The Pink Panther, Porn, and the Lord’s Supper

2009 October 3

Filed in:

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)


I was watching “The Pink Panther” on Hulu with my children.  I didn’t let them in on the adult humor included.

I was horrified to see the two main characters reading a magazine called: “Hotsy Totsy Girls Girls Girls”   The cartoon woman on the back of the cartoon porn mag made it clear that it wasn’t a mistake.  I assume that adults were supposed to think this was funny… and normal.

I am guessing that  maybe when adults and children watch cartoons together, there is a need to appeal to both crowds.  Little girls need to be brought to laughter, while their fathers next to them need to be told to think sexual thoughts about some other daddy’s daughter.

The cartoon doesn’t want you to exclaim, “Oh No, this trickery is blaspheming God by degrading his image!”  It doesn’t expect you to say, “Girls, this is the the kind of sin that leads God to tell Moses: ‘Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.'” (Numbers 25)

Do we tell our children that this is the kind of poison that kills men off in the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 10.1-11)?

Of course, I didn’t interrupt the short cartoon to draw their attention to what they are (at the moment) too young to get.  If they had been older, it would have been necessary to rail against the offhand degradation of the love of God.

It is sad that a Christian man could point this out about his children’s entertainment.  But sadder still is the trap for men that is so sophisticated.  It can’t be fixed because it can’t be revealed. It is sad that many men WILL NOT point this out about the cartoon, because their conscience binds them.  If we cannot reveal the sin in the cartoon because of the sin in our hearts, then we may choose to ignore the sin in the cartoon as if nothing significant is taking place.

Families are blessed by freedom, when in face of the Lord’s Table, we “go with our young and our old. … with our sons and daughters … for we must hold a feast to the LORD”  (Ex. 1o.9)  And when we go, we may face our families freely and proclaim that it is about forgiveness, for we know that we are all sinners.  But we are free to say so without fear, for we can eat it without the hypocrisy of KNOWING we are simultaneously feeding at computer screens of demons (1 Cor 10.21).  We can FEED our children.

We mustn’t miss life lessons when our children see displays of porn that make it seem tame, when in fact it “preys upon your very life” (Pr 6.26-27).  If we cannot teach our children to see evil as evil because we are friends of the evil, but only in private, then in public we will have to concede the nourishment of their souls to the message that women are not glorious, and therefore neither is God.  They will eat an increasing diet of “men are not protectors,” and therefore neither is God.

I am glad that my girls couldn’t understand the episode that I won’t be letting them see again.  The last thing I want them to imbibe is “Girls Girls Girls”.  The last thing I want to sacrifice on the altar of a Pagan god, is my children.

Thanks be to God, for men there is hope of sanctification.  I thank God that before I was married, God got a hold of my eyes and heart.  It was painful, but the deliverance freed me like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter.  I am thankful that for men like Manasseh, there is repentance (2 Chron 33).  I am thankful that like Manasseh, I can eat the peace offering of the Lord’s Supper (2 Chron 33.16).

I am thankful that the Lord offered his body and blood for me and for my offspring after me, and that when we see smut, I can say, “Children, this makes men die, but it is one of the many things for which Jesus died.”

Before God dealt with me in my young adulthood, I believed the lie that men have no hope of freedom.  And the lie that it isn’t really THAT damaging.  I needed someone to tell me that it was really bad, and that there was really hope.

So please, if you need hope to be rescued from this curse, please have it!  Please ask the Lord to restore you.  But know that you must, for while Manasseh could repent for burning his children, he could never actually get them back.  And while the meal shows forgiveness for ALL sins, this is one which Paul tells us plainly brings death to the church.

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (Pr 6.27 – ABOUT Sexual sin.)

There is hope in Jesus’ power:

“Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Prv 6.5 ABOUT Sexual sin).

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The Wolf, The Lamb, and the Little Child [1]

2007 December 8

This is the 1st entry in a Series that walks through my Sermon preparation for Sunday (2007/12/09). If you want to read them in another order choose one of the following:

Entry [1]

Entry [3]

Entry [4]

Entry [5]

________________________________________________________________

If anyone was reading recently, I was preparing a sermon for the 25th of November. I think my process and outline were going fairly well, but Saturday midday, my wife began to miscarry our child of a 12-week pregnancy. So I didn’t preach.

But I am set to preach soon – Advent 2.

Advent 2 is Peace.

 

I have actually decided to preach the BCP lectionary this time (This is Year A, and we are at the 2nd week of the Liturgical year – 2nd Advent as I said).

Here is the lectionary as the BCP sets it, slightly altered by either my rector or by myself:

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 (edited by Fr. Steve)

Romans 15: 4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

 

My following entries will move through my thought process in working on the sermon, and will include bits of the reading at a time.

To move to a specific entry click on the listing: (if any link doesn’t work, then I haven’t written it yet).

Entry [2]

Entry [3]

Entry [4]

Entry [5]

 



Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker Responds to PB Katherine Jefferts-Schori

2007 November 15

__________________________________________________

See Original at FW Diocese Site

__________________________________________________

This post comes in connection to a threatening letter from Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori to Jack Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth. To get reacquainted with her end of the letter writing, see my previous post here.

__________________________________________________

The Letter

 

__________________________________________________

November 12, 2007
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Katharine,

I have received your letter of November 8th and am rather surprised by your suggestion that I have somehow abandoned the communion of the church and may be subject to ecclesiastical discipline. Such a charge is baseless. I have abandoned nothing, and I have violated no canons. Every year at our Chrism Mass, I very happily reaffirm my ordination vows, along with all our clergy, that I will be “loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them.” (BCP, pages 526 and 538)

It is highly inappropriate for you to attempt to interfere in the internal life of this diocese as we prayerfully prepare to gather in Convention. The threatening tone of your open letter makes no attempt to promote reconciliation, mediation, or even dialogue about our profound theological differences. Instead, it appears designed to intimidate our delegates and me, in an attempt to deter us from taking any action that opposes the direction in which you are leading our Church. It is deeply troubling that you would have me prevent the clergy and laity of this diocese from openly discussing our future place in the life of the wider Anglican Communion, as we debate a variety of proposals. As you well know, the polity of this Church requires the full participation of the clergy and lay orders, not just bishops, in the decision making process. It grieves me that as the Presiding Bishop you would misuse your office in an attempt to intimidate and manipulate this diocese.

While I do not wish to meet antagonism with antagonism, I must remind you that 25 years ago this month, the newly formed Diocese of Fort Worth voluntarily voted to enter into union with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. If circumstances warrant it, we can likewise, by voluntary vote, terminate that relationship. Your aggressive, dictatorial posturing has no place in that decision. Sadly, however, your missive will now be one of the factors that our Convention will consider as we determine the future course of this diocese for the next 25 years and beyond, under God’s grace and guidance.

In closing, let me be very clear. While your threats deeply sadden us, they do not frighten us. We will continue to stand firm for the unchanging truth of the Holy Scriptures and the redeeming Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whatever the costs. I shall continue to pray for you, as I trust you will pray for me, in the difficult days ahead.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth


Archdiocese of the Southern Cone Invites Disaffected Anglicans to Alternate Primatial Oversight

2007 November 14

 __________________________________________________________

 taken from Anglican Mainstream

__________________________________________________________

Resolution of the Provincial Synod of the Southern Cone of America

Archbishop Greg VenablesWe, recognizing with great thankfulness the dioceses and parishes, clergy and laity of the Episcopal Church in the USA who have continually made clear their desire to remain faithful to the historic faith and order of the Anglican Communion [1],

Given that Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998 articulated the clear teaching of the Anglican Communion with regard to human sexuality, and that this teaching has been widely ignored by many dioceses, parishes, and clergy of the Episcopal Church in their life and teaching,

Given that the Episcopal Church, against the clearly expressed voice of the Primates at their meeting of October 2003 [2], notoriously consecrated as bishop a priest who was in a known homosexual relationship, an act which has torn the fabric and trust within the Communion,

Given the failure of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church to give a clear and unequivocal response to the Windsor Report [3],

Given that the House of Bishops and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church have rejected the pastoral scheme proposed by the Primates in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in February 2007,

Given that no adequate response has been made by the Episcopal Church to the questions set by the Primates in Dar es Salaam[4] and that a significant number of bishops have publicly expressed their intention to permit the blessing of same-sex unions,

Given the widespread use of lawsuits and threats against dioceses and parishes, as well as bishops, clergy and laity who seek to remain faithful to the historic faith and order of the Anglican Communion, And until the Episcopal Church

  • Repent and comply with the requests of the Windsor Report
  • Respect the conscience of the parishes and dioceses which wish to adhere to the theological moral and pastoral norms of the Anglican Communion once held by the Episcopal Church
  • And its Presiding Bishop and officers cease to pursue and intimidate these dioceses and parishes by means of lawsuits, confiscations, and depositions or

  • Until adequate effective and acceptable alternative Primatial and Episcopal oversight be offered as recommended by the Primates in Dar es Salaam

Or

  • Until the Archbishop of Canterbury take clear action and respond effectively to the legitimate and urgent concern of the alienated parishes and dioceses of the Episcopal Church, offering pastoral leadership to protect them

WE the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America meeting in Valpariso, Chile, in November 2007 welcome into the membership of our province on an emergency and pastoral basis those dioceses of the Episcopal Church taking appropriate action to separate from that Church. We do this in order that such dioceses may continue in the mainstream of the Anglican Communion and be faithful to its Biblical and historic teaching and witness; and we pray for God’s grace and help to resolve the painful, critical situation in our beloved Anglican Communion.

Received 11/09/07, emphasis added to final two paragraphs [by Anglican Mainstream]

 ———–footnotes———-

[1] These norms were held by the Episcopal Church until recent years.

[2] Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold signed the letter from the Primates requesting ECUSA not to

proceed with the consecration, and then within days presided at the consecration.

[3] Accepted by the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council.

[4] The Dar es Salaam Communiqué asked the Episcopal Church to make clear that they would not approve the blessing of same-sex unions, nor approve the consecration of bishops living in sexual relations outside holy matrimony, between a man and a woman in lifelong union. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church was at this meeting and publicly accepted the content of the Communiqué


Presiding Bishop to Fort Worth: Stand Down or Be Disciplined

2007 November 12

Katherine Jefferts SchoriJack Leo IkerThe following letter is a correspondence from Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori (left) of the Episcopal Church to Bishop Jack Iker (right) of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. I found this originally printed at Thinking Anglicans (a pro-TEC site) along with the comment that follows her letter below.

____________________________________________________________________

8 November 2007

The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker
The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth
2900 Alemeda Street
F
ort Worth, TX 76108

Dear Jack,

As you are undoubtedly aware, it is my view that recent amendments to your Diocese’s constitution violate the Constitutional requirement that the Diocese maintain an “unqualified accession” to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. I have now reviewed several proposed constitutional amendments that will be considered at your forthcoming diocesan convention. It is evident to me that several of these proposed changes would further violate the Church’s Constitution, while some other proposed changes would undo the problems created by the earlier amendments. It is clear from your public statements and from what I understand your position to be regarding these matters that you endorse the first set of changes. Your statements and actions in recent months demonstrate an intention to lead your diocese into a position that would purportedly permit it to depart from the Episcopal Church. All these efforts, in my view, display a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between The Episcopal Church and its dioceses.

I call upon you to recede from this direction and to lead your diocese on a new course that recognizes the interdependent and hierarchical relationship between the national Church and its dioceses and parishes. That relationship is at the heart of our mission, as expressed in our polity. Specifically, I sincerely hope that you will change your position and urge your diocese at its forthcoming convention to adopt the proposed amendments that will bring the Diocese’s constitution into agreement with the Church’s Constitution and Canons.

If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church — by actions and substantive statements, however, they may be phrased — and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action.

It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it. I would remind you of my open offer of an Episcopal Visitor if you wish to receive pastoral care from another bishop. I continue to pray for reconciliation of this situation, and I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori

____________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Katherine, for having the strength of character to step up and properly warn these bishops, who are preparing to claim to take their dioceses out of TEC, of the inevitable consequences of their actions. After many years of attempts at dialogue, it has come to this. I had a small role on the sidelines of the diocesan reconciliation commission in the diocese of Los Angeles, now almost a decade ago. From the beginning, from the demands made on us by David Anderson, it was clear that the threat of schism was there. It was spelled out in the original reconciliation process proposal that he presented. That process of dialogue went on for several years, to no avail. No amount of provision for the “orthodox” in our diocese was sufficient. It has been the same all over TEC. No episcopal visitor, no matter how conservative, has been good enough for those determined to leave TEC. All of this became very clear during the last HOB meeting. The now about to be departing bishops attended the HOB meeting only as long as Rowan was there. As soon as he departed, these bishops refused to meet further with the HOB and convened their own meeting in another city, where they planned their departure, and where Bishop Venables spoke to them and gave them assurances that he would provide “a safe haven” from the “persecution” of TEC. It could not be clearer that there is nothing further that can be done to seek accomodation with these bishops. If reconciliation was ever on their agendas, it was a long time ago. They simply cannot abide the majority decisions of the General Convention and they refuse to cohabit with us in this House of God. Their suffering is the anguish that some of them feel to leave the Church of their ordinations. The suffering they inflict on others is that of whipping their parishioners into a headlong rush to the door. It would serve their integrity a great deal more if these bishops simply resigned their offices, as Jeff Steenson so nobly did at the HOB meeting. Then they could seek office in the actual Global South, as opposed to creating this ecclesial mess in the U.S. But that won’t happen. And, having repudiated their consecration vows to defend the faith as this Church has received it, having turned their backs on every offer of reconciliation and alternate oversight that was compatible with the Constitution and Canons of TEC, they will now send out a cry of outrage that they will not be allowed to trample on the Constitution and Canons of the Church that ordained them. Nor will they be allowed to make off with as much of the property as possible to create an ersatz Anglican entity in the U.S. in which they can further fragment over ordination of women, which prayerbook should be controlling, and various other matters that they deem necessary to salvation. This would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. I pray that God will bless and guide all of us in this shameful episode of church history. And, most especially, that God will forgive us for once again failing to live up to our Lord’s call on us to refrain from judgement and to genuinely love one another. Now to the business at hand, protecting the Episcopal Church from those who would tear it apart in their hurt and anger.

Posted by: revkarenm on Friday, 9 November 2007 at 2:25am GMT


Motion in the Americas – Letter from CANA Bishop Elect David Anderson

2007 November 12

Bishop Elect David Anderson, CANAA Message from Bishop-elect Anderson [copied from Anglican-Mainstream.net]

Beloved in Christ,

  This week, an Associated Press news article quoted the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (TEC), Katherine Jefferts Schori, making a pejorative statement about the orthodox. The statement was ment to make the orthodox seem absurd. In it, she said, “Obviously a handful of our church leaders are still upset and would like to see the church never ordain and never baptize a gay or lesbian person.”

The orthodox generally do not recognize homosexuality as a permanent state of human existence, but rather an inclination that contravenes God’s established order and which, if acted on, is sinful. Therefore, if an individual were engaged in sinful acts or in supporting and encouraging others to engage in sinful acts, they would not be a candidate at that point for baptism or ordination. If they repented of their actions, they could be baptized; if God called them to ordained ministry, they could be ordained. Many homosexual people were baptized as infants and later moved into an actively homosexual lifestyle, and of course if they don’t repent and turn aside from such, they would not be candidates for ordination. Indeed, why does Jefferts Schori think that they would be candidates? Only in TEC could that make sense!

She also has announced that TEC’s House of Bishops is proceeding with punitive action against former TEC bishops William Cox, Andrew Fairfield and Dave Bena. Bishop Cox transferred to the Southern Cone, Bishop Fairfield to Uganda and Bishop Bena to Nigeria, so it is absurd for TEC to go through the motions of disciplining bishops they no longer have authority over. And the crime? Leaving TEC without permission! I picture Captain Schori standing on the deck of the TEC Titanic, screaming at passengers and crew as they lower the life boats, “You can’t leave…I haven’t given you permission to leave….you must stay and die with us or we will punish you!”

Jefferts Schori has also written threatening letters to Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh and Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth, warning them that if they don’t cease and desist from actions recently taken (diocesan voting to remove the accession clause from their canons), they will be dealt with most severely. Bishop Schofield of San Joachim can expect a similar letter in the mail any day. To say things are getting tense is an understatement. Although Pittsburgh and Fort Worth have to pass a second reading of their canonical changes, and this potentially puts an actual departure as much as a year away, Schori and her Canonical Army may invade at any time. It would be wise for all these dioceses to have rapid response teams in place 24/7.

Now if this isn’t sad enough, there are TEC dioceses such as Rochester, New York, which just passed a resolution defying Schori and General Convention, stating that they don’t intend to be limited by resolutions of General Convention. They have in mind the Resolution B033, which agreed to “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church”. Beyond Schori there are many who have drifted even further away from Anglicanism, and they help govern TEC.

Good news, however, comes with the word that the Provincial Synod of the Southern Cone, meeting in Valparaiso, Chile, has passed a historic agreement to welcome into their membership (on an emergency and pastoral basis) Episcopal Church dioceses that are separating from TEC. This may well be a place for the three American dioceses that are contemplating departure. It does raise some questions as to how enrollment in Southern Cone will affect their participation in the Network and in the Common Cause Partners. Common Cause has an executive meeting planned in December and I am sure that some of the questions will be answered then, if not before. A possibility is that the Southern Cone safe harbor will be a temporary measure until Common Cause is further along, ready to actually merge the separate entities and ask for Provincial status – and that could be several years away. Difficult questions will need to be dealt with by the Common Cause Partners, such as the ordination of women, harmonization of the Canon Law of the separate bodies, and prayer books. Those who continue to use the 1979 American Prayer Book or translations of it – although it has some useful aspects – open themselves to the flawed theology that runs through it and has assisted TEC in getting where it is today.

The Global South Primates’ Communique calls for three things that seem very reasonable and wise: 1) the urgent need for a Primates’ meeting fairly soon; 2) the postponement of the Lambeth Conference 2008; and 3) an early Global South 4th Encounter. Of these three, the Archbishop of Canterbury has the privilege of convening the Primates, and the AAC suspects that he will deliberately NOT do this because they might well move beyond his comfort zone. He also has the right to call the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, and his financial investment and obligation may be beyond what he can reverse. Still, if he arranges a meeting and only a partial representation participates, it shows the entire world that his power to convene has been lost. Although the Global South probably cannot prevent Lambeth 2008, they can stay away. The third item on the list is fully within the power of the Global South to accomplish, and ideally would be planned for the first quarter of 2008 – in time to impact the balance of the year’s Anglican events.

Meanwhile, I usually speak with one priest or vestry member per day who is planning a departure from TEC, either personally or as a church. A significant part of the American Anglican Council’s pastoral work is to advise, counsel, and make resources known so that the best decisions can be made. Remember in prayer those who are walking away from their church homes, their careers, their salaries, health insurance and pension in order to be faithful to the Gospel. The Holy Spirit is a refining fire, purifying the church and her people.

Blessings and Peace in Jesus,

The Rev. Canon David C. Anderson
President, The American Anglican Council
Suffragan Bishop-elect 


Derek Webb – King and a Kingdom // Rich Young Ruler [Mockingbird]

2007 November 7

Derek Webb MockingbirdIn case you aren’t familiar with Derek Webb, (first of Caedmon’s Call), then solo, then back to Caedmon’s), I thought I would post about two of my favorites [lyrics below].

Derek Webb has always been at the top of my lists, but his album, “Mockingbird” literally changed my life. I wept on the floor, realizing that I am an oppressor, an elite, rich, wealth hoarder. I’ll have to put more Derek Webb up some other day. [Click here for iTunes]

King and a Kingdom

(vs. 1)
who’s your brother, who’s your sister
you just walked passed him
i think you missed her
as we’re all migrating to the place where our father lives
’cause we married in to a family of immigrants

(chorus)
my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it’s to a king & a kingdom

(vs. 2)
there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

(chorus)

(bridge)
but nothing unifies like a common enemy
and we’ve got one, sure as hell
but he may be living in your house
he may be raising up your kids
he may be sleeping with your wife
oh no, he may not look like you think

——————————————————-

Rich Young Ruler

(vs. 1)
poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash
he says, more than just your cash and coin
i want your time, i want your voice
i want the things you just can’t give me

(vs. 2)
so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we made up
come on and follow me
but sell your house, sell your suv
sell your stocks, sell your security
and give it to the poor
what is this, hey what’s the deal
i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal
i want the things you just can’t give me

(bridge)
because what you do to the least of these
my brother’s, you have done it to me
because i want the things you just can’t give me

—————————————–

……ahem. Oops.

—————————————–

[NOTE – I have put this in the “Gospel” category because of King and a Kingdom, since the gospel IS the announcement about Jesus’ kingship (read my recent post about the meaning of Gospel and Kingdom in the Bible.]