The laity hold the purse. I remember my current bishop telling me that this is a truth most bishops don’t want us to know. But even now, in the Episcopal Church, the laity hold the purse. A laity that is equipped and knowledgeable about theological issues and ecclesiastical structures can be a mighty sword for Jesus. But pulling the wool over our eyes is just a tactic of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Stay alert, don’t become complacent or ambivalent, pray without ceasing, and hold your bishops and clergy accountable.
Ironically, it was John’s devotion to equipping the laity for ministry that laid the foundation at Truro for our parish votes. We read the scriptures in small group Bible studies and attended his indepth courses on books and themes of the Bible. We collected his tape series and teachings and even now, after twenty years, his work remains in the foundation of our parish life and witness. We have not forgotten.
A biblically equipped and structurally knowledgeable laity is the best defense against heretical power, like a crew ready for battle. We are not fooled. The bishop no longer pleads, but leads.
As we are all ready in the battle, it would be good to have a Captain who would resist hunkering down below decks, but instead return to the bridge and command the fleet to fight for our own Aslan.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Baby Blue Compliments +John Howe
Baby Blue made a very interesting comment over at Stand Firm today. She says that the laity have the real power, the power of the purse, and so the laity can change the situation if they understand the structures of power and the theological issues: