Meet Bishop Achrestos

If it needs to be said, this author is a devotee of satire and a friend of useful cynicism. I sincerely hope that there is no bishop anywhere actually named Achrestos.

(The term is  New Testament Greek for “unprofitable,  useless “)

Let me introduce you to Bishop Achrestos. The first things you should know about him is that he is committed to the virtues of a balanced life, keeping the order of the church, knowledge of Scripture, and he is a defender of every Christian doctrine.
Bishop Achrestos is a model of balance in the Christian life. He always avoids extremes; never leaning too much toward one side or another. This devotion to the balanced life is even evident in his appearance. He wears on one hand a large silver ring which is matched precisely with another silver ring on the other hand. One wrist bears the weight of a large silver watch which is counterbalanced on the other wrist with an equally weighty silver bracelet. To accentuate the symmetry a cross of costly silver rests at the center of his chest. His appearance commemorates that the bishop is committed to the virtue of a balanced life.
Likewise is his devotion to order. Chaos is not of God, so all things must be done in order. Once a year, at the appointed time, he sits down to consider which clergy would best serve each of the churches. He arranges his advisors–six on the side of the silver watch and six at the bracelet–for Bishop Achrestos is dedicated to the virtue of balance. The list of churches under his charge is placed on one side and the list of clergy in his care on the other. Each list is prepared in a most thorough numerical order, for Bishop Achrestos does all things in order. The churches are in numerical sequence from greatest to least according to the revenue generated in the last year. The clergy from greatest to least in a like manner. Quite orderly, the churches and clergy are provided for in order from greatest to least. To those who have much silver, much is given. To those who have produced little, what they have may be taken away. For this is what Scripture says, and Bishop Achrestos is faithful to Scripture. If one has any doubt then they need only ask him.
The bishop is loyal to every Christian doctrine, and I do mean every Christian doctrine. Jesus is God. Jesus is not God. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus’ death is just a moral example. There is a heaven and a hell. The Christian faith is not about going to heaven and there is no literal hell. Bishop Achrestos is such a lover of Christian Doctrine that he can defend any of them in a moment: often switching opinions in mid sentence without ever abandoning his convictions.
There is no greater defender of the faith and order than Bishop Achrestos. He boldly keeps his vows as bishop in defending the faith and order of the church without concern for the opinions of others (except, understandably, on those points which are in dispute at the moment). His loyalty is like that of the proverbial General to the State who defends the line at all costs except at those places where it is under attack.
The clergy under his care have become exemplars of holiness. In part because the justice of Bishop Achrestos is marked by its Biblically informed mercy and equality. So he generously allows a pastor to remain in the pulpit even when she mistakenly believes that another pastor’s husband is a suitable candidate for dating. Equally, he allows a married pastor to continue in the pulpit even when he mistakenly continues dating after he is married. Because, surely she mistakenly believed that the gold ring on one hand was there to balance the ring on the other hand  (she is committed to the balanced life which Achrestos embodies) and he mistakenly believed he was with his wife. We all make mistakes. That is what Scripture says, and Bishop Achrestos is devoted to Scripture. If anyone doubts, they need only ask him.

 

 

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