Thursday, 20 October 2011

Segment of lost gospel scroll found

‎'On reaching Ludgate Hill, Jesus entered the precincts of St. Paul's Cathedral and began driving out those who were speaking out against the greed and corruption inherent in the capitalist economic model. He overturned the tents of the protesters and the sleeping bags of those pedalling utopian ideals and would not allow anyone to prevent the cathedral restaurant or shop from functioning or infringe health and safety regulations. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written:“‘My house will be called one of London's top ten tourist attractions for visitors from all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of subversive thinking.’ The cathedral authorities heard this and began looking for a way to get Jesus invited to a banquet at the Guildhall, for they feared him, because what at first had seemed like a good idea was now calling in to question the cathedral's very purpose'. Gospel of God and Mammon 15:12-16

Discovered by Nicholas Wheeler an old chum from vicar school who serves as a priest in the City of God, Rio de Janeiro.

For an excellent account of the camp at St Paul’s check out Pete Phillips blog.


Charlie said...

To me, all this demonstrates is that image of Jesus is so infinitely mutable that more or less anybody can claim that he is on their side. Couldn't the Cathedral just as easily turn round say that Jesus was silent before Pilate, and told his followers to go the extra mile when put upon by earthly powers? (not to mention "render unto Caesar", a clear mandate to pay your taxes and co-operate with the financial institutions of the world).
Or, to put it another way, when Christians disagree, it's not always possible to say who's right and who's wrong.

Philip Ritchie said...

True Charlie, and all this parable is doing is raising some uncomfortable questions which we all too conveniently duck in the church. Questions like how enmeshed are we in and dependent on the financial services industry? How ethical are our investments? How dependent are we on the market to fund our pensions? Why do we have to charge people to enter places of worship? What are the values of God's kingdom that we are supposed to be living by? Why do the church commissioners wet themselves every time there's a fall in the stock market? How much is our economic well being dependent on the exploitation of the resources God has entrusted to us and the exploitation of people in other parts of the world? How can we pursue the holy grail of continual growth with finite resources? And when was the last time we discussed these things in our preaching and in our teaching?

If you want to get into a discussion about finances and the church then how about reference to the early chapters of Acts where the church had a very radical attitude towards finances and possessions and a pretty harsh punishment for those who dissembled? Or was the sharing everything in common and the caring for the poorest and weakest the bit of the church story we would rather forget as an inconvenient embarrassment?

There are no neat and tidy answers to these issues but we seem very reluctant to consider them in the church and I can't help wondering whether that might explain something about the lack of impact in our proclamation of the Good News of God's Kingdom to a society that has sold its soul to the hedge funds.

Charlie said...

completely agree with more or less all of that, although I was being provocative with the comment about "render unto Caesar".

I just think some people are taking cheap shots at St Paul's, who have responded really well in a situation where they are almost certain to be criticised whatever they do. Especially when you consider that they are one of the few churches that does engage in the kind of conversations that you are asking for.

Nick Sharp said...

No one can serve two masters - they will hate one and love the other ... you cannot serve both God and Health and Safety.

Anonymous said...

Some challenging reflections here, from Simon Oxley: Have faith in the city?