Thursday, October 31, 2013

99 Problems (Anglican)

Doing Reformation Day/Halloween Anglican Style...

If you’re earnin’ God’s love, I feel bad for you son.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.

We get some truth told in the Articles
39 affirmations of the gospel words
Roman Catholics they said we were off the horse
But we sayin’ it’s all from Jesus’ cross and blood. Article 1
Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit in unity
The Son, the Word, Jesus taking on humanity
Sufferin’ and dying, going into hell and he
Got raised and ascended, Articles 2-3-4.
Article 5 we get the Holy Spirit, equal to the Father and Son.
“Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation”
But hold that apocrypha ain’t God’s Word.
That’s Article 6, now lemme tell you 7, bruhs
The time for law ceremony’s passed,
But the Old Testament agrees with preachin’ Jesus.
Then we got the Creeds, Nicene and Apostles’, Art 8.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.
Amen.

99 problems but my works ain’t one.
If you’re earnin’ God’s love, I feel bad for you son.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.

Article 9 tells us we’re all so wrong,
Got original sin and no obedience to law
Got no free choices, #10, we’re in sin
Thank God, in Jesus is our justification
So from grace we have works, but not our own strength,
Cuz 12 tells us all our works before God hates
Impious as hell to say there’s more to do
Article 15…Christ is sinless, not you.
Even baptized, I sin, but God gives repentance for sure
I’m holding we’re predestined, and belong to the Lord
Because we’re only saved only in the Name of Christ.
We’re a Church, we got sacraments, and God’s preached Word.
Under that Word we’ve decreed a liturgy,
But no way do we say it saves, Articles 16 to 20.
Article 21: Councils can mess up by far.
We don’t need no Purgatory, or want free-for-all authority
But that worship is in our own language, get it
There’s only two sacraments – Lord’s supper and baptism –
Don’t be liftin’ them up or trying to add to them
Our pastors’ ain’t perfect, but God’s grace is the same
We baptized, signed and sealed in the faith
Got both Lord’s Body and blood, received only in faith
Forget transubstantiation, and don’t be savin’ it.
That’s Articles 22 thru 30, though
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.
Amen.

99 problems but my works ain’t one.
If you’re earnin’ God’s love, I feel bad for you son.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.

99 problems but my works ain’t one.
If you’re earnin’ God’s love, I feel bad for you son.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.
Amen.

You startin’ to see that Jesus finished it all at once,
Nothing more can be added or repeated now,
Jesus paid it all, no sense moving out of it
We got married pastors who will put you out of fellowship
And liturgy’s a living thing, but preaching’s a priority,
That’s #31 thru 35, bro, just gotta make sure
Cuz 36 is when we get our clergy done right
And submit to the government out of rev'rence for Christ
“The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common” Art. 3-8
Take your oath cautious, and that’s the last of ‘em.
So if they tell you you’re Roman, pull out that list
Forget the Oxford dudes son, those boys were all lit.
Jesus died once for all, and finished it
He don’t want you working to add ‘em up to it,
These articles tell you what it is to be Anglican
Not movin’ past our justification
These fools out there preachin’ their works
Missin’ the glory that Jesus is offerin'
Thank God for the cross, cuz it’s all done.
I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.
Amen.

99 problems but my works ain’t one.
If you’re earnin’ God’s love, I feel bad for you son.

I got 99 problems but my works ain’t one.  (3x)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stranger in a Strange Land--Me and Conferences

So I was a presenter at the New Creation: Scripture, Theology, Praxis conference, co-sponsored by Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College and the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association. I half-dozed through the first set of presentations. Then got to the second set, when I was the first to speak. I prefaced by saying, "I'm neither a scholar, nor a scholar's son, so this is not going to be the traditional paper-reading, because that just doesn't work for me." Those listening in were very gracious and receptive to me essentially preaching for the next 25 minutes (no notes or paper in front of me, by the way). As much as I tried to be attentive through the rest of the papers in my set, the keynote, and the third set, I found myself trying to force attentiveness, or even engage with what was happening.

But I didn't belong there.

I knew it. They knew it.

It's why they didn't ask about a thesis. Or doctoral work. Or research.

Instead, the questions were. "Are you ordained yet?" or "When do you expect you'll be ordained?" and "What denomination is handling your ordination?"

I met some fine folks. They were, like those sitting in my session, gracious and receptive. But they were excited about ideas and problems that have little to no pastoral application. Their notions don't preach. They don't display grace upon grace, or concern themselves with loosening the burdens that those who hear them are carrying. They have more concern for patristic spiritual disciplines than the day-to-day life of whole congregations. Some of this is over-stated, but it's generally still true. When the doctoral students and masters in theology students started talking, I didn't have the skill, nor care, to understand their technical language. I could hardly follow along, but none of it seemed important, at least in comparison to what's already clear in Scripture about Jesus.

But when I talked about the things that excited me, the things I've been trained for, the things I hope to do...they'd all get this look on their face that said, "What're you doing here?" Even when I got interviewed for a podcast, the questions made me an oddity, someone that didn't belong in the crowd.

And I'm okay with that. It was an interesting "country" to visit, but I don't think I could make a home there. I don't speak the language, share the values, or cheer for the same teams as these folks. They're happy as pie to argue the niceties of some obscure systematical question. Me? I have no use for it. It doesn't make sense to me. 8 years of higher education and it's still not a world I belong to. I'm okay with that. I don't know why I occasionally forget this and get the tourist visa, but maybe it's to remember. In any case, I'm not getting my green card or applying for citizenship in the Academy. I don't belong there, and my concerns aren't the concerns of the Academy, but of the Church.