Today’s Tribal Warrior and Why Would God Call Anyone To be That, Plus Some Thoughts On Recent Events

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.

3 Responses to “Today’s Tribal Warrior and Why Would God Call Anyone To be That, Plus Some Thoughts On Recent Events”

  1. 1 Tregonsee November 7, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    I wish I had a copy to forward, but several years before GC2003, one of the most prominent lawyers in my area, and a member of my final TEC church, gave an excellent adult education talk. The title: “Can an attorney also be a good Christian?” His answer was in the affirmative, but that it was not easy.

    Unlike myself, he has chosen to remain in a solidly revisionist parish in an indifferent diocese and continue the good fight. (I don’t think it is at all irrelevant that his family has been in that parish long enough they are remembered in a stained glass window dating from the 19th century. You may be familiar with such situations, and the emotional anchor it generates.)

    While not on the diocese SC, he is on and off the local vestry, trying to hold a center which at times consists of one person. I see him every couple of years on some legal matter, and there is no question the strain is telling on his health. The last time, after the billing period over coffee, he asked me for the first time about the options I had taken.

    Like yourself, he is confident that he should be an attorney, and those strains are never going to go away. However, stress caused by one area of your life can leak into another. His marriage is good, as is his practice, which basically leaves his current church affiliation to consider among the important matters in his life. We got to talk that over during the coffee hour at the CANA church I now attend. Will he be back? Only God knows that. I can only hope and pray that he finds peace.

  2. 2 Craig Goodrich November 10, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    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.

    Brad, you’re forgetting the two hallmarks of the PiskieLeft (and indeed the Left generally) here: Denial and Projection.

    Remember that all of the “Instruments of Unity” of the Communion, as well as the Theology Commission of their very own HoB, had warned TEC of the consequences of embracing the homosexualist agenda continually for nearly a decade before GC03. These warnings had been getting louder and louder, to the point that they finally became frank and plainspoken in a thoroughly unAnglican way. The warnings continued immediately after GC, ever more emphatic, rather like (for the historically-minded) the diplomatic warnings of 1914 that “you have mobilized, OK, but you must stop short of the Belgian border. Please,oh please.” Yet the expressions of indignant surprise from TEC at the Primates’ statement filled cyberspace. The same story has been repeated over and over, at the departure of every large congregation, the release of every Communique from the GS, and the passage of every Declaration of Independence by the convention of an orthodox diocese. It can’t be genuine ignorance, since the same Usual Suspects post the same vituperation at each occasion, and it can’t be simple forgetfulness, since they react even more violently to any tactful reminder of the immediate past. Denial, in a degree that can only be described as pathological, is the only possible explanation.

    Likewise the content of the vituperation is always the same — “Land grab”, when for example Nigeria regards each parish’s real estate as the property of the congregation; “totalitarian”, when orthodox bishops have consistently offered to negotiate peaceful departure with progressive congregations; “power play” when orthodox congregations have tried to work with their own revisionist bishop to achieve minimal control over their own fate. How much more obvious could the projection be, to any outside observer?

    The term “Left” has long since progressed from reference to a political ideology to providing a shorthand name for a psychotic syndrome.

    So tut-tut, Brad. Appropriate reactions to the Left here include sniggering, disgust, and/or nausea, yes, certainly. But surprise or amazement, no.

  3. 3 Cathy November 11, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    I am thankful that you were able to help in the Donnelly situation. I would guess that you were definitely God-sent to those ruling elders, and as a believer helped them navigate through an ugly situation in a much better way then a secular lawyer would have.

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