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Where has the radical freshness of christianity gone? How come the symbol of a martyr who was tortured so much he was resucitated three times before, literally, losing his head for his faith become the flag for a national football team…

Perhaps we in the West, and especially in England of whom the symbol is the national flag just wanted to know George was a soldier and a saint and lets not talk about how he peacefully made his protest of faith and was then tortured and killed for it – Let’s talk about dragons instead… And whilst we are here – here’s a question: Would we return George to his state so they could kill him? Nowadays we do send, or propose to send, folk back to countries which kill folk for their views on the grounds that we get a ‘guarantee’ from the state in question re looking after the asylum seeker – we have courts defending their rights not to be packaged out to be killed as there are protests in the press about the money they cost us… Is this the behaviour of a country St. George would want to be symbolic of?

Would he rather his flag would be waved around for a sporting event where, if not caught, a cheat is seen as herioc – the dives, the ‘ruff and tumble’, the penalties gained.. the list of the behaviour goes on… but if the team wins then the sins are washed clean and the flag can be waved in glory…

Victory was never George’s aim in his conduct and that’s a problem for the church and for society – he went and did what? St. George’s story is not boring so why do we not tell it?

Here’s quote from Vivian Stanshaw from 1983 –

Aparthied and prejudice,come before a fall,

but patronage is even worse, you’re walking towards that wall…

from his rare work of genius ‘Sir Henry at Ndidi’s Kraal’

I’ve had this thought for a while and have tried to figure out exactly how it works but I think going to history may help…

A while ago I managed to trundle through this work Constantine’s Bible which debunks the idea of the selection of the books of the New Testament as forced by the Emperor Constantine except by the power of patronage… True, there is the Council of Nicea and all that but what we do not talk about and thus do not see is the habitus of power that Constantine gave to the church… Thus clergy when given a nice big house, virtually, all said ‘Thankyou’ and with all those comments about trusting power from St Paul – hands were shaken and the church went to bat for the state – a boring conclusion.

Well it is now but way back Then when it seemed that the levers of power were influenced by the church – and indeed when the church managed some tight manouvring to have actual physical, legal and state granted [no matter how grudgingly]  power the the church was exciting but not for the reasons it should have been and as we make progress of the church moving away from the state’s machina for governance [note the sermons of the First World War and those before that for fighting for ‘King and Country’ – just like St. George?] we are left with the stain of granted patronage – we had the patronage of lords or the great and the good [whoever they are] and then the priests could trickle down the patronage of sanctity from God… I’m sure the fines for not going to church managed to keep some bums on the pews, right up into the 1900’s… and now when we see patronage for the skeletal effect it is when not given freely or only on demand the story of christians looks boring because we’ve lived the wrong story for far too long… and have been unable to come to grips with the fact that the history of christianity shows how we remember and honour those who stand against the powers that be whilst we find ways of twisting the story so that we no longer need to feel guilt for our normality…

no wonder we’ve grown dull.

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I was at the Hay on Wye Festival and saw Rowan Williams’ conversation with AN Wilson [as opposed to AN Other…] and was strangely affected by the conversation (reported Here in a very curtailed manner but what do expect from an hour?) and Rowan’s answers to questions…

Now, I feel, I must point out that Rowan is not one of my heroes – true I did admire the way he was not outright derided, rail-roaded, cut or spliced by either Dawkin’s conversation with him in his last outing – or by his editing department… but I do think Rowan Williams is a great mind and a spiritual giant in his own way – which doesn’t seem to be mine…

Later after the conversation I saw AN Wilson and almost approached him to ask ‘Why did you give him such an easy ride?’ but turned aside when I came to the realisation that grilling the Archbish wasn’t on the agenda… some of the questioners were obvioulsy trying to merely curry favour and point out their own goodness whilst others were of a more cunning ilk… This is to be expected with the head of a denomination but I was disappointed, pointedly, over one question and Rowan’s answer…

A humanist [self-confessed] asked Williams about whether he would want to join the humanist cause as some in his denomination did not have the same views over various issues – this is of course a cunning question and Rowan asnwered it in like manner. He basically turned the invitation around and asked whether or not he could count on the questioner, and their ilk, to be an ally…

Not that he was prepared to defend folk under his leadership.

It is this casual casting off that I found troubling. Either you agreed with his views or you were under a critical appraisal by the great leader. As the Archbishop I, from the outside of the anglican fold I have to admit, assume that he should defend those within his fold – alright, both sides have thrown brickbats at each other so there is no easy line to hold them all together but from the front of a meeting he was prepared to just cut adrift a raft of his clergy. Shouldn’t he be standing up for them despite their disagreements?

As a leader of a faction such a stance would be the norm. As the leader of the whole Anglican shebang I found it less than wholesome.

Other than this Rowan Williams has indeed used his position to, umm, effect…

He has been able to give Dawkins a target that, despite his best attempts, he failed to hit. Rowan also put out a report about the drastic state of our children is in. These are not small things and no doubt they are not the only ones…

However he did sanction the great apologist for totalitarianism the job of writing the A Good Childhood report – Lord Layard. And gave the rather double-speak equivalent regarding selfishness – ‘extreme individualism’…

Being able to use his position and take a stand but feel unable to come to the crunch and use the exact words he means and then ask for help from outsiders rather than defend others who differ in their views despite being his clergy I have to ask –

What use Rowan Williams as Archbishop of the Church of England?

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I recently went to a Mark Thomas gig.

And to be unfair – here’s the email I sent off today

Dear Mark Thomas or whoever gets to check this mail box…

I must say that I enjoyed, laughed and applauded during your stand-up routine. I even signed a petition and got a couple of badges for the wife.

Perhaps this bit goes under the general heading of ‘Never Meet Your Heroes…’ – I was near enough to the front to note that you had a bunch of ideas [including mine I admit] that you did not even bother to reject. I understand that my suggestion could have seen to be coming from an industrial interest due to the facts and figures I used – this is not the case. My point would be that you would seek to champion a minority point of view – atheism at around 20% of UK population and feel happy enough to prosecute smokers who also make up around 20%… Where does one group become righteous and another guilty? Or to put it another way – How many lives would you save if you banned smoking tomorrow?

On a more positive note, as I was talking to some of the chaps in red jackets – they mentioned that there was a ‘group’ up in ——–. If you’d be so good as to pass on a contact number, or forward them my email address (no spam, please) I’d like to see what I could get involved in [no to ID and other such issues].

I look forward to hearing from you.

I will post whatever reply I get in either this post or in another as I deem best practice or whatever. [Bearing in mind as I’ve covered up my personal info – I’ll do likewise for reply.]

So why pick on Bakunin and Marx?

Well, I’m no Bakunin but then again Mark – though he has written good books on topics we should know about and actually manned the barricades more than Marx, he has not writted something along the lines of Das Kapitol… But perhaps Mark has spent too much time with radical Marxists and no longer would champion Liberty but rather The Way…

Of course everybody has their own view of The Way – mine includes long afternoons sipping gin, writing thousands of words and smoking my pipe to some interesting music with a mug of cooling coffee by my side… and I reckon if more folk spent their time doing that we’d have less people doing bad things if for no other reason then they are already preoccupied.

I also don’t think that the whole atheists are winning is an appealing concept, not least because I’m an old fashioned diest and believe in a ‘higher being’ – when I look back at the history of ideas and ideals it is when one (any one – atheism included) is feeling the boldness of ascendancy that they do the most harm (atheism included). So to think of ideological battles to be ‘won’ invites ‘losers’ to be devalued. I think I’m right and Mark thinks he’s right (even though he’s an atheist)  we cannot both be right but – and here’s the thing – neither can prove the other wrong.

Learning that our ‘opponents’ are not thick clods who just need to be enlightened but are our equal despite our differences would be a positive way forward – though it might not make for a good joke…

And Mark knows how to deliver a good joke…
Oh, and sorry for being away for so long.


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or is it just from somewhere nearby that hallowed place.

Yes, as the storm rumbles on around Westminster I decided to have a look at Christmas in today’s world. I will, however, pre-warn you to say that I’m a bit of a ‘humbug’ would be a drastic case of understatement…

It doesn’t matter if you are a christian or an atheist or even believers in Other faiths – You Will Not Escape The Crushingly Good Cheered Adverts To Focus Spending On Your Family and Friends…

As I was passing through an internet site I saw an advert for gadgets at a reasonable, or even cheap, £50. This is itself a terrible message in that it tells us that spending £50 should be considered norm or cheap for a present and in today’s crisis of debt and recession!

But not to worry the tv tells us that we can get ever cheaper deals and that we should all be One [especially on BBC One] – and that means presents in today’s world – if you don’t believe me, for you who love christmas just try to imagine what it would be like if you had christmas with the old family and what the reaction would be if you merely forgot the pressies, nevermind making an idealistic stand against making relative judgements of worth of family members, friends and associates…

And here at the idealistic end we come to what Christmas should be about [and for the historians who argue that it’s just a pagan celebration that the ‘church took over’ – the slaves and servants took 25 Dec becuase in Rome, before christianity had managed to swim to The West, it was the equavelant of a bank holiday and so they could gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth together… ] it is about God entering Life as We Know IT and putting up with all it’s messiness, especially in poverty…

Those Three Gifts? Well, unless Joseph and Mary had great discipline they would have probably made use of them as they became exiles in Egypt. As we know how we still care for the stranger who passes over borders for a better, or safer, life. Possibly rather than buying presents we should be lobying government to treat immigrants, for whatever reason they are here, with more understanding and less judgement. The planet may be small and we might feel there’s not enough space left ‘around here’ but in the face of the Christmas message we should defend our ‘neighbour’ – no matter where they come from.

Christ did not come from the North Pole, nor did Saint Nicholas who gave presents out. Father Christmas did not dress in flamboyant red until Coca-cola ‘pimped’ him up in the 50s/60s… There was, and still exists, in some places in the UK, the odd tradition of ‘First Stepping’ where on New Year’s Eve you’d go down the street and spend time with everybody… if that’s not nearer Christmas I don’t know what is – the ability to welcome all-comers and see everyone within the community as being one…

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No doubt when I’ve re-watched all three episodes together of the ‘The Genius of Charles Darwin‘ I’ll write a ‘Whackos’ post about them as a whole but for this piece I’ll try to keep to The Final Installment of Dawkins propaganda… And make no mistake – that’s what it is. Either he doesn’t have enough time to give folk an open debate or he merely wishes to poke around to find teachers, or indeed preachers, who disagree with him and then narrate over any argument that they know is substantive to their basis. Of course those who do not rest on any scientific rational are allowed to be foolish on this programme targeted at the rationalists.

“Another inoculation against Deism, sir?” Is what this installment amounts to.

One of the main problems I have with this is Dawkins use of the word ‘fact‘ as opposed to ‘belief‘… If you want to read something dedicated to this issue then go here, dear reader. But as a brief jab at this – let’s take Napoleon: Dawkins uses Napoleon to demonstrate his grasp of the word ‘fact’ only to show those who know more about the divide between faith and fact that he does not know what he is saying. I am willing to accept that Napoleon walked the land and was eventually defeated by a coalition of various countries and one of those crucial leaders was Wellington… but I have not seen ‘the evidence’ I accept most of the story as if it were ‘fact’ because it’s a whole series of ‘truths of history’ – which makes it belief. This, more than anything else, is Dawkins blind spot and for those who see it it’s like a wide open maw. Napoleon’s story may well be made of a series of facts – but we also get historians views, the idea that Napoleon thought like this because he was short… and other such inferences some, or even most may be correct – which is which and what I believe is thus a tangled mess of historical facts [ie those bits of information that could be verified] and historians views of Napoleon. Why do I continue to use the word ‘believe’ when I refer to ‘facts’? It is because I have not checked them, personally.

Dawkins is famous for targeting those who are superstitious and the reason why so many believe in superstitions is that we seek patterns in the world around us and some of them are not true and can be argued to either be entirely random or have a logical rationale. Take mirrors – break a mirror and suffer seven years bad luck. Studies have been widely accepted that say that our appearance makes a crucial impact on how we are evaluated in the world at large and at one time it could take up to seven years to save the money to replace a broken mirror… Nowadays it could take a week, or less, and we in the west are likely to have more than one mirror so we can forget the whole reason but still the phrase survives…

At one point Dawkins announces that he will show us the ‘proof’ and then takes a stroll down a fossil lined corridor – what I was expecting was a demonstration of how the bones of the reptile jaw changed to the mammalian one piece jaw and the other bones migrating up to the ear. Or even a few skulls which show the ear migrate from around the jaw to the side of the skull… but alas we do not see this evidence – what we see is a series of jawbones that look similar to each other. As pattern seeking beings we will draw conclusions that could be right or wrong. Some take the line that this maw came before this maw and that the difference shows evolution others take a more skeptical view – do we know that the owners of both jaws did not walk the earth at the same time? Dating, when it goes so far back has huge +/- numbers ie the actual range of these ancient artifacts mean that instead of saying 25 million years ago we actually have the possibility of 25 million years with 5 million years before or after that date to play with… Ok, so I made the five million up at the top of my head. But when I was studying the archeology of the Old Testament this was a real problem and that was only thousands of years ago… and the further back we go the greater the problem.

One of my problems with Dawkins installment was the white washing. At one point we have a science teacher who was willing to argue, on a scientific basis, why he believed the Earth has only been around for ten thousand years (+/- a couple of thousand I’d presume) but instead of letting us hear this argument Dawkins narrates that we have six ways that agree with each other and say that we are on a really old planet… this is of course a free exchange of views… From my psychology studies I know that once you have a Standard other standards must be calibrated to agree with the first Standard – and that’s how a lot of these things do work… Let me hear the debate and I’ll be less sceptical, of course you run the risk that I might for my own strange and perverse views disagree with you but at least we’d know the parameters of the whole problem.

And as with the science teacher so with others including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams – he who’s mind is extraordinarily good but suffers from still believing in something (anything else bar science is enough for Dawkins to think you are a weirdo who needs saving).

At the end we are told that we should be proud that we have got to where we are – following on from generations of winners but as a still childless man in a land where success is measured by passing on my peculiar genetic variations, this gives me no consolation. In fact I am letting my genes down – I, by this measure, am a rank failure. They have gotten me this far but no further as of the time of writing this post.

Going back to another piece [which I posted about here] of Dawkins propaganda he argued that because you couldn’t verify some superstitions despite the fact that it brought some folk comfort it could not be ‘valid for the rest of us’ as it could not be independently verified- then he argued that it was alright, however grudgingly that some found comfort from their strange beliefs and that was ok… but problematic. Here at the end of his series on The Genius of Charles Darwin Dawkins asserts the comfort we can all have from the theory/fact of evolution and our place in the whole chain – but what if we don’t care about our ancestors and would rather find comfort in how we live now – how then can evolution as a comfort be ‘valid’ for us?

This, more than anything he has said before, shows how much of a belief system Dawkins has constructed on the back of the theory of evolution. What it doesn’t do is show any real moral values or a way to value  different ways to live. At the end Dawkins becomes one of those figures from the conference of folk he so readily derides in his earlier programmes.

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This may seem like a vain attempt at defending the indefensible – and depending on what is assumed it is.

Before I get into this I want to decouple some issues – which will no doubt be returned to.

Evolution does not mean ‘God’ or any other ‘Higher being/s’ do not exist. Evolution provides a description of how we got to be how we are without the necessity of such beings. That however is not new – Kant in his rambling writings – some time before Dawkins [and even Darwin] was a sparkle in his father’s eye, to coin a phrase – Kant, Immanuel examined the ‘proof’ that ‘creation’ proved the existence of God and found that while it was not a ‘proof’ – it was not enough for him to loose his faith, as a christian, over. Likewise the idea that ‘God is not necessary’ is also not proof of ‘God does not exist’!

So, where are we? Well, that philosopher Bertrand Russell [at least I think it was him… the memory… the memory… ] argued that if one were to suppose that the whole of creation as we know was created only yesterday – How would we know? and further to that if someone decided to adopt this point of view they could, entirely logically, dismiss any and all arguments we make and be completely rational in their skepticism. Like Bertrand (at least I hope so) I believe the world was created some time ago, quite a bit longer than that really – but the point remains.

But before we return to ‘sensible’ arguments – Radio 4 ran a two parter called ‘Weird Science’ some time ago – captured on a mini disc – and according to quantum theory, one of the strange things that have been theorized is that once we leave a room and shut the door – if there is no other viewer – the entire contents of the room [and this is the technical phrase] ‘collapse into a wave length probability’ or to put it another way the entire contents could ‘turn’ into gasses on the molecular level leaving the room bare of all furnishings or, even milder, you could open the door to find all the furniture stacked precariously (or even in a stable manner) in a way that is new and exciting – the largest probability is that the room will ‘appear’ as it was left and so far that’s been borne out of my experience… Of course being a christian I believe that God is everywhere and therefore there is a constant ‘viewer’ – so we can all rest safely.

But back to the point of the title – christians, and others of a Creationist bent believe in the universe being created by God or other ‘Higher Being’ and some tales would lead to the inclusion of ‘Strange Beings’ ie the cosmic cattle that lick the world out of the cosmic ice… and some would argue for different times of ‘creation’ – some creationists would entirely agree with Dawkins about the age of the universe and the means of how we are, well, ourselves. Dawkins must find these folk a little confused – Do you believe in Science and God?

But most associated with this idea are those pummeled for disagreeing with the dogma of our age – having the temerity to say that the world is only thousands of years old. Well, here’s an interesting aside – in the late eighties I knew a PhD student in Astrophysics and according to him (Hello, James, wherever you are!) folk were a little shocked when the first man got his feet on the moon as they thought there’d be a heck of a lot more dust from the moon being warmed by the Sun and then being cooled rapidly once turned round to the dark side but no doubt there’s a very rational explanation…

I have been thinking about this and according to my book – history, mankind’s story does seem to begin after the 10,000BC mark – which is not that far off from when the story of Genesis picks up. And cities spring up between the 6,000BC to 2,500BC before spreading ever wider. So, in essence we can say that history began roughly when the Creationists would say.

Now there are ‘Gap’ theories and other theories put under the whole ‘Creationist’ tag and whilst I would in some ways separate the first verse of Genesis off from the rest of the creation story which gets to a very deep sense of how the universe began which I have been informed the word ‘create’ used in that verse supposes created out of nothing – which is as good a description of the Big Bang as I’ve heard – but, needless to say, my sources may have been wrong. In a sense it doesn’t matter.

The Jews have always had it better than christians in that they never supposed that the creation story is nothing more than an explanation of our nature and place in creation. And as I write I’m aware that muslims are importing the problem of a literal idea of creation as well…

The fact that we all agree on is that we are now here, and that we’ve been here for some time. I hear Dawkins snort as the idea that we’ve been here for millions of years as part of ‘Life on Earth’ and he may be completely right [apart from the atheism bit]. The thing we don’t do is examine the problems with ‘The Theory of Evolution’ – and you may be surprised to hear this, dear reader, but there are problems…

One of the books I own told a tale of a tracked flock of birds which moved from the coast to inland and then back again – well, it could have been the other way around [the memory… the memory… ] but the point is the same – in one environment the nuts they ate were softer than the other and they found that the beak changed measurably between the two environments and that once they returned to their original starting place (much like returning to ‘GO’ on the monopoly board) the beaks returned to their original shape and form – given time and some death it is more than plausible that someone might say that the evidence left shows ‘evolution’ when what happened was ‘adaptation’ – the birds adapted to the nuts they had to eat – for ‘evolution’ to have happened it would be necessary to demonstrate that the birds of that flock could not breed with those of the original place – which was not demonstrated.

A somewhat wilder, and politically charged comment, would be the observation that the amount of protein someone consumes in their first seven years is the most influential factor for how big we humans grow – King Henry the eighth or VIII apparently was a giant among men at five foot something – now, well that’s fairly normal in the rather consumer driven west but if we take a pigmy’s child [let’s not talk about the ethics of that here] and gave them lots of meat [or other source of protein] and we’d probably get someone much larger than their parents. If we have fossils that differed in place and over grand time delay – we may find some who would argue that they’d found a short precursor to homo sapiens… which would be a false conclusion…

The other main problem evolution has is that some species have ‘anti-evolutionary’ practices – the ‘higher apes’ including chimpanzees kill their offspring if they notice anything different from the norm. This means that for evolution to work, from our ‘closest relatives’ is that a series of gradual changes that couldn’t be noticed must happen before anything comes from the random mutations that evolution needs to proceed – this does also mean that they either evolve so much they forget, as a troop or tribe, the whole different thing or they’ll evolve into something else without appearing any different…

Of course there is always the problem that Dawkins identified in his ‘Blind Watchmaker’ that the odds of life occurring on any one planet are 10 to the power 40 to 1 against…

In the end I’d say that I’m more comfortable with Robert Wright’s account in Non-zero but in the end I don’t have to believe in either a strict 10,000BC Creation or Evolution as I think that the important thing now is How Do We Deal WIth Each Other – and I think that’s a far more important matter than the rest of it…

As I noted somewhere in the middle of this post, I’ll close – we all agree that we’re here now, and that we’ve been here for some time…

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I wouldn’t have started from here…

Up to now I’ve been having a go at folk who throw stones – which is a self-serving task if ever there was one – from liberals like the Inclusive Church to conservatives such as those from Forward in Faith – and because I’m more aware of one side (the one I happen to agree with more) it could be seen that I’m actually against what they stand for…

Lambeth has finished and folk with big hats and long sticks will be going back to whence they came – from all over the world and it is at this point I’ve decided – some may say at long last – to try and give a positive view of what I think ‘The Church’ should be like. Which from a standpoint where you don’t actually own up to a tradition is more difficult than you might think – the only point I can stump up is that I’m a contemplative christian. If I were an anglican I could easily point to ‘my‘ church and say that this is what it should be like except for this bit or we’re far from where we should be but we are traveling in the right direction and it should take us over there somewhere. This is true for whatever denomination or tradition that has a readily recognizable set of creeds and structures that I could have picked.

But first – a couple of points [surprise surprise] some are defining the problem as being irrelevant to modern society as the church does not embrace ‘our’ modern cultured views… The inclusive church would say that about the issue of gays and lesbians and that we should just accept them… reading around blogs though and we find that folk from other places in the world are using the same argument for opposing ends – folk think that to allow gays as bishops is despicable and they laugh at us – where we come from… So how do you decide on which is right. Well according to utilitarianism – You Don’t Have To! They are both right for where they come from. This, to me is unacceptable and I found an interesting short as I plunged the cobwebs of the Telegraph‘s site trying to find an article about something else I recommend that if you feel the church should be ‘in step’ with the ‘host’ or general media created cultural idea check this out for the obvious flaws…

Secondly, the problem as I’ve tried to point out is also about theological differences – when one bishop says you must believe in x, y and z and the other bishop says ‘why don’t we think about that…’ you’re in for a battle of wits where both can only stay if they each feel respected and valued despite the differences.

Well, I’d start by saying we shouldn’t have priests and bishops and folk with even longer titles. This does cause a ripple of ‘Shock! Horror!‘ when I normally drop this in and then the old chestnut – That could never work! If we took just a moment to have a look around – Sikhs don’t have priests and that does not seem to have done them any harm – they have a book by their guru and they read that and sometimes ask a learned sikh they know to interpret meanings so they can go off and think about it… If we are going to stick to our guns as christians then we should feel rich in comparison – not only have we the bible but Jesus said that we would have the Holy Spirit, in person, to help and guide us as well. Not that the sikh’s don’t believe in a god as they too are monotheistic (according to the BBC… here) and just as a note before I leave this bit – If any sikh reads this and wants to correct any information or just plain add to any debate (including starting one) then please feel welcome to post a comment.

I was heartened to read Bishop Alan‘s pieces on how the Indaba process picked for Lambeth works and this is a good model… Here‘s a post which describes how a ‘session’ worked. At least I think it’s a good model as described. There are points I’d make such as making sure that the ‘leader’ was a rotating post – not held by any ‘special’ hands.  So for those who haven’t clicked through – the indaba process involves a group which share their views together – not overly large but far from being mono-idea’ed. Being able to share a view and to know that you are listened to as the group sees you – which is a far cry from saying things in print or crying from a media stand for others to merely hear or see the words…

How would this feed into an even larger group to form a unifying tradition/collective?

Well, from that I’d hop to the tribal representative system as described by Pete Ellis Beresford in ‘The Celtic Empire’ where one indaba group would appoint someone that they trusted to represent them – those representatives then meet in groups and send a representative and once you reach the ‘highest’ group they could pick someone to be a spokesman for the whole shebang… The question is then ‘Haven’t you just instituted a hierarchical structure? Well, yes – temporarily because as soon as the representatives go back to their group and report – they are done unless they are picked the next time and if they haven’t represented the group well enough – there’s a good chance they won’t be picked next time.

And any work which is out of step of enough of folk will get winched back next time around. Well, that would my hope and my idea for how the church should operate. But the whole thing about the small group is that they can worship God together and be known for who they are and hopefully respond to each other’s needs.

Of course this does throw out a heck of a lot of traditional institutions from virtually all the denominations – the Quakers would be the one’s left most unscathed [as far as I’m aware]… but for those who say that these precious traditions – and there is no doubt that some of them are good and even the ones that aren’t that good were mostly started for good intentions – all started from the false premise that we should accept what the holy men of the early church and beyond decreed – even in the Book of Acts we can see if you compare it to the teachings of Jesus – that the earliest churches we have a record of were beginning to go ‘off track’… Not that we shouldn’t value it for what it was but why compound error upon error?

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