Monday, January 26, 2015

Prescient

Hence, while the tyranny of Rome is the supreme authority of the Church over conscience, the tyranny of liberal Protestantism is the supreme authority of every man's conscience over the Scripture and the Church. Both positions are extreme and sceptical [sic]. That of Rome distrusts the Truth in its power over the individual conscience, while that of liberal Protestantism suspects the Truth of Scripture and the Church, and does not believe that there is one objective and stable centre of truth revealed from above in which the consciences of all perfect men can believe and unite. As against the scepticism [sic] of the isolated, thinking Protestant, Rome is almost sure to win in the end, for having tried every position of solitary speculation, the mind, exhausted and unwilling to abide all alone, will yield to the fundamental craving for authority, and fall back helplessly into the strong arms that seem to offer it certainty in a guaranteed and absolute sense. The end of Protestantism without the Word of God as the one common and absolute authority is either skepticism or Romanism. 
~ Theodore Schmauk, 1911 [emphasis mine]

Friday, January 16, 2015

You Must . . . But Can't

So I get a letter from my accountant telling me that we're required to file IRS form 1095-B this year to be in compliance with Obamacare. Sigh. Fine. Whatever. More paperwork. I go to the IRS web site but guess what? They do not have a non-draft 1095-B available! There is a draft version, but they also very clearly tell you in large capital letters NOT to file that form. So, I am required to file a form that is not available. Great. Thanks for the bang up job, IRS! (How hard do they have to make this?)

PS Can we get this thing repealed soon? Thanks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Life Issues

The only reason there are "life issues" in this world is because a life has become an issue with me. When this happens, I am not called to eliminate the life (and so the issue), but help, serve, love, and forgive. That is how Christ dealt with "life issues."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is Abortion Declining?

Is the number of abortions declining? I'd like to think so. The article I posted yesterday made such an assertion, but I'm not so sure. I believe the number of surgical abortions is declining. That, I think, is probably pretty easy to determine. But why? Is the country turning pro-life? Again, I'd like to think so. But my gut tells me there is another answer: the "morning after" pill. How many of these are being purchased? And how many abortions are the result? Truth is: we cannot know. Did a fertilization take place and result in a baby? Maybe. Maybe not. But just to be sure, pills purchased, pills taken, implantation prevented, "problem solved."

This pill is marketed as "preventing pregnancy." So, if a pregnancy is prevented, it cannot be aborted, right? So these are probably not being counted. As I said, it would also be an inaccurate count since no one really knows if a fertilization has taken place. So rather than the country turning pro-life, I have a feeling many people are just being deceived. And the reality is that the number of abortions could actually be rising, and we don't even know it. So we who are pro-life must not be deceived either. There is still much work to be done.

Monday, January 12, 2015

They Could Have Been . . .

Found this on another blog:


There was a theologian who, when discouraged, would keep repeating to himself, “I [am] baptized.” Since the Prince of Lies has discouragement as his chief strategy and purpose, the Rite of Baptism includes an exorcism: an explicit renunciation of Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises.  . . .

Ever since the legalization of abortion in our country, the Church has resisted the temptation to discouragement in defending innocent life. January 22 will mark the 41st annual March for Life in Washington. The March has gone on in weather fair and foul, whether government administrations have been friend or foe. In those years, more than 56 million babies in our country alone have been destroyed in their mothers’ wombs.  . . .

Last year at this time, I cited a statistical abstract using the ratio of professions to population and the number of infants aborted. The resulting estimate showed that in the last 35 years, those lives destroyed could have included: two U.S. presidents; seven Supreme Court justices; 102 U.S. senators and 589 congressmen; 8,123 judges; 31 Nobel Prize laureates; 328 Olympic medalists; 6,092 professional athletes; 134,841 physicians and surgeons; 392,500 registered nurses; 70,669 clergy, including 6,852 Catholic priests and 11,010 nuns; 1,102,443 elementary and high-school teachers; 553,821 truck drivers; 224,518 maids and housekeepers; 33,939 janitors; 134,028 farmers and ranchers; 109,984 police officers; and 39,477 firefighters.


None of those infants lived to be baptized, and they are entrusted to the mercy of God. Our nation now has the lowest birthrate in its history, and may be approaching the demographic winter that is destroying many other countries. The good news is that contending for life year in and year out has raised consciences, and the rate of abortions is at an all-time low. So when facing Satan and all his works and all his empty promises, say with good courage: I [am] baptized.


HT: Father Z

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Liturgical Schizophrenia

In my area (and I suspect in many areas of the country) people are working longer hours, which makes attending midweek services and Bible studies difficult. The traffic in my area around DC compounds the problem. So the question is: what to do with those festivals of the church year that fall during the week? If they are important festivals I want my people to commemorate, is it better to observe them on the nearest Sunday or stick to my liturgical guns and keep them on a weeknight?

Hi, my name is Pastor Peasant, and I am a "liturgical schizophrenic."

What I mean is that I do both. Some festivals (like Epiphany) I observe on the nearest Sunday, but some (like Ascension) I thus far have resisted moving and continue to celebrate on either Wednesday or Thursday night. As I think about it, I have no set of criteria I use to determine this - just some I do and some I don't. I know churches and pastors of many denominations wrestle with this also. So if you are reading this, what do you think? What should be done? And why? What criteria should be used?

I have spoken to some pastors who will stick to their guns - no. matter. what. A festival is a festival that is to be celebrated on. that. day. and will be - even if no one comes. I am sympathetic to them, but also ask why? Yes, we are teaching our people the importance of the church year and liturgical celebrations and the proper rhythm of Sundays and festivals, but if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it . . .

I am also sympathetic to those who observe festivals on the nearest Sundays. The people are then there to celebrations these, though it does displace the Sunday, which robs the people of those part of the church year.

So what to do? I don't have a good answer and will probably continue in my schizophrenic state. But it is on my mind . . .