Overseas missions: Looking a lot like church

Every pastor knows perfectly well that the majority of men sitting in church on Sunday morning were dragged there by their wives, that the average man has no interest in listening to some pissant preacher berate him — especially if that man has done the hard work of getting himself a gen-u-ine education and knows for a rock-solid, bolted-down fact that most of what the preacher says is excruciatingly stupid nonsense.

Well, what do you know? It turns out — to their inestimable credit — that fewer men are willing to glorify Jesus these days by going to remote pestholes where the people eat bugs. Let those National Geographic characters figure it out for themselves appears to be the attitude.

The irreverent phrase that not-so-gently stepped on the little twinkies of our young, single, male seminarians was, “SNIVELING WIMPS.” How impolite, and impolitic of Plodder to call the few, the called, the proud, the chest thumping, set-the-world-on-fire young male Southern Baptist seminarians ‘sniveling wimps’. Why do that?

Here’s why: You can’t get these guys to go overseas and serve the Lord in some of the more difficult places where the Gospel is needed the most…but you can get girls to do it.

Interesting, no? Every plausible explanation that I can come up with to explain this entails the word ‘delusional,’ so I guess I’ll keep my speculations to myself. But you braver, and single, sorts are welcome to use the comments.

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Religion

§138   Priests are the actors of something which is supernatural, either in the way of ideals, gods, or saviours and they have to make people believe in them; in this they find their calling, this is the purpose of their instincts; in order to make it as credible as possible, they have to exert themselves to the utmost extent in the art of posing; their actor’s sagacity must, above all, aim at giving them a clean conscience, by means of which, alone, it is possible to persuade effectively.

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Those collapsing roofs in Buffalo

As most of you probably know by now, the huge snowfall in Buffalo has caused many roofs to collapse. Let me digress for a few minutes to explain how engineers design for this problem.

Engineers do NOT design roofs, and the beams and trusses that hold up the roof, to accommodate the heaviest possible snowfall; they design to accommodate some experience-based fraction of the heaviest possible snowfall. This is because there is usually a lot of wind associated with an epochal snowfall like the one that just plastered Buffalo, and the wind blows most the snow right off.

If the 100-year storm — I’m just picking numbers here — is 48-inches in one day, then the local code might require design for 18-inches of snow, because experience has taught that a blizzard like that is usually accompanied by a lot of wind that blows most of the snow off a pitched roof.

Engineers do not design for some nightmarish ‘worst case.’ Engineers design for what experience has taught is the worst that can reasonably be expected.

“Engineering is the application of scientific principles to the economical solution of real world problems.” That is, word-for-word, the definition of engineering that was drummed into my head decades ago at Michigan Tech, and the key word in that definition is ‘economical.’ Engineers could easily design a house with a roof that would support 72-inches of snow — but you couldn’t afford to live in it.

There are no easy answers in engineering design, just hard choices.

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The end of the mystique, ctd

  • The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis may seek bankruptcy protection in consequence of sexual abuse claims.

    Citing growing financial trouble linked to clergy sex abuse cases, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday raised the prospect that it will seek bankruptcy protection.

    In its annual report in the Catholic Spirit online newspaper, archdiocese officials said the unfolding settlements of clergy sex abuse cases are a key factor.

  • A Richmond church’s bankruptcy takes another twist.

    A troubled Southside church has found its savior.

    The Richmond Christian Center property on Cowardin Avenue was purchased at auction on Thursday for $2.15 million.

    The buyer was Mountain of Blessings Christian Center, a church that currently operates in Eastern Henrico. It has a six-figure renovation in mind for the 37,000-square-foot property that Pastor Dimitri Bradley said will be easier for its geographically scattered congregation to reach.

    Read the entire story; at least part of the reason the church ended-up in bankruptcy is that the church inadvertantly sold extensive downtown property to the pastor’s son, who promptly flipped them for an obscene profit.

  • A moribund SBC church in Jacksonville, Florida, has partnered with a black megachurch.

    Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, one of the largest African-American Baptist churches in Jacksonville, is in the process of partnering with the predominantly Anglo Ridgewood Baptist Church in Orange Park.

    If all goes according to plan, the two congregations will become one church with multiple locations sometime next year.

    Those interviewed for this story could not think of another time in Florida when an African-American congregation has been the lead partner in combining with an Anglo congregation.

    Well … I dunno. I have a difficult time picturing a bunch of Florida crackers fitting in comfortably, but it would be nice to be wrong.

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Back in the ol’ hometown, ctd

The Archdiocese of Detroit will no longer permit a support group for the families of gays to hold their meetings on their property because a proposed speaker is sympathetic to gays.

The Archdiocese of Detroit has banned a support group for Catholic families with gay members from using a Detroit parish for a Saturday meeting because the scheduled speaker represents a pro-gay rights ministry censured by the Vatican, Patricia Montemurri reports in the Free Press.


It is their club, et cetera, et cetera, but there is no nice way to put it: This is a stupid thing to do.

  • It denies the possibility of good faith, heartfelt disagreement about what the status of gays should be within the church — and within their families.

  • It denies comfort to those who are seeking it from their church.

  • It affirms the church’s backwardness and rejection of science.

  • Some of those people won’t be back.

I speak from a business, pro-growth perspective, obviously. Personally, if they want to shoot themselves in the foot, well, hell — how can I help?

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