You know times are hard when …

… even God is trying to earn a little cash on the side.

Ruah massage therapy

Notice the subliminal text: relax, renew, reintegrate.

(Ruach is a Hebrew word meaning the Spirit [of God].)

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copyright © 2006, Stephen

Demilitarized zones in the American evangelical church

Have you ever fantasized about killing people for Jesus? If so, here’s an opportunity for you to role-play it!

I’m talking about the latest extension of the Left Behind sales phenomenon, which started as a series of books, later turned into a movie. Now it’s about to become a video game, set in the period after the Rapture. According to the Washington Post:

The object of the game is to recruit the members of New York’s remaining “neutral” population to the side of God during a seven-year reign of the Antichrist. Players have to win over the remaining agnostics and unbelievers of New York City or kill them.

I repeat the last three words for emphasis: or kill them — for Jesus’ sake, of course!

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In another piece of news, tangentially related to the above, a pastor in Minnesota recently took a costly stand. The Rev. Gregory Boyd was increasingly offended by the cozy relationship between American evangelicals and right wing political causes. The New York Times reports:

He said he first became alarmed while visiting another megachurch’s worship service on a Fourth of July years ago. The service finished with the chorus singing “God Bless America” and a video of fighter jets flying over a hill silhouetted with crosses.

“I thought to myself, ‘What just happened? Fighter jets mixed up with the cross?'”

Before the last presidential election, Rev. Boyd preached six sermons arguing that “the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a ‘Christian nation’ and stop glorifying American military campaigns.”

The result? The megachurch lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 members. But he also learned that other members of the church had similar concerns, and had been afraid to speak out.

(Hat tip, Ben Myers)