An interesting essay from our stand-in editor Jeff…
I?ve been hearing a lot from both sides that America is heading towards a theocracy. More specifically, a government fully devoted to Christian ideals. Those opposed speak of a theocracy as one of the greatest assaults on freedom ever invented: references to the Taliban are common. On the other hand, those in favor claim it is necessary to revive our nation. I?ve been thinking about this a lot recently, and I?ve come to the conclusion that I am leaning towards the former. I don?t want a theocracy, or, more accurately, I don?t think that a theocracy is the answer.
Apparently in New Russia, you have the freedom to practice any Christian denomination you choose — just as long as you don't really bring it up much or try to meet in public. If you want a meeting space, well, the Orthodox Church will be happy to welcome you back to the fold — after keeping you from starting that "new" church.
He is risen, indeed! Happy Easter everyone!
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, but I've always felt that it didn't quite get the credit that it deserved. Throughout history, Christianity has had a constant, recognizable symbol: the cross. (Google will bring up 935,000 cross images) And this is understandable. The cross symbolizes that God was willing to sacrifice his own son to achieve reconciliation with humanity.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 NIV)
This is, of course, of vital importance. Not only as a sign of God's love but against the backdrop of Jewish law and history – it demonstrates the end of sacrifices through the one perfect sacrifice.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins… And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-4,10 NIV)
So now that I have made quite the case for the cross as a symbol for Christianity – what am I whining about? I never felt that symbolism of the cross should be replaced, but supplemented. Supplemented with the imagery of the empty tomb. Continue reading
The supreme court has decided to hear cases about weither the 10 Commandments being posted in government buildings — such as the Supreme Court, itself — violates the "Establishment Clause" of the First Ammendment. Now we won't hear a ruling on this until summer, so here is a little food for thought in the interum: 1) The 10 Commandments are the foundation of the Mosaic Law (as in the law from Moses) which is the oldest law in written history. So one could certainly argue that the first law influenced in some part all laws to follow. Therefore, posting the 10 Commandments in courthouses makes sense from a law history point of view. 2) The posting of the 10 Commandments is a long American Tradition. Much like "under God" in the pledge or "In God We Trust" on our money, these postings are historical pieces of tradition in a country that was founded by people that were largely Judeo-Christian. (For more info on the influence of religion in early American documents: http://www.claytoncramer.com/UnderGod.html ) Now you may think our Country should be as slanted towards Judeo-Christian ideas as when we were founded or you may not. But you have to agree it's a little STRANGE that the Supreme Court will be deciding if it is consitutional to post the 10 Commandments in government buildings, while the said commandments are hanging on the wall behind them. Continue reading
Merry Christmas everyone! While Christmas is a time of family, friends, christmas trees, decorations, eggnog (a personal favorite), Santa, presents, a few classic movies (you’ll shoot your eye out kid!) — it is also a celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Son of Joseph a Carpenter, Jesus was THE most influential person of ALL TIME. Don’t believe me? Check the date.
A.D. stands for Anno Domini: “In the year of the lord” – it indicates a year counted from the traditional date of birth of Jesus; recently the P.C. crowd has tried to introduce the Common Era (C.E.) as a replacement to remove religious implications.
The interesting thing about Jesus is that he never obtained an advanced degree, never held a political office, never wrote a book, never traveled very far from his home, never comanded an army, never amassed possessions beyond the clothes on his back — and yet he changed the world. Argue that the change was good or bad, fine. But you can’t argue that he didn’t make an impact.