Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ah, another anonymous attack

It appears my soon to be presence in the United Kingdom, and the presence of my church upon the earth, has angered someone, but not enough for them to actually take a stand and say who they are. My first reaction was one of simple denouncement. Let’s try a different approach this time, let’s tackle these issues head-on (and no, head-on is not a new term from something our “homosexual pastors do with one another.”)
1. I didn’t know how to spell masturbate- Yup, you got me there. I’m a bad speller that should preclude me from missionary work and gives you the right to call my church a “disease.” Note the sarcasm.
2. Apparently ELCA pastors are whacking-off with one another- That’s kind of disturbing, in fact it is an image I really don’t want to think about, and doubt I would have ever thought about except that Mr/Mrs Anonymous brought it up. Other than from Anonymous I have not heard of this kind of thing. I hope Anonymous doesn't think about this kind of thing too often, that woudl be troubling
3. Abortion- This is a tough issue for me, and I would hope for all people, I’ve wrestled with it quite a bit. Being a Liberal from Wyoming I’ve actually clashed pretty harshly with people on both side of this issue.
Some people I know talk about abortion as akin to child sacrifice. They claim “liberals” are aborting their babies every couple of months so they can have wild orgies and still be able to work at a high paying job and keep a decent figure. They conclude that because of this the Christian response is to kill doctors who perform abortions.
Some people I know talk about abortion as a right every woman has because society is innately patriarchal. They see most, if not all forms, of sex as oppressive toward women. They conclude that women need to be able to protect their bodies from patriarchy by having abortions pretty much until the child is actually out of the womb.
Both of these positions are, in my view, wrong. The ELCA’s position on abortion is this: Abortions are okay if 1.The woman’s life is threatened 2. The sex was not consensual 3. Extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and the very early death of an infant, are present. I’m not going to lie; this last one leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as I was born with a heart defect. Still, I would say the ELCA’s position is well founded.
As to the specific charge Anonymous leveled at me, the only source for this fact I can find comes from Bunnie Diehl who, like Anonymous, simply states that my church “church's health plans pay for the murder of unborn children.”
4. Sodomites- First off, as I said before I would prefer Sodomites in the pulpit to people calling the ELCA a “disease” in the pulpit. Second, let’s actually look at the ELCA’s position .
First, as we tend to do, we admit openly that ELCAers are divided on many issues. Second, we see no basis for blessing same sex unions, yet we see a strong call to welcome gay and lesbian people into the ELCA. Third, we may permit exceptions to sexual conduct for gay and lesbian candidates and rostered leaders in life-long, committed, and faithful same-sex relationships… upon the recommendation of the synodical bishop and the Synod Council and the approval of the Confrense of Biships—a process identical to that used for other exceptions to policies concerning ELCA rosers.” This last one is new as of a month ago; today was the first time I’ve seen it. It is different than the previous statement.
Here is my view on homosexuality. It is an abomination in the same way wearing poly-fiber blends is. Jesus never said one word about homosexuality. What Paul talks about in Romans one has more to do with idolatry, than with sexuality. He is talking about serving the created instead of the creator, and goes on to talk about men lusting after one another(not in a committed relationship to say the least) and women doing some sort of unmentionable sin as well (though I don't think one can read it as lesbianism (then again I know Hebrew, not Greek). I think he is talking about a specific situation, but I could be wrong. Oh, and just to add something else, I think we straight folk need to work on our own relationships before going after the slivers in other people’s eyes.
In conclusion, I can’t spell, Anonymous doesn’t back up the claims made, the ELCA is rather right headed about abortion, and homosexuality.
Anonymous, I really am cool with you posting horrible things on my site, just make sure these horrible things can actually be traced back to you. It is called accountability.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ah, my mom's spreading the Plague as well

My mom is going to Latvia for 10 days to work at an orphanage! Watch out, the Lutheran Church has Halversons actively participating, it will never be the same again! God have mercy!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mr./Mrs. Anonymous I'm sure you mean no harm

In way of preface, you insult me on a bad day, a day when I'm fed up and have had enough. I'm sure you don't mean any real offense, you are just cloaking yourself in the shadowy robe of the internet, ideologically masterbating in public. What you say though, is just mean.
The reason attacks like this are done in the darkness of anonymity is that people like you are cowards. If you wish to make a corrective confession do so in the light of day, nail your thesis upon the door, do not hide like a jackel. Name yourself!
I will say this aloud, in full view of all of Lutheran Blogdom, and before the Holy One Himself. I would prefer 1,000 "Sodomites" to wear the collar than a single wretch like you who attacks a fellow Christian. The ELCA is not a disease! We are the People of God doing God's will as best we can in the time and place we are at!
The darts you throw are not your own, but those of the Devil!
Good night,
Chris Halverson, a called Missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a servant of God, 100% sinner, 100% saint, a lover of God.
Here I stand. God help me. Amen

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How you can help me with my mission to the UK

Hello all. As some of you know the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has called me on a mission for the next year (from August ‘05- August ’06) in the United Kingdom. I am of course very excited about this opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through service of others.
I am not sure as of yet where in the UK I’ll be going, but it is looking like I will be either working at a youth hostel or being a gopher for a pastor/priest over there. Then again until I actually get my assignment (which should happen within the next two weeks) I am trying not to speculate what I’ll be doing, or where I’ll be, because when I went for the Mission interview in Chicago I assumed I was going to end up in Kenya next year, not the island across the pond.
The mission trip will cost $8,700 dollars, of which the ELCA will pay $5,200. That means I need to raise $3,500. I can hear the groans now, Chris didn’t really want to tell us about what he’s doing next year, he just wants us to send money. Well, that’s partially true, as I do want to raise money for this trip, but that’s not all I want to raise. I also want to raise something else, prayers of support (or from the Atheists, Agnostics, and Buddhists I’m sending this to at least good thoughts).
Why am I asking for these things online? Well, for this fund-raiser I’ve decided I am going to try and be the Howard Dean of Christianity. I know what your thinking, you might as well get it out of your system now “We’re going to preach in England, We’re going to preach in Wales, We’re going to preach in Northern Ireland, We’re going to preach Scotland! YARRRGGGG!”
So what is it I’m asking of you? I am asking you to become involved with this mission I have been sent on. That may mean remembering me in your prayers, that may mean sending me letters once I have an address over there, and yes, that may mean sending money.
On the money end of things here’s how I’m imagining thing will go down. As a sign of good faith I will be tithing a minimum of 10% of the $3,500 myself. That brings the amount I need to raise down to $3,150. I’m sending this email out to about 100 of my friends and relatives. If all of you sent 10 dollars I would only need to raise 2,150 dollars more, and if all of you send 31 dollars and 50 cents a piece I would not need to raise any more money at all! 10 dollars is less than a dollar a month, $31.50 is $2.63 a month.

So, your mildly excited about this mission thing, maybe even kind of stoked. What do you do now?
1. Email me back- I am going to be compiling an email list of people to keep informed about the progression of my mission. Reply saying you want to be on the list (I promise they will be less frequent, not to mention less political, than the Dean for America emails). You should get an update at least once a month.
2. Pray for me- I have 5 weeks left of essays to write, books to read, and lectures to attend before graduation, then it is going to be a busy summer of getting ready to leave for the UK, and then an even busier year abroad. Any backup I can get is greatly appreciated.
3. Forward this on- I’m guessing at least someone I email this to knows of other people that would want to hear about my mission trip, maybe even help me raise funds. If you can think of anyone that fits the bill email this thing on to them, maybe add how you know me.
4. Send money- Send money to:
attn: Cynthia Shallenberger
Central Lutheran Church
1857 Potter Street
Eugene Oregon 97403-1366
And write “YAGM in the UK” on the memo line of the check, or if you send cash add a little note saying the same. (YAGM stands for Young Adults in Global Mission).
5. Send me letters- Once I know my address I’ll send it out in one of my emails. Sometime throughout the year, maybe a few sometimes if you are feeling ambitious, sit down for a few minutes and write a good old fashioned letter to me. I’ll try and at least reply with a post-card.
We have 92 days to raise 3,150 dollars. Not an insurmountable task. We can do this! We will do this!
Mark 15:16, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Mark 9:35, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all”

Monday, May 09, 2005

Most Amazing Internet toy ever

I wrote a little something for the Dems

Hadn't done much with the college dems this term. Today I finally wrote our statement on Bias for Bias Response Team week. Critique away. Make it better, it is due on the 11th.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell.” After such eloquence and brevity there is little left to say, except perhaps to argue the value of progress or the meaning of censorship.
Progress is at once humbling and edifying. Humbling, because one is forced to look around and say, “The way things are right now, this present reality, is not the best we can do.” Edifying because the question that follows the previous thought is, “What can I do to make things better?” Progress is, at its essence, the shaking up of the status quo and a yearning for something better for oneself and for others. Yet, it is apparent throughout history that the status quo has a way of cementing itself and limiting the forces of change. They realize, “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” This they can not abide, and so they move to place a vice-grip upon the mind.
This is where censorship comes in. Those who are afraid of ideas not their own, and who have power to do something about it, will try and stop, that is censor, these ideas. This is rarely done these days by physical intimidation, more often now by greeting the ideas with canned partisan responses, or knee-jerk reactions, or with high concepts that justify low thought, like “Conventional Wisdom” “The Party Line” “Political Correctness” or “Patriotism.”
And so, we of the College Democrats affirm free speech on campus, and freedom from physical or partisan intimidation. We also affirm the responsibility of all students to hear people out, think before they critique, get the facts, and pay attention to the world around them.

Stop the Genocide in Darfur