Thinking Anglicans

Now on to C056

The American House of Bishops has passed a resolution relating to same-sex blessings.

Here is the text of what they approved. (This still has to go to the House of Deputies.)

The voting on this was 104-30 with two abstentions.

ENS reports at Bishops call for ‘resources’ for same-gender blessing. Comments on this from numerous bishops are included.

The Living Church reports this as Bishops Call for Development of Liturgies for Same-Sex Blessings.

The Associated Press reports it as Episcopal bishops OK prayer for gay couples.

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Ford ElmsErika BakerJCFGöran Koch-SwahneWilliamK Recent comment authors
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pete
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pete

Sorry, but both extremes have been guilty of bad faith throughout this mess since 2003. The “Duncanites” claim this is about fidelity to Scripture, “the Faith once delivered” (whatever the heck that means), etc. The progressives have insisted this is a justice issue, being prophetic, etc. These 10% of TEC at the extremes has held the rest of the church hostage. Neither extreme complied with the recommendations of the flawed Windsor Report, clergy under vows in TEC conveniently ignored General Convention when it suited them and drove this wedge issue, and both extremes were prepared to “destroy the village to… Read more »

Edward Craig
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Edward Craig

I think many understimate the deep psychological need of the liberated homosexual mind for affirmation (I empathize). As a black male, I saw the same need with some of my afro-centric brothers who have made outlandish claims based on skin color. However, the Church Universal is not called to affirm our humanity, it is called to affirm the humaity of Jesus who reveals to us the will of God. When I was a really “bright” Phd. student in theology I thought statements like the latter were simplistic. I have repented. I was full of intellectual pride. I am quite at… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

Pete, You wrote: “While my sympathies are with the gay community….” Okay. So what would you suggest could have been done differently? I can’t escape the feeling that your “sympathies” are quite abstract, rather than having implications for how real people would be treated, “sympathies” with the gay community… but they better not do anything that rocks the boat????? The problem I have with the idea that there is equal fault on “both sides,” and that there are two equal extremes, is that it fails to consider that only ONE SIDE has consistently argued that its position had to be… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Well, Pete, if we could just “agree to differ” — as D025 and C056 say we should be able to do — we could get on with the serious issues you rightly call attention to. I’m willing. I’ve been willing from the start. The problem is that ~+Minns isn’t willing, ~+Duncan isn’t willing, +Wright isn’t willing, +Kings isn’t willing, +ACNA isn’t willing, ++Akinola and Sugden+ and the rest aren’t willing to agree to differ. It’s their way or the highway. I think we have to make a nice little road for them, and tell them it’s “their way,” and set… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

And speaking of “abstract”! EdwardC, you STILL sound like a (your terms) “really ‘bright’ Phd. student in theology”: safe in your ACNA-approved ivory tower, disconnected from the REAL LIVES of LGBT people. “the deep psychological need of the liberated homosexual mind for affirmation”??? C’mon! This is about human beings *falling in love* and *getting married* (and then being able to continue in one’s vocation, regardless). It’s just that BASIC. It’s not some abstraction, or academic mindgame. Hey, I’m all for “affirm[ing] the humaity of Jesus who reveals to us the will of God”. But in his incarnation, Jesus reveals to… Read more »

edward craig
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edward craig

Hello JCF I’m still around. I love to read and learn. By the way, I love my queer episcopalians. I render to them everything that I render to any other human being – truth and freedom (love). I would be careful about using the concept of abstraction. As you know, what is, is not always what ought to be. I don’t accept that everything we encounter in nature is what ought to be, nor do I accept that everything found in us is a reflection of the imago dei. In fact, turning away from the Image of God in us… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

…the deep psychological need of the liberated homosexual mind for affirmation…. ———————————————— Uh-huh. Right. …unlike everyone else, who don’t need “affirmation”? Actually, LGBT folk “liberated” in and by Christ don’t “need…affirmation.” They have something far more significant. Salvation. What they are asking of the Church is simple acknowledgement of what God has done for them in Christ. Edward, as a “black male” you should be able to understand what it feels like to be told that you are ontologically flawed because you don’t fit the master group’s definitions of “good.” I’m sure you have experienced racism. If you spend just… Read more »

edward craig
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edward craig

Hello William K The church is not in the business of affirming humanities – as though there is more than one kind. There are no black people, no gay people. Therefore we cannot be led to believe we are ontologically flawed. I have always observed since the 60’s the parallel arguments made between those in the black civil rights movement and the later GLBT movement. The former ended up embracing a ghettoized view of itself reinforcing the very negative forces it was attempting to overcome. The latter group is walking the same path. It leads no where. The ACNA is… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“In fact, turning away from the Image of God in us can create patterns of behavior in individuals and groups that scar and deface the Image of God. I think that is precisely what old St. Paul asserted many moons ago.” Ecce homophobia! [No, I’m not literally arguing that Paul was condemning homophobia . . . anymore than he was condemning homosexuality (or spousal love between same-sex partners), equally anachronistic concepts.] “I love my queer episcopalians”: um yeah. Right. Sorry, EdwardC, if you don’t love us *with our spouses*, AS our spouses, you don’t love us. Period. (And pity) [Sadly… Read more »

edward craig
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edward craig

JCF Homophobia like the charge of racism is of absolutely no use. They are exhausted concepts – just like the old hitler analogies from yesterdays. The issue is, the issue. Is our faith an ojective realty revealed or is it merely the culturally conditioned subjective production of human minds. If the latter, then why does it matter, you believe and do what you like and so will I. If there is an objective content to our faith then what is it and am I being led by it.I Again as christian we are called to love of God in our… Read more »

edward craig
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edward craig

JCF,

By the way my comment about the consequences of turning from the Image of GOD was not about homosexuality per se. It is from St. Athanansius and I actually was thinking about excessive tatooing and body piercing, where the body becomes an inadequate substitute for our craving for the transcendent, as a result of turning away from that which is highest in us.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

“That does me loving you and your partner in truth; it does not mean violating the precepts of our faith.”

Fine. Then do not get in the way of God’s call to each and every one of us.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Of course Tom Wright is going against Lambeth (1898 ) re-marriage after divorce condemned… Lambeth 1908 and 1920, contraception condemned and Lambeth 1948, female ordination condemned.

Canterbury will announce shock retirement… Sentamu to Lambeth and Tom to York ? Just an idle speculation at the start of the Summer holidays?

edward craig
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edward craig

Hello choirboyfrom hell, I think this question must be asked of all of us, since you invoke the will of God. Is our faith an ojective reality revealed or is it merely the culturally conditioned subjective production of human minds. If the latter, then why does it matter, you believe and do what you like and so will I. If there is an objective content to our faith (revealed by God)then what is revealed is paramount. Jesus once asked the question ” who do people say that I am” that question permits both answers about the nature of our faith… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

“That does me loving you and your partner in truth; it does not mean violating the precepts of our faith.” ————————————————- This raises an important question about what one does when there is a tension between love and “the precepts of the faith.” Our Lord had some very strong things to say about putting “the precepts of the faith” ahead of mercy, etc. Is it really “love” when what you offer people is enforced celibacy (usually involving a self-destructive pattern of constant “lapse” and “repentance”)? I feel deeply sorry for the “people with homo erotic inclinations” who have decided to… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I would like to ask Edward Craig why he believes his own responses to questions of human sexuality to be free of cultural conditioning, and/or why he believes his own thoughts are not the subjective productions of a human mind.

Can he be certain he is not falling into the trap H. Richard Niebuhr called attention to, in Christ and Culture, of identifying Christ with his own preferred, perhaps somewhat nostalgically conceived culture? As Niebuhr noted, this is a trap that catches conservatives as well as liberals.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Is our faith an ojective reality revealed or is it merely the culturally conditioned subjective production of human minds.” If I can weigh in here, how would you go about proving the first contention? I suspect the second part of your question is somehow referencing Spong. I am still having a difficult time getting through a piece where he speaks of this idea, I find his writing so infuriating. But, while I believe Christianity is an “objective reality” in the way you are using the phrase, I don’t think that can have much meaning in this context. You simply cannot… Read more »

Edward Craig
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Edward Craig

I’m paying attention William K great point. I agree with that. But does that mean I must overturn the consensus of the faithful on this point of sexuality. Being a monogomous male is difficult for me as well. I struggle with it. If I were a Musliim, would struggle with four wives as well. Charlotte, I agree with you as well. Of course my understanding of human sexuality is culturally condition, but the question remains. Does the Church have an historically conditioned understanding of human sexuality and its proper use. I believe so. Is the Church’s scriptural understanding at odds… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“I am still having a difficult time getting through a piece where he speaks of this idea, I find his writing so infuriating” And yet it would help your understanding of him considerably if you bothered to read to the end instead of keep referring to him here completely unprovoked and then criticising him. Did you read James Alison’s idea that for Christian discernment the right question has to be not just “why not” but “what for”, and if you can answer that in a positive Christian context, chances are your discernment is right? So ask what the self giving… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

So Edward Craig, if your precepts of faith call you personally to oppose ordination, consecration and ordering of LGBT people to holy orders, then my response would be the second part of Jesus asking who people say he is, in that by your fruits you shall know them. Deliberately splitting a denomination is an act of schism among God’s children. That is a demonic deed you cannot deny. The decisions of the ECUSA this week might not be the will of God, but how can you be sure? Now as far as I know, the actions of Anaheim won’t require… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“bothered to read” I am, Erika. The only way I can do it is to have another window oppen so I can write down my disagreements as I go. And it wasn’t completely unprovoked. I took the “culturally conditioned subjective production of human minds” to be if not a reference to Spong, then at least to the ideas he expresses in the piece I am now struggling over. Besides, I think it’s a good thing for a conservative to learn that there are liberals who don’t fit the stereotypes, that you don’t have to espouse everything that is said by… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Being a monogomous male is difficult for me as well.” We get this from conservatives all the time. “I have temptations that I have to resist, too.” It is infuriating, because what I AM is not a temptation, it is what I am. I am not “tempted” to be gay in the way that I am tempted to overeat, and yes, conservatives have, on this site, compared being gay with having to resist that second piece of dessert after Christmas dinner. It shows that those who use it have little understanding of homosexuality. It relates to TEC’s statement that their… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Thank you, Edward Craig, but you haven’t answered my question yet. If you care to give it, I’d still like to hear it.

Meanwhile, you say: “Does the Church have an historically conditioned understanding of human sexuality and its proper use. I believe so.”

Well, then, two further questions.

1) What leads you to believe that the historically conditioned view of one part of the Church is to be preferred to the historically conditioned view of another part of the Church?

2) What leads you to believe that history is finished and unchangeable?

Edward Craig
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Edward Craig

Erika Baker I love the essay. Well argued. Thought provoking. I always visit boards to present my thinking and to listen to others. That is exactly what a learning community is. It does not ask you to eject your convictions, but it does insist that you be attentive to what is around you and in you. EXAMPLE: I live in a crime infested, drug infested community. My faith has to be lived in truth. Sound bites are not enough. People in my community struggle economically and are not concerned with fighting quixotic theological battles. They want real faith, real love.… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

Edward, in response to me, you wrote: great point. I agree with that. But does that mean I must overturn the consensus of the faithful on this point of sexuality. Being a monogomous male is difficult for me as well. I struggle with it. If I were a Musliim, would struggle with four wives as well. ————————————————- My answer to your question about overturning “the consensus of the faithful”: I don’t regard “the consensus of the faithful” as infallible. If it is a death-dealing consensus that puts Law ahead of Grace and Letter over Spirit, then it must be overthrown.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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What Erika said, and what Ford said on Friday, 17 July 2009 at 7:36pm BST.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford My point really was that Spong doesn’t need to be a bete noire to anyone who reads him properly. Once you get to the core of what word he discards and what concepts he keeps, he’s not half as scary as people often seem to fear. Richard Holloway, who is never cited with the same abject horror, is far more removed from the core of Christianity than Spong ever was. We have to be very careful that we don’t get sucked in by the stereotypes popular discussion has taught us to think in. Just as you’re discovering that libruls… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“EXAMPLE: I live in a crime infested, drug infested community. My faith has to be lived in truth. Sound bites are not enough. People in my community struggle economically and are not concerned with fighting quixotic theological battles. They want real faith, real love. Often, Thinking and acting well is the only gift I can give them.” Newsflash, EdwardC: there are LGBT people *there*, in your community too (quite likely the least of the least). What are you giving THEM? Something like “If I can be faithful to my *one* wife . . . then you all can go without… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Once you get to the core of what word he discards and what concepts he keeps, he’s not half as scary as people often seem to fear.” I think what sets people off when it comes to Spong is his arrogant dismissal of those who do not debunk, like he does, all the “traditional” ways of thinking and doing. An example that stays with me is one of his rather pompously named 12 thesis, the one where he discounts the Ascension because in a post modern world, we know there is no “up”! I find it mindboggling that a bishop… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ford “We can love many people sacrificially.” I thought about that the other day when I read an article about marriage. Yes, it’s true that we can love friends sacrificially unto death, but it is rarely the case that we live with them under one roof and share all our worldly goods (which creates additional ties and dependencies) and our bodies (which removes yet more personal boundaries), knowing that we have promised to make this arrangement last for the rest of our lives, come what may. The kind or love, the extent of giving ones whole self, body, soul and… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“it is rarely the case that we live with them under one roof and share all our worldly goods (which creates additional ties and dependencies) and our bodies (which removes yet more personal boundaries)” Absolutely. I’m not sure that I’m actually perceiving a difference here, or if it’s one of those things where I start from my own pre-existing position and find reasons to justify it, but it seems to me that this is saying there is more to marriage than the self sacrificing love we are talking about. If it is shared by both marriages and “nonmarital” relationships, than… Read more »