Thinking Anglicans

primates meeting: other views

Recently Stand Firm interviewed Kendall Harmon and this is viewable at Kendall Harmon Advises – Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Greg Griffiths published his own opinions in My Predictions. My Warnings. My Call to You.
At the same address, Matt Kennedy has (so far) written The Case For Discipline part 1: The Call to Communion and The Case For Discipline Part 2: A Petulant Response. A third instalment expected. The Case For Discipline Part 3: Rejecting the Call.
Earlier he wrote Tanzania: Expectations, Promises, and the Danger of Impotence and Sarah Hey wrote Tanzania Predictions.

Today, the Church of England Newspaper and Fulcrum publish To Cleave or To Cleave? The Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania by Graham Kings.

…In general terms, it seems to me that there are not two groups of ‘Anglicans’ in the USA (ie liberals and conservatives on the issue of sexuality), nor three (as some have suggested), but at least five – and it may be better to use the more fluid word ‘streams’ than groups…

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badman
badman
13 years ago

All this triumphalism by Stand Firm in Faith is rather stomach churning – “the main conflict is over, and we have won” from Greg Griffiths, and so forth. They may, however, be right in thinking that they have the numbers in the Anglican Communion and that the liberals will be pitched out, staring with Bishop Schori. They are wrong, I think, however, on two things. First, life goes on, the world turns, and history does not stop when any particular war is won. If the bigots “win” the Anglican Communion, that will not “win” them the argument in liberal societies… Read more »

laurence
laurence
13 years ago

Well said badman :yes, there is enantiodromia. I feeel sorry for all the hidden lgbt conservatives. But any moment I they could breakdown / break through –like that rent boy turned penitent. Who reported one of his clients, leading US Evangelical Pastor Ted Haggard — who was doing one thing and loudly saying another. But coming out toself & other can be less dramatic, less traumatic, led by the spirit.

‘The Spirit bloweth where it listeth.’

‘Where two or three are gathered together…’

jnwall
jnwall
13 years ago

“badman” makes helpful, and hopeful, comments. I hope he is right. But I fear that events are now out of hand, that Akinola is in charge, and that ABC Rowan is, as a result of his (in)actions, tagging along in his wake, hoping that the schism Akinola so desperately wants will not result in the exclusion of England from the Anglican Communion. Which seems to me to be a clear and present danger. This is payback time, if there is any validity to the language of Akinola and so many of the evangelicals. But their language also reminds me of… Read more »

Marshall Scott
13 years ago

It is interesting that those who depend on the Global South Primates to represent their interests are so divided on what the Global South Primates might do. And make not mistake: this is not about the Primates’ Meeting as a whole. For all the spectrum of differences among Primates regarding the reception of and responses to the Windsor Report by The Episcopal Church, it is those participating in the Global South Steering Committee who have done their best to control the argument. I appreciate Greg Griffith’s recognition that there will be Primates who understand the sense of the movement of… Read more »

matthew hunt
matthew hunt
13 years ago

Badman: “He regards keeping the liberals on board just as important as keeping the catholics and the protestants (read evangelicals) on board. The people angling for a final victory for one strand or another do not see things as he sees them.” Then he must be depending on the ‘liberals” desperation and indifference. The effectual indifference of the majority of liberals (I suspect) and the desperation of the minority (within and those held without) that depend on the affirmation of the Christian family for the assurance that they may live -as they find themselves to be unchangeably- within the loving… Read more »

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

badman on Thursday, 8 February 2007 at 12:53pm GMT — A very interesting post indeed, for which I thank you. I have no idea just what is going to happen in Tanzania — I sincerely pray for the preservation of the WWAC, but it seems to me that some of the Global South leaders cannot accept the possibility of living & worshiping together with agreeing about everything — who would have thought thirty years ago that there would be a meeting of Anglican primates (who did not at that time yet meet ) where it would noit be possible to… Read more »

Deacon Mark
Deacon Mark
13 years ago

I am frequently struck by the misunderstanding i note from others of the American Church. I would suggest that most Episcopalians don’t even realize that we are part of the Anglican Communion and those who do, don’t care. The few that do tend to be firm Anglophiles. The other odd note that i read so often is the assumption that somehow the leadership (read Bishops) got us into the current fix. To the contrary, we — strangely enough — are a democracy, electing our bishops and voting at General Convention. The third thing that is worth noting is the strange… Read more »

Dennis
Dennis
13 years ago

I suspect that the line will hold. Scotland and Ireland and New Zealand and others all know that if the US and Canada can be thrown out then the conservatives will have the upper hand, that new CANAs will appear in their own backyard and attempt to steal parishes, and that they will be the next targets. Nigeria and the CANA types will not be happy with their “discipline” of the Americans and Canadians. The rest of the communion is next. Best stop the rot at Tanzania and shut this whole show down, now. If Nigeria and a few others… Read more »

Mark
Mark
13 years ago

Graham Kings’ analysis of TEC is interesting. But his five streams proposal misses a very important group: the people who are neither particularly liberal on the issue of homosexuality nor particularly conservative. This is a great blind spot for all of us who read the blogs and follow the Primates’ soap opera. The truth is, lots of people just don’t think this is a deal breaker, one way or another. These are people who watched “Will and Grace” and, whatever they think of homosexuality in general, didn’t find the gay characters’ sexuality to be something that got in the way… Read more »

Cantabriggia
Cantabriggia
13 years ago

“The sooner the better” is the wrong attitude to take altogether, Deacon Mark. Liberals, as much as evangelicals, are guilty of a sense that they share a contaminating presence in the Body of Christ that should be cut off as swiftly as possible: a good medieval philosophy! The fact that it may be difficult to share a communion with those whom we may disagree with is no reason for rushing to lop them off. Let them go if they have to, but let’s not take any satisfaction in it.

Robert
Robert
13 years ago

So many opinions, so little time to read them all! I am not smart enough to make predictions. So, I will just speculate: If the primates can’t all have communion together, perhaps they will all be able to share some tea. They need something to hold on to while they get to know each other. After that, who knows. God forbid, but some of the primates just might find they are getting along with she who brings frowns to long-furrowed male brows. And if they don’t, the world won’t come to an end. PB Schori and TEC will move forward–freed… Read more »

Tom
Tom
13 years ago

But Deacon Mark, the communion needs your voices to be heard! anglicanism without your point of view would so much poorer for it… please done leave the rest of us in the lurch

laurence
laurence
13 years ago

I see that Michael Scott-Joynt has now had his say on Anglican Mainstream. Adding his voice to that of Thomas Wright. What manipulation is this ! Going by this, he too, must have failed his CACTM exams at theological college. It all seems to tend towards greater and greater sectarianism to me. Backward steps. Dickens words on sectrianism are relevant at this time I think. In 1856, he expressed his disdain for denominations in correspondence with a fan: “I discountenance all obtrusive professions of and trading in religion, as one of the main causes why real Christianity has been retarded… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
13 years ago

“The few that do tend to be firm Anglophiles.”

Here is one non-Anglophile, American Episcopalian who, nonetheless, greatly appreciates being a part of a larger communion. Not because it is rooted in the Church of England, but because it stretches around the world and because, at least until recently, it tolerates different practices and beliefs.

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

(Submitted in 3 parts – thanks to Simon for his patience) Badman misrepresents the tone of commentary. I am not triumphant at all. My feeling is more of someone whose friend took a swing at him, and had to be taken down. I’d rather not have had to do it, but there it is. What I was pointing out was that, in no form even vaguely representing its current one, will there be an Anglican Communion that embraces a teaching of human sexuality which differs significantly from Lambeth 1.10 – which is to say, from what *Christian* teaching has always… Read more »

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

Deacon Mark calls the Windsor-compliant in the Episcopal Church a “tiny but vocal minority,” but I think it’s to progressives’ benefit, if they want to proceed under realistic assumptions, that they unemotionally assess how “tiny” that “minority” really is, and that they get a handle on the historic and dynamic nature of the numbers they claim as supporting their cause: The largest single Episcopal church in America – Christ Church, Plano – is gone. Its average Sunday attendance was equal to that of the ENTIRE DIOCESE of Nevada (Schori’s former diocese). The largest churches (The Falls Church and Truro) in… Read more »

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

Furthermore, it’s a mistake to assume that the only conservatives in the Episcopal Church are the ones who are being vocal RIGHT HIS MOMENT. Only the left- and right-most 20% of lay people have woken up and taken sides on this issue, and it’s foolish to assume that ALL of the remaining 60%, when they do finally wake up, will side with the progressives. I personally believe that they’ll break 2-1 for conservatives, but let’s say they actually break 2-1 for the progressives. At that point, progressives will have claimed for themselves slightly fewer than 1,000,000 members of a church… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

I’m convinced that over the next decade the biggest challenge will be for heterosexual (?) bigots of any religion to “faithfully” learn how to stop endangering the lives of their LGBT family members and friends with selective and terrorfied believing and the character smearing that leads to hatecrimes.

Marshall Scott
13 years ago

Greg, I will accept that you’re neither triumphant nor triumphalist. However, you make several predictions in these three responses that I think will prove incorrect. First, while there has indeed been much more significant departures from the Episcopal Church in the last three years, there is also reason to expect that rate to drop significantly. Prior to 2003 the losses of TEC had largely tabled, and best indications were that those losses were a consequence of low birthrate, a dynamic that has affected all Christian bodies in the U. S. It has come later to the Southern Baptists and some… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Fine, Greg. Better 5-8% who believe in something worth believing – which I do not think that you do.

laurence
laurence
13 years ago

‘I’m convinced that over the next decade the biggest challenge will be for heterosexual (?) bigots of any religion to “faithfully” learn how to stop endangering the lives of their LGBT family members and friends with selective and terrorfied believing and the character smearing that leads to hatecrimes. Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 8 February 2007 at 11:38pm GMT ‘ Yes, This IS the challenge. This challenge will be met increasingly becaue LGBT folks are here and are a good lot. To know us is to love us –by & large ! And though I’m smiling I’m not joking… Read more »

laurence
laurence
13 years ago

GG makes the common mistake of sexualizing gayness and lesbianism. Gayness is no more sexual than heterosxeuality (and no probably no less!). Relationships between folks who happen to share one gender are no more sexual than relationships that happen to include one of each !

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

I apologise for my typo — I meant

“it seems to me that some of the Global South leaders cannot accept the possibility of living & worshiping together WITHOUT agreeing about everything”

But I still think that a gathering without the Eucharist is already an admission of failure

BTW — Marshall Scott @ Thursday, 8 February 2007 at 11:49pm GMT — I agree heartily with your post!

C.B.
C.B.
13 years ago

I’m convinced that over the next decade, the biggest challenge over the question of whether to leave or stay won’t be faced by conservatives, but by those progressives who have defined their being by the sexual behavior, and staked the entirety of their understanding of Christianity on what amounts to a secular notion of social justice. Will they be able to remain in a church the legislative and political mechanisms of which they have brought all the have to bear, and failed? Wow- Brother Greg – Do you have any sense of sweeping self-satisfied (may I say spiteful) tone there… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

Dear Marshall,

“The rapidly changing society is our greatest challenge”…I agree.

Seeing more clearly and “being” less self-deceiving and more transparent with strangers, friends, loved ones and God is a huge development…in-our-face close ups focusing on REAL is a breathtaking experience!

No longer having anywhere to hide from TRUTH and ones personal character will be a blessing (mostly) as we HELP ourselves by helping oneanother and finding OUR way home together.

Lord hear my prayer

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Numbers games, again.

“Success”.

Despicable.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
13 years ago

Thoroughly oppressive postings from Greg Griffith and his supporters. As one who has been listening to Christian preaching of all stripes for the last 57 years, I feel pretty certain that Bp Schori represents the teaching of Jesus in a fairly mainstream way, while the over-the-top rhetoric of Bp Akinola does not. She certainly does not come across as an “unrepentant apostate”. “My conclusion, and I think it’s solid, is that *this* particular battle in Anglican Christianity is over, and the traditionalists have held the line.” As they did against Galileo? ” I realize that’s difficult for some of you… Read more »

Rodney
Rodney
13 years ago

I’ve commented on the post of the Bishop of Wichester’s diatribe above, but Marshall is right – the great challenge which faces Western followers of the way is as he says. Of one thing we can be sure: the C of E led by the likes of Wright and Scott-Joynt isn’t up to that one.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

What is also clear, Rodney, is that a CofE of this sort of thinking is going to be ever more marginal in the UK

Its a bit like them nestling down in their bunker with their fingers in their ears, saying ‘WE DON’T LIKE IT’ as the country around them carries on regardless

What may make sense in Nigeria certainly won’t work in a country where premodern superstition only attracts a minority of people who – if we are honest – are regarded, I think rightly, as deluded kooks

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
13 years ago

So far as I’m concerned, I think this particular battle is over, though I’d like to be proved wrong. On the ground, though, I wonder whether it’ll make that much difference: those of us taking a ‘liberal’ view of the gay issue will continue to do so, after all. This will delight some, who will increasingly predict our demise. But time’s arrow points only one way: anyone with a knowledge of the development of doctrine (and remember how much trouble that got Newman into) will know that ‘quod ubique, quod semper’ has a funny habit of redefining itself. The Christian… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Laurence’s quotation of Dickens is apposite: no womder Dickens is one of those ‘mere Christians’ whom all Christians can claim as their own: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Chesterton, Lewis, William Temple, Barbara Ward etc..

seeker
seeker
13 years ago

An elderly RC priest has told me that he had preached on the wrongness of the RC leaders’ statements & teaching, on RC adoption agencies; and gay relationships. He pointed out that words can be wrong. That no Church or person cam claim to have all the truth. He used the lections of the day,(Call of Samuel) and the Tablet leader, Clifford Longley and Jesus to point to the need for a new paradigm of relationships and sexuality. He received tremendous postive feedback and appreciation of his homily. Including from congregants with lesbian or gay neices, nephews , love and… Read more »

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

Marshall, The attendance figures for the Episcopal Church are a matter of public record, and they don’t support your speculation that things are going to improve any time soon. If you look at these attendance numbers, the trend is pretty grim, and note that they don’t take into account departures after General Covention 2006, which are almost certainly going to be greater than anything that happened in 2005. At any rate, nowhere in my previous posts did I try and equate numbers with what’s “right” – I simply note that the church operates legislatively on majority votes, consensus, and the… Read more »

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

Fr. O’Leary, You write that “A church that cuts off discussion and fails to recognize the full humanity of its members is headed nowhere,” but of course that’s begging the question, not to mention mis-stating the facts. The Anglican church has neither cut off discussion, nor failed to recognize the full humanity of anyone. For proof of that, look no further than Lambeth 1.10: “We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

“It sounds like some of you don’t believe this at all.” Greg G Greg, it’s hard to take in all your negative and upbeat/pridefilled, yet unfortunate, “data” seriously. Simultaneously you are eagerly working to destroy and dismember our fellowship and inclusive membership at The Body of Christ and at all levels of OUR Episcopal Church life…one only needs to read your blog to see the treachery and “exclusion” you and your commentmakers proclaim against others in the name of Jesus Christ. While cheering on the wreckage of the Anglican Communion you demean your countrymen and brothers and sisters in Christ!… Read more »

Greg Griffith
Greg Griffith
13 years ago

Sorry – my href got stripped out in the comment before last. The ECUSA attendance figures are here:

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Average_Sunday_Attendance_1995-05_by_Domestic_Diocese.pdf

seeker
seeker
13 years ago

‘They’re not listening yet –perhaps they never will’.

( ‘Vincent’ sung by Don Maclean ).

There has been no listening much, worth mentioning, alas.

Perhaps they never will…

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Not the case in Europe, though, Greg, and not in the UK where without migration, churchgoing would have fallen even more than it actually has done.

America is well known as somewhere with a large bloc of conservative religion, but its not the same here

Also, your post emphasises the pointlessness of listening. I can listen to you, you to me, but we will never agree – so the best solution is to walk apart, given that we believe almost entirely different things

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Anglicans have listened, and listened, and listened, for year after year after year.” Utter bull! The only places where this “listening” has happened is in precisely those places that are now being castigated because they MAY be making a mistake as they try, with the mind of Scripture, to understand gay people as human beings. I can speak for two “orthodox” dioceses where there was frank hostility at the idea of any kind of “listening process”. We certainly did no listening in this diocese. Precisely which Anglicans, other than those in the dioceses now being vilified, actually did any kind… Read more »

C.B.
C.B.
13 years ago

GREG – Religious fundamentalism is on the rise around the globe. Many have argued that it the result of fear of the immense changes society are going through. Nowhere is growth a sure fire indication of the Holy Spirit being at work. Perhaps, it just fear on the move.

C.B.

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“Anglicans have listened, and listened, and listened, for year after year after year. I defy you to name another worldwide faith community that has done a better job at listening to gays and lesbians than the Anglican church.” No, Greg, that’s the *Episcopal Church* (democratic-majority of—along w/ the Anglican Church of Canada, and bloody few elsewhere) who have listened. Saying repeatedly to the *listeners* “We have listened”, when you haven’t, is NOT the same. Let me be clear: I believe that TEC must continue to *follow the Gospel of Christ Jesus*—which is the WELCOME of *all* God’s Children, including those… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
13 years ago

From Williams/Sentamu Synod submission: 7. In December 1991 the House of Bishops published a Statement – Issues in Human Sexuality – that, among other things, explored the extent to which individual Christians could in good conscience enter faithful sexually active relationships with a partner of the same sex, notwithstanding the teaching of the Church. The statement declared that ‘heterosexuality and homosexuality are not equally congruous with the observed order of creation or with the insights of revelation as the church engages with these in the light of her pastoral ministry.’ It noted that the ‘convergence of Scripture, tradition and reasoned… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Leonardo I empathise with your sentiments of what is the biggest challenge. But that I would like to add colour to your picture. The next decade will see us grapple with sociopathic economic paradigms that have hit the walls of closed systems. We will grapple with the fear of changing means of generating sufficient food and water and getting it to where it needs to be. We will be coping with global warming. We are facing the prospect of several severe pandemics. People are going to be very, very frightened. If we do not get a theology in place that… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Hear! ye People, Hear!

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

“If we do not get a theology in place that has a fundamental trust in God, an acceptance of a Supreme God that universally loves all the peoples of all the nations; male and female, gentile and Jew, pure and afflicted then we are going to see some very unhealthy sociodynamics. GLBTs will be the first cab off the rank in a race to blame game. But there would be other who would hunt infidels. Others that would enslave women. Others that would cull the imperfect.” Cheryl Clough “Hear! ye People, Hear!” Goran Thank you Cheryl for expanding into the… Read more »

seeker
seeker
13 years ago

“Whosoever will may Come.”
(Old Evangelistic hymn)

“Come, come everyone come this caravan is not of despair”.
(Rumi)

I’m definitely Arminian –but the saints and mystics of all religions and times and places have known what they know. As Rumi says no matter how much you feel you have fallen, failed or whatever, this caravan hits the road and is not of despair.

“Closer than breathing
Nearer than your heart.”
“Thou art That.”
(Upanishads)

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

Leonardo Ricardo —

Do you not think that “puritanism” is eventually always self-destructive, since an “Other” who must be excluded is a constant requirement?

It seems to me that, historically, puritanical movements always burn themselves out (which is not to say that there isn’t a new one waiting in the wings!).

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
13 years ago

“Do you not think that “puritanism” is eventually always self-destructive, since an “Other” who must be excluded is a constant requirement?” Prior Aelred

Yes, you’re right dear Prior…self-destructive “acting out” is what’s going on…Puritans are rushing off a cliff one after another while chasing another innocent “other” as the instigators of fear/hate watch from a safety zone and snear at this round of stupidity screw-up. Meanwhile, I hate to see OUR Episcopal Church mauled and LGBT Christians harmed by these unsavory neo-con-lynchers with spellcheck (and outside financing).

Fr Joseph O'Leary
13 years ago

“You write that “A church that cuts off discussion and fails to recognize the full humanity of its members is headed nowhere,” but of course that’s begging the question, not to mention mis-stating the facts.” Well, I did not identify said church, but suppose you apply the remark to Nigeria? I think it would fit perfectly. And Nigeria is being held up as a model to the Anglican Communion — which is suicidal folly. “We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
13 years ago

“For you, Fr. O’Leary, “listening” is not about hearing the stories of gay and lesbians, and considering our teatment of them in the context of the Gospel; rather, it’s pretty obvious that you define it as “affirming homosexual behavior without qualification.”” That is over the top — why not quote what I actually said? I do think that the listening process will lead to acceptance of gay couples — as it indeed already has in the Church of England — though not necessarily “without qualification” — that is, the acceptance would not be the same as the positive affirmation of… Read more »

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