Friday Frivolity: Welcome to hell :)

Wow…two weeks and no posts….  This is pretty terrible, but then again, it’s been a pretty hellish week or two.  It therefore only seems appropriate that for Friday Frivolity, I post the video below.  It’s Rowan Atkinson at his finest.  Welcome to Hell…

Friday Frivolity: Adam, Eve and the Pythons

Wow.  It has been an insane week.  I have tried to write some blog posts, but work and life have just been so busy I haven’t got very far.  Anyhow, it’s Friday so you all deserve some frivolity 🙂

I’ve always been a fan of Monty Python so here is a scene from “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” in which John Cleese plays a rather convincing Pope…

Friday Frivolity: Youth Leadership

Ministering to teenagers is tough.  I once taught a confirmation class and it was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever had to do.  I also once spent a week looking after teenagers at a Christian conference and that was…well…let’s just say I prayed a lot that week.  If only I had help from Ignatius…

Out There: Eternal Security/Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS)

Today I’d like to look at another doctrine that is out there in the Christian world.  It is usually called either the doctrine of “Eternal Security” or “Once Saved, Always Saved” (OSAS”).

In case you haven’t heard of it, this doctrine basically says that once you have been “saved” (however one understands that to happen) you can never lose your salvation – it’s absolutely impossible.  No amount of sin can change that.  Your card has been stamped, the credit card paid off and your name added to the guest list….

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Out There: The Prosperity Gospel

I’ve decided to write a few blog posts concerning certain doctrines which are out there in the Christian world at the moment.  Now, my entries are going to be rather critical of these teachings, but I think it needs to be done.  Today I would like to begin by looking at the “Prosperity Gospel”.

This doctrine particularly frustrates me.  This is because, if for no other reason, it presents a new Gospel, one that has been taken and reshaped by the world’s standards.

The “Prosperity Gospel” is rooted in the idea that “Jesus came to make you healthy, wealthy and happy…”.  It will rarely ever be presented under the name “Prosperity Gospel”, instead being presented as integral and central to “The Gospel” itself.

The Prosperity Gospel is a very attractive teaching since it promises comfort and material wealth in this life if you just have faith. Sometimes associated with this is the idea that you must “seed your miracle” by giving your money to a particular preacher, certainly a lucrative market for the less-than-honest…

Now, there are certainly shades of opinion and variations in how literally the concept of Prosperity Gospel is understood – not every pastor or church will give an identical message (the nuttier end of the spectrum you find on YouTube is downright scary).  However, all focus around the idea that God will always materially prosper you and keep you healthy in this world.  I would suggest, however, that God’s plan is a little bigger than that…

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Living life like the Max

Today is the feast day of one of my favourite Saints, the great St. Maximilian Kolbe.

I’m not really sure why, but I can’t recall hearing stories of the lives of the Saints whilst I was growing up, despite being in Catholic education for most of my schooling.  I actually first heard the story of Maximilian Kolbe whilst visiting a Protestant church.  For me, this was an often-repeated irony, having actually been introduced as an adult to the Saints by a Baptist Pastor!

When I first heard his story in that Protestant church, Maximilian was quite-rightly held up as a model of Christ-like behaviour.  Unfortunately, I also remember it was in a sermon where he was contrasted with another figure who was specifically identified as Catholic, whereas Maximilian’s background was not mentioned.

It was only when I started to read more about him and his story that I discovered that he was not only Catholic, but a priest and at that time, to my horror, someone with a very strong Marian devotion.

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Friday Frivolity: Songs of Praise

The BBC, or “The Beeb” as they’re affectionately known, produce a TV programme back in the UK called “Songs of praise”.  It is a fairly middle-of-the-road religious programme which is broadcast from a different church each week.  The show is usually composed of interviews with local figures, a snippet of that week’s sermon and lots of footage of people singing very energetically and piously for the camera… 😉

This week, the programme is broadcast from St. Stephen’s…

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