More on the Christian sentenced to die for her faith

More details about the Sudanese woman we blogged about who was sentenced to hang because she would not renounce her faith is married to an American.   Her father was a Muslim, so her conversion constitutes apostasy.  Also, marrying a Christian constitutes adultery, for which she was sentenced to 100 lashes.   Since she is pregnant, the flogging and the hanging will not take place for two years, until the child is born and weaned.  The new development is the information that her husband is an American.  As would be her child.  She has another child, Martin, who is 18 months old and who is being imprisoned with her.  Both children would also be Americans citizens. [Read more…]

The pulpit as the Empty Tomb

Thanks to Darren Jones for pointing me to this post on how the Early Church linked the pulpit to Christ’s empty tomb. [Read more…]

Pope calls for redistribution of wealth

The Pope called on the United Nations to mobilize governments to help the poor through the redistribution of wealth.  This suggests a conundrum:  Catholic conservatives are the most likely to believe in papal authority, and yet what happens when the papal authority teaches against conservative principles, such as the virtues of the free market?

I’d like to hear from Roman Catholic conservatives:  Are you changing your economic or political beliefs in line with the teachings of Pope Francis?  Or are you able to distinguish his religious and moral authority from his weighing in on worldly matters for which he may not have either expertise or authority? [Read more…]

Renounce Christianity or die

Globally, we are back to the early Church.

A court in Sudan has sentenced a pregnant woman to death by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, who is already the mother of a 20-month-old son, was convicted of apostasy on Sunday and given four days to abandon her faith.

On Thursday, Judge Abbas al-Khalifa handed down the death sentence in Khartoum after Ibrahim told the court, “I am a Christian.” [Read more…]

“Spiritual Communion”?

According to Roman Catholicism, you can receive “spiritual communion” even when you don’t take actual, physical communion.  That is, if you desire to receive the sacrament, that is almost as good as actually receiving it.  I learned this seeming bit of Gnosticism from a post by Nicholas Frankovich as part of the discussion about whether or not divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to receive the Sacrament.

Note too, in the excerpt after the jump, that whereas Lutherans believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are given and received specifically for the forgiveness of sins, Roman Catholics believe that sinners must not receive them.  More evidence that Lutherans actually have a higher view of the Sacraments than Catholics do! [Read more…]

Open questions

Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, posted a passage from the Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod (1932) regarding “Open Questions.”  It makes the wise point that Scripture does not clearly answer all theological questions, and so the Church may not offer definitive answers to them.  See the passage after the jump.

First, can anyone explain the confessional status of the Brief Statement?  Is acceptance of this document obligatory for Missouri Synod Lutherans?  Just pastors?  Laymen?  (The only requirements for formal subscription I’ve come across are to the Scriptures and to the confessions in the Book of Concord.)  This statement affirms things like the inerrancy of Scripture and the Six Days of Creation, but it leaves out important Lutheran doctrines such as the Theology of the Cross and Vocation.

Second, what ARE some of these open questions?  I suspect there are different positions on whether the Scriptures are clear or not on some issues. [Read more…]