Tuesday, July 8, 2008

GAFCON Traditions are Christian Traditions

I’ve never said anything in the past about the AMiA because, to be quite frank, while I’ve got nothing against anyone stealing an acronym in order to improve their Google ranking, doing so from the Arab Marine Industries Association is just plain silly if you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the cutthroat world of Bible-believing Anglicanism. Then again, any organisation which thinks it’s sensible to have more ‘bishops’ than parishes is probably always going to find the ecclesiastical equivalent of tying one’s shoelaces difficult, and it really is unfair to be too harsh on little Chuck Murphy and the boys. After all, they try hard, and just because they’re convinced America needs to become more like Rwanda is no reason to laugh at them all the time.

In fact, despite that the AMiA are the Communion’s equivalent of that kid in school whom the teacher always left sitting in a corner with a box of old crayons, and whom could never be trusted to not eat all the paste on craft days, they invariably display an attribute which every GAFCON Christian should emulate: no matter how stupid whatever it is they’re saying might be, they always insist that it’s an essential part of traditional orthodox Christianity. Whereas liberal apostates might say things like “I know this is new, but times change and the Spirit challenges us to find new ways of meeting God in the face of these changes”, the true GAFCON believer will always insist that every innovation – regardless of how outlandish it may be - is actually something that the Saints have done since before St. Paul heard a voice telling him to stop killing people.

Indeed, one can never underestimate the intimidatory power of saying “I’m just holding fast to what Christian’s have always believed”. It doesn’t matter that only tiny minority of Christians might have believed it, or that this belief first became popular among a group who also specialised in tearing out the tongues of women with more than two vowels in their first name: history has nothing to do with things. Just proudly stick your chest out and insist that your position is the only historically orthodox one, and everyone else is denying the faith’s foundations.

You’ll be amazed at how easily this convinces those around you. Once, after eating some mushrooms Brother Richthofen found growing wild in the woods, I spent a whole month convinced that Christ instituted pickled onions as a third Eucharistic element. Despite meeting resistance from my area deanery I stood true to the voices I was continuously hearing, and harangued every clergyman I knew day and night about this important Christian tradition”. To this day some of them still keep a small jar on the altar, which just goes to show: if they AMiA can keep their energy up for long enough they might even one day manage to introduce Middle Americans to the quaint Rwandan custom of settling community disputes with a machete.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Christian - having once stirred outright terror among a group of women when I told them that hang nails can trigger a nervous system cascade that results in exploding eyeballs, I know very well the ease with which information may be introduced to the general populace of "believers". All to often the term "believer" means one will believe anything someone who holds a bible tells them with a reasonable air of conviction. I have begun to suspect that humanity was created as a sit-com for the gods and this week GAFCON is the special guest.