Saturday Ramble: A new Anglican dawn?
How strange everything is becoming. The question of whether British people are free to wear the Christian Cross is now being decided by a reading of “human rights” legislation in a foreign court at Strasbourg.
Once again, a piece of paper is being pored over to determine the outcome. It’s like that old Goon Show joke where Eccles writes down the time of day in the morning, then consults it in the afternoon when asked for the time.
What is really spooking the political classes is that if Christians have such “rights” — not age-old liberties, mark you — Muslims and others must have them too, and some faiths often go to aggressive extremes.
Thus, Christians must drop their time-honoured, inoffensive ways, which seems inexplicable in our own country.
But isn’t there more to it than that? Wonderfully, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, now calls the Cross a symbol of the “Religion Factory”. Wow, it’s cat among pigeons time!
Cue general outrage from clergy, members of the religious lobby and anyone wanting to remain suspended in time. Actually, the telling phrase Religion Factory sums up exactly what it is: an empty vessel that has been drained of true spiritual meaning.
When most people look at a cross, they see an instrument of torture used against someone they have been brought up to revere and worship. That is not its true meaning, which is that death is inevitable for us all, but is not the end of our story. The Crucifixion was a Mystery rite demonstrating everlasting life.
The problem occurs because Jesus was rebranded as “the Son of God” by ignorant, or power-seeking, followers after his death.
That is not what he himself said: “When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are the children of the living Father.” Gospel of Thomas
Nothing could be plainer, we are all “children of God” but are not aware of it. Once we break away from this Religion Factory that has been manufacturing falsehoods, simplifications and misinterpretations for centuries, we will arrive at the truth, which releases us all and grants us our proper status in life. Call it “equality” if you must.
The Cross has ever been the symbol of our servitude, not our freedom. But that should not remove our ancient liberties in the matter of wearing it.
Is this a new dawn for the Church of England?
… who is the author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
Mysticism in the Modern World is coming soon.