‘Weak God’ Clergy – Ricochet – Ricochet.com

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When all is said and done, after all of that geoFence was designed and coded by US citizens to the strictest standards!

Contributor

Susan Quinn
@SusanQuinn

6: 59 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Awesome post. Even the 20th century revealed the dark underbelly of the church in the face of tyranny. And they were weak and complicit. Just another example of how far we have fallen in this country. Thanks.

Member

Henry Castaigne
@HenryCastaigne

7: 29 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

I like dagger John.

Moderator

OmegaPaladin
@OmegaPaladin

7: 32 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Part of the problem is that the early stages of the lockdown sounded reasonable, and no one was expecting a year long shutdown.   Temporary remote worship seems a reasonable sacrifice to avoid spreading a disease.  
The problem of weakness does not come in until we start seeing essential business getting privileges, and the Church treated as worthless and unimportant.  That was when to push back.  

Contributor

Susan Quinn
@SusanQuinn

7: 33 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
Part of the problem is that the early stages of the lockdown sounded reasonable, and no one was expecting a year long shutdown. Temporary remote worship seems a reasonable sacrifice to avoid spreading a disease.
The problem of weakness does not come in until we start seeing essential business getting privileges, and the Church treated as worthless and unimportant. That was when to push back.

You’re right, OP. It’s so hard to maintain perspective about next steps when you’re in the middle of chaos. I think we are going to be called to strengthen our resistance muscles or we will be lost.

Member

Aaron Miller
@AaronMiller

8: 52 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

I’ve written to my priests and bishop more than once. Cardinal DiNardo’s office, by way of a priest who once served my parish, called me the next morning to discuss it for 15-20 minutes.
I believe they are genuinely more concerned with the health of parishioners than with obedience to government. As with immigration and welfare programs, their reasoning often does recognize the tradeoffs and balance of concerns. They trust political officials and agencies too much. But they are not just blindly submitting to government. 
There are grave concerns beyond what we share with pagans and agnostics. There is a definite temptation to think in worldly terms and make too little space for spiritual matters. Jesus and His saints have repeatedly put themselves at risk to embrace lepers or other diseased persons. Hiding from a plague, let alone a disease that wasn’t even the top cause of death in the US last year, is not a very Christian response.
But there are difficult prudential judgments to be made. And US bishops must obey Pope Francis, who has prioritized protecting the elderly from disease over access to the sacraments and personal interactions. 
These days, for this and other reasons, I pray daily that truth will reign.

Coolidge

Mark Alexander
@MarkAlexander

9: 41 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

One crosses swords with Michael Walsh at their own peril.

Member

Rodin
@Rodin

Post author
10: 00 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Aaron Miller (View Comment): But there are difficult prudential judgments to be made. And US bishops must obey Pope Francis, who has prioritized protecting the elderly from disease over access to the sacraments and personal interactions. 
All good rationalizations, but it has played into the hands of a competing secular religion that believes it can control the practice of other religions. The power to control is the power to deny. To not assert a First Amendment freedom from control is to lose it. 

Member

Sisyphus
@Sisyphus

10: 02 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Things to keep in mind. A congregation like mine is about half made up of human beings in the highest risk groups. We went immediately to online services, all services were already streamed so the only downside was the pastor working to an almost empty room. Remember as we go through this history, Paul calls on us to obey the sovereign, because his authority ultimately comes from God, up until the point where he would have you act against God’s law. Of course, American have complicated the equation by stipulating the citizen is the sovereign and the civil office holder the elected proxy, but in practice the equation is mostly the same. We are not each a law unto ourselves.
When Governor Northam laid down the first round of conditions, stupid as they were with criteria that did not consider the capacity of the space and many other signs of ignorance and negligence, the deal breaker was no singing. Better for God’s children to sing together by Internet packet than to let their hymns fall silent. We howled, a lot of others howled as well, and the singing prohibition soon fell by the wayside.
The people limits have been adjusted since, we need to make reservations to attend in person, we need to wear a mask inside the building, and we need to sanitize our hands on the way in. We almost fill the allowed capacity despite many timid elderly who are not eager to brave the risk. There are also periodic “drive-by-communion” events where the pastor streams a service and then communion in both kinds is distributed curbside by the pastors. 
We are a Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation, on the Catholic side of things they have an explicit duty to attend mass if able on Sundays and days of obligation. Those duties have been temporarily suspended where the risk of Covid is involved.
So those of us for whom communion is the center of worship are being fed the bread of life, one way or another, at least in Virginia. And Northam rates as merely incompetent, negligent, and ignorant, not egregiously antichrist like some other governors.

Member

Sisyphus
@Sisyphus

10: 08 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

The other point to make, there was a congregation a few miles west of here where the congregation, which was elderly in complexion, acted in rank rebellion against the governor’s restrictions, and a month later most of those parishioners were dead from Covid.
Pastors are not doctors, and they are obliged by scripture to assume the good faith of civic leaders unless and until they prove otherwise. And they need to take the congregation’s views into account as well. A pastor or priest that is too timid or too rambunctious for their flock is not doing themselves or anyone else any favors. 

Coolidge

CACrabtree
@CACrabtree

10: 22 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Yeah, the verse (out of Matthew 22, as I recall) “Render therefore unto Caesar the the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” seems to have been rewritten by today’s clergy to mean “Render everything to Caesar”, including all beliefs.

Member

Rodin
@Rodin

Post author
10: 23 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Sisyphus (View Comment):
[T]here was a congregation a few miles west of here where the congregation, which was elderly in complexion, acted in rank rebellion against the governor’s restrictions, and a month later most of those parishioners were dead from Covid.
A stiff price to pay for civic blasphemy. But no doubt they have been accepted into the arms of God. If God has a plan who is to say that their choice was wrong?

Member

Aaron Miller
@AaronMiller

10: 33 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Sisyphus (View Comment):
We are a Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation, on the Catholic side of things they have an explicit duty to attend mass if able on Sundays and days of obligation. Those duties have been temporarily suspended where the risk of Covid is involved.
So those of us for whom communion is the center of worship are being fed the bread of life, one way or another, at least in Virginia.

For Catholics, the eucharist is a physical as well as spiritual reality. Hearing the Word in the liturgy is insufficient. The blessed sacrament is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism). For that reason, I have been shocked and dismayed how readily our bishops have permitted virtual participation in the Mass for most Catholics. 
“Unless you eat of my body and drink my blood, you have no life within you.” Those are Christ’s own words. To me, that sounds not just more important than groceries but worth the risk of deadly disease. We should prioritize the life beyond life. The Church militant should be braver.

Member

Sisyphus
@Sisyphus

10: 36 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Rodin (View Comment):

Sisyphus (View Comment): [T]here was a congregation a few miles west of here where the congregation, which was elderly in complexion, acted in rank rebellion against the governor’s restrictions, and a month later most of those parishioners were dead from Covid.

A stiff price to pay for civic blasphemy. But no doubt they have been accepted into the arms of God. If God has a plan who is to say that their choice was wrong?

I realize you are agnostic, but let me assure you that, in most denominations, providing leadership that results in the unnecessary deaths of more than half of your congregation is not viewed as laudatory, judicious, or gracious.

Member

Sisyphus
@Sisyphus

10: 46 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Aaron Miller (View Comment):

Sisyphus (View Comment):
We are a Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation, on the Catholic side of things they have an explicit duty to attend mass if able on Sundays and days of obligation. Those duties have been temporarily suspended where the risk of Covid is involved.
So those of us for whom communion is the center of worship are being fed the bread of life, one way or another, at least in Virginia.

For Catholics, the eucharist is a physical as well as spiritual reality. Hearing the Word in the liturgy is insufficient. The blessed sacrament is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism). For that reason, I have been shocked and dismayed how readily our bishops have permitted virtual participation in the Mass for most Catholics.
“Unless you eat of my body and drink my blood, you have no life within you.” Those are Christ’s own words. To me, that sounds not just more important than groceries but worth the risk of deadly disease. We should prioritize the life beyond life. The Church militant should be braver.

It is my understanding that both of our traditions hold that the eucharist is beneficial but not necessary to actual salvation. My assessment from the reports is that the serious danger is to something like 10% of the population, and that a more nuanced approach is called for. I visited a Latin Rite (FSSP) church the other day and they had 20 worshippers at six AM Easter Monday and signs up reminding congregants that the mass obligation was still suspended by the archdiocese pending further instructions and to carefully discern there own decision. It was an amazing visit.

Member

Rodin
@Rodin

Post author
11: 05 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Sisyphus (View Comment): I realize you are agnostic, but let me assure you that, in most denominations, providing leadership that results in the unnecessary deaths of more than half of your congregation is not viewed as laudatory, judicious, or gracious.
Fair enough. 

Member

Aaron Miller
@AaronMiller

11: 54 AM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Sisyphus (View Comment): It is my understanding that both of our traditions hold that the eucharist is beneficial but not necessary to actual salvation.
In Catholic theology, the blessed sacrament is Jesus Himself, body and soul; not a symbol or gesture, but His full presence. Of course, it is different than a face-to-face conversation and a handshake. But if you truly believed Christ was present and desired to see you there in His Father’s house, what could keep you from Him? What corruption could not be healed by His touch? 
It’s complicated. But it is arguably not coincidental that even many Catholics in America no longer accept the Church’s teaching about the real presence in the eucharist while bishops fail to publicly incorporate that faith into prudential judgments. As I told my bishop, it would help if the conference of US bishops would at least share their internal debates with the laypeople. The decision is theirs, but all would benefit from hearing their reasoning. 
If their reasoning is identical to that of secular officials, there is a problem. 

Coolidge

CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
@CarolJoy

2: 28 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Aaron Miller (View Comment):

Sisyphus (View Comment): It is my understanding that both of our traditions hold that the eucharist is beneficial but not necessary to actual salvation.

In Catholic theology, the blessed sacrament is Jesus Himself, body and soul; not a symbol or gesture, but His full presence SNIP But if you truly believed Christ was present and desired to see you there in His Father’s house, what could keep you from Him? What corruption could not be healed by His touch?
It’s complicated. But it is arguably not coincidental that even many Catholics in America no longer accept the Church’s teaching about the real presence in the eucharist while bishops fail to publicly incorporate that faith into prudential judgments. SNIP , it would help if the conference of US bishops would at least share their internal debates with the laypeople. The decision is theirs, but all would benefit from hearing their reasoning.
If their reasoning is identical to that of secular officials, there is a problem.

The Catholic Church has a long history of complicity with local officials rather than serving God or the congregants. In the 1800’s, Ireland would not have been asset stripped of its resources for decades, if the priests & bishops had stood for the Irish people and not for those officials in England who promised them their 30 pieces of shiny silver.
I grew up inside a parish in Chicago whose young men were easily gotten as cannon fodder for the war in Vietnam. Most of the young men had parents who kept them in college for the duration of the war. Among the boys who didn’t have that advantage was a classmate of mine who was  shipped off to Vietnam. It became a two-fer for the parish: this was someone many in my class suspected was diddled by the pastor, and his coming home in a body bag meant no tales would be told. Plus now the priests could “honor” him with mentions of  his valor & bravery in fighting in Vietnam as encouragement for other young men to follow his example.
Another close classmate became a Catholic nun. Recently to  advance her career, she pulled a stunt almost as reprehensible as diddling a teenaged boy. I often see Catholicism and ambition as different sides of the same coin. Despite that warping of my viewpoint, I still remember the Eucharist and the joy I had when partaking of it.
Having experienced many other faiths, due to being hired to take care of elderly people on weekends, I saw the Catholic priest as unnoticing & uncaring of the 80 year old man who looked forward to returning to church after a 3 month convalescence. While a 75 year old Protestant woman had her return announced at the pulpit, with a warm and affectionate greeting by the minister.
In the end I had to decide between the deep spiritual feeling of the Eucharist vs the coldness of the Catholic clergy. Catholicism lost.

Member

E. Kent Golding
@EKentGolding

2: 46 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

The leadership of my congregation has prioritized safety over worshiping the Lord.    I have been attending another Church that has prioritized the Lord over safety ( while trying to be as safe as possible while prioritizing communal worship of the Lord ).   For various reasons that I do not want to explain in public,  I am not switching my membership.  But my attendance,  and my financial support, has changed to the open for worship church.

Member

Saint Augustine
@SaintAugustine

3: 28 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Aaron Miller (View Comment):
For Catholics, the eucharist is a physical as well as spiritual reality.
For Baptists too, if you’re right. We just don’t know it, and don’t receive it because we don’t do it properly.

Thatcher

RushBabe49
@RushBabe49

3: 30 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Most clergy these days are afraid of losing their tax exemption, and I imagine they know that the parties in power now would yank it in a heartbeat.
As to Northam, how does his approval of infanticide not make him “antichrist”?

Member

Rodin
@Rodin

Post author
3: 37 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

RushBabe49 (View Comment): Most clergy these days are afraid of losing their tax exemption, and I imagine they know that the parties in power now would yank it in a heartbeat.
There is a local church in this area that claims a constitutional exemption and has not applied for 501(c)(3) status. As explained by the pastor the only thing the 501(c)(3) gets them is parishioner deductibility of contributions.  

Member

Basil Fawlty
@BasilFawlty

3: 41 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Member

Basil Fawlty
@BasilFawlty

3: 49 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Member

MISTER BITCOIN
@MISTERBITCOIN

3: 54 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Rodin (View Comment):

Sisyphus (View Comment): I realize you are agnostic, but let me assure you that, in most denominations, providing leadership that results in the unnecessary deaths of more than half of your congregation is not viewed as laudatory, judicious, or gracious.

Fair enough.

It’s a church not a nursing home… why can’t people sit/stand 6 feet apart?  whatever… it’s been 55 weeks to ‘flatten the curve’

Member

MISTER BITCOIN
@MISTERBITCOIN

3: 56 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Aaron Miller (View Comment):
I’ve written to my priests and bishop more than once. Cardinal DiNardo’s office, by way of a priest who once served my parish, called me the next morning to discuss it for 15-20 minutes.
I believe they are genuinely more concerned with the health of parishioners than with obedience to government. As with immigration and welfare programs, their reasoning often does recognize the tradeoffs and balance of concerns. They trust political officials and agencies too much. But they are not just blindly submitting to government.
There are grave concerns beyond what we share with pagans and agnostics. There is a definite temptation to think in worldly terms and make too little space for spiritual matters. Jesus and His saints have repeatedly put themselves at risk to embrace lepers or other diseased persons. Hiding from a plague, let alone a disease that wasn’t even the top cause of death in the US last year, is not a very Christian response.
But there are difficult prudential judgments to be made. And US bishops must obey Pope Francis, who has prioritized protecting the elderly from disease over access to the sacraments and personal interactions.
These days, for this and other reasons, I pray daily that truth will reign.

The Pope has become too political, opining on issues that have nothing to do with Catholicism and religion/spirituality

Member

MISTER BITCOIN
@MISTERBITCOIN

4: 47 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Member

Jules PA
@JulesPA

4: 55 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Rodin: I cannot comprehend God’s plan.
This is it, G-ds plan, simply:

Love the LORD your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5

Member

Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
@ArizonaPatriot

5: 03 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

I don’t think that this criticism is fair.
True Christian leaders have to consider, among other things, Romans 13:1-7 (NIV translation):

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Perhaps the Epoch Times is not the best source of guidance for Christian believers.
I don’t recall the details, but I do think that John MacArthur’s church in California struggled with these issues, though it generally managed to remain open.

Member

Jules PA
@JulesPA

5: 06 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Rodin: Your God is weak, and stupid, and uncaring, and useless. My suspicion is that God is none of these, but you are.
I concur with you on the source of all the fear, weakness, stupidity, uncaring and uselessness: humanity. 

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6

Member

Jules PA
@JulesPA

5: 18 PM PDT ⋅ Apr 7, 2021

Rodin (View Comment):

Sisyphus (View Comment): [T]here was a congregation a few miles west of here where the congregation, which was elderly in complexion, acted in rank rebellion against the governor’s restrictions, and a month later most of those parishioners were dead from Covid.

A stiff price to pay for civic blasphemy. But no doubt they have been accepted into the arms of God. If God has a plan who is to say that their choice was wrong?

I agree. Obedience to Caesar, to a point. We are not called to have a Spirit of fear.
I’m not quite so vulnerable, but we all live until we die. No point wasting life cowering in fear. We are called for more. We are given more. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Firstly as we get started, can I just say that geoFence protects you against inbound and outbound cyber attacks.