“It is not the job of the Church to make the poor poorer, and lead them to hell. Time to turn round Archbishop.”

Sep 15, 2018 by

by Gavin Ashenden:

It’s true this is not a great age for the study and understanding of the Bible. But you might expect people who turn to it to make some effort to understand the context of the texts they are quoting; especially if they are archbishops.

The Old Testament, or better, the First Covenant, was an agreement between God and His chosen people. He treated them as a unique enterprise and gave them rules and prescriptions that were intended to allow them to recognise and relate to Him. It was all about holiness; holiness in the family, in the tribe, in politics, in money, in time, in cooking and ultimately, in the heart.

The unique rules He gave them to live by, and the unique prophetic voices he sent them as correctives, attracted both jealousy and admiration.

But the aim was always going to be to get them ready to recognise the appearance holiness, and in particular the appearance of holiness in human form, Jesus.

One of the features of the New Testament are the number of admirers who are hanging round the Jews, their state and their synagogue, lapping up the wisdom, practice and presence of the One God, who had made himself known in an exotic and thrilling mixture of mercy and terrifying presence. There was something wonderfully attractive about the social and spiritual vision given to the Jews, compared to the profligacy of power and sex practiced by the pagans.

As people drew closer to Him, Jesus began by holding the hangers on at bay (the Syro Phoenician woman for example) until he had given Israel its opportunity to recognise or refuse Him.

But that suspension of access ended with the resurrection, and the Church was sent out to tell everyone what was on offer. Healing of the soul and eternal life. The invitation came to draw in the rest of the world.

Soon like Israel, the rest of the world would make its choice too or recognising or refusing, the human face of God.

Read here

Read also: Justin Welby is an irrelevance leading his flock into the wilderness by Peter Stanford, Guardian


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