Showing posts from July, 2010

Refuse to be called Christian?

Gothic novels featuring vampires or horror aren't my choice of holiday reading. I didn't see the film 'Interview with the Vampire' though I was aware it was based on the American author Anne Rice's series of novels about Lestat (a vampire). My lack of interest in her particular form of dark fiction means that the fact that 12 years ago the author converted from atheism to Christianity had failed to grab my attention. Until today.

Alison Flood, in an article for the Guardian, picks up on Anne Rice's post on her Facebook page that she has decided to "quit being a Christian" because of negative attitudes by Christians to birth control, homosexuality and science. What interests me most about this is that Anne Rice declares that her faith in Christ is still central to her life. She writes,
"I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity...It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' …

Doggy Shrines

Why do people engage in actions based on superstition like throwing coins in fountains, salt over shoulders etc.?

Why does superstition persist even in places that have experienced 2000 years of Christianity?

Why do some atheists do things like touch wood - 'just in case'?

Why do all religions, including Christianity have some form of ritual actions? Do ritual actions meet some fundamental human need? Whether those actions are based on superstition or religion or apparent absence of either? To cope with what we fear? To acknowledge something greater than ourselves? To express joy, sorrow, regret, hope etc.?
I'm a Christian. I like to think I'm free of the need of superstitious actions, (though I find some Christian rituals helpful). Then I remembered what I did when our dog Holly died. We'd asked the vet who'd hastened Holly's death to remove her body for a doggy cremation. He did. Home bereft of dog. No body to bury in the garden.
After family hugs, I had an ov…

7 Link Challenge

I like challenges. Is that why I started blogging? I don't know. Now for today's challenge. 

Thanks to Darren Rowse here's my attempt to respond to his 7 Link Challenge. The Church Mouse has done it here. Lesley's Blog has done it here. It's time I had a go, so here goes.

Link 1: My First Post

My first post on 2 May 2009 was the most boring. I was dipping a toe in the water to learn how blogging works. I was recovering from flu, so lacking energy to garden which was what really needed to be done I started a blog with a post called 'The Blog Begins'. That was a scary moment, but I was encouraged that within 5 days 2 other bloggers commented - The Church Mouse and Autolycus. Thanks to them I decided to persevere, if only for my benefit (and the challenge of course.)

Link Two: The Post I most enjoyed writing

I've enjoyed writing every post - I wouldn't do it otherwise - after all I don't have to and I'm not trying to earn a living by blogging. I cou…

Shark-filled Chasm

How do you cross a a deep shark-filled chasm? And should you even try?
In my last postI said I was delighted with the outcome from the Church of England General Synod in voting for the draft legislation on women bishops. Not everyone feels that way. I've been reading reactions from within and outside the church, some of which I've found truly shocking and saddening. I was therefore much encouraged this morning to read the 14 July 2010 Pastoral Letter of +John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford. Thank you Bishop John!
He quotes a vivid image used by Canon Sue Booys who said, "the conscience of those in favour allowed them to get to a certain point, and the conscience of those opposed to the legislation enabled them to get to another point - and these lines are only ten yards apart, but the chasm between them is very deep and full of sharks."I was very taken by that image of a deep chasm full of sharks. I think it's helpful as long as one doesn't identitfy the sharks…

Process proceeds towards women bishops in Church of England

Interesting headline from BBC News this evening, "Women bishops can be created, Church of England rules". I think they mean 'appointed' and 'consecrated'. It would indeed be a miracle if the C. of E. by a ruling could 'create' women - bishops or otherwise.

The headline refers not to an innovative theology of creation but to the decision this afternoon by the General Synod to pass (by an overwhelming majority) the 'Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure' more or less as put forward by the Revision Committee. I'm delighted by this outcome. Now I feel more confident about staying in the Church of England, but aware that some are very disappointed.

The process isn't complete. The Measure is now referred to the Dioceses. If 50% approve (through Diocesan Synods) it returns to General Synod (in about 18 months?) for final approval which will require a two thirds majority. I've been dipping in and out of the…

Last Blast of the Vuvuzela

I told you here that I'm not interested in football, but I did manage to notice last night that Spain won the FIFA World Cup 2010.
So now the party is over and overseas fans returning home, leaving South Africa to get on with life without World Cup fever. Hopefully there will be some long term positive benefit for that country and all its citizens, where 40% of the population live below the international poverty line.
According to War on Want thousands of people were evicted from homes and trading places in preparation for the World Cup. Some of these are in temporary transit camps where conditions are deplorable. Working with partner organisations in South Africa, War on Want is campaigning for investigation of the evictions and protection of the rights of all South Africans to decent housing and basic services.  
You might want to sign up to War on Want's letter about this to Dr Zola Skweyiya, the South African High Commissioner to the UK.

Of Bishops and the wearing of purple worsted

Wondering when to break my blog silence after a holiday I've been reading a lot of stuff ahead of the meeting of the Church of England General Synod tomorrow. No, I'm not a member, but I'll be following the proceedings of the next few days with more than usual interest.

Some considerable time ago General Synod decided it was theologically OK for women as well as men to be consecrated Bishops in the Church of England, a position with which I strongly agree. Not everyone agrees, which is why the processs of deciding how this should happen while honouring the position of those who disagree has taken so long and proved so complicated.

I won't attempt to explain the forthcoming proceedings as Synod grapples with the issues. You can read a very helpful (and not at all boring) summary here thanks to Justin Brett. Or if you follow the media reports you can have fun playing Synodical Bingo thanks to the Church Mouse. Print out the bingo chart, check the words as you hear them. Th…