Saturday, February 27, 2010

“In the beginning was the Word…

... and the Word was... ” despite you all being dreadful Beloved Sinners, I’ve no doubt that even you have an idea of what comes next. That’s right – the Gospel continues by explaining that the Word was 66 books dictated by God on various occasions between 4004 B.C. and 33-and-a-bit A.D. Although naturally as Anglicans we prefer to not get too worked up about a literal seven day creation in 4004 B.C., but that’s just because unlike Baptists we’re more likely to send our offspring to college. Where these days it’s a little hard to pass medicine if you honestly believe men and women have differing numbers of ribs. And geologists who think dinosaurs and people once co-existed tend not to win cadetships with petroleum companies. Or ever find oil.

All of which is why we prefer to fixate upon homosexualists, and women who refuse to accept that the fact of all twelve disciples having been men means they can’t run Churches (or, worse still, who insist on asking why the same logic doesn’t also mean the only people who can become Priests are middle-eastern Jews). But I digress; that the Word to which St. John referred comprises the Bible we know and worship is a fact so obvious it took a mere 3½ centuries (more or less) for the Church to agree upon exactly which books and epistles died upon the cross. Not to mention the way St. Paul makes it perfectly obvious His letters are synonymous with the one He met on the road to Damascus.

Yet as the world’s foremost Doctrinal Warrior, I’ve long noticed my fellow-but-less-mature Conservatives have an additional word; one which they invariably use around all their favourite blogs for a few months, before replacing it with another turn of phrase. Currently it’s “bile”; although regrettably I’ve only managed to obtain one usage in my recent comments, and that from the same charming product of Mordor’s Moore College who used it on another site while sharing God’s love with a particularly insolent Beloved Sinner – IP addresses don’t lie, my little anonymous imitator now residing in Britain (Would you like me to start publishing some more personal details about you? Because thanks to your easily traced IP address I can, and if you don’t get it into what can only technically be described as your head that the only person allowed to abuse my Beloved Sinners is me, I will. Ok?).

A few months back it was a tasteful metaphor involving panties being in something called a “wad”, which owed much of it’s popularity to frequent employment by little Greg Griffith (that noted arbiter of all which is decent) at Viagraville. Before that it was “Revisionists”. Which followed “Sodomites”. Next week it’ll be something different again: just don’t place any bets on it being a Word which in any way refers to Jesus.

My fellow Conservatives might not be the sharpest tools in the hardware aisles of God’s Walmart, but they’re not stupid enough to get involved with Him. Besides, Jesus associates with such disreputable people..

I'm Father Christian and I teach the bible.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Legion Facets of Archbishop Peter Akinola

When it comes to matters concerning evil personified few clergy have the first-hand knowledge of Not-quite-as-big-as-he-used-to-be Peter Akinola. Consequently Beloved Sinners should pay close attention to his recent pronouncement that the motivation behind Episcopalians wanting to prevent property they’ve owned for centuries being stolen by members of a traditional Anglican Church founded last June is “demonic”.

That’s because the person speaking began his career against the background of one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, which featured a Northern army murderously crushing those Southern States impudent enough to think that they had the right to secede on the grounds of irreconcilable cultural and economic differences (No – he’s not that old – I’m referring to the Biafran War - although the similarities do always leave one wondering at the miraculous way Nigerian Archbishops have managed to acquire such prestige in Virginia). During this time the young Akinola courageously declined an offer to fight alongside his own Yoruba people (who sided predominantly with the North), instead preferring to develop a prosperous business selling furniture and patent medicines.

After the war Nigeria came under the rule of a succession of charming military figures now famous for their commitment to justice and the rule of law, along with a commendable willingness to sell anyone and/or anything to the highest bidder. Realizing these incorruptible gentlemen, whose ethnicity was primarily the traditionally Muslim Kanuri, would fail to appreciate the important contribution a patriotically carpet-bagging Christian Yoruba made to their glorious victory, Peter correctly understood his future would be brighter in the bureaucracy that is the Church of Nigeria than it would in government service. Or at least that in the Church there wouldn’t be any pushy Mohammedans-with-Machetes ready to remove the hand of any Christian kid sticking their hand in the till.

Even so, Peter wasn’t going to let God think He could send him to serve just anywhere. Rather than attend a Seminary in the Christian south-west, such as in Lagos, for example, the future Archbishop headed north, closer to his nation’s center of power. Where the rest of his meteoric rise to power is history – albeit largely unwritten and thoroughly white-washed. Making the Nigerian capital virtually his own in the course of what his own web site humbly describes as “two missionary journeys” he now proudly boasts of diocesan “investments in the hospitality industry and in the Nigerian money market” – if expertise in those two particular fields of Nigerian enterprise don’t bring with them an extensive understanding of the demonic realm what does?

After all, without a working relationship with the forces of darkness even a Conservative Christian couldn’t have found it easy to stay silent when Ken Saro-Wiwa was judicially murdered. Which probably goes a long way to explaining why Pete Akinola always refers to himself with plural pronouns. And why the staff of his “investments in the hospitality industry” would never dare be heard calling him “ Legion”.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GAFCON's Lenten Penitence

Here at St. Onuphrius’ we celebrated Ash Wednesday with a special liturgy which involved starting fires in a number of properties the parish had recently purchased and prudently insured. For several times their cost. Meanwhile, the fun-loving Theological Resource Group of the Global Anglican Future Conference chose to mark the beginning of Lent in a less ethical fashion, by releasing the catchily named The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today: A Commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration Supplemented by The Way The Truth and the Life – Theological Resources for a Pilgrimage to a Global Anglican Future (obviously more snappy titles like “We're Right and You're Wrong” seemed trite).

Now judging by the preponderance of evangelicals on the list of those brazen enough to claim responsibility of this work, Lenten penance wasn’t a concept foremost in the author’s minds. Yet, my Dearly Beloved Sinners, I’m only a fraction of the way into their modest 162 pages of literary chloroform (h/t to Mark Twain, who'd no doubt have viewed the Book of Mormon in a more positive light if he'd had to wade through one of these), but I’ve already endured enough to know it’s the kind of heavy going that could make even that creepy albino from Opus Dei feel he’d suffered enough to deserve a little partying come Easter Sunday.

After all, what can one make of a something which first claims it is “not a test of orthodoxy for all Anglicans” (p.23), but then claims to contain “fourteen tenets of orthodoxy” which “underpin our Anglican identity” (p.25)? Sure a little hypocritical contradiction is part of what makes being a Conservative so much fun, but it’s customary to leave a slightly more discrete gap than only two pages. It is, however, quite right to remind everyone that “no Christian is free willfully to offend (sic) another in the name of freedom” (p.62), although for the sake of apostate liberal readers the authors should have added “unless the person doing the offending comes from Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya (or any other historical basket case of a country infested with people nonplussed about the torture of child alleged to be witches), and the Christian they’re insulting lives in the West. Or is gay. Or female, depending upon one's local traditional tolerance for misogyny. ”

The really interesting fact is that while only 10 of the 34 people listed as responsible for this masterpiece are westerners, including faux-Rwandans/Ugandans like little laymen Noll and Donlan, 7 out of the 9 member “advisory group” are as two-thirds world as an upper-class English gentlemen’s club. What’s more the foreword is written by none other than that internationally-famous gambler and non-African, little Peter Jensen. Which just goes to show how truly GAFCON represents the end of religious colonialism. Instead of conservative white western church leaders doing all the work, this now stands as a testimony to the global south’s future as the central force in authentic Anglicanism. One in which indigenous Africans do most of the work, after which conservative white western church leaders correct their mistakes. Then another white western church leader gives his calvinist imprimatur, and tells people they can trust it. Isn’t post-colonialism a remarkable step forward?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

... not that there's anything wrong with that.

“Don’t tell my wife, but when we were on honeymoon in Scotland, back in July 2008, I kept sneaking away to telephone friends in Forward in Faith ...”
The Reverend John P Richardson

Hmmm… it must indeed have been a erotic few days, as this picture of the titillating telephonist clearly illustrates.

Now you’ll all have to excuse me, My Beloved Sinners, because I must rush. Not only does Rev. Richardson’s blog contain even more Google advertising than my own, but at the bottom of the page, underneath the list headed “Links to this post” (he’ll be so proud to see me included there), is a large advertisement featuring a Slavic woman with even larger breasts and an invitation to “Browse Russian Girls Now!”.

Since I suspect the faux-vicar (I believe he’s actually an “Assistant Minister”, which is what evangelicals call Curates for fear of leading people astray into Catholicism) will be far too busy chatting to Forward in Faith luvvies to dedicate as much attention to these ostentatiously mammalian post-Soviet sirens as his advertised ministry to them will demand it would be remiss of me to delay any further my response to their plaintive cries. Now where's that credit card Bishop Quinine stole from little Phil Ashey?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Please just wait over there, Mr. Duncan.

As a widely travelled man of the Word I can say with absolute certainty that there is but one adjective which truly describes the English: they are polite. Not the warmly effusive politeness of, for example, California, where complete strangers will enquire after the health of your relatives and pets before sharing their own intimate medical history and telling you to “Have a nice day!”, but a reserved and measured civility which is never rude, but which should neither ever be mistaken for friendship.

This is, of course, the secret of Britain’s greatness, and how the English have managed to give birth to both the extremes of überRoman Tractarianism and psycho-Genevan non-conformism, without being overwhelmed by either. Accidentally obstruct a New Yorker and he’ll shower you with invective beginning with something like “GEDOUDDAMAHWAYSCHMUCK”, irrespective of how expensive his suit may be. On the other hand, unwittingly stand in the way of the class of Englishman holding a seat at General Synod and he’ll respond with an apologetic “Oh please excuse me Sir, I do beg your pardon.” Yet a month later you’ll find yourself no longer able to reserve a table at your favourite restaurant, the library will have cancelled your membership (without letting you know), and the postman will have suddenly started returning all your mail after stamping it “Undeliverable”. And they’ll all still be excruciatingly polite.

Never has this trait been more evident than the response to Lorna Ashworth’s motion requesting the Church of England recognize little Bobby Duncan’s sect. Rather than reject her motion as an attention seeking ploy by a poorly-hinged evangelical, it was amended. Rejecting it wouldn’t be polite. Which means everything after “That this Synod” was replaced with something in effect saying “We know you’d like to join our club, so please outside go and quietly wait in line until and we get back to you.” And then the motion was passed. Politely.

Little David Virtue wasn’t able to understand this, but understanding things has never been his strong point. Consequently it’s simply unfair for anyone to expect him to comprehend British subtlety – one might as well ask him to tie his shoelaces, or to know what day of the week it is.

In contrast I’d expected more from another little Anglophile, although given her self-proclaimed fondness for Robert Dylan’s nasally peregrinations I should have realised she’d be a less than accomplished Anglophone. Her key point – that because Dobby Ould’s marginally less sexually frustrated twin sees the Synod’s vote as an indication of support for ACNA the Church of England must favor America’s latest Protestant schism – only proves how far removed from reality Viagraville’s leading citizens really are.

One only has to look at the dear boy to realise he’s got about as much in common with the good folk of Synod as bovver-boys ogling the Sunday Sport have with purchasers of ++Cantaur’s latest treatise on Dostoevsky. Curates who blog on the pleasures of the prostate and style their beards to resemble female pubic hair may indeed be what Country Life describes as “colourful village characters”, but unless they manage to accomplish something heroic, such as rescuing public-school children from a burning convoy of Range-Rovers, you’d better believe there’s no chance of them ever being invited to share cucumber sandwiches with Her Majesty. Which is a privilege the Church of England’s true power-brokers have enjoyed since birth – and probably before. Even Peter Ould’s rector appears to draw the line at including a picture of his curate on the parish web site, and let’s face it, as Evangelicals the pair enjoy the same degree of popular respect within English society as independent polygamous Mormons do in Boston country clubs. And that’s without them trying to look like garden gnomes.

No my dear sinners, much as I’d like to view this epic decision as an iconic milestone on the road to triumph, the sad reality is far more prosaic. Think of it as ACNA having been told to take a number and wait for service in an extremely busy drug-store. Where the staff have no intention of ever getting around to attending you.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

++Rowan Williams Heeds My Advice

When Archbishop Rowan Williams came to me a few days ago, panicking because he had no idea of what to say in his forthcoming Presidential Address to the Church of England’s General Synod, I began by telling the dear young man to calm down. “Really,” I said, patting him comfortingly on the shoulder as a distraction while Bishop Quinine filched a few blank letterheads from His Grace’s briefcase, “After all these years of going around looking like that fellow who played the flute in Jethro Tull it’s a bit late now to start worrying about what people think of you.” After which I gave him similar advice to that which I give all inexperienced Clergy who ask for my assistance in handling some sticky situation not easily resolved with rubber gloves and a box of tissues.

Firstly: ramble on. It doesn’t matter what you say, just say it for as long as possible. Meander. Drone. Waffle. People only ever really hear what they want to, and let’s face it, when you’ve got the pointiest hat in the whole Communion they all – even if they won’t publically admit it – want to believe you think they’re right. So just keep talking until their eyes glaze over and they’ve tuned out: that way they’ll remember nothing more than the snippets they mistakenly think justify their own position. Because there’s nothing a Cleric ramped up on the heady brew of testosterone and dogma found only at synodic gatherings enjoys as much as a frisson of self-justification, you can be sure they’ll leave thinking more highly of you than when they arrived.

Secondly: obfuscate. Even simple issues, such as the fact that if God loves, forgives, and calls two people to be as one, or creates in someone’s heart an aching insatiable yearning to serve in ordained ministry, then we’ve got absolutely no right to shoot our mouths off insisting otherwise – let alone to persecute such people until they’re driven from God’s church, can be rendered complex if one is just prepared to make sufficient effort. Don’t talk of plain common justice – speak of “three-dimensionality” while pushing a stupid idea which “specifically encourages and envisages protracted engagement and scrutiny and listening in situations of tension”. If the straightforward language of children had any place in the Church Jesus would have said something about us needing to be as they are. Instead a Biblical Minister should use big words, convoluted parenthetical sentences, and abstract metaphors on the Dali side of surreal. The flock will say they love it, even if they won’t be caught dead admitting they can’t understand a single word.

Lastly, remember that there's no such thing as a non sequitur too outlandish to use. Draw a connection between the people of New Hampshire democratically electing – under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit – the person called to lead them as their Bishop, and mindless sectarian violence in Malaysia. Don’t ever mention that if Islamofundies want to bash a few unfortunate local Christians the fact that butchers in Rome sell pork sausages is just as effectively an excuse. Or suggest that it’s wrong to “caricature” a society demanding the death penalty for people expressing their love and nature as God has blessed them to be – in a mutually consenting and empowering relationship – as “passionately homophobic and obsessed with narrow Biblicism” because a tiny minority of Anglicans in that society are working to rehabilitate child soldiers, or to care for people with HIV/AIDS. Then quickly move on before anyone stops and asks if the first person killed under such a law will understand that their execution isn’t really an act of mindless homophobia because a few people (who apparently also support this law) do something compassionate with kids who never went to school because they were being ordered to shoot people – but whom are obviously smart (or scared) enough to keep quiet about any rumpy-pumpy they might have enjoyed back at the barracks.

It was obvious when he left that ++Rowan’s little chat with me had greatly soothed his troubled heart. Admittedly his limbs were beginning to twitch spasmodically, but that might just have been some pills Brother Richthofen’s Friends from Seminary slipped him to see if he’d stand on one leg and start singing Thick as a Brick.

Stil, one look at the transcript of ++Cantaur’s speech shows that when it became time to address the his subjects in the dear old C of E he did indeed follow my advice to the letter. Now if only I can during his next visit do something about those eyebrows…

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Egypt was glad when they left" (Psalm 105:38)

Church attendances were down throughout our glorious Anglican Communion today, and there’s only one reason: people around the world are disgusted to learn things have become so bad that Archbishop Anis, Primate of Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa (along with somewhere else called “The Horn of Africa”, whom I always thought was a remarkably gifted black actor in a video belonging to one of Brother Richthofen’s friends from Seminary) has resigned from the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council - not because the dreadful writer’s cramp ++Anis would suffer when including the committee’s snappy title in his extensive list of expense claims, but on account of all the cootie-infested apostates with whom his membership obliged him to associate.

With the characteristic understatement for which Viagraville commentators are famous, one “Br_er Rabbit” summed up this tragedy perfectly:
“The Anglican Communion in its present form will not recover from this.”
After all: ask anyone what first that comes to mind when they hear someone say “Egypt” and I’ll guarantee they say “Biblical Christianity”. Thanks to the faithful Parish Wardens who so long ago were responsible for the quaint Rectories we now call “Pyramids”, the Ancient Egyptian Christian Epicenter continues to be warmly remembered long after it’s faithful exponents were lovingly condemned to whatever eternity holds for foreigners. That’s why there is to this day a picture of their handiwork on US currency – to remind sinners everywhere that the primary purpose of money is to buy property for clergy (or in ACNA’s case, to buy the assistance of lawyers in an attempt to steal it).

Indeed; I’ve been reliably informed that in places like Washington disillusionment with the Unrestrained Apostasy has become so great that some churches didn’t even bother opening. Meanwhile offertories at the Binghamton faux-Kenyan Club have clearly fallen so low that Hostillium is now forced to hustle herself for coffee: take me out to coffee and I will let you see the underbelly of an average week..

While there’s breath in this old Doctrinal Warrior’s body Beloved Sinners can rest assured the Church will somehow survive ++Egypt’s tragic desertion. Even more importantly, as long as I’ve got a Starbuck’s Preferred Customer Card Hostillium need never worry about finding an admirer for her underbelly – your Strawberry Chocolate Mocha Frappo-Blando Espress® will be waiting at our usual secluded table in the corner, my enchantress.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Foundation of Our Faith.

As every Biblical Christian knows, the Thirty-Nine Articles are the foundation of Orthodox Anglicanism. Not only were they personally dictated by God to St. Paul (or perhaps by St. Paul to God: the details aren’t important), but were it not for the Articles Henry VIII would never have been convicted of Rome's drift into schism – an indisputable miracle since the Articles weren’t completed until 28 years after his death.

Just as important when it comes to understanding the XXXIX Articles role in our faith’s history is the fact that Cranmer himself - who only died 15 years before they were finalised - considered them the infallible, definitive, and binding statement of True Anglican Doctrine®. Consequently it’s vital that every believer, even Dearly Beloved Sinners such as yourselves, becomes intimately acquainted with this part of the Bible which, along with less significant Scriptures such as the Gospels, was crucified so that Our Loving Father might enjoy eternity mercifully torturing those who’ve never read it.

The first key to developing a doctrinally pure understanding the Articles is the realization that they should only ever be referred to in Roman numerals, or by writing their number out in full. Mere numbers (e.g. “39”) are a sure-fire sign of someone having trodden upon the slippery-slope of liberalism on their way to hell-in-a-hand-basket (and every other loving cliché for those whom we caringly brand “revisionists”): if a Bible Teacher isn’t referring to them by their Scriptural Title of “Thirty-Nine” (note the capitals) a believer ought to keep their tithes in their pocket and later send them to an Orthodox Teacher – preferably me.

Of secondary note is the argument advanced by some respected Conservative Theologians that using a hyphen between “Thirty” and “Nine” is optional: far be it from me to cast aspersions concerning weaker brethren on account of their pathetic ignorance in regard to this matter. In the past many fine and otherwise Orthodox believers have also been ensnared by this deception, and it’s hardly appropriate to discount everything else they say because of what false teachers would claim is not an issue of prime soteriological importance.

That said, my own conviction is that God included the hyphen for a reason, and simply because that reason may not be immediately obvious to a few sin-encrusted wolves-in-sheep's clothing is hardly sufficient excuse to disobey His Commands. That something may seem trivial to an unredeemed mind hardly justifies the foolishness of believing we can elevate ourselves above Scripture. Humanity was created to serve the Bible, not the other way around, just as we were also made for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).

Incidentally, in these apostate liberal days few people are also aware that the Sabbath has always been celebrated on Sunday, despite what a few thousand years of Jewish practice might misleadingly suggest. Which just goes to prove how the early church never changed anything, and interpreted Scripture and Tradition through precisely the same hermeneutic filter that Orthodox Anglicans (particularly those of a Reformed Evangelical persuasion) use today.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.