In another controversial interview, Pope Francis said that Vatican research has found that 2% of priests–including bishops and cardinals–are pedophiles. That comes to 1 in 50 of the 414,000 priests. He also said that he planned to find a “solution” for priestly celibacy, noting as Protestants have always said, that the requirement was not instituted for the first 900 years of Christendom. [Read more…]
We know that God blesses us. But the Bible also speaks of us blessing God. How does that work? How can mere human beings “bless the LORD”? What can we do to benefit Him, the One who needs nothing?
I learned in Bible class recently that there is a blessing from greater to lesser, when God gives gifts to mortals, but also when kings bestow gifts to their subjects, etc. But there is also a blessing from lesser to greater. This kind of blessing–when the subject blesses the king or the mortal blesses God–consists mainly of thanksgiving. [Read more…]
Many evangelicals are trying to come to grips with the catholicity of the Church and are looking for ways to fit themselves into the historical universal Church. Some are searching for ways to integrate the Protestant with the Catholic traditions. Some are saying we should downplay denominational differences as a way to be more “catholic,” as the ecumenical movement did.
But the estimable Mathew Block, communications director for the Lutheran Church Canada, has written a thoughtful essay on this subject, focusing on the catholicity of Lutherans and how Lutherans already embody the kind of Evangelical Catholicism that many people are looking for. The essay, which you should read completely, is linked after the jump, but I give his conclusion. [Read more…]
Liberal Protestants, such as the members of the Lutheran World Federation, are strongly committed to ecumenism, and they have been pursuing talks with the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. But since the Protestant bodies have been ordaining women, accepting homosexuality, and advocating abortion, those talks have been going nowhere. Surprise, surprise. So now the ecumenical Protestants are all frustrated, as if their own projects of cutting themselves off from the historic church wouldn’t cut them off from historic churches.
This is another example of the overarching catholicity of the church over against innovations that turn former branches of the church into sects. Mathew Block, whom I also quote in today’s post about “catholicity,” tells about a recent dialogue between the liberal Lutherans and the Orthodox, making the point that confessional Lutherans, such as those that belong to the International Lutheran Council, would be far better to talk with. [Read more…]
The Anglican Church of Australia has voted to amend the canon on confession, which traditionally has required ministers to observe total confidentiality when people confess their sins. Now, if penitents confess a crime, the pastor will be expected to rat them out to the police. [Read more…]
Another powerful, helpful sermon from our pastor, Rev. James Douthwaite, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Pentecost 4 Sermon:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
That’s sounds good. In fact, that’s sounding particularly good to me today, because I’m tired. Being away with our youth at the Higher Things conference in Gainesville, Florida was a great week, but it’s a long, tiring week. All the driving down and back, all the things going on there, teaching and preaching, and staying up past my usual early bedtime . . . yeah, I’m tired. I could use a little rest.
So . . . I came here. To church. To rest. [Read more…]