Friday, January 16, 2009

A Catechumen's Journey from Hinduism - Recommended Article

I stumbled today on what I thought was an extremely intriguing article about a young woman's journey from Hinduism to Orthodox Christianity. It's not the actual conversion itself that caught my interest as much as the way in which she comes to believe in the church and convinced in it's historical "credibility."

"To make it even more shocking, I started reading about evidence for Christ's resurrection - not only did I feel there was more evidence supporting this event than we have for other events which we take for granted as being historically true, from reading the Gospels and knowing the horrible deaths these apostles underwent, it became very clear to me that they really believed in a physical resurrection, and they were dying for something more than this “be nice to each other” message."

As if the article weren't enough, there's also a link to a video of her baptism. There's something you don't see everyday!

Christianity Is No Longer the Default Faith of the USA

A nationwide survey from the Barna Group indicated that most adults view Christianity as just one of many options and that a huge majority of adults pick and choose what they believe rather than adopt a church or denomination’s slate of beliefs.

This is not a surprise, considering the modern day trend to separate Church from Christ and view the former as rigid and ritualistic and Christ as everyone's best friend.

To call oneself Christian is a huge responsibility, and the importance of turning to the teachings of the pre-denominational Church and not only understand but apply in our everyday life the wisdom of the Church fathers. To quote from a 2007 USA Today article on the growth of Orthodoxy in America,

"I had become convinced that the Eucharist was the center of Christian worship — ancient Christian worship. Once I had reached that point in my personal walk with Christ, there was no going back."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't swear in Church!

A woman who got a little too heated during a Romanian Orthodox church service has been slapped with a fine.

"A woman who upset worshippers by swearing during a church service in Romania has been fined 400 lei ($126, euro94), about one-third of the average monthly salary in her country."

I couldn't help but wonder what would transpire if such fines were enacted in India :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Anglican Bishop Denied Visa to India on Suspicion of Preaching

The Right Reverend Michael Perham had wanted to visit the city's partner dioceses in Dornakal and Karnataka Central.
He had a tourist visa, which the Indian High Commission said was insufficient for "work" purposes.
A commission spokesman in London, said: "On a tourist visa he should not and must not preach."

full article from BBC

After having read this article over, it turns out it is NOT in reference to India's anti-proselytization laws.

It's actually far far cornier.

If I am to understand this correctly, since the Reverend is a Bishop, his "work" is ministry, and going to India to preach would be therefore work and not tourism. However, if I, a layperson were to go preach in India on a tourist's OK because my "work" is something different. Gotcha!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gay Bishop Included in Inauguration Festivities

Though not quite the prime slot that Rick Warren will be getting, gay Bishop Eugene Robinson will be offering a prayer at an event on Sunday

President Elect Obama and VP Elect Biden will be in attendance.

"It's important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way," Robinson told the newspaper for a story in Monday's editions. "Whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority, or in our case, a sexual minority. Just seeing someone like you up front matters."

I'm not terribly sure what a 'sexual minority' is. Would there just be two options: gay or straight? If you include transsexuals, polygamists, furries, robo-sexuals, etc. in the list of sexual classification groups, would Robinson then include religious leaders of THOSE persuasions in inauguration festivities.

...Robinson said he doesn't yet know what he'll say, but he knows he won't use a Bible.

"While that is a holy and sacred text to me, it is not for many Americans," Robinson said. "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer. This is a prayer for the whole nation."

Honestly, I can understand not quoting the Scripture at the event. But, if he's not going to be especially Christian in his prayer, who exactly is he praying to? Is he praying for the nation, or for the nation to hear?

By the way, Obama has specifically asked to include "so help me, God" in his swearing in, according to CNN.

-Steve K.