I sometimes wonder if the church ever glances backward to see if God is still following. At least that is my thought watching this institution scamper in pursuit of the zeitgeist. I was considering this issue after commenting on a post at Anti-Gnostic’s. There he described interactions on the blog of some Anglican cleric who had recently scrubbed his record of prior criticism directed toward Islam. Certain comments ranged beyond AG’s tolerance and were deleted. Though the flow remains discernible, including input from the androgynous Anglican.
His contributions to the thread included a gruelingly meek stance towards encroaching Islam, as well as an obligatory “nazi” insinuation for those advocating a more virile posture. As you will bear the insufferable indulgence of self-quoting, I responded as follows:
AG, I wasn’t going to comment further, given that your request to eschew insults left little to say.
But since I know you take the health of your church seriously, it seemed germane to mention the obvious: this is why you fail. This is why your pews lie fallow in the West. Chadwick almost seems to offer a caricature of the flaccid effete sniveling that has so successfully repulsed me from congregations for years.
It is likely to no one’s loss but my own. For if there is a God, then I detrimentally remain out of his orbit. And that is because those who serve as the stewards of his mortal embassies offer little more than mewling pap draped in vestments. All but the latter of which is available 24/7 via innumerable cultural outlets. If the church is merely offering dishwater liberalism, then it is being drastically out-competed. Bert can be called a nazi anywhere in the deracinated West; he needn’t seek Christian counsel for the privilege.
If the church wants to enliven the spirit, and draw men accordingly, it will rediscover its inner Pope Urban II. If it does not, its clerics will one day find their debates over angels on a pin interrupted by the muslim call to prayer pealing from St. Peter’s.
Unfortunately, the church is far more intrigued by bodies than people. And Pope Urban II looks down upon a much smaller man in his red shoes. But what Francis lacks in inspirational stature, he captures in diversity.
Pope Francis named 15 new cardinals Sunday, selecting them from 14 nations including far-flung corners of the world such as Tonga, New Zealand, Cape Verde and Myanmar to reflect the diversity of the church and its growth in places like Asia and Africa compared to affluent regions.
Other cardinals hail from Ethiopia, Thailand and Vietnam. None came from the United States and only three European nations received new cardinals–Portugal and Spain in addition to Italy. Cape Verde, Tonga and Myanmar gained cardinals for the first time.
Francis told faithful in St. Peter’s Square that the new batch of cardinals “shows the inseparable tie with the church of Rome to churches in the world.”
The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the selection “confirms that the pope doesn’t feel tied to the traditional ‘cardinal sees,’ which reflected historic reasons in various countries.”
Exactly what the men at Tours, Vienna, and Lepanto bled to secure: a church eschewing their posterity in favor of Tonga.
Though many other branches of the Christian tree are acting upon previously undiscovered biblical codicils. Particularly those that grant open migration to congregants benefitting from subsidized fecundity.
Religious groups in the East Bay have also stepped up. Led by Guatemalan-born Pastor Pablo Morataya of the East Oakland church, four congregations this fall declared “sanctuary” — pledging to shield young people and their families even if they are ordered deported. In the meantime they are helping with sponsorships, legal costs, food and clothing.
Of course Guatemalan-born Pastor Pablo Morataya is very far from alone in rebuilding Babel on the soil of the West. Practically every denomination smiles beatifically at the biblical mandate to relocate all of humanity into Europe and America. Here are the devout Episcopalians for instance–do enjoy that banner photograph. While scanning, please note the denomination’s liturgy as it pertains to…
Asian children of the Lord
Black children of the Lord
Migrating children of the Lord.
Indigenous children of the Lord
Latino children of the Lord.
Incarcerated children of the Lord.
Social justice warriors of the Lord
And the Environment of the Lord
It’s embarrassing to admit I can’t now recall whether I was first introduced to the concept of “social justice” from Salon.com or the Book of Matthew. Regardless, not all Christian Gods are as liberal as the one who worships the Episcopalians. For instance, there are the far far right, ultra conservative, arch bigot Southern Baptists.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Leaders in nation’s largest Protestant denomination are preaching that integrated churches can be a key driver of racial justice in society.
The Rev. Russell Moore, who leads the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is one of several white leaders calling for multiethnic congregations in the wake of the unrest spurred by the killings of black men by white police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.
“In the church, a black Christian and a white Christian are brothers and sisters,” Moore wrote recently. “We care what happens to the other, because when one part of the Body hurts, the whole Body hurts. … When we know one another as brothers and sisters, we will start to stand up and speak up for one another.”
The effort has taken on particular urgency for Moore and other Southern Baptist leaders who have been working to overcome the denomination’s history. The convention was formed in 1845 in a split with other Baptists when Southern Baptists resolved to continue allowing slave owners to become missionaries. [This 170 year old schism can only be soothed in the calming waters of a Hollywood feature film]
During the civil rights movement, Southern Baptists were largely silent or actively opposed ending segregation. The denomination eventually declared racism a sin and in 2011 renewed efforts to reach out to Latinos, African-Americans and others. The next year, the denomination elected its first African-American president, the Rev. Fred Luter, Jr.
Moore said he has two goals for the summit. He wants to spur churches to work for racial reconciliation by articulating it as a Gospel demand. And he wants to facilitate personal relationships between Southern Baptists of different races.
Moore said he agrees that things are changing too slowly within the SBC, but he sees signs of hope. He points to the work of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin, who has made recruiting and educating a racially diverse group of future pastors a key goal. Akin said he doesn’t think the patterns and structures built up at the SBC over more than a century can be changed without an active and intentional effort.
“My grief is we’re late to this party,” he said. “We should have been leading the way. The Christian church should be the first to speak to issues of discrimination and injustice … not sitting back.”
Racism, discrimination, and “injustice.” All proscriptions God would have inscribed on tablets at Mt. Sinai had he only been in possession of sufficient foresight. But who’s perfect? Unfortunately though it took over 1900 years after his son’s death to even formulate the concept. Still then the chore was inconsiderately left to people who weren’t even Christians.
And while all of this is obviously to mock, it is not intended toward those who take their faith in God seriously–as these
religious social institutions plainly do not.
A country is not a nation. The church is not God. And ideology is not interests. Here’s a prayer that one day they are.