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Тhе Dеmеаning оf Рrауеr

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Missionaries and the impulse to bash one’s own tradition

Interesting:

I couldn’t help but notice that his every reference to Lutheranism was derogatory or derisive. And yes, I mean that literally. He consistently treated our denomination, our traditions, and our theology as some kind of shackle from which we need to be released. There was definitely a strong note of that “Oh, if only we were more like Baptists, then an omnipotent and omniscient God could maybe finally find some way to use us to proclaim His Word” nonsense from the previous point.It’s not as though I think Lutherans or the Synod are beyond criticism—a quick review of this blog will tell you that. At the same time, our heritage of theology, hymnody, and history is a precious treasure won through hard-fought spiritual warfare against the Devil and this world. There are certainly things we need to change—mainly having to do with our embrace of modern worldliness and rejection of God’s word and our theological heritage—but one should not broadly treat precious things in such a manner, nor encourage others to do the same.

Oh yes. Have encountered this among the tradCalvs; a pastor I know whose previous two charges were missionary church plants in other cultures, now preaching in a regular North American congregation, who still seems to be on a ‘mission’, that of criticizing how his tradition has ‘always’ done certain things certain ways, and emphasizing his opinion on the need of the church to change, sounding like businesses saying ‘innovate or die’… Said congregation wants to embrace a more ‘evangelical’ church model of outreach to the local community, so they lap all this self-derogatory stuff up, and go along with his ‘call me by my first name’ informality when off the pulpit, his gimmickry-for-the-kids when on the pulpit, some liturgy changes, etc. Sad…

I get it. You’ve been elsewhere and found that you’ve had to adapt to local conditions, and have found some success in doing so, more than you did doing things the usual way. Good for you. But that doesn’t mean that what works elsewhere will automatically work back at home, and that change must occur. Stop with the missionary zeal, and remember your regular pastoral calling, would be what I would not so humbly suggest.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in churchianity, religion, Theology

 

Pope Francis Honors Dutch Abortion Activist with Pontifical Medal of Knighthood

No, really.

Pope Francis has conferred the title of “Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great” on Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch politician and vocal agitator for abortion rights.

Last year, Ploumen founded a pro-abortion organization called She Decides, which offers funding and support for international NGOs that provide, facilitate or campaign for abortion.

In an email to the Catholic Herald, Ms. Ploumen said that she was “very honoured” by the pontifical medal, which was sent via the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs last month.

In an interview with Dutch radio, Ploumen said she views the honor as a sign of the pope’s progressivism, as well as acknowledgement for her work in supporting abortion rights.

Ms. Ploumen said that the award came after much personal investment in contacts with the Vatican, which she defined as “lobbying.”

“Yes, because you know, the Vatican, especially under prior popes, had a rather rigid attitude when it came to the rights of girls and women,” she said.

The Order of St Gregory the Great was founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831, under the patronage of Pope St Gregory I. It is bestowed on those who have distinguished themselves in public service or given support to the Church.

During the investiture ceremony, the prelate sponsoring the candidate recites a formula noting that membership in the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great “is conferred as a reward for services to the Holy See and the Church on gentlemen/ladies of proved loyalty who must maintain unswerving fidelity to God, the Supreme Pontiff, the Holy See and the Church.”

“Becoming a Knight/Dame does not merely mean receiving a title of honour—even though it is well deserved—but fighting evil, promoting good and defending the weak and oppressed against injustice,” the rite continues.

The approval of candidates for this high honor must be given by the pope himself.

The Vatican press office has confirmed that the honor was indeed awarded to Lilianne Ploumen, but insists that it was not meant to signal approval of her pro-abortion activities.

As if that denial means jack…

 

United States Conference of Communist Bishops

(The two passages cited in the graphic can be found here.)

 

You Know Your Church Has Lost the Plot When it Hosts a Satanic Fashion Show…

Reblogged from Zwinglius Redivivus:

St Andrew’s Church in Holborn received criticism after it offered up its building as part of London fashion week on Monday evening. The Anglican church’s alter was transformed into a runway for models wearing inverted crosses, devil horns and vampire costumes to walk down in Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Dr Adrian Hilton from the Archbishop Cramner blog told Premier the church’s decision to host the event was “bizarre”.

He said: “How can the Church ask godparents to reject Satan in its liturgy of christening when it’s hosting this sort of event?  There are people dressed up of Lucifer! There are women and men walking around with demonic symbols.” The Turkish designer who grew up with Muslim parents in Istanbul has admitted to constantly wanting to explore. She told Vogue magazine: “I’m into parapsychology and all the occult and magic stuff, so when I was reading those books, they thought I was going to be a Satanist.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of London issued a statement to Premier in which the church apologised for permitting the event. It read: “The parish of St Andrew’s has always supported London Fashion Week. “We took this booking in good faith and were not aware of the content or design before the show took place.  “This was obviously a mistake, and the content of this show does not reflect the Christian faith of the Church. “We will be looking at our booking processes going forward to ensure this does not happen again.”

Hey, here’s an idea-  don’t book outside events that have nothing to do with Christianity.  Let the secular venues handle that garbage.

 

Osteen won’t help flood victims; no Christian, he…

Incredible

Televangelist Joel Osteen canceled services at his Houston megachurch Sunday and has yet to reopen its doors — despite the fact that thousands of flooded-out residents are desperately seeking shelter.

The perpetually smiling pastor told followers on Twitter on Monday to lean on their faith.

“Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding,” he wrote. “That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense.”

But Osteen’s comforting words didn’t sit well with critics, who want to know why the doors to his 16,800-seat arena at his Lakewood Church near downtown Houston are closed.

“You have taken so much money away from your people to live like a king,” entertainment publicist Danny Deraney blasted. “It’s the least you could do.”

Washington, DC-based writer Charles Clymer tweeted pictures of Lakewood Church, which did not appear to be damaged by floods.

“It doesn’t make sense why you’re not opening up your mega church to house Houston citizens, help me understand that. Jesus,” according to Florida-based writer Emily Timbol.

While the church and its arena have not suffered any flood damage yet, ministry spokesman Donald Iloff said their property is inaccessible because of surrounding waters.

And it makes no sense to open church doors when the city and county are already treating thousands of flood victims at the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center, according to Iloff.

Oh, so government has got it, no need for anyone else to lend a hand. Is that it?

Vox nails it:

As does Chris:

Worship in a time of flood is not preaching. It is firing up the kitchen, making soup, and filling sandbags. You can clean up the church once the people have homes they can return to. But now we should be doing charity from our churches. For they are not ours, but Christ’s.

And our worship of Christ is costly.

Guess this demonstrates clearly, had there been any doubt in anyone’s mind; Osteen’s ‘church’ is not of Christ.

 

Witches cast ‘mass spell’ against Donald Trump; evangelicals over-react, freaking out in fear

Double, double toil and trouble,. Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!

Most of Donald Trump’s opponents believe they will have to wait four more years to see him leave the White House.

But America’s witches are more optimistic.

That’s the spirit! The can-do attitude that built America, and made it great!

At the stroke of midnight on Friday, followers of witchcraft across the US performed a mass spell designed to remove the president from office.

Clearly, it must have worked! Wait, no; Trump is still President, progs! Better try again…

A Facebook group devoted to the ritual has attracted over 10,500 likes, and coined the hashtag #magicresistance.

Ooh, a Magic Resistance! Now you see them; now you don’t! Amen! 😉

The development has sparked fury among Christian conservatives, who have accused the witches of “declaring spiritual war”.

Idiots. Witches have always been at spiritual war with our Lord; now they’ve merely extended their war into the temporal realm, against a head of state; in theory, at least: doesn’t look like their spell worked. But if at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again, prog witches!

Writer Michael Hughes, who describes himself as a “magical thinker” posted a version of the spell online, saying he had seen multiple versions on private witchcraft groups.

Ooh, Magical Thinking! What progs are known for…

In it, he suggests using a stubby orange candle, an unflattering picture of Mr Trump, and a Tower tarot card.

Wouldn’t you want to build a Tower of Tower tarot cards, to make it bigger and more powerful? Make Witchcraft Great Again! 😉

Followers of magic are told to carve the president’s name into the candle using a pin, recite an incantation, and then burn his picture in the flame.

The words of the spell include a plea to the Wiccan deities to “bind Donald J Trump, so that his malignant works may fail utterly” and so that he “shall not break our polity, usurp our liberty, or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair”.

They needn’t worry; their minds are already filled with hate, confusion, fear and despair. (Too bad about the hate, but I’m sure enjoying their confusion, fear and despair, and you should, too! 🙂 )

Mr Trump’s supporters don’t escape either, as the spell asks that their “malicious tongues” be curbed too.

Well, have we deplorables been silenced? Nope! I guess our God is bigger than their Wiccan deities. 🙂

Mr Hughes suggests that instead of the normal closing line, “So mote it be!”, witches could burn the former Apprentice host’s image with the words, “You’re fired!”

Using Trump’s own words against him; so cute! Too bad it didn’t work. 🙂

The writer said he published details of the spell because he felt “it would be very welcome to a lot of people”.

Under the tenets of witchcraft, a “binding spell” does not wish harm on its target, but aims to stop them from doing harm themselves.

And yet they’re burning his picture in effigy. Doesn’t add up, does it?

MaryPat Azevedo, who took part in the ritual in Arizona, said she saw the ritual as “a unity prayer”.

She told the BBC: “A true witch would never cast a spell on anyone without their permission. This prayer is for wellbeing and peace for all beings.”

And did the Donald grant you his permission? Or are you not a true witch? D’Oh!

Ms Azevedo said she hopes to see “physical, emotional, and spiritual changes in Donald Trump and American politics”.

Me too. I’d love to see in Trump physical changes (him becoming even healthier, so that he may have a long, healthy and productive presidency), emotional changes (becoming thicker-skinned), and spiritual changes (hey, I’d love to see him become a faithful, orthodox, mature Christian). And I’d love to see all different manner of various changes in American politics, in a reactionary direction, of course.

Participating witches plan to repeat the spell on days when there is a waning crescent moon, until Mr Trump leaves the Oval Office. The next ritual is set for 26 March.

I’m sure President Trump is quaking in his boots!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the president’s followers are less than thrilled.

Maybe a handful; the rest don’t know or care! 🙂

Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelical pastor who has previously condemned Starbucks for taking Christmas symbols off its seasonal red cups, issued an “urgent warning”, saying “millions of witches” were trying to curse the president.

“Their bippity-boppity-boo isn’t more powerful than the name of Jesus!” he declared in an online video.

Exactly, so relax, bro; the Lord has got this. Chill out!

The Christian Nationalist Alliance, a conservative religious group, named 24 February a “day of prayer” to counter the magical fraternity.

I’m sorry, under what authority do they declare the right to dictate to the rest of Christians to suddenly follow this festival / fast / whatever? They’re not a church governing body, but go nuts guys, if it makes you feel better.

In a post online, it called the witches “occultists” who want to summon dark spirits against Mr Trump.

True dat.

The group said it will urge people to pray every time the spell-casters reach for their candles.

People should always pray. They don’t need to think of this as some sort of contest where the side that prays the hardest will beat the other.

Thus far, Mr Trump has failed to comment on the battle between Bible and broomstick.

No, but he has disinvited you, BBC, to press briefings; that should give you an idea of what he thinks of your reporting and coverage overall, much less individual prog-straw-grasping-, silly ‘stories’ like this.