiquity, or whatever else they can come up with to change the subject and avoid dealing with the actual story the text actually gives us.

The story of Noah is one of many in Genesis where, as Tim O’Brien wrote, “absolute occurrence is irrelevant.”

“Did exactly this actually occur precisely in this way?” is probably the least interesting, least insightful, least helpful, least edifying, least inspirational questions one could ask about this story. Those who make it their first question, and their most important question, seem to be trying to hide, to evade, to distract themselves from actually engaging the actual story on its own terms.

They’d rather talk about historicity — by which they mean cubits and kettle corn.

Cara Sexton has a nice, rambly post up this weekend on being a rich Christian in an age of hunger. It’s titled “On Hoarding Manna.” The reference there is to a story from Exodus 16, in which God miraculously provides bread from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness:

When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. … Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.’”

The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed.

And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them.

Sexton’s reference to this story tackles its meaning head-on. She doesn’t flinch from the implications of it and she wrestles with those in her post.

Her approach is very different from that of the literalist evangelicals I’ve heard preach and teach from this passage. For them, the key thing was, as Matthew Hagee put it, “to say it happened,” to believe the manna was real — that the above story from Exodus 16 is a historical account of actual events. That was what they preached on and taught about. That was the first question they brought to this passage and the thing they treated as most important.

With manna as with Noah’s ark, the whole point of this obsession with historicity seemed to be to distract from the whole point of the story.

 

 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It must have gotten unpleasantly hot in there. Were there any venting holes? O_O

  • Alanlionheart

    Hi Dash1

    Mmmmm

    Not sure I totally agree. It’s the use of the language that does it for me and the way it has been done. Don’t forget that Paul wrote to the church first. After that his letters went “viral”. What we are not always told is how he dealt with people, but I doubt that he would not have spoken to them face to face because that is how he teaches we should act. First face to face, then with witnesses, then to the church.

    With this site – and indeed, sadly with many others under the guise of being “Christian” – the exact opposite is true. They go “viral” first.

    This is how the enemy causes dissent and division.

    Whether Fred is providing “good teaching” or not is a matter of opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    For a given value of “cataclysmic”, of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Welcome, please do not kill us with sheep.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    If you are going to criticise a brother in Christ, do so Biblically and to their face.

    Sometimes that’s the right thing to do.
    And sometimes the right thing to do is speak to a broader audience (as you chose to, when you commented publicly rather than email Fred privately).

  • Dash1

    That being the case, aren’t you departing from your own requirement of private face-to-face criticism by publicly accusing Fred of helping Satan?

    (There’s more to be said on the subject of “dissent and division,” but I’ll hold off on it for now.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’s bad theology. It’s not even a particularly good History Channel show.

  • Alanlionheart

    Hi Dave
    You have a very good point and if I am wrong then I will of course apologise to Fred. Presumably I can contact him through this site, I haven’t checked yet to find out.
    But, if you read my post I didn’t think I was actually criticising him but the way in which these sites tend to be used to slag off other brothers in Christ that don’t tow the “party line”. So, I’m not trying to wriggle out of responsibility here and I will try to contact him direct if I can find his details

  • Beroli

    That is a fascinating argument, considering your first post here was criticizing an article…

    …which was criticizing someone who…

    ..spent five million dollars–as Fred noted, not feeding the poor–but in a bid to convince people that Noah’s Ark had a literal, physical existence.

    So, criticizing how “brothers and sisters in Christ” exercise their freedom of speech is an exclusive privilege of yours, or what?

  • Narcissus

    I enjoy Fred’s reminder that this entire discussion is a distraction. A purposeful avoidance of deeper questions. Questions to me. Kierkegaard might also chime in and say that very much like Abraham, the ethical is suspended. What ever duties Noah has he is now tempted to KEEP them instead of building an ark. An ark that God has told him, and him alone to build. No visions or angels appear to his family to help ease the despair over what their father, Noah is doing day in and day out.

    He is left alone to follow God, to be, in Kierkegaard-ian terms, a Knight of faith. A “perseverance in expectancy”. Which is to say that convincing the world around us that God spoke to us is the LEAST of our concerns. Rather the acting out, in our lives the commitment of the word heard does all the talking.

    Building modern arks is asking Noah and even later Abraham to explain their inward commitment to the God they heard. Something neither could do. Nor could any of the examples of Faith including Mary and Jesus himself. What could any of them say when asked, why are you doing this and saying this?

    Whatever they answer is, I’m doubtful it includes theme parks and kettle corn. But then again, I wasn’t there when corporate spoke to Cornerstone.

  • Alanlionheart

    As I mentioned to Dave (above) it was the article in the public domain I was responding to not Fred. And I certainly have not accused him of helping Satan.
    Why would I do that?
    I don’t even know him or what he stands for.

  • ohiolibrarian

    I thought they covered that. Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of plague or disease that resulted in Klingons (those that survived?) developing the facial ridges?

    [edit] Obviously it would have to result in a genetic change. Otherwise Lamarckism.

  • Helena Constantine

    Rivendell was built as a fortress at the time the Witch King of Angmar had a large army laying waste to the remnants of the Northern Kingdom. I understand that in the following centuries there would have been a growth of outbuildings, but I’ve never understood why no graphic depiction of the place ever shows any military architecture.

  • banancat

    And what else should Hagee’s Cornerstone Church spend $5 million
    on? I mean, it was either this or else waste all that money on
    something like feeding all the poor children in San Antonio for a year.

    I encountered something very similar in my own church as a teenager, so I know exactly how this concern would be hand-waved away. We raised a bunch of money to build a new addition to the church, including a fancy new gym. I was, and still am, completely ok with this. The church had grown and needed more capacity.

    But at the very same time, the church leaders decided to turn out a homeless man who had been allowed to sleep in the church hallway on cold nights or when weather was bad. Oh sure, they referred him to some program, but he probably already knew of that program and didn’t participate in it for one reason or another. And the understood justification for doing this was that our shiny new building couldn’t be tainted by a homeless man in it, who might even steal our shiny new stuff.

    So I actually brought up this objection. I got the answer that the shiny new building was more important because people would come for events, start asking questions, and possibly be “saved” because of it. Yes, our goal was to lure in unsuspecting people with the intent to convert them. (Nevermind that the homeless man’s view of the church must have decreased; I guess his soul wasn’t worth saving.) But the justification for all this is that helping needy people isn’t important because they might just end up in Hell anyway. Jesus never said to only help the people that you have a chance of converting, but I’m sure that Hagee’s church thinks they’re doing more overall good by converting people than by helping them. And they get a fun carnival to boot.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I did read your post.

    All you seem to be doing is taking a swipe at those that have a different view. [..] Taking swipes at brothers and sisters in Christ who hold a different view is NOT showing any love towards them. Quite the opposite in fact and is more akin to the Pharisees who were so caught up in “religion” that they missed thetruth and ended up rejecting the Messiah.

    I hope you can understand how describing the behavior of one of your brothers in Christ as the opposite of showing love, and equating it with the behavior of the Pharisees who rejected Christ, could be seen as criticism.

    And the fact that you felt it appropriate to respond here before checking to find out if you could respond privately is precisely my point. Rather than even attempt to respond privately, your instinct was to respond publicly, just as I’m doing now, just as Fred did.

    I endorse that instinct. Sometimes a public response to public behavior is appropriate.

  • Alanlionheart

    There seems to me to be a subtle distinction here that is being missed. Criticising and article and not the person.
    So far I didn’t think I had criticised the person. You and others seem to disagree and that is OK.
    The author of the article was getting quite personal (it seemed to me).
    And I don’t think I opposed Fred’s right and privilege to speak his mind, just the terminology he used.
    Surely one can disagree in a public debate without getting offensively personal.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Because Rivendell was preserved by the power of the ring (one of The Three) held by Elrond rather than by military force alone.

  • Beroli

    Surely one can disagree in a public debate without getting offensively personal.

    …I’d have a hard time proving it by you.

    Let me get this straight. Your claim, now, is that:

    Hagee’s son, Matthew (whose singing is much better than his theology), says the purpose of the $5 million project is to convince people “to say it happened,” because clearly the question of historicity is the only thing that matters in the story of Noah. And because building a replica proves something happened, just like the way Peter Jackson proved the existence of Rivendell.

    And what else should Hagee’s Cornerstone Church spend $5 million
    on? I mean, it was either this or else waste all that money on something like feeding all the poor children in San Antonio for a year.

    [...]

    You’ll recall that the Apostle Paul rebuked the church in Corinth for
    not having animatronics. That communicated such contempt for the
    family, and it denied children the chance to experience God the way one only can in a sacred space like the Hall of Presidents.

    I’m not sure that moon bounces, kettle corn, or a talking macaw named Hudson Taylor will really help to achieve Matt Hagee’s goal of convincing visitors of the historicity of Noah’s ark. But those carnival touches — Chaplain Mike calls it the “Disney-ization of Christianity” — serve the same purpose as that preoccupation with proving the historicity of a story that never itself demands such an interpretation. The whole point of both of those is to distract from the whole point.

    Fundies and inerrantist evangelicals like to pretend that they take the Bible more seriously — and more “conservatively” — than other Christians, and yet they’re always willing to go to outlandish lengths just to avoid engaging the meaning of the text. Read them the story of Noah and they’ll start talking about the carrying capacity of all those cubits, reciting arcane non-facts suggesting that the hydrological history of the Grand Canyon “proves” there was a global flood in antiquity, or whatever else they can come up with to change the subject and avoid dealing with the actual story the text actually gives us.

    The story of Noah is one of many in Genesis where, as Tim O’Brien wrote, “absolute occurrence is irrelevant.”

    “Did exactly this actually occur precisely in this way?” is probably the least interesting, least insightful, least helpful, least edifying,
    least inspirational questions one could ask about this story. Those who make it their first question, and their most important question, seem to be trying to hide, to evade, to distract themselves from actually engaging the actual story on its own terms.

    …is a morally invalid, offensively personal criticism of a person…

    but,

    I am tempted to ask …………………. and the point of this article is exactly what???????

    All you seem to be doing is taking a swipe at those that have a
    different view. Is your view the correct one or is anyone allowed to
    disagree?

    It’s like the old issue of freedom of speech, we are allowed free speech only if it agrees with the establishment’s view

    Taking swipes at brothers and sisters in Christ who hold a different
    view is NOT showing any love towards them. Quite the opposite in fact and is more akin to the Pharisees who were so caught up in “religion” that they missed the truth and ended up rejecting the Messiah.

    …is a morally legitimate criticism of an article, not a person?

    What you posted was nothing but personal. You don’t like Fred’s tone, so he’s taking a swipe at “those who disagree,” and that’s all he’s doing; he’s restricting other peoples’ freedom of speech in some way; he’s taking swipes at brothers and sisters in Christ who “hold a different view” (again), and he’s “more akin to the Pharisees.”

    I’m not a Christian. But I don’t need to be one to observe a massive beam lodged solidly in your eye, Mr. Tone Argument.

  • Dash1

    With this site – and indeed, sadly with many others under the guise of being “Christian” – the exact opposite is true. They go “viral” first.
    This is how the enemy causes dissent and division.

    “The enemy” is who, if not Satan?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericrboersma Eric Boersma

    To save you the searching: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Maw

    And yes, it is just as easy to get lost in Wookiepedia as it is Wikipedia.

  • SisterCoyote

    The Trees are gone, thou servant of Morgoth!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericrboersma Eric Boersma

    it also makes it much easier to work with semi-threaded conversations. I know there was a way to quote on the old system, but I could never figure it out, and attempting to follow a conversation without quotes was kind of tough.

  • banancat

    Oh, please please, somebody do that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericrboersma Eric Boersma

    Are you looking for something that keeps the current reply structure in place but doesn’t indent replies, or something that reorganizes the replies in a time-based format like the old system used to?

  • P J Evans

    At least try reading the comments before you start throwing out complaints. You might learn more that way. It also makes you look better to others.

  • Alanlionheart

    That’s a sad story but indicative of the condition of the church and is not uncommon. One shouldn’t use the story to judge Hagee’s church unless you know them well enough to do so.
    The Church is and never has been a building. It is the people who are the church so to give a building that level of importance seems to me to show that one’s priorities are wrong. So what was the outcome?

  • Alanlionheart

    Thank you Dave.
    I have written a pm to Fred just a few moments ago and apologised for the error of my ways.
    I’m not against what Fred wrote, whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant. It was the tone of it I was objecting to and that is and has been from the start the point I was trying to make.
    Note to self ……………………….. must try harder :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Chronological.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    People got hung up on who shot first because that said something about Han’s character. He wasn’t necessarily a bad guy in that situation, but he wasn’t a good guy, either. He was a survivor who put staying alive another day over doing what was right. By the end, he put doing what was right over staying alive another day.

    As for the Kessel Run, a friend of mine came up with an explanation. That being that the Kessel Run is a maneuver through/around the gravitational force of a black hole (probably a specific one, being that they vary in size themselves). The faster the ship, the closer it can get to the singularity while still maintainting the energy to break free of the gravity. So, being able to take such a shortcut while going past a specific black hole is, in and of itself, a testament to the Millenium Falcon’s speed.

    Oh… and “What the BLEEP is an Aluminum Falcon?”

  • Dash1

    Hagee’s church is not being criticized for something that is super-secret or that people are making up. They have put this material out there for people to see. The people who criticize them (and presumably those who support them) are taking their public self-presentation seriously.

  • Carstonio

    While Fred is right to criticize Hagee’s approach to the Flood story, I don’t know what he means by “actually engaging the actual story on its own terms”? Meaning what message he gets from the story, at least when compared to any rabbinical interpretations. Fred doesn’t ask how the authors of the story intended for it to be read, or how the original audience read it. Maybe it was written both as history and as parable. Obviously no modern reader is required to read it the same way as the authors or the original readers. But I would think that knowing that intention would help understand the story in context.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    (nods) I understand that your objection is to Fred’s tone, and that you’re not responding to the content of what he wrote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericrboersma Eric Boersma

    That would be possible, but it might not work well without being able to access Disqus’s API directly. The doing probably wouldn’t be terribly difficult (Disqus helpfully earmarks all posts with what looks to be some sort of chronological identifier), but considering the shape of Disqus’s Javascript on this page (14 errors), I’m not sure what else you’d break, nor what it might look like as you tried to fix it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I don’t know about you, but spending millions of dollars on a theme park to bring in millions more is not what brings me hope. Altruism, generosity, making someone you’ve never met your neighbor with mercy and compassion? Those bring me hope.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    No idea, but here’s a fairly accessible description, in generalities, of how NoScript uses surrogates.

    http://jake.kasprzak.ca/2009/03/23/the-importance-of-noscripts-surrogate-scripts/

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Well, judging from the example he gives of what tackling the meaning of Exodus 16 head-on looks like, I would expect that his understanding of engaging the actual story of the Flood would involve looking for currently relevant symbolic meaning rather than looking for authorial intent (or original-audience intent).

  • Lori

    I love that they note that it’s custom wood-plank carpeting. No run of the mill, off the shelf wood-plank carpeting for them. No siree, Bob. They got their wood-plank carpeting made just for them.

    I guess “custom” sounds better than “We couldn’t just get Pergo like normal people, and since we’re the only idiots who want carpet that looks like wood planks we had to have someone make it for us. You can get anything if you’re willing to throw enough money at the problem.”

    In a weird way wood-plank carpeting makes sense for a “Noah’s Ark-inspired building.” Not a replica of Noah’s Ark. A Noah’s Ark-inspired building. It’s like the world’s most OTT baby nursery. I have no idea how that’s supposed to prove anything about the “real” Noah’s ark, even supposing that a replica would prove what they want to prove (which obviously it wouldn’t).

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I always assumed that the story of Noah was a Hebrew adaptation of the Mesopotamian story of Atra-Hasis, changed in the telling to fit the Hebrew conception of the spiritual worlds. In the original, the god Endill regularly sent famine and flood to the humans to keep their population down, but when they grew too many he sent a really big one to wash away all of them. Enki, a much more compassionate god, secretly whispered to Atra-Hasis to tear his house down and use it to build a great boat, that humans might survive the great flood with his family and animals. The flood lasted for seven days, after which Endrill was furious with Enki for defying him. Enki argues that he simply ensured life was preserved, and they compromise on other means of controlling the human population.

    The old Israeli and Mesopotamian cultures were practically neighbors for quite a while, so I would be surprised if there was not more cross-cultural memetic exchange. Unpredictable floods were a fact of life along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, so naturally that got adapted into their own religious beliefs. Compare this with the religious beliefs with the Egyptians, who dealt with very predictable flooding, and how that shaped their idea of how the universe worked.

  • SisterCoyote

    You’ll recall that the Apostle Paul rebuked the church in Corinth for not having animatronics.

    My sister, baking in the kitchen as I read this aloud, doubled over, and says “Thanks for making me snarf into my pie crust, Slacktivist guy.”

  • Michael Hill

    John Hagee claims to be a “Friend of Israel”. I wonder how they would feel when they discover that Hagee is a leader in the “End of Days” movement that threatens to put Jews to the sword if they do not convert to Christianity.

  • Carstonio

    The original intent need not conflict with any modern symbolic meaning. Fred doesn’t say here what the latter would be. I haven’t yet searched his past entries on the matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.e.szekely Robert Szekely

    Actually, it was eventually addressed in an episode of Enterprise, with Scott Bakula as Captain Archer, if memory serves. It had something to do with Dr. Soong’s experiments with genetic enhancement on Klingons.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The cure for the plague was gene therapy derived from human DNA. That’s why the klingons were so embarrassed by it and never wanted to talk about it again.

    But since smooth-headed klingons only appear for one generation, there’s no actual requirement that it be genetic. It’s just “Anyone who got the plague vaccine loses their ridges”.

    They even had the foresight to explain why the various TOS klingons who reappeared in DS9 all had ridges: the klingon doctor who caused and cured the plague predicts the rise of a lucrative cosmetic surgery industry.

  • pharoute

    I think the real reason for all the “Noah’s ark is real!!” talk is to quietly bring back the curse on Ham as a justification of racism.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Agreed that there’s not necessarily any conflict between the two.

    I would be surprised if Fred were encouraging a single meaning of the text rather than an approach to extracting meaning from the text (similar to the approach Cara Sexton uses in the example he cites).

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    DS9, the Tribbles episode that Forrest Gumped them into the original episode.

  • Chris

    At that range, only a suicidal fool would wait to shoot.

    Or, my favorite way of putting it: “Shoot first, or shoot not. There is no second.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    More, it says something about the people who can’t accept the idea that a smuggler working for a crime lord might not be the most honorable guy in the world. Greedo had just announced his intent to kill him. What was he supposed to do?

  • SisterCoyote

    Welcome, don’t kill us with sheep, etc. I feel I should point out that, unless there has been a massive misunderstanding, this church may not be what you are thinking of. You speak of it, Alan, as though it was a one-building little congregation led by a handful of struggling pastors, who Fred has ungraciously attacked – this is not the case. For pity’s sake, they don’t have a pastor, they have Executive Pastors. This is a corporation type of thing, wherein they try to recruit families to the team/tribe.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    There was a throwaway bit in a book I read once about circus sideshow-type displays of a live lion lying down with a lamb. Very impressive to the marks, but they did go through a lot of lambs.


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