Given the busy nature of my ministry, I have little time for secular publications like Church Times, nor for the religious media. Indeed, my time as the World’s leading Doctrinal Warrior is so precious that the only news sources my schedule allows time to peruse are those owned by that fine Christian man Rupert Murdoch, and our ‘Gathered Brethren’ listed on the left - that Kendall Harmon is the funniest daily read since the papers stopped printing Li’l Abner.
As a result I am from time to time accused by liberals of being behind the times, a ridiculous claim having read the Bible more often than any man alive, and every Word of Scripture represents the last Word on everything, it stands to reason that I am actually the most up-to-date man on the planet. Yet I will confess, the news of Bishop Wright declared his own schism on the GAFCON lads last Thursday has somehow slipped my attention until now.
I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again; I’ve a lot of time for the young Bishop of Durham, and he’s clearly learned much from me. The zeal with which he promotes his own line of merchandise would make a Spice Girl proud, and given the choice between talking up sales, and pastorally supporting his clergy, Tommy understands the importance of foreign exchange to one's spiritual well-being.
Naturally I was flattered to see him emulate something of my own strategy regarding the Jerusalem junket, and keep everyone guessing will he/won’t he until relatively late in the picture - even though it was obvious all along that he’d never show up. After all, since Tom’s got plenty of frequent-flyer points it’s not as if he’s desperate for ways to escape his See, and when Continental serve trans-Atlantic passengers free drinks why go somewhere that forbids Saturday morning book-signings?
His new quarrel was just as predictable; has Bishop Tommy ever been able to share a podium with anyone for more than a few minutes? Still, the way he’s expressing himself is hilarious. The talk about sledgehammers and American nuts sounds like a practical joke played by one of Brother Richthofen’s friends, and even funnier is “I spend 90 to 100 hours a week doing the work of the gospel and the kingdom of God in my diocese and around the place.”
I can’t find anyone who believes His Grace spends that much time in his diocese over an entire year, so “around the place” must obviously include North American book launches and chat shows. Next time the spirit calls me to spend a few days in Monte Carlo or Las Vegas remind me to describe it as “doing the work of the gospel and the kingdom of God around the place”.
Then again, when I think about it, I suspect that the Bishop of Durham might have stolen that line from me. It certainly sounds like something I taught him.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.