Must Read Monday: California Fires, Pro-Choice Catholics, and Remembering World War I
California fires, deadly, destructive and instructive.
As we see the images, read the headlines, and hear the stories of survivors, themes of gratitude for life, fear of death and the trauma of loss are prevalent. But it does not take long for to us arrive at accusations and blame. There is a robust debate about whether or not changes in the climate and/or changes in population density and/or changes in forest management and controlled burns are to blame. One thing is clear: fire is indiscriminate and it makes victims of the rich and the poor, the rural and suburban, inland and coastal alike.
The Governor’s statement of reality that “we’re in a new abnormal” is worthy of our consideration. When was reality normal? What makes this seem abnormal? And when does abnormal become so common that it is the new normal?
Reality was normal before the fall (Genesis 3). Since then we have lived in the abnormal state of sin with all of its consequences. Firestorms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and the like are normal as Creation groans with eager longing for redemption. While I do not suspect that was what the Governor had in mind, it is the truth about reality.
It is notable that the town wiped off the map is called Paradise. As you listen to those who fled talking about “leaving Paradise” and those surveying the damage talk about “Paradise will never be what it once was,” as a Christian you have a wide open door to talk about the reality of the real, everlasting Paradise of the presence of God.
But we must have those conversations with great sensitivity. Now is the time to grieve with those who grieve and console those who wait for news about the hundreds of people who remain unaccounted for. Unaccounted for. Stop and consider that description. For those who live with the awareness of the God who sees and takes it all into account, the God who numbers the hairs on our head and the days of our life, there is no one who is unaccounted for in the Kingdom of God.
Let us #PraytheNews today for calm winds, lower temperatures and rain. Pray for safety, sucess and stamina of firefighters and those charged with the grim task of identifying bodies and notifying families. And as we approach Thanksgiving, consider how you and your family might live more simply that some of these families who now have nothing, might simply live. Ways to help.
Catholics for Choice. Yes, you read that right. There are pro-abortion activists in the Catholic church
From the story:
Catholics for Choice organized a group of 50 abortion providers and advocacy organizations across more than 20 countries to send a joint letter to Pope Francis decrying the Pontiff’s comments that compared providing abortion care to contracting a killer.
The issue here is one of authority. When an individual associates with a particular religious group, in this case the Roman Catholic Church, one agrees to submit to the authority of that institution. If one wants to protest there is Protestantism and there pro-choice people have many options in terms of denominations which affirm abortion. So what’s really going on when self-identified Roman Catholics defy the teaching of their church and criticize the Pope as wrong? What is at issue is submission to authority.
In Roman Catholic theology, the Pope literally can’t be wrong and what he says is understood to be infallible. I don’t believe that, but I’m not a Roman Catholic. For Roman Catholics, changing the mind of the Pope is equivalent to changing the mind of God. Think about that for a moment as you re-read the press release from Catholics for Choice who seek to make abortion more readily accessible around the world.
69-year-old positivity guru feels 45, demands his age be changed to make him more attractive on Tindr
From the story:
Self-styled positivity guru Emile Ratelband thinks age is just a number. And his is a number the Dutchman wants changed. The 69-year-old TV personality has asked a court in the Netherlands to approve his request for a new birthday that officially would make him 49.
Ratelband says his legal appeal is consistent with other forms of personal transformation that are gaining acceptance and government recognition in the Netherlands and around the world. “With this free(dom) of choice, choice of name, freeness of gender, I want to have my own age. I want to control myself,” he said Thursday.
At issue here is the delusion of self-definition, total autonomy and the idea of self-sovereignty where reality can be manipulated by the individual to suit their personal preferences. The problem of course is that we all live together in the same world where age, gender, and race are in actuality fixed realities over which God has sovereignty. Age, race and gender are not culturally or socially constructed categories. They are descriptions of what is really real. But how can a court of law which has affirmed the delusion of transgenderism say no to Mr. Retelband’s request to change his number as others have changed their sex?
One hundred years ago at 11 a.m. local time (Paris) on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the war to end all wars ended. And yet we now know that war persisted throughout the 20th century in ways those 100 years ago could scarcely have imagined. The 17 million who died in the first World War would be followed by 20 million more military deaths, 27 million collateral deaths, and 41 million people slaughtered in genocide and mass murder. An additional 18 million people died of famine. All of these estimates are considered to be on the low end. We’re talking about somewhere between 123 and 140 million people whose lives were lost because we cannot – in the 20th century – live peaceably with one another. From a Christian worldview we understand the issue behind that reality and so we seek to live as Ambassadors of the One who alone is our Peace, Jesus the Christ.