Daily Archives: February 5, 2012

(RNS) Yes, Mormons tithe, but most others don’t

….compared to other religious Americans, the Romneys and other Mormons are fairly atypical when it comes to passing the plate. Across the rest of the religious landscape, tithing is often preached but rarely realized.

Research into church donations shows a wide range of giving, with Mormons among the most generous relative to income, followed by conservative Christians, mainline Protestants and Catholics last.

Over the past 34 years, Americans’ generosity to all churches has been in steady decline, in good times and in bad, said Sylvia Ronsvalle, whose Illinois-based Empty Tomb Inc. tracks donations to Protestant churches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Mormons, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(BBC) Syria crisis: Hillary Clinton calls UN veto travesty'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described as a “travesty” Russia and China’s veto of a UN resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown against anti-government protesters.

Speaking in Bulgaria, Mrs Clinton said efforts outside the world body to help Syria’s people should be redoubled.

The US, she said, would work with “friends of a democratic Syria” to support opponents of Syria’s president.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Russia, Syria, Violence

(AP) Analysis: Romney's Nevada Win Leaves Rivals Few Options

Mitt Romney’s decisive victory in Nevada was never much in doubt. He won the state’s caucuses four years ago, kept his organization active and he could count on support from Mormons who made up a quarter of caucus goers this year.

But the former Massachusetts governor’s win here, coupled with his enormous Florida victory just days ago, proved Republicans have begun to coalesce around his candidacy in earnest. He swept nearly every voting group in Nevada including those that have been slow to come aboard, such as tea party activists and voters who describe themselves as extremely conservative.

And that spells trouble for his remaining rivals who now face a stark question: How do they stop him?

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General

(Living Church) New Film Advocating TEC's new Theology Coming to an Aunt Betty Near You

…a sort of evangelistic outreach is planned in conjunction with the rollout of the documentary. Robinson said moviegoers should not expect to see Love Free or Die in many theaters. Instead, the plan is to make a DVD available to individuals and congregations through the film’s website, with an emphasis on group showings for “the movable middle.”

“We are asking that everyone who sees the movie invite a person ”” a family member, a coworker, a former classmate ”” who are among that large group of people who for the most part love us ”” they know us, they think positively about us ”” but they still go in the voting booth and vote against us,” Robinson said. “You know about that here in California.”

Robinson repeatedly referred to an iconic “Aunt Betty” as the film’s target audience. “Make it your project this year to call them up and say, ”˜Aunt Betty, you remember how we had that little altercation at Thanksgiving? Can I get you out for coffee, and let’s talk about that?’” Robinson said. “And then, it looks as if this will be showing on PBS in the fall, and ”¦ we’re working on getting it shown on Thanksgiving weekend. So you’ll be at home with Aunt Betty, and you can have a better conversation this time.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

CBN Interviews Archbishop Ben Kwashi on Boko Haram and violence in Nigeria

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Economy, Iran, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Terrorism, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, we pray thee, sow the seed of thy Word in our hearts, and send down upon us thy heavenly grace; that we may bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, and at the great day of harvest may be gathered by thy holy angels into thy garner; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Canterbury Convocation

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved; thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice, the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A.S. Haley Analyzes the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia's Motion for pre-judgment interest

There is one immediately perceivable flaw in the Diocese’s argument, and it also casts doubt on the legitimacy of Judge Bellows’ characterization of the evidence as “compelling” and “clear.” For at the time of his first ruling in this matter in 2008, which told the CANA congregations that they could keep their properties under the terms of Virginia’s Division Statute (§ 57-9), it was then “clear” to Judge Bellows that the Diocese did not have any entitlement to the parish properties or bank accounts.

The only thing that changed the Judge’s view was the Virginia Supreme Court’s quixotical decision, two years later, to read the statute in such a way that it could never apply to that sacred category of religious institutions defined as “hierarchical” by the courts. From that date on, perhaps, it was now “clear” in Virginia that the Diocese would prevail — or was it? At any rate, the point is that all of the evidence which the Diocese (leaning on Judge Bellows, to be sure) now characterizes as “compelling” did not amount to anything approaching that description in 2008, and could have become so only after June 2010.

But the principal point here is that with this motion, the Diocese has revealed its truly impecunious state, and hence its inability to maintain and operate all of the properties it has won in the judicial jackpot. Moving for an award of prejudgment interest in these unique circumstances — secular lawsuits between thousands and thousands of Christians on each side, contrary to the tenets of the Christian religion — is to rub salt into a gaping wound in the body of Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

TEC Files Motion In Virginia Seeking Pre-judgment Interest on Anglican Parish accounts

Read it all noting especially the eleven page pdf at the bottom which quotes the Motion documents in full.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, CANA, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

(LA Times) Roman Catholics plan counterattack on new contraception coverage

The Catholic Church reacted strongly Friday to a White House defense of new rules that will force many religious employers to provide contraception to their workers in government-mandated health insurance plans.

“The White House information about this is a combination of misleading and wrong,” said Anthony Picarello, general counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He said the bishops would “pursue every legal mandate available to them to bring an end to this mandate. That means legislation, litigation and public advocacy. All options are on the table….”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate, Theology

(Baltimore Sun) Jason Poling–Evangelicals and Mormons: Can we talk?

what I tried to convey remains true: There are unbridgeable gaps between traditional Christian orthodoxy and the theological positions taken by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Brigham Young University professor Robert Millet notes, “Latter-day Saints are not in the line of historic Christianity and ”¦ do not accept the concepts concerning God, Christ, and the Godhead that grew out of the post-New Testament councils.” The theological affirmations contained in the great creeds of the historic church are held by Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants alike; the Mormon church teaches that all of these branches of the historic Christian family tree are apostate and not authentically Christian.

I know many individual Mormons and historic orthodox Christians who believe people in one another’s communities to be genuine followers of Jesus Christ. But the religious movements of historic Christianity on the one hand and Mormonism on the other do not recognize one another’s movements as Christian. That doesn’t mean individual people within those movements reject one another as citizens, or as political leaders ”” let alone as friends and colleagues. But it does mean that these religious traditions have things to say about one another.

Read it all but please note that what Mr. Poling attributes to Luther [“With Luther, I would rather be governed by an honest and capable man of a different religious faith than by a corrupt and ineffective politician who attended my church”] is something you often see quoted, but no one has ever been able to show me a reference where this was said in Luther’s own works [and I recall the now late Richard John Neuhaus saying much the same]. If any blog readers can find such a reference, do let me know–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Church History, Evangelicals, Mormons, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Final Slate for Episcopal Bishop Suffragan of Virginia Announced

From here:

The Rev. Randy Alexander
Rector of Christ Church, Pelham
Diocese of New York

The Rev. Canon Susan Goff
Canon to the Ordinary
Diocese of Virginia

The Very Rev. David May
Rector of Grace Church, Kilmarnock
Diocese of Virginia

The Very Rev. Dr. Hilary Smith
Rector of St. Paul’s on-the-Hill, Winchester
Diocese of Virginia

The Very Rev. Shirley Smith Graham
Rector of St. Martin’s, Williamsburg
Diocese of Southern Virginia

The Rev. Canon Sue Sommer
Subdean and Canon Pastor of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral
Diocese of West Missouri

You may also find more about the nominees in the committee report there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops