Archive for December, 2008
Posted by LT in on December 24, 2008
You know it is bad year for blogging when you only have two posts you would want to highlight at the end of the year. There were lots of things that distracted me from blogging. A lot of the research and thought I would have put in to my blog ended up my new website CoveringAndAuthority.com. While I still like blogging there are just so many other things to invest in. One of them is the people in my church. I love my church, and I love the opportunity that I have to make a difference in the lives of people I care about.
My two favourite posts are
They pretty much sum up a lot of my thinking about church. This year I became completely disengaged with church talk.
I am excited about the possibilities of the new website targeting covering theology. I’m still working on a project that would see more “thoughtful Charismatics” come together and chart a way forward for Charsimatic faith. Most of the movement has fallen in to a ditch and needs to get back on the road. CoveringAndAuthority.com is just the first step along this way. I still have to spend some time editing the website. I was in a hurry to get it up and I haven’t been able to sucker anybody in to proofing it for me.
There are so many other things going on my life that I wish I could talk about.
Posted by LT in on December 15, 2008
It is called CoveringAndAuthority.com. Over the last few years I’ve grown more and more concerned about a specific kind of teaching about authority in the church. The teaching itself is a moderated version of the doctrines of the Shepherding/Discipleship movement in the 70’s and 80’s. It took awhile before Christians outside the charismatic realm started caring about it. Today we have the New Apostolic Reformation growing and there is very little online about their teachings that follow a similar line.
I’m deeply concerned because this theology is very destructive. In this theology the authority of church leaders is equated with God’s authority. Those who disobey their pastors are considered to be disobeying God. Rebellion against church leaders opens Christians up to demonic attack and delusion. To get a quick run down on the theology check out Covering Theology 101.
What concerns me the most is how the gospel itself is reshaped. Faith in God becomes faith in God’s authority as represented by God and church leaders. Grace is no longer God’s unmerited favour but the empowerment to obey. Salvation is no longer found in grace through faith, but by confessing and doing the will of God.
Your feedback, comments, questions, objections and links are welcome.
Posted by LT in on December 10, 2008
Posted by LT in on December 6, 2008
"There’s always been this concern that Harper believes he’s the smartest guy in the room and that, no matter what, he’s never wrong," confides the Harper acquaintance (who’s also a Mulroney friend).
In interviews with federal associates of Harper, past and present, a picture emerges of a bright and driven man who does not take dissenting counsel especially well and is prone to profane outbursts.
"The people around him, the stable, has generally been bred for obedience, so that’s what you get," says a confrere.
Another insider agrees "there’s no question the Prime Minister rules by fear," which is not always productive.
"At some point, you know, you get up every day and you get kicked in the balls and, you know what, you get tired of it. So when people stop fighting back, I’m telling you, that’s a most dangerous, dangerous, dangerous day," he says.
It was Harper who insisted that the Nov. 27 economic statement be used as a political weapon to bludgeon the Conservatives’ foes.
While sources claim his chief of staff, Guy Giorno, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty – seasoned veterans of government at Queen’s Park – were less hawkish, the Prime Minister, ever the chief strategist, was convinced the provocative measures could withstand any challenge from the three opposition parties.
Harper was sure the Liberals, mired in a leadership contest, and the NDP and Bloc Québécois could never unite against him.
"Why let a good crisis go to waste when you can use it to hobble your opposition?" says a party insider.
That’s how Flaherty wound up deriding "the free ride for political parties" last week and pledging to eliminate their $1.95-per-vote funding subsidy. That would have crippled the Liberals and the Bloc (to say nothing of the Greens).
Flaherty also vowed to "temporarily" suspend the right to strike of federal public servants and curb their ability to make pay-equity appeals through the courts, an anathema to the NDP.
And if that were not enough, there was no significant economic stimulus package to match what other countries have been implementing.
After that triple-whammy enraged and emboldened the Liberals, NDP and Bloc, the Tories retreated last weekend, but the coalition government-in-waiting had already been forged.
Conservative MPs this week publicly supported Harper’s sharp criticism of the NDP-Liberal coalition, and prominent ministers such as Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Transport Minister John Baird took their message to the media. Some, like Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan, voiced support for Harper.
But inside and outside the party, Harper was being blamed for precipitating the storm.
"It’s not that he’s never made mistakes before. He actually has made a number of them, but … there’s always been handy staff to blame it on," says a Tory.
"The big difference here is that the big flaming pile of s— is squarely … at his doorstep."
Read the rest at the The Toronto Star. It really is worth reading.
Posted by LT in on December 5, 2008
"Liberal MP Derrick Lee, meanwhile, compared Harper’s move to suspend Parliament to the burning of the Reichstag in Germany by the Nazis."
Let’s answer polarizing inflammatory rhetoric with more polarizing inflammatory rhetoric.
But some lie more than others…a lot more.
If there’s one point on which Stephen Harper has been adamant, it’s his claim that the opposition politicians trying to strip him of power are undermining democracy.
"The Canadian government has always been chosen by the people," the prime minister declared in his mid-week televised address to the country.
But now, he told viewers, a coalition of opposition parties is trying to oust him through a backroom deal "without your say, without your consent and without your vote."
Just how valid is Harper’s claim that changing governments without a new election would be undemocratic?
"It’s politics, it’s pure rhetoric," said Ned Franks, a retired Queen’s University expert on parliamentary affairs. "Everything that’s been happening is both legal and constitutional."
Other scholars are virtually unanimous in their agreement. They say Harper’s populist theory of democracy is more suited to a U.S.-style presidential system, in which voters cast ballots directly for a national leader, than it is to Canadian parliamentary democracy.
"He’s appealing to people who learned their civics from American television," said Henry Jacek, a political scientist at McMaster University.
Read more at CTV
If I get one more retarded facebook invitation to another group that claims the opposition parties, that represent 62% of the vote, are being undemocratic in tossing Harper’s government on its arse, I will implode, explode or something worse.
If Harper sees his shadow when he leaves Rideau hall will it mean a short winter?
For all those people who don’t like how undemocratic it would look to have Stephane Dion as prime minister think about all the precedents that can be set by giving Harper what he wants.
Would it be democratic if the Prime Minister could prorogue parliament just to avoid losing a vote in the house of commons? No.
Would it be democratic if a minority government to put forth legislation that gives their party a substantial and tangible advantage over other parties? No.
Would it be democratic for a minority government to keep calling elections (or forcing the opposiiton to take them down) until they get a majority? No.
Would it be democratic for a minority government to ignore the wishes of the people that put them in a position to cooperate with at least one opposition party to pass legislation? No.
I don’t think PM Dion is a good idea. I don’t think a Liberal/NDP coalition is a good idea. I don’t think a government propped up by the Bloc is a good idea. However setting a precdent that would allow sitting Prime Ministers to avoid a confidence motion by shutting down parliament is a terrible idea. Giving miniority governments the green light to arrange their own defeat or continually call elections until they get a majority is a horrible idea. Ignoring the obvious failings of a government that is more interested in running their opposition off the road in a time of fiscal crisis is an outrageous idea.