The Feast of My Namesake

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Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

[This Collect comes from Lutheran Service Book, and I found it here]

ALMIGHTY and merciful God, who didst call Saint Timothy to endure hardship, as a good soldier of thy Son: Strengthen us in like manner to stand firm in adversity, that we may obtain salvation with eternal glory; through the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

[This Collect and further information can be found here]

Timotheos

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35 Years of Human Sacrifice

The law that reads into the Constitution the legality of (certain) murders is seven years older than I am. I hope it dies before I do.  [Here’s a link.]

Moloch is pleased, but that’s what happens when you play the whore with idolatrous women (for example).

Kyrie eleison. And He does, for those who have borne the burdens of their abortions for too long. If that’s you, you don’t have to carry it any longer; Jesus already carried it up onto the cross and buried it in the ground. “And all I can say is I knew you before/You were beautiful back then/You could be beautiful again…”

Timotheos

Abortions Down; Births Up

According to a survey by the Guttmacher Institute, abortions are all the way down to 1.2 million! Yeah, great.

The Guttmacher Institute, which surveyed abortion providers nationwide, said there likely were several reasons for the decline, including more effective use of contraceptives, lower levels of unintended pregnancy, and greater difficulty obtaining abortions in some parts of the country.

Clearly, Planned Parenthood (the infanticide arm of the Guttmacher Institute) can’t be happy about this dip in abortions. They’re all about removing that “greater difficulty.”

In the same list of links, there’s this. I don’t have enough information to know if there is any correlation, but there’s this in the article:

Experts believe there is a mix of reasons: a decline in contraceptive use, a drop in access to abortion, poor education and poverty.

So the reason for fewer abortions is “more effective use of contraceptives” and the reason for more births is “a decline in contraceptive use.” I suppose that means that, while fewer people are using contraceptives (hence, more births), but that those who are using them are using them better (hence, fewer abortions).

I don’t really know if there’s a common point behind these articles, but I was struck by the similarity in language between the reasons suggested in the two articles.  A few thoughts: I find it hard to believe that people would have trouble gaining access to an abortuary, regardless of where they live.  Also, Planned Less-Parenthood is doing its best to make sure that all women have access to abortion, especially the poorest.  Hey, we can fight life and poverty at the same time!  An end to poverty in our generation!  Kill all the poor people!  (Oops, did I say that aloud?)

Each year, approximately five million low-income women receive family planning services from clinics that receive funding from Title X (10), America’s family planning program. [That’s from here.]

[Or check this:] Of the 4.7 million women served by these clinics, 43 percent received care at health departments, 33 percent received care at Planned Parenthood health centers, 13 percent received care at other independent community-based clinics, seven percent received care at hospitals, and four percent received care at community or migrant health centers (AGI, 2004; Frost et al., 2004).

What does it mean when the G.I. says abortions are down because of lower levels of unintended pregnancy?  That Pee-Pee (new favorite name!) has been winning the war against children?  (Sorry, I mean: “against unwanted children”.)  I don’t know, but I’m 99% sure that if Pee-Pee is involved, it ain’t good.  Although they are pretty good at spinning the study:

Abortion rates declined worldwide from 1995 to 2003, according to a study published last month by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO). There were four million fewer abortions in 2003 than in 1995. The study found that the abortion rate declined most in developed countries where it is safe and legal. Significantly, the rate in developing countries, where abortion is usually illegal, was roughly the same as in developed countries. Abortion rates were the lowest in Western Europe, where contraceptives are widely available and abortion is generally legal and safe, and highest in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, where abortion is mostly illegal and unsafe. The findings of the report reinforce the importance of the availability of contraceptives and safe, legal abortions.

Wait: “Significantly, the rate in developing countries, where abortion is usually illegal, was roughly the same as in developed countries.”  But: “Abortion rates were the lowest in Western Europe, where contraceptives are widely available and abortion is generally legal and safe, and highest in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, where abortion is mostly illegal and unsafe. The findings of the report reinforce the importance of the availability of contraceptives and safe, legal abortions.”  Sorry, maybe I missed something, but if the rates are “roughly the same,” then how does this report “reinforce the importance” of Pee-Pee’s agenda?

Timotheos

Why Can Humans Forgive?

The following comment was posted anonymously on this post.

I have had this question for many years and no one (even priests) have given a good answer.

Christians confess to priests thinking that they are forgiven, how does that work? i mean, lets be honest, confessions to another human, and the human then tells us that we are forgiven??? on what authority does this human have to say that we are forgiven, even if he is a priest, surely only God can forgive us and only He deciedes if we are forgiven or not.

Any reply would be much appreciated.

The answer is, at least for starters, very short and easy: because Jesus told us (the Church) to forgive sins.

The Scripture references with which to begin would be these: Matthew 16:15-19 and John 20:19-23.  You might also check this site.

Timotheos

Next?

I’m not against bars. I’m not against shot glasses. I’m not against churches, or even churches trying new things. I am against churches giving away shot glasses in bars so that they can “impress people who don’t [go to church].”

There is a fundamental problem with using marketing like this, which is that it is never possible to satisfy people’s insatiable hunger for the new, the next, the bigger and better. You want to give away shot glasses with your church’s name to bar patrons? Fine. But what’s next? Filling shot glasses in your church? (Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having the annual meeting of a congregation over a few beers. I think it would make for fewer disagreements.)

You may be able to rely on marketing ploys to get people into the building, but I guarantee that unless you have the funds, the space, and the personnel to keep up with whims and trends, it is likely they aren’t going to stay. So your attendance is at 700. How many of those come regularly, and how many are there to check out the church whose name is on shot glasses? The marketing game will never be won by churches, nor should it be. We’re not selling a product; we’re not attracting customers; we’re not moving units. We’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and distributing His gifts. If you have to spice that up, you either haven’t understood the Gospel in the first place, or it’s not the Gospel that you’re preaching (see the subject of the previous post).

Timotheos

Mere Jesus Syndrome: Case in Point

Joel Osteen.

[See the original MJS post here.]

The following is from Chris Wallace’s interview with Joel Osteen:

WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?

OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.

And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would — anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.

WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

OSTEEN: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.

I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.

You want to know what the end result is when we start saying “What’s the problem?  We all believe in Jesus”?  Joel Osteen on Mormons.  Theology?  No big deal.  We all believe in Jesus, right?

Maybe the apostles didn’t have any formal theological training (see earlier in the interview), but I guarantee you they weren’t apathetic about who Jesus was.  I mean, is He a Savior who actually does something for you, or does He only teach you stuff you have to do?  (We call that “gnosticism,” Joel.)

Isn’t it great not to get wrapped in the little details about Christianity?  You know, like the Trinity?  It took me about five minutes to look on the Mormon website to find out whom they believe God is, whom they believe Jesus is, whom they believe we are, and what happens to people after they die (you can repent after you die!).  But Joel doesn’t get hung up on theological “details” like those.

And, you can be sure, neither do his followers.  Hey, Mitt Romney says Jesus is his Savior!  Let’s not ask what the meanings of those words are!  He said “Jesus”!  And “Savior”!

Timotheos