It’s a Sad Day…

… when Priests go around publicly comparing their Bishops to lynching mobs, “the  Klu Klux Klan” and “Monty Python”. Really unacceptable.

When I became a Priest, I well remember taking a vow of Canonical Obedience to the Bishop of the Diocese:

“Will you reverently obey your ordinary and other chief ministers of the Church, unto whom is committed the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?”

I answered, “Yes,” to the question that was solemnly put to me on that day. It is thus an obligation required of me.

Further, thanks for all the incoming e-mails (pointing to the above blog post). I do not however want to be drawn by my courageous colleague over in France, nor do I wish to get into a tit-for-tat mud-slinging match and that before a watching fallen world. It will only make for a pathetic and shameful Christian witness. I made my point yesterday. I stand by that until such time as those whom God has placed over me have anything else that they deem necessary for me to know.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow.

– Heb 13:17

Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

– 1 Thess 5:12

And that is what I have ‘contented’ myself in.


A Lottery for Primate

Speaking of lots,

Time was when the prime minister chose the Archbishop of Canterbury – if only…

The Telegraph:

It seemed so easy: scarcely was the ink dry on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter of resignation than the nomination of his successor was made. That was Stanley Baldwin, instantly appointing Cosmo Gordon Lang in succession to Randall Davidson in 1928. It was a perk of being prime minister, to choose who should reign at Canterbury.

How different from the slough of indecision since the resignation of Dr Rowan Williams last March. In two months he is to become Master of Magdalene College. In the meantime, a committee of 16 has floundered, paralysed by worthy motives. There is no reversing the ratchet that took the choice first from the monarch, then the prime minister. But we might be sooner served by emulating the Apostles’ casting lots for Matthias, or by following the Copts, whose pope’s name is drawn from a box by a blindfolded child.




Coptic Church Selects Three Candidates for Pope

And with lots being drawn to decided on who it will be.

Brother Raphael
Bishop Tawadros
Bishop Raphael

Delegates to a special electoral synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria have selected a monk and two bishops as candidates to succeed Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria.

On 29 October 2012 the 2,405 members of the Synod of Bishops and the church’s General Lay Council meeting at St. Mark’s Cathedral, in Cairo’s Abbasiya neighborhood cast ballots to select three candidates for the post. Seventeen names had been put forward for consideration by the commission, which narrowed the list to five candidates.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.


Pastors, Ordained and Lay – The Reason We Are Sent

Via the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans:

The sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. I was re-reading Bonhoeffer’s Life Together when I came across the following:

A pastor should not complain about his congregation, certainly never to other people, but also not to God.  A congregation has not been entrusted to him in order that he should become its accuser before God and men. (Bonhoeffer, Dietrich,  Life Together, Harper and Row, 1954, p. 29.)

What? A pastor can’t complain about his church? I thought that was a natural right of ministers. What else would we pray about if we couldn’t explain to God we would be much better ministers if we were only at a different church? What would we talk about to our pastor friends if we couldn’t complain about our churches?

OK, let’s get real. I’m no Pollyanna. I’ve been doing what I do for a long time. There’s nothing about a Baptist church I haven’t seen or heard.  Like Paul, all of us bear on our bodies (and souls) the marks of ministry.

But can we at least reframe the question? Perhaps the question isn’t, “What’s wrong with these people?” Maybe the question we should ask is, “Why am I sent to them?”

with this conclusion:

As I write this, it’s Monday morning and I’m in the office trying to sort through emails and phone messages about hurts and heartbreaks we heard about in yesterday’s services. This is what I do. This is what you do. It’s why we’re here. Broken people are hurting people.

Jesus said sick, wounded, and broken people were the reasons the Father had sent Him. These same people are the reasons He sends us.

I know a number of you who read this are also pastors/ministers – both ordained and equivalent or doing the hard yards of lay ministry. We often have moments where the people we are looking after are just plain difficult – let’s not pretend otherwise. This is a healthy reminder that those moments are purely avenues for our frustration, they’re the very reason we’re sent.