April 2004 Archives

Here is a recent article in Focus on the Families CitizenUpdate. I demand that all those heterosexuals be forbidden from taking care of foster children. With close to 1,000,000 poor, innocent children being abused and neglected by heterosexuals, well they simply don't deserve to care for the most defenseless element of our society. For the safety of our children, stop the heterosexuals! Of course I am not series, but if we apply the same rational used by many anti-homosexual activists to those whom this story identifies (heterosexuals), then to be consistent we should demand heterosexuals not be allowed to care for foster children - even if for only potential abuse.

Here is the article (click the link below):

Pentecostalism

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"...the Pentecostal movement confronts us with the basic question of what theology really is. Is theology only what is taught in our universities, i.e. a rational systematic discourse based on Aristotelian logic, which operates with concepts and definitions? Or could it not be that for example the parables of Jesus, the stories of the Old Testament, the hymns of the Reformation, the stories of the saints in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, are also theology, but in other categories? If the latter is the case, then what does this mean for theology as a university discipline and for the ecumenical community?"

Walter J. Hollenweger, From Azuza Street to the Toronto Phenomenon: Historical Roots of the Pentecostal Movement, Pentecostal Movements as an Ecumenical Challenge, Concilium, Jürgen Moltmann and Karl-Josef Kuschel, editors, (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1996), 12.

"The Spirit is more than just one gift among others; the Holy Spirit is the unlimited presence of God in which our lives are quickened and awakened to new life and given the powers of the Spirit."

Jürgen Moltmann, Pentecost and the Theology of Life (same journal as above)

In attempting to better understand the transference of Christian people from "traditional" church structures into Pentecostal-Charismatic structures (or even from mainline denominations into Evangelical ones) worldwide, it must be understood that confessional and doctrinal statements have become insufficient to grasp and hold members. Well-executed liturgies and systematic theological pronouncements no longer capture people's imaginations. The experiential nature of Pentecostalism and Charismaticism do!

As I have expressed numerous times that Jesus did not come to establish beautiful liturgies and systematic theologies, but to reconcile us with God - to enable us to be reconnected in relationship with God the Father. It is relational; it is experiential. One can have all the knowledge in the world about a person, but the one will never know the person until they meet and communicate and experience one another. Evangelicalism/Pentecostalism presents a God of relationship to be experienced, not so much a God of cognitive development in right rational reasoning. The inward and heart-felt experience of loving and being loved is far more life giving than receiving confirmation that one's doctrinal thesis has been successfully defended and the degree granted. With Evangelicals and Pentecostals, it is a love affair with God through Jesus Christ by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, not an intellectual exercise, and most people would rather have the love affair!

The PB's Letter

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Here is the letter written by Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, to the chair of the commission responsible for dealing with the authority structure within the Anglican Communion due to the current controversies surround the consecration of Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire.


The Presiding Bishop Writes the Lambeth Commission

The Most Rev. Robert H.A. Eames
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

April 5, 2004

Dear Robin:

Rather than respond to the questionnaire I thought it would be more helpful were I to send to you to share with members of the Commission a description of some of the workings of the Episcopal Church, pertinent to your deliberations, and also to try to give some sense of how we have come to a point in our life where we find ourselves having given consent to the election and consecration of a man who shares his life with a member of the same sex. For at least 35 years the Episcopal Church has been engaged in a process of discernment about the question of homosexuality in the life of the church. This discernment began quite naturally on a local level as congregations began to be aware that certain faithful members of their worshipping communities were homosexual. In some instances these persons shared their lives with a partner of the same sex. It also became obvious that the quality of such relationships on occasion matched the mutual care and self-giving that we associate with marriage.

New bishop

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The five parishes in Ohio who were involved in the irregular confirmations a while back have now told our brand new bishop not to bother coming to their churches for his episcopal visit.

As I have said before, theologically my sympathies lie more the a conservative/traditionalist way of looking at things (with exceptions), but this kind of haughty arrogance and pride represent the worst of the Evangelical tradition, and which I thought I left behind when becoming an Anglican. While what happened in New Hampshire may have been a mistake, the way they are acting now is certainly not glorifying to God or becoming of Christians.

I think the AAC and the Network are using Ohio as a test diocese. What a shame because I believe both Grew and now Hollingsworth would have and are willing to come to an understanding and compromise. The five reactionary parishes will not allow for such a thing, and they are going to push the limits in Ohio to attempt to accomplish their scheme.

stop the madness

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Okay, this just has to stop! On my flight home to Ohio for our new bishop's consecration last weekend, there were two girls on the flight - high school or early college age, I suspect. Both were trying to do the Paris Hilton and sister bit. One had very low-riding jeans with a cloth belt that included thingies that hung down from the belt. Her only problem was that she was probably 100 pounds heavier than Paris Hilton. Tanned? Yes. Bleached? Yes. Mid-drift shirt? Yes. Flab hanging over her belt? Yes. Crack showing? More times than I wanted to count. She was on my return flight, also. Same thing. STOP THE MADNESS!

Then, jogging down the Hudson parkway last Sunday, there was a young guy and I suspect his girlfriend sitting on a bench over looking the river. The girl, yes with low-rise jeans, was exposing several inches of her crack - not just the tippy-top mind you, but inches! Of course, the current fashion of having a thong on and having the top portion of the thong exposed while the jeans ride down most of you butt was not her goal, it seems. From what was showing, she had no thong, period. Uggggghhhhhh.

Gagnon responds to Rodger's speech. You can read his responce on his website here, or click below for the text.

Here is the remainder of Gagnon's response. I guess Movabletype only accommodates so much text, or possibly MySQL will allow only so much to be stored in a single entry/cell.

Temple Prostitution

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Here is Jack Roger's Address to Covenant Network NorthWest Regional Conference
October 11, 2003 entitled: How I Changed My Mind on Homosexuality.

Here is his speech (which can also be found at the above Link).

Happy Easter! The Lord has risen, Alleluia!

Here is my quandary: I agree with both of these men!

(I got this from Kendall Harmon's weblog (Titusonenine). Kendall Harmon is the Canon Theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina and a leader in the AAC (American Anglican Council).)

I don't think I am double-minded. Zabriskie makes the good point concerning Anglicanism and the tradition of wrestling with issues and theologies, which I think overall brings balance. Allison also makes good points about holding to truth and that decisions of what the Truth is must be made.

Since learning about the Via Media of Anglicanism, I have always maintained that even the sometimes contradictory theological beliefs held by Anglicans can be positive as God's Church attempts to better discern God's Truth and will. I have also seen in others the strong belief in God and desire to do God's will even though their theological perspectives and lives lived may not be in line with what I think is correct or right. I cannot deny that they seek God and that God is with them and in them, as demonstrated by their verbal acclimation of God, their testimony, and the fruits of their lives. It really is a matter, I believe, of their heart and their intent rather that what they do or believe at any given moment. God's grace is sufficient, and we all are mistaken and make mistakes always. I do not presume to be God nor God's vessel for judgment (that is Christ, alone).

So, here I am. I believe with many of the conservatives and Wesley that there needs to be that internal witness of salvation - I am not a Universalist. I believe there are those who hold heretical beliefs, yet they seek Christ - truly. What to do... Calling people to Jesus is the simplest way to respond. Calling people to deepen their devotion to and relationship with God is the way forward, I believe, without playing God, judge, and jury concerning whether their lives with Christ, as Christians, are authentic or not. Complete abandon with and to God is the call - to love God with our whole selves and to love one another as Christ loved us. Theological perspectives and doctrines change always, relationship with God remains the steady and true.

Anyway, here are the letters that prompted all this:

life

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Too much to do. This time, however, it is different - well, really my attitude is different this time, alone with more responsibilities due to our field-placement duties. Field-placement is a saving grace! A funeral on Wednesday, Maundy Thursday service last night, Good Friday service today at noon and Easter Vigil tomorrow night. Then comes the big day itself: Easter.

This is the first time I have gone through this season in an intentional way. I was a passive participant/observer before. Growing up, there was only Easter Day - no thought about seasons of the Church or their effect on our spiritual formation and relationship with God. I am still more observant than participant, even though I am actively doing the stuff of the liturgy. One of these days, it will hit.

After nine years as an Episcopalian and one and a half years in seminary, I am recognizing the strength of the Anglican-Evangelical emphases, but I am truly drawn to Anglo-Catholic piety and worship. As a community event, High-Church worship brings together so many different elements as an act of worship. If there is not the interior spiritual life, the worship truly can be not much more than empty ritual. The communal worship must begin with the individual interior experience with God. Likewise, those who have the interior life and yet do not engage in the communal experience/worship that can only be accomplished in community are deficient in their entire Christian experience. Something like that, anyway...

I'm a new uncle!

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Todd and Louri had a new baby boy a couple days ago! Lucas Jensen Griffith.

I'm not sure what Cory thinks of his little brother, but I'm sure he will be a good big-brother!

grade

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Our ethics mid-terms were returned today. I was actually nervous as the professor passed them back. I would have been happy simply passing with whatever grade. I received a B+. I'm a happy camper!

I have forgotten everything about the whole concept of 'freetime.' What was that again?

dangerous

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Former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, writing about the meaning of The Bill of Rights; "Today, those fundamentally American words are nearly forgotten. Constitutional rulings of the courts are evaluated by looking to polling numbers. People no longer agree wit the courts, they attach the legitimacy of our system of government. That is dangerous.

From: GayCityNews, 'GOP Splits on Amendment' VOLUME 3, ISSUE 314 | April 1 - 7, 2004.

Just not sure

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This is going to be rough – be forewarned. I have been thinking a lot lately about the significance of the Christian community. We had a Pakistani bishop on campus yesterday and he spoke of the conditions Christians in Pakistan must endure. A question was asked about ramifications since Gene Robinson's election and consecration. According to the bishop, it has only made life harder on Pakistani Christians. They face much persecution from the Muslim majority.

What is the responsibility of individual Christians to the entire Christian community? Americans love to think of ourselves as free-spirits, individualists, independent, and in some ways having an attitude of "to hell with everyone else." Our sense of personhood and extreme individuality causes us individually and collectively to have little concern for the effects of our actions on others. We see this in our politics, both nationally and internationally. We see this in individual lives as we attempt to claim our 'rights.' I am the center of the universe! We are the center of this world!

This may be very American, but it is not very Christian. There are positive aspects of these kinds of attitudes, but I believe that as a Christian I must have a weary-eye as I live life in this culture. The United States is a City of Man, not a City of God, a Kingdom of this World, not the Kingdom of God. I must be concerned of the effects my actions have on my brothers and sisters anywhere in the world.

C.S. Lewis

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"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.... To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason ... You start being 'kind' to people before you have considered their rights, and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which they in fact had a right to refuse, and finally kindnesses which no one but you will recognize as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties." -
- C.S. Lewis

Every

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Every decision I make is my own. Every moment, every event, every endeavor, every word, every thought... I decided at each point what I will do!

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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