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About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.
The New Testament is an invaluable book, though I confess to having been slightly prejudiced against it in my very early days by the church and the Sabbath school, so that it seemed, before I read it, to be the yellowest book in the catalogue. Yet I early escaped from their meshes. It was hard to get the commentaries out of one's head and taste its true flavor. — I think that Pilgrim's Progress is the best sermon which has been preached from this text; almost all other sermons that I have heard, or heard of, have been but poor imitations of this. — It would be a poor story to be prejudiced against the Life of Christ because the book has been edited by Christians.
The development of relations between State and Church affords a very instructive example of how the carelessness of a single statesman can have after-effects which last for centuries. When Charlemagne was kneeling at prayer in St. Peter's, Rome, at Christmas in the year 800, the Pope, giving him no time to work out the possible effects of so symbolic an action, suddenly bent down and presto! popped a golden crown on his head! By permitting it, the Emperor delivered himself and his successors into the hands of a power which subjected the German Government and the German people to five hundred years of martyrdom.
As the magistrate has no power to impose by his laws the use of any rites and ceremonies in any church, so neither has he any power to forbid the use of such rites and ceremonies as are already received, approved, and practised by any church; because if he did so, he would destroy the church itself; the end of whose institution is only to worship God with freedom, after its own manner.
And I profess still, that whatsoever the church of England (the church, I say, not every doctor) shall forbid me to say in matterof faith, I shall abstain from saying it, excepting this point, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for my sins. As for other doctrines, I think it unlawful, if the church define them, for any member of the church to contradict them.
Since Christ is the only way to the Father, in order to highlight His living and saving presence in the Church and the world, the International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Rome, on the occasion of the Great Jubilee. The Year 2000 will be intensely Eucharistic: in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the Savior, who took flesh in Mary's womb twenty centuries ago, continues to offer Himself to humanity as the source of Divine Life
For the Philosopher is right who says that nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy; and he goes on to opine that one is twin fellow to the other; and draws from this the conclusion that all extremes of feeling are allied to madness; and so bids us take refuge in the true Church (in his view the Anabaptists), which is the only harbor, port, anchorage, etc., he said, for those tossed on this sea.
I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute — a white skin.
If my church attempted to influence me in a way which was improper or which affected adversely my responsibilities as a public servant sworn to uphold the Constitution, then I would reply to them that this was an improper action on their part. It was one to which I could not subscribe.
She makes me get up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to let any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for — well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat — I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell — everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it.
Sick or well, blind or seeing, bond or free, we are here for a purpose and however we are situated, we please God better with useful deeds than with many prayers or pious resignation. The temple or church is empty unless the good of life fills it... holy if only... we offer the only sacrifices ever commanded-the love that is stronger than hate and the faith that overcometh doubt.
Isn't it desperately sad that, at a time when we face formidable problems – poverty, HIV/AIDS, conflict – that the Anglican Communion can invest so much energy on disagreements about human sexuality? A communion that used to boast that one of its distinctive characteristics was something called comprehensiveness, that our communion, the Anglican Church, included just about everybody. Even if you had the most weird theology you could come in, you were allowed. And now we, who used to be held up in admiration by many because of this inclusiveness, are now spending time working out how we can excommunicate one another. God looks on and God weeps. God weeps.