Tag: Christianity

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Pope Francis has apparently taken inspiration from William F Buckley, Jr. The first two hundred names in the Catholic phonebook are now eligible to become cardinals. It used to be that one rose through the clerical ranks and won a job that automatically came with a cardinal’s red hat, such as becoming the archbishop of […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Fear God, Honor the Emperor 

 

Emperor-ObamaWe should all be making an effort to show Obama some respect.

As conservatives, this is often one of the hardest biblical instructions.* We focus heavily on the wrongs of the state and forget our duties not just to obey the law and pay taxes**, but that we should actively and explicitly honor our head of state. Worse still, we are called on not to honor the office of the emperor, but the emperor himself, a man whose authority is instituted by God. Often, the response is that this command is generally applicable, but in this instance we have a really bad president. For this, it is helpful to remember that while Obama is bad, he’s a lot better than Nero, particularly from a Christian perspective. Obama’s not always good to the Church, but he isn’t murdering and publically humiliating us with the intent of wiping out the faith. Or if he is, he’s a good deal more subtle about it than Nero was. Even if Obama was worse, and treated us worse than the abusive slavemaster that were are similarly instructed to support, it would still seem to me that the unconditional statement would hold true. (Disclaimer: I’m not terribly likely to respect those who claim that their lives are worse than those of particularly poorly treated slaves. I have seen this argued, with a straight face, and will respect an intelligent argument to this effect, but ask that anyone tempted to state this claim put some time and thought into it.)

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Self and Soul

 

Prompted by the great Casey, I re-read Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. First read it years ago, but I’m older now, and reading it again brings very different reactions.

One argument is that the modern world has done away with the Soul and has replaced it with the Self. That’s a quick way of describing a conviction I’ve held for a long time. A soul is an individual connected to God and the rest of the universe, striving to find harmony with all of it. A self has no such connection; it’s just a command center (with little control) over a sea of conflicting and confusing interior psychic currents. Or, as Bloom suggests, a soul is on the roof pondering the mysteries of the heavens, but a self is in the basement snooping around in the dark for Freudian rats.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Can Hollywood Be Saved?

 

Last year, a number of films were made for and marketed to the Christian market. For a Facebook page I manage, I thought I’d see how much they grossed in the U.S. and compare that to the films nominated for Best Picture (one film is on both lists).

Son of GodThe domestic grosses for 2014 “Christian” films – Unbroken ($109 million), Heaven is for Real ($91 million), God’s Not Dead ($61 million), Son of God ($60 million), Selma ($32 million), When the Game Stands Tall ($30 million), Left Behind ($14 million) and Moms’ Night Out ($10 million) for a total of $407 million.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ‘God Cannot Be Mocked’

 

As a teenager, I was easily offended. Any perceived slight would earn an immediate “That’s not fair!” to which adults within earshot would either roll their eyes or ignore. (I didn’t think that was fair either, nor do my tween daughters today.) At 15, I became an evangelical Christian and appended this teenage whininess to my faith. When evil sinners denigrated my God or my inchoate beliefs, I would angrily condemn their blasphemies. After all the Good Book states, “God cannot be mocked.” The Big Guy upstairs needs an uptight high schooler to defend His honor!

Wednesday we had a vastly more violent reaction to religious offense. As is all too common, Islamist radicals murdered individuals who mocked not their God, but a flawed human whom they claim as a prophet. Jihadists never seem as defensive about Islam’s other prophets, be they Jesus, Moses or Jonah. No, only the scimitar-swinging Mohammed is so fragile that he cannot even be illustrated without a bloodbath of vengeance.

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“Wasteland 2” finally came out. This is a game set in a post-apocalyptic world, sort of like a Spaghetti Western with robots, cyborgs, energy weapons, black humor…and giant robot scorpions. More

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This year, be sure to wish the Triune God a Merry Christmas. Of course, wish Jesus a happy birthday! But this is also a time to congratulate, and not merely (though especially) to thank, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Is It Possible To Forgive Someone Who Isn’t Sorry?

 

Forgiveness is the central tenant of Christianity, and Jesus is very clear that — if we want to be forgiven — we must be willing to forgive. Even on the cross, He said “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,” indicating that we must be willing to forgive, even when those who need our forgiveness are not sorry.

But there is a wide gap between being willing to forgive someone, and actually forgiving them. We can be willing to forgive all day and all night — indeed, every day and every night — but the person who has done wrong must be willing to repent and accept forgiveness before love and peace can be restored to a broken relationship.

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No, no, you read that title correctly. I did mean to write ‘heterosexual.’ But, now that I have your attention, I’ll add that, also speaking as a Christian, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a homosexual, either. Nor a bisexual, nor a polyamorite, nor a member of any of the other uncountable this-or-that-sort-of-sexual-preference identity groups that […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. There He Goes Again

 

From Reuters:

Pope Francis said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Fault Line: Culture Wars Playing Out in the Church

 

shutterstock_204326209There is a divide among American Christians. Less a disagreement between Catholics and Protestants — or other divisions of doctrine and theology — the difference turns on culture, and relates to a fundamental difference in worldviews that transcend the old schisms. In short it, is a matter of orthodoxy, with non-denominational evangelicals and cafeteria Catholics on one side, and traditionalists on the other. It has been talked about within the various churches for decades, but affects almost all of them in the same fashion, and reflects larger trends in the culture that mirror political parties.

A recent conversation on the Member Feed turned to the matter of how Christians consider each other with respect to true worship and doctrine. Along the way, member Gary McVey asked:

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I haven’t seen it, but it has polarized a couple of us on the AMU. Have you seen it? Is it a good Christian movie, or is it awful? More

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I just read great book, “Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia”. In Dennis Covington’s account of Pentecostal Appalachian Snake Handlers, he talks to a woman who has decided she will not touch poisonous serpents in the month of July, because in two precious Julys she had been bit. So during […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “When The Game Stands Tall” And My IMDB Formula For Films with Christian Content

 

WGST_DOM_1SHEETHere’s how it works for me: I see Jim Caveizel promoting his new film, When The Game Stands Tall, on Raymond Arroyo’s show on EWTN; he’s so intense, so purposeful. I’m sold. I’m going to see it. I look it up on IMDB.com. It has a 6.9 (out of 10) rating. I add two points because I believe there is a league of people giving 1 (out of 10) ratings to any film with a positive Christian message. So I’m excited to take my wife to a 8.9 rated film. That’s a guaranteed winner.

I see the film. I am right. It deserves an 8.9 rating. Why do I have to do such math? Who are these people dragging down the ratings of positive films? That’s rhetorical. Of course we know who they are. Most negative reviews I read of the film don’t just pan it, they ask people not to see it. They want to destroy the kinds of messages these films bring and ruin their business. Well, I’m telling you the opposite: see this film. See it soon so the box office results will not hinder this kind of filmmaking in the future.

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The following New York Times article was written by Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/opinion/ronald-lauder-who-will-stand-up-for-the-christians.html?_r=0&post_id=100000568613762_890414684320810#_=_ The question is, why haven’t Christian ministers and priests spoken out about this tragic slaughter? More

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That’s the title of a good Hitchcock film released in 1953. It concerns a Catholic priest who receives the confession of a murderer during the sacrament and then is pressured to reveal that confession to police. Sixty years ago, that scenario was just strong dramatic fiction. Today, it’s a reality for one priest in Louisiana:  […]

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Many Christian homes these days favor empty crosses, often bright and colorful, over the traditional crucifix. Which do you prefer? If you possess a mix, do you have significantly more of one than of the other? The cross is a symbol of the crucifix. Without our King’s broken body, crowned in blood and thorns, the […]

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