Saturday, 25 March 2017

Opinion - 25 March 2017

Bosco Peters Liturgy How Revealed Is Christianity?

Giles Fraser The Guardian Prayer is not wishful nonsense. It helps us to shut up and think

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Are We an Institutionally Homophobic Church?

Martin Saunders Christian Today In His Grip: A guide to Christian email sign-offs

Scott Gunn Seven whole days Getting your church building ready for guests

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Martin Saunders has given me a new perspective. "Kind regards" is out and "Under Aslan's Paw" is definitely being thought about.

Posted by: Pam on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at 11:44am GMT

A much-needed and perceptive article by Jayne. The 'sins of omission' are as harmful as 'those things we ought not to have done' which is how some people would like to frame homophobia.

I think there are a couple of words that deserve serious critique in the Church of England today.

The first is erasure: for decades, LGBT+ issues have been erased from most diocesan websites 'to keep the peace'. Where LGBT+ issues have appeared on most of these sites, it has been in the context of problems and dispute. Where are the support links for young LGBT+ people? 'Erasure'... the 'don't mention the war' mentality... 'don't ask, don't tell'... is the methodology of those who will react to LGBT+ when it is a problem, but do not set out to initiate and include LGBT+ life as an inextricable part of Church life. The Church of England as an institution seems running scared of upsetting people who oppose gay and lesbian sex and see it as sin. We've seen it this past fortnight in the Church of Wales as well. It extends, of course, to a Communion-wide appeasement.

Along with erasure, the distinction between 'toleration' and 'affirmation' is an issue too, which reflects a failure of inclusion within the Church. Individual church members in the pews are increasingly welcoming to LGBT+ people, reflecting the growing maturity of society. But as an institution, the Church of England still too often runs scared of affirmation, simply 'tolerating' gay people, regarding their precious intimacies as 'sin' but loving the sinner.

Jayne cites the Bishop of Chelmsford for special mention, and he fully deserves it. Affirmation resonates from his words to their Diocesan Synod. But we have a way to go before the House of Bishops 'dares' to affirm gay sexuality in that way: and until they do, 'radical inclusion' is a slogan, and LGBT+ people remain marginalised, in a sense patronised by 'goodwill', but still erased for who we really are, the validity of our faithful relationships, the celebration of our lives.

As a school nurse, weekly meeting gay, lesbian, trans, and non-binary students who come to me - as well as heterosexual young people of course... I'm left feeling, 'Where do they turn to in our Church?'

And I think of Lizzie Lowe.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at 11:52am GMT

Scott Gunn: 'Mow the grass or rake it or whatever it needs'.

Or in our case, move the snow!

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at 11:06pm GMT

"The first is erasure: for decades, LGBT+ issues have been erased from most diocesan websites 'to keep the peace'."

York is a good example. The search function brings up just four matches for LGBT of which three relate to Orlando and one is a biog. Nothing at all about diocesan support for LGBTIQ people. In contrast, FRACKING brings up two matches.

More positively, Chichester has just appointed an LGBT liason officer

Posted by: Kate on Sunday, 26 March 2017 at 1:24pm BST

Tim: Good point. A couple of years ago, I experienced a snowy Palm Sunday. All glory, laud, and shovels!

Posted by: Scott Gunn on Sunday, 26 March 2017 at 8:27pm BST

It's +9ÂșC here in Edmonton today, Scott, and the snow is melting, so we might get lucky this year. A snowy Palm Sunday is not uncommon for us in this 'winter city'.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Sunday, 26 March 2017 at 10:48pm BST

Bosco Peters' article ( How Revealed is Christianity?) has been nagging at me since I read it several days ago. My first thought was of Bernard Lonergan and his ground breaking essay decades ago, Dimensions of Meaning, wherein he writes," There has been no new revelation from on high to replace the revelation given through Christ Jesus", an essay lauded by Thomas J. McPartland in one of several recent Lonerganian books, Lonergan and Historiography (2010).

But it is a much older book (published a year before I was born) to which I turned i.e C.H. Dodd, The Fourth Gospel. There Dodd talks about logos (as revelation) as understood by the fourth evangelist, i.e logos as the eternal truth expressed by God to men as either words of Scripture or words of Christ. (Dodd pp 263 ff. )

What Peters is getting at in his article seems to have more to do with authority than revelation per se. Which brings me back to Lonergan and Dimensions of Meaning (collections), "But even authorities are historical entities. It is easy enough to repeated what they said. It is a more complex task to say what they meant"

What Peters is wrestling with is political authority in the church. The Sheffield fiasco, which he touches upon in his opening, has to do with the dialectic between two historical Anglican crisis points i.e.via media in juxtaposition to validity of orders, the latter a phobia for Anglicans--an acute phobia for conservative Anglo-catholics.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 27 March 2017 at 12:09am BST

At least one Anglican-affiliated Church in Asia has recently resiled from endemic homophobia and sexism. The story can be accessed on my blog, and refers to the Philippines Independent Church, whose Council of Bishops has just made a surprising statement - in favour of radical inclusion

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 27 March 2017 at 10:39am BST

"The first is erasure: for decades, LGBT+ issues have been erased from most diocesan websites 'to keep the peace'."
A local Mothers' Union recently hosted transgender speaker & performer Kate O'Donnell - but they were not allowed to publicise this on the Sheffield Diocese ebulletin. - There was no response to an email,from a third party, querying this decision.

Posted by: David Goss on Monday, 27 March 2017 at 11:03am BST
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