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Vatican praises The Simpsons

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).

I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.

Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.

The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.

The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.

WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican?  What next, Family Guy?

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prosperity gospel = pyramid scheme

December 28, 2007 11 comments

Prosperity Gospel in TIMEFoxNews reports that there is a senate investigation targeting six ministries promoting the “Gospel of wealth” to innocent victims.  — Finally somebody is calling their bluff … but nothing will be done about it.

Prosperity theology is commonly a part of televangelist, charismatic, and Pentecostal churches, that highlights the idea that God wants Christians to be “abundantly” successful in every way, including financially.  It’s loosely based on Deuteronomy 8:18,Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.”  In a nutshell, it suggests that a God who loves you does not want you to be broke.  Some of the evangelists supporting prosperity theology include Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Nasir Saddiki, Robert Tilton, T.D. Jakes, Paul Crouch, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, Juanita Bynum, Eddie Long, Brian Houston, Paula White and Peter Popoff, and internet evangelist Chris Mentillo. Pat Robertson calls this theory the “Law of Reciprocity” on his show, The 700 Club[2].

Critics, including CATHOLICS, claim that the doctrine is used by its proponents to become wealthy at the expense of persons who give or that the doctrine’s focus on material wealth is misguided.  In my view, I sounds like a glorified “Pyramid Scheme.”  If our goverment is starting to look into this, why stop there Senators? Wall Street does this on a daily basis. Vegas and all the lotteries that are under government control do the same thing, promise the moon to lure a victim’s coin.  — That’s why nothing will be done.

tithe offeringThis got me looking for the Vatican’s guide to tithing our 10%, but I haven’t found anything official.  Anybody know what the Catholic Church says about tithing?  — Kermit?

Pope to Baptists

December 28, 2007 2 comments

One ChurchI ran across a short speech Pope Benedict XVI gave to the ecumenical council for the Baptist World Alliance on December 6, 2007.  Here’s an excerpt (the last line is deep):

As believers in Christ, we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), our Saviour, our Redeemer. He is the cornerstone (Eph 2:21; 1 Pet 2:4-8); and the head of the body, which is the Church (Col 1:18). In this Advent season, we look to his coming with prayerful expectation. Today, as ever, the world needs our common witness to Christ and to the hope brought by the Gospel. Obedience to the Lord’s will should constantly spur us, then, to strive for that unity so movingly expressed in his priestly prayer: “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). For the lack of unity between Christians “openly contradicts the will of Christ, provides a stumbling block to the world, and harms the most holy cause of proclaiming the good news to every creature” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 1).

Trespasses

July 6, 2007 2 comments

No Trespassing signI was looking for some seminarian blogs on WordPress and found a thoughtful (maybe too much so) blog about the line in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  JustJen, a Protestant seminarian/minister writes:

… To trespass is something so much more powerful than to sin or to be in debt. If you have sinned, you’ve done something wrong. If have a debt, you owe someone something. If you have trespassed, you have been wandering around in places you do not belong. You’re traipsing, searching, stomping. Whatever you’re doing, you weren’t invited. You are where you do not belong.

No Trespassing signYou’re lounging underneath the forbidden tree waiting ignorantly for another piece of forbidden fruit. Your gaze is fixed on the wrong .com. Or your heart is fixed on absolutely nothing but yourself. You live on the couch or under your covers or in the closet or in the bar.

You’re backseat driving someone else’s life. You help them blur the sacred and profane. You violate their spaces, their senses and their self-esteem.

You have gone where you do not belong. You have trespassed. Against God. Against others. Against yourself.

Turning around and climbing back over the barbed wire fence or quietly sneaking out the back door will not help. When you go where you do not belong, damage is done even if you don’t see it yet. Property gets destroyed and trust gets violated. You can’t just say I’m sorry or try to pay it back.

See? I can apologize and I can pay back anything I owe. But when I have trespassed, it’s just too complex. There’s no way I’m getting out of it and no way everything can be made whole and right outside the help of Christ.

She’s too deep for me.  I think she’s saying a trespass is worse than just a sin, but I don’t see it.  — Anyone else?  Kermit?

Categories: Protestant

time & space

June 20, 2007 3 comments

Chuck MisslerSome scientific notes I took from the first 2 audio sessions “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” by Chuck Missler (protestant fundamentalist) to help me understand some concepts of time & space.  (For an excellent 24 hour Catholic Bible study, check out Jeff Cavins’ The Great Adventure).  I hope I don’t mis-paraphrase any points:

(*) Despite many misconceptions, we have concluded within the past century, that “the universe, time, length & mass are finite, NOT infinite“.  Time is subject to gravitational forces.

(*) “Twin Astronauts, part 1.”  1 astronaut travels to Alpha Centauri (the next closest star to the Sun 4.5 lightyears away) at HALF the speed of light, 9 years one way + 9 years back = 18 years.  However, the traveling twin is 2 years & 9 months younger than the other.

(*) “Twin Astronauts, part 2.”  If 1 astronaut travels to Alpha Centauri at the speed of light, 9 years + 9 year = 18 years.  However, the traveling twin only aged 46 days.  Wow! 

(*) “Eternity IS NOT lots of time.”  Therefore, God (eternal) is outside the dimensionality of time altogether.  We see time as a series of events, like watching a parade pass by.  God uses his ability to be outside of time to send us a message and authenticate it by fullfulling prophecy.

(*) Space is NOT an empty vacuum.

(*) The ability to “bend time” may be seen in Hebrews 1:12 & Isaiah 34:4 when created things (like skies, heavens, earth) will be “rolled up” like a scroll or cloak, and “will be changed.  But you are the same, and your years will never end.”  Interesting.

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) (1954)(*) There are actually 10 dimension, but we can only conceptualize 4 of them.  Hyperspaces (spaces in more than 3 dimensions) can only be visualized by 2 types of people, well trained mathematicians and small children (WHAT?). 

(*) The only known visual of a 4th dimension is seen in Salvador Dali’s 1954 Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) by using a tesseract.  (I’m getting a headache staring at the picture looking for the 4th dimension

There are several other tidbits of facts.  These are just a few that jumped out at me.