Sunday, October 30, 2011

Schism Sunday XVII: Accountability in the Church

Mark has threatened that if I don’t write a blog post soon, he’s going to change the name of the blog from 3-fold Cord to 2-fold Cord. So as not to get booted from the amazing trio that is Mark-Carla-Jesus, I am taking heed to his pleas to get back behind the keyboard. And what better way to announce my grand return than to get back into our Schism Sundays.

Recently I heard a story about a couple that was active in their church. They were on the church council and participated in the worship band. Unfortunately the male half of this couple had a wandering eye, a wandering hand, and many other wandering body parts. He was playing an instrument in the band, but it wasn’t the one assigned to him. If you haven’t caught on this man was having an affair with a fellow church-goer- the French horn player to be exact. The story goes on that she is one of many mistresses and his wife leaves him. Though the French horner isn’t his only infidelity, he decided to pursue a “relationship” with her after his wife leaves. So the wife starts coming to church separately with their two young children and finds it difficult to explain to the kiddos why daddy is at church with his new girlfriend and why that seems to be ok with everyone. So the wife and kids leave the church- no one knows if they find another church- and Mr. Unfaithful and Ms. French Horny continue their relationship and remain at the church continuing to be active in multiple church groups and activities.

Perhaps this is taking it a bit too far.
This story left a bad taste in my mouth. I never like to hear about infidelity, especially amongst those who’s outward life is a mask of godliness, but to hear that there were no consequences within the church itself for the public sin of these two bothered me. Now I’m not about scourging sinners at the altar or calling them out during service- it doesn’t leave much room for Christ’s forgiveness and Grace, but shouldn’t someone in the church leadership have said something to the not-so-secret lovers? Isn’t boinking a church band member whom you’re not married to grounds for removal from the church council? Is it really the church’s place to turn a blind eye to such obvious sin? Especially when the end result was three innocent church members becoming estranged from said church?

So tell me what you think? What is the role in the church in such matters? Do you agree that everyone pretends they don’t know about the public unraveling of a marriage? Is ok for someone to remain on a church council even though he’s broken a marriage vow and a commandment? I mean this guy wouldn’t even be allowed communion in the Catholic church. Is there a balance between consequences and grace? Should churches be holding it's members accountable for their actions?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lack of Spiritual Discipline---->A road to Easy-believism

St. Ignatius crossing over.
I just finished reading The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius; and while I was not overly surprised, I must confess, it was not what I expected. Personally, I thought the book would contain a collection of religious and biblical aphorisms liken to the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471). However, what I found was a detailed reflective program requiring dedication and self sacrifice.  Now having spent over 14 years in the occult, I felt a tinge of a déjà vu while reading this entertaining book of meditations and other spiritual gymnastics. The reason I say this is because in the occult, as well as many aspects of Eastern mediation, are based on a graduated system of attainment: meaning- the initiate has a measurable way of monitoring successes, failures, and ultimately their overall progress. Being that I’m an outcome based individual, I really enjoy being able to gauge my development, both in my physical as well as my spiritual life.  

The problem I find with Christianity, as a religion, is that it is full of inconsistencies and ambiguity. While we agree that Jesus Christ is the linchpin of the whole system, the rest is basically willy-nilly and up for grabs. The lack of organization and reverence of God has also reached pandemic proportions within the church. Denominationalism has ultimately proven to be the hobgoblin of Christianity by turning the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ into dens of greed and enlightened self interest. Who says we Christians can’t have our cake and eat it too? Ah, crap! Take away my shovel- I’ve gone digging again! But I digress..

Aside from the *Sadomasochistic elements of his exercises, I believe that Ignatius definitely has something to teach the weak minded undisciplined Christian. For there are those within Christendom that fancy themselves as devout believers…but in reality, they would not know what to do if they were denied their café mocha during a worship service. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and basically every other religion, makes Christianity look like a bunch of pantywaists. But at least we got Jesus! And while this is true…mediocrity, inconsistency, and selfishness are symptoms of the debilitating disease know as “Easy-believism”. I pray daily that none of us fall into that pit of Hell.

How do you measure progress in your Christian walk?
Do you meditate?

Could you use more discipline in your Spiritual life?

*Some of St. Ignatius meditations suggest implementing  self-flagellation...though he did say this was optional. If used, it was not to cause permanent injury. In other words, flog lightly:->

Friday, October 21, 2011

My God is not your god!

If you ever have the opportunity to engage in an intense debate over Twitter, I would highly recommend it! It’s even more interesting if you happen to have a couple thousand followers and they are only seeing snippets of the entire conversation. Case in point: I was recently in a one sided debate with some knucklehead who claimed to be an Atheist. Now this dolt was an insult to Atheists because his definition of debate was basically calling me names like “fu*k face, cock-sucker, and  dickballs” (I must confess I actually liked the last one!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Who's Your Enemy?

We  have all heard the lame-ass phrase/excuse “the devil made me do it.” Even the most die hard proponents of the devil’s shenanigans would agree that this excuse is about as relevant today as parachute pants, poodle skirts,  and the once popular pet rock. That being said, is that the end of this flaccid rationalization…or has the necessity of a newer inventive whitewash put old El Diablo back in the catbird seat?

Monday, October 3, 2011

*The Rapture: What are you waiting for?

"Fab Five Freddie told me everybody's fly"...Now Let's fly to the clouds!

We all know that the Christian term  “The Rapture” is nowhere to be found in the Bible, but that does not stop christian authors from writing countless numbers of sensationalized books based on the subject; not to mention, it provides endless fodder for fear based Sunday sermons. As for me, “Rapture” will always be that wild 80’s song by Blondie.