Archive for the ‘Religion’ category

Lent

February 16, 2018

LentAs many of you know yesterday we observed Valentine’s Day, but also we observe Lent. Now the church that I belong to does not observe Lent (or Ash Wednesday). So I was at my weekly Bible study meeting on Wednesday and I asked our pastor, what gives? How come and why not?

Now I would expect our pastor to know this stuff but unfortunately he didn’t have a clue. At first, he said that he thought it was Catholic/Protestant thing. To which, I answered that I knew many Protestant churches that observed Lent. Anything else? Alas, he had nothing.

Sigh. So it seems that I would have to find out the answer myself. So, I asked my number one spiritual adviser, Google. It seems that Google had a ton of answers on the subject.

So Google tells me that most Protestant churches do indeed observe Lent and Ash Wednesday. The main exception is the Baptists. The Baptists come from a Calvinist/reformation background and as such got rid of all church holy days. The only exception that was kept was Easter and Christmas.

The only other (Christian) religious sects that do not observe Lent are the Amish and the Mennonites.

And while we’re on the subject of Lent, let’s talk about meatless Fridays. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family in the 1950’s .and 1960’s. We not only did we not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, we observed that practice the entire rest of the year. I got so used to fish on Fridays, I got to liking it. My Dad would cod-fish cakes on Friday for breakfast. They were so good.

Here is an interesting article that goes in depth about the issue of Lent and repentance.

Early Fathers’ Day

June 11, 2017

Admiral RistyToday is not Fathers’ Day. That’s actually next Sunday. But we decided to jump the gun and go visit the Admiral Risty in Rancho Palos Verde and celebrate today. We figured that restaurants would be less busy (which it was) than next Sunday. Here’s the pointer to the YELP review.

The Admiral Risty has a view to die for of the Pacific Ocean. It was a bit gloomy today. Our table had an excellent view.

Price is a bit more than our usual diner fare on Sundays but it was worth it. I had eggs benedict on a dungeness crab cake. Very tasty. I was thinking about having a Bloody Mary, but decided to pass.

Mike and Theresa were on board with the plan. Even Mary liked the plan, though I’m not sure how much she understood what we were planning on doing.

We told Mary that if she wanted to go to the Admiral Risty for brunch, she would have to get up and go to church. We also promised visits to the grand kids that she loves to see. So finally, we got Mary loaded in the Jeep and off we went. We even found an HP parking place at church.

So our reservation was at 1 pm, which was a little bit late but worked out okay. Pastor Jacques’ sermon was on the Gospel of John, Chapter 12. The service ran on to Noon (start time was 10:30 am). Once Jacques gets started there’s no stopping once he has a full wind in his sails. But, we still had plenty of time to get to our brunch date.

Jacques can’t afford to run long at the 9 am service. Got to get every one out in time for the arriving 10:30 folks.

We had all of the singing (no dancing). Jacques did a baptism of a ten(ish) year old boy. After the baptism was done the kid started swimming laps in the baptism pool. What a hoot and caught on video, too.

All done and back home. Time for a nap.

TTFN

Joe

 

The 11th Commandment

March 8, 2017

So the Old Testament has 10 commandments as delivered to Moses in Deuterotomy 5.

Deuteronomy 5:1-5 ESV

[1] And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. [2] The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. [3] Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. [4] The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, [5] while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said: …

And so forth and so on.

And in the New Testament it is written,

Matthew 22:34-40 ESV

[34] But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. [35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. [36] “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” [37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [40] On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So I propose an 11th commandment that incorporates all of the above. It works for all religions including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists. Do this and we can all get along better.  I doubt that I am the first person to say this but it is worth repeating.

Don’t be an asshole!

Nuff’ said.


John 3:16

February 23, 2017

So our church here in San Pedro is working on the Gospel of John this year.  We generally do about half a chapter per week. This week we were discussing the second half of chapter 3 in the Gospel of John.

So during the discussion, the question came up, “Why is it that John 3:16 seems to be the most oft quoted verse in the Bible?”

We see it on signs behind home plate at baseball games. We see it spray painted on subway cars. We see it on the eye black on football players (e.g. Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow)

I mean nobody ever quotes Exodus 20:1-17 (Ten Commandments) or Matthew 22:35-40 (Two greatest commandments.)

Nobody ever points out the text from the Sermon on the Mount.

So I have a couple of questions for you. What is the strangest place that you have seen the John 3:16 quote posted? And the second question: Why is it so prevalent? Is it that we as a culture can’t handle more than one verse at a time? Inquiring minds want to know.

Orlando

June 20, 2016

It’s been over a week now and these ideas have been kicking around in my head. It’s time to start writing. First off, I am not gay, bisexual or transgender. I am an ally, plain and simple.

One of the things that has been particularly bothering to me has been some of the responses from alleged Christians. First was from one Pastor Steven Anderson from the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona. He said,

“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay?”

I would like to call the pastor’s attention to the Bible, in Matthew 22:36-39 and also in the Old Testament, something about “Thou shall not kill”

Matthew 22:36-39 ESV
[36] “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” [37] And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the great and first commandment. [39] And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.


Okay, the Bible doesn’t add to the above, “Unless you’re LGBT”. Perhaps, they are using a different translation? But, I doubt it.

My favorite translation of the above that applies to all religions is:

Don’t be an a$$hole.

Oh and as if it might matter, the Old Testament has something called the Ten Commandments, among them is the following:

Deuteronomy 5:17 ESV 

[17] “‘You shall not murder.”

Okay, maybe the Bible isn’t your thing. Then, there’s the quote from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness;

Once again, it doesn’t say “unless you’re LGBT and/or Muslim

I could go on and on. There seems to be more “alleged” Christian pastors saying similar statements.  Of course there is the infamous Pat Robertson who has been using his bully pulpit to denigrate the people who were murdered in Orlando. They seem to ignore the inconvenient parts of the Bible. They make me feel embarrassed to say that I am a Christian.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

A Priest, a Minister and a Rabbi…

January 11, 2016

I have been working on catching up on some posts that have been sitting in my ‘Draft’ folder for a while. I started this post about six months ago.

So Wednesday morning we have our senior Bible study at Ocean View Baptist Church. Sometimes, I think the group should be called “Ratholes’r’Us” but that’s another story. Now we can’t have a decent discussion about scripture with out food and drink, we are well provided for. We have muffins, home made cookies, coffee (both regular and decaf), and many other tasty treats.

So recently we have been studying the Acts of the Apostles and we are now on the tail end of chapter 27 (which is the getting close to the end). So in Chap 27 we find Paul aboard a ship heading to Rome. Travelling by ship in the first century AD was a perilous undertaking. So for someone to travel from the coast of Asia you either walked or you took a ship. If you walked, you had better have a centurion or two to protect you on the way.

So at the end of Chapter 27, Paul has been captured and is being transported back to Rome. While on the way, things get a little bit dicey and the crew is shipwrecked. Here is the last few verses of chapter 27,

[39] Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. [40] So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. [41] But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. [42] The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. [43] But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, [44] and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.

So at our Bible Study, things are going good. We are managing to make it through the chapter. But no, someone has to ask,  “what about the life preservers?” Wasn’t there a joke about life preservers and  members of the clergy in a life boat. So I promised to do some research on this important point of our study. Searching for life preserver jokes was considerably harder than I thought,

As the storm raged, the captain realized his ship was sinking fast. He called out, “Anyone here know how to pray?” One man stepped forward. “Aye, Captain, I know how to pray.” “Good,” said the captain, “you pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets – we’re one short.”

I did find an amusing parachute joke with several variations.

A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a pastor were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and then he bailed out. Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.

The doctor grabbed one and said “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out. The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.” The little boy handed the parachute back to the pastor and said, “Not to worry, Pastor. The ‘smartest man in the world’ just took off with my back pack

There you have it.

A Christmas Question

December 25, 2015

A merry Christmas to all. I have a question for my readers. Why is it that only the Roman Catholic Church has services on Christmas Day? All of the Protestant churches that I have attended only have services on Christmas Eve. Or are there some Protestand churches that do have a service on Christmas Day?

Is it because the priest isn’t married and has nothing better to do? Or do the Protestant ministers have a better Union and insist on getting the day off like the rest of the working stiffs?

So inquiring minds want to know.