Month: September 2008

Sounding out the Word (1)

Here is a snippet from Sunday’s message.


Jesus shares with us:

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal (John 12:25).

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:  and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 11:37-39).

And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. . . . So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:25-33).

If you want to destroy your life, continue to affectionately hang on to it.  What is a true follower of Jesus (knowing this is the buzz word in American religious circles)?  According to John 12, it means following Jesus all the way to Golgatha.

LDS Shaken Faith Syndrome

Now, I must admit as a man anchored to biblical fundamentals, post-LDS Runtu has me chuckling with this comment on his blog.

He has got a point.

Browse through your local Deseret.

I think the head of the living LDS apostles, Boyd K. Packer, breathes, writes, teaches, and leads like a man rooted in black and white LDS fundamentals.

And for a bit of interesting trivia, take a look on page 25 in the latest book, Mine Errand from the Lord: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Boyd K. Packer (Deseret, 2008).

The official Church publishing company even has the audacity to retain this statement by Packer in the 2008 book (It is almost embarrassing; you would think that the highest leader under the LDS First Presidency has had the same education as Sarah Palin.):

And I am sorry to say, the so-called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false (25).

Do the LDS apostles, the visible authorities of the LDS Church, seek to keep abreast of what their own apologetics department writes?  Skim through Michael R. Ash’s book, Shaken Faith Syndrome (2008).  He suggests that it is those with fundamentalist tendencies who are most vulnerable to being apostates.

Should we be worried about Mr. Packer, the American chief of the apostles and arch defender of LDS revelation?

Catholicism in Parma, Ohio

Leaving the house where I was staying, I took an evening walk.  I tried to take some pictures of what I saw:

Beautiful pictures.  Catholic churches everywhere.

What is “PYROHY”?

What is the significance of the three cross bars on this steeple?  The Trinity?

Marys on church grounds and Marys in house yards – do you think there is too much Mary?

And is this a common name for a Catholic religious center?

Did you catch the Utah article yesterday?

After speaking to a men’s group in Northern Ohio, I am back in town. Tomorrow, I have a “Heart Issues for Catholics”. 😉

But did you read this yesterday in USA TODAY?

There aren’t many states on a political map redder than Utah.  The state’s voters gave George W. Bush 71.5% of the vote in 2004, the highest percent in the nation.  Four years earlier, they gave Bush 66.8%.  That was the third highest, behind only Wyoming and Idaho.  Utah voters have not given a majority of their votes to a Democratic candidate since President Lyndon Johnson’s landslide victory over Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964.  That’s unlike to change this year.  According to a statewide poll by Dan Jones & Associates, conducted Sept. 8-11, Republican presidential nominee John McCain leads Democratic nominee Barack Obama 62%-24% among registered voters.

I think Obama ought to spend the rest of his campaigning days among the hardworking folk of the Intermountain West.  I think it could round him out a little bit.  But maybe he thinks we are beyond hope.

Yet I have hope.