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Welby on Wonga

26/07/2013

Welby on Wonga,

Or how to make a fool of yourself, by getting involved in something that’s none of your business!

I don’t believe in Bishops, at least in the Anglican sense of the word. A bishop, in the scriptures, is simply the ‘overseer’ – the ‘episkopos’ – the pastor of the church. Far less do I believe in an ‘Archbishop’.

But such things do exist, and nowhere is their pointlessness better illustrated than in the utterly compromised ‘Church’ of England, a formerly large but now rapidly declining Episcopal ‘church’, part of the state apparatus of England, the established church of that land, whose spiritual leader is the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Justin Welby. (Welby’s predecessor was Arch Druid Rowan Williams, who was so supposedly intellectual that few knew what he was actually talking about, – a trait never found in Jesus, who spoke in language that everyone could understand). When he was recently ‘enthroned’ Welby was acclaimed by many as an evangelical, – a man who would bring a more conservative ethos to the church. I was sceptical of this right from the start. Welby came out of the Holy Trinity, Brompton school of evangelicalism, the heart of the sin-denying Alpha course and the seat of the Toronto Blessing in Anglicanism. It was doubtful if Welby could ever be evangelical, – and his early endorsement of female bishops proved the point. Further, his former background in business seems to have given him the idea that he can bring change to his church through management strategies and business acumen – always a dangerous notion.

Now the hapless Welby has made a laughing stock of himself, by launching into a full scale attack on the so-called ‘pay-day loan’ companies, and one in particular, a company called Wonga. These companies lend on a short term basis, then charge high rates of interest on the debt. Welby and co, socialists to the core, are full of angst about this, pointing out that Wonga and others are lending money to many people who can’t hope to repay, and creating more debt and misery among the poorest of society. He wants to open his church premises to credit unions, and has threatened to ‘compete’ Wonga out of business.

Only after Welby had made his strident criticism of the companies did the embarrassing fact emerge that his own excuse for a ‘church,’ the Church of England itself, was an investor in (wait for it…) WONGA!!! Welby is said to be furious, after all he has made himself look a proper idiot.

Now let’s be honest. Payday Loan Companies are verging on the edge of morality. Wonga’s main claim to ethical behaviour is that they tell you up front, how much interest you are going to pay, and it’s a lot. But the task of a minister, called by God is not to dabble in the murky world of the financial institutions, it is to PREACH THE GOSPEL. And when we do start to involve ourselves in ‘cleaning up the world’ by stirring up the muck at the bottom of its very dirty pond, all that happens is that we lose our own effectiveness, by having some of that very muck stick to the finger we are pointing at others.

Jesus said…

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. Matthew 5:13

Yes, as Christians we want to radically change the world, but not by offering people a better interest rate for their loans, but by offering them Christ, who died on the cross, to take upon himself the burden of sin, the most serious debt of all. The debt owed by sinful mankind to a holy God, offended by our self-driven rebellion. That burden having been lifted through Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary we are granted fellowship with God and restored to fulfil His purpose and plan and destiny, for which we were created.

Archbishop Welby would be better employed addressing the spiritual deficit in his own denomination and giving real spiritual leadership to his people, by an example of the clear presentation of God’s Law and His Saving Gospel.

20130726-132444.jpg
Welby in charismatic mode.

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