Thursday, 26 July 2007

Lambeth Conference: English boycott?

The Church of Ireland Gazette carries a report of an interview with the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt: English bishops could have to consider positions over Lambeth Conference – Bishop of Winchester:

Following the debate on the Anglican covenant process at the meeting of the Church of England General Synod earlier this month in York, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, told the Gazette that if the bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States do not meet the demands of the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Meeting required by next September’s deadline, and if the bishops of the Global South decline to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, as many as six in ten Church of England bishops could be considering their own positions about attending the ten-yearly episcopal gathering.

However, Bishop Scott-Joynt added that such bishops would feel “constrained” by their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who personally invites the bishops.

Bishop Scott-Joynt also said that if the US bishops were not attending and the Global South bishops were, his estimated four in ten minority among the English bishops would be facing similar considerations to those of the majority in the opposite situation.

This is also reported by Ruth Gledhill for Times Online in Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference, and on her blog in ‘Six of the best’ for Rowan.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 26 July 2007 at 10:53pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

If all else fails, the southernmost town, St Helier, Jersey, of the southernmost diocese in the Church of England, Winchester, could host the "Global South" Lambeth Conference.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 12:13am BST

Is this the same Michael Scott-Joynt who has been such a loud and tireless advocate for liberalizing church teaching on divorce?

Posted by: JPM on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 12:19am BST

More scare-mongering and sabre-rattling from Michael S-J !

But even this is full of caveats and maybes.

Why doesnt he resign along with Hereford as an act of conscience ? THAT would impress.

Posted by: L Roberts on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 12:30am BST

Does he still wear gaiters?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 1:48am BST

Is this really possible? There is an "Establishment" & I do not find these numbers at all credible -- perhaps that many C of E bishops disagree with the majority position of TEC, but that is a far cry from refusing to meet with them -- of course "may" is such an elusive word. If bishops chose not to attend, well & good, but a boycott to protest the direction of the Established Church should lead to the deprivation of their sees, as in the case of the non-jurors (IMHO)

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 2:04am BST

Feh: "six in ten." Six TOTAL is more like it (the usual suspects, +Scott-Joynt, +Nazir-Ali, maybe +Wright? Who else?)

[As far as the "One-third of the bishops of AC boycotting": at the rate that Nigeria is cranking 'em out, by next year they might make up that one-third # on their own?]

Gledhill continues her unrivaled role as breathless spin-mistress, per usual...

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 5:22am BST

What a great bishop!

Now, I expect to see lots of TA posts rubbishing the nos and trying to pretend there is a CofE majority in favour of VGR.....

- but pls look at the last years in the CofE - Rowan Williams has not once risked the loss of evos in the CofE because we are not a tiny, radical minority and also because we are merely asking the church to stick to its own teaching and scripture.

Posted by: NP on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:18am BST

So the good bishop sends his balloon up in an Irish Gazette? How colonial!

Perhaps it would be well advised of Ruthie to leave these messrs alone, instead of exposing them to the world? Certainly a great deal more charitable.

Also, the April meeting of the HOB in Texas was not an “initial meeting”. It was a regular meeting of the HOB, it had nothing to do with the ultimatum issued by the Vocal “South” primates assembled (separately) in Tanzania.

The HOB constrained itself only to reject the ultimatum.

Ruth makes it sound as if the IRD Coup d’Église agenda is the only thing there is, when on the contrary it seems the increasingly frustrated Vocal “South”-ers have issued enough ultimatums (a sure sign of impotence) to double-double-double boycott themselves ;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:29am BST

Selling nonsense-makers as “senior”, “six out of ten”, scare mongering “deep divisions” & c. can only undermine the Hierarchic world-view it is meant to propagate.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:38am BST

'What a great bishop!' writes NP. JPM enquires 'Is this the same Michael Scott-Joynt who has been such a loud and tireless advocate for liberalizing church teaching on divorce?'

The Bishop of Winchester does seem to have two ways of reading Holy Scripture and employing traditional Church teaching. In relation to divorce and re-marriage he is willing to set aside explicit teaching within apostolic writings because of the received experience of the Church in relation to heterosexual men and woman whose marriages have failed. They are not to be commended to celibacy but are allowed to have a sexual relationship within a second marriage.In relation to men and women of homosexual orientation, he adheres to far less explicit biblical texts and consigns all these people to celibacy.

Bishop Scott-Joynt does not make it clear in the words ascribed to him whether he will be with the 'six' or the 'four'. From his divergent approaches to the questions of divorce/re-marriage and homosexuality, it would be presumptuous of anyone to say they knew for certain what he would do. However, the balance of probabilities would lead me to say that he has a 'Global South' tendency which would over power his other tendencies. Perhaps, as has been suggested elsewhere, he could simply retire/resign before the Lambeth Conference and save himself the struggle.

Posted by: Anglicanus on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 9:24am BST

Whatever happened to growing a spine and attending regardless - "hey, let's go trash this place!" or some similarly robust mentality? This talk of possibly-not-attending is merely immature. Pre-sulking doesn't work with children when parents are around; and these people are guardians of the churches?

Oh of course, I forgot. Actually going would involve (sotto voce) talking with the enemy, wouldn't it? And that's something only liberals do.

Bah.

Posted by: Tim on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 9:56am BST

I agree with Tim.....++Akinola and all the bishops who do not want to let TEC takeover the AC by default should come and vote and make sure the AC is still mainstream Christian and we get a proper covenant which says what it means and means what it says.

I think we may see this happen - unless the ABC gives in before that and disinvites those in TEC who are still unrepentant with regard to their 2003 actions - we may well see that too.

Glad to see the ABC has distanced himself from Sentamu's comments, by the way....I suspect he knows it is not time to be threatening the conservatives in the AC unless you really are willing to see a split. However much Merseymike and other non-Anglicans would like to see a split to justify their own views, I think the ABC is still more concerned about the AC than any particular rights-based agenda

Posted by: NP on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:42am BST

We link above to Ruth Gledhill's version of this story in The Times. This is reproduced on the Anglican Mainstream website, but with some significant variations. The Times starts "Six out of ten senior Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference ..." but Anglican Mainstream has "Up to 10 Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference ..." which is rather different. There are similar differences further on in the two versions. I'd be interested to know which, if either, is correct.

The Anglican Mainstream article is here:

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1933

Posted by: Peter Owen on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:50am BST

I know that Ruth Gledhill recently experienced a personal bereavement and has been on leave - she has my every sympathy - but there is a strong contrast between the speed and extent with which her paper has covered Scott-Joynt's trial balloon - two simultaneous pieces of marked ideological bent - "Six of the best for Rowan" (do we suppose that Williams gives a damn what Scott-Joynt says?), as opposed to the Times's silence on the far more significant and authoritative statement made by Archbishop Sentamu at the beginning of the week. The Sentamu interview (given to another paper, I know, but so were Scott-Joynt's pearls of wisdom) merits only a single sentence in one of her two new pieces, a sentence which gives little indication of the severe nature of the warning that the Archbishop issued to the "Global South". In Ms Gledhill's absence I, for one, would have been most interested to hear the "take" of her stand-in, Joanna Sugden, daughter of the canon of Jos, on the Archbishop's warning.

Seriously though, it's this sort of partisan fixing that leads to much of the criticism directed towards Ms Gledhill on this site.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 11:00am BST

As someone who lives in Jersey, and attends a Church signed up to Inclusive Church, a South Lambeth conference here would be interesting! And we had the re-marrying a divorced Bishop in church a year or so ago (which made the national tabloids). I'm not sure the global south would be happy with that!

Posted by: Tony on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 11:08am BST

"Glad to see the ABC has distanced himself from Sentamu's comments." Where'd you root this one up, NP? I don't see it in the Gledhill pieces and have not read it elsewhere.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 11:10am BST

"What a great bishop!"

Still want to claim you have a problem with divorce, NP? Yet again I ask, yet again you will ignore: how is it that you have no problem with divorce yet are willing to split the Church over homosexuality? Scripture condemns both, after all. And don't dodge with the claim that he isn't divorced. I don't know one way or the other. The point is he supports the change in Church teaching. He supports doing something that is contrary to Scripture. He supports a change in what was once the mind of the Church. In short, he supports the very same thing WRT divorce you are willing to split the Church over when TEC does it. How does this make him great? This is simple hypocrisy. The world sees it. Everybody else sees it. Is it all Evos who can't see it, or only you?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 12:23pm BST

Lapin - it is on AM and THe Living Church

http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=3627

Sentamu did not make a wise, powerful or persuasive statement - not surprising to see it is not being backed by the ABC......

Posted by: NP on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 12:45pm BST

George Conger starts his article in today's CEN about the Global South leaders doubts over Lambeth with a curious mistake, which can only be deliberate. He writes:

"Up to a third of the Bishops in the Anglican Communion are prepared to boycott Lambeth should the Archbishop of Canterbury invite to the 2008 gathering the American and Canadian bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson and who have authorised same-sex bessings in their diocese."

But +Rowan has already invited the majority of American and Canadian bishops - why does George write 'should the Archbishop .. invite'?

Is George playing a wishful thinking game in an Alice in Wonderland world? If I write that something is so, it will be so. The Global South Primates have been thinking wishfully for a long time now. The Lambeth Conference will take place with the majority of bishops and Primates attending, I predict, and the Communion will survive and will continue to explore how evey Province will work towards the full inclusion of LGBT people. A tad provocative that thought, I know, but there is no alternative.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 1:01pm BST

"...was not speaking on behalf of Archbishop Rowan Williams, but instead offering his own reflections on current events." Not distancing himself very far, is he, NP?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 1:34pm BST

FE: "Still want to claim you have a problem with divorce, NP? Yet again I ask, yet again you will ignore: how is it that you have no problem with divorce yet are willing to split the Church over homosexuality?......Is it all Evos who can't see it, or only you?"

Great loathing of Mudbloods it would seem.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 1:52pm BST

"A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is on sabbatical until September, said Archbishop John Sentamu was not speaking on behalf of Archbishop Rowan Williams, but instead offering his own reflections on current events."

So what were the AbofC's ideas? I'm not sure this is much of a distancing, NP. And as to "wise, powerful, and persuasive" well, this is getting like a cracked record. What would be a wise and persuasive argument that cutting one'sself off from Canterbury shows rejection of the Communion? Interesting that AM's "headline" made reference not to what Sentamu said, but to the statement from Lambeth, which is the last sentence of the report. Obviously they didn't think the statement was important, just the way Lambeth reacted, presumably as a way to judge which way the wind is blowing. What did Lambeth actually say?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 1:56pm BST

Ford - I said he was "great"....not infallible.

Why not split over the divorce issue? Because those who wanted a change went about it in the right way and were able to get a working consensus in the church. They did not just ignore everyone and pursue their own views as TEC did with VGR.

But, you are right, we are hypocrites.....we have been too easily emotionally-clackmailed into "unity" and have kept silent in the past - we ought to have made sure the AC was clear on where it stands or split years ago when Spong and David Jenkins et al were spreading their "liberalism". Many did leave....the AC is left with those "conservatives" who have been committed to unity but have now been pushed too far by TEC's unilateral actions in the AC.

We have learned that people can use "unity" as a weapon to force us to accept false teachers.....so we are no longer so tolerant and this presenting issue is not the core issue but a symptom of a greater theological split in the AC.

Why is the AC about to split on a particular issue???

Because TEC made this issue the key issue in the form of VGR. ++Akinola did not make him a bishop to create a crisis - did he?? No, TEC chose to make this an issue - despite ALL thr Primates of the AC warning in very clear terms that they would "tear the fabric of the Communion".....but they did it anyway and we have a broken Communion at the moment.

Posted by: NP on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 2:24pm BST

"between six and ten" in the Anglican Mainstream take is far more credible than "six out of ten" of Gledhill. Perhaps the bishop should say. The AM version does not square with four out of ten comment on the liberal side wondering whether to go if TEC bishops do not. That reported comment itself is a nonsense. The more liberal bishops would go. So i suspect Anglican Mainstream has edited the piece to what they think should have been said, but that is unethical. Mad and tabloid as the original report might be from Ruth Gledhill's over used stirring spoon, they ought to leave it as it exists.

As for the Archbishop of York, he was not speaking for the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor was he speaking against him.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 2:34pm BST

While we're all busily grubbing around in the entrails, was anyone else interested by Ruth Gledhill's aside, re Rowan Williams' taking time off from his sabbatical to attend the installation of Josiah Iduwu-Fearon, Archbishop of Kaduna, at Canterbury Cathedral, that "although conservative, [the Archbishop] is regarded as something of a counterpart to the Nigerian Church leader Dr Peter Akinola"?

If we're sifting through the ABC's actions and inactions, seeking signs & portents, this might be a more profitable line of inquiry.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 2:54pm BST

Why is it that we hang upon every nuanced word of the pointy-hatted? Reading things into every sentence and phrase - tryng to figure out what this primate or that is going to do -- and when? I am sick of it. Instead of playing word games, issuing threats and angry answers, why don't we just get about the business of separating? It is going to happen. It has to happen. As Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. No recriminations. No biterness. A friendly divorce and division of the resources.
Sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Dan on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 3:42pm BST

"a working consensus in the church"

So, it's not about whether or not something is right or wrong in a Scriptural sense after all, but rather about whether or not we can make everyone else agree with us? As long as the entire Church agrees, we can go against Scripture? So all your talk of obedience to Scripture is so much nonsense, actually, you're fine with error as long as everybody agrees to it? It's not the error, it's the "arrogance" of TEC that has you mad?

"we are hypocrites"

We all are, NP, but "your" hypocrisy does not lie in past toleration of false teaching. It lies in accusing others of that of which you are guilty. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

And how many people do you see following Spong? I count very few, this is the only place where I've run into even Liberals who were positive. Now granted they don't get angry and condemn him to the fires of Hell, but they aren't all that inspired by what he says. I get the feeling you think he's incredibly powerful in TEC.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 3:44pm BST

The Church of Ireland Gazette interviewed the bishop at Synod to get the "6 out of 10" figure, which Ruth then quotes. I think we can trust their version - "4 out of 10" fits in.

It would appear AM have made a clumsy numerical mistake, which alters the meaning of their report.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 3:59pm BST

Well the Archbishop's actions and inactions might be explained like this. There are things you should do but they meet all sorts of mental resistances, and things you can easily do, but aren't those things to which you should be attending. It is like me coming on here: something to easy to do, when I should be doing other tasks.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 4:26pm BST

No, Ford....the point is that people spent the time and did the work to show from scripture when divorce is acceptable....the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage.

My point was merely that those who wanted a "softer" line on divorce did not consecrate a divorced bishop in order to advance their cause.....they made a case from scripture and +Winchester was part of that.

Sorry for making you so angry! I do not mean to do that. Maybe conservatives and liberals cannot listen to each other without getting angry and disillusioned.

Posted by: NP on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 5:40pm BST

Colin ... it is my understanding that the invitations to Lambeth 2008 are conditional. E.g., Rowan Williams reserves the right to disinvite those to whom invitations have been extended.

This was stated in the covering letter and has been repeated several times by RW's staff and most recently in Jonathan Petre's Telegraph interview Archbishop Sentamu.

At any rate, this is what the GS believes to be the state of play.

Posted by: George Conger on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 6:43pm BST

Divorce is a different case because Moses and Jesus lay out regulations and boundaries for it that allow for some cases. The modern church has stretched these to the limit to be sure and I'm sure some measure of accountability on this issue will fall on the church.

SSM/SSB holds no grey area - Scripture is clear and there is no denying that fact. You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits. The overwhelming voice of the AC was against +VGR's election and consecration and TEC did it anyway. TEC walked away from the AC at GC 2003 - the past four years are just fallout.

Charging others of hypocrisy does nothing to improve your own position. Much of these bleatings come across as "I don't claim to know truth, but I'm CERTAIN you're wrong - and a meanie."

Posted by: Chris on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 6:58pm BST

"was anyone else interested by Ruth Gledhill's aside, re Rowan Williams' taking time off from his sabbatical to attend the installation of Josiah Iduwu-Fearon"

Yes, Lapin, I was curious about that, especially this bit: "although conservative, [the Archbishop] is regarded as something of a counterpart to ...++Akinola"

Either "counterpart" has a different meaning in Brit-speak, or perhaps did Ms. Gledhill mean *counter-balance*?

*****

6 out of 10/4 out of 10

*OR*

"6 to 10"

*Someone* has got this quote SERIOUSLY wrong. :-/

[Never mind that S-J's analysis itself may be seriously whacky]

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:02pm BST

JCF, I assume she intended counterbalance - the statement would not otherwise make sense. I should not be at all surprised if she is monitoring this blog. If so, maybe she would set us right on this.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:16pm BST

How 'bout I settle for a meanie and leave it at that?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:18pm BST

Lapinbizarre, frankly I wouldn't expect any more. When Scripture, traditiona and reason fall against your position the next best thing you can do is call the other side "mean."

Posted by: Chris on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 7:39pm BST

"Divorce is a different case"

Jesus only allowed it in case of adultery. Not abuse, for instance. One could thus argue that abused spouses ought not leave their abusers, since Jesus doesn't allow them to.

"You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits."

Or you could accept the fact that the Traditional approach is to give Scripture a lot of authority, but to seek the guidance of the Spirit in the interpretation of it, and not be too upset if the Spirit leads you in a different direction than the word printed. Just because you don't like this approach is no reason to make the above claim. The Church has decided many things, including many of the things you think basic, using just this approach.

"Charging others of hypocrisy does nothing to improve your own position."

I don't have a position. Using Scipture to justify the things you want to do or that might one day apply to you while denouncing others for doing the same thing is hypocritical on its face. I am not trying to justify anything by pointing this out. It does however, make you look pretty bad in the eyes of those who consider us hypocritical, judgemental, and sanctimonious abusers of power. It paints a pretty poor picture of Christianity. You can't make elaborate arguments to justify divorce, war, usury, the death penalty, and on and on while denouncing others for using the same tactic to justify something you don't like. You think maybe this practice has something to do with the decline of Christianity in Western society where people believe respect must be earned, not simply given to those in positions of power? How does one earn respect by doing this?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 8:31pm BST

Well, I said I didn't believe that 6 out of 10 C of E bishops "might" boycott Lambeth -- "6 to 10," of course! Actually a numerically smaller group than I would have suspected, given the number of flying bishops & staunch evangelicals who have been appointed.

BTW, that reminds me,most people seemed to laud PM Brown for letting the C of E bureaucracy de facto, appoint bishops, but I think that it is wrong for the church to appoint persons to the House of Lords.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 8:41pm BST

Ford:

If it makes you feel any better, I am apalled by the divorce culture and by the fact that it has taken root in the Church. I am especially apalled by the idea of Priests and Bishops that have had multiple divorces. This seems to be a direct contradiction to the qualifications for a Priest or Bishop, and is definitely a disqualifier in my eyes.

In fact, my position on divorce is, as far as I can tell, very close to that of the RC. (I also agree with them on the subject of birth control, but that is another kettle of fish). However, this kind of tit-for-tat argument makes no sense and you know it. Two wrongs do not make a right. And, if the Church has erred in this area--which you seem to acknowledge, why would that justify its erring in the area of ordaining the homosexually active?

Steven

Posted by: Steven on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:30pm BST

>>>You can't make elaborate arguments to justify divorce, war, usury, the death penalty, and on and on while denouncing others for using the same tactic to justify something you don't like.

Oh yes they can!

It never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me to see how even the most stridently fundamentalist can "reappraise" with all the wild abandon of Jack Spong himself when it suits their purposes.

Posted by: JPM on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:36pm BST

"Divorce is a different case"

"Jesus only allowed it in case of adultery."

And, of course, the MArcan Jesus doesn't allow it at all. It is much easier to argue that Matthew softened Jesus' words than Mark hardened them.

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:45pm BST

NP said: "the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage."

Of course, it wasn't all that long ago that we were being told the Bible taught precisely that. When my mother sought to leave my father, her clergyman demanded she return.

But now, an arch-conservative can claim that "the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage."

So, perhaps our interpretations of scripture CAN change. Eh, NP?

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 10:55pm BST

My understanding is that in the earlier stages of grappling with divorce, there were some parishes/priests who condoned and affirmed before others. For example, in a Catholic church, a divorcee still can not remarry without a compassionate priest who "annuls" the first marriage on some kind of technicality. There are still women being told to stay or return to abusive husbands (and vice versa), so the edicts on divorce have not yet been uniformly accepted. Therefore some souls are still defying others before the full scriptural authority has been accepted.

The same in the reformation to end slavery.

The same in the reformations to make the bible accessible to the masses.

""Glad to see the ABC has distanced himself from Sentamu's comments" and Lapinbizarre's question reminds us of an important lesson. If you are silent in the face of evil, evil can deem that you are complicit with evil. There's the story about how the Holocaust began. If you don't stand up for the first victims, it is likely that there will be no one left to defend you when it is your turn. GLBTs are humanity's canaries on whether tyranny is about to break out. If they can not safely breathe, live and move; then everyone else's wellbeing is also in peril. Sensible miners also know that you can't tell if a canary has snuffed it from poisonous fumes if you fail to feed, water and provide it with a safe dwelling. In the latter case, its snuffing it could be from the miners' negligence rather than the toxicity of the environment itself.

I was rereading Desmond Tutu's "God has a dream" this morning. Tutu writes "God has such a... reverence for freedom (that God) would much rather see us go freely to hell than compel us to go to Heaven... This is what tyrants and unjust rulers have to contend with. They cannot in the end stop their victims from being human. Their unjust regimes must ultimately fall because they seek to deny something that cannot be denied... the urge for freedom remains... People are made for it just as plants tend toward the light and the water." (p14-15)

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Friday, 27 July 2007 at 11:38pm BST

"SSM/SSB holds no grey area - Scripture is clear and there is no denying that fact. You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits."

As obvious as it seems, Chris, to acknowledge that OF COURSE SCRIPTURE SUPPORTS committed, faithful, *spousal* relationships between two persons of the same sex, we must be modest and admit we could be wrong.

That's what you meant, right?

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 1:22am BST

But, Ford, issues such as divorce, usury, war and even the death penalty are no where near as clear cut as God's call for sexual purity. Moses, Paul and Jesus gave definitive regulations for divorce. Usury was only an issue between Jews - they could charge interest to foreigners. God called Israel to war more than once and we see that there are seasons for pounding share plows into swords. Mosaic law had several calls for the death penalty - thankfully, Jesus set these punishments aside.

But, there is not a single shred of evidence in Scripture for SSM/SSM or for a positive case of church leaders living in persistent sexually immoral states. You have to be honest and say the only way to justify non-celibate homosexual ordination is to depart from the Scripture as the basis for morality.

And once you move away from Scripture:
a) we have to answer where else do we have liberty to depart from Scripture? The incarnation? The resurrection? Humanity's fallen nature? It all goes pear shaped pretty quickly once you tear out a few pieces.

b) you have no basis to challenge my claims. You can't use Scripture to justify your arguments because I'll simply claim "I choose not to include that part - thanks for teaching me that trick." How do I know God cares about justice if you have no proof I will accept? Any one can make a truth claim and there is no way to resolve conflict because we have no standard for morality.

Divorce is an outstanding case study for this. The church and Western society has gone beyond the boundaries set out by God and in the US a third of all children are born out of wedlock. In the African-American community less than 40% of children live with their father. We've ignored God's plan and our society is suffering. So sure - let's ignore even more of God's plan in the name of justice.

Posted by: Chris on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 7:08am BST

George, thanks for the clarification about the status of Lambeth invitations as you, the GS, +Sentamu and RW's staff understand it.

What it means is that no bishop's invitation or acceptance is a guarantee that he or she will be allowed to come to Lambeth in 2008, including GS bishops and Primates who continue to transgress boundaries and appoint bishops in other Provinces.

Aren't these actions also contrary to Windsor? I imagine you will reply that there is a hierarchy of naughtiness when it comes to disobedience to Windsor, and the Episcopal Church is the most naughty, so her bishops are the ones most likely to have their invitation withdrawn, even after they have replied and accepted.

I may be wrong, but I don't think +Rowan and the ACO work with that kind of mentality. It's more GS wishful thinking.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 9:02am BST

Chris,

Please remember that you are talking of translations, not the Bible itself.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 10:14am BST

Chris said
"issues such as divorce, usury, war and even the death penalty are no where near as clear cut as God's call for sexual purity"

In that case, the Christian faith should hang its head in shame for perpetuating belief in such a useless, perverted godling.

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 11:58am BST

Goran,

I tend to trust that God is active in preserving His written word. While each modern translation has strengths and weaknesses, the messages are consistent. Even if one accepts near silence on homosexual relationships by picking and choosing translations, there is no active blessing of them like we see with marriage, parent-child and Christian brothers and sisters.

Posted by: Chris on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 4:40pm BST

Have just read this blog,apologies for not doing so before. Ref counterpart, yes I did mean counter balance. Should have used that word, much better.
Ref AM and 6 to 10: when I first saw Irish Gazette, I found it difficult to believe he had really said 6 in 10. He was uncontactable so I spoke to a couple of other sources who said they had also heard the figure might be six to ten. So to be safe, I used that in my initial story online, which AM picked up on. The bishop did return my call at about 6.30pm, as soon as he was able. He confirmed that the Irish Gazette reporting was accurate and he had indeed said six in ten. So I changed the online story and amended my brief report for the next day's paper. But by then, the AM report had already gone up. That is why the confusion has arisen. Also, I sent the bishop the link to the online report and made a couple of other changes at his request. However, it is only today that his office have emailed me, asking for a correction because he wishes to emphasise he did not use the word 'boycott' to me or Irish Gazette. Well we didn't quote him directly as saying boycott, it was journalistic shorthand for what he appeared to be saying. I guess that he's come under a bit of pressure from up high and hence the complaint to us. I can't see us running a correction, but I guess we might run a letter from him. I did heave a weary sigh when I saw it though. I think everyone's getting fed up of this whole business, me included. I really did think nothing could go wrong with a story that had appeared first in the Irish Gazette, and that I had checked both with the writer of the story and the Bishop himself and had even, effectively, shown him the copy, a facility which posting things online early gives us as never before. If he didn't like me using 'boycott', why didn't he say so then when he had the opportunity? But I feel sorry for them all, they are all under so much pressure and there is so much tea leaf reading by the likes of me and all of you that it is a miracle any of them open their mouths at all, ever.
Ref Jonathan Petre and Sentamu, it is really asking too much to expect me to go to town on an interview in our closest rival newspaper. When do they ever follow anything I do? JP, bless him, doesn't even have a blog.

Posted by: Ruth Gledhill on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 5:51pm BST

Ms. Gledhill, thanks for confirming what we thought was the case, and for the other information. You're right on Petre & Sentamu, of course - I had been checking your site on a regular basis, thinking that the millipede's next shoe, when it fell, might well drop there, but of course it didn't. Thanks also for what you have just published & linked on bp. Robinson. Maybe the interview you hope for with the presiding bishop will come through next?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 7:19pm BST

Chris wrote: "I tend to trust that God is active in preserving His written word."

I sugggest you get used to the idea that He just might not.

Chris further wrote: "... there is no active blessing of them like we see with marriage, parent-child and Christian brothers and sisters."

Well, If this is what you see, there isn't much I can say, is there?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 8:14pm BST

Chris
"I tend to trust that God is active in preserving His written word. While each modern translation has strengths and weaknesses, the messages are consistent."

No, they're not. Scroll back through the archives to find some of Göran's outstanding elaborations on this.

Translators are as prone to errors and mis-judgements as anyone else, to say nothing of the occasional ignorance of nuances in the original text. St Paul wasn't infallible, his many translators certainly aren't!! Only the RC claims to have someone in charge who is infallbile, and even they don't claim that their translators are.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 9:35pm BST

Chris: 'I tend to trust that God is active in preserving His written word'

Two problems.

A quick glance at the critical apparatus shows he seems happy to let all manner of variants creep in (unless the Textus Receptus is right after all). Oh, perhaps the main direction of the text is uncontested, but at what point does God's micro-management of the stylus stop? Dittography?

Secondly, the old theodicy question - if God is so concerned about not being misquoted, couldn't we do with a God who targeted his intervention in the world in a less narcissistic way?

Either way, your special pleading leaves you in deeper, hotter water than where you began.

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 28 July 2007 at 10:19pm BST

"He confirmed that the Irish Gazette reporting was accurate and he had indeed said six in ten."

Then the fault lies not in our quotations, Horatio, but in our wacky quotes!

Whatever our differences of perspective, Ruth, I appreciate your clarification in this regard.

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 2:34am BST

Erica, I've seen Goran's ideas here and they fail to convince.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett), the lesson from the theodicy is not to engage but to point to Christ as God's revelation to man. Besides, one side is certainly misquoting God as we have opposing truth claims.

NP, I;m not sure anyone is claiming Scripture has EXCLUSIVE authority. Hooker on the issue:

"what Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit [i.e., belief] and obedience is due; the next whereunto is whatsoever any man can necessarily conclude by force of reason; after these the voice of the Church succeedeth." (Laws V.8.2)

Posted by: Chris on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 6:26am BST

Further to Mynsterpreost's "critical apparatus" post, the collection of the texts of just the four Gospels, the core of Christian belief, involves, conservatively, the passage of two generations between the ministry of Jesus and the separate collection of the intermediate written texts and probable oral traditions, that now constitute "the Gospels". Two generation in which the substance of the text was open to the vagaries of the transmission of first oral and then manuscript tradition; to the selective memories of those who actually heard Christ speak, and to the interpretation of Christ's life and sayings in the light of what was already becoming Christian Orthodoxy. Does anyone, to take just a single instance, suppose that we know more than a hint of what actually went on in Jerusalem, relative to Jesus, between his entry into the city and his arrest?

How are we to believe seriously that any text collected under such circumstances can be treated as the unerring, definitive "Word of God". Lord knows, a fair amount of the activity just on this site is an exercise in setting the Word against the Word.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 9:59am BST

Once again Chris, I remind you that you are talking of translations. And yes, almost all are without any merit whatsoever.

Remember also the Mazorets. To them, and later generations, the Holy Scriptures in the plural must be copied meticulously to avoid any further errors. Not even the most blatant and obvious faults may be corrected!

The in-sufficiency and dis-harmony of scripture rules.

Today I have completed work on the sexualization of II Commandment porneía and VII Commandment moixeía in the Swedish tradition from the Parisian Versio vulgata of ca 1200. It comes in 5 columns Greek text, Versio vulgata, Swedish 1526, 1917 and 1981/2000. Quotes would be no use, but I can give you the statistics ;=)

In the NT there are 45 porneía in the Greek, against 47 “unchastity” in the translations…
The extras are Romans 13:13 Koítais; Beds (I suggest you look that one up!), and 2 Peter 2:14 moixalídos; their (masc.) eyes are full of disloyalty.

Of the 45 remaining, 32 are 2nd century (no less than 14 in Rev).

33 (most of them 1st century) + 12 pornä refer to the II Commandment = Idolatry,
10 (all 2nd century) refer to the VII Commandment = the House Congregation/the Body of Christ (1 Cor 6:18) as Household.

5 of the 33 refer to the customer into sacral prostitution (II Commandment),
to which comes the 12 pornä; the poor unfortunate women sold to the Temple for this kind of Idolatry (still common in India). Of these 12 pornä, 9 are 2nd century (5 in Rev).

The Versio vulgata (I have used the 1895 online, for simplicity’s sake) renders most porneía as fornicatio, but 2 as prostitutione/is.

Moreover, it has an extra fornicatione (in Romans 1:29).

To which comes 1 fornicatio rendered as homicidae (Rev 22:15), which gives the ideology away: to 1st Millennium Hellenists little boys will end up in Limbus infantorum whenever Sperm (conceived of as seeds ;=) is wasted for non procreative purposes = MURDER! (at the same time to the straight edge procreation meant bringing an Angel down forcibly from Bliss near The Highest Being, cloaking it in the DUST of the Vale of Tears).

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 12:37pm BST

The Swedish 1526 has 10 ”hor-” (including is 5 additional) which formally are from the root per-/por-/forn-/hor. Against this comes 31 bolerij, which is the sexualized Scholastic understanding of the Parisian Versio vulgata. To this come 4 skörheet/skörachtigheet/skörleffnat; madness, and 1 ”icke oäkta födde”; ”not born in bastardy” for the persons in John 8:41 who were not conceived in Cultic prostitution.

4 of the 47 Bible 2000 translations are (accidentally) from the actual root: per-/por-/forn-/hor; horat / horkarl, but still wrong ;=)

Conclusion: the proportions have been inverted.

The 10 porneías (all 2nd century) referring (in some sense) to the VII Commandment and translated as “unchastity” (in some sense) are correct.
But out of the 33 referring to II Commandment Idolatry not a single translation is correct (all rendered as “unchastity”), and only 4 are even based on the root per-/por-/forn-/hor (it is doubtful if this ever referred to Idolatry in Swedish, however).

Moixeía:

Of 31 NT moixeía; disloyalty, all are rendered as “marriage breaking”, except
2 horkarlar (from por-/per-/forn-/hor),
1 “does it themselves”,
1 “easy women” (this is the “their (masc.) eyes are full of disloyalty” of 2 Peter 2:14 ;=),
and, miraculously, 4 correct “disloyal” (Matt 12:39, Matt 16:4, Mark 8:38, Jacob 4:4).

So, no He does not “protect his word”. And remember, that the Textus receptus (which has its merits being of the General Text) is much manipulated in the early 16th century.

Erasmus and the others excised most of the late Byzantine additions, substituting them with the Scholastic additions from the Versio vulgata.

(which, BTW, means that they were fully aware of what they were doing ;=)

Also, the 1526 puts certain NT deutero-canonicals (Heb, Jacob, Jude, Rev) in their own section at the back, stating:

“So far we have had the right and sure main books of the New Testament. But these four that here follow have had a different reputation in antiquity…”

;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 12:47pm BST

>it is a miracle any of them open their mouths at all, ever< Ruth Gledhill.

The miracle will be when they keep them shut. They all want to have a good jump in the puddle and cause a splash, but when they get told off they start apologising or saying they didn't do it or didn't expect any bystanders to get wet.

As for the gospels and the Easter material - good dramatic stuff in the form of biography via raids on the Hebrew Bible. Let's put it like this. Paul was in Jerusalem at the time. He noticed nothing; from the outsider's stance it was an opportunity for the Roman authorities to pick up some troublemaking leaders and knock them off, and I bet Pilate was in his office at the time signing a few scrolls.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 3:12pm BST

Chris
I take it you're a trained linguist and specialist in the languages of the Old and New Testaments, and the way Scripture was altered during the centuries, and that is why you brush Göran's explanations aside as failing to convince.

I'm not an expert in these matters, so maybe you would be able to answer Göran's ideas in a little more detail for me?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 3:21pm BST

No Erika, I am not trained in classic languages, but to accept Goran's assertion that any translation is worthless is to undo most the Reformation and flies in the face of God tearing the Temple veil and opening the Gospel to the gentiles. To throw in with Goran would mean the laity are totally dependent on the priest to understand the Bible as the local translation is meaningless.

Please feel free to do so, but please be honest and not use the Scripture for any case you try to make, as your translation is worthless...

Goran, care to cite any of your interpretations to others?

Posted by: Chris on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 9:13pm BST

Chris,
So Göran is wrong not because he can be shown to be wrong, but because it would threaten your understanding of Scripture if he was right.
At least you're honest about your motivation in rejecting his arguments.

But you see, we have never claimed that Scripture is the literal word of God. It has always had to be interpreted, prayerfully, by the whole church, in the light of reason, tradition and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing threatening about knowing that not every word is literally true.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 8:12am BST

Erika says of scripture: "It has always had to be interpreted, prayerfully, by the whole church, in the light of reason, tradition and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. "

Yep...that is how we got Lambeth 1.10 - but you don't care about the view of "whole church" when it conflicts with what you want, do you, Erika?


Posted by: NP on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:01am BST

NP, we got Lambeth 1.10 through the process of a most abusive, unChristian debate, from a gathering of bishops which had little moral authority and certainly has no power or authority to issue statements which are binding on the church.

We will eternally disagree about this and you will keep repeating your position and I will repeat mine.

I do not feel bound by a resolution created in a chaotic plenary session, a resolution which undid the careful work of the sub-section dealing with human sexuality, and in which bishops repeated prejudice after prejudice.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:21am BST

There's an interesting read on Abp Peter Akinola's interview with Nigeria newspaper- The Guardian about Lambeth 2008.

http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/ibru_center/article01

Posted by: Edith on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:30am BST

Chris wrote: "... to undo most the Reformation and flies in the face of God tearing the Temple veil and opening the Gospel to the gentiles."

The other way around, surely?

(but don't blame it on me)

Chris wrote: "Please feel free to do so, but please be honest and not use the Scripture for any case you try to make, as your translation is worthless..."

I do my own translations, thank you.

But regarding worthless translations, lets mention the NIV and all the other "Dynamic Equivalence" ones...

(before DE there was no "gay" question in the churches - NO one put "homosexual" in a translation, isn't that reason to pause?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:47am BST

NP wrote: "Yep...that is how we got Lambeth 1.10 - but you don't care about the view of "whole church" when it conflicts with what you want, do you, Erika?"

Intentionally corrupted DE translations and misdirected bibilicism lead to Lambeth 1998 I:10

(remember there are 14 more non-binding "resolutions" from Lambeth 1998 ;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:54am BST

Colin - if there had been a perfect process in your eyes but the vote still went against your wishes by a large majority, would you then uphold it and encourage others to do so?

Posted by: NP on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 1:21pm BST

"Usury was only an issue between Jews"

And between Christians for more than 10 centuries.

"God called Israel to war more than once"

And Christians in the early Church often saw military service as contrary to the Gospel. Many Western Christians since the Reformation have thought likewise. The acceptance of Christian involvement in war has more to do with the IMperial Church than with the Gospel. Sorry, your argument that God called Israel to war so we are allowed to slaughter one another in the name of an Earthly kingdom is not at all convincing.

"I;m not sure anyone is claiming Scripture has EXCLUSIVE authority"

I am.

"To throw in with Goran would mean the laity are totally dependent on the priest to understand the Bible as the local translation is meaningless."

No. It would make the laity dependant on the Church, guided by the Spirit, to understand the Bible, which is how it should be. Scripture is not, and never was, meant to be interpreted by the individual.

"We've ignored God's plan"

But the part of God's plan that we have ignored is the call to social justice that is part of the work of the Kingdom. "Sexual immorality" is the symptom, not the cause.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 2:06pm BST

Goran, I would think attempts to rewrite the church's sexual ethics as understood going back to Mt. Sinai would give greater pause. Perhaps the NIV translation was in response to people who were rejecting God's plan for sexuality.

Erika, it's not that I can or can't prove Goran wrong - actually the burden of proof rests with him. Rather, I'm not willing to trade away my confidence in the God's gift of Scripture based on internet postings. Feeling threatened has nothing to do with my position. If God can save us from sin, certainly he can speak his work through humans and preserve that Word through time.

Posted by: Chris on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 3:02pm BST

NP,

We are talking of adaphora at best, arguably only about church order. Not the Articles of Faith.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 5:10pm BST

No, He does not "protect His Word".

Only the other day (Epistle on 8th after Holy Trinity) I found that the words en Sarkí had been excised from the Last Swedish State (made by 2 converts to Rome) in 1 John 4:1-6, making an anti-Doketic statement Doketic.

(there are a few of these in the Johannine writs, as you know;=)

"Thus you can see which Spirit is from God; each Spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ is come "in human likeness" is from God, but the spirit which denies Jesus is not from God. It's the Spirit of Anti-Christ..."

"in human likeness" should read en Sarkí; in the Flesh.

Now, Flesh is a Biblical concept, central the the Biblical understanding of Creation and so on.

So far I have found 38 different Pseudonyms for it in the 1981/2000...

The most amusing substitute for Flesh being "that way" ;=)

As the 1981/2000 is Dynamic Equivalent there is no concordance; one has to go through every verse...

I quite understand if you do not care much for the victims of hate crimes (or accept the category), but you must be able to see that this is a Soteriological and Theological point of no small consequence.

So, indeed. He does NOT protect his word written.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 8:11pm BST

Ford, I'm not calling for a Christian-led war, just showing that the issue of war is not black and white (i.e. allowing for a just war theory).

Scripture only has the authority God has given it. Cranmer and Hooker recognized this and scholars like +Wright speak on this today. I'm not advocating a purely individualistic interpretation of Scripture, but like you, one that works with in the community of the church. However, the laity has a role in interpretation as seen by the Bareans who examined the Scripture to test Paul's message to them. I think some in the laity have the gift of teaching and prophesy, but those gifts only take form within the church and they must be tested for truth.

Proverbs 27:17
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

I think a great deal of recent TEC innovations have been tested and found wanting...

Finally, I think social justice for gays is an important issue and I think the Church has been sinful in some of its policies. Denouncing violence, recognizing faith, affirming membership of the body of Christ and offering pastoral care should be "easy" for the church in my mind. I'm sure you already know where I stand on SSM/SSB and non-celibate ordination.

Posted by: Chris on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 9:07pm BST

NP asks: "if there had been a perfect process in your eyes but the vote still went against your wishes by a large majority, would you then uphold it and encourage others to do so?"


As usual, the flaw in NP's reasoning is sufficient for the entrance and exit of a Mack truck.

The missing piece in all this, NP, is authority.

Lambeth has no juridical authority. The original invitations to Lambeth spell out its lack of juridical authority. Its own resolutions affirm its lack of juridical authority.

Likewise the Primates Meeting, which has no authority to decide anything.

If, after a perfect process and an overwhelming majority, the Anglican Church Women group at St. Seraphim's in the Swamp, Diocese of Woppitysplash voted that the Primate of All Nigeria should stop trying to throw people in jail for being nice to homosexuals, I rather suspect that my Lord of Abuja would feel no particular need to pay them any mind.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 10:02pm BST

"I'm not willing to trade away my confidence in the God's gift of Scripture"

Neither am I. I'm also not willing to give it more authority than it had for 1500 years either.

"I think a great deal of recent TEC innovations have been tested and found wanting..."

How so?

"Denouncing violence, recognizing faith, affirming membership of the body of Christ and offering pastoral care should be "easy" for the church in my mind."

The sad part is that those who say these things often, by their actions, show them to be nothing more than pious platitudes. +Akinola certainly doesn't denounce violence against us, and calling us a cancer doesn't affirm our membership in the Body of Christ. When other of his supporters publically advocate a return to stoning us, or when they falsify "scientific" data to vilify us or portray us as sick perverts, it's hard to see then too. Sorry, Chris, but there have been a lot of pious platitudes about "hating the sin and loving the sinner" that subsequent actions have shown to mean "hate the sinner too." I don't feel particularly oppressed that the Church won't marry me to my partner. Some people are hurt by it, but hurt feelingas are not oppression. I just don't trust, based on ample evidence, that many of those "hate the sin,love the sinner" types actually mean what they say.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 30 July 2007 at 11:40pm BST

"Hate the Sinner, forget about Sin."

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 7:38am BST

Ford says "Neither am I. I'm also not willing to give it (scripture) more authority than it had for 1500 years either."

- Ford, you know tradition can be wrong....repeating your 1500 yrs thing is not a strong argument.....the question is what was intended to be the faith and practice by the Lord and his Apostles.....I really do not care what corrupt popes and bishops did or do now.....what was and is really intended by God, that is what matters.

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 10:14am BST

Goran - maybe you are having comprehension issues but your summary shows a complete misunderstanding of what people are saying....deliberate misunderstanding I am sure (but then you think things can be translated to mean anything one wants...)

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 10:24am BST

Ford, you know tradition can be wrong....repeating your 1500 yrs thing is not a strong argument.....the question is what was intended to be the faith and practice by the Lord and his Apostles.....I really do not care what corrupt popes and bishops did or do now.....what was and is really intended by God, that is what matters.

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 10:14am BST

YES . It is the bishops and 'pope' of today and their behaviour that bothers me, and the many who have stopped attending the RC and Anglican denominations --- and those who will stop.....

Posted by: L Roberts on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 11:16am BST

"I really do not care what corrupt popes and bishops did or do now"

Well, I wouldn't call St. John Crysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. Chad of Litchfield, St. Mary of Egypt (you REALLY need to read her story), pretty much any of the Fathers and Mothers, or any of the great Christians of the past corrupt, NP. I read a book on the origins of Scripture recently, written by an Evangelical. It was fairly simplistic, but reasonable till he got to the Apocrypha and Biblical authority.The arguments he gave for your "Bible or nothing" position were exactly the same as I would use to oppose that position, which was interesting, but his attitude towards Tradition was humourous. He referred to the Fathers and great saints of the Church as "ordinary Christians" whose opinions are really no more than ours! Now that's like saying that your game couldn't benefit from few coaching sessions from David Beckham, or that Wayne Gretzsky is just an "ordinary" hockey player!

"tradition can be wrong"

So can "Scripture only", NP, or there wouldn't be so many different kinds of Protestants all claiming to be right. I don't see anything that recommends your innovation over the traditional way. It produces a different kind of wrong, but wrong none the less. And don't deny history. Your position was a radical innovation in its day. That was the point of it.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 1:28pm BST

NP
"but then you think things can be translated to mean anything one wants."

I suppose that you are qualified translator who can prove this statement. It's a serious charge!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 1:38pm BST

Oh Erika.... ok if , we have no reliable translations (according to you and Goran) and cannot get the Lord to come and tell us exactly what he wants, let's just do whatever we like.....we have lots of evidence that is acceptable to God, right?

Ford - sorry, all Christians are ordinary Christians and fallible including the Fathers etc! By the way, I hope you are not praying to any dead ones to intercede for you....that is really not necessary (nor effective)

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 2:24pm BST

NP,

You mean the "Hate the Sinner, forget about the Sin"?

No, I don't believe it to be a misunderstanding. It's what I hear.

What people say is that Sin is in others, not in themselves. And they are so preoccupied with the Sins of others that they never acknowledge their own sins.

Something to do with a Calvinist theology of Sin and Transformation, you know ;=)

"The Transformed may never fall again", tralala,
and "this house is a holy house", tralala,
but YOU are still a sinner, tralala,
YOU are not Transformed, tralala,
Holiness will not dwells in YOUR house, tralala.

Then they say I am a sinner tooooooo, which supposedly gives them the right to criticise others freely.

But I rather resent the “too”, because I’m not nearly as bad as they are ;=)

And basically I think this is what this enormously out of proportion Acts/Orientation issue is about. The erroneous and heretical teachings of Calvinism will fall over this.

Well, they must fall sometime… why not now?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 3:31pm BST

NP wrote: "... but then you think things can be translated to mean anything one wants..."

Not translated...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 3:35pm BST

"I hope you are not praying to any dead ones to intercede for you....that is really not necessary (nor effective)"

Necessary? No. Expression of my faith that Christ gives us the victory over everything, even death? Absolutely! Expression of my faith that nothing can seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus? Definitely? Not effective? Oh, it most certainly IS effective, NP. Don't be dissin' Our Lady of Walsingham! She's done a lot for me personally, for our parish, and I hope, for you too, since I ask her to intercede for you. Go on, get all Reformation on me! Sad that you cut yourself off from the great cloud of witnesses with which we are compassed about. At the very least, you should read the stories of their lives. I'd suggest you start with St. Chad of Litchfield.

"all Christians are ordinary Christians and fallible including the Fathers etc!"

Including those who tell you that the Bible is the final authority and always was, NP. Including Paul? If Paul was fallible, might his natural human fallibility have gotten in the way in a few places?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 4:52pm BST

Ford:

Your comment that the proliferation of protestant sects proves Scripture can be wrong is incorrect. In fact, it only proves that people can and often do get confused in interpreting Scripture, particularily when they do not allow themselves to be guided by the weight of Catholic Christian history and interpretation down through the ages. I.e., especially when they take the types of stands taken by TEC.

So, I would never deny that the Church is a necessary part of the deciphering process, but to pretend that a portion of the Church Catholic cannot err is to ignore history. This is particularly true when the error is patent: ignoring the entire weight of history and Catholic Christian interpretation.

On the debate overall, I can't help but find it ironic that the liberal side vehememtly argues that the positions of some conservatives--which probably can (at least arguendo) be criticized as being symptomatic of cultural accommodation and syncretism in defiance of Scripture and tradition--justify liberal attempts to do the same in another area. As previously noted, when did two wrongs add up to a right? Or, to put it another way, isn't this the road to destruction--where does this type of syncretism end once it is allowed to take root and grow. Ooops, perhaps this is something the small and ignored minority in the AC has been saying for the last 50? 70? 100? years while the AC rushed to embrace modernism and post-modernism.

Steven

Posted by: Ford on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 6:07pm BST

Ford said:
"Paul was fallible, might his natural human fallibility have gotten in the way in a few places?"

Great question!

Paul was certainly fallible and the first few years of his ministry could be described as a disaster. But, somehow the Spirit used fallible men to communicate His word. Somehow the Spirit moved in the early church to recognize the canon (a very messy process) and has been moving to preserve the word.

Radical statements, yes, but no less radical than what we profess in the creeds or baptismal vows. The same process took place at Nicene. The Arians should have carried the day; they had the government, the people and the majority of bishops on their side. But somehow, the Spirit moved in the council and the Truth won out.

Posted by: Chris on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 7:42pm BST

"the positions of some conservatives.....justify liberal attempts to do the same in another area."

I for one haven't been saying that. I have been saying that we have compromised the Gospel in other areas, so the argument that this constitutes something new is hypocritical. Far from suggesting that past compromises of the Gospel justify new ones, I am saying that all these hyperpious people who denounce this as "innovation" would do better to repent of past compromises before they condemn others of the same thing. It's not about two wrongs making a right. It's about being honest enough to admit that compromising the Gospel to get along with the world, if that's what this is, isn't new and those who benefit from past compromises do not have the right now to condemn others for new ones.

"where does this type of syncretism end once it is allowed to take root and grow."

I agree, actually. I just happen to see it taking root and growing a long time ago, around the time of Constantine.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 7:56pm BST

"But, somehow the Spirit used fallible men to communicate His word."

I have no disagreement with anything in your post. I can't help but think that many of our modern day conservatives would have sided with the Arians, the radicality of the Trinity being too much of a break with tradition for them. This is much like I see them siding with the Pharisees in Jesus's day. Given that what He preached and did was so much in contravenation of the Scriptures of the time, I can't really see any modern conservative siding with such a radical Galilean.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 10:25pm BST

Ford,

Let's take the next step then. Somehow the Spirit used fallible men to communicate His word and somehow that word received in the Scripture is infallible.

Posted by: Chris on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 at 11:32pm BST

Hmmm- we were taught to pray "Abba, Father...."

The Lord never told us to pray through his mother.....did he??

Did Peter? Paul? Anyone who knew the Lord ever teach us to pray through his mother?

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 9:33am BST

Well, Chris, I don't know if I can go that far. Genesis, while True, is certainly not infallible. Two stories of David, one seemingly dressed up as political propaganda to give the Davidic Kingdom more "kingly justification". There's no archaelogical evidence of anything like an Exodus. The archaeological evidence of Yahwism in the period of the OT also suggests a very different picture frm that told in Scripture. Where does the infallibility begin? Insect have six legs, not four.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 12:10pm BST

Hmmm- we were taught to pray "Abba, Father...."

The Lord never told us to pray through his mother.....did he??

Did Peter? Paul? Anyone who knew the Lord ever teach us to pray through his mother?

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 9:33am BST

'THEY CONTINUED TOGETHER IN PRAYER WITH MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS..'

Posted by: L Roberts on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 12:57pm BST

Freedom of religion seems to be under fire here from 'conservatives' !

A very serious situation.

Posted by: L Roberts on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 12:59pm BST

>Anyone who knew the Lord ever teach us to pray through his mother?<

He might have said, "Go and ask me mum," when he was younger.

I like a bit of theology.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 2:28pm BST

Might have something to do with his Mother being a human being. Don't you think?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 4:20pm BST

"The Lord never told us to pray through his mother.....did he??"

Yes, NP, we know, you are a radical Protestant, and abhor all that Romish stuff. I'm not. I abhor all that Evangelical stuff. You think I'm what, idolatrous, breaking a commandment, superstitious? I think you are soulless and substitute legalism for the richness of the Catholic faith. So there. Now where are we? You have scorned me, I have scorned you. Aren't we good little Christians? You don't like the fact that the Mother of God answers my prayers. Big whoop. You're not alone. I don't care. I know She does. And if you don't know the difference between praying "through" the Mother of God and asking Her to pray for me just as I would ask you to pray for me, (and I'd like you to, NP, really, I need it), well, I can't begin to make up for the lifetime of poor catechesis you have received. And, L Roberts, you ought to know by now. It's only an attack on freedom of religion when we tell Evangelicals they can't ram their religion down everybody else's throats. Telling me not to ask the BVM to pray for me, well, that's just trying to save my evil, possibly (oh the horror!) Romish, soul.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 4:54pm BST

L Roberts - I hope you know there is a big difference between praying with someone and praying to or through a person

Wow - I think I just agreed with Goran....but I expect we think the words mean different things!

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 5:25pm BST

> Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of hour death. Amen.

Ever come across this one NP?

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 6:52pm BST

I like the anglo-catholic story :

'An ultra-protstant' arrives in heaven and is greeted by Our Lord. After some preliminaries, Jesus proposes to introduce the new arrival.

"Let me introduce you, I don't think you've met -- here's My Mother.'

Sorry I just couldnt resist it.

Posted by: L Roberts on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 8:07pm BST

The other joke is about a former rector of St. Mary the Virgin, (insert city), who arrives in heaven only to be told there is no place for him. He questions Peter on this, who calls Jesus for direction.

"What did you say his name was?" asks our Lord.

Peter replies, "Fr. Bloggins. He says he was the rector of St. Mary the Virgin, (insert city)."

"Oh," says Jesus. "One of mother's friends. Best let him in."

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 10:05pm BST

NP,
Strange as it may be for you to hear, but some of us are not rampant Protestants! There. When you get your breath back, realize that for some of us, the Reformation was necessary but went waaaaay too far. Cutting us off from the great cloud of witnesses, of whom the Mother of God is surely one, was, for me, a big mistake. I respect you don't agree. I think you are depriving yourself of something wonderful and beautiful if you cut yourself off from the Catholic faith, NP. Your soul needs to feed on the spiritual, the mysterious, the supernatural, the numinous. It's starving to death on your strict diet of Law.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 11:16pm BST

"Let me introduce you, I don't think you've met -- here's My Mother."

You've missed the line:

"She does all my Anglo-Catholic, Continuing Catholics, Old Catholic, Liberal Catholic, Roman Catholic and Orthodox secretarial work."

You know why she doesn't pass all these prayers on, don't you? Do you forward all your email spam?

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 1:46am BST

Having dozens of saint in the Family, I must confess I'm less than impressed. The men are almost all bishops - that is the Institution itself - the women aunts and cousins and second cousins, preferably Princesses, nearly all married or widowed. Some of them died from the "exercises" demanded from them by their Inquisitor confessor, like Elisabeth of Thüringen, the 800th birthday of whom is celebrated this year...

A few early examples aside, most are 12th-13th century.

So the good lady who was an Anachorete living in a hole in the ground at Trier, while her brother lived in pomp and splendour in the Archiepiscopal palace, does not qualify...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:56am BST

I do not mean to pour scorn on you, Ford.
I do respect you.
I am asking you, Ford....who told you to pray to or through the Lord's mother?

I ask because The Lord and his apostles did not teach that.

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 7:23am BST

Personally, I don't find the language about praying "through" the saints very helpful - or very accurate. And I certainly don't pray "to" the saints.

However, just as I will ask the congregation of a Sunday morning to pray for thus and so, and just as I might ask my friends and family to pray for a particular thing, so also I might ask those other members of the church - the church triumphant - for their prayers as well.

Nothing in the scripture requires me to do that.

Likewise, nothing requires me not to do it either.

It is a mater adiaphora - but supported by some 2000ish years of tradition and witness.

If you don't want Mary to pray for you, NP, I suggest you don't ask her to pray for you.

Ford and I might ask her to pray for you though, out of sheer persnicketiness.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 3:58pm BST

Dear Malcolm, thanks for your response but saying "Likewise, nothing requires me not to do it either." is not a strong argument.

We have the risen Christ intercessing for us.....we are told that in the good book, so I am sticking to praying "Abba Father" as He taught us and trusting the Spirit to lead me in prayer with confidence that the Son is praying for his people

(not sure who made up the idea that any dead person should be asked for their prayers....but I know it was not the Lord or his Apostles telling me to follow that practice so I am not going to do it and encourage people to learn how to pray from the Lord rather than any human tradition)

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:08pm BST

"Ford and I might ask her to pray for you though, out of sheer persnicketiness."

I admit to a certain glee when I light a candle for him. Mea culpa. I like to think She's a trifle smug as well. "Through a glass darkly" and all that.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:19pm BST

Why NP, does it bother you so much that fellow Anglicans pray to/thru/in/out/around to Mary?
Why is this such a problem?

I for one snicker a little bit when attending Anglo-Catholic services (have never figured out what they are doing at a 'High Mass' and have sung as a ringer at enough of 'em), but for heaven's sake, I sure as heck am not going to condemn something I don't understand.

That's it.....you wrap yourself up in your little comfy scriptural cookbook to lash out when YOU aren't convinced (and thereby by default do not understand), then deign upon others to take responsibility for YOU not being convinced.

So where in scripture does it say not to pray to Mary. And that's NOT the same thing as an idol. They are two different things, again, the concept of materiality being a significant point here.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:28pm BST

"So the good lady who was an Anachorete living in a hole in the ground at Trier, while her brother lived in pomp and splendour in the Archiepiscopal palace, does not qualify..."

I struggle with the concept of church discerned Saints too, but playing devil's advocate - do the ones who didn't make it for whatever church prejudice at the time automatically mean that the ones who were pronounced Saints aren't?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 6:55pm BST

Erika, that's why we have Nov. 1 AND Nov.2, "the best and the rest"

And, NP, how good do you feel making such smug statements? I think an earlier post was too long, so I'll try again. It's like a house, NP. Evangelicalism like you practice is a house that's all sheeted up, but no furniture, no siding, no paint. It's perfectly livable if not very pleasant. The Catholic faith is like a big old farmhouse with a fireplace in the kitchen, the kettle on the stove, big comfortable beds, lots of warmth, family all around you, pictures of relatives who are far away across space and time, but phones so you can still talk to them. You get my point. Live in the hut if you want to, NP, The Lord of the Manor doesn't mind, but we'd all like you to join us in the Big House.

The point is, NP, you are a radical Reforming Protestant, I am not. We can joke and poke fun at one another, but neither one of us should mock the others beliefs. I have done so in the past with you, but that was bad, if fun. You are neither superior nor inferior to me for not asking for the prayers of the BVM.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 8:15pm BST

By your argument, NP, I had better stop asking anyone at all to pray for anything at all. Of a Sunday morning, I should not ask the congregation to pray for peace in the world or for the welfare of other persons.

After all, our Lord told me to pray "Abba, Father."

Indeed, since our Lord taught us only this one prayer, perhaps we should rid ourselves of that whole dastardly Book of Commmon Prayer full of prayers which Jesus did not tell us to pray.

When scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, I am certain that it intends us merely to repeat that one prayer over and over and over again.

Or perhaps, NP, you're just confusing your own preferences regarding the practice of prayer with our Lord's direction on the matter.

In the mean time, I become increasingly tempted to go light a candle for you mine own self. Or perhaps I'll run through a quick Angelus with a particular intention for the anger and intolerance that so seems to oppress your soul.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 8:17pm BST

Malcolm,

"By your argument, NP, I had better stop asking anyone at all to pray for anything at all. Of a Sunday morning, I should not ask the congregation to pray for peace in the world or for the welfare of other persons."

As someone who also feels deeply uncomfortable about asking the departed to pray for anything...humour me, please!

Doesn't it depend on your view of what happens after death? I don't understand the theology, but I assume it to be complex:
These people must be considered to be dead, but somehow already with God (before the Second Coming?).
At the same time, they must be in a state where they can receive/hear prayers. So their state has changed from that we know on earth and they have somehow acquired a kind of being where they can intercede on behalf of those living.

It's not only NP who finds this difficult. It's not like intercessionary prayer here on earth, where we ask people in the same position to pray for a situation.

I;m not saying it's a priori impossible.... but self explanatory? Not to me.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 10:38pm BST

Ford,
"Erika, that's why we have Nov. 1 AND Nov.2, "the best and the rest"

The rest being those not quite good enough to make it, or those the church didn't recognise?

If only I trusted the discernment of The Church as much as you do! My belief that it's made up of human beings who mis-hear The Spirit as much as any other group of human beings keeps getting in the way and I have to try hard to stop myself from becoming very cynical about it all!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 10:41pm BST

Good question Erica, but imagine it to be your own family, old uncle so and so and cousin Anorexia and antie Hedwig, but aunts this and that are only Blessed - and what of tante Kunigunde?

Makes one wonder how anyone can tell...

;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 3 August 2007 at 6:56am BST

"The rest being those not quite good enough to make it, or those the church didn't recognise?"

The latter, of course! The whole point of All Souls is that untold millions of Christians have died. Many weren't very good, many were outstanding. The Church hasn't recognized all of them, hasn't seen all of them, even killed some of them. Many died martyr's deaths in back alleys unwitnessed, and were written off as victims of assault. Some were homeless people living on subway grates, or outside city gates (read about St. Simeon the Holy Fool) who the rest of us passed by and scorned till they, unknown to all, gaves their lives in the cause of Christ. It's not about being good enough, Erika. You comment on what you see as my trust of the discernment of the Church. It's not as unquestioning as you might think.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 3 August 2007 at 2:04pm BST

Erika,
I'm particularly verbose today! Start from the premise that you are set free from everything the world can do to you. At that point it's just you and God,inseperable. We can't fight the World on its terms. Jesus didn't, He let the World do its worst and proved "weakness" far more powerful than strength. Stop chafing that the Church might not have seen someone as "good enough" to be a saint. That's why we have All Souls. You might see that as a sop. I see it as God's way of getting around our human inability to hear Him. If you demand justice, you will get it, but at the expense of someone else, and it doesn't matter if they are wrong, they still pay a price, and it's one you don't have a right to exact, no matter how right you are. You don't have to oppose wrong, just refuse to do it, and encourage others to follow. Passive aggressive? Sure, but what help as pure aggression been? We've had too much suffering in this century alone because of aggression in the cause of right. Ghandi did a good thing with passivity. Maybe I'm too much a child of the 60s, but it's on the lines of "what if they gave a war and nobody came?" Jesus knew this, so did Ghandi, and, in that, made himself more of a Christian than many of those who would send him to Hell for not being one.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 3 August 2007 at 2:14pm BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.