Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Bishop and the Mayor

All I asked was that he talk with the Mayor!
It was the last day of an extremely boring Synod. And I asked the Synod to mandate the Bishop to talk to the Mayor of the City of Cape Town on behalf of the Methodist residents. I suggested that stability in our city requires that the Democratic Alliance allow the African National Congress into a shared decision making process. There were white people who objected to me wanting the African National Congress in the executive of the City Council. They said I looked like I was representing the policy of the Independent Democrats. And then black people warned me that the church must be very careful when it got involved in political strategy. “The church must stick to its own things”, I was told. And I got a lecture from the esteemed senior colleague from the top table. He thundered against the Democratic Alliance and against the African National Congress. And I wondered why this passion has not stirred him to speak to these two bodies. I suspect that it is probably easier to thunder from on top of the fence than to get off the Synod platform into the mire of City politics. And all the while the Bishop remained silent. He probably is still. Silent that it. And all I wanted was that he speak a word from God’s people to the Mayor of the City.

Pray for our troubled city.
hmm...perhaps I must write a letter!


digitaldion said...

our reference to the 'top table' at which the Bishops and their esteemed colleagues are known to sit in Methodist SYNODS reminded me just how far the Church is behind the world.

Yesterday I had a chance to take 7 visiting American students to the highest court in South Africa - the constitutional court.

The architecture of the building is quite amazing! One of the more notable elements of the building's design is that the judges (who have the power even to overrule the State President!) sit at the same level as everyone else (even at the same level as accused). There is no loftiness there. Rather the building is designed show a mutual accountability, and culpability, for the shared struggles in society....

Perhaps the lofty 'top table' could learn a few things from the highest court in the land?

With regards to the Church's responsibility to speak prophetically to the State... Well, let me not get started. I have a post on my blog that may express something of how I feel about this. http://www.spirituality.org.za/blogger.html

Murray & Gina UK said...

I was reading something today that I thought should be shared here, not because you don't know it, or haven't read it even, but it just seemed to fit so nicely!

"In South Africa when they banned books, we told the government the book they should have banned long ago was the Bible, for nothing could be more radical, more revolutionary, as we faced up to the awefulness of injustice, oppression, and racism. I was often criticized during the struggle to end apartheid for being "political" and told by people in and out of the church that our place was to be concerned with religious matters. But we were involved in the struggle because we were being *religious*, not political. It was because we were obeying the imperitaves of our faith. ... Thoughout the Bible you will see how frequently the prophets act on bahalf of God or speak on behalf of God and they speak in what we call political areas." Desmond Tutu

Amongst the Priesthood of all Believers, some are surely given the hard task of being prophets. Bringing God's word, His very Self, to the attention of the world.
Thanks R.i.t.Grass for being a prophet.