Back when Henry Ford was just another insignificant anti-semite with a crazy dream of doing something spectacular to help warm the planet, he came to me seeking advice. After reviewing his plans, which at that point was for a whole range of automobiles in a plethora of colors, my recommendations were straightforward: that in his initial stages he should stick to just one model, which I called “T” (for The World's Greatest Bible Teacher), available in just one color.
“There’ll be plenty of time in the future to offer variety, and a special range of vehicles featuring murals based upon the subtle cover artwork of Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell” I advised the visionary of Fordlândia, “You’ve only got to read the New Testament to see what happens if developing institutions aren’t rigidly forced into a single guiding principle.”
That advice, my Dearly Beloved Sinners, is as true today as it ever was, and I’m delighted to see the Archbishop of Canterbury is heeding my words in pushing for his own Church of England to lock their proverbials in a vice ++Cantaur's marketing experts have shrewdly branded The Covenant.
After Our Lord’s resurrection His great error was in failing to establish any water-tight managerial structure. Sure, St. Peter got the keys, but who got the handcuffs? Who was appointed to keep the books, or to stash the cash? Whose job was it to ensure the Apostles were maintained in the lifestyle to which they were entitled, and what were the finer points of that lifestyle anyway? Should leading clergy only ever be served Evian, or is it alright to offer Perrier if they find the bubbles’ sensually stimulating?
Certainly, the anarchic mess Christ chose to leave us with transformed the world, and two thousand years later continues to do so, but there’s no denying it was over a century before anyone was able to turn this confusion into something which made them seriously wealthy. Which is fine if all you’re selfishly concerned about is tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, but for those like Big Pete Akinola, or little Martyn Minns who want to enjoy the excesses of power, money and prestige now it’s simply not enough to leave things unharnessed. Control must be imposed from above, irrespective of whatever crazy ideas Jesus might have had.
Let’s face it; at the moment Archbishop Williams isn’t exactly enjoying the respect he anticipated when he first enjoyed a good bounce in the big bed at Lambeth. Just as was the case in the days of the early church, all sorts of people are running around saying all sorts of things, and there’s certainly no one organization reaping all the benefits associated with holding a monopoly on all things truly Christian. All this Covenant business is an attempt to redress this problem, and move the Church of England away from a Biblical model and towards one which ensures senior executives can exercise the degree of authority which God obviously forgot to give them.
I for one intend working closely with those Prelates who in their support for +Cantaur’s initiative are committed to taking the Church of England away from the unwieldy frameworks of Scripture, and towards one strict and ruthlessly enforced chain of command. It might not be what Jesus intended, but just look at how well it’s worked in Burma.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.