Once again the effective message of the Anglican church in NZ to NZ is being led by St Matthew's in the City and its "Let's be cute, comic, and crass" billboard. With a press release here and a press release there we have the Anglican Christmas message for 2012, Was Jesus Gay?
I am not going to show the billboard here but if you haven't seen it already on the net or in your local paper, it is here.
Memo to our Archbishops: don't bother with your Christmas message this year. It's too late!
A commenter on Taonga (where there is a great interview of ++Rowan Williams) makes a good point,
"Please if the Anglicans really do care about their church please let them do something about expelling Clay Nelson and Glynn Cardy (St Matthews Auckland) due to the blasphemy of our almighty Lord Jesus Christ."
Here's the thing. Do our bishops, do Anglicans through these islands care enough about our church and the message it gives to do anything about Glynn Cardy and Clay Nelson? Year after year we have these billboards which upset Christians, convey a false gospel message and generate a lack of confidence in the authority of our leadership.
And NOTHING happens.
So, what could be done to make this the last?
Incidentally, in the secular world there is decent competition for Glynn and Clay, should they need to ply their publicity trade elsewhere if the Taonga commenter's request is answered.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came at Christmas to be Saviour of all, not to be the object of quaint speculation about what his hormones were doing or to generate mirth about the possibility that God was a better lover than Joseph (a past billboard). Glynn and Clay's obligation as ministers of the gospel is not to get people chattering over their coffee cups about whether Jesus was gay and if he was, does it matter.
Their obligation is to present Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Not one of their billboards has ever done that.
Jesus can take any questions about anything, including his sexuality (though he must get confused, one moment it's questions about how many children he and Mary Magdalene have had, nek minit it's about which team he bats for). Questions about Jesus being gay are quite old hat and well worked through. The point of opposition to the billboard is not about avoiding such questions (if people feel pressed to ask them).
The point is to oppose unelected, unappointed clergy being the effective spokespersons for our whole church with a message our church is not agreed is the key Christmas message we want to communicate as the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.