Sunday, January 08, 2012

Magellan?

It being a Sunday, I popped into a church this morning - Union Chapel, right next to Revolver. A small Nepali-language congregation - seven - but there's another church two houses down with a later service, which was hopping when I walked by later. Both are Church of North India, a union of Protestant churches (including Anglican/Episcopal) consolidated 40 years ago, whose mission statement, according to their website, is:

The Church of North India as a United and Uniting together is committed to announce the Good News of the reign of God inaugurated through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in proclamation and to demonstrate in actions to restore the integrity of Gods creation through continuous struggle against the demonic powers by breaking down the barriers of caste, class, gender, economic inequality and exploitation of the nature.

Hmmm, those are certainly powers worth struggling against, and the bits of today's sermon which the priest sent my way in English were all about addressing the material as well as spiritual hunger of the world. What does "demonic" add in the context of the experience of Indian Christians? Also on their website was something even harder to scan:
 
What? Which church says the world is flat? A websearch reveals that the quote - presumably being challenged, not endorsed, here - is apparently from Ferdinand Magellan, and popular among t-shirt atheists. Is it so well known, in this connection or another, in India that it can be offered without commentary? What are we supposed to take from this "quote of the day"? Seems like a slogan for lived religion to me...

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