Comments: Presiding Bishop writes warning letters

I guess this has been coming for a while an is no surprise.......as some pointed out to me earlier in the week, Luther was excommunicated........

Posted by NP at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 8:22am GMT

KJS: "It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it."

Has she noticed the grief TECUSA has caused in the AC since the fabric of the Communion was deliberately torn in 2003???

It grieves most of us in the AC that any Anglican bishop would choose to "tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion" after being begged not to do so by ALL the Primates of the AC.

So, she wants order in TECUSA but to stay in the AC with freedome to disrupt it at will with no consequences? I know the ACO needs Trinity Wall st money but is TECUSA not asking a bit much? Now talking of gried, KJS ought to consider the grief and division TECUSA has been causing in the AC.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 9:25am GMT

Archbishop Rowan's letter to Bishop John Howe referred to the national church as an "abstract reality".

The Presiding Bishop, on the other hand, is clear about the substantive reality of the national church, given form in the Constitutions and Canons which govern all its members.

People who do not like rules have three options: to buckle down, to work to change them, or to leave. They cannot simply pass their own rules in mid-air, so to speak, and then lay them down like trump cards as though they'd won the trick.

The abstract reality of the national church has every right to use the very real reality of legal procedures to enforce its considered will.

Posted by Paul Bagshaw at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 10:22am GMT

Paul says "People who do not like rules have three options: to buckle down, to work to change them, or to leave. They cannot simply pass their own rules in mid-air, so to speak, and then lay them down like trump cards as though they'd won the trick."

Does this go for people who do not like the rules / requests of ALL the Primates in the AC too?

Posted by NP at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 11:08am GMT

NP:

The difference being, of course, that TEC has rules about what its constituent parts (dioceses) are supposed to be and do...the AC--no matter how much you may wish it were different--has no such rules about its constituent parts (provinces and national churches).

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 11:16am GMT

NP scripsit: "It grieves most of us in the AC that any Anglican bishop would choose to "tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion" after being begged not to do so by ALL the Primates of the AC."

Really? Since when did "ALL the Primate of the AC" have a say in when TEC appoints a bishop?

Your statement is full of your typical spin. Removing `most of us' as unsubstantiated, pondering the gratuitous lexiphany of `"tear the fabric"' and `begged' which I don't recall happening and `ALL the Primates'... did you actually say anything?

Posted by Tim at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 11:38am GMT

NP, perhaps the church ought to think for once about the grief and despair (and death and destruction) it has caused, and continues to cause, homosexual people - for absolutely no good reason. Perhaps it ought to think about how its (allegedly) literal reading of the Bible destroys innocent people and keeps them away from God's healing graces.

Thank God that the secular world is changing, at least, and that the church is now looked on by so many with disdain for its actions and "policies" in this area. And no wonder that people are voting with their feet by leaving the Church until it comes to its senses. Good for them.

I really don't think it's TEC that's "tearing the fabric," I'm afraid.

Posted by bls at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 12:29pm GMT

"the grief and despair (and death and destruction) it has caused, and continues to cause, homosexual people"

The anti-gay rhetoric is usually explained as "compassion" for gay people. It is intended to convert us, to
"convict us of sin". Our refusal to respond to it is not a natural human reaction to insult and threat, but in fact is evidence that God has abandoned us to our sin and hardened our hearts. I doubt you'll find any openness whatsoever to the idea that the Church has somehow ever wronged us, certainly not any acceptance that She is harming us now in some quarters. Even jailing us is defended as consistent with Scripture!

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 1:12pm GMT

This letter isn't a surprise, nor, really, is its tone. There are some who have been calling for such statements, and for real consequences, for some time.

Still, I continue to be concerned about "abandonment of communion." I certainly believe the bishops in question wish to abandon the communion of the Episcopal Church. At the same time, what that means, and what that might mean as contrasted with abandonment of the the communion of the Anglican Communion, continues to be murky.

On the other hand, the Canons of the Episcopal Church are clear that violation of discipline (so, Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church); violation of doctrine (arguing that a diocese, even as the primary unit of the Church Catholic, can function out of the context of the larger Church that created it); and of ordination vows (which require assent to the doctrine and discipline of this church, and not of some abstract Communion) are clear and consequential violations. They should be sufficient.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 1:55pm GMT

Though I am pleased and heartened by Presiding Bishop Schori's letter and Chancellor Beers's comments, I still remain skeptical about their follow through. For example, look at these words and think about Christ Church in the Diocese of Dallas.

"The second category of cases involves diocesan leadership negotiating with congregants who wish to leave with Episcopal Church property. Agreements have been made with congregations in Dallas, Kansas, Olympia, Quincy, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Critical to these negotiations, in the Presiding Bishop's estimation, are the requirements that congregations not invite a primate or bishop from another province of the Anglican Communion to assume jurisdiction over the departing group and that the diocese be fairly compensated for the value of the real and personal property to be retained by the group of departing members."

With Christ Church, both of these requirements have been violated - Christ Church is now a member of the AMiA (Anglican Mission in the Americas) and receives pastoral oversight from the Rt. Rev. Emmauel Kolini, Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Rwanda. The settlement amount was also not fair market value.

I certainly hope the Episcopal Church starts declaring episcopates vacant when bishops abandon our Church and violate its canons and constitution. But I guess I won't totally believe it until I see it...

Posted by Dallas Bob at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 3:05pm GMT

Well, here is the reality of the national Church contrasted with the relative abstract nature of the Anglican Communion. It's the "unity of canon law".

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 3:09pm GMT

Brilliant arument Tim..."if I remove all your words, you do not say anything"

bls - the bishops of the AC have said that certain things are "incompatible with scripture" in Lambeth 1.10....if we ask them again, they will say so again.... there is very good reason to stick tos scripture (see 1 John 1-2)

Ford - last week, you told people not to make out they were suffering as some really suffer in Nigeria etc....now you are saying things like "Even jailing us is defended as consistent with Scripture"......

Posted by NP at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 4:07pm GMT

"Since when did 'ALL the Primates of the AC' have a say in when TEC appoints a bishop?"

A good question, Tim, to refute NP's argument for the spin nonsense that it is. I would add: since when did all the Primates of AC have a say in the Crown appointments of English bishops and cathedral deans?

Does TEC appoint bishops for Nigeria? Now that the Donatist Abp. and Metropolitan of Nigeria intends to consecrate four bishops suffragan in the U.S. on December 9, 2007, in defiance of the Windsor Report, will ++Rowan Cantuar have enough testosterone to put his foot down and end this kind of primatial farce?

If not, it is high time for the people and clergy of the CofE, who respect Anglican traditions, to intercede with H.M the Supreme Governor of the Church of England to remove the cleric so limp and unsuited for the office of Cantuar.

Posted by John Henry at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 4:53pm GMT

Of course, NP, your purported equivalence might best be described in words not appropriate to this forum.

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church has canonical authority to discipline bishops of the Episcopal Church.

By contrast, the Primates of the Anglican Communion (collectively) have the canonical authority to gather, to share, to pray and to comment. The most manifestly do NOT have the canonical authority to discipline anyone at all.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 5:39pm GMT

++KJS to TEC's schismatics: "Prick me (us---the "General Convention Church"), do I not bleed?"

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 6:18pm GMT

"Ford - last week, you told people not to make out they were suffering as some really suffer in Nigeria etc....now you are saying things like "Even jailing us is defended as consistent with Scripture"......"

Um, NP, the jailing of us to which I referred IS about Nigeria! They want to jail us there, at least the leaders of the Church do. Furthermore, you are the one who defended it as consistent with Scripture! Your exact words as I remember, in reference to this being approved by +Akinola were "He's being consistent". I am not making out that I am suffering anything like the people of Nigeria. I am talking about the sufferings of those very gay people, so what do you mean? I'll put it more simply: government and the Anglican Church in Nigeria want to jail us. You defended it as consistent. I did not anywhere say that I am suffering anything like what is done to people in Nigeria.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 6:33pm GMT

“… it is high time for the people and clergy of the CofE, who respect Anglican traditions, to intercede with H.M the Supreme Governor of the Church of England to remove the cleric so limp and unsuited for the office of Cantuar.”— John Henry

Amen, Fr. Henry! If I were a Brit, rather than a Yank, I’d be standing outside my parish church each Sunday morning with a petition to that effect!

Posted by Kurt at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 6:58pm GMT

I loved your posting Paul.

No, there are no hard and prescribed paths at this stage. Things are moving too fast.

The reality of GLBTs and those who would advocate for them is we have been choosing to buckle down, reform or leave for centuries. The conservatives didn't mind that when the only choices were buckle down or leave. Their concern is that we actually might succeed in reformation.

I still scratch my head over concerns of gay monogamous bonding blessings. How does telling two men (or two women) that they are blessed to attempt to "live happily ever after" take away from two separate male and female bonding blessing?

It reeks of the child in the playground who is happily playing with a toy train and then sees another child playing with another toy train and chucks a major wobbly that the other child is also content. The really spoilt ones start to scream and confiscate all the toy trains so that they are the only one that is happy.

Such immature souls have no hope of creating peace, they don't want peace because they want to prove that they are "more blessed" than everyone else. They actually want others to be deprived.

Good on some parents for intervening to tell the spoilt children that it isn't right to steal, taunt, deprive or attack other children who would not even be dealing with them but that they came over and tried to steal their food/toys.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 7:22pm GMT

Okay NP, let's decode a bit. Conservative believers are grieved - yes, but about what, exactly? We get tag phrases posted, about tearing the fabric of the communion, persecution of traditionalists, and the like.

Decode. Con-Evo Realignment folks are grieved - and that is putting it rather mildly, don't you think? - that they cannot blithely continue on their merry traditionalistic way, trash talking queer people at every possible opportunity in society and in church life. Are the rest of us supposed to pretend not to notice that they are bearing false witness against queer neighbors? Are we supposed to ignore the false witness constantly being made, about how definitively vile and innately immoral being gay is, contrary to all the facts we now possess as educated people about just how caring and competent and ethically committed so many queer people that we personally know, are? Are we viewed as way too dumb to get the fact, that if their traditionalistic witness was taken as literalistically in many instances (as those same believers appear to read scripture, literalistically to obtain their negative views of queer folks) various forms of personal and insitutional queer bashing are the obvious next steps?

It is not the sheer competency and decency and fundamental human merit of most queer folks that is tearing the fabric of our communion, you see. Those clear commitments to partnership and parenting stand, ethically, for all of us to witness, up close and personal - at work, at school, in church, and down the neighborhood street.

The only church life domain at some visible risk is the traditional legacy right to trash talk and, at least in some instances, outright mistreat a queer person for bothering to exist and tell the truth about living.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 7:41pm GMT

The Anglican Church was born in the decision of a national church to assert its right to govern itself rather than to submit to the dictation of a global hierarchy in Rome. It seems to me that attempts to give to the Anglican Communion and/or the Primates an oversight role in respect of national churches is, in effect, to undo that seminal decision and revert to the status quo ante.

On a second point, I keep wondering how the position of those Primates and others that they will not have communion with those who support or countenance or tolerate the ordination of gay bishops or the blessing of gay unions is really any different from the Donatist heresy of the 4th and 5th centuries? In that instance, the Donatists refused to accept the leadership of priests and bishops who they viewed as traitors to the faith or not sufficiently righteous. Saint Augustine, among others, labored to put that heresy to rest. Perhaps some of the window dressing has changed, but really, is the position of Akinola++ really any different from the Donatist one?

Posted by mark at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:17am GMT

Bp Schori wrote: "It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it."

I suspect that the remaining faithful Bishops in TEC are just a little grieved too... that Bp Schori and others have lead TEC into rejection of more and more Christian faith and teaching - in favour of some sort of humanistic self-affirmation religion - just a religious version of the zeitgeist.

So why does she think they are still a "church"? How much of this do they now believe and obey: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ? I suspect that the only bit they might just about manage to accept is baptism (but even then not "the making disciples of all nations" part of that sentence!).

There is plenty of historical precendent from the Early Church for Bishops to be removed for not teaching and upholding the true doctrine of the Church. That is, after all, the reason Bishops were created in the first place - to defend true teaching of the faith and thereby the unity of the Church.

TEC should go.

Posted by David Wh. at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:20am GMT

TEC *is* going, David Wh.: wherever Our Lord Christ leads! :-D

Posted by JCF at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:49am GMT

""All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ?"

Please point me to anything, ANYTHING, in the Bible in Jesus' words--not Paul's, not some other epistle-writer, but Jesus' words--about homosexual activity. I know of no "commandment" from Jesus except these two: You shall love God with your whole heart and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Kindly explain how I am loving my gay neighbor by refusing him or her the right to live in harmony with his loving partner in matrimony?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 1:06am GMT

Loved your comment Cheryl, I think some are a-fi'xn to get a BIG spanking!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 1:14am GMT

Another salvo fired in the Episcopal War. Frankly it is a break in the tedium of the shouting "IT'S ABOUT LOVE!" and "YOU DON'T LOVE ME!"

Of course, as the bishops battle, the Presiding Bishop has the advantage of the canons and no one is above the law.

Posted by trog at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:37am GMT

David Wh. - you seem to forget that Athanasius was on the outer for a good deal of the debate in his generation about the nature of the Trinity. The only plentiful and meaningful precedent the Early Church has to offer any age is that doctrine is not a static body of teaching, but rather, that it is clearly a continuous 'work-in-progress'. After all, Jesus also told his disciples that there was much that he had to tell them that they could not bear at the time, and would send the Holy Spirit to guide them in the way of truth. The Church can do little more than listen carefully and respond. If you think this is some sort of a sell-out of the gospel, then perhaps you need to put the Goode Booke down and go feed some hungry people.

It is hard to see grace operating in the schismatic camp in TEC, and perhaps what is reported here has always been entirely inevitable. Seen from the other side of the Pacific, it seems that Duncan et al are not committed to the structures of Anglicanism unless it suits them. Indeed, NP's elevation of the Anglican Communion to some sort of majesterial body seems rather more Roman than he/she would be prepared to admit - although NP is a great dissembler, very high on the Jesuitical scale, often as fork-tongued over ecclesiastic discipline as John Howard is on the death penalty. What remains when the shouting dies down is this: all that has happened in TEC over the last decade or more has taken place entirely within the structures of that Church. It is the mind of that part of the Church Catholic, if the votes in General Convention are any indicator. That the dissenters have chosen to remain within the institution while simultaneously working to undermine it speaks far more for them than the worth of their cause. It still remains for them to prove definitively that the Holy Spirit does not, cannot and never will act in TEC.

Posted by kieran crichton at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:48am GMT

"just a religious version of the zeitgeist" - David Wh.

Why is a religious version of the zeitgeist intrinsically bad? What was the Oxford Movement? Or Restoration Anglicanism? Or 1st Century Christianity?

Posted by Anthony W at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:54am GMT

David Wh writes: There is plenty of historical precendent from the Early Church for Bishops to be removed for not teaching and upholding the true doctrine of the Church.

EXACTLY! And this is exactly why Robert Duncan should be degraded from the office of bishop. He teaches a new doctrine designed to please the ears of those who have confused right wing politics with Christianity. This is the point we have been making all along. Not only are the so-called traditionalists not teaching Christianity, they are teaching a new doctrine based on modern political theories. And the bishops who aid and abet this should be disciplined.

Posted by Dennis at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 5:15am GMT

drdanfee says "Okay NP, let's decode a bit. Conservative believers are grieved - yes, but about what, exactly? We get tag phrases posted, about tearing the fabric of the communion, persecution of traditionalists, and the like."

Dan - we are grieved that any bishop or any HOB should seek to justify behaviour the AC bishops collectively have said (and would say again if asked) is "incompatible with scripture".....therefore, we are grieved by false teaching and false teachers who demand to stay in the AC (because they pay some bills) and retain the right to teach and promote positions "incompatible with scripture"

You will from Moses to Paul, we are never told to tolerate false teaching at the risk of God's displeasure

Posted by NP at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 7:26am GMT

Pat - read the ABC's letter to +Howe.
The ABC says TEC's "status" in the AC is not decided......does sound like there might be some authority which you do not want in the AC to say that people who go the opposite direction might not be considered faithful members?

Posted by NP at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 7:33am GMT

"does sound like there might be some authority which you do not want in the AC to say that people who go the opposite direction might not be considered faithful members?"

Show me where such "authority" is documented. Show me where it says...anywhere...that the AC has the right to tell a constituent member how to operate within its own boundaries.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 11:19am GMT

Pat - I show you verses, you revise what they say. Now you want to be shown some other written proof......

Well, TWR and Tanzania all imply consequences for non-comliance but those are not specified as the AC is, as usual, making it up as it goes along.....but you realise TECUSA since 2003 has already been in the sin bin? Now, the ABC says its "status" is not decided.... you can ask for constitutions which do not exist but you will still have to deal with the reality of what the AC Primates say on the TEC HOB NO response.....if they say they are not fooled by TEC doublespeak and TECUSA is not a full member of the AC, guess what - your polity and your questions will be shown to be powerless.

Events are working themselves out

Posted by NP at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 12:04pm GMT

Sorry NP, it just will not wash rationally. How odd is this continuing claim that the negative reading of scripture - preached as settled, closed, and undoubtedly against the ethical and other bests that modern queer like offers both queer folks and the rest of the community - is the bottom line in believer discernment. The tested facts available tell us clearly that the Primates got it wrong, thanks mainly to rightwing lobbying at Lambeth 1998 on behalf of the incompatible bit in 1.10. Of course Lord Carey helped all that right along, since we are supposed to be adult enough and educated enough to fearfully believe that the sky will fall in unless we condemn and punish queer folks for being the best that they can be under various - and sometimes very difficult - circumstances.

The Lambeth resolution or report would otherwise have been recommended to the whole meeting, to say in frank truth two very different Anglican Communion things: (1) Believers are changing their minds and hearts in many instances about modern queer folks, taken at their neighborly best in daily life venues (rather as we take straight citizens more or less); and also (2) we now have a very wide and controversial range of believer opinions active among us, globally, ranging from radical hospitality to radical condemnation and punishment.

Just browse through the blogs available, and I think you can clearly read the extremely wide-ranging spectrums of believer thinking on controversial sexuality and human nature issues.

Stay tuned, the New Biology is still inquiring into human nature. A striking bit: It seems that neurotransmitters and receptors have been found in the human heart. See: http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/jacobsheart06.asp

Nature + nurture reliably results in a statistical minority of people being gay, and that is the factual news so far as we moderns citizens currently know it. So far no suitably double-blind hypothesis test of the notion that queer folks are doomed to be innately incompetent in daily life and daily life ethics has succeeded in doing anything, except disproving its main negative hypothesis.

Lambeth 1998 1.10 is flat earth stuff, and that will not change, until and unless the hypothesis tested facts about queer folks change. Ah, don't hold your breath on that one.

If pledging 1.10 makes anybody especially good or godly, then the burden of hypothesis testing and discernment falls heavily on the believers who still pledge 1.10. So far, honestly, 1.10 rings hollow.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:34pm GMT

"TWR and Tanzania all imply consequences"

NP, I imply that your manifestly unChristian treatment of those who disagree with you will have consequences. Does that give me authority? How then does the implication of consequences on the part of Windsor, Dromantine, and Dar give them authority? You continually trot them out as though you believe they actually have authority to do anything. They can threaten to punish TEC. They HAVE threatened to punish TEC. They will in all likelihood punish TEC. They might even kick TEC out of the Communion. In short, I see no reason to say you are wrong in what you predict will happen. But, and here's the point you don't seem to get, even if and when these things come to pass, your holy trinity of Windsor, Dromantine, and Dar still do not have the authority to do these things. The You might well choose to believe and act as though these statements are authoritative. You may well get your way in everything. But that still does not mean that Windsor, Dromantine, and Dar have authority to impose anything on anyone. Getting your way won't mean you are right.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 3:47pm GMT

Ford - the issue is not whether I am right or wrong...the issue is whether Lambeth 1.10 is right when it says certain behaviour is "incompatible with scripture" i.e. whether God sees certain things as sins or good and holy.

Posted by NP at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 5:36pm GMT

Given the plural Anglican Communion hermeneutic dilemmas of this thread in conversation yet again with NP and others of similar mind/heart, I risk wondering if the following Ekklesia linked essay on fundamentalisms may provide some additional research info in good aid of our clarity about our differences and our church life issues as believers.

See: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/research/070201

Do not mean to post off topic, yet this underlying issue of hermeneutic claims, frameworks, and implicit de facto choices being made which get simultaneously denied or ignored in favor of simply claiming some allegedly plain meaning of scripture - well isn't that theme one of our Really Big Ones?

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 6:34pm GMT

Thanks Choirboy

Ford alludes to why with reference that some soul's "manifestly unchristian treatment of those who disagree with you will have consequences".

To keep the bible in it. Yes, God does spank naughty children. Isaiah 19:22 "The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them."

Then there is Paul's rebuke to Annias in Acts 23:3 "“God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

Drdanfee, your comment is not off topic, it actually directly weaves into this thread. It is to do with the maturity or Christians and their conduct. When I was grappling with going public, I spent a lot of time contemplating whether I should, on what principles I was standing, whether a stand needed to be made, and why.

At the time I stumbled across a fantastic paper on metanoia and religious development. As always, the bookmark is lost in history, but I tried to find it today through Google and a lot of good stuff is coming up. Those serious about trying to build peace in this world and solve the problems of aggressive, selfish Christianity might enjoy some more studies along these lines.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 8:40pm GMT

NP, if the Saskatchewan Legislature passed a bill stating that all consumption taxes in the United Kingdom should be halved, would the UK be required to halve all consumption taxes?

No. Of course not. The Saskatchewan Legislature does not have the authority to dictate tax policy in the United Kingdom.

Likewise, the Primates of the Anglican Communion can say whatever they like. They have no juridical authority, and anyone who says they do is lying.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 2 November 2007 at 10:21pm GMT

Malcolm,
That the Primates have no authority is true.
But are you saying that this means they will not get their way?

Ford said on this thread: But, and here's the point you don't seem to get, even if and when these things come to pass, your holy trinity of Windsor, Dromantine, and Dar still do not have the authority to do these things... Getting your way won't mean you are right....

Bullies can simply assume authority. If they get their way it’s unimportant to them and to the bullied whether they were “right” in an abstract sort of way.

Ultimately, somebody will soon no longer be part of the Anglican Communion. It is not yet certain whether the schismatics succeed in getting rid of the liberal wings of the Communion or whether they’re the ones who will leave. The only open question is whether the remaining Anglican Communion, stripped of one of it’s outer wings, lurches to the right or to the left. Rights to assume authority will have nothing to do with it.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 6:57am GMT

NP wrote: "Dan - we are grieved that any bishop or any HOB should seek to justify behaviour the AC bishops collectively have said (and would say again if asked) is "incompatible with scripture".....therefore, we are grieved by false teaching and false teachers who demand to stay in the AC (because they pay some bills) and retain the right to teach and promote positions "incompatible with scripture"

But they are wrong, NP, just as you are. I have told you so many times.

Ever heard of The Emperor's New Clothes, NP?

It's the exact paralell. The Emperor was naked. There were no clothes.

Neo Platonist sexualized moralities of the European 2nd Millennium Academia (often called the Alexandrian commandment) are not Biblical, not Gospel, but heathen Hellenism.

The sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity have been forged, NP. Forged.

Your Political Emperor is naked.

Learn some Greek!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 3 November 2007 at 9:18am GMT

Maybe we should invoke Paul's scene before the Sanhedrin aka Acts 22:30 to 23:11

Paul's rebuke to the high priest who ordered him to be struck in the mouth? “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

Paul quite eloquently and effectively solved his problems with the Sandhedrin by proving that they were not obedient in the law, and highlighting the inconsistencies in their theology.

Just as today, there are those who claim to have authority of all realms in Creation, but then deny there are higher conciousnesses such as angels or celestial beings or that they are capable of communicating to mere humans.

Paul's foundation applies to GLBTs, women and the oppressed today. We stand on trial because of our hope in the resurrection of the dead.

Hopefully, as in Paul's time the disputes between the Pharisee types and the Sadducee types will so divide their assemblies that they won't notice we've left them bickering in their "great" communion and left to get on with healing the rest of the planet.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Sunday, 4 November 2007 at 12:57am GMT

Erica, you are correct that bullies will assume authority. And if bullies are not challenged, their illicit claims of authority gather the credibility of precedence.

At the end of the day, it will be the Akinolists who are the schismatics. If they leave, they have initiated schism. If they purge the rest of us, it is nonetheless they who have initiated schism.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Sunday, 4 November 2007 at 5:46am GMT

Malcolm,
Whenever I hear people say that the bullies don't have the authority to do what they do I fear that those who say that believe that this alone will keep them safe. There's a naive reliance on legal niceties and a lack of understanding that the law can be subverted and changed if enough people participate.

I suppose it depends on what liberals want. Fight to stay in the Communion, or sit back expelled but content in the knowledge that they were right.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 4 November 2007 at 9:26am GMT

Goran said on 3 Nov 2007:
"The sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity have been forged, NP. Forged."

Taken out of context, or even in context, such sniping would only be for some a sign that liberals are professing a different religion that ostensibly uses Christian words.

And many mainstream Christians, even those who hold liberal beliefs, would disagree with such assertions. I would urge caution in saying something this blunt, even if I am aware of where it is coming from.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Sunday, 4 November 2007 at 10:11pm GMT

I agree, Erica, that we need to challenge the "conservatives" continually, unendingly, aggressively and uncompromisingly.

At the end of the day, they will lose. They may lose quickly or thy may lose slowly, but they will lose.

Indeed, Akinola's ego-driven excesses may already have cost them whatever limited chance they may have had to dictate the terms of Communion membership. CAN has already given Big Pete the slapdown, as has CAPA. Increasingly, even hard line conservatives are distancing themselves from his excesses.

But part of our unremitting defence against the bullies is to expose their lies - including and especially their lie that they have the authority to impose their will on the member provinces of the Communion.

They don't.

And when they continually claim they do, thgey expose themselves as liars.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 5 November 2007 at 3:53am GMT

Then NP ony has to say it's too long. That's always acceptable, the way things go (by the present standards of exegetics).

So sorry. I have studied the matter - you can do it too.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 5 November 2007 at 5:09am GMT

Göran
"So sorry. I have studied the matter - you can do it too."

Seeing that most of us clearly can't - are there any other publications that lay out your findings (and those of others, I presume) in a concise way, or have you published a comprehensive development of biblical writings and their translations?

If not, I can understand at least some of NP's frustration (although not his superior tone.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 5 November 2007 at 9:59am GMT

Goran says "But they are wrong, NP, just as you are. I have told you so many times"

This is Goran's reponse to me quoting the bishops of the AC in Lambeth 1.10.....

Goran - you talk as if you are a respected biblical scholar.....and as if the bishops of the AC are not or are inferior to you in their knowledge of greek and hebrew.....

Posted by NP at Monday, 5 November 2007 at 3:29pm GMT

Erica, it only takes the effort...

The idea that it's not doable is mere pretence.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 5 November 2007 at 7:45pm GMT

Göran,

The rest of the world works in a way that experts disseminate their knowledge and don't expect everyone else to become experts too.

If I want to continue to earn a living and look after my family I have no time to learn Greek, Hebrew and Latin and to start reinventing the wheel for myself.

Isn't there are point where, if you genuinely believe you have discovered something that isn't widely known, you ought to make it known (and open to peer review)?

Just saying "I know and you can do it too" may be right, but is not ultimately helpful. And the issue is important enough.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 9:24am GMT

Erika...you are right, of course, but you are getting evasive responses because there is little substance to the claims made by Goran......rest assured, +Durham, Prog McGrath and Dr Goddard and many amongst the AC bishops (in 98 and now) are serious biblical scholars and would not be too worried by Goran's musings.

Goran ain't Regius Professor of Greek for a reason. If he had a strong case for what he claims round here, he would be given the importance of what he claims!

Goran thinks we are dealing with a "forgery" (his word) when we read our scriptures but that is, let me say, "a minority view" (or balderdash, if you prefer).

Note that most who want the AC to ditch Lambeth 1.10 do not try to argue the bible does not say what it says...they make other arguments to do with rights and modern phenomena not being what Moses or Paul imagined .... they try to argue it does not mean what it says.

If there were a strong case for the bible not saying certain things are "incompatible with scripture", as I have said before, I would not mind at all....but many of us in the AC cannot go against what the bible says (and our understading of scripture on the presenting issues is consistent with the vast majority of Christians today and throughout the last 2000 years)

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 10:09am GMT

NP
I want to distance myself very clearly from your sentiments.

I have no idea whether Göran is a scholar or not and until he either provides evidence for what he says, or someone else provides evidence to the contrary, I will continue to treat his posts with respect.

I will also continue to believe that he may well have a good case. Just because something hasn't been known for centuries does not make it wrong. Much new theology is wrought every day, new understanding of how the bible came about can also arise anew every day.

There is no mechanism that stopped new insights at a predetermined date just because some of those insights might be uncomfortable to some people.

Göran may be right, he may be over enthusiastic. I have no means of knowing, hence my last post to him.
You have no means of knowing either, but I suggest that simply rubbishing his academic credentials, of which you know little anyway, is not an acceptable response.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 12:53pm GMT

"...our understading of scripture on the presenting issues is consistent with the vast majority of Christians today and throughout the last 2000 years..."

And the church's understanding of scripture regarding the cosmology of the universe and the solar system was "consistent" for 1500 years (and longer, if you count the Old Testament), until Copernicus proved it to be wrong. Is it impossible that the church's understanding of scripture regarding sexuality is also wrong?

And we can't always wait for the majority to agree...SOMEBODY has to be first to say, "No, that's incorrect," and act upon it.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 1:34pm GMT

"they make other arguments to do with rights and modern phenomena not being what Moses or Paul imagined"

Oh, but they make other arguments, too, NP. Arguments about the results of the Incarnation for the Redemption of our human nature, of what it means that God assumed our humanity, of what Redemption actually is. You having done so much listening, I'd be interested in how you countered the argument that "what is not assumed is not Redeemed". They make arguments about the nature of the bridal imagery for the Church, they make arguments about the nature and purpose of sex in the Divine economy, and where it fits into our redeemed humanity. I'm sure you've heard all these arguments, you having listened so much, so it's kind of confusing when you say all the arguments are based on rights and misunderstandings. There being so many other arguments out there, those based on rights and linguistic misunderstanding must have only taken up a small fraction of the large amount of time you have spent listening over the last three decades that you have been complying with Lambeth's listening process.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 2:21pm GMT

"Is it impossible that the church's understanding of scripture regarding sexuality is also wrong?"

Yes. Totally impossible. Whether or not the Sun rotates around the Earth is not icky. Sex is icky. It is dirty and sinful and must be controlled and contained. As one poster here put it, sex has consequences, and the obvious implication of that is that those who have sex outside the narrow, Divinely appointed restrictions deserve what they get. Those who think like this of course, forget that 500 years ago it was considered obvious that God would put the Earth at the centre of Creation, it being the home of His most exalted Creatures, us. To take the Earth from its cantral position wasn't simply a matter of cosmological observation, it threatened the entire theology of the Fall and Redemption of Creation. If man is not the centre of Creation, how did Creation Fall with us? And how did God becoming a human being effect the Redemption of all Creation, or even of us? Sun centred cosmology implies there is nothing special about being a human being. So how could God becoming a human being have saved anything? If we aren't special, why would He even bother? What today is a non-issue for us was, in those days, a vital issue that touched on our very redemption. How interesting that those who claim the same for homosexuality have no problem with this! They won't consider the possibility that 500 years time, homosexuality will have been relegated to the same wastebasket of insignificance.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 3:48pm GMT

"So how could God becoming a human being have saved anything? If we aren't special, why would He even bother? What today is a non-issue for us was, in those days, a vital issue that touched on our very redemption." -Ford Elms

On the contrary Ford this is a very big issue for me. On the other hand, homosexuality is not an issue for me at all. I can't see that it matters except to the people concerned. But, with the universe so very big and our part in it so very small, that God would pay any attention to us at all is a question that perplexes me.

Posted by Anthony W at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 5:14pm GMT

Pat - yes, someone has to be the first to say a consensus is wrong....but they then must persuade. Now, in 98 and still today, most Anglican bishops believe Lambeth 1.10 is right in saying that certain behaviour is "incompatible with scripture"........that may be because the arguments Ford lists have persuaded very few (even in the CofE, let alone the GS)

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 5:25pm GMT

"that God would pay any attention to us at all is a question that perplexes me."

David as well, to judge by the number of times the Psalms consider it, and Job, and a good many more. The point though is that 600 years ago,the suggestion that the Earth WAS'T the centre was not all that much different from homosexuality now. So why is it that something that once was seen as crucial to our understanding of the faith, moreso than the bridal imagery for Christ and the Church or the idea of the nuclear family as somehow Divinely ordained, can now seem so totally meaningless to those who put sexuality in exactly the same position? They seriously believed then that to accept that the Earth went around the Sun cast all of our understanding of God and salvation into doubt. Since it went against the "plain word" of Scripture, it cast the veracity of Scripture into doubt. How is this any different?

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 6:43pm GMT

"So how could God becoming a human being have saved anything? If we aren't special, why would He even bother? What today is a non-issue for us was, in those days, a vital issue that touched on our very redemption."

Or, why would God become human to do a botched job of saving anything? Why would God even bother to save anyone if God wasn't going to consistently apply the salvation across all of creation. God either intended to redeem humanity through Jesus or God didn't. If God did, then God would not unjustly mete out salvation to garnish unfair advantages for a selfish elite at the expense of the vast majority.

God feeds everyone who runs the race, not just those who finish first.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Tuesday, 6 November 2007 at 8:05pm GMT

But as NP discards everything she doesn't know, how could she be persuaded by anything?

It's on the level of "4 legs good, 2 legs bad" all the time.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 6:58am GMT

Ford - here is one reason, in addition to the auhority of scripture which is most important, why it matters so much:
http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+Corinthians+6%3A18

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 7:36am GMT

"Pat - yes, someone has to be the first to say a consensus is wrong....but they then must persuade."

Luther first attempted to persuade...but when persuasion failed took the step to act.

Was he wrong?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 11:49am GMT

Scripture is quite clear about sin. The present day Western church is so Spiritually bankrupt it can no longer say, "go and sin no more" with the Spiritual power to set people free from their sin. This is certainly true of the TEC.

Posted by John at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 1:31pm GMT

"Luther first attempted to persuade...but when persuasion failed took the step to act."

Luther never wanted to split the church, and when the split was obvious his followers LEFT to create what they felt was better. He openly stated that the injustices that the Catholic church was doing were wrong, and that the people should be able to read the word of God for themselves.

Everything I've read is stating that going down to the core beliefs, the current TEC is wanting to break away from everything else however it feels it wants to in order to justify a belief that is different. And I'm not talking about indulgences here, I'm talking about the core of the Nicene Creed, from which the authority of the Bible comes from.

Without the council of Nicea, we wouldn't have the collection of books we do today. They determined those to be accurate. And without the Authority of the Bible, TEC is on hard ground for it's constitution I believe.

Posted by Brian at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 4:17pm GMT

Thanks for that reminder Brian, could someone name which premises Martin Luther took from the Catholic Church?

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 7:38pm GMT

"The present day Western church is so Spiritually bankrupt it can no longer say, "go and sin no more" with the Spiritual power to set people free from their sin. This is certainly true of the TEC."

Can you say any nonsense which pops into your head and expect it to be accepted without challenge?

We heard a pair of sermons on sun and repentance in my Episcopal parish in just the last month. These were sermons challenging complacency and warning against the temptation to worry about other's sins and not our own.

It seems to me that TEC is quite persuasive on this point -- except to those who have already made up their minds against her and who refuse to listen.

Posted by ruidh at Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at 4:24am GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?






Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.