Pat Lynch and CFM have a new podcast on religion and culture

December 23, 2014

Here is a new, and important, outreach from Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc. The new podcast “Reconciled” is on the internet and this is your invitation to give it a try at:

http://reconciled.podomatic.com

The plan is for a daily cast (usually five days a week), under five minutes, dealing with religious and cultural affairs.

You can help! Listen (it’s free) “like.” comment, share, subscribe, and tell your friends. This kind of thing does not just mature overnight. It takes time and work. Fortunately, the work is not back breaking.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement in 2014. We have (God willing) a big announcement coming in January!

May you enjoy the blessings of the season,


Yikes! Another bad word. It is divisive and hateful. Meet Mr. “Thug.”

December 15, 2014

Long ago in a sensible and compassionate land, George Carlin laid charges against seven bad words. They were destructive of social order and always unacceptable. Carlin’s points was well taken. It is not the words but the interior motives which constitute the real danger. When things loosened up and the bad words, and a few worse, were allowed to be seen in public, it seemed to be a step in the right direction, and it was. Censorship is most typically a form of government meddling. The proper answer to dangerous words is a strong opposing response. There is another side of this matter and it is that people should be aware of Jesus’ warning that one is defiled by what comes out of the mouth. We are very defiled people.

In the same sermon on the mount, Jesus also warns about hateful words. In fact, he says that kind of expression is equal to murder. The newest addition to our expansive lexicon on abusive language in the frequent use of the word “thug.” Whether this is a racist attack is open for debate, even though there is a strong inference that favors that conclusion. There is more to say against this very bad word.

To say that one is a “thug” is to suggest that the target is less than human. It is a small first step toward genocide. It is only a first step, but if we think about the bloodbath of the 20th century, the march to gas chambers begins with a single step. Dehumanizing the Jewish population was official German government policy and the intention was to make it easier for regular people to go along with atrocities.

If a “thug” ids not human, not a child of God and created in the divine image, it would seem that not much more permission is necessary for the cleanup. Christians are satisfied calling bad people “bad people.” That is enough. We have court houses and prisons to deal with bad people.


Christian Foundations for Ministry is wrapping up the year and examining our educational mission

December 8, 2014

One of the things that has kept me away from this blog is the business of closing the books on 2014 and getting ready for the New Year. Christian Foundations for Ministry is working hard to grow and to increase our reach. Here is the year-end letter sent to our friends, students and supporters. You might well note the request for financial support (donations to CFM are tax deductible!).

Dear friends,

Since 2014 is wrapping up, this is a good time to pause and get our bearings. This has been a great year at Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc (CFM). Since our formation in June of 2013, God has blessed our work to assist lay believers become better informed disciples. There are several developments for which we are grateful.

  • Mr. Bill Elkins, Th. M., has joined our faculty.
  • Several new classes have been introduced; including Bill’s “Reading the Old Testament as Literature” and my “Introduction to the life of Prayer”
  • Evening Prayer was presented during Holy Week
  • The Internal Revenue Service recognized CFM as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization

In the new year, CFM plans to offer some new classes, which you will see listed below, including an outreach to low income people concerning the Christian outlook on finances. We will continue to work on “Passing on the Faith by Living in the Faith,” and to offer some public discussion programs. CFM will soon begin producing a podcast.

`            The class offerings for 2015 are beginning to take shape.

Spring 2015                    Exploring the Church in Scripture

Spring 2015                     Reading the New Testament as Literature

Summer                            How the Irish Saved Civilization

Fall                                       Open

Spring 2016                       Meeting the Church Fathers

It takes a lot to complete our many tasks, especially considering that CFM is a relatively new operation. The “wish list” includes an upgrade of technology resources, membership dues for Not-for Profit professional associations, student scholarships, the typical elements of a business office (Printer, data storage drive, etc.), and funding for travel to a limited number of Anglican and other Evangelical conferences, resources to pay the costs of public events.

The goal of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program is to provide fully equipped lay leaders for effective Gospel-centered ministry through high quality Christian education provided to students in their local congregations. An independent Board of Directors supervises CFM and the administrators serve without compensation.

Mr. Kenneth E. Benson, Chairman, holds a Master of Science degree in Information Quality from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is currently Business Improvement Manager for DataPath, Inc. in Little Rock, and has previous experience serving on a board of a tax-exempt corporation.

Ms. Gail H. Douglas, Treasurer, holds a BS degree in Medical Technology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with post-graduate studies in health services administration, and has extensive experience in direct management and quality control.

Dr. David Sims holds an M. A. in Theological Studies from the Reformed Theological Seminary and a Theological Doctorate from the University of Durham in England, Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Licensed Attorney. Certified Christian Conciliator. Chairman of BRS Consulting. President and director for Reformation Grace Ministries, Inc.

Mr. Patrick Lynch, Secretary (Non-voting), Executive Director and Instructor, holds a Master of Ministry degree with an emphasis on Christian Education from the Anglican School of Ministry. He has extensive experience in broadcasting and publishing.

The Christian educators at CFM are, foremost, needful of your prayers that the Holy Spirit will lead us to develop offerings and presentations that will assist God’s people in spreading his good news. There is a special obligation to reach the younger people who seem to be leaving the church. It is important for younger Christians to know mature believers who personally place a high value on the doctrine and historical background of our religion. CFM needs financial support and your tax-deductible contributions are very much appreciated. The mailing address is below.

May you enjoy the blessings of anticipating the Messiah during this Advent season, and enjoy a wonderful New Year!

Pat

Patrick Lynch

Executive Director,

CFM, Inc.

504 Green Mountain Dr.

Suite 401

Little Rock, Ar. 72211

 

 

 


ACNA Archbishop asks his bishops and clergy to hold off on signing The Marriage Pledge | Virtueonline

December 1, 2014

Archbishop Foley Beech is right to ask ACNA clergy to pause before signing the currently circulating pledge concerning the lawful recording of marriage certificates. This action serves people who have come to ordained clergy seeking what ordained clergy do. The legal documentation is beside the point and has nothing whatever to do with the very unfortunate situation in which same gender marriages are permitted.

This will require a bit of time and patience. There are two links immediately below. The first takes you to a widely circulated source which, in this instance, I presume to be accurate. This item brings the reader up to date on what is frequently called the “Radner-Seitz pledge.” The second link takes you to the Roman Catholic canon law page of J. N. Peters, whose reputation and qualifications are, to the best of my knowledge, unblemished. Please put aside old prejudices (if I did, you can too!) and careful read the arguments. In my humble opinion, Peters makes a sufficient case as to why the marriage pledge is a bad idea, no matter how much we may oppose same gender marriage.

ACNA Archbishop asks his bishops and clergy to hold off on signing The Marriage Pledge | Virtueonline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism.

Peters view, which seems fairly clear headed to me, is understood by following this link to “A chronology of (mostly) my comments on ecclesiastical cooperation with civil marriage.” Abp. Beach is well advised to avoid the knee-jerk response that provides little more than instant gratification

 

 

 


The war on Halloween. Really?

October 31, 2014

I follow the headlines. Sometimes that is all I can take.Now is rather late in the game to find out that me and my Satanic buddies have been trying to destroy Halloween. Take it from me, getting rid of Christmas has been a full-time job. This is a shocker.

Just in case some of you still do not understand the Lynch humor, that first paragraph is intended in a sarcastic way. It is what is technically referred to as a “joke,” and I am going someplace with it.

Actually, Halloween has been in trouble for quite a while. In fact, the only real use it seems to serve in neopagan America is to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The biggest problem, of course, is the threat of poisoned candy. While this is nearly impossible, we are such hopeless frady-cats that children must be shielded from all possible risk. I am told that kids do not go freely from house to house. Things have changed a lot. It is a shame to lose such a fun and playful date.

The real enemy is November 1, but hardly anybody observes All Saints Day. This year the “red-letter” day falls on Sunday, but even liturgical churches like mine will probably not say a single collect or sing a verse of “For All the Saints.” They forget, if they ever knew.

UPDATE: I have erred and fallen short. Of course, All Saints Day is on November 1 which fell on Saturday. The Anglican church I attend did indeed recall the day on Sunday morning and even sang “For All the Saints” with the Gospel readings. I was wrong in fact and by failing to have sufficient faith in my fellow man.Mea culpa.

All Saints Day surpasses the modern idea of spirituality. On November 1, we remember flesh and blood humans, just like ourselves, who struggled with the forces of darkness. The day celebrates holy people who now stand in the blessed perfect light of the Triune God. There is nothing abstract about it. Real people in the presence of the Creator God The Church Triumphant.

Here is the Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through* Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lynch comments: Pope Francis: ‘Evolution Is Not Inconsistent With Creation’

October 28, 2014

It is a bit odd that the Pope has publicly gone on the record with the straight truth that everybody has known for around 200 years (maybe longer). This blog is not changing its name to “All Francis All the Time,” but he is the most influential churchman in the western church.

I would like to fine tune a point he was trying to make and I do not think he would object. He said that “God is not a magician.” Alright. That is close, but a little foggy. Theology requires precision, and I very often fall short.

I have a hard time getting the idea of God as “magician.” The magician performs by slight of hand and deception. Sometimes, as was the case in the Exodus account, they work with the demonic. Remember the snakes being eaten by Moses’ snakes? The magician analogy is shaky, at best.

Where we get all hung up is that it seems offensive for God to just let things develop when he certainly has almighty power to work his will instantly. The human mind imagines God walking impatiently back and forth, occasionally checking his watch, and wondering when creatures with backbones will finally crawl out of the ooz. We forget about God not existing in the material world and the limitations of time. In the infinite world of God, there is no time so a few billion years of evolution do not mean anything.

One more thing. You may be wondering if His Holiness is suggesting that God does not do miracles. Friends, I have no earthly idea. Let us hope and pray for the best. Here is a link to the story.

Pope Francis: ‘Evolution Is Not Inconsistent With The Notion Of Creation’.

 


Francis, the not-so-nice, Pope #PopeFrancis #gaymarriage

October 24, 2014

The sacking of Cdl. Burke (former Archbishop of St. Louis) from the Roman court system ought to tell you something about the otherwise idealized Pontiff. Usually, one waits a few days or weeks in order to disguise one’s seething anger. I am sure that some of the participants in the Synod on the family had not reached home before the blade sliced Burke’s fleshy neck.

You people thinking about crossing over to Rome ought to give this some thought. Anglicans are disorganized to the point of embarrassment but you can still speak your mind. The Cardinal stands accused of standing up for the terrible doctrines. You know; the rigid and nitpickey rules that supposedly never change. Doctrine often gets in the way of what we think is right at the moment, and are we not the ultimate source of theological authority?

Burke scared the dog poop out of the moderates who never had an original thought in the first place. When the meetings start up again, Kasper and his crowd will have no opposition and Burke will be banned from speaking publicly. Just watch. Things are going to get very dull on EWTN. Christian marriage is a union between one man and one woman and may not be dissolved by divorce. That has nothing to do with gays.

Are gays to be welcomed into the church. Yes, indeed. All of us are sinners and needing repentance. Gay people are loved by God and the Christian Church, Christ’s body on earth, must provide constructive and respectful ministry. Disrespect and hurtful words are never to be directed at God’s beloved people.

No, I am not a Catholic, but I will tell you right now that what happens in Rome matters a lot to all human beings. The Roman Church, granting its many errors, has a powerful intellectual infrastructure that develops a modern understanding of ancient doctrine. We desperately need that institution which preserves theological tradition and Western culture.

Somewhere deep in the Vatican, Joe Ratzinger better be wearing out the knees of his pants begging God”s forgiveness for the seminal act that brought such a doctrinal weakling into office. This confusion will spill into the Protestant world making life harder for every observant Christian. Nonetheless, Jesus has promised to always be with us. Thank you Lord.


Evangelicals try to have it both ways #Houston5

October 20, 2014

My stance is entirely with the Houston, Texas ministers wrongly called to submit the texts of sermons to local government. Those writings are constitutionally protected in the same way as lawyer-client communications or information disclosed to a journalist. The historical record, dating back long before the nation’s founding, is very clear as are standing court decisions.

Nonetheless, I am having some problems with my argument, and the position of some conservative Christians. It is more than vexatious to sort our the case for a “wall of separation” between church and state. One of the major Christian groups is taking this position and there is a terrible gaping hole in the theory.

Evangelical Christians do not believe in a wall of separation between church and state. When they are calling the shots, the two operate in tandem and Christians have the upper hand. Stinking liberals and other social misfits can burn in the nether world. But now that the lesbians have taken over Houston city government, the Christian establishment rushes to build the very same wall they claim does not protect everybody else. Let me add that there have also been some folks touring the country promoting legislation that would allow government to interfere in the running of Islamic places of worship. Let us pray to the Good God in Heaven that none of those Houston lesbians decide to use Evangelical standards against the local clergy.

The American doctrine on religious liberty is mostly contained in two clauses of the First Amendment; the establishment clause and the provision for free exercise. The Houston ministers are protected from state meddling by the latter item. Christians of various types, Jews, Muslims, witches, pagans, and every other stripe of religious practitioner are kept safe by the former. Christians are under a divine command to make disciples of all nations and you can not very easily do that if Big Brother defines the nature of discipleship.

The Houston Five deserve our support, and we must all learn to think and speak more clearly when our rights are at stake.

 

 


The NFL’s blind eye and divine healing #NFL #domesticviolence

September 21, 2014

Of course they knew all along. How could anybody not ingest and understand the decades of scattered arrest reports and other public misconduct perpetrated against by women by the NFL’s finest. You would have to be a complete out-and-out moron not to realize that there is a serious problem, except that management did not consider the assault of various wives and girlfriends to be much of a problem. For the men at the top, it’s just another day at the office.

They are damn good at making up excuses too. Boys will be boys. If we ask men to play with intensity, they are going to play with intensity. This is what winners do; they win. And the best of all: most of these women like to be knocked around anyway. Oh yeah, there is nothing quite as fun as an evening at the Emergency Room. A broken nose, some missing teeth. Now tell me. Does life get any better. This stuff is so rich, the guys in charge might actually believe it.

Since I have not played in competitive sports, this is surely an opinion to which I am not entitled. How could one not admitted to the special Sunday afternoon priesthood possibly understand the needs and the pressures. The NFL pretense of ignorance just will not do, especially as we observe the deliberate provocation of violence for the sake of winning and building ad revenue.

It is a good thing to see that the players are (with some exceptions) also knocking each other senseless. Those concussions are making you crazier than you already are. Maybe the brain damage is part of the anti-social conduct. Seriously.

Let’s not fool around with this. The fans are every bit as guilty as the management and long past time for Christian fans of the National Football League to stop supporting the oout-of-control cry babies that are determined to have their way no matter who gets hurt. There are probably some Christian high schools that could even learn a lesson here. The lousy misdeeds of some players is part of man’s rebellion against God.

The physical assault against another human being amounts to vandalism against God’s own icon. Man is created in the image of God and such mistreatment as what is done by the athletes is absolutely forbidden. The second great sin recorded in scripture is Cain’s anger with Able, an evil emotion that led to the first murder. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus forbids anger and speaking harshly about another. That kind of conduct keeps the offender from being heard by God.

That NFL players should not hit women ought to be obvious. They should not hit anybody, nor even give a home to hateful thoughts. Their problem is the very human tendency to believe that the individual is in charge of his own life. It denies the possibility of a higher power working in our lives. It is dangerous to be humble, kind, and generous, but that is what Jesus demands. I have a hard time with that and the only solution is a genuine life-changing repentance. That would demand a gentle manner, turning the other cheek, protecting the weak, and giving up the mega paycheck. What a terrible trap.

And it is not only a few NFL players that must undergo the real change. Each of us, including women, must fight the tendency toward egotism and greed.


Chaos is the new normal #RayRice #AdrianPeterson #ISIS

September 15, 2014

That headline is probably not new, so if I swiped your intellectual property, I apologize profusely. I should have known better. This short essay deals with NFL players, their spouses and children, and international terrorists. There is a connection, so stick with me.

Is there anyone else on earth who sympathizes with Ray Rice’s wife? Her life is certainly ruined and none of us is able to look inside the mind of another. It is very possible to love someone who does great harm without being mentally ill. God loves us and he is not crazy. Having been knocked senseless in a public place, it is going to be a big task to drum up much understanding for the offending mate.

Even though the Ravens star has been given an economic death penalty, plenty of women experience a real death sentence at the hands of demonic husbands. Did the NFL go to far with Ray Rice? You might make that argument except for decades of turning a blind eye from the rich and powerful business interest. The NFL is saving itself while it punishes some serious misbehavior.

If the troubled couple is really working on saving their marriage, good for them. There are plenty of interests in this society that hate enduring relationships. Without approving the atrocious misdeed, Christians should support all married couples. This particular couple needs extra help and I wish them well.

Another professional athlete has been charged with a criminal offense after switching his four year-old son. If you have not seen the pictures, it is just as well. They would make you sick. The child has struck with such force as to draw blood several times. The pain of this uncontrolled anger was severe. You can’t imagine how much it hurts to be beaten bloody.

Football players are often not held accountable for misdeeds and many (not all) have a sad and undeserved sense of entitlement. Sometimes the pendulum swings to an extreme in another direction. On ESPN’s College Game Day, video was shown in which a prominent coach described his “zero tolerance” policy toward players who strike women.

I dislike all “zero tolerance” arrangements. First of all, there is always a special case for a favored person and the “zero” mark is easily moved. Secondly, despite what genius coaches might think, there are sometimes “shades of gray.” What if both parties share some blame? Also, there is in the law something called the doctrine of fighting words. There are some things people say when they are just asking for it. Third, what about the poor bastard who just happens to be innocent? It happens. Sometimes a person can be falsely accused. How can supposedly educated people preside over a system where there is no, zero, nada for due process. Sorry to be a stickler for such odd and worn-out ideas, but maybe this hard problem needs just a little thought.

There is a much larger thing at work here. How dare anybody lay a hand on another human being. It is bad to harm a woman, and much worse to mercilessly whip a child. Why not pick a fight with one of your teammates. Why not put on the gloves and take a swing at somebody who has been working out every day? That brand of cowardice makes me want to throw up. Worse by many degrees is the mistreatment handed out by ISIS. What kind of people behead their enemies and post the film? There are no words.

These are symptoms of our abandonment of the notion of man as created in the image of God. Man wills, thanks, praises, and gives  thanks. At least that is what man in the proper order does. Man is by nature rebellious but there seems to have previously been a counter-balance to the worst instincts. Now that man has given up on God (the real one who creates,, intervenes, rules, commands, forgives, and loves us enough to come among the fallen humanity) man has departed from beauty, respect, compassion and the optimism that foresees a better world ruled by the King of Kings. That is the disease. What we have in the news are the symptoms.


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