Monday, May 30, 2011

This Twists My Knickers!

Writing in his own blog Bishop Nick Baines from the diocese of Bradford in the Church of England writes the following:

Christian Church, in the UK as well as here in Switzerland and Germany, needs to recover confidence in the church itself and the vocation of the church to serve its society.

Now, there are those in England who like to think (in a rather uncommitted liberal way) that if we could only shake off the institution of the church, we could create a new way of being church without all the stuff we find embarrassing or shaming. I recognise that what I am about to say goes wholly against the grain of the self-fulfilment, instant-gratification culture we now inhabit, but such attitudes are naive. They ignore the massive achievements of the church in our cultures – intellectually, socially, educationally, politically, morally, etc. – and collude in the selective memory that encourages costless fantasy.

Find Bishop Baines "work" here:
The Wrong Question by Nick Baines

Now, let's compare that deeply moving and heartfelt comment to this one from the Archbishop of Canterbury:

However, Dr Williams told The Daily Telegraph: “Of course, if people behaved morally there would be no need for super-injunctions. But how many of us actually would be comfortable about the ceaseless scrutiny of every aspect of ourselves?
“This is a culture so obsessed with transparency that it can confuse that, I think, with this universal miasma of gossip and prurience.”

And that comment was  made a few days after the now famous Colin Slee memorandum in which we find this little ditty:

Slee described Williams shouting and losing his temper in last year's Southwark meeting, which left several members of the crown nomination committee, responsible for the selection of bishops, in tears.
Slee also in effect charges the church with hypocrisy, stating that there are several gay bishops "who have been less than candid about their domestic arrangements and who, in a conspiracy of silence, have been appointed to senior positions". The memo warns: "This situation cannot endure. Exposure of the reality would be nuclear."
Slee said of the meeting: "We had two very horrible days in which I would say both archbishops behaved very badly. The meeting was not a fair consideration at all; they were intent on wrecking both Jeffrey John and Nick Holtam equally, despite the fact that their CVs were startlingly in an entirely different and better league than the other two candidates …

And then let's add to the fact that GAFCON/FCA will not take communion with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. 

Let's add to that that the Global south refuses to recognize those children of God who wish to participate fully in the life of the church and cannot in places like Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Australia, South America, etc.

Let's add to the fact that despite the apparent disregard for LGBT persons in Nigeria the Archbishop continues to do absolutely nothing about those foreigners being held captive in the oil rich region of the country and who have done nothing but work and be kidnapped while the Archbishop flies around the world condemning everyone else.

No one wants to "shake off the institutional church" we want it to live up to all that it can be through the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We want the Trinity to shine through everyone that comes into our church.  We want the church to accept as full members the LGBT community.  We see hypocrisy at the very top levels of our churches and our Communion and we want it to stop.  We see men more worried about their next promotion than the people who come to them for inclusion.  We see men wanting to keep women "barefoot and pregnant"  ("even women have a place in our church." John David Schofield, former bishop of San Joaquin).   We see men too wrapped up in getting their purple shirts from Uganda or Rwanda or wherever they can beg borrow or steal one just so they too can feel important.  We see entire organizational structures more concerned with setting up shop in England and Jerusalem than in making their organizations look like what Jesus commanded us to do.

When those things are corrected perhaps the "liberal arm of the church" will look more favorably upon the institutional church, Bishop Baines.