Rhinestone Jeans Are Ruining Pews

Ladies (and gentlemen), it seems that the bling on your jeans is defacing the pews of Conception Catholic Church in Moville, Iowa. Recently, this announcement was published in their Sunday bulletin:

HELP SAVE OUR PEWS: The latest jean fashion of rhinestone/bling stones on the pockets act like rough sandpaper and razors on the pews. Please refrain from wearing these as our pews have already received damage from these stones.

The Sioux City Journal reports,

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Pastors Don’t Watch “Hollywood Movies”

My friend Darrell at Stuff Fundies Like found this gem of a letter from 1982, explaining the qualifications for a pastor at Phillips Drive Baptist Church:

A Church for Freaks?

Scott Paeth has been thinking about what kind of church he might fit. It is, he thinks, a Church for Freaks. He asks, “If I no longer feel at home among “normal” mainline Christians, and I can’t take self-identified evangelicals, where’s the church for the freaks?

He’s come up with three posts about what that church might look like, and I think that many readers of this blog will resonate:

Part I: A Church for Freaks

I am thinking more in terms of both the institutional and ritual structures that have become central to the mainline Christian denominations over the past decades and even centuries. Part of this is an objection to a particular kind of church bureaucracy, which is increasingly moribund and useless for the purpose of actually sustain the church as a community of believers. This is the case across mainline denominations. It’s not a specifically United Church of Christ problem, but exists among Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and others. Despite the differences in their organizational structures and ecclesiologies, these denominations have all managed to create and sustain a set of institutional prejudgices and prerogatives that seem to me to be increasingly damaging to the church.

Part II: Theology

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Bishop Al Mohler Strikes Again

Panel Discussion: Revisiting Inerrancy from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.


Baptists don’t have bishops, right?

That’s what I thought, having been reared in the related denomination of Congregationalism. Growing up, I was taught that we — congregationalists and baptists and others whose polity is considered “congregational” — were vehemently anti-hierarchical. Our tradition started because Henry VIII and the Anglicans had not differentiated themselves enough from Rome. We were, from our founding, anti-papist, anti-bishop.

In congregational polity, nothing is more sacred than individual hermeneutical authority. That is, every believe has the freedom to interpret the Bible, the freedom to follow the dictates of her or his conscience, the freedom to worship with fellow believers.

So it always surprises me when congregationalists or baptists act like bishops. In my book, The New Christians, I wrote,

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