Thinking Anglicans

What is the future for Anglican conservatives?

The Guardian’s website Comment is free Belief has a weekly Question. This week it is
What is the future for Anglican conservatives?

Has the long Anglican civil war ended in defeat for both sides? Within the church, the liberals have been outmanoeuvred and may be excluded from the communion’s decision-making bodies. But the cost of this has been to establish the conservatives as anti-gay, and in the wider culture that is a great defeat for them, too. So will they abandon that fight, and move to others? Will attitudes to Islam be the next great struggle within Christianity?

The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, returned last week to devote himself to the care of persecuted Christians; and it is Muslims, he thinks, who are doing the persecuting. In countries like Pakistan, this is clearly true. But will conservative Christians be able to construct a narrative against Islam in Europe and America? Should they be trying to do so? Does it really threaten the future of Christianity?

The first contribution comes from Savi Hensman who has written ‘Conservatives’ who want to reshape the communion.

Ordinarily, being conservative is about favouring the old over the new, conserving what has been passed down from previous generations and being cautious about change. The more extreme Anglican so-called conservatives however have been so keen to “purify” the communion of what they see as undesirable that they have pushed for radical reform. Largely in response to their demands, the Archbishop of Canterbury is calling for stricter limits to the freedom of member churches, though this proposal has met with strong objections from many in the Church of England and beyond.

These Anglican “conservatives” are perhaps best-known for their hostility to same-sex partnerships. Yet some are also passionately anti-Islamic. Archbishop Peter Akinola, for instance, as well as being vocally anti-gay, appears to believe that, in the Muslim-Christian conflict in Nigeria, communal violence can sometimes be justified…

13
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
13 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Ford ElmsChris SmithMarkBrunsonFather Ron Smithdrdanfee Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Well, I wish you joy of your new Anglican Communion, and thank God that the US churches will not be a part of it.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Nothing like reassuring one another of ones Godliness when personal character and self-searching has failed the test of moral integrity in REAL LIFE and beyond.

James A
Guest
James A

Savi links to a very informative article on Christian/Islamic issues in Nigeria (by Eliza Grizwold) – a worthwhile read.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/nigeria

RosemaryHannah
Guest
RosemaryHannah

I am seriously worried by attitudes to Islam n the West – no I don’t like all of its teaching, yes I want to challenge its attitudes. But making it into an enemy – it is uncomfortably like attitudes to Judaism before the Second World War.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

If jusdementalism, self-righteousness, bigotry, and exclusion are to be the hallmarks of the Anglicanism left to the world by the Gafconers and Jensenists, the legacy of Rowan Williams will be the destruction of the Communion. For this mess of potage he sacrifices his intellect and career. What the world doesn’t need now is another intolerant, arrogant, religious body bent on destroying all who don’t fit its flawed and harmful view of the Christian Faith. If the conservatives prevail, I would be happy to be part of the remnant that continues to see Anglicanism as compassionate, inclusive, and not given to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

In the end, the issue will be which Churches and their decision making bodies sign the Covenant and which do not. What puzzles me is this. The Church of England cannot sign on to anything that directs it from without. The Covenant is set up in language of voluntary association, in terms of autonomy etc., but makes its membership – it decides – dependent on observing its restrictions. So it says to the C of E, you can do this if you like but if so you will lose membership, and thus you must do as we say to keep… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Pluralist, that’s for the Church of England to decide, but yes, I expect the consequences for the C of E will be disestablishment as well as lots of legal action. Since it’s already been determined that the North American churches will not be part of the Communion, it’s not something I am directly invested in, however.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The balms in this new conservative Anglican visionary Gilead are either poison themselves, or unseemly in being laced with toxins. Some toxins are fatal right away; others are slow acting, and need to accumulate to criteria levels before their toxicities can be inferred from their death-dealing spiritual effects. There is no more reliable way to kill any local congregation than to get everybody judging everybody, about nearly everything. Then overlay top down policing and punishment. Mean habits of antigay church will not suddenly be peace making. If getting rid of the queer folks was never really the point, since queer… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“These Anglican “conservatives” are perhaps best-known for their hostility to same-sex partnerships. Yet some are also passionately anti-Islamic. Archbishop Peter Akinola, for instance, as well as being vocally anti-gay, appears to believe that, in the Muslim-Christian conflict in Nigeria, communal violence can sometimes be justified…” – Savi Henseman – I think that possibly ‘most’ conservatives are also hostile to Islam and same-sex relationships. Surprising really, considering that Islamic fundamentalists are also hostile to same-sex relationships. Could the two parties not find some common relationship – for instance, over same-sex relationships? Akinola and Nazir-Ali seem both hell-bent on waging war. This… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

For an insight into the future for conservative Anglicans, one needs to look at this article on the Virtue-on-line web-site about the launching of FOCA in Southern Africa: “SOUTHERN AFRICA: Anglican Leaders Laud Launching of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Archbishop Akinola, the Bishop of Chester, Lord Carey – http://www.anglican-mainstream.net September 6, 2009 – “Greetings from the Chairman of the GAFCON Council, and Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola: “What a great blessing and tremendous joy to know that the mustard seed of GAFCON sown in the land of our LORD barely a year ago is already… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

I have to actually laugh, the first ray of light in a long while in the Anglican “war,” at the idea that “exclusion” from a homophobic, sexist, self-serving, navel-gazing, smug, self-congratulatory and, most importantly, completely ineffectual communion – not “church” thanks – is a defeat. The sooner we allow Williams and his henchmen to lock the gates of Hell on themselves, the sooner we can get on with the Kingdom!

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I believe the right wing conservatives will predominantly follow protestant fundamentalism and will eventually show major clashes with their Anglo Catholic allies who joined them in their condemnation of glbt people and same sex blessings along with ordinations and consecrations of gay and lesbian human beings to leadership positions. I also believe hatred and ignorance are underlying causes of their crusade against glbt people as well as women in general as it relates to ordinations to the priesthood and consecrations as bishops. This will ultimately be the catalyst for the religious right’s undoing as most people do not support or… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Chris Smith, I agree with everything you say, except: “This will ultimately be the catalyst for the religious right’s undoing as most people do not support or approve of their hatred and violence against glbt people and women in general.” That depends very much on the times. Put people into positions of hardship and watch how acceptible hate will become. Remember, Weimar Germany of the 20s was followed by Nazi Germany of the 30s and 40s. And that’s just the most obvious example from the 20th century. And there are huge swaths of people who approve of their hatred and… Read more »