A Bit of Craziness from the C of E

A leading theological college that trains priests for the Church of England has apologised after it hosted a service to mark LGBT history month that referred to God as “the Duchess”.

Student priests at Westcott House in Cambridge organised the evensong service on Tuesday in the college chapel. Advertised as a “Polari evening prayer in anticipation of LGBT+ history month”, it was described as a “liturgical experiment”. Polari is slang used by some gay people.

A prayer referred to the “Fantabulosa fairy” and ended: “Praise ye the Duchess. The Duchess’s name be praised.” Psalm 19 was reworded to refer to “O Duchess, my butchness”.

The service was “an attempt at queering the liturgy of evening prayer, locating the queer within the compass of faith, and recovering for the Christian tradition a sense of its own intrinsically subversive jouissance,” said a printed explanation.

The organisers said that just as Jesus welcomed the outcast, “Today we might follow in the footsteps of his daring, boldly and outrageously welcoming the Queer (both human and divine) in a way never before attempted.”

The college principal, the Rev Canon Chris Chivers, said the service was “hugely regrettable”. It used “a form of liturgy which was not an authorised act of worship in line with the college’s procedures,” he said. “I fully recognise that the contents of the service are at variance with the doctrine and teaching of the Church of England, and that is hugely regrettable.”

The service had caused some members of the college “considerable upset and disquiet”. Chivers said he had spoken to the organisers and was “tightening the internal mechanisms of the house to ensure this never happens again”. The college hoped “to make a creative contribution to setting a different tone for the debate on human sexuality in the church. But this was not it,” he said.

Ya think….???  Ya.  Think?

The Bee Stings the ‘People are Basically Good’ Nonsense

Researchers at MIT revealed Friday they were still unable to locate mankind’s innate moral goodness, despite a $20 million federal government grant to scour every cell of the human body to locate the rumored decency with which every human is born.

During a recent interview with a national science journal, researchers intently stared into a high-powered microscope, furrowing their brows as they looked over yet another piece of the human body at the cellular level. But they remained unsuccessful in their attempt to find proof that every person is born morally upright.

“We thought we found it a few months back, but that turned out to be a dark, sinful nature infecting the tissue we were working with,” head researcher Dr. Flynn Albietz told reporters. “Same results we’ve always gotten.”

“We’re staying positive and we believe we’ll find the inherent goodness everyone supposedly has in their hearts pretty soon. It’s got to be in there somewhere—Gandhi said so, after all,” he added.

At publishing time, MIT’s research department had applied for a further $20 million in federal funding to search for the elusive goodness within mankind, stating the project had proven to be much more difficult than they had originally anticipated.

They won’t find it because it doesn’t exist.

The Bee Stings The Theological Ignorance of the Seeker Sensitives and Emergents

In a bid to better understand the community surrounding the popular megachurch, Lifevision Church leaders reportedly conducted a survey among neighborhood residents over the past week, asking which historic Christian doctrines the church could jettison in order to get people in the door on Sunday mornings.

The short survey, administered by a team of door-to-door volunteers, asked residents how long they had lived in the area, what religion they identified with if any, and which Christian beliefs they found abhorrent, “so that we can best decide which teachings to part with in order to pander to non-believers.”

“Which of the following historic positions can we huck out the window to cater to your sensibilities?” the survey reads. “Please check all that apply.” The one-page questionnaire then lists over thirty orthodox Christian positions that the church is happy to disown at a moment’s notice, including salvation by Christ alone, the holiness of God, the deity of Christ, a traditional view of marriage, and dozens more.

In an interview, head visioneering pastor Mark Lyle told a local news station he’s excited for the opportunity to scuttle core doctrines of the Christian faith “for the sake of the gospel.”

“Lots of churches talk about ‘essentials’—what’s essential to us is getting people in the door,” Lyle said. “There are literally tons of indispensable doctrines we are happy to fling by the wayside, should they make you feel uncomfortable. Just let us know.”

Or, in other words

Because The World Needs to Understand the Message of the Bible… The Commentary Sale to Beat All Sales

I think people need to understand the Bible.  The Commentary I’ve written helps lay-folk do just that.  And in times like these, it becomes even more critical that people know what the Bible actually says.

So we’re having a sale.  For the next week (through 5 February) you can get the entire commentary for – hold on to your seat – $75.  It’s normally $199 so that’s over half off.

If you or someone you know needs to know what the Bible is about, this Commentary can help you and them do it. Simply order the PDF’s from yours truly for the aforementioned $75 by clicking my PayPal Link and I’ll email them off to you in a zipped file posthaste.

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

Read more about it, including various endorsements,.

The Ordinances for the Churches in the Genevan Territory

The good old days for sure!

Ordinances for the Supervision of Churches in the Country February 3, 1547

Ordinances for the Supervision of the Churches dependent on the Seigneury of Geneva, which it is advised be put in force, subject to the complete discretion of their Lordships

SERMONS

1. Everyone in each house is to come on Sundays, unless it be necessary to leave someone behind to take care of children or animals, under penalty of 3 sous.
2. If there be preaching any weekday, arranged with due notice, those that are able to go and have no legitimate excuse are to attend, at least one from each house, under penalty as above.
3. Those who have man or maid servants, are to bring them or have them conveyed when possible, so that they do not live like cattle without instruction.
4. Everyone is to be present at Sermon when the prayer is begun, under penalty as above, unless he absent himself for legitimate reason.
5. Everyone is to pay attention during Sermon, and there is to be no disorder or scandal.
6. No one is to leave or go out from the church until the prayer be made at the end of Sermon, under penalty as above, unless he have legitimate cause.

CATECHISM

1. Because each preacher has two parishes, Catechism is to take place each fortnight. Those who have children are to bring them, with the rest of their household who have not been to Sermon, as above.
2. The same attention, honest and regular, is to be given to Catechism as has been said for Sermon.

PENALTIES

1. Those who fail in their duty of coming are to be admonished by the Guardians, both themselves and their family.
2. If after intimation they continue to default, they are to be fined three groats, for each time. Of this one third will be applied to the Guardians; the other two thirds will be applied to the poor of the parish, and put into the funds of the Church for distribution according to need as it becomes known.
3. If anyone come after Sermon has begun, he is to be admonished, and if after this is done he does not amend, for each fault he is to be fined three sous, which will be applied as above.
4. If during Sermon anyone make any disturbance or scandal, he is to be reported to the Consistory to be cautioned, in order that procedure be in proportion to the fault; that is, if by carelessness he is to be well told off, if it happen by intended malice or rebelliousness he is to be reported to their Lordships to be punished appropriately.

BY WHOM FINES ARE TO BE EXACTED

1. The local lord, in conjunction with the Ministers and the Guardians, is to oblige the delinquents to pay the fines they have incurred, when they will not pay of their own free will. Legitimate excuses are to be admitted, but this is to be done without any formal procedure.
2. If there be any so rebellious that, despite the above fines, they do not at all amend, they are to be reported to the Consistory with advice to the effect that their Lordships punish them according to the seriousness of their obstinacy.
3. Fathers are to be responsible for their children, and, if there be a penalty, it is to be exacted from them.

OF BAPTISM

1. Baptism is to be administered any day, provided that there be Sermon along with it. The Ministers are always to exhort the people to link it up with the Catechism.
2. Children are to be brought at the beginning of Catechism or Sermon.
3. Fathers are to be present, unless they have legitimate excuse of which cognizance will be taken by the Consistory.
4. No godfather is to be admitted for presenting a child, unless he is of an age to make such a promise; that is, he must have passed fifteen years, be of the same confession as ourselves, and be duly instructed.
5. As to names, let their Lordships’ ordinances be careful both to avoid all superstition and idolatry and to remove from the Church of God everything foolish and indecent.
6. If midwives usurp the office of Baptism, they are to be reproved or chastised according to the measure of fault found, since no commission is given them in this matter, under penalty of being put on bread and water for three days and fined ten sous; and all who consent to their action or conceal it will be liable to the same penalty.

OF THE SUPPER

1. No one is to be received at the Supper unless he first have made confession of his faith. That is to say, he must declare before the Minister that he desires to live according to the reformation of the gospel, and that he knows the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Commandments of God.
2. Those who wish to receive the Supper are to come at the beginning of the Service; those who come at the end are not to be received.
3. Other impediments are to be within the cognizance of the Consistory, to deal with them, in accordance with what has been ordained.
4. All are to remain until the end, unless there be a legitimate excuse which is recognized as above.

OF TIMES OF MEETING AT CHURCH

Buildings are to remain shut for the rest of the time, in order that no one outside the hours may enter for superstitious reasons. If anyone be found making any particular devotion inside or nearby, he is to be admonished: if it appear to be a superstition which he will not amend, he is to be chastised.

FAULTS CONTRAVENING THE REFORMATION BESIDES THOSE ALREADY MENTIONED

First, Superstitions

1. Those found to have any paternosters or idols for adoration are to be brought before the Consistory, and, besides the punishment imposed on them there, they are to be brought before their Lordships.
2. Those who have been on pilgrimages or voyages the same.
3. Those who observe the papistical feasts or fastings are to be admonished only, unless they are obstinate in their rebellion.
4. Those who have attended mass, besides admonition, are to be brought before their Lordships.
5. In such cases, their Lordships will have the right of chastising by means of prison or otherwise, or of punishing by extraordinary fines, at their discretion.
In the case of fines, they are to apply some small portion of them to the Guardians, if the delict was notified by them.

Blasphemies

1. Those who have blasphemed, swearing by the body or by the blood of our Lord, or suchlike, ought to do reverence1 for the first time; for the second a penalty of five sous; for the third ten sous; and for the last time put in the pillory for an hour.
2. Anyone who abjures or renounces God or his Baptism is for the first time to be put for ten days on bread and water; for the second and third time he is to be punished with some more rigorous corporal punishment, at the discretion of their Lordships.

Contradiction of the Word

1. If there are any who contradict the Word of God, let them be brought before the Consistory to be admonished, or be remanded to their Lordships to receive chastisement according to the needs of the case.
2. If the contradiction or rebellion amount to scandal which demands prompter remedy, the local lord is to take a hand in the matter for the maintenance of the honour of the Ministry and the Magistracy.

Drunkenness

1. There is to be no treating of one another to drinks, under penalty of three sous.
2. The taverns are to be closed during Service, under penalty that the taverner pay three sous and anyone entering them the same.
3. If anyone be found drunk, he is to pay for the first time three sous and be brought before the Consistory; the second time he must pay the sum of five sous; and the third ten sous and be put in prison.
4. There are to be no carousals, under penalty of ten sous.

Songs and Dances

If anyone sing songs that are unworthy, dissolute or outrageous, or spin wildly round in the dance, or the like, he is to be imprisoned for three days, and then sent on to the Consistory.

Usury

No one is to lend at interest or for profit greater than five per cent, on pain of confiscation of the capital sum and of being required to make appropriate amends according to the needs of the case.

Brawling

1. No one is to cause noise or dispute on pain of being punished according to the needs of the case.
2. If there be any who causes sedition or assembling to make or support quarrels, he is to be punished with more rigorous penalties according to what he merits.

Complaints

If there be a complaint or dispute between two people, the Minister, summoning the Guardians, will do his duty to bring them to accord; and if he is unable to prevail, he will remand them to the Consistory.

Games

No one is to play at games that are dissolute, or at games played for gold or silver or at excessive expense, on pain of five sous and loss of the sum staked.

Fornication

1. As to those who are caught in fornication, if it be an unmarried man with an unmarried woman, they are to be imprisoned for six days on bread and water, and pay sixty sous amends.
2. If it be adultery, one or the other being married, they are to be imprisoned for nine days on bread and water, and pay amends at the discretion of their Lordships, as the crime is much more grave.
3. Those who are promised in marriage are not to cohabit as man and wife until the marriage be celebrated in church, otherwise they will be punished as for fornication.

OF THE ELECTION OF GUARDIANS

The local lord assembling the more responsible and better part of the parishioners, and duly advising them, election of Guardians is to take place before them. They are to be men of substance and fearing God. He then brings the said Guardians to the Consistory, to be instructed in their office, and from there they will be brought before their Lordships to take the oath.

FOR REMANDING TO THE CONSISTORY

The decision of the Minister and the Guardians or of one of them, the local lord, or in his absence one of the assistants, may remand delinquents to the Consistory.

On May 16, 1547, the above Ordinances were read, and then approved and accepted; and it is further declared that the penalties for offences are to be applied in part to the Guardians of the parishes, in part to the local lord and the municipal council, and in part to the poor of the parish and district.

By command of their Lordships,
the Syndics and Council of Geneva.

#ICYMI – HABEN SIE GEWUSST, DASS „LUTHER“ IN DEUTSCHLAND EIN EMOTIONALER STRESSFAKTOR IST?

14.4.2009: Reformation altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) in the Stadtkirche St Marien, Wittenberg.

14.4.2009: Reformation altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) in the Stadtkirche St Marien, Wittenberg.

Kennen Sie das Altarbild der Schlosskirche in Wittenberg? Luther sitzt im Kreis der Jünger mit Jesus am Tisch beim letzten Abendmahl, neben ihm der Drucker seiner Bibelübersetzung. Die Botschaft ist klar: Martin Luther hat seine Lehre aus erster Hand: Sie ist göttlichen Ursprungs! Ganz ähnlich die Suggestion des Logos für das „Lutherjahr 2017“ fast 500 Jahre später: Unter Luthers Porträt steht der Satz: „Am Anfang war das Wort – Martin Luther“. Luther, die Lichtgestalt, die uns die Freiheit bringt! Über Jahrhunderte wurde Luther als deutscher Herkules gefeiert, religiös und immer wieder auch nationalistisch. Die zahllosen Strassen, Häuser und Plätze, die seinen Namen tragen, zeugen davon. Die Werbung für das „Lutherjahr 2017“, vom deutschen Bundesparlament mit vielen Millionen Euro finanziert, wird auch die Schweiz erreichen. Manches deutet dabei darauf hin, dass die Tourismusindustrie gegenüber denen, die Luthers Schriften wirklich lesen, den Sieg davon getragen hat.

Das provoziert. Und so werden gerade in Deutschland die Stimmen immer lauter, die auf dunkle Seiten des grossen Reformators hinweisen: Luther der streitsüchtige Polterer, der Fundamentalist, Feind jeder Toleranz, der Judenhasser, der vom Teufel verfolgte Theologe der Angst, der seinen Fürsten rät, die Bauern niederzumetzeln. Luther, die Quelle allen Übels. Das Pendel schlägt um, und fast schon könnte er einem leidtun, der arme Mönch aus Wittenberg, der zu seiner eigenen Überraschung zum Medienstar geworden ist.

Etc. By the inestimable Peter Opitz.