I’m reading Scott Peck’s recent book Glimpses of the Devil. In it, Peck encounters what he thinks are actually demonic possessions and he takes part in the actual the exorcisms. This is a fascinating turn in his therapeutic career.
With that and my new “Constantine” DVD, I get a bit creeped out with the Satan stuff. C.S. Lewis said not to put too much or too little emphasis on the Devil in the Christian life.
I have always been wary of the ‘spiritual warfare’ stuff, but being on or near the front lines of ministry, it seems it is necessary to be informed and prayerful.
I am part of a denomination with a USA after it. If we aren’t apostate, we are damn close.
There are a number of books coming out about mass exodus from the mainline churches to more traditional Communions and evangelical churches. Since many of the USA denominations have Sith in leadership, what to the faithful do?
My oldest daughter will soon be 5. We are strongly considering homeschooling for a number of reasons. The primary one is that we feel a home environment (the program we have chosen has plenty of ‘social interaction) is a more natural learning environment and secondly, because we know exactly what she will be learning.
I want my kids exposed to the classical education I was never exposed to. Heck, I never even read Machiavelli like our friend Constantine.
No, I don’t think Public Schools are evil, and no, we are not afraid of other viewpoints. What thinkest ye?
btw–homeschooling will make us anomalies in ECUSA.
A soft ball question, sort of.
Not to be romantic about the state of Christianity among our darker brothers and sisters, but why does the Faith seem to thrive in South America, Africa and Asia and not in the West? My wife and I were comparing the churches (Anglican) in Spain compared to the churches in South America, and the contrast is stark.
Today is my wife’s and my 7th anniversary. We met by a black copy of The Book of Common Prayer. She was 19 and I was 27.
Marriage starts off with a lot of ‘schmoopie’ (Seinfeld); lots of ooeys and gooeys, but after awhile that wanes. It wanes because you realize how selfish you both are. It wanes because children further expose one’s selfishness. (How can you be googley-eyed when the only thing that is ooey gooey is the caca butt on the changing table?)
S and I had a whole month for our honeymoon. We prayed the Daily Office from a Franciscan Prayer book four times everyday. We still pray together, but not with that initial frequency. Still, I can’t help but wonder how much that set the tone for our mariage and how much God has protected us from many pitfalls (and created other pitfalls for us to get through).
Our culture promotes nerve-ending titilation as the definition of all relationships. Marriage is definitely not without pleasure (hey, we have three kids!), but it is hard work. The thing is, that work is worth it.
It is an honor to be a husband and a father. It is an honor to love my wife. In fact, there is no honor greater.
We’ve been dancing around our ideas of ‘church’ and ‘The Church.’ I grew up in a Pentecostal denomination that on the one hand, dissed Rome at every turn, and on the other, claimed to have the ‘full gospel.’
I am now Anglican and I’d be a damn fool to say that I am in the one ‘True Church.’ However, we have frequent visitors to this webzine that belong to Communions (Rome, Orthodoxy) that not only make the claim of being Christ’s True Church, they do so pretty convincingly. I would like to hear our Roman Catholic and Orthodox bretheren respectfully and humbly speak on behalf of their Communions.
Speaking of Celtic Prayers, we used part of this prayer by St. Ethelwold on my son’s baptismal program: (From The Edge of Glory by David Adam)
In the presence of the Father I immerse thee
That to thee he may protecting be
Watching over thy head
Keeping thee from dread
In the presence of the Creator I immerse thee.
In the presence of the Son I immerse thee
That to thee He may a Savior be
May He keep thee whole and well
Save thee from the jaws of hell
In the presence of the Redeemer I immerse thee.
In the presence of the Spirit I immerse thee
That He may a mighty strengthener be
May He guide thee, lead, empower
Give thee hope in the darkest hour
In the Spirit the life-giver I immerse thee.
In the Holy and blessed Three, I immerse thee
Into their love and joy I place thee
Into their peace and power I steep thee
Into the hands that will keep thee
Into the Trinity of love I immerse thee.
We beseech Thee O God open thy heavens.
From there may thy gifts descend upon him.
Put forth thine own hand from heaven and
touch his head.
May he feel the touch of thine hand and receive the joy
of thy Holy Spirit. That he may remain blessed for evermore.
I love the ancient Christian Celts. A great read is George Hunter III The Celtic Way of Evangelism. He recounts the success of St. Patrick and those who followed him in evangelizing the ‘barbarians’ of Ireland and the surrounding areas.
What struck me was the way Hunter describes the ‘three levels’ of human existence. The highest level is the ‘thoughts of God’ contemplative level. The middle level is the ‘stuff of the earth’ level where fear, sickness, love, joy, birth, death, etc. resides. The final level is the level where most of us live our lives– paying taxes, selling sprockets, making a living and so forth.
Hunter’s thesis is that the Celts were able to succeed in the ‘stuff of earth’ level. They had prayers about every concievable thing–harvest, rain, giving birth, nursing, death, etc., meaning they beleived that God was a part of it all. God was above all but also in all; almighty and immanent.
I wonder if one of the challenges of our day is to convince people that God is a part of the ‘stuff of earh’ and the ‘everyday’ levels of our existence and not just someone we think about when we are about to die.
I have witnessed the births of all three of my children. I can tell you that being a part of the blood, sweat and tears of birth (and I had the easy part) is the ‘stuff of earth’ at its best.
Yet all that the Faith has given me: the Sacraments, the preaching of the Word, prayer and worship, all of those things were with me for those moments. I cannot imagine any of my moments in life–both good and bad without the Faith and what the Church has given me. The ‘Real Presence of Jesus’ is what makes me what I am. In the words of the Rich Mullins song, “I did not make it [the Faith that is], no it is making me…”
Speaking of banning the 10 Commandments…
Most of the folk who read this blog are theologically conservative, yet we are about 50/50 politically. Without getting too heated politically, I find it difficult to relate the faith with those outside the church who assume I am one ‘party’ or another. The media have made moral issues political ones, which does further damage in the proclamation of the gospel, i.e if you are pro-life, it is because you are a patriarchal Republican, etc.
With the ‘religious right’ getting all of the criticism, I know the ‘religious left’ and they are a brutal bunch.
I guess the question is, how does one approach the political and culture wars in light of the truths of the gospel?