The conversation of fools is disgusting, raucous their laughter in their sinful pleasures. The talk of hard-swearing people makes your hair stand on end, their brawling makes you stop your ears. (Sir. 27:13-14)
Daily Archives: 8 Jun 2019
Universalism has always seemed a bit demonic to me. God, robbed of his freedom, must grant to one and all what all wish (redemption) whether they want it or not. So that even those who hate God are forced into his presences for eternity- making heaven, for them, hell; and God the devil. But I suppose, at the end of the day, that’s the aim of universalists anyway.
When you’re off the rails, you’re really off the rails-
I get email. Sometimes it’s not very nice email. I get tweets, and like email, sometimes they aren’t very nice. Senders often use pretty rank profanity to tell me that as a Christian Pastor I shouldn’t be criticizing Trump or Congress. I suppose it’s ok for the senders to use profanity to make their Christian point, but that discussion belongs to another time.
For now allow me simply to point out that when the government or our governing authorities cross the line into deception or other evils it is the responsibility of Christian clerics to call them on it publicly. Public sins require public response.
So, for example, when Trump lies, as he regularly does, it is the responsibility of Clerics to say so. Why? Because silence is agreement. And there’s nothing worse for Christians than agreeing with sin by silence. If the Church in Nazi Germany taught us anything it taught us that.
Furthermore, there is biblical precedent for ‘calling people out’. 42 times the Old Testament uses the phrase ‘… did evil in the sight of the Lord’. If it’s good enough for the Deuteronomist, the Chronicler, and Jeremiah to call out wrongdoers and wrongdoing, it’s good enough for me.
Finally let’s suppose that I remain silent when Trump lies or Congress steals health benefits from poor folk or the police beat a black dude senseless or some racist blows up a building or shoots up a school; I don’t have to answer to angry emailers or tweeters for my silence, I have to answer to God. And, friends, I have news for you, God’s is the only opinion I care anything about.
My pity is reserved for the cowardly theologians who will not speak out. That lot, they’re completely useless both to God and society. They are like male nipples: completely cosmetic but of no real worth, value, or use.
“I have the testimony of my own conscience, of angels, and of God himself, that since I undertook the office of a teacher in the Church, I have had no other object in view than to profit the Church by maintaining the pure doctrine of godliness; yet I suppose there is no man more slandered or calumniated than myself.” — John Calvin
Utilizing Wikipedia’s tried-and-true method of letting anyone in the world edit its content, so you know it’s reliable, a new WikiBible will let anyone edit the inspired Scriptures.
The online Bible can be edited on the fly by anyone on the planet, with no login required. The creators of the new WikiBible hope that it will encourage people to just edit out verses that offend them or condemn their lifestyle. Verses that don’t fit neatly into your theology can be deleted in a flash.
“Don’t like a verse? Just edit it,” one of the creators of the new Bible, Bob Bell, said in a video announcing the new internet Bible. “Want to inject some values from your modern culture into the text? Have at it. We are no longer restricting by the suffocating, oppressive rigidity of believing what God said. Now we can make Him say what we want Him to say.”
Charismatic believers from around the world are also excited about this, as they can add their personal revelations from God about what they’re supposed to eat for lunch today or their gibberish languages right into the text.
“The Bible is so much better when it’s created by popular consensus, rather than divine inspiration.”
Unfortunately for the exciting new Bible project, at least one person found every verse in the Bible offensive for one reason or another, and the entire copy of God’s Word was deleted within the first few hours of the site’s launch. It’s been replaced with phrases like “You can do it,” “Believe in yourself,” and “The magic was inside you all along.”
That’s the day that the Five Forest Cantons (Catholic all) declared war on Zurich and the Zwinglians. A few days before, Zwingli had written
“Be firm and do not fear war. For that peace which some are so urgently pressing upon us is not peace but war. And the war for which I am so insistent is peace, not war; for I do not thirst for the blood of anyone, nor will I drink it even in case of tumult. This is the end I have in view—the enervation of the oligarchy. Unless this takes place neither the truth of the Gospel nor its ministers will be safe among us. I have in mind nothing cruel, but what I do is friendly and paternal. I desire to save some who are perishing through ignorance. I am labouring to preserve liberty. Fear nothing; for we shall so manage all things with the goodness and the alliance of God that you shall not be ashamed nor displeased because of us.”
… marched thirty thousand strong to Cappel, a border town ten miles directly south of Zurich. Zwingli accompanied the troops as chaplain, as his office obligated him to do. He went on horseback, carrying “on his shoulder a beautiful halberd.” It was his plan to strike a quick and crushing blow upon the disorganised Five Cantons, and then extort from them the abrogation of the Austrian alliance, the renunciation of foreign pensions, and full liberty to preach the Reformed doctrines within their borders. It was to see that these things were insisted on that he accompanied the host. But as they were directly opposite to the Five Cantons’ ideas and could only be obtained by bloodshed, he was held by them to be their deadliest foe; and the Zurich authorities, knowing that he was considered by them as the cause of the whole trouble, had endeavoured to keep him in Zurich and even appointed another to be chaplain.
But the first Cappel war was over as soon as it was begun. On June 10th the allies received a moving appeal from the chief magistrate of Glarus to await a proposition from the Five Cantons. Zwingli perceived the folly of treating with them and patching up a peace which secured none of the objects of the threatened war. He said to the bearer of the appeal: “You will have to give an account to God for this. While the enemy is weak and without arms, he speaks fair: you believe him and make peace. But when he is fully armed, he will not spare us, and then no peace will he make with us.” The man replied: “I trust in God that all will turn out well. Let us act always for the best.”
On June 11th, Zwingli wrote from the field to the Small and Great Councils of Zurich a long letter, in which he gave his idea of the necessary conditions for a lasting peace: I. The Forest Cantons must allow the Word of God to be freely preached among them. II. Pensions were to be for ever foresworn. III. Distribution of such pensions was to be punished corporally and by fine. IV. The Forest Cantons were to pay indemnity to Zurich and Bern.
Zurich and the Forest Cantons made peace but Zwingli was right. Within two years they waged war against Zurich again, and killed Zwingli at the same spot at Kappel, on 11 October, 1531.