Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Low Roads & High Horses...

When the going gets tough the GAFCON get whinging: it’s impossible to overstate the importance of passive-aggressive complaining in the Conservative Bible-believers’ arsenal. The most impressive example of this technique that I’ve ever seen occurs in a delightful “Dear friends in Christ” email sent by the former Reverend Kevin “007” Bond Allen of St. Brendan’s Psuedo-Anglican Church in Bellingham, Washington.

I say “former” because a little while back this gallant ex-Clerk in Holy Orders decided that the Church’s acceptance of certain people in love with another person (as opposed to being love with a house plant, or garden implement?) meant God wanted him to abandon his vocation to join up with a group of local independent non-conformists, whose main distinguishing features are an apparent determination to hide the fact that they’re not actually part of the Anglican Communion, and a novel arrangement which sees them sharing premises with the local Seventh-day Adventist church – who doubtless comprise an equally orthodox Anglican congregation.

In response to such perfectly reasonable behavior his Bishop Episcopal, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, took the astonishing step of deposing our bold hero, a move Kevin 007  modestly describes as a decision to forgo the high road to instead follow the national Episcopal Church party line.

Yet despite Bishop Rickel outrageously choosing to follow the procedures, protocols and obligations of the Church he has sworn to serve, instead of taking the “high road” by ignoring these incidentals and recognizing a unique calling to unilaterally determine Episcopal doctrine and policy, Agent 007 graciously writes that he bears no animosity. Doubtless made easier by knowing that my ordination and clergy credentialing are still valid in most of the Anglican Communion - “most” that is, as long as you define “most” as being 6 out of 38 provinces (5 of which are on the same continent) and a handful of renegade Bishops. And possibly little Peter Jensen, who heads a category all his own called something like “Cromwell’s Taliban” (wonder when he’ll be inviting Layman Schofield down-under to preside at the cathedral?).

Concluding, he explains his relationship to the Episcopal Church is now “an ecumenical one”, despite his having already claimed to be mostly still ordained as an Anglican Priest. That's reassuring, since we all know how strongly Gafconeers are committed to ecumenicalism.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

PS. Anyone who’d like to see the entire letter should just send me an email and I’ll be happy to forward a copy with formatting, headers, and recipients, removed to protect my dear sources. It's really worth seeing...


Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...

Fr. Christian,
Here may be a portion of the answer:

Thunder Road
sung by Robert Mitchum

Now let me tell the story, I can tell it all
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol
His daddy made the whiskey, son, he drove the load
When his engine roared,
They called the highway thunder road.
Sometimes into ashville, sometimes memphis town
The revenoors chased him but they couldn't run him
Each time they thought they had him,
His engine would explode
He'd go by like they were standin' still on thunder

And there was thunder, thunder over thunder road
Thunder was his engine, and white lightning was his
There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst
The law they swore they'd get him, but the devil got
Him first.
On the first of april, nineteen fifty-four
A federal man sent word he'd better make his run no
He said two hundred agents were coverin' the state
Whichever road he tried to take, they'd get him sure as
Son, his daddy told him, make this run your last
Your tank is filled with hundred-proof,
You're all tuned up and gassed
Now, don't take any chances, if you can't get through
I'd rather have you back again than all that mountain


Roarin' out of harlan, revving' up his mill
He shot the gap at cumberland,
And screamed by maynordsville
With g-men on his taillights, roadblocks up ahead
The mountain boy took roads that even angels feared
To tread.
Blazing' right through knoxville, out on kingston pike
Then right outside of Beardon, there they made the fatal
He left the road at ninety, that's all there is to say
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy
That day

Boaz said...

I looked at their long, "We Believe" list.

They should add the following:

"Luckily, we don't believe in keeping the original Sabbath or some of the other clap-trap from the Old Testament that the Seventh Day Adventists believe and so we can happily use their buldings on Sundays...Hooray!"

"Oh, and No Poofters"


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that this e-mail got put to good use.