Author Topic: The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)  (Read 177024 times)

JDB

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Under this topic of fate of the nation, I was wondering what it means for us when we play fast and loose with the truth. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo spoke recently regarding U.S- Israel relations https://www.state.gov/the-u-s-and-Israel-a-friendship-for-freedom/ .  In this this speech he notes the decimation of the Christian Church in Iraq, but puts the blame almost completely on ISIS, without noting the horrid role played by the 2003 American invasion. About 2.1 million Iraqis had to flee, about 1.7 million into Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed- not all by ISIS- not even close. Now it appears the Sec. of State wants to get support for more intervention.

One might also note that the Secretary states that anti- Zionism is now considered a form of anti- Semitism. Really? Is it anti-Semitic to disagree with Israeli public policy?

Finally, his use of Scriptural imagery is clearly dangerous and shows how he wants to wrap his idea in the cloak of Christianity. He clearly sees. Himself in the role of bringing about an end- time kingdom.

Jeff Berndt
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 03:49:57 PM by JDB »

peter_speckhard

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Under this topic of fate of the nation, I was wondering what it means for us when we play fast and loose with the truth. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo spoke recently regarding U.S- Israel relations https://www.state.gov/the-u-s-and-Israel-a-friendship-for-freedom/ .  In this this speech he notes the decimation of the Christian Church in Iraq, but puts the blame almost completely on ISIS, without noting the horrid role played by the 2003 American invasion. About 2.1 million Iraqis had to flee, about 1.7 million into Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed- not all by ISIS- not even close. Now it appears the Sec. of State wants to get support for more intervention.

One might also note that the Secretary states that anti- Zionism is now considered a form of anti- Semitism. Really? Is it anti-Semitic to disagree with Israeli public policy?

Finally, his use of Scriptural imagery is clearly dangerous and shows how he wants to wrap his idea in the cloak of Christianity. He clearly sees. Himself in the role of bringing about an end- time kingdom.

Jeff Berndt
Jeff, I just read the speech and didn't take away at all what you ascribe to it. Anti-Zionism is not the same thing as disagreement with Israeli public policy; if it were, nobody could ever have any platform to run against an incumbent Israeli official. And the thing about the end-time kingdom-- where do you see that so "clearly"? He praised a Democrat president, Truman, and likened him to Trump, and differentiated the religious freedom in Israel to elsewhere in the region.

It was a tad rah-rah for my tastes, and clearly a pro-Trump campaign speech, but certainly was unremarkable for such a speech in terms of playing fast and loose with the truth.

JDB

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Peter, I guess I see the anti- Zionism aspect in that it is coupled with comments regarding the annexation of the Golan Heights. It also has to do with the context of this administration's current policies against Iran, policies which are in line with the Israelis. Really? Did we need to unilaterally break the JCPOA, impose sanctions, etc.?

Moreover, I find his of blame for the reduction of Christians in Iraq being placed solely on ISIS to be in error, unless other "nefarious actors" include the U.S. This goes right along with statements by this administration that Iranian revolutionary guard was responsible for destabilizing Syria, rather than a combination of the U. S. invasion of Iraq coupled by U.S. sales of weapons to dissident groups in Syria. Again, there were statements regarding the downing of the drone that would have one believe that the Iranians were goading us into a response when clearly we are the ones doing the goading. The Secretary's words must be taken within that context.

Finally, he is playing to the dispensational/ Christian millennialist crowd- at least in part. One has to consider how they will take his words.

peter_speckhard

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Peter, I guess I see the anti- Zionism aspect in that it is coupled with comments regarding the annexation of the Golan Heights. It also has to do with the context of this administration's current policies against Iran, policies which are in line with the Israelis. Really? Did we need to unilaterally break the JCPOA, impose sanctions, etc.?

Moreover, I find his of blame for the reduction of Christians in Iraq being placed solely on ISIS to be in error, unless other "nefarious actors" include the U.S. This goes right along with statements by this administration that Iranian revolutionary guard was responsible for destabilizing Syria, rather than a combination of the U. S. invasion of Iraq coupled by U.S. sales of weapons to dissident groups in Syria. Again, there were statements regarding the downing of the drone that would have one believe that the Iranians were goading us into a response when clearly we are the ones doing the goading. The Secretary's words must be taken within that context.

Finally, he is playing to the dispensational/ Christian millennialist crowd- at least in part. One has to consider how they will take his words.
I think reading his words through the lens of how you think dispensationalists will hear them is a fallacy. It is like the people who point out dog whistles, which is really just a way to read their own pre-conceived opinions of others into the text.

Brian Stoffregen

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I have long thought that the Left is both more optimistic and more pessimistic than I am. More optimistic in that they believe that they can really create a good approximation of heaven on earth if only allowed to arrange things. And more pessimistic in that they also believe that nothing good can happen unless they are in charge. People simply cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs but need the Leff to rule everything.


Shouldn't our doctrine of original sin cause all of us to believe that people cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs? Won't sinful human nature cause them to decide and act with selfish and self-centered interests?


Our government steps in when a corporation gets too big and powerful (a monopoly) to divide it into smaller, less powerful corporations. White collar crimes are usually about a powerful person finding ways to get himself more money through questionable means. Some VA administrators lied on their forms so that they received the bonuses for the number of patients served in the proper manner of time. Their concern was their bonus, not better patient care.

Does that mean that you would support the Left taking an Anti-Choice position since people cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs and need government to direct them to proper choices. Also, does it matter whether the government is dominated by people on the Left or the Right? Is Left leaning authoritarianism inherently more benign than Right leaning authoritarianism? Why? In the current discussion on gun control, is it better for some government agency that may or may not actually know much about hunting to determine what hunters need for hunting and what they should be permitted to own and use?


The independent overseer does not need to be the government. Our pro-choice statement argues that the decision for an abortion should not be an individual one; but one made in consultation with others.


Of course the oversight group should include knowledgable people from all sides. I appreciated my time in Wyoming when nearly every male in the congregation was a hunter. Our church cookbook had a "wild game" section. Certainly hunters should be included in discussions and decisions about gun control; but also include parents who lost a child at Sandy Hook or Columbine or Las Vegas, etc. Throw in parents who lost a son through suicide by gun or through an accidental shooting in the home.


The group would have to be committed to listening and respect each other. That allows those who hunt to have access to the firearms they wish; those who want protection have access to weapons designed for protection; and those who have suffered the pain of gun violence have been heard and safeguards are in place to try and prevent the use of guns in violent ways; children can feel safe going to school; worshipers can feel safe going to church, etc.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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The church deals in the spiritual by faith, in which self-centeredness is deadly. The government deals with the temporal, in which one's motives are immaterial. It is in no way the government's job to combat selfishness as a motive, only destructive actions.

If three people redevelop blighted areas into low income housing complexes, one doing it purely for the business opportunity to make a profit, one to make a show of being altruistic and be praised for it, and one because it was a good thing to do, the church might condemn the first two and praise the third. The government ought not even try to distinguish them; all that matters temporally is that houses got built.


An old saying: They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.


The church seeks to follow Jesus, not just through death to an eternal resurrection; but also in ways of loving our neighbors in the temporal world.


Making a profit is not necessarily bad, but exploiting others for one's own benefit is.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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The church deals in the spiritual by faith, in which self-centeredness is deadly. The government deals with the temporal, in which one's motives are immaterial. It is in no way the government's job to combat selfishness as a motive, only destructive actions.

If three people redevelop blighted areas into low income housing complexes, one doing it purely for the business opportunity to make a profit, one to make a show of being altruistic and be praised for it, and one because it was a good thing to do, the church might condemn the first two and praise the third. The government ought not even try to distinguish them; all that matters temporally is that houses got built.


An old saying: They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.


The church seeks to follow Jesus, not just through death to an eternal resurrection; but also in ways of loving our neighbors in the temporal world.


Making a profit is not necessarily bad, but exploiting others for one's own benefit is.
But there is no way for a secular law to distinguish someone making a profit with good motives from someone making the same profit from bad motives.

Brian Stoffregen

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So, are you suggesting that some individuals and collectives are less possessed by "selfishness" (sinful human nature) than other individuals and collectives?


I'm stating that when making decision or critiquing decisions as an "outsider" - that is, someone who receives no benefit regardless of the decision, they are not as likely to be motivated by "selfishness" or "self-centeredness". Judges recuse themselves when they might have a personal stake in the decision they have to render.


I'm also not saying that every decision motivated by selfishness are necessarily bad. Many people do many good things for others because of the good feelings they get from such behaviors.


However, selfishness can easily turn into greed, which is always seen as a sin to be avoided in scriptures.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

David Garner

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Shouldn't our doctrine of original sin cause all of us to believe that people cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs? Won't sinful human nature cause them to decide and act with selfish and self-centered interests?


Absolutely.  And when the tendencies of sinful human nature are concentrated in the collective form of a central human government, allied with the power of legal coercion to force compliance, we have simply escalated the problem to monstrous proportions.

Tom Pearson

What about about human tendencies when spiritual authority is concentrated in the collective form of one group?  Might the problem become more confounded when the Bible is quoted to claim God intends that spiritual authority is concentrated (given) to one group, class, position, or sex?

Just asking....

Who really says that though?  Mothers have spiritual authority over themselves and their children.  They certainly have spiritual influence, if not power, over their husbands.  I am an Orthodox Christian today because my wife moved me out of complacency.  I thank her for that.

I would suggest the Theotokos has spiritual authority.  She is the pre-eminent example of what a Christian should be.  So I would further suggest that "authority" is not quite the same thing as ordination.  We can order things such that women cannot be priests or bishops, and yet still have them exert a high degree of influence.  I know when our Khouria speaks, I listen.  Carefully.  My daughters teach me constantly.  They are examples to me. They don't have to be priests to do so.

My wife wrote this on FB a few days ago.  It seems appropriate to this discussion.

"Ive heard many a feminist say that Christian churches that do not allow women to serve in an official capacity are devaluing women. If these feminists actually came to one of these services they may see a woman not serving the Eucharist or giving the homily, but what they will see is also a service to the church and to God. They would see a mother making her children behave, a mother making their teen children get up out of bed and be in church where they belong instead of in the world. They would see a mother faithfully bringing her baby to Holy Baptism. They would see a mother preparing her son to serve as an acolyte, a subdeacon, a deacon or praise be to God, a Priest (or Pastor). They would see women helping each other with their children. They would see women organizing community service programs....yes, we may not serve in an 'official' capacity but we are a valuable member of our churches and I can assure these feminists that our men would be the first to tell them that. And as I was once told by a family member that 'my weird husband brought me to the Orthodox Church,' I would say to them....no, it was me that brought my husband to the Orthodox Church. And thank God for it. And thank God for the men that tirelessly serve our churches each week. You all are a true blessing."

We had two teenage boys -- both of them just graduated from high school -- ordained as subdeacons in the past year.  After congratulating them on their ordination, the first people I went to next were their parents.  I made sure to thank their mothers for faithfully bringing them to this point, and raising them to serve the Church.

Who said anything about ordination?????

marie

I did.  In drawing a distinction between not allowing the ordination of women to Holy Orders versus not allowing them to have any authority whatsoever.  Your suggestion was that someone thinks "spiritual authority" ought to be "concentrated in the collective form of one group," and specifically that "spiritual authority is concentrated (given) to one group, class, position, or sex" in the Bible (according to such persons).  My point is I don't think very many people really think that.

I grant there are the hardcore people who think that women cannot exercise any authority at all over any man, but I think those are the vast minority.  They certainly aren't representative of views I've encountered in the LCMS, much less in the Orthodox Church.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Charles Austin

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David Garner writes:
I grant there are the hardcore people who think that women cannot exercise any authority at all over any man, but I think those are the vast minority.
I comment:
Id still worry about any minority that gets vast. ;)
But I guess they would remain a minority, so those totally against spiritual authority for women would be, what? - half-vast?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

David Garner

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Well, as one example, and perhaps I've missed it, but I haven't seen such sentiments here.  I've never heard any pastor I've been with or encountered in the LCMS stating anything remotely like that.  Oddly, the WELS pastors I've encountered took the full-blown functional view and said things like "a woman could be a pastor over a congregation comprised only of women," prompting me to reply "well, since Lutherans don't have monasticism, what sort of congregation would that be?"

The point is -- I don't think this is anywhere near a widespread view.  At least not in the circles we all run in.  I'll leave the radical fundies to speak for themselves, but I don't think any of them are here.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

pastorg1@aol.com

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I was surprised where misogyny creeps in the church.

Our Episcopal Diocese, as is traditional, has male church musicians and male choir.

Our superb church musician, a female, has been jostled around logistically in order to frustrate her skill and planning during important liturgical celebrations.

And this, in San Francisco...
Pete Garrison

Dan Fienen

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Some have suggested that at least a few in the LCMS are turning it into a "purity cult." Maybe so, maybe not, neither is it clear how successful the effort will be. However, I suggest that elements of the Demo ratic Party are making a similar move there, specifically AOC and her compatriots. When Republicans tried this it benefitted neither the Republican Party, nor the nation. You can still hear the cries about Rinos, Republicans In Name Only. How long before they bemoan the Dinos?


For those who dream of President Trump being elected out of the White House in 2020, AOC's temper tantrums cannot be good news. Her purity cultus will not win the general election but screaming about it and efforts to enforce it on the Democratic Party could hurt whoever the eventual candidate turns out to be. I doubt that her wing of the party will be satisfied with dictating elements of the platform as her tantrum over Democats voting for the border funding bill that SHE had rejected demonstrates.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 08:10:16 PM by Dan Fienen »
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George Erdner

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Adolf Hitler's regime rounded up 6,000,000+ Jews, and millions of other people that the Nazis declared to be subhumans or undesirable, and hauled them in boxcars to death camps where they were slaughtered in wholesale lots. But first, the Nazis made sure no one had any sort of weapons for self-defense.

Ask anyone who was alive in Germany in the 1920's if they believed, at the time, that the German government would ever undertake a program of mass murder.

The Second Amendment is not about people being able to go hunting, or shoot at targets.

If you don't want to own a gun, don't own a gun. And if you are ever in danger from a criminal, do NOT call the police, because the police will have guns. Just make your peace with God and die.

Dan Fienen

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George, I don't entirely agree with your post. I don't own a gun and don't want to own a gun. My assessment of my and my family's danger is low, based on where I live, I'm not interested in hunting, and don't have the skills or wish to invest the time and money to develope the skills to be a good responsible gun owner. But I certainly will call the police if threatened and hope they bring guns. I don't object to guns, just don't want to own one myself.
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