Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day!

Tomorrow, I plan to do my little part for Earth Day. In honor of the occasion, I'll be having a charcoal BBQ in the backyard!

17 comments:

  1. The earth produces such wonderful resources that it's hard to know what to celebrate first--there are so many delicious animals to choose from!

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  2. Steve, you sound like me. A couple of years ago, on Good Friday, when all of my Catholic neighbors were fasting, I fired up the grill and cooked hamburgers. We live in a valley, and we know for a fact that the smoke rises and spreads far and wide.

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  3. John,
    All of Rome's errors aside, that seems like a contemptible thing to do since the New Testament considers fasting a virtuous act to be doing.

    Heck, the next time you see someone give to the poor, why not just go ahead and splurge on that next big purchase. Heck drive up in a new mercedes right in from of them when it happens. Why not right?

    It's not even keeping with the Reformed spirit, John. That's just straight nonsense, showing your spiritual immaturity.

    Photios

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  4. Photios -- Phooey on you.

    Fasting is good; forced fasting is just one more of Rome's stupid rules, such as, you must go to confession, or believe in the Assumption of Mary.

    I'm living according to my convictions, and I'm not putting on a false face just to impress people.

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  5. Photios,

    What, should I now not read my Bible if my Catholic neighbors can see me? :-)

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  6. Actually, Earth Day is today.

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  7. PETER PIKE SAID:

    "Actually, Earth Day is today."

    Oh, dear, I missed it. Can I buy some credits from the Treasury of Carbon Offsets to shorten my time in Green Purgatory for my environmental sins of omission and commission? Or is it too late for me? Must I do penance by eating Tofu burgers, soy steaks, and karob cookies?

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  8. I sang that great song of the past, "Dragin the Line" by Tommy James, and went and hugged a tree.

    It's funny, I was a Catholic, and it was weird to me that on Good Friday, or every Friday back then, we couldn't eat meat, but fish.

    So we couldn't have Taylor Pork Roll in the morning for breakfast, but we could have stuffed-Rockfish for dinner? Or crab imperial?

    Salmon was alright, but a hot dog ia sinful to eat.

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  9. steve if you desire, can you write an informative critique about anthropogenic global warming and why it is unbiblical,ill give the article to my good friend who wants to be a pastor.

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  10. I'm not qualified to write a formal critique. I shot my wad in response to JD. There I mentioned a number of online critics of anthropogenic global warming. That's what I'd refer your friend to. Go to my post, then scroll down to the combox:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/01/global-warming-is-real.html

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  11. I'd like to give a bit of Scriptural and historical context for "Rome's stupid rules" about fasting...

    In addition to teaching the unchanging moral law, the Apostles had the authority to make disciplinary regulations on abstinence from certain foods: “It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right.” (Acts 15:28-29).

    Christians recognized this authority, and that these decisions were binding on all Christians (“necessities”), even though the disciplinary parts were subject to later adaptation as circumstances changed in the Church.

    In the Didache (Gk. “Teaching”), which most scholars date at the end of the 1st century A.D., Christians were instructed by their pastors to practice fast and abstinence at specific times:

    Prebaptismal fasting: “Before the baptism, let the one baptizing, and the one being baptized, and any others who are able, fast. Command the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand” (Didache 7:4). In a commentary on the Didache, Aaron Milavec comments that although this is the earliest known reference to fasting in preparation for baptism, it is likely “giving voice to a tradition already practiced (although it is impossible to gauge how widespread this practice might have been).”

    Postbaptismal fasting: “Do not let your fasts coincide with those of the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and on the fifth day of the week [Monday & Thursday], but you should fast during the fourth day and during the Sabbath preparation day [Wednesday & Friday]” (Didache 8:1).

    Further evidence of mandated communal fasts: (1) St. Irenaeus wrote to Pope Victor I in 190 A.D. on Lenten fasting before Easter. (2) Around 213-222 A.D., Tertullian wrote: “But it is enough for me that it is a customary practice for the bishops withal to issue mandates for fasts to the universal commonalty of the Church…” (On Fasting, 13). Granted that Tertullian had Montanist excesses with regards to fasting, but the above quote is evidence of widespread Christian practice, with regional variations.

    My conclusions: The prevailing motive for fasting, and penance in general, is a response to the promptings of the Spirit. But I also believe that the Spirit speaks through those placed in authority in establishing foundational practices of communal fasting that are binding on Christians under their pastoral authority. Catholics understand that these disciplinary regulations can and have been adapted to be more suited to the times and that individual circumstances make for legitimate exceptions from universal norms. Ultimately it is about faithfulness to Christ, not legalism.

    Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

    P.S. Fish is permitted on Fridays primarily because "meat" (Latin: carne) was understood to be the flesh of a warm-blooded animal.

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  12. Steve said:

    Oh, dear, I missed it. Can I buy some credits from the Treasury of Carbon Offsets to shorten my time in Green Purgatory for my environmental sins of omission and commission? Or is it too late for me? Must I do penance by eating Tofu burgers, soy steaks, and karob cookies?
    Shouldn't that be "environmental commission OF *Emission*"? heh

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  13. Heh heh. Good for you. Loved the priggish comments which conveniently missed the point of such a protest.

    But let's keep clear in our mind that religion and politics are different things. Those who believe in this eco-nonsense may be our spiritual superiors (although considering the quantity of spiritual pride the eco-creeps exhibit, it seems unlikely). Those who don't may go to hell (although not because of their politics).

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  14. "Fish is permitted on Fridays primarily because "meat" (Latin: carne) was understood to be the flesh of a warm-blooded animal."

    Warm-blooded animals. Alright.
    I still don't get it.

    All things are good to eat, as long as we pray and thank God.
    Fasting is a good discipline for Christians as well.

    I thank the Lord, who is the Spirit, that I am free from doctrines of man. "Eat not, drink not, touch not."

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  15. "...I am free from doctrines of man. 'Eat not, drink not, touch not.'"(1) When the Apostles commanded Christians to abstain from ("eat not") meats of strangled animals (Acts 15:28) were they teaching doctrines/disciplines of man? If not, then a command to "eat not" can come from the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    (2) In the history of the Church, abstinence from meat has several symbolic meanings:

    - "The reason meat was picked as the thing to abstain from is that in prior decades and centuries, meat (as opposed to fish) was a special sign of feasting and rejoicing since it couldn't be had every day. Thus it was appropriate to deny oneself this sign of rejoicing as a gesture of sorrow for... sins." (James Akin)

    - The flesh of warm-blooded animals is bloody (especially compared to fish, etc.). So abstaining from meat was connected to abstaining from blood, which likely had a symbolic connection to Christ's death on the Cross and the Eucharist. It may also have had some connection to the Apostles disciplinary prohibition in Acts 15:28 (strangled animals were prohibited because they have the blood in them).

    ---

    Finally, I agree with your point above about, say, someone pigging out on salmon and fine caviar on Good Friday. While their action might fit the letter of the law on abstinence from "meat/carne", it goes against the spirit of the law, which includes self-denial in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation.

    Furthermore, one could certainly argue that in our modern society, this particular type of abstinence from "meat" no longer has the symbolic meanings above, so it should be changed. This has, in fact, been done in various countries. In Canada, for instance, Catholics can do some other penitential act in place of abstaining from meat on Fridays outside of Lent. Eastern Rite Catholic churches have different disciplines as well due to cultural differences.

    Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

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  16. Fr. Donahue: Your appeal to the Didache is meaningless. Yes, early Christians fasted; but Catholics do not fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. Nor do they hold the Sabbath. Such a rule is meaningless to modern Catholics.

    Regarding Akins's quote: what's the point in avoiding meat that one day, when you couldn't easily get it any way?

    You are right to say that practices have changed. Very many bad practices and doctrines have been adopted, in the name of some supposed authority that "the Church" had.

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  17. "In Canada, for instance, Catholics can do some other penitential act in place of abstaining from meat on Fridays outside of Lent." -Terry

    Isn't this adding to Christ's full atonement for sin?
    Christ cried, "It is Finished! Father into Your hands I commend My Spirit. He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost."

    All my sin has been paid for by Christ, in full.

    "My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, with my soul,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul."

    Doctrines of man, and of deamons, I will not accept.

    "Unless I shall be convinced by the testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear reason ... I neither can nor will make any retraction, since it is neither safe nor honourable to act against conscience."-Luther

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