Thinking Anglicans

Reactions to B033

A statement from a group of bishops dissenting B033 read by Bishop Chane [the Bishop of Wsashington DC] A Statement of Conscience
“We, the undersigned Bishops of this 75th General Convention, in the confidence of the Gospel and out of love for this great Church, must prayerfully dissent from the action of this Convention in Resolution B033 (on Election of Bishops).”
“Any language that could be perceived as effecting a moratorium that singles out one part of the Body by category is discriminatory.”

Anglican Communion Network General Convention Actions Inadequate
“The responses which the Convention has given to the clear and simple requests of the Lambeth Commission, the clear and simple requests indeed of the Anglican Communion, are clearly and simply inadequate.”
signed by 13 bishops

Mary Ann Sieghart comments in The Times Women bishops and gays? That’s the church for me

Some articles from the press

Guardian Stephen Bates US Episcopal church offers compromise to avoid Anglican expulsion

BBC US Church eases gay bishop stance

The Times Ruth Gledhill and James Bone Our Mother Jesus . . . a sermon by US church’s new head

Updated to add
Andrew Brown comments in the Guardian Fear and loathing in Anglicanism


  • Cynthia Gilliatt says:

    I hope everyone notes the difference in rhetorical strategies in the statements from Bp Chane et alia and the aac/network people.

    Chane et alia dissent.

    The others – in their offer of pastoral assistance – are prepared to violate what Windsor said about diocesan integrity.

  • janice says:

    The ACN were correct. The Episcopal Church is a different religion than the Anglican Commuion. I am sorry it came to this. As a life long Episcopalian it is hard to believe. Thank God for the ACN. They have stood up for our faith. I will follow them.

  • John D says:

    Andrew Brown, unlike the co-dependent majority of bishops in TEC which seeks, fruitlessly, to appease reactionaries in England and points south, has it just right. Same as it’s ever been,
    same as it’s ever been.

  • Charles says:

    Way to go Bishop Chane and the other dissenting Bishops!!

  • Christopher Calderhead says:

    Ruth Gledhill needs to stop spinning her stories so furiously. The ‘mother Jesus’ image is perfectly in line with tradition, esp. if it’s a direct reference to julian of Norwich. But the way the story is written (and including the phrase in the headline) suggests the new PB is pulling some weird, off the wall feminist putsch. Gledhill should know better.

  • John Henry says:

    Each of the Network bishops presumably has a hotline to the mind of the Almighty and speaks uncompromisingly for God. Obviously, there is no possibility of misunderstanding or error due to human sinfulness. The Anglican Network bishops’ detractors might describe their ilk as “drama kings”, subcumbing like the rest of us to the most common and devastating sin of human PRIDE. The late ++Michael Ramsey, in his Nashotah House lectures, reminded his audience that the church may succeed in expelling all fornicators, adulterers and others sinners in order to establish a ‘pure’ church; but it won’t be able to banish sinful human pride, the most deadly of all sins. Said ++Michael Ramsey: “So if you are going to purge the church of sinners, you will have to purge it of the sin of pride and turn everybody out” (Michael Ramsey, The Anglican Spirit, ed. Dale Coleman (Cambridge,MA: Cowley Publications, 1991), p.124. The 100th Archbishop of Canterbury was a very wise man indeed!

  • Oriscus says:

    Um, did Ms Gledhill & co. even *read +(+)Jefferts Schori’s sermon? The reference to “our mother Jesus” was in passing, in the context of his – yes *his, as she says in almost the same breath – “giving birth” to us.

    Sheesh – it’s *y’all’s language; you’d think y’all’d be able to handle metaphor and simile…

    Austin, TX

  • New Here says:

    Cynthia, the Duncanites are apparently working from a different version of the Windsor Report, one that doesn’t mention border jumping.

    That’s the only way I know of that they can claim to be fully committed to Windsor while also declaring their intention to jump borders, something they have been doing quietly for some time.

    Frankly, I think it’s time to depose the Network bishops and be done with all this. For years they have been threatening to leave, but instead they choose to stay and create as much conflict as possible. We have an old saying in the South that ends “…or get off the pot.” That times has come for them.

  • Jeremy says:

    Who were the laudable Bishops who dissented? The website does not include a list.

  • Laurence Roberts says:

    The ‘Network’ dissenters are 11 in number.
    9 diocesns and 3 retired chaps.

    They are entitled to their ( foregone) conclusion, but I always thought they wanted to be disappointed, outraged and out -of-sorts !

    My theory is that this is their perverse way of enlivening themselves–or is it just narcisistic gratification thru exhibitionism ? (Well, i am an analyst ! 🙂 ). ‘To the Faithful in JC’ seems a bit over the top to me-but would fit my theorising !
    I loved the high sactuary camp picture, accompanying their agust ststemnet. 🙂

    I take heart that John Howe hasn’t singed up, with them.

    I am encouraged by John Chane’s lovely letter. Who else joined him, I wonder ?

    If Rowan has any sense, he’ll seize the moment and issue a statment saying,

    ” Thanks a lot– that’ll do nicely.”
    “And BTW as first among equals, I now intend to initiate the Windsor Listening to begin in every province & diocese. Report back to me, on how it’s going, by June , 2007, folks.”

    + Rowan Cant-u-try?

  • You know a lot of these debates are about sectarian golden cows and diehards resisting change.

    It will be lovely to see the “third way” developing that draws out the best from all the factions. For example, genuinely praying for the best for our Babylonian communities for if they have peace we have peace (we are meant to be in the world but not of the world). Remembering to respect God’s creation and look after the environment, the alien and the afflicted. For if if humans don’t do it with each other, how can they remonstrate the “naughty” angels who think they can abuse or deny humanity the Torah/bible/holy texts because they “don’t deserve it”? This means we need to model being just, polite, humble, compassionate, showing hospitality; all with a good dose of faith and trust that God genuinely loves humanity, irregardless of their “worthiness” and purity of repentance.

  • Christopher Shell says:

    Anything that has once been said by one person is in some sense part of tradition, especially if it were a long time ago. In what sense does that justify it?

    (1) ‘Jesus’ is the name of a male human being;
    (2) Jesus spoke of his Father, to whom He was not married;
    (3) Anyone can refer to particular traditions; but the context in which this particular reference took place was no coincidence.

    One has seen so much ‘spin’, so much manipulation of language to correspond with preferred ideologies. This is politics. It’s not Christianity.

  • Ford Elms says:

    Why are people stating that the Anglican Church is one Church with two religions as though this were something new? For the record, I am an Anglo-Catholic. Most of what Evanglicals believe are things that I find misguided, frightening, or even out and out heretical. I refrain from specifics in the interest of space. Suffice it to say that I am content to be part of a Church in which others hold beliefs that I feel are inconsistent with the faith, why can they not do the same? Is it because people like me have not been willing to stand on soapboxes and call them heretics? Is it because we have respected their beliefs, while being by times saddened and frustrated by what we feel are their errors, and at times have even learned from them, that they have not seen before now how different their beliefs are from ours?

    I will not condemn them, though, as I said, I strongly believe them to be misguided. I will not threaten to break communion with them. Why then must they refuse to do likewise? Trust me, you can have no greater issues over a gay or female bishop than I have over lay presidency, or the doctrines of the Holy Spirit one sees expressed on many Evangelical websites, or creeping Congregationalism. Bishops who worry more about how they can get their own way and humiliate others and force them to apologize than they do about world peace, feeding the hungry and housing the homeless are, to me, far greater abominations than one who has sex with another man. Yet I would still receive the sacrament at their hands, provided a layman hadn’t “consecrated” it. We have been a Church of many different religions for a very long time, why is it an issue now?

  • drdanfee says:

    Andrew Brown, in Guardian U.K.:
    I do not want to underestimate the passion and sincerity with which conservatives loathe gay people. Their demands that the American Anglican church be expelled from the Anglican communion, most recently made by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, are entirely serious. And in the end, Dr Williams will go along with them.
    Whatever happens to the women and the gays, there is always room in any organisation for a heterosexual male who does what the powerful want.

    Ah, guess the realignment campaign will continue for the foreseeable near Anglican future. Freedom train, freedom train, bearing down ‘pon us in the night.

    A cynical reading of the Windsor Process is that it is a cover delaying tactic to hide the de facto realignment led by conservative Anglicans to exclusively claim the Anglican designer label in USA, not much more, and not much less. Canterbury will preside. Or else.

    An equally cynical read on targeting queer folks might be that nobody who is funding things behind the scenes on the USA right really cares, any more than the rightwing USA Republicans really cared when one of their oldest behind the scenes nasty strategists in Massachusetts up and got married to his long-term male partner once marriage was legal in that state. But mobilizing all the nasty animus still availalbe, now there is a great treasure hidden in the fields of treating your neighbor justly while you walk humbly with God in your daily life. Canterbury will preside. Or else.

    The marks of 21st century crucifixion are showing in the world, clearly now. All too often it is conservative believers who are pounding in the nails while claiming all the humility and glory of their orthodoxy in plain, public view. Canterbury will preside. Or else.

    The fraught axis between Law and Gospel/Spirit has been with us since the beginning era, when the Apostles fought over whether Gentiles should be circumcized and keep all the Covenant Law. In that historical sense, then, we have all been born into a two-sided, double-minded core tradition for following Jesus, with whose dilemmas we have struggled ever since. Now that’s Apostolic authority for you. Canterbury will preside. Or else.

  • Caelius Spinator says:

    Christopher Shell–

    First, There’s this piece .

    Second, please explain, “Therefore, to consecrate the people by his own blood, Jesus also suffered outside the gate. Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the stigma that he bore.” Hebrews 13:12-13 in the light of Numbers 19:2.

  • New Here says:

    Ford, you raise an excellent point that there is nothing new about differences in belief among Anglicans. Your example of Sydney is very apt, because the things that go on there represent much more of a departure from Anglican tradition and belief than much, if anything, that is happening in the U.S. And among the so-called “reasserters” in the will find hints of Jensenism, such as the teaching that the sacrament is purely symbolic, among others.

    I think that what we are seeing right now has a lot to do with secular politics in the U.S. American conservatives have become radicalized in the past thirty years or so. They are no longer the American equivalent of the Tories. I can remember when our conservatives stressed prudence and tradition and fiscal responsibility and preserving social institutions, but that day is long gone. Conservatism in America has become a totalizing, radical ideology based on absolute control of all institutions. They do not want to be a voice in a national dialogue, but the only voice.

    In this country, the only major institutions that are not controlled by the Corporate Right are academia, some media outlets, and the mainline churches. All, accordingly, are under assault. Reactionaries have introduced so-called “Academic Bill of Rights” bills into a number of state legislatures, designed to punish professors for voicing political opinions in the classroom. There is now a thriving and very partisan “conservative” press funded by the likes of Rupert Murdoch. They have succeeded in managing to convince many, if not most, Americans that the press has a “liberal bias.”

    That brings us to the mainline churches. The same interests that have funded the right wing press and the endless anti-Clinton campaign of the 90s are now funding so-called “renewal movements” in the mainline churches. You can read the details here:

    I don’t think this is the whole story, of course, but it’s an aspect that hasn’t been discussed much.

  • Don says:

    You guys are hilarious. That you are even having this discussion is a joke. There are concrete scriptures specifically prohibiting the behaviors that you are now condoning???

    Think of this:

    I would like your church to know that I was born an adulterer. I really need other women. I am not going to change for you (because I am born this way), but I would like you to change for me. Am I not one of God’s children? Should you not be merciful to me? Nevermind the word of God, it is old, out of date, and really meaningless in this day and age. You can construe it to mean anything if you twist it hard enough or have a church vote.

    You do not have a church, it looks more like a circus or a sideshow…

  • I felt humbled reading Christopher and Fords’ postings. Try to “impose” a third way is merely adding another faction. Sorry. What is a common theme is a need for an awareness that there needs to be more than one stairway to heaven, or that we should not be rude and block souls wanting to use the escalators whilst waiting for the Jesus express lift (symobilism from a dream of two nights ago – quite cute I thought).

    Again, is is not just humans who need to learn this humility. This excellent article from Algemeiner demonstrates that the debate also happens between God and the angels vis a vis humanity/earth:

  • Shawn says:


    Praise God! An articulate moderate! And there are many more of you (and I) in CofE and TEC than the extreme orthodox and radical progressivists who dominate these postings. All I can do is live, laugh, and love in my own congregation. What these bozos lip about at the top is what they lip about at the top–what we do on the ground is what we do on the ground. I’m beginning to understand just why Jesus was so frustrated with the Pharisees and Scribes–we’ve been listening and reading their gassin’ and crabbin’ for years.

  • John Henry says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Shawn when he writes: “I’m beginning to understand just why Jesus was so frustrated with the Pharisees and Scribes–we’ve been listening and reading their gassin’ and crabbin’ for years.”

    Several years ago while preparing to preach on Mark 4:30-32, I came across sermon notes quoting Pope Pius VII, a Benedictine monk, before his elevation to the See of St. Peter. The story is told, almost certainly apocryphal, of Napoleon Bonaparte saying to the Pope, whom he held prisoner for five years: “I will destroy that church of yours.” That wise Pope responded: “I doubt it. We priests have been trying to do it for eighteen hundred years and have not succeeded.”

    With all our follies, we Christians, who are the church, have tried to humiliate it, betray it, bring it low in the world’s eyes. We have not succeeded because Jesus is the church’s Lord and the Holy Spirit its inner principle of life.

    Indeed, North America is engaged in a culture war, with conservatives trying to hijack all major institutions, including the mainline churches. Several generations of my family have been clergy – Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic. There have always been gay clergy among them, serving the Lord and their parishes faithfully. It wasn’t such a big deal. Of course, they were mostly doing in secret what VG Robinson and Susan Russell are now doing in public. Of course, our Bible-thumping conservative culture is now trying to victimize them in the same way earlier generations victimized Jews and other minorities.

  • Counterlight says:

    Dear Don,
    If the meaning of the Scriptures was so plain and clear about anything (let alone the issue at hand), then why did all those generations of rabbis waste so much time writing the Talmud? If it is all just so obvious and clear as a bumper sticker, then why did all those generations of Church Fathers, AnteNicene and Nicene, spend so much time and effort arguing and writing and filling up the shelves in our libraries? Why is Christianity split among thousands of denominations all claiming to be The One True Church if it’s all just so simple?

    I agree with New Here’s point and I wonder just how much international posters understand that religion is bound up, not only with politics, but with nationalism in the USA. Never underestimate the passionate attachment to ideas of a Divinely ordained national exceptionalism by large parts of the American public. Evangelical and fundamentalist Americans believe the most powerfully in a messianic America with an apocalyptic role in world history. This same group forms the hard core of support for the current regime and its neo-imperial ideology.
    “Conservatism”, as New Here rightly points out, has changed dramatically in this country. The “conservatism” of Dick Cheney and Pat Robertson has very little in common with the conservatism of Dwight Eisenhower and Everett Dirksen, or even Barry Goldwater. I’m not sure it’s really conservativism at all. I think Edmund Burke would be horrified. As former Senator (and Episcopal Priest) Jack Danforth pointed out in a recent essay, the American Republican party is being transformed into the political arm of a religious movement. The dominant political philosophy in our country is not one of conservation of traditions and customs, but an ideology of supremacy and domination. There is indeed a very wide ranging and well financed effort to sell this ideology to an increasingly reluctant and resistant population (or impose it on them). There are indeed those who would like to take advantage of conflicts within the mainline churches. I sometimes think the influence of those aspiring opportunists is overstated, but they are there nonetheless.

  • J. C. Fisher says:

    “That you are even having this discussion is a joke.”

    Are there any SADDER words in the English language?

    [But why stop at merely *excoriating* discussion, Don? Papist thumbscrews were more effective at eliciting . . . well, if not silence, at least less humorous *screaming*. Even today, I’m sure you could find a few imams would approve some cutting-out of tongues—that’d shut us up!]

    Backwards, into the New-Ancient Age of Religious Terror, hoo-ah!

    Or, instead of using those “concrete scriptures” as just a doorstop, you could try actually *reading* (ALL of) them”? Then, you could actually *discuss* them, too!

  • Christopher Shell says:

    Caelius Spinator-
    I don’t fully understand your first point, but as for your second I heartily agree. Jesus was the ultimate outsider. That is partly why Christians who historically have often been outsiders can so closely identify with him (and vice-versa).
    You’re not implying, surely, that if I am a criminal rejected by society, and therefore an outsider, that Jesus *both* identifies with me *and* encourages me to continue in my harmful ways. He does the first; but he does the very reverse of the second. (‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.) The same goes for any harmful activities that any of us may be involved in.

    You are quite right that there is a massive element of circus and joke about all this. I am also sure that you are right that a high proportion of adults may have felt adulterous urges. It is precisely because we do not simply have to act on instinct that we are humans not animals. Some are currently arguing that it is actually preferable to return to the jungle.

  • Ford Elms says:


    See, the Anglican Church has never believed that God said “Moses, take a letter.” Need I quote the old saw “the Church gave us the Bible, the Bible didn’t give us the Church”? The Church existed before the New Testament existed. Of all the writings that existed claiming to be Christian, the Spirit led the Church to discern which ones were inspired by God and which ones weren’t. It is therefore the the responsibility of the Church to ask the guidance of the Spirit in understanding those scriptures, and to expect that prayer to be answered. While Biblical literalism may be a comfort to some, it ain’t based on much other than insecurity. Sorry, but the Bible is part of the Tradition. It explains the Tradition, but it does not define the Tradition. The Faith existed before the NT.

    As to adultery, grow up! It’s not the same thing, and you know it.

  • Steven says:

    Ford and Shawn:

    As a traditionalist, I’ve got problems not with anglo-catholics or evangelicals, but with anglo-catholic extremes (proto-papists) and evangelical extremes (proto-puritans). However, this is only because the extremes strain the limits of the theological via media that makes Anglicanism what it is (and makes it great in my opinion)–i.e., the apostolic faith without papist additions or protestant substractions.

    However, even the extremes of anglo-catholicism and evangelicalism do not generally go outside the bounds of orthodox Christian faith and doctrine. I can live with them in the same denomination, even though I’m bound to try and uphold what I consider to be the Truth.

    This is not the situation with the Spongites and theological liberals of ECUSA. I and other traditionalists believe they go outside the bounds of orthodox Christian faith and doctrine. Sorry, there is a difference.


  • Merseymike says:

    I certainly hope they do, Steven!!

  • I don’t have a problem with people like Spong putting forward an alternative reform agenda. Many conservatives ridiculed themselves in their reviews of his latest books, because they based it on Spong’s early formulations decades earlier. Apparently people can not learn by their mistakes, incorporate new evidence or refine their models through the process of dialogue.

    Fortunately engineers, scientists and doctors have more robust thinking skills that orthodox theologans. Otherwise we would continue to build dangerous airplanes with known flaws, fail to make scientific breakthroughs and not have technology such as the internet, and be unable to find cures to drug-resistant diseases. Just because an airplane has a design flaw does not mean that a new airplane can not be built that avoids the mistakes of its predecessor. It is okay to have improved our plowing from a hand-scythe, to bullock-pulled, to mechanized. It’s okay to have found and developed penicillin and its derivatives.

    And I loved counterlight’s posting about how there are so many texts on how to interpret the Talmud/bible (tongue-in-cheek, we even have more than one conservative author). I particularly like the Jewish tendency to acknowledge the minority view, because they understand that sometimes two seemingly irreconcilable opposites can both be true. For example, we all know that God hates divorce and adultery, but how often do we note that God hates abuse more? For example Jeremiah 8:10.

    As to those who make snide comments about the regular posters to this forum, you are welcome to join the discussion and bring in diversity. Be aware, however, that some of us post to this forum precisely because it takes on the “hard” questions, which means sometimes the dialogue can be a bit heated. That is okay, after all, it is “THINKING Anglicans”, and the debate needs to be had somewhere.

    I have enjoyed watching various heated dialogues from within this forum ripple out into a moderate reporting that actually succeeds in repeating that Jewish tradition of concisely putting forward the key elements of various positions so that others can contemplate the merits and incorporate that which they find useful into their own mental models.

  • Nick Finke says:


    I also think of myself as a traditionalist and while I agree with you as to the opinions of Bishop Spong I am not sure that I would tar all the Episcopalian liberals with the same brush.

    The actions of the ACN and the Global South Primates who want to impose some sort of litmus test on fellow Anglicans are innovations easily equal to those of Bishop Spong. They would do well to review what they were taught concerning the Elizabethan compromise.

  • “That is partly why Christians who historically have often been outsiders can so closely identify with him (and vice-versa).”

    Do they really?

  • LurenceRoberts says:

    The trouble with ‘traditionalism’ is how far back do you ( want to ) go ? and how far back is it possible to go ?

    Also, it agonising contingency and realtivity.

    E.g. In 1549 the BCP looked like an exciting new innovation, or hideous betrayal of the truth and the past, depending on where kife had placed you.
    Similarly, the C of E itself, the King James Bible and so on.

    Jesus wasn’t too gone on tradition either, it would seem.

    ‘The Tradition ‘ seems different in every time and place. But that is hard to see at the time.

  • Ford Elms says:


    As to extremes, I agree entirely, it just seems to me that this is entirely about extremes. Extreme liberals, extreme conservatives. I would certainly call ++Akinola and ++Jensen extreme. As to orthodox Christian faith, I find it odd for Anglicans to use that word. Those who have always considered themselves “Orthodox”, those in the East, do not consider us such. In our context, I’m not sure what “orthodox” means, other than agreeing with a particular conservative position. Going back to the Gospels means that true “Orthodox” Christianity is far more radical than any conservative would tolerate.

    Also, please do not assume that liberals are all of the Spongian variety. I can assure you that I am as appalled by him as you are. In fact, i have met very few liberals who would think terribly highly of Spong’s ideas.

  • Shawn_H says:

    “I do not want to underestimate the passion and sincerity with which conservatives loathe gay people.”

    Crap. As both a political conservative and a Christian the claim that I hate gay people is both offensive and an outright lie. Some of my dearest friends have been and are “homosexuals” and I spent some of the hardest moments of my life by the bed of a homosexual friend dying from aids. I frankly am sick and tired of liberals claiming that the reason some of us are faithfull to Scripture and Tradition is because of a “phobia” or hatred.

    Use of such terms is a deliberate tactic to demonise and promote hate against conservatives.

    Heres the truth, if you can handle it. I support the Churches teaching that ALL sex outside of hetrosexual marriage is a sin. I do so because this is what the Bible and Tradition both say, clearly and unarguably.

    I have read many books claiming otherwise, including Boswell’s and Spongs and I simply think they have failed to make an adequate case.

    Thats it. It is faithfulness to God as He has revealed Himself and His will in Scripture and Tradition.

    I do not hate anyone, and to claim I do is a childish, dishonest and un-Christian argument to use.

  • I may not be particularly “nice”, and thus not very Anglican fudgy, to enquire about ulterior motives, but when people throw in such a patently false claim that “the Bible” “teaches” about sex outside “marriage” – when there isn’t even a word for “marriage” in Biblical Greek – what explanation is left???

  • Shawn says:

    “but when people throw in such a patently false claim that “the Bible” “teaches” about sex outside “marriage” when there isn’t even a word for “marriage” in Biblical Greek – what explanation is left???”


    You shall not commit adultery.

    Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh.

    It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Thats some of what the Bible says on marriage. Which “Bible” are you reading?

    Secondly…grow up and deal with the actual content of an argument or point rather than throwing around un-Christian accusations about a persons supposedly secret motives. My motives are open and honest exchange on the issue. Yours seems to be character assasination and arrogant claims about my knowledge of the Bible.

  • Nersen says:

    Poor old Don – taking personal attacks because he points out what the Bible says……

  • Shawn wrote: “You shall not commit adultery.”

    Now, I am afraid this is not a translation of the 7th Commandment ou moixeueis. Nor does moixeía mean modern “adultery”, it means to deceive, to be disloyal, to let someone down.

    Don’t deceive anyone!

    Just read the Good Book; out of 30 occurrences of “moixeía” in the NT only once is it found (twice) in a context that (tangentially) has anything to do with sex: alias John 7:53-8:11, originally Luke 21:39ff.

    The man and the woman have been caught trousers down, but the story of the woman in the Temple yard is still about disloyalty to the head of the Household – not about sex (it’s not even clear that the woman is married).

    I realise that the difference may be hard to understand in so over-sexualized an age as this.

    Shawn wrote: “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh.”

    Pray, which word here means marriage? The actual fact or the abstract institution, as you please…

    Shawn wrote: “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    That’s some of what the Bible says on marriage. Which “Bible” are you reading?”

    I am certainly not reading the NIV… But what I said was that there is no word “marriage” in Biblical Greek, so how could there be any “teachings” on sex outside marriage?

    As we know, quite a lot is found in the various and contradictory “translations” of the 20th century, but when 2nd Millennium Academic “translations” say “marriage” (for example “gámos” in Heb 13:4) they lie.

    It is as false headlining Mark 10, with parallels, “Jesus teaching about Marriage” as headlining Genesis 3 “The Fall”.

    But then, 4 of the 10 Commandments and their corresponding cultic, collective and social words (these are material mostly about Greed, not “moral” or “immoral”) have been changed in 2nd Millennium academia to accommodate Neo-Platonist Moral Theology and the Social and Ecclesiastical Policies of the Carolingian Empire and the Roman church; Chastity for all, Abstinence for monks and Mandatory celibacy for priests (Laterans I-IV).

    Which is in essence the Gnosticist horror of the Spilling of Semen (semen being identified with the soul, the little nous, of the academic a n d simultaneously with the big Nous, The Highest Being – women having no souls, because not having any semen ;=)

    Not to mention the words a d d e d…

    With the arrival of Modernity and the medically defining 20th century, this 2nd millennium academic Moral theology; Masturbation as Deadly Sin (see that entry in the 1966 New Catholic Encyclopaedia), became an increasingly hard sell and a liability.

    So in 1966 the traditional Neo-Platonist “moral” teaching changed from being anti Heterosex (if anything) to being anti gay, metamorphosing from sexual a c t i v i t y for all, to essentialist sexual orientation as i d e n t i t y for the new social minority.

    The concept of “orientation” was first found in the 1966 English translation of the (not yet overtly homosexualized) 1955 Bible de Jérusalem of the French Dominicans, and its accompaniment; Father Zerwick’s 1966 Analysis Philologica Novi Testamenti graeci.

    In your quote above, “sexual immorality” is a prime example of the sexualization cum generalization political m e t h o d of the 2nd Millennium – and a favourite amongst 20th century “translators”.

    LXX nómos; Tradition, is made into “law”, words are made into scholastic concepts; material is made “moral”, concrete is made abstract, cultic, collective and social are made into sex.

    The word in question is porneía, which in Septuagint Greek including 1st century NT scriptures refers to sacral prostitution. Cult not sex, certainly not “immorality”, sexual or otherwise ;=)

    In the 20th century, in the wake of the Holocaust and with the Church at long last rediscovering its lost OT and Jewish roots; Lechaim, Life as God’s good gift in Creation, the anti-cosmic Dust, Ashes, Nothing, of Alexandrian philosophy have become marginal.

    Whichever spin one cares to give it, this is where we stand today.

    But to return to Matthew 5 (Mark 10 with parallels) this episode is not about “marriage”, nor is it about our Western “divorce” – which did not exist in the Eastern Mediterranean 2000 years ago – it’s about repudium, the one-sided right under Polygamy for the polygamous husband to send away one or several of his wives.

    Unsurprisingly, Jesus rejects this.

    Polygamy is about men having legal, social and economic powers over women, not about who comes to sleep with whom.

    Matt 5:31-32 correctly translated: It has been said, Who intends to repudiate [lit. loose] his wife, must give her a (Letter of) repudium. I tell you, that however repudiates his wife, bar the case of sacral prostitution, cheats on her, and however marries the repudiated is cheating. gives some facts about the Biblíon apostasíou, the Letter of repudium.

    The exception “the case of sacral prostitution” (which is found only in Matthew) refers to the man not the wife – it was the man who went to sacral prostitutes.

    So no, this is not about marriage, not even about mutual divorce, but about one-sided repudium, the man has legal, social and economic power over the woman under Polygamy, the woman having no such power even over herself.

    So again, there is indeed very little if anything in the Bible about “marriage”. There is not even the word. Certainly not the institution known by us. Ephesians comes to mind, but, but for the glosses 5:24 and 31, this (which in itself is an addition to deutero-Pauline Ephesians) is as much, if not primarily, about the Members and the Congregation, as about “marriage”.

    So, dear Shawn, in the face of all these false claims; “the Bible says so”, “the Tradition is unanimous”, “2000 years” and so on, I for one find it less than extraordinary, that people sometimes enquire about the ulterior motives behind all this brouhaha.

    Although I don’t doubt that these are psychiatric in quite a few of the “useful idiots”, I wonder what they are behind the scenes.

  • Dora Smith says:

    Are any other moderate and liberal Episcopalians as rocked by Bishop Schori’s reference to Mother Jesus as I am?

    I know that the entire Gospel story is a metaphor. It is spiritually well balanced, workable metaphor. Jesus as dead and rising god brings the feminine principle to the divinity through the merger of the dead and rising god with the Judaic creator/father god.

    The “mother Jesus” metaphor inappropriately confuses Jesus with the Great Mother, and would destroy the Trinity itself. Jesus is not a woman, Jesus is not a mother, and Jesus never gave birth to anyone. His mother can be said to give birth to creation – she is teh Indo-Aryan version of the Great Mother Goddess. Jesus is immanently present in nature, he dies and is reborn, and he is a man. His role is to live, die, and return to life, not to give birth. Jesus gives life, but not by creating it. The creation of life is the role of the father god. Unless you want ot believe it is also the role of the Immaculate Virgin.

    I am interested in how the average Episcopalian in the pews perceived that remark. At my large progressive downtown church, my remarks that the nativity story was taken from that of Mithras invariably inspire fear and loathing from many church members. How are people taking our new Presiding Bishop’s confusion of Jesus with the Great Mother Goddess? It seems like a good way to drive off Episcopalians would be to undercut their faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *