9 Comments on “Finding a Job

  1. Whilst I am relieved that you will now have visible means of supporting your family, I take it that your new job will be outside the Church of England? If so, I am sure you will be paid a good deal more than you would in Holy Orders, but I can't help thinking 'what a terrible waste' – given the calibre of some of the more recent CofE intake. (I still have horrid memories of a TV programme showing some Anglican woman priest holding what was laughably called a service of Holy Communion in her home, but which seemed to me more like some new age spell-casting – ugh. And there was the time I thought I was going to Evensong, and before I realised my error and it was too late to escape, found I was involved in some horrid service with a woman curate floating leaves across a candle-lit paddling pool, and handing out stones for people to hold. Don't ask me why! Ghastly!)

    Still, I am sure the Church's loss will be somebody else's gain, so congratulations.

    • In fairness Jill (and I do hope that I'm not the only liberal bemoaning Peter's loss from the Church!)such "innovations" that you mention are surely just as likely to occur in modern evangelical ones as they are in liberal ones. For example, most evangelicals I know have no problem with women bishops – because we're all just "pastors" and Holy Orders don't matter anyway! Indeed I can think of one ludicrously overpromoted and characteristically inept "Childrens Pastor" who *celebrates* (!) the fact that at happy-clappy loony-bins like Elim they frequently don't bother having Communion at Holy Communion services, presumably because the demonically emotive fake "miracles" and the self-indulgent "sermons" of the chief Snakeoil-Salesman have a habit of overrunning!

      Bring back the Roman Missal (or at least the BCP ;-)) :-)

  2. Ryan, you and I agree on something! Hallelujah! Not that I object to 'happy clappy' particularly, for those who like that sort of thing – it just isn't my style. It is the near-paganism that I object to. Do male clergy float leaves about, and stroke stones?

    In a recent conversation with some other traddies like me, I brought up the experience I mentioned in my last post, and one lady told of a churchly experience where everybody was given coat hangers and told to talk to them. (Yes, really!) We were wondering what it was you could actually say to a coat hanger, and somebody quipped 'dear coat hanger, I think you are bent' – which sums up the whole thing, really.

    No wonder people don't go to church any more. More masculine clergy, please! Who will fill Peter's place, and the place of other young men who cannot get posts within the C of E? I am tempted to say 'some soppy woman' but no doubt this will raise ire, and I know that they are not all soppy. (But some are.)

    • Well Jill, I think kittens are cute too so that's at least two things we agree on ;-)

      I agree that "happy clappy" might just be a matter of taste, but in my experience those who enjoy it can be prone to conflate it with a "correct" attitude to God. For example, I have one friend, tiring of "Shine Jesus Shine" banausic inanities, who was told that she must have some sort of emotional problem that was blocking her relationship with God!

      The evangelical church I'm associated with has a relatively accurate reputation as being the only (ideological, am not implying prejudice against particular LGBT people) anti-gay Episcopal Church in Glasgow. Yet it sings songs with lines like "I am my beloved's and he is mine" , "He took me to the banquet table" (at least it wasn't "on" said table ;)), and has a "Men's Room" (!) group that discusses "emotional wounds" (!) and "feelings" (!). They even advertised a (weepy, huggy), Men's Weekend as a chance to "firm up" relationships, which is a bit Brokeback Mountain.

      I'm guessing that you would say that your problem with the Gay Agenda is not merely advocating of homosexual practise, but gender bending? One can certainly respect those who, like the late great Norman Mailer, are advocating for the importance of genuine masculinity in a feministizing world. In contrast, the ethos of many an evangelical church – where camp men are encouraged to cry, hug, and jump about like squeeling teenage girls but gay sex is a no-no – are hypocritical and ludicrous. For example, I've heard many a "straight" evangelical man (including those who are actually married) that they can certainly understand guys trying gay sex because of societal pressure (!), and that they themselves have had lots of same-sex fantasies. In contrast, no self-respecting genuinely heterosexual man would ever say or believe that gay sex is bad because it might lead guys like them to ditch their girlfriends for the joys of homosexuality!

      And of course, the problem with advocating "Christian Rock" services – instead of Sacraments and Discipleship – is that someone could rightly ask "if Church is just about friendship and rock music, why don't I just go to the pub or a concert with my pals?". I find it curious that evangelicals, nominally preoccupied (to their great credit of course) with Spreading the Word, never genuinely consider the implication of the fact that the C of E replacing the BCP led to (or at least coincided with) a drastic hemorrhaging in the size of the church. And of course the Catholic Church uses proper vestments and has a billion members whereas there are not – thanks be to God! – a billion Mark Driscoll-loving happy clappy evangementalists in the world!

  3. Peter,

    I sincerely hope that your new job will not mean the demise of this blog. I have found it one of the few where matters of sexuality are discussed rationally and constructively both by you and by those who contribute.

    Can you at this time tell us what your future plans are for AEITFOO?

  4. Ooh, Ryan, scary stuff. I must admit I don't have much first-hand experience of this kind of thing as I have become very selective in where I go to church, and even in strange churches I carefully scrutinise the worship material and hymnal and the arrangement of the furniture, as well as acquainting myself with the gender of the incumbent, carefully avoiding anywhere with visible big screens or drumkits, before committing myself.

    Your post did remind me, though, of the encounter Peter Mullen had with John Sentamu before he became the Archbishop of York, which did make me laugh, and reminded me why I now only go to churches where the 1662 BCP is used.


    Of course not all Evangelicals are as you describe. Many are well-grounded. But do read John Richardson's Ugley Vicar blog today about theological colleges, which perhaps goes a long way to explaining why so many of today's clergy prefer floating leaves and stroking stones to grappling with the thornier theological issues. (Did I tell you about the baptism service where the vicar – a woman again, I'm afraid – dispensed with the baptismal vows, and told the parents and godparents to read them at home?)

    You are right that I do object to the feminization of the church, as I think not only is a touchy feely feminized church unattractive to men, but it has no appeal to women either.

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