Children: Milton Berle Versus the Bible

Jesus with Children

Milton Berle

Who here is familiar with the late Milton Berle? Born in on July 12, 1908 as Mendel Berlinger, he passed away around 15 years ago on March 27, 2002. So, contrary to what some of you might think, he was a bit before my time. πŸ™‚

But, like another great comedian, Bob Hope, he wasn’t so far before my time that I am not familiar with his tremendous comedic talents. I especially remember him being famous for supposedly stealing other people’s jokes…but, per TIME, “in later interviews, Berle claimed that it was all a publicity hoax, that he wasn’t really a thief.”1

Regardless, “Uncle Miltie” was immensely funny…and accomplished. His official site’s “Fast Facts” section has:

Did you know…

  • He was a founding member of the Friars Club of Beverly Hills in 1947.
  • He was the first major star in television to have the nickname “Mr. Television.”
  • NBC signed him to a 30 year television contract in 1951.
  • He held the Guinness Book of World Records for greatest number of charity performances.
  • He performed in silent film, vaudeville, radio, motion pictures, and television.
  • He was a Lyricist for over 300 songs.
  • He had a collection of 5 to 6 million jokes.
  • His career lasted over 75 years.
  • He was married four times, twice to Joyce Matthews2

Why Milton Berle?

Why am I starting a sermon discussing Milton Berle? Because he was funny enough that I grabbed a couple of his books from Half Price Books back when I lived in northern California for a short while…and as I was preparing this sermon about children I thought it would be good to sneak in a couple of his comments about kids.

After reading some of them I then thought, “It would be fun to compare what he says about children to what the Bible says.”

And here we are! πŸ™‚

We’ll see if you think that is a fun or good idea as we hop right into “Children: Milton Berle Versus the Bible.” πŸ™‚ [Read more…]

Teach Your Children Well

Bill Nye the Science Guy and a child with a verboten name…

This was a sermon I planned to preach last week…but postponed it when a difficult verse in Hebrews came up during the previous Wednesday’s Bible study…a verse that warranted a little more attention.

Although I do realize that some still disagree with me about how to apply Hebrews 6:4-6. πŸ™‚

A boy named Hunter…

Either way, when it comes to social media, I probably follow Twitter most…and two tweets came through the same day that concerned me. One linked to an article about a deaf boy with a name that was problematic:

Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.

“He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” explained Hunter’s father, Brian Spanjer.

Grand Island’s “Weapons in Schools” Board Policy 8470 forbids “any instrument…that looks like a weapon,” But a three year-old’s hands?1

Although the school district ultimately relented…it wasn’t the foolishness of the policy (or its overly-strict application) that bothered me most. Instead…well, let me tell you why it disturbed me after we talk about what the second tweet pointed to.

[Read more…]