Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 36

I can’t think of a better way to get your blood boiling on a Monday morning than to share a quote with you from a Mrs. Gretta Vosper. She is the minister of a United Church – the merged Congregationalists, Methodists and Presbyterians – which is anxious to get past this “whole Jesus thing.” Mark Steyn reports on NRO’s Corner.

“Though an ordained minister, she does not like the title of reverend. It is one of those symbols that hold the church back from breaking into the future — to a time "when the label Christian won't even exist" and the Church will be freed of the burdens of the past. To balance out those symbols of the past inside West Hill, there is a giant, non-religious rainbow tapestry just behind the altar and multi-colored streamers hang from the ceiling.
"The central story of Christianity will fade away," she explained. "The story about Jesus as the symbol of everything that Christianity is will fade away..."

Ms. Vosper does not believe in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the miracles and the sacrament of baptism. Nor does she believe in the creeds, the presence of Christ in communion or that Jesus was the Son of God.
In With or Without God, her book that was formally launched this week, she writes that Jesus was a "Middle Eastern peasant with a few charismatic gifts and a great posthumous marketing team."

The head of the United Church of Canada, the Reverend David Giuliano, feels "it is not his job to condemn":
Even Rev. Giuliano agrees that the name Christian — which carries the baggage of colonialism and other ills — should probably be phased out. Instead, he would replace "Christian" with "Follower of the Way" or "Follower of Jesus."

Why not just replace the Cross with a giant version of Robert Ferrigno's "I'm Sorry" button?”
If you are somewhat confused by all of this, join the club. When they meet on Sunday morning to worship, what exactly is left to worship? For all the doctrinal problems within the Restoration, I don’t believe we have come quite this far. Have we?
While on the subject of “faux” faith, another author, David Berlinski, has a new book called The Devil’s Delusion. His subject is “scientism,” and is a furious response to the ongoing war between science (Darwin?) and faith. His scientific credentials include books on mathematics and logic with numerous additional lengthy essays on physics, biology, psychology and yet more math. He maintains the existence of an “anti-God fetish” which has brought about an insane nihilism which is harming ongoing scientific work.

He has isolated the thread of influence from Darwin to Hitler’s extermination of Jews and other specific categories of undesirables in Germany, pre WWII. The argument proceeds as follows:

A. “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.”

B. “If science is true, then God does not exist.”

C. “If science is true, then everything is permitted.”

The horrors perpetrated against those innocents have been blamed on everything from the Vatican to the Jews themselves for being intentionally divisive. The folly lies in the assumption of non-convergence of moral and physical laws. He asserts that science does not hold the faintest idea of how this world we live in evolved from the particle disorder of universe. They willingly seek as many particles as there is funding to pursue them.

He introduces us to the “Boeing 747 gambit.” An astrophysicist named Fred Hoyle claimed that spontaneous emergence of life was as likely as a tornado roaring through a junk yard and creating a 747 out of the debris. It was offered as humorous but other scientists picked up on the idea and claimed that indeed if a tornado couldn’t do the job of creating the plane, God couldn’t create the universe either. It all comes close to claiming that God does not exist. These examples of circular reasoning have become all too common among those trained to know better according to Berlinski. Absent the thought of “God in a hierarchal universe is essential to coherent thought or uplifting culture,” they become “obsessed with the fascination of evil.”

Even though the “hard” sciences are less susceptible to total non-belief than the social dogma curricula, ego plays a heavy role in the failure to assign the credit to God where it often belongs. I am happy to be aware that some in the field “get it.” Even though I don’t see it occurring, I hope David Berlinski sells a gazillion books.
So, how was your Sunday? Mine was superb. About 15% of us drove more than 140 miles to attend. Each one reported they were very comfortable with the Miami Restoration Branch and we all love the people there. I am under the impression that many in the Restoration are “settling in” with those who share their beliefs. I am convinced they are seeking Jesus Christ and not leadership of the man-made variety.

After the service, we all retired to the local Chinese buffet for dinner. And they say we are not diverse. I really think we need to reread the Word of Wisdom prior to our next trip. In case you are close to Miami, OK on the 18th of May, please join us for Celebration Day. This will be the 2nd anniversary of acquiring the church. Watch this space on the 18th for the full story of God working a genuine miracle in our daily lives.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon


Matt Lowry said...

You wrote: "I really think we need to reread the Word of Wisdom prior to our next trip."

Why? Is there something wrong with Chinese food? I hope not. I like moo goo gai pan and salt and pepper shrimp and those little pan fried dumplings.

The comment just seems to be a non-sequitor to me. Perhaps I missed something.

I continue to enjoy your blog very much.

Cec Moon said...

Brother Matt,

Ah, it’s good to hear from you. Please consider my explanation of the reference to Section 86 of the Doctrine and Covenants; popularly know as the “Word of Wisdom.”

Consider paragraph 2.a; “And again, verily I say unto you, All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man, every herb in season, thereof. All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

The italicized text indicates our variance from the written word.

Section 86 2.b continues: “Yea flesh also, of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, hath ordained for the use of man, with thanksgiving. Nevertheless, they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

Again, the italicized words note the infractions. It was a gorgeous Spring day with the temperature at a welcome 70º. None of the parties in attendance showed any signs of famine but I observed that none of the wonderful foodstuffs available were consumed sparingly. In a party of eight orthodox Saints, their fasting prior to the sacrament service was not just broken, but utterly destroyed. I plead guilty to joining them in their iniquity.

Seriously, all too often we read the first paragraph and condemn the drinkers and the smokers and ignore the balance of the section. Just because we live in a time of abundance does not mean we should eat everything in sight.

Thank you for the observation.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon