The Independent has a lovely article called Ten more commandments: How to save the Anglican church. You may read them and think; gosh, aren’t these ridiculous commandments that lack any understanding of who God is and what the church should be like in the world, but what I shall argue is not that. No, rather I shall argue these silly commandments don’t go far enough. Here are ten even
dumber better new commandments to definitely save the Anglican church all over.
- Stop Obsessing About Sex, Money, Gender, Suffering, Politics, Family Life, The Environment, Your Neighbours, The Queen, High-Speed Two, In Fact, Anything That Could Appear On Pages 1-17 Of Most Newspapers, And The Sport Supplements
- Ditch the Trinity
- Ditch the Cross
- Stop Meeting Together
- Start Teaching Trainee Vicars Important Things
- Replace Church Discipline With Stern Looks Of Disapproval
- Show How Attractive The Job Of Being A Vicar Is
- If You Have To Do One Of Those Alpha Course Things Don’t Mention Hell
- Find Out What’s Popular Currently And Appeal To It
- Take Advice From Anyone That Promises To Save Your Church As Long As That Person Doesn’t Mention Jesus, Repentance, or the Cross
In fact, stop talking about anything remotely important. People don’t need to know what Jesus or the Bible has to say about stuff. Not that you should be mentioning Jesus or the Bible anyway. If you are going to speak about things though, speak about ephemeral stuff. People aren’t seeking meaning or investigating the real world or questioning who God is. They want fluff. Give them that.
I mean seriously, Three persons who are one God? One God who is three persons? I can’t get my head around that immediately and therefore logically; it must be wrong and; no-one else can understand or believe it. There was this guy Arius at the dawn of Christianity who had the bright idea to say that Jesus was a human who became like God, not God from God, begotten not created. Now, just because the entire weight of scripture and church history has declared him a heretic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt his bright ideas to make it simpler for everyone else. And what goes for Christ can go for the Holy Spirit.
Do I even have to explain this? If someone dying in my place to rescue me from so-called sins isn’t the most offensive idea you’ve ever heard… Nope. Let’s get rid of this one.
Everyone hates meetings. Most productivity blogs suggest that any meeting that lasts longer than the time it takes to sit down at a table and get out your iPad are a waste of everyone’s time. So cancel them all. It’ll free up your vicars to do more ministry things.
Why spend time in theological college teaching future vicars stuff like “how to understand the bible”? Instead spend time teaching them all the important things they’ll really need, like “how to write funding reports effectively”, “how to organise seven rotas at once” and “how to sit on all the subcommittees of the parish school governors body at once and thus fill up your diary”. They’ll be more effective at ministry consequentially.
Nothing kills the life of an organisation than disciplining a member of staff who’s stepped way out of line, failed to carry out the job they promised to do, and blamed it on everyone else they worked with. Just let everyone get on with getting on right? So if someone breaks their promise not to bless a same sex-marriage, or denies the virgin birth, or claims that you don’t really have to believe the apostles’ creed, don’t bring them before their bishop or dean to get them to explain the matter, that’ll bring down morale. Just raise your eyebrow and they’ll know they’ve done wrong.
Is recruitment down among vicars? We haven’t checked any facts in this article, but it doesn’t matter! Once people know how attractive the job of being a vicar is, they’ll sign up in their droves! A nice pension, comfortable house, and a “as much as you want to do” schedule of work? Granted, you’ll probably get lots of people applying who aren’t Christians, but why should that worry you?
It upsets people, and 95% of theologians who aren’t Christians and don’t believe that God is real and the bible is His word are fairly certain that all references to hell, hades, gehenna and the fire that will not be quenched were added by Martin Luther in the 17th century to speed up the reformation and oppress women. If you want to see people becoming Christians, then you’d better warn them about hell and that it doesn’t exist.
People decrying the church for not ordaining women bishops? Ordain them! People decrying the church for not allowing same-sex marriage? Allow it! People decrying the church for speaking about God so much? Stop speaking about God so much! Remember; these people all would totally trust in Jesus and become active members of the church if this one issue was resolved.
Look, follow this advice and every thing will be fine. The church will return to it’s rightful place in society, everyone will get their babies christened and babylon definitely won’t invade and send us all into exile. Don’t listen to those folk over there claiming to repent and turn back to Jesus. That’s stupid advice. Peace! Peace everywhere!