In a moment of desperation, you may think only Catholic bishops may be so ill with political correctness as to suspend one of their own because he had the temerity of defending Christian values, as Cardinal Wuerl did with poor Father Guarnizo. Still, a moment of quiet reflection would then rapidly persuade you if the Only Church has such people, the church imitations scattered around will probably not be immune from them.
This is what has now happened with the organisation calling herself “Church of England”. The churchofenglanders apparently have “lay preachers”, and I assume these are people who talk at length to their faithful about Christianity, probably outside of a liturgical setting.
From what I understand, the status of lay preachers must be reviewed and confirmed every year; which makes sense, because if the lay preacher has left his wife to live more uxorio with the fruity coworker, or suddenly start to talk about the holiness of so-called civil partnerships, even the CoErs will probably decide to put an end to his preaching. Up to here, all should be rather logical.
Where things become somewhat surprising is where a chap who has been a lay-preacher for 50 years is suddenly suspended because he dared to defend marriage. The heretical, but rather well-written blog Cranmer informs us a lay preacher for 50 years was suspended just for that. This being the so-called church of England things were, of course, rather slimy, and more than a bit oily.
Let us see the concatenation of events: lay preacher suggests the faithful support the coalition for marriage; some other lay preachers disagree with him (Yes! Yes!! They disagree with him!.. I know!!) and then run to the prof to say how wicked he was. The prof (in this case calling himself archdeacon; but this is irrelevant, as they all have no valid orders anyway) then informs the poor chap he is suspended for two months; no wait, this is the so-called coE, and nothing is made openly and with clear words. The poor preacher is, then, told he is not to preach for two months, but he is not suspended; erm, well, not really, is he now? He just can’t preach, which is different… of course…. I mean…. right?
This “suspension that is a suspension” is ordered so that the controversy may abate, but the unChristian lay preachers are not suspended.
When above mentioned Cranmer (the blogger) points out to the fact, the matter enlarges itself. In the meantime, the poor lay preacher silenced for being Christian and defending marriage (which is the official position of the so-called c of E, so far as they can ever have a position) has recurred to the head master (in the c of E, they call themselves “bishops”; see above) and the headmaster has said the prof hasn’t really suspended the pupil, has he now…. and we only want to give everyone time to reflect… and we shouldn’t quarrel about such secondary things as Christian values… so divisive, you see…. and yes, he can’t speak, but really this is not due to him being a Christian, but is rather to do with…erm…aahh.. other issues….
Really, who does this head master think he is: Cardinal Wuerl?
I do not often link to the page of a Protestant blog, but this time I really had to make an exception.
Cranmer‘s fisking of our teflon-coated Prime Minister is not only spot on in the matter, but it has the great merit of clearly telling the readers Cameron is as fake and hypocritical in his show of Christian feelings as he is in
pretty much everything else.
Cranmer “fisks” the Chameleon’s Easter address, that is: is dissects his speech taking phrases that he comments. Let us see an example:
This is the time when, as Christians, we remember the life, sacrifice and living legacy of Christ.
This is actually the holiest period in the liturgical year, Prime Minister. And Easter Day is the day we remember the Resurrection of Christ, not his ‘legacy’. Politicians tend to be concerned about leaving us with a legacy: the Son of God was concerned with offering us eternal life. Yes, that’s a legacy of sorts. But what’s wrong with the word ‘Resurrection’? Does it stick in the PC-pantheistic throat a little? Is it a bit too literally theological? Or mythically laughable? After all, carpenters tend not to get resurrected very much in Coalition Britain, so it’s probably safer to allude to some generalised ‘legacy’ rather than risk inciting Richard Dawkins and his intolerant secular-humanist hordes and being classed as a ‘nutter’ who believes on ‘conjuring tricks with bones’.
Or you might enjoy this:
The New Testament tells us so much about the character of Jesus; a man of incomparable compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love.
Yes, yes, but the New Testament tells us so much more than that, doesn’t it? Let’s not forget his uncompromising assertions of truth, his anger, his sharp tongue, his sternness and absolute intolerance of hypocrisy. What about the Jesus who was physically violent in the Temple? What about the Jesus who spewed out verbal abuse when the Pharisees criticised Him for healing on the Sabbath? And it’s not very Christian, is it, to curse a fig tree such that it ceases to bear fruit? That wouldn’t go down very well in Witney Garden Centre. Jesus told us to suffer the little children; not abort them. He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more; not find a lesbian partner and marry her. And he taught quite a lot about money, greed and hell, but they’re not so fluffy and pink, are they? Jesus was an Orthodox Jew, Prime Minister. An awful lot of what he did and said may seem utterly antithetical to the modern, decontaminated Tory understanding of ‘compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love’. Love demands truth, or it is not love. And sometimes the truth is unpalatable, and people tend not to want to hear it. Especially if they’re politicians.
It is worth your while to read the article in its entirety. Notwithstanding the disastrous title of the blog this chap would, methinks, make a good convert. He certainly has managed, in the midst of his error, not to lose sight of the basic tenets of Christianity. The rest of his contributions – I have perused the site a bit, I confess – is of high quality and an interesting mixture of religious and political comments. This is a rather known blog, and is obviously followed in political circles. Let us hope that “Cranmer”‘s activity gives a contribution in exposing the purest example of Pharisaism of our time.
Hat tip to His Hermeneuticalness.