[FT] Address by Irish Quaker Missionary Physician

Joe Ginder joe.ginder at lbfc.org
Tue Oct 27 12:08:42 PDT 2009

Well, Larry, not to be disagreeable, but I've heard that quote from you
before.  That's what you say when you have no evidence to present that
things actually are wrong-headed in the way you suggested - when you're left
with only your presuppositions.  What started this discussion was the
question of whether or not there was some territoriality principle among
Quakers that made it somehow less than proper for EFI missionaries to be in
Ireland.  I said a qualified "no" while agreeing that your cautions are
worthwhile, if not particularly germane to the question.

God is moving across the face of history in his creation, and neither Oliver
Cromwell nor the citizens of Edinburgh could stop him or in the end claim to
have been as aligned with him as they thought they might be.  Humans attempt
to "use" God all the time.  I do note and appreciate your usual irony in
presenting words like this from the mouth of a Cromwell.  It's just that
there's not a parallel affront to Irish Friends by EFI missionaries.  I'd
venture a guess that the alignment of either party in the discussion could
stand some trimming.  And may the trimming begin.

--Joe Ginder

> -----Original Message-----
> From: friends-theology-bounces at quakerchristian.net 
> [mailto:friends-theology-bounces at quakerchristian.net] On 
> Behalf Of Larry Ingle
> Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:18 AM
> To: A list for discussing Friends theology.
> Subject: Re: [FT] Address by Irish Quaker Missionary Physician
> All I am trying to say is that we need to be aware of how the 
> highest of motives can be corrupted, even in the best of 
> human beings.  That's as true for those associated with the 
> missionary movement within EFI as among Roman Catholics and 
> their hierarchy.  It's also equally valid for unprogramed 
> "liberal" Friends.
> As Oliver Cromwell told the Church of Scotland in the 
> mid-1650s, "I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, consider 
> that ye may be mistaken."
> For what it's worth.
> Larry Ingle
> Chattanooga Meeting (SAYMA)
> On 10/27/09 12:25 PM, "Joe Ginder" <joe.ginder at lbfc.org> wrote:
> > Larry Ingle wrote:
> >> Being somewhat more cynical than Joe Ginder apparently is, 
> I find, at 
> >> best, the Pope's motives to be mixed, at worst, like those 
> described 
> >> above.
> > 
> > Gee, I thought we were talking theory and possibility 
> there.  I don't 
> > know the pope.  He's not particularly germane to EFI 
> missionaries in Ireland.
> > 
> >> The result, as I see it, is that the theological 
> justifications that 
> >> Joe Ginder elucidated in his first message might amount to a cover 
> >> for ulterior ends.
> > 
> > Any nice-sounding statement can be a cover for ulterior 
> motives.  It 
> > can also be transparent and without duplicity.
> > 
> >> One of George Fox's great contributions, seldom heralded 
> these days, 
> >> was that he saw that priests in the institutional church 
> would soon 
> >> work for the institution and its ends rather than the Christ that 
> >> brought the church into existence, a fact pointing to its 
> apostasy.  
> >> And they would find ways to justify their derelictions rooted in 
> >> high-sounding words that supposedly echoed his.  Sin, Fox 
> knew, can 
> >> enter the most sacred precincts and contaminate its officials, 
> >> leading them inevitably to rationalize their stances in 
> this fashion.
> > 
> > I agree entirely.  I note that this was in the context of people 
> > gaining worldly goods through the institutional church 
> rather than in 
> > the context of serving sacrificially for the benefit of others.
> > 
> >> All I am suggesting is that the EFIC's "missions" in 
> Ireland may fall 
> >> victim to the same temptation.
> > 
> > Well, actually having met and knowing something of these specific 
> > missionaries who work through EFM (the EFI North America mission
> > organization) and how they operate and are funded, I find this 
> > suggestion, ...er, rather unlikely.  These missionaries raise their 
> > own support and serve in a manner much less "profitable" 
> for them than 
> > just staying back home in the United States would be at the sort of 
> > work they did here.  EFI has no political or territorial 
> goals, short 
> > of ushering in the kingdom of God.  There's no money 
> flowing back to 
> > EFI.  There's no political influence being wielded by EFI bishops.  
> > EFM is something much different from the institutional 
> church in Fox's 
> > day and the missionaries are not much like the "priests".  
> They're much more like George Fox.
> > 
> > "same temptation"???  I'm sure there are temptations, as 
> there are in 
> > any setting.  Cynicism is one of them.
> > 
> > --Joe Ginder
> > 
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