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Speech codes imposed on your priest? One church says, YES!

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As I reported yesterday, the two voting houses of the US Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention concurred upon and adopted Resolution A068, beginning the revision process for the Book of Common Prayer (the liturgies, Psalms, rites, etc.) to include, among other things, gender—inclusive language for “humanity and divinity” (God).

But there is another resolution that also displays the status of having been concurred upon by this year’s General Convention, a resolution which should be receiving far more attention: Resolution D067 Bias-Free and Expansive Language for God and Humanity.

Why is Resolution D067 deserving of far more attention? In essence, this resolution imposes codes upon written communications… from the top, all the way on down to your own congregation.

 

 Resolution D067 begins with a statement of belief (emphasis mine):

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention acknowledges as has the Society of Biblical Literature Book of Style, that “bias-free language respects all cultures, peoples, and religions” and encourages the use of inclusive and expansive language for both God and humanity…

[Note: The Society of Biblical Literature holds yearly conferences with the American Academy of Religion. At the last conference, held in November of 2017, Religion News reported that “Trump was named in the AAR/SBL program 27 times. A book of essays, Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump, was among the hottest sellers at the religion publishers’ exhibition hall.” Linda Sarsour, a radical Palestinian activist was one of the conferences featured speakers.]

 

 Resolution D067 functions as an exhortation to the entire church body, including humanitarian organizations affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

The Resolution states (emphasis mine):

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention urges that the Executive Council, the Office of General Convention and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society give priority to using these guidelines in all published communications; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention exhort dioceses, congregations, institutions, and organizations affiliated with the Church to follow these guidelines in all published communications.

 

 So, exactly what are the precise rules for language to which your diocese, your congregation is being exhorted to adhere?

As Resolution D067 states, with specificity:

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention in the spirit of effective evangelism and proclamation of the Gospel affirm the use of “bias-free language” defined by the principles below:

  • Eliminate the perception of conscious or unconscious bias by the distracting use of biased language when not central to the meaning of the text.
  • Avoid the generic use of masculine nouns and pronouns which is increasingly unacceptable in current English usage.
  • Avoid the use of language that perpetuates stereotypes based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
  • Avoid the assignment of gender to God, except when required by the text.
  • Respect all cultures, peoples, and religions by sensitivity to the uncritical use of biblical characterizations such as “the Jews” or “the Pharisees” that can perpetuate religious and ethnic stereotypes.
  • Structure sentences to communicate clearly while using gender-neutral language, for example:
    • Omit the pronoun.
    • Repeat the noun.
    • Use a plural antecedent.
    • Use an article instead of a pronoun.
    • Use the neutral singular pronoun “one.”
    • Use the relative pronoun “who.”
    • Use the imperative mood

Consider for a moment what forms of communication are considered published, such as your local church’s website, or even your priest’s electronic newsletter.

Forget the prayer book. That’s small fries!

Rather, it appears as though the ideological appetites of the church’s benevolent leaders who sit perched high upon a mound of self-righteous manure, will never be satiated until each congregation joins their unholy cause with complete conformity to this man-made philosophy of fools.

 

If you currently attend an Episcopal church, now is the time to respectfully, and with love, ask honest questions and to discuss your concerns with your minister and the vestry and your fellow congregants.

As always, I continue to pray, with deep and abiding love, for my Baptismal church – the Episcopal Church.

Culture and Religion

How likely is it that a single protein can form by chance?

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How likely is it that a single protein can form by chance

To really answers the question of whether life was created or came about by random chance, we need to take a mathematical look at things. It may be easier to form our opinions based on something we read in a junior high science book, but there really is more to it than the surface questions asked and answered by scientists and theologians alike.

For the faithful, it comes down to faith. For the scientific, it also comes down to faith. Whose faith is more likely to be correct?

Part of the answer can be found in this short video. Those who think there’s no faith associated with scientific theories clearly don’t understand the mathematics behind the science they claim to hold dear.

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Culture and Religion

When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets?

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When will people be forced to apologize for anti-Christian Tweets

There’s a trend that has been growing for some time that is reaching a tipping point now. The trend is this: when someone becomes a big story in the news, their Twitter accounts are scoured from beginning to end in order to find Tweets that offend a particular group or protected class. In many cases, this offended group has been the LGBTQ comunity, such as the recent cases of Kevin Hart and Kyler Murray.

Hart was set to host the upcoming Academy Awards when it was “discovered” the comedian used anti-LGBTQ slurs in the past. He deleted the Tweets and apologized, but still felt it necessary to pull out of the Oscars after so much backlash.

Murray, the Heisman trophy winner, was forced to apologize after reports of his Tweets used the same slurs when he was 14- and 15-years-old.

Bigotry in all its forms is contemptible. But where do we draw the line between actual bigotry and unfortunate uses of words or opinions in the past that have been deemed unacceptable today?

Should President Obama (and for that matter, Hillary Clinton) be demonized by the LGBTQ community, mainstream media, and leftists for their perspectives a decade ago? Lest we forget, both announced sharp opposition to gay marriage when they were running for president in 2008. Which is worse, a potential head of state calling for marriage to be defined as being between a man and woman or a teenager in high school referring to someone as a “fag”?

Democratic politicians are apparently allowed to evolve in their beliefs, but comedians and college football players are not.

Anti-Christian Tweets

Sadly, some of the very people who demonize others on Twitter for using unacceptable terms in the past are the same people who also demonize Christians today. I’ve been combing through Tweets of many of the most outspoken proponents of LGBTQ rights, accusers of Islamophopia, and other anti-bigotry leaders. In many cases, these people who are against bigotry demonstrate their own bigotry towards the Judeo-Christian faiths without being big news stories.

I’m not posting the Tweets here. I will not participate in whataboutism, nor do I condone using someone’s past Tweets to highlight their alleged bigotry. There’s a difference between the militant and inexcusable posts by people like Louis Farrakhan and the posts be people like Murray, Hart, or the anti-Christian posts of their detractors. They might see it as okay to demonize people like Hart and Murray for their Tweets, but I will not participate in Twitter witch hunts on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both practices are wrong.

So the question really isn’t about when we start calling out anti-Christian Tweets. It’s about why we should openly debate each other’s perspectives without being condemned for our own perspectives. If someone Tweets something against the Judeo-Christian faith, I wouldn’t expect the Oscars to ban them from being their host. I would see it as an opportunity to share my own perspectives and hopefully show some who are against my faith that there’s something worth exploring.

Today, if you Tweet something deemed unacceptable by the LGBTQ community, you’re in jeopardy of losing much. If you Tweet something against the Judeo-Christian faiths, the left sees it as acceptable. Social media is the most hypocritical medium around.

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Culture and Religion

9 discoveries that confirm the Bible

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9 discoveries that confirm the Bible

In this extremely interesting short video detailing archaeological discoveries that confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible, the folks at World Video Bible School highlight some amazing evidence. I don’t know much about WVBS, but I can endorse this video itself.

Here’s the first of the 9 discoveries:

The Pilate Inscriptions

In 1961 in an Italian sponsored dig in Caesarea, archaeologists uncovered a stone that had a Latin inscription on it that said “Pontius Pilatus… prefect of Judea.” That Pilate is mentioned in the Gospel accounts on several occasions. You read in John 18:29:

Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?

The find verifying the New Testament statement that Pilate was the prefect of Judea.

8 more

All of these discoveries are proper, indisputable archaeological finds. It’s one thing to contest the Bible’s authenticity as the Word of God, though its very presence and the takeaways we can draw from it point the faithful to the truth. However, claiming it as being historically wrong is being debunked regularly.

The authenticity of the Bible as a historical document is no longer a valid argument against it. As more archaeological evidence points to its physical truths, so too should its words and lessons be completely trustworthy to those seeking the truth.

 

 

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