More Mega-‘Church’ Depravity

If it isn’t the Boy Scouts or the Vatican covering up the depraved molestation of predator pedophiles it’s the mega-‘church’ miscreants.

A 17,000-member megachurch deep in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt has been rattled by allegations that five employees waited two weeks to report the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a campus stairwell, allegedly by a church worker.  Tulsa police say the girl is among at least three victims of alleged sex crimes by two former employees of Victory Christian Center who face criminal charges. A child crimes investigator says more victims could surface as police continue to investigate. Authorities, however, fear some in the large, tight-knit south Tulsa congregation may choose to pray about the allegations rather than provide concrete evidence.  Police said this week that the worldwide ministry’s pastor and co-founder, Sharon Daugherty, whose daily broadcasts are beamed via satellite to more than 200 countries, knew about the abuse allegations but trusted ministry employees to follow in-house policies on reporting such incidents.

That’s proof that the pseudo-christians attending pseudo-churches know nothing, absolutely nothing of ethics or morality and thus nothing of true Christian faith and practice.  This cult, and that’s what it is, decided its precious reputation mattered more than the abused and molested.  Hell opens wide its mouth for such people and places.  [HT Joel Watts on FB].

On Display at New Orleans Baptist Seminary

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s new Bible and archaeology museum occupies a small space, but heralds the powerful, timeless message of the Bible being handed down and preserved through the centuries.

“From Papyrus to Print: A Journey through the History of the Bible” explores how the Bible was written on papyrus and parchment, copied, preserved and ultimately printed in the language of common people. Ancient archaeological artifacts supplement the experience by offering a glimpse into daily life in biblical times.

It sounds fun- so if you’re in New Orleans, check it out and let us know if it’s worthwhile.

The New Catalog of the Theologischer Verlag Zurich is Online

Here.  And while I’m making reference to TVZ might I also urge you to visit their Facebook page and ‘like’ them?  There are two reasons:  1) they’re really a very likable publisher and 2) if you ‘like’ dogs and kitties and bizarre games played on FB why not like something actually likable and worthwhile?

And they publish many things in English too, so if you don’t read German, they still have things for you!

Der Theologische Verlag Zürich ist der traditionsreichste reformierte Verlag der Schweiz für theologische und christliche Literatur aller Bildungsstufen. Schwerpunkt des Verlagsprogramms bilden die vier Bereiche

  • Theologische Wissenschaft, Kirchengeschichte, Editionen (Klassiker wie Zwingli, Bullinger, Barth)
  • Bücher für das kirchliche Leben
  • Christliche Literatur für ein allgemeines Lesepublikum
  • Religionspädagogik (Theorie und Praxis).

 Im TVZ erscheinen auch die Zeitschriften

  • Zwingliana
  • reli. Zeitschrift für Religionsunterricht und Lebenskunde

Seit 2005 verlegt der TVZ in der «Edition NZN bei TVZ» katholische Publikationen in den Bereichen Kirche, Theologie, Pastoral, Staatskirchen- und Religionsrecht sowie Geschichte aus dem Kontext der katholischen Kirche in der Schweiz.  Die verlegerische Verantwortung für die Zürcher Bibel liegt beim TVZ.  Der seit 2003 in den TVZ integrierte Pano Verlag publiziert kultur- und religionswissenschaftliche Werke.

I really love the work they do.  Genuinely and authentically.  it’s top notch and high quality and spectacular.

Tetzel’s Pamphlet ‘Vorlegung’

English: Johann Tetzel

Johann Tetzel

Via James Spinti, from an email he received-

The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection of the Pitts Theology Library has just issued the first English translation of an important Reformation-era pamphlet: Johann Tetzel’s Vorlegung (Leipzig: Melchior Lotter, 1518), written in response to Martin Luther’s Sermon on Indulgence and Grace (Eynn Sermon von dem Ablasz vnnd gnade . . . [Wittenberg: Johann Rhau-Grunenberg, 1518]). This rare pamphlet has been translated by Prof. Em. Dewey W. Kramer and for the first time allows English-speaking audiences to hear Tetzel for themselves, rather than through the reports of his critics.  If you or your library would like a gratis copy of the translation, please send your name and address to me [at libmpg@emory.edu], and we’ll proceed. 

Prof. Kramer will be speaking on Tetzel and his pamphlet at the annual Reformation Day at Emory: http://www.pitts.emory.edu/visit/news-events/reformation-day.cfm

How fantastic is that?!?!

The Perverse Hypocrisy of Lifeway ‘Christian’ Stores

In the news lately is word that Lifeway and other ‘evangelical’ bookstores won’t carry ‘Biblical Womanhood’.  This because – apparently – it actually uses the word ‘vagina’.

Here’s the problem, Lifeway.  You carry books by heretics like Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and Benny Hinn.  You also carry books by persons like Sarah Palin.  So, you are more than happy to peddle books that are unchristian and politically motivated, but you won’t carry a book that uses the word ‘vagina’?

But hold on- you have carried Tim Lahaye’s book on Christian marriage and it uses both ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’.  So it isn’t really the word you have trouble with but the author.

Lifeway, you’re just simply shameful.  Shameful for your misogyny and shameful for your bias.  I’m ashamed that you’re known as a Baptist institution.  Baptists – true Baptists – understand the meaning of the word ‘freedom’ but you, Lifeway, you only know the word ‘prejudice’.

The Launch of ‘Fortress Academic’

Comes this email today-

Building on a rich publishing history, Fortress Press is launching Fortress Academic—a new imprint for today’s academic landscape. With its launch, we’re expanding our publication programs and deepening our commitment to both the established and the emerging generation of authors. Our editorial team is actively seeking proposals for scholarly works in theology and biblical studies!  The best way to be published at Fortress Press is to start by answering four questions and submitting a few sample pages of your work. That’s all it takes.  Click below to start a conversation with our editors.  Are you ready to be read?

Sweden: Keeping Christ out of Christmas

A nativity scene planned for a popular Christmas market in southern Sweden has been cut after the organizers felt it compromised their “political and religious independence”.

I hope they don’t call their holiday ‘Christmas’ then. They should call it ‘Doofus Day’ or even better – ‘Dum Dag’.

“I am devastated and think they are crossing a line here. What are they celebrating at Fredriksdal? Is it just a commercial affair?” said church official Eva Åsare to local paper Helsingborgs Dagblad (HD).

When the planning for the Christmas market at Fredriksdal Gardens and Museums in Skåne County began several months ago, the organizers initially thought that the church’s proposal of a nativity scene with children from two local congregations would be a nice addition to the market.

However, a few months into the planning, the church received an email saying that the nativity scene would be cut as the market wanted to safeguard its identity as a “politically and religiously independent operation”.

Åsare said that the decision is a sign of “blatant fear of religion” and that the decision opens for new questions:

“Are you allowed to sell a straw star – that’s also a religious symbol? Are you allowed to sing Christian carols in concert? And what about the advent calendars?” Åsare asked the paper.

She finds it strange that a nativity scene would be considered out of place at a Christmas market, considering it depicts the reason Christmas is celebrated in Helsingborg, as well as many other parts of the world.

‘You’ll Do It Or Else!’ – The Strange Case of Susanne Wilkinson

On a Friday evening back in March 2010 Swiss B&B owner Susanne Wilkinson turned away a gay couple as it was “against her convictions” for two men to share a bed. Michael Black and John Morgan reported the matter to Thames Valley Police.

At the time Mrs Wilkinson argued that as the property was a guest house as well as a private residence – as opposed to a hotel – she had every right to turn the couple away. The human rights organisation Liberty acting on behalf of the couple argued that as the B&B provided services to the public, it was unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of that person’s sexual orientation.

A judge today has agreed with Liberty and ruled against Mrs Wilkinson ordering her to pay £3600 damages on the grounds of hurt feelings in accordance with equality laws. The Christian Institute defended Mrs Wilkinson and today their spokesman Mike Judge is still arguing the private residence angle: Yes, Mrs Wilkinson’s B&B is a business, but it’s also a family home. The law should be more flexible in allowing people to live according to their own values under their own roof.

A couple of points are worth noting. I remember at the time folk raising the question of whether Mrs Wilkinson also refused unmarried heterosexual couples. Well according to Christian Today: The judge accepted the sincerity of her Christian beliefs and that she had also refused to allow unmarried heterosexual couples from sharing a double bed.

It’s also worth noting that Mrs Wilkinson claims to have been besieged with abuse: [Mrs Wilkinson] asked for police protection after the story was first covered by the media, due to a string of death threats. ‘We had thousands of pieces of hate mail and very abusive phone calls. I had a hand-delivered letter put through the door saying that my house would be burned down,’ she recalled. ‘I had to call the police. They were very concerned and patrolled the lane we live on for five months and checked on us regularly.’

The judge has given Mrs Wilkinson leave to appeal and so we’ll see what happens.

Via Stuart. I have nothing to add other than to say that the erosion of personal rights always happens drop by drop and before you know it, you have no choice at all.

Observing Anti-Slavery Day

Today is anti-slavery, anti- human trafficking day and I’m observing it here.

The Anti-Slavery Day Bill became law in 2010. It was introduced in Parliament as a Private Members Bill by Anthony Steen MP for Totnes, South Devon, in 2010 and passed through both Houses, unopposed although amended. The bill defines modern-day slavery as child trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Anti-Slavery Day falls on 18 October each year. It provides an opportunity to draw attention to the subject and to pressurise government, local authorities, public institutions and private and public companies to address the scale and scope of human trafficking.

Women and children are enslaved every day, many of them being used sexually by those who oppress them.  We call it human trafficking and it must end.  People aren’t possessions. Nor do they exist to satisfy wicked and perverse persons who wish only to use them.