It's not only Anglicans who are weird it seems.
Have a look at the cultic language in this little pastoral epistle, and have a guess at its provenance.
Leadership is being challenged - - - egad not leadership! Persecution is ahead! Satan is behind it all. Fast and pray!
The author, David Wells, is "pastor" at St Mark's Community Church in the little township (blink and you'll miss it) of Te Kowhai in the rural heartland of the North Waikato, not too far from the city of my birth. You'll understand then that I was mildly intrigued.
Even more so when I read Alistair McBride's name in this press report from the local paper. McBride, who 'oversees' St Marks, is a fine bloke who I've met before and even shared some committee work with in times long past (the focus was education, not religion.) He is also the minister at the church my sister attends, and describes himself as a "Presbyterian minister, baby-boomer, socialist leaning bridge playing whisky drinking fencer." Alistair is anything but a fundamentalist.
And the "crisis" that sparked off Mr Wells' purple prose? A couple who wanted their marriage ceremony performed by the previous minister who had served St Marks for a quarter century. Oh the carnal wickedness of such a desire! Satan was surely working overtime on that one.
Wells is not listed on the register of Presbyterian clergy, and the lack of a 'rev' in front of his name indicates he may be an overly enthusiastic amateur, or even worse, a Methodist. But, dear lord, even so is that any excuse?
Leadership is a trip-wire word here. Hear a preacher - any preacher - use it to boost their authority and sound the alarms, then run like the blazes, for nothing good will come of it.
Apparently even in a "quaint" little community church affiliated with mainline denominations.
(Heads up to "he who recently emerged from muddy waters" - who drew my attention to the press report.)