Questioning the "Two Bucket" Approach to Scripture (Guest Post: Dr. Ron Martoia) Today, I am honored to have a bit of a 'hero' on the blog.  Dr. Ron Martoia has made a lasting impact on my spiritual journey.  The same comment has been said by pastors throughout the world who appreciate his work in calling the church to her mission (ultimately, God's mission) in the 21st century.  He started asking questions about reshaping our understanding of the Bible as narrative, before it was en vogue, as he invited pastors and leaders t … Read More

via the Pangea Blog

Jesus said: "Take up your SWORD and follow me?" (Army Chaplain Propaganda) Do you remember that wonderful verse in the Gospel of 2nd Hesitations? You know the one in chapter 9 verse 23 — “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their SWORD daily and follow me."[1] Here is a way to literally apply that verse… U.S. Army Chaplains serve both God and country by bringing their unique gifts with which they are endowed by God, to the Soldiers of our nation in the broad, challenging, diverse, and eve … Read More

via Pangea Blog

Cole-Slaw: Constantine & The Institutionalization of Church.

The Horrific Abuses of the War on Terror, and Why The American Christian Church Doesn't Care Stress positions and humiliation at Abu Ghraib. This is just the PG-rated stuff.  by Ian Ebright “Let’s talk about waterboarding” former President George W. Bush said with an almost defiant shrug. There was Bush, sitting across from Matt Lauer in a recent interview, now bragging about his role in personally authorizing the waterboarding of key terrorist suspects- which we know occurred up to 183 times per person. “Because the lawyers said it was … Read More

via The Broken Telegraph

In a world where taxes on soda, and prohibition of happy meal toys are becoming more and more talked about A Philosopher’s Blog discusses the pros and cons of banning Four Loko; a new drink that has made recent news.

While drinking until the blackout state is not uncommon among college students, products such as Four Loko changed the drinking game a bit. What makes drinks like Four Loko special is that they blend a relatively high (relative to beer anyway) alcohol content with a relatively high caffeine content. They also tend to be very cheap relative to other drinks and come in rather large cans relative to the standard beer. Because of the cheap price and … Read More

via A Philosopher’s Blog

As I have established elsewhere, the saga of the early church has been obscured for centuries because our New Testament books are arranged out of order. The present arrangement of the New Testament books has created a seedbed for the very damaging "cut-and-paste" approach to Bible study, where out-of-context "proof-texts" are lashed together to support man-made doctrines and practices. In Greek mythology, a man named Procrustes owned a magical be … Read More

via Reimagining Church

If you believe that the church has always maintained the same position on homosexual marriage, then here is an article for you.  It provides evidence quite to the contrary dating all the way back to the 8th century. I found to be very interesting.  Is it possible that what Prof. John Boswell has concluded about his findings are correct? Here is an excerpt from the article. Click the link to read the full article with more examples cited.

When Same Sex Marriage was a Christian Rite

A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Israel. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman ‘pronubus’ (a best man), overseeing a wedding. The pronubus is Christ. The married couple are both men.

Is the icon suggesting that a gay “wedding” is being sanctified by Christ himself? The idea seems shocking. But the full answer comes from other early Christian sources about the two men featured in the icon, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who were Christian martyrs. These two officers in the Roman army incurred the anger of Emperor Maximian when they were exposed as ‘secret Christians’ by refusing to enter a pagan temple. Both were sent to Syria circa 303 CE where Bacchus is thought to have died while being flogged. Sergius survived torture but was later beheaded. Legend says that Bacchus appeared to the dying Sergius as an angel, telling him to be brave because they would soon be reunited in heaven.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Christian church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly intimate. Severus, the Patriarch of Antioch (AD 512 – 518) explained that, “we should not separate in speech they [Sergius and Bacchus] who were joined in life”. This is not a case of simple “adelphopoiia.” In the definitive 10th century account of their lives, St. Sergius is openly celebrated as the “sweet companion and lover” of St. Bacchus. Sergius and Bacchus’s close relationship has led many modern scholars to believe they were lovers. But the most compelling evidence for this view is that the oldest text of their martyrology, written in New Testament Greek describes them as “erastai,” or “lovers”. In other words, they were a male homosexual couple. Their orientation and relationship was not only acknowledged, but it was fully accepted and celebrated by the early Christian church, which was far more tolerant than it is today.

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual…..(read more)