Thursday, March 04, 2004

While sifting through all the wheat and shaff on the internet, I came across the following site
This site professes to tell the Truth and nothing but the Truth. In fact, I found more than one bucket of lies. They have distorted and more often plainly lied about what Catholics believe. They have not done their homework. The question of purgatory is answered with half-truths. The question on hell is answered with a big fat lie. But then they don't ask for comments on their web page. Probably because they really don't want to know and they don't want you to know the truth about them or anyone who holds a contrary doctrine.

From their site:
Human beings in general do Not go to Heaven when they die. They go to Hades (Sheol) and await their appointed resurrection. Some (The Chosen Few, the Elect) (both living or dead) will be resurrected to Eternal Life (given immortality at the 1st Resurrection), and will assist in the establishing of Yahweh's Kingdom of Heaven ON EARTH at the beginning of the Sabbath Millennium. Some will be resurrected back to mortal (physical) life, and will be judged at the end of the Sabbath Millennium (2nd Resurrection) when the Book of Life will be opened. Those not written in the Book of Life will be permanently destroyed in Gehenna Hell (Lake of Fire), and Not tortured forever, as the Christo-pagan churches try to teach.

There's a happy thought.

And here's another one:
We do not believe that human beings will be tormented forever, but simply burned up permanently (permanently IS forever). In order to be tormented forever, a human being would have to be immortal, and in order to be immortal, a human being would have to be "Saved," and if a human being is "Saved," then that person would not be sent to Hell. Yahweh will not give immortality to sinners!

They don't know about the Prodigal Son or the workers in the field. Nope it's an even steven world. You get what you deserve, no forgiveness, nope, sorry, you lose, where's the match.

People have throughout history believed such things. Even folks related to the Catholic Church, like the Jansenists. But they were asked to take those beliefs home with them or reconsider a better plan. The plan is that God loves all of his creation, forgives those who by human flaws just don't get it, and will welcome them into the "heavenly" realm when they understand the glory, unending love, and transcendant union with God is a mystery, but one worth sticking around to enjoy.

One of the marvelous things about the world God created is the wide variety of music. Religious music, often giving thanks and praise to God for the wonderful gifts like music we have to enjoy, is often criticized because a particular person's taste in music runs counter to the music being provided at their worship service. The assortment of music within any one denomination can vary from one end of the spectrum to another. Certainly, there are those congreations that only "allow" one type of music, but many communities of worship offer multiple services on a weekend and the music varies.

At one Christian church in my neighborhood, the congregation hears symphony music and highly skilled chorals each weekend. The criticism the members of this community raise toward my service (Catholic) is that it is boring, dull, non-inventive, non-creative, been there done that, why bother, not inspiring, etc. I respond by saying when I want to hear the symphony, I go to the concert hall. When I want Liturgy and Prayer, I go to Mass where the focus is on the Eucharist and not the performers.

Even within the Catholic church which leans toward orthodoxy the music varies widely. At our church we have Masses with no music, organ, piano, and guitar, and sometimes all in combination. If you are fortunate to have the music you like at the time of day you prefer for attending Mass, you experience a little bit of heaven. If not, it's a lot like purgatory. Yes, there is still doctrinal evidence for old purgatory and poor souls therein.

What isn't prefered is one style of music being dictated for all in one community. A variety, just like Baskin Robbins, because there is no accounting for taste. Sure, we take our hats off to tradition but let's not confuse tradition (little t) with Tradition (big T--the kind you can be excommunicated for not believing in). No church is more traditional than the old Roman Catholic Church, except her sister the Eastern Orthodox Church. But she has broadened her horizon to include the sounds of modern instruments. Before organs, what did the people hear at their liturgies? Ancient instruments like the stringed lute have been around long before pipe organs and the like.

The internet is full of opinions and info on the beauty of traditional organ music and chant. But you won't find much on the grace filled music played by gifted and creative and faithfilled guitarists in the Roman Catholic Church. These guitarists are criticized at every turn. I can only imagine what the lives of the people who yap on in protest against guitars in church must be like. I don't want to imagine, really. I imagine them to be dictators and people who listen to ultra-conservative voices on the airwaves. People who are stuck back in the Barry Manilow phase. PuLEEZ! There's purgatory for you.

Here's a site that offers the argument for variety in worship and praise music with a steady ear for good guitar music at Catholic Mass.

Take a look and open your mind.

I want to submit an opinion on THE film. Or maybe it's an un-opinion. I haven't seen The Passion OTC, I am not going to see the film, and so I have made no comments about it to my blog. What I'd like to say is this: Everywhere I go, someone asks, Have you seen the movie? I always say, NO. The follow-up usually begins, Oh, when you do you willl really ....... . But I cut them off to say, I am not going to see the film. Each one is incredulous at my response.

I know several people (not many) who are not seeing the movie. We are a definite minority. The marginalized, I guess we could say. We are not seeing the film, get over it.

We each have personal reasons for not seeing the film, so I won't put words in the mouths of others as to why. For myself, I feel that my imagination is too vivid and alive, and films often disturb me to an unnatural level. I'm satisfied with crying through the stations of the cross, and I always cry when they sing, "Were You There?" I won't be able join in the discussion, only to ask questions. But I can live with that.

I did see the making of The Passion OTC, in an attempt at lessening the total effect. It didn't work. Just convinced me that I don't want to see it. I am happy to remain in the minority of objective non-viewers who will be able to discuss, one day, the films merits and flaws because I have not been efffected to a subjective mush of Passion.

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