Confused Confession

A reporter has garnered condemnation from the Catholic Church for an expose he did on confession. The reporter went to 24 priests in five Italian cities to confess sins to see if the priests were consistent with each other.

The reporter, for example, told two priests he was HIV-positive and wondered whether he should use a condom when having sexual relations with his girlfriend. One told him no, and the other said it was a question of conscience, the magazine reported.

More than once, the magazine said, priests gave quite different advice on his supposed “sins,” which included matters relating to homosexuality, divorce, stem-cell research, euthanasia and prostitution. One issue that found unanimous condemnation by confessors was abortion, the magazine said.

The Bigger They Are. . .

National Review Online has pointed out that Rick Warren is the guy you need approval by to prove you are indeed a politician who respects religion.

It’s the Rick Warren election —Romney cited Purpose- Driven evangelical Rick Warren twice tonight extemporaneously, Obama and Brownback have been to Warren’s church…

Who will show up at Warren’s church next?

It’s long been a point of Scripture that when church leaders get involved with political leaders, the church gets hurt and let down. Will Warren be the next Ted Haggard?

(Thanks to HolyCoast.com via Smart Christian for the link.)

Reflections On Being Jesus

Ted Neeley has played Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar for 35 years now. He shares his thoughts on what it’s like to be Jesus and the protests he had to get by in the beginning of the show’s run on Broadway.

The notion that part of Jesus’ life was made into a rock opera was considered blasphemous by some. It was a difficult time. “I remember going through those picket lines, fighting my way through to go in to work and I would ask the folks if they had seen the show,” he says.

“No one who was picketing had seen the show, so I would invite them in. Those who had the courage to come in would see the show — and love it.” So in the last few decades, the play has become a theatre standard and Neeley has played the role longer than Jesus was alive.

Christian Reflections

I began reading this book about a week and a half ago, it was tough sledding for awhile. The first 80 pages were way over my head, had very little concept about what he was trying to say. The book contains articles on various topics, the first several topics held no interest for me.

But then Lewis and I hit a stride, I thought the final 90 pages were brilliant. The following chapters were exceedingly wonderful, ok, that might be an exaggeration, they were good.

The Funeral of a Great Myth
On Church Music
(I absolutely agree with him in this chapter, couldn’t have said it better myself. Here’s his best quote on the subject: “What I, like many other laymen, chiefly desire in church are fewer, better, and shorter hymns; especially fewer.”)
Historicism
The Psalms
Petitionary Prayer
.

The book is worth it just for these couple of chapters. Good insights from a very analytical mind.

Shepherding Shepherds

Read a quote by C. S. Lewis today that I thought was pretty good.

“The proper study of shepherds is sheep, not other shepherds.”

The context of the quote was in an article telling theologians his viewpoints of higher theological criticism and opinion. He said he thought the church leaders (his primary audience was Church of England leaders) spent too much time with each other rather than their people.

If you surround yourself with people who think as you do in terms like you do you lose touch with the “outsiders.”

Most pastoral advice is written by and for pastors and it all has to do with running your church as other successful pastors (shepherds) did. Other shepherds read it, take it home and force it upon their sheep.

Do all sheep have the same needs and are they all met the same way? Lewis’ opinion is that shepherds should study sheep, since they are caring for them not other shepherds, rather than spending all their time studying other shepherds. Makes sense to me.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Here’s an article about the use of tacky advertising to spread the Gospel along U. S. highways. They focus in on a stretch of I-71 in Ohio where several billboards tell people that “Jesus is real” and “Hell is real” along with the 60-foot tall Jesus statue.

The guy who started doing all this says, “The Lord called me to do this about three years ago,” said Harston, adding God cured him of cancer at that time. “I fear the Lord, and I have to do this or face the consequences.”

My favorite sign of his said, “Use the rod on your children and save their life.” We need more signs like that in this world. One could be put up in front of my house.

Antichrist’s Tool Used For Jesus

Teenagers’ use of the Internet for spiritual or religious experience grew by 200 percent between 1998 and 2001, according to a study by the Barna Research Group. Forty-six percent of teens expected to use the Internet to talk about what they believe.

Youth pastors across the country are embracing this non-traditional evangelism, chatting with students over AOL Instant Messenger and creating MySpace profiles.

This would be OK except for the fact that they’re probably listening to U2 while web browsing.