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Archive for January, 2012

Rabbis Demand Enforcement of Their Views Nationwide

January 13th, 2012 2 comments

And this is why we must always be grateful to live in a country that has religious freedom….what a mess in Israel.

In Israel, a clash over religious gender segregation
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By Judith Sudilovsky
Jerusalem, 12 January (ENInews)–Should Israel allow segregation by gender in the public sphere simply because one religious group — ultra-Orthodox Jews — demand it? This issue has become a focal point as Israel struggles with its identity as a Jewish democratic state.

“This is taking us straight to the most important dialogue [for the country]: what kind of values do we want for our Jewish state?” said Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, in an interview with ENInews.

The ultra-Orthodox have until recently only imposed their rules regarding the separation of the sexes — including separate sidewalks for men and women — in their own neighborhoods, but they have begun trying to enforce those standards in other areas. They maintain the separation is necessary in order to protect the modesty of women and is mandated by the Halacha, or Jewish religious law. However, a prominent conservative rabbi, Eliezer Melamed, said in his weekly newspaper column that it is “optional” not “required” under Jewish law.

Alon Visser, 22, a Jerusalem resident who initiated a bus protest on 1 January against segregation, said the issue was one of “freedom in the public sphere and of religious coercion.” He said that “there are certain values I want to see this country retain. I don’t want to see this country turning into a fundamentalist bastion.”

Several women have been exposed to verbal abuse in recent weeks as they refused to move to the back of an unofficially gender-segregated public bus. A young modern orthodox girl was spat at by an ultra-Orthodox man on her way to school in the town of Beit Shemesh just west of Jerusalem because he deemed her long skirt and shirt to be not modest enough, according to media reports.

Gender segregation has been illegally imposed on sidewalks where women are allowed to walk on only a certain side of the street and men-only public health clinics. Some public advertising campaigns have refrained from posting images of women in deference to ultra-Orthodox sensibilities. There was outrage among secular Israelis when a sole woman recipient of a Health Ministry award was excluded from the award ceremony because her presence offended religious sensitivities and when women speakers were excluded from a scheduled gynecological conference.

In response, women have held a “flash mob” dance performance in the center of Beit Shemesh, groups of “Freedom Riders” have ridden segregated buses, women have lent their image for an advertising campaign on private property and have held public “sing-offs” in protest of the growing extremism.

“People confuse the concept of multi-culturalism,” said Laura Wharton, 49, a member of the Jerusalem City Council from the left-wing Meretz Party, who last week boarded a segregated bus in an organized protest. “It means you can celebrate whatever holidays you want … It doesn’t mean you can invent your own laws.”

All articles (c) Ecumenical News International
Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and
provided ENI is acknowledged as the source.

Categories: Uncategorized

Survey of Mormons Proves that Mormons are Mormons

January 12th, 2012 28 comments

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has released the results of a survey of Mormons and the results prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that Mormons are Mormons. It is a very interesting survey and what caught my eye was this summary:

In one very interesting section of the new survey, respondents were asked several questions about what is essential to being a good Mormon. According to the survey, 80 percent said “believing Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ” is essential to being a good Mormon, 73 percent said “working to help the poor,” 51 percent said “regular Family Home Evenings,” 49 percent said “not drinking coffee and tea” and 32 percent said “not watching R-rated movies.

While many Christians who are, tragically, ignorant of what Christianity is all about, the survey demonstrates that Mormonism is not Christianity, not even a form of Christianity. At best, all we can say is that Mormonism is a cult that sprang from distinctly non-Christian heresies.

 

Categories: Mormonism

Marriage and Religious Freedom — An Open Letter from Religious Leaders

January 12th, 2012 13 comments

 

MARRIAGE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together An Open Letter from Religious Leaders in the United States to All Americans

Released January 12, 2012

Open letter and signatories found here. Here is a PDF copy of the statement: Marriage-and-Religious-Freedom-Letter-Jan-12-2012-4

Executive Summary

We, as representatives of a broad array of faiths, join together to affirm that marriage, the union of one man and one woman, must be promoted and protected for its own sake and for the common good. We also agree that redefining marriage will incur grave consequences, including a deleterious impact on religious liberty. Altering the definition of marriage will change not just one law but hundreds, even thousands, of laws. There will be government mandates, requiring the recognition and accommodation of so-called same-sex “marriages,” that pose a critical threat to institutions and individuals who for reasons of faith and conscience will resist the law’s compulsion. Cases involving criminal and civil penalties and the denial of grants and other government benefits are already occurring and will only increase in number and severity if more jurisdictions redefine marriage. The law not only will coerce and impose disincentives, but will also teach that religious objectors must be marked as if they were bigots. We encourage all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined. May all of us work together to strengthen and preserve the unique meaning of marriage and the precious gift of religious liberty.

Signatories come from the following communities:

Agudath Israel of America

Anglican Church in North America

Assemblies of God

The Brethren Church

Bruderhof Communities

The Christian & Missionary Alliance

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church of the Nazarene Conservative Congregational Christian Conference

Evangelical Free Church of America

Evangelical Friends Church, North America Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

The Foursquare Church

Free Methodist Church

USA General Association of General Baptists

General Council of Christian Union Churches

Grace Communion International

Great Commission Churches

International Pentecostal Church of Christ

International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

Missionary Church, Inc.

National Association of Evangelicals

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

North American Lutheran Church

Open Bible Churches

The Salvation Army

Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

United Brethren in Christ Church, USA

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Vineyard USA

The Wesleyan Church

Categories: Culture

What is the Best, Most Affordable, Readable One-Volume Church History Available?

January 12th, 2012 3 comments

Look Who’s Talking about The Church from Age to Age

Scholars

Dr. H. J. Selderhuis, a Dutch scholar of the Reformation and an editor for Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht projects, cited The Church from Age to Age positively in a recent review article regarding religious faith and the problem of violence. If you read Dutch, you can see the article here.

Dr. Nathan A. Finn, Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, has kindly reviewed and commended our book. You can read his review here.

Solid Ground Newsetter, a publication of evangelical apologists at Stand to Reason, is carrying The Church from Age to Age as a recommended resource here.

Students

Concordia University, Ann Arbor, students recently lined up to get their copy of the book as a textbook for their required church history class.

Pastors

Rev. William Weedon of Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, IL states that he is “MEGA impressed. . . . This volume is exceedingly well written.” He kindly recommended our book on his blog here.

Families

Mr. Peter Reske purchased The Church from Age to Age for his wife as a Christmas present. He was surprised to find his five year-old making it part of his bed time reading!

Why is this church history receiving so much attention? It is the most affordable, readable, one-volume church history available! Order your copy here. Get the Kindle edition here.

Categories: Uncategorized

Good News for Churches in America—Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Church

January 11th, 2012 5 comments

Supreme Court says judges cannot get involved in church-employee discrimination dispute
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 10:29 AM

WASHINGTON — In a groundbreaking case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held for the first time that religious employees of a church cannot sue for employment discrimination.

But the court’s unanimous decision in a case from Michigan did not specify the distinction between a secular employee, who can take advantage of the government’s protection from discrimination and retaliation, and a religious employee, who can’t.

It was, nevertheless, the first time the high court has acknowledged the existence of a “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws — a doctrine developed in lower court rulings. This doctrine says the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion shields churches and their operations from the reach of such protective laws when the issue involves employees of these institutions.

The case came before the court because the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Mich., on behalf of employee Cheryl Perich, over her firing, which happened after she complained of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Writing the court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Allowing anti-discrimination lawsuits against religious organizations could end up forcing churches to take religious leaders they no longer want.”

“Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs,” Roberts said. “By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the Free Exercise Clause, which protects a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments.”

Here is the full text of the Supreme Court’s ruling: SCOTUS Ruling

Read the full story here.

Categories: First Ammendment

Comparing Apples to Apple — Goofiest Infographic Ever?

January 10th, 2012 3 comments

Be sure to click on the picture to get the full size version to display…

Categories: Uncategorized

Rev. Dr. Dean O. Wenthe Endorses “The Apocrypha: Lutheran Edition with Notes”

January 10th, 2012 4 comments

“One of the great rewards of biblical study is an increased awareness of the historical and cultural setting in which the Scriptures were written.  In The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes, Editor Engelbrecht and his team of contributors have provided an attractive and accessible overview of one of the most interesting periods in the Bible’s history, namely, the Intertestamental or Second Temple Period.  It was during this time that the Old Testament was completed and the New Testament was on the threshold of emerging.  Succinct introductions with helpful maps and diagrams enrich the presentation.  A distinctive strength is the churchly and confessional assessment from a Lutheran perspective that provides a framework for the historical material—a significant contribution that lifts the reader beyond the merely academic.”

Dr. Dean O. Wenthe, M.Div., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.; THM., Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J.; M.A., PhD., (Hebrew Scriptures, Judaica, New Testament) University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana; General Editor, Concordia Commentary (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo.); Professor and President Emeritus, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Note: We are taking prepublication orders for The Apocrypha: Lutheran Edition with Notes. It will be in print in late October 2012. To get in virtual line to be the first kid on your block to have this nifty new book, click here.


Categories: CPH Resources

The Pope’s New Cardinals — More Roman Than Catholic?

January 9th, 2012 9 comments

 

Interesting interpretation of Pope Benedict’s latest appointments to the College of Cardinals. Seems to me that the problem with the Roman Catholic church has always been it is more Roman than Catholic, so it should come as no surprise that PB XVI wants to keep it that way. But this article, obviously, doesn’t understand just how profound that observation, theologically, really is, and is whining more about geography than theology. Obviously, is is extremely irritating, to say the least, to the liberals in the Catholic Church who want to see it conform to the Western modernist theological agenda. These appointments will go a long way toward preventing that from happening.

Pope Benedict’s cardinals: more Roman, less ‘catholic’

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By David Gibson — ENInews/RNS

9 January (ENInews)–Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement on 6 January of 22 new cardinals shows that he is continuing a pattern of stacking the College of Cardinals with Europeans (mainly Italians) and with leaders of the Roman curia, the papal bureaucracy whose officials are often considered more conservative than prelates in dioceses around the world.

This trend goes against the push by Benedict’s predecessors, notably the late John Paul II, to “internationalize” the College of Cardinals and make it more representative of the global church, Religion News Service reports.

It also runs counter to the inexorable demographics of the church, which shows the number of Catholics growing in places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America, even as the faith barely treads water in North America and declines in Europe. The 22 churchmen will be installed at a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on 18 February.

“This suggests an upside-down church,” Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for The Tablet, a Catholic weekly in London, said of the pope’s appointments. “It doesn’t reflect where the church is going.”

The numbers tell the story. Since Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in April 2005, his three batches of new cardinals have favored Europeans and those who work with him in Rome over bishops from other countries.

Eighteen of the 22 cardinals in this latest round of appointments are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in the conclave, or gathering, that elects a pope. (The red hats given to the four octogenarians are the church equivalent of lifetime achievement awards.) Of those 18 new electors, seven are Italians, five others are from Europe, and a total of 10 are Vatican officials.

Just three of the new cardinals — from Brazil, Hong Kong and India — are from outside the West, and in the biggest surprise, none are from Africa, where the church is experiencing its greatest growth, followed by Asia. Half of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics live in the Americas.

That means Italians will form the largest national block and account for one-quarter of the 126 cardinal-electors (several will age out this year), up from 16.5 percent in 2005. In addition, 35 percent of the cardinal-electors will come from the Roman curia — up from less than a quarter when Benedict was elected in 2005.

John Paul II, who was Polish and the first non-Italian pontiff in 450 years when he was elected in 1978, deliberately sought to internationalize the College of Cardinals and the Roman curia, though he also brought in a number of fellow Poles to help run his administration.

Why has Benedict largely reversed that trend? Vatican-watcher John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter noted that before he was elected pope, Ratzinger spent nearly 25 years working in Rome and his appointments are “perhaps a product of his comfort level with Italian ecclesial culture.”

The other major factor is that Benedict is at heart an Old World, old-fashioned Bavarian Catholic, and both he and the cardinals who elected him believe that Europe remains the birthplace of Catholic culture. In that view, Benedict represents the best — and perhaps last — chance to restore that culture and use it to evangelize the rest of the world.

But in light of this latest round of cardinal appointments, and given growing concerns about Benedict’s health — he turns 85 in April — this set of electors may well be the men who eventually choose Benedict’s successor. Their numbers suggest they may be just as likely to look to Europe once again rather than to the future church in the global South.

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See http://www.eni.ch/rss/

 

All articles (c) Ecumenical News International

Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and

provided ENI is acknowledged as the source.

Categories: Roman Catholicism

The Church of File-Sharing – Brought to You by Those Wacky Swedes

January 7th, 2012 3 comments

Isak Gerson, Church Leader

This is true. I’m not making it up. Story posted here.

The Church of Kopimism, a religion whose central tenet is the free sharing of information, has been formally recognized by the Swedish government.

Kopimists believe all information sharing is “holy” and that the value of information multiplies when it’s shared. They hold CTRL+C and CTRL+V, keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting, to be sacred symbols of their religion. (We’re not making this stuff up.)

According to a press release on the Church’s website, Kopimism has been striving to achieve legal recognition in Sweden for more than a year. The church’s board chairman, Gustav Nipe, says the Kopimists has tried three times to register with Kammarkollegiet, the Swedish Administrative Services Agency. They were ultimately successful and recognized as a religion just before Christmas of last year.

Formal acknowledgment provides the Church of Kopimism, named for the Swedish word for “copy,” with legal protections under that country’s law and potential access to government-assisted funding.

The recognition of the Church of Kopimism is the latest success for Europeans fighting for a free and open Internet. The Pirate Party, formed in Sweden in 2006, aims to reform copyright and patent laws and to protect online access to information. The Pirate Party won over 7% of Swedish votes in 2009′s European parliamentary elections, and it has spawned an international movement under the banner “Pirate Parties International.

Not everything has gone smoothly for the Church of Kopimism. Its website buckled under the pressure of sudden international interest. A temporary page is urging people interested in becoming a Kopimist to check back “when the storm is settled.”

Read more here.

Categories: Cults, Culture, Current Affairs

More Praise for the Apocrypha: Lutheran Study Edition

January 6th, 2012 5 comments

 

The words of encouragement, praise and endorsement keep rolling in from a broad range of scholars who have had a chance to review an unedited proof copy of The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes. It will be out by the end of October 2012.

I recommend this edition of the Apocrypha as a timely and useful addition to The Lutheran Study Bible. The Apocrypha have been considered as a part of the biblical canon for most of the church’s history, and while the Reformers may have had good reasons for thinking differently, they still had a high regard for them. This edition enables both scholars and lay readers to understand why.
Knut Alfsvåg
Professor of Systematic Theology
School of Mission and Theology
Stavanger, Norway

The books of the Apocrypha are absolutely essential for understanding the Jewish context of early Christianity. The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes is an outstanding work of scholarship that provides a welcome service to Lutherans and, indeed, to Christians of other traditions interested in reading and studying these fascinating and often entertaining writings, which the great Luther himself deemed “useful and good to read.” A thoughtfully edited and attractively produced volume, it includes many unique features and has the fullest annotations of any comparable study edition. In all, this is a monumental achievement and valuable resource for scholars, students, and lay people alike.
Daniel C. Harlow
Professor of Religion, Calvin College
Editor, The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism

Coming October 2012.

For more than 100 years, the Apocrypha has been left out of English versions of the Bible. Concordia Publishing House is proud to announce the 2012 release of the first and only ESV edition of the Apocrypha with notes and annotations by Lutherans. Described by Martin Luther as useful texts to read, but not divinely inspired, the Apocrypha allows Lutherans to look back at their heritage and see the Bible as our forefathers would have. Furthermore, the texts of the Apocrypha are essential reading for filling in the 400-year gap between the Old and New Testaments A key resource for understanding the New Testament’s background, Concordia’s The Apocrypha will include notes, maps, charts, illustrations, introductions to the books, and an extensive set of articles that will provide guidance to those who are studying ancient literatures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. This Study Bible-style treatment of the Apocrypha is certain to be the most extensive, popular edition available; especially to those eager to study the unique Lutheran perspective on these books and the time between the testaments.

Bigger and Better Than Ever: Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective – Third Edition is Coming Soon

January 6th, 2012 4 comments

I’m pleased to share with you the proof of the cover for the third edition of Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective. Yes, the third edition, with added content, new essays, etc. This book has proven to be very popular worldwide wherever this issue is being encountered, which is basically everywhere the Lutheran World Federation is trying to push through its liberal agenda on various Lutheran church bodies. The third edition will be out in March. Stay tuned.

Categories: CPH Resources

Top Fifty Countries Where Christians Face the Most Persecution

January 6th, 2012 1 comment

Report names 50 worst countries for Christian persecution

By Ruby Russell

6 January (ENInews)–The international Christian organization Open Doors released its annual World Watch List this week, naming the 50 countries where it says Christians face the worst persecution. For the first time in the 20 years that the list has been compiled, the situation for Christians did not improve in any country, Open Doors said. Download the watch list by clicking on this link.

For the tenth year running, North Korea topped the list. Open Doors reported that Christianity has been driven so far underground in North Korea that parents wait until their children are old enough to understand the dangers of practicing their faith before teaching them about it. The organization also estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are currently interned in labor camps.

“How the death of Kim Jong Il last month and the coming to power of his son Kim Jong Un will affect the status of Christians in North Korea is hard to determine at this early stage,” Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA said in a statement.

The top five countries on the list also include Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Iran. The report indicated that changes of power have done little to improve things for Christians in other parts of the world.

“At the beginning of last year, we were expecting some changes in the Arab world and of course the political situation has changed,” Raymond Favre, Open Doors’ representative for francophone countries said in an interview. “But in terms of persecution basically it is the same except in Egypt where the persecution of Christians has increased.”

The country where things have deteriorated most since the 2011 report is Nigeria. At least 300 Christians were killed last year and sectarian violence has intensified over recent weeks. On Christmas Day, more than 35 people were killed in bomb attacks on churches across the country.

Open Doors provides training for pastors and distributes Bibles in countries where Christianity is suppressed, as well as advocating for political change. It is active in over 50 countries and estimates that 100 million Christians worldwide face persecution.

 

All articles (c) Ecumenical News International

Reproduction permitted only by media subscribers and

provided ENI is acknowledged as the source.

 

Categories: Persecuted Church

How to Argue for the Ordination of Women

January 6th, 2012 7 comments

I appreciated this blog post by Pastor Dan Hinton and thought I’d just repost it and share it here. It touches on some internal Missouri Synod issues, but the point he makes is applicable to all situations where the ordination of women has been embraced, and of course, wherever the ordination of women has been embraced in the 20th century by a church, the ordination of actively homosexual persons is sure to follow as we have seen in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and nearly every other mainline protestant denomination here in this country and elsewhere in the world.

Recently a group has sprung up on Facebook advocating that “the ordination of women should be publicly discussed in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” Many of you may not know that this issue is what finally drove me from the ELCA to the Missouri Synod. I read the LCMS rationale for their practice, and was impressed that it seemed to flow from Scripture, despite how increasingly unpopular it made them. I wanted to know what the ELCA’s rationale was for its practice, so I started asking around. At the time I was about to begin applying to one of their seminaries, so I thought I ought to take care of this issue right off the bat. To make a long story short, not even the systematics chair at their seminary could defend the practice from Scripture. I swam across the Mississippi River so fast I didn’t even get wet. But I find it sad that this professor could not make a good defense, especially because, after years of reading about it in print and online and following discussions such as the aforementioned Facebook page, I have discovered the secret to arguing in favor of women’s ordination.

Step 1. Adopt Enthusiasm Early On

By this I do not mean what the term as come to mean, i.e., that you are passionate and excited. Here I intend the enthusiasm defined in the Smalcald Articles (III VIII 3ff). Of course, that same article staunchly condemns this idea, but hey, the Confessions are “living documents,” which means you’re totally free to disregard them when you need to. No, this enthusiasm is the one that says God the Holy Spirit tells you stuff apart from and before the Word.

Try this one: “God has given me all these gifts and He wants me to use them to glorify Him.” If you’re one of those stuck-up Missouri types, you might be inclined to object that Scripture doesn’t speak this way, but this objection is no problem for the Enthusiast. You know what God said because… well, you just do. And because God’s thoughts just popped into your head, no one can question them! But closely tied to this step is the next…

Step 2. Monasticism is Your Friend

I have to become a nun? Of course not! You want to bypass that entirely and be a priest, or maybe even the bishop. After all, the Kingdom of God is a hierarchy, and the closer you are to God in the organizational chart, the better. Why risk your salvation on staying a laywoman? Everyone knows that being a pastor is, like, a Get-Into-Heaven-Free card. And of course it goes without saying that pastors are by their very nature holier than anybody else, so don’t be stingy in pointing out that those mean Missourians are holding back all those goodies from thousands of women.

Think of the argument from Step 1. Not only do you have all these swell gifts, and you’d be just as good a pastor as any man, but you know the only way to use these gifts is to be a pastor. Remember: Only pastors are really serving God. Feel free to step on any other vocation in order to make that of pastor even higher — that’s what monasticism’s all about, remember? Fair warning: your pesky opponents might force their brainwashed wives into arguing along with them that they are content that they serve God “in their own vocations as wife and mother.” Whatever. No woman really thinks that way. The more you denigrate the vocations of wife and mother, the stronger your argument becomes. Bonus points for throwing stay-at-home mothers and homeschoolers under the bus as well.

One thing to remember: try to avoid too much talk of exactly what pastors are, what they do, and how they get to be pastors. Doubly so when engaging biblical texts on the matter (we’ll cover that in Step 3 in greater detail). Your new appreciation for monasticism reminds you that the pastor is just the guy in the church that God likes best, so feel free to point out how Jesus seemed to hold women in high regard. Holding women in high regard = He wants them to be pastors. Your opponent won’t understand what that argument means, but hey, he’s probably a man.  Remember how Yahweh said in the Old Testament, “I like Levi best, so his sons can be priests, but I hold all the other tribes in lower regard, so none of them gets anything special — especially Judah.” It’s somewhere in one of those long boring lists of names.

Step 3. Two Words: Higher Criticism

This step is probably remedial for you, but if it isn’t, you’ll need to understand how higher criticism works. Don’t worry, it’s really easy. You already know what God is like, right? He’s a lot like you. So throw out all the times when God (or Jesus) does or says something you know He wouldn’t, throw out all the commands that you know God wouldn’t really have made, and definitely throw out all the events you just know couldn’t really have happened. When’s the last time you saw a blind man see again without millions of dollars worth of surgery? I thought so.

But what does this have to do with women’s ordination? Well, remember, your opponents are basically knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing fundies with academic credentials only slightly higher than Oral Roberts — so they’re going to be using the Bible as a crutch. They can quote the Bible all day long, but remember they approach it like total simpletons and take it at face value. You know better. You know what Jesus is really like (see Step 1), and He was all about radical inclusion. Again, your opponent will have no idea what that means, but you know it means He totally wants women pastors. They might bring up the fact that Jesus didn’t actually bother to make a woman a pastor during His earthly ministry, but you can just counter by thinking of the name of a woman in the Bible and claiming she was really a pastor.

Oh, and don’t forget the value of the New Perspective on Paul. Jesus was the radical inclusivist who wanted everyone to be happy and get along and never said a mean word to anyone, but then Paul came along and gave the church that nasty mean streak. Learn it well, because your opponents will be quoting Paul. A lot.

Step 4. Argumentum ad Misericordiam

Lastly, never underestimate the power of an argument from your own personal suffering. After all, you have a husband, parents, children, neighbors, coworkers, and fellow citizens, but there’s no one for you to serve until those meanies let you be a pastor. Be sure to include as much detail about your own suffering over this as possible. Remind everyone how you feel like you’re on the outside because they won’t let you in. Remind everyone about how many great gifts you have that can only be used if you were wearing a collar. What a burden that must be. Oh, and feel free to inflate the number of fellow sufferers there might be.

There’s much more that could be said, but that should give you a good start.

Categories: Uncategorized

Mountain Lion Caught by Trapper Two Hours SW of My Home

January 5th, 2012 3 comments

I know for you people out in the wild west, this is no big deal, but…this pretty kitty was caught in a trap about 2 hours SE of my home, here in Missouri. Recently, some have said that there have been no legitimate sightings of mountains lion in southern Missouri and have dismissed them as people with a healthy imagination. Well, I hope this convinces them. Click on the pictures to see the large versions. I do not think this cat is particularly happy.

Here is the story that came along with the picture. I was amused by the speculation that it may have been a family pet, and that it was being released near Deer Run Park, I guess to make sure the park lives up to its name?

(KMOV.com) – An unexpected animal was caught in a trap in Reynolds County, Missouri on Tuesday afternoon. County Commissioner, Wayne Henson, found a mountain lion in a trap typically used to capture coyotes and bobcats. The animal was not injured.  At this time it is uncertain if the lion was a pet or from the wild. The Reynolds County Conservation Department is expected to release the animal in the area of Deer Run Park.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Video Greetings for the Epiphany Season from the President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

January 5th, 2012 Comments off

Categories: Uncategorized