Comments: update on New Westminster disputes

The Plaintiffs "joined eight other conservative parishes that have left over what they believe to be a growing liberal view of homosexuality within the Anglican Church of Canada" - Anglican Journal.

One wonders whether there was a like movement among the early Jewish Christians who disagreed with Saint Paul's 'growing liberal view' about the redundancy of the need for circumcision, in order to fulfil the requirements of fidelity to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - as revealed in Jesus Christ, Messiah.

This Luddite attempt to imprison the Gospel within the bounds of out-dated cultural pre-suppositions will continue to frustrate the Church's mission until Paul's teaching about the virtues of Christian Love versus Law is received and understood by the New Puritans.

Gospel is not defined by culture, ethnicity, race, colour, gender or sexual orientation.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 25 September 2008 at 12:56am BST

"Paul's teaching about the virtues of Christian Love versus Law is received and understood by the New Puritans"

But it won't be, because they take such comfort in Law. I have speculated before, often scornfully, on why this should be, but that's not a good thing. It is clear, though, that Law and obedience to it underlies their concepts of God's love, redemption, and Christian behaviour. It goes pretty far. The statement was made here a while ago that God hates sinners until they repent! (see Romans 5:7-9). This from someone who rejects the idea of justification by works! Notice too the continual accusations that "liberals" believe "anything goes". They seriously can't understand that liberals see limits on behaviour, because for them liberals reject Law. Look at the "They're the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions". Look at the solemn prophecies of the end of everything that's good in Western civilization if the liberals succeed in doing away with Law. Look at the "If we accept this, what's to stop us blessing bestiality" argument. I mean this as observation, not condemnation, but I think expecting them to understand the primacy of love over Law is asking them to understand something that is completely outside their congnitive framework. The challenge, which may be too great for me, I'm afraid, is to engage this attitude as valid rather than simply scorning it. If all we do, on either side, is try to persuade "them" to "our" position, we are doomed to fail, since this idea of the primacy of Law is just as far outside the congnitive framework of "liberals" as the idea of the primacy of love is for them.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 25 September 2008 at 2:53pm BST

Ford
"Look at the "They're the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions".

But that's apparently only true when other people's sex lives are concerned, not when it's about false witness, coveting (the prosperity gospel) or anything else they find a little inconvenient.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 25 September 2008 at 6:25pm BST

Ford
"The challenge, which may be too great for me, I'm afraid, is to engage this attitude as valid rather than simply scorning it."

But we're doing that constantly.
We're forever saying that we don't want our relationships to be accepted simply because they're loving, but that we believe the Law simply doesn't say what is often claimed.

Changing Attitude, LGCM and others have only ever argued on a Scriptural basis, interpreting relevant passages differently, putting them in original context, highlighting translating errors (Göran!)....
Tobias Haller is only one of those who constantly frame this theologically on this forum.

it makes no difference to those whose minds are closed or who are prejudiced.

The response is that we're making Scripture say what we want it to say, implying that we're deliberately falsifying it.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 25 September 2008 at 6:36pm BST

"The response is that we're making Scripture say what we want it to say, implying that we're deliberately falsifying it."

I think this is what I meant by challenging. It clearly isn't enough to correct mistranslations, though when Luther did it they seem to think it was great, or to say that the requirement to love our fellow human beings supercedes the Law. So, how do we engage them in a way that is meaningful to them? We can't talk about the Second Great Commandment, they simply don't understand it. We can't speak of better access to the original texts, they won't accept that either. I'm coming to think this difference of understanding is really quite deep seated. Look, for instance, at the "God hates sinners until they repent" guy from a few weeks back. I simply can't understand where that came from, it certainly isn't part of the Gospels we read every week. Look at how in my discussion with Ben about the provability of God, I made reference to Thomas. Now, I don't know what you learned in Sunday School, but he was Doubting Thomas for us, someone who, as Ben said, had the experience of the Incarnate Christ directly and STILL didn't believe till he had seen the proof. And Jesus said "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Yet, for Ben, Thomas is an example of faith based on personal experience of the Incarnate Christ. This is a radically new intrpretation of something that I have awlays been taught was an example of doubt. Where did this new interpretation come from? Was it just something Ben said in anger and frustration, something I am often guilty of as well, or is it common in Evangelical circles?

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 25 September 2008 at 9:56pm BST

"One wonders whether there was a like movement among the early Jewish Christians who disagreed with Saint Paul's 'growing liberal view' about the redundancy of the need for circumcision, in order to fulfil the requirements of fidelity to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - as revealed in Jesus Christ, Messiah."

Some scholars would argue that such a group did indeed exist - and that the remnants of this sect were wholly absorbed into Islam some centuries down the road.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 26 September 2008 at 5:48am BST

"Jewish Christians who disagreed with Saint Paul's 'growing liberal view' about the redundancy of the need for circumcision"

Weren't they the Ebionites? They illustrate a very good point: those who insist on adherence to the Law miss the point of the Gospel.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 26 September 2008 at 11:35am BST
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