Friday, April 04, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Today is a day of remembrance to honor a man who called for change in a age of racial instability and social injustice. When I was growing up I had always assumed the Dr. King was just a civil rights leader and nothing else. When I was in the 8th grade I wrote a paper about Dr. King for my Social Studies class in which I took it from the perspective of Dr. King being just a civil rights leader because I knew of nothing else at the time about his life in general. The paper that I did that so many years ago has always been in the back of my mind and for why I was never sure until 2006 when I took a class for seminary called Theology of Suffering and Reconciliation in which I was introduced to Dr. King as a theologian which sparked a renewed interest in him as a person for me that has forever had an impact on me a person to realize he was first a theologian and second a civil rights leader which puts him into a proper persepective in how and why he became a person who forever changed the history of the world. It was not something he wanted to do but was given to do as I believe by God. Even though he was taken 40 years ago he is still speaking to us and having an impact on people, May We Never Forget!!!!!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore????

The following is not my own....Just for the record I have nothing bad to say personally against the former Vice-Prez. Do I think Global Warming(GW) is real or not? Personally I really have no clue( I am trying to study the issue). Do I care about the enviroment yes I do!!! Am I ready to jump on the GW "band wagon" No!, not yet atleast. Do I think something is going on with the enviroment? Heck yes, but not really sure if Global Warming is the real conclusion/answer or not? What should the Christian response be? First, forget Dispensationalist thinking( it has caused more problems not only with the enviroment but in the area of relationships and salvation issues.) Second, treat the earth with respect in knowing God gave us the responsiblitiy to take care of it(Gen. 1:28-30) and we will be held responsible for what we do to His earth. I say all this to say no matter if there is or is not GW we should respect it and honor God the Creator. Grace and Peace RC
Mon Feb 26 2007 17:16:14 ET

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431

Monday, February 19, 2007

Toward Unity

Churches back plan to unite under Pope
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.

The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.

In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the Pope.

The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response.
It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoid schism over gay ordination and other liberal doctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.

The 36 primates at the gathering will be aware that the Pope, while still a cardinal, sent a message of support to the orthodox wing of the Episcopal Church of the US as it struggled to cope with the fallout after the ordination of the gay bishop Gene Robinson.

Were this week’s discussions to lead to a split between liberals and conservatives, many of the former objections in Rome to a reunion with Anglican conservatives would disappear. Many of those Anglicans who object most strongly to gay ordination also oppose the ordination of women priests.

Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacywhen it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.

There are about 78 million Anglicans, compared with a billion Roman Catholics, worldwide. In England and Wales, the Catholic Church is set to overtake Anglicanism as the predominant Christian denomination for the first time since the Reformation, thanks to immigration from Catholic countries.

As the Anglicans’ squabbles over the fundamentals of Christian doctrine continue — with seven of the conservative primates twice refusing to share Communion with the other Anglican leaders at their meeting in Tanzania — the Church’s credibility is being increasingly undermined in a world that is looking for strong witness from its international religious leaders.

The Anglicans will attempt to resolve their differences today by publishing a new Anglican Covenant, an attempt to provide a doctrinal statement under which they can unite.

But many fear that the divisions have gone too far to be bridged and that, if they cannot even share Communion with each other, there is little hope that they will agree on a statement of common doctrine.

The latest Anglican-Catholic report could hardly come at a more sensitive time. It has been drawn up by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, which is chaired by the Right Rev David Beetge, an Anglican bishop from South Africa, and the Most Rev John Bathersby, the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia.

The commission was set up in 2000 by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, then head of the Vatican’s Council for Christian Unity. Its aim was to find a way of moving towards unity through “common life and mission”.

The document leaked to The Times is the commission’s first statement, Growing Together in Unity and Mission. The report acknowledges the “imperfect communion” between the two churches but says that there is enough common ground to make its “call for action” about the Pope and other issues.

In one significant passage the report notes: “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.” Anglicans rejected the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the 16th century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a reunited Church.

In another paragraph the report goes even further: “We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.”

Other recommendations include inviting lay and ordained members of both denominations to attend each other’s synodical and collegial gatherings and conferences. Anglican bishops could be invited to accompany Catholic ones on visits to Rome.

The report adds that special “protocols” should also be drawn up to handle the movement of clergy from one Church to the other. Other proposals include common teaching resources for children in Sunday schools and attendance at each other’s services, pilgrimages and processions.

Anglicans are also urged to begin praying for the Pope during the intercessionary prayers in church services, and Catholics are asked also to pray publicly for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In today’s Anglican Church, it is unlikely that a majority of parishioners would wish to heal the centuries-old rift and return to Rome.

However, the stance of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the present dispute dividing his Church gives an indication of how priorities could be changing in light of the gospel imperative towards church unity.

Dr Rowan Williams, who as Primate of the Church of England is its “focus for unity”, has in the past supported a liberal interpretation of Scripture on the gay issue. But he has made it clear that church unity must come before provincial autonomy. A logical extension of that, once this crisis is overcome either by agreement or schism, would be to seek reunion with the Church of England's own mother Church.

Is it possible that this unity between the Catholics and Anglicans could help ease the rift between the Catholics and certain Protestant denominations (Southern Baptist to name one, also it is the only one I can think of right now). Now as my hardcore fundamentalist friends they will think "God has left the building" if such a thing ever comes to pass. Personally I would for the Catholic and Protestant to come together and see each other in the light and communion of Christ, which we called to be the body of Christ and one Baptism. If it seems that I am being harsh with Protestantism I kinda am. Martin Luther, John Calvin or for that matter anybody in religious circles is ever 100% right. I really believe Jesus does not like the schism between Christian religious groups, so personally anything that can draw us to becoming more one in Spirit I think is a plus. Grace and Peace RC

Friday, November 03, 2006

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AFP) - Archbishop Desmond Tutu has urged for a cancellation of developing countries' debts, likening their suffering to the devastation of the nuclear bombings in Japan.

Tutu made his appeal in Hiroshima, where he and fellow Nobel laureates the Dalai Lama and Betty Williams issued a joint appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons, which obliterated this city and Nagasaki in 1945.

Tutu, a leading moral force against South African apartheid, said that debt relief was a concrete way for Japan to demonstrate its oft-stated post-war commitment to peace.

"Many, many countries, in the way you were here devastated by the atom bomb, are devastated by poverty, by disease, by an international economic system that is fundamentally unjust," Tutu said.

"I hope that your experience of the injustice of atom bombs falling on you would give you the passion, which you already have, of wanting to help others rise from the ashes," he said.

"So Japan ought to be in the forefront in cancelling all international debts that so many countries bear a heavy burden" from, Tutu said.

The Group of Eight major industrialized nations last year agreed to help alleviate poor countries' debt burden, which critics say means more money goes to paying interest than to schools or health care.

Japan, however, has been hesitant about calls for blanket debt relief, arguing that such a move would encourage imprudent borrowing.

Tutu issued a joint statement with the Dalai Lama and Williams, who won the prize for promoting peace in Northern Ireland, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and hailing Hiroshima's "spirit of forgiveness."

"Destruction of your neighbor and even your enemy is destruction of yourself," read the statement of the "Hiroshima International Peace Summit" organized by Japanese activists.

Tutu, who led a reconciliation commission after the end of apartheid, warned against a cycle of retribution.

"The reprisal against the suicide bomber does not bring peace. There is a suicide bomber, a reprisal and then a counter-reprisal. And it just goes on and on," Tutu said.

And he cautioned against linking Islam to terrorism.

"There are terrorists in Ireland. But are they called Christian terrorists? No, they are called the IRA," he said, referring to the
Irish Republican Army in British-ruled Northern Ireland.

"The people who bombed Oklahoma City, they were Christians. But we didn't say Christianity produces these creatures," he said. "There are good Christians and bad Christians and there are good Muslims and bad Muslims."

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, also appealed for understanding among religions.

"The problem is the concept of 'one religion,'" said the Buddhist monk.

"Today the world is heavily interconnected, like India where for at least 2,000 years different traditions have lived together," he said. "There is no longer one truth, or only one religion that is relevant."

"My faith is in the Buddha but I equally have deep respect, admiration and appreciation of other traditions because these traditions serve humanity," he said.

To see what Archbishop Desmond Tutu is about please see

While there are some issues I do not agree on with him he does make some very valid points, also the article comes from

Also, on a personal note while Tutu likens the debt burden to nuclear war, I would consider it an issue of social economic injustice, not war persay. Grace and Peace

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thoughts on Contemplation/Happiness by Thomas Merton

We live in age in which "true happiness" is perceived in the things we have accumulated over time like T.V.'s, cars, the clothes we wear, who we date or marry or who we have studied under in our educational upbringing or the most obvious is how much money you have or make. While all of this is important to a certain extant. The question must be asked is who puts this extra pressure on us? Is it the media, parents or other external things we come in contact with throughout our life time? If we are completely honest with ourselves we could put the blame on any of the above reasons. In 1966 Thomas Merton wrote in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander that I believe really speaks to the heart of the issue by saying:
“Why can we not be content with the secret gift of the happiness that God offers us, without consulting the rest of the world? Why do we insist, rather, on a happiness that is approved by the magazines and TV? Perhaps because we do not believe in a happiness that is given to us for nothing. We do not think we can be happy with a happiness that has no price tag on it.”(pg.84)
I think Merton could have really been talking about our generation that is so caught up in trying to be happy by buying the newest gadget that is available in the market. How come most Christians get this very simple concept, have we got so caught up in the "prosperity gospel" message? Do many of us not realize we have bought the lie of artificial happiness? Just some thoughts!!! Peace and Grace...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Passion of the Christ

The following is a critique of the film by Mel Gibson "Passion of the Christ" it was for a New Testament class. Hope you enjoy!!!

Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ” is one of the most influential films of all time. As far as its box office success it is the top rated religious film of all time. But while it is great that a religious film has had such a great impact on society the question remains is it historical accurate to the gospels? The answer is mixed.
Gibson basic text comes from a book entitled The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich. She was an Augustinian nun who by the age of twenty- four claimed to have visions of the crucified Christ. Whether she really did or not, I have no clue. But it does make for an interesting read. The gospels for Gibson seem to be used for a secondary source instead of a first source. It is also important to remember that Gibson comes from the Catholic Church tradition.
It seems that to every story of the gospel that he used he seemed to add a little something to it. For example, you see Satan as a female and at certain time lurking in the background. Second, in the movie Judas is seen trying to return the monies and moments later seen being chased by little boys down a hill calling him “possessed” until he commits suicide. Third, the emphasis of Mary is extremely misleading. There is a part in the movie in the beginning when Jesus is taken to prison were Mary gets down on the ground and it appears that Jesus is right below her its seems as though she can hear Him underneath. My point is that we know nothing about Satan during this time from the biblical record, except I am sure he was present in the hearts of men during the horrible time. Judas all we know is that he did commit suicide. Mary on the other hand from the biblical record is not mentioned until Jesus nearly dies and Jesus gives her to John for him to take care of her and vise versa.
My point for all of this is to say while Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” is extremely important for the Christian community as far a presenting all peoples to some truth of the gospels account of the Passion it is not historical accurate as it is so portrayed. This being said I think the movie should be continued to be used by the Christian church for evangelism purposes but with the audience knowing that this movie portrays how Mel Gibson sees the crucifixion of Christ. I think Gibson’s heart and intent was in the right place. He wanted to make the crucifixion come alive, become real for people to see that this event was not easy or a game, it cost somebody his life. And for that I give Gibson a A+.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Women in Church part 1

This blog deals with my attempt to show that women do have a place of authority and leadership in the Church. Below is the beginnings of a paper for Biblical Hermeneutics at Ashland Theological Seminary.

Anne Dutton (1692-1765) a Baptist writer who had a profound impact with the people of her time. She had correspondences with John Wesley and George Whitefield.

The Survey

My first general observation of 1 Timothy 2:1-15 (NRSV) seems to deal with prayer (1-3), menÂ’s attitude in worship service (8), womenÂ’s correct attire and place in worship (9-12) the reason for such rules or regulations (13-14), finally the reward (15). It seems to me that the Apostle PaulÂ’s concern is purely trying to bring order to a specific church that is very much in disorder concerning the order of worship and dealing with false doctrine or teaching. Also given that the majority of verses are directed toward women are they to blame for the trouble of this particular church? Are verses 9-12 to be taken literal for all time? Or does it just deal with that church at that time? And if it is to be taken as literal what does this do for the other Scriptures in which women seem to used by God or Jesus either directly or indirectly for their purpose? If the Bible is to be a book of liberation for the sinner, why has the church used these verses to suppress women? I hope to be able to come to some general consensus through my study not only of this chapter and verses but the Scriptures as a whole and the history of catholic (universal) church.