Thinking Anglicans

Time for closure in Anglican crisis?

Riazat Butt who is the Religious Affairs correspondent at the Guardian wrote a column for the Church of England Newspaper which has now appeared on Religious Intelligence.

See Time for closure in Anglican crisis?

…Talking is something that Anglicans are good at. But I kind of wish they’d do something else. For at least four years the threat of a schism has been hanging over the communion and people write about walking apart and falling off fences but the key word here is threat. Unless I’m deaf I’ve not heard the crack of a rupture so it leaves me thinking that this much-hyped schism, which by all accounts should have happened months ago, is the longest and slowest break-up in history…

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Marshall Scott
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There used to be a saying: human beings think in years, but the Church thinks in centuries. It is precisely haste to resolution that has brought us to this point.

We find this process painful in inverse proportion to our willingness to listen, to learn from one another, and perhaps discover something new. Some processes, to be pursued carefully and with hope for reconciliation, simply take the time they take. It is haste for “clarity,” for “resolution.” that has allowed a few to elevate issues for discussion to excuses for division.

Pluralist
Guest

It’s quite a shallow piece, really. Timing is everything. The situation is rather like a couple who are in terrible marital difficulties due to their dysfunctional family and, as each week goes by, and the family condition gets ever worse, the counsellor says, “Come back next week?” So even as they plan a life separately, and set things up for a family divided, they keep turning up for the counsellor’s appointment. Long back it used to be thought that if they cast out a troublesome aunt who did things on her own that the couple would stay together. The trouble… Read more »

Ashpenaz
Guest
Ashpenaz

I am a gay man. I fully accept those who think homosexuality is a sin–certainly that has been the traditional understanding. I think that a more scientific understanding of homosexuality as an orienation along with a better understanding of the context of Paul’s letters leads to the possibility of a new way of looking a gay relationships. I understand those who don’t agree, though. I don’t want this controversy to end with everybody happily giving a group hug to everyone gay–I simply want those parishes “whose consciences permit” to be allowed to bless the gay couples in their midst. I… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Absolutely right – it is common sense that two contradictory positions which cannot move will never be reconciled…..unless anyone really thinks the GS or +Duncan or +Rochester or ++Jensen are ever going to agree with Changing Attitude et al……. and they are never going to agree that Lambeth 1.10 is right. So, those who seek to keep the AC club together are not doing anything for real unity (even though that is the noble aim of some like the ABC) but they are merely keeping the club together. 4 years have been wasted with no decisions being made…… all are… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Good on her for not pretending to be “in the know” more than she is. Even better, for showing why being “in the know” doesn’t really mean that much in the real world anyway. Even better, for showing that prejudices and posturings affect Anglicans as much as they do anyone else; and that far less people are interested in them that some “devout” think.

MRG
Guest
MRG

Bring back the old Stephen, I say. This piece is shallow, snippy, sassy, defensive, flippant, and bolshy by turns. It reads like it was written by a thirteen year-old girl – which, looking at Ms Butt’s picture, is quite possibly exactly by whom it was written. It has none of Bates’ quiet irony and measureless, unstated despair. Instead it has a Nike advertising slogan (with “already” tagged on – classic!) and a long whinge about people blaming the media. Well in this case I am going to complain about the media. Grow up, lass, and kindly stop thinking you can… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: you will find, though, that the conservative groups go on splitting, even after this issue has been laid to rest, if it ever is, because what they have is a schismatic mentality. The mentality that says “only my interpretation is right: you cannot stay in communion with me if you disagree” will naturally lead to schism on many issues. We can see already that these conservative groupings have little in common except their dislike of homosexuals, so there won’t be much to keep them together once they have made their split and left the Anglican Church. They are not… Read more »

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

“Good on her for not pretending to be “in the know” more than she is.” It’s a rare pleasure, but for once I wholeheartedly agree with Cheryl Clough. I think Pluralist is wrong to dismiss Ms Butt’s article as “shallow”. To some extent, I presume that she will have to “learn on the job” about forms of Christianity with which she’s unfamiliar, but I certainly found the article a refreshing and lively read.

dmitri
Guest
dmitri

She is right. There isn’t going to be a real schism. Five years after the confirmation of Bishop Robinson we are still in one communion however contentious. The only way real schism can occur is if Global South hardliners break with Canterbury or Canterbury breaks with TEC and Canada. Neither of those things is likely to happen. Instead we will have missionary Anglicans in north America–but we have had that since 2000 and the beginnigs of the AmiA. They will create an alternative. Only when two bodies claim the same property is there real trouble and that’s what we should… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“ABC – stop forcing everyone to stay in an abusive family.” Spot on, NP, though I don’t see that anyone’s forcing you to stick around.

Second time I’ve agreed with you this morning (also in Greed).

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“real unity” We have had real unity for 500 years. What is being sought now by some is uniformity, or worse, conformity, which we have never had. “an abusive family” Abuse as we understand it in relationships involves the systematic dehumanizing and disempowering of the victim. It involves insults, exclusion, verbal and sometimes physical threat, and at times physical harm, even murder. Now who is guilty of insult (“inhuman”), exclusion, verbal threat (we’ll “walk apart”), physical harm (if you don’t think the words of the Right lead to physical harm, think again), and murder (can you deny that we have… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin…. nobody is forcing me to stay around, yes, but I am not leaving while I agree with the 39 articles and Lambeth 1.10 and they still stand….. why leave the AC to people who do not unequivocally support Anglican Communion views? Ford – TECUSA deliberately breaking an agreement made by our Anglican bishops has caused this “tear in the fabric of the Communion”, as you know. TECUSA was begged not to make the tear….it refused, using Griswoldian doublespeak to cover its actions (even though good people like you would have advised it not to go ahead regardless)….. no point… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

For once I totally agree with NP, in terms of outcome.

I am not interested in being part of ‘traditional’ Christianity and want to see a new liberal denomination without malevolent conservative influence.

I hope it will happen. I think it will mean both sides agreeing to divide in a civilised fashion, though.

Steven
Guest
Steven

I find myself agreeing to some degree with both sides here. The article is rather foolish and shallow. There are some processes that take time and should take time. Still, I can’t say that I’m not ready to see an end to the confusion and constant conflict.

Steven

PS-I think the young lady has great promise as a journalist. A little seasoning is all that’s needed, and that will come soon enough. /s

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

NP:

For close to 500 years, the Anglican tradition has accommodated both high and low churchmanship, differing interpretations of the real presence in the Eucharist, and other matters that are far more significance regarding the nature of Christianity.

You’re telling us that differing interpretations as to biblical passages regarding sexuality trump all that?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Ford – TECUSA deliberately breaking an agreement made by our Anglican bishops has caused this “tear in the fabric of the Communion”, as you know.” No, actually, I don’t know this. You keep saying it, but just repeating something doesn’t make it true. This has been going on longer than a few years. The right has consistently ignored Lambeth’s request that the Church talk to gay people. Don’t try to pretend otherwise. The level of ignorance about gay people that exists on the Right proves it. TEC DID listen to Lambeth. They listened and found we were people after all,… Read more »

Andrew Brown
Guest

Riazat is fresh to the job, but she’s not (that) young, naive, nor stupid. She’s hard working and conscientious, trying to get to grips with a situation that makes no sense at all. Of course she’ll have to learn on the job, but we all did once.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

NP, you might do well to read an excellent book by the eminent Roman Catholic NT scholar, Raymond A Brown, The Death of the Messiah, 2 Vols (1993). Read his exegesis on Luke 23:34. Dr. Brown makes the point that the Church has lived with ‘universalism’ and ‘exclusivism’ from early on, especially as one focuses on Jesus’ crucifixion as presented in the Gospel parallels, Matt/Mark and John. Pope Benedict XVI, Eschatologie, makes the same point in relation to “universal salvation” and “double outcome” (either heaven or hell), both of which are biblical. Juergen Moltmann, The Communion of God (1996), makes… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Somebody among us might do well to tell the young lady journalist: The reasons our worldwide Anglican communion is seemingly stuck on the listening and dialogue steps is mostly to do with the realignment conservatives being so deliberate in their blocking of those two customary fire exit doors in historic Anglican life: Closed is the door marked, Agreeing To Disagree, and closed and probably locked is that other door marked, Live And Let Live While Continuing In Common Prayer. The realignment wishes to offer us two new Anglican doors, marked Policing, and above all, Punishment. No matter that our three… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

How to treat non-celibate non-heterosexuality has been discussed for millennia. Which is why there are biblical passages that some are insisting remain in the harshest interpretations of judgment today. They forget that not only have we trusted in Jesus and forgiven adultery (from both the male AND female perpetrators), but we have gone on to allow them to divorce and even to marry and to baptize the children from subsequent marriages, even if the relationship was started in adultery. Humanity and Christianity having already demonstrated the ability to compassionately transmute another “sin” have the ability to do so again. Just… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Riazat Butt does look very young (& I feel quite old), but I do sympathize with her wish that this messy marriage counseling would get on to filing for divorce. Sadly, I suspect that the dysfunctional marriage will continue limp along with increasing misery for all. There is, of course, some consolation in looking at the length of controversies in the early Church (those long periods between councils don’t mean that councils didn’t continue to meet — they just didn’t weren’t generally acceptable & thus didn’t resolve anything — either through reconciliation or division). Pat O’Neill — what drives a… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“How can the Gospel be unambiguous if God is Absolute Mystery? “ Because for them God is not absolute mystery. I made the comment a while ago that God is unknowable, not exactly a contentious point, especially when made, as I did, that He is also knowable in Christ. I mean, this has been apophatic theology for over a millenium. Some consevos fell all over themselves to accuse me of making sime kind of “revisionist” claim, denying the divinity of Christ, the truth of the Gospel, the usual accusations! It was quite funny, really. The idea that the Almighty must,… Read more »

Simon Barrow
Guest

“Grow up, lass”, “thirteen year old”, “young lady journalist”…. *cough*… Boy, we Christians really know how to listen to the voices of those not raised on our internal squabbles, don’t we? To summarise, there seem to be some concerns that Riazat might be young (the termerity of the 20s!), female, non-Christian and relatively untutored in the internecine warfare that gives meaning to so many in the church. “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us, To see ourselves as others see us!”

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Having done as much damage as possible to traditional Anglican leeway, the USA right wing religious movements are yet again also targeting the United Methodist Churches, worldwide. Is the partly successful template for spin, division, and dissention that was used to take aim at TEC and Canada, now shifting to take aim at our UMC brothers and sisters?

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn54quKe8Dg

The IRD is busy, busy, busy, busy.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Thank you Simon Barrow!

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“…..nobody is forcing me to stay around, yes, but I am not leaving while I agree with the 39 articles.” So NP, how would you view the multiple cross-jurisdictional ordinations and consecrations currently being illegally carried out in defiance of Lambeth V.13 and the canons of TEC, in light of Article XXIII – “It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of publick preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully called”? Or the statement in Article XXXVII of “that prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

NP, certainly needs to come off it; but he has been taken in and misled by nut-cases like the often-quoted senior professor of Regent College, BC, who advocates a univocal meaning of Holy Scripture and the Gospels and even attacks Karl Barth as ‘un-orthodox’ and as a stooge of Immanuel Kant

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin – it is very difficult to believe that our Anglican ancestors intended us to not go into an area when false teachers have taken it over…. if you want to pretend they did, maybe you need to “come off it”?

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Fudge, NP! Quit changing the subject. What you mean is that you agree with those of the 39 articles which mean, or can be bent to mean, what you are determined to have them mean. Now, back to your statement that “I agree with the 39 articles” and where therefore you stand on the Global South’s flouting both Article XXIII and a properly passed resolution (V.13, which has the same legitimacy as the precious 1.10) of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Incidentally, I greatly appreciate your arguing that “it is very difficult to believe that our Anglican ancestors intended us not… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… the often-quoted senior professor of Regent College, BC, who advocates a univocal meaning of Holy Scripture and the Gospels and even attacks Karl Barth as ‘un-orthodox’ and as a stooge of Immanuel Kant “

Mad dogs and Englishmen

tra

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la….

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Unless I’m deaf I’ve not heard the crack of a rupture so it leaves me thinking that this much-hyped schism, which by all accounts should have happened months ago… “

There is no “majority” against TEC and Modernity. Period.

There are no more than 6 or 8 maybe 13 Primates, less and less respected…

So, it won’t be.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“when false teachers have taken it over” You know, NP, I do regret that no-one took action when the false teaching of Evangelicalism snuck into the Church. We wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in if we had properly gotten rid of that error. Even you have agreed that we should have druimmed the Evos out when we had the chance. We have nurtured a heretical asp in our bosom. But we tolerated falsehood. The one thing is that, in Anglican history, falsehood doesn’t stick around for long, it goes away then fragments. I expect the same will happen with… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

I’m surprised this got into print. Of course it is naive – but her viewpoint is perfectly valid and no better than any other commentators from outside. Nor worse. She is fed up – and who can blame her? Though I am unsure who the ‘we’ she mentions are meant to be. She needs to be less preachy – though if she were an Anglican, she would at least have the chance of being ordained and able to preach from the pulpit!

NP
Guest
NP

Ford says “You know, NP, I do regret that no-one took action when the false teaching of Evangelicalism snuck into the Church”

Would that be with the 39 articles??

You can make lots of clever points, Ford, but your “clobber verses” cannot be erased from your bible

I still await the positive biblical case for condoing what our Anglican bishops consistently say is “incompatible with scripture” (i.e. sin)
(Rowan Williams says there is nothing positive in the bible to make this positive case…. you really need to make that case if you want to justify any sin)

Prior Aelred
Guest

Re: the question of resolution of the crisis I highly recommend the thoughts of The Anglican Scotist:

http://anglicanscotist.blogspot.com/2007/11/hypotheses-on-schism.html

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I still await the positive biblical case”

I still await your acceptance of the fact that there is more to theology than mindlessly quoting isolated Bible verses that you don’t understand. Even the Devil can quote Scripture, NP.

NP
Guest
NP

Prior – I read it…. and it seems to me the logical conclusion of what it says is that there should be a split as otherwise we have another 5 years of growing internal conflict to cope with…. I know the strategy of giving the AC a fait accompli in 2003 was based on the idea that Anglicans cannot sustain opposition for long… but as the Scotist says, opposition is still growing at the end of 2007 Also, I found the assumptions behind this statement interesting: “The fact there is still–after four years–a shouting match that is getting worse and… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Np wrote: “You can make lots of clever points, Ford, but your “clobber verses” cannot be erased from your bible”

One of these days the “translators” will have to acknowledge publicly that they have misled, and that the CLAIMED verses actually adress a range of different matters, but not the late modern category of homosexuality or the late modern category of “sex”.

Simple as that.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“You can make lots of clever points, Ford, but your “clobber verses” cannot be erased from your bible”

Ford didn’t talk about homosexuality at all in his recent posts.
Can you please take into account that not everyone has sex on their minds all the time? Your obsession with it and your reduction of every post to it is really quite pathological.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I know the strategy of giving the AC a fait accompli in 2003 was based on the idea that Anglicans cannot sustain opposition for long… “ And how do you know this? Perhaps because those who have the most to gain from keeping you afraid of the threat from the horrible heathen have told you this MUST be the strategy of said “heathen”? “evo megachurhes” And you consider the growth of these things to be a good thing? Maybe it’s a language thing, but here, “megachurch” refers to a huge complex often with shops, restaurants, and all other kinds of… Read more »