Ross Douthat, a Catholic columnist for the New York Times, has written about the difference between some of the various strains of orthodox Christianity and the various heresies that are still in the Christian orbit (including what he calls “Americanized Christianity”). Then there is Christian influence, which can even be seen in people who reject Christianity. But at some point, as we are starting to see, there is a mindset and a culture that are utterly devoid of anything Christian. Please read his whole essay, but I quote how he finishes after the jump. [Read more…]
In honor of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and in recognition of the papal envy being expressed by many Protestants, we offer Melanchthon’s case against the papacy, as stated in A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, one of the Lutheran confessions:
1] The Roman Pontiff claims for himself [in the first place] that by divine right he is [supreme] above all bishops and pastors [in all Christendom].
2] Secondly, he adds also that by divine right he has both swords, i.e., the authority also of bestowing kingdoms [enthroning and deposing kings, regulating secular dominions etc.].
3] And thirdly, he says that to believe this is necessary for salvation. And for these reasons the Roman bishop calls himself [and boasts that he is] the vicar of Christ on earth.
4] These three articles we hold to be false, godless, tyrannical, and [quite] pernicious to the Church. [Read more…]
Stephen Colbert, who took over for David Letterman on The Late Show last week, is an iconoclastic comedian. But he is also a devout Catholic. When he was 10 years old, he lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash. He talks about his faith and how he handled that tragedy–also J. R. R. Tolkien and how gratitude points to God– in an interview with GQ Magazine, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]
In our Bible class last Sunday, in which we are studying the hymns of Martin Franzmann, this Scriptural text came up:
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5).
The question arose, in what sense is someone who is covetous also an idolater? Think about that. After the jump, I’ll tell you the quite illuminating explanation given by my son-in-law, Rev. Ned Moerbe.
Roman Catholics don’t allow for divorce, the dissolution of a marriage. They do, however, allow for annullments, which deny after the fact that a valid marriage ever took place (despite how long the couple has lived together, if they had children, etc.). After an annullment, the marriage is considered never to have existed.
The process to get one has been arduous, time-consuming, and expensive, given the tortuous logic that has to be engaged in, with couples having to provide evidence, for example, that they too young to know what they were getting into and so didn’t really have informed consent to the marriage, and similar rationalizations.
But now Pope Francis has issued the biggest changes to annulment proceedings in hundreds of years, making the whole process much easier. This will surely mean that more Catholics will end their marriages. But at least they won’t get a divorce! [Read more…]