Pod people: Alabama governor & a divine vision

No, we're not breaking news here. The Alabama governor and the vision from God referenced in the title are separate items. Smile. In the latest Crossroads podcast, I discuss two recent posts.

The first post concerned media coverage of newly inaugurated Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's eyebrow-raising remarks at a church:

Bentley, who for years has been a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, later in the speech gave what sounded like an altar call. "There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit," Bentley said.

"But if you have been adopted in God's family like I have, and like you have if you're a Christian and if you're saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister." Bentley added,

"'Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

On the podcast, I share my concerns about the lack of context on Bentley's religious beliefs that accompanied most initial media reports. However, I note that we saw improvement in some of the later coverage, as my fellow GetReligionistas highlighted here and here.

The second post related to a Chicago Tribune story on a pastor who says God told him in a vision to buy a large church building:

Steve Robledo was a newly ordained minister in search of a flock when he had what he calls a vision from God: He was to start his congregation in a grand church building for sale on the west side of Elgin, a brick and stone edifice with soaring stained-glass windows and dark wood pews.

He had no money but plenty of faith, and sure enough, his vision came to pass. Two businessmen and Robledo's pastor agreed to provide the financing, and soon his fledgling Lighthouse Community Church had its home.

Five years later, though, this mission of divine inspiration has run into earthly trouble.

Robledo's nondenominational congregation is a fraction of its 200-member peak, diminished by the recession and an internal schism. With contributions down sharply, the church can't afford to pay its $3,100 rent or fix maintenance problems that have drawn a lawsuit from the city.

On the podcast, I talk about what worked about the story and what didn't and even opinionate a bit on shrinking news holes.

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