Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Introduction...and a gripe

Greetings all! My name's Tom and I am a husband and a father of 2 wondrous boys. I am a practicing Catholic (albeit one who struggles with some of my Church's more conservative teachings), and currently in formation to be professed a Secular Franciscan. I began this blog to document my continuing spiritual journey; my days of jubilee as well as my wrestlings with the angels. Also, I hope this blog will serve as the backdrop for a book I am planning on.

Now to my gripe.

My parish is hosting a "Contemporary Christian" band called The Paul Paoli Band. Normally I have no problem with such things...I enjoy John Michael Talbot, Fr. Stan Fortuna, 7 Sorrows, among others. The PPB is a non-Catholic Christian band which I pretty much don't have any problem with that either. I've heard some of their music; it's standard Christian pop, not great, not offensive to anyone (anyone who's not Christian, anyway). One of the links on PPB's website gave me pause, however. It was a link to Jews for Jesus.

Jews for Jesus are a group formed a few decades ago that keep all the trappings of Judaism - Torah scrolls, yarmulkes, temple, menorahs, Passover, etc. However, they considered themselves "completed Jews" in that they believe Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah. They are largely funded by various evangelical Protestant denominations (some say 'created by') specifically to target conventional Jews for conversion to "complete Judaism" (read: Christianity). Some of you may have seen these clowns during one of their summer "missions" in the NYC subways. They also evangelize in Jewish neighborhoods and outside synagogues across the country. As Catholic Christians, we are NOT to evangelize to Jews. Pope John Paul II made that abundantly clear on numerous occasions; he called Jews "our elder brothers in faith". To give a microphone in a Catholic parish to someone who supports JFJ, a group that uses morally questionable techniques to convert people of other faiths might be, to me, morally questionable. If this band stick to the content of its songs, I don't see much of a problem. But a band that finds the Jews for Jesus important enough to link to on their websites playing in my church concerns me.

More on this soon - thinking of running this by some of my "peeps" in parish administration.


Daily Readings
Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-17
Psalm 104:1-2a, 27-30
Mark 7:14-23

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