It's the primatial, silly season again. The Grand Tufti is throwing a party in Dublin but a load of his mates won't be going because he's gone and invited a girl.

Basically, the sulky archbishops won't attend any church gigs unless they get to look at the guest list upfront and have the right to blackball anybody on the list who doesn't pass their acceptability test. They like to claim that this test of theirs is based on good, Biblical teaching, which it may or may not be. However, the actions they take if they don't get their own way are not only non-Biblical, they are actually completely opposite to Biblical teaching.

Hospitality is probably the most defined duty in Jewish and Christian scriptures. In the Old Testament, failure to provide hospitality to friend or stranger is a major sin. It goes beyond religious commandment as it is a cornerstone of the social life of the community. A man who offers unconditional hospitality, such as Tobit, is regarded as a good man by the good people of his community. The man who refuses to do his duty in providing hospitality is regarded by the righteous as an enemy of God, a fact that is emphasised over and over again the writings of both the major and minor prophets. In the New Testament Jesus takes the already generous duty of hospitality incumbent on God's chosen people and increases its remit to apply to absolutely everybody. He eats with sinners and he even offers bread to the man whose betrayal will lead to his crucifixion.

The bishops boycotting the primates' get together in Dublin are enemies of God when they take it upon themselves to restrict the hospitality collegially offered to their colleagues. But, for them, there is a Biblical sting in the tail of their actions that may end up with them being actually cast out of the kingdom of God.

When Jesus sends his disciples out he tells them to accept the hospitality of the people in the towns they visit. But he tells them, if the people they visit fail to offer hospitality they are to walk away whilst wiping the dust of the place off their feet.

The arrogant primates of the Anglican Communion who put prejudice before hospitality are placing themselves in the position of those who behaved inhospitably to Christ's disciples. It is unlikely that "the girl" the Grand Tufti has invited to his party will wipe dust off her feet no matter how much she is insulted, because she is a Christian who takes the words of Jesus very seriously, in deed. But God might. If God deduces that in not showing hospitality to those God's son died for, the schism minded bishops are disrespecting the son, then who knows what God might do. And if what God might do is anything like what Jesus said God might do in such a situation then the gatekeepers could be spending eternity gazing up from hell at the bosom of Abraham. Of course, these Biblically based boycotters won't be worried about this in the slightest. These words of Christ are recorded in the Bible and they don't appear to have read that particular book; at least, not any of it after Leviticus.



  1. Thank you. It had never occurred to me before that Katharine Jefferts Schori was the only ‘girl’ to be invited. How naive of me!

    But I agree with you, because I think the passages from the Bible (and especially from the Gospels) that you refer to are more important than those that the boycotters take as definitive of God’s Word (both the person and the book!)

  2. Well, for that matter, there’s plenty about hospitality even in Leviticus:

    “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

    It’s from Chapter 19.

  3. BRAVO! Does that mean even LGBTI strangers can come and made welcome and ¨citizens¨ amongst the ABC? This is Good News so next Lambeth Conference there no doubt will be room at the big table for you know who(s)? Come to think about it, I hope ++Rowan reads your blog (and helps you find a wonderful position amongst the made-to-feel-at-home flock)!

  4. Well, there you have the actual sin of “your sister Sodom,” a lack of hospitality. Would that not make these Bishops “Sodomites” in the true sense of the word?

  5. I’d say good riddance, except for the fact that they’re dragging a lot of Anglicans in the churches they represent through the mud with them.

  6. But isn’t this just good common sense? I learned in grade school to avoid girl cooties. Why would catching them now be a good thing?


  7. She won’t be the only woman there, Nij.

    The bishops will need lots of women to get their food, take minutes, tidy up their rooms and make their beds every day.

  8. Spot on, MP. Maybe the men would be more comfortable if KJS started getting the coffee and clearing up and generally doing what we women are still expected to do.

    But if she does wait on them, don’t tell me about it. I don’t want to know.

  9. I don’t know. If the opportunity to wait on the boys presented itself, it would seem like a Maundy Thursday moment. It ain’t just a day in a week.