“It’s time to out the Lutherans among us”!

Back in the 19th century, Lutherans went through a “crypto-Calvinist” controversy.  But today, Calvinists are undergoing a “crypto-Lutheran” controversy.  It seems a number of Reformed pastors are realizing that the Bible teaches a higher doctrine of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper than is common among Calvinists and are introducing liturgical worship.  It appears that the controversy has something to do with the “Federal Vision” movement, which does emphasize Baptism but is far from Lutheran.  I suspect that some of those attracted to the Federal Vision are finding that Lutheranism gives them what they are looking for without falling into the problems of that newer Reformed theology.  Anyway, Calvinist firebrand Tim Bayly calls out the “neo-Lutherans” and sounds the alarm of our “sacramentalism,” which “has always been one of our Enemy’s principal tools of leading souls to Hell.”  Read what he says after the jump. [Read more...]

Oklahoma City’s Black Mass

My native Oklahoma is a conservative state, and yet the city manager of Oklahoma City has allowed renting out part of the Civic Center for a Satanic Black Mass.  Unlike the kerfluffle at Harvard (see here and here), the group putting on this event has reportedly acquired a consecrated host, which they will then publicly desecrate.

Now the group has insisted that it will not break any laws.  That would presumably rule out the normal Black Mass practices involving urine, excrement, semen, and the ritual abuse of a naked woman.  So instead of being a “traditional” Satanic liturgy, I guess this it will be a “contemporary service.”  But they will do something nasty to the Body of Christ.*  And if the city manager will hold them to their promise not to break any laws, what about Oklahoma’s blasphemy law? [Read more...]

Demilitarizing the Police

I just got back from St. Louis, staying just a few blocks from the riots in Ferguson over the police shooting an unarmed teenager.  I didn’t see anything and I don’t want to address the incident, as such.  But the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson raises some interesting questions:

Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”?

Now Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), citing what happened in Ferguson and quoting his fellow libertarian Olson, challenges the militarization of the police, which has happened thanks to the federal government. [Read more...]

Are freedom and democracy obsolete?

The Prime Minister of Hungary has said what many people around the world have been thinking:  That freedom and democracy are obsolete.  With today’s complex economic and social problems, the democratic process is always checking and balancing itself, making it just too slow and polarizing, as evidenced by the political paralysis in the United States.  The most successful models that nations should be emulating, he says, are the authoritarian systems of Russia, China, Turkey, and Singapore. [Read more...]

“Greater love hath no man than this. . . .”

Another example of sacrificing yourself for your neighbor:

When Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Harris and Petty Officer 1st Class James Reyher descended to the murky depths of a pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last year, virtually everything went wrong. Their equipment didn’t work right, the communication with sailors on the surface wasn’t clear, and debris trapped Reyher some 150 feet underwater in scuba gear.

But there’s more to the story. According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper on Sunday, Harris, 23, had the option to cut the line connecting him to Reyher underwater and survive. He refused to do it, though, doing everything in his power to free Reyher, 28, until both men died on Feb. 26, 2013. [Read more...]

Our muted response to ISIS

If you are worried that the U.S. is reigniting the war in Iraq, don’t be.  Despite the atrocities being committed by ISIS/The Islamic State, our airstrikes are designed simply to protect Americans in threatened cities and to protect those Yazidis besieged on that mountain (that siege is reportedly over, as the Yazidis have now escaped).  But, according to two Washington Post analysts, there is no effort to stop ISIS as such or to win back the large amount of territory they have taken over. [Read more...]


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