Saturday, December 19, 2009

Archdeacon to Bishop: Take a Hike

'A defiant Archdeacon Cardy told the Herald: "I know what the bishop said. But at this stage we have no plans to take it down".'

(But the billboard has come down after it was slashed by "an elderly woman". By the way, what is it with Glynn and divine sperm? He just will not let go of the idea. The Herald goes on to report to us that Glynn said, '"We're not out just to deliberately stir the pot. We're out to critique the idea of a male god impregnating Mary and the literalism of the virgin birth. The topic is ... something the church has talked about for centuries, but what is new is that we have the audacity to laugh at something quite so ridiculous as a male god sending sperm down to impregnate Mary".' Let's recall what St. Matthew wrote, "she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit" (1.18). Glynn Cardy is just wrong that Christians, let alone secular Aucklanders go round thinking about 'the idea of a male god impregnating Mary'. He is critiquing a non-idea ... while simultaneously pouring scorn on the millions of Christians who are in awe of the mystery of the virgin birth. 'We're not out just to deliberately stir the pot' could be true, but something got knife wielding Grandma worked up!)

In my mind this question is floating around: what now is the state of the relationship between Glynn Cardy as archdeacon and his bishop, John Paterson? Anglicanism is fairly tolerant of a priest or two in its midst pushing the envelope. But archdeacons function to uphold the good order of dioceses, and thus are direct servants of the administration and leadership of diocesan bishops. To publicly defy the advice of one's bishop as an archdeacon ... well, it would be interesting to find out what Auckland clergy are thinking about that!

Through all the twists and turns of this unfortunate event, however, I am unchanged from my initial view that the most egregious offence here is to diminish the glory and honour of God as God. Lampooning anthropomorphic tendencies in other Christians is not a licence to diminish the Godness of God, which is what the billboard does.

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