Thinking Anglicans

Responses to James Jones and variety of ethical conviction

Updated Tuesday evening

In our latest weekend round-up of opinion we linked to an address by James Jones, the bishop of Liverpool, to his diocesan synod about allowing a variety of ethical conviction in the church.

The diocese has issued a press release: Bishop of Liverpool calls for Anglicans to “accept a diversity of ethical convictions about human sexuality”.

Ekklesia has reported the address as Evangelical bishop “in sympathy” with same-sex partnerships.

Colin Coward of Changing Attitude has welcomed the bishop’s address in James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool calls for Anglicans to “accept a diversity of ethical convictions about human sexuality”.

But Andrew Goddard at Fulcrum does not agree with most of what the bishop has written: Accepting Ethical Diversity?: A Critical Appraisal of the Bishop of Liverpool’s Presidential Address.

And Anglican Mainstream has Bishop James Jones muddies the waters again.

Update
Colin Coward has written a response to Andrew Goddard’s article: Reactions to the Bishop of Liverpool – Andrew Goddard on Fulcrum.

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
26 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
Father Ron SmithjohnSueMerseymikePluralist Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Andrew Goddard mentions ‘the important work of True Freedom Trust’. I have just been reading ‘Exchanging the Trusth of God for a Lie’ by Jeremy Marks who set up Courage UK on the basis of trying to change gay men’s sexual orientation by intensive ministry. It’s obvious from reading the book and having had a brief look at some of the material used that this might be equated with a form of ‘brainwashing’. Jeremy Marks, to his credit, came to the conclusion that not only did the proces not work and that it severely damaged those participating. He now offers… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Assuming that James Jones doesn’t suddenly beg forgiveness from this chorus of Anglican grave diggers, what are they going to do about it? How are they going to mobilise, or will they be looking for the exit?

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Looks like he wants to be Bishop of Southwark after all.

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

Leaving to one side the fact that Anglican Mainstream continue to regard homosexual orientation as some kind of conspiracy what chills my blood is their linking of ‘human identity’ to some kind of understanding of gender roles. Thanks, but no thanks! I have no wish to find myself with bits of my (female heterosexual) identity chopped off in order to fit the shoe of Judeo-Christian roles as understood by Anglican Mainstream! (For the record, I prefer Jesus’s take – radically accepting women as disciples and encouraging them to let the ‘nurture the men’ role go hang while they studied.)

Canon Andrew Godsall
Guest
Canon Andrew Godsall

It is interesting to note parallels here with what happended to the catholic constituency after the ‘Affirming Catholic’ movement began. Some evangelicals have begun to recognise that the issue of human sexuality is not so significant in the greater scheme of things as some of that grouping would like us all to think. And some have begun to recognise that even though people like Andrew Goddard and Peter Ould can’t quite manage with other people arguing from experience without a rather limited style of proof texting, there is another way. Jeremy Marks’ book ‘Exchanging the truth of God for a… Read more »

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

The truly informative thing about the responses to Bishop Jones’ address is that FULCRUM is shown in its true colours. It is not the acceptable face of moderate evangelicalism. It is hard line anti-gay and argues this position on fundatmentalist biblical and doctrinal principles. It is good that FULCRUM has come out of the closet!

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

And there was I, thinking Rev Goddard had had an almost tearful, moving conversion – an epiphany I thought he had reported about his relating to lesbian and gay Christians.

When he wrote that piece on Fulcrum not so long ago (name eludes me)–what On Earth was that All About ?

Not many things upset me more than heterosexuals with the power –the posts, the influential postions, the teaching and preaching and writing posts, the stipends, the esteem, the security for their partners and families –chopping and changing their minds about us !

Really gets my goat does that !

Revd L Roberts
Guest
Revd L Roberts

Evangelical Diocese paves the way ! – ‘Bishop James talked about the ability of the Diocese of Liverpool to continue in partnership in mission with the Dioceses of Virginia and Akure despite the differing positions on gay relationships. He also restated the condemnation issued by church leaders in Liverpool of a number of homophobic attacks stating that church leaders “stand together in condemning the use of violence and other forms of intimidation against minority groups which are especially vulnerable.” ‘ Seems Evangelicals are pretty keen to get hands dirty, flex muscles and get stuck in, in a really useful way.… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

This is good news. It’s wonderful to see evangelicals understanding that loving thy neighbour and wanting to see souls love others needs to be fairly and consistently available to all. The alternative leads to thinking that justifies excluding and denying others. It requires advocating that souls be denied rights that would lead to an uproar if applied to themselves. If we deny GLBTs the rights to have loving intimate relationships, it is the same as denying other minorities the right to breed or exist (e.g. forced sterilisations of Guatamalean women by “peace corps”, or the attempted assimilation of Australian Aboriginals… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I have just looked again at ‘Exchanging the truth of God for a lie’ Amongst the commendations is one by one Andrew Goddard, not a fullsome one, admmittedly, but one which recognises the book’s importance fo evangelicals. He obvioulsy finds difficulty in accepting the possibility that he might be wrong after all.

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

This one series of interventions (not just the address to the diocesan synod) is, I feel, very important and I shall try to think of the bishop of Liverpool whenever I slide into tarring all evangelicals with the same brush as I tend to do from time to time. I in particular value two things about the speech. Firstly he has reflected on the nature of violence and brought that into the theological space in thinking about sexual orientation. This is very important, indeed capital for Christian theologising on sexual orientation which is usually left to one side (to read… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Bishop Jones is widely regarded as a prominent evangelical. His CV includes being a former chair of Wycliffe Hall Council and a senior figure in the Church Pastoral Aid Society and Scripture Union. In 2003, he was one of those who successfully protested against the attempt to appoint Canon Jeffrey John, a high profile advocate of the gay lesbian movement in the Church of England, as Bishop of Reading. But since 2003 Bishop Jones has changed his views.” – Anglican Mainstream – This is a good example of the Catholic strategy after Vatican II – ‘Semper Reformanda’. For Bishop James… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

It looks like some evangelical/conservative/orthodox (or whatever the conservatively correct term is this month) Anglicans are using the logic of “Diversity is fine — as long as you agree with me!” or “We can disagree — except on my issues!”
Their logic isn’t.

karen macqueen+
Guest
karen macqueen+

Re: the Fulcrum response to Bishop Jones and the tell-tale mistake. Andrew Goddard, in his posted response to Bishop Jones, seems to make a common mistake, i.e. that the CofE and TEC have not done or presented to the Anglican Communion the theological work that would justify a position of inclusion, or the toleration of a diversity of viewpoints re: blessing of same sex unions/marriages and the full inclusion of LGBT persons in all orders of ministry. I am always surprised to read this comment since it is simply not the truth. In the last forty years, and continuing, serious… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Karen. I am sure you are right. Evangelicals particularly seem to regard homosexual men (and it’s always men, women never seem to get a look in here) solely by their sexual acts. Indeed they seme obsessed by this as they are by their assertion that somehow homosexual sexual acts are inherently more likely to result in disease and indeed physical harm. I do sometimes wonder about what seem to be their overheated imaginations and their unhealthy fascination with physical side of sexual relationships. Perhaps it is because the Bible doesn’t seem to have anything to say particularly about same sex… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I think these knee jerk reactions are poor and illadvised. The foolishness of the Internet is the “rebuttal unit” mentality it inspires in people who frankly should respect far more their own integrity and any modest academic pretensions they may have. Bishop Jones has been doing what bishops should, he and Liverpool have somehow rediscovered the meaning and wonder of bonds of affection and how they can hold even these two Anglican positions together. I know that it is most likely that the Primate of Nigeria has been prompted to write to his fellow Nigerian bishop telling him to cease… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Consider Rowan Williams’s profound lecture in Lincoln, on a podcast, and summarised by me, in the light of something behind what James Jones was saying. The lecture transcends James Jones’s speech, but it is of a different vision of the religious community than is the present day reality.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/03/magnificent-lecture.html

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

And Mary Glasspool has received the necessary consents of the standing Committees. Surely the bishops also will back her.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/25706

Canon Andrew Godsall
Guest
Canon Andrew Godsall

“The truly informative thing about the responses to Bishop Jones’ address is that FULCRUM is shown in its true colours” I suspect Fulcrum is quite mixed in terms of its supporters, (and what is Fulcrum really apart from a web forum?) but I had an exchange with Bishop Graham Kings on THIS forum which showed that he was hardly likely to be supportive of the position James Jones has now adopted. Graham is, of course, likely to differ from his Diocesan bishop about the matter, and Graham couldn’t quite be clear about the reality he finds himself in now he… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Canon Godsall is right I think. There is quite a bit of evidence that suggests even the most conservative bishops can be suprisingly pastoral in this area.If they werent we would presumably see a lot of licences revoked-but it doesnt happen. It was inevitable that the response to James Jones from the conservative evangelical blogs would be swift and harsh…they hate nothing more that those who stray from the true path, though of course the Church of England is actually littered with ex-evangelicals.I remember dear old Bishop Brian Masters once saying to me apropos some spat years ago, “You must… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Rev L Roberts, thank you for the good news about Mary Glasspool. Hallelujah — Praise God!!

Pluralist
Guest

I’ve always taken the view that with the departure of the traditionalist Anglo-Catholics the dividing knife goes through Fulcrum in the bipolar (tug of war) Church of England. In this, Andrew Goddard has shifted himself to the right of the knife. James Jones is well to the left of the knife, if not exiting this grouping altogether (and rapidly overtaking Baptist Steve Chalke). The knife goes into Tom Wright, with his mouth and throat to the right and some of his hands to the left. The knife also goes through Graham Kings, with his ears to the left but most… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Whatever way you look at it, James Jones has travelled a huge distance from where he once stood – and I think that does offer some hope for those who wish to see change

Sue
Guest

This post relates right back to the first comment by Richard Ashby. While it is true that Jeremy Marks’ book “Exchanging the truth of God for a lie” does mainly focus on men, Jeremy’s organisation- Courage – is open to both men and women and has seen an steady and very welcome increase in women joining in recent years. It is not the case that it is “always men”. The True Freedom Trust also has female/ lesbian members and there are female ex-gay survivors as well!

john
Guest
john

Both Martin Reynolds’ and merseymike’s comments are – from very different perspectives – right on the button.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Well, Liverpool has long been an ecumenical stamping ground for both Roman and Anglican Bishops. If this is not a sign of ‘Unity in Diversity’. I’ve yet to encounter one. One would hope that +James’ stance might rub off on his Brother R.C. Bishop (even if only in private).