Anglican Samizdat

March 11, 2009

Anglican Church of Canada: political lobbying through prayer

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 6:43 pm

The bishop of Toronto, Colin Johnson and his liberal henchmen took a day off from preparing same-sex blessing liturgies to instruct God on how He should be influencing Canadian Provincial politics. In pursuit of this dubious endeavour, the reverends exercised their uncanny knack for reading a passage of Scripture and teasing out of it meaning that isn’t there.Add an Image

Archdeacon Patterson’s reading of the Biblical account of the healing of the blind man Bartimaeus sparked a lively dialogue. Since he had no way of earning a living, he was poor, noted Bishop Johnson. “At first he’d been told to be quiet. Yet he asks Jesus for healing, to be restored to active community. Jesus gives us an example. He heals the whole person. Today we call for dignity for all people.”

The story of Bartimaeus is about overcoming isolation, commented the Rev. Paul MacLean. “Poverty isolates people,” he said.

In these tough, uncertain economic times, it’s easy to be gripped by fear, said the Rev. Beth Benson. “Maybe this wonderful story (of Bartimaus) has an echo for us about fear.”

A normal reading of this passage would note things like: Bartimaeus recognised Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah; he asked for mercy – perhaps in recognition his own sinfulness; in spite of Bartimaeus’ obvious need, Jesus asked him what he wanted, giving Bartimaeus a chance to exercise his faith; Bartimaeus did demonstrate his faith and Jesus healed him; Jesus commended Bartimaeus on his faith. The supernatural reached into the natural and changed it: a miracle was performed.

Colin and his compatriots, groping for political relevance see:

Someone who is poor; someone who wants to be ‘restored to active community’; the isolation of poverty; fear similar to that which we are experiencing in our current economic troubles.

It is one thing to allow Scripture to speak to our circumstances today; it is quite another to conform Scripture to suit one’s own cultural preconceptions.


1 Comment

  1. Parading Christianity around like a pet pit bull to show how cool you are is not only childish but an affront to many and who knows what He thinks about it? Not much I would expect. BTW Bishop’s skulls go crunch when you walk on them I have heard. Lousy pavement but an ample supply.

    Comment by Gawk — March 11, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

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