Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 May 2018

Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News From Windrush to Windsor: Who Do We Think We Are?

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 2: kingdom of God or cult of Christ?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Safeguarding, IICSA and the Care of Survivors

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dr.primroseInterested ObserverStanley MonkhouseGraham HardyDavid Runcorn Recent comment authors
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FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

Jonathan Clatworthy extols precisely the aims of Bishop Michael Curry in his calling for Episcopalians to see themselves as part of the Jesus Movement. The present judgemental, evangelical cult of Christ in the CofE is off-putting to the wider community who see it as a club for smug bigots. How inspiring it was for 2 billion people to hear an Anglican bishop invite everyone to join a loving, inclusive movement instead of a homophobic cult.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re:Jonathan Clatworthy, there are a number of things in the author’s macro- analysis I agree with; but I find his query ‘Kingdom of God or cult of Christ” elaborated in the article as ‘Jesus movement’ v. “Christ cult’ dichotomous and ultimately unhelpful. For example, Clatworthy writes, “When we worship Jesus rather than God, we distinguish ourselves from those outside the Christian tradition. When our worship is directed to the God who created the universe and cares for everybody alike, we remain inclusive.” Focus on God as Trinity. Doing so facilitates dialogue by reducing down confusion and frustration on all sides.… Read more »

Jeremy Fagan
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Jeremy Fagan

Stephen Parsons speaks a lot of sense. The work of safeguarding children is very different to the work of supporting victims & survivors of abuse. And that support is needed for the long term, not the short. An investment of some of the CofE’s long term assets in such an independent body would be a powerful witness – a good use of reform and renewal funds? The Diocese of Tasmania has been forced into such an exercise (https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/27-april/news/world/tasmania-diocese-sells-properties-to-fund-redress) – better that it should be done voluntarily in the interests of healing and justice.

David Runcorn
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Jonathan Clatworthy says he is looking for a vision for Christian mission that is God-centred (rather than Christ-centred) and that is praying and engaged with the world rather than a closed separatist cult. He might be encouraged by these statements from an old pioneering mission report: ‘A missionary church is focused on God the Trinity. All of its life and activities undergirded by prayer.’ ‘A missionary church is incarnational … seeks to shape itself in relation to the culture in which it is located or to which it is called. It is called to be cross-cultural [to] to lay aside… Read more »

Graham Hardy
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Graham Hardy

“The present judgemental, evangelical cult of Christ in the CofE is off-putting to the wider community” says FrDavidH. Certainly, I agree, that the present strategy (epitomised by Thy Kingdom Come) is doing little to connect with those who are not middle class or who naturally incline to a superficial form of the evangelical way of faith. But I am not convinced by the easy dichotomy of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ and this needs more theological scrutiny. As Jonathan Clatworthy notes, TKC is a movement of prayer that more people will come to ‘know Jesus.’ But how can Christians ‘know Jesus’ in… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
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Mr Hardy, DavidH: I’m a cleric and the emphasis on Jesus as my best friend does nothing for me. Never has. I think it’s not too strong to say it repels those outside that particular sect. To many it’s risible. But people are, in my experience, intrigued by notions of The Divine, God if you like, rather than the infantile emphasis on Jesus. This can be harnessed. As Denis Diderot wrote: Enlargissez Dieu. Enlarge the image of God.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

*Certainly, I agree, that the present strategy (epitomised by Thy Kingdom Come) is doing little to connect with those who are not middle class* I think the “current CofE strategy is middle class focused” argument relies on a particular definition of middle class which is rooted in age and capital rather than broader class markers. If you look at 25-ish university graduates, which is a reasonable definition of middle class if you strip away home ownership and good pension arrangements, then their willingness to join homophobic organisations is going to be lower, not higher, than the population more generally. There… Read more »

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

“I’m a cleric and the emphasis on Jesus as my best friend does nothing for me. Never has. I think it’s not too strong to say it repels those outside that particular sect. To many it’s risible.” I was at a play several months ago, which in part dealt with the relations between American Indians and the Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam (which upon the English conquest became New York.) The play was mostly a drama but with some comedy included. The line which raised a huge amount of laughter — by far, by far, by far, more than any… Read more »