I found this rather interesting, Pastor Weedon is one of the Lutherans I listen closely to. Yes, there are others. This is a series of videos that we will share with you. I am Lutheran, and even for me as an ELCA Lutheran, it highlights the differences. In any case, I think you will see parallels and differences with your church, whichever one it may be. My guess? The LCMS is probably closest to the Anglo-Catholics, as one of the original Protestant Churches.
Seven years ago today, a humble little Christian blog raised its head up to look over the parapet at an increasingly hostile world. It has grown much and occasionally waned since that day, but has never lowered its head, nor has it changed its mission from that first day, as expressed in our tagline:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34.
None of us who actively contribute here, were here that day. Scoop and I are probably the oldest contributors left, and I’m not very active at present, but my heart remains here.
If you are newer than we are, I’d recommend that you poke around in the archives, there is much to enjoy and much to learn, from many viewpoints.
All of those who are listed in our sidebar as contributors gave us much wisdom and remain in my thoughts and my prayers. Those no longer active are missed and I give thanks daily for those who have carried the load, before and now as well.
Mother Julian of Norwich, a great favorite of us here leaves us a couple of thought on this day.
“He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but he said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.”
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ..
Both are important to keep in mind.
So raise a glass and thank God, that there are those who keep their head up and their eyes on the prize of Heaven, and then drink to the next seven years, that they may see us continue the Lord’s work.
Six years ago, today, a new little blog poked its head up over the parapet of that desert mission above and made its first post. The founder of this blog and all who commented on that post, are rarely seen in the precincts today. But that post, quoted here in full, still motivates us.
This is a blog about Christianity under siege, and sometimes this Christian under attack. That’s not to say I think that in this country we are persecuted, but just that it can be difficult to make one’s voice heard above the clamant voices. This is my voice, for what it is worth. My first two posts appeared on another blog, and I am grateful to Jon for making them available here.
The spirit that Jessica showed in post number one, has been our constant guide here, ever since, as has been the tagline, she chose for us.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34
Well, we all fall far short of the goal, but we keep trying, and given the troubles we’ve all seen here, I think we’ve done fairly well, with God’s help.
Some of us have been here since almost the beginning, some came here much later, it doesn’t matter. I’m glad you are here, and we will go forward together.
And so, here’s to the next six!
The other day our commenter Ann linked to an article. Here’s her comment:
I found it to be a very good article, too good to remain buried in a comment stream, so here it is, albeit excerpted.
I do not think that the New Evangelization is just about what we say as Christians, nor about what new technologies we use to proclaim the Good News but also about how and the manner by which we proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”
When it comes to the work of apologetics or promoting/debating the faith or current issues or even just day-to-day encounters for that matter, I must admit that I have never been one for witty, “in the moment” comebacks. I think that this is due, partly, to the fact that my parents taught me from an early age not to regard a snarky attitude, in and of itself, as a sure sign of intelligence and also because I do not think that an exchange of one-upmanship in comments leads anywhere truly productive. Such an exchange tends to produce more heat in friction than light to illuminate, I believe.
I share this because there can be a tendency to view apologetics and the new evangelization solely in terms of formulating the wittiest comeback line that will effectively put the other in his or her place while affording a sense of superiority to the crafter of said comment. But in the entire gospel story I never find Jesus doing this. Our Lord certainly had truth to speak, he knew how to challenge and his wit is demonstrated time and again throughout the gospels but his words never belittled the other nor did they divide and hurt.
That is something that, in my experience, we all do, we tend to get all competitive, and try for the best one-liners. Well, we all know that isn’t what Jesus did, likely because it didn’t work then, and doesn’t now.
What I’m going to do here is simply give you a list of what Fr. Michael talks about here, you can read what he says about each of them in his article, which is linked in Ann’s comment and below as well.
Willingness to listen and be present to people
Willingness to not manipulate or control
Trust in God and others
An attitude of joy
via HOW JESUS EVANGELIZED, and yes, I really do think you should read the whole thing.™ Why? Because, I’ll just about guarantee that if we put aside our pride, and our learning, as Jesus did, and listen to others, we will be far more effective as evangelists, than if we play the games we have been.
There is a reason why I spent 20 years as one of the unchurched, although not unChristian, and it was the attitude of many of my co-congregationalists. In fact, I still have trouble with it, that’s one of the reasons, I value AATW so highly, here we treat each other as equals, and actually read what we each write, not just go down our road, whether anybody follows or not. Well, mostly, anyway 🙂
So across almost all of our churches, today is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is, of course, one of the distinctive characteristics of Christianity, and is, in fact, almost always misunderstood by others. And, in truth, it is a difficult concept for us as well.
In the break up of the Roman World, in fact amongst its causes were the Goths who under Arius became again non-Christian, or at least non Orthodox, truthfully in much the same way as Unitarians and Mormons are non-Christians. We could likely say, “Close but no cigar.” But the Arian heresy led to a restatement of the faith that on Trinity Sunday is still used in the Lutheran Church. It’s pretty much the only time we read it aloud.
It’s called The Athanasian Creed, and this is how it appears in The Book of Concord:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal. As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Why do we only use it on Trinity Sunday? I suspect because it is more specialized than the other two creeds in Lutheranism, The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. Each stresses a somewhat different area, and this one was specifically written to help us to understand the Trinity
One of the joys of this blog has always been that we can come together here from our various traditions and discuss calmly and rationally both the things that bring us together and those that keep us apart. As Chalcedon said yesterday, our Anglican contingent (all three of them) are missed greatly–not least because they, more than most of us, tend to be a uniting faith. Indeed that was one of the reasons Jessica founded this blog, to foster that very discussion. And I think we have done well (so far) with the mission she gave us.
That does not mean, nor has it ever, that we compromise our core beliefs, or expect others to do so.
In a few weeks we, like so many others will confess our faith, on Trinity Sunday, in the words of the Athanasian Creed, instead of the more commonly used Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed. In doing so we will say this:
This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.”
We like our Anglican brothers and sisters have been doing this for five hundred years. But, I hear often, you are Lutheran, not Catholic. But if you think that, you are wrong,we are although we are not Roman, we are Catholic, believing in the Real Presence, and Baptismal Regeneration, amongst others. In fact, in the Augsburg Confession, Melanchthon declares:
“The churches among us do not dissent from the catholic church in any article of faith.There is nothing here that departs from the Scriptures or the catholic church, or from the Roman Church, insofar as we can tell from its writers.”
True then, true now, true always. In the twentieth century Herman Sasse would write: “It was no mere ecclesiastico-political diplomacy which dictated the emphatic assertion in the Augsburg Confession that the teachings of the Evangelicals were identical with those of the orthodox Catholic Church of all ages,” he writes. “The Lutheran theologian acknowledges that he belongs to the same visible church to which Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux, Augustine and Tertullian, Athanasius and Ireneaus once belonged.”
But how do we get there? Mathew Block writing in First Things had some thoughts.
Lutherans have long confessed faith in the “invisible” Church—that is to say, we confess that the Church is “properly speaking, the assembly of saints and those who truly believe,” as Philip Melanchthon puts it in the Augsburg Confession. Belief then is what makes one a member of the Church, not denominational affiliation—contra Roman Catholic doctrine which equates the invisible Church with a visible churchly institution. (This distinction, by the by, is why I’ve written elsewhere that I’m too catholic to be Catholic.)
Belief in the invisible Church does not, however, mean that denominational affiliation is unimportant […]
The universality of the Church is, through God’s grace, a reality despite doctrinal disagreements; but it is not a license for the downplaying of these doctrinal differences. The Church catholic is also the Church apostolic—which is to say, it is the Church which “stands firm and holds to the traditions” which have been taught through the words of the Apostles (2 Thessalonians 2:15). And this teaching—which is truly the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:19-21)—has been passed on to us today in its fullness through the Scriptures.
To be catholic, then, is to be heirs of the apostolic faith. It is to be rooted firmly in the Apostle’s teaching as recorded for us in Scripture, the unchanging Word of God. But while this Word is unchanging, it does not follow that it is static. The history of the Church in the world is the history of Christians meditating upon Scripture. We must look to this history as our own guide in understanding Scripture. To be sure, the Church’s tradition of interpretation has erred from time to time—we find, for example, that the Fathers and Councils sometimes disagree with one another—but it is dangerous to discount those interpretations of Scripture which have been held unanimously from the very beginning of the Church.
For me, at least that sums it up pretty well, and from what I have seen, it likely does for most Anglicans as well, and should for Rome as well.
The lectionary tells us that the lesson for today comes from:
1 John 3:16-24 King James Version (KJV)
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
And the Hymnody gives us this as well:
If you recall, in part one , here, we outlined how The early church’s inner approachment between biblical faith and greek philosophy, and how that shaped both the Church and Europe as well. in this part Benedict will guide us on a tour of how in the modern era these have become sundered and why that may be one of the causes of our current malaise. To continue, here is Benedict:
In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which, in its later developments, led to the claim that we can only know God’s voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God’s freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. […] As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which – as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated – unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, “transcends” knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf.Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul – “λογικη λατρεία”, worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom12:1). […]
Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.
That’s important, isn’t it. I’m a Lutheran as most of you know, and in truth Luther (and Cranmer) didn’t really stray far from the old beliefs here but, they did provide a wedge which the radical reformatioists used to sunder what they considered the Scriptures said from the Greek (and Roman later) philosophy that has fertilized Christianity since the time of Paul, at least. Part of the reason for this may well have been that the Church in those time was not overly friendly to scientific inquiry, as it historically had been. This is the period when we see the center of gravity of modernity moving to Northern Europe, especially England, as a counterweight to Rome.
The liberal theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this programme was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal’s distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In my inaugural lecture at Bonn in 1959, I tried to address the issue, and I do not intend to repeat here what I said on that occasion, but I would like to describe at least briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenization. Harnack’s central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization: this simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favour of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. Fundamentally, Harnack’s goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ’s divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament, as he saw it, restored to theology its place within the university:[…]
Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? I remember Jess saying that the reason she didn’t study theology more at University was that it hurt her faith, instead of strengthening it. I think most of us can relate to that.
This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.
I will return to this problem later. In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology’s claim to be “scientific” would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: if science as a whole is this and this alone, then it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by “science”, so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective “conscience” becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.
I have absolutely nothing to add to this, except that I completely agree.
Again all quotes are from Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections, and note that we will continue soon.
In describing my journey in faith in the last few years (here), I noticed as I’m sure many of you did, that I spoke nearly more about Jessica, than I did myself.
And yet, it is still a valid description of my journey. Why? Because like all of us, I’m not inclined to change, not even if it’s easy, free, good for me, and even non-fattening. Most of us aren’t. Things have to get very bad indeed before we actively seek change.
On yesterday’s Newman Blog, Newman spoke to this very human tendency to resist changing on almost any account.
We are by nature what we are; very sinful and corrupt, we know; however, we like to be what we are, and for many reasons it is very unpleasant to us to change. We cannot change ourselves; this too we know full well, or, at least, a very little experience will teach us. God alone can change us; God alone can give us the desires, affections, principles, views, and tastes which a change implies: this too we know; for I am all along speaking of men who have a sense of religion. What then is it that we who profess religion lack? I repeat it, this: a willingness to be changed, a willingness to suffer (if I may use such a word), to suffer Almighty God to change us. We do not like to let go our old selves; and in whole or part, though all is offered to us freely, we cling hold to our old selves. Though we were promised no trouble at all in the change, though there were no self-denial, no exertion in changing, the case would not be altered. We do not like to be new-made; we are afraid of it; it is throwing us out of all our natural ways, of all that is familiar to us. We feel as if we should not be ourselves any longer, if we do not keep some portion of what we have been hitherto; and much as we profess in general terms to wish to be changed, when it comes to the point when particular instances of change are presented to us, we shrink from them, and are content to remain unchanged.
He’s right, isn’t he? He surely is for me, and I suspect many of us.
That’s the importance of a well-catechized spiritual guide, often they can make us see why we should make the effort to change, and give us the motivation to do so.
That is the back story of my love and respect for Jessica, and in addition I think, in large measure, of why she established AATW, and why so many of us still love it so much. It is place where we can learn from others, why we should, and how change can, make our faith richer, deeper, and more pleasing to God.
I wanted to pick up a couple of themes that have crossed my screen in the last week, mostly because they tie into current events quite well. The first one is covered by Journey to Easter in his superb G. K. Chesterton on Suicide and Martyrdom.
He is comparing Christianity to Buddhism and whilst both have within them those who want to act violently, that is not the general ethos.
Let’s read a little of his:
[…]here he [Chesterton] clears the ground with respect to suicide and martyrdom by examining the nature of human courage:
‘Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. “He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,” is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book…
…A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.’
Orthodoxy (1999), pp.134-135, Hodder and Stoughton.
‘Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world…
…The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for its sake. There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer. When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront.’
The act of suicide has great symbolic power – it says to the world ‘I do not want you – I reject all that I have known and seen, as well as all that I might know and see; I prefer oblivion to any more of the vast array of things, good or bad, that the world might offer.’ It is a deeply symbolic act of negation and rejection of life, and is reflective of a despair that itself is, however one wishes to break it down, born out of pride – out of an overemphasis on the self, to the exclusion of the rest of reality.
To me that reads even more as a description of radical Islamists, who seem to be uniformly alienated, depraved suicides. And here is the basis of the fact that Christianity is a religion of life and radical Islam a religion of death, and destruction. I don’t think anything can bring such opposites beliefs to a common ground–one: must be victorious and the other defeated.
Chalcedon in his excellent Les evenements says this:
The Liberal leader, Nick Clegg, has rightly said that there is ‘no right not to be offended’. Absolute free speech has long been abrogated in this country, and ironically, it seems to be some of those most discriminated against in the past who are the advocates of censorship of ‘hate speech’ now. This is a shame, because, as Mr Clegg says, increasingly the real divide in the world is between open societies and closed ones. One can say, as I would, that freedom of speech should be exercised with responsibility, but is it freedom if someone cannot be irresponsible?
Mr. Clegg is, of course, absolutely correct, as is Chalcedon. If one is not free to exceed limits, one is not truly free.
On that same article, Zeke (private blog) made this comment:
[…]I am keenly aware of the fragmenting of society (and sadly within families), and now that we live in a “global village” of instant mass communication, where everyone’s (it seems) thoughts and opinions are transmitted around the globe, we see a fragmenting that goes beyond the borders of individual countries. May I suggest that this fragmenting might be the result of the lose, or lack, of a living, breathing faith in the one redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ? By that I mean not just a faith in the mind, but in the heart. […]
And he too is correct but, I would submit there is more to it. In the US (and I suspect the UK) what we laughingly call the elites (Washington Beltway + NYC and the Westminster Bubble) are, I think, significantly more secular than the rest of the country. This may be the result of careerism run rampant. It seems like we didn’t have this problem when it was just not really possible to have a financially rewarding career in government service. As late as Truman and Eisenhower we had Presidents who came out of the presidency no better off than they went in, and the same holds true for our legislators.
Could it be that playing identity politics, and promising everything to everyone makes it hard to retain whatever Christianity (if any) one started out with? If so, and I think it is, we need to change the basic rules, however hard that may be. After all, we’re Britons and Americans, we made the world free, it would be sad to sell our own freedom for this particular mess of pottage.
AATW has been one of the most stalwart Christian blogs in the UK, representing all Christian viewpoints. I have been honored by the friendship of my fellow contributors there, nearly since the blogs beginnings, and I shall miss the fellowship, the friendship, and the sharing of knowledge that has meant so much to me. Through it also, Jessica, herself has become my dearest friend, and I must say that this contretemps angers me greatly. It is indeed a tawdry end for a wonderful vision. I note that Jessica, herself, will continue to write here, and that is nearly the only ray of good news involved.
From Tennyson, one of Queen Victoria’s favorites
A happy lover who has come
To look on her that loves him well,
Who ‘lights and rings the gateway bell,
And learns her gone and far from home;
He saddens, all the magic light
Dies off at once from bower and hall,
And all the place is dark, and all
The chambers emptied of delight:
So find I every pleasant spot
In which we two were wont to meet,
The field, the chamber, and the street,
For all is dark where thou art not.
Yet as that other, wandering there
In those deserted walks, may find
A flower beat with rain and wind,
Which once she foster’d up with care;
So seems it in my deep regret,
O my forsaken heart, with thee
And this poor flower of poesy
Which little cared for fades not yet.
But since it pleased a vanish’d eye,
I go to plant it on his tomb,
That if it can it there may bloom,
Or, dying, there at least may die.
For truly, it has been my second home, and I would give anything, save honor, to have it continue.
We can, we should, and must, mourn the events which has brought us to this point, since they could only be applied to honorable people, whom I am proud to be amongst.
And so, my brothers and sisters, and my friends and yes, my dearest friend, we can, if we so choose, continue the mission, and adapt, improvise and overcome, as we have been taught.
When i was young, I took Air Force ROTC, and amongst the lessons I learned, one has stood out all my life, there are three priorities for leaders, and they are, in order:
- The mission
- The people
Jess’ action represents the best application of number two that an honorable person could wish, as most of us know. But she and we all know that the mission continues as it has for 2000 years. Her action was honorable and done without thought of herself, as is meet and right, and so now it is up to us. As for me, I will be at AATW as long as AATW exists, I would be less than honorable to leave here as long as my contribution is wanted.
OK, that’s the past, and I am delighted to see almost all of my old (and new) friends are here this morning, I thank Servus for his contribution as well, giving us again a public outlet for our faith.
So onward we go, it will be different, and as I told Jess, I have a hearty dislike of the novel but, change happens, as an American I certainly know that the more things stay the same, the more they change.