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Update: Church approves prayer book revision for gender-neutral God

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As I have previously written, the has been a concerted, decades-long effort among a growing segment within the Episcopal Church to strip the Word of its masculine references to God, beginning with the 1973 publication of “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation.”

These efforts to amend church materials in conformation to ideological post-modernist thought drew national attention this year after the Washington D.C. diocese adopted a resolution urging the national church’s General Convention to revise the prayer book and, when doing so, to remove the use of gendered pronouns for God in all future revisions. The Book of Common Prayer includes liturgies, prayers, the Bible’s Psalms, etc., was last revised in 1979.

A July 11, 2018, statement by the national Episcopal Church now informs us that this year’s General Convention has indeed concurred, passing a resolution that calls for the revision of the prayer book to include “inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity.”

♦Resolution A068: Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer declares:

Resolvedthe House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention, pursuant to Article X of the Constitution, authorize the ongoing work of liturgical and Prayer Book revision for the future of God’s mission through the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.

 

♦As the Episcopal News Service reported from the convention:

The Rev. Jane Johnson, deputy from Fond du Lac, said that since human beings, in all their diversity, are made in the image of God, then the church must move away from an image of God that is white and male. “God’s pronouns are them and their, not he,” she said.

 

The original resolution was re-worded by the House of Bishops. The adopted resolution utilizes language which is more palatable to the public, especially Bible-believing conservatives.

 

One inclusion in Resolution A068 which is, without doubt, an attempt to ease the concerns of conservatives, states (emphasis mine):

ResolvedThat this Convention memorialize the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as a Prayer Book of the church… 

 

♦Resolution A068 lays out a process through which prayer book revision will begin:

Resolvedthat our methodology be one of a dynamic process for discerning common worship, engaging all the baptized, while practicing accountability to The Episcopal Church….

ResolvedThat the 79th General Convention create a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR), the membership of which will be jointly appointed by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, and will report to the appropriate legislative committee(s) of the 80th General Convention, ensuring that diverse voices of our church are active participants in this liturgical revision by constituting a group with leaders who represent the expertise, gender, age, theology, regional, and ethnic diversity of the church, to include, 10 laity, 10 priests or deacons, and 10 Bishops…

ResolvedThat bishops engage worshiping communities in experimentation and the creation of alternative texts to offer to the wider church, and that each diocese be urged to create a liturgical commission to collect, reflect, teach and share these resources with the TFLPBR…

 

Required components of the new, revised prayer book, according to Resolution A068, must include (emphasis mine):

ResolvedThat such revision utilize the riches of Holy Scripture and our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, class and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship; and be it further…

ResolvedThat our liturgical revision utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity…

 

According to the Episcopal News Service, “In the process set out by the SCLM, a revised Book of Common Prayer will be created by 2024, with three years of trial use after that. Final adoption of that revision by two successive General Conventions would result in a new prayer book in 2030.”

 

The US Episcopal Church has, for decades now, published an inclusive supplement to the Book of Common prayer, entitled “Enriching Our Worship.” It appears that the Book of Common Prayer will be revised to further align with said inclusive supplemental material.

I have already reported on the problematic language used in Enriching Our Worship,” such as the alteration of Biblical Psalms and the changing of God’s pronouns, often resulting the resulting in the changing of tense of Biblical passages.

In addition, there are times when core Christian doctrine is either watered down or is voided by the text’s efforts at employing inclusive language.

♦As Father Brown of Trinity Church wrote in 2011 (emphasis mine):

The opening invocation of the Eucharist, “Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy [Spirit]…and blessed be his Kingdom now and forever” gives way to, “Blessed be the one, holy, and living God…Glory to God for ever and ever.”

This last example points to a more profound adjustment: the avoidance of the Trinitarian formula, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

 

♦In terms of the application of gender-neutral language for God, Father Brown explained (emphasis mine):

Can we affirm our divine adoption in Jesus without privileging the use of male language? Can we say the same thing with neutral terms such as “parent” and “child?” Actually, no. Not quite. Such neutral terms, become abstractions and generalities. By contrast when Jesus calls God, “Father,” he is being personal and specific. Jesus’ use of “Father” is part of a syntax of familial language that runs through Scripture. Jesus is the Son of the Father, who in turn is also Father of Israel in the Old Testament (Hosea 11:1). Through Jesus, we are adopted as sons, and share in the “Spirit of Sonship,” becoming “fellow heirs” – that is, “part of the family.”

This interweaving of familial language also includes nuptial imagery in which Israel is betrothed to God, who becomes her husband as a result of his Covenant. The prophets repeatedly denounce Israel’s proclivity to pagan idolatry as marital infidelity. Hence, in Jeremiah 31:32, God speaks of “my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband.”

If we are to be related to the God who reveals himself in Jesus, we must inhabit the linguistic syntax in which God has made himself known. That language has a certain fluidity. Father – Son, Husband – Wife, Bride – Bridegroom all intertwine in a way that only makes sense if they are understood analogically. In this way, Scripture provides a collation of “mixed metaphors” that work together to configure the divine – human relationship, as well as inner three-fold relations of the persons of the Trinity.

 

I would be a shame for those attending Episcopal churches around the country to be deprived of a familial relationship with God and with one another.

Time will reveal the fruits of this effort… In the meantime, let us pray for them.

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Culture and Religion

Top 5 ‘Bottomless Pinocchios’ of the national socialist left

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Top 5 Bottomless Pinocchios of the national socialist left

That perfect paragon of journalistic ‘objectivity’, the Washington Post, introduced a new rating for lies. We applied them to the left.

The Washington Post has developed a new rating system – the ‘Bottomless Pinocchio’ – for a false claim repeated over and over. This is somewhat ironic since the leftist media excels in the practice. While we will try to keep this to the more egregious and discrete lies of the left, a few notes on their other types of lies are in order.

The labeling and language lies of the left

Even the labels they apply to themselves aside from being socialist are falsehoods. These are people who work against the cause of liberty on a daily basis while pretending to be liberal. It’s a post-modernism community that has the false front of being ‘progressive’, that would prefer to use the judiciary to impose their socialist national agenda rather than democratic means.

Then there is the game of lying by language the left plays to excess. Time was, global cooling was the existential threat to woman and mankind, until it stopped getting cooler. Then global warming became the existential threat until it stopped getting warmer. Accordingly, they hit on the deception of working against it doing either, so no matter what happens, they can claim they are right because the climate has always changed. This also gave them a nice bonus in tarring any who opposes their control agenda as being a ‘climate change denier’ – even though no one actually denies the climate changes. Better yet, they have been able to shorten it up to the ultimate insult of labeling their opposition as ‘climate deniers’ as if people would actually deny reality itself.

These will be the top 5 ‘Bottomless Pinocchios’ of the left. These are lies that are recycled repeatedly by the left in their effort at distorting reality to the point where gun free zones actually keep people safe, no one is starting a conversation about gun confiscation and societal slavery can really work.

 Bottomless Pinocchio 5: People have a ‘right’ to health care

This is one of the left’s favourites in trying to reshape (or ‘reform’) reality. Like many other variations of the ‘people have a right to’ line, this stems from the concept of Coercive or Collective Rights, whereby people have the ‘right’ to force others to provide them with the vestiges of this ‘right’. These are contrasted with Natural Rights possessed by everyone, the right to self-preservation, the right to property, the right of freedom of expression.

Having a ‘right’ to health care, or ‘right’ to feel safe, or a ‘right’ to not be offended, generally entails that someone else has to provide for this ‘right’. In the case of healthcare, providing this ‘right’ would mean that medical professionals would be required to sacrifice their time and labour in this effort. Citizens would also be forced to contribute their property. There is a word for when people are forced to provide their time and effort to others. It’s called slavery.

In point of fact the phrase should really be people have a ‘right’ to enslave others. But the folks who pretend to support liberty can’t say that directly, hence they use the ‘right to’ lie.

Bottomless Pinocchio 4: Gun free zones work as advertised

This one is slightly different from the others in that even leftists know they will be laughed off the public stage if they said this out loud. Rather, they imply the idea with their policy agenda of incessantly working towards gun confiscation, supposedly rendering the entire world a global ‘gun-free’ zone such as the latest example in France.

Expanding what doesn’t work always seems to be a hallmark of the left. Never mind that something doesn’t function in one area, extend it elsewhere so it’ll work… somehow.

Anyone familiar with logic can easily see why these don’t work, since those bent on evil will tend to go where they will have little opposition. Unfortunately, as with the fact that there are only two genders, leftists don’t seem to be able to comprehend that which is bloody obvious. They seem to have the misguided idea that a rule or a sign will stop a mass murderer.

The facts bear this out given that most mass shootings take place in ‘gun-free’ zones. This has been the situation for almost 30 years.

The problem for the left is that they can’t actually admit to their absolute failure in this area. Were they to do this, it would mean an end to their whole gun confiscation agenda. Thus they perpetuate that it’s a myth that defensive gun uses exist or that a ‘good guy (or gal) with a gun’ will deter these tragedies. It means that they continue to put people at risk for the sake of their disarmament agenda, without the hint of guilt on their part.

Bottomless Pinocchio 3 : No one is talking about gun confiscation

Finding cases where leftists have demanded gun confiscation has become as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (pardon the pun Peta). The past few years have seen an increase in these demands from the left to the point that it’s occurred more than 70 times not counting excerpts, syndication and reprints. Repeating this lie enables leftists to keep the discussion to the next incremental step instead of their final solution to the liberty problem.

Still, the liberty grabber left persists in propagating this enormous lie. It does several things for them. It short circuits the negative effects of gun confiscation such as leaving the innocent defenseless against criminals and the government. It lulls some into a false sense of security as to the left’s long term goal for the cause of liberty.

This perennial lie is also necessary to get some to accept governmental overreach in controlling their personal property. They have used this same technique in getting people to register their guns accompanied by the solemn promise that they won’t use it to confiscate guns, after which their guns are confiscated.

Bottomless Pinocchio 2: Failed socialist experiments weren’t really socialist

It would seem this little ditty began when the socialist-left started trying to claim that a certain National Socialist German Workers’ Party wasn’t actually a National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The Left actually tried to reverse reality, making a party with a collectivist ideology of the left to one of an individualist ideology of the right. The problem for them is that those on the pro-liberty, conservative right, by definition favour lower taxes and limited government. Hardly something the Nazis were known for.

Leftists will often times try to deflect the facts of the matter given the very name of the party: ‘Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei’. But consider the words of the translator of Mein Kampf:

Finally, I would point out that the term Social Democracy may be misleading in English, as it has not a democratic connotation in our sense. It was the name given to the Socialist Party in Germany. And that Party was purely Marxist; but it adopted the name Social Democrat in order to appeal to the democratic sections of the German people.
James Murphy. Abbots Langley, February, 1939

Later on, they played this little game with virtually every other socialist regime. Miraculously enough, before these socialist regimes ran out of other people’s money the left labelled them as one of their own. Then in the blink of an eye, they would ping-pong from left to right almost overnight when they inevitably failed.

The problem for the left is that they have nothing on George Orwell. We’re supposed to simply ignore basic facts from history, beginning with the very words that socialists have used to describe themselves. These socialist regimes also followed collectivist precepts. But in an instant these facts are swept away, in favour of a new reality where Red is Blue and Blue is Red.

Bottomless Pinocchio 1: Socialism can actually work

This is a basic survival lie of the left. They cannot accede to the fact of 400 years of the failure of the ideas of their base ideology, so they must pretend it can work… somehow. Just as they can pretend to be liberal while working to tear down liberty, but that’s another subject.

Since their agenda of societal slavery has never worked, they have to deflect the argument with the aforementioned ‘socialism has never been tried before’ and ‘failed socialist experiments weren’t really socialist’ lies. Or pretending that non-socialist nations are really socialist.

The bottom line is that socialism can never work because it runs counter to basic human physiology. One will always see less of a behaviour that is negatively reinforced, while more will be seen with behaviour that is positively reinforced. The fundamental results of reward and punishment cannot be ignored, and yet this is what socialists have as the basis of their ideology.

Consider that the experiment of socialism has been conducted in situations around the world for over 400 years with the same result: failure. It should be obvious by now to most intelligent people that it cannot work, and yet the national socialist-left still persists in trying to turn that which is impossible into something that is possible, no matter who has to suffer and die.

The takeaway

In many ways the left should stay away from pronouncing judgement on falsehoods when they are so rife with them. Leftist lies keep them afloat in the sea of politics. We have shown that not only are they false, but they must be retold in order for the left to survive.

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Culture and Religion

Dr Paul Lim tells how he went from atheist to Christian… at Yale

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Dr Paul Lim tells how he went from atheist to Christian at Yale

Universities aren’t usually considered likely venues for people to turn to the Christian faith. Ivy League universities rife with atheist professors are even less likely than most to yield a conversions to the faith. If anything, they’re efforts are often directly focused on converting Christians into abandoning their faith.

Dr Paul Lim tells a different tail. His personal journey from South Korea to California, then Pennsylvania on to Yale, is an exception to the rule. His journey is not common, but then again who’s to say what sort of journey to embracing Jesus Christ can be considered common?

It’s not too long, clocking in at just over 48 minutes, and much better than your average network television hour. If you already believe, it may help you open the eyes of others. If you don’t believe, your eyes may be opened.

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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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