Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Author’s Preface:  Some time in the early summer of 2014, the author was contacted by someone who he could call a friend in Facebook speak, but was more or less, an acquaintance....Let's call him a Myspace friend. The man was offering yours truly a solid week’s pay to visit to a specific set of camp meeting services that very summer in a chosen state of the acquaintances choosing. Author was confused at the least because of author's lack of interest into any sort of reporting situation after the Jeff Arnold BOTT incident which, not only included homophobia, racism, and antisemitism...but also found Anthony Mangun and the Pentecostals of Alexandria's  company mysteriously silent about the incident (the audio is still not available and yet they won't say why).... Let's let it pass? 

Hell No.

Cue Music
But yet money speaks loud at times (like the Pentecostals of Alexandria), and I was commissioned by this pastor to attend a couple of camp services..... And on top of attending said services, the author was to report on what he encountered in a manner he felt comfortable with. In short, he was to do a piece of non-fiction journalism covering the meetings. Yours truly agreed to the job, because, who wouldn't? The other, relevant piece of information, was that yrs. truly agreed to do the job on condition of the employer’s anonymity. In turn, the author demanded that the state which hosted these meetings be left unnamed along with the names of the preachers and attendees he encountered during the visit. While my employer was hesitant to concede such a demand, he eventually conceded. Likewise, names have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent, which according to the cross, is everyone.

The motivations of the potential  employer of this project were never inquired about, but if the author were to speculate, the intentions were not pure, nor informative, but most likely seditious. Yrs. truly can speculate on this based on the disappointment expressed by the potential-employer once the piece (included below in it’s entirety) was sent to him. Also, advice, it helped....

Frankly, the author’s employer was probably expecting an article full of sinister cynicism about the whole charade yours truly encountered at the camp meetings. This would also explain why yrs. truly was commissioned to write the piece, since it was he of minor and past Apostolic fame, who wrote extensively and cynically for an unnamed blog lambasting Apostolic culture proper (in the past). However, the employer did not know that yrs. truly had grown bored and weary of the whole blog at the time of the job, and was particularly dismayed at the whole cynical attitude which fueled the blog in the first place. The author did however, disclose his change of heart to his supposed employer, and is truly apologetic for whatever frustrations this caused his potential employer, but would also like to remind him that he is truly grateful for the initial subtle nudge to do this piece. Even though it ended up being funded by myself.

The author would also like to disclose to the reader that just because he is not as cynical as he once was about things in the UPC, this does not mean he is cool with the UPC either. In fact, he is more frenzied than ever about the amount of rhetorical garbage that is spoken of as truth within the organization, and if he had one motivational message to the preachers of the org., it would be to “get your crap together.” Also, he would like to thank God above all else, his "potential" employer for permitting the publishing of the article here, and his mother for putting up with his angry rants at the dinner table. Also the author would like to tell you that he too is sick to death of talking about himself in the third person….


I have seen water balloons slingshot hundreds of feet into the air. Miraculous water bombs. I have seen one water balloon slingshot like a canon taking out an unassuming bystander’s face. Literally, her face was destroyed. She was twelve yours old. The ambulance came. Never heard from her again. Nor the settlement (presuming there is one).

I have seen gentrification within the UPC itself and it's splintering. Splintering politely... until another org develops.

I have seen poop left in the shower without proper health inspections after being reported.

I have seen a preacher man lay his hand on a Holy Ghost seeker’s forehead in prayer in such a forceful fury, that the seeker’s knees collapsed under the weight of the hand causing him to “fold” to the ground which in turn, caused the man with the hand to fall on top of the folded body he was praying for.

I have seen a trailer dragged out of the camp real quick, because said trailer was making "hostile sex noises," Turns out the trailer contained a married couple.

I have seen a teenage girl and even one pastor’s wife have bathroom stints as long as forty minutes at a time during church service.

I have seen the fear of God in three different teenage boys’ faces, just after they were caught in the woods “getting fancy” with the girl of their dreams. One pastor talked to me about "like, hey now... My son... he's going through some kind of time in his life and let me tell you, our church is fasting.... so just like, hey now.....we're good right? We're cool? (fist pump)...."

I have seen a youth president unclog a broken toilet at 2 A.M . And by unclog, I mean the dude literally put on a plastic glove and stick his hand down the toilet drain, whereupon he pulled out a particularly large piece of fecal matter which, happened to be the culprit of the clogged toilet. The youth president with his eyes closed and his face turned, lifted the hand that was holding up the culprit poop for all those gathered to behold, proclaiming the poop as being “eerily dense,” and further declared that “it feels like there’s a matchbox truck in here!" This really happened. No Joke.

I have seen seen two youth pastors vomit in succession on a bathroom floor. This vomit parade directly initiated by one of the youth pastors viewing the aforementioned “culprit” poop as it was being held in the air by the youth president. This caused youth pastor 1 to vomit. The “culprit” poop, now famous, also caused youth pastor 2 to start gagging. Once youth pastor 1 vomited, partially on the shoes of youth pastor 2, youth pastor 2’s gagging immediately gave way to a full on vomit. As for yours truly, I would have probably vomited too, but luckily I was making a mental note about the how the whole “unclogging” incident spoke contrary to the popular notion that all the youth presidents “got it made” in terms of preaching invitations and pretty wives, and being revered by all young preachers-in-training.

As for the camp: It was like watching an addictive TV show that's available on Netflix/On Demand. The drama keeps you hooked, but it ends up a blur real quick... and all you got is "Hey I like that one mystery drama on Netflix...." And hope that a girl falls in love over common interest......

And yet, I'm here. And no way is anyone here watching House of Cards.


Topics / Titles of sermons, preachers names and service content has been omitted at the request of my sponsor so as to avoid any potential litigation.


So while my journalistic integrity has already been compromised by my employer.... I will say the following: Apostolic camps are becoming obsessively narcissistic and tribal. The sermons that get the biggest praises are the sermons "based" on scripture, but more-so a telling the crowd about who we are. And that's scary. Because from my angle, those were the most boring and self-indulgent sermons I witnessed. The one inspiring service I witnessed was from an allegedly subversive "ragamuffin" (as one preacher described him)... in the afternoon. All the subversive preacher did was delve into scripture. And it wasn't incredible or anything, but it's like the dude was studying... so it's sad when that dude could barely raise an alter call for 5 minutes. Outside of the aforementioned sermon, everything else was self-obsessive, cranky,  jumpy, contrived, and ultimately banal. If this camp was anything symptomatic of the UPC, it was just this: Adorable (jumping & screaming compensating for thoughtful preaching), comical (the exaggerated dancing is either a) appalling or b) trying to hide your face while you laugh real hard), and beyond those entertaining aspects....beyond the huffing and puffing and threats of blowing the house/enemy down (never happened), the sermons were simply: dull.  

Outside of the generalities I was permitted to describe... I can say nothing else...


Three nights and four days of fashionable antiquity and I’m flattened, exhausted and ill-postured. I’m at a Waffle Houseish diner/truck stop/all in one mini-market just outside of camp, which as it happens, is the toast of the town in terms of classy cuisine. Even though camp expired officially three hours ago, it apparently goes on unofficially for the rest of the day at Applebees,' Cracker Barrels, and town diners all across the state depending on what exit off the freeway a subsidiary group of Apostolics have determined to reunite at on their way home. Apparently, I’m the only one tired of “small talk” and/or gossip and/or pseudo-theological conversations. For the rest, today’s unofficial continuation of the last day of camp is more of a testament to how reluctant Apostolics are to let this beast of a camp draw to a close. If anything is true about camp, it is that Apostolics love it possibly more than ever, and further that Apostolics love each other’s company possibly more than camp itself.

Two of the tables at this particular diner are full of teenagers and one under 13 boy who appears to be the table’s mascot in that he dresses as fasionably as the teens, and is even more outgoing than some of the teens. However his childish face make it very clear that he is definitely not one of the teens, no matter how much he would like to think so. To the teens he is a novelty act. These teens look like me with the bags under their eyes and the fatigue in their face. Except the guys have their hair done and the girls have the mascara in their eyes on the slight. The biggest difference between them and me is they are smiling. Not like smiling in the way one smiles when they are having the time of their lives, but more like the way a boy smiles nostalgically when his mother asks him if he had fun after a long day at Disney World. I also notice this is the first time the teenagers look unkempt in their attire. Previously, it was very clear the teenagers at camp paid a particular amount of attention to their own appearance. The females always appearing festive, bulbous and shiny by night, while the boys looked uncomfortably sharp and dapper. Their daytime appearances were in the similar vain of the night services, but in a way that was more restrained. The teenage boys, paid particular attention to their daytime get-up by trying to dress like they didn’t care what they were wearing, but everyone really knows that even the dudes who tuck in their t-shirts into their blue jeans have thought long and hard about the particular t-shirt message they are displaying. The least popular and slightly creepy boys wearing “Crazy 4 Jesus” or “yo quiero God” t-shirts or other similarly themed shirts that were designed in such a way to appear “cool” and “hip” in that they either satirize a pop-culture phrase or mainstream brand logos in an ironic way by substituting a Christian allusion/pun in the place of the well known pop-culture phrase/logo. The point is today, after camp is officially closed, the clothes are now in a disordered way, and no one seems to mind. These Apostolic teens are tired, but they aren't deterred in the least.

The other noticeable table with Apostolic customers is the long table at the other side of the restaurant full of Pastors and their wives. I am jealous of their faces. Because they look how I want to feel. Everyone there is rested and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Other than being a little more tan or burnt, these Apostolics appear to have been preserved perfectly through the week without the least sign of ware or tare from the gauntlet that is camp. God bless them for it, because I am certainly not.

This is only the end. And my mind is still spiraling downward in near madness. Trying to make sense of what has happened. I'm here eating alone... and only now does my presence bring a hangover-like reaction. Before now, I've hung out with the hipster counselors who don't know me and are also down to witness to dudes with strange beardage. Sure I've noticed a couple elbow-nudges and attempts at "INTIMIDATING STARE +5 Hit points" from youth pastors... which is was flattering... But nothing beyond that.

Maybe they're learning to accept the enemy in their camps perhaps? Otherwise, from the rightside of right, the old days would'a rebuked me to Satan's infirmary two days past.

'Cept now,.. there's a couple pastor/youth pastor types in line to pay bill and me on my cream o'wheat.... and one leans in to me at the table and says "Hey brother," (we shake hands). Make eye contact. He says "So what's your deal?"

-(spit out the cream o' wheat)... (find eye contact again)

-He: "You know exactly what i mean."

(second pastor  exits line and stands over me. Arms crossed, and breathing through his nostrils so much so, that you can hear it.)

-Me (to the interrogator): "Yeah, I have a deal."

-Him:"So what is it?... What do you have against us?"

(The second preacher, the non-speaking one is breathing heavier through his nose and then looks back, and I kid you not, looks back to the table where he, his fellow pastor, and two wives were eating....and gives a silent nod to the two ladies remaining at the table.... Because, he's got everything all under control here)

That's where I chuckle. Then breathe... then just start laughing real hard. Like awkwardly drawing attention to a 10:30 AM situation which would'a been more appropriate for a 2 AM conversation.....

And a midst my laughter and the pastoral looks of "hey, getta load of this guy," all I can think to say to myself is "calm down now" and after a few seconds of straight-face, I say aloud, "praying for you guys."

And after they walked away, and pay their bills... you give a real quick & silent "Thank God,"  and head for the long route home.... wondering what it means when your denomination has become a mob of dancers and prancers and loud screamers.... and between the services, they're playing the politics of  a 1920s gang.

Oh for Apostolic Identity in the 21st century.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, August 1, 2014

#281-Not Calvinists 2.0 (and how they think they're smart but only went to bible college). AKA how John Piper and Mark Driscoll should be preached against

Absence explained by illustration below (post is just a something until the podcasts gets going again,  Below are some thoughts that are probably way too nerdy in a theological sense,.. if none of the below makes sense, I apologies):

Calvin: Hello my name is John Calvin and my initials are J.C. which is not a coincidence and I wrote this: Okay scripture says that God controls everything. Because He's God. He knows everything too since yeah, he's totally.... God. And if He's God He must be awesome. He's God and his ways are above our ways, got that? And like, okay, if He knows everything then that means he knows the whole future too. Not to mention that everything has a meaning even if we don't understand the meaning (Yes that includes the holocaust). Yeah that's far out there, but it's the whole truth and if you question this..... well you're questioning the conductor of the whole know, God.... and compared to God, we are kinda crappy. Wait. No. compared to God we are really really crappy. So crappy that compared to God, we like a pile steaming good for nothing crap. Totally useless crap. And what is  useless crap in comparison with God you know?
Compared to the totally infinite God, the finite, ditzy us can't really say anything. Because like, we're sinners duh! And I was like we got scripture too for this. Like it doesn't matter that strangely the whole God-in-complete-control of everything business started coming about way late in the Old Testament after Greeks started philosophizing to us.... scripture is scripture and we can't question anything.... Remember, we're like really really depraved. So depraved that we can't really do anything to get saved. Because getting saved is Godly stuff.... and how can we humans do anything Godly in comparison to almighty-king-of this-whole creation, one and only God? Therefore it must be God who chooses to save us.... and  not only that, but God does the saving thing too... you know, atonement, redemption, when you have faith or get saved or what not... Well it wasn't you who got saved. Remember, you are crap. And how does crap get saved? Well not be doing things that crappy stuff does. It must therefore totally be God. He's a freak like that and he does whatever he darn well pleases you got me? And you can't say anything against that because you are depraved. And that's the truth.
And I can hear all you ego-maniacal self-loving liberals saying  things like... "well how can God say he loves us when he will knowingly send us to hell? Especially if he has the power to save all of us? ... God is love you know? And what kind of love would allow people to go to hell when God could do otherwise?"
And I'm all like "trick you crazy. You ain't God. God's love is a waaaay beyond the love that we know. Yeah some of this stuff doesn't make sense but I'm a crappy depraved human being like you so considering our limited mind...well......all I can say is I'll take God's way being above the way we think and reason."

Immanuel Kant:  and I have a sweet name and I like formal dinner parties and I wrote this: Yo Calvin I get what you're throwing down.... but like we got a few issues here man. I mean I'm with you about the whole infinite God thing...maybe... but I like the effort. But there's a problem....if we're so finite and depraved....which...I think we are too... then really we can't talk much about God and what he's like and not like. You may say that the Bible tells us the truth of God... but that truth of God  is mediated through a lot of human rationality and finite thinking and reason in terms of you as the Bible's reader and interpreter. It's written by humans in a human language... and like us humans have limits to our reasoning skills... so to say that we understand that God's love is above our version of love is still a kind of human logic right?

Calvin: You're lost in philosophy gettin' all 'ere smartsy fartsy. I got God's grace ya hear? You wouldn't understand none of that though. God loves me and I'm chosen. Ur not. And God'll knock you down a couple of inches if ya don't shut ur mouth. Don't come around here questioning God.
I Killed Michael Servetus and I'll kill you if you don't shut your mouth.

 Hegel: LOL. First off screw that Calvin guy. If God's love is above our love.... then that means our human version of love isn't love at all you nimwit. Stop telling your wife you love her unless you're that ignorant to think your human crappy love resembles anything like God's love that apparently is inconceivable to us.

Secondly Kant you were onto something. Except totally off... Making this whole thing about the limits of reason. Yeah that's cool and all, but excuse me while I spend a few seconds sticking my finger down my throat acting like I'm gagging and the next few seconds popping my gat in your metaphorical shins. What you say about our limited reason and our inability to comprehend God is true about us humans as a whole species... Not just on reason alone. It's not like we're sittin around thinking and rationalizing and knowing our limits. For instance, let's say that you confirm what God's will is in your life by the way you feel when you pray at certain times.... Well those feelings are limited too.... You can confuse feelings as what you think is God's confirmation that he has called you to be Christian... but that is all the interpretation and understanding of a limited human. How is this not obvious? Simple simple stuff really. This is why Mormons say they feel God and think that means anything. This is why non-Christians feel God and say it's proof that they're God is real... We can either say they are lying about their feelings, which is pathetic... or you can realize that feelings themselves are not really a confirmation of anything since it's something we humans experience and interpret in each of our lives. We're humans above all. This can't be escaped no matter how much you feel or think you have special insight about how your authority comes from someone on high. Every human wants to think they're special. And you may have God on your side... but let's use a little common sense and a little decency that treats humans likes humans and stop fooling ourselves. This is called ontology and if you stopped focusing on epistemology Kant, you could have been as gangsta as me.

Basically if you're human... and speak/think/feel/act like a human... and describe  a system beyond our human understanding, you are contradicting yourself. Because the description of God/heaven required a human language/thought. It's like a scientist who tried telling us what happened before the big bang and thinking he's still doing science. That scientist would be laughed at and possibly made into a creole pasta.

Calvin you can say you are depraved all you want.... and you can spend a whole lot of time working out a system that describes Christian theology..... but the fact that you are rationalizing and articulating your beliefs in human language is just making you look like your thinking privileges ought to be taken away. And you may say "it's not by flesh and blood... but by spirit...." and yeah I wrote a whole book on the philosophy of the spirit so don't even get me started on that issue. My point is you act like your theology is some-how safe from philosophical ridicule but c'mon man... all this has been was philosophy with the emotions of a preacher.

It's like those dudes who get lost in the trinity or even Oneness theology trying to explain it and then after coming to one contradiction or another... they say "well it's a mystery." What an escapist bunch of self-delusional drivel. If it's a mystery then we can't even talk about it. If you can articulate it.... then your very own description of the limits of our understanding of God's love is really just putting God in a box all over again... except it lies to itself and says it's not putting it in a box.
 Stop acting like you're depraved. If you're depraved you wouldn't have any ability to talk about God's love being beyond our understanding of love at all.

Calvin, I'm not saying that you're an idiot.... but you're kinda an idiot. You can't step outside of being human while you are here dude. Man up to your humanity and stop acting like you're above humanity by claiming to be depraved. If we're crap in comparison to God, then we'd never be able to come to any thought to communicate about God whatsoever. Calvin you need a time out.

 Calvin:"I'm America!, and this here is the chosen people and I'm special!"

John Piper: Don't worry about him JC Jr. What we have here is a good for nothing Armenian who loves himself some free will. And besides... tell those guys that this is where faith comes in.

Hegel: LOL. Who said anything about free will?  And who invited this guy? And Faith? .....Did you even read anything I wrote? Of course not, you're John Piper with a ph. d from a school that should have known better...At least understand faith outside of a definition that acts like faith is a  blanket that covers up all the holes in what we say God/Truth is."
As they say in some parts: SMH.


Name's Mark Driscoll and on behalf of me, the Bible and God...
Boyz Rule! Girls Drool!


Postscript Summary: The above is basically my attempt to call out the stupidity of Neo-Calvinists. Which yeah, don't worry about the term...

But basically, Ex-Apostolic males seem to have an unconscious gravitational pull once they leave the UPC. Basically they find that the UPC's logic about the truth isn't logical enough (true). And then shoot for the more logical theology (neo-calvinism).....which is even more wrong since it bases itself in cessationism.

Except they've never been educated on how to think for themselves. And that's the error. It's a sad world where the only "thinking" options are three authors who sell their books in barnes & nobles: Driscoll/Bell/N.T. Wright.

Those guys are cute and all.... but there's a reason why their theology makes sense: It's mucky muck.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SAL Podcast, Episode 5: Music and How It Drives Us Crazy

Just saying you all look really lovely tonight. Every one of you. And I'm not just saying it. I really mean it. You are all ridiculously good looking....

And yeah we're a  week late, but here is our fifth episode of the SAL. In this week's episode we shoot the bull about the ongoing  love/hate relationship Apostolics have with music.

 We ponder how in the world all those risque, erotic Christian songs get made, and just how many teaspoons of Satan there are in each secular album. And also manage to throw in a Home Alone 2 and Ghost reference for the cinema-minded audience out there.So please join us as we fight the fight of the good guys without the actual fighting part.

Most importantly,.... our next podcast will have special guest and fellow heretic, Slapastolic... which, yeah.... that's happening...

And now here's your link you adorable audience you....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SAL Podcast, Episode 4: Interview with Roy Fisher

No, this isn't us, we couldn't pick a good picture so we googled 'Radio Interview' and found this...soo.... close enough.

SAL's been busy,  Logan just bought Final Fantasy XIV and Joel just enrolled in the dollar shave club. (seriously, you gotta check out Dr Carver's easy shave butter)

Thankfully however, SAL still had time to sit down with a close friend of the podcast, Roy Fisher. For those unfamiliar, Roy Fisher hates titles. Roy Fisher is also not the author of this here blog, so he'll have to deal with some title attributing: Roy Fisher is all of these at the exact same moment (don't ask): He's a  professor, a pastor, a patron of panoptic analysis, a postmodernist, and also a doctorate student in the Ancient Near-Eastern Studies department at UC-Berkeley where he studies social memory and identity construction in early biblical interpretation. His formal, bestowed title is "Dissident Apostolic Intellectual." Long story short: He's the Dude, man. And also know that Roy hates us right now for listing all that but we couldn't help ourselves.  But beyond all this riff-raff, know this: Roy was Joel's dear professor once upon a time.

Also, couldn't find a photogenic photo of Roy gracefully teaching Joel the word, so this should do.

And so but like, Joel made a grievous error and forgot to properly locate the podcast participants within the world of social media.... But if you folk like what Roy has to say then follow him on twitter, because he's going to be launching some cool ideas/projects in the near future regarding his bricolage efforts vis-a-vis the apostolic movement (this will make sense once you listen to the podcast)...

Roy's twitter: @RoyalFisher

And as always: @ltmiles is Logan. And @stuffaposlike is the generic brand.

Anywho, the boys talk about some pretty deep stuff below while Logan sits in the corner and plays with a yo-yo.

P.S. Roy is not to be confused with this guy.

Or this guy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

SAL Podcast, Episode 3: Jeff Arnold: Poet, Magician, Disney Apologist, Demon Hunter, Heavy Metal Rockstar

Last week Joel and Logan chatted about the myriad of shenanigans preachers attempt all in the name of killin the devil and makin sure we sheep get saved and stay saved, Bless GOD!  Most of the men who were guilty of such hilarity always had two things in common:  1) They were all young whippersnapping bible college students. 2) In their bible college dorm room, instead of a Cindy Crawford or Pamela Anderson poster just spread out above their bed, it was a gigantic poster of Jeff Arnold with veins bulging out of his neck and it always looked as if he was about to take a metal folding chair and bash it over some random sinner's head.

But this of course was from a time long long ago. A time when the preaching was real. And the blood wasn't just ketchup. No sir. Back then,  when you saw blood on the preacher, it was Real Preacher Blood. A time when church members would shout counter prophesies at each other, and all this just before  the altar call erupted into in an all out royal rumble of people praying the devil out of each other until there was a real, genuine breakthrough which could only be certified with you being slain in the spirit right then and there at that very altar. This was the time of Jeff Arnold. A time when we wouldn't stare and scratch our head and cringe over every other sentence he spoke. Back then, Jeff Arnold seemed halfway sane.

This week at SAL, the boys talk about the profound, poetic quotes they discover on twitter attributed to JA, fan fiction, psychoanalytical thought processes, fundamental faith in the face of totalitarian political correctness, and Inner Circle's music and it's appropriateness at the present time.

I have a feeling we're going to need to update our life insurance policy after this one.

Also, for reference.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SAL Podcast, Episode 2: Apostolic Preacher Shenanigans

There was once was a dude who was a real buzzkill at parties that would rock a mustache that looked like a Swiffer Duster® after a haggard trip through a really old Victorian house.  He once said after a couple rounds of scotch and maybe a few episodes of Two and a Half Men, 'When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.' 

That makes us here at SAL ponder what stares back at preachers when they stand nervously on the pulpit spitting lines into the abyss while dressed to the nines.  Especially on the rare circumstance there's a black knight in the crowd who just doesn't get with the program. (Tis but a scratch!)

Instead of sending a couple fish to their door via FedEx, in this week's podcast we reminisce on some good ol' shenanigans preachers dabbled in while also coming to the realization of our own regret at not pursuing it as a profession ourselves.

Joel and Logan originally meant to talk about Mr. Magoo and other cartoon characters they enjoy watching on Saturday who also preach on Sunday.  However, like all great fast food restaurant openings in the middle of the ghetto, we were sidetracked at first by cleaning up the welcoming graffiti and quarantining our bathroom after some middle school gang children performed an upper decker. In sum: We're talking preachers and naming names.

On Monday we'll post our third podcast: "Apostolic Preacher Shenanigans 2.0: Jeff Arnold Tribute edition." Which, is exactly like it sounds.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SAL Podcast, Episode 1: Apostolic Dating and its Discontents

We at Stuff Apostolics Like have been in a mood lately. Like all drama all the time. Dead eyed and serious. Trade the t-shirt for the tie and think about the meaning of life and stuff. We even did some deep soul searching of the blog itself and gazed into it's very depths and found a glaring void in the precise space one would expect to find a soul. 

And so we at SAL set out to create a shiny podcast to fill in that soulless void.

And  lo, on the tenth of February in the precious Year of Our Lord 2014, Logan T. Miles and I forged the first Stuff Apostolics Like podcast episode which you can find below. There you will find Logan and I reminiscing about the joys and pangs of dating within the Apostolic realm, musings on online dating, a discursive analysis of David's methods of seduction, and a debate surrounding the merits of Game of Thrones.

You can stream it below or if you want to put it on your little podcast playing devices, right click the link and hit "Save audio as" and then "Save."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#280-Jeff Arnold and His "Idiot" Friends.

So basically this happened last week at Because of the Times (no, not the Kings of Leon album, but the preacher's conference that was named after the album):

And by "this happened" I really mean a Jeff Arnold sermon-rant to formally announce his senility. Literally, the dude was Khrushchev slamming his shoe on a podium, a rambling Richard Sherman in a postgame interview, a conservative Michael "Shame on you Mr. Bush" Moore at the Oscars. In short, Jeff Arnold pulled a Kanye in front of anyone who matters in the UPC. And it's not like we didn't see it coming.

For those who haven't been paying attention to Twitter or simply got wise enough to not really care one iota about the ongoing Reality TV tragicomedy that is the UPC, let me tell ya, you're missing a whole lot of chuckle moments.

But to catch you up to speed.. here's the run-down of Mr. Arnold's sermon:

-Confesses aspirations to be lauded by God as one of the greatest preachers of all-time.

-Confirms this greatness by unleashing what is allegedly one of the most homophobic and "hate your enemy" rants of all time. "Fag" was thrown about freely and not just for shock value but because he's Jeff Arnold and he reads his Bible, man. (Proof of God's grace: God chose Arnold to be a preacher and not someone who can change much of anything. So thank God Arnold is all talk, because if this guy found himself in some real kind of political position, there'd be no telling what kind of hate laws he'd be throwing around right about now. And no telling what kind of quack-job excuses people would come up with to defend this hypothetical, hate-mongering Congressman Arnold. )

-A nice little oratory aside that bashed that there Barack Hussein Obama. Which included a little throw-in that called African-Americans "darkies." And since the audio/video has been so generously cast to the Sea of Forgetfulness, we'll have to rely on a paraphrase of how Arnold used the term "Darkie": "What's the world coming to when you have darkies in the White House and whities working the cotton fields?"

And then to top it off... how bout his knockout punch: Calling our president a faggot.

I wish I were joking. But i'm not.

-The most entertaining tirade was aimed indirectly at John Maxwell by way of a revered UPCI licensed minister... Specifically a Pastor Stan Gleason... and roll film:

 To give you  context: It was the unnamed Stan Gleason who purported to expound on John Maxwell's point earlier that evening. And it was this point that Arnold was alluding to when he decided to just go all guns a' blazin and call Gleason.... An Idiot

Now cue our unofficial Jeff Arnold theme song to fully enhance your reading pleasure:
 Because Of The Times 2014 somehow ended up being The Comedy Central Roast Of Rev. Stan Gleason, except instead of funny it was just sad. Not sad because a well-known and loved man was verbally accosted in front of a couple G’s worth of people. Not even sad because it was like watching someone advance two stages in Alzheimer’s before our very eyes. The saddest part is what followed.

-Those seeking to purchase the anointed and soul-winning word given that evening by Rev. Jeffrey “The Insult Comic” Arnold were told it wouldn’t be available because “it’s being edited.” Shortly thereafter videos posted or tweeted by attendees were requested to be taken down. A tweet went out (reportedly, its since been removed, if anyone has a screen shot please send it) which instructed people “not to tweet what Jeff Arnold is saying right now.” (*edit* an anonymous commenter sent us the picture. See below*)

Luckily for your trusty Apostolic version of TMZ, we gots two of the vids before the Christian NSA pulled them. Of course, one person commented, “Take this down,” and I was DM’d on Twitter “In the name of Jesus take this down.” Jesus on the mainline, tell him what you want! “Um yeah Jesus, can you get these guys to delete a youtube video? Kthxbai!”

The uploader of the video himself was sent a letter by one of the UPC big wigs asking him to like, you know, just like, in the name of all error passing under the blood, just you know, be a good sport and take it down because at the end of the day we are all brothers in Christ.

And I'm all like, I don't want to be a part of any system where me and that there Jeff Arnold are "brothers in Christ."

Now, dear reader, you may think this post is all about the wickity wack nonsensical freestyle Jeff was spitting. But Jeff throws down with this veracity all the time. The troubling thing is what the followed after the message..

If there’s one thing the UPCI is proud of it’s “the Truth.” It’s on banners. It’s the subject of horribly written books. It’s the name. It’s an identity. But somewhere along this narrative of truthiness, my homies in the UPC ceased caring about being true. Being true to morals. Being true to ethics. Being true to society. Loving true, serving true, speaking true. For Gods sake, LIVING TRUE.

How does The Truth respond to a controversy? The same way every crooked politician, every plundering banker, every despot and delinquent does. They tried. To cover. It up. Like a cat burying it’s turd, they tried to hide this turd of a sermon.

They could have let it stand on it’s own. We live and die by our merit and given the opportunity, this festering piece of crap of a sermon could have been eye rolled into obscurity and passed off as “well that’s just Jeffy Pop, what do you expect?”

But what DO you expect POA? You know this guy. You know what he’s capable of. In an increasingly ADD society. What do you think someone’s going to do who thrives on being edgy? It’s 2014! He’s competing with Miley, Kanye and another Scorsese coke-fest. He’d have to put on a donkey show to get the same reactions he got twenty years ago and those reactions are like a drug to the guy! He’s the washed up actress from when we were teenagers who shows her naughty bits in Playboy just to keep the kids in private school!

Does this sound profane to you? Just following the lead of my favorite man of God, my bad.

But let's take a real big step back and realize the bigger problem: It's not about just how much of hell's fury is permissible three years after you started becoming pastor. It's not about whether or not Arnold is anointed at this. And it's not even over whether or not the Truth is to be censored, BLESS GOD. Because that's all opinion, and somehow we believe having an opinion actually matters. In a world of FOX NEWS, MSNBC's, and rambling maniacal news broadcasters, opinion and commentary is all we watch and it's the only way we know how to communicate when something scandalous happens. I'm no different. And it feels icky just being one more voice out here kinda upset/kinda laughing real hard over this Arnold mess.... When all Arnold was really doing was spewing out politically incorrect opinions of his own. Really, opinions are boring and they distract from the bigger point:

Jeff Arnold is a symptom of the UPC and not the cause of it's problems. More specifically, Mangun and the rest of the POA/BOTT leadership team were trying real hard to enact damage control to soften the blow of any resulting controversy over what Arnold said (sadly more people are pissed at Arnold's "Idiot" comment than really showing the slightest bit of concern that his hate speech  may be causing more and more segregation in the Pentecostal ranks and likewise alienating any potential homosexual from coming back to the UPC).....

But whichever old-man Arnold rant angers us the most, the point is the BOTT staff knew what they were getting into with Arnold and they facilitated it, because, "For a good sermon, Call Jeff at 555-QUACK." Arnold's entertaining. And Mangun gave BOTT what it really prizes: An entertainer. And sure the UPC may just like downplay the whole thing and say "Gleason and Arnold are friends and it's really just a bit of miscommunication is all." And that sounds all nice and cute and pretty, but don't fall for such rhetorical nonsense. Jeff Arnold's sermon is not the rare mishap. It's rather the bad apple that grew from a rotten tree. The UPC needs loud and obnoxious preachers to keep our attention and Arnold is just that. Otherwise we'd just quickly yawn and look at our watches and wonder when is this whole thing gonna end so I can go flirt with the girl of my dreams at Applebee's.

But for now, we'll get a tranquilized/muzzled Jeff Arnold and the Pentecostal of Alexandria leadership team will put on it's smiling face and be all polite and shake your hand and when you bring up the Arnold sermon, they'll chuckle and change the conversation real fast. And it's gonna be boring.  And we'll stop listening and look for the next Kanye/Arnold/Richard Shermon on youtube, and we'll laugh and get angry and really not care for the BOTT as much because they aren't producing that kind of reality tv show Jeff Arnold rant-a-thon anymore....

But everyone will be cozy and the UPC will be able to quietly and gradually fade away. And this time,  without comment.