Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wabukala Wobbles Already.

It hasn’t been a week since the new Khedive of Kenya, the Rt. Rev. Eliud Wabukala, successfully lobbied for the giddy right to call himself Primate-elect, yet he’s already proven to be not a patch on his predecessor, and I refuse to make any secret of the fact that I’m appalled and disgusted.

In today’s Daily Nation the man baldly states “Kenya is hopeless” - shamefully ignoring the fact that the Kenyan Church is actually blessed with one of the most experienced (are we up to 7 years yet?) ministers the world has ever known: little Matt Kennedy. How can any place be hopeless with talent of this calibre – not to mention the little Billies Murdoch and Artwood (they still haven’t fixed the spelling, and Cany is right: Artwood does sound kind of porno – which is probably why he's wanted them to leave it). And that list doesn’t even begin to mention the lovely Hostillium, whom I believe is also a faux-Kenyan; although as the one who appears to do all the work around the parish and rectory she probably can’t really be considered a conservative “leader”.

Not only is the possible new-boy on the Primates Council (quite wisely they seem to have refrained from making any pronouncements until everyone has got whatever it is they need in their piously sweaty little palms) guilty of ignoring the most important Christians in his diocese, but he’s gone on to do the unthinkable for an African GAFCON Bishop: he’s actually made an official pronouncement about an issue in his own country before telling off everyone else in the world. This crass break in protocol is not only deeply offensive, it also included what Wabukala’s history suggests is an utterly unachievable boast, for he continued by claiming “as a church we have the responsibility to preach hope and sanity”.

Then again, to be fair, he didn’t say he was going to do any of those things, only that his church ought to, so he has left himself plenty of wriggle-room. Which you’d better believe he’s going to use.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Times are Changing.

Bishop Quinine has booked himself out of rehab and come home to us early: it seems that as the tremors subsided he had a vision of starting his own program for attractive young men and women in need of some sort of help, and consequently pronounced himself cured.

He’s calling it “The Fourteen Steps” which doesn’t sound very original to me: 1-12 are the standard sort of thing, although step 13 is awfully Mark Driscoll, and why number 14 requires an armadillo costume and a large bowl of cheese sauce is beyond me. Still, he’s trying something new to attract people into the Church, and that’s more than can be said for many of my conservative brethren.

While I realise jetting around the world to attend conferences on the evils of same-sex marriage can be tremendous fun, the reality is I’ve never met anyone who says they came to Christ as a result of some late middle-aged man in a purple shirt racking up frequent–flyer points in an obsessive crusade against people being the way God made them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good back-slapping session with my cronies as much as the next GAFCON leader, but the reality is ministry can’t be all fun and games. Sometimes we all ought to just get on with the business of growing our churches, because if we don’t there’ll be no future generation to keep paying for the kind of rectories and hotels to which we are entitled.

It’s all very well for the über-Tractarians at Forward in Faith to reminisce about the 19th century, when fiddling with children was only technically illegal, and nobody ever asked questions, or for a nasty evangelical to fantasize that the early 1960’s were a time of a glorious reawakening in the wake of Billy Graham’s 1959 crusade, when the reality was entrenched corruption as police and politicians amassed fortunes in bribes from organized crime and backyard abortionists, but times have changed. I also find myself longing for the days when children could be sold to work as pit-ponies and chimney sweeps, and parents routinely experienced the joy of watching their children die in waves from all-but-forgotten diseases like diphtheria and polio, but those days are gone forever (unless Jim Carrey is allowed to have his way).

Our is an age when thanks to the miracle of broadband Christians can gaze upon Paris Hilton’s pudenda from the comfort of their own La-Z-Boy; it’s no longer enough to wave a bit of man-lace or Calvin on a Sunday morning and expect the sheep to come flocking in. We need to find ways of meeting people which don’t discard our history, but which also don’t require people to pretend they’ve entered a time machine.

Here at St. Onuphrius’ we’re unapologetically conservative, so our core evangelism strategies of liturgical pole-dancing and unlimited free alcohol for everyone under the age of 21 probably aren’t going to work in more progressive congregations, but I mention them as inspiration for your own prayerful explorations into ways of reaching out to people not currently part of our great and glorious communion. Let’s face it, simply telling people you hate queers isn’t working like it used to.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Statements, Covenants, and Nitwits.

The Archbishop of Canterbury might be a lot of things, but he’s not stupid. He might have too much facial hair, and write books that will never be made into movies with exciting car chases, but he’s still nobody’s fool.. He and his advisors might even be shape-shifting lizards, only able to maintain human form by drinking the blood of evangelical virgins (as a frightening number Viagraville’s commenters clearly believe), but that doesn’t mean they’re not a fair bit sharper than the average knife in the ecclesiastical drawer.

Sadly the same can’t be said for the Bishops prepared to put their names to the Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church produced by the modestly self-styled “Anglican Communion Institute”. Despite the impressively creative historical revisionism (Sure the church’s founders saw themselves as establishing the Episcopal equivalent of the Helvetic Confederation), anyone thinking that the folks at Lambeth aren’t going to see through this document quicker than a Vegas hooker asks for money has either been smoking some of Bishop Quinine’s toadstools, or was never too bright to begin with.

Let’s face it; the entire raison d'etre of the looming Anglican Covenant is to bind the lot of us together. ++Cantaur cares less about whether two people can or can’t marry in any given place than he does about the fact that many of the places in which they can’t are making awfully threatening noises about splitting away in a division that could ultimately leave us all as united as Brethren, Baptists or fringe Seventh-day Adventist sects. The purpose of getting everyone to put their necks into a covenantal collar is to keep the more dysfunctional adolescent members of our family from running away from home before they’re mature enough to understand what can happen when you loiter around on your own in Hollywood bus stations.

Which means there’s no way he’s ever going to let it be manipulated into becoming a vehicle for further Episcopalian division. It doesn’t matter how long-winded a document anyone produces with the crumbs of little Don Armstrong’s tangled financial shenanigans; if they think the Biggest Blessed Beard in the Communion can be fooled into accepting diocesan level assent to his Covenant, thereby establishing a precedent which can be used to further divide an already fractured Church, then they’re more deluded than the sweet Anglo-Catholic dearies who think that they’ll always have the same rights as Evangelicals in Bobby Duncan’s brave new Province-in-Perpetual-Waiting. It's just not going to happen. Even if the dearies do have a lovely collection of man-lace.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Honest Scrap (1 out of 2 ain't bad).

My Dear Sinners:

It gives me great to pleasure to announce that yet another award as been bestowed upon your beloved Doctrinal Warrior. The fine image on top of the sidebar to your left comes from none other than our faithful friend Leonardo Ricardo, who in turn received it from one of the bravest bloggers you’ll ever have the privilege of visiting.

As part of the rules associated with this great honor one must reveal 10 hitherto unknown things about oneself, and so without any further ado…

People often remark that when in the pulpit I remind them of Freddie Mercury.

Of the Kennedy’s, I consider Caroline more intelligent, although Matt follows my blog more closely.

Consuella once stopped me from buying myself Hannah Montana pyjamas because she felt them “inappropriate”.

I believe little David Virtue finds me more arousing than I do him, although he’s too repressed to admit it.

The nastiest, most dangerously violent person I’ve ever encountered was a girl named “Cindy”. Honestly.

Once, in a moment of financial desperation, I worked as a telephone psychic, and people kept expressing their amazement at my accuracy.

Hellmann’s mayonnaise goes with everything, except perhaps strawberries and ice-cream.

Like Frank Zappa, I think Punky Meadows and his contribution to contemporary music are underestimated.

Sometimes, when alone in the bath, I like to pretend I’m the Little Mermaid.

I believe that Deuteronomy 23:12-13 means Christians should probably not have indoor toilets.

I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

++Orombi's Real Crisis

Bible-believing Christians in the west have long been accustomed with the media’s wicked bias against our noble self-piety, and these days few of us other than little David Virtue bothers getting worked up when some uppity journalist dares publish the truth, instead of just obediently repeating whatever their spiritual superiors tell them.

Sadly, however, an article in the Ugandan Daily Monitor shows this terrible first-world malaise is spreading to places once previously famous for the peaceful fruit that springs forth when Christian Purity and Orthodoxy is combined with an utterly ruthless militia.

Instead of blindly praising Archbishop Orombi as one of the Communion’s great minds, (as western conservatives know all African Christians recognize him to be), the writer dares to suggest the Primate and his lackeys are in fact guilty of cronyism and incompetence, and not beyond throwing a bit of malicious mud around if that’s what it takes to get one of their own appointed to a choice position.

Even worse, rather than recognizing that by ordering his Prelates to boycot Lambeth ++Orombi helped bring about an end to homosexuality, the article posits that the real reason might have been “a lack of intellectual nimbleness” among the Kenyan Bishops. Or instead perhaps “proof positive that African Anglican churches such as Uganda’s are institutionally predestined to produce bishops cast out of the same confessional iron, all of who think alike” and inherently undemocratic.

I know we’re currently all upset about documents proving a group of conservative and grumpy old men have acted like conservative and grumpy old men, and been busy playing politics (a process which always includes sending sending plenty of emails), but perhaps the real Anglican firestorm might actually be starting to burn in darkest Africa – and I fear the cause of the problem is that terrible curse we call “education”. That's why we must never forget that our best defense against the destruction of what we have misrepresented as "Christianity" is not politic constructs (not even ones that involve lots of first-class air travel and luxurious "conferences"), but continuous vigilance to ensure everything possible is done to continue "dumbing-down" the congregations with whom we have been entrusted - something I fear little Primate Orombi might be neglecting.

You see, my dear sinners, as African Christians grow in maturity (and despite all our best efforts to patronize them, it will happen), some of them may well start asking the same the sort of questions as our own pesky Apostate Liberals. We can only rely on the uneducated masses to embrace literal and homophobic exegesis for so long, and if more people start challenging the right of their local church to embrace nepotism and corruption, and to make key decisions behind closed doors, without consultation, one can only expect the African church to be available for use as a one-dimensional role-model for a little while longer. And then what will we do?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How do you say "Pork Barrel" in Kenyan?

Just because the Anglican Church of Kenya hasn’t bothered to spell little Billy Atwood’s name correctly on their web site doesn’t mean the people of Nairobi don’t think of North America’s favorite faux-Kenyan everyday. Or at least two of them do: Primate Benjamin M. Nzimbi, and whoever it is that has been appointed heir to the pointiest hat in all Kenya.

That’s because ++Nzimbi’s term of appointment has expired, and lobbying for the forthcoming election, to be held later this week, is fierce. Speaking to leading Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation, the Rev. Joshua Owiti from Maseno South Diocese hinted that at least some of the delegates have been less than impressed with the globe-trotting Gafconeer, saying “only God can give the church a new leader who will improve the image tainted by taking partisan positions during the 2007 General Election”.

Which is why the schismatics – or their money, at any rate – are currently foremost in the outgoing administration’s mind: one only has to read the Daily Nation’s review of synod processes to realize just how vital U.S. dollars will be to greasing enough palms to ensure ++Nzimbi and his fellow GAFCON puppeteers can continue pulling the strings:
“Political and ethnic lobbying has started in earnest, with key political parties aligning themselves with some candidates.
ACK elections normally draw the interests of the political leadership, in a bid to win the support of the church members through their leader.”
Equally interesting is the fact that not a mention of this was made at recent GAFCON meeting in London, even though it marked the last time ++Nzimbi could legitimately sit as a member of the “Primates Council” Then again, since not being a Primate doesn’t stop 12.5% of the Council from participating, and it remains to be seen if he can bring himself to relinquish one of the choicest plums any Kenyan Prelate has ever enjoyed. My guess is ++Nzimbi will cut a deal with his appointed successor to ensure he keeps enjoying the travel, fine hotels, and sycophantic Westerners, while the newcomer has to content himself with the local first-fruits.

What we can be certain about is that it won’t be long after reading this before little Billy Atwood is screaming down the phone at some first-year I.T. student in Nairobi, demanding the web page is fixed Now!!! If anyone’s interested in laying bets on how many days it takes for him to have it changed I’m sure the St. Onuphrius’ Treasury will be able to give most attractive odds. Don’t worry though: I’ve already saved a copy of the current page for our future reference, edification, and amusement.

Incidentally, anyone concerned about little Bishop Nzimbi’s other plans for the future will be delighted to know that he’s been nominated for a seat on the proposed Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. And when you’ve caught your breath and finished laughing you might then consider pausing in a moment’s prayer for the people of Kenya. Clearly they need our prayers more than any of us had imagined.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From Darkness into Light.

While trawling around the internet in search of the sin in people’s lives I chanced upon a delightfully nasty site, featuring a post headed “Hate crimes bill - bad news for believers”.

The author, whose professed aim is to “speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ”, offers an alarming warning that the right of conservative Christians to incite hatred (in love, of course) towards homosexual and transgendered persons might soon be brought to end by an act of Congress. GAFCON Bible-believers have indeed every reason to be concerned by this prospect, since if prevented from taunting, vilifying and discriminating against their fellow human beings it’s hard to see how their faith could survive. After all, what would little David Virtue have left to write about? Or all the pent-up energy of the wild and crazy gang commenting regularly at Viagraville could prove positively dangerous - some of them might well explode!

Indeed, I was just about to work myself into the obligatory rage at the mere prospect of this terrible restriction on the non-contextual preaching and practice of Leviticus, when I chanced to see the next post at this lyceum of learning, entitled “We are only what we are in the dark.”

That’s so true, I shouted out aloud. It really is only in the dark that our true and basest natures are completely revealed: for example anyone staying after sunset at the St. Onuphrius' Rectory soon realizes I’m a lean, mean, doctrinally-sound Christian love machine. While some other people are just grubby little passive-aggressive homophobes. And take it from me: they're even worse if you then try and turn the lights on.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Michael Jensen: The Evangelical Dorothy Parker.

Easter is indeed 50 days, as all my Facebook friends know, but we’ve decided to call an early end to things for Bishop Quinine and put him into detox. No matter how much he protests to the contrary, none of the Church Fathers considered Tequila a sacrament, and I will always remain convinced that the clear fluid gushing from Our Lord’s side when He was pierced for our transgressions was water – or at least some goopy water-like fluid definitely not distilled from agave.

Perhaps someone in Sydney Australia might make a similar call on behalf of little Peter Jensen’s son. Named Michael, because nobody in the family firm could think of another name beginning with “P” (“Priscilla” having been forever ruled out since that movie), the dear lad appears to be trying to desert his vocation as theological lecturer and dynastic heir (which he acquired entirely due to ability) and is now trying to become a theatre critic.

Since puritans are not exactly famous for their patronage of the arts it’s a bit hard to see how he can hope to get his new career off the ground, but one can’t help admire the lad for trying. And his first review, of an opera based on the Jerry Springer Show, is indeed material worthy of criticism. Doubtless the poor boy was horrified to observe women actually speaking aloud in the presence of men during the disgraceful performance – something which he, his family and any disciples who’d like to continue being able to count to 20 when they remove their shoes and socks (although in the case of the more faithful ones that number well be 22, or even greater), are blessedly doing everything in their power to see prohibited throughout their diocese.

What concerns me however, is that the excitable hordes flocking to Jesus under the Jensen’s exciting message of a loving homophobic misogynist god eternally torturing anyone not a Gnostic-evangelical might not feel comfortable with young Michael’s strategy of a quiet protest. Like Episcopalians in Virginia, whose evangelistic dedication has resulted in their congregations utterly eliminatin the old color barriers, or in Florida, where Conservatives have so successfully welcomed Hispanics into Ministry and Leadership, the few clergy in Sydney not related to the Jensen family are almost exclusively of Aboriginal, Asian or Pacific Island descent. Hence it’s not certain they’ll find a strategy of passive-aggression quite so culturally acceptable as their dictator’s offspring does – and that’s without beginning to consider the thousands converting from Islam every day as a result of Sydney diocesan evangelism strategies.

Meanwhile, speaking of Jerry Springer, I believe an upcoming episode will be featuring a woman from Binghamton, NY. Keep an eye out for the episode: it’ll be called “My Husband Lost Our Church and Home, but I’m Not Complaining… Much.”.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Finished (for now)

Well after three days of talks and another couple spent shopping engaging in high-level dialogue and fellowship, the members of the GAFCON Primates Council and their coterie of impressively sycophantic laymen have gone home – or at least they’ve gone to somebody’s home. Hopefully it isn’t any of your homes, my dearly beloved sinners.

Naturally they managed to accomplish a tremendous amount during the course of this recent little junket. News is thin on the ground, but little George Conger tells us that they’ve “endorsed” the formation of little Bobby Duncan’s ACNA sect-pretending-to-be-a-province, and that they’re less than enthusiastic about the proposed Anglican Covenant.

Now I know that the David Virtues of our Communion never guessed GAFCON’s biggest monkeys would feel this way about either issue, and are currently finding both of these conclusions a wonderful surprise, but those of us who haven’t neglected to take our medication on the grounds that it “was probably developed by sodomites and people who don’t believe Noah’s Ark has been found on a mountain in Turkey” can’t help thinking that pretty much anyone could have predicted the Council’s findings for a fraction of what this show cost. And with as much smoke and as many mirrors as Big Pete and the lads used, little David, Matt, George and all the rest of them would be just as excited by the "startling" pronouncement.

Next thing you know the usual suspects will be breathlessly posting blogs with headings like “Pope endorses Roman Catholicism!”, “Mormon boy feels guilty about Masturbation!”, and “Scientologist pays $$$ for worthless course!” Although given that I’ve just finished reading a charming thread at Viagraville in which one of the faithful (#95 – “Katherine”) emphatically insists “they HAVE (the prisoners) been treated humanely at Guantanamo” I’m beginning to suspect that point might have been have passed long ago.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Arizona Border Patrol Reasserts Reformed Tradition!

Back in the days when the inerrant Reformers were showing the world how real Bible-believers should treat Anabaptists, Christians didn’t need to worry about Paramilitary Policemen with small penises neglecting to enforce Reformed prohibitions against Baptists.

Sadly today that’s no longer the case, and you don’t need to be little Matt Kennedy to see where this moral languor has left society. Yet the video below, which I discovered at the notorious Blazing Indescretions, has filled me with new hope for America’s future. With Arizona Border Patrol Officers rediscovering their theocratic responsibility to treat heretics the same way they’ve been treating foreigners, poor people, and alternative types for years, little David Virtue’s utopia can only be just around the corner.


Now if only someone could tell me why I inexplicably keep thinking of Martin Niemöller

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

GAFCON Conference Welcomes Laymen.

I’m delighted to see little George Conger continues being able to remember the two GAFCON Primates that previously could not be mentioned: obviously their Graces Tanzania and West Africa completed with flying colours whatever penance and rehabilitation Big Pete ordered they undertake.

Yet my delight at this, oh dearly beloved sinners, is nothing in comparison to seeing that the closed meeting of the GAFCON Primates Council (which actually contains only 87.5% Primate – meaning were it a beer in Germany the manufacturers could be prosecuted) has indeed remained true to the movement’s original spirit, and rather than descending into a rarefied enclave of men with funny hats (or in little Pete Jensen’s case, an extremely spiritual powder-blue safari suit), it has remained truly open to the voices of laymen.

Indeed, one only has to look at the ancillary guest list to see plenty of laymen were allowed to give their $0.02’s worth: little Bobby Duncan was there wriggling his eyebrows, Martyn Minns could once again gaze longingly in Big Pete’s eyes, Jack Iker could hot-tub with anyone desperate enough to join him for a soak in his juices, and bouncing Billy Atwood was able to slap backs, squeeze shoulders (in the manliest of ways, of course) and tell everyone his favourite homophobic joke (again).

No, the list of laymen foraging for crumbs beneath the tables at the (only) 12.5% adulterated Primates Council was endless, and wasn’t it wonderful that all these men could meet and plan the church’s future without any distracting girl cooties around the place? Or that’s what they thought, at any rate…

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living Rough for Jesus in London

It’s come to my attention that a few ne’er-do-wells have been wondering why the current GAFCON meeting is being held in England, of all places, when six of the seven men with pointy hats live in Africa. “Would it not,” these dreadful cynics ask, “be a better use of resources to have held the conference in Africa, particularly given that GAFCON is supposed to represent a move away from the old colonial chains towards a vibrant grass-roots level Anglican Communion of the future?”

Of course it’s this kind of foolish talk that shows just how depraved the Western Church has become: you can bet your favourite machete none of Big Pete Akinola’s clergy are allowed to get away with asking those sorts of questions. Besides, it just shows how little GAFCON’s critics understand of international realities.

After all, everyone knows what an affordable city London is to stay in, and I’ve no doubt one can book a Hotel/Conference centre near Heathrow for a fraction of what similar premises cost in Dodoma or Kigali. Not to mention the message of witness this sends to the world: instead of gathering in a safe Christian nation like Rwanda or Nigeria, the Monkeys with the Most have by standing up in violent, corruption-riddled Great Britain shown the world that they are truly are without fear, and ready to, like Christ, identify with the earth’s poor, suffering and marginalised.

What’s more, given the prevalence of HIV/AIDS throughout Africa (who’d have thought Virginia Woolf had so many readers on the Dark Continent?), the trade in London is probably a bit healthier than that in Lagos. Which has got to be an issue for any group of men that obsessed with what people chose to do in the privacy of their own public lavatories.

Yet it’s Brother Richthofen and his friends from Seminary who’ve given me the best explanation of why the Magnificent Seven chose hold their tête à tête in the U.K. As we’ve heard on many occasions from the esteemed Primates themselves, “homosexuality doesn’t exist in Africa”. And no one could possibly expect men this important to stay in a hotel designed, decorated, and managed by straights.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

England swings like a pendulum do…

The words of that wonderful old Roger Miller tune are ringing truer than ever, since a release from that wild and crazy bunch of thrill-seekers at The Living Church News Service of the Living Church Foundation Inc. (who says conservatives can’t come up with succinct and snappy names?) suggests folks at the GAFCON Primates Meeting are having such a grand time that they’ve lost the ability to count.

Take this paragraph for example:

Seven primates: Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda; along with the Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney (Australia) began talks on April 14 at hotel near Heathrow airport.”

Let’s hope whoever’s doing the accounting for this little soirée is less numerically challenged than whoever’s writing the spin: when I count the Primates listed here the most I can come up with is five: ++ Kenya (1), ++ Nigeria (2), ++ Rwanda (3), ++ Southern Cone (4), and ++Uganda (5). Even if you count little Pete Jensen - and since not even the Australians are silly enough to make him their primate, you shouldn’t - that’s still only six.

Perhaps little ++Akrofi got lost on his way from West Africa, and ++Tanzania was eaten or something. Or, more likely, Big Pete Akinola got a bit cranky when the missing two accused him of cheating in an after-dinner game of charades, and the public relations people have decided to not mention them in case someone else gets hurt. Either way, it’s certainly good to see the Gafconeers still aren’t letting accuracy and facts get in the way of a good press release.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Since posting this little George Conger has amended his article without explanation (naturally) to include the missing Primates. Which just goes to show that everyone reads Father Christian!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Post-Easter Exegesis

One of the great problems Biblical Christians encounter at this time of year has to do with the circumstances of the original Easter Sunday. Although the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark is clear that it was women who first saw our resurrected Lord, St. Paul, who was clearly without sin (despite his protests to the contrary) makes it equally clear that women must not teach. All of which means, of course, that the first people to whom Jesus chose to reveal Himself couldn’t teach anyone about what they saw.

There exists a number of theories explaining this apparent paradox, although most GAFCON theologians prefer to ignore the matter altogether, and pretend the men were actually first. While understandable, and a generally commendable strategy when it comes to exegesis, there’s really no need for Bible students to hide in the closet as far as I’m concerned. Especially when an absolute plethora of alternative explanations exists.

For example, Bishop Quinine has recently become most entranced by the theory of little Dean Jensen, from St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney (with a name like “Jensen” he’d hardly be from Grace Sheboygan, now would he?) which holds that all confusion and evil in this world originated withVirginia Woolf. Then again, Bishop Quinine hasn’t consumed anything other than the Sacraments and chocolate-coated toadstools since Maundy Thursday, so I’m not sure he’s much of a recommendation for anything.

Other so-called Bible-believers argue that what St. Paul meant by “teach” was actually “run the church” – thereby permitting women to do all the hard work of preparing and delivering sermons etc. without having to pay them a male Vicar’s stipend. This view is particularly popular in a small section of Binghamton, New York, as well as among other Gafconeers who wish to enjoy the misogynist fellowship of their more orthodox brethren, without incurring the additional expense involved in obtaining a genitally qualified locum to fill their pulpit while they’re off gallivanting around the Communion putting their noses into everyone else’s business.

According to these supposed-Christians Jesus was quite within his rights to first appear to people without penises, and even to contradict St. Paul by urging them to speak of what they’d witnessed. Yet Biblical Experts like me can’t help drawing attention to the fact that the following verse reveals the two ladies said nothing “to any man”, for the very proper reason that “they were afraid”. As fine Christian women they wouldn’t have subscribed to any liberal notion that just because Jesus says it’s ok to do something it’s alright to contravene Church Leaders who clearly know better. No; they were afraid to do what they knew would be sinful, and today we admire them for this. Further, the two Marys obviously had a good grounding in the Pauline Epistles, and they certainly don’t seem to be under any nit-picking illusions “teaching” actually meaning “being in charge”. No matter what some of the more apostate liberal GAFCON primates like ++Kenya, ++Uganda, ++Rwanda, & ++ West Africa might claim, Big Pete Akinola’s refusal to let women teach is clearly the only understanding of the Scriptures that these ladies acknowledged. Although in the Province of Nigeria’s case it doesn’t seem that the men teach anything either, but that’s another story…

The third view, and as the one I hold it’s obviously the only true one, is that Jesus was simply mistaken that morning. After all, he’d been through a lot in the past few days, and He isn’t the first Christian Leader to have had problems telling if a weaker Christian is a girl or a boy. Clearly He meant to first announce the Good News to a man, and got things wrong. Naturally he quickly sought to rectify the problem as soon as possible – but not before some tattle-tale Gospel writer hanging recorded the blunder for all posterity.

Just think about this for a moment: He may be the Glorious Risen Son of the Perfect and Omniscient Lord, but that’s no reason to think he couldn’t make a mistake, and one can’t in all seriousness suggest He would have knowingly contravened patriarchal interpretations of St. Paul’s throw-away lines. Jesus simply got things wrong for a moment, and that’s all there is to the matter. It’s not as if that’s something with any theological implications. After all, it’s not as if Christ is inerrant like Scripture.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

PS. Consuella ordered me to remind you all that Easter is in fact 50 days, and to ask all our Facebook friends to go here and join the continued celebration. So you'd better do as she says, because it takes a braver man than me to ignore the teachings of a woman like her.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Changing times, changing Liturgies.

Here at St. Onuphrius’ we’ve always celebrated Good Friday in the traditional conservative Anglican fashion: by roasting a whole lamb on a spit over a fire in the children’s playground. Innovation has it’s place, but in the past I’ve never found anything that teaches the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement like forcing the congregation to watch little lambsie get slaughtered and barbecued. It’s one thing to enjoy saying the word “Penal” (and if you ask me some of my orthodox brethren enjoy saying it just a little too much, if you get my meaning), but it’s another altogether to actually experience the bloody mess that accompanies the killing of an innocent creature as part of God’s perfect plan of love. If Mel Gibson hadn’t taken the easy way out and used actors he’d have seen the truth and stopped wasting his time with the Roman schism long ago, I can tell you that for certain.

Still, given that Lent ended early this year, it seemed only right to make a few liturgical changes for this Good Friday's services. At Consuella’s suggestion I decided that instead of killing the young sheep, they will become the foundations of a flock we'll keep for their milk and wool, with the intention of developing a range of world’s most Biblical woollen undergarments (why should the Mormons have all the fun? And why didn’t I think of registering the domain name, combined with our own brand of fresh sheep’s-milk cheese.

Not only has their been more than enough sadness around here lately, it occurred to me that if Jesus really has conquered death there isn’t too much point in continuing to wallow in something that no longer rules over us. Besides, although it’s been a while since I’ve bothered actually reading the Scriptures (having been much too busy talking about them), I seem to recall there being something about the Cheesemakers being especially blessed - although of course our Lord mightn’t have been speaking literally, but just referring to manufactures of dairy products in general.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

PS: None of the above should be taken as suggesting we also abandoned our traditional Way of the Cross procession, although Evangelical Eric’s performance was disappointing. I’ve never envisaged Jesus shrieking uncontrollably during the scourging, and I believe our Saviour was still conscious when it came to the soldiers driving in the nails. Perhaps next year someone from CANA might be persuaded to take the role, or I hear clergy in the Diocese of Sydney are getting a little desperate for money…

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have I got a dragon for you, Colorado!

It’s heartening to see little “Honest Don” Armstrong hasn’t let the court’s heartless decision to prevent him stealing his former parish buildings get him down.

Reports from Colorado Springs show last Sunday's inaugural services in his new premises were a splendid occasion. Granted, the surroundings weren’t as salubrious as Armstrong± has been used to, and the building does show signs of its former role (Reform school? Abattoir? Bondage-porno set?), but this didn’t deter a crowd of almost 200 faithful Gafconeers from showing up to mark the auspicious occasion. Which, I must admit, is less than a third the number of people who participated in celebrations at the apostate liberal Grace and St. Stephens - but as I always say: numbers only matter when yours are bigger. The rest of the time one should just follow little Kendall Harmon’s example and say nothing, or mouth some platitude about it being quality, not quantity that matters.

The new parish has been named “St. George’s” in honour of George C. Parker, a man whose life and example not only have served as a personal inspiration for Honest Don’s own ministry, but who established the standard of personal ethics for which the CANA leadership is today famous. Now I wonder whereabouts the first “St. Ponzi’s” is going to be - Niagara perhaps?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Future Shock...

Ever since Elvis showed the world that a little cholesterol and fat could never hurt anybody, I’ve always said that other than myself today’s popular musicians are the best role models a young person can have.

Take for example Bono and the boys in U2: has there ever been finer examples of unpretentiousness and humility? Or Coldplay – I doubt any of us have elsewhere encountered such freshness and originality, while the firmness of their stand against plagiarism demostrates a playfully creative spirit we should all aspire to emulate. Meanwhile what loving mother and father doesn’t hope their little girl will grow up to be just like Amy Winehouse?

Which is why I’m so appalled at the Malawi High Court’s decision to prevent Madonna from adopting a four-year old girl. Isn’t anyone other than myself prepared to consider the impact this ruling could have on the world’s next generation? What kind of hell shall they inherit if we allow our planet to continue becoming somewhere superstars can’t use their wealth and influence to obtain any third-world child that takes their fancy?

And, more importantly, if the practice of rich westerners buying Africans comes to an end what hope has the Common Cause Partnership of surviving?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

That's enough: Lent's over.

There can be no question about the matter; this whole Lenten time of reflection and sorrow has gone too far, and I know I’m not the only one here who’s not prepared to endure anymore grief, regardless of what the Church Calendar says is and isn’t appropriate.

First you, my dearly beloved sinful parishioners of St. Onuphrius’ had to face the loss of Bosco Peters’ daughter Catherine, then Lisa lost her beloved Ian, and now Lee Davenport has left us to laugh in a congregation much wittier than even mine can ever manage to be.

On top of all this a large number of cherished Canine and Feline friends have passed on from the lives of the humans to whom they provided faithful companionship, love, and the plain honest-to-goodness common-sense that only a four-legged partner in life can offer. Not to mention the tragedies being currently faced by Doxy, Pagan Sphinx, Noble Wolf and all the other friends of Rance - not to mention all the other sorrows I’ve been encountering at too many of the blogs I like to anonymously frequent.

All of which compels me, as Gafcon’s foremost man of action to unilaterally declare an end to Lent. I realise it’s supposed to continue for another week of so, but this thing has carried on much further than anyone ever intended, so this year we’re cutting things short.

What’s more, Christian’s have a fine and distinguished tradition of fighting over the precise date of Easter, and it’s high time we stopped quibbling over petty irrelevancies like gender and the right for us to love whoever God gives us to love, and started fighting over something important instead. Besides, Bishop Quinine has been doing such a wonderful job of cheering me up by performing such an hilarious imitation of David Virtue accusing people of Quartodecimanism that I’d very much like the rest of you to share in the mirth. Obviously the internet won’t let you savor the sibilance of Bishop Quinine’s stunningly accurate impersonation, but close your eyes, picture the Baron of Bombast settling down next to his assistant – the one who used to be in the Village People (go here and scroll down the page: you’ll recognize the one) – for a pleasant evening’s vilification, and then shout at the top of your voice "You insufferable Quartodecimanist!!!!"

See what I mean? Lent is over and you’re feeling better already.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.