This is the second of a series of posts reflecting on how the Church is conceived by its leaders, and offering alternative approaches. The first is here .
In the first I described the Archbishops’ ‘global prayer movement’ Thy Kingdom Come. Martyn Percy’s characteristically robust critique of it is well worth reading in full, though Kieran Bohan has produced a useful summary. Here I ask: is the Church just one more club, or something more important?
This is my sermon for Rogation Sunday.
The word ‘rogation’ comes from the Latin for ‘to ask’. There is a tradition of praying for the crops to grow well and produce a good harvest.
Posted in Churches, Economics, Ethics, Politics, Society, Theology
Tagged crops, economics, fertility, gods, religion, Rogation, technology
More air strikes. America attacks. Britain and France meekly follow Trump’s lead. Britain’s four RAF Tornados may not be the biggest part of the initiative, but it means we’re metooing.
Most of the public discourse is about surface isssues: who did what, what do we know, which laws have been broken? Beneath them lie deeper questions which we rarely ask.
A few years ago there was a popular game of Bug the Bishop. Every Easter at least one newspaper would come out with a shock horror story about a bishop who didn’t believe in the Resurrection. They don’t do it so much now, because nobody cares what bishops think.
The catch was: if the bishops didn’t believe Jesus rose from the dead they were betraying their duty as church leaders. But if they did believe it they would be out of touch with reality.
Ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite
The recent revelations of sexual abuse horrify us, particularly when the victims were children.
It is one thing to feel horrified, another to respond in a constructive way. Much of the public response has sounded to me like Guardian readers making Daily Mail responses, which they would not have made if the crime in question was, for example, addiction to illegal drugs.
Fiona Scolding QC, IICSA
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) is currently investigating the Diocese of Chichester as part of its study of whether Church of England leaders have failed to protect children against sexual abuse.
Abuse survivors sometimes say that in their experience the motivation was power rather than sex. This post reflects on power relations within religious communities. Of course other factors are involved as well, but here I focus on power.
How dare it snow, and mess up our plans? What went wrong?
Okay, you and I know that nobody is to blame. No human, anyway. So why do we call it bad weather?
Naturally, the Evangelical Alliance has defended itself against Jayne Ozanne’s critique of its teaching, especially in the light of the recent survey by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service on the prevalence of spiritual abuse.
But the defence fails. I focus on the EA’s main argument: that the term ‘spiritual abuse’ is inadequate because abuse is about actions, not motives. In this way they seek to insulate their teachings from the actions those teachings sometimes provoke. On the contrary, abusive beliefs lead to abusive actions.