Comments: reports of NEAC

We have just published on Fulcrum 'NEAC 2008: an Evangelical Dutch Report' by Wim Houtman, Religion Editor, Nederlands Dagblad.

http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=360

Posted by Graham Kings at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 4:14pm GMT

"The opinions expressed were a wide range of opinions," said The Reverend Doctor Richard Turnbull, chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council.

"People decided that they didn't actually want to vote on a resolution."

So Evangelical Anglicanism is a microcosm of the rest of the Church, then? Interesting that lack of a clear position within Evangelicalism is acceptable, while the same situation in the wider Anglican Church is not.

Posted by Ford Elms at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 5:05pm GMT

Presumably Bishop Nazir Ali would have provided the right sort of strong un-wishy washy leadership had he become Archbishop as he seems so ardently to have desired? But would the other bishops have followed his lead I wonder? I suspect things would be even more polarised.

Posted by Perry Butler at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 5:54pm GMT

We have a popular taunting chant in England, thrown by supporters of a team ahead in the game at the followers of their opponents. "Sing when you're winning, you only sing when you're winning" it goes (repeated ad infinitum). It's not very pleasant but it contains the grain of truth that you learn something central about someone by how they respond to adversity.

By that standard I reckon the petulant and ill-tempered remarks from the CEEC leadership as set out in the Dutch report tell us something pretty important. They show an authoritarianism that is more about human power than the authority of scripture, a willingness to subordinate all other considerations to getting one's own way, and above all a gracelesness in the common sense that points to the absence of Grace in its formal sense.

As St Francis drummed into his newly formed movement, the real test of Christian faith lies in how we handle adversity, failure and rejection. Therein, he said, lies perfect joy. Those who tried to push through the motion at NEAC have clearly more important things to be miserable about than just losing a vote.

Posted by David Walker at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 6:59pm GMT

The original motion as proposed by the Chair of CEEC, which was 'not put' because the procedural motion that 'it be not put' was passed by 123 votes to 104, may be read - together with the note on Procedure that 'No amendments will be permitted' - on the Fulcrum Forum thread NEAC 2008:

http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/forum/thread.cfm?thread=7332

Posted by Graham Kings at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 7:47pm GMT

From the Dutch account, it looks like the attempt to pull a Lambeth 1998 style resolution coup, with the forcing of a rightwing resolution that does not reflect nor respect existing Anglican diversities of conscience, failed rather badly. Turnball the Testy has not changed a whit, it would seem, in his MY Way Or The Highway leadership. Shall we all quickly conclude that Turnball knows God better than the people who did not like his surprise resolution?

Just when I think I have given up on evangelicals, they go fierce and stand up to coup attempts like this one. Nice not to have queer folks being yet again a trusty rightwing scapegoat to stampeded the conservative faithful in any and all far right directions.

Thanks for that, then, to all those who wanted to consult across Anglican differences instead of pass rightwing resolutions. If IRD-style church life campaigning cannot exclusively hijack England, perhaps we shall have a big tent renewal wave able to go out again from the historic centers - remember, dispersed global Anglican authorities?

Of course Fulcrum still has No Queer Folks as its special preachment, and maybe outsiders would have thought such rejection could offer a handy basis for FoCA style conformities. Good to see, thank God, that realignment is not in fact the done deal it is always preached by realignment preachers to be.

Okay. Yay, Big Tents.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 7:57pm GMT

"Church of England Evangelicals meeting on Saturday refused to vote to establish their position on homosexuality — an issue that has caused deep splits within the worldwide Anglican communion.

"The Church of England Evangelical Council met in central London but the 300 attendees declined an opportunity to vote.

“The opinions expressed were a wide range of opinions,” said The Reverend Doctor Richard Turnbull, chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council." - Agence France-Presse -

This comment from Agence Presse surely underlines the fact that most English Evangelicals do not go along with the radicals - like Nazir-Ali - who seem hell-bent on an exorcism of homosexuals from the Body of Christ. This gives one hope for the possibility of reasonable debate about an issue which concerns at least 10 percent of the world's population directly, and many more indirectly.
Thank God for the Christian Evangelicals who do not go along with the ghetto mentality of the self-purification brigade in the Church.

Nazir-Ali's contempt for the leadership of the ABC does him no credit in the present situation.
His obvious alignment with the GAFCON crowd will perhaps warn the English Bishops about his will to further split the Church on women & gays.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 8:27pm GMT

So conservative evangelicals are upset that the Episcopal Church has "escaped punishment". That says it all about some of them!

Posted by Duncan Abraham at Sunday, 16 November 2008 at 9:52pm GMT

Has it ever occurred to Nazir-Ali that if the CoE had the sort of tight discipline he is calling for, he would have been deposed long ago?

Posted by JPM at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 1:38am GMT

"Church of England Evangelicals meeting on Saturday refused to vote to establish their position on homosexuality — an issue that has caused deep splits within the worldwide Anglican communion."

"The Church of England Evangelical Council met in central London but the 300 attendees declined an opportunity to vote."

Dodge, dodge, wink, wink ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 9:04am GMT

"They show an authoritarianism that is more about human power than the authority of scripture, a willingness to subordinate all other considerations to getting one's own way, and above all a gracelesness in the common sense that points to the absence of Grace in its formal sense."

They are merely the latest in a long long string of things that have revealed clearly to the world what it is that is driving these people.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 11:14am GMT

Duncan commented

"So conservative evangelicals are upset that the Episcopal Church has "escaped punishment". That says it all about some of them!"

That has been one of the most amusing and bemusing things in all this fracas. A couple of years before Lambeth 2008, the conservatives were clear that GLBTs were simply unacceptable, as was any church that would attempt to offer justice or mercy to such souls. They tried to claim there were no legitimate biblical grounds, and that it was "evil" to do the right thing.

We had the debate, we proved there was biblical precedents that could be applied to GLBTs. They still didn't like them and still didn't want to be involved in a church that would help them.

Fine.

But what is really funny, is that they are belligerently angry that there would be a church that is happy to provide mercy and justice to GLBTs.

They have rejected and abused all sorts of souls and make it clear that their god does not love nor want them, but they attempt to thwart anyone else loving or wanting them.

It's just plain bizarre.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 3:05pm GMT

"It's just plain bizarre."

Not bizarre at all. They are right, you see, utterly right, God says clearly they are right. Even if what God says isn't all that clear, they still proclaim that it is in fact clear as is the summer sun. God says so. So, they are not merely right, their rightness has Divine approval. They therefor have not only a right, but a duty, to force everyone else to agree with their rightness and do what they, or rather God, says. I mean if it's God's will, then surely we, God's hands in the world as we were often told as youngsters, have a duty to enforce that will, don't we? I mean, what's the sense of God wanting something if no-one forces people to obey?" What need of doubt, what need of faith, even, when God says what He wants in black and white text that they have convinced themselves is "perspicuous"? The Bible is clear. Except where it isn't. And it is convenient that the only places where the Bible is clear is in those areas that do not apply to them. Let it be about some sin that they enjoy, and, well, then we aren't so sure, and we need to read those passages in context, and understand the culture they were written in. So, usury, well that was just about Jews not lending to other Jews at interest, or maybe interest only for a period. Killing? Well, that actually means "Don't murder" so, if we define State sanctioned murder as not murder, then Bob's your uncle! And it wasn't a good thing for people in those days to divorce, but nowadays there's no harm done. I'm not sure how they get around "Love your neighbour as yourself" unless it's that they don't actually love themselves so technically they ARE obeying that one.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 3:28pm GMT

Conservative Evangelicals and they have no consensus as to what the Bible teaches about divorce and re-marriage, female ordination and male headship....yet their central plank is the sole supreme authority and perspicuity of Holy Scripture! Furthermore they are prepared to join with " conservative "Anglo-catholics who teach doctrines they believe are unbiblical!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 8:17pm GMT

New Biblical province to old corrupt Province perverting the clear word of God...

" we actually have no consensus as to what the Bible teaches on ordination, male headship and divorce and re-marriage....actually its not as clear as we make out!"


Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 8:31pm GMT

Well, I for one am looking forward eagerly to the Second Catholic Revival, which must surely follow hard upon the self-destruction of the Evangelical movement that has so dominated the Anglican Communion for the last 40 years.

Posted by Charlotte at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 9:06pm GMT

Dear Ford,

I love it when you are clear about your intention in your posts here, but I must confess, I do get a teeny bit nervous when your posts start with a seeming postulation of the Devil's Advocate. Fun for you, I know, but I still get a bit nervous.

Thinks! Does that make me sound a bit paranoid? Or am I still a bit cautious about postings that even seem to embrace the unctuous devil-dodgers' point of view? Still love you, Ford!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 17 November 2008 at 9:50pm GMT

Ron+, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean we aren't all out to get you.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 5:02am GMT

Love you too, Malcolm+ - and most of you on this site. Isn't it lovely to speak that word 'LOVE'?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 10:47am GMT

"I do get a teeny bit nervous when your posts start with a seeming postulation of the Devil's Advocate."

See, in my head, the sarcasm is really clear. I keep forgetting that tone of voice doesn't make it to print!

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 11:36am GMT

LOL Ford, and thank you.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 4:09pm GMT

Perhaps warning labels:

>

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 10:02pm GMT

For some reason, my proposed warning label did not come through:

WARNING: SARCASM FOLLOWS

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 20 November 2008 at 3:38am GMT

No warning labels:

Just when is someone sensible going to relieve us of Michael Nazir-Ali?

Posted by orfanum at Thursday, 20 November 2008 at 7:12am GMT

Just when is someone sensible going to relieve us of Michael Nazir-Ali?"

Careful! Not comparing +Nazir-Ali to a certain previous prelate or anything, but these can be dangerous words in the English Church;-)

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 21 November 2008 at 1:35pm GMT
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