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Recently I came across an article titled The Tragedy of Voting for the “Lesser of Two Evils” by Austin Rogers, via the Libertarian Christian Institute. I was intrigued by the title because I have been thinking lately about the Christian’s relation to the ballot box. I believe there are many good reasons why Christians ought to […]
Here in PDF format is this year’s political guidance letter from the American Catholic bishops. For someone who has repeatedly thought about the issues in depth and has been educated about many Church teachings, the document might be more bother than aid. Ethical principles are touched on too briefly to offer much insight or to […]
Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. (Isaiah 32:9, ESV) My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:18, ESV) Preview Open
In my pastor’s sermon today, he talked about America being a pagan and post-Christian society. I certainly agree that we are in a post-Christian one, but “pagan” is not the right term.
Pagan societies, at least the ones we know about, have a few shared characteristics. They were self-perpetuating as societies; that is, they created an ethos that promoted families (even the ones that practiced child sacrifice and exposing infants still made sure they had enough children for a stable population), protected private property (don’t buy the “Native Americans didn’t understand land ownership” fraud), and inculcated respect for order, authority, and defending the tribe/polis/empire. They had, in other words, the virtues necessary to survive.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples hear it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matthew 17: 1-8, Orthodox Study Bible (OSB), 2008.
On August 6, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Great Feast of the Transfiguration. The Feast is often overlooked today, unless it occurs on a Sunday, probably because it is somewhat overshadowed by the Dormition Fast in which it falls (more on that in the coming essay on the Dormition), and because it is in the middle of Summer, and somewhat separated from any related festal observances. I have personally found that the Transfiguration is itself often entirely overlooked in the wider non-liturgical Christian world. The event may be the subject of the odd sermon, but such is usually confined to confirming some variation on “Jesus is revealing who He truly is to his closes disciples.” As far as sermon material goes, the parables seem to offer more tempting fare. When my eldest daughter graduated from 12 straight years of Christian private school, she said she had never heard any talk of the event at all in any of her Bible study classes.
Pastor Ché Ahn and Attorney Mathew Staver joined Senior Editor Christopher Bedford to discuss their recent lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his actions in banning religious worship amid the ongoing government lockdown. Ahn is the founder and head pastor at Harvest International Ministry and Harvest Rock Church, and Staver is a founding member of Liberty Counsel.
Ahn argued Gov. Newsom imposed a double standard in shutting down religious services while praising the reckless protests and looting that ensued following the death of George Floyd, despite their lack of compliance with CDC guidelines. Staver said the Constitution makes it clear the government cannot prevent citizens from gathering to worship.
“Of course leftists hate Christianity. Leftism was created in mockery of Christianity as Orcs were created in mockery of the Elves.” — Prof. Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard Leftism compared to a religion. It’s a fairly common reference, and the evidence is common to see. Obviously, Leftist revolutions tended to create cults of personality, Stalin and Mao most notably. There’s also a long train of martyrs to the Left, from Revolutionary France until now. Surprisingly, many Christians don’t seem to have gotten the message — consider the Social Gospel and the Liberation Theology movement — but the hostility always resurfaces.
They called for Tash: Tash has come. from The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis Preview Open
During my stay in another state, I was offered my host’s only housekey to use while he was at work. The arrangement was not usually a bother because we gathered at another place in the evenings before returning together to his home.
One day, the weather cooled unexpectedly — enough that I decided to return for an extra shirt. The drive to his house took about 20 minutes. There in the driveway was my host, only just arriving himself. He was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He was in a hurry to retrieve a forgotten item and had expected he would need to climb through a low window to get inside without his house key. (He could have phoned, but apparently thought it a minor inconvenience — not worth bothering me about.) I unlocked the door with his key, saving him the trouble.
Months of COVID quarantine rules were finally relaxing and then righteous indignation from Minneapolis turned what was supposed to be a disease transition “reopening” weekend in neighboring Indianapolis into a melee: Repeated elsewhere, in bigger cities, there was the requisite “peaceful” afternoon demonstrations turning violent Friday, with 8 p.m. curfews set to try to quell […]
Previous: Born Again 13: God’s in the Heart-Changing BusinessIt’s time to come clean. What I have not told you — though you may have guessed — is that Sharon and I had briefly been romantically involved, back when this saga began so many years ago. The relationship had crumbled as I realized my girlfriend did […]
Previous: Born Again 12: My Husband Thinks I’m Weird Sharon’s previous letter raises a couple of critical concerns. First, she’s been conditioned to think of the term “born again” as something of a derogatory. Of course, Jesus emphasized the need for spiritual rebirth in very clear terms, and so she’ll need to be able […]
Previous: Born Again 11: The Jesus Who Lives in Me I was recently accused by some very fine military personnel of being a “dork”, by which they meant I use words and phrases that are … well, dorky. Frankly, I prefer “poetic”, but be that as it may … Preview Open
Previous: Born Again 10: What do You Want? My sense of excitement over Sharon’s growing enthusiasm and revelations is matched by a sense of uncertainty. Everything is here sitting in a pile: conviction of sin, comprehension of Christ, yearning for salvation … I can’t escape the sense that a gifted evangelist would have brought […]
Previous: Born Again 9: Jesus Without Religion Sharon’s most recent message begins abruptly, with a somewhat obscure Scripture text: Preview Open
Ancient Rome was not exactly a haven of religious freedom, particularly for a new sect called Christianity. Writing at the end of the second century, Christian apologist Tertullian summed up the situation:
They think the Christians the cause of every public disaster, of every affliction with which the people are visited. If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, if there is famine or pestilence, straightaway the cry is, “Away with the Christians to the lions!”
Previous: Born Again 7: I Want it Now As I consider Sharon’s journey toward Christ, two issues are foremost in my mind. First, I need to give her some helpful guidance in how to approach Scripture. Her last note about feeling discouraged and “flipping to a page” reminds me how big and mystifying the Bible […]
Previous: Born Again 6: The Harsh Truth that Gets in Your Guts Sharon’s notes are beginning to reflect a growing and palpable hunger for God’s Word. One thing I’ve always found energizing about emerging believers is their sense of wonder and discovery at those things we stagnant mature Christians take for granted: Preview Open
Previous: Born Again 5: I’m Constantly Battling with Him Sharon has provided me every possible clue that she’s ready to hear the unvarnished gospel truth. She’s not holding back. Meanwhile, I’ve recently been spending time reading through Hebrews, a New Testament book full of both grave warnings and wonderful encouragements. This can’t be a coincidence. […]