Ecclesiastical State Of The Union

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by FMeekins, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. FMeekins

    FMeekins
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    My friend Matthew Pasalic asked me to post this commentary he wrote:

    President of Family Radio Harold Camping has recently published an intriguing book, The End of the Church Age…And After. Mr. Camping earnestly believes that God’s “usage of the churches and congregations has come to an end” and he therefore admonishes “each and every believer to leave the church.” Many Christians have rejected Camping’s theology as heretical and would likely label him as an iconoclast.



    Although I remain uncertain that the Church Era has come to a complete end, I believe that Mr. Camping’s theory is not altogether plausible. Many denominations have departed from the Bible and have developed their own agenda. I will provide a few succinct examples:



    Musical Standards:



    Many mega churches have become places of entertainment with musical standards irreverently tantamount to a rock concert. Traditional hymns have been replaced with overhead projectors flashing verses on a screen, similar to a second-grade handwriting lesson. Congregants may sing, “I am not worthy” or “Your Name is Jesus” four-five times in a row. There seems to be a dearth of substance and creativity.



    Feminizing and Gender-Neutralizing of Hymnals:



    I perused a copy of The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and discovered that many of the words of some of my favorite hymns have been altered. “Good Christian Men Rejoice” is now “Good Christian Friends Rejoice.” The refrain in the hymn, “All Creatures of Our God and King” states, “O praise ye!” rather than “O Praise Him!” and in the third verse one would sing, “O sister water, flowing clear” instead of “Thou flowing water, pure and clear.” The popular hymn, “He Lives” states in the latest version: “I know that he is living, whatever foes may say” and the original wording specified “I know that he is living whatever men may say.” There are directions left from John Wesley in the very first few pages of every United Methodist Hymnal. What would Wesley think of these politically correct adjustments when he states to sing the hymns “exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can”?



    Tolerating the Intolerable:


    In An Introduction to the Episcopal Church author Joseph Bernardin claims that the “traditional attitude towards sex, based on the Bible, is under strong ethical challenge today.” He then states that “heterosexual intercourse between unmarried persons (fornication), with mutual consent and proper precautions against procreation and disease, is a private matter.” Bernardin directly controverts Scripture again when he contends that “This applies also to homosexual intercourse between mature consentient persons. Homosexuality itself is neither a sin nor a disease, but a condition for which the person himself is in no wise responsible.” The Episcopal Church, the oldest Protestant faith in North America, has been apostate for years. It was not a surprise that the first openly homosexual bishop, (and surely not the last) Gene Robinson, was recently confirmed as Bishop Shelby Spong and other Church leaders have justified the ordination of homosexual priests.



    A Myriad of Child-Sex Abuse Cases:


    The Roman Catholic Church is also in a state of crisis. Over a hundred of people have come forward with egregious childhood tales of sexual abuse over a period of several decades in the Greater Boston area alone. The figure could be over a thousand nationwide. Cardinal Bernard Law and other church officials have been severely criticized for coddling abusive priests and permitting them to surreptitiously molest children again while paying off their victims. Such actions only reflect abysmal, degenerating, and morally bankrupt leadership.



    Morally Corrupt Preaching Within:



    Many pastors are reticent to speak from the pulpit about the polemics of our day such as abortion, homosexuality, fornication, divorce, racism, cohabitation, and other issues. Furthermore, pastors often avoid other subjects like hell and eternal damnation, subjects that make congregants uncomfortable. Rather, there is an over emphasis on refraining from judgment, receiving the love of God, and tithing, as if that is to systematically guarantee financial stability in this transitory life.



    Church Attendance Down Nationwide:

    There used to be a time in this great nation where church attendance was deemed essential to good citizenship. Sunday was a day for worship and prayer when families spent time together and did not go grocery shopping or pertain to other picayune duties. Church leaders were bold and would challenge members with incisive and profound preaching. I have read that President Theodore Roosevelt would spend an hour every Sunday evening with his father discussing the sermon that he had learned that morning. I know of Christians who seem to be unable to recall even the content of a sermon as early as Monday morning! Try asking some people who attend church regularly what they learned a day or two afterwards and I believe that the results would be quite appalling.

    By Matthew Pasalic
     
  2. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    Well done Matthew,
    Perhap Harold Camping is correct. Perhaps it is time for all Christ believing persons to abandon "traditional church" and reform once again in order to regain the purity of the Christ's Body.
     

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