John is an angelic beer-drinker.
  • jjostm

Wow, this community is still around!

So it's been.....years, since I've been on here. And I was once a mod. Go fig.

For those who don't know, my name is John J. O'Sullivan. My handle is pronounced "Jay Jay Oh Ess Tee Em," not "Jay Jostum." I was once an insane Anglo-Catholic. I am now an insane Ruthenian Greek Catholic. Having kids has probably made me crazier. I don't know.

Here's a picture of me playing Exploding Kittens:

https://instagram.com/p/B61q3-ClqF6

I hope all of you are well. I have much for which I need to thank this community. I've made so many friends IRL from here. I'm a godfather of one of an LJXianity alum's kids. Back in the late 90s/early oughts, I was on LJ more than I should have been. And now, the thought of long-form blogging is mostly exhausting.

Anyhow, I was thinking. For those of us who live in the greater NYC/Philly/NJ area, it would be great to have a meetup. I'm not sure if there are any folks from Back In The Day(r) who are still looking at this community. Most of the people I know have joined Zucc's Facebooks and I'm still in contact with most to this day.

It would be cool to meet up with everyone, whether they be Christian or no. The people who thought it was funny and cool to post pictures of penises are probably either dead or in prison for sex crimes.

So...any takers? I'd consider putting together something larger, perhaps an East Coast get-together. I live near New York, which is pretty much available to anyone with an airport.

Again, hoping everyone is AOK during this amazing season of Christmastide. God deigned to be born in human flesh to be like us, so He could kill our final enemy: death. Christ is born, glorify Him!

-j

  • Current Music
    Brad Mehldau
transcend
  • gtrnvox

In the Beginning, God Created

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”

I stop, struck with admiration at this thought. What shall I say first? Shall I demonstrate the vanity of the Gentiles? Shall I praise the truth of our faith?

The philosophers of Greece have tried very hard to explain nature, and not one of their systems has remained firm and unshaken. They are enough in themselves to destroy one another. Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of God could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the universe—a primary error that trapped them in sad consequences.

Some fell back on material principles and attributed the origin of the universe to the elements of the world. Others imagined that atoms, and invisible bodies, molecules and ducts, unite to form the nature of the visible world. Atoms reuniting or separating, produce births and deaths and the most durable bodies only owe their consistency to the strength of their mutual adhesion: a true spider's web woven by these writers who give to heaven, to earth, and to sea so weak an origin and so little consistency!

It is because they did not know how to say, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Fooled by their inherent atheism, they thought that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that everything was given up to chance. To keep us from this error, the writer on creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the name of God: “In the beginning, God created.”


Adapted from St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea (Hexaemeron 1.2)
reflection
  • gtrnvox

2019 Pew Research Center: In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population.

The entire report, posted in October 2019, is found here.

"While the trends are clear – the U.S. is steadily becoming less Christian and less religiously observant as the share of adults who are not religious grows – self-described Christians report that they attend religious services at about the same rate today as in 2009. Today, 62% of Christians say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month, which is identical to the share who said the same in 2009. In other words, the nation’s overall rate of religious attendance is declining not because Christians are attending church less often, but rather because there are now fewer Christians as a share of the population."
reflection
  • gtrnvox

Islamic State says it beheaded Christian captives in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI/CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State released a video purporting to show its militants beheading 10 Christian men in Nigeria, saying it was part of a campaign to avenge the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and its spokesman.

The militant group posted the footage on its online Telegram news channel on Thursday, the day after Christmas, with Arabic captions but no audio.

The video showed men in beige uniforms and black masks lining up behind blindfolded captives then beheading 10 of them and shooting an 11th man.

An earlier video seen by Reuters said the captives had been taken from Maiduguri and Damaturu in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, where militants have been fighting for years to set up a separate Islamist state.

In that video, the captives pleaded for the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari to save them.

Reuters could not verify the authenticity of either video.

In a series of comments on Twitter, Buhari condemned the killings.

“These agents of darkness are enemies of our common humanity and they don’t spare any victim, whether they are Muslims or Christians, and therefore, we shouldn’t let them divide us and turn us against one another,” Buhari wrote.

Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) split from the militant group Boko Haram in 2016 and has become the region’s dominant jihadist group. Islamist insurgents have killed about 30,000 people in northern Nigeria in the past decade.

Islamic State leader Baghdadi died during a U.S. military raid in Syria and Muhajir in a separate military operation, both over the same weekend in late October.

Reporting By Maiduguri newsroom and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo, writing by Libby George; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Daniel Wallis

(https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-security-insurgency/islamic-state-says-it-beheaded-christian-captives-in-nigeria-idUSKBN1YV14J)


Nigeria has the highest Christian population of any country in Africa (nearly half of the populace identifies as Christian). Approximately 19 million are Catholic, 18 million are Anglican, and a large number of Protestant denominations. About half of the Christian population in Nigeria is charismatic.

"If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that matter." (1 Peter 4:14-16)
reflection
  • gtrnvox

New Archbishop of York: ‘Bible has to fit the current culture’

The incoming Archbishop of York believes biblical teaching on sexuality should come second to 21st century Western cultural beliefs.

Stephen Cottrell is currently the Bishop of Chelmsford and will take over from Dr John Sentamu next year to become the second most senior clergyman in the Church of England.

Bishop Cottrell made his comments on the Bible in 2017 as he welcomed the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s plea for a “radical new Christian inclusion”.

‘Culture’

He said it would be wrong to ignore the “damage” that is done by rejecting Western society’s current view of human sexuality.

“I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set.”

He also claimed, in the same address to leaders in his own diocese, that taking a biblical view on same-sex relationships “can legitimise homophobia in others”.

Reinterpreting scripture

While Bishop Cottrell did acknowledge biblical passages spoke about the issue, he said they were merely “part of our story and our inheritance”.

“But what we can do is recognise that what we know now about human development and human sexuality requires us to look again at those texts to see what they are actually saying to our situation, for what we know now is not what was known then.”

The future Archbishop also said there was “no reason” why thanksgiving prayers or a communion service could not be offered for civil partnerships.

Repent

The doctrine of the Church of England, as enshrined in a 1987 General Synod Motion, is that homosexual acts should be repented of. This is further underlined by the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution which opposes the “legitimising or blessing of same sex unions”.

Following the announcement, Bishop Cottrell said he was “humbled and excited at the prospect of becoming the 98th Archbishop of York”.

(https://www.christian.org.uk/news/new-archbishop-of-york-bible-has-to-fit-the-current-culture/?fbclid=IwAR2RYYA43YUlhGErFxRK19x9tQozSzNPiLaEFuduZAgw7C2vGdZolq-0OPw)


If this has been reported accurately, this is a great disappointment. One can only assume that a person can be appointed a bishop without having ever had to learn anything about church history. The first Christians were deemed immoral by their surrounding culture because they did not worship the gods (and were thus a detriment to their society). Their sexual morality was completely at odds with Graeco-Roman practices. There was literally no culturally relevant reason to become a Christian.