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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Father Ted

Ted responds to the suggestion that, in England, the 'charismatics' are 'the good guys'.

A Very Poor Assessment! The good guys are in every kind of churchmanship over here, such as the lovely lady who leads the parishes I looked after in the Welsh/English Borderlands. The Anglican tradition isn't really, I suspect, about churchmanships. Much rather it is about serving those around us as best we can whether as laity or with the special charismata of ordained ministry.

It is a sad thing that observing Anglican charismatics over the last thirty years or so, it seems to me that most of them are people high on their own adrenalin and confusing that experience with the effect of the Holy Spirit who is the only source of charismatic experience (by definition, I believe). They seem to be more "wonder-workers" than anything else. Alas in many cases failing to work any wonders other than in the emotions of anyone present susceptible to such things. The understanding of charismatic life by the Pentecostals and by the Orthodox Churches is rather different, but perhaps more accurate.

Sorry to be so cool about the matter, but the whole problem lies in the egocentricity which can be engendered in the old-fashioned Anglican tradition of every incumbent being "a pope in his own parish."

The Happy side of things is that behind all the attractions - charismatic phenomena (bending over backwards so that the minister can push you over more easily to become yet another "slain in the spirit"), management policies and jargon, "New Church" initiatives, appalling hymns and droning worship songs (every age has had them) - the vast majority of clergy get on with the job of shepherding their flocks.


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