Saturday, 13 February 2016

Opinion - 13 February 2016

Archdruid Eileen Government to Introduce League Tables For Churches

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave this Church of Ireland Theological Lecture on Monday: ‘The Generational Struggle’.

Nick Baines Under an African sky (Tanzania visit)

Church Times is publishing a seven-week series on Theology Now during Lent. This week there are articles on God. Most are behind the paywall, but here are two that are not.
John Inge, Bishop of Worcester In my heart and in my head
Andrew Davison Believing: a respectable approach

Antonia Honeywell The Telegraph I was driven out of my beloved church by homophobia

Mark Hart Living Out the Trinity in the Church of England

Ross Kane The Christian Century Should Episcopalians repent?

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 13 February 2016 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Andrew Davison Believing: a respectable approach. Well, it might be respectable but it is not equivalent. When theology is as subject to revision as science, then the two will be equivalent. There is no natural theology, only experience, or dogma. We don't either slave to a theology or have an experience to give it up, but change the belief according to experiences. Christianity is both a culture and a dogma, but the dogma can be seriously revised whilst seeing the cultural inheritances. My view has settled at somewhere between religions humanism, Western Buddhism and very liberal Christianity, because Christianity makes unverifiable historical interventionist claims (incarnation) and now claims to scientific nonsense (virgin births, resurrection). And the two - Christian dogma and science - do clash without significant revision to Christianity content and method.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 13 February 2016 at 4:10pm GMT

'Under an African sky', with no internet access. Sounds like the gospel has a lot of scope to prosper.

Posted by: Pam on Saturday, 13 February 2016 at 8:36pm GMT

The archdruid has it. We have an OfGod (aka archdeacon) inspection in June to check up on our MAPs.

Posted by: Fr William on Sunday, 14 February 2016 at 8:17am GMT

Ms Honeywell must have had a very homophobic pastor if he invited a notorious ex-gay cultist to address his flock. Could she not have found more decent congregations in the C of E? Perhaps geography was the obstacle, or perhaps homophobia is in fact widespread among Anglicans, which I would be sorry to think.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Sunday, 14 February 2016 at 10:22am GMT

[From the Mark Hart blog] "So, being male and female, being sexual, is how we are like God, because God is fundamentally different persons in fundamental unity. Similarly, women and men are fundamentally different, yet fundamentally the same." (Kindle Locations 126-128)... "But in the Trinity, and in Genesis, difference does not hinder union, but enables it. It is precisely the difference between Father and Son which makes their relationship one of perfect fatherhood and sonship. And it is precisely the difference between women and men, including the physical genital difference, that enables them to be truly physically united into ‘one flesh’ through sexual intercourse (Genesis 2:18)." (Kindle Locations 135-137)

Oh spare me, this again. Paging Tobias Haller!!!

This kind of gender essentialism serves patriarchy (and its offspring, homophobia), while ignoring the ACTUAL LIVED EXPERIENCE of so many (male&female, God created genderqueer me). And to think there are those who say "you can't have marriage equality, you haven't Done The Theology!" If THIS counts as "Doing the Theology", I'll pass...

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 6:00am GMT

Best quote of the day, from Bishop John Inge:

"WHEN preaching about God, one of the things we have to do is to banish ideas — which remain very common — of a bearded old man or, worse still, a fierce policeman or headmaster in the sky, wanting to catch us out at every opportunity. Our God is not at all like that..."

How often do sermons begin with a stern note of judgement? The only incentive to Love God, and one another, is to know God's love for us: "God loved the world so much..."

The Lenten Season must surely be a time, above all, of joy, that God cares so much about us.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 8:12am GMT

Dear Pluralist, it seems that the type of religion you are advocating here is absent the faith that is a gift of the God who chooses to reveal it to the earnest seeker. From faith comes hope and love, and we all know the paucity of this latter virtue - even, sometimes, in the Church.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 9:09am GMT

"Could she not have found more decent congregations in the C of E?"

Perhaps she assumed they were all decent.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 11:19am GMT

"Could she not have found more decent congregations in the C of E?"

Possibly, even probably. But as a gay man who was humiliated out of my church of 35 years, may I suggest that if you haven't experienced it, you can have little idea how damaging this sort of thing is. It took me years to come back to (a different) church, and 30-odd years later it still haunts and infuriates me. I can forgive - they didn't know what they were doing - but I can't forget.

Posted by: Nathaniel Brown on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 7:06pm GMT

"Could she not have found more decent congregations in the C of E?"

That's a really important question.
Yes, it is possible to find truly welcoming congregations.
But it actually isn't as easy as you might think.
There are churches on the IC register, and Changing Attitude has a register too.

With any other church, you can't be 100% sure. You might have to go by recommendation - if you know people to ask.
Or you might have to email the vicar in advance - as I know many lgbt people do.

Most people end up joining a church and waiting for clues. Is there an anti-gay sermon? That's an easy one. But it can be weeks or months until you discover it.
Can you turn up with your partner? Can you be open about them being your partner? Can you take on any formal role in the church?
LGBT people discover this slowly, over time, often the hard way.

The more evangelical your churchmanship is, the harder you will find it to find a welcoming church.

So... yes.. they could have found a more affirming church, but not without a huge amount of effort.

To all truly affirming churches out there I would say – please, please, please get yourselves on the IC register! We really need you to tell us clearly who you are!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 8:16pm GMT

"This week there are articles on God. Most are behind the paywall"

Posted by: Stuart, Devon on Monday, 15 February 2016 at 9:02pm GMT

The Kane article shows why white guilt is as big a sin as any other, and a huge problem in TEC. "We'll happily throw this group under the bus because they are *here* and primarily white, rather than over *there* and a different race!"

Out of the Anglican Communion is the only path to right action.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 at 5:49am GMT

I find some of the Kane article offensive, though interesting.

In saying that TEC should be willing to bear the cost of doing what's right, he is buying into the idea that there is a central Anglican authority that is empowered to impose sanctions/consequences. So I reject that we are displaying "typical white liberal presumption... [that is] naive—and inadvertently neocolonial." If there was a legitimate central authority, I would agree that accepting the cost is part of the prophetic witness.

I would also note that TEC is not exclusively white, we engage many voices, Native, Latino/a, Black, Asian, LGBTQ of all races, etc.

His continual references to gay people as being "Same-sex attracted" is DEEPLY, DEEPLY offensive. Orientation is how we are created in God's image.

Kane's second point about the "white gaze" would have merit if TEC were trying to impose gay marriage on the rest of the Communion. Since we aren't, it's a stupid argument. I would suggest that he check his own white and straight gaze here. His empathy with the Global South experiencing oppression at the hands of colonialism and neocolonialism doesn't seem to extend to the real oppression of LGBTQI people in the Global South.

His third point is that Africans thought that church was the one place where they were equal and TEC's cultural imperialism concerning justice and inclusion dashes their hopes for equality. Methinks his concern should be for persecuted LGBTQI people in Africa...

The refrain that LGBTQI people need to accept persecution and inequality so that Anglican leaders can make nice is getting older and more ridiculous by the minute. I don't believe that Kane should be speaking for all LGBTQ African Anglicans, I keep hearing that they want us to speak up for them and for human rights.

What Kane holds up, prayer and telling stories, is precisely what many, many people have been doing. That is precisely what brought TEC to our discernment. So why is he arrogantly accusing us of all this cultural imperialism when a. we did that work, b. we aren't imposing our view on the African Churches (though we call for an end to human rights violations, as does the UN), and c. how on earth can we be so imperial when in reality there is absolutely no central authority making doctrine for us all?

We are an independent family of churches. The Anglican Covenant failed. No one is being imperial by following our conscience and discernment.

This was the analysis of a white straight man overstepping mightily and offensively. Same sex attracted... disgusting display of white, male privilege, in my view.

Posted by: Cynthia on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 at 6:55pm GMT
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