The Wittenburg Door

So this is hardly original (pirate) material (you’re listening to the streets…) as I just stole it off

a simply wonderful publication, often accused of heresy and blasphemy but I like it. There is a difference between being offended and being blasphemous. Make your own mind up on it. Both of them made my day.

As a brief note, the guys who publish this live in a community centre in inner city Dallas, caring and taking into their home the homeless people of the city. They are unashamed followers of JESUS.

So much of Christianity has so little to do with glorifying GOD and a lot to do with glorifying ourselves. So many of our rituals, traditions and ideas are nonsense and brought to great excess. I am fully complicit in much of this religiosity, to my shame. The idea of humour and satire is to turn a mirror on the church and show us that we’re not reflecting the sun light too well…


(The Door News Service) – Southern Baptist Church leaders are up on arms at a Nashville church after what many call “a total disaster.” After months of planning, careful selection of hymns and sermon topic, and hiring a nationally known worship leader to perform the offering, the deacons of the First Baptist Church of Nashville watched all their hard work go up in smoke upon the arrival of the Holy Spirit last Sunday.
Deacon Tom “Landry” Smith said that he first noticed something was wrong during the ten minutes that had been set aside for testimonies.
“I got up to the pulpit and asked if anyone wanted to share something the Lord had done lately in their lives,” Smith said. “Now, we had asked three to four members before the service to share something during this time, and that was really all we had allotted time for. As soon as those four people were done, other folks from the congregation started standing up and testifying spontaneously! It was a complete disaster! We went over testimony time by at least 30 minutes, and had to completely cut the offertory. I doubt we will ever get that worship leader to come back here!”
But the service’s horrors didn’t end there, Smith said. During the worship time, the music minister led the congregation in all four verses of “Holy, Holy, Holy,” even though the planning committee had planned on only three. The music minister explained afterwards that he felt “led to do so.” Apparently, he also felt led to lead the congregation in several unscheduled songs afterwards.
Smith admitted that this was the probably the work of the Holy Spirit, but said that the results were a “logistical” nightmare.
“People started raising their hands, weeping, even bowing down and confessing their sins to God on the spot,” Smith said, ruefully. “It completely took the wind out of the sails of the altar call later during the service, not to mention how embarrassed we were in front of the community. High attendance Sunday is the one Sunday a week when we really push to fill the pews with unbelievers. Now they all see First Baptist as a place where people can’t control themselves or even have the discipline to follow an orderly schedule. My God, man – the Titans were on at noon!”
By the time Pastor D. T. Thomas arrived at the podium, most of the church leadership knew that everything they had spent so much time planning was lost. Thomas, still weeping from the worship time, announced to the congregation that he felt led to preach something different than what he had originally planned.
“It completely ruined the effect we were trying to create that day,” complained Deacon J.S. Simpson. “We very carefully chose the theme of ‘Surfing the Waves of God’s Grace.’ Well, suddenly Rev. Thomas starts preaching about getting free from the past through Christ. Now how are we supposed to keep the service unified with a message like that? What are we supposed to do with the boxes and boxes of leis that we bought to pass out afterwards? Needless to say, those leis will be coming out of the pastor’s salary.”
First Baptist leaders were optimistic about their ability to return things to normal in time for this coming Sunday. Still, last Sunday was a huge blow to morale for much of the leadership.
“We expect a certain etiquette from all of our guests,” Smith said. “This is a church, not a carnival. God really let us down this week.”
First Baptist’s leadership is still debating whether or not to invite the Holy Spirit back for this Sunday. For the moment, they have cut “Come Holy Spirit” from the approved song list.
By John Gram
February 2007

GOD’s Creation blog

Day 1
Listening to: Silence (it’s wonderful)
Mood: Blissful
Created light. Took about 11 seconds. What to do with the rest of the day? Wound up creating the sheet, too. Spent afternoon making shadow-puppets with Jesus (Unable to cast a shadow, the Holy Spirit got upset went body-surfing). Jesus does this thing where He makes a fist then sticks up his index and middle fingers and bounces His hand around – cracks me up. Not sure what to call it; we’ll delegate that sort of thing somewhere down the line. If I ever get a book deal from this blog, I might leave out the part about the shadow-puppets. “Let there be light” is much more impressive than “Let there be light and a bed sheet.” All in all, a good day.
Day 2 
Listening to: Silence again (it can’t last forever; must enjoy it while I can)
Mood: Expectant
Had another good day today. Separated water into two parts with an expanse we’re calling “sky” in between. We may rethink the name later, but it works as a placeholder. Holy Spirit spent the afternoon hovering above and below the face of the deep.
Day 3 
Listening to: Ocean surf breaking on the beach
Mood: Happy
Good things are afoot. Created land today. Can’t talk about it now, but I see real potential in this “dirt” stuff. I’ll keep you posted. In the course of creating land, we also created “seas.” Spent the rest of the day punning with Jesus and Holy Spirit: “Now see here….” “No, no, the sea is over there.” Must blog on the humor potential of homophones someday: Sea if I don’t. Got a big project set for this afternoon. I’ll blog on it tomorrow.
Day 4 
Listening to: The music of the spheres
Mood: Charamblontical (there’s simply no other word for it)
Spent yesterday creating a garden. This was one of the things I was thinking about yesterday when I mentioned that I saw potential in dirt. You can plant all kinds of stuff in it. Trees, shrubberies, vegetables – it’s all good. There’s another little project I have in mind for the dirt, but it’ll be a couple days before I can say more. Today, though, was Moving Day. Created stars and planets – but where to put them? All bunched together, they’re not that exciting. Holy Spirit suggested spreading them out across the universe. That’s good, I thought. So I called Fed Ex and explained my vision to them. I explained our tight schedule, too: “It absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” They said, “no sweat,” and asked if they could use that as their motto. “Not a problem,” I said. After all, I am a gracious God, aren’t I?
Day 5 
Listening to: Jesus telling a “Big Fish” story
Mood: Amused (the “big fish” thing has potential, might return to it one day)
This morning I noticed a cool thing while creating birds and fish. When the land and the seas got separated a couple days ago some water got trapped in pockets of the land. We’re calling them lakes and they’re really an asset to the scenery. 
 While we were walking across one, Jesus said, “Hey, imagine how exciting it would be if this lake was filled with fire instead of water?” “But what would we put in it?” I asked. He didn’t know, but I’ve got to admit a lake of fire would be something to see. Handy creation tip: When creating large white birds to live near the seashore, wear a hat.
Day 6 
Listening to: Jungle sounds
Mood: Pleased
Today we really made up for only working 11 seconds back at the beginning of the week. We spent all day creating animals. Like with the plants, we went for variety. Long ears. Short ears. Short ears, long tail. Long ears, almost no tail. Horns on heads. Horns on noses. Stripes. Spots. You name it, we did it. Created dinosaurs, too – Jesus loves the little dinosaurs. I foresee a couple scenarios down the road where there might be problems with the dinos, but for now they’re playing well with the rest of creation. I did my other dirt project today, too. I created man and woman. Adam is handling the names project for us. I ran through the “sea” jokes from the other day, but he didn’t get them (had to be there, I guess). Eve did, though (sharp as a serpent’s tooth, that one). 
 Turns out Jesus was making a bunny rabbit shadow-puppet earlier in the week. Good to know.
Day 7 
Listening to: The collected works of Burt Bacharach (there are advantages to being omnipresent in time as well as space)
Mood: Serene (like a televangelist high on hairspray fumes – the downside of temporal omnipresence: I already know about garbage like this)
Taking it easy today, so this’ll be short. I created banana cream pie around 10:30 this morning, but let’s keep that on the QT, all right? Noticed a certain animal in the garden that wasn’t playing well with others this afternoon. Looks like we might be moving ahead with that Lake of Fire project after all.
By Chris Mikesell
Issue #202, November/December 2005

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March 2007

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