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Why 85 Episcopal Churches Closed Their Doors
ChristianUnderground ^ | Dec. 25, 2004 | Les Kinsolving

Posted on 12/26/2004 3:08:03 AM PST by Lindykim

The Christian Underground http://www.christian-underground.com READ IT - LEARN FROM IT - PRAY OVER IT - SHARE IT --- Why 85 Episcopal churches closed their doors December 25, 2004 By Les Kinsolving

New Hampshire's Episcopal bishop, the Right Rev. Vicky Gene Robinson, continues to attract extensive coverage in our nation's left-wing dominated Old Media – because he is the only known Anglican (or Episcopal) prelate who left his wife and daughter and who now lives unmarried with his sodomist lover. The decision to consecrate him a bishop has caused a worldwide rift in the 77 million-member Anglican communion. There are further consequences at home in the United States.

Already reported has been the loss of $900,000 in pledged offering to the denomination's largest diocese: Virginia. Now there are more serious reports nationwide.

Episcopal religion writer David Virtue reports the following national denominational statistics for 2003 – which are very likely to be even worse when the 2004 reports are in next December. He reports: Attendance statistics for the Episcopal Church USA in 2003 reveal a church in continued steep decline with nearly 36,000 active baptized members leaving for greener theological pastures, a significant drop from 8,000 on 2002. Another 24,000 Sunday worshippers left the ECUSA last year, more than twice the previous year.

In 2002, the church claimed a membership of 2,320,221. In 2003, it was down to 2,284,233, the church officially declared.

If this walkout of 36,000 – while evangelical denominations continue to grow – seems grim, the next statistic is horrendous: Some 85 parishes closed their doors – 7,395 in 2002 to 7,220 in 2003. How much effort and financial sacrifice in building and maintaining all those parishes is now lost?

That is more than twice the number of parishes that exist in the Diocese of New Hampshire, the majority of whose clergy and laity elected Vicky Gene without any apparent concern about what so many of their fellow Episcopalians regard as a biblical abomination.

Further statistics:

-- Average Sunday attendance in 2002 was 846,640. In 2003 it was 823,017.

-- The percentage of churches with any increase in average Sunday attendance also dropped from 39 percent to 34 percent.

-- The most startling figure was that the median average Sunday worship attendance of all Episcopal churches across the whole country is 77 members (down from 79).

Despite all this, Bishop Robinson was a special guest on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" which program was fair enough to allow one of Robinson's fellow bishops, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, to appear with him.

Bishop Duncan told the nationwide broadcast: The purported statistics do not bear out vs. Gene Robinson's view that the acceptance of homosexuality would make churches grow.

In a question from Terry Gross, who asked whether gays and lesbians coming into the church were counterbalancing folks who were leaving, Duncan responded saying: "The latest statistics show we lost 36,000 members last year, three times what we lost the year before."

Les Kinsolving hosts a daily talk show for WCBM in Baltimore. His radio commentaries are syndicated nationally. He is White House correspondent for Talk Radio Network and WorldNetDaily. His show can be heard on the Internet at www.wcbm.com 8-10 p.m. Eastern each weekday. Before going into broadcasting, Kinsolving was a newspaper reporter and columnist – twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his commentary.

moderator@christian-underground.com http://www.christian-underground.com/archive/read.php?sid=51 Posted to the CU: 2004-12-25 12:42:31 CST ======================================== We will Pray WHEN we want School - WHERE we want Work - The Street - The Mall - Persecute Us At Your Own Peril! The Christian Underground http://www.christian-underground.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New Hampshire; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: anglicannetwork; bishopduncan; churchclosings; dioceseofvirginia; ecusa; fallout; homosexualagenda; homosexualbishop; kinsolving; schism
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1 posted on 12/26/2004 3:08:03 AM PST by Lindykim
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To: ItsOurTimeNow; little jeremiah; Ed Current; DirtyHarryY2K

ping


2 posted on 12/26/2004 3:09:03 AM PST by Lindykim
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To: Lindykim
I grew up in a Methodist church, and late in my twenties I drifted East and am now a Buddhist, but I attend Mass each week with my Catholic wife. I understand those religions a bit. Could someone, anyone, please tell me what the attraction of the Episcopal Church is, what does it offer beyond a tradition for those raised in it?

Last year I moved to the Puget Sound area, and driving into Seattle one day I noticed a large cathedral on a hill overlooking the city. I love sacred spaces, so I went to see what it was. It was St. Marks, the Episcopal Cathedral.

I went in the bookstore first to ask if one could go into the cathedral, and while there I noticed Christian books were easily outnumbered by books from other faiths.

Inside the Cathedral looked like an abandoned warehouse, and had all of the sacredness of one. It felt entirely bereft of any semblance of Divine presence. An empty shell. I'd never felt that way in any sacred structure before. It was hideous, and very disturbing.

Don't know if the whole Episcopal Church is dying, but that part of it sure has.

With respect, I ask anyone who still belongs what the attraction is or was?

3 posted on 12/26/2004 3:13:25 AM PST by dagogo redux (I never met a Dem yet who didn't understand a slap in the face, or a slug from a 45)
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To: All; Libertina; superskunk

BUMP & PING


4 posted on 12/26/2004 3:16:12 AM PST by alessandrofiaschi
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To: sionnsar

ping


5 posted on 12/26/2004 3:19:21 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: dagogo redux

"With respect, I ask anyone who still belongs what the attraction is or was?"

The same attraction the unitarian univeralists and the aetheists offer: unconditional acceptance, disguised as unconditional love, as long as the attendee denies the existence of any absolute truth.


6 posted on 12/26/2004 3:21:01 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: Lindykim

Psalm 14:1 suffices to describe the truth of what is happening w/ Vicky and his friends....


7 posted on 12/26/2004 3:22:44 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: Lindykim
Is it me or do these reports seem like something out of a Business management textbook as opposed to those appropriate for what is, after all, a place of Worship and Spiritual Development?

I mean, Jeeesh - Sounds like the annual per store statistics of Wal-Mart - Totally devoid of any intimation of the real objective of any church.

8 posted on 12/26/2004 3:24:57 AM PST by drt1
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To: drt1
I guess it's a commentary on society that we need these statistics to show how the Episcopal Church has lost its way. Considering its origin, I wonder if this was inevitable.
9 posted on 12/26/2004 3:35:52 AM PST by wolfpat
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To: wolfpat
Agree but if you really think about what these people are saying it is that the message, philosophy and morality are all trumped by the numbers. What this says to me is ANY policy or practice that increases the "Good" numbers is a success and any that increases the "Bad" numbers is a failure, irrespective of the policy or practice itself. IMO A pretty cynical approach to religious practices.
10 posted on 12/26/2004 3:41:00 AM PST by drt1
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To: wolfpat

By my last post don't mean to imply that I in any way support what these idiots in New Hampshire did. IMO This deserves the reduction in attendance that has been measured.


11 posted on 12/26/2004 3:44:01 AM PST by drt1
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To: drt1

You're right, especially about the cynicism. If I understand correctly, the Unitarian Church is for people who have to belong to a church to be upstanding members of the community, but don't really believe in anything.
The Episcopalians are becoming the same thing.
BTW, I used to have an Episcopalian friend who referred to himself as a Whiskeypalian.


12 posted on 12/26/2004 3:47:25 AM PST by wolfpat
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To: Lindykim

I went to Episcopal schools from nursery school through 10th 9th Grade. If I could join a traditional Episcopal church, I would (the Presbyterian church near me is hopelessly lost in a liberal pose). Unfortunately, all the tradtion is gone and I am left with nothing to attract me to these institutions. I am seriously thinkg of becoming a Catholic.


13 posted on 12/26/2004 3:55:38 AM PST by rpellegrini (Great idea)
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To: dagogo redux
Could someone, anyone, please tell me what the attraction of the Episcopal Church is, what does it offer beyond a tradition for those raised in it?

It's an early, formal, Protestant church that, in my town, was also attractive to those who belonged to Armenian, Russian, and Greek Orthodox sects, but who had no local church. Friends from other denominations who went to church with me a few times joined, because they sought formality. At the time, we were just teenagers, but one Baptist friend joined becase he thought a question asked after communion, "Anybody left out?" was flippant and irreverant.

In local New England tradition, the popular people went to the Congregational church, the "Swells" went to the Episcopal. The National Lampoon did a series once of various "hells" for different denominations-The Episcopalians were sent there "For eating oysters with the Dinner Fork."

The "High" version of the church maintained monastaries (Soc of St.James, among others) about which my RC friends would exasperatedly exclaim, "If you want to BE Catholic, why not BE Catholic???"{{Because Papal Infallability and the Veneration of Mary were rejected-Can't do much with that!!}}

All that said, I loved the Church as it once was, the Book of Common Prayer, the 1940 Hymnal ( I sang in the choir) , and if it ever returns to it, so shall I.

The short answer is that at one time, it was a formal and respectful service, highly nonsecular, and it meant business. It was also, IMO, a beautiful and moving service.

I feel like an old friend has died.

14 posted on 12/26/2004 4:05:20 AM PST by Gorzaloon
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To: wolfpat
If I understand correctly, the Unitarian Church is for people who have to belong to a church to be upstanding members of the community, but don't really believe in anything.

My brother visited one and had to hurridly leave, lest he disrupt the (travesty) of a service by losing self-control and laughing out loud. Some speaker was offering a weird mixture of imported Eastern philosophy, contemporary CorrectThink ™, etc.- The "G-d Optional" stuff.

15 posted on 12/26/2004 4:10:14 AM PST by Gorzaloon
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To: dagogo redux
Lots of folks seemed to be attracted to the high-church formality wrapped around protestantism. The liturgy and ritual translated into a reverence for God that many feel is lacking in other protestant denominations.

But alas, as with so many of the mainline denominations, the Episcopal church has left its first love. It has a form of godliness, but denies the power therein. It is, as you observed - a collection of dead-men-walking.

16 posted on 12/26/2004 4:17:32 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: dagogo redux
To answer your question, that aside from tradition or habit, there is no reason to attend the Episcopal church, or any other liberal denomination. They are all cut from the same cloth. Personally, I love the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the denomination's liturgical tradition; however, the clergy don't believe the content of their own liturgy. When a denomination prides itself on being opened minded and nonjudgmental, it can't turn around and say to someone that this is what you're suppose to believe, and this is how you're suppose to behave. So why not have books from all religions?
17 posted on 12/26/2004 4:36:36 AM PST by Nosterrex
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To: EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; I_Love_My_Husband; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping.

The Episcopalians that know their Bibles and regard homosexuality as an abomination are voting with their feet.

lj will be gone from FR for a short while. I'm the volunteer until little jeremiah gets back online.

If you want on/off the list let me know.

18 posted on 12/26/2004 4:43:24 AM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: dagogo redux

"Could someone, anyone, please tell me what the attraction of the Episcopal Church is, what does it offer beyond a tradition for those raised in it?"

Well, it is a liturgical church (like the Catholics), but without the rigid hierarchy, without the Pope. Like Catholics, we take communion every Sunday, whereas most Protestant churches rarely do. The prayer book (particularly the 1928 version, but even with the new language) is widely acknowledged to contain some of the most beautiful language ever written in English. And, I like it because Episcopal priests are almost always very well educated, and almost always they truly understand the world, having had secular careers prior to coming to the priesthood. Plus, since the priests not only can marry and have children, but are expected to, I believe they have a broader understanding of the human condition than Catholic priests.

I was raised in the Episcopal church but left not only the church but faith as a teen, only coming back to both in my early forties. I love my church, and don't want to leave, so I am just waiting to see what happens. Pretty much the only thing I could do would be to become a Catholic, and since I think the Catholic church is also wrong on a number of issues (although not as wrong as the Episcopal church), I would prefer not to do that. How can I abandon the church of John Donne, George Herbert, and C.S. Lewis to people so wrong-headed?

Regardless of denominational differences, though, it is important to remember that the Body of Christ has members in every church-- and that every church also has members who are not true believers. Whether we stay or go, whether we are of this church or that one, or have only a small circle of faithful friends, we are charged with being the salt and the light. Christ's church is eternal, no matter the rise and fall of any particular form that a segment of it may take.


19 posted on 12/26/2004 4:53:49 AM PST by walden
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To: Nosterrex
There's a simple litmus test: If your church belongs to the National Council of Churches, get out. They're really not churches, they're left-wing propaganda machines intended to promote socialism and communism.

African Methodist Episcopal Church

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Alliance of Baptists

American Baptist Churches in the USA

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Church of the Brethren

The Coptic Orthodox Church in North America

The Episcopal Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Friends United Meeting

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Hungarian Reformed Church in America

International Council of Community Churches

Korean Presbyterian Church in America

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

Mar Thoma Church

Moravian Church in America Northern Province and Southern Province

National Baptist Convention of America

National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc.

National Missionary Baptist Convention of America

Orthodox Church in America

Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Polish National Catholic Church of America

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Reformed Church in America

Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. and Canada

The Swedenborgian Church

Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America

United Church of Christ

The United Methodist Church

See also: The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

20 posted on 12/26/2004 4:53:51 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: Lindykim
"The gates of hell shall not prevail against my church." (Matthew 16:18)

1900 years ago, a Jewish carpenter in the Roman Empire predicted that "the gates of hell" would not prevail against His church. The Greek word for church is "ecclessia," and it means "called-out ones." When Jesus made this prediction, there was no church, but only 12 followers, and one of them was a traitor. Jesus was then crucified and resurrected from the dead. This documented historical event was so convincing, that almost immediatly, His prediction came true, and this "ecclessia" or "called-out ones" still exists to this day.

For 1900 years, Christ's church has been martyred, attacked, and ridiculed by skeptics and heretics throughout the world. It has endured intense persecuton throughout the ages of history, yet it continues to make converts in every land and in every time, even though there is spiritual apostasy and sinful hypocrites among its members.

Sinful men need to quit making excuses. They need to get their eyes off the spiritual apostasy and the sinful hypocrites in the visible churh, and turn their eyes to Christ. Then He will place them in His invisible church. And that, my friends, is not a bad place to be!

The Prophecy of the Jewish Carpenter

21 posted on 12/26/2004 5:08:04 AM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: Lindykim

Proof that Christianity is not merely a form of entertainment.Nor a School where one might learn to be.
Homosexual behavior is NOT compatible with Christianity,Nor
is is compatible with the Military.Nor should it be forced
upon society as an acceptable,perhaps preferable alternative.It is as Paul declared "unnatural" And that Truth is proven by the decline of the church that has
turned away from God.


22 posted on 12/26/2004 5:10:16 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: gobucks
Do you mean the Unitarians don't care what you believe so long as you do not believe it very much and the charaismatics equally don't care what you believe so long as you believe it a whole lot.


23 posted on 12/26/2004 5:13:32 AM PST by nathanbedford (THE UN WAS BRIBED AND GOOD MEN DIED)
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To: dagogo redux

The attraction of the Episcopal Church is it preserves most of the Catholic tradition but is Protestant. For those of us who do not believe in transubstantiation, it would be a good choice.

I joined the Episcopal Church recently (after being a Methodist for over 40 years) and left more recently because of the appointment of Robinson. It is difficult to find a denomination that is not under attack by the left and compromising principles.

Then on the right of the Protestants there are some very principled denominations (or non-denominational), but they are flawed by the ridiculous convolutions of "literalism".



24 posted on 12/26/2004 5:17:52 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: Lindykim
Could someone, anyone, please tell me what the attraction of the Episcopal Church is, what does it offer beyond a tradition for those raised in it?

One could ask the same question of you and your wife...

25 posted on 12/26/2004 5:18:49 AM PST by Lurking2Long
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To: Lindykim
"Another 24,000 Sunday worshippers left the ECUSA last year, more than twice the previous year. "

It's so inspiring to see people making the decision "for the Word.

" Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves (AIDS) that recompence of their error which was meet. Notice that even at the time of the Apostles this was happening in the Church at ROME! yuch

Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

26 posted on 12/26/2004 5:21:19 AM PST by patriot_wes
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To: nathanbedford

I would ad that the Unitarians want you to accept all others who believe something a little.


27 posted on 12/26/2004 5:24:15 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: walden

You are right about why someone would love the church. I love it myself, and for the same reasons.

But not all Episcopal churches are the same. Mine is serious, and as biblically oriented as any of the new "Bible" churches, for instance, but is reverent and soothing at the same time. And my congregation is very very concerned about what the heirarchy has done to the church, and we are working to do something about it.

Let's see what comes of all this mess. As my rector says....."God will win in the end."


28 posted on 12/26/2004 5:26:20 AM PST by BlueCat
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma
You are right, there is a virus abroad in the land and it infects more than my C drive, it worms into every fundamental institution upon which we ground a civil society: The Church, the university, the eleemosynary institutions (Ford, Rockefeller), the legal bar, the medical societies, the unions, to name only a few.

I highly recommend this treatment of THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL if one cares to examine a source for all this mischief - of course, one is also free to dismiss it as a conspiracy fit.

http://www.lesbianstudies.com/frankfurtschool/


29 posted on 12/26/2004 5:31:56 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: dagogo redux
I drifted East and am now a Buddhist,

May I ask you, what attracts you to Buddism?

30 posted on 12/26/2004 5:35:45 AM PST by sirchtruth (Words Mean Things...)
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To: shubi
Then on the right of the Protestants there are some very principled denominations (or non-denominational), but they are flawed by the ridiculous convolutions of "literalism".

Would you give me an example?

31 posted on 12/26/2004 5:42:14 AM PST by sirchtruth (Words Mean Things...)
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To: nathanbedford
"Could someone, anyone, please tell me what the attraction of the Episcopal Church is, what does it offer beyond a tradition for those raised in it?"

A welcoming attitude toward sodomy?

32 posted on 12/26/2004 5:43:01 AM PST by ReadyNow
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma; DirtyHarryY2K

The WCC is the base of the anti-church. Once the union with their root (the so-called irreligious who worship the creation, rather than the Creator) is complete, the root and base will begin to bear a very ugly and poisonous fruit. Hence, the beginning of the end....to which I say, maranatha!


33 posted on 12/26/2004 5:44:27 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: sionnsar

Good morning....FYI


34 posted on 12/26/2004 5:44:36 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: shubi
Then on the right of the Protestants there are some very principled denominations (or non-denominational), but they are flawed by the ridiculous convolutions of "literalism".

Could you elaborate a little about the ridiculous convolutions of "literalism".? Just seems like a blanket statement and painting with a broad brush to me.

35 posted on 12/26/2004 5:46:54 AM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: nathanbedford
Did a "google" on The Frankfurt School. Thanks for the info. Yup, you got it. How many parishoners in the NCC churches don't have a clue what the NCC is all about?

Mr. CGG and I left the ELCA for the LCMS about 12 years ago. One of the criteria was that the church did not belong to the NCC.

36 posted on 12/26/2004 5:47:15 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: shubi

What's the matter with "literalism"? It seems to me that we would do well to apply some literalism to the Bible as well as the Constitution.


37 posted on 12/26/2004 5:49:22 AM PST by wolfpat
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma
Ditto the Congregationalist Church.

Take a look at the Frankfurt School stuff, either it is a nutty conspiracy spasm or Atkinson is on to something.


38 posted on 12/26/2004 5:50:55 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: BlueCat

what diocese are you in?


39 posted on 12/26/2004 5:51:18 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: Lindykim
I think you prove my theory that people who want to become shrinks do so because they have bad problems of their own.
Homosexuality is not normal but when enough homosexuals became shrinks, they said homosexuals are normal.
40 posted on 12/26/2004 5:54:21 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (I went to school for 20 years, well I went to the 10th grade twice.)
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To: wolfpat
It seems to me that we would do well to apply some literalism to the Bible as well as the Constitution.

Amen!

41 posted on 12/26/2004 5:55:26 AM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: nathanbedford

OK. You're keeping me hooked to this machine. I did a "google" on The Frankfurt School, Atkinson. I promise to read the whole thing. This looks intriguing.


42 posted on 12/26/2004 5:55:57 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: All
More evidence here.
43 posted on 12/26/2004 5:57:14 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: wolfpat

We should go back to strict constructionism for the Constitution. I hope Bush appoints justices that will do that.

However, Biblical "literalism" is nothing more than a superficial interpretation of the Bible (usually the KJV written in English). There is a lot more to understanding the Bible than just reading it. Many of the literalists take such silly positions, they drive people away from Christianity.


44 posted on 12/26/2004 5:58:05 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: rpellegrini

If there is a Presbyterian PCA chuch nearby go for a visit. Very conservative bible believing.


45 posted on 12/26/2004 5:58:46 AM PST by birddog
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To: DirtyHarryY2K

One instance is the notion that the Noah epic is true in detail. There is no evidence of a world wide flood in the last six thousand years ( or ever for that matter). It is impossible to have all the "kinds" of animals on a wooden boat for a year. The population of humans on the Earth could not have come from Noah's family in the last 5 or 6 thousand years. Plus, the genetics of the Earth's populations falsify the idea of Noah being the originator of all humans.

There are many other instances, including some really weird takes on Revelation.


46 posted on 12/26/2004 6:04:21 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: shubi
I'm afraid I don't really understand what you mean. Could you give DirtyHarryY2K and me an example?
47 posted on 12/26/2004 6:04:42 AM PST by wolfpat
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To: ken5050
what diocese are you in? Virginia...Peter Lee's, I think.
48 posted on 12/26/2004 6:07:44 AM PST by BlueCat
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To: wolfpat

Look at post 46


49 posted on 12/26/2004 6:10:13 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: BlueCat

I'm, sigh.in NY...beyond hope..I'll ping you on something I posted yesterday..my sad experience Christmas Eve..


50 posted on 12/26/2004 6:14:10 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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