Adventist and Catholic News & Views 022 – 2 Jan 2021

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News and commentary on Adventism:

Dr Ben Carson
Dr Ben Carson

What’s Next for Ben Carson?Adventist Today
Apparently he’s going to sit and think. He used to be a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, and came to South Africa in the 1990s to separate two conjoined twins. He’s 69 years old now. He’s entitled to sit and think. He was my choice for US president back when he ran for the office.

Let’s Quit Bashing Christmas!Adventist Today
Some common sense from Adventist Today. Adventists should be celebrating Jesus’ birth with the rest of us.

10 days of prayerAdventist Church, @adventistchurch on Twitter
Why 10? If they cut one day off, they could call it a novena. They could have a novena with a preliminary single day for preparation, if they want 10 days.

RFID chip compared to a grain of rice
RFID chip compared to a grain of rice

COVID Restrictions on Religious Gatherings: Assessing the Supreme Court’s Ruling WebinarSpectrum
The actual video is at Loma Linda University School of Religion’s website and is linked at the bottom of the Spectrum article. Worth listening to. Four lawyers discuss the US Supreme Court’s decisions regarding churches and COVID restrictions.
One idea that stood out for me was that Adventists have a strong medical missionary base, and perhaps that makes them respond more responsibly to COVID-19. Catholicism has a bigger (I think) medical missionary base, but proportionately the Adventist base is denser given their smaller population. That said, most Catholics are taking this seriously, but the quacks stand out more because they’re more vocal.
Another issue I’ve thought was strange all along was an absolute number of people permitted. 50 people in an SSPX chapel that seats 70-80 is very different to 50 people in a cathedral or large church that seats 700-800. The former are death cultists and disease spreaders; the latter should be allowed larger congregations.
One of the panelists also correctly raised the point that worship continues, Masses continue (he didn’t mention Mass explicitly), and to claim otherwise is fraudulent. What is restricted is large numbers of participants at church services.
Almost lastly – the people bringing the lawsuits are white conservatives with privilege, not the underprivileged churches.
Lastly – out comes the paranoid bit. The one guy says that when the mark of the beast comes, churches will be shut down and most people will agree that it’s necessary. I think that is a western Protestant concept of the mark of the beast, and the mark exists in every age.
I think religions should be the first to restrict themselves to save lives. The Catholic archdiocese of Cape Town did exactly that, before lockdown restrictions were announced. The SSPX wanted to be like the satanists who flouted the law, and are still carrying on like spoilt brats in Cape Town.


News and commentary on Catholicism:

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople
Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople

A Liturgical Turn in Orthodoxy? A Review of 2020PrayTellBlog
Confession that is not in person needs to be considered by theologians and church authorities. Absolution isn’t a magic beam that needs line of sight. Some of the other ideas in the article are odd and not suitable.

Why Christianity remains an in-person religion, even in a pandemicReligion News Network
Humans are social animals.

Was Abraham kosher before God? (Modern Judaism)Nick’s Catholic Blog
Abraham served milk and meat in the same meal to the three angels. Interesting discussion follows. The prohibition against boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk was likely not a dietary prohibition, possibly not even a reference to prohibited pagan practices, but rather a condemnation of cheating on one’s tithes by mixing old and new produce in the tithe.

Isaiah’s prophecy of the New Testament priesthoodNick’s Catholic Blog
The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was hereditary. Yet Isaiah predicts priests being chosen from all nations. Like Catholic priests.

Pope Francis in Korea
Pope Francis in Korea

Why “calling upon the name of the Lord” to be saved refutes Justification by Faith Alone (Romans 10:9-10)Nick’s Catholic Blog
2018, but interesting. Nick argues that “calling on the name of the Lord” is a reference to a “formal liturgical function”, and is a liturgical rite. Okay, we don’t tell God he has a well-spent or nice-sounding name when we say we praise his name. That usage of “name” comes from Hebrew thought where one’s name represented one’s character and authority. In that sense, we can happily omit the words “name of” and simply say we praise God or we call on God. While that is certainly something done within liturgical events/rites, I am not convinced that it is a liturgical event/rite per se. Just as prayer is not a liturgical rite, but forms part of such rites, so calling on God is not necessarily solely a liturgical function. I don’t think that’s his argument either.

Man who killed Catholic roommate for praying at hospital to be arraigned on murder, hate crimePierced Hearts
Terrible crime. What motivated it? Was it the prayer? Something else? Was the killer sane at the time? Did he have COVID-19-related neurological issues? It’s hard to understand this sort of action from a sane person.

Simply InadmissibleWhere Peter Is
The term “inadmissible” is quite a valid term in Catholic documents.


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