The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Tag Archives: Catholic

500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Remembering the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation – October 31, 1517-2017

The Reformation extended into economics, politics, education, and music and his translation of the Bible became a foundation stone of the German language.

First,”…in music. In the Protestant churches, we take for granted our singing tradition. We forget that singing used to belong only to monks and priests. But as a result of Luther, lay people erupt in song, and composers are inspired.”  This surely is one of Luther’s great contributions to the church. A Mighty Fortress is our God is considered by some The Battle Hymn of the Reformation. And of course, the beautiful lullaby, Away in a Manger continues to bless so many at Christmas-time for centuries now. In addition to the music he wrote, there has been the subsequent composition of some of the greatest music the world has known. Inspiring Christian music composition and worship continues to this day.

Second, “I get a great deal out of Luther’s concept of vocation. I believe that if people could see the connection between the gospel of forgiveness and vocation, guilt and worry would be minimized. It’s a message that each day is a new start: you’re not held back by what has been, and you’re not haunted by the future.” That our jobs and calling contribute to the “glory of God” not only introduced the “Protestant work ethic”, but also highlighted that no vocation that God has called us to is any less or more important than another. Being a ditch digger, a cleric, or anything in between has equal potential to glorify the Lord. It initiated the concept that we all have worth and purpose.

Third, Luther reformed the Roman Catholic Church. Its corruption was at the point to make it unrecognizable as a Christian institution. As the years have passed things like the laity participating in the celebration of the Eucharist and other church sacraments became instituted with the Vatican II conclave and this included further acknowledgment of women. Being able to sing as a congregation in a church has become mainstream in this day. It removed the political power state that had become the Roman church in Luther’s time. It caused the church to finally admit it was wrong in the way it treated people like Galileo, an admission that was unthinkable in Luther’s time.

Fourth, Luther dared to say that just because the Roman church had the power to crush descent did not mean that it represented the truth. The idea of an all-powerful God who does not use his power to compel us to believe in him or in the truth is finally introduced into the actual workings of history and has been there ever since. Unbridled power from this point onward becomes suspect in Europe and the West. This leads to democracy where government no longer enforces truth or the “establishment” of any religion over another.  This ultimately leads to the concept of freedom of religion or religious liberty as it came forth through the framers of the United States Constitution.   The willingness to tolerate dissent becomes the true nature of freedom and of love.

Fifth, people began practicing conscience and dissent as it was now possible.  “The brand-new idea of truthful argument regarding how one sought the truth and how one argued for the truth was now on the table.” What was actually true and determining the process of what was true became front and center in many people’s minds. Paul’s concept in 1 Cor.11:19 “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” Argumentation and the discovery of truth has greatly enhanced theology, science, philosophy, and all realms of knowledge.

Sixth, Luther contributed unintentionally to the rising status of women. “He assumed that girls, along with boys, should be taught the catechism, and in that he anticipated co-education. He insisted that marriage was just as important a vocation as monasticism, and in that he accorded greater status to a woman’s role in marriage. And he was married to and proud of a woman who was, in effect, the treasurer, manager, and administrator of a rather complex business—the informal boarding house that the Luthers kept.”

Seventh, social reforms grew out of Luther’s concepts of liberty, true tolerance, and the image of God in all humanity. What would follow is the abolition of slavery as William Wilberforce and others were inspired to fight for and eventually win in the UK and elsewhere. The abolition movement spilled over into the United States.  Caring for the needs of the poor by establishing societies and ministries that would care for the underprivileged and hurting were birthed. Religious tolerance and ecumenism would be realized amongst the Christian denominations that would eventually form.

Eighth, “Luther emphasized the Priesthood of all believers.  Luther had remarkable insight.  He did not believe that we were our own priest.  This is an American perversion of his view.  He believed that even the laity were each other’s priests.  We are either too hard or too easy on ourselves.  We need other Christians to be more objective in helping us forgive ourselves.  In many ways, he anticipated the modern counseling movement.”

Finally, “in the end, what Luther did was not merely to open a door in which people were free to rebel against their leaders, but to open a door in which people were obliged by God to take responsibility for themselves and free to help those around them who could not help themselves.” With Luther comes the freedom to do what is right. Ultimately, “Luther helped encourage people to depend more on God, to deepen their relationship with him personally, and to increase their knowledge of this Scriptures.”

Today millions of people worship in churches inspired by Luther’s Reformation .

(Several of the above quotes come from Eric Metaxas’ excellent book, Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World)

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Best Interpretation of ‘Silence’

Spoiler Warning: this is the best commentary I’ve heard on the movie.

Silence

The American director announced on Monday during a social event in Tokyo the launch ofImage result for Silence his latest film entitled ‘Silence’.

Martin Scorsese’s most recent masterpiece is about the persecution of Christians in Japan during the seventeenth century – in extremis to compete at the 2017 Oscars, writes AFP. Read more of this post

Eroded, Eclipsed and Liquidated!

“God is Being Eroded, Eclipsed, Liquidated” in the United States, Cardinal Says

Robert Sarah warned against a ‘demonic’ threat to American society and encouraged prayer.

Recent events in the U.S. are destroying Americans’ ability to connect to God, according to Cardinal Robert Sarah, a native of the West African nation of Guinea.

In a keynote address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Cardinal Sarah said that in the United States, “God is being eroded, eclipsed, liquidated,” Catholic News Agency reports.

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No Sex on Campus

This is a reblog on a post from 2011. Enjoy.

Here’s a different twist or take on the American secular lifestyle.  Why didn’t Christians initiate this?

Portrait of a girl, 21st century, meant to loo...

For many women of faith on college campuses, not only is such behavior a direct violation of their faith, it is the degradation of women, plain and simple. Not only areCatholic and Muslim women increasingly sharing the experience of rejecting the college culture of sexual excess, but they find common ground in the empowerment that chastity offers as an alternative. So while Muslim and Catholic women may say different prayers each night as they prepare for bed, they are united in relishing that their bed (and their dignity) is theirs and theirs alone.

Look at these stats–sickening!  I’m not holier than thou,  I just know these stats represent some messed up lives, men and women both.

Statistics show that as many as 78 percent of women will engage in a hook-up at some point during their college tenure, 14 percent of whom will rely on a friend to tell them what happened the next day, 49 percent of whom will never see the partner again, and 16 percent of whom felt pressured into the sexual encounter. In a given year, roughly 97,000 cases of college campus sexual assault or date rape related to binge drinking are reported. Another 100,000 college students annually report being too drunk to know if they consented to having sex.

Related articles

No Sex on Campus

Here’s a different twist or take on the American secular lifestyle.  Why didn’t Christians initiate this?

Portrait of a girl, 21st century, meant to loo...

For many women of faith on college campuses, not only is such behavior a direct violation of their faith, it is the degradation of women, plain and simple. Not only are Catholic and Muslim women increasingly sharing the experience of rejecting the college culture of sexual excess, but they find common ground in the empowerment that chastity offers as an alternative. So while Muslim and Catholic women may say different prayers each night as they prepare for bed, they are united in relishing that their bed (and their dignity) is theirs and theirs alone. Read more of this post

what’s changed since 9/11?

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

I believe we may have convincing data here from a story at CNN.  The 4 points/facts from this article sound convincing to me.  Here is a snippet.

David O’Brien couldn’t help himself. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he became obsessed.

O’Brien read the stories of 9/11 victims over and over, stunned by what he was discovering.

He read about the firefighters who marched up the smoke-choked stairwells of the World Trade Center, though many knew they could die; the beloved priest killed while giving last rites as the twin towers collapsed; the passengers on hijacked planes who called their families one last time to say, “I love you.”

“I was obsessed with these stories,” says O’Brien, a Catholic historian at the University of Dayton in Ohio. “There were so many stories of self-sacrifice, not just by the first responders, but by people fleeing the building. There was this revelation of goodness.”

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What Churches are Loosing Membership?

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Catholics and Southern Baptist according to the Washington Times report recently.  The Southern Baptist lost 40,000 members last year which is a very small percentage of a total of 16.2 MM members I believe.  But a loss is not as good as an even or a gain.

President Obama’s denomination, United Church of Christ, lost 6 % of membership last year.   Maybe it is because they allow ministers in the pulpit who preach unbiblical, ethnocentric, Black theology.

Here is a listing of some of the top denominations from the Washington Times:

The Roman Catholic Church, 67,117,06 members, down 0.59 percent. (Ranked 1)

The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,266,920 members, down 0.24 percent. (Ranked 2)

The United Methodist Church, 7,931,733 members, down 0.80 percent. (Ranked 3)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5,873,408 members, up 1.63 percent .(Ranked 4)

The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no change reported. (Ranked 5)

National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., 5,000,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 6)

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,709,956 members, down 1.35 percent. (Ranked 7)

National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 8 )

Presbyterian Church (USA), 2,941,412 members, down 2.79 percent (Ranked 9)

Assemblies of God, 2,863,265 members, up 0.96 percent. (Ranked 10)

African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 11)

National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 11)

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., 2,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 11)

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,383,084 members, down 1.44 percent. (Ranked 14)

The Episcopal Church, 2,116,749 members, down 1.76 percent. (Ranked 15)

Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no change reported. (Ranked 16)

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 17)

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no change reported. (Ranked 17)

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, down 3.01 percent. (Ranked 19)

American Baptist Churches in the USA, 1,358,351, down 0.94 percent. (Ranked 20)

Baptist Bible Fellowship International, 1,200,000, no change reported. (Ranked 21)

United Church of Christ, 1,145,281 members, down 6.01 percent. (Ranked 22)

Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,092,169 members, up 2.12 percent (Ranked 23)

Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, 1,071,616 members, no change reported. (Ranked 24)

Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.), 1,053,642 members, up 2.04 percent. (Ranked 25)