Comments: Church Times: reaction to Primates meeting

I think this account by Archbishop Barry Morgan (about what happened at the October Primates Mtg.) bears unpacking:

"Primate after Primate from Africa and Asia said how sex, let alone same-sex relationships, were taboo subjects in his culture; how the row over such matters in the Communion weakened relationships with Muslim neighbours, especially where Christians were in a minority; and how newly converted Christians, believing that they had been taught what the Bible had to say about sexual relationships, were now so confused by the happenings in Canada and the United States that they were leaving the Anglican Church in droves. They also said that the Church had become an object of derision in some dioceses and provinces."

1) If the Bible is to have ultimate authority, shouldn't it have something to say about any given cultural "taboo"? I've never heard this taboo (against discussing any kind of sexual relationship) framed in this way.

2) Regardless of the desire for harmonious relations, do Muslim communities have a veto-power over the Church? and if so

3) What does this say about the heavy emphasis given to evangelism? Or are Anglicans in Africa and Asia not in fact trying to convert (among others) Muslims, and if so

4) Wouldn't that be a larger issue in local Anglican/Muslim relations than what's happening an ocean away?

5) Is the *sole* criteria for measuring the Church's faithfulness to be found in the number of bodies in the pews? If not, why the fixation on "converts leaving in droves?" Isn't there a precedent for this in Jesus' ministry? (John 6:66), and closely related,

6) Finally, don't we follow a Lord who was an "object of derision"?

NB: This is not to belittle the real, painful difficulties of Anglicans in many parts of the world. However, other Anglicans (LGBTs) have been told that Biblical truth trumps their own pain. Once again, just looking for a little consistency.

Posted by J. Collins Fisher at Saturday, 8 November 2003 at 8:14am GMT