Now, I’m not perfect. I’ll be the first one to say it. But at the very least I know not to say things that are contrary to what I do (and things people can clearly see I’m doing).

I’ve recently been made aware of a post on the blogosphere on the topic of the Ascension. Sadly, the author of that blog clearly missed the irony of his own words. [Note: I’m offering the link to his blog here, but I’ve also saved it as a PDF here in case the posting later disappears (as has happened with another controversial posting of his). I’m also blogging about it here to voice my disagreement, as any kind of comments I’ve attempted on his blog in the past have been rejected or deleted; so I don’t even attempt that any longer.]

I found it quite amazing he felt compelled to write these words, even though his own actions are contrary to them. It’s almost as though he purposefully condemns himself while he writes to condemn others (not to mention that his blog message doesn’t have much to do with the Ascension of Our Lord – it’s primarily about clergy that fuss about their own trappings and less about why they’re clergy).

One particular passage caught my eye:

“Jesus’s ascension is a poetic way of saying that he returned to full communion with his Father, which he voluntarily blocked off so that he could be be fully human.”

I’m unaware of the concept of the Ascension of Our Lord being nothing but poetry. This appears to imply that the Ascension was a figment of someone’s imagination and that it didn’t really happen; that Christ did not ascend into heaven to be (again) united with the Father and the Holy Ghost. I don’t know about others, but I was taught about the “hypostatic union” – where Christ was 100% man while remaining 100% God. No where was it taught that he “blocked off [His divinity] so he could be fully human.” He also alludes in his statement that during His time as Man, He was not in full communion with the Father and the Holy Ghost.


But I believe this discussion is beyond the scope of his intention, so I won’t continue with that thought. Getting back to his original conjecture that the Ascension of Our Lord relates to clergy not doing the work to which they were called:

“Too many churchmen spend their time fussing about the Liturgy or the Lectionary or the Hymnal, when they should be out on the streets demonstrating their support for the poor and needy, for those who have no access to medical help, for the people whose schools are a farce, for those who cannot find employment.”

Now I want you to keep in mind the man who wrote these words publicly and regularly announces when he’s having dinners with bishops; when he’s entertaining guests from London; when he’s spending time at the Union League of Philadelphia (for those of you who are not familiar, it’s a posh, member’s-only club of wealthy individuals); or about his visits to The Carlton Club, a gentlemen’s club in London which describes itself as the “oldest, most elite, and most important of all Conservative clubs” – membership of which is by nomination and election only. Rarely does he post that he’s been out and about among the poor of the city, or helping those most in need.

And very sadly, this same Rector – who should love and care for the souls entrusted to him – instead rails against them, calls them names, and accuses them outright of various invented outrages. Where is the Christian charity in that?

We should be wary of the words we speak and write publicly. It has been said, “See not the man who gives the message, but hear the message itself.” This is a very wise notion. Outside of the theological errors, and taking his message beyond the confines of “churchmen” and clergy to the wider population of Christendom and beyond, the message is not a bad one: We have been given a charge to spread the news (which includes living the life we were taught); we shouldn’t be standing around waiting.

But sometimes that message is too clouded by the reality surrounding it. It’s at those times that we need to “Be afraid – be very afraid!”