Comments: Reform gets more publicity

Well done Rowan....we see yet more results of great leadership?!

Posted by NP at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 9:11am BST

This is the payback for making a pigs ear of discipline post Coekin's "ordination" and the refusal to enact appropriate discipline in Chelmsford with Rev. Mike Reith and Richard Wood in their open defiance of their diocesan - you can't pick and choose your ordination bishop - obedience is part of your vows!

Leave if you like - we can't stop you. Just leave the family (i.e. CofE) bricks, mortar and silver on the way out of the door.

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 9:59am BST

Shock News! Reform tells like-minded evangelicals to ignore liberal bishops. Gasp. As if we ever really listened in the first place.

Posted by Peter Head at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 10:07am BST


Hmm. The other week, in response to a story in the Sunday Telegraph by Jonathan Wynne-Jones that predicted all of this, the evangelical mafia were out in force saying how silly they thought his story was. eg. this posting from Bishop Pete:

"Having recently been in dialogue with members of Reform on this subject, I am clear that Jonathan Wynne-Jones' report is inaccurate in several respects. I would be surprised if they had either produced an ultimatum, or had suggested the use of foreign archbishops, at this stage. We're not helped by the Press trying to up the ante.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 6:06pm BST"

Its not Bp Pete's fault that he got taken in by the antics of Reform, but there is a lesson to be learnt here: that Reform are very slippery with the truth. Wynne-Jones was proved right after all.

Posted by Giles Fraser at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 10:44am BST

Stephen Roberts - do you really want stronger church discipline?

Do you want stronger church discipline with regard to Lambeth 1.10 or do you just want discipline for those who are not happy with bishops who do not stick to it (amongst other things)?

Posted by NP at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 11:13am BST

Indeed - the stupendous folly of letting Coekin off the hook was always going to encourage this. Archbishop Williams needs to take a very firm line on this indeed, or else we really will end up with disintegration of the C of E.

Andrew Goddard over at Fulcrum sees some hope from the Coekin judgement, in that it makes absolutely clear that irregular ordinations are illegal under canon law, so long as due process is followed. Unfortunately, it seems as if this hypothesis may be tested sooner rather than later.

http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20060609goddard.cfm?doc=113

Frankly, as Stephen comments, if a priest is willing to break his ordination vows he ought to expect to be defrocked.

Posted by Matthew B at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 11:50am BST

I'm curious about this quote from the Telegraph article:
"He claimed the pro-gay lobby in this country was likely to become more overt and persistent, citing the same-sex blessing reportedly conducted by the Anglican provost of Glasgow cathedral last month."
Isn't this cathedral in the Scottish Episcopal Church? And, if so, why would actions in another province be used as justification for disobedience in the speaker's own province?

At the end of the day, it looks to this Yank like the disputes aren't about homosexuality or evangelical vs. broad vs. high, but the unraveling of the Elizabethal Settlement. Absent good will, I'm skeptical there's any force within the institution of the Church to bring the unraveling to a halt.

Posted by Dirk C Reinken at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 12:26pm BST

Oh, I wanted to add - In trying to figure out which was Glasglow Cathedral, I had fun comparing the websites of the Church of Scotland's Glasgow Cathedral ( http://www.glasgowcathedral.org.uk/ ) with the Scottish Episcopal Church's Glasgow Cathedral (http://www.cathedral.glasgow.anglican.org/ ) .

It's nice to see such life at Glasgow Cathedral, and it reminds me what I like about being an Anglican. :)

Posted by Dirk C Reinken at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 12:32pm BST

"refusing to ordain conservative evangelical clergy for their parishes"

Are there actually any instances of this where the issue was not the ordinand? I mean, I see "conservative" parishes frequently setting simplistic litmus tests of "orthodoxy" for their bishops, locking the doors against him when he doesn't comply, then claiming persecution when he justifiably disciplines them. I have to wonder if this is not the same thing, defiant "valiant defenders of the faith" standing up against the "heathen reassessors" only to have one of these "faithless apostates" then refuse to ordain them because of their bad behaviour and histrionic antics. Sorry, but I have yet to see any true Evangelical persecution, everything looks to me like bishops justifiably disciplining a bunch of strife breeders.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 1:09pm BST

strange - we had john richardson's assurance that this was exactly not what rod thomas was saying.

Posted by poppy tupper at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 1:13pm BST

"why would actions in another province be used as justification for disobedience in the speaker's own province"

It isn't, of course, it's just that they have gotten themselves worked up into such a lather over the prospect that a bunch of sick perverts might actually be able to defile the House of God and the Household of Faith that they no longer have any sense of scale. They can't even hear arguments or discussion. NP's a prime example, so are the leaders of the GS. They are so set on what they have allowed themselves to be convinced is a life and death struggle for the Church that they will go far from the Gospel to defend it, all the while believing they are holy for that. That they are gallant defenders of the Gospel has so closed their eyes that when their bad behaviour is pointed out to them, they don't see it, but rather believe they are being told that since they sin, others ought to be allowed to as well! I alternate between sadness, anger, and amusement at it, really. They are not stupid people. In calmer times, they would see how much their behaviour betrays the Gospel they truly believe they are following. They've just allowed themselves to get into a frenzy.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 1:49pm BST

NP - "do you really want stronger church discipline?"

Yes.

"Do you want stronger church discipline with regard to Lambeth 1.10"

Lambeth 1.10 is neither divine writ, nor canon law. If it were so, then yes I would want to see appropriate discipline exercised there too.

Bishops are the leaders of the CofE, chosen by the Holy Spirit, the Church and the Crown - this entitles them to enforce clergy discipline within their diocese as they see fit within the confines of canon law.

As part of the selection process, it is a bishop's perrogative to ordain who they see fit. If a candidate will not recognise the authority of their bishop (in humble, canonical obedience), their right to refuse ordination (as one who leads the church) or share communion with them (as Christ enjoined us to do), they are not fit to be ordained.

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 2:03pm BST

I think +Broadbent's statement is true.

Reform is saying it is not planning to ask foreign bishops for help..... but will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 2:09pm BST

Stephen....well, if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church as Luther would have been wrong to defy his bishops, believing they were in error, according to you?

Posted by NP at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 2:13pm BST

Is there a conference video this year...?

Posted by Alastair Cutting at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 2:38pm BST

NP - "if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church"

You have moved from the specific to the general. Clergy are supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be their bishop (and his successors) - it's part of their ordination vows. If that vow is worthless, what does it say about the candidate?

If the role of bishops isn't one of leadership and authority, if clergymen are able to be in open defiance of their bishop's authority - what's the big deal about Gene Robinson? You can't have it both ways - either bishops have a special role, or they do not.

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 2:53pm BST

the video from this year's conference is of rod thomas's trousers which seem to be on fire.

Posted by poppy tupper at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 3:16pm BST

"will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems."

So, we'll get our own way regardless of how we get it? Right. How exactly is this different in kind from the "duplicity" you condemn in TEC? Your script: TEC does what it wants, doesn't play by the rules, and ought to be kicked out of the Communion for that. In this instance, Reform will break the rules to get what it wants. This is OK, though, since you approve of their ends, and can mine the Bible for justification, ignoring the parts that say this is not the way for Christians to behave. But since you think TEC is a bunch of atheists who will do anything to get the approval of the world, then they should be punished. Right. Or is it that Reform says this is what it will do, so the "honesty" of that justifies their actions?

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 3:28pm BST

NP, I find it ironic that you commend Martin Luther for refusing to relinquish his interpretation of Scripture in favor of his Bishops' majority interpretation. His way of interpreting Scripture seemed unprecedented, and it seemed likely to encourage immorality by ignoring "clear" teachings of Scripture like the book of James (or even the Sermon on the Mount).

Many of us who are gay and Christian base our lives on interpretations of Scripture too. They may not be the majority's, but they are genuine efforts to interpret Scripture faithfully in light of its central purpose--to present us with God's unconditional welcome, in Christ, into a life devoted to the love of God and neighbor. We cannot in good conscience submit to interpretations that seem to fall short of that central purpose, even if they are held by the majority of Bishops. In this, we follow Luther's example.

So why the praise for Luther and the scorn for us?

Posted by Charles William Allen at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 3:37pm BST

The sooner the CofE are rid of Reform, the better. Their wish for a 'pure' church of conservative evangelicals is moonshine. They are like leeches without the medical benefits.

If they don't approve of their bishop, then they should leave the Anglican church, which is episcopal, not congregationalist.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 3:43pm BST

LOL, just love the passing mention of the (quote) Liberal Threat (unquote). Is that maybe like the Queer Threat? The Feminist Threat? The Threat of the Poor? The Unwashed? The Stranger Threat?

Ah yes, the Threat of the Neighbor?

This whole business of flat earth de facto belief and doctrinal systems being threatened - because they can be investigated openly as contributors to dubious prejudice and discrimination (and even some forms of systemic and physical violence?) - begs to be looked into, deeper, wider, more critically perhaps.

Who are these folks who appear to think that they can somehow use a conservative institutional Anglican realignment campaign to absolutely vote the rest of us off of the little blue green planet?

Maybe we have little or nothing to fear, except the wild fire sense of Group Think and Burning Alarm drummed up in so much of all of this talk about dire threats?

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 3:47pm BST

poppy tupper wrote: “strange – we had john richardson's assurance that this was exactly not what rod thomas was saying.”

Ah, but the real question is: did we believe it?

Well, NP did, obviously.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 4:14pm BST

Ford Elms wrote: “They are so set on what they have allowed themselves to be convinced is a life and death struggle for the Church that they will go far from the Gospel to defend it, all the while believing they are holy for that. That they are gallant defenders of the Gospel has so closed their eyes that when their bad behaviour is pointed out to them, they don't see it, but rather believe they are being told that since they sin, others ought to be allowed to as well! I alternate between sadness, anger, and amusement at it, really. They are not stupid people. In calmer times, they would see how much their behaviour betrays the Gospel they truly believe they are following. They've just allowed themselves to get into a frenzy.”

They have. But, seriously, in calmer times they believe, that since they sin ”also”, they are allowed to mis-behave against their fellow beings with impunity.

So, sorry – no change.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 4:14pm BST

How do they arrive at their claimed total membership of 1700? It was 1200 a fortnight ago - is Reform growing that fast? Either that (of which I see no evidence in this rural backwater) or there's some creative accounting going on. Something of the order of 400 people per diocese doesn't fit with those dioceses I know - unless they are counting the entire ACM figure of the churches which identify themselves as supporters.

Posted by cryptogram at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 5:29pm BST

"the Church of England’s “increasingly liberal agenda”."

Cause for hope I guess...

The Church is a conservative institution even if it moves in a liberal direction. How many years have we been talking about "splits" in the C of E, and yet to see any transpire?

If Reform set up their own extra-provincial territory in England, let them walk...We let the Methodists do so.

"Failure to do this will seal the division of the Communion"

Haven´t "sources" at Lambeth Palace confirmed that most bishops have RSVP´d their invites, with the exception of Uganda. This threat to not attend if the Americans attend could be a thinly veiled bluff couldn´t it?

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 6:08pm BST

Reforms one bishop, Wallace Benn is also patron of the third province movement.

If he does not distance himself from this move...he will be the last de jure Reform bishop.
No chance of translation to a diocese.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 7:49pm BST

Giles

I think there are going to be a lot more souls like you and Pete who are going to be vindicated in the next period.

Ford picked up on "...refusing to ordain conservative evangelical clergy for their parishes..."

Sometimes God gives souls enough rope to act out their fantasies, then once they are in the net, the cords are pulled back tight again. Realising they have been caught in the act of desecrating God's name, temple and holy ones; they start to panic about what is going to happen to them.

At the moment their worst fears are that the nightmare they have been imposing upon others, or desiring to impose upon others is going to be done to them.

You know God's playing because the victims who would normally go into a revenge frenzy are instead transcending the whole tit-for-tat name-calling and stone-throwing strategies. It's not just happening amongst evangelicals, its happening in Muslim communities, between secular and faith communities.

There is a realisation that tyranny, repression, recrimination and accusations are not going to heal the world.

The world and its sensible occupants are pulling back from the Korach bickering camps. They know the earth is going to swallow them up and they are getting out of the way.

Mind you, it's much more fun to let them live and see the fruits of their discreditation, plus, as David would point out, it gives them a chance to repent and embrace peace, forgiveness and charity.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 9:39pm BST

NP - "I think +Broadbent's statement is true."

Really? I'm not sure he feels the same way (see the post at 4:05pm this afternoon on Fulcrum).

http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/forum/thread.cfm?page=3&thread=4819&sort=creatasc

Given the above Fulcrum post it appears that the bishop feels seriously misled. Is this really the same group that have the presumption to decide who are eligible to become bishops given their own mendacity? Perhaps +Broadbent isn't suitable in Reform's new world order? These people lie even to their natural allies - they have no honour.

In your own words "two wrongs don't make a right."

Let's hear you defend the indefensible - and yes I do think I have a strong argument - because I have. By their words shall you know them.

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Thursday, 18 October 2007 at 10:34pm BST

"I think +Broadbent's statement is true.

Reform is saying it is not planning to ask foreign bishops for help..... but will if it cannot find an English solution to its problems."

So it's true, unless it isn't?

The mental gyrations you make in order to see yourself as inerrant leave me in awe.

Posted by dave p at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 3:57am BST

Stephen - pls read what I said and read what Reform has said....... they are not asking any overseas bishop for help at the moment, are they?

All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may.... i.e. they are not ruling it out.

As + Broadbent asks them on Fulcrum, they are still seeking an English solution.... are they not?


(by the way, I ain't a member of Reform.... but they seem good eggs so maybe I should join)

Posted by NP at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 7:26am BST

NP - I have read what you wrote, and at this time (9.46am), it is literally true. The difficulty is, by the time this post appears, it very well may be false.

"As the Church gets more fractured maybe bishops or retired bishops will be able to help out so we can find an ‘English solution’, but if not we may have to look overseas." - Rod Thomas

Rod's position is an open threat. If we don't get what we want (alternative oversight in England), we're off (to alternative oversight overseas). This is no way to treat each other, and is frankly un-Christian - as I said earlier, by their words shall you know them.

It looks to me (and other observers, both catholic and evangelical) that Reform are itching for a split and are searching for the excuse to start it.

Even Bishop Broadbent does not believe Reform will behave themselves anymore "they clearly are planning to go overseas for their bishops" acknowledges the inevitability that Reform will leave CofE.

The only hope I find in this sorry mess is that those who would split the church are in the minority. The actions of Reform, Turnbull and those you so readily rally to defend are causing pain to catholic and evangelical alike and it is through this shared pain the CofE will grow.

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 9:53am BST

An English 'solution' would be so far away from RW's catholic ecclesiology that I wouldn't imagine it to be even on the radar.

I wonder how long all this can drag on before the inevitable split?

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 10:45am BST

Isn't there a "been" missing in the first sentence of the Daily Telegraph story?

"Dozens of conservative parishes will start ordaining their own clergy in an open revolt against their bishops if the Church of England continues its liberal drift, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned."

Reform has issued a warning to, not a warning from, the ABC.

Posted by John B. Chilton at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 11:55am BST

"if they have to do so"

The question is why would they have to do so? I keep hearing about the supposed hostility of "liberal" bishops, but when the incident is described, it always looks to me like a bishop justifiably disciplining a bunch of strife breeders who have created a situation where they can look persecuted. So, if I am wrong in my assessment, set me straight with examples. Otherwise explain why they would "have to" go outside England for a bishop. Is it just that they are afraid that if they associate with people whose Scriptural interpretation they disagree with, they will roast in Hell for all eternity? It isn't enough that "Paul tells us not to associate with false teachers". You have to explain what's so wrong with that or at least what the consequences will be.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 1:40pm BST

It seems to me to be the groundwork is laid for foreign bishops - the statements earlier from Anglican Mainstream about the "sin of nationalism" and the justification for international intervention. The other "English" method will really be no different anyway, still imposing from themselves another line of authority.

Why not? Well, it is quite possible that some retired English bishops will consecrate new ones, but leave a problem as to whose Church they come under, and if there is no official acceptance of these within the Church of England (being a sort of English version of valid but illicit) then they may seek to come under foreign Anglican oversight even if only consecrated by some English bishops.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 2:18pm BST

The Reform group's comments are nothing more than a bullying threat; either the rest of you will conform to Reform's wishes, or Reform and its supporters will depart.

NP's word games are becoming pathetic: "...they are not asking any overseas bishop for help at the moment, are they? All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may...."

So, I am not now assaulting you, but if don't do what I say, then I will.

They are schismatics, plain and simple, and bullying schismatics at that.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 3:13pm BST

"Stephen....well, if we were supposed to be obedient to whoever happens to be a bishop, regardless of their teaching and lives, we would all be in the RC church as Luther would have been wrong to defy his bishops, believing they were in error, according to you?"

----------------------------------------

Now this is funny. Sometimes we are exhorted to obey, other times to disobey - I guess according to the personal beliefs of conservatives at the particular moment in time.

Interesting ecclesiology, that!

Posted by bls at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 4:07pm BST

I think they underestimate those who would wish them good day and good riddance - even those who give a high place to unity here appear at the end of their tether.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 4:10pm BST

The Reform translation of former Luke 21:38ff, escised from the Alexandrian Sondertradition and later put in 3 different places in John by the Byzantine redaction (nowadays mostly John 7:53 to 8:11): "go now and leave your life of sin” also is highly irregular.

alias John 8:11b reads in Greek: Oudè egå se katakrínå. Poreúou, apò toû nûn mäkéti amártane.

Which means: Nor do I judge you. Go, from now on do not sin.

No "your life of sin" in sight.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 4:27pm BST

Pluralist says "the ground is laid for foreign bishops".

Perhaps the strategy for the ABC is now to send an encyclical to the effect that any more border crossing will result in the offender being ipso facto out of communion with Canterbury. If this results in Reform turning once again to CESA, then they will put themselves out of communion. Call their bluff.

Back in the late 50s, Eric Mascall published a lampoon on certain extreme anglo-catholics, which began "I am an ultra-catholic, no Anglo, I beseech you. / You'll find no taint of heresy in anything I teach you..." I think it deserves a rewrite for the present situtation, but devotees of Mascall's "Pi in the High" will remember the original well. Tempora mutantur.

Posted by cryptogram at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 5:19pm BST

In all of this row, I have yet to see any inkling of "God is Love". On the other hand, I have seen an awful lot of "Lust for earthly power", or "Love of Mammon", mostly through the use of a "knowledge of good and evil" applied to judging other people by the mechanism of "discipline", so-called.

How about this criteria for ordination and ordaining alike: humility and love.

Or perhaps, with respect to this whole tiresome issue, a simpler phrase applies:

Put a sock in it!

CPK

PS: I am anti-partisan in my politics, being more Madisonian than Madison. Throughout my life, I have alienated both the doctrinaire liberals and the doctrinaire conservatives. There is not a single politician in the world that espouses my views. I would fail every political litmus test that might be imposed.

Posted by Carl Peter Klapper at Friday, 19 October 2007 at 10:18pm BST

"How do they arrive at their claimed total membership of 1700? It was 1200 a fortnight ago"

Easy - faithfulness gets you more numbers - does it not NP?


http://asbojesus.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/161/

Posted by Stephen Roberts at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 2:02am BST

"All they have said is that if they have to do so, they may...."

Ala Mein Kampf, "If we have to get rid of the Jews, we will"?

[Yes, I know I just violated Godwin's Law. But w/ NP's logic, how can one fail to see the similarities? :-/]

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 3:03am BST

Reform claim to want to 'reform the Church of England from within' but their actions will destroy the church of England. And if they want to reform the Church of England, they have a pretty poor grasp of how to do it. In the last 20 years a sea-change has happened in the CofE's approach to one marginal interest group. There is now millions of pounds poured into this area each year, with an allocated sum per diocese. Guidelines for selection and training have changed and colleges have set up specialised courses. Parishes, Deaneries and dioceses are changing kind of people they employ, and the things they ask them to do. Canon law has been changed.

What is this group? It's people committed to mission and church planting. Pioneer Mission Training, £5m a year into mission funding, pioneer mission appointments in most Dioceses, and Bishops Mission Orders. This is the result of people like +Graham Cray and Paul Bayes working behind the scenes, talking, listening, working collaboratively rather than by grand sounding statements and sabre rattling. Reform: watch and learn.

Posted by David Keen at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 8:55am BST

Well, if the poor ol' C of E is no longer good enough for "Reform", they can join the exodus of earlier puritan groups (I believe it was Garrison Keillor who said that his ancestors came to America because the Church of England would not allow them to persecute others).

Posted by Prior Aelred at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 3:03pm BST

bls says "Now this is funny. Sometimes we are exhorted to obey, other times to disobey - I guess according to the personal beliefs of conservatives at the particular moment in time."

No, bls.....perhaps you are trying to misunderstand but the exhortation is to obey the word of God.

Sometimes, sticking to the bible means going against church authoritie eg Luther and those Anglicans in the US who cannot accept bishops who by their life and/or teaching reject certain scriptures.

For many in the AC,not just +Duncan and ++Akinola, obeying God's word is always more important than obeying a PB or an ABC.....

Posted by NP at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 5:24pm BST

"No, bls.....perhaps you are trying to misunderstand but the exhortation is to obey the word of God."

------------------------

Which is exactly what we're doing. We don't believe that the "word of God" demands the ruination of peoples' lives in favor of pointing to a few inaccurately-interpreted proof texts; we believe it demands something much deeper and better. Personally, I think the real issue at bottom here is not homosexuality but the weakness and (in this case and others) cruelty of sola scriptura Protestantism.

I think we're getting a chance to re-emphasize that revelation is ongoing - that God actually expects us to use our minds, and to care for human beings above all other concerns. As we all know, slavery is endorsed by the Bible and Jesus used slave metaphors constantly; thank God a few religious people (not many!) were able to get beyond simplistic proof-texting and to the real meat of the Gospel.

Posted by bls at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 7:57pm BST

Just imagine Reform and Forward in faith in a third province together!

One side believing in the sacrifice of the Mass, worshipping the consecrated bread and the other advocating lay presidency and the real absence, denouncing the FIF view as soul destroying Romanist heresy.

A complete fudge ...as long as it is not pink

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 10:03pm BST

Hi Bls

I agree "We don't believe that the "word of God" demands the ruination of peoples' lives."

In the Saturday articles Mullen states "capitalism reflects Christian teaching in that it accepts the doctrine of Original Sin..."

drdanfee on another thread comments how some focus on the penal substitution model.

They appear to be very Calvanistic in their thinking, there is a lot of loathing of humanity, some leaders purport that all humanity is hated by God and only some souls are saved when they find and worship the "pure" model of Jesus.

Such thinkings refute Jesus' life and modelling, it refutes all the history that led up to and justified Jesus, it refutes all the promises of love, compassion and mercy that are woven through the bible.

The current debates are demonstrating that there are some who are obsessed with the angry, aggressive and hateful god and who actually desire this kind of god. They actually want a god that is going to slay, maim and harm others.

Yet others are saying that is not what God is about and that such thinking refutes all of Jesus' teachings and purports that Jesus failed on the cross, because sin has not been forgiven.

Jesus succeeded on the cross, it is cruel priests and humans who have failed to fulfill his promises. Their lying pens have shown partiality in interpreting and recording the holy texts and missives.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Saturday, 20 October 2007 at 10:38pm BST

sorry bls, the positioon of the Church of England is that the word of God says certain behaviour is "incompatible with scripture".....this was stated in TWR which the ABC has just mentioned in his letter to +Howe, indicating the being "compliant" with TWR matters in current AC debates.......you can assert you are following the word of God but that is hard to see if you try to justify behaviour which the CofE bihsops have said is "incompatible with scripture"

And if the bishops of the AC were given another vote in 08, they would not overturn Lambeth 1.10 ..... otherwise Lambeth Palac bureaucrats would be organising that vote!

Posted by NP at Monday, 22 October 2007 at 8:16am BST

bls: "the real issue at bottom here is not homosexuality but the weakness and (in this case and others) cruelty of sola scriptura Protestantism."

Indeed - one of our folk came up to me after last night's parish mass and talked at great length about how their faith had been all but destroyed by her encounter with the Christian Taliban at university - and had only been (as they put it) got back on the rails by the patient work of the chaplaincy (which was, of course, a derided and scorned institution among true believers).

The collateral damage of successful evangelical conversion, they felt, was frighteningly huge - and unacknowledged.

Posted by mynsterpreost (= David Rowett) at Monday, 22 October 2007 at 9:56am BST

"the exhortation is to obey the word of God."

2 Tim 4, 3-4

You seem never to consider this might apply to you. You might want to try, it could have some spiritual benefit for you.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 22 October 2007 at 2:12pm BST

"the positioon of the Church of England is that the word of God says certain behaviour is "incompatible with scripture""

-------------------------------------

When this is applied to homosexual people - who are doing no harm to others, and who only wish be left in peace to love and care for their partners and families - then that only makes the Church of England a selfish, cruel organization that nobody should ever pay attention to on any matter.

Glad we cleared that up. The more you try this line of argument, BTW, the less credibility the church has; if you're this unreliable (and bullheaded) in the little things, why should anybody believe you on more important and weighty matters - like salvation and the nature of God and Christ, for instance? And if it's just an argument to authority - and if everybody can see that the authority is behaving in a self-absorbed and irrational fashion - then why would anybody pay attention to the silly Church?

If you want an anti-gay club, you'll get it, all right - but that's about all you'll get. Isn't Sunday attendance over there down in the single digits these days?

Posted by bls at Monday, 22 October 2007 at 4:58pm BST

"The collateral damage.......unacknowledged."

It can't be acknowledged, though. They don't know any other way to spread the Gospel. It's about falling into one method of doing something and forgetting about the others. Couple this with the sense that they, and only they, are the true Christians, and you have a recipe for trouble. They have a mission. They only know one way to carry it out. If you suggest that this way is not helpful, they have no Plan B. It's kind of like the Battle of the Somme. They can't acknowledge any problems with their tried and true means of converting people. "They" in this instance are a subgroup of Evangelicals, and are actually very much in mindset like numerous others in numerous different religious groups, but the basic problem is the same: people whose Spiritual arrogance gets in the way of practicing their faith. So, in response to this, they will point to their "success" and the other side's "failure", and claim everything is rosey. The damage done will not be acknowledged.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 22 October 2007 at 6:03pm BST

bls says "Isn't Sunday attendance over there down in the single digits these days?"

WEll, we have lots of small, declining liberal churches. But funnily enough, despite so many liberals saying I am really out of touchwith society and young Brits, my church is struggling for space and needs new buildings in London and all over England...

Reform has a voice because they have been greatly blessed by God in the last 50 years to come from very few in the 60s to a large, growing group in the CofE today.

Now, the ABC says Reform can take whole dioceses out of the CofE??

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 7:32am BST

NP asserts:
Reform has a voice because they have been greatly blessed by God in the last 50 years to come from very few in the 60s to a large, growing group in the CofE today.

According to its own website, Reform was founded in 1993.

Posted by cryptogram at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 10:47am BST

crypto....yes for the organisation but you may or may not know that the rectors who started Reform has been leading CofE churches since the 60s and have seen God massively bless and multiply their work- praise the Lord!

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 3:36pm BST

"According to its own website, Reform was founded in 1993."

Not only that, but, going by NP's chronology, to "grow" to only "1700" people in fifty years doesn't seem like much of a blessing from God. I have to ask if this is the same kind of "growth" that convinces NP his parish is preaching the True Gospel. You'd also have top wonder about his assessment of the impending death of all those weak, fruitless liberals parishes where no-one believes anything. If this is his definition of growth blessed by God, what does he mean by decline?

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 4:49pm BST

Ford - don't get too excited....Reform does not count in its nos all the people in the churches led by their clergy members......that would be misleading (just like the CofE claiming 26m members is misleading)

If you counted all the people in churches led by Reform clergy, you would get big nos....but Reform is not worried about that....it is working on Reforming the CofE.

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 5:22pm BST

Even that I find a bit of a stretch, NP, having been around since those long-off days. Even the egregious Mr Holloway has been in post only since 1973.

Posted by cryptogram at Tuesday, 23 October 2007 at 5:51pm BST

crypto - +Holloway is not the only leader in Reform. You may be aware of London rectors involved too who have led churches since the 60s and literally seen congregations go from around 20 to around 2000. Praise God!

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 24 October 2007 at 7:14am BST

We have a Reform bloke in the diocese. His effect has been uniquely destructive as he undermines actively every parish round about, including one he's supposed to be looking after. I believe - though I could be wrong - that he's low on proper converts, but has had a lousy effect on the evangelical churches of the area.

The word 'poacher' comes to mind.

Posted by mynsterpreost (= David Rowett) at Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 6:43pm BST

mynster - does this "poacher" have the power to force people to come to his church??

maybe they choose to go because of their experience elsewhere?

maybe they are not game but people making informed choices?

Posted by NP at Friday, 26 October 2007 at 11:27am BST

Or maybe, NP, they're being intimidated and outright tricked. Maybe they are being led astray by slander against their own faith and that of those they worship with. maybe once they get inside the Church they are made to fear for their own soul since, not being Evos, they aren't "saved" and will go to hell when they die. perhpas they heard that preached at a friend's funeral in an Evo church. This is the kind of thing I have experienced. People waiting with a "faith healer" to pounce on and heal someone from another church whom they have tricked into coming to their house on false pretenses, that sort of schemery. Kids who get a 5 pound chocolate bar if they bring the most "unsaved" (meaning not congregants of the local Evangelical Church, most of those kids would have not gone to their own Sunday schools that morning, to go to church with their "friend") kids to Sunday School, that sort of schemery. That's what I know of Evo "evangelization", NP. All those examples are true.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 26 October 2007 at 3:47pm BST

Am I missing something here?

Wouldn't exhorting one another to follow the Word of God place the highest exhortation on the "Greatest Commandment" to worship the Lord your God with your heart, mind and soul and, which amounts to the same thing, love your neighbor as yourself?

Everything else, IMHO, is a matter for personal reflection and prayer.

Setting up a morality court system is, again IMHO, nothing less than committing again the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

I would go further and say that dwelling on such "moral" issues for the purpose of ordination encourages precisely the most pompous, arrogant, prideful and un-Christlike individuals to seek power and its consequent evil in the offices of the Church.

Can I be any clearer?

Posted by Carl Peter Klapper at Wednesday, 31 October 2007 at 8:38pm GMT
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