Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful.
Upon the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, Son of Mary, the Word of God, the Messenger of mercy, I would like to congratulate the followers of Jesus Christ.
The Almighty created the universe for human brings and created human beings for Himself.
He created every human being with the ability to reach the heights of perfection. He called on man to aim to live a good life in this world and to work to achieve his everlasting life.
On this difficult and challenging journey of man from dust to the divine, He did not leave humanity to its own devices. He chose from those He created the most excellent as His Prophets to guide humanity.
All prophets called for the worship of God, for love and brotherhood, for the establishment of justice and for love in human society. Jesus, the Son of Mary is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice.
All the problems that have bedevilled humanity throughout the ages came about because of humanity followed an evil path and disregarded the message of the Prophets.
Now as human society faces a myriad of problems and succession of complex crises, the root causes can be found in humanity's rejection of that message, in particular the indifference of some governments and powers towards the teachings of the divine Prophets, especially those of Jesus Christ.
The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy which have made life hard for humanity and continue to put great pressure on all nations have come about because the Prophets have been forgotten, the Almighty has been forgotten and some leaders are estranged from God.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.
If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime. The solution to today's problems can be found in a return to the call of the divine Prophets. The solution to these crises can be found in following the prophets -- they were sent by the Almighty, for the happiness of humanity.
Today, little by little, the general will of nations is calling for fundamental change. This is now taking place. Demands for change, demands for transformation, demands for a return to human values are fast becoming the foremost demands of nations of the world. The response to this demand must be real and true. The prerequisite to this change is a change in goals, intentions and directions. If tyrannical goals are repackaged in an attractive and deceptive package and imposed on nations again, the people, awakened, will stand up against them.
Fortunately, today as crises and despair multiply, a wave of hope is gathering momentum. Hope for a brighter future, hope for the establishment of justice, hope for real peace, hope for finding virtuous and pious rulers who love the people and want to serve them – and this is what the Almighty has promised.
We believe, Jesus Christ will return and would lead the world to a rightful point; to a world of love, brotherhood and justice. The responsibility of all followers of Christ is to move towards that and to prepare the way for the fulfilment of this divine promise and the arrival of that joyful, shining and wonderful age. I hope that the collective will of nations will unite in the not too distant future and with the grace of the Almighty Lord, that shining age will come to rule the earth.
Once again, I congratulate one and all on the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity peace and brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I find myself dismayed by many aspects of this thread, though I am hard pressed to find anything to say that I have not already said many times, on this listserv and elsewhere. Anyone who thinks that there is one simple moral principle that can be applied like a blanket to cover all the property disputes that arise from the current unpleasantness is just not looking at reality. No two of these situations are exactly alike. The history, the present human dynamics, the financial paper trail, and a host of other factors, all contribute to the moral calculus in each individual case.
Take, for example, a 150-year old physical plant that was paid for by long-departed donors. Yes, they clearly intended to advance the ministry of the Episcopal Church in their location--the founding documents probably say as much explicitly--so there is *prima facie* a strong presumption in favor of their stated wishes being honored. But it is more than plausible to counter that they would not recognize the Episcopal Church today as the same one they were intending to perpetuate, and not particularly because of any of the currently controverted issues. The mere fact that a set of chasubles fills the sacristy drawers may be enough to cause many of them to retrospectively rethink their largesse if such were possible. One cannot assume that the great-grandparents of today's senior parishioners would have one opinion or the other about "leaving" or "staying" in TEC as it is today.
So, the repeated mantra of "fiduciary responsibility" wears a little thin. One must turn to other factors to make a prudent and sensible decision. If a majority of the present active congregation is in favor of leaving, but a significant minority is in favor of staying, the latter group should certainly not be turned out into the street--or the VFW hall. IMHO, too little imagination and charity have been exhibited in such situations; the winner-take-all mentality has been destructive. (The Colorado Springs situation seems a case-in-point here.)
On the other hand, when a congregation is a relatively recent plant and the facilities have been paid for by parishioners who are more or less the present congregation, and the diocese has made no investment beyond the brand name, and there is an overwhelming vote in favor of leaving, it strikes me as beyond inane to take those folks to court. Justice is just a matter of common sense for those with open eyes.
Then there are the "bite my nose to spite my face" cases where any victory on the part of TEC is pyrrhic because they're left with a church and a steeple but when they open the doors there are no people. Just heating and lawn care bills--and in many cases, a mortgage. Meanwhile, the people that could be worshiping and serving there are...you guessed it...celebrating the Eucharist in the VFW hall on Sunday mornings. That's just idiotic. My former parish is in one of the four departed dioceses. Between my departure and my successor's arrival they eradicated the word "Episcopal" anywhere it was found and replaced it with "Anglican." Sooner or later, Mr Beers will get around to suing them. If he wins, he'll have a very handsome set of buildings dating back to the late 19th century and which are a collective black hole for maintenance dollars. I hope he enjoys watching them fall apart, because my guess is that even the residents of the columbarium will have relocated by then.
This is a complicated mess. It requires a complicated cleanup. Nostrums about thievery are not helpful.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
- I hope that will find a way to emphasize the joys and the truths that they are affirming, and minimize any rhetoric about the sorrows and falsehoods they believe themselves to be leaving behind.
- I hope they will not surrender a commitment to communion with the See of Canterbury as a determinitive mark of Anglican identity.
- I hope they will not lose sight of the traditional Anglican value of comprehensiveness and diversity within the bounds of creedal orthodoxy.
- I hope they will maintain a spirit of respect and fraternal love toward those whose call is to maintain a witness within the Episcopal Church.
- I hope they will open themselves to the notion that those who are mistaken on certain questions of sexual morality are not thereby necessarily heretical and/or apostate, but simply wrong.
- I hope they will quickly overcome the differences between the divergent ecclesial cultures that have grown up even during the short time that extra-mural North American Anglicans have sought refuge in a number of different ports.
- I hope they will embrace humility and gentleness of spirit with such abandon that the hearts of any detractors will melt in the face of such resistless love.