Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do you suppose this will catch on?

Could change some of that happy clappy music protestants love. I saw this item at Modern Reformation, a conservative Presbyterian publicantion.
    VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics at worship should neither sing nor pronounce the name of God as "Yahweh," the Vatican has said, citing the authority of both Jewish and Christian practice.

    The instruction came in a June 29 letter to Catholic bishops conferences around the world from the Vatican's top liturgical body, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, by an explicit "directive" of Pope Benedict XVI.

    "In recent years the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel's proper name," the letter noted, referring to the four-consonant Hebrew "Tetragrammaton," YHWH. That name is commonly pronounced as "Yahweh," though other versions include "Jaweh" and "Yehovah." But such pronunciation violates long-standing Jewish tradition, the Vatican reminded bishops.

    "As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, (the name) was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture by means of the use of an alternate name: `Adonai,' which means `Lord,'" the Congregation said.

    That practice continued with Christianity, the letter explained, recalling the "church's tradition, from the beginning, that the sacred Tetragrammaton was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated."

    Invoking a Vatican document from 2001, the Congregation reminded bishops that the name "Yahweh" in Catholic worship should be replaced by the Latin "Dominus" (Lord) or a word "equivalent in meaning" in the local language.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sort of makes you miss Rock of Ages, doesn't it?

Many years ago I heard that "Rock of Ages" wasn't in our hymnal because it had a waltz beat, and of course, dancing was a sin [Church of the Brethren]. Now barking and rolling on the floor is part of some Christian sects. I doubt that this one has made it into too many hymnals, but it is evidence that if the political left is afraid of Christians, they should just move along and look for another boogy-man. If this is what is being raised up, we're all going to the funny farm.
    If you feel too serious and kind of blue,
    I've got a suggestion, just the thing for you!
    It's a little unconventional, but so much fun,
    That you won't even mind when people think you're dumb!

    Just come to the party God is throwing right now,
    We can all lighten up and show the pagans how
    Christians have more fun and keep everyone guessing,
    Since the Holy Ghost sent us the Toronto blessing!

    I used to think life was serious stuff;
    I didn't dare cry, so I acted kind of tough
    'Til the Spirit of God put laughter in my soul,
    Now the Holy Ghost's got me, and I'm out of control!

    Now I'm just a party animal grazing at God's trough,
    I'm a Jesus junkie, and I can't get enough!
    I'm an alcoholic for that great New Wine,
    'Cause the Holy Ghost is pouring, and I'm drinking all the time!

    Now I laugh like an idiot and bark like a dog,
    If I don't sober up, I'll likely hop like a frog!
    And I'll crow like a rooster 'til the break of day,
    'Cause the Holy Ghost is moving, and I can't stay away!

    Now I roar like a lioness who's on the prowl,
    I laugh and I shake, maybe hoot like an owl!
    Since God's holy river started bubbling up in me,
    It spills outside, and it's setting me free!

    So, I'll crunch and I'll dip and I'll dance round and round,
    'Cause the pew was fine, but it's more fun on the ground!
    So I'll jump like a pogo stick, then fall on the floor,
    'Cause the Holy Ghost is moving, and I just want MORE!
    Kathryn Riss [who seems to have God-given permission to repost this]
And so many Lutherans don't like the new hymnal. We should be grateful we didn't get this gal on the committee!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Compounding the problem

I receive a monthly prayer list on problem pregnancies. Sometimes I delete it without reading; sometimes I pick one or two and do pray. I don't claim to understand prayer. Some Christians I know report being clear in their answers (yes, no, tomorrow, next year, etc.) All I know is we are told to do it. My prayer job jar seems to fill up just with the people I know or our relatives. Sunday at church I was sitting next to a woman who during "joys and concerns" for prayer, said she was back at Lakeside after a 2 year absense, and was healed of her brain tumor.

Often the request on the pregnancy list is about someone who is going to have an ultrasound. This often influences decisions. This month included situations like 4 children, single mom wants abortion; doesn't know who the father is; and victim of domestic violence. Occasionally, the woman is ill or has been raped or is actually a child herself, but that's rare. Decisions were made that resulted in a baby and now there's a problem. This is the one that really puzzles me, and shows some confusion about values.
    college couple (not married); 5 wks; both come from Christian homes; want abortion because they don't want their families to know they have been sexually active; refused ultrasound
It's like the guy who has an affair but doesn't use a condom because it's against his religion. Duh! If you think your parents don't want you having pre-marital sex, what will they say when they find out you aborted their grandchild?

In the 10 Commandments we are told to love God and our neighbor, but then instructed to HONOR our parents. That goes beyond love, and is a requirement even if we got parents who don't deserve any honor, who are mean, or stingy, or who will stop paying tuition. This is such an important commandment that it is the only one with a promise attached.

So this young couple are the ones I'll pray for on this list.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Musings of a Medical Missionary

Some at UALC have been on medical mission trips. I was really touched by this story of the need for a current oncology textbook in the Ukraine told by a medical missionary. The book arrived too late for the child with HIV, but it opened the door for the Good News.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Hope and Change theme

Barack Obama certainly isn't the first politician to take a biblical theme and run on/with it, and he won't be the last. The Bible is full of great truths, ideas, stories, parables, miracles and romances which have been used by capitalists and kings, socialists and school teachers, writers, artists, poets, and musicians, slaves and slavers, and even Marxists and fascists over the centuries. But there is one basic truth from Genesis to the Revelation, and it's all about the HOPE.

Christianity is an Easter religion. Easter celebrates HOPE, and in order to participate in this HOPE, the individual needs to change. In the New Testament, the word HOPE refers to the future, not only the HOPE of everlasting life, but the HOPE of resurrection from the dead, the HOPE of a new body like the body of Jesus, the HOPE of being in heaven forever with the Lord. Lots of religions have references to an afterlife, but in the Christian faith, the human body is so important to God because of his intentions at the Creation, He continues to use it even after death on this planet and realm. After all political boundaries and even the earth itself have passed away, we still have this HOPE. This HOPE written about in the New Testament doesn't depend on a nebulous, vague speech of a Chicago pol scrolling across a teleprompter, but a real solid foundation of fact. Our HOPE of a heaven where we dwell with God in a physical body rests upon what happened here on earth in the person of the Lord Jesus. His resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection. Obama can't take that away from us and refashion it into a social justice, namby-pamby temporary band-aid, the hope of a different job, or a housing project that will be torn down in 25 years. It's not the change in a McCain or Gore carbon cap or exchange running after green votes which is going to diminish your life style. No, this is real change--the change that the Holy Spirit will make in the believer, grounded in the HOPE.

Cross posted from Collecting My Thoughts

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Catholic left flees its roots

A former Kerry worker cheers the rush to Obama, after all there's more to Christianity than saving the unborn, not experimenting on embryos and respecting God's plan for marriage, right?
    One of the groups to emerge from the welter of concern after the ’04 election was Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Executive director Alexia Kelley, a veteran of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, who was exposed to the Catholic social justice tradition while studying at Harvard Divinity School, thinks organizations like hers resulted from “a common desire among Catholics to have a united voice and message.”

    She and others believed “the notion of the common good is absent or eclipsed in the public square. We have something to offer our politics, which is so divided and based on the ‘you’re-on-your-own-mentality.’ ”

    Catholics in Alliance is one of the broadest coalitions to materialize, and it strives to be one of the most bipartisan of the new breed. Kelley insists that the church’s social tradition arcs over party lines and that the common good should provide common ground for discussion. It, along with Network, organized of the Convention for the Common Good.
And some of us Christians think there's more to the faith than 1960s retread social justice.

Blogger dot com problem

I haven't been able to get into my regular blog, Collecting my thoughts, so I looked at the help page at blogger.com and saw this message
    Some blogs have been mistakenly marked as spam. Affected users are not able to post to their blog and received an email indicating Blogger classified their blog as spam. We are actively working to correct the issue.
Next they should check out whether the blogs being blocked have political content and if so, who is doing the mischief.

Then I checked a few other sites and they say the problem is SiteMeter.com and if you have that on a blogspot url, they aren't working together. The suggestion is to remove SiteMeter. I can try that, but hate to, since I like that feature.