Thinking Anglicans

Putney analysed by the Guardian

Preaching to the converted
Gene Robinson is the Anglican church’s only openly gay bishop. He was denied an invitation to this week’s Lambeth conference but came anyway and on Sunday gave a dramatic sermon in London disrupted by heckling. What’s all the fuss about? Stephen Bates explains, while political sketch-writer Simon Hoggart, theatre critic Lyn Gardner and gay atheist Gareth McLean review the bishop’s performance.

Read it all here.

Giles Fraser made his own comments earlier, in Here’s to you, Mr Robinson.

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Cheryl Va.Old Father WilliamChristopher ShellErika BakerTreebeard Recent comment authors
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Spirit of Vatican II
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“What makes this person so interesting is that he has lost any sense that he is able to support himself spiritually through his own effort alone. His recognition of his “failure” to cope is precisely his strength. The theology is pure Luther: only when you recognise that you are unable to make yourself acceptable to God under your own steam can you collapse back upon God as the sole source of salvation. Later in the sermon, he described going from a meeting of the US House of Bishops to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and being relieved that, at this… Read more »

John Omani
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John Omani

+Gene Robinson is an inspiration, a man despised and rejected, yet not consumed by sorrows, instead full of that strength which keeps him preaching the good news of Christ.

History will look on him kindly.

robroy
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robroy

Giles Fraser writes, “My favourite begins: ‘Dear sodomite supporter, you are nothing but a dirty sodomite-loving ugly stain of a man who is a disgrace to humanity.’ It ends ‘Burn in hell, Mr K.'” The homosexualists are always contending that any homosexual violence that occurs in some part of the world is caused by traditionalists simply wanting to not conform to the wordly ways. This is despite repeated denunciations of any such violence. But what about the incalculable harm that Mr Fraser does to the church by falsely portraying traditionalist Christians as hateful hooligans. Mr Fraser is feeding the anti-Christian… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

Gareth McLean: “If you can read the Bible radically, you can read it conservatively, too. Perhaps we should give up on reading it at all.”

Feh. Our faults are not in our Bibles, Horatio—they’re in ourselves. :-/

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Lyn Gardner comments that “critics were not welcome”. Well, of course not. This was not a speech but a sermon during an act of Worship.

Her comment sounds as strange to me as did the the reporter who immediately after Gene had stopped speaking and seconds before the prayers asked if there was time for questions!

MRG
Guest
MRG

Like Archbishop Peter Jensen, I feel that I should now step in and make clear that “robroy” absolutely condemns violence against gay and lesbian people and vilification of his ‘liberal’ brothers and sisters, and feels that language of the kind Giles Fraser reports has no place in the Church of Christ.

I can say that, can’t I robroy? Just to save you the bother of having to do so.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Robroy, GF did nothing of the sort.
He described what had come through his letter box. He told us how upsetting that was. He then reflected on +Gene getting much more of that kind of stuff, wondered how he coped, and told us that he believed and trusted in Jesus.
It was a scrupulously fair and simple little piece – and rather affecting. Wish we’d both been there to hear +Gene ourselves and face the reality not the media stereotypes…

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

No, robroy, if the “light of Christ is being extinguished in Europe” it is because these ignorant “traditionalists” are people who shoot their mouths off too much on topics where they have no clearly thought-out things to say. Just screaming “get gay people out of our sight” very loudly for the last five years has been a disaster for the Church’s witness. The problem is that the Con Evos are often people who have for many years entirely written gays out of their view of the world, and who therefore are the least qualified people in the Church to say… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Jeremy
You can see and hear the whole sermon on Bishop Gene’s video blog http://lambethgenepool.blogspot.com/

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

robroy, biblical fundamentalists are indeed “hateful hooligans”. Note how smoothly Paul’s words in Romans 1 fit into the texture of the following hate speech: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=wDWSwvVZ6Bs

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

robroy: And, yet, the traditionalists never seem to have vocal supporters who speak in measured terms. The protests are always in the manner of the one Giles cites. Why is that, do you suppose? And I don’t know how it is in Europe–but here in the USA, it is far more likely for a peaceful gathering of gays to be interrupted by a gaggle of yahoos shouting “God hates fags!” and the like than for a church service to be interrupted by gays with displays of the kind you cite. A local church that makes a point of ministering to… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

And +Gene’s written blog is called “Canterbury Tales from the Fringe” and includes his own view of the Putnety Service: http://www.canterburytalesfromthefringe.blogspot.com/

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

But, robroy, one only has to look at sites such as Stand Firm and Virtue Online to see that conservatives are exactly as you describe – the hatred and homophobia there is plain to see. Hateful hooligans is a very apt description – reflecting a hateful and deluded religionism.

The sooner the FOCAs church establishes itself, the better.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Ah, regretfully, robroy, conservative or traditionally negative views of queer folks (yes, real ones like VGR, his partner Mark, and a whole planetary number of others?) – which our religious legacy in particular urges upon us – no longer get a free pass from careful scrutiny by thinking citizens, believer or otherwise. Certainly: no longer get automatic free credit as nothing but tough love, nothing but truth about sin that innately leads towards repentance. The first pass of careful investigations instructs us: homosexuality as we moderns understand it, now, empirically – is completely unknown to the scriptures. The ancient near… Read more »

bls
Guest

Quite amazing, watching that YouTube video that Vatican II points to. Gay people are “filthy animals,” the Baptist preacher says. Rapists, molesters – the automatic enemies of good and Godly people everywhere. God has given us up. The current Vatican also has some choice things to say: that gay marriage is “a crime which represents the destruction of the world” – and that gay people who adopt children are committing “moral violence” against them. (Here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/may/05050401.html.) Any questions, robroy? Perhaps rather than blaming “homosexualists” for these things – it might actually be good to take a look at “religionists.”

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

Has robroy never heard of the Holocaust, or the (medieval) Easter pogroms ? Otherwise he has forgotten them too soon.

Much too soon.

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

Yes but this same preacher says Billy Graham is going to hell— you can’t win !

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=F9DtBHeRP1Q&feature=related

What planet are these people on ?
And why does the preacher have not one, but two organs ?

Old Father William
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Old Father William

For many years, I have puzzled over the rage which is sometimes evident in conservative Evangelicals, and over how that can be consistent with their often “happy clappy” form of worship. I am in no way criticzing that method of praising God, but simply wondering how such angry people can be so joyful in church.

OFW

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Wouldn’t you be joyful if you knew that you, personally, were saved and alright-Jack? There‚Äôs almost a kind of relief in that joy. And I suppose if you believe in a punishing God who condemns unrepentant sinners to death, you would feel relieved and joyful if you believed you were not going to be one of them. I came across a wonderful Richard Rohr meditation this morning: “If we dishonor the so-called inferior or unworthy members of creation, we finally destroy ourselves, too. St. Paul says in his analogy of the body, “if one part is hurt, all parts are… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

OFW The “happy clappy” form of worship is often a public veneer of being seen to be caring and “understanding” the issues. When one bothers to look beyond the veneer, one realises that some preachers have been set up to give “the spin”, but that the parish’s leaders and members have no intention of “delivering the goods”. I’ve just started Philip Yancey’s book “Soul Survivor”. A worthwhile read, but poignant as one recognises local churches playing the exclusionary games worthy of Klu Klux Klan periods. For example here is an example of the content from cards deacons would hand out… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Old Father William- To speak of ‘anger’ is to presuppose without argument that there is a merely emotional explanation for what the people themselves might see as an intellectual, not emotional, disagreement. And – yes – truth matters: if it doesn’t, then nothing does. What kind of love is truthless? That is a contradiction in terms. However, the common denominator of the two facets (albeit stereotyped) you propose is: being alive, having feelings, having passion, caring. It would be a fair bet that the individuals of whom you speak would see apathy (to which passive tolerance is a near… Read more »

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

Cheryl,

We used “Soul Survivor” in an adult study group at my church. It is indeed a wonderful book. I was introduced to Yancey by a kind and gentle old Baptist pastor who had decided that the narrow, condemning Christianity in which he had grown up was inconsistent with the Gospel. Diana Butler Bass has made a similar journey, and her writing is also – to me – inspiring and encouraging about the future of the Church.
OFW

Cheryl Va.
Guest

OFW It has been fascinating to interact with Baptists. They have been amongst the foremost to recognise how Christianity had gone off the rails and fallen into the traps of idolatry and the ends justifying the means. Yet on the other hand, some Baptists have been amongst the worst offenders in advocating tyranny, violence and genocide. One thing it has brought home to me is how much Jesus understood the word “responsibility”. The whole crucifixion thing necessitating that Jesus understood that God was extremely displeased and that someone had to take responsbility for how things had fallen off the rails.… Read more »