The following is a portion of the Provincial Eastertide Statement by The Most Revd Gregory Venables, Primate of the Province of the Southern Cone commenting on the recent Anglican PrimatesÂ’ meeting in Ireland.
“You may also know that I continue to chair the Primates Commission for Theological Education for the Anglican Communion (TEAC). That has proven to be a very important group. The current crisis that assaults the Communion would not have risen if we had adequate theological education.”
I find it quite funny, if not sad, to hear Venables make this kind of statement. I do not wish to denigrate the education of the clergy of his province, but the implication of this statement is that Canadian, American, and other Northern Hemisphere provinces are sorely lacking in theological education. In many provinces, priests do not have to undergo any formal theological education.
If only we had adequate theological education Gene Robinson would not be bishop, homosexuals would not be welcome in Anglican churches, and a strict and narrow fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture would be enforced as Anglican dogma. In other words, we would not be Anglican as Anglicanism has historically been understood and practiced, but just another fundamentalist denomination.
What he is talking about, of course, is not education but indoctrination.
Click below for his entire statement –
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. There is a difference, however, between recognizing the sin, admitting it, repenting, receiving forgiveness, and moving on, and reveling in the sin!
Frankly, too many of us who claim Christ spend far too much time justifying ourselves and reveling in our own sin rather than seeking God’s will and freedom.
This is an affront to the Passion of Jesus, defames the cause of Christ, and is a rejection of the Kingdom of God. Hypocrites! We are all engaged in self-whitewashing. And the people who seek relief and freedom and fulfillment and self-actualization and joy and peace and honesty and integrity all yell HYPOCRITES. No wonder.
What happens when the taste for this world collides with the taste for the Kingdom of God?
The woman caught in adultery was dragged before Jesus by a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites who cared-less about the woman but only wanted to trip-up Jesus so they could, what? – humiliate him, kill him – anything other than caring about the welfare of the woman.
Jesus didn’t say to them, “Men, where are your accusers?” He did not say to them, “Go and sin no more!” These were reserved for the woman, used as a pawn in the schemes of these addicted men, her accusers, religious leaders of Israel.
Surely she sinned. According to the Law, she was worthy of punishment and her accusers where justified Â– according to their understanding and application of the Law. Perhaps she was not without hope. Perhaps she could yet experience transformation and redemption. Perhaps a small taste of this Kingdom of God, which she had just received, would have so engrossed her that the taste for this world became like dung.
Jesus didn’t even try with her accusers. Where they not worthy of his attention? Surely they were, just as this woman was worthy. Perhaps their taste for this world was so engrained that they could countenance no other. Perhaps they were so addicted to the drug of what? – power, attention, renown, pride, arrogance, indignation, this world – that they could not even begin to image anything greater, let alone far superior, to that of which they imbibed.
We are all given the privilege and ability to take a taste of this thing called the Kingdom of God. Many do and realize that it is that which they have sought all their lives, and that this taste draws them into a Kingdom of freedom, joy despite circumstances, and the presence of one who will never leave them nor forsake them. Many do not, perhaps because they are just fine with that which at the moment tastes so good (how could anything… anything… be greater), but in the end when the aftertaste comes, is but dung. Perhaps many do not because of their addiction to this world (and religion can also be one of these addictions).
I am so saddened when we see our religious leaders and they have no idea what we are talking about when we say we have tasted something so wonderful. They have no clue. I am so grieved when these men and women attempt to lead God’s church and are so in love and addicted to this world. They are ignorant or possibly hypocrites at best, and charlatans at worst.
I learned yesterday of some of the internal goings-on of certain past leaders in a certain diocese of the Episcopal Church. There is no wonder why parts of this Church are dying. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot exist when it is lead by men and women who are so addicted to this world and have no clue of transformation/translation into that far better Kingdom. We all sin, but they revel in it. How can they proclaim the Kingdom of God when they know nothing of it? They cannot. They become religious leaders and accusers. All they can do is feed the addictions by which this world enslaves them. They far prefer the taste of this world at this moment. They are the accusers of the woman caught in adultery. The Kingdom of God is made available to them, because it is the property of God to always have mercy, yet they have never tasted and cannot understand Â– worse yet, they refuse to.
I hope that I am that woman. I hope that my own sin is revealed and that I can recognize that that sin, that addiction, is so pale and truly tastes so awful when compared to that which Jesus offers. God help me.