Still Another Rejection, By an Actual Theologian, of the Pope’s Ridiculous Effort to Defile the Lord’s Prayer

Ulrich K. writes

“Diese Sichtweise passt zu einem modernen Mainstream-Christentum, das den biblischen Gott von allen verstörenden, widersprüchlichen und abgründigen Zügen reinigen will”, schreibt Körtner in seinem Kommentar. “Das Gottesbild wird nach den Maßstäben heutiger Moral passend gemacht und die Theodizeefrage – die Frage also nach Gottes Güte und Gerechtigkeit angesichts des Bösen und des Leidens – durch fromme Floskeln überdeckt.”

#Bam.  Read the rest.  The Pontiff should stick to whatever it is he was trained in and not dabble in interpretive issues.

You Can Stop Trying to Convince Me That Xmas Is Acceptable- It Isn’t

And the reason is as simple as can be explained in two sentences.  The latter the most important:

The problem with the x = Chi explanation that so many love to spew from their keyboards and mouths during this season is that the general public knows NOTHING of it, or Greek.   And, most importantly of all, all they see is an x, and in Greek, x is Xi, not Chi.

If you’re going to foist a ridiculous pseudo-explanation on the public in an attempt to justify laziness in abbreviation, please, at least learn enough Greek to know the difference between χ  and ξ .  Otherwise, you just look silly.

UPDATE:  NO, you have NEVER heard someone say -‘Chi- mas’ but you’ve heard plenty of people say ‘X-mas’ because to them X is X.  So stop pretending otherwise.

Today is the Anniversary of the Promulgation of the ‘Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary’

Of this ridiculous doctrine, Adolf von Harnack writes

Perhaps the plainest evidence of the decline of an inwardly grounded doctrine of salvation and of the growing attachment of value to creaturely goodness in the last centuries of the Middle Ages, is the doctrine of Mary, as embracing both the doctrine of her immaculate conception and the doctrine of her co-operation in the work of redemption.  We have seen above (Vol. V., p. 235) that even Augustine had doubts as to whether Mary was subject to the general law of sin, and Paschasius Radbertus already knows that Mary was sanctified in the womb. Anselm, certainly, who on this point was more Augustinian than Augustine, had distinctly rejected the immaculate conception (Cur deus homo II. 16); but a few years after his death we meet with a festival in Lyons (1140) in honour of the immaculate conception of Mary, which proves how widely current the superstition had already become in the lower strata of the Church.*

The doctrine, in short, is evidence of the corruption of the doctrine of salvation itself. And nothing less. And, most importantly, the doctrine has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. People who talk about the immaculate conception of Jesus simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

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*Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma, ed. T. K. Cheyne and A. B. Bruce, trans. Neil Buchanan, vol. 6, Harnack’s History of Dogma (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1899), 312–313.

Pope Francis Errs When He Mangles the Lord’s Prayer

Don’t miss this grand rejoinder by an actual biblical scholar to Pope Francis’s attempt to distort the Lord’s Prayer:

Diskussion um das Gebet der Gebete: Papst Franziskus bemängelt, »und führe uns nicht in Versuchung« sei eine schlechte Übersetzung. Die französischen Bischöfe haben die Bitte bereits geändert. Darf man am »Gebet des Herrn« einfach herumlaborieren? Bibel-Experte Thomas Söding aus Münster rät zu Vorsicht.

Kirche+Leben: Herr Professor Söding, darf man Jesus korrigieren?

Thomas Söding: Wenn man es kann … Aber wer soll das können? Wer will Jesus schulmeistern? Der Papst sicher nicht. Aber im Ernst: Wichtig ist, Jesus zu interpretieren, sodass er heute verstanden werden kann. Der erste Schritt ist dann aber, zu identifizieren, was er zu seiner Zeit gesagt hat und was die Evangelien von ihm überliefert haben. Das ist viel reicher als das, was viele Verteidiger und Kritiker daraus gemacht haben.

Read the rest.

Quote of the Day

calvin87We must carefully notice these two things—that a knowledge of all the sciences is mere smoke, where the heavenly science of Christ is wanting; and man, with all his acuteness, is as stupid for obtaining of himself a knowledge of the mysteries of God, as an ass is unqualified for understanding musical harmonies.*

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*John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, 1:20.

Franklin Graham, Your Blind Support of Donald Trump is not Just Wrong, it’s Evil

And what does Scripture say of people aligning with evil?

Woe to the rebellious children — declares Yahweh — who make plans which do not come from me and make alliances not inspired by me, and so add sin to sin! (Isa. 30:1)

You’re sinning, Franklin.  You and Metaxas and Falwell Jr. and White and the rest.  You’re sinning.  Repent while you can.  Read Isaiah 30 in its entirety and understand it’s theological message, Franklin.  You’ve chosen evil against Yahweh, and you’ll answer for it.  You and Metaxas and Falwell Jr and White and all the rest.

No One Really Believes They’re Being Cannibals at the Lord’s Supper

Because no one really believes they’re literally eating the body and blood of Christ.  Oh sure, they say they are- but they don’t truly really think they’re chewing flesh and drinking blood.  Because that’s cannibalism.  And no one really believes they’re being cannibals when they take the Lord’s Supper.

When all is said and done, every Christian is a Zwinglian.

Your Work is Done When Every Christian is Mature in Faith

And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; to knit God’s holy people together for the work of service to build up the Body of Christ, until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself. Then we shall no longer be children, or tossed one way and another, and carried hither and thither by every new gust of teaching, at the mercy of all the tricks people play and their unscrupulousness in deliberate deception (Eph. 4:11-14).

An Open Letter to Christian Supporters of Roy Moore

Friends,

I write as a Christian theologian to warn you that the path you’re walking is hazardous both to your spiritual health and to the reputation of your church and your faith.

Many years ago the Apostle Paul encountered a group of people such as yourselves- supporters of immorality and willing to turn a blind eye to the evil being done in your midst and to your faith.  Paul wrote those people these words:

It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, immorality of a kind that is not found even among gentiles: that one of you is living with his stepmother. And you so filled with your own self-importance! It would have been better if you had been grieving bitterly, so that the man who has done this thing were turned out of the community.  For my part, however distant I am physically, I am present in spirit and have already condemned the man who behaved in this way, just as though I were present in person.  When you have gathered together in the name of our Lord Jesus, with the presence of my spirit, and in the power of our Lord Jesus,  hand such a man over to Satan, to be destroyed as far as natural life is concerned, so that on the Day of the Lord his spirit may be saved.  Your self-satisfaction is ill founded. Do you not realise that only a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?  Throw out the old yeast so that you can be the fresh dough, unleavened as you are. (1 Cor. 5:1-7)

To be sure Roy Moore isn’t sleeping with his step-mother.  He’s doing something worse.  He’s a molester of children.  You may choose to ignore this fact, call it fake news, or view it as a liberal conspiracy; none of those evasions matter.  The fact is, Moore’s deeds have hurt the faith he claims to hold and your support is equally harmful.  You are obliged to cast Moore out.  Perhaps he will repent, perhaps not.  That is less your concern than the matter of your own betrayal of Christian faith in your support of evil.

Paul later writes to this same wrongly-behaving congregation these words:

Put yourselves to the test to make sure you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Do you not recognise yourselves as people in whom Jesus Christ is present? – unless, that is, you fail the test.  But we, as I hope you will come to recognise, do not fail the test.  It is our prayer to God that you may do nothing wrong — not so that we have the credit of passing a test, but because you will be doing what is right, even if we do not pass the test.  We have no power to resist the truth; only to further the truth; and we are delighted to be weak if only you are strong. What we ask in our prayers is that you should be made perfect.  That is why I am writing this while still far away, so that when I am with you I shall not have to be harsh, with the authority that the Lord has given me, an authority that is for building up and not for breaking down. (2 Cor. 13:5-10)

Silence in the face of evil is the greatest failure of authentic Christian faith.  So far, you’re failing the test.  Perhaps because your faith isn’t real.  But if it is real faith, act like real Christians and reject, renounce, and decry evil.  That’s what real Christians do.

Against ‘Cultural Christianity’

As evangelicals, we ridiculed ‘cultural Christianity’ privately (conferences, seminary) while accepting it publicly (church membership). It grew our churches, our buildings, our influence…and we are paying the price.  We let ‘cultural Christians’ feel at home with us so it’s hard for outsiders to believe us now when we claim we aren’t with them. Obviously, we can point to exceptions but unfortunately not enough of them. – Chad Chambers

Sunday Is Almost Here…

And it’s a good time to remember that if God matters to you, worship matters to you.  On the other hand, if worship doesn’t matter to you, it’s fairly safe to say that God doesn’t matter that much to you either.  ‘Do not fail to assemble with one another, as has become the custom of some’ – Hebrews 10:25.

Zwingli on the Source of War: Atheism

In 1522, on May 16th to be precise, Zwingli published his ‘anti-war’ book Ein göttlich vermanung an die ersamen, wysen, eerenvesten, eltisten Eydgnossen zü Schwytz, das sy sich vor frömden herren hütind und entladind, Huldrichi Zwinglii, einvaltigen verkünders des euangelii Christi Jhesu and in it he writes, towards the beginning while describing the source of conflict-

How does it happen that we Christians who are united by such powerful agencies have much greater quarrels than unbelievers? And how does it happen that in a Confederacy in which until now a fraternal love prevailed, for the sake of foreign lords violent quarrel has arisen? Answer: Real piety, by which is meant true worship and prayer to God, has disappeared among us, as St. Paul writes to the Romans [Rom. 1:28–31]: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” From these words of Paul we learn that all these evils which he enumerates arise when we desert God, do not fully recognise Him, do not look up to Him, do not place our whole trust in him, but on the contrary despise Him and regard him somewhat as we would an old sleeping dog.

War comes when God is forgotten!  That’s Zwingli’s stunning observation.  I recommend that you get hold of the book and read it.  It’s fantastic and indeed the editor of the English edition of Zwingli’s works writes in the introductory preface

… what [Zwingli] says about war is worthy of republication by our Peace Societies, and they are entirely at liberty to use this translation.*

The combatants in Israel and Gaza (and in other conflicts around the world) may think that they are doing something grand and good and great and helpful but war is never any of those things.  War is atheism and those who perpetrate it are, practically speaking, atheists because war is rejection of and denial of God.

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*The Latin Works and The Correspondence of Huldreich Zwingli: Together with Selections from His German Works, Volume 1 (S. M. Jackson, Ed.), p.130.

When It Comes to People Who Call Themselves Christians, Judge Away!

In my letter, I wrote to you that you should have nothing to do with people living immoral lives.  I was not including everybody in this present world who is sexually immoral, or everybody who is greedy, or dishonest or worships false gods — that would mean you would have to cut yourselves off completely from the world.   In fact what I meant was that you were not to have anything to do with anyone going by the name of brother who is sexually immoral, or is greedy, or worships false gods, or is a slanderer or a drunkard or dishonest; never even have a meal with anybody of that kind.  It is no concern of mine to judge outsiders. It is for you to judge those who are inside, is it not?  But outsiders are for God to judge. You must banish this evil-doer from among you (1 Cor. 5:9-13).  — St Paul

You got it, brother.  You got it…

53 Pastors in Alabama Have Signed Letters Supporting A Pedophile, And Denying Christ

And make no mistake, publicly supporting a pedophile is also the public denial of Christ.  Why?  Because the public endorsement of sin is the public repudiation of God.  I wouldn’t want to be any of these heretics on judgment day, because here’s what awaits them-

‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven.  But the one who disowns me in the presence of human beings, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.  (Matt. 10:32-33)

Those ‘Pastors’ are, to a man, political opportunists who have sold their souls to a political party.  They are doomed.  No sir, I wouldn’t want to be any one of them.