Jesus of Nazareth
Politics of Religion
The Anglican Church of Canada [ACoC], the Church of England [CofE] and indeed many components of the Anglican Communion, rather like the monarchy itself, has survived less out of the enthusiasm of the public at large, or its affection, but out of a general sense that, given the alternatives, abolition would seem more trouble than it was worth.|
Bizarrely, Statistics show that a majority of people are quite happy to profess themselves Christian and Anglican; yet already decimated attendance figures amongst Anglicans have plummeted by some 10 per cent over the last decade. Only 2 percent of the population, attend church on a weekly basis, and while Statistics Canada [that sinkhole for tax dollars and haven of governmental nepotism and cronyism] in its big-brother "National Household" survey has noted a decline in non-participatory affiliation, around half the population still profess themselves Anglicans. The majority of these folk have never seen the inside of an Anglican church.
So-called spiritual leaders like Justin Welby [Batman, or perhaps 'Oilman' would be better - the twin above left] and Fred Hiltz, the Primate of Canada [codename Cashman, a superhero who as his name suggests follows the money]; the houses of bishops; the synods, the parish priests all spend charitable dollars like drunken sailors, and waffle away in Anglo Babel [a version of tongues rumored to have been learned from the aforementioned drunken sailors] while keeping their heads buried in the Anglican play box with their rose-tinted glasses firmly in place, meanwhile the Anglican community tears itself apart over the issues of women bishops and gay marriage. Why it is doing so is one of those rare mysteries to which religious institutions seem particularly prone.
A recent working Paper entitled Anglican Church of Canada Statistics by Brian Clarke & Stuart Macdonald sheds some interesting light on the decline in Canadian Anglicanism. Their data confirms that which I have known intuitively [and the bishops have denied] for years: membership of the ACoC is locked into the graveyard spiral. From an all time high of 1,365,313 members in the early sixties membership of the ACoC has plummeted to 600,000 in 2001, and if that is not devastating enough for Fred Hiltz and his "beloved church" during the same period the overall Canadian population had been booming with the national population increasing at just over 60% from 1961 through to 2001, that is from 18,236,247 people in 1961 to 29,639,030 in 2001. Not surprisingly, Sunday school membership and the sacraments have followed the general trend into the little boy's room.
It seems certain that the Anglican membership figures are also inflated, perhaps enormously inflated.
The topic as a whole begs a couple of questions: Of prime interest, "When will the once mighty Anglican stratocruiser's deadly downward spiral end with obliteration as it impacts the hard deck of human indifference?" Various calculations exist: I am told that the current projections indicate zero membership in the ACoC by 2050; although an earlier demise around 2030 is more realistic.
Clark and MacDonald state that the decline has continued and that there have been no sign in the statistics up to 2001 of a reversal. Given their research on other denominational statistics, they would make the initial observation that the ACoC’s experience fits a pattern we have seen in several other denominations, namely the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and the Maritime Baptists. This convergence in trends would argue against explanations that would see the cause of numerical decline in the Anglican Church as a result of some decision(s) taken internally by the ACoC.
The aforementioned opinion is doubtless offered as a bit of a face-saver for Hiltz et al; however when it is restated as follows: 'This convergence in trends would argue for the explanation that would identify the cause of numerical decline in the Anglican Church membership as a result of the absolute lack of decision(s) or action(s) taken internally by the ACoC', it leads us into our second question.
"Why is Hiltz, the Anglican bishops and the clergy unable to reverse the trend?" If you are you one of those treasured attributes that the ACoC labels an 'Identified Giver', your ranks, and the pile of envelopes, have been shrinking too: from about 275,000 in 1967 to 210,000 in 2001; however, you might enquire as to where your money has gone. Notwithstanding this, it is you who for different reasons are the life-support of Anglicanism. So what is happening to your money? You should know that in 2001 total parish expenditure was some $240 million [with a $3 million deficit] and Diocesan spending stood at $44.8 million [with a $350,000 deficit] and that most of your money went on building maintenance as well as 84 bishops and some 6000 clergy and staff of which, just like the Church of England, there are actually more clerical collars today than in the hey-days of the sixties. Basically, the answer is that it is business as usual; the unchristian aspects of the Anglican program to one side; the senior clergy actually appear very happy with the status quo and judging by their public 'face' apparently care not a fig for the future. By scraping the barrel and selling off assets Anglicanism will support them and their lifestyles for another quarter century and then it will not matter. How selfish; what a tragedy and what a waste of charitable dollars!
The superhero that plays 'Robin' to the CoE's 'Oilman' [the twin on the right above] is archetypical of the final generation of Anglican pilots. Dean Peter Elliott is a senior Anglican who is currently front runner to replace retiring Archbishop Ingham in the diocese of New Westminster. Elliott is a homosexual and has been the power behind more than one bishop's throne with regard to the gay blessings issue that has thrown the ACoC into an ongoing national schism that will probably remain unresolved until the last Anglican turns off the lights. Judging by the sort of Christianity that was dealt out to my family back in 2001 by Elliott, there is zero chance of any last minute reprieve for Anglicanism in Canada with him at the helm. [Yes, watch out Freddy boy: there may be a hidden agenda at that cozy supper table.] The ambitious Dean and wannabee Bishop will not rest until he has your miter and your favorite daffodil chasuble; then the swan song of Anglicanism is going to see a gay old time...
I have to say that Elliott was important for me though, back in 2001 in Vancouver when he spitefully cancelled our eldest son's baptism because we were returning to Nova Scotia, he gave me an important wake-up call. Despite much nagging, nudging and prompting by the Holy Spirit as I sat and watched the pathetic charades at Christ Church cathedral, Vancouver, BC, I had been resistant to breaking ranks with the ACoC; finally I did, and returned briefly to the Catholic Church of my youth, but only to find another megachurch tearing itself asunder.
My spiritual home is now Abba Ministries of Canada and I am happy to say that while we are still a small Christian denomination we are growing apace. The statistical picture with Abba Ministries of Canada is diametrically opposed to the ACoC. Our retention rates are excellent [94%] as is our growth [>20%] and our yearly tenure is at 20 years plus. We do not have 'Identified Givers' because we are a volunteer organization whose priests, pastors and chaplains coast to coast are self-supporting in ministry, and at the same time support the national Church through tithe and clergy fees. We do not solicit donations either; however, we will gratefully accept help from a cheerful giver. Today, in May of 2013 we have some sixty ministries following Jesus program under the spiritual guidance of Bishop Josephine Egan our National Pastor. Keep an eye out for us Oilman, Cashman and Robin because it will not be long before we climb past your stalling Anglican airbus as we reestablish Jesus and his program as Canada's national Christian Church. As you can see from the statistics, this is only a matter of time!
FORGET THE DYING MEGACHURCHES AND JOIN JESUS AT ABBA MINISTRIES OF CANADA
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Oilman, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury is currently 'very embarrassed' following revelations in July 2013 that the Church of England has financial holdings in firms that profit from payday lending, and may have invested in companies involved in arms dealing and pornography.
Welby is irritated and embarrassed to discover that the Church has indirectly invested in payday loan firm Wonga, which earlier this week he vowed to drive out of business while pontificating upon the woes of England's poverty stricken millions. The disclosure came less than 48 hours after Welby revealed he had told Wonga chief executive Errol Damelin that he wanted to drive the firm 'out of business' by supporting not-for-profit credit unions.
The Archbishop said: "What's clear is that this is an embarrassment." When you get caught in a scandal. [all the italics are mine] "It shouldn't happen. It's very embarrassing, but these things do happen. We have to find out why and make sure it doesn't happen again." Heads will roll…
Lambeth Palace, obviously trying to compete with Canadian Primate Hiltz, who recently promised a 'Primate's Commission' over the revelation that medical experiments had been conducted upon children in the Aboriginal Residential Schools, said an independent inquiry would be launched into the Wonga investment to uncover how 'this serious inconsistency' occurred.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Church's investment committee, Edward Mason, was unrepentant. He said, "We live in an imperfect world and we invest in it." He might have added that Mammon, not God, was the focus of CofE worship, so what's your problem? Maybe Mason used to work for Air Canada...
So much poverty and Oilman is hiding in Lambeth Palace and struggling to get his foot out of his mouth. He should call Halliburton in Houston, they probably have the appropriate down-hole fishing tool for that job!