Meanwhile, suspension of U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is potentially good news for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, offering temporary relief from enhanced global competition with the most competitive products and markets in Asia. Although important from a strategic U.S. perspective in Asia and Latin America, TPP nonetheless threatened to divert U.S. trade and investment activities away from the Northern Triangle and others in Central America toward nations like Vietnam and Malaysia.
In all the noise about immigration, it never occurred to most Americans to ask the obvious dumb question: why don’t we promote the economic development of those nations where many of the illegal immigrants come from? Why make everyone who wants to succeed move here? The answer to that is a combination of American exceptionalism on the one side to the needs of employers to the desire to change the composition of the electorate on the other.
But it’s in the best interest of this country for those nations to our immediate south to prosper and not just be the conduits for our voracious appetite for drugs. Hopefully the summit later this month on the subject will move things forward, although I’ve always been sceptical about summits like this as gatherings of people who have never done the deal.
Although promoting economic development elsewhere isn’t a novelty in American policy (the Marshall Plan is the largest example) the self-focused nature of our governing elites has put it out of fashion of late. But if there was a time when fashion needed to be cyclical, it’s this one.
After the food fight I got into with my posting of the one Word of God album I did, I became reluctant to post another Catholic Charismatic community album. I think, however, that the genre needs to be remembered and available when possible, and this production of the People of Praise in South Bend, Indiana is a good example of it.
Although the People of Praise wasn’t a small community, they brought in (yes, they did) Jim Cavnar from the Word of God community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to produce the album. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t that much difference in the worship styles of the two communities to start with, but with Cavnar’s presence it would be difficult to tell this album blindfolded from its Word of God counterparts. The downside to that is the flat style, tambourines being the only percussion allowed, and heavy on the acoustic guitars. The upside is that it was easy for a congregation to sing to (which is more than I can say for a lot of the current praise and worship music) and no worse than much of what OCP has produced over the years.
The style may be the same, but most of the songs are different from the Word of God repertoire. One exception is “We See the Lord,” based on Isaiah 6. It’s an old favourite of mine and was of my prayer group leader, who worked for the Southern Railroad. It’s one of several songs with Protestant origins, common in the repertoire of communities and prayers groups of the era.
In her book Which Way for Catholic Pentecostals, J. Massyngberde Ford depicted the Ann Arbor-South Bend connection in a way that reminds history buffs of the Berlin-Rome axis. (I guess that throwing in Dallas’ Community of God’s Delight makes a Berlin-Rome-Tokyo axis.) But Ann Arbor’s leadership had fallings out, first with South Bend and then with Dallas, over the Sword of the Spirit. For all the similarities of the three groups, that suggests that Steve Clark and his SoS people overplayed their hand, which contributed to the breakup of the 1970’s Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
“Revival” recordings (audio and video) are common in Christian music. For Southern Gospel, the best known ones are the “Gaither Homecoming” series, which they did in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Their idea was to get many of the famous Southern Gospel artists–who were passing away–to perform their music, which made a tremendous impact on American Evangelical Christianity.
You’d think that the urge to do this wasn’t too strong in the 1970’s, when albums such as this were being produced. The “Jesus Music” featured on this site was little threat to “traditional” Southern Christian music. Evidently, however, some thought so, and this album was a response to that, although the motivation behind it is not the same as, say, the Gaithers.
This album is a “revival” album in every sense of the word. The songs are framed in a small Texas town revival, right from building the brush arbor (depicted on the cover) to the altar call and revival closing songs. In between are some classic hymns. If they wanted to replicate the uneven, nasal vocals of small Southern congregations, they completely succeeded. OTOH, although the narration wants to invoke memories of a rural revival, one thing that the “brush arbor” would need is a good-sized generator: the instrumentation is electric and the drums are prominent, which would have elicited a “tsk tsk” from many Southern evangelicals, rural and urban.
But I suspect that there were other “tsk tsk” moments with this group. Revival albums are done for two reasons: to keep a style of music and worship so that it stays alive in the church, and to “document” an era that has passed away, both musically and doctrinally. I get the impression that this is the latter; in fact, the way they do some things both spoken and sung, it borders on satire. At the end of the album, the narrator laments that his children will never see revival such as this, but that’s more due to this problem than the music having gone out of fashion, or he having moved to town (which Texans did by the droves after World War II.)
The closest thing already on site to this is Glide Memorial’s Bobby Kent, which I prefer because it’s more towards Black Gospel than Southern Gospel. But if you’re looking for something more on the Scots-Irish side, the Kell Street Campmeeting (that’s the way we’d spell it in the Church of God) should “suit your fancy.”
Today is Ascension Day, when we celebrate Our Lord’s bodily ascension into heaven. The Acts of the Apostles describe the “aftermath” on earth as follows:
While they were still gazing up into the heavens, as he went, suddenly two men, clothed in white, stood beside them, And said: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the heavens? This very Jesus, who has been taken from you into the heavens, will come in the very way in which you have seen him go into the heavens.” (Act 1:10-11 TCNT)
For some reason, this reminds me of an encounter I had with one of my students. This student was unique in many ways. I found out independently that he had a hard life: abandoned by parents, brother in jail, poverty, but that he had given it his best shot in life and was working on his civil engineering degree (which he completed.) Helping students like this makes teaching worthwhile.
One day he came to see me in my office. My office is away from most of the College of Engineering and Computer Science in a building with 24-hour card access. If you don’t have a card, during the day you can ring the doorbell and be admitted. He did that and got to my office, but then he asked me a serious question: “What would I do if I didn’t know to ring the doorbell to get in?”
“Well, you could just stand there and look stupid,” I replied.
He thought a second and sad, “I could just stand there and look stupid.” In spite of this inauspicious start, we had a good meeting.
Every time I read the passage in Acts I cited above, I always think to myself, “You know, those two men were certainly angels, otherwise they would have said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking stupid up into the heavens?'” Our Lord had just given them instructions as to what they were supposed to be doing:
So, when the Apostles had met together, they asked Jesus this question–“Master, is this the time when you intend to re-establish the Kingdom for Israel?” His answer was: “It is not for you to know times or hours, for the Father has reserved these for his own decision; But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit shall have descended upon you, and shall be witnesses for me not only in Jerusalem, but throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Act 1:6-8 TCNT)
But they just stood there looking upward until the angel gave them the reality check they needed.
Two thousand years have passed, and many Christians, mesmerized by whatever “spiritual happening” is going on around them, or what’s trendy in the church. But Our Lord not only gave us a mission; he sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to accomplish that mission.
Our Lord’s messengers were too polite to tell the disciples to quit looking stupid and get on with their task. But, polite or not, it’s the truth: the mission has not changed, and is still out there for Christians to accomplish it.
The first installment, however, concerns using a very old language (FORTRAN 77) to generate HTML code, which of course appears on just about every web page out there that isn’t a pdf file. So the interest may be a little more general…for now.
My favorite period in feminism has always been the 1920s and 1930s, when American women energized by winning the vote gained worldwide prominence for their professional achievements. My early role models, Amelia Earhart and Katharine Hepburn, were fierce individualists and competitors who liked and admired men and who never indulged in the tiresome, snippy rote male-bashing that we constantly hear from today’s feminists.
It was also (not coincidentally) the “golden age” of women ministers in modern Pentecost, a fact which I touched on in my last post. After 1950, setting women into ministry in Pentecostal churches (in the Church of God at least) went into decline until recent times.
The main point here is that we should have had our first woman president way back in the 1990s, but neither Pelosi nor Feinstein, the leading female candidates, chose to run, as even Elizabeth Dole bravely did. There is absolutely no mythical “misogyny” holding back American women from the presidency: for heaven’s sake, the U.S. has had women mayors, senators, and governors for decades now.
We should have had our first women president then, but instead we got that Scots-Irish wonder kid, Bill Clinton. Had we done so, as head of government she would have been sandwiched between the UK’s Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May, both of whom were or are Tories. (Even Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, Muslim countries all, have beat us to the punch on this one…) Something is wrong, but our heated rhetoric confounds our ability to fix it.
The ACNA came into the world with considerable baggage, some of which was due to the way they had to “patch together” the institution from several provincial efforts. That was one of those things that led Greg Griffith to swim the Tiber, characterising the effort as having “…the institutional feeling of something held together by duct tape and baling wire.”
But the ACNA also came into the world with two unresolved issues: the Anglo-Catholic vs. Reformed (or Evangelical, or Charismatic, or…) divide and women’s ordination. The two are related to some degree but are certainly not same. This report represents trying to “start a conversation” on the subject, and that in the Anglican/Episcopal world is always a dangerous proposition.
The report makes it clear that, for the moment, there is no change in real policy, which leaves the issue as a diocesan option. And I would confess that I have not gone through its 316 pages myself. Having said that, I will outline my position on the subject, one which I have discussed before.
In supporting the practice, Lord Carey has referred to Acts 2:
‘It shall come about in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind; your sons and your daughters shall become Prophets, your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams; Yes, even on the slaves–for they are mine–both men and women, I will in those days pour out my Spirit… (Act 2:17-18 TCNT)
That’s a pretty strong statement and a strong case. If women can get the prophetic gift, why not the rest? That said, and looking at everything else, for a church to have women’s ordination, two things must be in place.
The first is that the gifts of the spirit must still be operating in the church. It doesn’t make sense to ordain women based on the prophetic gifts when same have ceased. That leaves the cessationists out, which takes most of the Reformed types with them.
The second is that the church cannot claim the magisterium, i.e., the ability to authoritatively interpret the Scriptures and establish doctrine. That leaves out Roman Catholicism and the Anglo-Catholic community, although the latter has its own authority issues.
Protestant churches de jure deny the magisterium, but de facto you’d never know that based on the way many act. I discussed this issue in my piece Authority and Evangelical Churches. Beyond that, a church which claims the continuance of the gifts of the Spirit enters into a different concept of authority whether it wants to admit it or not.
At this point I think the ACNA is between a rock and a hard place because, while it could go one way, the other, or take its half out of the middle, it embodies so many other contradictions in its borders it’s going to have a hard time doing things consistently one way or the other. It’s an unenviable position.
There are two other important points that I would like to make.
The first is that WO isn’t a “women’s rights” issue. The Episcopal Church has discredited the concept by making it one. There were women ministers in Pentecostal churches long before Robert Appleyard ordained the first ones in what was then PECUSA, but they not only didn’t do it as a women’s rights issue, they were of an entirely different character.
The second is that you cannot separate the issue of women ministers from women bishops. If the laity must come under the “authority” (see above) of a woman as rector, then the clergy can do the same under a bishop. Clergy exempting themselves from things like this is about as admirable as Congress exempting itself from the many things it imposes on us.
An “accidental hero” has halted the global spread of the WannaCry ransomware, reportedly by spending a few dollars on registering a domain name hidden in the malware.
The ransomware has wreaked havoc on organizations including FedEx and Telefonica, as well as the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), where operations were cancelled, x-rays, test results and patient records became unavailable and phones did not work.
However, a UK cybersecurity researcher tweeting as @malwaretechblog, with the help of Darien Huss from security firm Proofpoint, found and activated a “kill switch” in the malicious software.
But it’s important to note that Microsoft had released a patch against this malware back in March. Microsoft, for all the jibes it takes from the digital community, has made updating its software just about as seamless as it can get. And I haven’t run into the dreaded “this software worked until the update and then…” problem in a long time. (I actually run Windows, MacOS and Linux on my various machines.) Either the NHS’ admins didn’t have their machines set to automatically update or they’re still running XP and Vista. As good of an operating system as XP is, it’s just too vulnerable to keep it online, especially in a network situation.
Lesson: make sure you’ve got your automatic updates working, in addition to the anti-virus software. Backing up is also important, but with ransomware the hostage files can get into your backup system before you can stop it.
One more thing: the Guardian told us that the UK based researcher “spent a few dollars” registering the domain name. Have some pride in your currency; “dropped a few quid” would have been better. (Unless, of course, he was a Remain supporter and used Euros, or a Bitcoin fan…)
She married in her teens and wound up a “divorced welfare mother of two sons.” It was a fellow shift worker at the Liberty House Nursing Home, an African immigrant named Abou, who persuaded to try her hand at higher education. Against these steep odds, she climbed the academic ladder all the way from Virginia Western Community College to a law degree at Yale and professorships at Princeton and Vanderbilt. Prominent mentors along the way—at Roanoke College, where she completed her bachelor’s; Virginia Tech, her first master’s degree; and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her doctorate in political science—helped make it possible. But these days, she reflects, “In some ways, I feel like I didn’t always turn out the way people had hoped I would turn out.”
Lawmakers narrowly approved the bill to repeal part of a law enacted during the Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s when fear that communists were trying to infiltrate and overthrow the U.S. government was rampant. The bill now goes to the Senate.
To tell the truth, a real Communist would be an improvement over the sybaritic post-modern leftists that dominate California politics. I’ve referred to the place as the “People’s Republic of California,” but in reality it’s in the thrall of its moneyed elites in a way that would make the “capitalist roaders” of yore envious.
Another big problem, however, is that there are few real Marxists-Leninists-_____________ around these days. The right likes to call American leftists Communists, but few are, even those who claim the label. The closest major figure on the left to being a Communist is Bernie Sanders, but even with his appeal to the Millennials the Democrat party’s establishment “tilted the table” to prevent his nomination.
Our ruling elites wouldn’t be facing the populist upheaval they are if they were more mindful of the needs of their general population. But they look down on same general population and then expect adulation. And they wonder why it’s a bumpy ride these days?