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Month: January, 2013

Baptismal liturgy (for Sophie Lohr, but others welcome to revise, rename, and use)

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DEACON GIVES WELCOME

PRIEST: LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD AS WE BEGIN THIS BAPTISMAL SERVICE
AND LET US DO THIS AS WE DO ALL THINGS,
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.

PRIEST: MAY GOD BE WITH YOU.
All: And also with you.

PRIEST: LET US PRAY AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS TAUGHT US.

All: Our Father who art in Heaven
hallowed be thy name
thy kingdom come
thy will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day
our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who tresspass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
Forever. Amen.

P: DEARLY BELOVED, WE ARE MET HERE TODAY TO BAPTIZE (name: SOPHIE LOUISE LOHR),
GIFT OF GOD TO (name/s : ,ANDREW AND WENDY LOHR),
INTO THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.

Deacon: PLEASE STAND.
LET US PAY ATTENTION TO GOD’S WORD
FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW.

All: Glory to you, O Lord.

Reader: Then Jesus said to his disciples,
Given to me is all authority in Heaven and on earth.
Go ye therefore and disciple all the ethnic groups,
baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to obey all orders whatsoever I have ordered you.
And look, I myself with you I am,
into the ages of the ages. Amen.

The gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

READER: BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD,
BUT MORE BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE BY THESE THINGS,
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.

SERMON

PRIEST: Andrew has asked permission to preach about baptism in general,
and to add short explanations at some later parts of the service.
Andrew?

Andrew:
First because it’s easiest, why are we going to baptize with water from above
rather than by immersion? Because Paul in Corinthians says the Israelites
were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. What do clouds do?
Send down water from above–as in fact Psalm 77:17 says of those days. What did the sea do?
It immersed the Egyptians, but not the Israelites. And likewise, in a passage I’ll get back to,
Peter says baptism now saves us like Noah and his crew were saved by water.
Who got rained on? Noah and the ark. Who got immersed? Everybody else.
And again, on the day of Pentecost the Church got baptized by fire–“cloven tongues like as
of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” But on the day of Judgment, “death and Hell were thrown
into the lake of fire”–they were immersed–as John saw in Revelation 20.
So Biblically, water from above is showers of blessing, and immersion is damnation. I suppose
someone who is immersed does have water fall down on their head, but do we really want to follow
the example of death and hell, of the Egyptians, and of the lost world?

Now some say “baptism” simply means “immersion,” but that’s wrong: besides the way the Bible uses the word,
which I”ve just mentioned, one old Greek example speaks of a flying bird pierced by an arrow
baptizing the clouds with its blood. Some say baptized people went down into the water and came up.
I suppose they did, rather than reach way way down to get a handful of water, but Acts 8 says not just
the Ethiopian eunuch being baptized, but also Philip baptizing him, went down into the water and came up.
Does this mean Philip was immersed? Obviously not; so neither was the eunuch.

And Romans 6 says “so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Some people focus on
“buried with him in baptism” as if that meant immersion. But Jesus wasn’t buried down like an American;
he was buried sideways into a tomb with a stone in front. And the text speaks of baptism into death; being baptized
into the DEATH of Christ, and he DIED upright on the cross,accomplishes the burying with him.
So how do we connect with death?
The Old Testament, which Hebrews says contains “many washings”–more literally, many baptisms–
gives several ways to connect with death: sprinkling with blood, smearing with blood, putting hands on the head
of an animal to be sacrificed–but immersion is not one of the ways.
Our Lord Jesus is called “the Christ,” which does NOT mean “the immersed;” it means the Anointed–the poured-out-upon.
And we are “Christians,” like Christ.

More important, who should be baptized? Why are we baptizing Sophie, who is too young
to talk about her faith or her repentance? Should children be baptized?
Now there’s one good set of answers that focuses on the grownups who bring children to be baptized–
why did God ever command that newborn boys be circumcized?
but I’m going to focus on Sophie and Jesus. I like to say: Jesus is normal–the rest of us are weird.
So if Jesus was ever too young to trust God the Father, when did Jesus get saved? If we’re saved by faith
and children cannot have faith, do young children who die go to Hell? I answer, children can trust
their parents, and children can trust God, even before they can talk about faith. Jesus was conceived
by the Holy Ghost: a material miracle in the womb. Can the Holy Ghost not work spiritual miracles even in young
children? John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s womb at the greeting of the mother of Jesus,
and was prophecied to be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. (I like to say John
was born again before he was born.) David speaks of having hope
before he was weaned, praying in Psalm 22: “You are He that took me out of the womb; you did make me hope
upon my mother’s breasts. I was thrown upon You from the womb; You are my God from my mother’s belly.”
Psalm 8 speaks of babies and unweaned children praising the Lord. So it seems to me that children, like grownups,
are saved by faith, and infant baptism is believers’ baptism. We preach the gospel even to our babies, and we
presume that they believe it. Babies who don’t hear the gospel, the good news of King Jesus,
don’t have the opportunity to believe in Him and be part of His Kingdom. This isn’t just theory.
My friend Tim English has been a Christian as long as he can remember,
and Nathan Chilton’s testimony was “I love God. I always have.”

In this connection I gotta tell a story. When I was babysitting Kira and Kathy, I had put Kathy to bed one night
and Kira came in late. Kathy, who was about the age Sophie is now,
woke up and toddled out into the hall, not knowing what was going on.
She saw me, lit up, and toddled up to me, and I picked her up and hugged her and got her back in bed. She trusted me.
She had faith in me. So Wendy and I are teaching our children about God and to trust in God, and we expect
that they trust Him more than they can say, and will learn better and better, as we all need to be learning
to trust God better and better.

And most important, what is baptism? Peter after mentioning Noah says “baptism now saves us: not the putting away
of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Obviously Peter who had 3000 people get baptized with water on the day of Pentecost, and who called for water
to baptize Cornelius and his household, is not putting down the water of baptism. I like to say that water doesn’t save us,
but if we don’t love Jesus Christ enough to face the water,
we’re probably not saved. My friend Peter Leithart points out it isn’t water that saves us
according to Peter the apostle, it’s “baptism,” something we do that includes water.

And saving baptism is inside us –the answer of a good conscience toward God–
not just outside–water and ceremony.

And not just inside us, but we can get a good conscience
“by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The wages of sin is death. You and I deserve death for our sins:
we have not loved God, who gives us life and breath, as He deserves and requires,
and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
If Jesus Christ had died and stayed dead, that would show that sin and death had conquered him;
that we can have no hope in him. But he is risen from the dead; he is risen indeed, hallelujah!
His resurrection shows that he defeated sin, and thus defeated death. So if we believe in our hearts
that he is risen from the dead, if we really believe this, then we believe he defeated sin,
and that we can partake of his victory. He died for our sins: we can be forgiven. He rose up
from the dead: we are to live in line with him, not in line with sin. “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead
by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Or as Paul told the Athenians,
the resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that God now requires all men everywhere to repent. Jesus was a baby once;
God can take care of babies, they can be part of his family and eat at his table. Babies can trust him
and grow up trusting him, having a good conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For water baptism all we REALLY need is to apply water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
The other things we’ll be doing in this service bring to mind things in the Bible and in our lives,
they give us pictures of God at work and things to pray about. And just as God uses the physical voice
and the physical throat of a preacher to preach Jesus Christ
so that sinners get saved by the Holy Ghost, so God may choose to use
these physical things we do with salt, oil and so on to give blessings.
Baptism itself is called a “sacrament.” These other things–salt, oil, and so on–
are called “sacramentals,” little sacraments or things like sacraments.
Since we’re doing them I’ll talk briefly,
item by item, about how we can use them, but they’re not really necessary for baptism. They often show us
what we can want God to do in us. Those who do use these customs may be able to use reminders of some of what they can mean,
and for those who don’t use them I hope these explanations bring them into the picture,
help them understand what’s going on here.

PRIEST: (Parents name/s: ANDREW AND WENDY,) SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF (name: SOPHIE),
DO YOU, IN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE WORLDWIDE AND HISTORY-LONG CHURCH,
BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH?
Parent/s: I/We do.

PRIEST: DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST HIS ONLY SON OUR LORD,
WHO WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY,
WAS CRUCIFIED, DIED AND WAS BURIED,
ON THE THIRD DAY ROSE FROM THE DEAD,
AND IS NOW SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER,
FROM WHERE HE SHALL COME TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD?
Parent/s: I/We do.

PRIEST: DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH,
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY,
AND ETERNAL LIFE?
Parent/s: I/We do.

PRIEST: DO YOU PROMISE TO REAR (name: SOPHIE) IN THE BIBLICAL, APOSTOLIC
AND TRUE FAITH YOU HAVE JUST CONFESSED?
Parent/s: I/we do.

PRIEST: ‘GODPARENTS.” ANDREW?

Andrew on “Godparents”:

Some churches have official “Godparents” for people being baptized,
who promise to try to help the baptized person live and improve as a Christian, or
“Sponsors,” who advise the Church to baptize this person. Churches which baptize babies
but make them wait until “confirmation,” sometimes around age 12, before letting them eat
at the Lords’ table, ask the Godparents to make sure the baby being baptized gets “confirmed”
if the parents can’t do it. Since we admit all baptized people to God’s table, without waiting
for “confirmation,” Godparents make less difference to us than to some churches,
but we will remind our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus
that we should encourage one another to become better and better Christians.

(If there are official Godparents, they can be named, stand up, and be thanked now.)

Thank you for honoring little (name/Sophie) and us by coming.
We ask you to pray that Sophie live for God’s glory, when God gives you an impulse to pray
for her. We ask that you give her whatever encouragement and help in her Christian life
falls to your lot to give. I suppose we should all do this for each other in Christ Jesus,
but since this is (name’s/Sophie/s) baptism I suppose this is a good time to say we’ll do it
for (her/him). Will you all please by prayer, word, and deed help (name/Sophie) live for Jesus?

All: We will, with God’s help.

(Godparents can sit down).

PRIEST: ANDREW?

Andrew on sign of cross:

Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary just once, one perfect sacrifice,
to redeem all his people. Along with painted and carved and printed crosses,
Christians from the early Church to now have moved our hands in cross-shaped gestures
called “the sign of the cross” to remind ourselves–and remind God and the angels and demons–
of salvation by the cross of Christ. When we truly trust in Christ
and our heart agrees with the sign, we can use it to thank God. We can use it as a shorthand
in prayer that He who gave us Christ give us perfect obedience
of Jesus Christ our Lord, doing what our Father in Heaven wanted Him to do
even to suffering death on the cross.
We can remind any angels paying attention about God’s glory in the cross,
and remind any demons paying attention
that they are clueless losers, for God defeated them in what looked like their victory.
So the priest will make the sign of the cross on (name/Sophie).

PRIEST: (taking child, with his thumb traces the sign of the Cross
on the forehead and breast of the baptismal candidate while saying:)
RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE CROSS ON YOUR + FOREHEAD AND WITHIN YOUR + HEART.
EMBRACE THE FAITH WITH ITS DIVINE TEACHINGS AND LIVE IN SUCH A MANNER
THAT YOU WILL INDEED BE A TEMPLE OF GOD, A HOUSE FOR HIM TO LIVE IN.
GLORY TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO BEING FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST
ENDURED THE CROSS, AND HAVING RISEN FROM THE DEAD
AND ASCENDED TO THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER,
HAVE RECEIVED ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH.

PRIEST: Andrew?

Andrew: This part is called “THE EXORCISM.” We have no reason to think the devil and demons
are paying any special attention to (name/Sophie), but we’ll ask God to protect (him/her)
and to make (him/her) holy.

(Priest faces the candidate as he says:)
STAY AWAY FROM HIM/HER, UNCLEAN SPIRIT,
AND GIVE PLACE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE CONSOLER.

P; LET US PRAY. WE BEG YOU, LORD GOD, TO GRACIOUSLY HEAR OUR PRAYERS.
GUARD YOUR CHOSEN ONE (name, e.g. SOPHIE) WITH THE NEVER FAILING POWER OF THE ONE CROSS OF CHRIST,
WITH WHICH S/HE HAS BEEN MARKED, LEADING HIM/HER NOT INTO TEMPTATION
BUT DELIVERING HIM/HER FROM THE EVIL. PROTECT HIM/HER SO THAT,
REMAINING TRUE TO THE FIRST LESSONS THAT S/HE HAS LEARNED
ABOUT THE GREAT GLORY THAT YOU WILL CONFER ON HIM/HER,
S/HE MAY, BY TRUSTING YOU WITH SUCH A FAITH AS EAGERLY DOES GOOD WORKS,
AND LOVING YOU WITH A LOVE THAT OBEYS YOUR ORDERS,
ATTAIN TO THE GLORY WHICH MATURES FROM FROM THE NEW BIRTH.
WE ASK THIS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

All: Amen.

PRIEST: LET US PRAY FURTHER. ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL GOD, FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
LOOK WITH FAVOR UPON YOUR SERVANT (NAME/Sophie) WHOM YOU HAVE CALLED TO TAKE HIS/HER FIRST OFFICIAL STEP
IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. TAKE FROM HIM/HER ALL BLINDNESS OF HEART.
FREE HIM/HER FROM THE SNARES OF SATAN WHICH THREATEN HIM/HER. OPEN TO HIM/HER, LORD,
THE GATE OF YOUR MERCY. THEN, SEASONED BY THE SALT WHICH SYMBOLIZES YOUR WISDOM, MAY S/HE
BE RELIEVED OF THE CORRUPTION OF EVIL DESIRES; AND FINDING PLEASURE AND DELIGHT
IN THE KEEPING OF YOUR COMMANDMENTS, MAY S/HE SERVE YOU IN YOUR CHURCH AND MAKE PROGRESS
FROM DAY TO DAY IN THE WAY OF PERFECTION. WE ASK THIS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

All: Amen.

Priest: “THE BLESSING OF THE SALT.” Andrew?

Andrew: In the Old Testament some offerings, if not all, were salted, and we hear
of “a covenant of salt” with Aaron and his children, and one with David and his children.
Elisha healed a spring of water with salt. Jesus calls Christians “the salt of the earth”
and Paul in Colossians says our words should always offer grace “seasoned with salt”
to answer everyone the right way. So we’ll give (name/Sophie) a little salt,
a tasty preservative, a “sacramental” (which means something like a little sacrament),
an active picture drawing on Biblical actions with salt.

PRIEST: WE BEG YOU, O LORD OUR GOD, TO SANCTIFY + THIS SALT WHICH YOU HAVE CREATED
AND TO + BLESS IT SO THAT IT MAY BECOME THE PERFECT MEDICINE FOR ALL WHO RECEIVE IT
AND ALWAYS WORK ITS GOOD IN EVERY FIBER OF THEIR BEING. IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
WHO WILL COME TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD AND THE WORLD BY FIRE.

All: Amen.

PLACING A GRAIN OF SALT ON THE TONGUE OF THE BAPTISMAL CANDIDATE THE PRIEST CONTINUES:
(NAME/Sophie), RECEIVE THE SALT, WHICH SYMBOLIZES WISDOM. MAY IT COME WITH GOD’S GRACES
FOR EVERLASTING LIFE.

PRIEST: PEACE BE WITH YOU.

All: And also with you.

PRIEST: LET US PRAY. GOD OF OUR FATHERS, GOD THE AUTHOR OF ALL TRUTH, WE HUMBLY BEG OF YOU
TO LOOK WITH FAVOR ON THIS YOUR SERVANT (NAME/Sophie) WHO HAS TASTED THIS SALT WE’VE PRAYED OVER.
SATISFY HIM/HER WITH THE BREAD OF HEAVEN SO THAT S/HE MAY BE FOREVER FERVENT IN SPIRIT,
JOYFUL IN HOPE, AND ZEALOUS IN YOUR SERVICE. WE ASK YOU, LORD, TO BAPTIZE HIM/HER
BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT AS WELL AS WITH THE WATER OF VISIBLE OBEDIENCE, SO THAT S/HE BE BORN AGAIN
AND WITH ALL WHO BELIEVE IN YOU WILL OBTAIN THE UNENDING REWARDS YOU HAVE PROMISED YOUR CHILDREN.
WE ASK THIS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

All: Amen.

CELEBRANT LAYS HIS HAND ON THE CANDIDATE AND CONTINUES:
LET US PRAY. LORD GOD, HOLY FATHER, ALMIGHTY AND EVERLIVING GOD,
SOURCE OF ALL LIGHT AND TRUTH, I BESEECH YOUR NEVER-ENDING AND MOST HOLY MERCY
UPON THIS SERVANT OF YOURS. MAY IT PLEASE YOU TO GRANT HIM/HER THE LIGHT OF YOUR WISDOM.
CLEANSE HIM/HER AND MAKE HIM/HER HOLY. GIVE HIM/HER TRUE KNOWLEDGE, SO THAT S/HE MAY
BE MADE WORTHY OF THE GRACE OF YOUR BAPTISM AND MAINTAIN FIRM HOPE IN YOU, SOUND JUDGMENT,
AND A GRASP OF YOUR HOLY DOCTRINE. WE ASK THIS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

All: Amen.

PRIEST: “RENUNCIATION OF EVIL.” ANDREW?

Andrew: Again, since (name/Sophie) can’t yet talk much, her mother and I will speak for her.

PRIEST: DO YOU RENOUNCE SATAN AND ALL THE EVIL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS THAT REBEL AGAINST GOD?

Candidate (says “I”) or parent/s (say “We”): I/we do renounce them.

PRIEST: DO YOU RENOUNCE THE EVIL POWERS OF THIS WORLD
WHICH CORRUPT AND DESTROY THE CREATURES OF GOD?

Candidate or parent/s: I/we do renounce them.

PRIEST: DO YOU RENOUNCE THE LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYE, THE PRIDE OF LIFE,
AND ALL SINFUL DESIRES THAT DRAW YOU FROM THE LOVE OF GOD WHO IS HOLY?

Candidate or parent/s: I/we do renounce them.

PRIEST: DO YOU RENOUNCE THE SINS OF YOUR PARENTS AND ANCESTORS AND EMBRACE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
AS YOUR PERFECT FATHER, JESUS CHRIST HIS SON AS YOUR PERFECT SAVIOR, EXAMPLE, AND BROTHER, AND
THE HOLY GHOST AS YOUR PERFECT COMFORTER, GUIDE, AND POWER?

Candidate or parent/s: I do renounce all ancestral evil and entrust myself to triune Jehovah
who is holy, holy, holy, in whom righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

PRIEST: DO YOU PUT YOUR WHOLE TRUST IN GOD’S GRACE AND LOVE?

Candidate or parent/s: I/we do with the help of God.

PRIEST: DO YOU REJECT SATAN SO AS TO LIVE AS A CHILD OF GOD?

Candidate or parent/s: I/we do with the help of God.

PRIEST: DO YOU RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST AS THE ONLY PERFECT EXAMPLE OF LIVING ON EARTH
FOR OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, AND RECEIVE MARY HIS MOTHER AND OTHER SAINTS AS EXAMPLES
TO THE EXTENT THEY FOLLOW HIM?

Candidate or parent/s: I/we do receive Him, and also their example as they follow Him.

PRIEST: LET US PRAY FOR THIS CANDIDATE WHO IS TO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM.
I’LL PRAY A LINE AND EVERYONE WILL JOIN IN SAYING “LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER.”

PRIEST: DELIVER (NAME/Sophie), O LORD, FROM THE WAY OF SIN AND DEATH.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: OPEN HIS/HER HEART TO YOUR GRACE AND TRUTH.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: FILL HIM/HER WITH YOUR HOLY AND LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: KEEP HIM/HER IN THE FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP OF YOUR HOLY CHURCH.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: TEACH HIM/HER TO LOVE OTHERS IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: SEND HIM/HER INTO THE WORLD AS A WITNESS OF YOUR HOLY LOVE.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: BRING HIM/HER TO THE FULNESS OF YOUR PEACE AND GLORY.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: KEEP HIS/HER FAMILY ALWAYS IN YOUR LOVE.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: LET US PRAY. GRANT, O LORD, THAT ALL WHO ARE BAPTIZED
INTO THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST YOUR SON MAY LIVE IN THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION
AND LOOK FOR HIM TO COME AGAIN IN GLORY, WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU AND THE HOLY GHOST,
ONE GOD FOR EVER AND EVER.

All: Amen.

PRIEST: “ANOINTING WITH THE OIL OF CATECHUMENS.” ANDREW?

Andrew: Old and New Testaments feature anointing with oil as a sign marking a person for God’s work;
indeed the word “Christ” means “anointed.” It is written, “You have loved righteousness
and hated sin; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness.”
So we’ll apply oil to (name/) Sophie, right now asking strength to come to Jesus
and with another dose of oil after baptism asking strength to live as a member of the Church,
a member of God’s family. “Catechumens” means people being taught
about Jesus, people being “catachised”–taught the Christian faith.

THE PRIEST ANOINTS THE CANDIDATE ON THE BREAST SAYING:
MAY YOU HAVE STRENGTH IN THE POWER + OF JESUS CHRIST
OUR LORD AND SAVIOR WHO LIVES AND REIGNS FOR EVER.

All: Amen.

Deacon: All stand if you can.

BLESSING OF THE WATER

EXTENDING HIS HAND OVER THE WATER THE PRIEST SAYS:
PRAISE TO YOU, ALMIGHTY GOD AND FATHER, FOR YOU HAVE CREATED
WATER TO CLEANSE AND TO GIVE LIFE.

All: Amen.

PRIEST: PRAISE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE FATHER’S ONLY SON, FOR YOU OFFERED YOURSELF
ON THE CROSS, THAT IN THE BLOOD AND WATER FLOWING FROM YOUR SIDE,
AND THROUGH YOUR DEATH AND RESURRECTION, YOUR CHURCH MIGHT BE BORN.

All: Blessed be God.

PRIEST: COME TO US, LORD, FATHER OF ALL, AND BLESS + THIS WATER WHICH YOU HAVE CREATED,
SO THAT ALL WHO ARE BAPTIZED WITH IT MAY BE WASHED OF SIN,
AND BE BORN AGAIN AS YOUR CHILDREN.

All: Hear us, Lord.

PRIEST: MAKE THIS WATER FOR BAPTISM SERVE AS YOU INTEND, + O LORD,
SO THAT ALL WHO ARE BAPTIZED BY THIS WATER INTO CHRIST’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION
MAY BECOME MORE PERFECTLY LIKE YOUR SON.

All: Hear us, Lord.

NOW, TOUCHING THE WATER, THE PRIEST SAYS:
LORD, MAKE HOLY THIS WATER WHICH YOU HAVE CREATED,
SO THAT ALL THOSE WHOM YOU HAVE CHOSEN MAY BE BORN AGAIN
BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST,
AND MAY TAKE THEIR PLACE AMONG YOUR HOLY PEOPLE.

All: Hear us, Lord.

THE FINAL REQUEST FOR BAPTISM

PRIEST: DO YOU WISH (NAME) TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH,
THE FAITH WHICH YOU PROFESS?

Candidate or parent/s: I/We do so wish.

THE BAPTISM

PRIEST POURS WATER OVER THE HEAD OF THE CANDIDATE THREE TIMES (OR SUBMERGES HIM/HER THREE TIMES)
WHILE SAYING:

(NAME/Sophie), I BAPTIZE YOU FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.

DRINK OF THE FOUNTAIN OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY. ALL WHO ARE BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY GHOST
AS (NAME/Sophie) HAS BEEN BY THE HOLY WATER OF BAPTISM ARE NAMED IN GOD’S CHURCH AND KINGDOM
AND FELLOWSHIP, EATING AND DRINKING AT HIS TABLE.

Deacon: You amay be seated.

PRIEST: ANOINTING WITH CHRISM. ANDREW?

Andrew: Here’s the 2nd dose of oil, with my comments on what the priest is about to say.
When the priest speaks of God having given new birth
and welcoming (name/Sophie) into His holy people, I agree with Victorian bishop J. C. Ryle
in considering that this means, We think God has done this and we will presume so
unless evidence to the contrary appears later, just as, when baptizing someone
who is professing faith for themselves, we presume they mean what they say
unless evidence to the contrary appears later.

When the priest (or the creed) speaks of “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church,”
he means that we’re one because there’s one God, holy and triune, who loves us enough to save us;
one Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, who came to earth to save us; one Holy Ghost who brings
salvation into our lives; one God the Father who brings us into His family–so we who are saved,
whatever sins and shortcomings and mistakes and differences we may not yet have gotten rid of,
are trusting in the one true God, are saved by His one way of salvation (faith),
are going to one Heaven when we die, and rising again in one resurrection of life
when Jesus comes back to earth. We are bound to love one another, to love all the saints.
Division is sin, and showing oneness is not automatic–Jesus had to pray for it and Paul
had to work for it–but underlying the differences among real Christians and Christian groups
there is one God, one salvation, and one Church. Protestants sometimes speak of
“the invisible church.” Speaking of “the one, holy” Church gets at the same thing,
with some degree of encouragement to us to work out in visible ways the underlying oneness
that’s less visible. Of course we need to unite with God and His truth, not to unite
in our own devices as they did at the tower of Babel.

“Holy” means set apart by God to be special for Him, sinless, perfect–God tells us
“you be holy for I am Holy”–again, there’s an underlying truth that we need to show,
but since there is the underlying truth we can say it.

“Catholic” means common to all true Christians, worldwide and history-long;
not just the denomination led by the Pope, but all of us Christians together.

“Apostolic” refers to what the apostles taught. The apostle Paul told the Galatians, If we
or an angel from heaven preached some other gospel unto you, let him–the preacher
of the other gospel–be damned. “Apostolic” does have to do with who the real apostles were,
since they knew and taught the truth, but neither they, nor angels, nor anyone
whether in or out of “apostolic succession”
can make a church “apostolic” if they preach a different gospel.
The one Church is “apostolic” because it says what the apostles said, more importantly than
by personal connections with the apostles. So here’s that 2nd dose of oil.

PRIEST ANOINTS THE NEWLY BAPTIZED ON THE FOREHEAD WITH “CHRISM” OIL, SAYING:
GOD THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS HAS FREED YOU FROM SIN,
GIVEN YOU A NEW BIRTH BY WATER AND THE HOLY GHOST,
AND HE NOW WELCOMES YOU INTO HIS HOLY PEOPLE.
HE NOW ANOINTS YOU WITH THE CHRISM OF SALVATION,
SO THAT YOU MAY ALWAYS LIVE AS A MEMBOR OF HIS BODY,
THE ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, SHARING LIFE EVERLASTING.

All: Amen.

PRIEST: “CLOTHING WITH THE WHITE VESTMENT.” ANDREW?

Andrew: Revelation speaks of saints wearing white,
garments washed white in the blood of the Lamb,
fine linen white and clean which is the righteousness of saints.
Now (Sophie)’s already wearing white in faith, expectation, and anticipation,
but we’ll add a little more white at this point,
proceeding from glory to glory.

PRIEST: NAME/SOPHIE, YOU ARE NOW A NEW CREATION, YOU HAVE BEEN CLOTHED WITH CHRIST.
SEE IN THIS WHITE GARMENT AN OUTWARD SIGN OF YOUR CHRISTIAN DIGNITY;
BRING THAT DIGNITY UNSTAINED INTO THE ETERNAL LIFE OF HEAVEN
AND OF THE RESURRECTION.

All: Amen.

RECEPTION OF THE LIGHTED CANDLE

PRIEST LIGHTS A CANDLE FROM THE ALTAR CANDLE AND PRESENTS IT TO THE NEWLY BAPTIZED (or his/her parents), SAYING,
RECEIVE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. HIS LIGHT IS ENTRUSTED TO YOU
TO BE KEPT BRIGHTLY BURNING, FOR HIS CHURCH WITH HIM IN THE MIDST OF HER
HE HAS ALSO CALLED THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. MAY YOU BE ENLIGHTENED BY JESUS
TO ALWAYS WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT. KEEP THE FAITH ALIVE IN YOUR HEART,
AND WHEN JESUS COMES, MAY YOU GO OUT TO MEET HIM WITH ALL THE SAINTS.

All: Amen.

THE EPHPHATHA

TOUCHING THE EARS AND MOUTH OF THE NEWLY BAPTIZED, THE PRIEST SAYS:
JESUS MADE THE DEAF HEAR AND THE DUMB SPEAK.
MAY HE TOUCH YOUR EARS TO RECEIVE HIS WORD,
AND YOUR MOUTH TO PROCLAIM HIS FAITH,
FOR THE GREATER PRAISE AND GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.

All: Amen.

Baptismal Hymn (tune “hallelujah, Praise Jehovah”; tune name “Kirkpatrick” [aka “Ainos”?])
Words by Andrew Lohr, public domain by choice. Tune public domain, composer dead 75+ years.
A performance or two, and the lyrics with some comments, are on the web.

All sing:

(1) In the name of God the Father
in the name of God the Son
in the name of God the Holy Ghost
for the triune name is one
in the great name of Jehovah
Father Son and Holy Ghost
we are baptized as God’s children
as by covenant his host.

Chorus: Let us praises give Jehovah
for his name alone is high
and his glory is exalted
and his glory is exalted
and his glory is exalted
far above the earth and sky.

(2) Noah’s ark was saved above the flood
but the earth was drowned below
the Red Sea made way for Israel
but immersed proud Pha-ra-oh.
Baptized like the Jews and Noah’s clan
into covenant with God
we are called to walk in Jesus’ steps
by the sprinkling of His blood.

(Chorus)

(3) Father, pour your Holy Spirit out
let all men to Christ be drawn
give us victories over Satan
let Hell’s gates be overcome
and when washed we stand before you
and you say to us, “Well done!”
We will praise you Father, Holy Ghost,
and your Christ, your conqu’ring Son.

(chorus)

WELCOME TO THE CHURCH

PRIEST ADDRESSES THE NEWLY BAPTIZED AND THE CONGREGATION SAYING,
DEARLY BELOVED, NAME/SOPHIE HAS BEEN REBORN IN BAPTISM.
S/HE IS NOW OFFICIALLY A CHILD OF GOD
AND A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF JESUS ON EARTH.

NAME/SOPHIE, WE RECOGNIZE YOU AS A MEMBER OF THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH,
AND WE RECEIVE YOU INTO THE FELLOWSHIP OF THIS COMMUNION.
MAY GOD THE FATHER, +SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT BLESS, PRESERVE, AND KEEP YOU.

All: Amen.

PRAYER

PRIEST: ALMIGHTY AND EVER-LIVING GOD,
LET YOUR FATHERLY HAND BE EVER OVER THIS CHILD OF YOURS.
LET YOUR HOLY SPIRIT EVER BE WITH HIM/HER,
AND SO LEAD HIM/HER IN THE KNOWLEDGE AND OBEDIENCE OF YOUR WORD
THAT S/HE MAY SERVE YOU IN THIS LIFE,
DWELL WITH YOU IN THE LIFE TO COME,
AND SHARE IN THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE WHEN JESUS COMES BACK.

All: Amen.

Deacon: As soon as we dismiss, y’all give special greetings
and welcome to (name).

D: Let us go out into the world
and love one another as Jesus loves us.

All: Thanks be to God. Allellujah, allelujah.

All sing:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God our Father
and the fellowship, the fellowship
of the Holy SPirit be with us
for evermore and evermore
and evermore. Amen.

“blogbait” apr-oct A.D. 2012

To Wash Post article on New Orleans (NO) schools. 29 Apr ’12
NO school results may’ve improved partly because the worst students left, but if 80% of NO students are now in charter schools, the charters are hardly cherrypicking. Charters (and, preferably, more thorough reform) lets parents cherrypick the schools that’ll be best for their children. Better to include private, home, and alternative education too, of course.
Some charters (20% or so in some studies, not necessarily NO?) do outstanding work, and by permitting charters, that work is permitted to happen. Some (40% or so?) do as well as standard tax-paid schools, sometimes at lower cost, so permitting charters helps some and does no harm. Some charter schools do poorly (40% or so?), but since they’re charters, their customers can keep them in line by deserting them; the harm is minimal, unlike huge tax-paid systems that fail their students and are hard to change.
What of the things the NEA asks for directly helps students? (Does it help students if good teachers retire early?)
To Clay Bennett Cartoon Sun 13 May http://www.timesfreepress.com , click “opinion”, under Bennett’s cartoon click “more”
Secular reason to reject ‘gay marriage’? ‘Gay’ sex doesn’t breed. ‘Gays’ can breed with test tubes (or whatever), but their forms of sex can’t do what my wife and I can. So evolutionism tells ‘gays’: all of you are Darwin award winners. Drop dead.

“Repent,” the Christian word to all sinners (not just ‘gays’), shows love. Wouldn’t you rather be told to improve than told you’re as good as you’re going to get? Doesn’t “repent” show more respect for people, and for reality, than “you’re OK” when what you’re doing is not OK?

Repent, my brothers, of ignoring fornication and adultery and divorce and focusing on the weird minority sins of those ‘gays’ out there when we and our neighbors also sin sexually. Yeah, ‘they’ need to repent. SO DO WE.

Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He showed love, he accepted them as people, but did he accept what they did? Some of them repented. The prostitutes found other lines of work. The tax collectors stopped overcharging. Sure, he loves
‘gay’ people. He warns them to repent of their sins, as the rest of us need to repent of ours. This may not be easy, but it beats damnation.

AndrewLohr said…(TFP letters replies 15 June)

I think Terry S_ (I don’t want to misspell his last name) had a letter in the printed paper, urging Christians to show love (the letter itself just oozed love, right?), and saying some self-proclaimed authority said “Jesus is libertarian.” Well, I like to say “Jesus is libertarian.” I use it as a slogan, but here’s an article I wrote about it:
http://voices.yahoo.com/jesus-libertarian-7724306.html?cat=37.

I don’t recall calling myself an authority, any more than Mr S_ calls himself one by writing letters to the editor. And since Mr S_ disagrees with me, I suspect he wouldn’t admit I was an authority even if I had three earned Ph.D.s, which I haven’t. I have, however, earned As in at least one course involving religion from each of: Murree Christian (K-12) School; Chattanooga State, Covenant College (undergrad); Covenant Seminary, UTC, and CSU-DH (graduate level). I have read the Bible (66 books) in at least six different versions; “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” (>1000 pages) by Edersheim; “On Being a Christian (>500 pages, Hans Kung, liberal); “Jesus and the Victory of God” (N. T. Wright, >500 pages)…If that offers evidence that my views have some knowledge behind them, fine. Of course, our intelligent and learned President shows that booklearning doesn’t prevent wrongheadedness; and some people think the same of me.
June 15
for Pulse 19 June A.D. 2010
If Riverbend and Bonnaroo do different things, let them both flourish instead of turning one into a clone of the other, whatever either may learn from the other. R could watch B for acts for here,; R could try maybe one BIG act per festival, at least once.
If R reaches more people than the Pulse, do we want to consider the Pulse irrelevant? Every sparrow comes under triune Jehovah’s eye. Since grabbing a book is easier than getting to Riverbend, I’ve only been to one R and a couple nights, but it’s usually seemed vaguely attractive.
With five non-Coke stages, two or even three acts per stage, seems like R could do a “relevant” or “alternative” act a night. (Maybe it does).
Dave Bird wrote (for Pulse or Enigma, late ’90s?) that just because music is unpopular doesn’t mean it’s relevant, or alternative, or avant-garde, or progressive–it might just be ugly. And just because music is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant or sold out.

Some alternative alternatives–I trust the performance, however poor, does convey some meaning and some hint of what better performers could do with such as these, and since better musicians behave as if they can outwrite the Holy Ghost, here goes:
the Psalms, God’s own songs, are alternative even to most churches in Chattanooga:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3jW0Up68w0 Osama bin Laden sings Mozart (from Psalm 103)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qilrad3X5l0 Psalm 43
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBrCsB5RqrI Psalm 81
Christian political music also offers an alternative:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-mqwD_RRK8 Are we better off now than we were two years ago? (written A.D. 2010)
http://voices.yahoo.com/video/tax-day-song-5375697.html?cat=9 Tax Day Song
And my favorite hymn–observe why I might like it–alternative to (not in) many hymnals:

19 June to NR online Dennis Prager article
A religion based on Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” might encourage virtue and courage, but what would we think of a politician who thought LOTR was a history of prehistoric Europe? I’ve read the Book of Mormon, and it has no more to do with ancient American history than LOTR with ancient European history. The Bible can be debated, but no one doubts it has something to do with ancient Jewish history. Jerusalem and the Jews are known outside the Bible, Suetonius mentions Chrestus and Tacitus mentions Jesus, etc. And since the Book of Mormon is a work of fantasy, we can well trust Gov Romney’s judgment in putting any stock in it as history, however capable Mr Romney obviously is in many ways. Most of Mr Romney’s “flip-flops” seem to have been improvements. I’d think better of him, and be more likely to vote for him rather for, say, the Libertarian, if Mr Romney throws Romneycare and the Book of Mormon under the bus.

To TFP facebook 24 June, re story about a preacher’s son who died of “gay” AIDS, and father’s struggles.
Stephen was sexually abused by an authority figure. Is there a new story there?
(2nd post.)
Sorry, news story, not (just) new. And is there an interpretation there, a slant different from the story’s moral evaluation of “gay” conduct? / If “gay” is OK–not just one of many sins and not the worst, not just very very hard to break from, but not in itself a sin at all–how about fornication, divorce, failure to visit the sick, and failure to condemn sexual abuse by authority figures? Let’s get the branches out of our eyes and then help our brothers get the twigs out of theirs. How often do churches preach against fornication, against sexual sins of every kind? / Leviticus condemns “gay” behavior; it also condemns failure to love your neighbor as yourself. If “gay” is OK, how about not loving? If God condemns and we acquit, are we bigger than God? / Love from a doctor doesn’t mean telling sick patients they’re healthy: it means telling them how they are and what they need to do and suffer, which they may not like. (“You’re one of 8 people in the US who have had this disease. Six of them are dead and the 7th is likely to die. You’ll be taking 36 pills a day–one of which costs $500–and you’ll be begging to die because of the pain, nausea and depression. You’ll need constant care, not just from your husband. Get your friends to pray for you.” I am not making this scenario up, just the phrasing; source TellASIA Ministries newsletter May-June A.D. 2012. Glory to triune Jehovah, the 8th patient is reported as healed by medical treatment with prayer. Disease, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, “Adult ALL.”) Of course, we much prefer a doctor who says what s/he needs to say in a loving manner (God prefers this too, I Cor 13, to put it mildly), but a doctor who tells the truth about what needs to be done is doing a patient a favor compared with a doctor who lies, even if the truthful doctor sounds nasty and brutal, maybe even if s/he IS nasty and brutal but effective (“I went into cancer treatment, or preaching, or politics, because I like to get away with hurting people for their own good”–and THAT of course I made up.) The prophets, Jesus, and the apostles preached, in a word, “Repent!” (Change!). God loves sinners enough to die for them, but not enough to leave them in sin. Enough to accept them, but not enough to accept everything they do. Enough to turn them into saints.
3 seconds ago · Like

To TFP (Times) editorial 30 June:
AndrewLohr said…

Obamacare increases demand by insuring more people, and this reduces cost? Emergency care costs $50 billion a year, Obamacare costs a trillion–20x as much–and this reduces cost?

Forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick improves health?

Does “flat-rate” mean I have to pay smokers for smoking, fat people for overeating, drunkards for drinking too much, and fornicators for transmitting AIDS and other STDs?

AndrewLohr said…(To Clay Bennett cartoon in Times-Free Press, 30 June)

Didn’t the Supreme Court declare in Church of the Holy Trinity vs United States that the US is a Christian nation? (Not that the authors of Dred Scott, Plessy, Korematsu, Roe, and Sabelius share inerrancy with the Holy Bible, of course.)

Is there any way for those damnable atheists (repent, please!) to say “Shut up” politely? Or without imposing their point of view, in contrast to other points of view–without imposing their religion?

God’s Kingdom is like a tree in which birds nest, abusing twigs and making a mess, and the tree puts up with this. Would you rather be an atheist in Hamilton County or a Christian in North Korea? Would you rather be an atheist in Hamilton or an atheist in North Korea, where that point of view governs? If you’d rather be in HC, you are admitting that semi-Christian governance (we have lots of romm for improvement, of course) excels atheistic government. So why impose Stalin’s religion on us?

To NY Times re Ross Douthat column 30 June ’12:
7uuuu7
The Constitution specifies that Congress can regulate private warships (“letters of marque and reprisal”), but does not say it can regulate medicine. Haven’t the Supremes strained at gnats but swallowed a camel here?

Romney’s flip-flops have tended to be improvements. Let him throw Romneycare (and the Book of Mormon, a fantasy) under the bus, to improve my confidence in his judgment.
To National Review online 31 July:
Newt humble, hmmm–and the author of Romneycare is too arrogant to throw that concept under the bus, the concept that he and some bureaucrats should run our health care for us; and a lifelong Mormon isn’t humble enough to compare the book or Mormon version of American prehistory with the standard version, which is like comparing The Lord of the Rings version of European prehistory with the standard version. (The Bible we can argue about. As history, the book of Mormon is pure fantasy; I’ve read it.) He’s also too proud to repent of his friends’ distortions about his rivals. He has a hundred days to repent before I vote for the Constitution Party or the Libertarian. (Clint Bolick for veep–Romney’d better choose someone who makes conservatives want to shoot Romney.)
To same:kommmkl,
If worried about pressures on the Fed, legalize using gold, silver, and foreign currencies for transactions if we want to, not just the Fed’s dollars, paying standard taxes (plus maybe 1% to give Fed dollars a slight edge)? Subject the Fed, not just to political pressures (which it surely already feels), but to popular control, to the disciplines of the market. I think Ecuador and Zimbabwe have made the US dollar legal tender, and I’ve seen dollars accepted in the Philippines. Let us do the same. We cannot trust Ben and the Feds for price stability nor for a flourishing economy (nor can other countries, nor the Euro-zone, trust their governments and central banks); so let’s take it out of their hands and put it in the hands of the people, choosing currencies as we choose restaurants.

To TFP 25 Aug ’12 (Bennett cartoon)

The murder of little babies is evil.

I worship triune Jehovah with one family that has adopted at least 9 children and another that has adopted at least 4. (Both husband-fathers are bishops). My wife had 4 children from a bad situation when I married her, and we didn’t exactly plan the two we’ve added. (Our new one gets an impressive range squirting poop while her diaper is being changed at 3am. I’m not sure if she’s gotten my wife yet, but she’s gotten me.)

If you or someone you care about has an unwanted or shakily wanted pregnancy, call “Choices” at 267-7943 or 892-0803 and ask the pro-lifers there for advice and practical help and a listening ear. I’ve known a respectable middle-class church couple in Hixson to let an unwed mother live with them for several months until her baby was born and settled.

Behind 50 million choices to murder babies lie tens of millions of choices to have sex outside marriage, and millions of marriages that could use more and wiser love. Choices to risk making babies without arranging for any resulting babies to be born into households of functioning love. (“Love” includes much more than sex, of course; 3am diapers, for instance.) Murder is sin. So is fornication of every sort, and I think churches, including good evangelical churches, tend to sin by not preaching against fornication and in favor of sex in its proper place inside holy marriage. How many self-proclaimed Christians have been excommunicated for unrepented fornication in Chattanooga lately?
If you’re worth having sex with, you’re worth waiting for sex until you’ve made reasonable arrangements for a lifetime of mutual love with your prospective spouse. Give your hand before you give your crotch.

AndrewLohr said…To TFP 28 Aug., Bennett cartoon.

Which hat should be on top? Bonhoeffer’s or Hitler’s? Look, if there is a God, obviously He outranks the United States of America. (If not, then it’s OK to eat atheists. But relax, atheists, my wife and her mother have experienced miracles, so I know triune Jehovah doesn’t want us to eat y’all.) That’s not to say He insists on coaches leading prayers, nor that talking to or about Him can replace good coaching, or good performance in other jobs. (President Obama going to church is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t make him a good President.) But freedom for such speech in its place I think He does prefer; and a country of freedom of speech, rather than censor Christian speech, should repent of hypocrisy.

AndrewLohr said… to TFP 29 Aug, Bennett cartoon.

Yeah, he suppressed Herman Cain. His veep is supposed to suppress red ink.

(Our current President was gonna cut the deficit in half in four years? Right. And keep joblessness under 8%, reaching 6% in four years? Right. And be more popular among Muslims than George W. Bush? Right. And run the most transparent administration in history? Right. Instead of Agnew-Nixon-Kissinger, we have Biden-Obama-Jarrett.)
To TFP (FP) 30 Aug:
Not bad, though the new guy’s average has fallen below Lee Anderson’s after a promising start.

Our current President’s administration has failed by its own standards–close Gitmo? Keep joblessness below 8%, reaching 6% in 4 years? Cut the deficit in half in 4 years? Most transparent? Shovel ready? Newfangled jobs like Solyndra will last forever?

Governor Romney would probably do less badly, but he gave us Romneycare and has not repudiated it; he has tolerated distortions by his friends about Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum (so how can he complain if nasty liberals lie about him?); he presumably believes a fantasy novel called the Book of Mormon (which I’ve read) is a history book; and he’s tolerating needless bullying of Ron Paul delegates. So there’s good reason not to vote for him.

Taking the editorial’s point a step or two further, voting for a new party does two things: (1) it offers ideas for the old parties to pick up on, and (2) it shows the old parties where votes can be found, as they try to move from 49% to 51%. It also expresses dissatisfaction with what the old parties are doing, or with who they have chosen.

So check out the Constitution Party, http://www.constitutionparty.com/ , whose nominee Virgil Goode served five terms in the U. S. House and with which I tend to agree, or the Libertarian Party, http://www.lp.org, whose nominee Gary Johnson governed New Mexico with more success than Mitt Romney governed Massachusetts, and unlike Romney won re-election.

(P.S. I call the Book of Mormon a “fantasy novel” because it has no more to do with ancient American history than “The Lord of the Rings” has to do with ancient European history. I know some people would say the same of the Bible, but even unbelievers admit the Bible has SOMEthing to do with ancient Jewish history and with Christian origins. We fundamentalists know the Bible is perfect, but even unbelievers give it more credit than they give Joseph Smith’s novel. So trusting Smith’s novel shows poor judgment on Mr Romney’s part. Smith died and stayed dead; Jesus died and rose again. Follow Jesus; Smith is in Hell.)

To Bennett cartoon 2 September:
Say, can I get a chuckle over REPUBLICANS saying elect us because we’ll get you jobs and DEMOCRATS saying Keep us because the stock market is booming?

The GOP establishment hasn’t done all that well. The liberal establishment, Clinton’s first two years and Obama’s Congress and Presidency, has done even worse. (A.D. 2006: Democrats win Congress and economy goes from mediocre to bad. A.D. 2010: Tea Party-GOP coalition wins one house of Congress and jobs begin to grow, but not faster than population.) So the Tea Party and Libertarian realm must have the answers. (The farther left, from Greece to the USSR, is obviously even worse.) Whether Romney, who is trying to make some of the right noises, knows in practice what he’s saying, each voter must decide for himself. (I’m inclined to vote for the Constitution Party, to point our leaders in the right direction.)

Trickle down? As a Mormon, I gather Romney could say Follow me and each of you can become Gods with capital Gs. As a politician he’s not saying that, but what could beat it? The trouble is, that’s what the serpent said in Genesis 3, and look where that got us. Egalitarianism is the original sin. (And in political practice, anyone who promises to take money from one group and give it to another is certainly trying to take power from people in general and give it to himself, because it requires power to take money and redistribute it; so redistributionists necessarily seek power.)

To Bennett cartoon 6 September: 1st two are to comments:
Karl, not “Carl.” (Rove)

Do you tip it upside down? (Your hat; cartoon had showed President George W. Bush holding a sign upside down.)

Bush was too liberal–a big spending, big government President–but, since he was less liberal than President Obama, after four years he hadn’t done much harm; people were about as well off as they had been four years earlier. The economic slide started after the Democrats won Congress in ’06. Most of such improvement as there is has come since the Tea Party + GOP won the House in ’10.

Though I speak with the eloquence of Obama and Hillary, and have not love, I have become like horns in a traffic jam, and like jackhammers outside the window–paraphrased from I Corinthians 13:1. / It’s one thing for a doctor to tell a patient, You’re very ill; you need to radically change your lifestyle. That can be love. It’s another to call the patient You disgusting reptile (or worse names). That shows lack of love. When liberals do it, it shows that liberalism’s claim to be compassionate is bogus. That liberalism is generous with other people’s money instead of its own shows the same. That liberalism fails in practice, from “Losing Ground” to President Obama, shows the same; love needs to attend to reality. That liberalism makes promises it cannot pay for, and buries the future in debt, shows the same. When conservatives do it, ditto. Why live down to liberal standards?

To Free Press editorial 12 Sept ’12
“An individual’s sexuality is neither commendable nor deplorable.” I bet everyone posting here agrees that the sexuality of a rapist is deplorable, criminally deplorable.

Since “Dan Quayle was right,” might we agree that fornication is at least somewhat deplorable, and perhaps put a sin tax on fornication that happens to get caught, since it has social costs?

It’s one thing to stop sending the police after homosexuals; it’s another to send them after those who condemn homosexual conduct (or heterosexual fornication or any other sexual conduct deemed wrong.) Would editor Drew allow groups that want to discriminate against sexual misbehavers to do so, or would he send the cops after, say, Ross Perot for firing (?) adulterers? (Perot said, If your wife can’t trust you how can I?)

At one job my boss was a lesbian. Two ‘urban rednecks’ once sent me out front to the cash register to serve a gay couple while the rednecks laughed in back. Just because all sex outside Adam-and-Eve-type-marriage is sin does not mean it has to be a crime, or has to be discriminated against socially in general. But for those who do have standards, let them do what their standards call for, e.g. if a bed-and-breakfast wants to refuse double beds to unmarried couples, or if a church warns that sins must be repented of and forsaken, or if a Christian institution wants its employees (or even customers) to be practicing Christian morality.

TO Clay Bennett cartoon 18 Sept (about 20th post):
Cartoon: Romney floundering

AndrewLohr said…
Is a man who takes your money at gunpoint ‘voting his own interest’? How about a man who takes it at IRS gunpoint? In business, we choose what to pay for and when we pay we get it. The government forces us to pay and offers less choice.
I think Gov Romney’s main problem closing the GOP deal was Romneycare. I think his main problem closing the national deal may be a perception that, yeah, he’ll take care of Wall St, and that may be better overall than Pres Obama taking care of DC, but will Romney take care of Main St? He’s making some of the right noises, as with the GOP, but will he do it? If he’d named Chip Mellor for Veep instead of Paul Ryan, he’d have moved the debate in his direction.
Oh, well, Mellor for Attorney General. The Institute for Justice, Mellor’s outfit, defended a NJ widow’s house for her against Donald Trump’s casino that wanted to sieze her house by eminent domain (‘IRS gunpoint’ so to speak.) He’d bring school choice and monopolistic regulations onto center stage.
I suspect our current President is doing so terrible a job even by his own standards (Gitmo, 8%, no taxes under $250,000, keep insurance, Arab mobs…) that Romney will win the late undecideds and the election, as Reagan did in ’80 in an election everyone called close.

To Bennett 25 September (about 12th post):
If separation of church and state is a Bible doctrine (Moses and Aaron, Jesus and Pilate, etc.), is it thereby unconstitutional? 🙂

The cartoon mentions John 3:16:
God
so loved
the world
that He gave
His only-begotten Son
that whoever
trusts in Him
shall not perish
but have everlasting life.

Can such love–“He gave his only-begotten Son”– be matched elsewhere? Can such an offer, such a promise–“shall not perish, but have everlasting life” be matched even by GOP and Democrats combined? If not, then I urge you to check it out and pursue it.

Of course, is it true? Check that out as well. Read at least enough of the Bible to see what it’s saying (the “Gospel of John” is a good start). Other books (for me to recommend books is like a drunkard recommending vintages, but)–“The Reasons for God” by Tim Keller, who started a church in Manhattan that now has several thousand people, is a modern well-written case for trusting Jesus Christ; “The Challenge of Jesus” by N. T. Wright; “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis… Do the alternatives to following Jesus offer love: God becoming a man and dying for us and rising up alive?–do they offer equal love or equal power if true? And are they true?

Then once Jesus Christ, King of kings (=Jesus inaugurated, President of presidents) gets around to politics, which is not where He started but is indeed within the scope of His interests, what does He want, what does He prefer? Christians have offered various answers; my faithful readers here will know mine in brief: He’s rather libertarian. (Search “Jesus is libertarian Lohr” for a bit more detail.) His Kingdom is like a big tree which houses various birds. Muslim and atheistic kingdoms are like jackboots crushing dissent.
To Time-Free Press, Bennett cartoon, 30 Sept A.D. 2012:

AndrewLohr said…
“Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.” I’m not saying Romney will win, nor that he’ll lose, the debates or the election, but at this point, who knows? Anyone who’s sick of both him and Obama can vote for Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode, Libertarian or Constitution parties. (Part of a commercial for one of them: ‘…And if after four years [of an L or C administration] you’re tired of peace, prosperity and freedom, you can always vote failure back in again.’)
Is Mr Bennett racist against the tribe of Republicans–who freed the slaves and brought in all the real civil rights laws, before Martin Luther King was murdered and “civil rights” degenerated into reverse racism and quotas–in favor of Jeff Davis’s clan?
September 30, 2012 at 6:37 a.m.

AndrewLohr said…
alprova’s link to a Washington Post article, assuming everything the article says is true, does show that despicable racial hatred against President Obama exists. Repent, racists, God has made of one blood all nations, and Jesus is the only Savior (and His skin color may well have been similar to Mr Obama’s.) It does not show him a good President; he’s been a lousy President (deficits up, joblessness up, regulations up, freedom down, disregarding the rather libertarian-PERsonally generous politics of King Jesus). A white man who had governed that way would be just as lousy a President; Jimmy Carter was a lousy President too. (He’s been a pretty good ex-President, though.) Repent, silly tyrants; liberalism–rich people like Mr Obama trying to run the lives of poor people for them–does not work; the poor are people too!
To TFP letters online Oct 5:
Look at the evidence. Breeding has limits, so evolution is false and there’s a Creator, as the wonders of creation show us. Miracles happen, e.g. to my wife and her mother, so there’s a God. Jesus rose from the dead–yes, examine the evidence of that instead of imposing preconceptions–so follow Him. The sins of His followers are obvious, but would you rather be ruled by Stalin and Mao, or by Chaing Kai-Shek?–rather live in atheium, or in Christendom? I see y’all prefer the Bible belt to North Korea. Imposing y’all’s silence does not treat us equally, and is, obviously, divisive. Making us pay for unGodly programs does not help us love y’all. Freedom includes freedoms to group, not just freedom for atomistic individuals.
To same Oct 7:
Since you brought it up, did you help the desperate lady yourself with your own resources at all, or did you refer her to tax-paid programs? Jesus gave his own life–He is personally very, very, gracious–but He didn’t enforce taxes while He was here.
There’s some Christian tradition of refusing to vote. I’ll probably vote for Wilson Goode (?) of the Constitution Party rather than claim to be satisfied with Gov Romney, though I sorta hope Romney wins–the Obama administration has been 90% failure, since liberalism does not work.

“blogbait” from Nov ’12 to Jan ’13: assorted stuff I’ve posted

Since I often post here, here’s a link to the TFP opinion page:
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/
To Chattanooga Times-Free Press re Clay Bennett editorial cartoon 8 Nov A.D. 2012:

So why not draw the house rainbow-hued, Clay (as in the childrens’ books Mr Pine’s Purple House, and, The Big Orange Splot?) Harder in the black-and-white print, but doable (approximable).

Probably most people have at least a few bad racist tendencies to repent of, and a natural preference that we need not to let get out of hand for similar people (in the cafe making the old Planet of the Apes movie, the chimp suits, orang suits and gorilla suits each tended to sit together). But who’s more racist, someone who votes for someone on account of the candidate’s race or someone who votes for whoever they think the best candidate, regardless of race? I happen to have voted for a white guy this time (and for one Democrat), but I’ve voted for a man blacker than President Obama, and I think an overwhelming majority of GOP/Tea people would happily vote for Ted Cruz or Herman Cain or Allen West or Thomas Sowell over Joe Biden.

The trouble with racism is that we’re all children of Adam and Eve and of Noah and his wife (who were probably off-the-boat black, by the way, since it’s genetically easier to lose pigment than gain it), and that God showed his love for us in that while we were still bad people Christ Jesus died for us–not Mohammed, not Marx, not Joseph Smith, but Jesus Christ died for our sins; and on the third day He rose up alive; the others stayed dead. So to connect with God’s love and power, all races need the man who said “Teach all the ethnic groups to obey all My orders” (Matthew 28) and “whoever comes to Me I will by no means throw out.” Jesus does have standards–God’s Law is “holy, just, and good”–but He’s where the love and power, for all races, are.

To T-FP editorial (Free Press editorial, 8 Nov). Since I often post here, here’s a link to the TFP opinion page:
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/

I pretty much agree about Latinos (Ted Cruz ’16, anyone?) and about Romney, but (IRONY ALERT! HYPERBOLE ALERT!) as an evolutionist I think the non-breeding behavior of ‘gays’ should be punished by execution as soon as they cease to be socially productive, which many of them are for awhile. And if they spread diseases, execute them right away; they’re attempting murder when they have sex.

Seriously, it’s one thing to stop sending the cops after ‘gays;’ it’s another thing, which the libertarian Drew ought to clearly repudiate, to start sending the cops after people and groups which in some ways draw a line against ‘gay’ behavior. The Bible and historic Christianity condemns all sex outside holy marriage– fornication, gay sex, divorce, lustful staring, all–Adam and Eve set the standard. Repent; repudiate sexual sins, forsake them (which can be very, very hard), and get forgiven in Christ Jesus, with warm welcome (at least in theory; churches need to repent both of failing to make God’s law clear, and of failing to welcome sinners who do repent.) So Christian groups that don’t want to hire ‘gays,’ or do business with them, should be fine and dandy; right, Drew?

The GOP may need to welcome ‘gays,’ but it should, as a big tent, also welcome those who have Christian (or other) standards. Do ‘gays’ show traditional moralists the welcome they wish for themselves? Let there be freedom not just for diverse individuals but for diverse groups (‘gay’ is a group of at least 2, right?) And insurance companies that set their rates according to risk factors are not discriminating; why force healthy lifestyles to subsidize disease?

To Ann Coulter, Human Events, re her column “Don’t Blame Romney,” 8 Nov or so
If you don’t blame Governor Romney, you’re saying he couldn’t have done anything better so as to win? He could’ve repudiated Romneycare as a mistake and articulated an improvement over Obamacare. He could’ve told his friends to stop lying about Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum, and stop bullying the Ron Paul supporters. He could’ve said he’d make Chip Mellor Attorney General (or Vice President): for the little guy without being against the big guy. He did none of this, so the reports of enthusiasm for Romney that’d push him over the top turned out to be wrong.
To Fred Thompson, Nat Rev online, re why Romney lost (not sure this got posted there)
Governor Romney lost me by (1) not repudiating Romneycare as a mistake–he wants the states to do that kind of thing; (2) not rebuking his friends who were peddling distortions about Speaker Gingrich [my choice] and Senator Santorum; and (3) taking delegates from Ron Paul and changing the rules against him, which he didn’t need to do to win [OK, when one candidate has the nomination sewn up, let others get nominated and make speeches only between 11:30pm Pacific Time and 6:30am EST, not to interrupt the infomercial, but let them use their energy inside the big tent]; one analysis I read said that Romney wins in November if the Ron Paul primary voters vote for Romney instead of staying home. So, to phrase it nastily, Romney is (1) power-hungry, (2) a liar, and (3) a thief and bully. Repent, man; Jesus welcomes us sinners when we do (and Hell welcomes us when we don’t.) His Mormonism doesn’t help, since anyone who puts stock in the Book of Mormon (I’ve read it) shows a lapse of judgment. (Andrew, husband of Wendy)

To NY Times,. Stanley Fish on hate speech, 12 Nov A.D. 2012
Andrew Lohr Chattanooga, TN
What about justified factual constructive criticism (as seen by the speaker) that may cause pain in the recipient?
For example, since we evangelical Christians see “Christ died for our sins” as the greatest love offered by anyone, and consider that in historical fact Jesus Christ rose up alive on the third day as showing that He truly reveals God, we must say so; nicely (“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become sounding brass…”), but we do have to say that atheism and Islam are both false (and are further falsified by the miracles my family and other Christians have seen) and both fall short of offering this much. And we warmly invite atheists and Muslims to repent and become Christians while they can. This may hurt Muslims and atheists, but it points out real flaws and warmly invites them to improve. Christians might further point out that countries with a lot of Christian influence tend to be better governed (more freedom, prosperity, justice, creativity, and generosity) than Muslim or atheist countries; and again invite repentance and improvement.
Of course we Christians need to repent and improve too. Christian politicians from Constantine to Obama, for example, have tended to be too arrogantly paternalistic to realize how libertarian, in some ways, Jesus is. The Bible’s lists of jobs for government to do are very short lists: Romans 13, I Timothy 2. Please repent, Mr President (even if it hurts!)

To TFP, Clay Bennett cartoon, 27 Nov:
Self-reflection? If Romney had welcome the Ron Paulers into his big tent instead of stealing delegates and changing rules, and all the Ron Paul primary voters had voted for Romney instead of staying home, Romney would’ve won in November. If Romney had shown he was for the little guy by saying Chip Mellor of the Institute for Justice would be his attorney general, and that denouncing the Kelo verdict would be a litmus test for judicial appointees, he might’ve overcome suspicion of his Wall Street insider status (and improved policy). If he had more clearly kept pointing out that our current President is a failure even by his own atandards–Solyndra is dead but Gitmo is alive, the deficit is double instead of half, etc.–and denounced him for defending the problem of having made too many promises against anything like a solution, he might’ve won. If he had denounced O’Romneycare for forcing healthy people (notably young people) to pay sick people to be sick, he might’ve won.

To David Cook, TFP 27 Nov:
Jesus defeated death 2000 years ago, so the alternative lifestyle of eternal life is already with us in a way. Christian countries run somewhat better than Muslim or atheistic countries (with lots of problems due to sin in general and in particular to the failure of Christian politicians to realize how libertarian, generous from himself rather than from other people, Jesus is.) Christians experience miracles now and then, which confirms that atheism is mistaken. (A universal negative is refuted by a single positive.) The Christian standards salt down and light up the rest of the cosmos, however wickedly short we fall of them. Technological stuff, by those in the image of the Creator and the Carpenter, can do wonders within limits: our bombs could now kill millions of people at once. To make AIDS extinct, we can wait for science–or stop fornicating.

To Free Press (Drew’s views) 30 November:
Not just for DeJarlais, Tennessee could change its election laws. I suggest an instant runoff: (1) If one candidate gets a majority, s/he wins. (2) If no candidate gets a majority, the runoff works this way. Each candidate can cast as many votes as s/he got. Say Brooks, Wamp, Carr, Tracy, Reeves and DeJarlais each get 16% of the vote. If four of them vote for one candidate–say Brooks, Carr, Tracy, and Wamp all vote for Wamp–then that candidate has a majority (64%) and wins. (3) After a couple ballots, if no winner yet, the candidate who got the fewest votes in the election must vote for someone else, or lose his/her votes; and on each succeeding ballot, the candidate with the fewest votes is likewise dropped, until a winner emerges. (4) In a VERY close race, write-in votes might matter. Drop

To Bennett, 9 December
Hazelnut creamer is the stuff.
MT & co, Bible translations can always be improved on, but most of them are close enough to work with. (In calculus you may not get the exact answer but you can get as close as you need to.)
The Tea Party notices a problem: our government has made promises it cannot afford to keep. Look at President Obama’s deficits, worse instead of better than before–and before, the Tea Party notices, was bad enough.
The election offered a choice between vote-buying with other people’s money (Obama, a millionaire famous for golfing) and plain big money (Romney). Yeah, the GOP needs to connect with the poor, so embrace the Institute for Justice agenda: let poor people make jobs for themselves, e.g. as taxi drivers or barbers, without facing walls of regulation. (Bank regulation I don’t know about, but the regulations IJ strikes down need to go.) Let poor people choose their own schools: a cheaper voucher may be worth more than a more expensive bureaucracy. Protect the poor from the rich having the govt seize their property, e.g. Trump’s casino wanted to throw a widow out of her house to enlarge its parkinglot–did either Romneyu or Obama denouce Kelo as a Supreme goof, a litmus test for new justices?
Re sex, what Jesus approved–God from the beginning made them male and female to get married and stay married–could be taken to rule out sex outside marriage, divorce, and homosexual action.
To David Cook column of 28 December, TFP:
AndrewLohr said…
Crony capitalism for Jax? Naw, let groceries sell the stuff too, though in return get rid of some regulations on liquor stores–let ’em sell other things, let ’em at least co-op if not form chains. MAYbe tax grocery wine a little more, and none within 500 feet of a school, if the cronies wanna give the liquor stores a little help and equal treatment?
To dougwils.com on natural law, 1 January A.D. 2013:
Utility is good, and good for survival, and Stalin and Mao, the greatest of killers of adults, were atheists, so atheism is evil. Eh? Triune Jehovah says “Thou shalt not slaughter.”

If atheism were the whole truth–98% of the time or so, atheism predicts the same results as Christianity–then nothing would have happened when my (now) mother-in-law prayed for Wendy’s dead cat. But the prayed-for cat got up and walked out to meet Wendy coming home from school. “O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.” (Doug, you’ll never get out of purgatory until you exchange the kiss of peace with John Wimber.) More important, atheism predicts that the crucified Jesus stay dead.

Call it what you will, we creatures gotta deal with the Creator.
Posted not sure where; Dr Peter Gleason, who prescribed xyrem for off-lable uses, gave talks about it paid for by a drug company, was prosecuted, and murdered himself.
1 Jan ’13
Jerry Pournelle’s website mentioned this doctor. Was he a quack taking money to peddle poison? Was he a caring and careful doctor who found that xyrem, which can be dangerous and can be misused, helped some of his patients, and thought that this information might help others if he spread it around? Did the drug company want to sell more xyrem regardless of effects? Did the doctor’s prosecutors turn into angels when they began receiving tax-paid salaries, or were they seeking money and power and easy targets? (Drug runners have to be found, and may carry guns.) OK, journalists, tell us.
Bennett cartoon 16 Jan ’13

For us all, decriminalize drugs but let any person or group that has standards against drug use enforce its own standards within its sphere. You don’t care if your workers or customers use drugs? Fine (except for public safety issue; I don’t suppose we want truck drivers snorting down the road.) You want your workers and customers to be clean? Also fine; don’t use cops to enforce acceptance of drug use.

Likewise for sports. If some sport is OK with most anything, fine; if it has clear standards it can enforce, fine. I suppose NFL players legitimately need legal prescription stuff for their injuries, and one of Evander Holyfield’s wives was a pain doctor. But taking away victories won, especially years later, I have qualms about: the races were run, the games played. Add asterisks, punish evildoers, but keep results except for clear mistakes or severe cheating quickly caught. Execution by stoning for Jerry Sandusky, but don’t pretend his teams didn’t win football games, and don’t punish innocent players.

Teen Challenge may not have cathedrals, but it helps people get free of the slavery of drugs.

That the Tour de France can’t decide who won Lance’s victories is funnier than the cartoon.
To Times ed 16 january
And these new rules are to be enforced by a President who chooses what laws to ‘make sure are carefully executed,’ and by an attorney general who deliberately sent masses of assault rifles to known murderous criminals? The Times doesn’t know exactly what they are, but they merit serious support?

He who says to his brother You fool shall be in danger of judgment, and he who calls his brother an idiot shall be in danger of Hell fire. Cool it, people. (Matthew 5:22)

To Times re Mayor Littlefield, 17 January:
His 1st term looked plain vanilla, but he didn’t run for re-election on a tax hike, a sewer fee hike, and annexation; and when the recall people tried to make him face election on those issues, he evaded instead of running. VW and Amazon jobs are nice, but how many local businesses could use the same kind of sweet deals he gave them?

Brother Ron, consider how libertarian our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mayor of mayors, is, when you look at what He says about politics. And consider that letting 160,000 people use our own brains, instead of you doing our thinking for us, means more brainpower at work.
To NY Times, 17 January, ed ‘whither liberalism?’ or some such:
Liberals have promised more than they can deliver; they’re running low on other peoples’ money. So trim. Go Tea Party.

Their generosity is bogus anyway, since they give away others’ money and not their own. So repent, and give of your own.

It’s also greedy for power, and greedy for money for their constituencies, and even greedy for irresponsible sex. Getting paid by the taxpayers does not turn people into angels, as James Buchanan won a Nobel Prize by showing. (Conservatives, of course, face the same temptations.) So repent.

It’s also unconstitutional; let them get two thirds of Congress and three quarter of the states to add to the list in Article 1, Section 8, of what Congress can do, or else, with all deliberate speed–next hundred years or so–get down to what the Constitution, the fundamental contract of America, allows.

For those who consider Jesus a wise man, or more, consider how libertarian he and the Bible are: I Samuel 8, Romans 13, I Timothy 2.

For practical people, consider that business offers instant accountability and variety: instead of President Obama for four years, McDonalds today and Burger King tomorrow, with tacos and pizzas and subs and sushi thrown in, and constant improvements. Consider the brainpower wasted when bureaucrats do our thinking for us, or wasted complying with their complications (tax code, etc) instead of producing wealth.

Repent, liberals, you’re simply wrong.
To Paul Krugman, NY Times, 21 January:
No, here’s why Mr Obama’s Presidency fails. Repent.

“Health reform” ‘s a bad term: insurance, not health, was changed. Forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick is lousy policy. Obesity (gluttony), alcoholism (drunkenness), and, bluntly, fornication drive up health care costs. Dr Krugman has a point about insurance clout (crony capitalism): O’Romneycare forces us to give insurance companies money. Let us make whatever insurance arrangements we choose, priced per risk: people thinner than I, who drink a little more alcohol and choose sexual arrangements safer than monogamy can pay less than I, people whose lives are riskier can pay more (and not just to big companies, please.)

O’Romneycare tries to raise demand (cover all [not]), cut price, and leave supply flat instead of letting nurses, pharmacists and laymen compete with doctors? It cannot work. No death panels? A pre-50 mammogram saved a friend’s life.

Equality (sameness) fails even as an ideal; trying to grow it from the barrel on an IRS gun redistributes power to the IRS. Instead, stop the crony capitalism that props up the rich by restricting competition. If you hate inequality, implement the Institute for Justice agenda.

Would Dodd-Franks have prevented the RINO collapse and the Obama great recession? Are even superpowers, let alone superbanks, too big to fail? So far they’ve all failed.

Liberalism has promised more than it can afford to pay for, so it cannot last. See
Greece.
To Bennett TFP 22 January:

Civility we can all try. Hope, optimism, and goodwill come with different interpretations: hope for freedom, or hope for a babysitter government? Unity and bipartisanship: what is it that unites us?

If freedom unites us, freedom is freedom to do different things, things other people consider less than the best. We don’t need freedom to do what we all agree on. Breathing is good. Forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick, we can argue about. Civilly. For states to secede from national defense makes no sense to me, but for people and groups to be free to secede from O’Romneycare and many other government programs strikes me as fully American. Our President let some groups of his cronies secede from O’Romneycare until after the election. (OK, maybe not just his cronies.)

Hope? Postmillenialism is the Bible’s doctrine: Jesus said, Teach all the ethnic groups to obey all My orders (Mt 28), and Paul was taking every thought captive to obey the Messiah. Unity? Jesus came the first time to get the millenium started (premil) and its length is indefinite (amil)–thanks Peter Leithart for this point.
To Chattanooga Pulse 21 January:
There’s plenty wrong with the US at home and abroad, but can you find two words for the mass murder of US citizens and the discovery of facts with a view to punish the perpetrators? When Miranda was stabbed, the police read everyone their Miranda rights and never caught the culprit. Was that all right and O-dark-30 so all wrong?

To Bennett cartoon 23 january:
I agree with Clay for once, or at least with what the buttons say. Life isn’t fair–the only perfect man was crucified. But he rose from the dead, and he’d done his job.

Life isn’t fair, but Mr Benmett chooses to be alive. He could murder himself and push off to Hell (or Heaven), but he wisely and naturally doesn’t. Hitler murdered Jews. Stalin murdered kulaks and Ukrainians. Abortion murders little babies. Choosing death for other people? How convenient.

nucanuck, did you miss the news report that obesity is now a bigger problem than hunger? Or that population growth rates are slowing down? OK population is worth discussing, but these had better be factors in the discussion. Shortages of anything? Let prices rise, telling consumers to conserve and producers to get busy, including producers of alternatives, and we’ll adjust. Secure property rights, and people will take care of what they own. the ’70s US tried to allocate gasoline and set prices, and there were gas lines. Carter and Reagan decontrolled prices, and gas lines vanished. By some definitions, all shortages are created by governments, for without governments messing with prices prices would rise until supply equaled demand. Jesus is libertarian.
To letters of TFP, 22? january
Sick, does the freedom you’re so fond of mean liberals can’t grope my wallet? You buy your contraceptives and I’ll buy mine, and our neighbor who disapproves of them is free not to buy?

darwin, triune Jehovah shows mercy on some, but “nature red in tooth and claw” kills all. I’ll follow Jesus, with love to be crucified for his people and power to rise from the dead, showing something beyond nature is true. Consider your favorite novelist or TV show. Do you consider him/her/it evil because he creates villains who do bad things? No (I presume), you consider the whole story, and some parts of it as revealing the author’s character more than others. So Jesus reveals God, and the nastiness of nature, or in the mirror, is something He can handle.
To TFP Bennett cartoon 26 January
The party of Jefferson Davis and of Jim Crow wants to pick our pockets, partly for purposes some of us consider evil, wasteful, destructive, unconstitutional, etc, sometimes at rates totaling higher than 50% (doesn’t slavery kick in at some percentage?)…and our cartoonist shows his medieval mind.

Bobby Jindal was elected to replace some Democrat who mishandled Katrina.
To TFP David Cook, col 25? January
dayton, get out your Bible, read Judges 4, and evaluate Deborah and Jael as voluntary chattel. Ike, use your head: the wives available to Adam’s sons were his daughters. (Use your eyes, too: the Bible mentions 3 sons of Adam. FWIW, some old Jewish tradition credits Adam and Eve with 23 children total.)

Race and sex differences, and aggression, can be exaggerated, but can also be understated; stick with the truth. My wife and I both speak English, but I’m not holding my breath waiting to become pregnant. And trying to force differences to disappear or be ignored creates or requires differences of power, the statistical slavery of “affirmative action.” Stick with the truth.
To Bennett cartoon 29 January
AndrewLohr said…
Short run, find a prison that’s well run and hire its warden, like a football school hiring a coach.
Medium run, the Bible isn’t big on prisons. Execute murderers. Make thieves repay double what they stole. Read “Victims’ Rights,” by Gary North, for some details.
Long run–we all, not just criminals, need to repent of and forsake our sins, and get mercy and grace through Jesus Christ, yes Him, the only perfect Man (‘actual ideal’ for Ayn Rand fans) Who was executed with terrorists and promised Paradise to the one who confessed he deserved execution. To the one who asked for a stay, He said nothing. His resurrection shows we need to heed Him and need not take His competitors, including the only superpower du jour, all that seriously. When His Church teaches all the ethnic groups to obey all His orders, and brings every thought captive to the obedience of the Anointed, prisons and the behavior that fills them won’t be much of a problem.

To Bennett cartoon 30 January
What imprisons Egypt? Islam. Not religion or “the religious right” in the abstract; their particular problem is their doctrine that allah is simply one, all alone, dictating to one prophet/ruler, who dictates to the ruled. Christendom, acknowledging triune Jehovah, has diversity built right in, and sooner or later this comes out in societies influenced by Christianity. When Muslims ruled a nonMuslim majority and had to be careful–India, Spain, old Baghdad–diversity enabled a flourishing culture. Overwhelmingly Muslim countries tend to be tyrannical and unproductive. Western (Christendom) influence helps in some cases. If the Saudis are finally allowing elections, and a decade or so later letting women vote (but not drive), this does not come from finding new verses in the Koran; it comes from looking our way.

“Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (“Athanasian” Creed.) Islam also suffers from its supposed allah being far off, without empathy, rather than having become a particular human being “tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin”; from allah’s mercy being capricious, rather than God being “just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” who in unexcellable love “died for our sins”; and in having a founder who died and stayed dead rather than one who “rose again on the third day” in unexcellable power as Jesus did, overturning the verdict of the only superpower of those days. (Peter Leithart offers a nice take on death penalty as appeal: we send the executed man to the Higher Court of triune Jehovah, where he’ll do well if–and only if–Jesus is his Lawyer.)

May triune Jehovah deliver Egypt from the bondage and darkness of Islam, and deliver us from our different choice of sins (not thanking Him, not trusting Him, and not doing what He wants come to mind.)
To my US Rep and Senators (Misters Fleischmann, Alexander, and Corker) 28-30 January
From: Andrew Lohr, Chattanooga
To: Sen. Bob Corker
on 30 Jan. A.D. 2013

Dear Senator:

Since neither Presidents nor Congresses in any combination of party have cut federal spending, and it needs to be done, here’s a suggestion.

Create a new voluntary tax form, paper and online, on which taxpayers can vote to cut programs and keep for themselves some (1%?) of the money actually saved, the 1% (or whatever) to be equally distributed among all who ask for it on the new tax form. Presidents have failed, Congresses have failed, so try us, the boss y’all work for. Form 1040 does ask about the welfare program for Presidential candidates, and last I read 89% were voting against it, even without keeping any of the savings–perhaps the most successful limit on any federal spending. So expand on this success.

For example, suppose National Public Radio gets $200 million. Say twenty million taxpayers fill out the new form, half of whom vote for NPR and half against. Next year NPR gets $100 million, saving $100 million. Then $1 million is to be spread among the 10 million who vote for the savings: ten cents each. Not much, but spending grows because the general welfare of the taxpayers as a whole has so little defense against the particular welfare of those who get the spending: NPR, Presidential candidates, or whoever. The new form–call it form 1040PV for Popular Vote?–would try to restore the balance, and the pennies of savings would add up for those who choose them.

Say the Dept of Education bureaucracy gets $1 billion. Loans and grants continue, with a small bureaucracy to administer them, but the people who write regulations and enforce them are put on form 1040PV. Say 80% of PV votes are against them. $800 million in salary becomes $600 million in unemployment benefits. That saves $200 million, not $800 million.

Changes in program structure can also be put on the form. For example, should we change jobless benefits from two thirds of salary as long as they last to two thirds for three months and then 1% less each month after that? Should farm subsidies, say, be cut 5% per year until gone? (1% and 5% from original, not from new current figure.)

Might limit total cuts to 5% of current spending per year, $225 billion out of $4.5 trillion or so, to keep changes from happening too fast.

We pay you guys to work out the details, but this might work, and nothing else has.

Yours,
Andrew Lohr
To Marcus Borg website, responding to an article on Easter:
To reduce Easter or Christianity to hope for the afterlife is indeed a big problem, but if afterlife is true, afterlife as such is not the problem. It seems to me denying the bodily resurrection of Jesus, is more afterlifey, less down-to-earth, than affirming it. (Your friend N. T. Wright might agree?) Of course true or false matters more than useful or distracting–an unfounded house will collapse–but the powers killed Jesus, and a real resurrection puts even more sand in their gearbox than His ongoing life alone would: God overrules the only superpower du jour not just in spirit but in flesh, so flesh out the Lordship of Jesus. That dead men stay dead, the NT writers knew better than we because they saw more death close up; but that this is worldviewishly true is a worldview question, not a fact question. “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”
I see you’re working on a chronological New Testament. Fine, but you probably know they exist. Gene Edwards–an evangelical, and quite a character–has been beating the drums for reading the NT, or at least Paul’s letters, in this order. I’ve done it; it did feel different.
Here’s my “Website” (actually an article on dating the New Testament books) in case the address overflowed the space above: http://voices.yahoo.com/dating-testament-7451094.html?cat=37. I think it respectably and respectfully presents a different view.

To post to Uri Brito if I get into wordpress:
I’m for all the forms of healing and transformation you mention, including liturgy–strongly for–but for someone who has experienced such miracles as the Bible describes you seem to be missing that particular point, however strong on other points. And to someone who feels the need of such miracles, our charismatic brothers offer a hope you don’t offer (at least not clearly), whatever other hopes you do offer. Prayer raised a cat from the dead; therefore cessationism, like atheism, is false: a universal negative is refuted by a single positive. (Refuted in claiming to be the whole truth; they can still overlap with, or possess, much of the truth,)
I also note that cessationists who have not experienced miracles are living by sight, which can be OK sometimes (“Ye have seen and believed”), but when John Wimber (who cut his theological teeth on Hodge) became convinced miracles are Biblically to be expected, and started preaching and praying so, and none happened for six months, and half the church he served left, he was living by faith.
Don Dunkerly wrote a reformed book on healing that J. I Packer endorsed. Dunkerly’s son cracked, “It’s reformed to pray for the sick; it’s just not reformed for them to get better!”