Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Procter & Gamble and urban legends

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

procter-and-gamble-logo

Proctor and Gamble’s logos…

As I get older, I often think of urban legends and how often even Christians are fooled.

This first example isn’t one of those, but it makes me chuckle.

Recess time in sixth grade at Maddera-Flournoy Elementary School in Beeville, Texas, in 1985 was a great place where all kinds of crazy urban legends were cultivated. Except, in our days of innocence, we didn’t know they were fake, what the term “urban legend” meant, or even what the term “innocence” meant. If asked, I’d say “innocence” is what a person pleaded when they didn’t commit a crime.

In the group I hung out with, one kid came up to us with this crazy story. All the “family” members of Texas Chainsaw Massacre were captured, tried, convicted, and executed. Executioners lined them up and then fired M-60 machine guns at them, killing them all.

“And when the grandpa’s head spun away after it was shot off the body, he kept mouthing the words, “Revenge…REVENGE!!!” the kid said.

Of course, it was all fake. Dad had told me that TCM occurred somewhere near Poth, Texas, but I later learned he was joking. The movie actually was filmed outside of Austin and the story itself based not on a group of Texas cannibals who liked to barbecue the innocent, but loosely on Wisconsin murderer/body snatcher Ed Gein. He never was executed for his crimes: Gein died in 1984 after having been declared mentally insane and ordered placed in a mental hospital.

And then, sometime around high school, another the second example. This one riled many Christians.

“Don’t buy Procter and Gamble products!” someone said. “I heard the president of Proctor and Gamble was on The Phil Donahue Show. He confirmed that he’s a Satanist and that 10 percent of his profits go to the Satanist church.”

Some of us even saw the bearded, starred, sinister-looking P&G logo and it confirmed for us the rumor.

Of course, the rumor took on a life of its own. Before long, the P&G president was on the Donahue show wearing all black, along with goth lipstick, black fingernails and black hair, and placing a curse on any professing Christians as he said, “Yesssss…I AM a Satanisssst…25 percent of my earnings to my masssster, Sssssatan himself! Hail Satan!!!”

Churches soon started boycotting P&G with some even placing on the bulletin board a list of P&G products. Some wondered, after the boycott, what would they have in the way of cleaning and laundry products?

And then, reality hit.

P&G, which later changed its logo, denied any connections to Satanism. Phil Donahue released a statement saying nobody from P&G had ever been on his show and even listed what had been on his show on the day suggested.

Through my own research I later learned that while it has different branches with varying beliefs, overall Satanism is actually an atheistic faith. Some on this planet do worship Satan. However, Satanists (according to the FAQ on their official website) don’t believe in Satan, nor do they believe in God or in an afterlife. If there’s a deity they do believe in, it’s themselves.

As a Christian, I do believe in God and in the existence of Satan. I often think Satan laughs himself silly over how incredibly gullible humans can be, particularly Christians. The rumor, according to old news stories, apparently started out of products distributor Amway, ostensibly out of an effort to weaken P&G’s brand name so it could complete against the Cincinnati-based conglomerate. P&G even sued four Amway distributors and won a settlement. Apparently when Proctor and Gamble heard of churches showing lists of the company’s products to boycott as to avoid rendering unto Satan what belongs to Satan, they decided it was enough.

If only Christians would do as much research as they are commanded to diligently search out truth in the Scriptures.

The 2020 presidential election will soon be upon us. As an independent conservative, I know whom I’m voting for. However, I’ve seen new rumors on the internet. One states that—gasp!—Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s real surname is Herring and not Warren. It also says that fellow candidate Pete Buttgieg’s real surname is Montgomery.

Just a little research shows that Warren’s maiden name is Herring and the maiden name of Buttgieg’s mother is Montgomery. Nothing to see here, folks.

If you’re going to be passionate about a viewpoint, make sure it’s factually correct.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for almost 38 years. He’s not as dumb or naïve as he used to be, but he feels he still has much to learn. Post comments here or email them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com

Advertisements

Free from the law

August 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Despite more than 30 years as a Christian, I could never quite process that and understand exactly what it meant. Finally, thinks clicked, thanks in part to a long-time mentor.

The Bible gives many types of laws: Noahic Law (you can now eat meat, capital punishment is in order), Mosaic Law (ceremonial for sacrifices, dietary for what Israelites could and couldn’t eat, moral for things they were prohibited to do, various laws, some of which are still applicable today). The different prophets also gave laws.

Jesus came and discussed the law in a new light. Paul talked about how Jesus’ sacrifice freed us from the law.

The purpose of the law, I finally realized, is to show that we can never measure up to God’s standards of holiness. And because of that, we’re sinners.

By becoming Christians, we are no longer bound to the law. However, there are laws we obey because we love God and want to serve Him and become closer to Him.

If there’s one law to obey, it’s Matthew 22:35–40. Jesus said we were to love God with all our heart, might, mind. We were then to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus then said all other laws and the prophets hinge on this commandment.

Post comments here or email them to: richardstwoshekels@gmail.com

Do you serve God or a god?

January 18, 2019 Leave a comment

Years ago, a college friend told me that he no longer believed the New Testament was God’s Word. Too many changes over the centuries, most of them for political reasons.

Oh, brother, I thought. Using that logic, how can we really know Plato really wrote what’s attributed to him, or that Hammurabi really created those sets of laws, or Percy Bysshe Shelley didn’t plagiarize someone else’s work?

Is your faith in men, or is it in God?

This was a friend who led a prayer group at college, was studying for the ministry, and seemed to truly love the Lord. He served God then, and now, I’m afraid, he serves god.

Sometimes life beats us up and we react accordingly. Some are resilient and bounce back, some aren’t. Others simply were never really strong in their faith and easily get choked by the thorns.

This friend reminds me of what God asked Moses in Genesis 18:14 in one of the world’s great rhetorical questions: “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

In Matthew 23:35, Jesus says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Either God lied or He didn’t. Either He preserved His Word or He didn’t.

Post comments here or email them to: richardstwoshekels@gmail.com

Anyone have a spare jet in their pocket?

A certain minister, whose name isn’t worthy of mention, is asking his lemmings to provide him with the tens of millions of dollars needed to purchase a new jet. I’m guessing he’s too important or too busy to fly commercial in first class or—even worse—coach.

I have a Christian friend whose home was foreclosed due to lack of income. He also declared bankruptcy. He’s slowly going blind and feels led of the Lord to help with translation work on a Bible for the Mongolian language.

Another Christian friend in San Antonio is holding onto his home for dear life, trying to keep up mortgage payments.

Perhaps this minister should just pray the “Prayer of Jabez”. Or maybe he can ask Dr. Joel Osteen for a loan. Or perhaps how to pray “The Prosperity Gospel Prayer.”

Post comments here or email them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Categories: Uncategorized

The greatest commandment: love

April 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Sometimes people will ask me, “What is Christianity in a nutshell?”

In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked about that. What is the great commandment of the law? What is the commandment that Christianity centers around?

Verses 37-40 explain: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

It all centers around love. It’s a verse you could spend years pondering.

I’ve been a Christian for almost 37 years, and while Jesus teaches us to love everybody, I must admit there have been some whom I’ve had to take remedial classes to learn how to love. A few select customers I dealt with when I worked at a gas station. A certain Christian employer in Michigan. Politicians in general.

I’m not alone. Alvin Dark, a former Major League Baseball shortstop who also enjoyed success as a manager, became an outspoken Christian. He once mused, “As a Christian, God has taught me to love everybody. But the last ones I learned to love were the sportswriters.”

Alvin_Dark_1953

Richard’s Two Shekels guesses that Alvin Dark made one request about his mansion in New Jerusalem: “Father, could you put any Christian sportswriters on the other side of town? And please don’t give them my address.”

Love, of course, is an action verb and not just an emotion we swell up with when around our children or our significant other. I tell people that True Christianity hinges on helping people without strings attached for no reason, rather than looking at the situation, rubbing one’s hands together as if concocting a sneaky scheme and quietly asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Post comments here or email them to: richardstwoshekels@gmail.com

 

Two iron ladies I know

Both ladies, in their forties, have health issues. One has chronic issues that leaves her constantly in discomfort. The other had oral cancer; it was removed but spread to her lung and liver and is now considered terminal.

Neither has looked up to God and lamented, “Why ME?!”

The two have never met. One lives in Lansing, Michigan, while the other lives in San Antonio. Both believe what regardless of what happens, it’s in the Lord’s hands. Both ladies remind me of that saying: “God is good all the time.”

It’ll be something for me to remember the next time I have a car issue or wind up in the hospital.

Post comments here or email them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com. 

Categories: Uncategorized

No Biblical basis for CCM?

January 2, 2018 Leave a comment

A Baptist minister told me a month or so ago he found “no Biblical basis” for Contemporary Christian Music. I’m not completely sure what he meant. Did he mean nothing in the Bible justifies it, or that CCM is incapable of communicating Biblical truths?

point of grace

Point of Grace, a group I love listening to.

Thirty years ago, I would’ve agreed with him. But as you grow and learn and mature, things tend to change. Many traditional Gospel songs are set to the tune of Irish and English drinking songs. Fanny Crosby, who wrote many Gospel songs adored by the Independent Fundamental Baptists (the Baptist equivalent of the Amish, I like to muse as an ex-IFBer), was considered wordly in her day. One pastor said a few years ago, “Today’s contemporary music is tomorrow’s traditional.”

I also thought about the many CCM artists who’ve blessed me with their music over the years: Point of Grace, Amy Grant, Watermark, Crystal Lewis, Newsboys, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James and, believe it or not, Petra. My middle son loves Creed.

Years ago at a sheltered Christian college, I worked a summer with a guy named Ray. We teased each other because of our different accents (I grew up in South Texas, and he was from Maine and seldom pronounced his final “r’s”). To me, without glasses, he was a dead ringer for actor Judge Reinhold. We debated music a lot. I told him then I thought Petra was too worldly.

“Man, don’t be knockin’ Petra,” Ray said. “I got saved at a Petra concert.”

I thought about that for a long time, the way you do a first-hand observation that comes in and challenges an opinion you’ve formed in concrete.

Ray left that particular college due to the strict rules. I located him through Facebook a few years ago. Today, Ray is a musician serving the Lord and still going strong as a Christian. I can think of more than a few Christians from then who strictly adhered to tradition–and today, are no longer serving God.

I’ve even grown to like Petra, particularly their versions of “Grave Robber” (a song about 1 Corinthians 15) and “Not of This World.”

Richard Zowie likes all kind of music–except gangsta rap. His current guilty pleasure is KISS. Post comments here or email them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.