Friday, March 27, 2009

Ridley Scott and a Common Assumption of Marketing

Ridley Scott is a renowned director who is known for deep, thought-provoking film. He made an interesting quote about having to deal with the marketing side of film. Here Mr. Scott hits the nail on the head: when you over-market an idea, you essentially kill everything that is smart, true, and beautiful about it in order to make it universally appealing.

Why does this quote apply to the church? Because we live in an age where many people are so blinded and foolish that secular business comments like this can actually be used to critique the temple money-changers who are trying to incorporate the mystical Body of Christ so that it can be reinvented, reimagined, and presented like a mundane product.

Ridley Scott on Marketing's thought process:

"If you got it don't be afraid of being intelligent, right? You can't allow for the lowest common denominator. If they don't get it, too bad. Because sometimes the danger is that Marketing generally does believe that, if you come across as too intelligent, people won't go."

-Ridley Scott, The Director's Commentary for The Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Christ: The Proper Subject of a Sermon

The Presbyterian Chaplain used this story in his homily today. He said that he thought of me (the "token Lutheran" in his liturgical service) when he decided to include it in the sermon outline. I decided to pass it along:

According to a story told by Dr. Albert Ouder...

King Charles XII of Sweeden, in 1716, visited the small seaport town of Ystad. He arrived unexpectedly at St. Mary's Lutheran Church for worship. When the pastor heard that the king was at the service he decided to put aside his prepared text and take this opportunity to praise King Charles for his leadership of the country. (How relevant of him! :P )

The king greeted the pastor after the service and left Ystad. A short time later the church received a large gift from the king. The pastor and the congregation opened the massive crate to find a life-sized crucifix. Attached to the cross was a note from the king. It gave the following command:

"Let this crucifix hang on the pillar opposite the pulpit,
so that all who shall stand there will be reminded of their proper subject."

I think that this is a great idea. Would that more churches adopt the mindset and architectural wisdom of King Charles XII!
Crux sola est nostra theologia.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Movie Quote

"A law can go too far. It can go too far; I ask myself, 'Would Jesus do it thusly?' There is so much done in Christendom of which Christ would be incapable."

-A Bishop, Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Diagnosis

The diagnosis from the CASH is a volar ganglion cyst and the early onset of carple tunnel syndrome.

Your prayers have been answered: BOLL will now feature shorter posts since this author now has only one typing hand. =P

I'll have to work on my brevity. Doctor's orders.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Get Thee Behind Me Satan!


In case you don't know already, William Young's book "The Shack" contains false doctrine and rank heresy. Not just a false doctrine or a rank heresy, but a veritable Baskin Robins with 31 Flavors of Error!

Let's put aside the blasphemous portrayal of God the Father as a cheap rip-off of the black woman from the Matrix for a second...

It denies the penal substitution of Christ's atonement as does its author. I would also point out that the author of this book is on record as denying the existance of a physical hell (but rather a "spiritual reality" that is "not seperation".) In the same interview, he said that the fire in reference to the "Lake of Fire" seems more like a "process of working out the stuff in our lives that actually damages us and damages relationships and damages people."

There is also alot of the Pelegian-family of errors in the book. In the book, God says: "In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship." -The Shack, pg 225

There is also the error of Universalism in the book. I quote The Shack again: "Jesus said, 'Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptist or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my beloved.'" -The Shack, pg 182

In addition to that, it puts post-modern political jargon in Christ's mouth and presents neo-liberalism as something that Jesus promotes. This comes as no surprise since this fictional work comes from the pen of one of the gurus of the emerging church movement.

For a good review of the problems with this book, go here.

I only bring this up because there is at least one LCMS church that says it has "The Shack" out in the their fellowship hall for people to read. I am sure there are others. Yes... you guessed it, it's in my home district of Texas. Thanks guys... again. :(

I am not going to drop names and embarrass anyone at this point, but I think that I should point out how foolish it is to make heretical texts available to Christians without explaining the problems with it. It's even worse when you leave it out for your visitors to pick up. We share the good news about Jesus and not the doctrine of demons or the propoganda of political ideologues.

Kyrie Eleison!

Another deMotivational Poster

hehe... oh man! These things never get old!

Heads up all you snake-oil salesmen who call yourselves church planters:

Appearantly this guy is one of those "self feeders" that the hawaiian shirt sect always talks about. His fork is clearly purpose-driven.

My Torrid Love Affair Here in the Combat Zone

...with coffee, silly! =P

There is a coffee shop chain here in the combat zone. They are called Green Beans Coffee. You can find them back in the States, but they are on military bases. I would compare them to a military contract version of Starbucks, but they hate it when you do that.

Green Beans is a great coffee shop. They live up to their motto: "Honor First, Coffee Second" by donating proceeds from all their sales to charities that help the families of fallen Soldiers. Contrary to what people tell you about military contractors alot of them are the good guys.

Maybe I am biased because I am a 24 hour coffee drinker. My pot back in the States brews all day until its time to go home. I've made cups of coffee only minutes before bed time. I'm also a big fan of bold, dark roasts (Have you ever tried Starbucks' blend called Sumatra? Good stuff!) The closer it is to actually chewing on the beans the better it is. If I don't have a coffee cup in hand, people ask me if there is something wrong with me.

It all started back when I was a kid in the Boy Scouts. I was made the Senior Patrol Leader which made me the top kid before you got to the adult leadership. This meant alot of late nights and early mornings. One of the adult leaders introduced me to camp coffee because he got tired of listening to me complain before sunrise. I've never been able to put the stuff down since.

So Green Beans and I make a perfect team. I love dark coffee and they have the legendary MOAC. The MOAC is a coffee so epic that it has taken on mythological proportions among service members. Most people are too fearful to even try it. Fair-weather coffee drinkers don't have the stomach for it. Yes, my friends, MOAC separates the sissy from the caffeine addict... the crypto-Tory, royalty-toasting tea-sipper from a true American patriot! :P

What exactly is a MOAC you may ask?

Simple: M.O.A.C. is the Mother Of All Coffees. Even the name gives me the hyperactive jitters. Opening the lid to a MOAC is like rubbing your face in a full coffee tin. How strong is this thing? Well, let me save you the trip to over here by explaining what's in it. Make yourself a homemade MOAC and give it a try... if you're not a sissy.

Take a 24oz cup (the guys at Green Beans call it a "Quad". You have single, double, triple, quad sizes.) Okay... now get ready:

Brew up four (4) shots of espresso (if you are manly, make them doubles).
Pour those four (4) espresso shots into your cup.
Brew up a 12oz cup of dark roast coffee.
Pour that into the cup with the four (4) espresso shots.
If it's darker than a Hershey bar, you've done it right.
Serve it to your victim... errr customer.

Ah, good times. I love this thing. It'll be one of the little pleasures that I miss about being deployed.

Oh... and I drink it black!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Some of the Best of Krauth

As a fun exercise, I went over to Pastor Weedon's blog and typed "Krauth" in the search box. Now, all in one place ladies and gentlemen, here are some of the highlights from the quotes Pr. Weedon has posted:

"She [the Church] should lead men, not to the least faith, the least holiness which makes salvation possible, but to the very highest - she should not encourage the religion whose root is a selfish fear of hell, a selfish craving for heaven, but she should plant that religion to which pure truth is dear for its own sake, which longs for the fullest illumination, which desires not the easy road, but the sure one." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 191

"It is not charity to bear with others because the differences between us are trifling; it is charity to bear with them although the differences are great. Charity does not cover error; because error is the daughter of sin, and charity is the daughter of God. Charity covers errorists so far as she may without palliating their errors, for the errorist, as a man, is God's child." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 143

"A Church which contends for nothing has either lost the truth, or has ceased to love it." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 1147

"The sin is really in the condition of the will. The sin done is but phenomenal to the real sin." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 453

"It is vastly more important, then, to know what the Reformation retained than what it overthrew; for the overthrow of error, though often an indispensable prerequisite to the establishment of truth, is not truth itself; it may clear the foundation, simply to substitute one error for another, perhaps a greater for a less." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 202

"The private opinions of individuals, however influential, can in no sense establish or remove one word of the Creed of the Church. Any man who, on any pretense, gives ecclesiastical authority to private opinions, is robbing the Church of her freedom. She is to be held responsible for no doctrines which she has not officially declared to be her own." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 265

"It is a great mistake to suppose that our Evangelical Protestant Church is bound by consistency to hold a view simply because Luther held it. Her faith is not brought to the touchstone of Luther's private opinion, but his private opinion is to be tested by her confessed faith, when the question is, What is genuinely Lutheran?" -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 265

"Man offers to God; this is sacrifice. God gives back to man; this is sacrament. The oblation, or thing offered, supplies both sacrifice and sacrament, but with this difference, that under the Old Dispensation, God received part and man received part; under the New, God receives all and gives back all: Jesus Christ, in His own divine person, makes that complete which was narrowed under the Old Covenant by the necessarily limitations of mere matter." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 591

"Rights, in themselves, give nothing, and cannot change the nature of things. The right to gather, gathers nothing; and if, under this right, the man gathers wood, hay, stubble, neither the right nor its exercise makes them into gold, silver, and precious stones. The Church will not put any violence upon him who chooses to gather what will not endure the fire; but she will not accept them as jewels, nor permit her children to be cheated by them. The right of private judgment and the right of Church discipline are co-ordinate and harmonious rights, essential to the prevention and abuse of the other. To uphold either intelligently is to uphold both. In maintaining, therefore, as Protestants, the right and duty of men, in the exercise of private judgment, to form their own convictions, unfettered by civil penalties in the State, or by inquisitorial powers in the Church, we maintain, also, the right and duty of the Church to shield herself from corruption in doctrine by setting forth the truth in Confession, by faithfully combating heresy, by personal warning to those that err, and, finally, with the contumacious, by rejecting them from her communion, till, through grace, they are led to see and renounce the falsehood, for which they claimed the name of truth." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 175

"Death is so tenaciously allied to sin that only God can separate them." -- C. P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 411

"God's own appointments limit us, but do not limit Him." -- C.P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 431

"There is no power in man, in his reason or in his will, none in education, none in the whole store of the visible, or the intellectual, or moral world, which can repair this fatal defect [having no true love, faith, or fear of God], and render him God's reverent, loving, and trusting child." -- Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 390

"A regenerate man is always justified, a justified man is always regenerated; and unless a man be both, he is neither." -- Krauth, The Conservation Reformation, p. 419

"We do not interpret God's word by the Creed, neither do we interpret the Creed by God's Word, but interpreting both independently, by the laws of language, and finding that they teach one and the same truth, we heartily acknowledge the Confession as a true exhibition of the faith of the Rule - a true witness to the one, pure, and unchanging faith of the Christian Church, and freely make it our own Confession, as truly as if it had been now first uttered by our lips, or had first gone forth from our hands." -- Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 169

"The faith of the Church now is identical with what it was in the Apostolic time, but the relation of identity does not preclude growth - it only excludes changes of identity. That faith must always be its essential self - whether as a babe receiving milk, or as a man enjoying strong meat. In a word, the advances are wrought, not by change in the Church's faith, but by the perpetual activity of that faith, a faith which because it is incapable of change itself, assimilates more and more to it the consciousness of the Church, her system of doctrine, her language, and her life." -- Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 270

"The mightiest weapon which the Reformation employed against Rome was, not Rome's errors, but Rome's truths. It professed to make no new discoveries, to find no unheard-of interpretations but taking the Scriptures in that very sense to which the greatest of her writers had assented, uncovering the law and the gospel of God which she retained, applying them as her most distinguished and most honored teachers had applied them, though she made them of none effect by her traditions, the Reformation took into its heart the life-stream of sixteen centuries, and came forth in the stature and strength of a Christianity, grown from infancy in the primitive ages, to the ripened manhood of that maturer period. There was no fear of truth, simply because Rome held it, and no disposition to embrace error, because it might be employed with advantage to Rome's injury.... They allowed no authority but the Word of God, but they listened respectfully to the witness of believers of all time." --Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, p. 203

Great Krauth Quote

"It is a curious fact in denominational history, that as, an ordinary rule, the more large, catholic, and churchly the title of a sect, the smaller, narrower, and more sectarian is the body that bears it."
-Charles Porterfield Krauth, The Conservative Reformation, pg 115

Rhetorical Question: What sounds larger and more catholic and churchly than the titles flaunted by the "non-denominational" sects?

Thanks for NOTHING Microsoft Instant Messenger!

I have been called a Windows kool-aid drinker. So when I tell you to STAY AWAY from the new MSN Live Messenger 2009 for as long as possible, please realize how horrible it must be in order to drive me to warn you about it. I just installed it 10 minutes ago and I already hate it more than any other application that Microsoft has ever made.

I regret clicking "Okay" for the install.

Everything that was good and pure about the previous version was cut from it. Everything that was frustrating about the previous version was expanded and made more difficult to use.

Above all things is the new 5 second cap on all audio files that are used for notifications. If you want to use your own file for alerts, emails, etc... it can be no longer than 5 seconds.


I used to use this feature to help me memorize stuff. I would get audio (sometimes a minute long) of something I wanted to memorize and tag it for my incoming emails. Whenever I got a new email notification, I would stop what I was doing and recite it with the audio. It was very helpful.

Well no more. Microsoft decided to pull a Mac and destroy all true creative capability for the user. Thanks for nothing. In your own way, MSN Messenger, you have contributed another pebble to the avalanche that is the "short attention span" problem in modern culture. Shame.

There is one glimmer of silver in this dung heap of a program: you can now IM people from other services. While this is a nice feature, it is long over due and is certainly not ground-breaking. Other IM services still do it better than this attempt.

MSN Live Messenger 2009: Making instant text communication cumbersome and useless... one unsuspecting user at a time.

-P.S.: Give me my longer alert file size back!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What Rap and Hip-Hop Could Be

Let's take a break from theology for a minute to talk about the poverty of modern culture. There are two aspects of this. The first is the selfishness that is pervasive and the attitude that says: "I'm doing this because I can... and I can do anything!" The second is the massive loss of true art in modern culture. Everything is so dumbed down, sanitized, and simplistic.

Check out this odd song. Both of my observations converge here. Not only are the ideas expressed in it way outside of normal popular music... this group actually uses old poetry principles like enjambment, unequal repetition, and onomatopoeia in the lyrics of their songs. Now if only they could get past the profanity in other songs we'd be set. Watch the subtle the transition of thought is as it slips from pride to narcissism... and from narcissism to arrogance... and then to tyranny!

I'll be happy to comment on my opinion of the views expressed by the author of "Handlebars", but for now I leave it to you, the reader, to analyze without further comment:

By The Flobots

I can ride my bike with no handlebars... No handlebars, no handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars... No handlebars, no handlebars

Look at me! Look at me!
Hands in the air like it's good to be
Alive, and I'm a famous rapper
Even when the paths're all crookedy.
I can show you how to do-si-do.
I can show you how to scratch a record.
I can take apart the remote control,
And I can almost put it back together.

I can tie a knot in a cherry stem.
I can tell you about Leif Ericson.
I know all the words to "De Colores",
And "I'm Proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus.
Me and my friend made a comic book;
And guess how long it took.
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:

I can keep rhythm with no metronome... No metronome, no metronome
And I can see your face on the telephone... On the telephone, on the telephone

Look at me! Look at me!
Just called to say that it's good to be
Alive in such a small world
I'm all curled up with a book to read.
I can make money open up a thrift store.
I can make a living off a magazine.
I can design an engine sixty-four
Miles to a gallon of gasoline.
I can make new antibiotics.
I can make computers survive aquatic
Conditions. I know how to run a business,
And I can make you wanna buy a product.
Movers shakers and producers;
Me and my friends understand the future.
I see the strings that control the system.
I can do anything with no resistance.

'Cause I can lead a nation with a microphone... With a microphone, with a microphone
And I can split the atoms of a molecule... Of a molecule, of a molecule

Look at me! Look at me!
Driving and I won't stop!
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top!
My reach is global.
My tower secure.
My cause is noble.
My power is pure.
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let'em all die from exasperation.
Have'em all healed of their lacerations
Or have'em all killed by assassination!
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like'em, and
I can do anything with no permission;
I have it all under my command.

Because I can guide a missile by satellite... By satellite! By satellite!
And I can hit a target through a telescope... Through a telescope! Through a telescope!

And I can end the planet in a holocaust! In a holocaust! In a holocaust!
In a holocaust!
In a holocaust!
In a holocaust!

I can ride my bike with no handlebars... No handlebars, no handlebars
I can ride my bike with no handlebars... No handlebars, no handlebars

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The [Low, Low] Cost of Discipleship

Lord have mercy!

If there was ever a passage of Scripture that more preachers have done violence to through poor exegesis it has got to be Mark 8:31-38. (Okay... maybe aside from Matt 28:16-20... and, come to think of it also Matt 26:26-28... ...You know what? I'm just going to stop and move on with my original point.)

Mark 8:31-38. Never have I been subjected to more lukewarm, soft-peddled legalism in all my life! ARGH!

It is beyond me how anyone can hold a straight face as they preach this passage to support a purpose-driven theology of glory. God has a great plan for you, alright. You are called to die to self. You are called carry your cross to the place where you are made dead to the flesh and alive to Christ. Doesn't that sound like a ton of fun? Isn't that as cuddly as a bag full of kittens and rainbows? Doesn't that sound like the quick road to happiness and purpose? *smacks forehead*

So what's the answer? Well, certainly don't tell the people the truth about their calling. Don't nail them to the cross with the full weight of this passage and then bring them to life with total sufficiency of Christ's atonement for all sinners... heavens no! That's not pro-individual. That's not post-modern. That's not anthropocentric enough for us. We don't like the idea of us being total failures and Christ being a total savior. We don't want to be helpless like infants. We don't want a savior. We want an enabler... a divine life coach.

I have an idea: let's just invent our own exegetical damage control and soften the blow of Christ's words for the modern ear. Let's deprive our people of the benifit of the rebuke that Peter was given and tell them it will be okay if they just keep trying really really hard. Let's encourage them to keep deceiving themselves into thinking that every minor deviation from their original life plan is actually the hidden hand of God. Better yet, let's point them to those moments rather than to their baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the confession of sins. Let's put a veil on over Moses' face and pretend that we've got this "Christian" thing nailed down solid. *smacks forehead again*

Lord, when will You free us of this mediocre spirituality that is masquerading as deep, Biblical truth? When will You reject the message of these false teachers and return the wayward church to the sound doctrine of Christ crucified for the souls of men? How long must we languish, O Lord? How long?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Reminder

Remember, folks, if you find yourself in Hawaii, Arizona, or the nation of Iraq, DO NOT "spring forward" an hour on Sunday.

...everyone else enjoy your short night. =P

Is it God's Will That You Are Tromented?

...or is it actually your own willful rebellion that torments you?

Hear the Word of the Lord: "But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?" -Ezekiel 18:21-23 [ESV]

The Lord God says later in that same chapter, "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live." -Ezekiel 18:30-32 [ESV]

These are not the words of a tormenter or tyrant who punishes and refines without neccesity. God gathers no pleasure or joy in inflicting suffering and death upon the wicked. God desires that the wicked repent. We serve a God of love. Read Ezekiel 18 and see that it is not God who is unjust and cruel. We are the ones who are unjust and cruel.

Let there be an end to your torment. Repent and turn from your transgressions. Turn from wickedness and walk in righteousness. Now this is not a revival of morals and ethics. God is not calling you to try harder and stop being wicked. Our Loving God would not call you to do the impossible!

He is calling you to the righteousness of Christ Jesus. He is calling you to mercy. Get out from under the Law that is killing you and live by faith in Christ.

As the apostle says, "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe."

"For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins." -Romans 3:19-25 [ESV]

If you are suffering, make sure that you are suffering because you are zealous for what is good [1 Peter 3:8-22] and not just because you are fighting God so that you can live under the Law when you try to have salvation and communion with God by your own works, on your own terms, using your own timetable, through your own methods or means, and according to your own limited understanding.

That was my own mistake for over a decade. It was a miserable condition and there was no peace.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blessed Is the Man Who Fails to Please God

I rejoice that the Holy Spirit prevented me from enjoying the self-righteousness of my youth. I thank Almighty God that He did not offer the comfort or communion that I earnestly prayed for. I was blessed when He hid Himself from me as I struggled to reach Him. What a great, painful refinement of my soul!

Thank God that I was too weak to live well enough to be fooled into thinking that I was righteous. Thank God that I was too inattentive to be earnest in my good works. Thank God that I was too sinful to be clean, too hypocritical to be a good example, and too tormented to be joyful or pleased with this life. It was a bit of mercy that God never satisfied me with my enthusiastic false worship.

I was too lustful to be chaste. I was too arrogant to be humble. I was too judgemental to be merciful. I was too sinful to think that I was basically good; too much of a failure to think that I was doing Christianity correctly.

Blessed is the man who fails to please God. Blessed is the man who is so completely wretched that he could never see himself as doing everything that he needs to do to reach God. Blessed is the man who, because of his legalism, is so starved by lack of faith that he pleads for the Holy Spirit, but is left alone in the dark.

For those are the men who have had their ears and eyes opened by God's holiness that is found in His unforgiving and perfect Law. Those are the men who are having the rebellion and pride beaten out of them with relentless, divine fury. They are starved of faith, worked to death, and dragged to exhaustion. These wicked servants are being tortured... and for good reason!

Because they were not meek, they were destroyed.
Because they did not love, they were rejected.
Because they were selfish, their flaws were magnified and increased.
Because they did not believe, they were shaken to their foundations.
Because they wanted to buy holiness, they were given nothing.
Because they were foolish, they were handed over to their own futility.
Because they wanted to live, they had to be killed.
Because they hated Christ, they received God's wrath rather than mercy.

So that they are made a ruin. Their white-washed souls are broken open so that they can wallow in their own filth. They are crushed and degraded. They are handed over to their own foolishness and are allowed to consume themselves until they have nothing left but their own failure, despair, and fear. Not only do they no longer want to live their way anymore, they don't want to live at all! Not only can they no longer climb to heaven, they lack the strength and will to even lift one hand to protest their "maltreatment". They are totally broken and left for dead.

They would not listen. They would not hear. They would not see. They covered their ears and stamped their feet. Their rebelion had to be beaten down. Their loud, blasphemous voices had to be silenced.

And then, in that moment when all human words cease and all earthly means are removed, the Angel of the Lord puts away his flaming sword and declares, "Fear not! I bring you good news!" And that dead trash heap of hopelessness is illuminated as the gates of heaven, locked tight for years from the inside, are thrust open by Grace and the choirs of angels and saints begin to sing. The way is shown to these blessed, tormented souls through the Holy Word and the Blessed Sacraments. They are lifted up and their lifeless bodies are carried through the gates as the whole company of heaven rejoices at their arrival. The poor fools haven't even realized what has happened.

The pure and clear Gospel of Christ, the evangel, is here. What sweet music and refuge!

Every Lent, I return to the place of my ruin. I stand at the scar in the earth where my quest to be holy ended in a catastrophic colapse; a total failure of mind, body, and soul. I look at the smoldering crater and I marvel at my own stupidity... and the depth of God's infinite love.

Let's Chat

I published my new AOL IM screen name on my profile and blog. Let's chat!


...because if I'm online, I am probably sitting in my hooch... bored out of my mind! =P