Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Teacher's Teacher

If truth be told I am known among Clergy as “The Teacher’s Teacher”. It’s not an easy cross to bear: in fact I consider it a more important one that that borne by Our Lord himself, since all St. Paul carried was some kind of thorn in his flesh, whereas I have to sustain the weight of countless admirers. And let me tell you, when one of them is John-David Schofield, that’s no mean feat for an old Doctrinal Warrior like me.

Yet no matter how tired I may be after ministering to the needs of my Staff, nor how preoccupied I may be with studying the Scriptures or my collection of Benny Hill videos, there is always time in my schedule to encourage younger and less important clergy – in that respect I have the patronising heart of a Bishop with the accessibility of a man who is still establishing his power-base.

Consequently when hearing a cry like the following, which is from the comments to the brave, challenging, stirring, courageous and inspiring (sometimes I just love the sound of my own praise) message I gave yesterday on the nomination of someone with respect to something that won’t possibly happen, I have to respond:
”Father Christian
I was wondering if you could spare time to give us your wisdom on how, in these politically correct, times you approach the question of the inherent superiority of "certain types of people" over other "types" of people, in public prayer. I ask this as we will, at my church, obviously be wanting to pray that a "certain type of person" never enters the "certain type of people" HOUSE.”
That these are frightening times for those of little faith is no doubt. Still, if a congregation has been well taught, and diligently encouraged to exclude those more suited to another type of congregation, those allowed to remain will know full well what is meant when you pray “Thy will be done”. For the well trained member of the Communion less is more, and the ancient unspoken code whereby outsiders are driven away is so well known nothing further than the occasional well-known euphemism is all that needs be said.

Sadly those Seminarians not from a traditional ministry families (e.g. anyone in Britain not descended from a Bishop married to either his cousin or a woman who looks remarkably like a horse, or anyone in Australia whose surname is not “Jensen”) receive little instruction is given in coping with inappropriate new comers and others unfamiliar with Biblical ways of referring to our inferiors. Over the next two days I shall redress this need – my children: keep listening to Father Christian and you’ll be so exclusive people will be mistaking you for Father Kennedy in no time at all. Or maybe, if you pay very close attention, that funny little Short fellow in Shaughnessy who runs around after J.I. Packer.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

1 comment :

jcd said...

I named my corgi after the horse you alluded to. Jensen was never considered. She has a fair amount of cash, I just don't let her have an envelope.