Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Book Review

Dunk the dead by lightning in a cold water bath for two hours and if still dead, add vinegar and soak for an hour more.

Long story short, I imagined the Inglenook Cookbook to be almost unobtainable; yet when I started looking, I found the 1911 version still being published, unrevised. My copy finally came today and looking through it is like trip, trip, tripping through a long, dead past. Not only does the cookbook have recipes for things that need animal feet, whole-split calf heads, something called 'prune whip', and from what I can tell, a dessert called Silver Pudding with Gold Dressing which is nothing more then beaten egg whites covered in yolk, it also has a recipe section for taking care of the sick. Need a recipe for toast soaked in hot water and strained to help settle your stomach? I got it. Need something to dab on that nasty rattlesnake bite? Got that too. The amazing part of this book is it's history as a collection of recipes from the sisters of the Church of the Brethren, a liberal offshoot of the German Baptist faith. Anyway, there might not be any cures for death by lightning in it's pages, but the book is an honest to god, real thing. The closest we have, I think, to some actual witchy juju. I'm so cooking diner this weekend.
Two Stars from the Left-Handed Reviewer

I saw Mutual Kumquat and Reliant K at NYC. I loved Reliant K.
October 2002 General Board Meeting Update

Facing present realities, the General Board turned to a "Reduced Resources Program Scenario" in constructing its comprehensive plan at its October 12-15 meetings in Elgin. An operating deficit of nearly $800,000 through September was reported; a plunge which could drain away nearly a third of the agency's General Programs net asset reserves. Treasurer Judy Keyser termed the financial situation for 2002 and coming years as "not a rosy picture" meaning that the financial situation was akin to a submarine with a screen door. Meanwhile, to help shore up any leaks, the board has approved expenditures of up to $1.4 million. And in other news, the general secretary search committee hopes to call a candidate in time for consideration at the March board meeting, allowing a new general secretary to be in place in time to witness the "resource reductions."
Gospel Messenger Privacy Policy

Except for what you submit to us, we do not collect any personally identifiable information, including e-mail addresses. On pages where personally identifiable information has been submitted, a seemingly unrelated link may be provided.

When you visit this website, we do not bother to collect general information such as your browser type, operating system, and the domain from which you came. With any luck, you're able to read most of what we have posted. Such information would have only been used in aggregate and could help us better manage the site, but we have day jobs.

Also, attending events which are routinely covered by denominational communication staff gives permission for the Church of the Brethren and its related agencies to use your photograph in online coverage. It is this coverage which we here at the Gospel Messenger tend to exploit.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Mission Monkeys

Inspired by the success of the Rally Monkey for the Angels baseball team, members of the Church of the Brethren are being encourage to bring "Mission Monkey" stuffed animals to Church on Global Mission Sunday. Imagine your congregation filled with people swinging monkeys around showing their support for our brothers and sisters in Brazil, Sudan, and Costa Rica.

There is nothing wrong with our mission program that a good gimic won't cure.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Farewell Mr. Songman

Anyone who grew up in the 70's surely remembers those hilarious Slim Whitman TV commercials...as kids we had never heard of Slim Whitman, but here was this yodeling cowboy who claimed to have sold more records than anyone in the world! According to Slim Whitman Collector's International he "has sold 70,000,000 records world wide and has wall to wall gold, platinum and double platinum records. His television marketed LP "All My Best" sold 4,000,000 units which is a TV marketing record. Slim is noted to be one of the world's greatest yodelers and has a range of over 3 octaves." That's so weird, because in all our years of collecting, we've never met one person who admits to owning a Slim Whitman album!

Slim most recently gained national attention in Tim Burton's sci-fi comedy remake of Mars Attacks. Slim's rendition of "Indian Love Song" was found to be the only weapon that would destroy the alien invaders. Playing this song in the presence of aliens caused their heads to explode!

And need we mention it? Slim is Brethren!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

The Power of the Purse

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF THE MICHIGAN COB CONGREGATIONS HAVE CHOSEN TO WITHHOLD CONTRIBUTIONS to the District. Michigan District, already in difficult circumstances, has 22 congregations. The "power of the purse" often has a sobering effect on those who would take the Church of the Brethren in unbiblical directions.

It's also been said that a delegate to another District Conference spoke of how much money a specific congregation has given to the District. Is this what it has come down to ... money?

"A friend of mine calls this 'lawlessness.' Why should any congregation heed the larger denomination?"

[Ah... the irony - The Editors]
A Letter About the Letter to Dr. Laura

When I read the response to Dr. Laura I was offended at the mockery aimed at the writings in Leviticus. Apparently the writer didn't realize that these rules were written for a specific people at a specific time in history when these people needed these laws to bring them closer to their understanding and obedience to their God. Of course, those kinds of standards don't apply to us today. Why make fun of them?!

If one follows this logic sent in to Dr. Laura, we would belittle the 10 Commandments and we would all be "doing it to one another before they do it to us"! We would be ridiculing the beauty of the creation story. We would be laughing at the prophetic statements of Isaiah. We would be calling Jesus' statement of coming to fulfill the law a bunch of hogwash. Need I say more?

This philosophy of ridicule is destructive to a philosophy which has held people together for generations.

Thank you for letting me "voice" my feelings!

[The note above wasn't written in response to our posting - The Editors]

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

A Letter to Dr. Laura

Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality. Recently, she said that as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned in any circumstance.

The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet:


Dear Dr. Laura

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them.

  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
  3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev.15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell ? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
  4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
  5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
  6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
  7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some room for negotiation here?
  8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
  9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if wear gloves?
  10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan,_______________________________________________________
Posters For Sale

The posters are the product of Micah Ian Wright who is not affiliated with the Gospel Messenger. But they're nifty posters with an anti-war and anti-authority theme.

Millions of Troops Are On The Move...
No Name Change

After much hand wringing and hair pulling and with much fanfare, the Gospel Messenger announces that it has no plans to change its name.

However, you can watch for changes and new postings by using the ChangeDetection monitor found in the right column of this web page.