Thinking Anglicans

Evangelical, Broad and Catholic Anglicans Working Together for an Inclusive Future


History was made on Saturday 4 June when representatives of 14 organisations from the full span of Anglican Communion tradition took part in a partnership and strategy day, organised by InclusiveChurch at All Saints Church, Fulham.

Representatives of organisations as diverse as Accepting Evangelicals, the Society of Catholic Priests, the Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians and Affirming Catholicism met with representatives from LGCM: Anglican Matters, the Modern Church People’s Union, Progressive Christianity Network, WATCH, Changing Attitude and others to deepen existing partnerships and to develop concrete strategies for joint action.

Erica Wooff, National Coordinator of InclusiveChurch, said:

‘We are a network of partner organisations and individuals whose very make-up reflects the breadth and scope of the Church of England and beyond. We come from differing traditions and differing locations today, but we are united in one aim: To celebrate and maintain the traditional inclusivity and diversity of the Anglican Church.

Revd. Giles Goddard, Executive Secretary of InclusiveChurch, said:

‘If we are to be faithful to the Gospel and to our Anglican traditions, it is essential that we celebrate the ministry of women as bishops without reservation, of lesbian and gay people on equal terms with the rest of the world, of people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. We hope that the upcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council will be robust in their rejection of anything which might limit Anglican diversity.’

As the first joint action following the partnership day, InclusiveChurch and its partner organisations will be present at the ACC meeting in Nottingham and will be urging ACC members to ask all Provinces in the Anglican Communion to begin a process of genuinely listening to and seeking to understand, first-hand, the experience and theological positions of lesbian and gay Christians – a process that has been woefully lacking to date.

For further information contact Rev. Giles Goddard at giles@inclusivechurch.net or on 07762 373 674 (m); or Rev. Dr. Giles Fraser at giles.fraser@btinternet.com or on 07811 444 011(m).

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J. C. Fisher
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Maybe that’s why God made some of us queer: to be a *bridge* between the High, the Low, and the Broad. 😉

Give God the Glory!

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

I hope Revd Fraser’s email is working, as on another occasion I failed to get any response from him in 4 times of trying.

James Fletcher Baxter
Guest

God didn’t make us sinners: He gave us the ability to choose,,, The HUMAN PARADIGM Consider: The way we define ‘human’ determines our view of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and future. Important? Only the Creator who made us in His own image is qualified to define us accurately. Choose wisely… there are results. Human is earth’s Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by nature and nature’s God a creature of Choice – and of Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural foundation of his environments, institutions, and respectful relations to… Read more »

Sean Doherty
Guest

If God made some people queer that would make him either

a) a complete bastard for inspiring the Bible and not making it a mighty sight clearer;

b) not the inspirer of the Bible.

I don’t mind which one of these you pick but I think your comment nicely illustrates that to hold such a position you have to depart signicantly from at least one major Christian doctrine.

Merseymike
Guest

Depends what you mean by ‘inspired’

I am quite sure that the authors of the Bible were inspired by their faith to write as they did.

I am equally sure that the production of the bible in the sense of the actual words was their production,and theirs alone. In other words, inspiration does not indicate authorship of the woprds, nor even direct ‘inspiration ‘of the words themselves.

Elementary liberal theology, Sean.

And I am equally convinced God made me the person I am, a gay man.

Oh, Sean, left-wingers these days support gay rights. I think you need another self-definition. Right-wing,perhaps?

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“a complete bastard for inspiring the Bible and not making it a mighty sight clearer” None so blind as those who would not see? [I’m not, FWIW, talking about the Bible having a “plain meaning”. I’m talking about wrestling with the text/wrestling with God—God can take it! *g*—through which God provides (along w/ our brothers&sisters, present and past) *illumination* . . . in order to struggle with/grow with/LOVE God, further . . . “until God shall be All-in-All”] My God is not a god of false dichotomies, Sean. (and my queerness is a GIFT—no more and no less than is… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Mike- Im not sure you have taken on board the inherent difficulties in talking the language of ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’: (1) It’s stereotyping, and stereotypes are rarely accurate. (2) It’s polarising: in other words it sees things as black and white in a way liberals are not supposed to do. (3) It presupposes that people are ideologues rather than truth-seekers. Some people are indeed ideologues, and they are precisely the ones whom one should not listen to, since they know what they are going to conclude before they start. (4) Re truth-seekers, it ignores the fact that… Read more »

Sean Doherty
Guest

“None so blind as those who would not see?” How little you know me! I have wrestled with this question very personally and with great sadness. It is not so much a question of not being willing to see, as simply not seeing because what on some levels I would like to see is just not there. Mike: of course it depends what you mean by inspired. And you have every right to use the definition you give. All I was doing was illustrating that to hold the view that J C Fisher argued for necessitates a significant departure from… Read more »

Observer
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Observer

“Representatives of organisations as diverse as Accepting Evangelicals,” i.e Liberal Evangelicals “the Society of Catholic Priests,” i.e Liberal Catholics “the Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians” i.e Liberal Evangelicals “and Affirming Catholicism” i.e Liberal Catholics “met with representatives from LGCM: Anglican Matters,” i.e. Liberals “the Modern Church People’s Union,” i.e. Liberals “Progressive Christianity Network,” i.e. Liberals “WATCH,” i.e. Liberals “Changing Attitude” i.e Liberals “and others to deepen existing partnerships and to develop concrete strategies for joint action.” i.e. a Pan-Liberal Alliance. Some diversity!

Merseymike
Guest

Sean ; ah yes, the Pete Broadbent position – liberal outside the church, conservative within – which I suppose is OK if you think like that.

And you are right, I donot subscribe to traditional/historic Christianity because I am a liberal revisionist and proud to be so!

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“How little you know me!”

Funny, Sean: I was thinking *exactly* the same thing.

. . . but God sees each of us—LOVES each of us—perfectly.

May we see each other through God’s eyes—may we see Christ in each other!

Sean Doherty
Guest

“. . . but God sees each of us—LOVES each of us—perfectly.”

Well, I certainly agree about that!!!

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Mike-

Have you any thoughts on why ppl who distance themselves from what we are terming ‘historic’ Christianity are nevertheless so anxious to be known as ‘Christians’? In what sense is this an accurate description of them?

If we are out of continuity with (and to a large dgree in dispute with) other Machiavellians, then that makes us not Machiavellians. If we are out of continuity with (or in dispute with) star-worshippers, then we’re not likely to claim to be star-worshippers ourselves. Isnt that common sense?

Scotus
Guest
Scotus

“If we are out of continuity with (and to a large dgree in dispute with) other Machiavellians, then that makes us not Machiavellians. If we are out of continuity with (or in dispute with) star-worshippers, then we’re not likely to claim to be star-worshippers ourselves. Isnt that common sense?” No; it conflates and mistakes “continuity” with “sameness.” 10th century France is continuous with 15th century France, and both are continuous with 21st century France — yet they are all definitely not identical, and differ in significant ways. Who I was at 10 years old is not who I am now… Read more »

Rodney McInnes
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Rodney McInnes

In response to Christopher’s question (9 June)- I can’t speak for Mike, but he and I seem to share much the same position, so I’ll try to answer your question from my experience in a different way from Scotus’s excellent response (I couldn’t put it so well). We call ourselves ‘Christian’ because we, too, have met in Jesus of Nazareth ‘I AM’ (Exodus 3:13-14). We are drawn into ‘the Way’ to the Father and do our best to follow it even when it is shrouded in doubt and darkness. Some of us prefer the doubt, the ‘unknowing’, to the certainty… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Scotus- Denying anyone the label ‘Christian’ has no connection with the agape test, for several reasons: (1) If I accede to the view that someone can be a member of a body by virtue of saying they are, then I am perpetuating an untruth, which would universally be agreed to be an untruth. I can say ‘I am a member of the MCC’ till I am blue in the face, but that won’t stop me being barred from the pavilion. (2) It is harmful to people to say that they can attain a status merely by wanting to attain… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Rodney- Jesus-as-I-AM and Jesus-as-the-Way are both ideas we get from John’s gospel. I thought liberals were inclined to doubt the historicity of much even in the more historical gospels. How much more then (to be consistent) ought they to doubt it with regard to the least historical gospel, John? If one’s going to be pick and mix, one should ‘pick’ the passages with best claim to historicity. What must trouble anyone about liberal interpretation is that they often ‘pick’ the passages wherein Jesus is most like them: ‘neither do I condemn you’, ‘Judge not’, ‘God is love’. This is,… Read more »

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Merseymike wrote: “Sean ; ah yes, the Pete Broadbent position – liberal outside the church, conservative within – which I suppose is OK if you think like that.” My recollection is that when he was active in secular politics Pete Broadbent was a labour councillor, back in the pre-“Bliar” days when the Labour Party had some claim to be social democratic or maybe even socialist. My position, strangely enough, is the same as Sean’s. I might also add that, as a trade union activist, I have constantly supported the right of gay people to be free from discrimination in the… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hi Scotus

France is a political concept. It is France because of the historical continuity of it’s politics from the original definition of France (originally the Frankish tribe round the Paris area I think).

There are some people in Switzerland and Belgium who speak French, are culturally close to the French and have French ancestors. But they are NOT in France, nor do they have French citizenship, even though they might want to be!

Christianity is a beliefs/morals concept. I think most TAs will see the parallels….

Bob Webster
Guest
Bob Webster

Dear DGus, [What does D stand for? It feels awkward to have a conversation with an initial. Thanks] This information comes from Biological studies. One good summary of this information can be found in Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden. Again we face the problem of what we mean by revealed truth. I think the truth God reveals to us can only be received within the limits of our current knowledge. I think this is one of the rationales for Hooker’s notion of Scripture informed by reason. Are we not to continue gleaning deeper meanings from scripture as a result of… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest

Thats up to you , Alan. I would prefer to be represented by someone who genuinely believes in equality and fairness. I think evangelical Christianity is inimical to both things; hence I don’t believe in a ‘revealed religion’, I believe in a dynamic religion which urgently requires revision!

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Merseymike wrote: “I would prefer to be represented by someone who genuinely believes in equality and fairness. I think evangelical Christianity is inimical to both things” I’m not sure why Merseymike doesn’t think that I believe in equality and fairness. Maybe a couple of decades of trade union activity indicates the contrary, but I’ll let that pass. Nor do I quite understand the reference to “evangelical Christianity”. I’m not an evangelical, but a thorough spike of the most papistical kind. What Merseymike and some others don’t seem to take into account is that the “traditional” position extends well beyond “Anglican… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest

Oh, a Backwoods in Bigotry groupie, eh?

Does your lack of belief in equality extend to women in the church, as well as gays?

I’m glad you’re not my trade union rep. I’d certainly stand against you if I were in your workplace. Conervative Christians of any description cannot be trusted to leave their religious dogmas behind them .

DGus
Guest
DGus

Dear Bob Webster:

Hello. You asked, “What does D stand for?”

It’s “David”. I’m sorry for ignoring this post. I didn’t see it until today. Did you maybe mean to put it in the Hooker thread? That conversation continues. See you there.