Times are indeed tumultuous in the ‘spiritual world’’ with the Anglicans splitting into two groups; those willing to adjust to the ‘new world’ and those wishing to stick with a more ‘as they see,’ literal interpretation of the Bible. Then we have the spectre of the ‘glitz and glam’ of the good old Destiny Church led by that ‘icon’ Brian Tamaki, as he launches a huge venture named, ‘The City of God,’ paid for by his dwindling number (According to the Herald) of followers.
The comparison could not be starker. On the one hand we have the traditional, some would say, ‘founding church of NZ,’ struggling with this dilemma---‘what to do about the gay issue?’ The latter is a genuine debate, casing a great deal of angst, both amongst the hierarchy of the church and the congregations. It seems that in the bigger cities, the more liberal the interpretation, but once you hit the suburbs and smaller cities and towns, things go the other way. In the meantime the membership bleeds. An answer will be fund and the church may look a little slimmer re the numbers, further enhancing the position of the ever growing Catholic faith. Perhaps that church is being well served by the ministrations and views of the new Pope and some would say, a little unkindly, the views re contraception, as always espoused.
Destiny has always been controversial; some labelling it as little more than a modern-day cult. It tried to enter politics but the public would not have a bar of that. It has launched various social programmes that I cynically label as nothing more than attempts to ’grow the church.’ It has also had to close many ‘branches’ as finances an internal splits surface. In a last ditch attempt to regain the fold, Tamaki is about to celebrate 30 years of ministry, by opening his ‘City of God.’ Time will tell if he can manage to save his empire, by spending up large (much of the money coming from his ‘poor’ followers,’ who he demands pay $1000 from each family; the very people who cannot afford such amounts.
So while the Anglicans beat their cheats about gays, Destiny launches an Orwellian community, aimed at providing spiritual control and power to one man! (Not God) Yes, a stark difference indeed.