Tag Archives: media

Mars Hill without the intellectual pretense

This overnight radio show drove home how really unintellectual this country has become. This is especially ironic and tragic when you consider how much money is spent on “education”. People really aren’t educated today, they’re trained, indoctrinated and made competent, but assuredly not educated.

In respect to that we have the great enabler, the media, this particular show is such a graphic example. Call in with the most ludicrous subject, conspiracy theory, any kind of theory, so long as it’s not about Jesus, and he will tell anyone who calls that they are right about anything they submit. His attitude seems to be “they said it so it must be true, again so long as it’s not Jesus”. No matter how impossible it is to reconcile with reality or with anything else that’s been proposed on the show, that night or any other night in the years this show has been on. It’s on seven nights a week 365 days a year.

The regular host, at least, rarely questions anyone and when he does it’s in the sense of “well ok, if you say so”. So many of the callers are almost obviously delusional, even over the phone/over the radio it’s pretty apparent. The paranoid and obviously delusional, and others suffering from an apparent mental disorder call into this show and just throw it right out there and no one questions them in the least. There is a constant stream of guests who go on, often for hours, spouting their latest theories, conspiracies and/or coverups. They label something a coverup, no matter how obvious or implausible and the host will give you a microphone and an audience.

Isnt this really how society is today? Anything/everything is possible, label anything/anyone you want with some kind of conspiracy, some kind of a conspirator and this host will let you rant on so long as it’s politically correct (although he will let some right wing fanatics and/or religious nut ramble on just to show they’re obviously somehow paranoid or delusional). The rest he just let’s go on their merry way, pats them on their head, tells them how obviously right they are, while making no effort to try and reconcile this ones story with the one from the day before. There must be UFOs, they must be a part of a government plot or coverup.

One could certainly make the case that this is a modern day “Mars Hill”, but while the people there were some kind of intellectuals, there is no pretense of any kind of intellectual at all in contemporary society. Frankly I submit if anything it’s anti-intellectual. We will tell you what the truth is (or that there really isn’t any truth) and you just need to fall in line. You get all these people who tell you they don’t need an education, because they know all they need to know. I’ve learned all I need, when they can’t demonstrate that they’ve done anything to learn anything. I’ve seen more than a few of these types.  No education to speak of, no real life experience, no personal study, it’s obvious that anything they know is very superficial. But that doesn’t stop them. They have somehow absorbed the information, some form of osmosis, and everyone should follow them and believe everything they say.

You certainly see this in big-box churches. No real background, but let’s put on a good show, say the right words (although they fill those words with ideas that don’t at all match their biblical use or any other genuine Christian doctrine).

There is ridiculous anti-intellectualism in this country. All you need is a superficial, if any, understanding on a subject and you can just pontificate away and expect everyone to unquestionably accept and act on what you say. Ya, that’s how Jim Jones, Charlie Manson, Joseph Smith, on and on, with no real understanding of reality, just blah-blah-blah, now go do it.

We also have the uncritical, anti-intellectual like this radio host perpetuating this. The creed being, just be an enabler, don’t challenge, don’t question, don’t rebuke. Nah, I just want to be liked, be successful, make money, and then? Well we will deal with that then, but hey I’ve been a good person.

That is why we want people to grow in their faith, to be good disciples and disciplers. That is why we cannot tolerate those churches that just make Christianity a form of entertainment. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. We have to live that, lead that, teach that and not give in to the silly babbling. We cannot concede souls to those who have no scruples except to make money and try to distract people from the truth in Christ. Satan really doesn’t care what you believe so long as it’s not Jesus.

Let’s start becoming discerning, serious Christians and push back against the silliness of the world.

Yea, this is going to sound smug and smarmy, well there’s a reason, when this book came out I couldn’t believe that anyone could have taken this whole thing seriously to begin with. Furthermore, I hope that any reader notes the continued hypocrisy of the main steam media. When this book/movie came out, this story was plastered everywhere over the main-stream media. “Hey don’t try to confuse me with the facts”, the story, as most of the main-stream media, was a mile wide and an inch thick. The book was published by Tyndale and I honestly have to wonder what Tyndale was thinking about publishing this nonsense. I know this is low, but I can’t help to make the observation that the author and subject’s last name is Malarkey, hmmm, yea, I know, sorry.

Quoting a story in the Washington Post, Alex’s  mother Beth posted this in her blog back in April:

“Alex’s mother posted a statement on her blog objecting to the memoir and its promotion: “It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned.” She goes on to say that the book is not “Biblically sound” and that her son’s objections to it have been ignored and repressed. She also notes that Alex “has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it.” (Ron Charles ” The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” Washington Post Jan 16, 2015  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/01/15/boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-going-back-to-publisher/)

The main-stream media looks dumb, but frankly it makes “Christians” look like a bunch of naive suckers who really don’t even buy what they profess and really want a sweet, fluffy, phoney version of Christianity.

I submit the following:

In an open letter, the self-described “boy who did not come back from heaven” wrote:

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of heaven outside of what is written in the Bible . . . not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,

Alex Malarkey

Hey, kudos to the kid for standing up and taking the heat, although I can’t see anyone really holding the kid up to censure, but his father, listed as a Christian counselor. And, not surprising to me, they attend a non-denominational church. The following is the description that’s, still, on Amazon:

“In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex—and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. “I think that Alex has gone to be with Jesus,” a friend told the stricken dad. But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels who took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old. And most amazing of all . . . of meeting and talking to Jesus. The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven is the New York Times bestselling true story of an ordinary boy’s most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex’s eyes, you’ll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father’s love.” I mean WOW, I’m going to have to get my hip-waders to get through that.

Kevin MalarkeyKevin  Malarkey

I found this glowing endorsement for a Christian pastor about an appearance by Kevin:

“We recently had Kevin Malarkey come to speak at our church. We found that as we advertised the story of “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” it immediately gripped the community’s attention. People want to know about life after death. This is a fantastic message about God’s awesome power, and the reality of heaven. If you didn’t believe before, you’ll have trouble not believing after. We showed the documentary of Alex’s story to our church two weeks before his father Kevin came to speak at our church and it really stirred up our congregation to invite their friends and family. As a result of all the advertising and personal invitations we drew in the largest crowd of people we have ever had visit our church.”
Pastor Rob Scarallo – Christian Family Outreach Center – Tampa, FL – See more at: http://www.ambassadorspeakers.com/ACP/speakers.aspx?name=Kevin%20Malarkey&speaker=1390#sthash.RbCfiXlK.dpuf

How about just wow. Kind of goes to show you how much uncritical thinking there is out there, I mean really a Christian “pastor”?! So what about “Heaven Is For Real” a four year old boy’s claim of going to heaven? Yea, sorry, not buying, but hey let’s see how that plays out. I mean really? On its face a four year old’s version of anything?

Listen, if you really are a Christian, you are called to be discerning. This goofy idea that as good “Christians” we are just supposed to paste on smiles and buy anything that comes down the pike in the name of “tolerance”. The word “tolerance” is not used in the Bible, the word “tolerate” is used twice, both negatively, Esther 3:8, Revelation 2:20 but it certainly does talk about discernment: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” (Ephesians  5: 6-10 ESV)

Let’s get serious, we are under constant attack. Attack doesn’t mean violence necessarily, usually it’s more undermining. We have to study Scripture, know what we are talking about, go to worship to be built up in our faith. Take the Body and Blood of the Lord. Take serious time in prayer. What we are called to do is to be discerning. We are called to be faithful to the revealed word of God and not to the world’s, let’s start getting serious and get rid of the nonsense in the world.

The faithful telling of the Bible

It seems to be easy lately to think that the there is just a remnant of Christians, only a few that are left to raise up God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But then a long comes an event or a message that demonstrates that Christians are very much alive, faithful and active.

Case in point the production of the television series The Bible produced by husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I will qualify this upfront by saying that I really did appreciate The Bible that it really was a faithful portrayal of the Bible. It always amuses me when people call the Bible ‘boring’. That is biblical illiteracy. If I can be a little tacky, the Bible has it all violence, intrigue, sex, infidelity, charity, faithfulness, sacrifice, integrity, pride and strength. The Bible has good, bad, somewhere in the middle, ordinary people confronting extraordinary circumstances. The last thing I would describe the Bible as is boring. One of the things that always annoyed me was the way different people/beings of the Bible have been portrayed in movies and media. Jesus always seems to be sort of soft and prissy, and that just could not have been the case. He was probably a carpenter, He spent so much of His earthly ministry outside, traveling around, even out on the boats with some of His disciples. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was very much a manly man and nothing in the Bible contradicts that. Another is this idea that angels are sort of beautiful, poofy women. Again that is not biblical. Any description of angels in the Bible depicts them as male. The depiction in the television series of angels as more like ninjas would be a lot more faithful to the biblical narrative.

Angel in The Bible Does kind of create an interesting contrast with Ms Downey’s portrayal of an angel in the television series Touched by an Angel 

Forbes Magazine did a feature on the couple and their production of The Bible and future productions based on the Bible. Their success, that I would consider a lot more biblicaly based, then most contemporary productions (yea, just ask me about Noah ugh), anyway “The Bible made its debut in 2013, and even on a relatively esoteric cable channel was able to outdraw the networks; at one point Burnett had the No. 1 show in America five nights out of the week. And viewers couldn’t get enough: The Bible has sold over 1 million copies via DVD and Blu-ray….the movie spinoff, which Burnett and Downey spent an estimated $1 million to bankroll, has done $68 million worldwide…” (Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Dorothy Pomerantz  Forbes Magazine July 21, 2014 pp 55 – 60)

Clearly a faithful rendering of the Bible, not too pious, not too imaginary (yea like Noah) are greatly in demand. God’s story is the most compelling ever: “There are not a lot of books being read these days’, says Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of late-night and alternative programming. ‘But there is one that’s being read and reread, and that’s the Bible.”

Burnett points out that a lot of contemporary television and movies are biblically based: “…he says take their dominant influence from the world’s most popular book: Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix.” The Matrix??? I guess he’d know better than me. Point being is that too much media has either dumbed down the Bible, or made it too sugar coated or made it to ham handed, none of which are faithful renderings. Straightforward, human portrayal of the Bible is what God inspired the writers of the Bible to write and that has what guided the faithful for 2,000 years. There is plenty of hunger in the world for the real Bible. Let’s faithfully teach, preach and relate the Bible. The Holy Spirit will use that to lead and inspire others, we don’t need to embellish what was perfectly inspired by God.