Summary: Peccator is Latin for sinner. We are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God. To be sure, there is no shortage of people who declare themselves to be righteous, but more likely than not, they are as sinful as the rest of us. Peccator.com celebrates our common fallen state by committing a WEBSIN. - Stories, features and podcasts that are progressive, Christian and Lutheran, a most of all they are fun to read, listen to and watch. We make old Martin Luther proud, because at Peccator.com, we sin boldly.
Pentecost Sermon at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Copper Cliff, Ontario, May 27, 2012 The Coming of the Holy Spirit 1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." Peter Addresses the Crowd 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' Acts 2:1-21 (NRSV)
Easter Sunday sermon 2012 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada.
From Harmless Housewife to Teen Sex Slave Images of the Female in a Culture of Sex and Violence What happened to Women’s Lib in a culture where Teen Dating Violence is the fastest growing area of violence against women? Contemporary culture is celebrating abuse of power and violence against women again! The line between domestic violence, pornography and slavery in the sex industry get’s blurrier every day.Speak out against violence towards women and a culture which promotes it as the widow speaks out against injustice in Luke 18:1-8. Luke 18:1-8 (NRSV) The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge 1 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" 6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Sermon on Matthew 22.1-14 Preached at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in San Francisco on 10/09/2011. Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. Romans 2:1 (NRSV) The Parable of the Wedding Banquet 1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 For many are called, but few are chosen." Matt 22:1-14 (NRSV)
The Pitfalls of Christian Mission. Every winter, it is the same ritual. Anointed with sunscreen, mostly Americans and Japanese descend on the beach of Waikiki to find out how Sardines feel when they are crammed in a can. Hawaii is the prime location to enjoy the blessings of mass tourism. When they make up for 52 weeks of toil and snares, vacationers usually do not give the behind of a rodent how this Polynesian island came to be the 50st state. featuring Jamaica Osorio, Brave New Voices, HBO 2009 For those who want more than sunburn and efficiently calculated hotel luaus, Sarah Vowell has written “Unfamiliar Fishes” (Riverhead, 2011), a highly accessible history of Hawaii. With pointed prose, she takes a very sobering look on how the land of the free ended the freedom of Hawaii. Her book is recommended not just for the history buffs, but especially for those who try to spread the word of Christ. As a topic for religious discourse, Hawaii is as exotic as its location. But unrightfully so. It is almost a model case for the pitfalls of Christian mission in the nineteenth century. In 1820, American missionaries bring the message of love. It must have been a tough love, because nauseated contempt for the natives drips from the pages of their diaries. Half a century later, most Hawaiians are dead and their islands are the private property of the missionaries’ grandsons. Hawaii, that never was a true Garden of Eden, aside from the weather, had turned into a thoroughly segregated paradise for rich racists. Lorrin Andrews Thurston (July 31, 1858 – May 11, 1931) was a lawyer, politician, and businessman born and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. The grandson of two of the first Christian missionaries to Hawaiʻi, Thurston played a prominent role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom that replaced Queen Liliʻuokalani with the Republic of Hawaii, dominated by American interests.- wikipedia Vowell's book may serve as an underpinning to revisit a painful chapter of church history. The church is called to spread the gospel. The mission to Hawaii also felt called to bring “civilization”. Accordingly, the missionaries were primarily guided by their cultural biases and not by the word of Christ. Subordinating the gospel to culture is a very contemporary problem, e.g. acceptance - or not - of LGBT people in mainstream Protestant churches. Exploring the past will illuminate the present and help the church to avoid the mistakes of the past. She should be busy enough making new mistakes. The intentions were pure when missionaries were dispatched by the American Board for Commissioners of Foreign Mission, the first missionary society in the US. Heathens had to be rescued from the darkness of unbelief. The board had its roots in the “Second Great Awakening”. Their piety combined an experiential conversion event with a profound appreciation of the scriptures. Unfortunately, their gospel was inseparably tied to the New England variant of Western culture. In their perception, the Calvinist Protestant was the bearer of God’s light to a world that was darkened by unbelief and the Catholics. God gave New England the gift of civilization. Much of the rest of the world had yet to receive this gift. So the missionaries felt compelled to bring the double blessings of gospel and civilization. In short, true salvation was only found in the Heathen’s discovery of his inner New Englander. Hiram Bingham, formally Hiram Bingham I (1789–1869), was leader of the first group of Protestant missionaries to introduce Christianity to the Hawaiian islands.
The dedication of the memorial in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington D.C. has been postponed; however, the monument is already erected, in sight of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Is this where Martin Luther King belongs? For Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake, and Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr., teachers at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) is most renowned for his contributions to the civil rights movement, and rightfully so. However, the civil rights movement is oftentimes reduced to a solely political movement. The deep spiritual, religious motivation behind it is neglected; the public sphere has forgotten about it. To me, the spirituality and theology King has formed and molded is the most important thing. It is the foundation of the political fight; the foundation of non-violence; the foundation of direct action; the foundation for the courage and love which weaves through all of the early civil rights movement. Faith, faith in Jesus Christ, gave the movement the power and strength to fight against injustice and inequality. There is a direct line leading from the spirituality and theology which the African-American community has developed in the times of slavery to the spirituality and theology which sustained the civil rights movement around King. I encountered this African American Christian thought most profoundly in a class about Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman (1899-1981), a theologian who was well known to King Senior and Junior. In Jesus and the Disinherited, 1949, Thurman cites his maternal grandmother, who told him about the core message of her minister: “You – you are not niggers. You-you are not slaves. You are God’s children.” Jesus provides an alternative identity to believers, our true identity. We do not depend on how our fellow human beings define us. Ultimately, we are defined by God, and God’s loving relationship to us. This is what we can build our identity on. This is where we get our strength, our security and our pride. This American theology, although derived out of the very particular experience of slavery, is inclusive in its heart. Its core message is that ALL people are God’s children, independent of their status and situation here on earth. Thurman, as well as King, both make a point of including people of ALL races, also white people, even white supremacists, into their Christian love. God’s kingdom is open to ALL, without exceptions, without conditions. This inclusivity is very different from another line of American theological thought which has its beginnings in the experience of the early Puritan settlers from Northern Europe. Right from the beginning, the Puritan emigrants defined themselves AGAINST others. Outnumbered and out powered by the religious and political forces in their former home countries, the American Puritans sought to prove to themselves and to the world that they were RIGHT in defending their persecuted religion. John Winthrop (1588-1649), the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, coined these famous words: “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” An obvious way to prove the beliefs of the American Puritans to be right is to prove other belief systems to be wrong. If Puritanism is right, then Catholicism, the “darkness of popery”, is wrong. If Puritanism is right, then Native American religions, which countless American missionaries describe as to be of the devil, are wrong. Seeds of assumed superiority are easily planted in this black-and white worldview. There is a direct line of thought leading from the exclusivity of early American Puritanism to theologies of racist supremacy, and concepts of social Darwinism. The important underlying idea is that God and/or nature have designed the world to consist of elect or superior and damned or inferior beings. Godly election/natural superiority reveals itself in this-worldly success,
When Jesus said in Matthew 5:39, “ If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also”, he really meant, “you talk funny, - I put bullet in your head!” (Careful, if you listen to this podcast, you expose yourself to satire.) God hates gun control, and that’s why God loves the National Rifle Association, because the NRA also hates gun control. In God’s kingdom everyone is armed to the teeth. Jesus is all about peace. If one of your neighbor disturbs the peace, shoot the bastard and than restore the peace. – Not just for the moment, but you can be a provider of eternal peace. That is why Jesus loves people with guns. They are peacemakers.