Monday, 21 December 2009

Progressive or regressive?

"A proudly “progressive” Anglican church in New Zealand turned heads and ruffled feathers this past week when it put up a billboard featuring an illustration of Jesus’ parents, Joseph and Mary, in bed. “Is the Christmas miracle a male God sending forth his divine sperm, or is the miracle that God is and always has been among the poor?” they posed. In the illustration (see picture), a dejected Joseph looks down as a sad Mary, lying next to him, looks upward. The caption, meanwhile, reads: “Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow.” “It is intended to challenge stereotypes about the way that Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story,” church leaders explained."

The above story was reported on Christianity Today website and is another example of an Anglican Church that is slowly falling to pieces. Personally I think the Parish priest should be defrocked and the Church leadership disciplined. A bit harsh? Aren't they trying to be 'relevant' and up with the times? "Progressive" quotes the article? But how can you progress further or improve on what God has already done? And what is more relevant than God sending His Son into the world to save it?

And I must take issue with the statement: “Is the Christmas miracle a male God sending forth his divine sperm, or is the miracle that God is and always has been among the poor?” as if there were an alternative between the two. Why can't it be both Virgin birth AND God among the poor - which is what it is about anyway? I am sorry but the inuendo of the advert is disrespectful and irreverent, not because sex is bad - it most certainly isn't - but because it demeans the whole miraculous wonder of the Incarnation and insinuates that Jesus was not divine but the product of intercourse between a man and a woman. It suggests that the Church then dressed-up the whole thing as an act of propaganda to make it look like a miracle. How can anyone trust a Church or its message if it manufactured the story of Jesus?

I do not approve of the vandalism that was responsible for the advert being torn down - it made it more notorious than if it had been left alone - but I do believe the Bishop should censure the priest behind it. After all what are bishops for if not for overseeing the flock?



No comments:

John Wesley and the call to faith

John Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and ...