Thursday, 13 March 2008

Sue! Sue! I might even sue you!

Over the pond, from shore to shining shore, various legal eagles are engaging in top gun dogfights about church matters, and it ain’t a pretty sight. I suppose a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and everyone, of course, is right from their own point of view. “What else were we to do?” I hear everybody saying...

We Brits are good at ignoring sounds of breaking glass from our neighbours, but we still belong to each other, by baptism. If Dustin & Meryl next door lock horns acrimoniously, what kind of idiot do I have to be to stand at the bottom of the garden egging them on or, worse still, join in? But in all humility it strikes me...

I once wrote a thesis about Victorians suing the pants off each other for ritualism, so I want to say that, historically, there is life after litigation (as well as a pile of pants). However litigation, right or wrong, incurs spiritual debt. Here’s this morning’s second lesson from Morning Payer:
Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.
Emergent missional living is far more crucial for future Christianity than denominational turf wars. Reading Brian MacLaren, I reckon Anglicans, with our particular instinct for faith in momentum and diversity, can bring special experience to the party. US fresh expressions, like the Common Table, are great laboratories of the Spirit. Whoever’s right and whoever’s wrong about the particular points in dispute, fellow disciples I like and respect a lot there are saying we just can’t be the kind of disciples God needs us to be for as long as we’re hooked on the whole “litigate to accumulate” thang. Hear the warning of Blessed, but Weird, Al Yankovich:
video
PS Aviation Art by Lou Drendel

3 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

There's a rather plush suburb in Cape Town called Bishopscourt. It was part of the endowment of the Anglican diocese of Cape Town, and was sold off in the 1930s to pay for litigation with the Church of England in South Africa.

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Thanks, Steve. Litigation is surely a good way to burn off any excess resources — I've come across instances of people burning off the assets of a failed marriage fighting over who gets m, yea, right unto vanishing point. I know litigators have got to eat, but it seems a shame.

Mike Croghan said...

This is awesome. :-) I missed it when you first posted it (I think I was on the road). May those who have ears hear the message of St. Weird Al!

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