Wednesday, May 10, 2006

wrestling with Pharisees

Sydney Anglicans have now decided to attack the emergent church movement. Their whole article, which was in the Southern Cross, which is handed out in all parishes of the diocese can be found online here:

This was my response to the article on another forum:

well, to be quite honest, I think the cultishness is in the other direction. Time was when being an Anglican was in itself a celebration of theological diversity (unfortunately not cultural diversity — but in the white bread Australia I grew up in, what did we know of that?). Not any more, at least not in the Jensen’s Sydney. Having read the whole article in Southern cross (where it is followed a couple of pages later with an incredibly insensitive article on how not to waste your “blessing”of cancer), two things struck me on first reading.One was the incredible stupidity of being taken in by an April Fool’s joke as representative of what the latest “enemy” are doing (nude evangelism in the chilly Welsh mountains in early spring? yeah, that would really have mass appeal!!). In our desire to demonise the enemy, it’s always dangerously easy to suspend critical thinking and believe any absurdity that makes them look bad.The second was the equating of incense and candles with idolatry. Huh? I’ve yet to see anyone actually worshipping a candle (though of course someone .. somewhere …). These people have no notion of the power of symbolism to connect human beings to God. Their theology is ultra-rationalist, Moore College actually teaches that God only communicates to man through propositional revelation. Sad, really, they miss out on so much (and would deny it to others). they are afraid of symbolism, they see it as unreliable (probably because it’s much harder to control how people understand it .. again, how sad!) And they cannot see the glaring idolatry of believing that they are the only ones who understand the bible correctly, and that anyone who studies the text and sees something else is automatically denying the authority of scripture. While some of us see the biblical mandate as being to distinguish between true and false shepherds (by their fruit, not their textbooks, I believe) these guys have a mission to discern true sheep from false, and if we do not baa with their accents we are not of the true flock ..Sorry to make this long, but I go to an anglican church (it is therapeutic to confess, yes?) and have had many encounters with these people.

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