Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So how was your Christmas?

Well, well, well: Christmas is finally over, and Bible-Believing Clergy like myself can at last get back to the more important work of proclaiming the Good News that everyone who disagrees with us will suffer eternal torture. At the hands of a loving god, of course.

Mind you, here at St. Onuphrius’ we have had a most enjoyable Noël. Since Bishop Quinine, like most faux-Bishops, firmly believes in Santa Claus (c’mon – that’s nothing compared to what they believe regarding their own self-importance) things are always a bit more complicated than they might be: finishing the milk and “cookies” he leaves out has in past years left at least one member of the Ministry Team hospitalized until the new year.

This time, however, I hit upon the brilliant idea of dividing the treat into small nicely wrapped packets, which we then kindly delivered to the other members of my local Minister’s Fraternal. (With the natural exception of the Baptist, on account of this hardly being an appropriate occasion to risk violating my restraining order, and the Rabbi: after I last tried teaching him about Christian generosity he responded by organizing an informative dialogue with two Mossad representatives, and waking up on Christmas morning to find myself chained to the wall of a Tel Aviv basement doesn’t quite coincide with my medium-term ministry strategy.)

As we expected, this resulted in most of our town’s Christmas morning services crossing the fine line between “liturgically unprepared” and “bedlam”. I’ve been told the United Methodist felt compelled to munch Twinkies throughout his sermon, while the woman at the UCC simply read aloud the lyrics of The Dark side of the Moon. Although, to be fair, she may well have just been following her denomination’s lectionary. Meanwhile the Methodist was convinced he’d had a personal visitation from Charles Wesley, who allegedly thinks the local District Supervisor “can’t recognize talent when it’s staring him in the face”. (Since the apparition also opined that “if ‘Shine Jesus, Shine ‘ had been around in my day I’d have taken Calvin’s line on hymnody” I’d caution My Beloved Sinners against being too hasty in dismissing the vision entirely.) While the Seventh-day Adventist made a tearful public confession to regularly enjoying a secret Friday evening snack of pork rinds.

The Pentecostal, on the other hand, was hardly affected. Except for occasionally pausing to interpret a glossolalic prophesy supposedly emanating from a potted palm on the side of the podium (“Behold the sowing of tears and the reaping of joy, sayeth the Lord, thou shalt honor My anointed and surrender the whole of thy tithe – plus a bit extra – every single Sunday”), Pastor Morebuck handled it like a pro. Which he quite possibly is, given that prior to receiving the call to ministry he was an accountant with one of the Big Four. Or maybe he just sold condominium timeshares in Florida: there’s not much difference from an ethical perspective.

All of which resulted in an exceptionally good turn-out for our own services: a great many people who would have otherwise been in Godless Christian churches outside the Anglican Tradition were instead blessed with the kind of solid Bible Teaching only ever found in the pugnacious wing of a Communion tearing itself apart over the incarnate God's right to love everyone.

Which brings us to something I intend to share with all of you more deeply in My Next Important Homily. While preparing for the day’s herculean preaching load it struck me how shockingly unBiblical the Gospel accounts of our Substitutionary Atoner’s birth actually are. Clearly the Nativity was actually intended to serve as a “How not to” example of Christian parenthood, and I’m not just referring to the Blessed Virgin’s failure to forgo parturition in favor of a medically lucrative elective c-section. No indeed; the Scriptural narratives are at this point simply riddled with transgressions of basic Biblical principles, and it’s about time they were called to answer for themselves.

Until then, however, My Generous Prayer is that you would all continue to enjoy this festive season’s aftermath. Take care to cherish friends and family, including that strange Republican uncle-by-marriage with an interest in naturism, who’s been spending an unwholesome amount of time locked alone in the bathroom. May the Lord Bless you all richly, and may none of you eat improperly refrigerated leftovers. And remember: if God had wanted us to drink and drive St. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus would have been accompanied by a late-model SUV and a six-pack. And zebra crossings would be packed with slow-moving Scientologists.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who said a 69er isn't dangerous?

Just minutes ago I was awoken by what is technically known to Orthodox Biblical Theologians like myself as “a great disturbance in the force”. Immediately I knew in My Spirit that a great despotic leader had passed from this world into the next. But who?

Since the phone wasn’t ringing with panic-stricken calls from little ++Valentino Mokiwa, ++Henri Orombi, or +++Nicholas Okoh , all asking who would now tell them what to say when addressing Anglicans less preoccupied with killing albinos or gays than the machete-loving faithful of their own peace-loving congregations, I knew Archbishop Jensen of Mordor hadn’t suddenly been summoned to the biggest conference of them all. And since it was too late at night to run down to the supermarket and grab the latest edition of The National Enquirer I was left with no alternative other than to consult the world’s next most reliable news source: FoxNews.

Where, to my utter horror, I learned of the tragic passing of Kim Jong Il - a delightful man whose grasp on truth has so faithfully served as a role-model for so many young Fundamentalists. (Yes David Ould, I was thinking of you as I wrote that– and while I’ve got your attention, could you please post another charming piece of racism on Viagraville? Obviously the reason your previous efforts received so few comments has to do with a temporary outbreak of tact on behalf of the happy throng frequenting the place, and I’m sure a third effort will gain some traction. Or at least earn you an honorary degree from an institution run by people with experience in standing around burning crosses dressed in pointy white robes.)

Yes indeed, 2011 truly has been a sad year for men prepared to make a stand against post-modern relativism. Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, Hosni Mubarak (ok – so he’s not dead yet, but it’s only a matter of time before he wishes he was) – they all knew the importance of an absolutist ethical framework. Yet there’s something much spookier: something I predict will become known as the “69 club”. And no, I’m not talking about that nasty little place on the cheap side of town your local Christian Coalition of America representatives visit when they think nobody’s watching, so I want you to all pay careful attention.

Jong Il (or maybe his last name is ‘Kim’ – you can never be sure when it comes to someone who considered dogs a valid source of protein) and Gaddafi were both 69 when they received the one summons nobody can ever claim got lost in the mail - the exact same age as none other than dear old Saddam Hussein. No, unbelievers can call it coincidence, but you and I know better, My Beloved Sinners. And as for Bin Laden? Fifty-four! Which is - as anyone who wasn’t home-schooled by evangelicals can tell you – the number you get when multiplying 6 by 9!

Honestly; anyone confronted by that evidence who doesn’t at the very least feel compelled to visit some of my educational and informative advertisers simply doesn’t have ears to hear. And these are by no means the only members of this supernatural club - although I must warn you against Googling to see if you can find any more – Bishop Richthofen (who a moment ago came into the study to see what I’m doing) has just done exactly that, and you really don’t want to know what he’s now demanding we play in this Sunday’s youth service. (Don't you dare blame me if you've clicked that last link in your place of work or education - I told you Bishop Quinine liked it, so it's gonna be on your own neck if your "purity counsellor" starts asking questions about your internet log.)

No, I can sense the beginning of a wonderful new urban myth regarding evil dictators who would seek to deny people the right to be the person God made them to be. One which really shouldn’t cause the Gafcon secretary or his admirers the slightest discomfort. After all – he’s only 68.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How dare anyone find this funny.

The revisionists are mocking us. And rightly so.

As any of My Beloved Sinners will know, I have always been little Matt Kennedy’s most vigorous supporter. Even in his darkest hour, when rumors were circulating that attempting to redirect assets belonging to others in contravention to court orders is a crime which could unjustly land the perpetrator in prison, it was I who sought to console the boy by encouraging him to contemplate the endless ministry possibilities to be explored while sharing one’s cell with a 300lb mildly-psychotic weightlifter named “Bubba”. So let me now categorically state that I, The World’s Most Orthodox Christian Leader, Bible Teacher, and Doctrinal Warrior, am utterly APPALLED to learn of him being mocked by godless apostate unbiblical liberal revisionists.

That’s right; I’m COMPLETELY DISGUSTED!!! And I demand to know the identities of these reprobates daring to scoff at my weaker fellow Conservatives. Where do they blog? If I search long enough will I be able to find naked pictures of them on the internet? What routes do their loved ones travel when commuting? And is it still legal to anonymously send one’s opponents packets of anthrax powder through the U.S. Mail? Or has the Satanic Socialist Cabal in Washington put an end to that simple democratic constitutional right as well?

Yet – as fecund as young Matt’s prognostications concerning Layman Chucky may be – it would be remiss of me to not sound a caution in regard to the dangerous relativism of his ill considered remark “And rightly so.” There is NEVER any justification for mirth at the expense of those like little Chucky Murphy. After all, it’s not as if turning Christ’s foolish message of welcome to the poor, outcast, or socially disreputable into a more sensible package of misogyny, homophobia, and shameless pomposity is easy.

No My Sinners: it takes a lifetime of relentlessly thirsting for power (not to mention a deep insecurity about the size and proclivities of one’s you-know-what) to come up with the scenarios currently being wrought across the Anglican Communion (both the real Communion, as well as imaginary ones like those of Bobby Duncan and Chuck Murphy), and I’ll have each and every one of you know that laughing at these immeasurably important figures, or their young, gullible, and histrionic acolytes, is as unacceptable as taking joy in the wisdom and company of animals. Or smiling. Because if this sort of thing is allowed to continue you can mark my words it's only a matter of time before some small child is permitted to call out something about the emperor not having any clothes. Which is undoubtedly why Jesus was so careful to warn us against letting our theology be in any way influenced by children.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Funniest. Complaint. Ever. Times Six.


I never accused Bishop Murphy of financial wrongdoing. I did accuse him of schism. I stand by that.

The real issue is schism. Rather than work out personal differences and misunderstandings, rather than fight it out in house, rather than struggle for unity, +Murphy et al, chose schism.

+Murphy’s actions are schismatic. The only way to deny that is to do what many want to do here…play the relativist card.

Somebody is taking themselves way to (sic) seriously—not to mention going out of his way to pick at nits.

Nor should we, if we think schism has occured (sic) in this particular case, be afraid to recognize schism as sin. I don’t think it qualifies as anything else.
As the accompanying links reveal, each of the above gems is the work of the same young man. Who once solemnly vowed to serve the church from which he later tried to appropriate assets. Someone whose hitherto unknown comedic genius surpasses that of all other mortals (although I must admit his sense of irony appears to have been removed at birth)…

My Beloved Sinners – I present little Matt Kennedy of Binghamton, New York!

At which point I must leave, and beg your pardons for such brevity. My presence is required to settle a small domestic matter: it appears the kitchen pot is accusing the kettle of stealing his shtick.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chuck Murphy has left the building.

Who’d have ever thought a few short days could make such a difference in the exciting world of Orthodox Biblical Christianity? For almost two thousand years Conservative True Christians have been as close as newly-wed Kardashians, but now, merely two weeks after I posted my important homily on little Chuck Murphy and his faux-Rwandan Anglican Mission in the Americas, it’s all turned nasty.

Indeed, you can be sure I’m not the only one reminded of that moment which always seems to occur at parties you’ve been really looking forward to attending; that point when just as things are getting lively someone goes too far and puts the host’s tropical fish in the cocktail blender. Or thinks the French guest of honor can’t possibly take offense at their hilarious Inspector Clouseau impersonation.

So… with that in mind let me stress from the outset how aware I am that My Beloved Sinners don’t come here in search of reasoned commentary on the circumstances surrounding little Chuck’s hasty departure from his land of canonical residence - they want reliable Orthodox hyperbole . Those seeking intelligence should click on over to Fr. Harris’ Preludium: my vocation when it comes to ecclesiastical reportage is a purely Murdochian one - even if I haven’t as of yet found a way of fully integrating phone-tapping, inane competitions, and semi-nudity into my regular homilies. Thus the question upon which I’d like to specifically focus is the one on everybody’s lips (albeit alongside droplets of spittle, a nasty little lump for which I strongly recommend medical attention, and the dried whitish substance which I must every Sunday morning force myself to believe is toothpaste before passing over the Common Chalice) - What’s going to become of the AMiA churches?

Of course there are really only three possible outcomes, since the fourth – that AMiA congregations realize the silliness of their “canonically Rwandan” claim and are welcomed back into TEC by mature Bishops gracious enough to never again mention what has really been nothing more than a brief spasm of deeply embarrassing immaturity – is simply too far-fetched to be even worth considering:
1) They follow Chucky as the AMiA abandons all pretence of Communion membership, and becomes an independent “continuing Anglican” church. Of which we know there aren’t nearly enough. This has the benefit of conferring a comforting “We’re the only ones in the entire universe doing church right” smugness upon adherents: just ask any member of the Exclusive Brethren why they tolerate long meetings in closed halls filled with people who shun deodorants. On the downside, however, once the last vestiges of regulatory oversight have been lifted from Chucky’s ego it’s an even-money bet these AMiA congregations will soon calling Primate Murphy “Our Beloved Leader” and raising funds to buy a large compound in Guyana. Wherein they shall stockpile Kool-Aid.
2) One of the two AMiA Bishops who not signing the hasta-la-vista-Rwaje letter, Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum (yep- I know I’m not the first to make this gag, but with a name like “Barnum” how can I resist mentioning one gets born every minute?), is appointed by the Rwandan hierarchy as Chucky’s successor, and things continue as before, albeit under more compliant leadership. Call me pessimistic, but I don’t give this scenario much chance of playing out smoothly: it’s unlikely Chuck didn’t long ago lock down ownership of the AMiA so tightly as to exclude the slightest possibility of anyone ever doing to him what he did to the Church to which he once vowed loyalty. Which will leave AMiA congregations torn between once more changing their name and identity (do you think it’s worth my registering “New Anglican Mission in the Americas” so as to profitably on-sell to the Rt. Rev. Barnum?), not to mention facing associated legal challenges concerning any property they may have acquired, or saving money on signage and continuing to dance to whatever tune Chucky orders put on the jukebox. With their dimes, of course (see scenario #1).
3) Tiring of the whole Rwandan charade, AMiA churches drop the game and hitch their wagons to the ACNA train. This is, as you’d expect, the scenario that’s been waking little Bobby Duncan up in the middle of the night with sticky pyjamas, and there’s undoubtedly more than a few players on the AMiA’s middle tiers who see it as the fast-track to a purple shirt of their own. Yet simply changing the flavor of one’s schism doesn’t make the bad taste go away. Or, in this case, the legal obligations touched upon in option #2. Although wasting money on actions against fellow conspirators would make a nice change from giving it to lawyers fighting one’s opponents.
So you see, My Beloved Sinners, that whichever way things plays out it’s going to be messy. My recommendation is anyone even remotely connected starts stocking up on latex gloves and disinfectant now. Meanwhile the best thing we can all do is sit back and enjoy a little music: for reasons entirely comprehendible to anyone who’s met him little Chuck has always reminded me of my favorite aspects of Elvis – a comparison I’m certain he finds quite flattering. Although I very much doubt Chuck Murphy thinks the next stage of career will involve manning the counter of a 7-11. Even so, whatever happens there’s a prescience about the title of this little number – watch for the uncanny resemblance to Chucky’s own interpersonal skills at 3:0-4:00:

And finally, a rare correction. I began my previous homily by explaining that schism is like eating potato chips: a more accurate analogy would be to have said it’s like eating peanuts. In a crowd of anaphylactics.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

*** STOP PRESS ***

Judging by a release sent to Viagraville (where else?) just hours after my posting this homily, it appears Messrs. Barnum & Glenn (do you think if I asked him politely enough Layman Terrell would consider changing his last name to "Bailey"?) have chosen scenario #2, and dragged their old name (and website) of "Apostles Mission Network" out of mothballs.

Which proves our Chucky truly has locked up the name (and thus, we can also presume, the assets) of the AMiA tighter than the records of a Jensen family company. That the legals of this circus are already delightfully convoluted is evidenced by this absolute gem located about halfway down Barnum's epistle: "The Apostles Mission Network does not seek to proselytize others but only offers support and structure for those who desire to remain resident in Rwanda and to collaborate together toward fulfillment of our mission... "

And how much did the lawyer charge for advising nobody gets caught openly urging AMiA congregations to call in a signwriter and change the letterheads? Whatever the sum, you'd better believe they're currently wearing the kind of smile only ever found on a mouthpiece with a new file that they know is going to get worked on a daily basis for years to come...