Comments: Opinion - 13 September 2017

Canon Simon Butler's article, which comments on a Church of England parish that requires a public declaration of their repudiation of same-sex relationships on the part of its youth group; reminds me of the outdated philosophy of the 'Gay Conversion' theory - long discredited and out of place with the Christian virtue of unconditional love.

Simon's linking together of this situation with that of the 'Nashville Statement' should warn us of the insidious undercurrent of homophobia and sexism that still exists in the modern-day Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion.

Until this culture of anti-gay sentiment is dismissed by the hierarchy and the clergy of our Churches, the disaffected young will continue to ignore the 'Good News' of the Gospel the Church is meant to perpetuate.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 1:44am BST

Canon Simon's article is valuable in the fact that he has shown a light on both positive and negative actions within the evangelical wing of the Anglican church.
The negative action of a church demanding from its youth group a repudiation of same sex relationships, together with an aggressive homophobic towards LGBTI young people.
On the positive side we see the encouragement of positive same sex relationships leading to marriage.
I remember in my youth many years ago now that it was our youth group across the denominational boundaries that brought to light some of us being able to share our same sex love, which gave us courage to stand up for our faith and relationships.
Steve Chalk has done much to help young people, and I believe there is now an evangelical group supporting same ex relationships..
The Archbishops of the Church of England need to listen to these groups, and move away from their frightened Isaac position.

Fr John Emlyn

Posted by Fr John E Harris-White at Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 10:12am BST

As usual, Colin Coward writes an inspiring and interesting article. He is particularly correct in his description of the state of the church in 2017. Personally I believe today's happy-clappy CofE is as inspiring as a cold rice pudding.

Posted by FrDavidH at Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 12:33pm BST

Simon Butler's piece is excellent. Without taking a particular position on the debate, it clearly shows how the Nashville thing is completely unhelpful.

Eric Reitan's piece is longer but also worth reading. His point 11, even in isolation, skewers the hate-filled doctrine of the Nashville lot: "If you say that every same-sex relationship is sinful, consistency demands that whenever it falls within your power to do so, you work to break up every loving, monogamous, faithful same-sex couple, and encourage your community to advocate for broken relationships, broken homes, and people stripped of things that bring meaning and joy. "

Posted by Interested Observer at Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 2:19pm BST

While Ian Paul is asking about hope for faith in "unbelieving Britain", there appears to be, according to Janice Turner, questions about hope for secularism in Britain despite the rise in unbelievers. Turner writes in an op-ed piece in last Saturday's Times (Sept.9):

"...without rancour or aggression, we must look clear-eyed at the encroachment of religion into the public sphere and draw up new rules under which we can all live ...obstacles are on both sides of the political divide. The left has abandoned Enlightenment principles for the fractured discourse of identity politics."

Turner has real concerns about the role of identity politics, with comments like this one:"While Labour leaders sit in gender-segregated meetings with male elders who can deliver a block Muslim vote, the Tories have also stoked community division. The free school movement could have been an engine of integration, instead David Cameron let religious schools proliferate to please his Catholic and Anglican base."

Interesting how the same data adverts to very different concerns.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 2:29pm BST
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