Saturday, 26 May 2007

Whitsuntide columns

Vincent Nichols writes about Pentecost in The Times: Pentecostal drama explodes with energy, freedom and joy.

Carolyn Reynier writes about the Anglican chaplaincy in Nice in Face to Faith.

The Daily Telegraph has Christopher Howse on The enigma of Gerontius.

Giles Fraser writes about Ascensiontide in the Church Times: No clinging to the old ragged cloth.

The Tablet has a feature article: Pentecost is just the start by Denis Minns.

Last week’s Church Times had an article by Bob Holman about why Christians, especially bishops, should not seek power in the Lords: What happened to servanthood?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 May 2007 at 7:56am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

I wonder how uncommunicative is the language employed by Vincent Nichols other than to those on the inside.

I'm sure that Giles Fraser will rough up some, comparing floppy Bibles and emphasis on correct sacramental forms to a noo noo comforter.

As for the House of Lords, I advocate electing people for life or up to their own retirement. That way people could advertise themselves to an electorate on the basis of what they have done in life, and some of their long term aspirations. Plus someone elected for life does not come so easily under party influence.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 26 May 2007 at 3:02pm BST

One of the great losses impending in the new conservative Anglican realignment is just this core notion of the Holy Spirit wooing us, luring us, challenging us, nourishing us, inflaming us - and yes sometimes pricking our individual/collective conscience towards better discernments - as we grow into justice, and other major forms of love of God and love of neighbor.

(The moment in Acts when Ananias/Sapphira get struck dead by the Holy Spirit is much beloved on Cons-Evs blogs, with Bishop R., Diocese of NH, TEC, Integrity, Louie Crew, former PB Griswold, current PB KJS, and many others standing in, explicitly or implicitly, for the offending who dissembled. It gets hard to tell at times whether the cons-evs believers cannot wait to sink their own teeth into such jaded-pagan flesh, or whether they are content to wait and watch God's hounds of heaven attack.)

The notion of servanthood is also going by the waysides, mainly in favor of dominion and Christian Reconstructionist ideas - which de facto if not also de jure replace service and Tikkun Olam with their own self-referential presuppositions. Alas. The more this juggernaut rolls along, the less interested in any sort of listening it shows itself to be, and the more evangel/gospel narrows to a cloning process whereby one is boot-camped in order to follow Jesus according to the dubiously proper conservative strictures. The Holy Spirit mainly whips people into proper conservative shape.

This gets things exactly backwards, ethically and theologically. Tikkun Olam first, then receptivity to what God is doing through the Holy Spirit in both the wider world and throughout church life of many different forms, locally adapted in most cases. Nevertheless, we do live in interesting times, and so far as I can tell with my feeble radar, the Holy Spirit is doing more to change us now - and probably not solely in favored realignment directions? - as we teeter on the brinks of looming extinctions, and other sea changes in what we know and how we know surge us forward, increasingly into rather unknown territories. That peace and variety are keys to all this, to surviving all this, to giving thanks for the blessedness of all this - seems as self-evident to me as it appears blighted or uncertain to Christian dominionist or reconstructionist minds and hearts.

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 26 May 2007 at 4:04pm BST


Loved your posting. If you haven't read it yet, look up Daryl Connors "Managing at the speed of change". The models of resiliency are useful at both an individual and a collective level.

At one point Credo commented "True freedom, in contrast, is the exercise of our capacity to choose deliberately and well all that is good, true and beautiful, and not to be beguiled by false and fleeting novelties that add nothing to our lasting wellbeing, or to that of others."

A contemplation in the last few days is that one thing we are fighting is inverted narcissm; i.e. where souls are unaware that they are narcisstic. Narcissm can exacerbate the tensions of competing needs, as described in Minns' article.

One mental model is to think of the first outpouring of Holy Spirit as being given a vision of what could be. The tensions and the problems then experienced are a description of the reality at that time. Now we have a vision of perfection; but then we have the tensions of how to make that manifest in this world.

In shooting for the moon, a ship is does not point at the moon, if it was it would arrive at a destination where the moon no longer is. Rather, it is a series of course adjustments with the intention of the ship actually safely landing on the moon. Like on a space ship, we have to manage our resources such as water, food, energy so that we have sufficiency.

One freedom that comes with Spirit is abundance. That abundance does not mean that the recipients have the “most”. It is an abundance of feeling that what one has is sufficient and thus there is no need to steal more. We can rejoice in the diversity of gifts and inheritance of others, knowing that God has portioned for each and everyone of us what we most need.

As Giles Fraser concludes, Jesus message is that we are all truly loved. We don't need our parents in the room to know that they love us. When we stop clinging to their hems, we can rejoice and work towards being adults that would make our parents proud. A parent desires that each of their children grows happy and healthy, matures with wisdom and leaves a positive safe legacy for future generations.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 26 May 2007 at 11:21pm BST
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