Comments: more American reports and viewpoints

I find the Lawrence piece Remaining Anglican... to be the most outspoken and unabashed declaration of Calvinism I have yet experienced in these few years observing your present troubles (only the last in a long row of attempted coups).

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 8:56am BST

From Remaining Anglican:

"..a misguided passion to be culturally sensitive...
... In its need to be perceived as relevant to one segment of our culture, ...
...this exclusive pursuit of 'cultural sensitivity' "

Mark Lawrence has picked up some of the lingo of liberalism, but clearly has no idea what actually motivates liberal actions in these areas.

Posted by Christopher Calderhead at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 12:04pm BST

Christopher Calderhead says what I would have, if I were still interested. It's all spin at this point - or else willful ignorance, perhaps. And I always find it telling that theology seems to correlate so closely with geography (or culture). Perhaps if people knew and had to work alongside gay folks, the pains and contradictions of real relationships would begin to instruct the heart.

"Anglicanism" itself is the new golden calf, I'm afraid. Imagine dismissing the spiritual struggles of fellow Christians so casually, apparently largely because one wishes to continue to call oneself "Anglican"! I just can't take any of this seriously any longer, I'm afraid.

But all shall be well; if people must hold onto something this tightly, in order to get what they think they need, so be it. Personally, I think God has something more interesting in mind, and we will have the better part.

Posted by bls at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 2:06pm BST

Picking up on Bishop Terry's thoughts, I think Fr. Marshall's piece using postcolonial thinking key not simply globally but nationally as there are often several cultures within any given structure of Church. Here in the US there is an emerging queer Christian culture. When my partner and I worked with others to design a rite, which can be found here ( http://thanksgivinginallthings.org/thecelebrationoraffirmationandblessingofaholyfratrimonialunion.doc ), gathered friends and family and a Benedictine sister to officiate we were participating in that emerging culture, living into our baptism and doing what needs to be done rather priests and bishops will do so or not. And of course, African American Christian culture has long been a gift, a challenge, and a rebuke to the hegemony to white culture thinking of itself as "the Church".

Posted by *Christopher at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 3:39pm BST

OK -- I've read what Fr Lawrence has to say & I repeat my earlier question -- how can a person swear to uphold the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church AND ask for Alternative Primatial Oversight? These remain mutually exclusive positions. If TEC has erred in its understanding of Sacred Scripture & is irreformable, then please leave.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 4:04pm BST

I read Lawrence's article, and it sounded so very reasonable. It is very much what Umberto Eco described as "moronic:" demonstrating good logic without considering whether there were problems with the premises.

For example, the earliest generations of the teaching of the Apostles was not based on a literal use of the Hebrew Scriptures. If they had focused on literal interpretation, they could never have accepted the mission work of Paul (and, arguably, none of us would be here). In the teaching of the Apostles nothing was more important than acceptance of the work of Christ. Indeed, in words of Christ, there is only one sin that is not forgiven (and thus only one sin that might be worth separating over): the "sin against the Holy Spirit." Outside of that (whether it might be idolatry or apostacy or blasphemy, all related), there is nothing that won't be forgiven, and no divine hierarchy of one sin being worse than any other. "All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."

There is something important, something worth living for, about "remaining in the Apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers." I fear, however, that his article misrepresents what that something is. It is the sacrificial love of Christ, given to the undeserving, and not any purity of our deserving, that we seek to preach and celebrate.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 5:18pm BST

* Christopher
this liturgy is so moving and the Litany really got to me. I look forward to pondering it slowly...Many, many thanks for sharing it with us, here...if you both represent this emerging christian gay culture, then it is in terrific hands! I feel very moved...

And congratulations and best wishes to you both.

Posted by laurence roberts at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 5:20pm BST

I think the South Africans are showing exceptional wisdom. I note that they are referring to "liberation theology", which has been hugely beneficial to countries that sought solutions whilst being oppressively under the thumb of unfair global economics and/or vicious or corrupt local regimes. A pan-Christian comment would be that this theology was touted a lot in the 1980s and then severely repressed by some well-known religious leaders. That must be coming back to haunt them now, as the veils of illusion are lifted and they see that their repression made them butt-lickers to unjust systems.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 9:51pm BST

Cheryl, I think I know one of them. Last time I checked, he was being pilloried over comments on Islam and is still under a cloud of suspicion.
There's one of the mistakes of Cardinal Ratzinger you highlighted, and now, it is showing.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Thursday, 28 September 2006 at 12:34am BST

When I was a student living in Oxford almost twenty years ago, I heard Rowan Williams talk about the need for an open, welcoming church that accepted the gifts of all of its members. I also heard a man whose theology was Christ-centered and who preached Christ's love to others. That man seems to have disappeared completely into the persona of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop's appointment of Drexel Gomez to head a "Covenant Design Group" is just about the last step in the transformation that has turned a good man into a functionary more concerned with structures of power than with the love of God. This isn't the greatest tragedy in our current situation as Anglicans, but it's one that saddens me personally.

Posted by Todd Parker at Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 5:31pm BST
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