In humanity’s ancient years, human beings functioned in tribes being the basic unit of society – which lasted until monarchy was effectively discarded by humanity as a valid form of government, which I would peg at the time the Emperor of Japan renounced his claim of divinity and admitted he was a man. So, this was not so long ago.
In any event, as law replaced retributive physical justice, one very old custom was held over. In tribal conflict, it was not uncommon to invoke mercenaries. Soldiers of fortune that fought for pay, rather than tribal loyalty. They had no qualms about fighting for one tribe or another…as long as they could pay the bills and have a lifestyle that enabled them to point to someone else and tell them they are better than them.
This old custom of mercenaries changed its name and its function. Rather than a battle with swords, we will battle as civilized men with words and wits. Sophists, Orators, jurisconsults, chancellors, members of the bar (how fitting), member of the inn (in England, and oh how fitting considering that an inn usually has a bar in England), sharks,
(If sharks doesn’t give this way, I don’t know what)
lawyers and attorneys at law. Those folks that decide which tribe won (a bunch of former mercenaries who are masters of the craft of war) are called “Judge” and, if you are a really powerful judge with great political connections, Justice. Like the lady with the blindfold, Gideon v. Wainwright, the divine muse that formulated the Code Mammurabi, the Code of Justinian (Roman Emperor), the Ten Commandments, and the Common Law. Paul Newman’s closing argument in the Verdict – law being a prayer and all that.
In his day, Ignatius of Loyola was a mercenary. God converted his heart and soul to Christ, and changed his life. He was no longer a mercenary. He changed his life to one compatible with Christianity.
That all makes sense.
What happens when God calls a legal mercenary to be Christian, yet tells that mercenary you have to continue to be a mercenary.
Frankly, this makes no sense to me most days.
I prayed long ago for God to use my law practice as He would use it. I had no idea what would come of this prayer. Since that time, however, I have seen nothing but conflict and stress. I have to say the recent days of this have flat taken its toll. I read the rantings on the HOBD listserv against StandFirm, Bishop Duncan, and anyone who dares hold up scripture and questions the current direction of the church theologically, politically, and legally. I see the declaration that the Anglican Jihad has begun (although it is nice to be finally taken seriously.) I read these digests, have a brief feeling I should respond, and then close the email. Gotta get to the office for the latest round of religious wars, battles with the IRS, battles over business and money, deadlines to meet, money to be collected for the firm, and all manner of things related to children with which I have to deal.
Frankly, I just don’t have the energy right now to write about the tete-a-tete between Jefferts-Shori and Duncan. It is all so very predictable to me. I continue to be amazed at the surprise conveyed by the PB and the Episcopal left has voiced that the Diocese of Pittsburgh voted the way they did. Have they just been ignoring everything Duncan has written and said over the last four years? Have they ignored the actions of the Diocese since that time? It also is not as if the Diocese of San Joaquin hasn’t already voted to do the same thing, and now, like Pittsburgh, awaits a confirming vote.
Then, of course, the Episcopal left is clamoring for Lambeth to be cancelled, for the stated reason that a far too restrictive and therefore un-Anglican covenant might get passed. I guess they counted to votes on which they could count and came up short.
Then again, most of the news that is out there in the world is not really news.
Mom and Dad called from their trip to England last Saturday. They met the ABC and his son, Pip. They gave him a cross made by our very own Mad Potter of Duson which they purchased at Diocesan Convention. Dad tells me he’ll have some stuff that is definitely bloggable by me when he gets back.
Another lawyer in the Diocese has been issuing an email newsletter on an almost daily basis for his parish, Grace, Monroe, which he said I could post to the blog. I am going to start doing so tonight. It is a fine combination of scripture, prayer, and news of the Anglican Communion. I hope you all enjoy it.