I have recently found religion.
Let me very quickly follow this up with a ‘negative creed’ of the things I don’t believe in the literal truth of:
I don’t believe in a supernatural person.
I don’t believe that the world was created in six days.
I don’t believe in either the virgin birth or the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
I don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins and that if you don’t believe this before you die God will punish you for eternity thereafter.
I don’t believe that gay sex is sinful.
Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts.
So decrees a biblical text, Deuteronomy 15:1. It was a standardisation of a known practice. Newly crowned Mesopotamian kings often cancelled debts and liberated people who had sold themselves into slavery because of debt. Cancellation would have been a popular move as there would have been more debtors than creditors – then as now.
In the week that the arch-traditionalist Revd. Philip North refused Episcopal consecration from ‘tainted’ hands, including those of his own archbishop, we also see the Revd. Libby Lane consecrated as the first woman bishop in the Church of England.
People with mental health problems and learning difficulties are the subject of two articles in this week’s Church Times.
The two articles were printed alongside each other, and between them they told both a negative and a positive story.
Negatively, one of the articles begins
More than 100 people with mental-health problems are having their benefits cut each day, effectively because of their condition.
Widespread horror has greeted the news of the bizarre arrangements for consecrating the new bishop of Burnley.
On Wednesday I put up a post describing the arrangements agreed between the candidate, Philip North, who opposes the ordination of women, and the Archbishop of York. Normal procedure is to be abandoned so that the key actions, laying hands on the candidate and presiding at the Communion Service, will only be performed by bishops who also reject the ordination of women.