Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reformation Sunday

Of all the special days on the Church’s calendar, Reformation Sunday is my favorite. That’s not just because you aren’t expected to buy other people presents or chocolate, but also because it’s when we remember those men of the 16th century who by their faithfulness won for us the right to hate Roman Catholics in perpetuity.

Indeed, were it not for men like Luther, Cranmer, Knox and Calvin, whose lives were in every way unblemished by sin, as well as other less important foreigners, sectarianism wouldn’t be half as much fun as it is today; the only people upon whom Biblical Christians could legitimately vent their feelings of insecurity would be Knights Templar. And we all know how rarely one of them is handy when you’re irritated.

Nor is popular hatred of Romans the Reformers’ only legacy: by placing theology in the hands of villagers with pitchforks the great witch persecutions of the 17th century were made possible, and by ending the Roman monopoly on abusive religion the foundations were laid for such greats as Joel Osteen and Oral Roberts, or that Canadian fellow whose specialty was kicking people in the head – and no, I don’t mean little David Short.

What’s more, the great Reformers provide the perfect role model for today’s young people. Take Knox, for example, who at the age of 50 married a 17 year old girl. Or Luther, a man so tolerant that his lesser known writings uncannily prefigure those of a later German nationalist. While in denouncing Servetus to the French Inquisition, Calvin established the glorious GAFCON principle of siding with those whom we hate in order to get rid of those we hate even more.

The greatest lesson of all however, that we gain from studying our Reformed predecessors is that valid theological development ceased after 1600. Unless you happen to be one of my Forward in Faith friends, in which case there was also a little window opened in the mid 19th century – a view with which Cranmer mightn’t have agreed, but then again he didn’t desperately need their money to keep Bobby Duncan in the lifestyle to which he feels entitled.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

12 comments :

Grandmère Mimi said...

One of your best, Fr Christian. You know your history, and you skewer them all. I find myself laughing and being serious at the same time. If God had wanted perfect followers, God would never have chosen humans - except for you, of course, Fr Christian.

Boaz said...

Father Christian your scholarship has unearthed an addition to Hitler's sins...Plagerism!

He clearly read and re-gurgitated Luther's thoughts regarding the need, nay duty, to persecute and torment the Jewish race.

mmm... now I wonder...who else needs...a good kickin'?

Revd Ivan Ackeroff said...

I am disturbed that a Reformed Biblical Scholar like Bishop Tom Wright has invited unreformed Pope Benny to preach in Durham Cathedral next year. (It will be a rare event as +Tom will be in his Diocese). I believe it might pose problems to have two Infallible men in the same building at the same time.

Anonymous said...

You better hope that Benny is not measuring the place for curtains while he's there!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Oh yes, always startling to look at the reality of men and their antics, holy or not, actions do have consequences as you´ve pointed out...some are more deadly that other actions but ++Rowans inactions are quite spiritually and physically destructive to other human beings...but, alas, so are Benny´s (no wonder they are ¨hanging together¨ for appearance sake during such challenging/revealing times).

David |Dah • veed| said...

I believe it might pose problems to have two Infallible men in the same building at the same time.

Surely an event more likely to cause a gravitational singularity than the CERN Large Hardon Collider.

Paul said...

Dahveed, your approach to hadrons is astonishing, though appropriate in the fantasies of Tommy and Joey.

Does Joey Ratz think Cuthbert's acceding to the Roman decision at Whitby and enforcing it at Lindisfarne will help him when he visits Durham? Frankly, I am horrified that either of them comes near Cuddy's tomb. Ugh. It seems as indecent as when the saint's ears were wiggled in September 1104.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Paul, I am sure that it is another manifestation of the damned Snow Leopard auto-correct.

(Teh, heh, heh)

Although the word haldron is from the Greek; ἁδρός, (hadrós) meaning stout or thick!

David |Dah • veed| said...

See, there it goes again!

hadron

Grandmère Mimi said...

It happens every time with the collider thingy.

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Paul said...

Thanks for the warning, David. I have not upgraded to Snow Leopard yet.