Thinking Anglicans

From Calvary to Lambeth

This widely-trailed radio programme is available on the web for one week, under the BBC’s Listen Again system.

Go here to listen to it (40 minutes long). BBC blurb:

Michael Buerk reports on the divide over homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Church. He talks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who expresses his feelings of shame over homophobia.

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Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Am I the only listener to have been incensed (with anger, that is!) when My Lord Carey opined that it is a mistake to view equal treatment for gay people as a human rights issue? I couldn’t believe he said that. He clearly has not the slightest hint of any empathy for what it might be like to be a gay person. It was no surprise to hear Anne Widdecombe showing her lack of empathy, or Stephen Green, or Chris Sugden. But to hear a former chief pastor speaking in a way that shows he had never seen life through… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

I have yet to listen but a well known journalist emailed us this morning with this – the subject was: Seething!!! “”Why am I seething? I have just been listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme “From Calvary to Lambeth” – sub-title Michael Buerk talks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I looked forward to hearing what Desmond Tutu had to say about the divisions in the Church of England. What he did say was quite lovely, but he was only allocated 7’32 seconds (broken up into 11 clips) edited from an earlier interview with Michael Buerk which had taken place in… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I couldn’t believe he said that. “ Why not? I’m sure, given all the listening we have been assured the Right has done, he must have all the information he needs to make such a statement. Surely he is aware of the issues, no. I mean, no Anglican bishiop would make a public statement without having first checked the accuracy of it, would he? In can’t think of one bishop on the Right who has ever said anything ill informed about gay people. They have been listening to us for the past 30 years in accord with Lambeth, thus making… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

On Tutu and Carey, Take a big breath! Talk about reading/hearing things through one’s own filter. Ab Carey was certainly not saying that one should not stand for the well-being or rights of homosexuals. In context he goes on to say they should have their full place in society like any other people. We need more than reaction here . . . think twice and speak. What is the issue within and for the church? The issue for Carey is does the church stand with scripture on a line of teaching that goes from creation in Genesis through Jesus to… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Polity….human rights….modern society….anything but what the bible says is so often brought up as a supposed argument for the AC to condone behaviour our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture”. Now, is it against his human rights to say to a man living with a woman and not married to her (“living in sin”), practising sex outside marriage, that he is not eligible to be ordained? If it is not against his human rights, it cannot be against the human rights of another person who practises sex outside Christian marriage to say they cannot be ordained – can… Read more »

Leslie Fletcher
Guest
Leslie Fletcher

I was particularly annoyed and disappointed by the lack of balance. There were half a dozen conservative voices and just one liberal voice. While the esteem in which Desmond Tutu is held by the world at large may be an order of magnitude greater than the total which the other participants can muster, the implication appeared to be that within the Anglican Communion he is heavily outnumbered in proclaiming an inclusive gospel.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Tutu and Buerk shredded Sugden on the origin of Anglicanism. However I was amazed at Duncan…he didn’t tell his audience that historic Anglicanism did not allow divorce and re-marriage. Furthermore he said divorce was allowed in the case of adultery for the innocent party…yet he has subscribed to Episcopal canons allowing free for all divorce and re-marriage. Carey again talks of the sanctity of marriage…he believs in it so much that two of his children have had two each and he even instructed Prince Charles to marry his divorcee mistress. No pretence at the innocent party opt out here. George… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“If it is not against his human rights, it cannot be against the human rights of another person who practises sex outside Christian marriage to say they cannot be ordained – can it??” Both are told they must be married. One deliberately chooses not to, the other, despite being lied about, slandered, threatened with prison and death, fights unsuccsessfully for the right to marry. So tell me who’s the rebel, the one who disobeys and doesn’t marry, or the one who is prevented from doing so despite decades of struggling to be allowed to. Who is disrespecting the sacrament? Not… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote: “On Tutu and Carey,

Take a big breath! Talk about reading/hearing things through one’s own filter. Ab Carey was certainly not saying that one should not stand for the well-being or rights of homosexuals.”

Oh, oh…

NP has got herself a helper, one that befits her.

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

Martin, I hate to see your correspondent refer to the great Desmond Tutu as ‘little Desmond Tutu’. There’s nothing little about the man. He can hold his own in any company. I hate to see him patronised like that. Having said that I agree that a round table discussion would have been better, but probably impossible to do. The worst feature of the programme was the inclusion of Stephen Green – a man who speaks for the tiniest minority in Britain and yet is always sought after by the BBC on this sort of programme. As for Robert Ian Williams… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Ben: So, what is the struggle for equal treatment for gay people under the law if it is not a human rights issue? Carey, remember, voted in the Lords against an equal age of consent. It is completely untrue of him to give the impression that he has been a model of tolerance. He tried to block the changes of the law which apply to the whole of society, not just Christians, in such a way that gay people would still be discriminated against. Does he think he was wrong to do that now?

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Andrew: I think if my father were famous in some particular field, I would choose to work in a different one. It is not the best thing that you should feel obliged to defend the record of your father’s archiepiscopate: it must be difficult for you to hear other people engage in the necessary process of weighing up the rights and wrongs (in my view mostly wrongs) of his exercise of office without you being emotionally involved in way that cannot be very healthy for you, one feels.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Your marital status has a habit of cropping up, Mr. Carey, not out of personal malice – I, and I’m sure the majority of posters on this site, see nothing whatever improper in the remarriage of divorced individuals – but because this is an issue on which Christ left firmly-stated condemnations, condemnations which many of those who themselves strongly condemn homosexuality – a condition (how many times must one repeat this?) on which Our Lord left no recorded opinion – have no problem whatever overlooking or ignoring, since they know from their own experience or from the experiences of those… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Andrew “Since this often seems to come up on Thinking Anglicans let me just say that neither I nor my sister are clergy. Neither of us were remarried in church. I shan’t say any more on this for obvious reasons.” I accept what you’re saying and I fully and wholeheartedly support you in this. Although I do wish you had had the confidence and trust in God’s love to remarry in church. But you see – this is how many “Christians” twist what happens to real life people. And this is what happens to us in the gay debate. The… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Göran
“NP has got herself a helper, one that befits her.”

Not quite. NP’s helper is a lot more articulate and adept at discussion, adds a patronising “Peace” to posts to people he has just insulted and excluded in a gentle way, and doesn’t go on and on and on about the same points but tells you clearly when he considers the conversation to be closed.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Fair point spot on Fr. Mark. Carey’s children may be absolved their mistakes on account of not being clergy (though it is their own folk who would be most likely to condemn them – not I)…but had they been gay and non Christian members of society they would have nothing to thank their father for. Excpet for being their Dad.

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

“…personal malice…”. I don’t think I find this convincing – Some of the comments on Thinking Anglicans are the exact equivalent of the vitriol at Virtueonline (and by that I don’t particularly mean the comments on this particular tangent).

And thanks for the advice Fr Mark, but I’m in good health.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Mr. Carey — I believe you misread: “apart from what little Archbishop Tutu was allowed to say” does not refer to Tutu’s height (although he is quite short) but the brief amount of time he was allotted compared to the voices of the right (no, I am not the original author whom Martin Reynolds is quoting, but this reading seems obvious to me). Anyway, just what is the BBC about? Are they trying to throw the game to the evangelicals or are they trying to disgust the British public so completely with the spectacle of the dysfunctional WWAC as to… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Tutu was completley inspirational. Loving. Full of the Spirit.

The others seemed seriously to lack that theological vitue, whose absence made them sound, to me, like empty gong or tinkling cymbal.

Are they saved ? Have they received the Spirit ?

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Fr Mark, You ask,”So, what is the struggle for equal treatment for gay people under the law if it is not a human rights issue?” You are right, and I have been agreeing with you (and so far as I undertand has ab Carey)! That is not the issue because I have for long accepted that (this would also hold in the case of someone who does not accept faith in God – they have full rights in society under the law). The question within the church is what does it mean to follow Christ in the relationships and practices… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Andrew Carey asks how do we know the mind of God? But isn’t that what conservative evangelicals are claiming when they witness to gay people? It is a complete double standard on his part and that of his father to have revised one area of morality and then turn on the other…its the unjust steward syndrome. It is St Paul who says that adulterers will not enter Heaven. In the same passage that conservative evangelicals use against homosexuals. Only Rome is consistant to the Christian tradition…all sex restricted to marriage and open to the transmission of God’s gift of life.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

A different take on Bonhöffer: “Humiliation of the Word”, “Mockery and Betrayal”.

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/7984

From alias Titus 1:9

NP
Guest
NP

Erika says NP “doesn’t go on and on and on about the same points” – yes, Erika because some people go on an on ignoring certain scriptures in ordert to justify certain sins despite our Anglican bishops consistently saying certain behaviour is “incompatible with scripture” (i.e. a sin) Ford – Thought you don’t like to “bible mine” yet you now pose a question while deliberately ignoring the context of the situation, the gospels and the whole bible! All to justify ignoring your “clobber verses”? I have answered your weak “thief” point. Do you think that circumstance might be at all… Read more »

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

Prior Aelred – thank you for pointing to my embarrassing misreading of Martin Reynolds’ post. My apologies to Martin and his unnamed correspondent for that rather crass error of interpretation.

Robert Ian Williams, I don’t accept the description ‘conservative evangelical’, and anyone who knows my father wouldn’t use it of him either. However, if I am guilty of hypocrisy, and I don’t concede the point, I know that I will be judged for that by a God who is gracious, loving, welcoming and just.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Only Rome is consistant to the Christian tradition…all sex restricted to marriage and open to the transmission of God’s gift of life.
This was abandoned by Lambeth in 1930, and Anglican Bishop Gore prophetically wrote a pamphlet in 1931 asking how could he now hold the line over homosexuality, if procreation was an optional extra!”

Actually, Rome isn’t consistent either because it does not require marriage couples to be fertile in order to get married.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“, Erika because some people go on an on ignoring certain scriptures in ordert to justify certain sins”

Do they?
I’m beginning to agree with Fr Mark that you may not be British. You certainly don’t seem to have English as a first language or you would know that “ignore” has a different meaning from “interpret differently”, and that “justifying certain sins” is not synonymous with “not believing something to be a sin”.

Why why why do you insist on lying about us?
Is your argument so weak that only lies can sustain it?

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, NP. Not ‘ignoring’ some parts of the Bible – acknowledging them as culturally contained and inapplicable to contemporary society.

NP
Guest
NP

Erika says, “I’m beginning to agree with Fr Mark that you may not be British. You certainly don’t seem to have English as a first language or you would know that “ignore” has a different meaning from ‘interpret differently’..” Well, not that it matters, I am British, Erika and my English was good enough to get me my Cambridge degree…..but to get that one had to show a certain logic in what one wrote…..logic which you do not show if you think that contradicting something is merely to ‘interpret differently’. When the God says “do not do x”, Erika, he… Read more »

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

Prior Aelred asked “… just what is the BBC about? “ I’m not sure who would actually be listening aside from the small proportion of the general public directly affected by the issues. I heard the program give (at least some of) the conservative speakers enough rope to hang themselves. To the wider world it simply confirms their conceptions that great chunks of the church are living in a parallel universe, seemingly downgrading the urgent needs of the third world (as pointed out by Tutu), and seemingly obsessed with sexual behaviour. Unfortunately it compounds the belief that the church is… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, NP. ‘Ignoring’ suggests that they should be taken account of. Positive rejection suggests they should not be ignored but positively discarded. That is the right thing to do, for it is foolish to obey that which one judges to be outdated and not applicable to contemporary society. We should not be frightened to acknowledge the limitations of the Bible.

The entire approach you have to the authority of the Bible needs to change. John Spong has that one right.

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

Jimbo, you may or may not be mistaken. People certainly change. The church in Durham could probably be more accurately described at that time as charismatic evangelical – although it was certainly more conservative under the previous incumbent. I think Graham Kings has it just about right when he describes conservative evangelicals as committed to these things, including: the infallibility or inerrancy of the scriptures; penal substitution as the defining model for the atonement; evangelism as the defining mode of mission; headship in gender issues; combatting the promotion of homosexuality. For myself, I haven’t worshipped regularly in an evangelical parish… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Thought you don’t like to “bible mine”” I don’t, and I’m not. “Your point is even weak than Mark’s “publican” (when Mark did not spot that the whole point was that the publican repented of his sins and did not seek to justify them)” Considering the ways in which Scripture shows us people entering the Kingdom is hardly a weak point when what we are talking about is Paul’s statements as to who will enter the Kingdom. It’s only “weak” because you aren’t capable of reconciling it to your idea of the Gospel. Not saying it can’t be done, just… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – Do you think only those “licensed” to preach can do so?? Honestly – or are you just scoring a point.

Spin and red herrings do not make “cobber verses” disappear!

Merseymike – ok, you do not “ignore” certain verses to justify certain sins, you have, in your own words, “positively discarded” certain verses and therefore do not obey them….. so glad you cleard that up…..

badman
Guest
badman

NP writes (again and again and again!) about “ignoring certain scriptures in order to justify certain sins despite our Anglican bishops consistently saying certain behaviour is “incompatible with scripture” (i.e. a sin)”

So, let’s correct you again, NP. Our Anglican bishops do not consistently say this. When it came to a vote, one third of our Anglican bishops disagreed with this – 190 disagreed, against 389 agreeing with it.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“it is foolish to obey that which one judges to be outdated and not applicable to contemporary society.” I would argue the exact opposite, actually, Mike. I don’t think “contemporary society” is all that reliable in understanding Truth. I do believe valid arguments can be made on a much less shaky basis than what society says. Don’t forget, what was once “contemporary society” thought it just and Godly to tie us to the base of the stake since we weren’t worthy of standing up to burn to death. I don’t trust that those days can’t return. I need something more… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Re: Bonhoeffer in context.

In the Titus 1:9 piece from kendall Harmon we do hear a call to silence before “the Word.” As I read it this is in accord with the reference to Bonhoeffer we get in Rowan Williams; one is more directly concerned with the question of the cultural agenda in war the other more generally with culture and Christian ethics. Both highlight the priority of Christian faithfulness above culture and repectful silence/hearing before “the Word.” May it be so.

Ben W

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the infallibility or inerrancy of the scriptures;” Fundamentalist, not Anglican. “penal substitution as the defining model for the atonement” Which in itself is reason to question unity. PSA has some things to say about atonement, but to call it central is, IMNSHO, approaching blasphemy. “headship in gender issues” Which looks to the rest of the world, including non-Evangelical believers, to be just bizarre, a misunderstanding of the Gospel at best, but more likely a pathetic attempt by some stodgy old men to retain their traditional power. “evangelism as the defining mode of mission” What way of spreading the Gospel would… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The hermeneutic varieties and differences in reading scripture are rather clear by now. On the Anglican rights we consistently have a traditional sounding reading which either ignores and denies that it engages in any considered interpretive strategy at all (while clearly engaging in various presuppositionalist, quasi-literalistic, pre-modern, and strictly modern conservative approaches to understanding what the scriptures are saying), and/or claims that only one reading is correct or even could possibly be correct, namely, the going rightwing Anglican one of any given hot button moment. In the mixed middles and lefts we can see a variety of hermeneutic approaches, all… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“When the God says “do not do x”, Erika, he does not mean “it is absolutely fine to do x” “

Fine. Show me one place–just one–where God says “do not do homosexual activity,” in the New Testament. Don’t give me OT verses…we are no longer subject to the Law. And don’t give me Paul…he wasn’t God.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Erika Baker —
Quite right — Rome IS inconsistent on infertile marriages — hence on artificial birth control & therefore same sex acts (if we go that slippery slope).

Jimbo —
“Unfortunately it compounds the belief that the church is increasingly irrelevant to the average person in the UK.”
That was my concern!

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

The problem with NP is not a weakness in the English language. It is a weakness of integrity. He is not illiterate, he is dishonest.

I do not “ignore” scripture. I interpret it differently than NP does.

NP understands that. He simply prefers to lie.

NP
Guest
NP

OK Merseymike – you have not “ignored” certain verses in order to justify certain sins – but you have “positively discarded” them – thanks for clearing that up.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Dear Erika, an infertile couple are still open to life and many surprises do happen…they are not frustrating the actual sex act. The Careys have been campaigning against the Anglican Church recognising gay unions, blessings and ordinations. Yet AB Carey blessed Andrew’s registry office marriage. For many Anglicans that is as invalid and sinful as Bishop Ingham blessing a gay couple. It would seem the Carey dictum is lower the bar of morality for us to jump over and then quickly put it back to keep the gays out. Another reason is that Evangelicalism is littered with re-married divorcees. In… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“When the God says “do not do x”, Erika, he does not mean “it is absolutely fine to do x”…..

Yeah, but all I hear from you is what St Paul says.
And he isn’t God.
God’s son, on the other hand, was silent on this subject.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Erika I don’t know that Jesus was silent so much as his actions spoke and we had to infer from those. You might want to read “Out of the silence” by Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin-Mumby which was read at the recent Drenched in Grace conference. It is particularly insightful http://inclusivechurch.blogspot.com/2007/11/out-of-silence-address-by-revd-dr.html Jesus started his public ministry revealing himself to the Samaritan woman by the well who was living in a non-marital sexual relationship at the time and he was about her fifth at that stage. Jesus spoke of how eunuchs came about and why and deliberately commented that souls were to… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, These formulations are not that important. But what is important is to think with Christians in the light of scripture through the history of the church. We have been referring to Bonhoeffer here, we would have a hard time identifying him with some of these formulations but we do know his Christ-centered faith and life and his readiness to hear and receive scripture. Of course people can turn it inside out or turn it into a weapon against other people. What we see and can receive depends crucially on where we are and the “turn” of our own hearts.… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Dear Erika, an infertile couple are still open to life and many surprizes do happen…they are not frustrating the actual sex act.”

When my pensioner father married his post menopausal wife there was no question of surprises!
And when someone who has been left definitely infertile by chemotherapy marries there is also no hope of surprises.

Infertile means just that. Infertile.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Something about one sided repudium, mutual divorce and marriage in NT times:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/october/20.26.html

Andrew Carey
Guest
Andrew Carey

Memo to self: Every group has its loony fringe, so don’t judge every liberal by one person’s rantings. And don’t post on Thinking Anglicans it seems to raise the blood pressure of some of the regulars.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Cheryl,
Yes, the speech was wonderful, wasn’t it.
And I have no difficulty with Jesus’ silences. We get closest to God in silent meditation, it’s the only way we can truly hear him rather than talk to or about him.
But then, I have always loved silence and find it pregnant with meaning, not synonymous with “nothing” at all.