vol. XII, no. 296
Hola Readers --
How 'bout them Anteater boys? I have to commend them; Thursday's Anteater's Ball was very awesome. For those that aren't hip, the Anteater's Ball is a variety show (mainly song and dance) held by the boys of the service group Alpha Phi Chi; all proceeds go to One Life Revolution, an organization dedicated to the education, prevention, and coping of AIDS. All I can say was that $5 was well worth the price of watching young men dance. And that didn't sound right. Ah well - this is the Underground, whatever. This intro has pretty much nothing to do with this issue.
E-mail subscriptions are always available; just send me an e-mail and I'll add you to the list.
The class of 1999 must be proud of Dr. Hilarius's use of the English language.
(hey, it's possible... he's a doctor, you know.- Nat)
Natalie - This would be worth posting all by itself, even if you don't have anything else to go with it. I'm sure it will generate interest, plus it's something i want people to know about!
Here's something I thought everyone might be interested in. It's something I posted on a facebook group that's about hating cancer. It might stir things up a little, but that's not my intent. Jesus didn't die a gruesome death and send us the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit so that we could just do church and argue doctrine. If something SERIOUSLY offends your doctrine here, then we can talk about it. Otherwise, focus on the good things and don't be divisive. We're all Christians, we're on the same team! People don't go to hell for doctrinal differences; obviously there are a few major things that could be fatal, but the petty stuff we usually argue about is, I believe, a scheme of the enemy to make sure we're an uneffective, unappealing group of people. Anyway, here it is...
I'm going to ministry school at a church in Redding, CA, right now, and TONS of people come here for prayer for cancer, and they get healed. Tumors regularly dissolve, or fall off, or get coughed up, or something. Cancer disappears when people pray for it, it's crazy but awesome! It's definitely not 100% of the time, but it's the one sickness/disease that God heals most often around here. It's also not just here, either. Many, many churches nationwide and worldwide are seeing creative miracles and divine healing, including churches in Franklin, Nashville, and elsewhere in TN. So I agree, it's time to kick cancer to the curb! But the awesome thing about Jesus handing us the keys to death, hell, and the grave and giving us the Holy Spirit is that we have the authority to command cancer to leave peoples' bodies, and it has to go! This means we can offer people more than just comfort in their hardship (althought we can at LEAST do that), but we can actually offer them hope. If you think about it, we can comfort and console people by praying for them, but it kind of leaves you wondering "Is God really doing anything, or are they are merely comforted by my words?" But if you lay your hands on a cancerous lump, command it to leave in the name of Jesus, and you feel it dissolve, then you KNOW God's doing something! Man, how about that?
Until every nation, tribe
and tongue come to know Jesus, I am
(tis the truth - it is no wonder that people are scared away from Christianity or make fun of Christians. about the school in Redding, holy crud. i will be up front when i say that i have trouble believing that tumors can just fall right off like that. i certainly don't doubt the power of God, either - i always saw his remedy towards cancer - or anything - as slow, progressing, steady. it's such a stark, startling answer that it kinda makes me balk. but as of late i am learning and relearning that God works however the heck he wants to because he's God. Daniel, thank you for your post. - Nat)
Unless some of you don't live in Tennessee now, or just don't have a TV, radio, or can't read a newspaper (namely, the Tennessean), you might be aware of the crazy that has claimed Lipscomb - and at the center of the crazy, Dr. Crazy Lee Camp. I say that will all the affection I can muster. Even though it's died down, this is still a huge issue, as has made a huge impact (good, moreso) towards Lipscomb. I am no journalist by any stretch, so I will post and repost things. It all started last Wednesday (11/29)....
First, the article that got the ball rollin'.... to say the least, Dr. Camp's words were slightly misconstrued.
Christians must 'let go' some beliefs for sake of peace, theologian says
By ANITA WADHWANI, Staff Writer
To live peacefully with Muslims and Jews, Christians must put aside the notion that their faith requires the creation of a Christian kingdom on Earth, a Lipscomb University theologian told an interfaith gathering at the university.
"We are not going to get very far in our relationship with Jews or Muslims if we do not let go of this idea," Lipscomb professor Lee Camp said at Tuesday's conference.
The unusual gathering of several dozen clergy and lay people was devoted to resolving religious conflict in Nashville and around the world.
"We need to forsake the Christendom model," Camp said. "The most basic Christian commitment … is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?"
Co-sponsored by the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, the daylong conference was prompted by a desire to begin a dialogue about global religious conflict.
After five years of rising gas prices, disturbing privacy issues that followed the Sept. 11 attacks and the fear of terrorism, it became apparent that everyday life in Nashville is directly affected by religious conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, conference organizers said.
"We felt like the larger community is calling for this," said Larry Bridgesmith, executive director of Lipscomb's newly established Institute for Conflict Management.
Panelists representing different faiths presented their own views on how to begin to bridge the religious divide.
For Kahled Sakalla, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, some of the answers lie in better education about Islam in the non-Muslim world.
Allah, the God Muslims worship, is the same God Christians and Jews worship, and the Quran recounts the same biblical stories of Mary and Jesus, he said.
"Yes, we have differences, but it's important to focus on commonalities," said Sakalla, one of four panelists representing different faiths who addressed the Lipscomb conference.
Mark Schiftan, rabbi of the Temple in Belle Meade, said he also believes people of faith must begin to look for common ground.
"If all of us believe we were created in God's image, then we have to believe that everyone else is also created in God's image," Schiftan said.
Charles McGowan, president of the Christian group Operation Andrew said: "It's important to us in Nashville that we be proactive. Religious leaders must engage one another if we are going to experience in this city the peace and calm we all desire."
But the issues that have divided the world's religions for millennia are so deep and fundamental — ranging from the question of whether the land of Israel rightfully belongs to the Jews and whether there is one way to salvation — that tackling them will require both dialogue with other faiths and a more introspective look at one's own beliefs, panelists said.
Some liberal theologians have suggested that different faiths are all variations on one another and that beliefs are all basically the same, a position with which Camp deeply disagrees.
Instead, he believes, Christians must not back away from their beliefs but further examine them and their own history.
First, Christians must examine their "sins of omission," he said — such as not taking the time to learn about other religions. Then they must look at their "sins of commission."
"We have such short historical (memory) spans as white Christians," he said. "There is a history of anti-Semitism, the violence and bloodshed of the crusades and cultural imperialism. We have to deal with the reality of what Christians have done, which in some cases has been to kill people."
Camp described himself as a conservative Christian but conceded his opinions may be viewed as "radical" by other evangelical Christians.
Christians must shed the idea that they need to promulgate a worldwide Christianity, he said.
"If I hold to a model of Jesus … what I've committed to in my baptism is loving my enemy," Lee said. "I'm committed to not killing you, but to serving and honoring you. It's an exclusive commitment to the way of Christ, not to the exclusive authority of Christ."
Sakalla said there may never be reconciliation on the fundamental theological divisions.
"Every religion has different teachings," he said. "For Muslims, it's: Do you believe in one God and that Muhammad" is his prophet? "I don't think we can teach individuals that the way you go to heaven in other religions is OK. You have to teach differences."
Now if you've had the privelege of attending one of his classes, you can probably
ascertain that this is NOT what the good doctor meant to say. This article
resulted in several outraged blog entries, as well as several flavorful emails
sent to Dr. Camp, some with the accusation of him becoming a dhimmi.
Needless to say, the class I have with him was cancelled.
Later that day, the LU Big Cheese himself sent a personal email to the campus to address what the heck happened:
On November 28, 2006, Lipscomb University held a historical meeting for the city of Nashville and the surrounding community. The Institute for Conflict Management invited individuals with differing religious beliefs to come to campus and participate in a dialogue. That purpose is consistent with one mission of this institution: to proclaim our faith and values to a broader community. For those engaged in the day long endeavor, the program was enthusiastically endorsed.
As is often the case in dealing with difficult questions, misunderstandings or misinterpretations can occur. By now many of you have read the Tennessean article or heard various news reports purporting to summarize comments by Dr. Lee Camp. Having been a participant in that seminar and heard Professor Camp’s statements, I can assure you the article printed in the Tennessean did not accurately reflect the substance of Dr. Camp’s presentation or his personal beliefs.
As a point of
clarification, Dr. Camp has provided the following summary statement of his
presentation and beliefs.
“On Tuesday, Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management hosted an “Invitation to Dialogue: Conversations on Religious Conflict.” The full-day program included a variety of speakers, and from a broad range of backgrounds: Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist, as well as Catholic and Protestant. My assignment for the day was to articulate the “Theological Ground for Peaceful Co-Existence.” Due to a front-page story in The Tennessean that mis-characterized my lecture and beliefs, numerous questions have been raised regarding what I believe, and what I said. Many have expressed feelings of dismay in response to the story, feelings I also shared when I read the report. Brief news stories can seldom do justice to substantive conversations.
“The dialogue prior to my lecture had been most encouraging and refreshing: numerous speakers had insisted that Jews, Muslims, and Christians must not pretend that our differences are insignificant. Moreover, we can acknowledge the seriousness of the differences, while honoring one another. Such conversation encouraged me, precisely because I have long disagreed with those who say that Jews, Muslims, and Christians are all “saying the same thing.” Serious adherents of their respective faiths know this is not the case.
“In my lecture, I too insisted that we must not discard what is most important to us. I am a Christian who holds, without apology, to the Lordship of Jesus. I cannot accept any strategy of “conflict resolution” that asks me to set aside that particular claim. I believe and teach that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
“This exclusive claim of the authority of Christ thus presents a problem for “conflict management.” I went on to ask these questions: How can the Jew or Muslim trust us Christians if we hold onto the exclusive Lordship of Jesus? Given that I refuse to deny the Lordship of Jesus, what can I or other Christians possibly contribute to peace-making, whether global or local?
“Here is my answer: Because I profess that Jesus is Lord of Lords, I have committed myself to loving both neighbor and enemy. Because I profess that Jesus is King of Kings, I have committed myself to serving and honoring all people. Because I profess that Jesus is the ultimate authority to which all other authorities must submit, that authority requires of me to extend gracious, generous hospitality to the stranger, the pilgrim, and those who do not see the world as I see it.
“This, of course, is not how the authority of Christ has always been practiced. In serious dialog with Jews and Muslims, we American Christians, who tend to have very short historical attention spans, must acknowledge the sins of Christian history. The claim of the Lordship of Jesus has often been divorced from Jesus’ call to be merciful to those with whom we differ. In fact, the claim has often served as a battle-cry, an imperialistic profession used to destroy Jews and Muslims. In view of this history, Jews and Muslims have good reasons for not trusting those who wear the name Christian.
“Because I profess Jesus as Lord, I must let go of any strategy that seeks to violently impose “Jesus is Lord” upon another. I believe and profess “Jesus is Lord,” and am compelled by Jesus’ Lordship to share this Good News world-wide. But if such sharing treats others in a way contrary to the teachings of Jesus, I have thereby denied my profession. I choose not only to proclaim that “Jesus is Lord,” but to live Jesus as Lord, among all—believer or unbeliever, Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Jew.”
Lee C. Camp
Assoc. Professor of Theology & Ethics
29 November 2006
Upon learning of the article in the Tennessean, we reviewed Dr. Camp’s actual comments, and sought perspectives from conference attendees. This e-mail from Charles McGowan, a prominent religious leader, was consistent with other comments we received:
“The Tennessean did Lipscomb and Dr. Lee Camp a great disservice in how they reported his remarks. He absolutely did not say what the paper reported him to have said. … I commend Lipscomb University for this bold step and for creating a table to which we would invite Muslims and Jews. It is, however, a risky place and one that requires much grace and wisdom which I believe God will give us if we humbly seek His face.”
As an administration, we believe that continuing the dialogue is essential to fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation to which we have been called and for which Christ died. The ministry of reconciliation is not without risk and is sometimes difficult. As we participate in this dialogue, I encourage each of us to practice the principles of Matthew 18 as we engage in community with each other. As a key part of our community we will provide you with additional information on Thursday in University Bible as well as an opportunity for additional conversation.
L. Randolph Lowry III
President, Lipscomb University
Dr. Camp's essay was also posted in the Tennessean the next day. I didn't view it as a rebuttal, but just a clarification of what he was really trying to say. Of course I forgot that the newspaper never makes mistakes. Everyone else does. [/sarcasm]
There are SO MANY Blog entries and forum discussions concerning Dr. Camp and this issue. Notable ones are here (just scroll down a little) and...shoot. Just google it. After the clarification, Dr. Camp recieved several emails with apologies attached to them, as well as some "I apologize but I still don't really like you or agree with whatever you teach" emails.
I don't think most students here realize how big of a deal this is. Lipscomb, a CoC school (though more liberal than in years past) is in the middle of a controversy(for lack of a better word) concerning the fundamental foundation it was built upon. While it thrusted LU into a negative light, Dr. Camp's testimony and clarification served to ensure that Lipscomb is no longer isolated (religion and doctrine wise) in between GW and Belmont. For a short time (and perhaps permanently) it was out in the community - religious and otherwise. To me it showed that, via Dr. Camp, LU isn't afraid to address issues such as the ones brought up in the conference that started all of this. What I have learned is that Christians are to be as (paraphrased) gentle as doves but clever as snakes (I forget the verse). While we are to be gentle, we can't be afraid to (as cliche as this can be) stand up and say the truth - be it controversial, offensive, etc. And misquotes can/will happen - the following UB's speaker (Dr. Thomas, I believe) cited this as a form of spiritual warfare - Dr. Camp's words being misconstrued to confuse/anger people, I mean. Maybe we're meant to be controversial in the first place.
Okay, that's enough of me.
(I gotta give some props to Dr. Camp. Keep on troublemakin', LC. - Nat)
*THE POSTIN' PLACE*
(or maybe it's *SHAMELESS PLUG*)
For those of you wondering what the devil a "Postin' Place" is, it's a homage to LU issues of previous years, a place to post something other than debatable issues being....debated. I don't think it's been around for a while, so I'm using it as an excuse for this guy:
My name is Matt Reynolds and I am a journalist with Belmont's paper, theVISION. The majority of my writing revolves around Music Entertainment and Criticism, and I was wondering if you guys had anyone doing that type of work with the Lipscomb Underground. I was also wondering if we could form some kind of partnership more or less where I could send you some of work and if you have anyone covering music stories, we could feature some their work in our own paper.
I also have two different blogspots-one has my interviews with different bands (Copeland, Straylight Run) and the other has various album reviews:
(i'm not sure about a partenership - i don't really have a lot of pull with the Babbler, or perhaps none at all - but i know that music is good. or more like awesome. yes. please visit Matt's well done blogs and leave smarmy comments. and listen to music. - Nat)
(patterned after Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky")
'Twas fructose, and the
vitamins/ Did zinc and dye (Red #8).
All poly were the thiamins,
And the carbohydrate.
Beware the Gobblegook, my son!
The flavorings, the addled C!
Beware the serving size, and shun
the dreaded BHT.
And as in folic thought I stood,
the Gobblegook, with eyes mitrate,
Came gluten through the dextrose
wood/ Its extracts carbonate.
Oh, can you slay the Gobblegook,
3,000 calories! Don't look!
The sugars! Fats! Oh soy.
'Twas fructose, and the
vitamins/ Did zinc and dye (red #8).
All poly were the thiamins,
And the carbohydrate.
- from Science Verse, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
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vol. XII, no. 296
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