We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, July 11. 2009
Story at Never Yet Melted.
My familiarity with Ubuntu is limited indeed, but I am familiar enough with Christianity to suspect that the Bishop is proposing to invent a new religion based on communitarian political principles rather than on the search for a sustaining personal relationship with Christ and God.
Most of us can figure out our relationships with other humans relatively well on our own, without the Bishop's instructions. It's God that we need help with.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Seeing as NYM comments are moderated, I'll also post here:
This leaves me with waaay too many questions:
What does Ubuntu have to do with Christianity?
What is the first person subjective pronoun in Bantu?
What is so admirable about how Africa is organized that makes any of its philosophies, relative to the hundreds/thousands/whatever of Europe, the Americas, or Asia, worthy of serious consideration?
Does the "Rand" refer to Ayn Rand? The atheist who said that the individual neither sacrifices himself for others or others for himself?
Isn't Christianity is closer to Jefferts-Schori than to Rand?
Ayn Rand's Anthem and Jefferts-Schori Ubantu reject the "I" by emphasizing the collectivist "we." Man's ego or "I" emerges in Anthem, while Jefferts-Schori pushes her collectivist quest. Rand's philosophy of life emerges from within Anthem: objectivism, while Jefferts-Schori's heresy has resulted in the dissolution the Church of England in America.
I don't mean to be hateful or hurtful, but this represents a major component in the battle of our time. It is just an opinion, but there is a battle raging, nonetheless. Islam is on the move, having recognized our pitiful weakness and lack of belief. Europe has been overtaken, in part with the tacit approval of the stewards of the Church of England.
We must decide.
As someone who was a cradle Episcopalian, but who couldn't take it any more and left 10 years ago, I will refrain from saying anything because it would get me banned, except to say that BD is right in calling it a "new religion." It ceased to be Christian long ago.
OK, now I have another question...Are you a shrink or do you just post like one?
"Islam is on the move, having recognized our pitiful weakness and lack of belief."
What pitiful weakness are you talking about? And what lack of belief? And of whatever weakness you attribute to what, and what lack of belief is going to make us welcome Islam?
"rather than on the search for a sustaining personal relationship with Christ and God."
For too many years the masses were taught an intercessory
was needed, thereby cheating man out of knowing a loving and
forgiving God through a personal relationship.
Now the Magnificent and Beautiful, but Godless houses of
worship stand empty throughout Europe.
Creating a vacuum for Islam.
As a former Episcopalian. who is crossing the Tiber and moving even further east, and knowing better than to rank heresies, I have to say, she and her denizens @ 815 Second Ave NY have at least 9 other doozies to fill out their top 10 list.
Have you read "Beyond Belief" by Elaine Pagels, Ph.D.? It's about the gospel of Thomas. Jesus told Thomas he did not need anything but to know in his heart that Jesus was with him and he would be filled with the power of the Lord. She has several books, information gleaned from scrolls found at Nag Hammadi and other places in the ME. People in the few centuries after Christ were like Thomas, filled with the spirit of the Lord as their personal savior. Constantine ended all of that with the Council at Nicea............ But your point is well taken.
But compare Islam to Christianity and ask which is more powerful and likely to spread. Christianity is vulnerable to changing dogma - look at this post - and there are many splits within the Christian faith. Islam is religion and culture. If Christians are still wandering around searching for a relationship with their god, they don't stand a chance against the juggernaut of Islam if it is religion vs. religion. We are not Europeans fatuously whining about the state of things and doing nothing. Americans know freedom, liberty, choice.. Not for one minute do I fear we are ground zero for Islamic takeover. If it comes to filling a vacuum here with the threat of Islam doing so, watch the women take up arms and leave you men in the dust.
I have not read 'Beyond Belief', but will look for it .
"watch the women take up arms and leave you men in the dust.
This is meant sincerely :
It would only take about 2 dozen Meta's to get the job done.
I thought that Her Grace or Her Excellency's original area of expertise was mollusks? Do they now comprise what's left of the Episcopalian Church under her leadership so-called? I must say in her defense, however, that she sputters out the same nonsense that's endemic to all of progressive Christianity and also to reformed, reconstructed and humanist (sic)Judaism. There seems to be a need for honest work among these folks.
"Jesus told Thomas he did not need anything but to know in his heart that Jesus was with him and he would be filled with the power of the Lord."
I am not sure, but I think that the Gospel of Thomas is Coptic. It is not part of the traditional Bible used by most Protestants.
However, there is nothing inconsistent with the traditional Bible and the quoted phrase when it comes to the essence of Christianity. It is a personal relationship between Jesus and the individual.
Meta asked the other day about what happens to the babies of Jews and others who are "outside" Christianity. It is a daunting question. By no means do I dare place myself as judge and jury or mean to play God, but I think it is safe to say that there is much that we do not understand. How God through Christ may reach and communicate with souls in such circumstances, is an unknown to me. I also think that God will judge each according to his own understanding and thus no one comes to the Father but by me is clear direction for those who are mature enough to have made a personal evaluation. (I guess I am Armenian in my view of free will.)
Let me make one other metaphysical comment. Reality reflects ultimate reality. The world's religions, except for one, are monotheistic or polytheistic. Monotheism explains homogeneity. Polytheism explains diversity. Only the triune God of Christianity explains both homogeneity and diversity.
In the end, we all take a step of faith regarding our worldviews. The question is, "Who takes the smaller step of faith?"
Am I in too deep? Maybe I should get out of the pool.
I take Meta on my team any day. Or should I say, I'll join Meta's team?
Mollusks in more ways than one. Frankly, the Bishop is a bitch and her and her ilk have destroyed my church.
That's not all they have destroyed! The work they have done among the community of educated women is terrifying. I may sound rather excessive, but I truly believe that there are less than 1% of females in academia that have the courage to stand up and speak out against another woman. The network is powerful and as deadly as any Chicago mafia!
Talking about religion and politics, did ya all see this?--
Michelle to join Nunnery.
The Republic is SAVED!
Meta, we don't have to welcome what is already here. The old saw of "follow the money" should provide ample evidence of this. Through Sharia banking the West has at its disposal a reported $1.5 trillion. Islamic banking is growing at 15% each year. Meta, while I admire your spirit and appreciate your strength, I am also a realist. How many Wahhabi Islamic Centers and Mosques are there in the United States? How many totally funded Middle Eastern Centers are there on every major university we have in the United States? How many endowed chairs or professorships in Middle Eastern Studies are there? Can we expect any level of objectivity from them. Since 1995 United States colleges and universities have received $88 billion from Arab gulf state donors. Stanley Kurtz and Jay P. Greene have articles supporting the figures listed.
So, Meta, it is our irrefutable economic weakness and self loathing (evidenced by rampant multicultural and political correctness nonsense) that makes us vulnerable.
"I also think that God will judge each according to his own understanding and thus no one comes to the Father but by me is clear direction for those who are mature enough to have made a personal evaluation."
I'm with you on the first part, but after the "and", you lose me. What if one's own understanding precludes the exclusive (or simultaneously precluding?) idea that "no one comes to the Father but by me"? Much of what gets written here concerning faith seems to start with an answer and then tries to shoe-horn that answer into an observed reality. Yes, at some point we all must make a leap of faith, but shouldn't that leap first be based on as much objective understanding of the science available at the time? Shouldn't making such a leap be revocable when further understanding is achieved? Isn't constant questioning of that faith a responsibility of the person making it, if not to others of the faith, at least to one's self?
bob ... The republic may be saved, but that nunnery is doomed.
That was a very thoughtful answer, Thalpy. Thank you, and I have no disagreement with you. However - "Can we expect any level of objectivity from them." That depends on us to a certain degree, but the real question to me is 'do they expect any level of subjugation from us.' Probably - based on some of the idiots we have in this country. But we are not Britain. We are huge and diverse, and if no one else steps forward to object, I will leave my faith in the hands of our rednecks. I trust a good redneck.
At the Council at Nicea, the priests basically set/wrote the foundation for the Catholic Church, and they had to choose which gospels to include. The four pillars, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, fit their agenda and so were chosen as the 'pillars' from which to build the church of The Christ. Thomas is fascinating, and when you study his time and the two centuries around him, you can see why Constantine had to give in to the Christians who wandered around spreading their beliefs and who were willing to die for these beliefs. As Emperor, Constantine had to calm the Romans, so he became a Christian but had to move to what is now Istanbul to be safe.
You probably know all this. I just wanted to point out that there was a political aspect to the establishment of the church, but that in the long run, those who wanted to be Christians were subsequently allowed to be without fear of persecution.
Strange how we can't seem to escape the long reach of politics. Seems as if that reach spreading faster in our country than any religion, new or old. Or that stupid flu Drudge likes to talk about.
Thank you, boys. I accept your willingness to join the fight. But are you okay with wearing very small bikinis? See, we women warriors have to let them know in no uncertain terms we'll not wear a burka unless we're traveling in tse tse fly territory, and we must use powerful visual contrast to make them understand as they don't seem to know women can speak. Our only weapons beyond the cinematic visage of our luscious bodies will be handfuls of Playboy magazines and maybe some other nasty porn. That ought to settle the battlefield score right quick as we stone them for looking at naked women. Then we'll write a bestseller called: "The Bitch Under the Burka" and give everyone a tax rebate with the money we make on it.
from Theo...this is interesting.
You are so right. Nothing happens in a vacuum.
Economics, politics, geography, technology, population, culture and more are intertwined throughout the story of history.
"[S]houldn't that leap first be based on as much objective understanding of the science available at the time?"
Personally, I think good science and good theology will be compatible in the end.
However, one needs to recognize that what we know about our world and the universe is changing everyday. Knowledge continues to grow at a rapid rate, doubling about every seven years plus or minus. Science has its own set of presuppositions and hypotheses. This should be recognized as well. I suspect that the science isn't "settled" on many, many things.
The point of my theological comment as it is here is that we should have some humility. It would be both presumptuous to say that we fully know the mind of God or to claim scientific certainty.
The more I learn about science, the more questions I have. The wonders of the natural world are more fascinating everyday. How and why this was created is likewise fascinating. I am comfortable with both God and science.
As you say, interesting film, Ron. Gives one pause for sure. I think we'll get pushed too far one day and certain folks may deeply regret having pushed that hard.
Jesus told Thomas he did not need anything but to know in his heart that Jesus was with him and he would be filled with the power of the Lord. She has several books, information gleaned from scrolls found at Nag Hammadi and other places in the ME. People in the few centuries after Christ were like Thomas, filled with the spirit of the Lord as their personal savior. Constantine ended all of that with the Council at Nicea............
Ignorant hogwash. St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Polycarp of Smyrna, St. Ireneaus of Lyon, St. Justin the Martyr... four names off the top of my head of Christians who lived in the second century and wrote, for instance, about Baptism, Holy Communion, and Bishops (among many other things recognizably Catholic) being integral parts of Christianity. This is the Internet age: google them and read what they wrote.
I am simply relating basic, verifiable facts about primary sources available, nowadays, to anybody with a computer.
At the Council at Nicea, the priests basically set/wrote the foundation for the Catholic Church, and they had to choose which gospels to include. The four pillars, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, fit their agenda and so were chosen as the 'pillars' from which to build the church of The Christ.
Sheer falsehoods. On the one hand, there are no official records that the Fathers of the (First) Council of Nicea discussed the canon of Sacred Scripture because there simply are no official records of what they discussed beyond the decrees they issued. On the other hand, the decrees they issued do not discuss the Biblical canon in any way whatever. What books to include among the New Testament scriptures was not decided until 50-75 years after the first ecumenical council.
This is the Internet age: anybody can use google to find the decrees of the ecumenical councils. Nobody needs to rely on Elaine Pagels, pseudonymous Internet posters, or me.
I am simply relating basic, verifiable facts about primary sources available, nowadays, to anybody with a computer. Good grief.
"Ignorant hogwash. St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Polycarp of Smyrna, St. Ireneaus of Lyon, St. Justin the Martyr... four names off the top of my head of Christians who lived in the second century and wrote, for instance, about Baptism, Holy Communion, and Bishops (among many other things recognizably Catholic) being integral parts of Christianity."
Quite so. Where the hell did you think Constantine got his 'priests'? And they weren't "St." So-and-So until the council made them such. The were as persecuted as the rest of the gang. Try taking a few courses in Western Civilization and the Abrahamic Religions.
"I am simply relating basic, verifiable facts about primary sources available, ..."
"I am simply relating basic, verifiable facts about primary sources available, ..."
What verifiable primary sources are you speaking of? The Dead Sea scrolls? The scrolls from Nag Hammadi? Or some saint's scrawled notes on his papyrus tablets from the council at Nicea. You say no one knows what went on at the council, yet you have 'verifiable, basic, primary sources available that claim what is noted history 'ignorant' and 'hogwash'. You contradict yourself, ELC. If no one knows what went down at Nicea, how is it you know what did not go down?
The Episcopal Church's leadership seems to have gone downhill with the current Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan appears to be a genuine, open agnostic and not a committed Christian at all. It seems to be that our love of God should manifest in kindness and good works; works are not a substitute for our love of God. But if you've lost God, the appearance of virtue in good works becomes your purpose, I guess.
I'm more Theist than Christian. I believe in a God who intervenes at times. I don't have a clue why he intervenes in one case and not another. I can't make myself believe that He had to manifest in flesh, then destroy Himself in flesh, to forgive our sins. Nor do I believe that He sends the billions who are not Christians to perdition.
take into account liberal courts, political correctness taught starting in kindergarten, hate laws, the constant attack on freedom of speech. Red-blooded Americans are ham-strung, unable to stand up or defend their culture or core values.
In my state, Mosques are popping up over night,
Christianity will start looking pretty damn good in the days ahead, unless of course you have a liking for Burkas.
who said " The times, they are achanging."
"But if you've lost God, the appearance of virtue in good works becomes your purpose, I guess."
What if you don't believe, have god in your life? Are the good works that you do merely an 'appearance' of virtue or are they true virtue?
I'm not sure that things are quite yet as dire as you and Thalpy think. Not to say that we needn't be concerned just that I don't think we need take up arms just yet.
An interesting discussion at Discarded Lies about the festival and the film, a few very good ones from someone who lives a block and a half away from the festival.
Good question. Seems to me that if one considers the ultimate end result of the act of virtue it matters not from whence it springs. There are multitudinous motivations for doing good in this world, from the most selfish to the most altruistic. From spiritual to atheistic and everything in between. So, in answer, if the end result is there it is true.
All the official records we have of what happened at the (First) Council of Nicea are contained in  the profession of faith promulgated by the council (which I neglected to mention last night) and  the canons (decrees) also promulgated; also  the synodical letter, which I had completely forgotten about, since it's been years since I have read the councils. None of the promulgated documents (allow me to repeat myself, none of them) mention the canon of the New Testament in the slightest. It is a LIE (allow me to repeat myself, it is a LIE) that the Council Fathers of Nicea I established the canon of the New Testament; there is no record, and not even a hint, that they even discussed the issue. Since you seem to put a great deal of stock in this lie, I can quite understand your perturbation at being called on it.
Wow. A modern author claims it was all just Jesus-and-Me until A.D. 325, implying that everything else was invented at that time or later. (Did I get that right?) So, I cite four authors (among dozens) from the first and second centuries whose writings talk about bishops and priests, baptism and Holy Communion, and the tradition that had been handed on from the Apostles teaching all these things.
As I said above, I understand you are perturbed at being called on your nonsense, so your nearly incoherent, and definitely non-sequitur, response isn't really a surprise.
ELC, you yourself, are a Non sequitur.
"and the tradition that had been handed on from the Apostles teaching all these things."
What about the traditions that had existed long beforehand from which the Apostles appropriated.
From the Jews, for one example.
"It is a LIE (allow me to repeat myself, it is a LIE) that the Council Fathers of Nicea I established the canon of the New Testament; there is no record, and not even a hint, that they even discussed the issue."
Goodness. Should I beg for forgiveness? A LIE. God. I am so perturbed.
My dear. Constantine's crew had to decide if Jesus was who he claimed he was. That was the purpose of the council. That and to keep the Roman Empire free of the strife brought about by Christians all claiming different things and not minding being eaten by lions.
On what do you suppose the council based their presuppositions and discussions? The Old Testament? Jews' testimony? Fanciful dreams promulgated by vapors of cauldrons' bubbles? They had the gospels to study and to determine the outcome of their ponderings about Jesus. The four they used as a basis were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They discussed the others, but those four seemed to make everyone happy with the agenda they set up for the church and for the creed.
Good lord, you are quite the school yard bully.
"A modern author claims it was all just Jesus-and-Me until A.D. 325, implying that everything else was invented at that time or later. (Did I get that right?) "
Uh, no. I was talking about Thomas. The church refused to use the gospel of Thomas because Thomas did not think he needed a church or its dogma to have the Lord in him. That would not do, don't you see? They simply could not have a bunch of crazy Christians wandering around filled with the spirit of the Lord. They had to control those nuts and get them into the pews and get them to put money in the plate.
Good heavens, ELC, you just can't have a bunch of people going around filled with the spirit of God. Don't you know that??
oops... I'm supposed to be incoherent. Okay. I have my right pointer finger in my left ear. Will that do?
P.S. I had to take my finger out of my ear to type this....
"Doubting Thomas" comes from Thomas and his doubts. He asked Jesus a lot of questions, and Jesus told him it was okay. As long as Thomas believed in Him, He would be filled with the spirit of God, His father. Jesus liked Thomas.
You can look that up on Google if you want. Or try Bing. That's new.
"What if you don't believe,have god in your life?"
( if you don't believe, you don't have God in your life)
Are the good works that you do merely an 'appearance' of virtue or are they true virtue?
Works = Salvation
Salvation = Works
"For by Grace ( Gods Grace) you have been saved,
through Faith ( your faith) and not of yourselves.
It is a Gift.
Not as a result of Works, that no one should boast".
I cannot work myself into Heaven,
I cannot put God in my debt.
If I could work myself into Haven, how much work is enough?
God's grace = (Free gift of Salvation)= works.
Free gift= doesn't compute, doesn't compute,doesn't compute.
""For by Grace ( Gods Grace) you have been saved,
through Faith ( your faith) and not of yourselves.
It is a Gift.
Not as a result of Works, that no one should boast"."
What if you have faith but do bad works?