Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shut up and just keep giving.

Over at Real Anglicans the perceptive Mr. Schwarz has pointed out something which those of us at the helm of the GAFCON movement have hitherto managed to keep secret: that the glorious conservative church of the future will be an Ecclesiocracy.

Sure, Howard Ahmanson and any other Christian Reconstructionists with more money than sense like to fool themselves that they’re lubing the path to Theocracy, but as Mr. Schwarz notes, the reality won’t be God at the helm, but men in funny hats who’ll make the rules without wasting their time finding out what John & Jane in the pew think. And if one of the men in hats wants to appoint their otherwise unemployable brother, son, or wife to a choice position, then the great unwashed had better just accept it. Take a look at little Peter Jensen’s family firm if you’d like to see how ACNA will be run. Or an example nearer to home it might be worth considering: Don Armstrong and his children’s college fees…

Yet even though a few confused and pesky creatures like the one mentioned in Fred’s post might complain a bit, at the end of the day they’ll accept whatever their leaders tell them, because they’re more afraid of being caught thinking for themselves than they are of drinking whatever kool-aid their “new Reformers” serve up.

No, even though ACNA is at heart a Evangelical construct, leaning heavily towards the “Reformed” end of the spectrum (about which there’ll be more tomorrow), its brilliance lays in embracing the very best of Rome – the Vatican’s top-heavy corporate structure. Sure the biggest fish in the pond is limited to a maximum of two five-year turns in the extra-comfy chair (see Article IX (2)), after which another member of the College of Bishops is allowed a turn, but that’s about it as far as Luther’s “priesthood of all believers” is applied to administrative processes. There’s a “Provincial Council” comprised “of an equal number of bishops, clergy and lay persons, chosen by the Provincial Assembly from among its members” (Article VII (2)), but I can’t for the life of me find any mention of the size of this “Council” in either the Provisional Constitution nor the Canons. In any case, since the Council is only required to meet once a year (Article VII (7)), it's not hard to work out who’ll be holding the cookie jar.

The funniest part I've saved till last, however, and this is the bit for which I'd like to claim personal credit: the final word on any matter rests with a Provincial Tribunal "consisting of seven members, both lay and clergy, who shall be appointed by the Provincial Council on such terms and conditions as determined by canon" (Article IX) - and yet there's no draft canon presented by which these will be determined! Now if that doesn't get you laughing you're obviously not a GAFCON man. Nor, I dare say, are you ordained; but don't worry. Just keep sending in your money and we'll have no problem spending it on your behalf.

I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...

I am a huge fan of taxation without representation. I can hardly wait, Fr. Christian, there is nothing more exciting than sitting at the children's table and watching the big folks drink all the wine.

Lapinbizarre said...

All officers, presiding bishop included, of the province of the Southern Cone are limited by canon to two consecutive terms in office "except where the Nominating Committee is authorized to include him on its list by unanimous choice of the Provincial Synod". Greg Venables is now well into his third term.

The constitution of the Anglican Church of Nigeria states that "the office of the Primate shall become vacant when .... he has held office for ten years from the date of his presentation". What, one wonders, will come to pass when Akinola attains his tenth anniversary in office on February 22nd next. Prediction can be a simple business, can't it?

Leonard said...

Isn´t it something? The Gafconners really know their manipulating stuff...and the victims of their antics think they are attaining purity by progressively drifting into insanity and tormenting others while simultaneously being USED themselves...but, apparently it makes them ALL FEEL GOOD and Godly! Makes one wonder what other ¨diversions¨ they indulge in? The simpering/blind thrills of spiritual S&M?

They make my skin crawl with their lack of wholesomeness and inability to discern right from wrong.

Brother David said...

I think that if you dig a little deeper Rabbit, you will find that Akinola reaches the mandatory Church of Nigeria age of retirement before his term of ten years is completed. Taking that into consideration the Nigerian HoB has asked him to complete his ten years before retiring. But it is unlikely that those in the leadership tier below him, chaffing for the old man to retire, would stomach another term of anything for him not involving the term emeritus.

JimB said...

Call it a hunch, but what do you want to bet that the Gaf(fe)Con oligarchs decide (remember you heard it hear first) that a retired archbishop is a perfect choice for the new job of primus inter pares or central committee chair or whatever they decide to call it?

After all, +++RW wont do, he has admitted touching a gay man, and pre-betrayal had a gay friend. He has associative cooties. Besides after the betrayal of Fr. John they know how trustworthy he is.

They need a new figure who has demonstrated that sounding like a fool (ie reading what Mr. Minns writes) presents no problem. Someone who can actually spout their ideas with a straight face.

In short they need an archbishop with no shame. And we (and they) know precisely where one will shortly become available.

Given what Nigeria does not have on hand to pay for pensions, it is a match made in Hades (or Wall Street.) I am sure they can produce some bs canon language so that he does not have to be a primate to boss other primates. In fact, expect them to announce it is a (you-should-pardon-the-word) virtue. "Full attention" will likely be the rationale.