Daily Archives: January 30, 2019
Researchers contacted 410 senior ministers in 29 evangelical and mainline Protestant denominations, along with non-denominational congregations.
Pastors were asked about 18 issues, including marital infidelity, premarital sex, same-sex relationships, sexting, gender dysphoria and the use of pornography by husbands, wives, teens and young children. Among the findings:
- Eighty percent of these Protestant pastors said they had been approached during the past year by church members or staff dealing with infidelity issues, and 73 percent had faced issues linked to pornography.
- Seventy percent of the pastors said they dealt with serious “sexual brokenness” issues in their flock several times a year, with 22 percent saying this took place once a month or more.
- Only one-third of the pastors said they felt “very qualified” to address the sexual issues being raised by their staff and church members.
- Two-thirds of pastors “agree strongly” that the church should help people dealing with sexual sins. However, fewer than 1 in 4 said their churches openly discuss these issues in Bible studies, small groups, training for laity or support groups.
- “Mainline” church pastors were much less likely (39 percent) to address “sexual health” issues than evangelical or conservative clergy (78 percent). Many clergy offer “pastoral counseling,” and that’s that.
On Religion: Many pastors clueless when swamped with sex, tech issues https://t.co/6QZVWvvddo
— Ukiah Daily Journal (@UDJnews) January 19, 2019
Whatever Mr. Levin’s intention, he has provoked an outpouring from people attesting to the wonderful difference Christian schools have made in their lives. Nor is it only conservatives who speak this way. Here’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2013, offering her version of #ExposeChristianSchools when she learned her own parochial school, Blessed Sacrament in the Bronx, was shutting down.
“You know how important those eight years were?” Justice Sotomayor said in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s symbolic of what it means for all our families, like my mother, who were dirt poor. She watched what happened to my cousins in public school and worried if we went there, we might not get out. So she scrimped and saved. It was a road of opportunity for kids with no other alternative.”
One of the lesser known things about Catholic schools is that they boast a 99% high-school graduation rate—with 86% going to a four-year college, nearly twice the 44% rate of public schools. Particularly in the inner cities, these schools are a lifeline, not least for the tens of thousands of non-Catholic children of color who without that education might be condemned to lives lived at the margins of the American Dream.
Among the features that set Christian schools apart is the command to see the face of Christ in each child. Human nature being what it is, reality often falls short. But it remains a beautiful expectation, a reminder that the children before you are to be not only taught but loved.
— Bill McGurn (@wjmcgurn) January 29, 2019
Ms Bibi was first acquitted last October, but the government backed away from freeing her unconditionally after a wave of rioting orchestrated by an ultra-zealous Islamist political party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, which continued to demand her death. The party’s leader was among those arrested after the riots and remains in prison. Under a bargain with the protesters, the government agreed to ask the Supreme Court to review her acquittal and to prevent Ms Bibi from leaving the country pending those proceedings. The public response to this latest decision has been more muted than it was in October, with the Pakistani authorities seemingly better prepared to withstand an onslaught.
The case has triggered an international furore, with the accused woman’s husband Ashiq searching for a country which was prepared to offer her asylum and risk the ire of Islamic extremists (Canada, Spain and France are thought to have offered asylum). She is most likely to go to Canada, where two of her children have reportedly moved this week. Britain’s Foreign Office admitted that it had not granted Ms Bibi asylum for fear of endangering its own staff in Pakistan. The move prompted protests from politicians and religious leaders in Britain who insisted that the country should not allow itself to be intimidated. Although Pakistan’s blasphemy laws enjoy some support in the country’s diaspora, including in Britain, several British imams urged the government to take Ms Bibi in and face down the extremists.
A representative for Amnesty International, a London-based human-rights body, urged the Pakistani authorities to implement the verdict swiftly. She said: “Asia Bibi must finally get her freedom and an end to her ordeal. After nine years behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit, it is difficult to see this long overdue verdict as justice. But she should now be free to reunite with her family and seek safety in a country of her choice.”
Pakistan’s highest court reaffirmed an earlier decision to acquit a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, of blasphemy charges https://t.co/aao3mUCi8f
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) January 29, 2019
(The Conversation) Katie Gaddini+Linda Woodhead–Brexit shines light on Church of England rift between leadership and Anglican majority
In sharp contrast to the evangelicals, other Anglican voters in England cited immigration as a major issue persuading them to vote Leave, as they wanted to preserve England’s cultural-ethnic identity. Most important of all, however was their concern about excessive EU interference.
For now, the archbishops and and like-minded bishops are in power at the top of the Church of England, but without the support of most grassroots Anglicans. Their stance on Brexit makes this very plain. Traditionally the Church of England has been “the Tory party at prayer” and, in terms of votes cast, it still is.
But the “old guard” of mainline Anglicans is slowly dying out and the new breed of enthusiastic, charismatic-evangelical clergy are having more success in winning over some young people. Supporters of their approach – like the archbishops – say that speaking in tongues and other charismatic practices are the best way to revive the dying Church of England. Opponents say that they are likely to drive out the last remaining Anglicans and alienate their children. Either way, it will affect the political complexion of England as a whole.
Read it all.(Please however note that the authors sadly repeat the completely fallacious idea that 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. For why this statistic is just wrong see here,there, and here among many places).
(Patheos) Philip Jenkins writes good piece on the history of Anti-semitism in America–The American Dictator and the Lone Ranger
…[William Dudley] Pelley formed a new political-religious movement, the fascist and anti-semitic Silver Legion of America, the Silver Shirts. This was “a great Christian Army fortified by the inviolable principles of the Christ.” Pelley was the “beloved Chief,” a term which could equally well refer to his role as American Führer, or as the living Secret Chief, a not-yet-Ascended Master.
The Silver Shirts were explicitly modeled on the German Nazi Party, and Pelley claimed that he was inspired to form his movement on January 30, 1933, the day Hitler became German Chancellor. But Pelley also drew ideas and images from the popular media, as this day marked the first broadcast of the radio western series, The Lone Ranger, with its heroic Rangers and the recurrent silver themes. Pelley’s followers were also Silver Rangers, and that was the title of one of his newspapers.
Whatever the origins of the idea, Pelley now focused on the Jews as the source of most evils and problems in the world, and he offered a solution based on the formation of a Christian Commonwealth, a Christ-Democracy. Pelley became the nation’s best-known figure on the paramilitary far Right, and he inspired Sinclair Lewis’s imaginary American dictator Buzz Windrip in the 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here.
The Silver Shirts boomed in the mid-1930s, and the movement may have had up to twenty thousand members nationwide at its height in 1933-34. Support was heavily concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington, though other centers of strength were scattered across the Midwest, in Chicago, Cleveland and in the Ohio steel districts. Pittsburgh was another major center of organization, where it spawned leftist and Jewish counter-protests. Though the movement looks like a classic fascist sect, it never lost its strong occult motivation, and some adherents claimed to be less interested in the anti-Semitic rhetoric than in Pelley’s mystic revelations.
Philip Jenkins on some of the history of antisemitism in the United States. https://t.co/0ciHI8Xz1c
— James F. McGrath (@ReligionProf) January 25, 2019
While…[Andrew Fuller] wrote a number of influential works before his death in 1815, his early sermons and other documents have survived only as shorthand notes.
They remained inaccessible until Dr Steve Holmes, head of the School of Divinity at St Andrews University found one headed in longhand “Confessions of Faith, Oct. 7 1783”.
He recognised this as the date of Fuller’s induction into the pastorate of a church in Kettering and knew that he would have been required to give a confession of faith as part of that service.
Dr Holmes then wondered if a copy of the confession printed in a biography might help him crack the code.
After discovering that the two texts were the same, he recruited Jonny Woods through the university’s undergraduate research assistant scheme to help.
— Britannia PR (@Britanniacomms) January 28, 2019
Almighty God, we beseech thee of thy mercy to endue us with the spirit of meekness and patience; so that no evil we may suffer from others may move us to do evil to them, and that we may strive ever to live peaceably with all men; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour
–The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)
Listen to me, O coastlands,
and hearken, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
And now the Lord says,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength””
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”