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Prayer in Police Dept Functions

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1 Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:39 pm

I belong to and am an officer in, two groups that get civilians working side-by-side with their police department, to prevent crime, etc. It's called PIP (Positive Interaction Program) and I would send you a link, but there has never, throught 26 years, been any mention of the program on the HPD website.

Anyway, our annual Holiday Party was last night (and believe me, there was no alcohol ex[giggle] ). The chaplain who usually opens each monthly meeting with a prayer was not there, so we officers were asked if one of us wanted to.

I replied that I certainly would NOT, as an Athiest, do any such thing. I went on to say that I don't think they should even have the chaplain guy opening each meeting with prayer, because it's a public, city-run function, and therefor should be non-secetarian. Were the Police Department a private body, then they could legetimately (and legally) use prayer if they so chose.

Well, this raised some eyebrows. The rest of the board members are pretty straight-laced, and even swear that they never even TRIED marijuana, whereas I freely admit that I smoked pot back in high school and college, and honestly assume that "everyone" else did, too.

Now I'm just waiting to see what kind of fall-out will come from my admission of bean an Athiest.





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2 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:10 pm

jw

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Master Bullshitter
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According to the law you are right. If the function is put on by the city then legally no prayer is allowed. But if they choose to do it anyway and no one complains..............I say oh well. Course I am a Christian so that would account for those feelings. I don't know if straight laced has much to do with it. I was a rebel growing up and tried all kinds of drugs and got into various kinds of trouble.........fortunately I never ended up in jail, but some of my friends did. Didn't really give a hoot if someone prayed or not. When I became a Christian all that changed. Everyone has a right to believe or not believe in anything they choose and no one should be ridiculed for their choice in life. In my opinion you should not receive any kind of fallout whatsoever.........you just spoke the truth and what you believe and if they didn't like what you said then let them get over it and I hope they do. It takes all kinds of people to make this world and we don't all have to believe what the other one believes but we need to give respect where respect is due and try to get along peacefully. [IMG]Hippy.gif[


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3 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:57 am

Mikey

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I disagree that it is illegal to offer a prayer at this event especially if it has an established tradition and is not promoting any one religion.

The 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution reads in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or..."

In order to not offend nor promote any specific religion most public prayers are generic. Even though the person often offering the prayer is a Christian they will usually water down the prayer and mention God or Lord but they won't mention His name.....the "J" word....

I don't believe the God I serve listens to generic prayers, therefore the prayers at such events are in my opinion meaningless. My God said that if man denies Him before man so then He will deny man before the Father. Thus I am actually in agreement with you that a prayer should not be offered but I agree for different reasons....

You mention "annual Holiday Party". What holiday?

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4 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:41 am

bullfrog

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Mikey wrote: You mention "annual Holiday Party". What holiday?

Probably that notorious "C" word... Christmas now known as the "Festival of Lights.


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5 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:40 pm

Mikey

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CHRISTMAS PARTY ANNOUNCEMENT

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: December 01, 2007

RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the Meat & Fish Grill House.

There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... feel free to sing along.

And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets.

This gathering is only for employees!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Patty

********************* ******************************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: December 02, 2007

RE: Holiday Party - Update

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year.

Nor was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Wiccan Pagan employees who reminded me that Winter Solstice occurs on December 21st.

Therefore, so as not to offend anyone, from now on we're calling it our 'Holiday Party.'

The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day.

There will be no Christmas tree but the good news is that we will have a Holiday Tree. In lieu of Christmas carols we will instead sing non-offensive Holiday songs that have no religious significance whatsoever.

Let me know it that covers it…

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Patty
*****************************************************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: December 03, 2007

RE: Holiday Party – Update #2

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, 'AA Only'; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore.

How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody?

Oh, and forget about the gifts exchange. No gifts exchange are allowed since the union representatives feel that $10.00 is too much money for the economically deficient union members and management believe $10.00 is a little chintzy. Therefore; NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Patty
*****************************************************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

Date: December 04, 2007

RE: Holiday Party – Update #3

My goodness; what a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours.

There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees beliefs. Perhaps the Meat & Fish Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?

Patty
*********************************************************
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

Date: December 05, 2007

RE: Holiday Party – Update #4

In response to several other messages I have done the following:

I've arranged for calorifically enhanced members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet

Pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. The next closest “restroom” table will be reserved for employees over age 55.

We will have booster seats for anatomically compact employees.

Parking for disabled employees has been reserved.

Maps with directions will be provided to male employees who tend to investigate alternative routes.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste first.

I have arranged for all peanut products to be removed.

There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics; the restaurant cannot supply 'No Sugar' desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?

Patty


************************************************
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

Date: December 06, 2007

RE: HOLIDAY PARTY – UPDATE #5

OH, SO WE HAVE VEGETARIANS TOO DO WE….. I HAVE ARRANGED FOR A SALAD BAR OKAY! THE SALAD BAR WILL HAVE ONLY ORGANICALLY GROWN PRODUCE AS REQUESTED. OKAY????? HAPPY NOW!

DO ANY OTHER CHARISMATICALLY CHALLENGED EMPLOYEES HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO DISCUSS?

Patty

*******************************************************************
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All YOU %#$%! EMPLOYEES

DATE: December 07, 2007

RE: The %#$%! HOLIDAY PARTY - LAST %#$%!! UPDATE!

I’VE NOW HAD ANOTHER %#$%! WHINING SNIVELING COMPLAINT FROM YOU %#$%! PETA EMPLOYEES.

I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU %#$%! PEOPLE!!! WE'RE GOING TO KEEP THIS %#$%! PARTY AT THE %#$%! MEAT & FISH GRILL HOUSE WHETHER YOU %#$%! LIKE IT OR NOT, SO YOU %#$%! PETA PEOPLE CAN SIT YOUR SORRY %#$%! QUIETLY AT THE TABLE FURTHEST FROM THE 'GRILL OF DEATH!

MAY YOU ALL DRIVE DRUNK AND DIE!


THE BITCH FROM HELL!!!!
*********************************************

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

DATE: December 08, 2007

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Merry Christmas, Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, Joyous Ramadan and Happy New Year!

Joan

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6 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:25 pm

jw

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Master Bullshitter
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lol! It's too bad but that sounds like what it's all really coming to. None of these politically correct changes that are going on in today's world are making anybody feel any better............it's just causing more strife and grumpiness amongst the people. I wish things could go back to like when we were children when the joy of Christmas was still around. It's all so sucky ex[thumbdown]


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7 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:28 pm

Guest


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I am a Christian. But I respect your way of life as long as you don't try to instill it on me. I firmly believe that a moment of silence should be offered at any function. This is out of respect for the Christians to say a silent prayer or for the non-believers to think their thoughts. This is showing respect for all parties.
By the way, it is still called Christmas by me and always will be. And it will always be remembered and respected for the meaning of the day.

8 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:10 pm

"Calorically Enhanced?"
"Anatomically Compact?"
"Charismaticallly Challenged?"

Mikey, that was hilarious!!

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9 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:52 am

bullfrog

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They actually did cancel our annual Firefighters Christmas dinner at work, we found out yesterday. They are blaming it on "scheduling" saying there was only one day open for it and it didn't work out but we all know the truth. The truth is they don't mind us risking our lives to fight chemical fires for them but they don't want to spend any money on us for doing it.

They took up our pagers as pager technology is defunct and passed out cell phones. We all told them that we don't intend to carry to separate cell phones so the automatically also call every firefighter at home with an automated dialing system. When a text message is sent it goes to every company paid cell phone in the refinery.

For example, last month a text came through saying "Reminder, fourth quarter emergency response team dinner tonight at Larry's French Market. 7:00 P.M." This message also went to the plant manager and the second in command, five minutes later we got this text with no explanation. "Dinner at Larry's tonight is canceled." Cheap aren't they?

I didn't mean to hijack your post. If it is traditional to open the function with a prayer like our former Firefighter Christmas parties, there shouldn't be a problem with it but everyone should also respect your personal beliefs and not hold that against you.


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10 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:50 pm

Esther


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I am a Christian as most of you know. I have no problem with not having a public prayer at a function of any sort. I'm not sure how God looks on one person praying and the rest just closing their eyes and thinking NOTHING. I pray wherever I am and whenever I care to. I don't need somebody up in front with a microphone doing it for me. It is so simple for me to bow my head before a meal and "get in touch" with the Father all by myself. One person giving prayer for a group is a tradition rather than mandated by God in His word.

Cool, I certainly hope you don't get any "fall out" from those folks. But also I feel that if the majority of folks there don't object, then prayer of any sort or a time of silence should be allowed. We once went to a Catholic wedding where they observed the full traditional stuff of that religion. When everyone was doing what their faith called for, we sat there and didn't participate. We didn't talk or move around out of respect to what the majority believed.


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11 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:14 pm

jw

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Master Bullshitter
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This is where we (every living human being) are fortunate.............that no one on earth can control our heart and soul and that we can inside ourselves think whatever we want and if we choose to pray we can do it at any time and any place and those who choose not to are able to do the same. No matter what our laws state we can think whatever we want and that's that. And if only one person is praying in a group and everyone else is just sleeping, well I think God is glad to have that one person showing his love and trust in Him. I think the idea of having an open prayer in front of people is good as it shows that there are still people out there who care to get the Word out that they believe God is real and are not afraid to show it. In this world it is I think sometimes hard for Christians to show their true feelings about their trust in Christ as a lot of the public think they are nuts but if we really believe that there is a God and that the Bible speaks the truth then why would not we want to share that with someone who might choose to believe also? So what if they think we are nuts..............God doesn't.
In no way will I ever disrespect anyone who chooses not to believe in the way I do. Course if you tell me you are a vampire,demon or alien I may think you are whacky but I still won't disrespect ya ex[out]


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12 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:17 pm

Esther


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Agreed Janice.


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13 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:56 pm

fishlipsmcgee

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Jabberjaws
Jabberjaws
Esther wrote:I am a Christian as most of you know. I have no problem with not having a public prayer at a function of any sort. I'm not sure how God looks on one person praying and the rest just closing their eyes and thinking NOTHING. I pray wherever I am and whenever I care to. I don't need somebody up in front with a microphone doing it for me. It is so simple for me to bow my head before a meal and "get in touch" with the Father all by myself. One person giving prayer for a group is a tradition rather than mandated by God in His word.

Cool, I certainly hope you don't get any "fall out" from those folks. But also I feel that if the majority of folks there don't object, then prayer of any sort or a time of silence should be allowed. We once went to a Catholic wedding where they observed the full traditional stuff of that religion. When everyone was doing what their faith called for, we sat there and didn't participate. We didn't talk or move around out of respect to what the majority believed.

Esther, Catholics are Christians. In fact, the first Christians.


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14 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:17 pm

Esther


Chatterbox
Chatterbox
Whoops, I didn't say they weren't, I just meant Catholics have different traditions than me and when attending their service, even though we didn't feel it was necessary to follow their actions, sat quietly out of respect.

Guess I wasn't aware that Christ followers were titled with religious names back then, other than apostle, disciple etc. or according to what city they lived in. Certainly Jesus never taught us Catholic tradition. Never noticed it in scripture anyway, my only history book of those times.

I suspect you meant that the Catholic church is often recognized as the first organized "church" in history.

I guess I was trying to say that I can be around people of different faiths and still remain respectful of how they practice their faith. If you don't want to bow your head in the church I attend or while I pray, it's OK. I just don't think someone should make a fuss because I'm bowing my head. Not that anyone ever has. Guess I wouldn't know if I had my eyes closed and head bowed. LOL. Not like at dinner the other day when one of the grandkids, hoping to get the other in trouble said, "She didn't have her eyes closed." Whoops, "How did you know that dearie??" ex[blushing]


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15 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:50 pm

fishlipsmcgee

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Jabberjaws
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Sorry, Esther. Maybe I misinterpreted what you were saying and no, you don't have to take part in the mass if you do not wish to. It is perfectly acceptable to remain seated although the postures of standing and kneeling at certain points have meaning and go back to early Christian worship. (The beginning of this they try to be funny-I think. Fast forward or stick with it. It does explain the different postures during mass)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NFuu6W392k

Guess I wasn't aware that Christ followers were titled with religious names back then, other than apostle, disciple etc. or according to what city they lived in. Certainly Jesus never taught us Catholic tradition. Never noticed it in scripture anyway, my only history book of those times.

I suspect you meant that the Catholic church is often recognized as the first organized "church" in history.


No, Christ's followers weren't titled with religious names back then. The Catholic or "Universal" Church was started by Jesus and spread across the world until 1517AD when Martin Luther caused a major rift followed by John Calvin in 1534. So, from Jesus until the early 1500's we had ONE Christian Church started by Jesus and entrusted to the apostles with St. Peter appointed the "chief steward" by Jesus. There is a line of succession from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI.

Jesus left us with His church when He assended into heaven.

Scripture reveals this Church to be the one Jesus Christ built upon the rock of Saint Peter (Matt. 16:18). By giving Peter the keys of authority (Matt. 16:19), Jesus appointed Peter as the chief steward over His earthly kingdom (cf. Isaiah. 22:19-22). Jesus also charged Peter to be the source of strength for the rest of the apostles (Luke 22:32) and the earthly shepherd of Jesus' flock (John 21:15-17). Jesus further gave Peter, and the apostles and elders in union with him, the power to bind and loose in heaven what they bound and loosed on earth. (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). This teaching authority did not die with Peter and the apostles, but was transferred to future bishops through the laying on of hands (e.g., Acts 1:20; 6:6; 13:3; 8:18; 9:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6).

When Jesus ascended into heaven He left a group of eleven men who listened to Him preach for three years and who would be empowered on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came over them. Christianity grew in those early years because of the teaching of those apostles and because of the presence of Jesus that they brought to their communities through prayer, baptisim and the celebration of the Eucharist. These teachings were all done orally. Beginning around 56 AD Paul's letters then the Gospels, some other letters and then around the end of the first century the Book of Revelation had been written and these books began circulating among the various Christian communities. As far as well into the fourth century very few of these communities had the benefit of seeing all of these books that we now call the New Testament.

The bible grew out of the church, not the other way around. The books in the bible were written and collected over a period of many, many years. The Catholic faith is not built on man made traditions. It is built on the Word that God has given us through Scripture and Sacred Tradition - which is the teaching that Jesus entrusted to the apostles, which they in turn handed down to their successors.

Actually, the first Christians up until around the year 90 still considered themselves Jews - just Jews who believed that the Messiah had come. They were sort of a cult group of the Jewish faith. By the end of the first century, clear divisions had evolved and Jewish leaders determined that it was blashpemous to hold onto these beliefs about Jesus so they were banned from Jewish synagogues.

If we look at early Christians we also see quite a ceremony. They were men of their time and culture and heirs to the style of worship which Christianity inherited, from its Jewish origins.

In the first two centuries the Mass contained the two part formula still used today. It began with teachings and readings from Scripture followed by the Breaking of Bread, and Wine.

The Mass has two major parts : 1) Liturgy of the Word 2) Liturgy of the Eucharist.

1) Liturgy of the Word: Bible readings, a Psalm, and a Gospel reading. Then a Homily which comments on those readings.

2) Liturgy of the Eucharist: Scripture, prayer, praise & worship.

Other parts of the Mass include the Penitential Rite where we repent before the Lord and ask his forgiveness and mercy. (Rev. 2:5,16,21; 3:3; 16:11) The Gloria (on Sundays) which is praise to glorify God. (From Luke 2:14). Alleluia Acclamation (praise to God), prayers of intercessions - standing in the gap (Rev. 5:8, 6:9-11, 8:3-4), and the Lord 's Prayer (Matthew 6:9)

I mean this to be informative and not critical of anyone's beliefs and to hopefully explain where our Catholic beliefs originate - from Holy Scripture and the way the early Christians worshiped. Esther, I know you are very steadfast in your faith and I respect that about you. I think we (Catholics & Protestents) have a lot more in common that non-Catholics think we do. I think there is a lot of misinformation about what we believe and why and where certain things we do and how we worship came from. I really didn't mean to hijack this thread but I just felt I needed to explain some things.


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16 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:26 pm

Mikey

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Minnow
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You're not hijacking the thread Fishlips. That's just how threads go and it's what makes them interesting.

When discussing religion someone may ask, "What denomination are you?" I don’t like to be pigeon-holed with a denomination because it really is meaningless. I may tell them what church I attend but I prefer to tell them that I take the Bible seriously and I do believe it is God’s Word and as such tells me exactly what I need to do to live eternally with God in heaven.

Basically all non Catholic Christians are referred to as protestants, yet in the “protestant” denominations there are major differences. Some protestant denominations are so liberal with their disregard of the Bible that I don’t even know why they bother to call themselves Christians. They might as well rip out certain books and chapters. What is their foundation if not the Bible? They have no foundation and thus as man redefines morality they will go right along with them. Jesus was the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He does not change.

Jesus said that during the judgment many religious people will claim to be of His kingdom and He will deny them to His Father. Thus claiming to be a member of this body or that body of believers is irrelevant. Being a Christian is not a membership but a relationship. Jesus said He knows His sheep.

The “church” is not a building. The church is the body of Christ which is composed of His followers who through faith believe He is God and choose to follow Him.

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17 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:16 am

fishlipsmcgee

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Amen, Mikey. See, we are not so far apart. We believe that the church is the body of Christ, The bride of Christ as stated in the bible. I agree with you. Yes, I have wondered how there can be over 40,000 demonations of Protestants. How can one say I believe this but not that and go and start his own church? I don't get it but maybe someone can explain it to me.

Being a Christian is not a membership but a relationship. Jesus said He knows His sheep.

The “church” is not a building. The church is the body of Christ which is composed of His followers who through faith believe He is God and choose to follow Him.

It is not identifing with a "label" but following Christ.

Jesus said that during the judgment many religious people will claim to be of His kingdom and He will deny them to His Father. Thus claiming to be a member of this body or that body of believers is irrelevant. Being a Christian is not a membership but a relationship. Jesus said He knows His sheep.

I agree that just because one identifies himself with a particular religion means nothing. It is your relatonship with Jesus and if you live his teachings and trust in His word and His mercy.

If a non-catholic would truly listen to a mass I think you would be surprised how bible/scripture based and beautiful it is.


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18 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:52 pm

Re differing religions (and tolerance ex[giggle] ), my parents, who are strict (i.e. fanatical IMO) Missouri Synod Lutherans (if you know anything about the Lutheran church, that imposing term "Missouri Synod" speaks volumes), anyway, they believe that if they pray or worship in the same locale as someone of another religion, they have committed a grave sin.

Example: After the 911 bombings, a bunch of religious leaders of various faiths were up on a stage all taking turns speaking and then praying together. Missouri Synod Lutherans believe that that act of praying in the presence of someone of a different religion (who, BTW, they believe is going to Hell, because he's not following the "true" path), they believe that is damnable sin. In fact, a Lutheran preacher who did so was excommunicated from his church, and it caused quite a hubub.

Ahhhh... tolerance and acceptance. Basketball

(Sorry for all those parentheses - I know it makes it hard to follow the thread.)

(Now, remember, you all - at Bullfrog's Pad, we can say whatever we want, and respect one another's opinion and statements.)



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19 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:36 pm

bullfrog

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Yes Julles, we can say anything here as long as we respect each other. Feel free to attack any post but not any posters.


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20 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:11 pm

Esther


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That is what's nice about our country, we have the right to think what we like and worship where we like or if we like. And I suspect that most of us also may not agree with the guy next door or our own parents when it comes to religion or beliefs. I know I differ from my parents on some things. But in the end, it doesn't matter much what I spent my life thinking or believing because I don't make the rules. Some day we'll all know but then it'll be too late if we made the wrong choices. And those who made the right choices won't care about the past.


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21 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:10 am

jaytee

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Hey cool, If you don't mind I'd like to ask a question, get your take. I'm not trying to start an argument. I respect your position.

If you go to an event such as the one you mentioned or any event for that matter, are you as an athiest wronged in some way if a prayer is given? I'm trying to understand why some would be so upset. I aksed this question on another board but didn't really get an answer because of the fighting going on. I'm trying to understand why some are so opposed, others don't seem to care or make an issue of it. If you want to avoid the issue, I understand.

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22 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:20 am

Mikey

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Minnow
Minnow
....they believe that if they pray or worship in the same locale as someone of another religion, they have committed a grave sin.
I don't know enough about this particular denomination to know if that is a doctrinal belief or just perhaps a belief your parents had. Many times a denomination or an individual will have certain beliefs that they think are based upon scripture but sometimes are actually a misunderstanding of scripture.

Earlier in this thread I commented about praying to a generic god so as not to offend. Just guessing here, but I wonder if that is also the issue with your parents or their denomination. The Bible strongly teaches there is only one true God. As far as Christians participating in an event with other religions I see no problem so long as the Christians are clear as to whom they are praying. Being tolerant of another religion does not mean we have to agree with it.

Somewhat related, I recall the story involving Ahab and the prophet Elijah where Elijah charged Ahab with leading the people to worship false gods. Elijah proposed a test of the powers of the false god Baal and the God of Israel. They created two altars of sacrifice and the one who could call down fire from heaven to ignite the offerings was the true god. Ahab had 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of Asherah summoned and they pray to their gods all day to no avail. Elijah then prays to the God of Israel with success.

"Tolerance" is an interesting subject. Is it wrong to be intolerant? Is disagreement intolerance? Several times in my life I have been accused of being intolerant. I laugh to myself when accused of such because the person making the accusation has actually displayed intolerance to my views. Today's culture seems to say, "All views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another." Many people will emphatically agree with that statement. Read the statement carefully. Is it not in itself expressing intolerance? Of course it is! Being tolerant presents a curious problem. One must first think another is wrong in order to exercise tolerance toward him, yet doing so brings the accusation of intolerance. It's a "Catch-22."

Tolerance should only apply to how we treat people we disagree with, not how we treat ideas we think false.

I recall working with officers who were adulterers and bragged about their escapades. I tolerated them, after all we were partners, but I had no tolerance for accepting their adulterous behavior. Christians are told to be in the world but not of the world.

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23 Re: Prayer in Police Dept Functions on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:18 am

"Many times a denomination or an individual will have certain beliefs that they think are based upon scripture but sometimes are actually a misunderstanding of scripture. "

That would just about sum up the Missouri Synod division of the Lutheran Church.

"One must first think another is wrong in order to exercise tolerance toward him,... "

That is pretty darned insightful, Mikey! It reminds me of the old saying, "When you point your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you!"

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