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What The Anglican Church Taught Me

personal reflections spirituality Feb 24, 2022
I was born into the vicarage because my father was a priest so I didn't get into Christianity by the born again mantra that later became popular when the evangelicals came into the Anglican communion.
My father being a priest who was dogged and outspoken was well respected and I am sure there are people who experienced him on this timelines.
What I however noticed about every Anglican Priest was they were revered but not feared hence the concept of touch not my anointed was alien to us.
I will give you a few examples;
1. My father faced church annually to render accounts and he was quizzed by members and sometimes the interrogation could pass for insults in our days yet he was bound to respond to all their questions without getting angry. Church needed to know how every penny spent was spent and he must render account.
2. There was one Sunday in a month that everyone was free to ask every form of questions or what they don't agree with and people freely came up with questions. I remember some mischievous youths would come up with all sorts of funny questions that should get any elder upset but he was their priest and my father and he must respond. I would think with a benefit of hindsight that my dad's anger sometimes at home could have been borne out of some of what he was subjected to but not once did he threaten anyone.
3. Then came the evangelicals who felt the old people were not born again because they were not speaking in tongues. These sets almost broke the church because they didn't apply wisdom but guess what my dad did? They created a service for them to allow them freely express themselves. There was no threat or curses.
4. My dad was posted to Ikare Akoko and some elements within the church conspired to lock the church because there were stuff they didn't want him to preach against. He didn't curse anyone and didn't pray against them. In fact, I remember his Bishop called him and asked him not to preach against what the people had concerns about but trust my dad he dared his Bishop and he was duly suspended yet he was calm all through.
I remember him telling me "This isn't a job; it's a calling and you must work by the terms of the caller"
5. He was posted to head Apapa Archdeaconry and many times he had spirited debates with junior colleagues and I never saw him throw "Touch not my anointed" or curse anyone. It would appear to me that there are people here who feel our first stint of Christianity was a bit and still strange to me.
I am not a fan of dishonour but I am not also a fan of servitude.
Anglicanism taught us to honour our priests but we were never afraid of them. Some of them who drank beer drank with members and members didn't think they lost respect. We called them "Our father in the Lord" not because they were perfect but because they were human and honourable and they interacted with us well.
My dad didn't curse anyone or felt disrespected when he was quizzed. He responded because they were human beings asking human questions. Not even his ecclesiastical robe could mask his humanity.
These are lessons that have stuck with me and I am not sure I'd ever lose them.
I honour you
Praise Fowowe