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Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

Religion and Philosophy
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we are introducing this on a trial basis and that respect for other's views is important e.g. phrases like "your imaginary friend" or "you will go to hell" are not appropriate
stewamax
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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30508

Postby stewamax » February 10th, 2017, 7:19 pm

A slight digression... but relevant to those non-religious people who nevertheless enjoy the 'atmosphere' [sic] created by incense as well as music.

The answer to UncleEbenezer’s how did that filth escape the smoking ban? is not straightforward. Some of what follows was posted by me on the Fool site a couple of years ago.

Church incense was indeed caught Psychoactive Substances Act (the ban on ‘legal highs’) because it usually contains incensole acetate, and church use is not one of the Act’s exemptions.

The Government’s response to concerns raised during the report stage of the Bill created further oddities though. In the Home Office Minister’s words: “We do not believe it right to equate the effect of incense wafting through the air with the direct inhalation of fumes, for example from a solvent. Moreover, the offences only apply where a substance is likely to be consumed for its psychoactive effect. As such, the use of incense in religious services will not be covered by the Bill. I hope that this letter has allayed your concerns.”

This response clearly shows they hadn't fully understood their own draft since its use during religious services is academic - the offence is supply, and it is unclear what 'supply' is. If I buy some X from Y, Y is clearly a supplier. If I then give some X to Z, am I a supplier to Z?

The response ducks the issue of the likely use of incense. If Westminster Cathedral (RC) buys a consignment of Hayes & Finch’s ‘Vatican’ brand, the purpose of the purchase is ‘is likely’ to be the traditional Christian ceremonial ones of purification and (symbolically) the raising of prayers to heaven. But to a picky lawyer, the purpose is academic. The wording of the Act is “likely to be consumed … for its psychoactive effects”. The formal Christian religious use is nothing whatever to do with consumption. So any consumers of the fumes – and fumes are specifically included in the Act – will either be consuming them in passing (a bit like passive smoking!) or sniffing them appreciatively because (perhaps) it puts them in the right contemplative frame of mind. This result is superficially indistinguishable from a psychoactive effect.

I have some close experience of this: I served the altar mainly as thurifer in an Anglo-Catholic church for many years. It is custom to cense before and (lightly) during the reading of the Gospel. But I once overdid it for a priest who always asked for ‘lots of smoke’ but had to stop reading because (in his own words back in the vestry afterwards) he “couldn’t see the £$%& book”.



The legal meaning of 'supply' in this context is worth noting.

Supply does not need to be for payment, and the current guiding principle stems from R v Maginnis [1987] AC 303 House of Lords that "Supply requires more than mere transfer of physical control. The drug is supplied if the recipient is enabled to apply the thing handed over to purposes for which he desires..." But this literal interpretation was only a majority decision and one M'Lud disagreed.

So it is arguable that Father O'Censer could indeed join the unhappy directors of his ecclesiastical supplies firm breaking rocks on Dartmoor; he could be construed as the supplier to his thurifer, who could in turn (and stretching the meaning of 'supply of a substance' to include its fumes*) also be sharing a cell. The thurifer's terrified boat boy (his assistant, who carries incense crystals in a vessel shaped like a gravy boat) would be consigned to a young offenders institution if he (and it traditionally was a 'he') was ten years old or over.

bungeejumper
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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30606

Postby bungeejumper » February 11th, 2017, 12:58 pm

Church incense was indeed caught Psychoactive Substances Act (the ban on ‘legal highs’) because it usually contains incensole acetate, and church use is not one of the Act’s exemptions.

Well, whatever it is, incense gets my asthma going. I don't have it badly (maybe I get through two blue ventolins a year), but even the slightest whiff and I'm wheezing. I avoid some shops for the same reason. Fortunately my local (Anglican) church doesn't mess with smells. Maybe that's because they're trying to attract families with children, who make enough of their own? :?

[Edit - I just came across this: http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.co. ... erans.html]

BJ

stewamax
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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30697

Postby stewamax » February 11th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid incense is to avoid RC or Anglo-Catholic Mass and just attend one of the other services. I have never, for example, seen incense used during evening service (Evensong), even in cathedrals, apart from services on high days and holidays.
However, a positive side-effect of incensole acetate is that is a mild antidepressant, so non-believing attenders whose minds are not on higher things can sit back in an enlightened mood and (in cathedrals at least) enjoy some of the finest choral singing extant. And if they are really tight-fisted, they can pass the plate and enjoy it free.
For the non-religious who want to try this, note that is customary in almost all English cathedrals for:
- Evensong to begin mid-afternoon on most days
- the (usually small) congregation then to sit in the choir-stalls next to the choir
- the service to have minimal 'audience participation'

Non-believers who can tolerate incense can then graduate to the Mass/Communion/Eucharist service that probably will use it. But you should not 'go up' to take bread and wine.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30738

Postby beeswax » February 11th, 2017, 11:13 pm

stewamax wrote:
Non-believers who can tolerate incense can then graduate to the Mass/Communion/Eucharist service that probably will use it. But you should not 'go up' to take bread and wine.


It was St. Paul who said you should not take the Eucharist if you are 'unworthy'.

I disagree with him as on so many issues. Its only the unworthy that should take it even unbelievers if they want to but two things.

First, Jesus said he came to save the unworthy and the sick who actually need a physician. So that surely mean Paul was dead wrong..again, when he said that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and so need to believe in Christ to be saved. But as he never met the man and so made it all up, its no surprise that others at the time disagreed with him on his teachings. And why he got annoyed and yet it is his version that won the day.

Secondly, Jesus was speaking ONLY to his disciples when he supposedly did the body and blood remembrance thing. He didn't ask anyone else OUTSIDE that room to remember him and one reason the Salvation Army don't do it was because the founders knew how the Catholic Church virtually spends all its time and energy on a ritual that was not even asked of them. And why every single service is dedicated to a man clearly still in the Tomb. You don't remember people's death, only their life and contribution and the resurrection of course which could never be a bodily one and another error by Paul. It would make far more sense if the CC did that imo of course.

Conformist Churches have never inspired me ever. And watching the Pope swinging the Incense thing makes me laugh! ;)

Does that show disrespect for the CC and the Pope? Well this one seems OKish but they do have a chequered history of spouting nonsense like Condoms cause Aids.. and a refusal even to allow Catholics to use them. Again if Catholics disobey that as they surely do, why are they Catholics when they have alternative churches to go to?

Jesus spoke directly to the people mostly outside as he travelled along and so why do they need ANY church building and its an anathema to me to spend millions on repairing them especially Cathedrals when the money should surely be better spent on the poor and hungry of the world and they will all fall down eventually anyway.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30898

Postby UncleEbenezer » February 12th, 2017, 8:48 am

beeswax wrote:It was St. Paul who said you should not take the Eucharist if you are 'unworthy'.

I disagree with him as on so many issues. Its only the unworthy that should take it even unbelievers if they want to but two things.

Karl Marx lived to say "If these are Marxists, then I most certainly am not". Jesus would quite clearly have said the same both of the psychopath St Paul and the church he founded, and of Christian mainstreams through the ages.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30902

Postby quelquod » February 12th, 2017, 8:59 am

beeswax wrote:
Secondly, Jesus was speaking ONLY to his disciples when he supposedly did the body and blood remembrance thing. He didn't ask anyone else OUTSIDE that room to remember him


You can say that of everything Jesus said of course as he didn't write things down. It's fairly clear that's not what He intended to convey in all of his teachings.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30909

Postby quelquod » February 12th, 2017, 9:41 am

beeswax wrote:
It was St. Paul who said you should not take the Eucharist if you are 'unworthy'.

I disagree with him as on so many issues. Its only the unworthy that should take it even unbelievers if they want to but two things.

It's obviously not practical to have a whole discourse here, however:
- Paul was speaking directly to the christians at Corinth when he said this in his letter - he was not preaching to the world.
- He didn't say 'if you are unworthy' he said, depending on translation accuracy, 'in an unworthy manner', not the same thing at all.

It's poor practice to pick and choose and misquote to support your views, it would be fairer to quote directly and in context.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30942

Postby jfgw » February 12th, 2017, 11:57 am

beeswax wrote:... like Condoms cause Aids.. and a refusal even to allow Catholics to use them...

They are allowed to use perforated condoms.

Seriously!

If a semen sample is required for medical analysis, the man may use a perforated condom to catch some during sex with his wife while still allowing some through to allow impregnation. That is the only method allowed. Masturbation and extramarital sex are seen as sinful so, if a man is not married, he cannot justly, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, provide a sample.

Julian F. G. W.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30955

Postby beeswax » February 12th, 2017, 12:32 pm

quelquod wrote:
beeswax wrote:
Secondly, Jesus was speaking ONLY to his disciples when he supposedly did the body and blood remembrance thing. He didn't ask anyone else OUTSIDE that room to remember him


You can say that of everything Jesus said of course as he didn't write things down. It's fairly clear that's not what He intended to convey in all of his teachings.


Any ideas why Jesus never wrote anything down or his followers when he spoke? How likely is it that 30 years plus later those who did write the Gospels who were not eye witnesses could faithfully reproduce the words of Jesus?

My guess is that they all thought including Jesus that the world was about to end and God's judgement was imminent on them. And so no need to write anything down and so the only ones to be converted were those whom Jesus spoke directly to and those of Apostles like St Paul who made stuff up to convert them but even he believed Jesus was about to return as he wrote that the time of his return was sooner than when they first believed. Its also my guess that Paul got fed up with this reassurance as Jesus hadn't returned and so decided to go to Rome where he knew he would be martyred and he even said that to live is Christ and to die is gain. A clear sign of mental illness.

So why didn't the Christian religion die out in that first century when Jesus failed to turn up as he promised he would? It really should have and the Jews went their own way and became non believers that he was the Messiah but the Gentiles had far too much to lose as they had started building up hierarchies and discipleship and why it prospered. But it was Rome's acceptance via Constantine that really put them on the map.

Had Jesus known the world would be going on another 2000 years plus and he wanted to ensure future generations would be reading his words then surely it was not unreasonable he would had his words written down by himself or others and indeed mentioned that during his ministry. Almost every evangelical church you go to now says he could be coming back today and so be prepared...as in the days of Noah etc.

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30960

Postby beeswax » February 12th, 2017, 12:45 pm

quelquod wrote:
beeswax wrote:
It was St. Paul who said you should not take the Eucharist if you are 'unworthy'.

I disagree with him as on so many issues. Its only the unworthy that should take it even unbelievers if they want to but two things.

It's obviously not practical to have a whole discourse here, however:
- Paul was speaking directly to the christians at Corinth when he said this in his letter - he was not preaching to the world.
- He didn't say 'if you are unworthy' he said, depending on translation accuracy, 'in an unworthy manner', not the same thing at all.

It's poor practice to pick and choose and misquote to support your views, it would be fairer to quote directly and in context.


Just remember the bible is not a completed discourse by one author. Its a collection by very many who had inconsistent and opposite views both OT and NT and so the manuscripts were just a collection of words without numbers or paragraphs and why its almost impossible to take things out of context because of this. So we all end up and especially most religious teachers and Pastors as quoting stuff they agree with and not quoting stuff they don't. How is it possible to take out of context what Jesus said about his return in that generation of his time and yet Christians do that the whole time to justify why he hasn't come back by saying, and I have heard this said many times from the Pulpit that Jesus knew not the day or the hour only the Father knew. Obviously I accepted that until I read it and he said THIS generation and so although he may not have know the detail he did give the timescale which is the same as saying that we don't know the day or the hour of our death but we most certainly know the timescales. That paragraph and others clearly mention that Jesus wasn't God but try and tell that to most Christians and especially the Catholic Church. So tell me again, who is taking stuff out of context?

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30963

Postby beeswax » February 12th, 2017, 12:53 pm

jfgw wrote:
beeswax wrote:... like Condoms cause Aids.. and a refusal even to allow Catholics to use them...

They are allowed to use perforated condoms.

Seriously!

If a semen sample is required for medical analysis, the man may use a perforated condom to catch some during sex with his wife while still allowing some through to allow impregnation. That is the only method allowed. Masturbation and extramarital sex are seen as sinful so, if a man is not married, he cannot justly, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, provide a sample.

Julian F. G. W.


I wonder how on earth anyone would become a Catholic when you read this sort of nonsense propagated by unmarried mostly celibate bachelor Priests and Popes. But we know most people seem to ignore most of it anyway and why I keep asking why are they Catholics and what not if they don't believe their rules and rule givers? They did a survey on how many non religious men masturbated and 99% admitted they do and when the same survey was carried out of religious people then the figure was zero especially in the seminaries..;)

Do wet dreams count? ;)

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30979

Postby beeswax » February 12th, 2017, 2:13 pm

I just remembered one of the most significant text in the whole bible that was and is taken OUT of context is Isaiah 53 which most if not all Christians use as a prophecy for last days of Jesus and going to the cross and they will not countenance otherwise. Its probably one of the top three they use and yet any run of the mill Rabbi will explain the context of what that Chapter was saying and will say there was no chapter 53 way back and so must be read as a continuation of Chap 52 and there was no Chap 52 as such. It was just a continued text and so anyone suggesting things are taken out of context need to think about what is being said. Both chapters were not speaking of a person but of a nation called Israel and why when you read them both together it starts to make sense. But how many Christians will do that even when its pointed out to them? CH 53 said God will prolong his days and increase his offspring...so most obviously could not have referred to Jesus who died a young bachelor with no children...at least none we know about? But how many Christians accept this?

Jesus said he was coming back in that generation that he lived in. He said that the disciples would not have time to preach in all the towns of Israel before he came back. He said some standing there will not taste death until he did. Paul said as I alluded that they all expected Jesus to come back in their time. So its fairly obvious what they all thought and so why do Christians conveniently forget all this? Because it doesn't fit the teachings of the Church, that is why. Perish the thought that Jesus was just a wandering Jewish man who came up with all sorts of weird ideas. But had no real idea about heaven or hell or he was the only way and believers must literally eat his flesh and drink his blood. Half the Christian Church thinks that was all symbolic and metaphorical and half (The Catholic Church) thinks it was literal. Who is right? This man is called God by such and yet this man/God told his followers not to wash their hands before eating and yet we know dirty hands are mainly responsible for the transmission of bacteria in people.

Sorry, I'm preaching again!

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Re: Non believers attending occasional church services - disrespectful/unethical to the religion ?

#30995

Postby quelquod » February 12th, 2017, 3:36 pm

quelquod wrote:
It's obviously not practical to have a whole discourse here

A bit of over optimism there it seems ;) .


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