Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
St. Paul City Office Boots Easter Bunny
Thu Mar 23, 9:31 AM ET
The Easter Bunny has been sent packing at St. Paul City Hall.
A toy rabbit, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" were removed from the lobby of the City Council offices, because of concerns they might offend non-Christians.
A council secretary had put up the decorations. They were not bought with city money.
St. Paul's human rights director, Tyrone Terrill, asked that the decorations be removed, saying they could be offensive to non-Christians.
But City Council member Dave Thune says removing the decorations went too far, and he wonders why they can't celebrate spring with "bunnies and fake grass."
Internet article here
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
2) I'm intrigued by your use of the words 'personal experience' and 'personally experienced.' Are these quotes? I am wondering about this concept because I've heard different slants put on the reliability of personal experience. For example, if my faith rests too much on personal experience, then when I am in the valley, I can conclude that I have no faith. As a Lutheran I've been taught to remember my baptism, to realize that my faith and salvation don't rest in my feelings.
OTOH, those branches of American Christianity that put a strong emphasis on experiential faith, would see Lutherans as having a "head" religion rather than a "heart" religion [American, not Hebrew interpretation of the word 'heart.'] And perhaps, that is a weakness in the Lutheran expression of faith, ie because we aren't "experiencing" it as strongly, we don't act and react as strongly, at least traditionally.
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Lutheran, but I never learned about faith and expressing it and feeling it and experiencing it until I participated in Bible Study groups with people of other branches of Christianity. Or is it possible that this stuff was always there in the Lutheran church but just not talked about? If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? If a traditonal Lutheran has faith experiences and feelings and has nobody to express them to, do they really exist?
So I've been wondering if and how this relates to "Lutheran Spirituality" which is the topic of WTM Carnival I: Lutheran Spirituality.
I just overheard an ad on TV for a show having to do with weight loss. The incentive for the weight-losers is that if they don’t lose enough weight, they will have to appear on national TV is a bikini that is too small. I’m not sure who would want to tune in to gawk at that spectacle, but that is another story.
Not good enough. Don’t we all feel that at various times?
In the current TV-Land craze, if you are not good enough, or if the other contestants are jealous of you, you can be voted off the group, off the island, out of the boardroom. Apparently, and I say apparently because I don’t watch these shows, apparently, the contestants, with their own human frailties, get to judge the others, who may have greater frailties or problems. Hey, they are “just” human.
Some years ago, I heard a sermon illustration that has stuck with me. The pastor said that our society rates us as though we must reach at least a certain mark on a yardstick. But in the Kingdom of God, where we are members due to Jesus’ actions and our baptism, we are like the knights sitting at the Round Table. There is no person who is above the others. None have gotten there by their own works, so therefore no one is beneath any other person. All are at equal places at the table. All are brothers and sisters in/of Christ.
NONE WILL BE VOTED OFF!
Thanks be to God!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
What is the strength of the church you currently attend?
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Suspect: Church fires were joke that 'got out of hand'
3 Birmingham college students arrested
(CNN) -- Three Birmingham college students were arrested Wednesday in connection with 10 church fires in Alabama last month, state and federal officials said.
One of the suspects said the fires began as a joke that "got out of hand," according to court papers filed Wednesday citing what a witness told investigators.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Christian college want their students to be Christian or at least strongly exposed to Christian ideas and ideals. They may want to restrict admission to people who at least profess compatible ideas. Perhaps they are open to others, hoping that those people will get exposure to the Christian faith. Or they may be open to anybody who desires to attend.
Once someone is a student, what is he exposed to? Does the college only except expression of the orthodox faith, as explained in that denomination? Are the teachers, students, and outside speakers allowed to explore contrary ideas? Is the faith and the ideals of the students ever challenged by being exposed to other ideas? If not, is this really an education?
Can a person of faith keep that faith and even defend it if he has never had it challenged by other ideas or life circumstances? Since different Christian denominations have very different interpretations of certain parts of scripture and claim to be "right," are these ideas explored at denominational Christian colleges?
Here is an article that explores some of these ideas. The specific topic is how Christian colleges deal with gay people. But in keeping with my rhetorical questions, above, subsitute any controversial issue in the church while reading it.
How does the college you attended deal with ideas that are not main stream? How does your denomination's college deal with contrary ideas?
A 'freedom ride' to anti-gay colleges
Four Minnesotans will be among a group of young people who will begin a bus journey to 19 Christian colleges that have anti-gay admission policies.