The virgin Mary is no longer in Chicago. Mary went the way of all underpasses in Chicago when someone put graffiti on her saying “Big Lie.” The city of Chicago, ever on the pursuit of eliminating graffiti, then painted over the sight.
So, guess Mary can go back home now and think of some other place to show up. I know some good shoes, maybe some bubblegum, maybe go back to a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s unreal what people will believe and be “spiritually moved” by.
The point of the Anti-Itch Meditation is to point out how the Church is off-base. It does this by showing church trends, religious idiocy, pastoral indiscretion and general Christian strangeness.
At the same time, it doesn’t like just pointing out problems. The Anti-Itch would also like to help the situation. It does so in the following ways.
1) It points out the problem for those who don’t know there is one.
2) It presents a better way to do things by sharing positive examples and doctrine.
The Anti-Itch is here to illustrate the crumbling condition of the Church with timeliness and irreverent humor. It’s trying to help.
One last post from Harold Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible. I would like to quote from page 206:
As men retreat from inerrancy, they lose any vital interest in evangelism and missions. Their zeal for finishing the job of world evangelization is replaced by socio-political-economic concerns.
Well that’s an interesting point. As people degrade their view of scripture they tend to be more concerned with social and political matters than preaching the gospel. Hmm. Food for thought.
The church today has all but thrown out scripture and fully joined political parties and causes.
Last night I caught the next to last episode of The Apprentice on MSNBC. The Apprentice is Donald Trump’s business reality show. I find it interesting to watch. Especially this time as they had a team of MBA graduates taking on a team of high school graduates with business experience.
When looking at the two teams, the high school graduate team had people on it with emotional problems–tempers, poor people skills that lead to confrontation, etc. The MBA grads had to deal with airheads–total book smarts with no practical thinking whatsoever.
Reading this book on the Bible also shows that uneducated people rant and rave about inerrancy, making fools of themselves all along. But it’s the seminary professors, the guys with the initials and degrees, that know so much they think Scripture is basically worthless.
This all leads me to the conclusion that extra education is good because it refines people. However, not too much education, because then you rely on your education and actually become more stupid.
I’ve been reading The Battle for the Bible by Harold Lindsell. I have the 1977 edition so it’s a bit out-dated. However, it is almost more interesting that way because you can see the results almost 30 years later of what Lindsell points out.
He recounts the battle over inerrancy that seemed to crop up all over the Christian world back in the 60’s and 70’s. He talks about Fuller Seminary, various Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention and many other Christian church and para-church organizations.
It’s quite interesting, worth the trouble to find because it gives good insight into various denominations you may wonder about plus gives good proof for what happens when you reject the authority of scripture. Good section on church history as well. Just thought you’d like to know.
The new pope’s used car has sold to a buyer from Texas. The winning bid on Germany’s eBay was $244,800. Earlier bids of a million euros were not serious bids.
So, thus ends another exciting chapter in the life of the popes. It doesn’t quite rank up there with Pope Jane or some of the other weirdnesses, but it’s pretty quirky nonetheless.
A textual criticism expert has weighed in on the 666 or 616 controversy. He puts forth several points that will have to be examined further to see what the actual number is. He also brings up that Iranaeus dealt with this issue way back when. In the second century there was a debate over whether 616 or 666 is the number so this is nothing new nor surprising to find a text that had 616 as the number.
Led Zepplin is in the tape deck but not playing until further notice.
I came across this site today where monks are selling office supplies. “Real Savings, Real Monks, Supporting Real People.”
Next time I need a printer cartridge I think I’ll give them a try.
My post yesterday asking what denomination you thought a doctrinal statement was from is now going to be answered. If you’d like to read the doctrinal statement before seeing the answer, then scroll down a bit and you’ll find it under Wednesday, May 4.
The answer is here. The statement is at the very bottom of the page.
There is one doctrine they denied first. Can you guess what it was? At the beginning they didn’t seem all that different from the rest of Christianity. But now, you’d hardly recognize their views as Christian.
The first doctrine they messed with was the inerrancy of Scripture. Once you mess with that, anything goes and now, it has. The Bible is now relegated to pithy points at appropriate times rather than a guide to spiritual living. The Word is true. Don’t doubt it, it leads to shipwreck every time.
Back when I was in high school we were made to watch these movies about the dangers of rock music. One of the segments was on secret messages found on record albums when you played them backwards. I still remember the guy doing the show saying about some album, Led Zepplin or Black Sabbath or someone, that the record said “666 that’s my number, 666 that’s my number, 666 that’s my number.”
This, of course, was convincing evidence to all of us not to listen to secular music ever again.
New imaging technology is being used to decipher some documents found in an ancient junkyard outside of an Egyptian city, written 1,500 years ago in Greek. These new documents may change my whole perspective on secular music. Apparently, the number of the beast is not 666 but rather 616.
Whenever hearing about these “mistakes” you have to be careful. The scholars studying this are quick to point out the fallibility of scripture and how you can’t trust any of it and this is why everyone is wrong to use the book of Revelation. However, in all the mistakes that could be in the biblical text, there is, of course, no chance there was a mistake with this ONE manuscript saying the number is 616.
I mean, think of it, it was found in a junkyard. One can see some monk working for years to copy the Bible and he gets almost to the end in Revelation and writes the wrong number. I’d chuck it in the junkyard too. And I can guarantee it would be in little tiny bits just like they found it.
Anyway, the point is, who knows. It doesn’t really matter. It’ll just be interesting to see the fallout. But at least now I think I can go back and listen to some Led Zepplin.
I came across this baseball card today. It brought back memories from childhood. I thought this card was great. First of all, he’s holding a cracked bat, hilarious. Second, he was born in Racine, Wisconsin where I lived at the time. Third, he only hit one major league home run and he hit it off Steve Stone who announced all the Cub games then. Funny how all those things come back just by seeing this card. The brain is funny.
What Church is This?
The following is a doctrinal statement from a prominent denomination in America. Can you guess what denomination it is? I’ll comment on it later some time and tell what church claims these beliefs. Enjoy!
1. We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their religious opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
2. We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
3. We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.
4. We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wondrously exciting.
5. We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
6. We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty and justice-and no idea, ideal or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
7. We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural products of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
8. We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships is the principle of love, which always seeks the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
9. We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism-so that people might govern themselves.
10. We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.
Christianity Today has an interesting article on church buildings. I totally agree. I don’t even remember writing the article but boy, they copied just about everything I think about the subject.
With two more days of bidding to go, the new Pope’s used Volkswagen has set new records for most hits on eBay Germany. The guy who bought the car, without knowing who the previous owner was, is about to be set for life. Weird stuff.
Meditation Can Increase Life Span
A new study shows that transcendental meditation–a relaxation technique invented by the Maharishi and made famous by the Beatles, who all lived very long lives as we know–can reduce the risk of death by 23% for all causes.
Studying about 200 old people over the years shows that those who meditate are 30% less likely to die from heart problems and 49% less likely to die from cancer.
I’m a little confused on the conclusions. If meditation reduces the risks of death by all causes, do these people live forever? Don’t they all die from a cause at some point? Hmm, or does meditation really lead to eternal life? I guess I need a little more information.
The Anti-Itch Meditation has not led to the death of anyone so that’s pretty good. I can’t promise you longer life but I can promise I won’t kill you, which is almost the same.
I Knew It!
I always figured there was a reason why my sister never had to wear a seat belt.
First Lady Ticks Us Off
Well, Christians, who somehow find enough time after reading the Bible and saving untold millions from eternal peril, are now upset over Mrs. Bush’s statements about her husband at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner the other night.
The comments were not in line with a wife being submissive and reverencing her husband. They were also about going to Chippendales and being a desperate housewife, which didn’t go over too well with the sensitive poor things of the Christian persuasion.
It makes me embarrassed to be a Christian sometimes. I can’t believe people are so uptight. Even if she was totally off-line with comments, don’t we have lives of our own to take care of? I for one, like it that a husband can take some shots from the wife. If he can’t do that, it spells more trouble in a marriage than a wife giving shots does. Humor is so in need these days, especially in the church. We all need to lighten up. They were JOKES. Not even written by her. I tell ya.
Fattened Goose Liver
Boy, just reading that makes the mouth start to water doesn’t it? Fattened goose and duck liver, sometimes referred to as foie gras, is a delicacy in France and other European countries where they do strange things like that. But it’s catching on in America.
Unfortunately, Americans have more time on their hands. The way to get fattened duck liver is to fatten ducks by force-feeding them. Oregon is trying to ban the practice, several other states are trying to do the same thing.
I believe it is summed up well by an Oregon Representative, “At a time when we don’t have a K-12 (education) budget and a health and human services budget, to go and pass a bill to prevent the force-feeding of ducks that’s not even a problem in Oregon, demonstrates to me that we have our priorities out of line.”
It’s always much easier to invent problems and solve those than it is to tackle the real issues. Setting up straw man and then tearing it down. This practice was perfected by theologians. Let’s argue about what kinds of water to use in baptism instead of figuring out how to teach Scripture. Let’s major on the majors!
Fear and Trembling
After Christ was crucified and buried, His disciples gathered together and locked the doors. They sat around wondering what to do and being afraid. John 20:19-29 shows one time where the disciples were afraid and Jesus appeared in their midst, even though the doors were locked.
Later in that chapter they are still gathered with the doors still shut and Jesus shows up again. Why were they scared? Jesus told them He would be killed. He told them He would be resurrected. He told them everything would be fine, yet they were still afraid.
Why do we get so easily afraid? Are we not listening to what God is telling us in His word? Are we more concerned about what we think God should do then we are with what God says we should do? If we win, if we’ll be resurrected to new life, why are we so afraid? We win! There’s nothing to fear.
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Have you heard about the woman who claimed she was abducted because she didn’t want to get married? Hundreds of police and volunteers were involved in her search and many prayers were said, only to find out it was a hoax.
Then there was the girl at Trinity University in Deerfield, IL who wrote threatening messages to minority students. She was arrested and turned out she was a minority student trying to convince her parents that Trinity was a dangerous place so they wouldn’t make her go there anymore.
Why can’t people just make decisions and live with them? Indecision inconveniences lots of people, it can even kill. Why are we so afraid to commit to things these days? Why can’t we be man enough to choose something and go with it? Why do we have to connive out of situations? It’s all very weird to me.
If you don’t want to get married then say “no” when the guy asks. If you don’t want to go to that college then don’t. Why do we have to threaten and endanger others to avoid making decisions? The work of avoiding decisions is usually tougher than the work of making the decision!