The New Legalism

Over the past few weeks, we have heard a lot of ridiculous things concerning what Christians can and cannot do.

It started off with, David Barton says Christians can’t drink Starbucks.

And now, there is this whole debate as to whether or not Christians can watch shows like Game of Thrones.

I don’t read much from Christian Piatt, but I think he nails it in his latest Huffington Post article.

Seriously, enough already. This is turning into a new legalism. See, if something is inherently anti-Christian and one participates in said thing, then one’s salvation is at risk. However, I do not think that drinking Starbucks or watching Game of Thrones will throw one’s salvation into question. It is nothing more than adiaphora. Just the latest in a rising tide of bad theology.


Cindy Jacobs On The Leviathan Spirit

The Leviathan Spirit? WTH is she talking about.  Apparently this spirit is responsible for “divorce, family feuds, sibling rivalries, church splits, and even tribal wars.” Note, it’s not sin that’s responsible for these things. It’s some other spirit.

But here’s my favorite part:

If you have in your bloodline any animus, any Native American blood, for instance — not all Native Americans worshiped the serpent or crocodile, many did — but you might want to renounce that and repent for the generational iniquity,” Jacobs says. “If you are — perhaps you’re Mexican and you might have indigenous blood in you or Mayan blood — those who have Aztec blood in any way, you need to repent for the sin of animism before you begin to deal with this spirit.

You can watch the full video here…or not.


HT: Right Wing Watch

June 6 Rapture?

Somehow I missed this…must be slacking off a bit. Anyways, Steve Fletcher (never heard of him) has predicted the rapture will happen on June 6, 2013. Since I am writing this at around 9:30 pm PST on June 5, that means that it is June 6 somewhere in the world. Any signs of an impending rapture?

And for your listening displeasure, I present to you, an interview with Steve Fletcher!

Part 1:

Part 2:

New Way To Connect With The Blog

Feedly Logo

Feedly Logo (Photo credit: imjustcreative)

In anticipation of the impending death of Google Reader, I have added a follow button for Feedly. Why Feedly? To be honest, I’ve been waiting to see what is going on with my RSS reader of choice, Reeder. On a whim, I checked the Twitter feed for the Reeder app and saw a link to this post from Feedly’s blog. So, since Reeder is partnering with Feedly, my RSS quandary has been solved and I feel that going with Feedly is best for the blog.

Other RSS readers are partnering with Feedly. So if you don’t like Feedly’s interface (I didn’t), then see if your reader of choice has partnered with them.

To follow my blog on Feedly, all you have to do is click on the button in the “Connect With Me” section to the right and click subscribe. It’s as simple as that.

The Boy Scouts, Homosexuality, And The Church

The fact that the Boy Scouts have changed their policy regarding the ban on openly gay youth participating in Scouting is old news. What everyone has been waiting for since the change vote a few weeks ago has been official church reactions.

Michael Otterson, who heads the worldwide public affairs functions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote this in an article on The Washington Post.

One key line in the new resolution that the scouting body approved is worth citing:  “…any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of scouting age is contrary to the virtues of scouting.”  That is it, in a nutshell. For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this was never about whether the BSA or local scout leaders should try to discern or categorize ill-defined and emerging sexual awareness of pre-pubescent boys and early pubescent young men who make up 90 per cent of scouting. Sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join Latter-day Saint scout troops. Rather, it has always about teaching moral behavior to all boys, and instilling the core values that are part of responsible adulthood. As the church said in a statement issued promptly after the BSA vote, it is responsible behavior that “continues to be our compelling interest.”

Top Catholic officials have also come out in support of the Boy Scouts.

“Scouting is still the best youth-serving program available to all youth,” Edward P. Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, wrote in a May 29 letter addressed to “fellow Catholic Scouters.”

“We should be encouraged that the change in BSA’s youth membership standard is not in conflict with Catholic teaching,” Martin said, asking that “Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment.”

…One of the experts Martin cited was Edward Peters, a canon lawyer popular with church conservatives who wrote that while he disliked the new policy it was not contrary to church doctrine.

But, it should be no surprise that not everyone is is happy or even supportive of the decision. Southern Baptist leaders are considering pulling support from the Boy Scouts.

For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.

“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.

…The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.

None of these statements really surprises me.

Joel Watts, a fellow blogger, has decided to make a game out of Tim Reed’s statement on what the Bible explicitly says. You can play along here.

Looking For Bible Studies / Devotionals

So regular readers of the blog know that I am quite fond of the YouVersion Bible App. I literally have it on every one of my mobile devices (Kindle Fire, iPad and iPhone). However, in recent moths, I have become quite jaded with the app as the developer, LifeChurch, has started to add more conservative material and have previously voiced my displeasure. On the advice of a friend, I hung in there. While it is nice to have so many translations at my fingertips, it royally sucks when it comes to devotionals for people of my theological leaning. I mean, really, I’m not going to read a devotional by John Piper, The Gossip Coalition, or Focus on the Family. Period.

Flash forward a few months and I’m looking for a devotional. So I open my handy dandy YouVersion Bible app, find one that I think looks interesting and *BAM*, right away in the devotional material is talk of fasting. Seriously, I don’t fast. Ever. And, I’m Lutheran. I don’t know of any Lutherans that fast. That means giving up beer!

In all seriousness, I need a Bible Study / Daily Devotional that is more suited to my theological leanings (progressive, quite possibly postliberal). I mean, I could write one but that would kind of defeat the whole purpose and wouldn’t lead to any growth.

Feel free to share your recommendations below!

Will Religious Fundamentalism Be Treated As A Menal Illness?

According to an Oxford University researcher specializing in neuroscience, the answer is yes.

In response to a question about the future of neuroscience, Taylor said that “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated,” The Times of London notes.

“Someone who has for example become radicalised to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance,” Taylor said. “In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage.”

I honestly don’t know what to think about this. And I speak as someone who suffers from depression. I can say, I don’t like the thought or ramifications of religious fundamentalism being in the same category as depression. But then, I’m not a don’t specialize in neuroscience.