Monday, 5 November 2007

Goddard2Goddard

The correspondence which started last January has recently resumed.

See the most recent letters:

Andrew to Giles on 16 September

Giles to Andrew on 3 November

This correspondence appears on both InclusiveChurch and Fulcrum. For the context see here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 5 November 2007 at 11:12pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | InclusiveChurch
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That is a very powerful letter.

I copied this for the detail:

"You go, in forensic detail, into the process undertaken by TEC and the JSC, challenging both the method and the validity of their conclusions. But you seem to accept, without question, the validity and status of Lambeth 1.10, the Windsor Report, the Dromantine Communique and the Dar-Es-Salaam Communique – in spite of the fact that the processes involved in each of these were at least as flawed and in many cases far worse than anything which happened in New Orleans or within the Joint Standing Committee."

But actually the whole letter stands much better, a real gathering together of the essential issues, and a beacon for the near future.

It does look like the wheels are coming off the conservative evangelical wagon, and any reading over at Fulcrum shows the damage that is even spreading to Fulcrum (and that some see this); that just may be, just may be, something more generous will get through.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 12:31am GMT

I think Giles response is excellent.

From noting that the contents of the first letters and the dialogue that follows has been shunted aside to the concerns about quarantining.

That is one of the core strategies we have been fighting. Some deny that GLBTs are God's children, or that they may enter into loving relationships. Some deny there is any theology to justify tolerance or compassion towards GLBTs or their sympathisers.

Some keep souls isolated and discouraged, so they never get together to go through the bible and find the passages that would affirm the outcastes. One common phrase is attempting to quench the fire or allowing it to burn itself out.

If a church community chooses to rise above tyranny, repression and vilification; then some need to isolate and discredit that community, because, God forbid, the outcastes in their own dioceses might prefer to adopt more peaceful paradigms.

One of the biggest fears, if there is an outbreak of peace, then how do some justify being violence colluders for so long? Their biggest fear is not that the TEC will fail, but that it will succeed and then everyone will turn around and ask them why they fought against peace and compassion.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 7:50am GMT

Pluralist says "It does look like the wheels are coming off the conservative evangelical wagon"

Evidence please?

-The ABC's letter to +Howe?

-TWR still being the template...with Lambeth 1.10 not being challenged by the ABC?

-The Covenant process being led by ++Gomez?

- ++Akinola demanding to get +Minns invited to Lambeth with the carrot for the ABC that all the Nigerians may come if he is..... quite attractive to the ABC, I suspect....


Pluralist.....a more generous tone than you hear from Reform will definitely come out in the end....but Lambeth 1.10 will stand unless the ABC is willing to see the AC disintegrate for the sake of the militant rights-based agenda of a few in the AC

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 9:37am GMT

"As long as this controversy is seen as a debate, there will be a perception of victory and a perception of victimhood, and both of those contain grave spiritual dangers."

We should all have this sentence as our screensavers!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 9:42am GMT

There is a link to the 1959 Ph.D. dissertation evaluating the political structure of TEC (then PECUSA) that strongly supports the hierarchical strucure of TEC on the basis of its historical origins. It is found on Jakes Place - I have not linked directly to it out of regard for TA but do feel it may be a critical document for all of us --and certainly for the lawyers!

Posted by: ettu on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 2:01pm GMT

First of all the letter from the Archbishop to Bishop Howe was written from a Catholic viewpoint and has nothing to do with the evangelical wagon.

Gomez is hardly a leader of the Covenant - he is deeply compromised by his actions regarding looking both ways on the Windsor Process.

The Archbishop of Canterbury does not want to reopen the Lambeth 1:10 debate, because it would just be a bog in which everyone would be stuck. But he also makes clear that there will be nothing similar decided, no back up - thus the objection made by the Nigerians that Lambeth 2008 will be nothing more than an expensive shindig and hardly worth attending.

Yes they might go if Martyn Minns attended, but if he did Rowan Williams would lose even more credibility in the balance that he is trying to keep on the road to this conference.

As for the evangelicals and the wagon: first of all the Covenant for the Church of England has been roundly trashed by Open Evangelicals (and others), the CEEC questionnaire is being condemned now as facile and, in general, using the words of Charles Read:

"Others have had the leisure to take over the Evangelical institutions. One Evangelical bishop often compares this to the militant tendency in Labour decades ago."

http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/forum/thread.cfm?thread=5296

And in the same place, here is a gentle contribution from the other side:

"This questionaire is a godly tool designed to root out liberalism. I find these objections absurd and childish. Evangelicalism must be purged of its liberals and Dr Richard Turnbull is the right man to do this. He has already routed liberalism at Wycliff Hall and can do the same for the church of England."

The evangelicals are divided. As Reform and Anglican Mainstream are looking towards overseas or English alternative oversight, Fulcrum looks for a fellowship of Anglicans based on doctrinal boundaries compatible with a Catholic approach.

They are divided. What Giles Fraser has done, swiftly and efficiently, has shown the poverty of Andrew Goddard's approach, a man himself a victim of the Conservative Evangelical agenda - purged, as the above contribution has it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 2:55pm GMT

ettu
I was about to link to that article anyway, thanks.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 3:15pm GMT

I thought TA liked "open" evos like Fulcrum's Dr Goddard.....or is that only when they criticise "conservatives" eg Coekin etc?

Pluralist.....evos are not divided on whether Lambeth 1.10 is right that certain acts are "incompatible with scripture" - this is what matters because the issue is very important (i.e. the authority of scripture)

Can Fulcrum, Reform, AM and Network people live together in communion with genuine unity.....absolutely.

Will Fulcrum choose to be in a grouping with TEC HOB and VGR rather than Reform..... ultimately, of course not (however much they may not agree with Reform sometimes on certain peripheral issues)

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 3:39pm GMT

"Can Fulcrum, Reform, AM and Network people live together in communion with genuine unity.....absolutely."

Sit down and make a list of the different non-conformists in England. Each of them is some group or another that didn't agree with something the CofE was doing, who KNEW they knew the mind of God. They have not managed to get together. Indeed, many of them, after breaking with "the mother church" promptly set about dividing themselves up over finer and finer points of doctrine. I don't really think there's much evidence that the current crop of fundamentalists convinced of the rightness of their particular slant on Scripture will fare any better. How are modern non-conformists any better at preserving their unity than those who have gone before?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 4:51pm GMT

Ford - Fulcrum, Reform, AM and Network people ain't non-conformists ....... like it or not, these groups between them represent most Anglicans in England .....sure they have differences but those cannot be exploited to justify some condoning behaviour "incompatible with scripture"

AS I have said before, the problems and divisions in the AC are not being caused by Fulcrum, Reform, AM and Network people. They did not ignore ALL the AC Primates and deliberately "tear the fabric of the Communion" - did they? Trying to split these faithful Anglicans in order to keep in the AC those who did knowingly throw the Communion into chaos is not going to work because in the end, none of these groups will never condone that which we have all agreed in the AC is "incompatible with scripture"........the issue is the authority of scripture.

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 5:14pm GMT

Assuming all evangelicals agree on Lambeth 1:10 (and some may see it as inappropriate) it does not describe the means of authority for scripture nor the level or form of interpretation. The issue for Anglicans in England is first and foremost how they get on in England (before anyone starts going overseas) and it is by no means clear that some Open Evangelicals would prefer to be in a fellowship with Reform instead of broad Church people. Indeed, the point is that the dividing line runs through the Open Evangelicals. Though they may have roughly the central position, they are not a united bloc, and nor do they function in the way that the broad Church centrists used to do, to stretch out and draw in both evangelicals and Catholics. Fulcrum are just a version of evangelicalism, disagreeing with Reform and Anglican Mainstream and disagreeing with liberals. Unless everyone ends up with their own fellowships and Reformed-style Covenants, the issue of who Fulcrum would best live with is not clear at all.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 6:52pm GMT

Pluralist - you have been on TA hoping for evo splits for ages! You say "Fulcrum are just a version of evangelicalism, disagreeing with Reform and Anglican Mainstream and disagreeing with liberals"

So, you really want to claim that Reform and Fulcrum and AM cannot live together in the CofE?
I am sure they can...because they do. Tp prove my point, +Durham preached at Oak Hill just recently.....seems there is friendliness between evangelicals to me and disputes are not on core matters (like the authority of scripture). Anyway, as you know, it is miliant "liberals" who unite evos....TECUSA's 2003 actions certainly has done that in the AC.

I am sure you are disappointed to see Fulcrum, AM and Reform agree on the inadequacy and untrustworthiness of TEC HOB NO response and the JSC wishful thinking that they TEC was willing to accept the mind of the Communion....but, once again, the open and conservative evangelicals are united. Sorry to disappoint you!

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 7:25am GMT

I too find the imbalance in the forensic evaluation worrying - and the “posturing” deeply irritating.

Somewhere along the line the ACI types seem to have lost touch with reality. It has not been helped as their style developed from carefully analytical to firmly directive! At times almost hectoring and bullying.

There were so many assumptions underpinning the work of the Windsor Report, assumptions about order and authority – how the Anglican Communion worked – processes of reception etc etc – important things that needed to be teased out and that in the long run would have important consequences for us all. There had been no communion wide discussion yet alone agreement of these important matters.

Take, for example, the Virginia Report – commended for careful study and evaluation by Lambeth 1998. After it was savaged by the ACC it was hard to get anyone to mention it, yet alone discus its important analysis and recommendations.

Somehow, and I think we can trace this back to Blessed Tom Wright, all these important discussions which never happened were suddenly settled, power vacuums were filled and an attempt made to give some solidity and authority to a range of innovations.

It was an attempted coup.

But for this coup to work it was necessary for people to accept that the urgency of the crisis required this leap into the dark and the acceptance of the “new order” – I think, as Giles Goddard suggests there was a brief time when this almost happened – but the moment was lost because conservative Americans and their allies having tasted victory, wanted blood.

That same urgency is now said to be motivating the immediate need for a Covenant, but the game is up.

There are those who are driven, but it has been decided they should no longer be in the driving seat. The discussion we need to have around our power structures and our life as a Communion need now to be had afresh and preferably without threats of walkouts.

The experiment in Primatial rule has clearly failed and cannot be fixed in the short term, this is not my view but a view I hear coming from Primates themselves.

Those trading as the Anglican Communion Institute are I believe alone in still pretending that the coup has worked and that the Communion might still be held intact by the isolation of TEC. We are in a different place now,.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 11:55am GMT

You don't disappoint. It is disappointing that they do not unite, that the moderation that is there in Fulcrum is being compromised by a pressure to have some relationship with other evangelicals, but any reading of the Fulcrum website and the others show that they do not agree, and not even on the methods of using scripture never mind their complete disagreement on the way ahead.

Read it: claims that Reform and friends are pushing out Open Evangelicals from various institutions, that Fulcrum was launched precisely to have its definition of evangelicalism get its proper place. Liberals clearly have not united them, and should Reform and friends act soon (as they say they will) then they will all be even more divided.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 3:16pm GMT

Martin - you do not want the AC run by the ACI......so, I am sure you can understand that most of us in the AC run to please the small no of people in CA/Integrity etc.


The question now is whether the ABC and his bureaucrats can convince many the experience of the last 4 years is worth continuing....that we should maintain the "house divided" which is the AC or say (maybe in a covenant) that the AC stands for certain things and those who do not like it are welcome to join churches which they do not have to subvert from within?

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 5:00pm GMT

"most of us in the AC run to please the small no of people in CA/Integrity etc."

i assume this means that you do not believe the Church should dance to CA's tune. neither do I. I do believe it shows a remarkable lack of Christianity that you are also unwilling to even consider the suffering the Church has caused, in this instance to gay people, over the centuries. People have been damaged and hurt, not helped, by the Church's behaviour. They still are. But you seem blithely uncaring. You actually think you do God service by ignoring the suffering of your fellow human beings. There's ways to bring people to repentance without irreparably injuring their souls, NP. Or is it that you think that if anyone suffers at the hands of the Church, it's because they are rebelling against God or something?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 7:03pm GMT

Ford
"i assume this means that you do not believe the Church should dance to CA's tune. neither do I."

What do you mean by "dance to CA's tune"? CA is an organisation calling for the full integration of LGBT people into the church. Do you not wish that to happen too?

The strength of CA is that its members are firmly determined to remain in the church and to follow Christ's call for them.
They don't shout, they don't slander their opponents, they don't wish those who don't agree with them out of the church.

Would it be so wrong if the church listened and followed some of those examples?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:03pm GMT

Ford says "You actually think you do God service by ignoring the suffering of your fellow human beings"

No, Ford....but I know those who tell people that suddenly God does not mind some sins even though they are "incompatible with scripture" are not doing God or the people they talk to any service at all

Posted by: NP on Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:25pm GMT

Erika,
NP has the attitude that groups like CA are trying to call the shots and dictate to everyone else how we should behave. This gets in the way of his ability to do the same thing, so he gets angry. I was trying to put things into his terms. None of us would want one particular lobby group, of any stripe, to call the shots for everybody, and I was expressing that when he implies that we do, he is being untruthful.

As to what I wish, well, first and foremost, I am very much opposed to any kind of lobby group in the Church. We should not be lobbying for what we want, however right and Godly we believe that to be. We should be trying to discern what God wants. And what does 'full integration' mean? In the area of SSBs, it seems to mean giving to our relationships the sacramental status that has only ever been accorded to heterosexuals. From a sacramental standpoint, I'm not at all sure that's possible, neither am I sure it's necessary for full integration. If it's validation of our relationships we want, then we are barking up the wrong ttree anyway, since the Sacrament of Matrimony is not about the validation of relationships. Frankly, I think our priorities are all messed up, all of us, not just the Left. Sure, it is a messing up of priorities to pretend that one particular model of sexual purity (on which the Bible contradicts itself, BTW, compare the Table of Kindred and Affinity to the marital laws of the Torah, lots of marrying one's brother's wife there) is the only law in Scripture worth splitting the Church over, but surely the idea that forcing the Church to call our realtionships marriages is crucial to full inclusion is just as messed up, as is "demanding" our rights. We might force your bishop to one day make you a reader, but that won't change his heart, and isn't it more important that he deal with his sinful bigotry against us than us forcing him to do something he resents?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 9 November 2007 at 1:48pm GMT

Ford,
let's not get hung about about validating relationships. We disagree on that but I don't see that as a particular problem.

Full inclusion means much more than that. It means ACPMs no longer having special meetings to discuss whether a gay person can sit on the PCC. Full inclusion means that everyone can freely admit to being gay and partnered. Full inclusion means that no part of church life is closed to a person because they're gay.
If we genuinely believe that God doesn't exclude, then we cannot accept that his church should.

Whether we join a lobby group, or simply pray in the quiet of our own bedrooms is only a question of degree.

That I cannot change everyone's hearts is beside the point. I cannot make everyone feel that all races are equal either, but that is no reason to give them the impression that there is any section in the church that will condone a lesser status for black people.

Ultimately, the point for me is: if you genuinely and deeply accept yourself as you are and know yourself accepted and loved by God, you cannot but be puzzled that others don't, and you cannot but wish that God's church (of all places!) accepts you likewise.

This has nothing to do with Rights, but with my deep seated understanding what Christ's inclusive love is about and how that should be lived out in His church. It's much more a theological question than a human rights issue.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 10:21am GMT

Ford says "NP has the attitude that groups like CA are trying to call the shots and dictate to everyone else how we should behave. This gets in the way of his ability to do the same thing, so he gets angry."

Ford......(once again) no, I object to groups like CA arguing for the acceptance of behaviour which the bishops of the AC have consistently said is "incompatible with scripture". Got it?

I object to people telling others that God's word is wrong or does not mean what the bishops of the AC (and most Christians through the ages and still today) say it means.......I want teaching which is compatible with scripure.......hope this is clear, Ford.

Posted by: NP on Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:17pm GMT

" ... compatible with your v i e w of scripture" NP.

I hope you realize the substantial difference.

O, and by the way... it's wholly unnecessary and gratuitious (not to mention impolite) to add "Got it?" and "Hope this is clear, Ford."

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 9:28pm GMT

Erika,
I agree on pretty much everything else you said, with a couple of exceptions:

"Whether we join a lobby group... is only a question of degree."

Praying is seeking God's will be done, lobbying is demanding our will be done. Just because we think it God's will is immaterial.

"that is no reason to give them the impression that there is any section in the church that will condone a lesser status"

No, indeed, but the way we go about giving that impression might cause problems. Take the example of your bishop. If he is forced to make you a reader, he will merely become more resentful and perhaps break with the Church. Look at NP. Much of his fury comes from what he sees as people trying to force their own way on everybody else. While I argue this is extreme, since TEC is forcing nothing on anyone, this preception still angers him, and many more, and is a big feeder of this fire. There has to be a better way. All the same, the recent interaction with Christopher Schell has given me new insight into where you are coming from.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 4:05pm GMT

"it's wholly unnecessary and gratuitious (not to mention impolite) to add "Got it?" and "Hope this is clear, Ford.""

Goran, shhhh! If he wants to fly his colours proudly from the mast, why stop him? The contrast with his constant protestations of holiness are quite striking. He has been given quite enough rope, he will not be prevented from hanging himself, so the only thing you can do is sit back and watch.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 7:57pm GMT

Sorry, but I am not used to either language or the behaviour.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 7:31pm GMT
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