Cross, Duo Maxwell

Why atheism is wrong

St. Anselm made a very intricate argument for the impossibility of true disbelief in God in his Prosologion. Here's the link to the wikipedia entry on him. Essentially, he argued that the reality of God was inherent in the concept of 'God', because God is greater then everything, and a real God is greater then a made-up God. Only it's longer and much more beautiful then that.

This argument seems very convincing to me, but I had mystical encounters with God, and sought reasons to believe in God afterwards.

Of course this doesn't mean that you can't choose not to believe in God, but from by viewpoint this disbelief is profoundly illogical.

Furthermore, from my viewpoint, some atheists do seem to be more angry at the Church then convinced that God does not exist- they'll bring up the violence of the Crusades as a reason why religion is bad, seemingly oblivious to the fact that if Christianity is true, then flaws in the Church become entirely irrelevant.
Cross, Duo Maxwell

Christmas Post

Well, this will be my first real post in a long time. I've gotten through my first semester of seminary without flunking anything- and those who know me will tell you that that's quite good for me! The new Christmas Eve candlelight service at Smithville Church was a huge success; the church was packed because lots of people brought their families in from out of town. Then I was invited to dine with a parishioner. Unfortunately, this made me git home at 12 midnight; I had to get up at 4, and was in a panic when I packed. I left the rest of my clothes in a pile on my bead and the dirty dishes in the sink- I found that on Christmas Eve week that I had no time to do anything domestic between gift purchases and church stuff. As a result I wound up missing my flight, and was late getting back home. I also scratched someone in the airport parking lot. This is the last time that I fly home on Christmas morning. Next year I either intentionally fly home in the afternoon or I fly home on the day after Christmas.

Sill, getting to the family Christmas party was nice; I saw my aunt any my cousins, which I hadn't seen in months, as well as my Sister and Mom and Dad, who I had seen at Thanksgiving. The ham was nice, though I missed Dad's Christmas Eve Braciole.

I got what I asked for, and more besides; also with my Christmas money I purchased a PSP; I'd wanted one for some time, and when I heard about the new Final Fantasy games for it, I took the plunge. I've got Dungeon Siege:Throne of Agony and Death Jr right now.

Right now, anime wise I'm into Cluster Edge, a shonen series with airplanes, Legend of Galactic Heroes, a mega-epic space opera, and Paritrillo, an early shojo-humor series. Can anyone make any further suggestions?
Cross, Duo Maxwell

Ganked Questions Meme

This list of questions is borrowed from amaebi

1. Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?
Because of human evil.

2. What is the relationship between science and religion?
Science and religion are complementary. True Christianity is not threatened by knowledge of God's creation (including the theory of evolution), and all of Creation points to the Creator.

3. Why are so many people depressed?
Because of brain malfunctions.

4. What are we all so afraid of?
I don't quite know. Edit: The media wants us to be afraid of the OTHER. Jesus tells us to embrace the other.

5. When is war justifiable?
I'm not sure.

6. How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?
With love.

7. How does one obtain true peace?
Through love and the Source of Love.

8. What does it mean to live in the present moment?
To not worry endlessly about tomorrow.

9. What is our greatest distraction?
Edit: The net.

10. Is current religion serving its purpose?
Not really.

11. What happens to you after you die?
Our body remains in the ground, our soul goes to God. Some souls go to paradise immediately, some do not. Edit: I do believe that some souls will be eternally seperated from God.

12. Describe Heaven and how to get there.
Heaven is eternal, blissful communion with God.

13. What is the meaning of life?
To be saved.

14. Describe God.
One Being in Three Persons (See the Nicene Creed though I can give or take the filoque.)

15. What is the greatest quality humans possess?
The image of God, which is vitiated but not destroyed by Original Sin.

16. What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?

17. Non-verbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.

18. What is your one wish for the world?
I can't pick just one! I'm sort of divided between world peace and world salvation.

19. What is wisdom, and how do we gain it?
Wisdom is described in the Book of Poverbs as a beautiful woman and a virtuous one. We get to know Her through study and prayer.

20. Are we all One?
Cross, Duo Maxwell

Fragments from the Log of Father Marcus Artmann

Fragments from the Log of Father Marcus Artmann, Pastor of Christ Evangelical Methodist Episcopal Church, Clinton City, North American Territory, Mars, 2506.
These stories are an imaginative attempt to try to foresee what the mainline church will look like in the 26th century. IMHO, while technology changes, people mostly never do.

Being a ‘borg has many advantages for a priest. Firstly, one always has any liturgical text one needs right at one’s fingertips, without either a reader (which can offend the little old ladies) or a printed book (which is horridly unwieldy). The same thing is true of sermon notes; a unmodified human must either use notes or a manuscript from the pulpit or improvise his sermon from memories of his research, a ‘borg can deliver impressive manuscript sermons as if they were pure improvisations, and I do; scorning the pulpit, I preach directly from the chancel; directly and emotionally, in community with my congregation, not lording it over them.

The other major advantage to being a ‘borg that I have discovered is that wireless internet allows a priest to surf the ‘net during especially boring committee meetings without being obvious.

(I, John Guzman, Senior Warden of the Christ Church Staff-Parish Vestry, would like to note that it is quite obvious when Marcus is off riding the information highway, but no-one’s been rude enough to tell him so… yet!)
Cross, Duo Maxwell

Righteousness- The Beginning

“So it is as we feared, then?”
“Yes, my liege, a man who fears neither God, nor Nature, nor Mankind has make himself king of a land which had none.”
“Well then, Huza, what can be done.”
“I fear we must arm ourselves, Lord Iason, and quickly, for one nation will not be enough to sate his ambitions.”
“Aye, that’s obvious enough from what we’ve learned of Vorchev, though I fear that we will find him impossible to defeat… casualties among his men will not reduce his ranks, while casualties among our ranks will swell HIS armies as well.”
“Send me to speak to the prophets, milord, perhaps they will know a way to defeat a necromancer-king.”
“Please do so… and pray to God. Do not just pray for me, and for our victory, pray for this Vorchev and the people who will soon groan under his yoke as well.”
“As you command, milord, though I remind you that this Vorchev was CHOSEN by the people of the Oauboeros Confederation to be their ‘first minister’”
“A choice that the people should never have had in the first place, Huza… commoners never chose wisely, which is why God put us nobles over them!”
“Indeed milord” said Huza, as he backed out of the audience chamber.
Huza backed out of the small audience chamber with a bow. For a public throne room it was extremely modest, made of bare orange sandstone, with an equally bare sandstone throne, and the room could hold perhaps 40 comforterably. As a concession to comfort, Lord Iason of Guezpah had placed a thin white cushion on the throne before sitting, and a matching white tapestry hung behind the throne. Iason felt that a clan lord should overawe his feudatories, and therefore always received them in his throne room, even those who he knew personally, and even the master of his spies.

AN: This is the beginning of a story that just popped into my head. Expect more about this world. Also, like CS Lewis, I think God is God of the multiverse. Lord Iason is wrong to think that he was made a clan lord by any special act of divine providence...
Cross, Duo Maxwell

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Under the cut is the manuscript of my first sermon- well, my first sermon delivered in a church to a real congriagtion. People said that it was good, that it spoke to them, but the service started at 8:30 and ended at 9:25, so I probably need to add another page and a half to most of my sermons. The six page 14 point format will work for next week though, since it's communion Sunday. These wonderful people haven't had communion in months, and they were quarterly under their last pastor, who just read out the Great Thanksgiving for the homebound. They've said that they're ok with trying a richer liturgy from now on, and even with trying weekly communion in Lent.

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Cross, Duo Maxwell

My first sermon is this Sunday

Please pray for me!

Also, here's a poem.
Ordinary time- A free-verse poem


The lake is green

It is the color of life

It is the color of life slowly growing

No fire, no richness, just growth, steady and sure

It is ordinary, and the ordinary is usually what is necessary and healthy

There are times when the dramatic is profoundly unnecessary

There are times when excitement is profoundly unhealthy

This is such a time- this splendid late summer

Ordinary time


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Well, I survived my first Sunday, and I'm booked for pastoral visits into Augest! I think I'll like being Smithville UMC's pastor. They even say they're fine with me changing the order of service, though I'm being cautious about that anyway.
Cross, Duo Maxwell

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Why I've been gone:

Well, at my grandparents house since last Saturday and they don't have high speed internet, so no bloging for me. Sorry. I'm currently attending the New Pastor's Orientation for the East Ohio Conference and the dorms have broadband, so I'm posting this now. I'll post again when I can get to the local public library.

I'm now, as of last Sunday, pastor of a small, rural, and mostly conservative church called Smithville UMC. Togeather we'll learn; I'll teach them and they'll teach me. They're former United Bretheran and VERY proud of it!

I'm probably going to be friends only on this journal in the future, I don't want to be dooced.

ETA: Yep, I'm now friends-only. Comment to be added.