It’s Prophesied

My recent article about the Rapture and apocalyptic theology prompted me to post this song by William Tapley that I stumbled upon. I provide the lyrics for your perusal in case you do not want to sit through the entirety of the song. “It’s Prophesied” By William Tapley Your future’s coming fast, my friend / You know we’re nearly at the end / Your freedom’s gone / Your friends are gone / But when I’m raptured / I’ll be gone. It’s prophesied, it’s prophesied / you can run but you can’t hide / Some will live, some will die / A few will go / To meet His bride. Tribulation will arrive / By Armageddon, few survive / You must get oil / And trim your lamps / ’cause you won’t get / a second chance.

Evangelize and spin

Over at the “Jesus Needs New PR” blog, Matthew Paul Turner posted a video of how successful proselytizing can lead to big bucks.

Happy…and not religious

Yahoo travel produced a piece on the world’s happiest countries citing data from a Gallup poll that looked at responses from 155 countries between 2005 and 2009. “First they asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction with their lives, and ranked their answers using a ‘life evaluation’ score between 1 and 10. Then they asked questions about how each subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed researchers to score their ‘daily experiences’ – things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged.” This study reminded me of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and its call to replace Gross National Product with a Gross National Happiness Index as the leading economic indicator.

Of Prophets and Pancakes

I had the pleasure of speaking last week with Mark Jacob, co-author of What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food & Fame. The piece was written up as a “10 minutes with …” that we have here at RNS. Looking through the book, in specific the “Soul Food” chapter that covers religious figures and philosophers, I found a couple of neat anecdotes that might offer “food for thought.” First up, how food can bring enlightenment: “The Supreme Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, ate his way to enlightenment.

I think I’m gonna throw up (my hands to the Lord)

As Christianity Today reports, a new worship-style “gag song” is getting quite popular on YouTube. The anonymous tune, “I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up (My Hands To The Lord),” had been circulating for awhile when Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing snapped it up for their collection Crazy Praize 3. Ed Kee, one of the masterminds behind the Crazy Praize series, says he would love to find the original writer. “All that money of course is held in an account waiting for somebody to come along and prove they wrote the song,” Kee said. Comments on YouTube include “This is apart of the great falling away…”, “Praising God through song is wonderful.

Sounding off on the health of clergy

The New York Times had an interesting article about preliminary results on the health of clergy. What the data shows, however, is not good. Clergy apparently experience large amounts of stress, coupled with an equally large amount of responsibilities, and are becoming physically unhealthy as a result with obesity, hypertension, and depression becoming more rampant. A lot of work is being done at Duke University, specifically their Clergy Health Initiative. The article mentions their first round of results: Compared with neighbors in their census tracts, the ministers reported significantly higher rates of arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.

Project Hijab

I blogged a bit ago about the differences between the burkha, hijab, and niqab. At the time, the news was about France taking another step toward eliminating the hijab in public areas. Since then, an appeals court ordered that a Pa. prison can ban employees from wearing the muslim headscarf. With all of this talk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has an interesting page on their website that allows women to give short accounts as to why they do, or don’t, wear the headscarf.

Dogs of Glory

From our “whoa, that is weird” file comes this video of Jim Steager singing “Dogs of Glory.” I honestly have no comment other than to encourage you to catch my favorite bits around 1:10, 1:20, 2:05 and 2:15.

Religion: Jedi Knight

[Priest]: May The Force be with you. [Response]: And also with you. Did George Lucas accidentally create a new religion? Unlike in the U.S., the National Census of Canada contains a question on religion that is asked every 10 years. The entire census is optional, including the religion question.

Liturgy and Puppets

I have to admit: my GoogleReader has a very eclectic assortment of websites and blogs. I’ve noticed a recent trend in one blog about vestments, liturgy, and, oddly enough, the use of giant puppets. Here is one video, from the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s recent General Assembly in Minneapolis, that demonstrates the idea: Yup, those are giant puppets. Used in liturgy. In the PC(USA).

Bodies for/by Jesus

They begin with a group prayer, concluded in Jesus’ name. Their music is religious in nature, a compilation of upbeat and encouraging Gospel music. Their workout kinesthetics could be confused for the choreography of a church piece. These are the images from the Body Gospel DVDs, the latest in the religious diet/workout culture. CNN covered this organization in a piece dated July 21.

Good morals start at birth

Could our moral sensibility exist from the time of our very first breath? Some researchers believe so. Work being conducted at Yale University has demonstrated that our moral reasoning may find its roots, quite simply, in our mere humanity. Psychologists have often wondered whether ethics and morality are primarily nature or nurture based. Are we born as a clean slate, or do we bear figments of ethics in our bones?

July 28, 1989

It’s really a great experience to look back and see what was happening in times gone past. Here at RNS, we’ve got some archives from past years, so I will occasionally pick up and look to see what was happening on a given date in, say, 1989, or maybe 1994. I don’t have links to any of them, of course, but I do have some of the highlights from the stories that I will share. In July 1989, the world had finally gotten somewhat accustomed to that wall that split Berlin. Fashion style called for sweaters (zebra arm optional) with big hair and lots of denim.

Michael Jackson and Jesus

David LaChapelle is the photographer and director widely known in the fashion world for his pictures of such figures as Naomi Campbell, Whitney Houston, Uma Thurman, and recently Lady Gaga. On display in the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC is his latest installation, “American Jesus”. LaChapelle has taken pictures that display Jesus interacting in modern-day representations of Biblical events. In one image, a scantily-clad prostitute wipes Jesus’ feet with her hair. In another, Jesus stands at the center of a table as in The Last Supper, only this time he is surrounded by thugs and criminals.

Are Catholics losing Latin America?

Lots has been brewing in the Western Hemisphere _ Chile, Argentina and Cuba have all been wrestling with teh Catholic Church in recent weeks. A quick recap of what’s been happening in Latin America: Argentina decided to legalize same-sex marriage, an act that went against Catholic Church lobbying (picture, lop left). After debates that kept delegates in their chambers until the early hours of the morning, Argentina became the first Latin American nation to extend equal rights of marriage to same-sex couples. From the LA Times: The 4:05 a.m. vote came after an exhaustive debate that dragged on for more than 14 hours. Hundreds of supporters of the law, waiting outside Congress in freezing temperatures, erupted in cheers and tears of joy when news of the vote reached them.