Month: March 2019

Believing is Living

Sermon for Laetare Sunday: The Law cannot save us

It is rare that the Propers on a specific Sunday interferes with exactly the identical theme.   The Introit sounds the subject for now:” Laetare Jerusalem: rejoice, O Jerusalem; and come together all  you who love her; rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow; that you may exult and rejoice in the breasts of the consolation.” The flowers on the altar, the increased vestments, the acting of the

Australian archbishop says priests won’t break confession seal, despite new law

An archbishop in Australia has said priests will not report crimes if that entailed breaching the seal of confession, following a brand new mandatory reporting legislation was passed in the Australian Capital Territory.

Beginning Monday, all individuals in the land might need to report allegations of child abuse, for example religious ministers who hear the allegation in a confessional. If convicted, those that fail to record face up to two years in jail.

Church law forbids the sin of any sin declared in confession under the punishment of excommunication.

A 2017 report from the Australian Royal Commission to Institutional Responses to Child Abuse urged the Church change the law as it came into the sexual abuse of children.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn said in a statement,”At the improbable case of unreported child abuse has been disclosed through confession, priests will, without breaking the Seal of Confession, take the chance to promote and help the person to report to civil government.”

“The sexual abuse of children and vulnerable individuals is both a crime and a sin. Civil authorities deal with abuse and crime. The community of religion deals with sin and kindness, healing and support. Along with other excellent citizens, Catholics seek to comply with the Government’s laws. We will continue to keep secure, nurturing environments for our kids,” the announcement March 27 continued.

“The proposed legislation requires any taxpayer to report issues of child abuse to the authorities. The Catholic Church considers that this is a truly substantial development as it will help catch child abuse not only in institutions, but in the broader community,” the statement said.

Talking to reporters following the release of the statement, Prowse reiterated this point, calling it a”game changer.”

“I find it that the confessional will not become the battleground for both criminality and that it is not going to be required for us to have those sorts of hypothetical discussions because it’s already out in the community,” that the archbishop explained.

“I think the optics of everyone in the ACT accountable is a excellent appearance and I believe that’s likely to leave the idea of matters being negotiated of a criminal nature in the confessional, will make it obsolete, mainly obsolete,” he added.

In a subsequent meeting with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Prowse had a concept for folks who had committed sins which were”reportable things”

“Deal with them please before you come in the confessional so we don’t have to deal with crime punishment, when we’re actually there as experts on the merciful picture of the Lord in our midst today,” the archbishop said.

Gordon Ramsay, the attorney general for the Australian Capital Territory, informed the station that”there is no justification for almost any explanations” not to report child abuse.

“I would like ’t believe it’s appropriate for any leader of any establishment to function as finding reasons why they should not be executing this law,” Ramsay told the ABC.

Survey: Most Americans continue to oppose religious service refusals to LGBT people

A new survey finds that Americans are still oppose the notion that small-business owners should be in a position to refuse services or products to gay or lesbian individuals due to their religious beliefs.

An open letter to Cardinal Reinhard Marx

Your Eminence: I noted with interest your latest statement of a”binding synodal process” through which the Church in Germany will talk about the celibacy of the Latin-rite Catholic priesthood, the Church’s sexual ethic and clericalism, […]

Family Launches Legacy Website for Lester Sumrall

Family Broadcasting Corporation announced the launching of, a site dedicated to the sermons, novels, study guides and teaching materials of Dr. Lester Sumrall. The interactive site contains over a million videos, more than a hundred publications and research guides, hundreds of photos and a biographical timeline.

“For the very first time ever, the collected works of our grandfather, Dr. Lester Sumrall, are now readily available for anybody on the planet to get demand and completely free of charge,” said Drew Sumrall, president and CEO of Family Broadcasting, along with Angela Grabowski, vice president, in a joint announcement. “We are honored to reveal this outstanding project and continue the legacy he established over 60 years back. This website is really a labor of love and is going to be a blessing to those seeking to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ.”

For convenience and ease of use, the site pairs the video instruction series with the corresponding book and research guides. All publications and written materials available on the website are available to read and download at no price tag. Furthermore, the web site provides a photographic timeline of their faith-filled lifetime of Dr. Sumrall, getting visitors through his youth, missionary work around the planet, the founding of a multimedia business and far more.

“Dr. Sumrall had a vision to get to the countless billions however untold,” Sumrall and Grabowski continued. “This website ensures that future generations and people of all countries will have full access to these timeless materials.”

Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?

Christianity and the progress of science

The term for a man who thinks in completely naturalistic evolution but who also believes in God is “theistic evolutionist”.

Terrell Clemmons takes a look at the same business of theistic evolutionists “Biologos”, and makes a differentiation between their public statements and the real consequences of the public statements.

Here’s the PR / spin definition of theistic evolution:

Evolutionary creation is “the view that life on earth came about by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Evolution is a way in which God providentially accomplishes his purposes in creation. ” This perspective, also called theistic evolution, has been around since the late nineteenth century, also BioLogos boosts it today in a variety of spiritual and instructional settings.

And this is your no-spin definition of theistic evolution:

As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains it, the central issue dividing Bio-Logos writers out of intelligent design theorists will be BioLogos’s commitment to methodological naturalism (MN),” which is not a scientific theory or empirical finding, but a random rule excluding non-material causation from the outset. “Unfortunately,” Meyer writes,

Methodological naturalism is a demanding doctrine. The rule doesn’t state “try finding a materialistic cause but retain intelligent design in the combination of live chances, in light of what the evidence would show. ” Instead, MN lets you know that you must posit a substance or real cause, whatever the evidence.

What this means, based on BioLogos’s epistemology, is that God is objectively undiscoverable and unknowable–a tenet that sits directly at odds with Christian orthodoxy, that has for centuries held that God is clearly discernible from the organic world (e.g., Romans 1:20). Obviously, this can be theologically problematic, but Meyer also points out that theistic development faces issues from a scientific perspective as well, as the technical literature among evolutionary biologists is moving away from the Darwinian mechanism.

Whenever I speak to theistic evolutionists, I attempt to prevent them from talking about the Bible or their faith, since that’s not what’s interesting to me personally. I don’t actually care about their own history as a religious person, or in which they go to church, or even who their constitution is. While I talk about origins and evolution, I just care about the science.  What the ordinary process of scientific inquiry tells us about nature? Does character have the capability to create every one the types of life with no smart agency playing a role? Or, are there parts of character which are much like computer programs, blog posts, and term papers, in which the very best explanation of this effect is an intelligent broker choosing how to arrange the components to accomplish performance?

I don’t accept molecules-to-man unguided development. This isn’t because I begin with religion and allow religion reevaluate the findings of science. It’s because I think that in the event you take a look at specific regions of pure history, there is clear evidence of agency, like in the origin of life, or the Cambrian explosion. These impacts in nature are both well-studied and well-understood, and they seem much more similar to the signal a computer scientist (such as me) writes than the simplistic “order” made by wind erosion or crystalline routines or anything the blind forces of nature could create. Blind forces are discovered to create tiny changes – short or lengthy finch beaks, fruit flies with 4 wings and no balancers, bacterial resistances.

What’s also interesting is how often theistic evolutionists shed the theism but keep the evolution.

Consider this informative article about Stephen Matheson from Evolution News:

Biologist Stephen Matheson is a longtime critic of the theory of intelligent design. His extensive attacks on Stephen Meyer’s Signature from the Cellular , for a single, ranged against the substantive to the trivial and private. The tone was frequently…abrasive, and we reacted at the time. Together with Arthur Hunt, Dr. Matheson has debated Dr. Meyer in a forum in Biola University. Formerly a professor at an Evangelical Christian school, Calvin College, Matheson is still listed as a Blog Author at the theistic evolutionary website BioLogos, in which it notes that he enjoys “explor[ing] topics of science and Christian beliefs. ”

His theistic evolutionary explorations have now terminated. As he reports his personal blog page, at which he also took a hiatus of more than five years together with a rest from his teaching, he’s “thankfully ” no longer a Christian.

OK. Now ’s only 1 case, however, what about Howard Van Till, also of Calvin College?

Salvo magazine takes a glance at what he wrote in a recent publication:

What follows I shall use the expression “naturalism,” when unqualified, to signify neither more nor the rejection of supernaturalism. Stated positively, naturalism is committed to the belief that most events that exist within this Universe are consistent with and adequately explained by the system of natural causes. This commitment necessarily involves the further belief that the method of natural causes is completely sufficient to account for many events which transpire. Focusing on the dilemma of the Universe’s formational economy, we can say that naturalism–as here defined -involves that the RFEP.

He gives demonstrations for atheist groups entitled “From Calvinism to Freethought”. Freethought is really a euphemism for atheism.

Now, for the large three Western religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. To refuse supernaturalism IS to deny that the strong theism present in the world’s enormous three monotheistic religions. Van Till denies theism as generally understood today. And again, this isn’t even due to the science.  His heavy handed pragmatic premise squashed out any kind of critical inquiry into regions such as the origin of this universe, the cosmic fine tuning, the source or existence, the Cambrian explosion, biological convergence, so-called junk DNA, deleterious mutations, etc. Places where it is possible to see that naturalistic forces can’t perform the creating which Van Till has faith they can.

And also for the record, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the conventional Big Bang cosmology, along with a 4.5 billion Earth. My problem with evolution isn’t Bible-based, it’s science-based. If the science shows the demand for smart reasons, and I think it does, then I believe the naturalists need to correct their assumptions and pre-suppositions to match the evidence. We have blog posts and computer science code, so that’s evidence for a developer. We’ve got DNA and proteins along with sudden origin of body plans, which ’s proof for a programmer, too.

Self-interest must not guide UK foreign aid, prelates write (The Guardian)

“We tire of being told what’s best for British interests; what is best for British interests will be people around the globe able to flourish in their own communities and a help budget concentrated on that,” stated Bishop John Arnold of Salford, chairman of CAFOD (the English bishops’ support and development agency), who was connected by an Anglican prelate.

[IMPORTANT] Guest Op-Ed – Bishop Schneider: On the question of a heretical pope

Notice: We urge every person to reprint, post and share this significant Op-Ed — published first here in Rorate Caeli — wide and far. And we urge You to Keep reading outside the”Read more” link as His Excellency lays out a plausible case for prospective binding canonical criteria to Deal with a”a manifestly heterodox pope”:

From Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Special to Rorate Caeli

March 20, 2019

Declaring Christianity is not a peaceful religion, UK Home Office denies asylum to Iranian Christian (Crux)

Quoting verses from Exodus, Leviticus, and the UK Home Office wrote that “those examples are somewhat inconsistent with your claim that you just converted to Christianity after detecting it’s a ‘serene faith ’ as opposed to Islam, which comprised violence and rage. ”

A woman asked me whether Hell and God’s harshness caused me to doubt Christianity

A long journey Throughout the Nighttime

I had been having a chat on Friday having a brilliant agnostic young woman who knew as much about Christian apologetics because I really did. It was very odd because she was only in her own mid-20s, but she had been speaking about the Cambrian explosion, the resurrection scholarship of Dale Allison and Bart Ehrman, and so forth. She’d seen a lot of arguments, and also knew about intelligent design. Anyhow, she asked me questions which I wanted to compose. The first was if I believed that Hell was unfair, particularly since it’s decided with correct beliefs, and the second was whether I thought that God was sort or harsh.

Regarding, I really do hold to a conventional perspective of Hell being eternal separation from God. I don’t believe that God will be actively torturing people in Hell. I’m not certain if the flames are literal or figurative. However, I do understand that the severity of the punishment will probably be proportional to the quantity of sinning, in the identical way that the rewards from Heaven will be conducive to good action here on Earth. The duration is the same, but the rewards and punishments fit our actions.

I don’t have a problem with Hell since I’ve invested most of my life seeking to talk to folks about spiritual things. Though this young woman was open-minded and fair and religious, more than most people in the church, even, I don’t believe this is normal for non-Christians. Growing up round Muslims and Hindus, and being spoken to Jews, I understand that there just isn’t considerably curiosity about God and Jesus in these other religions. Trust me, I’ve attempted to discuss spiritual things with people of many different religions, along with the thought that religious beliefs ought to be bounded by evidence and logic is virtually nowhere available. It’s maybe perhaps not to be found among many Christians, but at least we have scholars who you can see if you dig hard enough.

So, when people inquire about Hell, the very first thing comes into my head is my adventures trying to get non-Christians to line up their beliefs about God and Jesus using logic and evidence. Though it may seem harsh to close the door on people who don’t need to spend the work, it doesn’t appear unpleasant to me. I’ve had it with those who create everything except an investigation into God’s existence a priority. I don’t have any patience for men and women who think they are extremely smart in their thoughts about God, but then when they get to a discussion, it’s obvious they harbor ’t placed in any attempt.

Would you know the things that they do place a great deal of effort into, though? Entertainment, fun and excitement. I can’t let you know how many times I’ve attempted to donate books or debates to Jewish atheists and Muslim-raised atheists and Hindus (because of household and neighborhood ) in my previous projects, and obtained no attention in fact whatsoever. They were too busy watching the Comedy Channel Democrats, and trying to get their children into Ivy league colleges, etc., to take care about God or Jesus. And God isn’t likely to force them into eternal life together with himthey don’t need this, and they’re not going to receive it. It’s ’so important to be aware that not to prioritize God is a choice. We in the West have leisure time, and also so are ignorant about God after 40 years of leisure time when you have placed time in elsewhere is unacceptable. God expects us to become curious about him and to do our due diligence in investigating him using as much intellect and effort as we put into our educations, careers, marriages, etc..

Regarding her other question about whether I think God is harsh or kind, I just chose to inform her I didn’t think that God was that the sort of God who had to be great to me so that I would enjoy him. I explained to her that I had wanted marriage from a young age, also had prepared very hard for it, but that it had never occurred. I’m uncertain that God is able to cause women to openly want what I didn’t prepare for marriage, like chastity, STEM degrees, gap-less savings and resume. I’m not exactly the smartest man in the world, and I didn’t have family or friends enabling me to get ahead most of the time. It had been very hard to get ready for marriage. However, I understood very late in life that young, unmarried women are normally interested in a guy ’s appearance and at having pleasure – not marriage-ready planning. They don’t need a man who is serious about marriage and children until their mid-30s, that can be far too old for the union plan to get the job done. So, there’s no point in my own marrying today. Does this lack of union make me think that God is unkind? Not whatsoever.

I really do think that God was kind to me with regard to health, education, career and finances. Additionally, I could understand from the Bible (2 Tim 2:3-4) why God may require an unmarried soldier to operate for him. And that doesn’t disturb me, since I’ve read the Bible, and that I didn’t receive the impression from it that God was my own cosmic butler. Although a lot of Western Christians believe that God’s only aim is to make them more happy, there’s no way to really get that meaning from the text. God’s Son must suffer to be able to love his Father self-sacrificially. So it’so clear that God is not “kind” to people who love him in the sense that the majority of people want him to become. In fact, I’d believe in God and serve himeven though he were “harsher” with me than he is currently.

So, why do I need to be a Christian, as opposed to simply accept the scientific arguments for theism, then simply mention that the New Testament is simply not great enough historical evidence to warrant going from theism to Christianity? Well, I did explain to her minimal facts debate, and the historic criteria utilized to obtain them. And I also said that all of us need to have some sort of historical excuse for the early belief in Jesus being God stepping in account, as well as because of his rising from the dead.

However, I think the true reason why I’m a Christian, beyond the evidence, is this everyday experience of dealing with the shortage of curiosity about God and Jesus (and occasionally outright self-delusion) I see in so many individuals. I see it in uneducated men and women, unintelligent people, educated people, intelligent folks. The willful ignorance concerning facts that thing, like the origin of this world, the fine-tuning, the source of life, the Cambrian explosion, etc.. It’s not opposition to Christian particulars, it’s opposition to plain, well-supported scientific facts. I’ve just noticed this in action a lot of with atheists and people of different religions I have lost a lot of sympathy for non-Christians with regard to what God determines to do with them.

It’s not that I am concerned by their own immorality, or their hedonism, chiefly. It’s that I am worried about their lack of curiosity in perplexing the big questions of life in a truth-centered way. The only people I truly feel familiar with are Christians who have been seriously interested in proportioning belief to signs, denying themselves entertaining and excitement when they have to, and putting their time and money to figuring out how to guard God’s honor when it’s called to question. A task that only gets you nothing good from anyone in this world. I believe it is amazing that there are some people, but that’s in which I want to be – at a room with people like that who place God’s goals above their particular desires and requirements.

All my close male friends are either virgins or married as virgins, and they’re into apologetics. If you understood what this means to be in a room with individuals who have carefully selected to live their lives in a quiet, humble way that’s respectful to God and self-sacrificial, then you’d understand why there’s not any substitute for Christianity. In my situation, I just don’t desire God to lump me in with all the people I speak to who don’t have any fascination with truth in religion. I am not going to be more like themgrabbing for happiness, while deliberately shut their eyes to anything that might cause them to have to take God seriously at a self-sacrificial, two-way dating. I have more sympathy for God along with his standing and honor than that I do for the majority of people who I have observed deliberately keeping him ’s length. They need the blessings he supplies, but while avoiding the requirements of a relationship with him. I’m simply not likely to be among them, and I don’t care what people believe .