Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Month: October 2009

Episcopal Clergy in the Media

Anna and I have recently started following the show “FlashForward,” which I’ve found to be pretty entertaining. In one of the recent episodes, “Black Swan,” I was interested to see a brief portrayal of an Episcopal Priest. Unfortunately they made him out to be a bit of a putz, if not necessarily unlikable. Check it out:
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John Donne: Hymn to God, my God, in my sickness

Blessed John Donne

SINCE I am coming to that Holy room,
Where, with Thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made Thy music ; as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before ;

Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my south-west discovery,
Per fretum febris, by these straits to die ;

I joy, that in these straits I see my west ;
For, though those currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me ?  As west and east
In all flat maps—and I am one—are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection.

Is the Pacific sea my home ?  Or are
The eastern riches ?  Is Jerusalem ?
Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar ?
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.

We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ’s cross and Adam’s tree, stood in one place ;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me ;
As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.

So, in His purple wrapp’d, receive me, Lord ;
By these His thorns, give me His other crown ;
And as to others’ souls I preach’d Thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own,
“Therefore that He may raise, the Lord throws down.”

Who decided this was a good idea?

I’m not sure what term describes this the best.  It’s certainly kitsch-y and in poor taste, but that doesn’t quite cover it:

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Dressed in camouflage and stationed as the gunner in a Chenowth Desert Fast Attack Vehicle, Paige Patterson stormed onto the chapel stage.

After firing a round of blanks from a .50-caliber Browning machine gun, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s president took his place behind the pulpit and initiated operation “Taking the Hill.”

{read it all}

Of course, this real event makes the following satire (written last year) from the Wittenburg Door all the more believable:

Join me, Paige Patterson, and together let’s get Medieval on some heretic hiney!

Greetings, fellow God-fearing Christians!

Are you tired of godless liberals infecting our church? Have you ever taken a spiritual inventory test and scored high on doctrinal purity but low on such unessentials as mercy and charity? Do you own more guns than Bibles? Do you yearn to round up every member of the Jesus Seminar and beat them to a bloody pulp?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, I have an exciting job opportunity you might be interested in.

Hi! My name is Paige Patterson, and I would like to tell you about “Theological Enforcers,” a highly rewarding job opportunity sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention.

One day, as I was polishing my Colt .45 and yearning for a return to the days of the Spanish Inquisition, a thought hit me. Christians nowadays have forsaken a great deal of their Christian heritage in this recent movement towards “love” and “acceptance.” I mean, just think of how St. Nicholas would feel. Yes, I’m talking about jolly old St. Nick, who, at the Council of Nicea bitch-slapped Arius for blaspheming. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Now even though it is now fashionable to “love your neighbors,” and “turn the other cheek,” REAL Christianity is all about doctrinal purity. Just think about the great men in our Christian heritage and how they would be appalled if they could see the church now. If John Calvin burned Michael Servetus at the stake, what do you think he would do to missionaries who use “prayer language” when they are alone? And if Martin Luther wrote “Against the Murderous, Thieving Peasants,” and called the pope the Antichrist, what names do you think he would reserve for women who tried to preach?

And terrorizing heretics through physical violence and emotional abuse isn’t just in our Christian heritage, it is in the Bible, too! Who can forget the great scene where Elisha calls out two female bears to devour the children who mocked him? Forget speaking in tongues, calling out bears to devour my enemies is a spiritual gift I would really like to have! Then, of course, I would shoot the bears and have them mounted.

{read the whole satire}

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