Archive for the ‘Religion in America’ Category

Reason #4 Why I’m An Orthodox Christian

October 17, 2009

iStock_000000332718XSmall_bookburning

Not content to celebrate Halloween with a “Harvest Festival”, the blind sheep at Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, will be adding a bonfire fueled with ignorance and spiritual delusion.   Here’s a portion of their original website announcement listing some of the satanic BBQ briquettes they’re planning on warming their hands around (not suprisingly, their webpage has been removed – this is a rather “hot” topic for them right now):

Come to our Halloween book burning. We are burning Satan’s bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, etc…

These are perversions of God’s Word, the King James Bible.  We will also be burning Satan’s music such as country , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham Rick Warren Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.

 Wow, Billy Graham and Benny Hinn in the same list!  Did you notice that the Fathers of the Church, like Saint Athanasius, Saint Cyprian, Saint Basil the Great, aren’t even on the list?  I doubt it’s because of their “orthodoxy”, but because these folks are so ignorant of Church history and the source of their own Bible that their vision doesn’t  extend to anything past the Reformation.

Oh and by the way, they’ll be serving a BBQ or fried chicken dinner to everyone who attends.  

Amish Romance is Hot!

July 18, 2009
Lewis

Wholesome = Good

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Lustful = Bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Well, not hot like…you know…, but if you’re writing Christian fiction it seems to be a sure ticket to big sales.    Since the first Amish novels came out 10 plus years ago with Beverly Lewis’s publication of The Shunning, this uniquely Christian genre has seen nothing but growth, even in a down book market. 

As far as romance novels go, you’re likely to get more sparks by rubbing two Amish quilts together.  The novels feature chaste love, family values and biblical virtue with a decidedly Protestant mind frame.   The appeal for readers living in the hectic, pressured, modern life is the chance to escape  into a traditional, self-reliant, setting with strong family values.  These novels aren’t working out a character’s sexual identity, marital infidelities or teenage sexting and binge drinking.   I get that, I totally do; and if I can’t live the agrarian life, reading about it is the next best thing.  As an Orthodox Christian it would be fabulous to have the same literary options available to me; to read well-written (I emphasize ‘well written’) novels about the lives of Orthodox Christians.

Converts to Orthodoxy have a gut love for tradition and changelessness, and often fall head-over-heels with the romanticized, traditional lifestyle of historically Orthodox cultures.  There are all too many well-meaning Orthodox converts who believe that to live the Gospel means to live it as 18th century Russian or Greek peasants.  These are the Barsanuphias Smiths and Anastasia Jones’ of our generation.  It’s a beautiful deception; it’s not reality.  That said, I don’t see anything wrong with using the imagination in a safe Orthodox Christian themed romance novel.   It’s got to be better than the ‘porn by any other name’  mainstream romance novels out there.

I  see two basic themes for our new Orthodox Christian romance novels:

(1)  Serf Fiction – Happy peasants, working in the fields each day, singing cheerful peasant songs in the warm sun.  Of course they stop to pray the Hours whenever they hear the parish church bells ring.  At the end of a long, but fulfilling day, they go home to their quaint little cottage, and have some family time.   The peasant’s teenage daughter, beautiful but pious, has been carrying a secret love for the landowning noble’s equally handsome, pious son.   After many trials, their love overcomes all and they marry.  The couple become reknowned for their charity and both become monastics in their old age. 

(2)  Convert Fiction – Here’s a story that proves long-suffering love triumphs over ignorance and heresy.  Beautiful and faithful Protestant or evangelical girl (her father is of course a hell-fire and brimstone preaching minister) falls in love with a handsome, strong Orthodox boy from a large, ethnically inclined family.  The beautiful girl must overcome the cruel, unbibilical objections and vindictive meddling of her family to wed her true love and find salvation in the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.   The sequel deals with the birth of the first grandchild and the baby’s baptism into the Faith.  You think this is melodramatic twaddle?  Unfortunately, it happens more than you’d like to think.   

Hello Conciliar Press or Light & Life Publishing.  If you’d like to get me a book deal, I’d happily become the Beverly Lewis of Orthodox Christian fiction.   I look good in a scarf, I’m an Orthodox traditionalist, I’m well-versed in the tribulations of a convert life, and I can appreciate a good love story.  It’s a guaranteed bestseller because there’s nothing women find sexier than a Godly man with strong faith and a strong character (even better if he’s wearing black………seminarian cassocks of course).

Some Thoughts on Metropolitan Jonah’s Address to the ACNA

July 6, 2009

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 Since I was out of internet access for a good portion of the last 10 days, I’m catching up on a lot of news and videos (unfortunately, not far enough out of touch to avoid the 24/7 Michael Jackson death watch).   I just got finished watching the presentation of Metropolitan Jonah  (click on the scrolling photo of Met. Jonah) at the inauguration of the Anglican Church in North America in Bedford, Texas, between June 22nd and June 25th.

Every time I hear him speak I’m amazed at his natural and powerful speaking presence.  Sorry Rick Warren, but when I compared your message with Metropolitan Jonah’s, it became apparent that one was speaking with the a spiritual and intellectual mind rooted in the Gospel and the tradition of the Church; the other in cliched phrases and platitudes.  Words, no matter how cleverly presented mean nothing if there isn’t substance to support them.  

As far as the subject of the speech – the unification of the Orthodox Church with the “orthodox” Anglican Church – I’d have to say I’m one of those skeptics who looks at this proposal as maybe a little too visionary and ripe for a big let down in the end.  

My life as a former Protestant and my continuing observations of mainstream Protestantism just doesn’t give me much hope that a greater portion of these denominations won’t eventually fall into liberalism, compromise, and further inter-division.   Secularism and humanism are attacking Christian denominations from both the inside and the outside, weakening, polarizing and splitting what “orthodoxy” they still retain.  I would really like to believe that the ACNA will be different. 

Despite my misgivings, it was heartening to hear the loud and enthusiastic applause supporting the pro-life stance of the Orthodox Church and the ACNA.   But did you hear the crickets chirping when Met. Jonah firmly stated the impossibility of women’s ordination?   It’s solely my soapbox opinion, but I believe that the issue of women priests will be the ultimate stumbling block for this unification process.   Even more so than same-sex gender issues, even more than sacramental or theological questions.  The mad-eyed feminist genie has been let out of the bottle and won’t be easily or willingly stuffed back in.   Which of the proud, smiling, women celebrants at the ACNA inauguration is going to voluntarily laicize themselves for the greater good of unification?   Julia Duin of the The Washington Times commented a few days ago on the quandary ACNA is in with this issue.  I just don’t see how ACNA is going to keep up this schizophrenic liberalism on women priests while standing in the traditional camp on others.  It still sounds like the doctrinal picking and choosing which Metropolitan Jonah said cannot exist for a true orthodox Christianity.

In the end, who knows where this will lead.   Metropolitan Jonah may not know either, but he’s acted with the kind of boldness and promise that characterized his elevation to the episcopacy just a few months ago, and which has renewed the vision of the Orthodox Church in America.   Let us all pray for  Metroplitan Jonah and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in this bold process, and that all will come with a sincere desire to put the Church first for the glory of God.