Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bishop's Task Force Poised to Spread the "Gas of Peace"

In the 1936 film "Things to Come" based on H.G. Wells' 1933 book "The Shape of Things to Come," decades of warfare create a post apocalyptic world which, by the 1970's, is technologically backwards and ruled by small time warlords who are still intent on killing each other. Humanity is saved by a group of airmen who call themselves "Wings Over the World" whose advanced technology allows them to fly over the devastated world and drop bombs containing a  non-lethal gas, the "Gas of Peace". The poor primitive warlords are defenseless against such an attack and can't even find a functioning gas mask with which to protect themselves.

Problem solved.

Or so we are led to believe as images of a futuristic utopian world led by men of science and reason flash before our eyes, and we jump forward to the year 2036 where the Airmen's conquest of the physical world through technology is nearly complete.

But all is not right with this world because the heart and passion of man has not been conquered. This failure is shown by scenes of a huge mob rising in opposition to the ruling technocrats' attempt to launch men to the moon.

I guess another dose of the gas of peace should have been unleashed, but the movie ends as the moon shot fires and the first explorers of space speed away from the chaos on Earth.

This movie came to mind during the recent visit to our parish by a member of the Bishop's Task Force on Unity (see previous post) who was here to explain their progress towards maintaining unity in the church as the Episcopal rite of same sex blessings is introduced. As I listened, I thought about the methods our Episcopal church leaders use to try to quiet warring factions (if there are any left following decades of struggle over Biblical revisionism, human sexuality, and political activism). I wondered how many of our Episcopalians breathed deeply this latest dose of the gas of peace.

"Listening processes," "Appreciative Inquiry," "Indabas," "Theological Councils," "Moderated round table discussions," and now "Curricula from the Task Force on Unity" have all been dropped on us by the ruling clergicrats (sorry for the neologism) and their deputies who have become as haughty as the Airmen in H.G. Wells' classic story. The unity they seek is a utopian dream for them but a future nightmare for those of us on the ground. Our rulers honestly believe that they know what is best for us, but they ignore the consequences of substituting a new gospel for the old.

Theirs is a vision of peace created, dominated, and controlled by their superior worldview.

Gaseous emissions coming from revisionist bishops and their task forces will ultimately fail as will all such attempts at unity imposed by man upon his fellow man unless the folks in the pews have forgotten how to defend themselves or have been lulled to sleep by years of listening, and moderated indaba-doos in which case the gas of peace will seem to work for a time.

The armour of light was our defense before this war began. We just need to wake up and remember where we left it.
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." Romans 13:11-13 Authorized (King James) Version 
And where will the final victory be found?
Thy victory is in the heart,
Thy kingdom is within;
When outward pride and pomp depart,
Thy glory doth begin.
Thine army, ever in the field,
Is led by love and light;
Thy followers fall but never yield,
Triumphant in the right.
O King most meek and wonderful,
Grant us among Thy host,
To follow Thee, to fight for Thee,
Knights of the Holy Ghost.
VICTORIA Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)


  1. Pewster,
    It is a war of attrition. Sooner or later people will leave, die or acquiesce. It reminds me of the ground and pound strategy of the UFC.

  2. Thanks for this Pewster.
    Dale, agreed, this is a war of attrition, but battles are fought inside and outside the church. The drivers of the wider culture are even more "full speed ahead" on this stuff (with an added tendency to be more aggressive, hostile and anti-Christian). I think what we learn here will be most useful in days ahead. We are called to be faithful and not count the cost. Looking more and more like I will live long enough to find out first hand what the cost will be.... All is not lost. I read the last book, Jesus
    wins in the end!

  3. Dale and Jeff,

    It always looks like ground and pound at some point in any war. I agree that we have to live it with confidence that Jesus will win in the end.