I have thought for some time that the doctrinal meanderings of the Anglican Church of Canada owed more to hallucinogens than hermeneutics; my suspicions have now been confirmed.
In its fevered denunciations of the Doctrine of Discovery, the ACoC has sought inspiration from – not the cross, that would be too obvious – but from the medicine wheel:
Finlay and Wesley reported that the commission began to develop a theological reflection on the Doctrine of Discovery, its continuing impact and ways that it might be dismantled. Secondly, members discussed “what reconciliation looks like in parishes and communities, particularly around the understanding of healing and wholeness and the Circle of Life,” which Wesley explained is a part of the teachings of the medicine wheel.
For sceptics who think I am making up the magic mushroom aspect of the ACoC’s delirium, look here:
The space where you take your trip [the magic mushroom trip] is not only important, but also magical; it is possible to design this symbolically by putting an object in the four corners, a kind of watchtower. Native Americans also frequently make a circle or a medicine-wheel; this is also a kind of screen, meant to keep the `good’ energy inside and to lock out evil energy.
Primate receives Homeless Jesus replica
Amidst the presentations and discussions, Council of General Synod (CoGS) also included a moment of giving when Andy Seal, director of Augsburg Fortress Canada, presented Archbishop Fred Hiltz with a miniature replica of Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz’s widely acclaimed Homeless Jesus sculpture.
When I first saw the sculptor’s name, I read it as “Schmaltz”, probably because his statue brought to mind the ubiquitous sentimental plastic Marys for sale in Lourdes. It is only fitting that a Jesus replica – homeless or otherwise – be presented to the head of the Anglican Church of Canada whose object of worship has become – a Jesus replica.
Today, most people think that Christianity is a collection of antique superstitions no longer fit to be taken seriously by anyone whose reasoning faculties are intact.
This is not true, of course. Christianity is perfectly rational: it has its own set of presuppositions, none of which are less plausible than an atheist’s presumption that God does not exist. The Anglican Church of Canada has its heart set on changing all that: it is busy polluting the elegant inner coherence of Christian belief with vacuous rites whose meaning would stretch the credulity of anyone but an ACoC priest beyond the breaking point.
As we gathered in the chapel to celebrate Eucharist, our friend and colleague Barbara was preparing to smudge the altar. In attempting to light her sweetgrass braid from the altar candle, she held it too close to the flame and for a moment too long, and the flame sputtered and died.
Well, one of the very best things about extinguishing beeswax candles, as many of us know, is the rich honey scent that the smoke carries across a space as it disperses from the tiny flame into the wide world and then vanishes.
It turns out that at the moment that Barbara’s sweetgrass braid put out the flame, an ember appeared on its tip. Its smoldering smoke joined that of the spreading honey-scented beeswax as Barbara slowly circled the altar. The blending of smoke from sweetgrass and smoke from beeswax filled the space with what you might call a providential aroma; both sweetgrass and beeswax were there, but so was something else, something at once brand new and ancient, the aroma of encounter, partnership, hope.
More like the stink of nonsense.
I could talk at length about whether TEC’s shift from Gaia worship to Allah worship represents a drifting away from the manic inclusion that grips the imagination of its hierarchy – but I won’t. I will simply note that, while the place was chock-a-block with people whose religion denies the deity of Jesus, the only person to be ejected was a woman who affirmed it.
In a corner of Washington National Cathedral, several hundred Muslim worshipers and other invited guests gathered Friday afternoon for a first-ever recitation of weekly Muslim prayers at the iconic Christian sanctuary and to hear leaders of both faiths call for religious unity in the face of extremist violence and hate.
the carefully scripted ceremony was marred once when one well-dressed, middle-age woman in the audience suddenly rose and began shouting that “America was founded on Christian principles. . . . Leave our church alone!” She was swiftly ushered out by security aides, and the service continued.
Having already shattered the unity of the Anglican Communion by blessing the union of same-sex couples, the Anglican Church of Canada, in a rare moment of penetrating insight, is considering the remote possibility that pressing ahead with actually marrying same-sex couples will make things even worse.
The Commission on the Marriage Canon’s final report will incorporate not only the submissions received from Anglicans across Canada, but will also reflect consultations about how changing the church’s law to allow for same-sex marriage might affect relationships within and outside of the Anglican Church of Canada.
“It’s clear that as we engage our conversation around this potential canon, it has implications for our relationships with others — our relationships across the Anglican Communion and our relationships with our ecumenical partners,”
Bishop Linda Nicholls went on to note”
“We also recognize that at some level, this is a no-win proposition,” added Nicholls. “Whatever we put forward, there will be those who are unhappy, in pain, struggling.”
That just about sums up the ACoC: pain, struggling, unhappiness and no Salvation.
He has a point: for the most part, Anglican bishops have failed dismally to understand Christianity so they might as well have a shot at interpreting another religion. If God smiles on their efforts, perhaps they will do for Muslims what they have done for Christians: make them doubt everything about their faith. It could even be the tipping point for mass conversions of Muslims to Christianity.
Anglicans need a deeper understanding of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations so they can better pray and respond to interfaith situations.
Chair of the Anglican Network for Inter Faith Concerns (NIFCON) and Archbishop of Dublin the Most Rev. Michael Jackson made the comments in a letter to primates and provincial secretaries of the Anglican Communion.
Writing to promote the latest NIFCON Christian Muslim Digest he said, “As the events in Syria and Iraq, and in other countries where Muslims are in a majority, impact upon increasingly wider areas, we are reminded that within all of the provinces of the Anglican Communion we need to have a deeper knowledge of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations so that we can reach a better understanding of the issues and how they might impact upon us and other Anglicans, and will be able to pray more effectively.”
Anglican clergy love meaningless clichés: their judicious deployment helps prevent sceptical laypeople from pinning down the actual beliefs of their shepherds. Slipperiness is everything. Here is a new one from the Diocese of New Westminster: cognitive inclusivity.
Anglicans with $30 whose inclusion is suffering from depleted cognition can go here to have it recharged:
Plenary speaker Bishop Melissa Skelton, Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada, will help us explore the liturgical experience of reverence.
Four workshops will explore justice and holy in our music, worship and community organizing, cognitive inclusivity, and hospitality.
Jesus commands us to love our enemies. Our fallen nature is repulsed by such an idea. Fear not, St Columba Uniting Church in Australia has come up with something much easier: love someone else’s enemies.
St Columba Uniting Church is flying an ISIS flag with a quote from Matthew 5:44 on it:
It’s very easy for comfortable Western Christians to parade their piety by expressing forgiveness for a remote enemy that has done them no direct harm. It is a little harder for the parents in Iraq or Syria whose children have been murdered. The clergy who erected the flag have not suffered at the hands of ISIS; they have nothing to lose by forgiving ISIS. Moreover, by sycophantically sucking up to non-Christian religions, the denomination could win the coveted Order of the Politically Correct award.
St Columba ‘s exhortation might have been marginally more convincing had it been placed on the corporate logo of an organisation that the church probably does genuinely hate: a carbon spewing oil company, for example.
I wonder if they would have got away something similar involving a swastika during World War 2?
I’ve always enjoyed singing the hymn “Lift High the Cross”; what more fitting symbol of the Christian Gospel could there be than the Cross?
It has taken the combined theological insights of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Canada to come up with something better: November 22nd is “Lift up National Housing Day”:
On November 22, Lutherans and Anglicans are called to lift up National Housing Day 2014, learn more about the issues contributing to poverty, homelessness and substandard housing, and advocate for changes.
It goes without saying that neither denomination feels inclined to house the homeless in their increasing number of empty church buildings.
Anglicans are always prattling on about testing the bonds of affection. At first glance it gives the impression that, having tired of homosexuality, Anglican clergy have moved on to bondage.
Not so, apparently – well, it may be so, but no one is talking yet. Testing the bonds of affection refers to the split in the Anglican Communion; as Fred Hiltz notes:
We were invited to speak to the subject of “testing the bonds of affection” and to offer some reflections on the state of relations within and among the churches of the Anglican Communion.
While we acknowledged concerns about tensions over any number of matters and our grief over impaired relations between some churches, we noted the blessings of indaba—that manner of speaking and listening.
This clarifies things nicely: obviously, participants in Indabas and listening would have to be tied down – presumably with bonds of affection – to prevent them from running out screaming.
Elsewhere, Hiltz reveals that a select group of Manchurian Candidate African Primates have been persuaded (perhaps they were threatened with bonds of affection) to adopt Western eco-worship and sustainability. One can hardly blame them for caving: imagine the torment of sustained Indabas.
They framed their conversation in the context of human dignity, the sustainability of ministry and the care for the earth, and discussed a wide range of subjects that provide opportunities for fruitful collaboration and sharing of one another’s gifts.