Friday, March 12, 2010

Sermon Lent 3C

SSAC-Louisville Sermon Lent 3C - Fr. Chris Larimer from Fr. Chris Larimer on Vimeo.

This was the Sunday morning sermon at St. Stephen Anglican Church in Louisville, KY. The sermon text was Luke 13:1-9. Feel free to contact the church at 502-231-1326 or

(As one of of my friends said: "What hath God wrought? It looks like a catholic and preaches like a baptist!")

Thursday, March 11, 2010

South Carolina leads another Reformation?

Proposed Resolution R-2 2010 Convention

Offered by: The Standing Committee

Subject: Response to Ecclesiastical Intrusions by the Presiding Bishop

ESOLVED, That this 219th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina affirms its legal and ecclesiastical authority as a sovereign diocese within the Episcopal Church, and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Convention declares the Presiding Bishop has no authority to retain attorneys in this Diocese that present themselves as the legal counsel for the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That the Diocese of South Carolina demands that the Presiding Bishop drop the retainer of all such legal counsel in South Carolina as has been obtained contrary to the express will of this Diocese, which is The Episcopal Church within its borders.
This sounds curiously familiar. Wait...let me check my "historical documents."

Oh...there it is:

Article xxxviii.—"The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England."

Something even an AngloCatholic can agree with!

Reply to KJS

Monday, March 08, 2010

Micah 6:8 on the Skids

Princeton Seminary recently sent me a continuing education opportunity from their Institute of Faith and Public Life. The chief discussion will be around what it means to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly" from within an integrated theological and ethical framework.

For that, they've made a lovely little banner. Have a look.

Notice anything? They've taken the Micah 6:8 trifecta and given us examples of people they believe embody those virtues. They even color code them for us. Let's have a look.

Do Justice = Rev'd Martin Luther King, Jr. Okay...fair enough. MLK is one of my all-time favorite Republicans. And social justice that seeks to alleviate suffering through addressing all the causes of poverty (rather than simply looking at the symptom - not much money) is a worthwhile effort on the part of Christians that doesn't always get its proper attention from conservative-minded persons.

Love Mercy = Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Um...this is a strange call. It's not as though he worked to help out the Jews. While he did seek to assassinate Adolf Hitler, I'd hardly equate that with mercy. (And if it is, then just war theory and ministries of compassion just got a whole lot more interesting.) And the Hebrew word hesed here translated has strong overtones of COMMITMENT and LOYALTY. Again, not a virtue that first comes to mind for someone plotting the overthrow of his government and the military defeat of his own nation. (Granted, I think he was unflinchingly loyal to the historic church and his Confessing Church movement embodied that.)

Not only is Bonhoeffer not a notorious do-gooder, but do-gooding isn't even the point. What God requires is not doing good for good’s sake. What God requires of his followers is that they be committed and love being committed to God. Which makes it all the more curious that, right next to him - but colored in a way that doesn't tie her to a specific virtue, is a very paragon of mercy to others and commitment to God in Blessed Theresa of Calcutta. This woman embodied mercy (humility, too...though the left would excoriate her as anti-justice because she rebuffed them for murdering our unborn). What is Princeton saying with this?

But this isn't the strangest appellation or slight, either.

Walk Humbly = Mohandas Gandhi, Esq. Okay...his simplicity of dress and lifestyle indicate an epitome of living for others. I'll grant that. Humility, though, is a hard virtue to peg on someone who overthrew British rule in his home country. Moses, who cast off Egypt's chains, was meek - but he wasn't particularly humble.

Moreover, sheer humility is not what is in view in the Scriptures. Read it again: walk humbly with your God. Your God is covenant language. And it's used in Micah's burden against the Israelite's idolatry. "You've fallen to idol worship, and it has produced a profound effect throughout your entire society!" he says.

Here's the problem. Gandhi was a committed Hindu. He'd read the Bible and knew a great deal about it, but kept to the faith of his forbears.

Let me ask you...have you ever been to a Hindu temple?

And that's just the outside.

Hinduism is full of idolatry. And Ghandi was an idolater. He was concerned about the poor...I'll grant it. But he hated the Creator, and proved it with every act of devotion rendered to the idols. (We know where that worship ends up demons.)

Mohandas Ghandi is not humble in the biblical sense. He was an arrogant, prideful, self-glorifying idolator who shook his fist in the face of God every day of his rebellious demon-worshiping life.

Princeton has made some extremely bad decisions in how they've cast this seminar. (Which may or may not be helpful.)

If you're a regular supporter of theirs - either personally, or through giving within the PC(USA), I advise you to let them know what you think.