City Business Church

It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16

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Location: Washington DC, United States

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Love It!

I recognize that JP and I have quit this blog like 50 times. So, while I'd like to say this is the last. Who knows? But I kind of have a "live and let live" mentality. And while I disagree with what City Bible preaches, a lot people really like it. So part of me feels like, "Fine, whatever, I've said my piece. I should probably move on... " Of course, before I move on completely, I would like to entertain you with what will most likely be our last Christmas song. I have also been instructed to let people know that this song was written entirely by Joel Morton. Jesse Morton had nothing to do with it. (I guess the Lennon/McCartney of City Business Church are breaking up.) So for your listening pleasure, I give you Frankie the Titheman (As sung to the tune "Frosty the Snowman") Franky the titheman was a money collecting soul With simulcast and a grande chai and two eyes made out of dough Frankie the titheman is a great pastor they say He was made of dough but the pastors know how he came to preach one day There must have been some money in that old gold hat they found For when they placed it on his head he began to shake that bucket around Oooooh tiiiitttthhhe Frankie the titheman was alive as he could be And the pastors say he could tithe and pay just the same as you and me clinkety clink clink Clinkety clink clink Look at Frankie go clinkety clink clink Clinkety clink clink into the bucket it goes

Saturday, December 10, 2005

WHAT A WAY TO GO

I am a superstitious man. It’s true. This blog is supposed to end this weekend. Sunday marks the one year anniversary of when we started counting traffic to our site. Over 80,000 hits, in one year…that’s impressive. The problem is that I’m enjoying the blog again. We’ve got new readers…new comments…new people telling us we’re bitter. How can I give this up now??? Well, I’ll tell you. Last night when I went to drive home from work, my car wouldn’t start. Ok, all you closet CBC readers, have your laugh. Go running out of the Generation Ministry offices and give each other high fives. The Pope’s car won’t start…isn’t God good (all the time). I called Justin; told him my car wouldn’t start and that I was ending the blog. He agreed. Fortunately, it was just a dead battery; I got a jump and went home. On the way home I had to question my rash decision to end the blog, after all, it was just a dead battery. Nothing serious. Regardless, I’ve decided… when it’s time, it’s time. I am done participating in this blog. You don’t believe me? Well… I’m not going to explain this blog again. I’m not going to say why I blog. I’m not going to try to defend what this blog has done. All I am going to say is…. 82,800 hits…and counting 1 article written in the Pulitzer Prize winning Willamette Week 1 threatened lawsuit 1 million laughs…and counting I can’t think of any better way to end this then by posting the #1 blog of the year…it’s actually 2 blogs…both of them Christmas songs…both of them hilarious… both of them written by Jesse and Joel Morton. Congratulations boys…Merry Frankmas. Catalyst got run over by a Lasit Catalyst got run over by a Lasit Walking home from blogging Christmas eve. You can say there's no such thing as Dougie, But as for Joel and Jesse, we believe. He’d been drinkin' way too much egg nog, And we'd begged him not to go. But he'd left his medication, So he stumbled out the door into the snow. When they found him Christmas mornin', At the scene of the attack. There were hoof prints on his forehead, And incriminatin' dollar marks on his back. Catalyst got run over by a Lasit, Walkin' home from blogging Christmas eve. You can say there's no such thing as Dougie, But as for Joel and Jesse, we believe. DOUGIE THE BROWN NOSED PASTOR (Sung to the tune of Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer.) You know Scheidler and Mishler and Estes and Louman, Jaimeson and Rachinski and Joneses and Nashif, But do you recall, The most famous pastor of all? Dougie, the brown-nosed pastor Had a very dirty nose. And if you ever saw itYou would even say it shows. All of the other pastors Used to laugh and call him names They never let poor Dougie join in any pastor games. Then one foggy Faith Harvest Damazio came to say, "Dougie with your nose so brown, Won't you guide my lexus home"? Then how the pastors loved him And they shouted out with glee, "Dougie the brown-nosed pastor, You'll go down in history"!

Friday, December 09, 2005

And now for something completely the same

I think this blog has started to get a little “heavy”. I’d like to try and lighten things up by posting an old favorite. ILOVETRUTH, this is for you: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 They Will Be Mocked Disclaimer:The following post is 100% pure sarcasm and it contains absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. If sarcastic humor offends you, please stop reading now. I have decided to make it a little easier for us all. Instead of spending hours in church learning the exact same thing week after week, I will now publish the 5 simple steps to receive blessings from God. (I may follow up with the book titled “5 Simples Steps to Receive Blessings from God”) 1. When your church begins to announce the offering start to pray for things that you need (want). 2. As you drop your tithe into the bucket say out loud “Lord in return for my gift I expect to receive _______” (fill in the blank with the things you need [want]) 3. After dropping your tithe into the bucket take your hands and form a funnel* above your head. This way it will be easier for God to pour out his blessing on your life. 4. Once the blessing is confirmed immediately start your clap offering**. 5. Repeat *Have you ever had someone ask you to make a funnel above your head to receive blessings from God? I have, but I don’t get it. Is God getting old? Does he have a case of the shakes? He really needs a funnel? Here is how I see this going: God: I will now pour out my blessings on Johnpaul JP: Thanks God, I’ll help out by making a funnel with my hands. God: Good idea son. Here we go. Whoops, looks like I poured a bit too much. JP: Come on God, now I’ve got blessing all over my face; didn’t you see the funnel. Next time I’m asking for the Holy Ghost. Is the funnel really necessary? I think I am going to take drift wood and spell the word BLESSING in case God happens to fly by my house. That way He will know exactly where to drop off that check for “millions maybe even billions of dollars”***. **See Clap, clap, clap, clap from Feb 5th, 2005 ***See The Jesus Sweepstakes from Feb 4th, 2005

Has Marc lost his Mojo?

I received several emails and comments about Marc Estes's last sermon. And while I listened to it, I found it rather dull and fell asleep. However a couple of our reader's actually paid attention to what Marc said. And as usual, they have some insight: Non Dude writes: Sorry to interupt but Mark Estes sunday sermon was, get this, "Has the Grinch Stolen Your Christmas". First of four Christmas sermons, the next three PF will "preach". The grinch was spotted on Rocky Butte and has apparantly stolen a "mega" churches christmas. I did not know that Estes could do a Howard Dean impersonation 9min 45sec. citybiblechurch.org -media link. I learned that the twelve days of christmas song is coded with christian truth ( Jesus is the partridge in the pear tree ? what?) and candy canes were early christian tracts, wow? there was some good stuff about what Jesus has done , but at the end everyone stood up and read these grinchville (ie blogsite) stompers, declarations of faith about how THEY CHOOSE to be better christmas christians. nice, tis the season to be happy. Anna writes: This decision not to have church is just another symptom of the CBC image. The image is: white people with lots of money -- that's why the sermon Sunday was about pausing during all the activities and shopping to remember the true meaning of Christmas. It was so nicely culturally relevant with the film clip of the Grinch and all. All of us rich white people felt truly admonished. The image is: white people with happy families opening Christmas presents around the tree, carols in the background, turkey in the oven, eggnog in the fridge. Since that is the image, it would be a shame to spoil it by having to go to church. Never mind that there are lonely people with no family. Never mind that there are many older people and ethnic cultures who celebrate Christmas Day by worshipping in church, no matter what day it falls on. The image continues: Church must be a production -- lights, cameras, flash and plasma screens! It wouldn't be the proper image to have a small quiet service with a piano and a guitar, a short sermon and a prayer. No children's ministry necessary, just keep the kids with you since it's a short remembrance of Jesus. That kind of thing would just not be church, now would it? I know they would protest that the big production is the week before Christmas. But aren't they just contradicting their own message of laying aside the "Christmas frenzy" to remember the simplicity of the Gospel? The NYT picked up on Anna's theme. Here's their article from today's newspaper.

When Christmas falls on Sunday, Mega churches take the day off.

Best Quote:

"What about the people in society without strong family connections? The elderly, single people a long distance from family, or people who are simply lonely and for whom church and prayers would be a significant part of their day?"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Full Circle

Today's Oregonian includes a wrapup of all Portland girls basketball teams. Here's what they say about City Christian. Class 2A/1A schools City Christian Coach Dan Malmin calls junior Tajai King "probably the best guard in the state." King heads a City Christian (17-6, 11-3 1A Casco League) team that also returns standout guards Autumn Tarter and Susanna Gill. JP and I got our blogging start, writing about the City Christian girls basketball team on Oregonlive's Basketball Forums. We used to spend hours ripping on Tim Nashif when he was coach of City Christian. It was great fun, and at one point Tim called my mother to ask her to stop me from writing about him online. At that time, I was traveling through China, and my mom was like, "Tim, Justin's in China, he's not writing about you online, so relax." Unfortunately for my mom (and Tim I guess), internet cafe's were taking off in China. And I was in fact spending a couple of hours a day, working on things to write about Tim, all from a tiny province in Shanghia.... ahhhh.... good times... good times... Anyway, JP and I like Dan Malmin. So good luck Dan. I hope your girls do well this year.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rematch

This should have been in the top ten, I believe that it is by sheer oversight that it did not make it. Enjoy: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 City Bible Church vs.The Dreamcenter Recently an ex-City Business member asked me, "Which do you think is better, City Bible Church or the Dreamcenter?" Like a typical heathen I responded, "What the hell is the Dreamcenter? Is it a mattress store? Because if you're looking for a good place to sleep, the City Bible pews are not the place; trust me I've been trying to sleep there for years." But no, I was told, the Dreamcenter is not a mattress store, it is in fact a large Mega-Church in the heart of Los Angeles. A church, huh. Immediately I was intrigued... A battle of the churches. Now that could be fun. And in pondering this great mystery, I realized that here was a question only a blogger could answer. Thus, for this next post, I am going to compare the many similar aspects of CBC and the Dreamcenter, and then pronounce a winner. Should be fun. Let's break it down: Dr. Jack style. Church Name: The most important feature of a church is the name. And although I find the name "Dreamcenter" eerily similar to many amusement parks in California, I have to give the Barnetts credit for coming up with something unique. At least they didn't jump on the "city" bandwagon. Note to churches, just putting the name "city" in your church name, doesn't necessarily make you hip and cool. Edge: Dreamcenter Play: I was reviewing the Dreamcenter website and I noticed they recently staged a lavish Christmas production. I believe the play involved a group of overly happy "toy dolls" becoming sad because their friend "toy soldier" was sinning. This was followed by a dramatic confession by the soldier and a subsequent happy toy dance. A rather unoriginal production, if you ask me. And in fact, the only play that might be worse than a "Happy Toy Christmas Production" is a play in which the audience is reminded repeatedly they are going to straight to hell. A play, I am pretty sure Jesus would walk out of. Again... Edge: Dreamcenter Pastoral Humor: Due to the wonders of technology, I recently had the pleasure of listening to a sermon by Tommy Barnett. And I have to be honest, three minutes into his speech, I thought I had found the most unfunny person in the world. Honestly, Worst. Jokes. Ever. The only thing worse than tithing jokes, are jokes about how your wife is not subservient anymore. If City Bible Church is trapped in the 90's, then the Dreamcenter is trapped in the 50's. Someone has to introduce these mega-churches to the new millennium.Thus, while Frank Damazio is no Chris Rock, I've got to say, compared to Mr. Barnett he could perform Live at the Apollo. Edge: City Bible Church Message on Giving: It is commonly understood that you can not be a megachurch unless you repeatedly hound your congregation for all their money. And, as we have discussed before, City Business is the absolute best at giving this message. As they should be, they've had 10 years of practice.However, in the interest of fairness, I listened to young Tommy to see what he had to offer.Well folks, he may be no Damazio 3:16, but this little soldier gave everything he had. He left it all on the court. He told his church that God would not perform a miracle in their life unless they gave as much money as possible. (Honestly, listen to the sermon).And so, right there staring at my computer, without even thinking, I stood up and gave little Tommy a standing ovation. It was no "putting a cap on God." But is was a phenomenal performance nonetheless. Edge: City Bible (though this was a close one) PROJECTED WINNER IN HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCHUP: Did I also mention that the Dreamcenter has over 30,000 congregants, and their campus is a mere 20 minutes from where Linsdey Lohan lives? Hmmm, I guess I didn't. Well, whatever...Winner: Dreamcenter

We are not alone

It’s good to see that we are not alone and it’s a shame to see that they are not alone. Apparently, there are many mega churches out there that are not holding services on Xmas. Check out this article from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-12-06-christmas-churches_x.htm Here is a quote from the article: This is a consumer mentality at work: 'Let's not impose the church on people. Let's not make church in any way inconvenient,'" said David Wells, professor of history and systematic theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Hamilton, Mass. "I think what this does is feed into the individualism that is found throughout American culture, where everyone does their own thing."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Here's Another

Here is another "Honorable Mention". This one is not funny, but was quite controversial at the time of it's original writing. (It is kinda funny) I have edited it down to the basics. JESUS TODAY (in a post Measure 36 world) John 8:1-11 (NIV) But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. [2] At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. [3] The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group [4] and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" [6] They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. [7] When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." [8] Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.[9] At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. [10] Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"[11] "No one, sir," she said."Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." I would like to translate this into a modern day story. Lets pretend that Jesus was here on earth living with us today and he was faced with another sexual sin. But Jesus went to the Butte of Rocky. At dawn he appeared again in the former temple where all the people gathered around him, and He sat down to teach them. Then the pastors and elders brought to Him a man caught in homosexuality. They made him stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this man was caught in the act of homosexuality and would like to marry his sinful partner. Now Measure 36 has been designed to keep this man from redefining marriage.” “Will you vote yes on Measure 36?” They were using this question for political gain, in order to pass the measure.But Jesus bent down and started to write on the new and updated carpet. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him vote yes first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the carpet. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the man still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked him, “Man, where are they? Has no one voted against you?” “No one, sir” he said. “Then neither do I vote against you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” It is important to note that when Jesus was confronted with this sinner, he did not condemn her, but he also did not condone the sin. He said "Then neither do I condemn you, go now and leave your life of sin." This is grace in its truest form. Here was a woman who was caught in a sinful and immoral act. According to the law she should have been stoned. Her death would have been justified, however Jesus bestowed His grace upon her life. The problem that I see with today’s church is that they have flipped Christ’s example around. Jesus spent his time on earth rebuking the church and loving sinners. Today’s church spends it’s time rebuking sinners and loving itself...

Honorable Mention

Before we post the #1 blog of all time and wrap this blog up…we wanted to give you a couple of honorable mentions: Over the next few days, I will put up some of my favorite posts that just didn’t quite make the Top Ten list. Starting us off is AND NOW I HAVE A POST from Feb 3rd 2005. AND NOW I HAVE A POST My brother emailed me today trying to get me to post something. I responded saying I didn't want this blog to feel like a job, and I was quite comfortable going a day without posting anything.To which he emailed back: Where has the fire gone? This is no job, this is a mission, a call from God.The Lord would say to you this day,"For a time will come-a, when you will be faced with a great calling-a. Your burden will be heavy-a and time will be short-a. I will be your rock-a, I will create a hedge of protection around you-a. Step into the river-a, wade into the river-a, take off your clothes and do a cannonball into the river-a." Thus sayeth the Lord.

Friday, December 02, 2005

#2 Shall We Sing

This is the one that started them all. Our first City Business Christmas post is also the second greatest post of the year. A special thank you goes out to Finally Home for his work on this piece. Special Edition Holiday CD!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to present you with the first of what I am sure will be a long tradition of Christmas albums designed by City Business. Each CD comes with a pledge card you can use for your extra holiday tithing. And don’t forget there is still time for that extra Christmas blessing. Immerse yourself in the true meaning of the holidays with these wonderful songs of merriment. 1. Little Tither Boy 2. O Holy Tithe 3. God Rest Ye Merry Businessmen 4. O Come All Ye Faithful Givers 5. What Tithe Is This? 6. It Was Simulcast Upon A Midnight Clear 7. Tithers We Have Heard On High 8. Joy To The West Side 9. I’ll Be Home For Faith Harvest 10. I Saw Three Checks Come Mailing In 11. Rockin Around The Tithe Bowl For a nominal fee the sheet music to Here Comes Satan Clause can be yours. Now, there is no need to drive a stake in your yard or anoint your doorways with oil from the Holy Land. If you want protection from Satan Claus simply purchase our CD for $20 and play it where ever you go. In case you are not familiar with this holiday classic, we have provided the lyrics for the first verse absolutely free. Here Comes Satan Clause. Here Comes Satan Clause. Right Down Satan Clause Lane. If You’re Not Quick And Tithe Your Money It’ll All Go Down The Drain. It’s Your Fault. You Put A Cap On God. Your Blessing’s Out Of Sight. So Get Your Checks In. Don’t Question Us. This Time, We Know We’re Right. So don’t delay. You can purchase your holiday CD in the City Business Gift Shop. They are located between the Louis Vuitton Bible Covers and the Limited Edition City Business Starbucks Coffee Mugs.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy Birthday to Us

Some of you may think of December 1 as the day Bette Middler entered the world and changed our lives forever through song and dance. Or you may remember to pin a pink flower to your lapel in Honor of AIDS, as today is World AIDS day. However, here at City Business, today is the day we took every silly thought we had about that large breasted church on the hill, and laid them out for the world to see. And in honor of this momentous occasion we are going to try and quantify exactly what one year means to this blog: Number of Entries: 137 Number of times we have cursed: 24 Number of entries featuring the Lasit Family: 14 Number of allusions to Seinfeld: 55 Number of anonymous comments that ridiculued us: 79 Number of times we have been called "bitter": 1 bajillion Number of people who did not get that we were trying to help Doug and Donna's marriage: 2,934 Number of City Bible pastor's who read this blog religiously: 24 Number of times we have used the word "tithe": 610 Number of times we lied about pastor's reading this blog: 1 Thanks to everyone who reads and comments on this blog. You make my life fun. Thank you. (With apologies to those lovely ladies at Go Fug Yourself: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.)

Pedestal

Here's an interesting blog from Bob Hyatt. (Hat Tip: Jesse Morton) The era of the pastor on the pedestal is over. Not that we shouldn't respect our pastors, but too many of us grew up being allowed to think that the pastor was a cut above, on a super-spiritual plane that we should aspire to, but probably would never reach short of becoming pastors ourselves (or missionaries... missionaries were even better in some cases). The problem is that pastors are only human and the first time they show that, those who enjoy the pastor-on-the-pedestal are left feeling hurt and betrayed. Better to let people know up front -I'm just like you. I struggle with self-doubt, with identity and motivation issues just like everyone. I struggle with sin. I get angry. I'm selfish too much of the time. Sometimes I don't want to spend time with God. I hate the fact that my hair is deserting me, but my stomach seems to be hitting a growth period. But in the midst of all that God shows me grace and forgiveness, God is my center and my ground.- It's possible to live this life and not be swept away, not be pulled under. And it doesn't happen because you reach a level of spiritual perfection where the waters calm and the clouds part. It happens because through those very things you struggle with you are driven time and time again to God Himself. And if I didn't live that process openly with people, what right would I have to try to tell them that's how it works?