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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 ... Page 5B

Tahlequah Daily Press

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FAITH

Camp Robertson prepping for fun Jesus gave us WELLING – Camp Robertson summer church camp for youth is preparing for this year’s activities. Junior camp, for those aged 8-12, begins Sunday, June 6. Enrollment will begin at 3 p.m. June 6 at the mess hall. Cost is $50 per camper. Campers will stay until Thursday morning, June 10. While dorms are available,

campers wanting to participate, but who are not able to or do not wish to stay overnight, can check in for breakfast and check out after evening activities. A pre-camp is also available from 9 a.m. to noon, June 7-10, for children aged 3-7. Those participating in precamp must be potty-trained. Cost is $10 per child.

Senior camp, for those over age 13, is Sunday, June 13 through Friday, June 18. Enrollment begins at 3 p.m. June 13 at the mess hall. Cost is $50 per camper. Campers participating in either week can also purchase T-shirts for an additional $10 each. Events throughout the day include church services, devotions, swimming, games,

music, classes, and more. For more information on junior camp, call (918) 4565380. For information on senior camp, call (918) 822-1188. Information will also be available on enrollment days, after 2 p.m., at (918) 458-9120. Camp Robertson is a joint ministry of churches comprising the Cherokee Home Association of General Baptists.

Lost in the white light of Purgatory When describing the mysterious concept called purgatory, the catechism of the Catholic Church starts with the basics. “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” the text states. “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification. ... The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.” Alas, any distressed “Lost” viewers who rushed to the Vatican website after the show’s finale found no insights about the smoke monster, the Dharma Initiative, those mysterious “4 8 15 16 23 42” numbers or why the fate of the world depended on a pool of light on one very strange island. At least one member of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy has owned up to being tuned into the “Lost” phenomenon from the beginning. At the end, all Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark could do was understate the obvious. “I’ve enjoyed the series, considering it to be akin to science fiction,” he noted, reacting to the raging debates about the religious symbols and lan-

Guidelines for church news To submit church news for our weekly Faith report under the name of a congregation, you must be able to prove membership in an established congregation that meets regularly at a determined location, reachable by phone, with a designated pastor or leader who sanctions your news. Personal ministries, missionaries or individuals without established congregations may not submit under the Faith news designation, but those who have them may turn in announcements when events or activities are scheduled, or may ask to be put in the loop for Wednesday Witness. News should be information about what the church is doing,

guage that dominated the final moments. “While the Catholic Church does believe in Purgatory, I’m not sure that the series presents an accurate understanding of our beliefs.” Before the finale, the scribes who had been running “Lost” – Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse – said their creation would end by focusing on how the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors answered ultimate questions about the wounds, conflicts and sins in their pasts. The key word, they agreed, was “redemption.” All of that pain and suffering had a purpose. The final episode blended together lots of vague theology, philosophy, pop psychology, religious symbols and references to popular books and movies. Think of it as “Our Town” meets “The Sixth Sense,” with dashes of “Ghost,” “Field of Dreams,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and, at the last minute, a nod to “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” After years of flashing back and forth in time, the final year’s action centered on events in two parallel time sequences – the climactic battle to determine the island’s

fate and a purgatorial “sideways” timeline in which the characters gained insights into their troubled lives, before and after the fateful crash. At the end, the castaways gathered in a church sanctuary for one last group hug before entering eternity – an ocean of bright light outside the exit doors. The big chat explaining these final events – reuniting the show’s Christ figure, Jack Shephard, with his father, Christian Shephard – was lit by a stained-glass window containing symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. But was the show, as some had theorized all along, actually built on the concept of purgatory? Hadn’t Lindelof told The New York Times in 2006: “People who believe that they’re in purgatory or that they’re subjects of an experiment are going to start reassessing those theories. ...”? The creator of “Lost,” J.J. Abrams, had denied the purgatory theory, too. The finale’s spirituality shocked many critics, including one or two who were so upset that they retroactively (flash backward) dismissed “Lost” as a whole. But veteran Washington Post writer Hank Stuever, drawing on his Catholic-school past, said it’s time to admit the obvious. In the final five minutes, “I realized that the purgatory

and not personal opinions of or information about the writers. Other than in very brief references, poetry should not be used. Scriptures can be quoted, and biblical lessons should be connected with real-world events, but writers should refrain from veering onto other subjects without connecting them to church activities or sermons. All regular reports will be in the running list, and will not be “separated” from the rest of the churches. Wednesday Witness writers, whose comments are limited to those of a religious or spiritual nature (though not necessarily Christian), must submit a photo to us, and must cite affiliation with an organization or congregation for identification purposes. Each writer is limited to no more than one column per

month. We do not guarantee regular space to individuals, nor publication on certain Wednesdays; publication may be constrained by space limitations. Columns are generally published in the order they are received. We do not allow disparaging of other people, religions or churches, nor do we allow political en-dorsements or condemnations. Po-etry is discouraged, but if used, it must be brief and written by the person submitting the column. Poetry written by someone else cannot be used without the author’s permission. Items about specific activities and events may be submitted as news items separate from the list of church news. All church-related news of any type must be submitted by 10 a.m. Tuesday before the event takes

On Religion Terry Mattingly

camp had been right all along, that Occam’s razor (the simplest solution is usually the correct one) had worked,” he argued. “Oceanic 815 crashed. “Some of its souls awoke in a realm that is neither heaven nor hell. “It’s limbo. ... Jack Shephard and his fellow travelers were brought there to resolve a number of problems between heaven and hell.” But some Catholic viewers struggled to reconcile church teachings with the limitations of a product created in Hollywood, a place that has its own definitions of terms such as “sin,” “repentance,” “redemption” and “savior.” Now, the creators of “Lost” have offered a glimpse of purgatory – lite. “From a theological point of view – well, you can’t have ‘purgatory’ per se without God, without Christ,” said Amy Welborn, a popular online Catholic commentator. “But given a vague, non-specific Christ-less spirituality, I really don’t see an argument that the sideways realities in the final episode, at least, weren’t meant to be purgatory.” Terry Mattingly is director of the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and leads the GetReligion.org project to study religion and the news. place. Publication is not guaranteed for those received after deadline, unless their nature is such that the community in general would be interested. Items for Faith pages that are NOT e-mailed must be in our office no later than 5 p.m. Monday, typed and doublespaced, for inclusion in the Wednesday edition. E-mailed items will be accepted until 10 a.m. Tuesday. We reserve the right to edit for clarity, spelling, grammar and punctuation; to meet space limitations; and to conform to journalism writing style. For example, we do not capitalize pronouns in reference to God, and we spell out books of the Bible. We would appreciate it if our church news reporters would follow these same guidelines, to save time in the editing process.

power of attorney This week, someone showed me a brilliant painted picture and an aweinspiring poem. It was on the back of a funeral bulletin. The young artist and writer was dead – selfinflicted. A few days later at a prayer meeting, we prayed for another young man. He’d attempted suicide, but thank God, wasn’t successful. I know a little about suicide. Quite a few years back, I ended up in ICU after swallowing a bottle of aspirins. It wasn’t my first attempt. The first time I considered suicide I was 5. Suicide can be impulsive. Even though we may have thought about it a long time, the actual act can happen on the spur of the moment. If you have suicidal thoughts, get rid of them immediately. In Matthew 5:28, we’re told if we lust after someone, it’s the same as committing the act. What we lust after, if we don’t stop the thoughts, we’ll do “it” – whatever “it” is! Some of the demons surrounding suicidal people are self-hatred, self-rejection, shame-based feelings, selfpunishment, and especially for me at that time, lost hope.

Believer’s Arena Gene Ruth Brumback

Suicidal thoughts during stressful times still come to me. I’ve learned to quickly cast them down at the feet of Jesus. If these Satan-directed thoughts persist, I call a prayer warrior to help me fight. Jesus, who died for me, is our only real hope in this life. (Incidentally, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve had to call anyone.) Demons can be cast out by Christians. You have been given a power of attorney by Jesus. Once in a church after a successful suicide, the pastor, his wife, and I walked through the church with anointing oil and in Jesus name commanded the following spirits to leave: Death, deception, suicide, rejection, and Antichrist. We then prayed for a spirit of hope, peace, joy, and love to come in like a flood! You can do the same for yourself and for others. Also, Psalm 91 is always good to pray over ourselves and others. Gene Ruth Brumback is an ordained minister.

Waiting and contending for the faith of Christ God bless Combs Church – we’re believing and praying. Jude, the brother of Jesus wrote this book for Christian believers. He warned against the false teaching within the body of Christ, which was leading true believers astray. He told them to contend for the “faith,” which is believing the doctrine of salvation – and to fight to the death! Then as now, the gospel is so simple – Jesus died for us, took that blood before the father in heaven and paid in full – what we could never pay! When he went away, that sweet Holy Spirit was placed in the heart of each and every Christian, and now we are sons and daughters of the most high God. “We are the church!” I heard a sweet pastor say a young Muslim girl asked him, “Why don’t Christians pray like we do?”

Wednesday Witness Ginny Copeland

(She goes to Temple constantly.) He was able to explain to her how he was praying all the time, that our bodies are God’s temple, where the Holy Spirit lives, and that we praise the great one and only true God, day and night, and that our father in heaven hears and answers every prayer. Yippee! Jude told them to build themselves up in the most holy faith and live holy lives. Christianity is based on solid, fixed truths. It’s not an evolving religion with continuing new revelations. It needs now updating. If they deny Jesus, they deny God. Ginny Copeland is a member of Combs Baptist Church.


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