Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sophia worshippers still harbored by Presbyterians.

Why is the Presbyterian Church STILL harboring Sophia worshippers?

If you think I’m off my rocker, go to the and check out the June 30th entry titled “Staying Alive: Re-Imagining god group gathers at General Assembly� (Sorry I haven’t figured out how to give a direct link on that site.) Note that the new moderator is supporting this. What a good start for him.

Just from a practical standpoint, it amazes me that the Presbyterian Church is still giving harbor to these idolaters after the damage the denomination inflicted upon itself from the 1993 Re-imagining God conference and the Sophia worship there.

Wow, you can’t make up stuff this nuts. What did I say about insanity as judgment a while back?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Can a vote be sin?

While we’re talking about church discipline . . . most of you have surely heard about all the controversy about a few Catholic bishops saying they would refuse communion to John Kerry and that those who vote for pro-abortion candidates shouldn’t receive communion, either. That’s been all over the place, so I won’t rehash it.

The controversy raises a broader question, however: can a vote or other political act ever be a sin?

There are people that get all indignant at the suggestion of that. But I say, Heck yes, it can be a sin!

I understand that a lot of political choices are not clear cut and are ethically complex. We’ve all felt compelled to choose “the lesser of two evils� when we vote. If I were a bishop, I’d cut people some slack in those cases.

But let’s say you have a Barbara Boxer, who is flat out evil. There I said it. Burn me at the stake. But, I’m sorry, she is an evil person who willfully commits grave political evil almost every chance she gets. She practically hunts the unborn among other outrages. To vote for her when her opponent doesn’t have horns is a serious sin.

Should the church do anything about such sin? Bishops or priests shouldn’t interview parishioners on how they voted before they are allowed to take communion. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that. But should they teach that abortion on demand and support of abortion is a grave sin? Yes. Should they teach that one is asking for judgment if they take communion while willfully committing grave sin and refusing to repent of it? Yes. If they see Barbara Boxer or John Kerry or someone they know is campaigning for such coming to the communion rail, should they refuse communion to them?


And if someone gets indignant at that stand, ask them, “Do you think an unrepentant neonazi should be allowed to take communion?� Then watch them get all flustered (and perhaps even more indignant) at having their double standard exposed.

Or maybe they hesitantly answer yes, in which case their weak view of communion is exposed.

There is sin in the realm of politics just like any other realm of human behavior. And the church isn’t going to make you do anything. You can rob, lie, commit adultery, abuse your family, and vote for evil people and evil causes.

But don’t willfully do those things, refuse to repent, and then expect the church to pretend everything is all right on Sunday. Yes, churches all too often play that vile little game. Shame on them if they do.

And good for those bishops and churches who do not.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Church discipline

As you can probably tell already, church discipline is important to me in choosing a church. And, as you’ll see, I am not easy to please in this area.

That’s because I’ve been provoked through the years by the misapplication (and nonapplication) of church discipline. That’s a big reason I left the Presbyterian Church. I was fed up with no action being taken against heterodoxy and heteropraxy while at the same time some presbyteries oppressed and even kicked out orthodox congregations.

But I’ve seen that liberals aren’t the only ones who can flunk church discipline. I’ve seen conservative controlling church leaders oppress people, often for things that are good!

Why do I get provoked over such things? Orthodoxy and Christian freedom are both very important to me, as well as Christian unity. On orthodoxy, if a church isn’t committed enough to the faith to remove heretics and apostates from positions of leadership, then why should I be committed to that church? On Christian freedom, it is for freedom that Christ has set me free. So I will not subject myself to a controlling yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1) On unity, I want Christians who differ on peripheral matters to be treated as full brothers and sisters. Church discipline is just not appropriate over matters such as, say, baptismal regeneration – a question that resulted in church discipline in the Episcopal Church in the 19th century. This misapplication of discipline helped fragment Christian unity and helped push some evangelical Episcopalians to split off and form the Reformed Episcopal Church.

And, yes, I want to be treated as a full brother when I differ on peripheral issues.

Church discipline is one reason I’m attracted to orthodox Anglicanism. Historically in Anglicanism, there has been room for a variety of orthodox from evangelical Bible-thumpers (Hey, I’m one.) to Anglo-Catholic incense addicts. I want to be in a church with such variety. I disagree with, say, Anglo-Catholics on some things, but I like them and want to be in the same church with them. At the same time, orthodoxy is taken seriously enough among traditional Anglicans to apply discipline against apostasy, as the Primates seem poised to do against the ECUSA.

As far as overly controlling discipline, one of the ironies of North American Anglicanism today is that most of the control freak behavior is coming from the liberals such as +Ingham and +Bennison. If anything, historically the orthodox haven’t been controlling enough, putting up with Spong and the like.

So I am hard to please when it comes to church discipline. But when I look at how orthodox Anglicans apply it, I like most of what I see.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Primates’ statements – lots of them

I recommend this page of Primates’ statements to you at Ekklesia’s site. There you will find numerous statements from various Primates concerning the recent unpleasantness in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A.

The first thing that comes to mind when skimming these is the obvious (or what should be obvious): there has been no lack of warnings of the serious consequences of the actions of the last ECUSA General Convention.

I find this statement particularly notable. Before the convention, seven primates among many others warned that confirming Robinson as bishop would “separate [the Episcopal Church] from historic Christian faith and teaching,� and
“alienate it from the fellowship and accountability of the worldwide Anglican family.� This from a meeting at Truro Church in July 2003 that you don’t hear much about anymore.

That a majority of the Episcopal bishops went ahead and confirmed Robinson in spite of these warnings is the height of arrogance. It and actions since then send the message that Episcopal leaders just don’t care about the rest of the Anglican Communion.

You know, when you have a grown child who just doesn’t care about the family, but is a divisive burden on it, not respecting family standards, yet somehow remaining a member of the household, there’s sometimes one thing to do:

Kick. him. out. of. the. house.

Hopefully, he’ll learn from his eviction and eventually repent. But if not, you will not allow him to drag down the whole family.

Friday, June 25, 2004

About that Leftist scumbag Micheal Moore

Most of you probably already know that Michael Moore deserves no respect as a source on anything. But in case you don’t, read this eye opening entry. Note that Christopher Hitchens is quite left of center. He’s no fan of George Bush.

Also note that Moore is accepting help from the terrorist group Hezbollah.

I could say more, but I don't know how printable it would be. I do have a respectable Anglican readership, you know.
Guess That Denomination!

It’s time for Guess That Denomination! :^D

cheesy game show music and canned applause

Contestants, can you guess the denomination?! Here are your hints:

clock ticking

1. Their highest administrative officer refuses to enforce their constitution, but uses strong arm tactics to keep those contributions coming in!

canned laughter

2. African church leaders recently severed ties with Washington, D.C. area churches over gay ordination.

3. A U.S. denomination leader then called for “dialogue.�

more canned laughter

4. Another U.S. leader in this denomination then made condescending remarks about the African leaders.

5. Scattered conservative churches are leaving this denomination.

Think you know it yet? It might not be what you think! O.K., one last hint:

6. They are about to have one humdinger of a meeting.

O.K., time’s up!

If you think you know the answer (or if you give up) and want to know more, go here.

And thanks for playing Guess That Denomination!

cheesy game show ending music and wild canned applause

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I am not a loony.

In case you think I went off the deep end yesterday in describing the actions of Bishop Chane and other Episcoliberals as “one finger blessings� to the Anglican Communion, read this.

I’m glad to see I’m far from alone in seeing their actions as sending a message to the Anglican Communion: we’re going to do our liberal pansexual thing no matter what, so deal with it.

Again, such conduct probably won’t exactly win friends and influence people, namely the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Commission. Not to mention the Primates, but the ECUSA has already blown it with most of them.

Aren’t there some verses somewhere about evil men falling into holes they themselves have dug?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

More on the “Common Cause� letter

O. K. I’m finally back and able to blog.

And I’m still excited about the “Common Cause� letter that I briefly mentioned last Thursday. There’s so much I could say about it. Please read it.

I think it could turn out to be a touchstone of what could turn out to be a pivotal week in the Anglican Communion. The Lambeth Commission came to town (North Carolina to be exact) and, although ++Griswold’s every other word was either “reconciliation,� or “dialogue,� his liberal allies gave one finger blessings to the commission. By the actions of the Anglican Church of Canada at their Synod, by same sex blessings by Bishop Chane in the Diocese of Washington and more, the revisionists sent a loud message – they will push their liberal agenda and if the rest of the Anglican Communion doesn’t like it, then too bad.

The liberals’ conduct toward the Lambeth Commission and even toward the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has pleaded for restraint, has been divisive and disrespectful. The timing of liberal actions in that regard has been incredible. Bishop Chane’s same sex blessing occurred the very weekend that the Lambeth Commission came to this country.

By contrast, the timing and tone of the Common Cause letter couldn’t have been better. While the liberals were divisive, the orthodox leaders publicly repented of their divisions and pledged to work all the more for biblical unity. While the liberals disrespected the Archbishop of Canterbury and were making his job of keeping the Communion unified more difficult, the conservatives were publicly showing both humility and respect and were letting him know they were seeking to make his job easier. This even though three of the signers are not in direct communion with Canterbury.

And this isn’t just a letter. As partly documented here, orthodox North American Anglicans have done more for Christian unity in one year than the Anglican Church of Canada and the ECUSA have done in 20 years.

Now, after this letter and events of the past few weeks, if you were the Lambeth Commission or the Archbishop of Canterbury, who would you rather work with: the revisionists or the orthodox? The ACC and ECUSA or the Network and allied continuing Anglican bodies?

If there was a winner last week, I suspect the orthodox, with their grace and their striving for unity around truth, won . . . big time.

A personal note: the Small Continuing Anglican Church I’ve been checking out is under one of the leaders that signed the letter. So this makes my hope of joining a worldwide Anglican communion that much more possible.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Great News...

...about committment to unity among North American orthodox Anglicans.

After the Bahamas meetings, I suspected something was coming, and I told you to watch for it. I suspect more is on the way.

That's all I have time to say for now. I have bidness the next few days. So I might not be posting much. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


As noted in a comment below, I was mistaken in writing that a same sex blessing was performed at the National Cathedral. It still was performed by Bishop Chane.

And the election of Bishop Ingham was by the Anglican Church of Canada and then received by the ECUSA Executive Council. The effect of it giving a one-fingered welcome to the Lambeth Commission remains, however.
Church politics stink.

And here’s an example of that.

Note how those who forced this orthodox rector out acted in an underhanded, behind-the-back way. Also note that what was expected of the rector was an unreasonable and illusive target. Note that the reasons for acting against the rector were so much crap. And also note the hateful recklessness towards this good man’s reputation.

Yes, I’ve seen this all before in a non-Episcopal context. And it stinks in the nostrils of God.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


The Episcopal Church continues to signal that it just doesn’t care what the rest of the Anglican Communion thinks, even as the Lambeth Commission is meeting in North Carolina.

This past weekend, the Bishop of Washington, John Chane (Yes, you saw him participate in Reagan’s funeral.) performed a same-sex wedding in the National Cathedral.

Now, the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church has chosen Bishop Michael Ingham as the Anglican Church of Canada Liaison to the Episcopal Church. This is the Bishop Ingham who has pushed same sex blessings, persecuted the orthodox, and been practically excommunicated by a majority of the Anglican Communion. If the Executive Committee could have made a choice more offensive to orthodox Anglicans, I don’t know what it could be.

I think Bishop Chane and the Executive Committee know exactly what they are doing. They are letting the Lambeth Commission and the Anglican Communion know that they will continue to push their pansexual agenda no matter what. This is breathtaking contempt for the Commission and for the Communion and even for the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, who has asked that actions precipitating further division not be undertaken while the Lambeth Commission is deliberating.

To look at the bright side, these actions and their incredibly disrespectful timing should let the Lambeth Commission know just exactly whom they are dealing with. If they don’t see now the need for serious discipline of the Episcopal Church . . . Well, I’ll cut myself off there. At least I, for one, want to show the Lambeth Commission a little respect.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Pledge case decided . . . in a clever roundabout way.

You might have noticed I’m not shy about bashing the Supreme Court when they deserve it. But I have to hand it to them – they handled the Pledge of Allegiance case very shrewdly.

It just came out that they dismissed the Pledge case since the nutcase dad’s custody status is questionable at best. So the Court got rid of the case without having to rule on any of those nasty Constitutional questions.

But Chief Justice Rehnquist did add that the Pledge does not violate the Constitution. And guess who concurred? Sandra Day O’Connor. Now O’Connor is often the deciding vote in close cases, so her concurrence lets the anti-pledge fanatics know that they don’t have a snowball’s chance for the near future at least.

So the esteemed Court got rid of the Pledge case without having to make a controversial ruling. At the same time, they sent a strong signal that should discourage any similar lawsuits for a while. Shrewd, very shrewd indeed.
The Lambeth Commission is meeting in North Carolina this week. I am one of those praying for them and for their deliberations.

I’ve noticed the 1979 collect for this week is timely given those meetings:

Keep, O Lord, we beseech thee, thy household the Church in
thy steadfast faith and love, that through thy grace we
may proclaim thy truth with boldness, and minister thy
justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus
Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Amen, indeed.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Speaking of enemies…

As you may have noticed, a lot of people are trying to capitalize on Ronald Reagan’s passing by pushing for expanded federal funding on stem cell research. That sounds all nice, but the thing is they want to harvest human embryos to do so.

Ronald Reagan respected human life and would oppose such a ghoulish thing. But that apparently hasn’t given the proponents any pause or shame. I myself felt like vomiting my breakfast at the sight of Ellen Goodman, a brainless, knee-jerk, leftist Feminazi who stands against just about everything Reagan stood for *catches breath* I just about lost my wheaties at the sight of her urging us to do this for Reagan.

Ellen Goodman, you were no help to Reagan while he was living. Guess what you can do with your help now?

By contrast, Mark Shea wrote a brief but excellent piece on the outrage of trying to use Ronald Reagan’s memory to harvest the unborn. I commend it to you. (Free registration may be required.)

By the way, I’m well aware that Nancy Reagan has called for expanded stem cell research. I have the highest respect for her. God bless her and her devotion to her late husband. And her feelings are certainly understandable. But she is simply wrong on this one. And even a proponent of stem cell research has called it “a long shot� that it would help Alzheimer’s patients.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Bringing out the best . . . and the worst

It’s been oft remarked that Ronald Reagan brought out the best in us. With his optimism and pro-freedom policies, he encouraged us to strengthen America, including our economy. He encouraged people yearning for freedom worldwide as they struggled under Communism and other oppression.

But Ronald Reagan also brought out the worst in some. I saw this during the early 80’s during my Duke and post-Duke years when I saw the venom, hatred, and lies of the Left aimed at him. And a few Leftists even now can barely restrain themselves in their hatred of Reagan and what he did and what he stood for. Thankfully, most who are left of center have more class than that. Even they recognize the basic goodness of Ronald Reagan and the good he did for America . . . or at least have the good sense to keep their mouths shut for a week.

Reagan has especially brought the worst out of French President Chirac. Even though he’s in Georgia as I type this, he will not attend Reagan’s funeral. Neither will Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Just when I was thinking about lifting my personal boycott of France . . .

Oh well. It’s been said a man is known by his enemies. And Ronald Reagan certainly had – and has – the right enemies.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

Something most people don’t remember about Ronald Reagan – and it didn’t get much publicity at the time – is his great piece, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation. He wrote it in 1983, shortly after the 10th Anniversity of Roe v. Wade during the first term of his presidency.

There’s a sadness that comes from reading it. His piece all too well shines the light on how far gone we were and are as a nation. And there’s the sadness in remembering the hope there was of reversing Roe v. Wade, hope cruelly crushed by disappointing and arbitrary Supreme Court rulings.

Among the presidents since Roe v. Wade, one can visualize only Ronald Reagan and perhaps our current president having the principle and courage to write Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation. And, in a way, that’s sad as well.

One of the best ways we can remember President Reagan is to remember the unborn as he did, even when others would shove them aside.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I submitted the following today to two local newspapers.

A Boy Named Reagan

This past Sunday morning brought home to me very personally how Ronald Reagan touched so many lives. As I was leaving church, I spotted a 14-year-old Russian boy I know, a sociable kid with a calm, happy disposition. He was adopted from a Russian orphanage. His name is Reagan – the name his adoptive parents gave him since he was born on the President’s birthday.

Something moved me to go over to him and say, “Let me tell you about who you’re named after.� And I sat down and told him that in 1980 when I was a student at Duke, the old Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. I expected they wouldn’t stop there. And I expected I would be drafted to fight in a war against them.

At home, my own government was already hostile to my family. Although our business was modest, if successful, our taxes were as high as 70%.

But by the end of Reagan’s presidency, things were completely different. He helped stop the expansion of the Soviet Union’s domination and pushed it back. I never had to fight in that war, because it never happened. And not long after he left office, the unthinkable happened instead. The Berlin Wall fell, and not long afterward, the Soviet Union as well.

And my family never had to pay that 70% rate again. Reagan lowered the highest income tax rate to 28%.

Then I told the boy Reagan that if it weren’t for President Reagan, he wouldn’t be here in America because it’s very unlikely the Soviet Union would have let him go. For most Russians were prisoners in their own country under Communism.

He listened politely. Although his English is excellent, I don’t know if he really understood. The reality of the Cold War I grew up with must seem like strange distant history to just about any 14 year old today. But one day he’ll understand.

After I talked with him and with his mom a bit, I found I had to wipe a few tears from my eyes.

And I reflected on some other Russian kids I know. These are also orphanage kids, adopted by another family in my church. Now this family loves to play ultimate frisbee, and I play with them and some friends. Reagan and his American big brother, Landon, sometimes play, too. And these Russian kids, though small for their age, are quite good. I joke that the family adopted the Russian National Ultimate Frisbee team.

The kids are fun to watch as you can imagine. And I enjoy listening to them talk to each other in Russian and to others in their so far limited English. And I enjoy starting water fights with them after frisbee – fights they somehow always win.

As I walked out of church yesterday, I reflected that if it weren’t for Ronald Reagan, these kids wouldn’t be a part of our lives. Before him, it was unthinkable even. They wouldn’t be running across a sunny Texas field chasing frisbees or winning riotous water fights.

They wouldn’t be -- free.

So if you see me playing ultimate frisbee and provoking water fights with some Russian kids with a big smile on my face and maybe a tear in my eye, you’ll know why – and whom I thank.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Thank you, Mr. President.

Even though I knew his health had taken a turn for the worse, it caught me by surprise when I heard that Ronald Reagan had died. And it caught me by surprise when I cried.

My appreciation for Ronald Reagan is personal. I became an adult during his presidency. And I know he left me a better America to live in.

In 1980, when I was a Freshman at Duke, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Afterward President Jimmy Carter brought back registration for a possible future draft. I expected the Soviet Union would subdue Afghanistan then go after the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. And I knew I could easily be drafted for the resulting war.

Even apart from Afghanistan, the Soviet Union during the Carter years grew stronger, in military might and in world domination. We were becoming encircled by the Soviet Union and its allies.

At home, the state waged close to the economic equivalent of war against my family. Although our business was modest, our taxes were as high as 70%.

I correctly saw the Democrats as largely responsible for this state of affairs, for this endangerment of our country and of my future. And I took it personally. I worked hard and successfully in 1980 and in 1984 for the election of Ronald Reagan and Republican allies. And, yes, this day I’m stinking proud of it.

Ronald Reagan literally turned the world around. At the end of his presidency, the Soviet Union’s influence was waning while ours grew. I never had to go fight that war. And my family didn’t have to pay that 70% tax anymore – the highest tax rate was 28%.

And about a year he left office, the unthinkable happened.

For some reason, I watched President Reagan give a commencement speech at Notre Dame early in his first term. In it, he predicted that Communism would one day be thrown onto “the ash heap of history.� The intellectuals mocked.

But one year after his presidency, the Berlin Wall fell. Not long afterward, the Soviet Union fell with it.

Because of Ronald Reagan, not just I, not just America, but the world experiences freedom only he, in his irrepressible optimism and will, had the courage to see.

Thank you, Mr. President.

To honor President Reagan, I will limit my posts here to those relevant to him through the day of his burial.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Big News in Anglicanism

A clever boy at a disreputable message board I frequent pointed out that the above is an oxymoron. But I think there is actually big news in North American Anglicanism this week, and not just bad news.

The Plano-West conference has called upon the Primates to create a new North American Anglican province should the ECUSA not repent. Here’s the Plano-West statement with comments.

I see this as significant as it’s the first official plea for a new North American province that I’m aware of. Now some may question whether this is good news. But I think it’s become quite clear that for orthodox Anglicanism to thrive in North America, there must be a serious realignment that provides a place for the orthodox out from under the thumbs of liberal bishops.

Stay tuned and keep praying.

Friday, June 04, 2004


As most of you know, the big news in Anglicanism this week is the Anglican Church of Canada’s astonishing turnabout on gay unions. The titusonenine and Midwest Conservative Journal links on the right can provide you with plenty of details and commentary. But basically on Wednesday, the ACC General Synod voted to defer decisions on blessing gay unions/marriages. But then on Thursday, they affirmed the “sanctity� of committed same-sex relationships.

Putting aside whether this was right or wrong, these actions raise the question . . . what the heck were they thinking??

On Wednesday, they exercise some common sense and respect the requests from the Archbishop of Canterbury and from the Lambeth Commission to hold off on actions that would deepen divisions and make the Lambeth Commission’s work harder. But then on Thursday, they go off the deep end and with little deliberation and with only a show of hands, they declare committed gay relationships holy and virtually cut themselves off from most of the Anglican Communion.

I’ve speculated before here that there might be some madness going on among liberal North American Anglicans – madness as a form of judgment from God. This confirms it.

Maybe there was a behind the scenes method to this madness. But still this is certifiable, to exercise some degree of wisdom one day and then give the Anglican Communion the finger the next.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

What does conversion look like?

Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail makes interesting observations about how most Anglicans and most evangelicals view the process of conversion.

Evangelicals tend to emphasize the importance of making a decision to believe in Jesus. Anglicans (And for purposes of discussion, lets confine this to orthodox Anglicans.) tend to see conversion as more of a process, ideally beginning with infant baptism, proceeding through childhood religious education, leading to confirmation. So Anglican conversion typically is something a child grows into. (Of course, Anglicans also acknowledge that people as adults repent of unbelief and believe.)

The book points out that the evangelical emphasis on making a decision has the weakness of not explaining well those children who gradually come to faith at an early age. It also can raise doubts and pressure for a decision from people who have already come to faith but can’t remember a moment in time when a “decision� was made. It can also pressure for a decision when someone just isn’t ready to make a decision. Sometimes that pressure can even push someone away from Christ.

And I think the book is correct. But I don’t think the book adequately looks at the weaknesses in the typical Anglican position on conversion.

First, the Bible is very unclear just what occurs in an infant baptism. Most Anglicans believe the infant is regenerated. I do not.

I’ve noticed many Anglicans seem to believe that if you were infant baptized then confirmed, then you’re in. In fact, the preacher this past Pentecost Sunday at Small Continuing Anglican Church said that if you are baptized and confirmed, then you have the Holy Spirit. If confirmation includes a sincere heart trust and belief in Jesus, then I’d say yes. Otherwise . . .

I think the typical Anglican position opens the door to serious self-deception. It seems too easy for someone who doesn’t really believe to think that if they were baptized and confirmed, they are saved. The view is something akin to those who think going to church all their lives means they are going to heaven.

I grant that the evangelical “decision� model is open to self-deception as well. My Dear Ol’ Dad told me he once “went forward� as a boy.

I don’t think it took.

But at least Dad doesn’t have any illusions of being heaven-bound. Sadly, many do trust in the mechanics of “going forward� or “slipping their hand up� or reciting a sinner’s prayer or some such "decision" for their salvation. It’s Christ we must trust for salvation, not the mechanics of going forward or whatever. The mechanics will look different in different people. But all must trust in Jesus.

I don’t think we should trust too much in either model of conversion. As Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.� (John 3:8) There’s a lot of people who trust in Jesus, but even they couldn’t tell you exactly how that happened.

And the scriptures in different places have different (but not contradicting) descriptions of what conversion looks like. So whether we tend to hold to the Anglican process view of conversion or the evangelical decision view, we should have the humility to realize we don’t know just exactly where the Spirit “comes from and where it is going� in conversion.

Anyway, what do you think of the strengths and weaknesses of these two (or other) views of conversion?

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Outrageous Ruling

I waited to comment on this until I could verify it. And the press has so suppressed this, it took a while to verify.

But among the outrages of the ruling yesterday striking down the ban on partial birth abortion is the following: the judge wrote that the question of whether a fetus killed by partial birth abortion suffers pain is “irrelevant.�

This parrots what I’ve heard from pro-abortionists before. One pro-abortion leader wrote in 1980 that the question of whether an unborn child is a life was “irrelevant.� (I’d have to dig to refresh my memory who it was. That statement is in the hearing records of the Human Life Bill, in the appendix, I think.) Face it, the core of the pro-abortion crowd doesn’t care whether abortion kills or not. They don’t even care if it tortures.

This ruling is something the Nazis would be proud of. But I guess it’s what we should expect from U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, a San Francisco judge appointed by Bill Clinton.

On to the Supreme Court – although I have faint hope that a majority of that court will do the right thing.
Well, I’m back to what passes for normalcy in my life. I have kept up with my reading this past week, and there is so much that I could write on, I hardly know where to start.

Some of my reading has been the latest issue of First Things. This issue seems even better than First Things’ usual high standards.

Fr. Richard Neuhaus’ commentary on the handling of U. S. Catholic crisis has been excellent and courageous and is so again in this issue. It takes guts and clarity to say what he has said.

I could say so much more. Just go out and get the June/July issue. (Of, if you’re poor, their site posts articles from past issues.)

I’ve also been reading Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail. (Sounds like me, doesn’t it?) It has its strengths and weaknesses. I may comment on it at a later date.