When Churches Attack!
What a weird weekend for church news. Here’s the sampling:
Priest advises penance for Obama supporters
The priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn’t receive Holy Communion until they’ve done penance.
And from elsewhere:
South Carolina’s Catholic authorities have overruled a priest who told Obama voters they weren’t fit to partake in Holy Communion, the Greenville News reports. The priest wrote in a church bulletin that voting for a pro-choice candidate constituted “cooperation with intrinsic evil” and urged Obama voters to do penance “lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”
This actually harkens back to the election when priests were saying the same thing about John Kerry… that they would not allow him to take part in communion. Clearly, the rite is a device to remember Christ’s sacrifice and was not meant as a political tool to be wielded as a means of enforcement of church dogma. What’s next? Indulgences for eating red meat on Fridays? Excommunication for fudging on yoru taxes? I’m but supporting abortion, by any means, but seriously, how does something like this look to the non Christian? It continues to paint the church as out of touch, non inclusive and irrelevant. The relevant question here is “How does a church impart Biblical teaching in a culturally relevant way without compromising truth?”
Church Preaches the Music of Beethoven
Albuquerque, N.M., is no different from any other American city, in terms of its religious life; you’ve got churches, synagogues, a couple of Unitarian congregations and a mosque. But an abandoned gas station along old Route 66 is the unlikely home for another kind of Sunday-morning service, and it’s one that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s called the Church of Beethoven.
Felix Wurman isn’t a rabbi, priest or preacher. He plays the cello. He didn’t feel at home in church, because he’s not religious. But he says he also felt that there was something missing in formal concert halls where he performs.
Really, the first question anyone should be asking here is “Is this really a church?” The description to me sounds like a very cool, really interactive concert hall. I’m sure some of you emergent people out there might try and make the case that God is present in the music. He probably is. But the people attending are not there to meet with the divine, they’re there to experience art. And I think intent is what determines function. They’re not even worshipping Beethoven… just avoiding taxes. But it does raise the question, “what is church?”
Church Offers Seven Day Sexperiment
The pastor of a mega-church says he will challenge married congregants during his sermon Sunday to have sex for seven straight days _ and he plans to practice what he preaches.
“We’re going to give it a try,” said the Rev. Ed Young, who has four children with his wife of 26 years.
Young, 47, said he believes society promotes promiscuity and he wants to reclaim sex for married couples. Sex should be a nurturing, spiritual act that strengthens marriages, he said.
“God says sex should be between a married man and a woman,” Young said. “I think it’s one of the greatest things you can do for your kids because so goes the marriage, so goes the family.”
Honestly. This is like saying, be smart for seven days and you’ll be able to do your homework better in the long run. This is nothing more than a stunt. It’s something to shake up the status quo. But it’s not sound logic. Still… I might try this one.