Monday, August 28, 2006

The "M" word or Marriage lessons from the Episcopal Church?

Click on the link to shorter sermon on Paul's letter to the Ephesians.

Let me begin with Paul, Eph 4:28 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
I hope my communication today will be edifying and not corrupting.

The thing I love about the "M" word is that no matter what you say about it, you are going to get in trouble. This certainly holds true for Paul, Charlie, and me. The lesson was from Paul's letter (including Eph 5:22-....). You know, the part about wives obeying their husbands. The sermon took 23 minutes to explain away Paul. Is it because the Episcopal Church does not have a legitimate voice on the subject of marriage that we cannot be more concise? Also, Charlie is tired of attempts to legislate marriage! Let us then do away with all laws that refer to marriage. Of course in doing so we would leave widowed spouses devoid of social security checks, inheritance would be thrown to the whims of the courts, and "free love" would govern our relationships. Therefore, polygamy, incest, bestiality, transdimensional beings having intercourse with us, and who knows what else could be okay. Paul himself was trying to set down some rules for husbands and wives (traditional marriage). Let us throw him out the window as well because he was writing 2000 years ago, and is therefore irrelevant. And where did Charlie get the notion that nobody in Rock Hill was upset about the Episcopal Church having the current female Presiding Bishop Elect? Has he not been reading Cato's comments?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

TravelingMercies on the Sunday Sermon

I too enjoyed hearing from our youth and leaders on their mission trip; "hands on Christianity" is a great phrase, and I found myself pondering when was the last time I was able or willing to do that. I was particularly touched, both in the service and in the coffee hour, with their discussion of "Bill," the person who asked for their help, needed their help, but was neither courteous nor appreciative of it. As one of the sweetest of the young people said, hopefully, "You could tell he was appreciative, he just had a hard time showing it." It's one of the most valuable lessons to learn that the needy cannot always show their appreciation, or may even seem hostile as they accept our assistance. Like our young people, we need to keep working with Christian love, even though the objects of our help don't always respond the way we might like them too!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday Sermon

This Sunday we heard from the youth and their leaders on the recent mission trip to help rebuild homes in Florida. It sounds like they got a lot accomplished in a short time. They also learned about hands on Christianity. Good job!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Islam vs. Shinto

Is there a parallel between the Shinto Religion in Japan and Islam? I ask this because of Charlie's sermon that focused on the world's current conflicts and the importance of how we cultivate young minds. I agree that Islam has become corrupted by hatred and a false philosophy. These fallacies are being taught to young minds all over the world. The result of these teachings is a religion of hate instead of one based on love. What can we learn from history? Look at what happened to Shinto in the decades leading up to WWII. Radical religion and government merged creating a generation of young men willing to die in battle for the Emporer and thus gain eternal life. It took horrible firebombings and atomic bombings of the Japanese people for the Emporer himself to declare that he was not divine, and that the teachings his people had been raised on were false. See the link to learn more about the Shinto religion and to read an excerpt of Hirohito's writing on the subject. Will the leaders of radical Islam, ever see the evil falsehood of their teachings? With such a decentralized religion could there ever be a military solution? Could even atomic weapons convince them to renounce the power they hold over the youth of Islam? Is there a solution from Christianity? How do we fight for a Gospel of Love?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Flying Primates

In his last comment, Cato posts an article on the possibility of bringing in a flying Bishop (AKA primate) for parishes that have a problem with their bishop. I wonder what constitutes a foreign Bishop? Is Columbia foreign enough for us in Rock Hill to seek a new Bishop? "Flying Primates" sound a bit like the monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I am not sure I want those buzzing around the Parish, but they might be more frequent visitors at Our Saviour than our current Bishop.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cato replies to virtueonline link

Cato said...
That article expressed in 10,000 words what I have been saying ever so much more succinctly. The Church was lost 30 years ago. What we are now doing is merely an end game, a tactic meant to delay the ultimate takeover of the Church by the forces of "pagan ignorance" (Landess' phrase). It is a theological and moral guerilla war.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Church Rent Asunder?

This past Sunday our ECOOS was split in two. This is in keeping with the general theme of the past few months. One half of the congregation went to the annual Church Picnic at the river, while the other half stayed downtown. I guess we decided we just could not see eye to eye. So which service wins this week's prize for the best overall service? Both had unusual aspects to consider. The Church Picnic used both a new translation of the Bible and prayers from the New Zealand liturgy. Plus the music of Ginny Moe and her guitar trio (with one backup singer and the children's choir). Then Mary Kat gave the sermon with the children gathered round her; she sat on a small stool as she explained the Transfiguration. The take home message was to look for the shine in the other person's face and to be a reflection of God's love yourself. Communion bread was a whole loaf appropriately torn into pieces. Following the service a pot luck picnic lunch was had by all (and they reveled). Meanwhile for the downtowners, Bobby in his sermon explained auras, halos, and nimbi. I am not sure what I would do if I were to see a nimbus or halo, but after I got my eyes examined, drug levels tested, and saw my shrink, I might be able to settle back into my comfortable post modern skepticism about miracles. Downtowners had to endure singing with piano accompaniment since the organ was D.O.A. Then there was the near collision of the wine and wafer when Al and Delmar tried to occupy the same space simultaneously.
Okay, this week you be the judge. Which service was best? Can a Church thus rent asunder come back together under one roof?