Are You Gonna Go My Way

In the world of the Christian (particularly the evangelical brand), there is only one way.

Jesus.

Suggest to your evangelical friends that there is more than one way and you will be met with resistance. Strong resistance. Why?

Fear.

If there is more than one way for anyone, then it leaves open the possibility that there is more than one way for the Christian. As Robert Price says in “The Reason Driven Life” when he speaks of the Christian dilemma and the need to evangelize:

I must have certainty! So for me to be sure the gospel will redeem me, I have to believe that you need it too. Hence I cannot be satisfied thinking you might not need it. If I admit that something else might do the trick for you, I have to suspect that something else might work better for me too.

I LOVE David Letterman

David Letterman is my man crush, well, actually used to be my man crush. I mean for God sakes he’s 62 years old now, so now it’s not so much a crush as it is just deep admiration, respect and gratefulness for years of laughter. He is to me what Johnny Carson was for my parents. Plus, he’s always been a class act and in my opinion he continues to be.

Last week he made some jokes about Sarah Palin, the super religious governor of Alaska, and her daughter. Now what does Palin being super religious part have to do with it?? Because, for the most part, stupid church people don’t have a sense of humor about themselves. Second, stupid church people don’t have a sense of what is truly funny. And third, stupid church people usually can’t separate the joke from a personal attack and just simply “get it” (and most importantly leave it alone). No, instead stupid church people like Sarah Palin have to then draw attention to themselves, their irrational beliefs and skewed world views… and in the end make things worse and not better for themselves.

What follows from Letterman is the absolute best “apology” ever by anyone in the history of the world. Well, at least that I have seen. Great job Dave!

Laid-off religious workers denied jobless benefits

Beware pastors and staff of churches: If you get laid off, the chances are you will NOT receive unemployment.

God may provide, but the state may not when it comes to unemployment benefits for employees laid off by churches, synagogues and other religious groups.

Carol Bronson discovered that a few months ago after she lost her secretarial job at Temple Emanuel synagogue in Virginia Beach. Bronson assumed she could draw unemployment benefits, but when she filed a claim, she was denied.

It was a hard way to learn that under Virginia law, as in many states, tax exemptions for religious organizations include freedom from paying unemployment taxes, though the IRS requires they pay Social Security and withholding taxes.

“I had no idea that there would not be any benefits for me after leaving my job,” said Bronson, who worked at the synagogue for two years.

I discovered this about 10 years ago when a church let me go because of financial struggles they were facing, and when I went to collect unemployment I found out there was none for me. Churches are not required to pay into unemployment (although they can if they so choose) so pastors and staff in most churches are not covered. The kicker is most of them do not realize this because they are never told.

Churches choose to save money by not paying into unemployment and I think that’s really lame. This is just a warning to any and all pastors and church staff out there. The church may be your “family” but when it comes to money… it’s all business.

Basketball Theology

After a Chicago Bulls player makes free throws to ice the game against the Celtics, he does a post game interview.

Interviewer: So what goes through your mind when you shoot those free throws?

Player: I just step up to the line, say a little prayer to God and let him handle the rest.

Interviewer: But you still have to shoot it.

Exactly.

The MSFITS

It’s not too late to contribute to the MS WALK which my son Bryson and I will be participating in tomorrow, April 19. As I said in a previous post, I am walking for my good friend and co-worker Genny who was diagnosed with MS about 1 year ago.

Genny is one of my heroes!! Her positive, upbeat and incredible attitude towards life has inspired me so much. I can only imagine what it means to live daily with this disease, but Genny never seems to have a bad day.I am so proud to be associated with this event.

Genny’s MS WALK team name is the MSFITS. The other day at work I was there watching her create the team shirts and snapped a photo of the logo that Genny designed. I thought I’d share it with you.

Each year I try to use this site to raise money for something I think is worthy. If this blog and our podcast has spoken to you over the years I hope you will consider the MS WALK as a way to show that appreciation.

The contribution site is open through May 22. Thank you.

MS WALK 2009 UPDATE: We had a great time and I think the foundation for some collaborative efforts to see the MSFIT NATION grow were born. Stay tuned. Thanks to each of you who participated through your financial gifts and well wishes. Here’s some pics from the day!