Thursday, January 15, 2015

Passing The Peace

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



    Dr. Macleod, Princeton's legendary Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics who was the advisor for my dissertation and wrote the book now classic on Reformed Worship called Presbyterian Worship...[sic]...Its Meaning and Method, often told a story to his preaching students that I often told to mine with full credit to him in case someone got offended by it on behalf of their favorite pulpiteering idol.

    A pastor's young son asks, "Daddy, how do you write sermons?"

    "Well," he answers, "I was taught in seminary that one hour of preparation is required for every minute of delivery.  Because I don't have time to do that, I pray, study, and write the first half of the sermon during the week and then God writes the second half of the sermon while I'm preaching."

    After a few moments of pregnant pondering, the little boys says, "Wow, daddy, you write sermons a lot better than God!"



    Dr. Macleod was very opinionated.


    Here are two of my favorites.

    He often scorned, "When you get up to pray, don't ask, 'Shall we pray?'  As if you're going to vote on it!  Just say, 'Let us pray.'"

    He often observed with a scowl, "Have you been in those churches that pass the peace?  Fascinating.  Do they have to force people to greet each other with Christ's peace during worship because they don't do it before and after worship?  Or is it because the preacher and rest of the liturgical participants haven't prepared enough material to fill up the hour?"



    I'm with my mentor.

    If ya can't do it before and after,...

    Besides, from what I've seen, most folks just gravitate to their favorite...

    Or as one honest fellah admitted, "The raucous ways that this sacred moment is implemented in most congregations resembles a reckless circus rather than a holy greeting.  The spirit of awesome worship and reverence is crucified on an altar of theater as clergy remark, 'Nice hair, Ethel!...Good to see ya, Arnold!...Quite a game last night!...Let's do lunch sometime!'  Clergy prance up and down the aisles with flapping vestments like butterflies in heat with extroverted congregants leaping at each other for mere moments of unrestrained hysteria.  Visiting introverts and people who really want to worship and save meeting and greeting for fellowship hours flee emotionally if not physically."

    White trusting exceptions to this generally silly exercise, passing the peace in most churches is among the reasons why so many authentics leave religions tied to meaningless motions for gatherings of women and men who want to relate to each other through a real relationship with Him.



    Please forgive the candor; but I've been around long enough to know too many if not most churches that force this ceremony on people do it because they don't really have it to begin with.

    People who are really passing the peace don't have to pose it.

    They just, uh, do it.

    It's like people who say you can lose your salvation.


    Don't think so!

    You can't lose what you never had.

    It's like people who like to pretend Islam is a peaceful religion.


    Don't think so!

    You've gotta be historically illiterate to buy that political correctness.

    Check out Islam's founder.

    Yeah, really peaceful dude.



    We really pass the peace when we love like Jesus.









    A woman engaged me at WalMart the other day about a couple that left the church a few years ago.

    The specifics are irrelevant; but, in short, they hated me because I held 'em accountable for their actions and wouldn't let 'em do whatever the hell they wanted to do as they injured others and squandered precious resources.

    They're not fans.

    So I was almost seduced into...


    She said, "She is such a _____!"  He is such an _____!"

    Almost but not seduced to...

    I said, "Same could be said about me.  Now that I'm thinking of it, I can be such a _____ and an _____ more than I'd care to admit.  Isn't that why Jesus came?"

    We concluded they will have to answer to God not us; which is a good thing because He can be much more merciful, compassionate, gracious, forgiving, redemptive, sacrificial, and loving than us...and especially Muslims who follow the real Mohammed and not the politically correct one invented by media, entertainment, mainliners, politicians, Harry Potter's creator, Joy, Whoppi, BBPBHO, and other self-deluded-yet-well-meaning people with both feet planted firmly in the ozone layer of unreality.

    Are we sure recreational weed is only legal in...?



by Paul A. Tambrino, Ed.D., Ph.D.

Isn't Islam’s God, Allah, the same as your God of the Bible?

          The prevailing opinion in postmodern America today is that while the various religions have different names for God, basically they are all speaking of the same God.  Let me emphatically say that I do not hold to that postmodern view and so state in response to the particular question before me that the God of Islam, Allah, is NOT the God of the Bible.  While it is true Muslims defend to the utmost the unity of God, they utterly deny His tri-unity; they totally reject the notion of God as Father, the deity of Jesus Christ as Son, and the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
          For the Muslim, calling God, Father and Jesus Christ, Son suggests to them procreation.  In the Qur’an, Sura 19:35, it states the Allah should not beget a son and Sura 112:3 sates that Allah “begetteth not, nor is he begotten.”  However, the Bible does not speak of begotten in terms of a sexual reproduction but in terms of a special relationship between the Father and the Son.  John 1:14 is emphasizing the deity of Christ when it says that He was the only begotten of the Father and when Paul speaks of Jesus as the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15-19) he is pointing our Christ’s preeminence as the Creator of all things. 
          Muslims also vehemently denounce the Christian doctrine of the deity of Christ as the unforgivable sin of shirk (Sura 4:116).  Yes, Muslims will affirm that Christ was sinless and even that He was virgin born, but they dogmatically deny His sacrifice upon the cross and His resurrection.  The Qur’an in Sura 4:158 states that Allah raised him up meaning that Jesus was supernaturally taken up rather than being resurrected from the dead.  They hold that someone (perhaps Judas) was crucified in His place, for which they cite a late medieval Gnostic writing, “The Gospel of Barnabas.”  Sura 4:157 sates, “they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them.”

          Muslims also reject the divinity of the Holy Spirit and teach instead that the Holy Spirit is the archangel Gabriel who, over a 23-year period, supposedly dictated the Qur’an to Mohammed who could neither read nor write.  Mohammed in turn dictated the Qur’an to his scribes.  According to Islam, the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus in John’s Gospel (chapter 14) is Mohammed.  The Bible (Acts 5:3-4 and Romans 8:11) clearly states that the Holy Spirit is neither an angel nor human but is the very God who has redeemed us and will resurrect us to eternal life.  Therefore, the triune God of the Bible is not the same God as the God of Islam. 


    I'm still thinking about my first tattoo.

    If you'd like to know about that, just go to the right column and click it on.

    Admittedly, I'm a little fearful about getting it.

    I think I'm really called to do it as I wrote.

    But I've got this nagging fear about how people may react to it; especially in parts of my family that...


    I guess that's the problem, isn't it?

    I'm more afraid of them than...

    I guess I'm no better than everybody else going through the motions of...

    When we don't fear God, we fear everybody else.


    Back to the drawing board.


    Really passing the peace is really not religiously following Jesus.


Blessings and Love!


Jim said...

Syncretism (or should it be Sincretism?) flourishes!
I remember how offended a colleague up in PA was when, after he made a statement affirming that Allah and the God who told Moses,"I AM the God who is!" (In contrast to all the gods who, well, aren't gods, much less God) are one, and I said for that to be true God would have to be suffering from a multiple personality disorder along the lines of Sybil.
As for graffiti on the bod, get the kind made out of henna. It can always be renewed, but fades, as many of the issues de jour do. Although I grant you, identifying with/being one of God's people is an issue eternal.

Bob said...

Hey, Dr. Bob,
Couldn't agree with you more. Never have liked the "passing the peace." Seems like just a ritual for those interested in issues in the church [like peace, feminism, sexuality, etc.] more than Jesus. Also, if the worship service includes BOTH a greeting time and a peace passing time, seems like overkill to me.
Also tired of the "Islam is religion of peace" just like I'm tired of "Jews, Christians, Muslims all worship the same god since they're all based on the same OT." Good blurb on the differences between Xn & Muslim theology. World & liberal media especially will probably never get that Islam is violent and Mohammed was not a "nice, gracious, sweet Jesus type" guy!