Thinking Anglicans

two views of New Orleans events

Two opinions on New Orleans:

The Tablet has a leader: Fragile compromise:

…Some evangelical bishops in Africa in particular seem keen to impose something akin to provincial uniformity on the American Church, where no deviation from their own hard line regarding homosexuality is permitted and those who ever thought differently are required to repent. But such intransigence is not the Anglican way, and if they push much harder it is they who will be in schism. Dr Williams will have to be as firm with these African bishops recklessly fishing in troubled Episcopalian waters as he has been with the Episcopalian leadership itself.

In the longer term, however, the New Orleans compromise itself looks unstable. The majority of American Anglicans still see discrimination against gay men and women as incompatible with the Gospel, and that includes discrimination against candidates for the priesthood or episcopacy. And they no longer accept the distinction that has helped the Catholic Church handle these tricky issues, between celibate and sexually active homosexuals. So, although a dam has been built, the rising waters may burst through again.

The Anglican Communion has often been a powerful force for good in the world and the cause of Christianity itself would be damaged if it broke up, not least because of the bitterness that would result. Catholics in particular can appreciate the belated realisation in the American Church that unity carries a price that can sometimes be irksome, and a Communion in which every part is entirely free to do whatever it thinks best is not worthy of the name. That acknowledgement now needs to be hammered home and made a central tenet of Anglican identity, not treated as a temporary local compromise to overcome a particular difficulty.

Fr Tony Clavier has a view: A Minor Miracle:

..The bishops go to Lambeth first of all as individuals, individually invited, and only secondly as provincial affiliates. This is a fact both they and the rest of us should stress and take in deadly earnest. They are given the opportunity to seek to shed for a space of time, jurisdictional and ethnic pride and to live into the baptismal promise the American Church constantly trumpets. Each bishop will go to Kent primarily as a baptized Christian, called to exercise episcopacy in a context. That context is both universal and local. As the late Eric Mascall suggested, they are Apostolically incorporated into the College of the Apostles, a rather more important concept than mere “succession.” They are locally appointed to an area in which they serve as proclaimers of the faith and unity of the church…

58
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
58 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
18 Comment authors
Göran Koch-SwahneCheryl Va. CloughMalcolm+Pat O'NeillL Roberts Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
jfm
Guest
jfm

It’s often said that the revisionists have a low view of the authority of Scripture, which is true, but it’s more difficult to debate Scriptural interpretations than it is to expose problems in the area of pure logic. What really offends certain Episcopalians about someone like Archbishop Akinola is that he affirms the falsity of someone else’s viewpoint. It seems to them like the reasonable (and Episcopal) thing to avoid affirming that some viewpoint is simply wrong. They suppose that truth is subjective and, in taking this position, their claiming a dispensation for themselves they they’re refusing to any other… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Nice piece jfm and it nicely highlights what is wrong with imposing one pure interpretation that is meant to apply in all circumstances to all people for all time. If that was the case, then there would be no such thing as other suns (the earth would still be flat) or nuclear energy (matter would still be solid). Clavier wrote “…The bishops go to Lambeth first of all as individuals, individually invited, and only secondly as provincial affiliates. This is a fact both they and the rest of us should stress and take in deadly earnest.” Yes, all should take… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“It’s often said that the revisionists have a low view of the authority of Scripture, which is true”

It’s true that it is often said, but otherwise it is a great calumny.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Since he grants that the opinions of all men are true, then would he not be conceding that his own opinion is false, if he grants that the opinion of those who think he is in error is true?”

Socrates (and you, jfm) apparently never heard of the paradox?

Truth may be objective—(fallen) human *apprehension* of Truth NEVER is.

[Then again, I suppose it would just be easier for me to say “Akinola is OBJECTIVELY WRONG.” And he is. Paradox! ;-/]

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

I’ve never met someone who supported gay rights (including the right to marry or be ordained or anything else heterosexuals can do) who thought there was no distinction between right and wrong…only that gays marrying or being priests or bishops was hardly in the same category as the imperatives of the Ten Commandments.

If anything, they are of the opinion that preventing ANY human being from exercising all his/her options in life–including marriage or ordination–was at least as wrong as not honoring our parents.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Since when has bad manners been “logic”?

;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Further… it seems to me that being honourably mis-taken or over-stepping (amartía) is not at all the same as being dis-honourably mis-taking – but that some can’t tell the one from the other.

Peter of Westminster
Guest
Peter of Westminster

Nicely put, jfm, but doesn’t the adequacy of any objective ethical argument depend upon the adequacy of the objective data that underpins it? In an objective discussion of sexual ethics, for instance, must one include objective scientific data concerning our sexual lives, data adduced only in recent decades, or is reliance upon Scripture alone entirely sufficient for the construction of an objective ethic? Recall that when the Episcopal Church of the short-lived Confederate States of America broke away from the larger American church in 1861, the proponents of schism asserted that Scripture supported the cause of slavery — Roman slaves… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Actually, almost everything jfm states is demonstrably false — I have yet to discover one “revisionist” who does not believe that Akinola’s viewpoint (i.e., his desire to kill gay people) is false (& immoral & evil & just plan wrong).

bls
Guest

jfm is spamming blogs everywhere with that comment, over and over again. I’ve already run into three on which s/he’s posted the same exact thing.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Thanks Peter and others, for summarizing the questions that so many of us have, inquiring into this odd new entity, the realignment equation: Presuppositionalist Christian Beliefs=Objective Truth. That such assumptions and hermeneutic frames begin, by defining empirical data as irrelevant and out of bounds, must surely be one of the strangest operations of this unacknowledged intellectual strategy, which so often claims that it is just perceving and embracing everyday, common sense realities. But – if we now have any common sense realities about queer folks as The Hot Button Realignment Issue – it surely must be that they do as… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

They may go as individuals, but after the effort of meeting the Episcopal Church as a whole through its House of Bishops and through the effort they made to work with the communion, it would be a strange response if individuals were invited or disinvited (as Fulcrum suggested) as this would lead to quite a degree of anger and staying away and even changing the position of The Episcopal Church from one where it is trying to relate itself to a slower Communion.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

bls Sometimes a soul has a “revelation” and is then full of unchecked enthusiasm to share it with as many souls as possible. Surely you have seen a freshly “born again” Christians? A parent encourages their toddlers in their first steps, they don’t taunt them about their lack of coordination or that they fall on their diaper cushioned bottoms. Some of my most delightful moments are watching toddlers who just learnt to jump: at every opportunity they practice jumping, at the bus stop, in the shopping queue, whilst their parent is greeting a neighbor. Their little faces light up with… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

drdanfee says “I claim for the time being: A two-handed hermeneutic holds a much higher and deeper view of the authority of scripture….” I bet you do…..drdanfee – why do you think that might be??? I would quite like to have a justification for storing up lots of wealth…..but I notice there are verses in the bible which say “do not store up wealth”……drdanfee, can you use your 2 handed methods to write me a little get out clause to satisfy my greed? (if you do this well, I will come back to get a sophisticated justification for the odd… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, surely, the point is that you have said on this forum before that you would quite like to be wealthy, although you know it’s wrong. You seem to have no problem living with that contradiction and committing that sin again and again – and I guess from the stories of your business travles that you possibly have more money stored away than Jesus would ever have approved of. Yet, about two thirds of Jesus’ teachings are about wealth and power, so one can assume he considered this to be a pretty important point. Now, why is it that you… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

There are verses in the Bible which say all sorts of silly things, NP. That’s why we need to recognise it as a human production of its time and discard what has been shown to be culturally contained.

Christianity requires revision. Otherwise, as your posts demonstrate, it is little more than an out-of-date rule book for premoderns.

Pluralist
Guest

All you need, NP, is a quick course in the basics of the various critical approaches to the Bible (form, tradition, redaction) and you soon see that the one handed approach to using the Bible won’t last.

NP
Guest
NP

Hello Erika – I was just thinking yesterday that I had not heard from you for a while. Hope all is well.

– the point is that I am not rejecting what the bible teaches just because I am tempted to do so….I do not seek to justify my temptation to be greedy but instead I fight it and repent when I need to do so – not to earn salvation but, as Romans 6 clearly teaches, as an appropriate response to God’s GRACE, we do not excuse sin

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Thanks for responding NP, but I fear you missed the point: Can you speak to how the current preferred realignment conservative method – which even denies that it is an interpretation strategy – positions the alleged high authority it says scripture has in what is actually, functionally a low and vulnerable place. It might help to break this request down further into parts: (1) how does a closed frame as method parameter leave our view of scripture in a low and vulnerable place, just because it has no discerned strategies in its best practices tool kits for two-way discernment between/among… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

JFM said: “It’s often said that the revisionists have a low view of the authority of Scripture.” Malcolm dismisses: The fact that something is “often said” does not make it objectively true. Your little fib here is a good case in point. It is also often said that “blacks are intellectually and morally inferior.” Oddly enought, the fact that it is frequently said likewise does not make it objectively true. All sorts of things “often said” are complete and utter crap. “Jews are money-grubbing and cheap.” “Jews kidnap and kill Christian (and Muslim) children.” “Islam is a terrorist religion.” “Women… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

But, NP, you can’t deny that you’re quite content to repent of your financial sins, without actually changing your life style to become more biblical. Certainly, it’s not so long ago that you mentioned a trip to some foreign country or other, and you have posted here before that you’d quite like to be rich. And HTB is famous for attracting a young, very well off crowd. I have seen the alpha course videos, and they do not spend 2/3rd of the time condemning wealth. Don’t get me wrong – I have no problems with that, but then I’m not… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Welcome back Erika Drdanfee posited two choices to claim interpretation of scriptures infallibility, closed and finalized; or to intentionally seek a best practice range of inquiring hermeneutics that allow us to hold scripture in one hand, plus the empirical data in the other as we carry out our open-ended discernments? I chose the latter when God chose to affirm me in a way that even Dawkins could not deny the corroborations. After the shock of grasping the scale of the game, there was the realization to prove that the God of gods existed, that the God of gods is both… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Erika says – “But, NP, you can’t deny that you’re quite content to repent of your financial sins, without actually changing your life style to become more biblical.” ???? The whole point of repenting is to bring your lifestyle into line with God’s wishes (as we see them in the bible, Erika – and doing this as a response to God’s grace. It is not just saying words…it is turning around, turning away from sin. drdanfee….I am trying to imagine Peter, James and John having a great discussion with you about hermeneutics by the sea of Galilee!! I wonder if,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, “???? The whole point of repenting is to bring your lifestyle into line with God’s wishes (as we see them in the bible, Erika – and doing this as a response to God’s grace. It is not just saying words…it is turning around, turning away from sin.” Excellent! In that case I look forward to you repenting that you ever said you’d like to live in a house like Desmond Tutu, that you would like to be rich, and I look forward to a spate of comments against the accumulation of wealth. I also look forward to you supporting… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Oh, Erika – do you think you have made a strong point?? I have said many times that I fight the temptation of greed…..never that I justify my greed or the materialism found in Western churches. You are off topic and seem to think you are proving something imporant…..you talk as if you have me on record trying to justify being greedy or storing up wealth but you do not. Even if I was like Tutu (talking about poverty but living in an exclusive suburb of Cape Town, where most houses are over $1m), still, two wrongs would not make… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, NP, you still haven’t grasped that we don’t believe that gay relationships are sinful.

And we never will. Just because your religion says its so means nothing, because we don’t believe in fundamentalist religion.

Peter of Westminster
Guest
Peter of Westminster

Oh…sorry. My browser has updated with recent posts, including one by NP.

I’d like a clarification of tone — are some of these posts, including those by NP, angry? Or do you all know each other well enough through your previous posts here and elsewhere that they are best read as merely vigorous? Don’t mean to offend, but I’m puzzled…

NP
Guest
NP

Merseymike – it is not the I say something is a sin…..the CofE says in Lambeth 1.10 that certain behaviours are “contrary to scripture” –

this was approved by a majority of the bishops of the Anglican Communion (not by me!) and would be today again (but of course, the Lambeth Palace politicians would not dare have another vote on it as they know they would lose……and seem to have more influence on the ABC than the Primates or bishops of the AC! Tangled webs being woven south of the river.

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘But such intransigence is not the Anglican way, and if they push much harder it is they who will be in schism’

The Tablet in my experience normally offer wise and considered comment on political and theological matters – often with the benefit of having had an extra dya or two to consider their leader comments. This comment is spot on – and amongst evangelicals so far only Bishop Broadbent in the UK (ie not Fulcrum and certainly not the schismaniac NP tendency) seem aware of the danger.

NP
Guest
NP

Meseymike….I know what you think but I am afraid certain behaviours are “contrary to scripture” as Lambeth 1.10 says (not my resolution but voted for by a majority of CofE bishops and would still be passed today despite your beliefs which are cleary not based on scripture

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

‘…but I am afraid certain behaviours are “contrary to scripture” as Lambeth 1.10 says ‘.

No need to be afraid a moment longer.
Because, there is not a word in the Bible about same gender relationships.

PERIOD

I know this will come as such a relief to you.

(Unless you count David & Jonathon;or Ruth & naomi; or Jesus & his beloved disciple; or Paul & Barnabus, of course)

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

NP wrote “…some try to ignore scripture in order to justify sin – rather than repenting…”

I wonder if this is what Jesus was referring to of the teachers of his time who worried about whether Jesus had acted out the ritual to clean the outside of the cup, whilst leaving their insides filthy and selfish…

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Then you had better inform the CofE, NP, as they do not follow the letter of Lambeth either!

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Peter: this is largely a site for liberals, but NP – a conservative evangelical, posts (very) regularly. The problem is that we know his opinion but he appears frustrated that we have not considered it worth embracing, so repeats the same arguments constantly.

I think that can lead to a little irritation.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, Two wrongs don’t make a right, that’s absolutely true. And I’m pleased that we have established that financial greed is wrong. But why is it financial wrongs that can be tolerated, whereas perceived sexual wrongs that have to split the church? And don’t tell me you’re not tolerating financial greed – I have yet to hear you campaign against it, whereas I’ve listened to you arguing the anti-gay case for months without ceasing. You still have not made a convincing case why financial wrongs, which destroy lives and keep people in poverty all over the world, are less important… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Peter of Westminster “I’d like a clarification of tone — are some of these posts, including those by NP, angry? “ I think some of us are getting exasparated with some people who simply repeat the same arguments instead of engaging in constructive conversations, and who don’t appear to respect their conversation partners at all, and I suppose that exasparation comes through at times. NP has his own style of writing, generally littered with multiple exclamation and question marks (I have yet to work out what they add to the arguments being put). It appears increasingly angry and frustrated, I… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Welcome Peter To add to Erika’s comment There are some who simply post here because they fear that if the “alternative” is not posted they have failed. Their postings become repetitious, and confusing as they have catch phrases that they use across a variety of threads, using question or exclamation marks to portray they are adding emphasis. There is a long term stand-up joke in Australia about one marginalised politician who over relied on the phrase “please explain”. On TA we substitute the phrase “Lambeth 1.10” It means nothing, but they use it as stop gap. Ignore them, the rest… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – I am not angry or frustrated. – I sometimes have to repeat things because the “revisionist” approach so conveniently ignores facts (eg Lambeth 1.10, TWR, Tanzania etc)….. if people just pretend certain things did not happen and certain verses do not exist, I have to ask questions and refer to the facts and relevant verses. Remember, I see God blessing my church richly all the time – and also my own work. I see new Christians coming to faith regularly and growing in maturity and serving so I am quite confident of my position – even if the… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Go along to St. Peter’s Eaton Square NP – not far from HTB and you might find a thriving liberal church preparing to welcome the ABC

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

NP: you don’t have to repeat anything. We heard you the first time. And we don’t agree with you.

Now, how about only contributing when you have something new to say. Otherwise one could be forgiven for thinking that you are merely a troll. You surely realise that none of us are convinced by your opinions?

NP
Guest
NP

Mersey – do you realise the irony of your last post?

You don’t repeat yourself round here?

The AC has listened for a long time but not been persuaded to get rid of Lambeth 1.10 – but you do not advocate that people for it should shut up, do you?

Sorry – MM, I know you would prefer a whining TA which just had posts saying “oh, those conservatives are nasty” and “we are fighting for justice, led by the spirit” but when I see people ignoring verses, facts or agreed AC positions, I will mention it…..

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: “Again, Erika…..crying hypocrisy is not news….we are all hypocrites (see Romans 7). The point is that only some try to ignore scripture in order to justify sin – rather than repenting, some want to make everyone accept their sin but this just ain’ right, especially in the light of God’s grace (see Romans 6)” Might this be the beginning of an Insight? Yes, we are all hypocrites – provisionally at least. But the real point seems to me to be that “some” i n v en t “scripture” in order to say that what others do and don’t… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

NP said: “this was approved by a majority of the bishops of the Anglican Communion (not by me!) and would be today again (but of course, the Lambeth Palace politicians would not dare have another vote on it as they know they would lose……)” Tell the truth, NP. A very significant minority of bishops opposed including that line in the resolution. Of those, some ended up voting for the resolution despite their reservations over the particular clause. They compromised, NP. Of course, my lord of Abuja probably objected to that entire “listening process” thing, but voted for the resolution because… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Gee NP, if we were to go for a quantitative “who is ignoring the most passages in the bible”, I think you would come first amongst all regular TA contributors.

Pluralist
Guest

NP, we know they are there. And a report has just come out saying about Lambeth 1:10…

It is not ignored, it is not Holy Writ, and the Anglican Communion is capable of change, and so we wish to change from such fraught documents.

NP
Guest
NP

Pluralist – you now see TEC HOB claiming to be Windsor Compliant…..TWR affirms Lambeth 1.10 – not because it is holy writ but because it is based on scripture which most in the AC still hold to

NP
Guest
NP

Malcolm – you say “tell the truth” and the fail to show that anything in my statement was not true! Be logical You post: “NP said: “this was approved by a majority of the bishops of the Anglican Communion (not by me!) and would be today again (but of course, the Lambeth Palace politicians would not dare have another vote on it as they know they would lose……)” Tell the truth, NP. A very significant minority of bishops opposed including that line in the resolution. Of those, some ended up voting for the resolution despite their reservations over the particular… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

And yet you fail to acknowledge, NP, that: a) the Lambeth resolution has no juridical standing and merely refects the majority view of the chaps (and a couple of womenfolk) who happened to be present; b) that the Lambeth resolution is far more nuanced than the one-liner you pretend it to be; Finally, NP, I’ve had quite enough of your recurring slander that anyone who disagrees with your narrow and intolerant view of scripture is “ignoring” scripture. That, sir, is a damnable lie and you should stop repeating it. People of goodwill can disagree on what scripture is says regarding… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Church requires 2/3 NP.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

This thread could do with a MJ posting. The bishops do not make a church, plus not all the bishops were present, the US was barred from that meeting. So how can “all” the bishops have agreed when the meeting was “stacked”.

That’s a bit like stating that the breakout conference at Dar Salaam was unanimous, so therefore the main conference was too. Well, it might have been if ABC had not shown hospitality and invited Schori…