2 thoughts on “Consternatingly Rev Dr Gulnar Eleanor Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford

  1. How many times has a TFTD presenter used the Good Samaritan story to persuade us that Jesus wants all of us to look after those in need? Dozens I imagine. But Christians still walk past the poor and needy and don’t offer any help immediately to those desperately living on the streets, just as I did last night on my way to the theatre. Why not? Surely that was Jesus’ point. Those people need your help now.
    On Sunday morning I saw a woman give a homeless man £10. Maybe she was a Christian and that was her penance for the day. Did it help him? He looked like he had been on the streets for quite a while. What if all he did with her money was spend it on alcohol or drugs? Would that money really have helped him? Maybe she hoped he would use it to change his life around, but she didn’t even say anything to him, ask him how he was, or if he knew where the nearest church was where he could go for help.
    If Jesus came back today would he be more annoyed with those like me hoping that the local authority can manage the homeless, or angry with those who supposedly follow his word but don’t actually do what he was asking them to do?

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  2. As PaulT points out, there was more than an element of ‘mote-and-beam’ about today’s Thought. And the Bishop of Gloucester buying six eco-pods for ex-cons to live in won’t do much for the housing crisis. The Rev Dr Gulnar Eleanor goes on to tell us that we (and she does mean us) must do much more, even if it’s ‘inconvenient and costly’. Yes, that’s going to be a vote-winner all right.

    Meanwhile, her Church has admitted that pouring money into the big cities to try to make new converts has been an utter failure, and it’s going to start pouring money into existing parishes instead: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/11/church-of-england-to-pump-36bn-into-parishes-and-fund-more-social-action Bets on whether that’s any more likely to succeed in stopping its descent into national irrelevance?

    Regarding the yarn about the Good Samaritan, which (as Paul says) surfaces with monotonous regularity, the only interpretation we ever seem to get is the literal, Sunday-school one. The earliest commentators on scripture, such as Origen or Augustine, were in no doubt that the story was meant to be taken allegorically, like most of the stuff in the Gospels. Wikipedia reminds us that Origen wrote:

    “The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord’s body, the [inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church….The manager of the [inn] is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Saviour’s second coming”. That’s more like it!

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