|Courtesy of paulvallely.com|
Those of you who know me know well what I think of anything that smacks of passive-aggression. It is a scourge, a curse and a flim-flammery - the shadow in the blogosphere and the peril that threatens the very credibility of Christianity in this country. There is nothing worse than an individual or organisation licking its non-existent wounds and baying like a wounded puppy in the wake of injuries that just don't exist.
I am a loyalist, as you know. I respect the place and persons of the episcopacy, and regard myself as duty-bound by my Orders to respect those in ecclesial authority. I am not one who comfortably launches invective at senior bishops! But I will make an exception ...
It is Easter. It is a time of joy, hopefulness, new life, bursts of new faith, and all-round rapturous happiness in the lives of us God-botherers. My church was full this Easter, literally. The God of the Resurrection is all mighty, all powerful, all loving, has the plan sorted, can be trusted, knows what He is doing, built things like mountains and stars and that, and on the whole is not going to be easily supplanted. Oh no - not one bit of it.
And yet my Lord and sometime Archbishop of Canterbury perceives a threat to it all. From the secularists who seem to want it all their own way, apparently. George says 'no'. Once again, it seems that the entire Missio Dei hinges on whether some lovey wears her crucifix on the outside of her uniform rather than under it. It seems that God's entire universal purpose in the whole of Creation is threatened when people are stopped from unilaterally imposing their own theologies on others. Want to do something? Only if I agree with your moral fibre, sir! Then I will allow you.
What the world needs is love, love, love. The Christianity in England that will die is a Christianity that imposes its rights before love. The Christianity that will die in England is the Christianity that says 'our way or the highway'. Christianity in England will die when our Gospel message is contingent on one soul wearing a piece of jewelry as a definitive sign of belief and fights tooth and nail when that company or organisation (who pays them a salary , but let's no quibble over details) chooses to disagree (as they do for all such baubles). Whining in public about how hard-done by we are is a sure fire way of saying that God and all God's enormities are somehow threatened by the whiles of Secularists and Dawkins type folk. It is the same, exactly the same, as a heavy-weight champion boxer complaining that a toddler just hurt him with a slap on the shins.
Jesus Christ is Risen, Alleluia - and His church is as alive, vital and unapologetic as ever it was (save for a few individuals who know not how to pick their fights - who are making us look marginally stupid)