Saturday, 19 October 2013

opinion

Glenn Davies, the new Archbishop of Sydney, gave his first presidential address to his diocesan synod this week. ABC Religion and Ethics has published this slightly abbreviated version: Challenges for the gospel: Christian witness and the future of Anglicanism in Sydney.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian that To ask whether religions are rational is like asking whether they are pale green.

Shirley Pearce asks in the Church Times: Contentment or terror?

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
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From Archbishop Glen Davies' presidential address to the Sydney diocesan synod, he intends to follow through with his predecessor's homophobic attitude towards the LGBT community - to which Sydney contributes the largest representation in Australia.

Sydney's continuing attachment to GAFCON puts it out of touch with mainstream Anglican thought on gender and sexuality issues. This must surely precipitate further division within the Australian Province of the Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 11:25am BST

What a depressing address from the new Archbishop of Sydney. Starting with a rallying cry which seems to be no more than a selection of meaningless phrases chosen at random and then a half hearted response to the imposition of safeguarding on the Church, I feel sorry for those who have got to think up new ways of 'unleashing power. Then the denunciation of 'equal opportunity' and the concomitant ridicule of samesex marriage. The Diocese of Sydney has nothing to say to its large Gltb population, the archbishop is leading his church further into the dead end of calvinistic exclusivity. God help those remaining real Anglicans in the diocese.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 6:13pm BST

The one-size-fits-all approach to people with dementia promoted in Shirley Pearce's article has been criticised by the Alzheimer's Society (http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1087) and certainly does not fit my experience as a former carer of someone with dementia. Dementia encompasses a range of conditions affecting different individuals in different ways. It should also be remembered that many people with dementia have capacity to make some decisions and it is legally and ethically questionable to deny them this right.

Posted by: Savi Hensman on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 8:10pm BST

Archbishop Glen Davies is Not homophobic..he is a sincere Christian gentleman, who loves all his fellow men and women, and believes everyone, gay or straight needs the Gospel.The Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney has an outreach to the GBLT population of Sydney, and the growing Asian/ethnic populations.So to say it has nothing to say is a travesty.

Please grant Sydney Anglicans sincereity....to do otherwise is sheer blind prejudice. As St Paul stated " For do I become your enemy, in that I tell you the truth."

Funny how "dead end" Christianity is growing and liberal churches like yours Ron are everywhere in free fall.

Posted by: Robert ian williams on Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 11:38pm BST

Once upon a time - in the 1970s and 1980s - conservative churches were growing and liberal ones were in decline! That is no longer the case. True, conservative Sydney Anglicanism has continued to grow, but this has been largely as a result of members transferring from other "evangelical" churches in Sydney.

Yes, the conservative African churches are growing, but so are the conservative African mosques! What does this tell us? That the conservative Christians are right, or that fundamentalist dogma has a wide appeal where life is difficult and uncertain?

Until recently at least, conservative churches have been able to fill pews. But have they the ability to change society, have they the ability to really transform the world for Christ? We will see. Right now much of the world in the West sees them, and therefore the rest of the church, as evil and bigoted, as the Archbishop of Canterbury recently confessed.

Glen Davies may indeed be a sincere gentleman. Many of the racists in the Church of England in South Africa, long supported by Sydney in the years of Apartheid, were no doubt also sincere. They were still racist. I have no idea if Glenn Davies has a "fear of homosexuality", if that is what you take homophobia to mean. However, if you take it to mean the desire to discriminate on grounds of sexuality, to the disadvantage of gay and lesbian people, then his Synod speech confirms his homophobia. Perhaps heterosexism is a better word. Sadly he is not alone - some of the most senior clerics in the Church of England seem to share his views.

I firmly believe that most Sydney Anglicans are sincere - and blindly prejudiced at the same time!

Meanwhile, let us hope that the rest of the worldwide Anglican Church can ignore Sydney and the GAFCONites and instead proclaim the gospel of our freedom in Christ!

Posted by: Iain Baxter on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 2:34pm BST

Well said, Mr Baxter. Fundamentalists are a danger to humanity, whether Christian or Muslim or Jewish or Hindu. But, when you find selective fundamentalists, such as we see in Sydney, you can neither respect their ignorance nor their dishonesty.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 6:52pm BST

If you want to make a slightly more nuanced argument about discrimination against LGBT people, 'heteronormative' is a useful word.

Posted by: Flora Alexander on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 7:02pm BST

Iain...You see to conservative Christians " freedom in Christ" is a euphemism for a license to sin and the Hell bound road. Until you understand the mindset of your adversary , you will not see their sincerity or their genuine zeal for souls.

Posted by: robert Ian williams on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 8:01pm BST

'...that recognises marriage as God's design...'

From the first reading this morning:-

' At night Jacob got up and took his two wives...'

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 8:22pm BST

As a person who fled from the "sincere loving" evangelical Christians of Sydney to a vibrant inclusive growing church in Dunedin, NZ I can assure you that Robert ian williams does not know what he is talking about. For the 4 years previous to my emigration I travelled 2 hours each way to one of the few inclusive churches in Sydney which was growing. Being located in the office area of the city nearly all the parishioners came from outside the parish seeking a church which was welcoming of all. In my own residential area, as an openly gay man I was removed from even reading the lesson but so what, women were not allowed to do that either. Glenn Davies may be better than his predecessor but from this speech, it appears not by much. There is one similar (evangelical) church in Dunedin who consider themselves to have the true gospel. They do not even send representatives to the ordination of women in their next door parish and have mounted vitriolic attacks on any gay men and women in the church. I fear they may be browbeating my new bishop who welcomed me to his parish before he became bishop but now seems to be trying to appease the evangelicals in moderating his views.

Posted by: Brian Ralph on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 8:26pm BST

If the Diocese of Sydney (it's not an archdiocese) has any "outreach" to the LGBT community, its purpose is to provide counseling to reverse same-sex attraction. Archbishop Davies is indeed a gentleman who is respectful and friendly.

Posted by: Richard on Sunday, 20 October 2013 at 10:44pm BST

If this gay Episcopalian ever gets the opportunity to visit beautiful Sydney, I plan to spend Sunday mornings on the beach with the secularists enjoying God's Creation instead of spending my time in church complaining about it with dreadful church people who believe themselves to be The Elect.

ALL people are created in God's image, and God blessed everything He created and declared it good, including Teh Gay.

Posted by: Counterlight on Monday, 21 October 2013 at 4:27pm BST

Brian Ralph, It's pleasing to read you've found a vibrant inclusive growing church in Dunedin, NZ. I've found a loving, inclusive, non-metropolitan church in the Sydney Anglican diocese. I'm in agreement with those who say the church has traditionally treated homosexual people in a less than loving way and the church needs to do much more to be welcoming and inclusive.

Posted by: Pam on Monday, 21 October 2013 at 9:59pm BST

Don't know why this thing is still posting me as "Counterlight."

I am FD Blanchard, a Texan residing in New York (or a New Yorker from Texas, take your pick).

A mere pew-sitter.

Posted by: FD Blanchard on Monday, 21 October 2013 at 10:44pm BST
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