As my dear old colleague and friend Rev. Wango Nimblenuts mentioned in the comments on my previous post, The Doubtfully Reverend Don Armstrong has just been raided by more than 20 police in a raid which saw computers and financial records seized as part of the on-going investigation into little Donny’s creative usage of parish resources.
Now I’ve never made any secret of my admiration for a man who’s displayed some of the most innovative Christian financial acumen since Robert Schuller discovered how to join the words “crystal” and “cathedral”, but on this occasion I simply can’t hide my disappointment at the lack of imagination my fellow Conservatives are showing in their responses to this unfortunate incident.
Over at Viagraville the general strategy has been to claim it’s all the work of an evil conspiracy: while the Liberals commenting at Stand Firm show a touching naivety that a crueller man than me would find side-splitting, they also exemplify their kind’s utter refusal to engage in the most important task of all: EVANGELISM!!!
Here at St. Onuphrius’ the early days of my Ministry saw us raided countless times – but because the matter was handled appropriately - as an evangelical opportunity – everything was soon swept under the carpet where it belongs. How my heart wishes that lesser Christian leaders than myself might learn to similarly seize what are in reality golden opportunities to creatively spin a little good publicity!
The first thing Rev. Armstrong should have done was to make a public statement - from the street corner if necessary – claiming that was actually taking place was a local Police outreach service. He should then have announced a spectacular number of conversions to Jesus among the local constabulary, featuring a few lurid conversion stories concerning some of the better known (and preferably Baptist or Roman) Officers, in which lavish praise is heaped upon these men and the sincerity of their new-found faith.
By doing this one’s critics are effectively silenced from the start: anytime the raid is mentioned you can easily take the moral high-ground and accuse the speaker of slandering a mighty move of God – it wasn’t a raid but an outbreak of revival. In the process remember to never be shy about reminding naysayers of what happens to those who dare blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. At the same time you can be confident the Police won’t speak out to correctt you: no cop worth his doughnuts is going to stand up and say “No, I wasn’t repenting of all the evil in my life”; they’ll keep close-mouthed about the whole thing for fear of what you might say next.
Then the next step is to generously reward those officers who participated in the investigation, and the golden rule at this point is a simple one: don’t be stingy. Fr. Don is alleged to have snaffled over $400,000: in a case like this a responsible GAFCON leader should have squirreled away at least 10% for just such an occasion as this. After all, every business has its overheads, and effective Ministry involves paying the relevant commissions. $40,000 split between the 20 police would have made a nice little pre-Christmas bonus for each of them, and with a haul like that Fr. Armstrong could have easily afforded to throw in a few lap-dancers serving drinks and canapés to the investigators. Then he’d have only needed to capture proceedings on a few hidden cameras and the hearts, souls and other less honourable organs of the boys in blue would be his – why do you think I have so many senior police in my own congregation? My preaching’s undoubtedly good – but not that good. Or for that matter, why do you think we don’t hear more about these sorts of scandals occurring in Nigeria, Uganda or Sydney? Hmmm?
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.