Monday, June 11, 2007

Evangelical Church Convention in Germany

The Evangelical Church (that's what the Lutherans call themselves) in Cologne, Germany just had their convention. I was reading through some blog posts and all I could think of was 'What the heck?'.

Perhaps these photos and descriptions can help you understand my sentiments. The following travesty took place in a 600 year old Church formerly belonging to the Carthusian order of monks who were evicted from the monastery during the reformation when the Lutherans took over and white-washed the walls.

Here follows Cathcon's translation of an article which appeared in the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

A female dancer dances in a skin coloured stocking in the middle of the church in front of the altar. She crawls about on the floor and wraps herself in a hanging down white cloth. Is this a blasphemous provocation, a scoffing at the Christian religion?

For those who managed to get in, they had to take off their shoes on a white painted church interior. Above the entrance, there was the caption, “a warm welcome to the Vineyard of Love”. The space between the benches had been overlaid with velvet and from the ceiling wine and rose leaves were strewn onto the spectators.

A man came to the microphone and announced, This is an erotic church service, can you move a bit closer together, all of you. This was followed by saxophone music and dance. The vicar arrived in a black cassock and barefoot. He announced that eroticism and lust are not taboo areas pushed aside by God. In fact, "lust has to be lived out", said Armin Beuscher, who tempered his speech immediately, by saying, “we are of course today in this service only able to implement this in a limited manner”. He talks about his family doctor who once surprised him with the question, “Do you pray with your wife regularly and do you make love regularly?” He was at first embarrassed and later became conscious of the deep meaning in this question, that both spirituality and eroticism are nourished by repetition. It is therefore certainly part of life which has been shown in the TV series “O God, Vicar” when he immediately after sleeping with a woman then went to a funeral. The speech at the grave, immediately thereafter came under the motto of the Church Assembly, “Lively, Powerful and more Spicy”. Beuscher’s conclusion was therefore “ perhaps we clergy should go more often to bed with our loved ones”

The faithful were then asked to take part in an anointing ritual in which they should massage the forehead and hands of the person sitting next to them. Some go further and embrace eachother whilst others kiss. The atmosphere gets more relaxed. This is how most church services should be said Birgit Kruger (59 years old) from near Hamburg and the Bavarian Gertrude Schirmer (72 years old) said “I found the anointment most beautiful”. Then they all said an Our Father together and then Vicar Beuscher admonishes the parish with the words “praise God with your body, your lust and tenderness”. Judging by the enthusiastic applause, the audience fully intend to do this.

Photos from Cathcon and Gerald.

From Gerald's blog commenting on the same event:
A former Catholic priest (bad for him, good for the Church) and family therapist gave a talk denying the existence of the Devil, according to my partner website Denying his existence, he said that good and evil came from God, citing Matthew 5,45 (God letting the sun rise/rain fall on the just and the unjust). He said he imagined God appearing in the concentration camp Buchenwald, saying "I did this." (This is a sin against the Holy Spirit, attributing evil to His works. This is also blasphemy. Denial of the reality and existence of of Satan as a personal evil being in rebellion against God is a rejection of the Christian faith. This is the teaching of the Church, so to the apostate ex-priest, anathema sit!)

He also rejected the notion of a "clean conscience", calling it the "greatest enemy of love", because a person having one rejects others. A Lutheran pastor/talk show host also there claimed he wasn't responsible for his failings, since the church also taught that one isn't responsible for one's fortunes. (This is a denial of one's responsibility for one's own action and is reminiscent of Adam's "The Woman YOU put with me. She made me do it!" And look what happened to him.)

One more example - a discussion about sexuality, under the title "Can love be sin?" (title based on a Marlene Dietrich song). The official Lutheran press release states: "Between outdated moralistic concepts and too much liberty, Christians have to find a new approach towards sexuality." One theologian from the well-known University of Paderborn said "All forms of sexuality are God's creations, as long as they are voluntary". (What about bestiality and pedophilia? How does one judge whether an action is voluntary or not?) Important was to create together and freely. He earned applause. Another, evangelical (in the American sense) speaker got some applause but was also booed and whistled at. He said he was outraged by his son's textbook which, in sex ed, showed a man and a woman next to man/man and woman/woman.

Later on, it was discussed whether loveless sex was sin. The theologian from Paderborn said "not according to my concept of sin", (which, since the that theologian thinks he was God, he had the power to declare) since responsibility was possible in that context, too. The evangelical professor didn't think so. A sex therapist then said "In light of reality, one cannot expect that sex will be tied to love", therefore it was important to teach young people responsibility.

Teenagers were asked, too. A 15 year old girl said "Why is this supposed to be sin? You're born with it (sexuality) and prohibitions don't accomplish anything". Her 15 year old friend agreed: "The Bible says after all: Go and multiply." (I can imagine the order for millstones going out from Heaven as the convention progresses and the bottom of the sea littered with the corpses of the attendees...)
So, do you agree with my sentiments? What the heck is going on in Germany? And why are the Lutherans taking in all the Catholic rejects? There is a reason that these folks are no longer Catholic, you know. I was also reading in today's papers about another Catholic reject, the apostate ex-nun Karen Armstrong who is in Malaysia to talk about her love for Islam and her admiration for Muhammad.
"It was reported that she now describes herself as a “freelance monotheist, drawing sustenance from all faiths of Abraham.” (Basically, a confused apostate to the Christian faith who is a syncretist.)
Here's a sample of her delirium:
Armstrong, who is from England, has been said to “debunk some of the most virulent stereotypes against Islam.” She is a former Roman Catholic nun (again, good for the Church, bad for her), and believes that “Sept 11 has confirmed a prejudice against Islam that is centuries old, that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant of others.” (The Muslims, chanting Allah's name and leaving testaments indicating the religious motivation for their attacks which were supported by many imams who did not utter any condemnation or repudiation of the violence of Islam, hijack and slam planes into the Pentagon and the Trade Center following a series of attacks all the way back from Muhammad's time and it confirmed a PREJUDICE against Islam? What the? Was she expelled from her order for insanity?)
My only question to her is, who don't you just join them and be Muslim and see how tolerant they are from the inside. It's easy to talk shop from the outside with people like Lina Joy being deprived of their rights. This insults people like Lina who is fighting for the freedom to believe in Christ. Anyway, sorry for the rant and back to your usual programming.


Anonymous said...

Medieval Correction Kit:

1 - 7' Wooden Stake
1 - Heretic/blasphemer/pervert
1 - Large Pile of Faggots (to burn)
1 - Can of oil
1 - Flaming torch.

Some assembly required.

Vidimusdominum said...

I witnessed a similar 'ritual' they did with the oil at an 'inclusive church' here in Singapore.