Tag: Christianity

Split Focus

 

God began early, hunting me down and taking hold of me when I was just a child in Farmington, Connecticut. I wasn’t born there, but close by in Maine at a Naval hospital that no longer calls itself a hospital, and to this day still raises questions of its location; Maine or New Hampshire? My parents weren’t exactly religious given my father was a rigid perfectionist and my mother was a neurotic depressive. I emerged from the womb happy, which was taken advantage of by my mother and beheld with contempt by my father.

I say this to now say that we sometimes went to church (at least until the elders came to the house to collect offerings and ticked off my mother), I didn’t go to catechism, and in third grade, I was best friends with a Jewish girl who had never heard of Jesus until I told her about Him while playing out in the field near the school’s monkey bars. I don’t remember exactly when I found Him, except maybe the one summer I went to vacation Bible school in Farmington and we used felt-covered boards and characters to show Jesus running down the hill away from the big boulder chasing Him from the tomb. The young teen-aged teacher was creative even if not theologically sound.

Chef’s Surprise: Taste & See

 

I’m going to cheat a little bit here and not write about food at all. Instead, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. In fact, I love it so much that it’s in my email signature.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him!”
Psalms 34:8 CSB

The Dignity of Fate

 

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” —John 15: 16

The gospel of Christianity is not only that the Creator loves us, that He understands us, and that He accepted the due punishment of our misdeeds so that we may join His holy family in the splendor of the Lord’s presence. The “good news” is also that there is a place in His plans for all. Our lives are never without purpose and value. 

Love Thy Neighbor

 

It is when we have the most cause to hate and reject our neighbors that we most need to remember the command to love them. Yes, my fellow Christians, it is a command and not merely an invitation. Though no challenge could be so difficult to fulfill, it is the foundation rather than the pinnacle of Christian love. It is a challenge not reserved only for the holiest saints but rather put to every one of us. Our Lord and Creator doesn’t even stop there. “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

A philosophy professor and friend once caught me off guard by claiming that the Golden Rule is nothing special. Any person raised in a good home knows not to mistreat others as oneself doesn’t want to be abused.

Member Post

 

I can only paraphrase the Canadian bishop I heard by chance. He recalled when the Apostles were caught in a violent storm, sure the boat would capsize and they all would drown. Jesus demonstrated His lordship over all by calming the water. Not your typical Christmas remembrance.  Preview Open

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Earlier this week, a massive fire engulfed the Collegiate Church of New York, part of a group of historic churches that identified originally as reformed Protestant. In a Fox News report, firefighters responded quickly, but the historic church was already in flames. The fire is reported to have started in a building next door. “Built […]

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Loving Pain as Given: A Review of Heroes, a Dark Twist on the Grateful Acre

 

For B, and other youth whose grateful acres host, if not prairies, at least patchy meadows. And for Gary McVey.

It’s been a year since Will Arbery’s play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, took the conservative Catholic blogosphere – or rather, that part able to see the play or a private script – by storm. Now the script is available to the public. I ordered my copy here. If you can afford to, read it. Theaters remain closed, but the theater of imagination richly rewards reading a play. Reading reveals motifs easy to miss when a play just happens to you in performance and you can’t revisit it. This review addresses unspoken pressures, like the prosperity gospel (which may not influence orthodox Christians’ theology, but can influence their social expectations), behind what conservatives speculate is Heroes’ demonic finale, the “We” who may, or may not be, Legion.

Pro-life Christian: A Definition

 

I read something today that was patently absurd: “I’m a pro-life Christian, and I’m voting for Biden.”

I think Inigo Montoya probably said it best. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Member Post

 

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 […]

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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 […]

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Marxist Wokism: The Christian Heresy

 

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.

Icon, Part 14: The Transfiguration

 

by Theophanes the Greek

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.

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.

Quote Of The Day: In Mockery

 

“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.

Providence

 

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.

Member Post

 

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 […]

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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 […]

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