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When the Oprah sways, run the other way.

The Archbishop of Canterbury loved his Yankee episcopal heretics sermon. The number of nice people who have said it was wonrderful equals the number of people who dislike it. I hated it: I heard heresy from the change in the invocation of the trinity on. However, I am not nice.

“I think what we saw in that is that preaching is not a past art, that the use of language to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ just blew the place open,” Welby said. “It was fantastic. And you could see people just caught up in it, and excited by it.”

Welby added that he hadn’t spoken to all of the royals, but he said the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. “[The royals] that I spoke to were really excited by it, and the people afterwards that we spoke to at the reception and other places were gripped by it,” he said. “This was raw God, and that’s the business.”

He even added that he spoke to a couple inspired to renew their vows thanks to Meghan and Harry’s wedding ceremony. “Someone said to me afterwards at the reception, ‘That was so stunning, I want to do the vows again with me and my husband,’” he said. “They were so captivated by that sense of love, and of love with a purpose. Not just selfish love, not sentimental, drippy stuff, but love with a purpose to change the world.”

Curry said he got a brief thank you from the “kind and gracious” couple at the reception, but he said he knew just by looking at them they were happy with his sermon. “During most of the sermon, we were making eye contact throughout,” he said. “And their eyes and their smiles and their reactions were talking back. Even though they weren’t talking, the way they looked at each other sent the message of, ‘These people are in love, for real.’”
Megan Friedman, Harper’s Bazaar

This was echoed in the Guardian. This is not a good sign. But the swaying of Oprah should tell us all something: this man was in error, and he has a habit of being in error.

An ardent campaigner for social justice, particularly on immigration and same-sex marriage, Chicago-born Curry, himself a descendent of slaves, did not tone down his passionate message of the social and political power of love in order to align with the reserve of his pale and stately onlookers. He did not filter. He did it black, with music in his arms, and rhythm in his voice, and a looseness and openness in his face that supposed an almost familial acquaintance with his audience.

In his world, words do not travel alone from the mouth, with just their letters and their grammar for company. Here the body comes too, giving life to the words, lifting them into the air to float and dance into comprehension and human feeling. For Zara Tindall, captured open-mouthed in her pricey, shiny teal in the pews, it was something to behold.

The expressions on the faces of the congregation around the church were also something to behold, ranging from empathy to bemusement to confusion to downright scorn. Four minutes in, Camilla Parker Bowles’s ludicrous hat was trembling as she held down her head: was she laughing? Prince Charles was also bowed, red around the ears, more so than usual: was he?

There was half a smirk at the Duchess of Cambridge’s mouth, and, when Curry exclaimed: “Oh that’s the balm in Gilead!”, throwing up his hands in emphasis, the Queen straightened in her chair, purse-lipped. Meanwhile, Oprah swayed.

Afan Hirsch, Guardian

I don’t particularly like American preaching. It is too long, too rambling. White or Black. But I tolerate it. What I don’t tolerate is heresy dressed in robes of righteousness. By flirting with progressive movements, Curry is heading that way.

Oprah is a bellweather. If she agrees with something, it is from the pit. May she repent, and be not like that. But neither should we be.

In the meantime, the head of the Anglican Church, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, may quietly encourage the church do to what the African Anglcians — according to my mate the local archdeacon who spent decades there– want.

Divorce the Episcopalians and declare the United States a mission field.

Perhaps Curry was inadvertently doing God’s work.


  1. Please declare us a mission field, we need the help.

    I LIKE a good long sermon, have you ever listened to videos of Voddie Baucham? If I don’t feel convicted by the time they’re done, why did I show up to church? But my earliest church memories include preachers who actually DID pound the pulpit.

    Maybe the royals hadn’t ever heard a proper sermon before and this was the closest they’d come. We can hope for some real preaching at some point – but I don’t think it’s going to come from an Episcopalian.

    Oh. ITA on Oprah. I always question myself if I like anything she also likes.

  2. Not sure if you are aware, but wordpress won’t let me follow your site in their reader. Says there are no feeds available in my language. Which is weird, since my language is English.

    Just wanted to let you know.

    I am not connected to jetpack, yet. Plugin incompatibility: update. Jetpack is now up by the link is changed to blog.pukeko.net.nz

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