Thinking Anglicans

New Orleans: further reports and reactions

The Church Times has published US Bishops produce compromise statement

…The Response was more conciliatory than many had feared. At the press conference after the meeting, the Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, said: “We have reaffirmed our firm desire to remain as full members of the Anglican Communion.” The statement was essentially unanimous, and a significant number of conservative bishops had a hand in its drafting.

It is unlikely, however, that the document will satisfy all the Church’s critics, and particularly the most conservative bishops in the US, a handful of whom left the meeting early to travel to Pittsburgh, where the diocesan bishop, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, has convened a meeting of the various traditionalist groups in North America. This meeting, called the Common Cause Council of Bishops, appears to be formulating an alternative to the official Episcopal Church, possible in conjunction with one of the overseas provinces. One possibility is that up to five Episcopal dioceses will secede.

The House of Bishops statement was firm on the subject of overseas incursions. “Such incursions imperil common prayer and long-established ecclesial principles of our Communion,” they say, calling for them to end.

Critics of the Episcopal Church will find several areas of dissatisfaction in the statement…

Ekklesia reports that Changing Attitude pledges to continue struggle for an inclusive church and the Changing Attitude press release can be found here.

The response of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church ‘to questions and concerns raised by our Anglican Communion partners’ gives encouragement to members of Changing Attitude and our brothers and sisters in Integrity, representing LGBT people in many parts of our Communion…

Earlier, Ekklesia had Mixed response to US Episcopal compromise on gay issue.

LGCM issued a rather different statement:

MEDIA STATEMENT LESBIAN AND GAY CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT

25th September 2007

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America has issued a statement today 25th September 2007

The Revd Martin Reynolds of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said:

“Our disappointment with the American Church was profound when their General Convention outlawed gay bishops in 2006, that disappointment has now been reinforced.”

“But we believe this attempt to suck up to the homophobes will come to nothing. They have already decided not to believe anything the leaders of TEC say and are quite happy to ditch Canterbury and go it alone.”

“The schism will continue and I predict by this time next year there every disappointed American cleric who wants to be a bishop will have his wish.”

“Lesbian and gay bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople will continue to love and serve God in His Church while these bishops fall deeper into malice, we will pray for them.”

Ends

Ekklesia reported that as UK gay Christians disappointed at American Church decision.

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C.B.
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C.B.

It appears that the press is seeing this as a “compromise” and a concession to the conservative AC Primates. That is the best result possible under the circumstances. If the “compromise” is rejected they will only cement the view that they are unreasonable fundamentalists, not Anglicans, seeking power, not unity. But the Church Times continues to get it wrong when it says that as a result of the HoBs’ position “One possibility is that up to five Episcopal dioceses will secede.” Dioceses do not “secede.” Bishops vacate Sees, priest abandon parishes, parishioners leave. I am hearing that well over a… Read more »

John Richardson
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John Richardson

The question which the response from LGCM makes me ask is this: “What accommodation are you prepared to make in the Church for those who hold Traditionalist/Conservative views on homosexuality?” The answer must, presumably, be either, “Along the following lines … (acceptance of belief, preaching, teaching, pastoral practice, roles in ministry including episcopal appointments, maybe one or two other things)” or “None whatsoever.” Assuming it is not the latter, is anyone prepared to give an indication of the nature of the former? (Changing Attitude contributors may also wish to comment.)

John Richardson
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John Richardson

PS In case anyone thinks I am just trying to lay a bear trap with my question above, I will admit that as a Traditionalist/Conservative I don’t see very much room for accommodation at all with the views of LGCM/Changing Attitude, and I want to be quite open about that. I don’t think their teaching has a place in the Church and I therefore don’t think it is appropriate for people who hold to those teachings to occupy teaching offices. I do think there is room in the Church for participation in its life by those who oppose Traditionalist/Conservative teaching… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“I don’t think their teaching has a place in the Church” That’s as may be, but I don’t think the treaching of +Akinola that a) gay people and those who speak nicely about them should be jailed for 5 years, and b) it is acceptable to compromise the Gospel for the sake of peace and to escape oppression. Now this last is not explicit, but peace with Muslims is trotted out as one of the things that is important to the people of Nigeria, and I don’t doubt it, but compromise of the Gospel is compromise of the Gospel, whether… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

Ford,

APO misses the point raised at the diocesan level. This plan may have avoided moves made by individual parishes, but does not seem to help situations where a diocesan bishop is looking for alternative leadership. The conservative bishops asked for alternative oversight from a primate. Giving one bishop another bishop to provide oversight doesn’t address the question being asked.

L Roberts
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L Roberts

John Richardson you have done nothing to ‘accomodate’ that godly, and conscientious Evangelical, the bishop of Chelmsford.

As for myself I will have no truck with your anti-gay remarks, or misinformation about lesbian and gay people. Or that of the C of E in so far as it has had much to say at all, of a constructive nature.

I do not want any more fighting –but I certainly won’t let you get away with your homophobia with comment.

Why do you protest so much ?

David Abrahams
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David Abrahams

As a member of LGCM and Changing Attitude, I’ll try to answer John Richardson’s question (though I certainly wouldn’t purport to speak for those organisations). I am quite clear in my own mind that I do want people with traditional/conservative views on homosexuality to stay within the Anglican family. I disagree profoundly with those views but I think the way forward on these issues is through loving, prayerful dialogue not through name-calling and threats of expulsion. There are so many issues on which Anglicanism has historically admitted a range of views. Why can’t homosexuality be one of them?

John Richardson
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John Richardson

David Abrahams Thanks for your reply which was to the point. Ford Elms I’m not questioning a current lack of accommodation, I’m seeking to establish the end of the process, which we have clearly not yet reached. Thus, whilst David Abraham’s aspiration may be laudable, I doubt whether it is truly practicable as an abiding solution. You could say we are virtually there already, provided the Traditionalist/Conservatives allow full rein to the views of the ‘others’ (don’t want to use a label that might be rejected, but you know who I mean). However, I do wonder how long a Church… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

David Abrahams said, “There are so many issues on which Anglicanism has historically admitted a range of views. Why can’t homosexuality be one of them?” Can you name another instance where the range of views was so wide and the evidence for one side so stark? Yes, we can debate ideas such as real presence in the elements, pre/post/a-millennialism, the appropriateness of speaking in tongues and even the idea of free will because we see a range of views in Scripture and in church history that fall within what would be considered orthodox teaching. This is the first time in… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

J Richardson we have been accomodating you for a long time.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Chris wrote “This is the first time in history anyone has tried to redefine the fundamental definition of marriage so such a radical degree.” I think that can occur if one takes an inappropriate perspective. I don’t think we are talking about a radical redefition of marriage. We are still talking about committing to a life-long monogamous relationship, with rights and responsibilities of both parties to each other, any dependants and the broader community. What is in question is who will be given access to the privileges and responsibilities of marriage. From that perspective, this is not that radical. It… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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We don’t start with a list of the teachers we want to exclude. We support dialogue and listening and should I and my family ever move to Ugley and take a seat in the parish church we would expect the quiet and enjoyment of that national treasure. We would expect our family to be welcomed and would expect there to be no “victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex”. We would expect to trust that our children return from Sunday school learning to love God and their neighbour with… Read more »

NP
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NP

ok, Martin – but if you found the church was being led by someone who was teaching something unacceptable to you (I won’t say, the church, but unacceptable to you) – would you just accept it and stay anyway? I doubt it. The fact that you may well be comfortable in Ugley relates to that church not departing from CofE teaching / agreed positions. You do not see there a vicar who is also a hindu or teaching some alternative morality to the bible. That is why you may not feel uncomfortable at Ugley….. but there are vicars who make… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“if you found the church was being led by someone who was teaching something unacceptable to you “ Well, first of all, Christ leads the Church, NP. Second, we have no one leader on Earth. There is no Anglican Pope, and I do not wish to see one. What we have is individual dioceses, all independent, each led by a bishop who is no greater nor less than any other bishop. There may be a hierarchy for administrative purposes, but that is a far cry from saying the Anglican Church is led by any one individual. Third, I have been… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

Cheryl, God’s call is certainly inclusive to all and that certainly is radical. But there is a simultaneous process of exclusion. There is nothing about you, me or any other human on earth that would preclude God’s desire for us to accept Christ. But if we don’t accept the free gift of grace we face exclusion. If we don’t respond to God’s call and receive Christ, then we are excluded from the Kingdom. Accepting Christ, who He is (the Son of God) and His work on the cross and resurrection is definitional to being a Christian. It seems Christian faith… Read more »

NP
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NP

Ford – WE are the church and WE (you and me and all in it) are called to judge teaching and behaviour in the church and we are called to guard doctrine closely and avoid false teaching…..you know St Paul was very clear on this (just like on certain other issues!)

WE cannot avoid that responsibility because some people want to redefine 2000 years of Christian teaching on what is a sin because it suits them to do so.

Malcolm+
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Malcolm+

Ford observed: “One in Olympia believes she can be Muslim and Christian.”

Malcolm+ notes: And it isn’t like “liberals” have been rallying to her cause or promoting her perspective. Indeed, if I recall, she has been effectively suspended as she sorts herself out.

But that gets in the way of NP’s “conservative” screed.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

Yes, NP, WE, my point was not YOU individually. And we’re talking doctrine, not people.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Christians with my conscience might find excluding any teacher a little too close to book burning and the like, and I suspect as long as they didn’t want to burn us – we could put up with any pastor who happened to be the parish priest (see above!).
We profoundly dislike taking the family out of the community we live in for worship, school (or shopping!).

NP
Guest
NP

Martin – you say “Christians with my conscience might find excluding any teacher a little too close to book burning”

St Paul would disagree with you – would he not?

Someone else warned us of wolves dressed as sheep – He was not telling us to accomodate wolves, was he?

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“He was not telling us to accomodate wolves”

What’s truly sad is your inability to perceive, much less have any respect for, the fact that it is many of those who you would call holy who are the wolves. Ah, well, little sheep, enjoy your fun, they’ll eat you soon enough.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Chris You asked “If marriage involved a same sex couple can it really fulfill everything marriage is intended?” That has been a conundrum down history. What happens to the marriage that is barren or vexed? Such as the birth of Ishmael to Haggar as Sarah could not conceive from Abraham. Or Leah conceiving 6 of Jacob’s 12 children and him losing his beloved Rachel during the birth of her second son, Benjaman. Or Ruth the Moabite (grandmother of David) raising Boaz’s son Obed with her mother-in-law Naomi from a non-Boaz lineage. If fertility of marriage is so paramount, then why… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“If we don’t respond to God’s call and receive Christ, then we are excluded from the Kingdom.” Really? See, this is an interesting point. Does “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life” mean “And if you don’t accept that I will roast you”? I submit that it doesn’t. It is convenient for many people to believe that it does, because they then get to feel so much better that they won’t roast, but really, is that what it means? Do you seriously think that Mahatma Gandhi is excluded from the Kingdom because he was a Hindu? I mean, come… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ford, Actually, I do think rejection of Christ, no matter how good one’s works are, results in rejection from the Kingdom. If I or Ghandi could work our way into heaven we wouldn’t need Christ and the crucifixion truly would be cosmic child abuse. Gal 16:9. As for hell being hot – I don’t know what hell is like apart from separating one from God. NT writers allude to flame and Jesus speaks of fire, but its difficult to know if this is figurative or literal. Just avoiding flames is no reason to feel good about oneself. I take a… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Cheryl,

Infertility is a great objection. As a husband in a couple w/ fertility issues this is close to home. The thing is, an infertile hetero couple COULD by the grace of God conceive. A same sex couple can not, baring another immaculate conception.

Where SSM can not fulfill a purpose of marriage is as an example of Christ and the church. Many reject this purpose of marriage, but I see it as a wonderful gift God has given us to illustrate His love for us.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Chris: “If I or Ghandi could work our way into heaven we wouldn’t need Christ and the crucifixion truly would be cosmic child abuse. Gal 16:9.” And you know for certain that Christ did not work through Gandhi (let’s spell his name right, OK)? How? Are you so certain of your knowledge of God’s plan that it’s impossible? “As for hell being hot – I don’t know what hell is like apart from separating one from God. NT writers allude to flame and Jesus speaks of fire, but its difficult to know if this is figurative or literal.” I’m always… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Can’t see what any of this has to do with “marriage”. Marriage in the Bible is polygamous. The Church fought this for a Millennium. Nevertheless, there are still vestiges of Polygamy in German Princely Hausgesetz, eg the Princes of Lippe, (the family of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who never was heir to Lippe because his mother was not “ebenbürtig” but a mere Baroness). As late as the 1850ies King Frederik IX of Denmark had both a Spouse (Queen Caroline) and a Wife (Louise Rasmussen, Countess Danner) simultaneously. So this is closer to home than we usually think. Registered Partnerships… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Chris, the word “Gehenna” does not refer to the much later non Christian literary concept of “hell”, known chiefly from such figures as Dante and from the liberal Arts.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… then we are excluded from the Kingdom.”

Well, actually… “kläro-nom-ä-sousin” as in 1 Cor 6:9-11 “… Basileían Teoû kloäronomäsousin” is not in future tense, so it does not mean, or imply, “excluded from the Kingdom”.

It means “take part in” “be party to” – and that is in the present: “already here and now, but not yet”.

The Kingdom is “already here and now, but not yet” the Congregation; and that is the House-Congregation of Paul’s times.

So this is a (much later) mis-reading of Antagonistic Theology.

Not the Lutheran tradition around here.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Justification by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.” I didn’t claim anybody was justified by works. One of the most powerful messages of the Gospel is that God loves us for what we ARE, not for what we do. This has huge inplications. Think of it: he loves the worst serial killing child molestor as much as He does you. That person’s actions grieve Him, just like our sins do, and will have consequences when he “knows as he is known”, but God still loves him, wants his redemption, and it is up to us to seek that.… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ford,

The Kingdom is both the current Church and the future new heaven and Earth. That’s not the real issue here. It appears we’re mostly fumbling to say the same thing in words the other understands than staking out different positions.

What we’re really interrogating is does Christ save all people regardless of faith or is an active faith in Him required? Absolutely, God loves all people where they are and loves us all enough to send Christ in oder to provide means of reconciliation. Further, are those with out active faith part of the Kingdom today or in the future?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“does Christ save all people regardless of faith or is an active faith in Him required? “

More importantly, what right do you have to decide? You should be concerned with your place in the Kingdom, not threatening others with their absence from it. Redemption is through Christ, but I am not about to say that God will turn away from a Godly person who is not a Christian.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ford, your logic fails. Saying God will judge – based on what HE has already told us – is not the same as actually judging people. We clearly read God will judge the world and we clearly hear from Christ’s own words that He is the ONLY way to the Father. If we do not know Christ we do not know the Father. I can state those facts because God has revealed that to us. If I begin to say this person or that person does not know Christ, THEN I am in error. But the former is not the… Read more »