Sunday, November 16, 2008

Will The Real Thomas Cranmer Please Answer His Phone!

"Now we need another movement to keep the Church faithful. I want to keep orthodox Anglicans together."

The Bishop of Rochester told clergy that the new movement was equivalent to the Reformation in the sixteenth century, which led to the establishment of the Church of England.

Traditionalists have been upset that the Episcopal Church escaped punishment despite consecrating Gene Robinson as Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop.
-- Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

The picture is coming clearer.  There are a number of bishops who are suffering from the disease I can only characterize "as delusions of grandeur".  We have a growing number of ego-maniacal folks who want desperately and are willing to give up everything and everyone to become the next "Thomas Cranmer".  

Who are these people?  Well we know for sure the numbers include ++Venables, ++Orambi,  ++Akinola, +Nazir-Ali, Mr. Schofield, Mr. Duncan, soon to be Mr. Iker, maybe retired Mr. Ackerman, and a few others.

Now, you may want to know how to tell who is the next person to vie for the coveted title of the New and Improved Thomas Cranmer.  Well, I do not know by name but I can tell you a little about the person.  The person hates women, thinks that women have a place in church, it just happens to be way in the back.  The person hates anyone that is not wealthy and can contribute large sums of money to this person's expense account.  This person wants to maintain second class citizenship for all those who do not think or act or live like they do. The person preaches repentance and punishment instead of reconciliation and love.  This person is interested in big church instead of Christianity.  This person preaches exclusivity rather than inclusivity.  The person tends to throw friends, colleagues and neighbors "under the bus" in order to further their own agenda.  Yes, these are some of the characteristics of the man who would be "Thomas Cranmer".  

Here is where the rubber hits the road.  All of these identified "Cranmer in-waiting" have signed on to the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration identifying the Archbishop of Canterbury as being colonial and outdated and therefore superfluous to the Anglican Communion (never mind the seeming oxymoron for the moment).  But is Thomas Cranmer who we need or do we need someone else?  I think we need a bishop who is willing to go to all lengths to include everyone in their flock.  Jesus looked for that 99th sheep that went wandering away can a bishop do less?  I think we need a bishop who reconciles like Jesus did when the group of pharisees wanted to stone the woman for adultery and Jesus said "Hey there is no one else here to condemn you so neither shall I ('cept he said it in his own language).  Isn't that the bishop we want?  I think we need a bishop who shares the Eucharist with everyone just as Jesus did when he was at the last supper.  I want a bishop who is willing to sweat blood for his flock like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane.  I want a loving bishop who says to the doubting , "here put your hand in the holes" instead of let's all go to GAFCON.  I want a bishop that builds on the cornerstone not tears apart the fabric of the communion. 

Think about it.  What do you want?

So, in essence these identified bishops want to become the person that they have already identified as being obsolete?  Here is my suggestion, why wait?  Let's just declare all of these fine older gentlemen to be obsolete and be done with it!  Then we go find bishops that know what bishops are all about.

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