Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Flunked the Thirty Nine Articles Test, You?

The recent GAFFcon Kings (no, no queens in that bunch) have developed a new set of rules to discern whether one is in or out of their brand spanking new Communion within the Anglican Communion now called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA). Among the new rules are the retro-requirement to use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (aka Prayer Book). Another is full acceptance of the Thirty Nine Articles of the Elizabethan era.

From the get-go, it is important to understand that the GAFFERS (now calling themselves FOCAs or would that be FOCAss in plural?) now consider themselves the de facto defenders of Orthodoxy within the church apparently desiring to "fix" in time who the Orthodox are and what the Orthodox belief in right down to the jot and tittle. And there will be no dissent. You are in or you are out.

In essence, it seems to me this is a message for the Holy Spirit to sit down and shut up because there will be no new revelation in the church. God is done talking and moving through the world and it will always be what it was several centuries ago as patently absurd as this concept is on its face. Back to the Future? No, Forward to the Past. I'm trying to figure out whose going to slam that stainless steel car into reverse.

So, as test one, I went back and revisited the Thirty Nine Articles (1562) to see if there was any any hope of me being in the club. I flunked miserably. No club for me.

I know I cannot possibly accept the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Anyone that knows me knows I could NEVER say "I will" to these words:

Then shall the Priest say unto the Woman,
N. WILT thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

Obey? Are you kidding? Obedience to another human being? And why doesn't he have to serve me, too? Not that I am ever planning on getting married. I have bought four wedding dresses in my life, and never wore one outside of the fitting room. I am a giant chicken with ice cold feet.

Of course, there would be no women clergy because we are too stupid and emotional and basically just too second-rung for that. We can cook the meals (nix on the apples though), clean and scrub the Sanctuary (and probably the grounds, too!), teach the kids and lead the choir. I might be wrong about the choir. We could iron the robes, though.

The FOCAss appear to dislike Westerners intensely. A bit odd given these Westerners write the speeches for the non-Western types, supply millions of dollars to those south of the equator so they can fly around the globe often for nefarious purposes, and fill in the silence when some of the other non-Western leaders appear stumped by incredibly complex questions from the press such as, "do you support jailing of gays in your country?"

It's just so hard to be in the spotlight. Makes some downright speechless.

So, I flunked the test big time. I believe I have been corrupted by science, and ruined by the philosophy that we should question authority. Either that or I was born a few hundred years too late.