Thinking Anglicans

Peter Jensen's opinion on New Orleans etc.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has written The Next Twenty Years for Anglican Christians.

…Uncertainty is now over. The decisive moments have passed. Irreversible actions have occurred. The time has come for sustained thought about a different future. The Anglican Communion will never be the same again. The Windsor process has failed, largely because it refused to grapple with the key issue of the truth. A new and more biblical vision is required to help biblically faithful Anglican churches survive and grow in the contemporary world.

Some have still set their hopes on the Lambeth Conference. But that is to misunderstand the significance of our time. It can no longer either unify Anglicanism or speak with authority. The invitations have gone to virtually all, and it is likely that some of those not invited will still attend as guests. There are faithful Anglican bishops who are not invited, and there are others who cannot be present in good conscience. The solemn words of the 1998 Conference were ignored by the American Church in 2003, and any authority which we may have ascribed to the deliberations of the Bishops has been lost permanently. Not surprisingly, Lambeth 2008 is not going to attempt a similar exercise in conciliar pronouncements. Why would it? There is no vision here….

… That leads to this fundamental conclusion. Those who believe that the American development is wrong must also plan for the next decades, not the next few months. There is every reason to think that the Western view of sexuality will eventually permeate other parts of the world. After all, it has done so spectacularly in the West, and the modern communication revolution has opened the way for everyone to be aware of what happens in New York, London, San Francisco and Brighton.

Thus the question before the biblically orthodox in the Communion is this: what new vision of the Anglican Communion should we embrace? Where should it be in the next twenty years? How can we ensure that the word of God rules our lives? How are we going to guard ourselves effectively against the sexual agenda of the West and begin to turn back the tide of Western liberalism? What theological education must we have? How can we now best network with each other? Who is going to care for Episcopalians in other western provinces who are going to be objecting to the official acceptance of non-biblical practices? The need for high level discussion of these issues is urgent.

As an initial step I look to the Global South leadership to call for another ‘Blast of the Trumpet.’ The ensuing consultation must start with the reality of where we are now, and look steadfastly to a future in which the bonds of Communion have been permanently loosened. It has to strengthen the fellowship by which churches will help each other to guard their theological good health while engaging together with the task of preaching the gospel to an unbelieving world…

Read it all.

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Mike Homfray
Mike Homfray
13 years ago

Hilarious – Western liberalism is something I want to spread, not ‘turn back the tide of’

No wonder so few people in Sydney, a great liberal, gay-friendly city, go to church.

This is a clear sign of a split: here, the Fuhrer has certainly spoken. ‘Permanently loosened’ is an interesting way of saying ‘split’

Tim
Tim
13 years ago

`others cannot be present in good conscience’

Who are those, then? It surely doesn’t refer to the Global South, because after all, scriptural injunction is that if you perceive sin happening, you first go and tackle the potential offenders; the alternative, used rarely, is to dissociate altogether, and yet they’re still claiming to be in the Communion.

Francisjon
Francisjon
13 years ago

I note the Archbishop of Sydney’s statement: “modern communication revolution has opened the way for everyone to be aware of what happens in New York, London, San Francisco and Brighton.”

He clearly doesn’t know what’s going on in his own backyard…

NP
NP
13 years ago

Not surprising….but for those will attack his views now, please remember that Jensen, Reform etc are all people who could have left decades ago but did not because they love the Anglican church and want it to use its reason to stay faithful to its own scriptures and tradition.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“There is every reason to think that the Western view of sexuality will eventually permeate other parts of the world. After all, it has done so spectacularly in the West, and the modern communication revolution has opened the way for everyone to be aware of what happens in New York, London, San Francisco and Brighton.”

And it never occurs to +Jensen that this might be the work of the Spirit, does it? Because the Spirit couldn’t possibly disagree with his view of things, could it?

Pluralist
13 years ago

Looks like the one we’ve been waiting for. Mr Schism has spoken. Not only that, but the inclusive view of sexuality will get everywhere – and his Church, along with the Global South blasting the trumpet (is that really the noise I can hear?) is going to put up the shutters and raise the gate, once separately organised.

Bye bye!

NP
NP
13 years ago

Pat – no, it does not occur to many people that the sins of western societies is the work of the Holy Spirit…..especially since He had a lot to do with giving us God’s word and what you want to justify is, therefore, clearly not in step with the Spirit (Dr Jensen is not African……he does hold a pHD and is a very intelligent, warm, humble human being – just fyi, in case it helps some to put their prejudices away and read what he has actually said about what has happened in the AC in the last 4 years… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Hi Pat O’Neill

The Spirit might do whatever the Spirit liked. But: (a) why should the Spirit say contradictory things in different ages? and (b) why does the Spirit in your view just so happen to be following contemporary secular culture? That is not what the Spirit is generally known for doing, is it?

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

No Pluralist — I think you’ll find it’s a dog whistle.

But we are not, in fact, dogs.

M.R.G.
M.R.G.
13 years ago

“…people who could have left decades ago but did not because they love the Anglican church and want it to use its reason to stay faithful to its own scriptures and tradition.”

Ah, yes. The old two-legged stool, NP. Perhaps that’s why Jensen sounds increasingly unbalanced.

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Hi Mike Homfray-

I’m so glad you want to ‘spread’ Western liberalism. This is also something close to my own heart.

For too long there have been too few divorces, and not nearly enough abortions. Family life is dangerously strong, and as a result crime rates are pitifully low. Steps must be taken to reverse this.

Will you unite with me to form an Evil, Be Thou My Good society? That should do the trick.

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

Jensen’s got traditions, NP, but they’re hardly Anglican. As for Reform…..

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

I feel like a divorce lawyer who half way through a heavily contested case suddenly discovers his client’s husband has written an article entitled “Why I enjoy beating my wife”.

John Robison
13 years ago

Why do we care? The man is, lets face it, not even a Congragationalist in his ecclesiology since even they think that the Sarcements should be administered by someone who is Ordained. If there is anyone “invnting a new religion” and not taking “scripture seriously” it is Jenkens and the rest of the fudamentalist heritics who do not. To abandon the dynamic Three Fold form of the Word and replace it with the dead stone of literalism and superstition is probably the worst crime committed by the Jensenites. The violation of the ancient principals of Church found in the ordering… Read more »

Bob in SW PA
Bob in SW PA
13 years ago

Seems Jensen likes trumpets. To bad no one in Sydney is listening. Maybe it requires more than a lot of hot air?

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Good point, Francisjon – its estimated that Sydney is the city with the highest % gay population, worldwide!

And, NP, the reason they didn’t leave is simply because of power and prestige. There’s not an ounce of credibility in any of them. Now, go, and shut the door behind you – we don’t like the smell of naked ambition.

RudigerVT
RudigerVT
13 years ago

“A new and more biblical vision…”

New *and* more biblical?

That’s a neat turn of phrase from one who appears to want to sell some old-time religion.

LPR

John Omani
John Omani
13 years ago

NP says: ‘ Jensen, Reform etc are all people who could have left decades ago but did not because they love the Anglican church and want it to use its reason to stay faithful to its own scriptures and tradition.’ Nonsense. They are not in the least faithful to the tradition of mainstream Anglicanism which is latitudinarian and broad in its theology, but stand in the tradition of the sectaries of the English Civil War. They should have left decades ago, but because they love the wealth, trappings, and power of the Anglican church they want to wrestle as much… Read more »

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

Christopher, I don’t think you want to go there regarding divorce, since, at least here in the states, quite a few leaders of the so-called “orthodox” are enthusiastic practitioners of serial polygamy.

One of them, a man so pure he pulled his parish out of TEC rather than risk being contaminated, likes to tell his congregation that his most recent marriage represents God giving him “a second chance.”

Interestingly, this is the guy the Network put in charge of their campaign to “preserve the sanctity of marriage.”

NP
NP
13 years ago

Merseymike – what prestige and power – in the CofE?? And you do know that for all your whining about society’s values, the powerful and prestigious churches in the CofE are evangelical – that is those which attract lots of people from the wider society every week and do not depend on things like the proceeds of selling burial grounds etc for funds to employ the sort of vicar you like to hear say he/she really does not know what the bible means……

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Hmm these claims of a conservative appeal to reason seem strange and odd. Are we suddenly going to discuss and argue these hot button matters, rationally? With full reference to hypothesis testing and sound descriptive empirical data? What a hoot. But I think in the long run we shall only find that this narrative sounds like it is appealing to rational scholarship and hermeneutics, while it persists in its other presuppositions about reason – that is, something rationalistic on the plain surfaces while importing antigay prejudices and – above all – the right to put up barriers between citizen queer… Read more »

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

Martin Reynolds on Monday, 8 October 2007 at 1:42pm BST

How very droll — Martin, you’ve outdone yourself!

sueg
sueg
13 years ago

“How can we ensure that the word of God rules our lives? “
And which words would that be? Hope I get to choose them!

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
13 years ago

The so-called “western” view on sexuality may or may not have anything to do with the Holy Spirit. I hope that the erroneous statements in Scripture concerning sexuality do not stem from the Holy Spirit, but human fallibility. I can assure you that contrary to Hebrews 7:9-10, Levi was not “in his father’s loins” when he met Melchizedek. There is no more reason to rely on Genesis for guidance on human sexuality than we do for cosmology. The locus of morality is not the genitalia, but the heart. That is not a “western” view — in fact, it represents the… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

liberalism is in the eye of the beholder. Archbishop Jensen permits women to be ordained deacon and to preach. A no no for some conservatives.He rebuked his more radical brother, the Dean of Sydney, when the Latter spoke out about women preaching. Sydney diocese is very liberal on re-marriage and divorce. Also Sydney does not condemn contraception as the Anglican Communion did until 1930. Furthermore Sydney will be moving on lay celebration after Lambeth 2008. No doubt Sydney could be in as much hot water as TEC. However they feel it wiser to wait until 2009. However Archbishop Jensen has… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

NP and Christopher Shell:

You both operate on the assumption (I might almost say “presumption”) that the authors of those ancient scriptures properly understood what the Spirit was telling them and recorded it without error.

I am not so presumptuous. I assume that the Spirit would not want us to take moral positions that so clearly contradict the scientific reality of the world.

Andrew
Andrew
13 years ago

Do I understand that Sydney is the same diocese that advocates lay presidency? What kind of Anglicanism is that?

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

My Lord of Sydney: “What will happen if British Anglicans follow this route?”

Anyone else notice the explicit threat to attempt a comparable coup d’eglise against the Church of England?

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Thanks Rudiger for picking up on that passage. I wanted to give it special mention too “A new and more biblical vision is required…” What happened to the solo scriptural authoritative interpretation that has been valid for over 2000 years? What, there really is a trinity with three discrete entities that actually talk and collaborate with each other and are not all one subsumed personality? Or does Jesus have schizophrenia??? The man who died and resurrected himself – so there was no grace of God the Father, so his sacrifice was for nothing? That explains why we are all still… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

NP; in this country, the CofE retains a modicum of prestige and respectability – quite unlike the many fringe fundie/charismatic churches which are regarded by most ordinary people as fringe cults.

The only reason that the cons-evos haven’t joined them is the kudos of establishment.

Andrew
Andrew
13 years ago

Do I understand that Sydney is the same diocese that advocates lay presidency? What kind of Anglicanism is that?

MG
MG
13 years ago

Where do all the various comments on the lack of church attenders in Sydney come from? I would be interested to know given the Sydney diocese is the only one growing in Australia; the only one with new parishes opening; and the only one with a influx of young enthusiastic new trainees for the priesthood. Perhaps you have mistaken it for Queensland — where churches are closing faster than you can blink; or Melbourne — where the average church is so small it can’t afford to have a full time vicar. But of course, those are the “prophetic” part of… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
13 years ago

Look, charity, decency and honesty would dictate that we regard Bp Jensen as being in good faith. He has, after all, the letter of Scripture and 2000 years of tradition on his side.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Pat says “You both operate on the assumption (I might almost say “presumption”) that the authors of those ancient scriptures properly understood what the Spirit was telling them and recorded it without error.I am not so presumptuous.”

Course you are not……why might that be, Pat?
Trying to justify any sin in particular??

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Hi Pat O’Neill-

Is there anything you disagree with teh Spirit about? Or does the Spirit agree with you about everything? Are there any respects in which the Spirit is not a 21st century western liberal?

I am reminded of the Dictionary of Christian Biography around 100 years ago which had an entry for the Holy Spirit. Who is, after all, a very distinguished (Victorian/Edwardian) gentleman.

Also of the lady who asked me the other day for a little box to contain the Holy Ghost. I think (hope) she meant the Host.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

No, NP, no one here is trying to justify any sin. We have told you that many, many times, but you don’t appear to be hearing the answer.

Which just might suggest that you are a troll.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

MG: why, then, does Sydney remain a thriving, liberal , gay-friendly city with the estimated highest gay population in the world %-wise? Forming little ghettoes of the disaffected is relatively easy. But they operate almost without making any impact at all on the society in which they exist – characteristic of postmodern society, which is ever more fragmented if your vision is to simply mop up those who prefer the way things used to be in a conservative holy huddle, then Sydney is doing its job. But in terms of reaching the wider population in Sydney – forget it. Think… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Merseymike….you are dreaming if you think the hundreds of pathetic, declining CofE churches have any prestige in England….. my colleagus laugh at the Vicar of Dibley and think churches just contain small groups of misfits and (worst of all) that the CofE has nothinng much to say on moral issues. (note, Rowan Williams did not do much vs the Iraq war, did he?) My non-church friends and colleagues are surprised when they come to my church and find hundreds of young people (many of whom are really quite normal Londoners!) Omani – so you argue that the vicars who have… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

NP and Chris:

I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s comment when a Union general told him that assuredly God was on their side. Lincoln responded, “Sir, I think we should pray, rather, that we are on God’s side.”

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

NP; its the institution of the Established Church which does still have some clout, as far as the State is concerned. Certainly far more than, say, independent charismatic churches.

The people who are regarded with derision, NP, are the evangelicals – and if you don’t recognise that, it shows how out of touch you are.

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Hi JPM-

That confirmes my worst fears about TEC. If you wanted to find someone who could perceive the full horror of divorce, you would not go to a divorcee – because they would be in danger of being jaded or seared – just as doctors are the very ones who can get most blase about abortion. You would probably go to a child.

No wonder TEC are blind to the sin they are welcoming through their front door. Their antennae are broken.

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

I do not think CS can validly impute the abortion statistics to us lesbian & gay folk. — I know we tend to take the fall for many things—we shall have to leave this one,squarely in the court of the heterosexual majority, who afterall, make the laws and regulations; and who by & large ‘produce’ unwanted pregnancies, in spades.

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts
13 years ago

NP – “my colleagus (sic) laugh at the Vicar of Dibley” – disturbing NP, very very disturbing 😉

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

If Archbishop Jensen was the bad man so many want to make him out to be…he would have not have delayed allowing lay presidency until after Lambeth 2008. Furthermore I forgot to mention he has spoken up for the Aboringine population and has done mucgh to build up relationships in the multi-ethnic communituies of Sydney. He diasagrees profoundly with the Catholic Church, but maintains friendly relations with Cardinal Pell and attended his episcopal installation, withdrawing when the Mass began. I repeat, Archbishop Jensen is not a bigot, but a man who has sought to serve his Saviour all his life,… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts
13 years ago

NP – It beggars belief that you’d take up arms with the Archbishop of Sydney in all his Lollardy just to further your one item agenda.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” **never** works – as proven in Iran (against Iraq), Afghanistan (against the USSR) and as will prove to be true with Duncan et al.

Unlike many on this forum, I don’t relish a split, when any side leaves the table the defeat (and blame) are shared equally.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Sydney diocese is very liberal on re-marriage and divorce.” Which therefor gives them oh so much room to claim that others are trying to bless sin. Tell me, why is it that heterosexual sin doesn’t count? Why is it OK to come up with elaborate justification for divorce and remarriage, but completely unacceptable to do the same for gay marriage? Why are we only allowed to fudge away heterosexual sin? NP, “the powerful and prestigious churches in the CofE are evangelical” Now, what do I remember some ancient Jew saying about lording one’s power and prestige over others? Something about… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Nice to have you back, Ford. Firstly, Sydney is not actually very liberal on divorce and remarriage so you can bin that one. They are very consistent in applying the same biblical teaching to heteros (ie only in marriage) Pls read this book by Philip Jensen: http://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/pure-sex-sex_137/ Secondly, do see the context of my comments above – I was replying to a ridiculous post from the secularist Merseymike which said evos stayed in the CofE for “prestige” and power etc….this is why I was addressing those points. And, sorry, when I see a non-gospel emptying churches decade after decade I… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

VGR’s comments today show that ++Jensen is right on the TEC HOB statement not being as positive as the JSC has tried (and failed) to pretend

NP
NP
13 years ago

merseymike – I do listen to you asserting that your sin is not a sin…but I cannot agree with your contradicting the bible. Got it?

Also, I have told you many times that I do not buy your assertion that evangelicals turn people off…because thousands have become Christians in my church and you, no doubt, have not seen such blessing from God – not many from UK society flocking to sit next to you and believe nothing inconvenient on a Sunday, are there?

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“If you wanted to find someone who could perceive the full horror of divorce, you would not go to a divorcee” This is the most bizarre statement I’ve ever heard. I had no concept of the full horror of divorce until I went through it myself. But it does fit the kind of mind who believes that everything victims say is emotionally tainted and that the only statements worth hearing are purely “logical” ones, devoid of any actual emotional experience and impact. You can, of course, shut yourself off from what real people say about real divorces, abortions and other… Read more »

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