Sunday, November 20, 2011

The man with the stick

The Anglican Church is debating something called the Covenant. Nobody who doesn't come to church could care less I know. Most in the church couldn't either it seems and of course the documentation explaining what it is is utterly impenetrable and confusing. The sea of incomprehension in the faces of our PCC was a sight to behold.  I have read it and, for what it's worth given the choice, I recommend going with our CEO Rowan and being in favour. Rebellion never works out that well as I read the story or did I miss something?

Basically, as I understand it which I may well not have, it is a call to remain orthodox (I know orthodox is sooooo last year) which the Windsor Report has already done. A bunch of people who don't want to remain orthodox (for cultural/theological reasons that they argue about with passion as Lesley does. I disagree with her but I do love her zeal) Those against Windsor decided to show the leadership of the Church where they could shove their report and did their own thing with seemingly very little consequence.

Instead of actually doing something about this act rebellion (or campaign for justice depending on how you view it) and heresy the C of E approach is, you guessed it, to produce another document. Now that was always going to be a belting idea. Your tracking with me here I can tell. The Covenant then is an attempt at calling the same bunch of people, some of whom are here and some the other side of the pond, to orthodoxy and, surely to no one's huge surprise, it's not going down that well (why would it when they have already told everyone what they believe albeit in my view that they are profoundly wrong). Though, let's be honest, simply as a stand alone document it is probably more interesting and informative reading the manual for my Bosch washing machine than the Covenant and this in itself isn't winning it many fans. You do always seem to produce an absolutely cracking read if you draft something by committee, particularly when it's a C of E one :)

Now on to more pressing matters. This is a conversation someone had with a girl this week in our local secondary school.

Q "Would you like to come to church with me some time?"

A "Come to church? Won't the man who holds the stick and walks up and down beat me for being bad. And anyway how much do you charge ?"

There are two worlds. Anglican Church world (weird looking men and women in dresses debating matters of Christendom such as the Covenant) and the real world that has long since checked out of any interest in such things, assuming they had any in the first place. The average age of a bum on a seat in the C of E is 61. I say that again 61.

We are now living in post-Christendom as 'The shaping of things to come' will tell you (arguably one of the most important books published in the last decade for those with an interest in mission)

"We're the minority and we have a message to change the world" says Mike Breen. Yes we are and indeed we do.

Wake up church. By the time we get this Covenant thingy agreed it may all be game over so why not debate being on mission and what it means to proclaim the gospel and then let's all get on with it shall we. This dear girl and one's like her living near you desperately need us to. Their souls depend on it.

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