Sounds familiar

I don’t really have anything informed to say about this quote one way or the other, but it reminds me so much of my father that I’m posting it here:

“It’s hard to make sense of it all, but, damn if you don’t find an Irishman smack in the middle of every bad political deal American Catholic leaders have ever cut.”


Are these church ladies…

Or their diametric opposite?

“People are now leaving who came to the Church for something else, and not for the sake of salvation. And of course, sooner or later they are disappointed. If they don’t come to the Church for Christ, temptations begin immediately.

“Some don’t even make it in the door — they come and some granny leaps at them, and they walk away. These grannies are a crude filter in the church. They are often scorned and criticized, but they filter out those who came to Church not for Christ but for something else.” — Says Bishop Pitirim of Dushanbe and Tadjikistan, in The Folly of Comfortable Christianity, seen here.

“absolutely forbidden”

“The use of automatic instruments and machines, such as the automatic organ, phonograph, radio, tape or wire recorders, and other similar machines, is absolutely forbidden in liturgical functions and private devotions, whether they are held inside or outside the church, even if these machines be used only to transmit sermons or sacred music, or to substitute for the singing of the choir or faithful, or even just to support it.” — Show Push the Video

So I guess Youtube is right out.

Clearing the bookmarks

Here are several that I haven’t managed to read yet:

My kind of church lady

“Tamara laments the rise of a utilitarian mentality in the church – in which business models are imposed and buildings are regarded merely as assets. One could add that this same mentality has led to the mediocrity and at times downright brutality of modern church architecture. The church is seen as no more than an auditorium and not only the clergy, but the people too have lost any sense of the need to construct a temple and are intent on building a preaching hall.” — Closing Churches Closes Faith, by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

I’m not sure a church should be exclusively a temple, or exclusively a preaching hall. If it must be one or the other, I’d rather go worship God in a temple. I can watch a sermon on tv, or read a book. I can sit and talk with friends at a restaurant. I can watch goofy Youtube videos, or listen to someone sing along to recorded music about anywhere; certainly in more places than I want to.

Links, with bourbon

  • It seems that Euroman still does not have an electorate worthy of his greatness.

    Don’t be too thrilled by that UKIP landslide. Now that UKIP has achieved unprecedented power in the EU, their demand that that institution be dissolved will grow quieter and eventually be abandoned.”

    Well, people who despise me and my clan of bitter gun-toting Bible-thumpers are annoyed about the result. Maybe that’s something.

  • “Though both are crucial to the future of Christianity, neither Roman Catholicism nor Orthodoxy is the Church of the future.”

    Really? Is that a promise?

  • “The free market is ugly and stupid, like going to the mall; the unfree market is just as ugly and just as stupid, except there is nothing in the mall and if you don’t go there they shoot you.” — attributed to P.J. O’Rourke

  • I don’t much care for Wendell Berry, but Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front is a poem to re-read.
  • This ginger bourbon is good. I let it sit for three or four months. You can drink this straight or mix it. One good drink is two ounces of ginger bourbon, four ounces of chilled club soda, and a slice of orange. Don’t overindulge in bourbon (of course), or ginger, which is powerful stuff.

The real deal

When they elect a Pope, the Catholics have the meeting in the actual Sistine Chapel. That’s just way more impressive than having a meeting in the fellowship hall, or even in the big conference room out at the Ramada Inn.

To think outside the box…

Go outside

Instagram is a photo-sharing and social-networking website. It’s the hot new thing; or maybe it was the hot new thing last Tuesday but isn’t anymore; things change so fast it’s hard to keep track. But hot or not, Instagram isn’t really innovative. Walk With a Doc is innovative. A local doctor walks in the park every Saturday. Whoever wants to, joins him. There’s not much more to it.

The hot new social networking platform is dinner with friends

This approach has succeeded with a couple of long-running small groups I know of. “Small groups” are a big deal in Christian ministry right now. Those I know of that last for more than a year are like Walk with a Doc. As an example, a few members of the Methodist Church might eat dinner at Lois’s Cafe every Tuesday evening at six. Anyone who wants to join them is welcome. It’s not a 501(c) anything. There’s no list of members; no collection is taken; there’s rarely any overtly religious discussion.

Several loose ends:

  • I’m not sure the preacher entirely approves of the small-group-that’s-about-nothing, but he rarely shows up and hasn’t tried to stop it.
  • When I say dinner with friends is the hot new platform, I don’t mean we should use it to monetize or commodify our social relationships.
  • Many small groups are short-lived. Longevity isn’t everything. If a few people get together to read Romans or paint someone’s house, and they do it and move on, that’s great.
  • “Organic small groups are the hot new thing. Let’s start some, and have a big drive to get everyone to join one. Ask the nominating committee for the names of six people to be the organic small group leaders, and I’ll contact District Headquarters about a charter.” This approach does more harm than good.