Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Presbyterian Messianic Congregation

An excerpt:

To Weingartner, support of the messianic congregation is "consistent with our general understanding of the mission of the church, which is to share the gospel with all people, inviting all people to recognize and accept in a personal decision the saving Lordship of Jesus Christ ... It wasn’t an attempt to target people who are of the Jewish faith, but rather an extended, consistent obedience to the Great Commission," the instruction Jesus gives in the Bible to bring the good news of salvation to all the world.

And what, exactly, is wrong with "targeting people" of a different faith. The question we must ask as Presbyterians is: Is Jesus *the* way, or *a* way? Barna's most recent poll seems to indicate that many Christians think Jesus is *a* way. When Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" what do we make of that? Do we really believe what he said? Or are we able to dismiss that? Intellectually, I can't.

Sure, there are plenty of non-churched folk who need to hear the Word - but they aren't the only ones. Do we let all of our other brothers and sisters languish? Or do we celebrate those who are making an attempt?

The question we must answer for each of ourselves is our belief of "the way." If we say that Jesus is the only way, then we can't let the political and social mores of today's America determine who we talk to Jesus about. (Ooops, you're Muslim -sorry, we can't talk about Jesus. Baloney.) Should we be disrespectful? No - but we needn't be apologetic for our belief either.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Finally, a reasonable debate

Neither Mouw nor Wheeler make an iron clad case, but I like the way they do it. Respectful and insightful, I understand both of their positions a little better.

I still struggle in the center of each argument though. Wheeler is right when she says that the church has placed restrictions on homosexuals that are to the point of cruelty. Mouw is right when he says that we all need a dose of "sexual humility." I believe that we aren't specifically made to be homosexual. But, does that necessarily mean that we aren't allowed to be? God don't make no junk.

The answers aren't found in their dialogue, but the beginnings of a reasonable discusion is.
Presbytery to have committee consider 'Gracious Separation' -

So far, nothing about this issue has been "Gracious." But, I wonder, what exactly will determine how a congregation decides to affiliate with one or another of the new denoms? Will it be over the issue of homosexuality? Are we really talking about having one denom ordain homosexuals, and provide for homosexual unions and the other not?

Is this just a vague ploy to establish the Confessing Church movement as a denom of its own? PC(CCM)? Presbyterian Church (Confessing Church Movement)?

Or are there other key issues? What about the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture? The Confessing Church Movement makes three claims in particular - Jesus alone is Lord and Savior, that Scripture is the infallible rule of faith and life, and that God's timeless standards for holy life have not been negated by political, cultural and social changes. I easily agree with the first two, and mostly agree with the last one. It's not that I disagree in substance, I disagree in application. I don't think that God has changed the rules or the standards, but that their application in a society so terribly different than the one in which God's standards first came to us must be examined critically. How do the standards of a pre-literate society (for the most part) apply to one in which technology and information flow from one part of the world to another in seconds? Is there a substantial difference between a society that had standards from God sent on stone tablets and one where a blog can appear within seconds of the thought occuring? (Not that any blog is the Word of God, mind you!!) This is the sort of non-theological wording that leads easily to varying interpretations, causing splits and divisions.

It seems to me that the third part of the Confessing Church movement is overwrought with ambivalence. That is, its just as likely to cause confusion and division in its application as anything in Scripture.

So where would that leave us? With two denoms, split resources and the ability to complain and bitch and moan at TWO General Assemblies each year. I'll bet Bob is salivating at *that* prospect!! ;)


Monday, November 17, 2003

Tentative Agreement Ends Transit Strike

Certainly didn't come a day too soon! Now if only the grocery workers and the stores could come to an agreement, we could move on to worrying about the normal stuff: crime, pestilence and greed.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Oh, come on!

Somebody really fell for it? Next thing you'll tell me someone installed the latest Microsoft "Security Patch!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The HisTory of Michael Jackson's face

Why is this so fascinating??

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

An interesting sample:

"I know what you're thinking. Based on what I've just said about my walk with God, having me write about spirituality is like having Bozo the Clown explain the meaning of the universe, like playing Handel's Messiah on the kazoo. How can someone whose life is obviously unspiritual presume to talk about spirituality? How can someone unholy presume to talk about holiness? It makes no sense.

Unless. Unless! Unless spirituality, as most of us understand it, is not spirituality at all.

Sadly, spiritual is most commonly used by Christians to describe people who pray all day long, read their Bibles constantly, never get angry or rattled, possess special powers, and have the inside track to God. Spirituality, for most, has an otherworldly ring to it, calling to mind eccentric 'saints' who have forsaken the world, taken vows of poverty, and isolated themselves in cloisters.

Nothing wrong with the spirituality of monks. Monks certainly experience a kind of spirituality, a way of seeking and knowing God, but what about the rest of us? What about those of us who live in the city, have a wife or husband, three children, two cats and a washing machine that has stopped working? What about those of us who are single, work sixty to seventy hours a week, have parents who wonder why we%u2019re not married, and have friends who make much more money than we do? What about those of us who are divorced, still trying to heal from the scars of rejection, trying to cope with the single-parenting of children who don't understand why this has happened to them?

Is there a spirituality for the rest of us who are not secluded in a monastery, who don't have it all together and probably never will? "

Pretty much sums it up for me. I'm sorry I never met him.