Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I found this while floating around on Free Republic. It should warm the hearts of Lutherans and Calvinists alike.

Arminian Grace

Arminian grace! How strange the sound
Salvation hinged on ME
I once was lost then turned around
Was blind then chose to see

What "grace" is it that calls for choice
Out of some good within?
The part that willed to heed God's voice
Proved stronger than my sin

Through many ardent gospel pleas
I sat with heart of stone
But then some hidden good in me
Propelled me toward my home

When we've been there ten thousand years
Because of what we've done
We've no less days to sing our praise
Than when we first begun

- Dennis Walter Cochran

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I found this on Lutherquest. Enjoy.
More postings about Beer.

Edmund: Right, now; let's make sure you've got this. We are having two parties here tonight...

Baldrick: Right.

Percy: Right.

Edmund: ...and they must be kept completely separate.

Baldrick & Percy: Right.

Edmund: Firstly, a total piss-up -- involving beer throwing, broken furniture and wall-to-wall vomiting -- to be held here in Baldrick's bedroom.

Baldrick: Oh, thank you very much, My Lord! [Percy pats him on the shoulder in congratulations]

[Edmund goes to the main living room of the house (where the previous house scenes have taken place).]

Edmund: Secondly, Percy will join me in here for the gourmet-turnip eating. Is the Turnip Surprise ready?

[Baldrick and Percy begin giggling.]

Baldrick: Yes, it is, My Lord.

Edmund: Then what is so funny?

Percy: Well, My Lord, while Baldrick and I were preparing the Turnip Surprise, >we< had a surprise -- we came across a turnip that was exactly the same a thingy!

[Percy and Baldrick laugh.]

Edmund: [not amused] ...a thingy...

Baldrick: ...a great big thingy! It was terrific.

Edmund: Size is no guarantee of quality, Baldrick. Most horses are very well endowed, but that does not necessarily make them sensitive lovers. I trust you have removed this hilarious item...?

Baldrick: Oh, yes, yes, My Lord.

Edmund: Good, because there's nothing more likely to stop an inheritance than a thingy-shaped turnip.

Percy: Absolutely, Edmund. ...but it was jolly funny! [laughs more]

Edmund: Yes, yes, yes...

Baldrick: I found it particularly ironic, My Lord, because I've got a thingy that's shaped like a turnip!

Edmund: Yes, all right...

Baldrick: I'm quite [?] at parties...

Edmund: [not interested] are you...

Baldrick: Yeah -- I hide in the vegetable rack and frighten the children.

Edmund: What fun... Perhaps you've forgotten that I'm meant to be having a drinking competition here tonight with Lord Melchett, and ten thousand florins are at stake!

Baldrick: Oh dear...

Edmund: What do you mean?

Baldrick: Well, firstly, you haven't got ten thousand florins; and, thirdly, one drop of the ale and you fall flat on your face and start singing that song about the goblin.

Edmund: That's nonsense. ... ... ... but just in case it's true--

Baldrick: [to Percy] It is true -- I saw it!

Edmund: Yes, all right, all right, it's true, it's true... So, the plan is: When I call for my Incredibly Strong Ale, you must pass me water in an ale bottle. Have you got that?

Baldrick: Yeah -- when you call for ale, I pass water...

Edmund: Percy, your job is to stay here and suck up to my aunt.

Percy: [tries to act suave] Ah, I think you can trust me to know how to handle a woman...

Edmund: Oh god...

Aunt: Wicked child!!! Chairs are an invention of Satan! In our house, Nathaniel sits on a spike!

Edmund: ...and yourself...?

Aunt: I sit on Nathaniel -- two spikes would be an extravagance.

Edmund: Well, quite -- which reminds me, Aunty--

Aunt: [stands up] Don't call me `Aunty'!!! [slaps him twice] `Aunt' is a relative, and relatives are evidence of sex; and sex is hardly a fitting subject for the dinner table. [sits]

Edmund: ...or, indeed, any table...

Percy: ...except, perhaps, a table in a brothel.

Edmund: [kicks Percy off his chair] Oh dear, Percy, it seems you have fallen off your chair...

[Baldrick enters, carrying a plate on which sits the thingy-shaped turnip]

Edmund: Now then, what was I saying? [sees the turnip and speaks without a pause] Oh my god...

Baldrick: [to Aunt] Your turnip, My Lady...

Aunt: [picks up the turnip, holds it in front of her, her eyes wide] Very good! Very good! [bites into it, then points it at Uncle, and speaks to him] You know, Nathaniel, it takes me right back to our wedding night...

[Uncle's eyes open wide, in surprise.]

Aunt: [to Edmund] We had raw turnips that night.
Alistair Cooke, R.I.P.. He was 95.
Carnival of Lutherans

Ruminating Lutheran has posted some excellent sermons for Holy Week. He should post them on Consensus, IMHO.

Paul McCain has an excellent post up on Crucifixes and Lutheranism.

Thomas is still rocking.

John H. discusses "No Bible Sunday" closed communion, and Sanctification.

Josh celebrated his two year blogversary. Congratulations. He also gives the reasons he didn't go to Ft. Wayne. Who also cannot forget the Fearsome Confession of Faith.

Chris Jones posts on Bishops in the Missouri Synod.

Erica is having surgery on Good Friday.

Neal broke the news on Monty Python.

That's it for the first installment of the Carnival of Lutherans. The Lutheran blogsphere is getting big enough that something like this (no matter how biased and opinionated I am) might become useful. Expect me to post what I consider the best of the Lutheran blogsphere every Tuesday at some point.

I am thinking of adding a new blog, one to link to longer posts and allow those who wish to read them to read them while not having to scroll three-quarters id the way down to find my last post.

By the way, while you're reading through all those links, stop by The Blogsburg Confession. There is some excellent stuff to be found there.

Monday, March 29, 2004

This post has been heavily edited, by the way. I did it. I now have a new blog for longer posts. The post that was taking up all that room can now be found here. It is a critique of the film The Passion (which I haven't seen) by a Lutheran pastor. It is long, but if you have the time, an interesting read.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The White Horse Inn has an excellent series on forgiveness. On no other radio program will you hear Metallica and Vegi Tales in two consecutive weeks.

Can a Calvinist claim there is no one with perfect doctrine?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Blackadder fans, rejoice! The scripts are on the internet! It includes my favorite episode in the series, Series Two, Episode Five, Beer. For those who need their memory jogged, it's the episode where Blackadder ends up hosting his Puritan relatives (who abhor drinking) but have big wallets and a drinking party to settle a dare on whether he can hold his alcohol on the same night.

Percy: I must say, Edmund, it was jolly nice of you to ask me to share your breakfast before the rigors of the day begin.

Edmund: Well, it is said, Percy, that civilized man seeks out good and intelligent company, so that, through learned discourse, he may rise above the savage and closer to God.

Percy: Yes, I've heard that.

Edmund: Personally, however, I like to start the day with a total dickhead to remind me I'm best.


Baldrick: But, My Lord, I've been in your family since 1532!

Edmund: So has syphilis; now get out.

Ruminating Lutheran has a good post on unity.

Thomas has a post on the new group he would like to start called SNOB as an auxiliary (I think that's the best way to describe it) to the ESOB.

Anyway, I am busily reading The Orthodox Church: Its Past and its Role in the World Today by John Meyendorff. It is part of my continuing quest to educate myself about a church which, honestly, I cannot say much about. The only churches I have any comfort level in making lofty pronouncements within are Lutheranism (duh), Catholicism (more duhs), and Mormonism (huh?). If I am outside those three churches, I tend to just shut up and watch unless something really blatant occurs (like unrepentant homosexual bishops or unrepentant bishops in general, which the ECUSA is full of). I know what I know in the realms I know, but get me outside those realms and I can get myself in a lot of trouble. Notice how much I comment on Karl's blog, for instance. Once, twice, maybe three times. I lurk and learn.

I have been asked by someone who shall remain nameless about why I no longer use the terms "Jesus Last" (Ni!)or "Deathstar" (Ni!) to describe certain political groups trying to pretend to not be political groups within the LCMS. It is simple: if I am to win hearts and minds, I don't insult their friends. That does not, however, prevent me from saying "Ni!" to them or bringing in the Spanish Inquisition when needed. (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!)

Finally, The Life of Brian is returning to the big screen.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I normally don't blog on local news. Most local news, however, doesn't normally have the words Bind, Torture, Kill associated with it. This guy began killing women about the time I was born. Who really knows if he'll kill again. This is one sick asshole.
It took Tater Salad (new rule: that's what everyone must call the terrible swede from now on) a whole whopping twelve hours to break every single rule I placed on him. This goes to prove one point I've been trying to make to him (and it goes in one ear and out the other): he is so utterly predictable it is laughable. Oh, and if you think me using Tater Salad as a guinea pig was funny, I could do it to just about anyone who posts comments here regularly and predict what you will say. If you've paid any attention to me, you could predict what I might say about a given post. We are all a bunch of predictable robots. The fact that I knew Tater Salad would fall into my trap like a fat woman eats a chalupa is the whole point. That, and he needs to watch the Flying Circus.

So, why did I impose those rules?
1) I just didn't want my comments crammed with number theory posts. If you can't stay on topic, don't waste bandwidth.
2) A stupid nickname should be given to those who commit party fouls. He earned this one.
3) This one was simply instituted to try to keep him from putting his foot inside his mouth. With the alternatives given, you would figure he could keep this one. I guess I overestimated him.
4) In case I was wrong, he needed some sort of reward. He did not let me down.

So, in conclusion, be random, not predictable. I would say like me except that would be predictable, so I'll just say like, ummm, errr, Richard Simmons!!!
You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.
I've added Dave Barry to my blogroll. Enjoy.

Update: I found the secret. My comments line is now at its final position.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Most of you know I do have quite an interesting taste in bad poetry (I even have a book full of it), but I never quite know what to make of stuff like this. Allah used the term "shitty" to describe this poem. I would tend to agree because it just does not evoke the same emotional response that truly bad poetry does. If the poem is truly bad, I laugh. This poem just sucks.

I know I'm late linking to this and this, but I had a major crisis going on that I had to recover from. Now go look at all the graphic pictures (the guy was literally blown to bits) and don't blame me if you puke after looking at them.

Thomas here, here, and here makes some interesting points. Go read these posts if you haven't already.

The Terrible Swede will be back on my blogroll, but on probation under the following rules:
1) There will be no mentions of number theory, no matter how much Josh may tempt him (this one will kill him.)
2) All comments on this blog are not to be made under his real name, but under the name "Tater Salad."
3) He shall not refer to Jesus First as Jesus Last or Daystar as Deathstar. A "Ni!" or two after mentioning their proper names is acceptable as is bringing in the Spanish Inquisition.
4) Any failure to not follow these rules within the next two weeks (the length of probation) shall mean permanent removal or a seat in the comfy chair. (I love it when I can use Monty Python references he's clueless about).

I must also institute a few rules on everybody else:
1) If your comments get too silly, I shall have to stop them.
2) Any mention of lumberjacks must also mention women's clothing.
3) The French still suck (alright, this isn't a rule).
5) Don't ever let me catch any of you not drinking.
That should do it for now.
I'm done french-bashing. It's just too easy. If any Europeans stumble onto this site by accident (besides our good friends representing the ELCE), they'll probably thing I'm a prick anyway. I am probably everything they hate about Americans, at least until I get drunk.

Someone was apparently using the Snoop Dogg Shizzolator on the Jesus First webpage and rather than just leave well enough alone, went and posted it as a separate webpage that was eventually found (Fake Web Site (edit) Story). Normally, I would comment on something like this, but, as my grandma used to say, "Bite you tongue, dirtbag!" (I know, my grandma didn't say that, but I had to say something stupid in for fear that I might actually say something even stupider.)

I better stop before the Larry the Cable Guy analogies erupt forth.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

One More Reason to Hate the French.

Anyone who taxes beer because of alcohol content (like their wines don't have more alcohol) deserves to have the Germans invade. There are few things that piss me off more than the overtaxing of alcoholic beverages. Chimay is excellent beer and it will mess you up if you are not careful. 12-14% alcohol content will do that to you. Even better is when you chase a whole bottle (750ml) with a shot or two of 80 proof whiskey. You don't drive after drinking that combination.

Did I mention I'm mostly English and German?
Why do I hate the French? I have pondered this question for quite awhile because xenophobia makes no logical sense, but that does not stop me from making fun of the, "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" (apologies to Homer Simpson). Yes, they bathe about once every two years. Yes, their national flag should be all white. Yes, their elite force (the Foreign Legion) celebrates its defeats rather than its victories. Yes, we had to save their asses twice this century, more than double the payback they gave to us to rid ourselves of the British. Yes, the Gauls were overrun by the Romans and it has been all downhill from there. So, as you can see, this is not xenophobia as much as just a little friendly ribbing (yeah right). I should just come clean. Since I listen to Jim Rome, I like french bashing. It's that simple. I find the french surrendering to two Canadian tugboats amusing. Considering the word to Frenchify means to acquire a STD, perhaps the french should just surrender to AIDS and be done with it. Their language is dying (to the delight of the English, I presume) and their land is being overrun by Moslems. They reproduce at a rate of 1.7 children per couple (below the replacement rate of ~2.1) so they themselves are dying off. At that rate, they'll probably breed themselves out of existence.

I just sat here and watched the hamster take about half the food in her food bowl and shove it into her mouth pouches and move it to her nesting area. Considering there are some very large pellets within her food, she managed to shove it all in. Rodents rule.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I am relieved now. My sister is OK, at least for now. Thank you all for all your prayers for her and my family.

Peaches the hamster is proving to be quite anti-social. My mom was babysitting some kids that go to her church today and one of them decided that she really needed to pet her even though Peaches was sound asleep. Hamsters are quite grumpy when they wake up and Peaches is no exception. So when she was awakened from her deep sleep by an unfamiliar person, she just bit her. Hamster bites often look worse than they are, but their teeth are quite capable of slicing through the skin of an unfortunate person. My sister has been bitten before, and I have just been lucky. I don't force her to do anything, and so far, so good. She nibbled on my hand once, but I pulled away before she could bury her teeth into my finger.

The Lutheran blogsphere is erupting in delight because of Mike Horton. I do like Dr. Horton (mainly because most Calvinists claim he's a closet Lutheran). He is probably the best example of how close a Calvinist can get to Lutheranism without actually being Lutheran. He understands law and gospel probably better than most Calvinists, and he gets what the theology of the cross is about. I just wish he would give in on those pesky sacraments and that whole predestination thing and come to the light. Lutheranism could really use a man like him. Calvinism probably needs him more than we do, however.

Speaking of Mike Horton, here's the link to the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, probably the best example of what ecumenism could be. They agree with what they agree on, and recognize the disagreements they have rather than just sweeping them under the rug and pretending they don't exist (the mode of most ecumenism). There is a lot of good stuff at this site, so don't be afraid to browse.

(Thanks to Josh and John for the inspiration.)

Added Thought: I forgot to post this when I was writing this. My choices of beer (or lack thereof) are more a reflection of what I think about the given synod or denomination, not of the blogs (or links) below.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Sometimes even Larry gets it right.

Josh now has a blog of book reviews.
My sister is home. She's doing better. Thank you all.
I would like to say that things are going nice and that my sister is home and doing well, but I can't. Those who have any business knowing what is going on either has been or will be informed. The rest of you will just have to take my word on it. It sucks. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, my diet has gone from some junk food to all junk food, and (perhaps this isn't so bad) I have spent much of the day praying and just struggling to get by. It was good to see my sister today. In some ways, I am relieved. In others, however, I am disturbed.

I somehow was suckered into a debate over the rationality of Christianity. I knew I had won when Calvinists were trying to convince me that the Trinity is, in fact, rational. Of course, there come the same, tired analogies trying to explain that which is mysterious and incomprehensible to our human minds. In this time, it is that mystery which I cling to harder than anything because, through those mysteries, I find God. God hides himself so we can find him.

Friday, March 19, 2004

You are Walt Whitman! Champion of the
Transcendentalist American Ideal, Walt Whitman
is one of the first poets to use the "free
verse" form in America. He has been
imitated, but will never be duplicated, just
like you! Except for by everyone else who gets
Walt Whitman ;)

Which famous poet are you? (pictures and many outcomes)
brought to you by Quizilla

I've never read Walt Whitman, so I don't have a clue.

John has a good post on "leading people to Christ".

Thursday, March 18, 2004

To say today hasn't been a very rough day would be like claiming the pope isn't Catholic. He is, and today, in essence, sucked bigtime. I have almost broken down crying at least three times (make that four) and it was a struggle to keep my mind on work and just keep going. If anyone tells me to just suck it up and be a man, I'll tell them to go fuck themselves. You don't want this burden. You do not want to go through what I am going through right now. Today, I am truly learning what Christ meant when he said, "Pick up your cross and follow me." I'll tell you all what it is later, but right now, what I really need is prayers. Prayers for my family, prayers for my sister, and prayers for me. Ultimately, that will do more good.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Thomas has moved and reappeared, to my own delight. I have also added the musings of tentatio to my blogroll. I just discovered Mark Cuban has a blog. Who knew?

Too many beers, too little time. Everytime I decide to discuss beer, I get comments. If I discuss anything else besides British comedies, I get little to nothing. What gives people? Is everyone just more interested in beer? Should I change the name of my blog to "Random Thoughts of a Young, Drunken Lutheran?"

I am currently watching my sister's hamster run around the living room in a small plastic ball. They make things like that for your small rodents (you wouldn't shove a Guinea Pig or Chinchilla into one of these things) can happily run around the house without you having to worry about it happily running around the house. Anyway, she is gleefully running around, running into various objects with reckless abandon. You know what the saddest part of the whole thing: I think she's very cute. Sickening, isn't it?

Finally, Italian Police Break Into Church to Install Priest.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Lederhosen boycott threatens Oktoberfest party

Look at what the home country has become.
I changed my blogroll headers once again, reflecting what I believe to be the best beers representing the various people I have on my blogroll. I hope you all enjoy them.

Monday, March 15, 2004

A joke I was told by a Canadian friend of mine.

The Brits drink warm beer that tastes like piss.

The Canadians drink cold beer that tastes like piss.

The Americans drink cold piss that tastes like beer.

Thus endeth the lesson.
Thomas has disappeared once again. I have no idea what happened, but his blog was taken down and no longer exists. That saddens me because I always knew he had something interesting and useful to say. Maybe we can convince him to pop up once again.

I moved the two UK blogs (more proper since Chris lives in Wales) to their own little section where they can sit around pumping their brews out (I love John Courage). Only the Brits would come up with the idea of brewing beer without carbonation.

Speaking of being British, about half my family roots lie in the British Isles. I am mainly British and German, but I have touches of Irish, Scotch Irish, French, and Cherokee. In essence, I am a mutt.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Since the Terrible Swede just had to put me in a bad mood (right when I had something to be in a good mood about), I'm going to take it all out on Precious Moments.

What are Precious Moments? They have to be the cheesiest pieces of art, figurines, and other collectibles that make women (with a few exceptions) go, "How cute!" and make men go, "How pathetic!" They present these androgynous children doing such things as praying and pretending to be angels and other just horrid themes. The artistic quality of all of this make the pictures of stickmen I drew in kindergarten look like fine art. Hell, Pablo Picasso deserves his reputation as a genius when compared to Precious Moments. If you know what I think of Picasso, then you know how truly horrible I think these things are. There should be a parody version called either Disgusting Moments or F***ed-up Moments. It could have the kids (no longer cute) worshiping the porcelain god or stabbing each other with pitchforks. That would rock.

Peaches. We now have Peaches.

Harvey, Harvey, Harvey the wonder hamster
He doesn't talk and he doesn't squeal
He just runs around in his hamster wheel
Harvey, Harvey, Harvey the wonder hamster
Hey Harvey!

Peaches is a hamster, if you couldn't figure it out. Yes, since Louie died, my sister decided the perfect way to fill the void was to get a small rodent. That is not the typical response one might expect to see, but that's my sister. Actually, I like the hamster. She is very active in and out of her cage, and she has very soft fur. When I was younger, I had a gerbil and he was extremely mean. That made him extremely good for practical jokes. I remember freaking out one of my female friends by putting him on her shoulder. She never did forgive me for that. So stay away from me when I have small rodents in tow. Peaches probably will not help me with any practical jokes anytime ever. My sister would kill me and then take away my ability to reproduce.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Friday, March 12, 2004

If you are looking for updates on the whole Spanish bombing story, look no further than Iberian Notes. Keep the country in your prayers.

I have decided what my next target of opportunity is. I thought of it as I was freezing my ass off in a warehouse. I know what you all are thinking. "Will you be tacking PDL from a new angle?" No. "Have you found a new target within the LCMS?" No. "Will it be more Benke bashing?" No. "Will you even be targeting anything within Lutheranism?" No. "Will you be bashing the WWJD craze?" No. It all has to do with a comment I made about a certain line of products that is very much a reflection of what American Evangelicalism has become. This stuff is so sickening any right-thinking male will avoid it while all the women adore these things and, sometimes, I wonder if these things have become the Protestant version of icons and the new Mary. What would this be, you ask? Precious Moments.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Nothing is happening newswise, but I did happen to pull out my book Depraved and Insulting English and found a term that describes all politicians, but is especially applicable to one Senator from Massachusetts who happens to be running for President: timeserver.Here is another term that applies to him: empleomaniac. Use and abuse these terms as you wish.

The ESV rocks. I don't care what Josh says.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

As you can now see, I completely rearranged my blogroll and split all the Lutheran factions up into their separate parts. I found it easier to make and set up jokes that way.
I will soon be to the point where I just begin emptying out everything. The tank is slowly beginning to drain finally, and I don't have much to blog about newswise.

The Ruminating Lutheran has found a new blog called Cyberbrethren that is run by Rev. Paul McCain, interim CEO of CPH (Concordia Publishing House for all the non-Lutherans). He has some interesting posts up, so check him out.

Twylah's Lutheran in a Tipi is being added to my links. I'm going to have to start eliminating people soon (Preacherman comes up in my mind in this respect since he hasn't posted in over four months) because I'm linking to too many people. I may start linking to people who all have different blogrolls and just leave it at that. British soon-to-be Lutheran Confessing Evangelical deserves a link as well. As for Preacherman's lack of posting, he's a pastor in an active parish so I more than understand why the blog is being neglected. I just wish he would take a minute and say whether or not he wants to keep blogging or if he is stopping for good. Anyway, I'm dropping him.

Finally, Christians in the Middle East. Read it and weep.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Protest Warrior is reporting that the anti-war crowd (sponsored by the pinko-commie french-loving group ANSWER) will be marching on America's largest cities on March 20th. If I had known sooner, I would have actually flown out, crashed with someone, and gone in with a sign (or 20). I could give Tim this sign while I marched around screaming with this sign (which has a definite Life of Brian flair). Anyway, if you see a few hundred people holding up traffic while trying to go wherever you go a week from Saturday, give them the finger for me.

I have decided that I am ready to answer questions (be "interviewed" in blogspeak). So, if you are on my blogroll (if you're not, I'm probably not reading you), go ahead and post questions on your blog and I shall answer.
I woke up this morning and went downstairs for breakfast as usual, and who didn't I hear that I normally hear: Louie. His parakeet songsmithing was the normal background music for reading the morning paper while eating breakfast. I go downstairs and what is missing from his cage? Louie. He would always scoot away from me whenever I came downstairs, even though he could only scoot a foot, maybe, because of his cage and always made a racket. It was silent when I went downstairs tonight. How come I miss a bird I could not really say I liked? If I'm missing a bird this much after its death, how hard will it be for me when my dog (she's 13) or my cat (he's 11) dies? I'm going to be balling like a little baby declaring how unfair life is. Hell, if the fish go belly-up I'll be sad. The one thing that truly sucks about having pets is that they die, just like us.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Via Oh, That Liberal Media!:

Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty

Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

Who says a Clinton isn't running for the White House!

Sunday, March 07, 2004

In memory of Louie. May he squawk in peace.

A customer enters a pet shop.
Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner does not respond.)
C: 'Ello, Miss?
Owner: What do you mean "miss"?
C: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
O: We're closin' for lunch.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!
(shouting at the cage)
'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show...(owner hits the cage)
O: There, he moved!
C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
O: I never!!
C: Yes, you did!
O: I never, never did anything...
C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
C: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
O: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.
C: look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.
O: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?
O: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
C: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!
O: No no! 'E's pining!
C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!
O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.
(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
O: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of parrots.
C: I see. I see, I get the picture.
O: I got a slug.
C: Pray, does it talk?
O: Nnnnot really.
O: Would you like to go upstairs?
C: Thought you would never ask.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I went back and read the Hungarian Phrasebook Sketch and I had forgotten these classics:

"Ah. You have beautiful thighs."

"Drop your panties, Sir William; I cannot wait 'til lunchtime."

"My nipples explode with delight!"

I might have to use that last one later.
I must say that my post on the Office of the Keys was very successful commentwise. As per my usual fashion, when you all get excited like sharks and start circling the meat, I get out of the water and let everyone else duke it out. I'm not one to defend ideas as much as just let them fly and see what happens to them.

Everyone else is linking to Ruminating Lutheran's posts on worship, and I see no reason why I should be any different.

Allah is busy offending people. No surprise there.

Court Rejects Kieschnick's Claim of Immunity Under Missouri Law

A Short Introduction to L. Martin Nussbaum's "Scandal and the Constitution"

This ought to provoke some interesting thought: The Passover Seder and the Lutheran Congregation

In case you are wondering if I will ever reorganize my archives, I will be going to monthly archives soon because my blog is just getting too big. It's almost been a year since I started this little website of mine, and it has gone from a place to moan about my own sad state of affairs to someplace where my love of God, my love of doctrine, my sense of humor (as warped as it is), and my xenophobia all come together and completely obliterate each other.

BROTHER MAYNARD: Armaments, Chapter Two, verses Nine to Twenty-one.

SECOND BROTHER: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu--

MAYNARD: Skip a bit, Brother.

SECOND BROTHER: And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'


Update: My new comments lines are inspired by Monty Python's Hungarian Phrasebook Sketch. I saved everybody the trouble of having to look at a line that says, "If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me. I am no longer infected."

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Chris Johnson might want to take a look at this. The E*CA is confronting this issue shortly. The cards are marked, the game rigged, and the outcome already determined. All that is left to see is how many pieces it breaks up into after that study appears.

It's been raining for two days straight. We're under a flash flood watch. I could hardly get out of be this morning.

I went through my books and found four different books I had started quite a while back (over a year ago) and haven't finished yet. I might try polishing off one of those books tonight. I really should have finished The Case for Amillennialism quite a while ago. I started reading that when I was almost daily confronting dispies. Now that I hardly talk to them, I can probably finish the book. Other titles unfinished include The Lord's Prayer, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, The Lord's Supper, and Amusing Ourselves to Death. Maybe for Lent I should stop watching TV and finish all these books.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

You know what, as I was typing my large post out today, I thought, "I ought to update everyone on my arm." As you can see, I immediately forgot about that. Anyway, my arm is much less swollen (it still is somewhat swollen) and the redness has dissipated. I have full mobility again, and hardly any pain. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me. I do appreciate it. One thing I did realize: if this had happened sixty or seventy years ago, I would have had to have my arm amputated. Yes, that's scary.
Consider this a preemptive strike. The proposal below is just that: a proposed argument. I would like to hear opinions on both its strengths and weaknesses. I will not tolerate accusations.
Chris Jones has an interesting post up. All I can say is he argues sometimes like he's still Orthodox, which isn't a bad thing. He threw up a couple arguments that I didn't even think about (or know about for that matter).

What is the Office of the Keys?

The office of the keys is that special authority which Christ has given to his church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent.

Where is this written?

St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter 20: The Lord Jesus breather on His disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." [John 20:22-23]

What do you believe according to these words?

I believe when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by his divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us himself.--Luther's Small Catechism, p. 27, 1986, CPH

So, where am I going with this?

We do believe the Office of the Keys gives the pastor the power to declare one's sins either loosed or bound. So, here comes a question no one wants to ask: is holding false doctrine sinful? Considering I have given my pastor plenty of time to give me an answer to this question, I gave the question much thought and I would have to answer yes. If you are holding to false doctrine, your faith is clinging to something that you shouldn't and, often times, false doctrine is the result of our old Adam trying to pervert the faith God gave us. Anything from our old Adam is bound to be sinful. There is no way to say that false doctrine isn't sinful.

Think you know where I am going?

Now that we have established false doctrine is sinful, let's get back to the pastor. The pastor is responsible for his flock. Being that, "all we like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way." (Isaiah 53:6), he does have his hands full, especially with a sheep like me. I say this because, at some point, we all have to take personal responsibility for our actions because the pastor cannot monitor everything. Since he is responsible to a point, however, let us dance upon that line and see where it leads us.

Confession and absolution is often described as the third sacrament by the Confessions. It derives it power, however, through the Sacrament of Baptism. This is no coincidence. The fact we are called to daily remove the old Adam and put on the new is only possible because of our baptism. Repentance is only possible because God gave us the New Adam. Absolution is only possible because of the New Adam: Christ with us. So, what if the old Adam tricks us to clinging to sinfulness? We do not want to repent, and the pastor bounds our sins. There is one other thing we forget: the Lord's table is closed to that person. Forgiveness is also available there. However, judgment is also available and the unrepentant will find judgment there, so the pastor does the loving thing and forbids the unrepentant from coming to the table.

So, the question is, can you now see where I am going?

So, through all the rambling, we finally slam the door on this argument. The argument goes like this:

1) The pastor holds the Office of the Keys.
2) The power of that office derives from the Sacraments themselves.
3) False doctrine is sinful because the old Adam clings to such doctrine.
4) If the pastor knows that someone holds to false doctrine, yet allows that person to commune, he is not properly using his office.

There are plenty of cases where the pastor has done all he can and people still hold to false doctrine and they do not realize it. If the pastor, however, is just plain unwilling to police his own table, that is a much different story. It is one thing to commune someone accidentally, it is another to commune someone purposely. The pastor who does this and is unwilling to bind the unrepentant's sins has no business loosing anyone's sins. Those pastors need to repent themselves and begin policing their tables.

I developed this argument in a very crude form while discussing with another member of an LCMS congregation on the internet about how to undermine the E*CA's communion policy. The fact that it also works to undermine many LCMS congregations policy of open communion is just coincidence.

I'm bracing myself for the accusations that I am "unloving."

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I have two last things to say before I go to bed. First, Thomas has been moved back to the Lutheran blogs. Second, Ryan updated his webpage while I wasn't looking. Very nice, Ryan.
I never thought I would have to implement this, but someone broke the one rule you never break, and it is the ultimate in party fouls. The punishment for spilling your beer is light compared to this party foul. This party foul is so bad there can be only one result: death. Since I cannot implement a death sentence (I neither have the authority nor a sharp sword to do the proper beheading this foul deserves), I can only do what I can do. What is the foul, you ask? Simple: RON THE TERRIBLE SWEDE INSULTED SOMEONE WHO HAD BOUGHT HIM BEER THE DAY BEFORE!. Even if the devil himself buys you a beer, you don't insult him afterwards. Now he's got me wondering if and when he's going to turn around and stab me in the back. Therefore, the terrible swede is off my blogroll, and, rather than punish his wife for his actions, I will delete any further comments he might make on my blog no matter what their nature. Anyone who quotes or discuses a point made by Ron will also be deleted.

I wondered if Terry was purposely trying to start WWIII. My ass was sore and my arm swollen so I didn't bite. Ron managed to bite his tongue. It doesn't matter. I ought to just ban everyone from the ULC from commenting. Yep. That would solve everything. NOT!

I don't know. I'm mad. At everyone. Except Dan2. Dan2 rocks because his name is Daniel.

My Office of the Holy Priesthood post shall wait a little longer because I had to deal with everything. If you want to find me, I'll be out at Sidepockets this Sunday drinking and trying to bluff my way though no-limit Texas hold 'em. Oh, and also, F the French.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Oooo Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

I was going to finish off my post on the Office of the Keys tonight, but that little jaunt is being temporarily detoured for a couple of reasons. First, I was unable to talk to my pastor to see if where I want to go is actually reasonable (I think it is, but you never know) and also the fact that my left arm swelled up due to a staph infection and I had to make an emergency jaunt to the doctor to get a shot. The fact that the shot went into my gludious maximus shows what I think many people already thought of me: I am a pain in the ass.

Before my left arm falls off, the newest member of the blogroll is The Small Catechlysm. The fact that he wants to be called an Evangelical Catholic rather than a Lutheran is alright with me. He's still stuck in the Lutheran links, though.

To quote Jeff from Richmond: GOOD NIGHT NOW!!!