Anglicans Online banner
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 9500 links Updated every Sunday

New This Week
Everything new is here.


Start here
Anglicans believe . . .
The Prayer Book
The Bible

News Centre
News archive
Newspapers online

Over to you . . .
Add a site to AO
Tell us what you think
Link to AO

Resources A to Z, including
 Book of Common Prayer
 and much more ...

Worldwide Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
New Zealand

Anglicans Online
Awards and Publicity
Beginnings, AO Today

AO search

©2002 The Society of
Archbishop Justus, Ltd


Hallo again to all.


Today in church we listened to our rector give a splendid sermon comparing the philosophy of Schopenhauer with the teachings of Jesus. It was actually much more interesting than you might think from that short description—he is a fabulous preacher who could command attention with a dramatic reading of the telephone directory. But we were only half listening, partly because the material was so complex and partly because we kept thinking about Galatians 2:16 and the recent events in Canada and Mexico.

[16] know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

Our rector claimed that 'To Schopenhauer, God is a God of power, but to Jesus, God is a God of love.' We've often used Galatians 2 as rationale for feeling okay about not entirely understanding a complex lecture or sermon or reading, assuming that as long as we tried to understand it and kept our faith, God would not be displeased.

This week in Mexico a good part of the upper management of the Anglican Church of Mexico, including its primate, was asked to step down because they are alleged to have stolen more than half of the church's money for personal use. This week in Canada, the Diocese of New Westminster (Vancouver) voted to allow parishes to bless same-sex unions should they wish to do so. Some people were outraged by one of those events but not the other. We have not yet talked to anyone who expressed the same degree of outrage at both. We suspect that the theft of money is a violation of Mexican law, and we suspect that the blessing of same-sex unions is not a violation of Canadian law. We have heard many differing assertions from Biblical scholars as to whether either of these is a violation of Biblical law.

Meanwhile in the News Centre you'll see that the US Southern Baptist Convention has asserted that Islam is bad because Mohammed was a polygamous pæderast. (We won't attempt to paraphrase here; have a read of the story yourself.)

At Anglicans Online we choose to define ourselves by what we are, rather than by what we are not. By what we love, not by what we condemn. Our identity comes from our faith and belief, and such good works as we can muster, rather than from condemnation of people who live their lives differently from us.

As our attention snapped back to the sermon about Schopenhauer, we heard our rector say that Schopenhauer was always agitated about something, that even when everything seemed to him utterly calm, that very calmness was surely something to get agitated about. That's the very opposite of who we are. We find calmness in everything, we find God's love in everything, and we find our own lives too short and finite to squander our mortal hours on condemnation. Ercetai nux (For the night cometh): Whilst there is day, whilst there is life, pray and love and work and forgive and be forgiven and go out to love and pray and work some more...

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid

Last updated: 16 June 2002