Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 30 April 2016

Bosco Peters Eastern Orthodox Easter

James Jones BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day

Andrew Lightbown ‘Fear not’ for the C of E

Stephen Cottrell ACC 16 – A full time report: Hope triumphs

Simon Butler “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”?

The Telegraph Photographer visits abandoned places of worship, in pictures — photographs by Matthias Haker

Elaine Graham presented this paper to the Modern Church Council in March: Modern Church Between a rock and a hard place: Negotiating religious voices in public places — with links to the full 7000 word paper and a two-page summary and reading list.

Kelvin Holdsworth Six things I have learned about anti-semitism and the church

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
26 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
Father Ron SmithJCFSusannah ClarkJamie WoodRod Gillis Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

I’ sorry to hear that Bishop James Jones lost friendships when he started to change his mind of homosexuality. However, that has to be measured alongside the tragedy of gay people in his diocese losing their livings during his episcopate, something for which there has never seemed to be any apology. It is not inappropriate to ask how long it will be before the Diocese of Liverpool pays compensation to those affected. None of that is to take away from James Jones’s work in standing alongside those campaigning for justice for those killed at Hillsborough. It has been powerful and… Read more »

Froghole
Guest
Froghole

Elaine Graham’s piece is especially interesting, although I do not necessarily agree with all of her remarks about the course of secularisation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (especially with respect to France). Church leaders might wish to reflect that they have impaled themselves upon the horns of a real dilemma: by espousing open borders since the late 1950s in the name of Christian social justice they have helped to facilitate the movement of a large number of people from overseas who often came to this country in order to continue living their pre-existing lives in a more beneficent economic… Read more »

Froghole
Guest
Froghole

To continue, what we may need is a more coherent theology of immigration, in which the desire for social justice is tempered by a measure of political pragmatism. Naturally, this might well prove difficult, if not impossible, to develop. As to Prof. Graham’s excellent remarks on apologetics and, having heard many thousands of sermons and homilies, there is a real need for church leaders to explain the fundamentals of the faith, and the story of their origin and development. Time was when confirmation candidates were catechised properly and many clergy had a fairly creditable, if slanted, knowledge of church history.… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Thanks especially to Kevin Holdsworth for his “Six Things I learned about antisemitism and the Church.” My problem is that I find it hard to see the good in Christianity because of its antisemitic overlay. The New Testament is full of it, and it does not seem to me possible to disentangle the antisemitism from the Christian Message. At the heart of it is the belief that in some sense Jesus is the heart of the New Israel, and that God had rejected the original chosen people by giving preference to those who followed Jesus. Think of this verse from… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Secularisation has deeper causes than the commenter suggests. Chiefly at this deeper penetration beyond the intellectual, it is related to the sociology of (common) knowledge and technology. People know now that, for example, there is no God-intervention in the weather, and that computers show it is chaos theory in action and systems working. This becomes ‘ordinary thought’. Regarding theological education as a different kind of apologetic, well theology is a subdivision of religious education in general. Some decent phenomenological descriptions of religion into the public sphere might help better, and indeed anthropology of what believers in religions do. Sectarianism runs… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

A very engaging and comprehensive article by Kelvin Holdsworth on Christian anti-Semitism.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Matthias Haker’s photo of the overgrown abandoned place of worship – very beautiful indeed.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@Eric, “The New Testament is full of it, and it does not seem to me possible to disentangle the antisemitism from the Christian Message.” Yes Eric, it is possible.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“People know now that, for example, there is no God-intervention in the weather, and that computers show it is chaos theory in action and systems working.” If people think that then as Christians we are failing. In contrast, chaos theory means that miraculous intervention is undetectable. God could be intervening in the weather tens of thousands of times a day and modern science wouldn’t know. By intervening at the right time, He can produce great storms or just subtly change whether a shower passes over at noon or at 12:10. The problem isn’t science at all but that we have… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Well, Rod, it is nice that you are confident that the untangling can be done, but it is hard to see how. The crossover from Judaism to Christianity is so central to the Gospel message overall that it is very hard to see how we can disentangle Christian belief in Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), from the ongoing messianic expectations of the Jews, or how we can tone down the law vs. – well that’s the problem, isn’t it, when we use the Pharisees as typical of Jewish legalism, when, in fact, the Pharisees were really more like Jesus in… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

The Kevin Holdsworth column is excellent, especially: 2 So called “Christian Seder” meals are offensive and unhelpful Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. I have heard of Christian seders, of Christian Yom Kippur celebrations, and these are all co-opting Judaism. There already is a Christian seder: It’s called the Eucharist or Mass or Lord’s Supper. There already is a Christian Yom Kippur: It’s called Ash Wednesday. This is solely my opinion, but I feel the Christian denominations most likely to engage in Christian seders, etc., are those protestant Christian groups who have removed themselves from most of the traditional Christian… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Eric MacDonald, Eric we had this conversation a few months ago here. I’m not sure there is value in reprising it. I agree. Anti-Semitism from NT texts into Christian liturgies, certainly up to the middle of the last century, is of a whole. I was once, about 30 years ago, the recipient of vile ostensibly Christian anti-Semitism sent anonymously in the mail. Probably because I had addressed anti-Semistism publicly. Kelvin Holdsworth notes in his excellent piece that he did not learn about this in seminary. Fortunately, those of us who went to our divinity school did have the opportunity… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Rod, I understand the wish to go on saying that Jesus is the Christ, that is, the Messiah (let’s please not forget that), which leads to the accusation that the Jews rejected the Messiah when he came. The Gospel of John, which is the most obviously antisemitic of the gospels, and so much else in the Christian canon, is not only in conflict with Christianity’s Jewish origins, but effectively characterises the Jews as the people who rejected their Messiah. As I studied the Holocaust, I could not but become aware of this tendency in the Christian scriptures, deliberately eliding parts… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Eric, “If you acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, then you have effectively denied the validity of Judaism …” What contorted nonsense. Eric, no matter which hobby horse you are riding you consistently bring to the exercise the same dogmatic heuristic structure. Rhetorical extremism closes the door on any kind of meaningful dialogue. The kinds of questions I find compelling are inter-faith dialogue, ecumenism, the relationship of social justice to human rights, and alternatives to biblicism and so called “biblical” ethics. I’m interested in engaging these questions as one who confesses Jesus the Christ within an Anglo-Catholic tradition. If someone… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

“Just calling Jesus the Christ is to express an intrinsic denial of the justice of Jewish expectation” Eric MacDonald on Monday, 2 May 2016 at 1:58pm BST, I agree with much of what you say here, but the above quoted text, I find overbroad. It has been in the past, but it does not have to be in the future, that just because Christians have their Christ, their anointed one, that devout Jews can’t still wait for their Mashiach, their anointed one. When people have a Revelation of Truth, a revelation so profound that it alters the very core of… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Sorry, I think the problem of Christianity and Judaism is much deeper. When you Peter, make a linguistic distinction, and speak of the Christian Christ and the Jewish Mashiach, it’s called bait and switch. ‘Christos’ and ‘Mashiach’ mean the same thing: Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, all the same. This is the question of Marcion. What is our relation to the Jews, and to their holy texts? Nor is it fair or relevant, Rod, to accuse me of wanting to put the last nail in the coffin of Christianity. Quite untrue. I want a conception of Christianity not subject to the reckless… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Eric, ” …the problem of Christianity and Judaism is much deeper.” Never said there was not a difficult problem; but the kind of dogmatic stance you take, if taken into Jewish-Christian dialogue, would be a disaster, for both dialogue partners. Your rhetoric here is passion devoid of horizon and may actually make the problem worse. “…understand the limits of hermeneutic..” Your hermeneutic suffers from the most fundamental and fatal of flaws, i.e. making a reading bear your own political bias. I repeat ( yes I am modern) , there is no text, only interpretation. This is a good rule… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Rod. It is clearly not worth arguing these points with you. I don’t know why you bother, since you despise my approach so much. Since you make it so personal, perhaps it is I you despise. You even misquote me to show how foolish I am (just a reading bear with a political bias). I did not write: “Christian scripture it’s always a judgement on the (perfidious) Jews.” The word ‘it’s’ should make that plain, since in accord with your interpretation (here is a case where there is text and not only interpretation), ‘it’s’ should be ‘is’. What I clearly… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

As a follow up to Kelvin Holdsworth’s article, folks interested in the anti-Semitism issue may be interested in this article titled, The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable, a Jewish Perspective.

It pertains to the latest R.C. document, The Gifts of God Are Irrevocable (December 2015). That document is available from Vatican Radio or otherwise easily located online.

The document and the Jewish response present two very interesting perspectives on a complex issue moving forward. Both are lengthy and intricate, reflective of the issues at hand.

http://www.lastampa.it/2015/12/13/vaticaninsider/eng/documents/the-gifts-and-calling-of-god-are-irrevocable-a-jewish-perspective-NImEjsOAHpoPWsLjzeUXDO/pagina.html

Jamie Wood
Guest
Jamie Wood

re “Love the sinner, hate the sin” – CS Lewis pointed out that this is what each of us does for himself/herself. I love myself, I wish myself well, I wish I didn’t do many of the things I do do – so I hate the sins that I do (some of them at least.) It’s all a reasonable attitude to myself, so it’s a fair attitude for me to have towards others also.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Jamie, Personal conviction of one’s own sin is an act of self-responsibility and (in turning from it) self-determination. On the other hand, attributing sinfulness to someone else runs the risk of wresting their self-determination from them, and trying to re-define for them exactly who they are and how they ought to act. I think scripture hints at that being better left to God. And if a Church, as an organisation, projects ‘sin’ on the actions of an individual, then there is a risk that an individual’s conscience and who they are may be crushed, overridden, marginalised, diminished, veto’ed, or threatened… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“It’s all a reasonable attitude to myself, so it’s a fair attitude for me to have towards others also.” I disagree. It’s a “reasonable attitude to myself”…because I am SUPPOSED to be looking at my own sins. I think people miss the point of Jesus’s “log/splinter” analogy, if they view it as merely quantitative: “well, my owns sins may be a bit bigger, but the Ol’ College Try will get that log out, then I can move onto everyone else’s no-less-loathesome-in-the-Eyes-of-God splinters.” No. Removing one’s log is a life-log, **all-consuming** task. If you EVER think you have the moral highground… Read more »

Jamie Wood
Guest
Jamie Wood

So are we allowed to hate other peoples’ sins, in the cases where those sins are racism, or anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia, or homophobia?

Susannah Clark
Guest

Jamie, to the extent that racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and homophobia curtail other people’s lives and freedoms and self-determination… I should say that they are different from gay or lesbian love, which is freely expressed, freely shared, and frankly, simply a matter for the individuals concerned. In a sense, hating gay sex is a kind of homophobia, albeit one based on conscientious belief – and so it is more likely that the examples you offer are best aligned with the very act of hating gay sex which you started off with. In short, such views potentially harm and restrict and marginalise… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“So are we allowed to hate other peoples’ sins, in the cases where those sins are racism, or anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia, or homophobia?”

You’re allowed to hate your own racism, or anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia, or homophobia—as I’m allowed to hate mine. Kyrie eleison, TBTG!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Dame Julian of Norwich said: “Sin is inevitable, but all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well” – true or false?