Roman Catholic bishop facing child-pornography charges

Rev. Father Raymond Lahey, a Roman Catholic Bishop from Nova Scotia, Canada, was caught with child pornography on his laptop computer by RCMP officers.  They searched his home and office.  He’s now facing charges.  Child pornography is a big no-no everywhere, not just in the church.  I wonder if Bishop Lahey will still be considered a bishop by the Roman Catholic Church?

If the Roman Catholic Church knew about this for 20 years, why isn’t its leadership more transparent and pro-active about this stuff, especially when he was around vulnerable young children? I’m glad my church makes Lutheran ministers go through police checks and sit through a sexual boundaries workshop–even before ordination. But of course, we know that these do not guarantee any safety.  Still, “we are poor miserable sinners” as Luther would say.

When sins like this happens in our church leaders, it causes a person to become more aware of how our human nature is untouched by the prevalence of sin (keeping in mind our paradoxical nature of saint and sinner (simul justus et peccator).  Luther wrote in his lecture on Romans:

The saints in being righteous are at the same time sinners; they are righteous because they believe in Christ whose righteousness covers them and is imputed to them, but they are sinners because they do not fulfill the law and are not without sinful desires. They are like sick people in the care of a physician: they are really sick, but healthy only in the hope and insofar as they begin to be better, healed, i.e., they will become healthy.

It is ironic that it is precisely because of these weaknesses in our human nature that we, as saints, are able to minister to others with the same weaknesses.  The writer of Hebrews says: “A high priest has weaknesses of his own, and he feels sorry for foolish and sinful people. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins and for the sins of others” (Heb.5:2-3, CEV).

Reconciling evolutionism-creationism with infallibility and inspiration of scripture

Blogger Jeremy Pierce at Parableman recently posted Francis Collins and Intelligent Design about five different views in the spectrum of creationism-evolutionism. Jeremy Pierce is a blogger who has interesting things to say about social-political-biblical issues.

As a Christian, where do you stand within this spectrum of creationism-evolutionism views?

1. Atheistic evolution: Everything we experience is best explained by naturalistic explanations such as natural selection and random chance, with no guidance from an intelligent being.

2. Naturalistic-like theistic evolution: Natural selection and what appears to be random chance constitute the best scientific account of human origins, but God intelligently guided the process along by setting up the laws of nature so that they would lead to human development.

3. Non-naturalistic theistic evolution: Natural selection and the mechanisms of the standard evolutionary account are correct in postulating human origins from common descent with other animals, but God intelligently guided the process along by intervening in the natural order.

4. Special creation (old-earth): Divine intervention occurred to create human beings at a certain time in history without humans having descended from other animals. Nevertheless, this took place in the general time scheme scientists accept for when humans first appeared, and the universe and the earth are as old as our best science generally takes them to be.

5. Special creation (young-earth): Divine intervention occurred to create human beings at a certain time in history without humans having descended from other animals. This happened during the one exact week that God used to create the universe and all life on earth, with humans appearing on the sixth day of that week.

I commented that:

I’ve struggled in bouncing back and forth between views # 2-4. I still find these 3 views plausible within the confines of inspiration and infallibility of scripture, which are things I don’t want to forsake. But I find that with view #2 I have a tough time reconciling with the infallibility of Scripture. I don’t know.

James 4:2 in relation to abortion

Stan McCullars, who is a new to the blogging scene at Just After Sunrise, posted a great sermon by John Piper on abortion. Occasionally, we need to hear sermons like these that explain why abortion goes against God’s will. Often we forget because sometimes it’s not preached on enough from our pulpits. Twenty million abortions have happened in America since the courts made the ruling on Roe vs Wade in 1973. Piper’s sermon applies James 4:2 to abortion “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it” (NLT). It explains the practices of our hedonistic society and why we find it so convenient to do anything to get what we want, and even to steal the life of an unborn person. The psalmist wrote about himself in Psalm 139:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
(Psalm 139:13-16, New Living Translation)

This serves to reminds us of our own vulnerable and helpless state of being while we were still within our mother’s womb. Life is precious and holy.