Christmas Mass?

So while I was down in Plamondon my parents went to midnight mass at the Roman Catholic Church and I figured I would tag along. I’m not entirely sure why, as that is not something I would ordinarily do, but since we weren’t able to attend our own church service back in Fort McMurray I figured that we might as well check it out and be able to experience the small crumbs of the gospel, small as they might be. Within a few minutes though I found myself regretting being there. It wasn’t terrible, and it’s not like I couldn’t sit still and just sit back and enjoy parts of it, but just being there…contemplating the religious epistemological distinctives of the RCC as it relates to the faith of the attendees, and then eventually watching them taking the Eucharist with all the…theological shenanigans… that is represented therein, that was difficult.  Not only that, but there was a prayer to Mary in the pamphlet which I was unable to copy down, but I remembered a few words from it and I’m almost positive this is it.

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on You, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations, I shall never cease to call on You, ever repeating Your sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Your sacred name, or even only think of You! I thank God for having given You, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Your name; let my love for You prompt me ever to hail You, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen”

As if that wouldn’t make me as crazy as a rat in a coffee can.  On the plus side though, we got to recite the Nicene Creed. That’s always good.

Rockstar Seeker-Sensitive Pastors

I’ve been reflecting on them a lot lately, as I’m listening to a sermon/lecture/speaking session given by Perry Noble at his pastors conference where he delivered what was one of the most unbiblical and twisted messages I’ve ever heard from someone speaking to over 2000 pastors. For those who do not know, Perry Noble is a rockstar within the movement, and all the cool kids want to be like him. He is the senior pastor at Newspring Church, which is running over 10,000 now, and in the circles he swims in he is considered to be the next Rick Warren. Unfortunately the man is a spiritual totalitarian, is agonizingly theologically unsound,  and has one of the worst proclivities towards scripture twisting I’ve ever seen. In any case, this was on my mind when the leadership team at the church I am currently attending has decided that they’re going to begin a several month-long trek through the book “The Purpose Driven Life” by seeker -sensitive pope Rick Warren himself, and wants the congregation onboard with them. Now it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I loathe seeker-sensitive stuff, and find many [if not most] of the current crop of seeker sensitive pastors to be fairly appalling and biblically illiterate/ purposefully deceitful in their biblical presentations of several theological matters, first and foremost which is the gospel.

What an interesting development…

Oh, and here is a clip from that Perry Noble talk I was referring to. The whole deal is about a million of these strung together. Enjoy!

Joy to the World

JOY TO THE WORLD

Verse I

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Verse II

Joy to the Earth! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

REFLECTIONS

Seeing as it is Christmas time, I thought I would offer up a new Paperthin Hymn for the festivities. The words are by English hymn writer Issac Watts based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. The song was first published in 1719 in Watts’ collection; The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship. Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a Christmas song celebrating his first coming as a babe born in a stable.

As far as this version of the song goes however, this was from our friends at Sojourn Music who specialize in putting contemporary music to old hymns. In this case, it is from their Advent Songs album.  And it is fantastic. As a whole I’m not big on Christmas songs. I mean I like them well enough, but other than “What Child Is This” I tend not to care for the tunes very much, and so this has been a real blessing to find something that sounds pleasant to me. I’ve been playing it over and over, and it’s a good song to mellow out to and have in the background playing. From a theological perspective, I think it’s bang on. There is such a sense of…celebratory triumphantness in Christ being here and being present, though it is somewhat difficult to think of it as a Christmas hymn celebrating the birth of Christ when I know that’s not why it is written. In any case though, it is wonderful and I hope you enjoy.