Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today's wrap up

Hepworth & Rome
I have been sent several news links about Archbishop Hepworth and the RCC. We are told he can go back to them as a layman, which is hogwash. He can go to them as a laicized priest, which is not quite the same thing, but effectively about the same. However, we must pity the members of the Press since they are almost always the last people to know anything, though they "inform" the rest of us: For journalists out there, the word is "laicize" -  just look it up (apologies to Albion Land, one journalist who does know his way around the barn). 

We are told that Abp. Hepworth is sticking to his story about sexual abuse, but that the RCC has investigated itself, and cleared itself of the accusations. Gee, golly, and all that: Who has more credibility? Just flip a coin, and don't bother to see which side comes up. So, we have nothing more to say about it, because it's all a waste of cyberspace.

On to more important things.

SAINT ANDREW'S DAY, November 30,

This brings to mind the theme of Evangelism. In the Epistle for today, Rom. 10: 9ff, we read about the need for sent laborers who preach the Gospel. In the Gospel reading for today (Matt. 4;18f), we see that the first Disciples who would become Apostles, were told by Christ at the time of their calling, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." So, there is an emphasis on preaching the Gospel, which always brings to mind the unchanging and universal truth that Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose the third day and appeared to witnesses, all in fulfillment of Scripture (I Cor. 15:1f).  

The readings for Morning Prayer include John 1:35-42. That passage includes these simple words: "[Andrew] first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, 'We have found the Messias,' which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus." 

Those simple words, "he brought him to Jesus" get to the heart of personal evangelism, and also to the heart of all evangelism and mission. We cannot separate the Man from the message. Jesus Christ did not come as a philosopher or teacher, but as our Salvation, the One Who takes us to the Father. Andrew did not tell Simon about a great message he had heard. He did not mention the teachings of Jesus. Rather, he brought him to Jesus. It is to Jesus that we come, and to Jesus that we bring others.


Anonymous said...

Fr Hart wrote...Jesus Christ did not come as a philosopher or teacher, but as our Salvation, the One Who takes us to the Father.'

If God is 'The 'teacher' by word and deed in the OT, and has sent His Son, to be the saving grace of all mankind, is He not also 'The Teacher' in the NT as God had planned for us all? After all He is God, made man, who is God, now working through the Holy Ghost (or Spirit if you prefer) - the Trinity.


Fr. Robert Hart said...

I was speaking hermeneutically.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that the title, Rabbi, is used in direct reference to Jesus eight times in the gospel of John. It is also used twice in Matthew's gospel, but as a general designation and not in reference Jesus per se. According to my concordance, the term does not appear anywhere else in the NT. It is a Hebrew word meaning "my great one" and a title for revered Jewish teachers. In Matthew 23:8-9, Jesus stresses that "you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven." On the surface it is a lesson in humility, but at another level it seems to point deftly to the unity of the Godhead presented in John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

And so, Fr Hart, we have as our Salvation, "the One Teacher Who takes us to the One Father." Different Persons, yet sharing the same divine nature.


Al Winn said...

Hepworth case 'flares out of control':

Anonymous said...

More subtle Hepworth bashing!
This is the season of Advent - a time to reflect on our faith and a time not to perpetuate throwing 'sticks and stones'.
Is it not time for the Moderator of this blog, to finally ban such un-Christian practice. Can we all reflect on the joy of the coming of the Christ Child, and not on the suffering of individuals.

Fr. Wells said...

Chris: I believe you missed a subtle but critical distinction between "a teacher" and "The Teacher." While our Lord was addressed several times as "Master, Rabbi, and Teacher," I do not believe He ever applied this title to Himself. There is no saying, "I Am the good teacher, who provides sound instruction for the sheep."

Susan: great comment. Thanks.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Actually, Advent is about looking ahead to the second coming of Christ.

As for the rest, I don't make the news, I just ignore it - when it is worth ignoring; which is all my alleged "Hepworth bashing" is about. I'm not taking a position between him and the RCC; neither is credible.

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart...if you read what I wrote, you will notice I said nothing about Advent and the Christ Child.

I did write about reflection and the joy of the Coming of the Christ Child, which perhaps I should have clarified a little more - referring to our Lord's birth (as the joy).

Again, I made reference to Hepworth bashing, in general and not by naming anyone, I am just tired of the un-Christian approach to the man.

Anonymous said...

Fr Wells...thank you for your words, and to some degree I may agree with you.

However,I still have this notion that God, through His Son, became man, for all to see, and being 'God Teacher' in the OT, and in the Gift of His Son, God as man, became the Teacher in the NT, albeit, as Christ with his methodology of teaching. Is then Christ not 'The Teacher' (God as man), who then gave the Authority to the Apostles (and successors the bishops),to go out and teach all nations, backed up with the promise of the Holy Spirit to guide them.

In other words, how can we say God is the Teacher,and Christ is not, yet we say He is God, and the same with the Holy Spirit, a Triune God, who must possess all qualities within Himself, for He cannot be separated into three individuals.

By all means, point me in the right direction if you think I am totally off track


Anonymous said...


I have been reading Hall's Theological Studies and will relate a few ideas re the Trinity from my notes:

1) The "Persona" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit points to their distinctive qualities, yet they are unified in their common "substantia" or Essence (God). The Divine Persons are real, eternal, distinct, but not separate beings.

2) Three Persons is not the same as three selves. God is unlimited; not dependent on any external conditions for His Existence. God is a complete Self.

3) "Notions" distinguishes Persons from their common Essence. Hence the Divine Persons have distinct properties. Father=paternity, Son=filiation, Holy Spirit=procession.

4) There is an eternal sequence of Divine processions (not temporal). The Father and the Son spirate the Holy Spirit. (Spiration belongs to the Father but derivatively to the Son.) The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Divine processions are not physical, but intellectual. There is a Divine Monarchy; a priority of order but NOT of nature.

5) The Son is the objectifying of the Father's thought, the image of God in which the Father contemplates His own Essence. The Holy Spirit is the love of the Father, and the bond of the Trinity.

6) The Divine Persons exist in each other without confusion of Persons; the Trinity exists in each Person. However, when the Persons are mentioned together, the Father ONLY is named God, as "principatus" because He proceeds from none.

7) Each Person contains the fullness of God, but The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, Son is not the Spirit, the Spirit is not the Son, the Father is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father.

8) The Persons operate indivisibly, but in a distinct manner. The Father Who made me (will and purpose), The Son Who redeemed me (revelation, mediator), and the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies me (illumination, perfector).

9) The Son is the WORD because He is the expression of the Father's mind.

Hope this is helpful.


Anonymous said...

The suffering of individuals affected by the antics of John Hepworth is certainly a matter on ongoing concern!

Not to mention the antics of Peter Slipper, ordained by him and appointed his Chancellor; recently controversially elevated to the role of Speaker for the Australian Federal Government's House of Representatives.

Anonymous said...

Susan....kind of you to spend time on this - much appreciated and helpful


Al Winn said...

I apologize for posting that link on this thread...especially in the company of Susan's eloquent and spiritually true and powerful comment.

Please delete it or move it to a more appropriate thread.

May the LORD bless each of us with a holy that He is born anew in us and conquers us with His true, pure, innocent, powerful, redeeming love. Amen.

Anonymous said...