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LL Cool J and the Diocese of Tennessee
Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry ^ | 3/27/2006 | R. Daltrey

Posted on 04/20/2006 7:38:51 PM PDT by sionnsar

There is an amazing line at the end of LL Cool J’s song “We’re gonna make it.”  This song can be found on the CD for Madea’s Family Reunion, which was the top-ranking movie in the USA for two weeks recently.

The line, from this once (and future) king of rap, is as follows:

“We need less fake rappers
And more real pastors.”

What a thing to say on a record, a record, incidentally, that is a best seller.  (Just go to Best Buy and ask…).

This line burned into me when I first heard it.  It burned into me this morning, as I thought about the election in the Diocese of Tennessee last weekend.  Or rather, that first round of an election.

The clergy voted a clear majority in the direction of “revisionism,” while the laity voted a clear majority in the direction of “reassertion.”  And the laity wouldn’t give an inch.  The lay delegates were like General Jackson, “standing like a stone wall.”  And now the clergy are angry with the laity for being stubborn.

The problem here is that our seminaries have been turning out hundreds of men and women who are touched with the Zeitgeist more than they are with the Bible.  I am not speaking without experience, 35 years of it.  Mary and I had to flee to England in order to receive Bible based ordination training in the early 1970s.  And we could not send our beloved friends and students to an ECUSA seminary without fearing for their theological and hence pastoral future, until Trinity was founded.  And even then, nothing is perfect.  But at least there was a safe haven.

Yet bishops embargoed us, like the port of Wilmington, NC, during the Civil War.  Occasionally a blockade runner might make it through the taut net of the adversary, but it was a rare case indeed.  Most of our friends who attended the “mainstream” schools came out influenced and even somewhat morphed, as a result of the culture-driven rather than Bible-driven pressures in these places.  I remember when a leading churchman discouraged me personally from going to VTS – 33 years ago:  You’ll be a punching bag from the moment you enter.  Don’t do it!  (The Band).  Bruce Metzger said the same thing to us in relation to Princeton: Don’t do it!  Mr. Zahl, you will definitely have to go elsewhere if you want anything like support for your faith.

What happens over years and years and years is that the clergy body as a whole becomes liberal in theology.  It can’t be helped.  If 90% of your ordination candidates are required to attend schools where evangelical faith is regarded as crude and suspect, not to mention cruel and persecutory, then the clergy body as a whole becomes molded.  You just get cohort upon cohort of “more fake rappers.”

This is where we are.  The problem has been the seminaries.  We don’t speak as judges now.  We speak as describers.  When Nashotah and Trinity are embargoed, the effect is huge, and cumulative.  This explains the disconnect between the laity (who are generally by faith conservative, although they cannot go on forever without clergy leadership) and the clergy (who are generally by formation liberal, and who will always ultimately attain the upper hand because of Anglican polity).  The seminaries are the cause of what took place last Saturday in Nashville.

Remember that song “Please come to Boston” by Dave Loggins?  It was Number Five in 1974. It is also my plea.  Please come to Ambridge.  Don’t be fooled (again) (The Who)!  Oh, and please add to that: Nashotah House.  Come there, too.  If you go elsewhere, the chances of becoming a “fake rapper” are high.  They are not 100%, it is true.  But it is rare that a young person and student can fight City Hall.

Oh, and I believe that immortal song ends up in … Tennessee.

All love, and ever,
R. Daltrey

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
[I remember back in the '70s my father, a VTS graduate, identifying Nashotah House and (?) as the only two good seminaries left. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 04/20/2006 7:38:53 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 04/20/2006 7:39:38 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi 2006 | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0urs)
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