Saturday, 16 December 2017

Opinion - 16 December 2017

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts A sermon for Midnight Mass

Tricia Gates Brown Episcopal Café The subversive, confrontational, emboldening stories of Christmas

Ysenda Maxtone Graham The Spectator Mission impossible? The C of E’s attempt to woo new members
“The church-will-see-me-out brigade’s attitude is not going to work for much longer”

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Spiritual Blindness & the Root of Fear

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer The Church of England is a compromised and compromising church – thank God!

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Deuteronomy 19, 15:
A single witness will not suffice to convict anyone of a crime or offence of any kind; whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two witnesses or three is required to sustain the charge.
Natural justice which the law of the United Kingdom upholds.

Posted by: Jill Armstead on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 12:10pm GMT

I have to agree with Martin Sewell. A compromising church that includes diverse theologies and emphases opens the way for more dependence on grace, and the need to grow beyond our own stockades, and acknowledge difference, and become more than we would have remained in splendid and ideologically pure isolation.

I believe the Church of England has its own distinctive history and chrism. It is a catholic church as well as a protestant church.

And I think our differences challenge us, rather than schisming because of ideological differences, to hold together in love, and seek one another's flourishing.

I truly do believe 'unity in diversity' - finding our unity in Jesus Christ and not in our uniformity - is the gateway to a Church where grace and love are the priorities, not dogmatic rectitude.

The test is not 'who is right?' - it is 'Can you love one another?'

Like it or not, we are all in our diverse ways called to the eternal household and family of God. We are One in Christ. That One-ness doesn't depend on an Anglican Covenant, on uniformity, on dominating one another's consciences. Our unity is only, ever, the unity we have in Christ.

I grew up in a fairly catholic tradition, experienced 'born again' conversion, saw my children loved and nurtured by an evangelical church, experienced charismatic worship and phenomena, was moved by the champions of social justice in the Church, and have found myself on the so-called liberal wing of the Church. The heart of my Anglican connection now is a religious house with a catholic tradition. My spirituality draws strongly from the Carmelite values of the counter-reformation. All of this in the Church of England.

One Church. Many people, many views, and each of us, called, uniquely, to grow and to love and to try to exercise grace.

Being dogmatic and schismatic is the easy bit.

May God bless the new Bishop of London, whoever they are.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 12:27pm GMT

Re the Tricia Gates Brown article, I agree generally with the author's take on the infancy narratives; but this sentence near the end of the article caught my eye: "...almost all Americans benefit from our country’s geopolitical domination, whether in the form of low prices at the grocery store and gas pump, freedom of movement around the world, or in other ways."

According to The Guardian the UN special envoy has a very different view of the appalling conditions endured by Americans living in poverty. "“But instead of realizing its founders’ admirable commitments, today’s United States has proved itself to be exceptional in far more problematic ways that are shockingly at odds with its immense wealth and its founding commitment to human rights. As a result, contrasts between private wealth and public squalor abound.”

Indeed the story about Philip Alston's report is hard to find on American news sites. The only place I could locate it this morning was the LA Times, which zooms in on the plight of the homeless.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 3:47pm GMT

I couldn't agree more with Ysenda Maxtone Graham's perceptive assertion that many of us in the CofE fear an "evangelical takeover" with the obsession with management-speak and the fact that " much-vaunted new funds are not promoting quiet, self-effacing ‘Catholic’-style worship; they’re promoting centres for instant conversion and worship songs" In a desperate attempt to get "bums on pews", the current leadership is changing the nature of the national church promoting a religion anathema to the English people. I am one of those who
"would prefer the church to die — literally — than turn into a shallow, self-satisfied members’ club".

Posted by: FrDavidH on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 6:24pm GMT

The Spectator article is based on a over-simplified premise and a caricature of evangelicalism. Our Diocese, Bath and Wells, has just been approved for some of the church growth funding. A major priority is deprived parishes, so the bid for a share of the resources from our neck of the woods (which has a conservative evangelical rural dean) is for a mission priest in an urban Anglo-Catholic parish. The vicar has seen his church steadily growing after decades of decline, and seems to be able to hold a thoroughly Catholic view of worship together with a robust commitment to mission.

I don't recognise FrDavidH's picture of an 'obsession with management speak'and of evangelical churches as 'centres for instant conversion'. Broad-brush generalisations of people we don't agree with don't help the CofE seek the truth in love together.

Posted by: David Keen on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 10:47pm GMT
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