Thinking Anglicans

opinions on the Saturday after Easter

The Times today carries an article by Andrew Linzey entitled ‘The logic of all purity movements is to exclude’. The strapline reads Our correspondent suggests that Anglicans listen to the Holy Spirit, and not to the schismatic fundamentalists. No doubt TA readers will have something to say about this…

The Credo column is by Rod Strange, The doubt of Thomas was not a lack of faith but a deeper love.

In the Guardian the Face to Faith column is also critical of dogmatism. David Haslam writes that The risks of rigid methods of parenting have echoes in the dangers of the more dogmatic forms of religion.

Madeleine Bunting had a really interesting article on Friday about the Anglican church angles on The constitutional crisis we face when the Queen is gone.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Yorkshire’s own chosen Emperor. The exhibition to which he refers Constantine the Great has its own website here.

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
26 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
17 Comment authors
DaveGöran Koch-SwahneJ. C. FisherJohn Henrydrdanfee Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
RMF
Guest
RMF

I echo the words of Professor Linzey and observe that there may be a creeping fear in the deliberations of the Communion that we cannot apply reason to Scripture and tradition, and indeed, that we act as if we have not been doing this all along, and that if we persist in the foolishness of applying reason well, then we are done for. The impulse to apply reason is decidedly Anglican. I suppose a fundamentalist impulse is as well, but it has always run parallel to the tenet to not only tolerate diversity but to encourage it. Perhaps it was… Read more »

Byron
Guest
Byron

Professor Linzey is right on and gives me hope. I stumbled upon a blog emanating out of Oxford University with quite an opposite view – a real pit of vipers, I must say. So it gives comfort to see that temperate and spirit-filled voices such as Linzey’s are finding outlet and being heard. I pray for the evangelicals that they repent for their hard-heartedness and for their legalism. And I pray for the steadfastness of the people of love and inclusion.

Tim
Guest

“Not all truth is given in the past; the Spirit has something to teach us in the present. All innovations should be tested, but it is a mistake to assume that all development is infidelity.”

Hallelujah!

I’d go so far as to say all traditions should be reviewed occasionally, too.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Thanks for the links Simon, Linzey’s article is excellent. It has only been in recent years that it has been possible to take the misuse of power and abuse by predatory priests within the church hierarchy. Without the secular state and secular humanists, there would have been no checks or controls to expose or limit their vitriole as this poison is eliminated from our church structures. If God had not want them exposed He would not have allowed the internet nor bloggers to be created. It has only been through fear of external sanctions that some dioceses have put in… Read more »

Neil B
Guest
Neil B

“….the issues are not the same. In Fosdick’s day, the wedges were biblical inerrancy, the Virgin Birth, the literal Second Coming and a theory of the atonement called “penal substitution”.” Really? They sound quite familiar issues today. ““Sex inside marriage is holy, sex outside marriage is unholy” now strains credulity.” What? Since when? Linzey seems to exist in a parallel universe which denies the reality of the Anglican Communion and just attempting to discredit the majority by calling them “fundamentalist” is really pathetic. The fundamentalists today are those who cannot tolerate anything except liberalism. I can agree with the strap… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Tongue in cheek: thank goodness we have the literalists who can guarantee through their absolute scriptural authority that the Holy Spirit is a He. May they continue to construct and describe their perfect image of God whilst us other less enlightened souls continue our contemplations because we find God too big to fully comprehend.

Ian Montgomery
Guest
Ian Montgomery

Neil B writes: Linzey seems to exist in a parallel universe which denies the reality of the Anglican Communion and just attempting to discredit the majority by calling them “fundamentalist” is really pathetic. The fundamentalists today are those who cannot tolerate anything except liberalism. I can agree with the strap line mind you: listening to the Holy Spirit as He speaks through Scripture is a pretty excellent idea for Anglicans… Thank you Neil. The 1979 BCP is clear about the Spirit and Scripture (from the outline of the Faith) Q. How do we recognize the truths taught by the Holy… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Which world is Prof Linzey living in ? He wrote: “In previous decades disagreements about sexuality bothered Anglicans, but the idea that they merited schism would have been regarded as preposterous. That we are now at this point indicates the near triumph of the exclusivist tendency.” Right ? Err, wrong ! Unless I was fantasising it all, this crisis was brought about by the dominant so called “inclusive” tendency in ECUSA – who decided to override scripture, and the communion’s expressed will, by consecrating a bishop living in a homosexual partnership.. And I love the strap line: ‘The logic of… Read more »

Dave C.
Guest
Dave C.

Linzey: “There is one sure way of testing the Spirit: do our beliefs lead to an increase in injustice, bigotry and suffering? If they do, they simply cannot be reconciled with the workings of the creative, compassionate Spirit promised to us.” Paul: Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:22 But the… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘In previous decades disagreements about sexuality bothered Anglicans, but the idea that they merited schism would have been regarded as preposterous. That we are now at this point indicates the near triumph of the exclusivist tendency.’ I agree that it is rather odd for narrow minded bigots to be wanting to split the church over homosexuality, but there is a huge difference these days to previous decades. The post contraceptive pill, and now post HIV/AIDS world, has led to much greater openness and honesty where things previously were hidden or implicit. Not everybody is agreed about what the ‘rules’ currently… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I don’t remember liberal Anglicans recommending the exclusion of others. I do remember them standing up to protect pots that are discarded by others. I do remember them advocating diversity and tolerance. I do remember them challenging exclusionists projecting their agenda onto the “other”. Some people seem to assume that when they are debating with an alternative, that the alternative is playing by the same rules that they have embraced. That is called projection and an erroneous assumption in this debate. One side is advocating a diverse and broad tent communion, where alternatives are heard and shared. The other is… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

I fully concur with Professor Linzey in his assessment of the situation within the Anglican Communion. I have never met a more judgmental lot than the ‘reasserters’. I don’t think that their judgmentalism expresses the love of Christ. They take 1 Cor. 5 as an absolute mandate – expel from the Church all the sexually impure and deviant. Michael Ramsey, in many of his talks about the Spirit of Anglicanism, mentions the possibility of the ‘purists’ expelling all adulterers, fornicators and sexually impure. What does the Church gain by doing that? he asked. His answer: the prideful and the self-righteous.… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear John, Cheryl, and Neil, it seems that hostility is not the exclusive preserve of conservatives! Neither is exclusion – though liberals tend to call it “excluded themselves” when someone can’t accept what liberals want, and “being excluded” when someone can’t accept what non-liberals want. I rejoice in Anglicanism being a broad *church*. But don’t forget that being a church has a definition; ie believing and behaving *within* reasonable interpretations of the teachings of Christ and the Apostles (you remember, the foundation and founders of the Church?). Prof Linzey and many other “liberals” don’t seem to want so much a… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Re Galatians and Dave C The sort of sexual behaviour (homo or heterosexual) St. Paul condemns is when it is in the context of/contributes to the sins listed in Galatians 19/20/21. The Christian vocation is to be faithful kind gentle loving etc. (Galatians 22/23) in all things, including sexuality. The unkind and uncontrolled bigotry which condemns the beautiful creatures God has created to be beautifully homosexual and heterosexual, seems not to realise that Christian faithfulness requires a turning towards God which makes people flourish and joyous. The vocation is to become the best, loving, kind, faithful, *practising* homosexual it is… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Neil, Christ and St Paul taught that adultery is always wrong and the divorce and remarriage is wrong except in some limited circumstances. My interpretation is that marriage should be supported as far as possible, separation undertaken with a view to finding a way back together, and remarriage only considered when the other partner has rejected you and found someone else. I know that many people join churches in all sorts of relationships, some maybe like the woman at the well who had had 5 husbands and the man she had was not her husband. Jesus welcomed and proclaimed… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Dear Dave,

Some people do indeed change from homo to heterosexual and vice versa, and modern research is assisting us greatly in understanding the complexities involved. But, in the majority of cases, it SEEMS (well, it does to me!) that orientation is more fixed than you believe. So, why change the wonderful way in which you have been created…except to be gloriously the best posssible? And if God has gifted some people to be gay, I guess we have to celebrate this treat the mystery of who they are with respect and kindness

lapsang
Guest
lapsang

I am glad that Dave mentions the woman at the well. Jesus used her as an Apostle to the Samaritans (John 4:39) so I think it shows that Jesus did not insist that even his Apostles should fit the conventional one man-one woman pattern of family life before they were fit to be used to spread the Gospel.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

So, Dave – what would you actually like to do with the liberals who simply don’t agree with you and refuse to go along with your views?

I’ve done it for you, incidentally – as I no longer attend an Anglican church and won’t be doing so again until this situation is resolved in a direction I consider acceptable.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Dave asked: How come the only thing that can’t change is the homosexual bit if you? First, this is absurb on the face of it. I also cannot change my height, my shoe size, my eye color, my fingerprints, my DNA, and a gazillion other things that are part of who God made me. Of course, I can make it appear to you that I have changed my hair color, by using any of those products in the “beauty” aisle. Dave, do you believe you could change your sexual orientation? or is it an innate part of who you are?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

We will hardly make much progress in our task of learning how to live together as traditional and non-traditional believers, if we keep on the way we are currently going as Anglicans. We are ill-advised to so solely devote ourselves to the currently very fashionable culture and church war about which camp of believers gets to define the other. I believe the New Testament tells a surprisingly similar story about when the disciples come to Jesus, asking who shall be the greatest in the Kingdom? I believe that several times the disciples were trying to maneuver and jockey for advantage… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

“I imagine a lot less trashing of Queer Folk and of Liberal Believers, and a whole lot more trusting of God to still be God.” Well said, Drdanfee! Sadly, there is so little love of God in the ‘reasserter’ purists, whose sole ambition, as self-appointed ‘God-squad’, is to exclude – today gays and lesbians and transgendered folk, tomorrow divorced and remarried persons who are unrepentantly living in sin, the day after tomorrow those who engage in interfaith dialogue with Jews and Muslims because by dialoguing they supposedly deny that Christ is the only “way, the truth, and the life.” Not… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Reasserter terminology is positively Orwellian: to include LGBTs, is to “exclude the orthodox”. Whereas the reasserter version of “inclusion” is, at most, like this: the Archbishop of Sydney, whom I recently read quoted as saying “If I see a homosexual person presenting himself for communion, I may afterward ask him ‘What do you mean by that?'” Exsqueeze me? What does *any* of us mean by that, except that we SINNERS ALL are responding to CHRIST’S INVITATION that we “Take and Eat”! *This* is what reasserters so object to: in TEC’s vision of the Church—a vision thoroughly grounded in Scripture, Tradition… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Oh, and one more thing: “Above all, we will not be excommunicated from US and Canada. We shall fight and fight and fight again to save the Church we love.” That really is the bottomline, isn’t it? When others have gone off (even “gone off to Lambeth”, sadly) to have their Purity Cult, some of us have to *insist* on remaining ONE IN CHRIST (if not in the majoritarian AC). And as long as we look to CHRIST ALONE for our unity, then I have no doubts that in that “fight and fight and fight again” we *shall*, by God’s… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Neil, I know that sexuality is often quite fixed, but so are many other psychological attributes. However the arguement for blessing gay sexual partnerships is regularly made on the grounds that sexuality is ‘fixed’ and that homosexuality and heterosexuality are two equal and mutually exclusive versions of sexual “love”. In fact that is not true. Many people’s sexuality (in the broader sense of the word) does change during life. It is formed, and can change, for all sorts of reasons – such as experience, psychological factors (not all negative I hasten to add) and societal factors. I would add… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Dave wrote: “isn’t it wonderful that God, by His Grace, can use us sinners to bless other people!”

Actually, I can’t see that you are blessing anybody.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Göran, I’m happy to report that people here would disagree. God does use sinners – even me!!