Friday, August 19, 2011

Late-Night Haiku XXII (On John 1:14)

The highest glory,
The noblest of those who rule
Got dirt on His feet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I found this as a Facebook status of a friend: "I have no faith in human effort... especially my own. True strength comes from Jesus Christ, and Him alone." Discuss.
Late-Night Haiku XXI (On Colossians 1:15-20)

Lord, giver of Life
And all things seen and unseen,
Make peace here with us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here you go. I can't let you off that easy, Mr. Hays. Let's zoom in; let's talk about the formation of particular denominations, with particular distinctives. By what authority does such a body come into existence? What processes or means make the conclusions drawn by such a group authoritative? If it is but a part of the Body of Christ, let's say, who or what defines the relations to the wider whole? You might say one group's conclusions about what the 'Church' is are good, but how and why? What makes those suppositions any more true than any other group of people? Hey, I'm just working under the assumption that the Church is invisible, as the Reformers believed. There seems to be a whole lot of reliance upon the Holy Spirit to guarantee individual interpretive decisions, which would be great, if John Q. Methodist or Bob F. Lutheran didn't do the exact same thing. (To say nothing of Susie Mormon, who noone desires to listen to. But you should get jumpy when your arguments are the same.)
Speaking of that, is the next step in ecclesiology defining a difference between "heresy" and "super-duper, special, you're actually going to Hell if you believe this" heresy? Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up: Suppose I were a minister in some Protestant denomination who no longer believed according to the creed of that community. In one sense, I might be considered a 'heretic' in terms of the specificities of that confession, granted, with varying levels of consequence, depending on where I was. But if I were in a place where we certainly believed there were saved people outside of us (and not in an extraordinary, "mercy flowing through the Church and sacraments to non-members of the visible Church, Catholic kind of way, but more") can this body of believers actually excommunicate me? I mean, in a way that God binds in Heaven? If we're only one among many, the juridical decisions of our group mean, in the end, precisely jack. Unless we happen to be right. But you'd never know. In that way, it seems like groups claim a juridicial right which only truly belongs to a unified, visible Church, and then claim the Church is invisible when politely asked who died and made them Pope in the first place.
Maybe I'm really also asking what 'unity' is, and was, supposed to be. How would you know when to return to Holy Mother Church? Is there one? If all questions are on the table and free for the asking except one--"Do I have a right to decide who to follow and what to believe for myself?"--we're not going to get anywhere. Where does dogma come from, anyway? Fallible interpreters, fallible process, fallible Church=Untainted revelation? What? How? It's that third thing that's the key. I don't get that. Something somewhere has to be infallible. That is, we have access to it. Otherwise, I wish you good luck discerning the revelation from the juridical decisions and matters of indifference that mean precisely jack. I suppose you could be content in some vanity that we're united in some "core of the gospel," until the presumption of speaking for someone else slaps you in the face. We'd do better if we'd all acknowledge that Christians are horribly divided.
Late-Night Haiku XX (On Luke 19:9-16 and Hebrews 1:1-3)

Thrust aside in wrath
By a stiff-necked people proud,
The Son triumphs true.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Late-Night Haiku XIX (On Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus, remind me
Thou didst love and announce wrath
As a prophet, no?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Late-Night Haiku XVIII

Quick feet and fast hands,
That made the fights mythic art.
Respect The Greatest.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

There are a few things that inspire me to want to raise eleventy billion dollars. Because throwing money at most actual problems doesn't work, you can safely assume I'm not talking about anything serious. Anyway...
Remember when pop music wasn't horrible? Not long ago. Less than 20 years ago, even. [Shut up, you like Lady GaGa.--ed.] Gotta love that 5th Amendment, y'all! I digress. I was in one of my "George Michael is awesome" phases again, and I heard a song of his I didn't know. Amazed, my brain struck gold. Would you not sell your house to pay for the studio time to hear Michael Buble sing this? And then, it turns out, he did. That figures.
Yes, the Iowa Straw Poll is only slightly less pointless than the Iowa Caucuses, but I told you so; the first establishment finisher on the list is Pawlenty. Pawlenty will be your nominee, I'm telling you. You don't have to be a centrist, you just have to look like one. No matter what my sympathies with the Tea Party, the label screams, "I'm not centrist!" Winning politics is about appearing balanced and sensible. Bachmann can't do this. Cain can't, either. (And, Obama ruined Black prospects for president for at least 4 elections; sad but true.) The Catholics will do in Romney; the cafeteria ones will vote Obama; the orthodox won't vote for a Mormon. Bonus: Pawlenty is a tad "fallen-away," if you will, but he's socially conservative, and he fell away because his wife is an Evangelical (and so is he). Political gold, friends. It's not just because I like him; he's a perfect general election candidate. Just watch, he'll get third in Iowa, (Bachmann) second in New Hapshire, (Romney) and then he'll reel off a solid 20 states to win the nod, because: The base hates Romney, they are not scared of Obama, but they're not stupid either, and a Tea Partier can't win. There's a lot of buzz about Rick Perry, but A) it's early; B) he's Southern; and C) Obama will tie him to Bush (yes, Bush) faster than you can say 'Harriet Miers.' You need a geographical advantage without negating the cultural one. Easy answer: Nominate a Midwesterner who doesn't annoy the base, who doesn't lose his cool, and who has executive experience. And, as we did before unsuccessfully, point out that Obama had none, we tested it anyway, and how's that working out? The ads write themselves, people.
Late-Night Haiku XVII

My soul wants manna;
Bread of Heaven, descend soon.
We are perishing.