Southern Hospitality

Southern Baptists list

Men disguised in ornate robes

Cower behind God

“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics… I think we are worse.

Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor and grandson to Billy Graham

The Southern Baptist Convention hid a list of pastors who were credibly accused of sexual abuse for 15 years or more. The Executive Committee finally released a list recently which caused an uproar. How are we to measure the standard for morality when our church leaders are sexually abusing the audience who idolize them? How long will our churches keep hiding the abusers? How many other Christian organizations are cowering behind God?

Don’t Botch Your Baptism

Don’t baptize babies

Only adults say Baptists!

Not programmed enough

“To deny in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt Paul and Christ.”

Pope Leo X

Baptism is either one of two of the sacraments or one of seven of the sacraments depending on what Christian denomination you subscribe to. Were you baptized as a baby or a young child or an adult? How and when you’re baptized depends again on what Chrisitan denomination you subscribe to. I can’t tell you which way is correct because the Bible covers it all. There’s a lot of debate on how you’re baptized: sprinkling, immersion, or pouring. Paul even re-baptized (Acts 19:1-6) others when he discovered that they weren’t baptized according to his methods. Should we baptize babies? There were entire households that were baptized and I would guess that there were probably babies and young children present.

Image by Leonardo Espina from Pixabay

In Wine There Is Truth

Holy communion

Are the body and blood real?

Wash my feet with wine

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20 NRSV

Holy Communion is also called the Last Supper or the Eucharist in Christianity. The one thing that I can say for sure is that Christianity is not united in its doctrines. Take Holy Communion for one. The Lutherans and Catholics believe in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine mysteriously change into the real body and blood of Jesus. But, doesn’t Genesis 9:4 say that “you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood?” Anyway, other churches believe in consubstantiation, or that it’s “spiritual” and not literal. Others drink grape juice and eat wafer crackers, almost like a snack. And let’s not get into the proper disposal of the leftovers! Only in the Gospel of John is it mentioned that Jesus washed feet. My point again – no unity in the Christian way of doing things. Let’s try baptism next time!

Image by Tom Gordon from Pixabay

Which Church Would Jesus Choose?

The plethora of

Christian denominations

Dogmatic fake news

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.

Thomas Aquinas

Let’s pretend that you have a choice in choosing your own Christian denomination (45,000+ in the world). You visit several different churches throughout the year and make an informed decision as to which one just might lead you down that narrow path to eternal life. You agree with all of their doctrines (99 essential) and they’re using the correct version (there are many) of the Bible. You enjoy the people and the clergy. They teach and follow the Ten Commandments if that’s your thing. And they basically tick off all of your checkboxes of what you want from a church. You have chosen from thousands of Christian denominations, a church that you believe will make you Christian enough to meet Jesus’ commands (about 49 commands). Choose carefully because Jesus says that only a “few” will enter this narrow gate. What is the truth? What is fake news? Your choice!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Clerical Celibacy Up In White Smoke

Priests cannot marry

Catholics rock with Peter

Peter was married

When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.

Matthew 8:14 NRSV

The Pope of the Catholic Church is based on Peter being appointed the first pope by Jesus, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church,” Matthew 16:18. There is, of course, much debate about the context of this passage. I am not a Greek, Aramaic, or even an English linguistic scholar so I am not about to enter into the debate. Greek was the lingua franca of the Mediterranean world back then. However, Jesus spoke Aramaic. Petros and petra were supposedly synonyms and meant either a “small stone” or a “large rock.” The Koine Greek, which is what Matthew was written in, translates to just “rock.” Anyway, do see what I’m getting at? How can the average person, like me, know this stuff? I’m just a layperson trying to tell you how complicated this religion is. That’s all!

Image by leonnoellp11 from Pixabay

Tithing Your Way to Heaven

God needs your money

He will bless you with riches

Scratch my back doctrine

To develop enduring faith, an enduring commitment to be a full-tithe payer is essential.

Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do

Quid pro quo – something for something. The Prosperity Gospel has become a huge thing in the Protestant church over the years. This practice (is it a doctrine?) ensures that financial blessings and physical well-being are the will of God for those who participate in the financial and well-being of the church. My church stressed tithing, or giving at least 10% of your income to the church to be in good standing. The Catholic Church used to sell “indulgences” to reduce the amount of punishment for your sins.

Image from Wikimedia Commons