Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON: Monday evening

Dave Walker continues to round up the links about GAFCON at the Church Times blog.

Andrew Brown wrote about it, at Comment is free in The Anglican culture wars.

Jonathan Wynne-Jones wrote at the Telegraph that The conservative Church’s desperation to stop the liberal tide could be damaging.

Martin Beckford wrote there also, from Jerusalem, Gafcon: Hardline Anglicans to split church over homosexual clergy.

Iain Baxter’s latest report is below the fold.

Ruth Gledhill has written about him here, in a post with an improbable title.

Who is the “original Greek”? Alexander the Great, Stavros of Easyjet, perhaps the Duke of Edinburgh? by Iain Baxter.

The GAFCON conference is meeting to reaffirm “traditional Anglican teaching”. “We want unity… but not at the cost of re-writing the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend,” reads a passage from the conference introductory booklet – The Way, the Truth and the Life.

The booklet continues:

2.1 While some say that the meaning of Scripture is so complex, and so contested, that it cannot be fixed, we argue that the heart of Scripture is plain, even though some parts are not simple. It is plain enough to call forth our faith and obedience, which together lead us to further understanding of the Bible’s meaning. It is plain enough to be the basis on which we make a stand.

2.2 Another element in this struggle is the distinction that is sometimes made between the main teachings of the Bible and the lesser ones, those that are referred to as adiaphora, meaning ‘things that are indifferent’. According to this view, some doctrinal and moral issues may be put aside because they do not really matter, while others must be affirmed by all. This distinction is seen as essential for the unity of the church, and yet the Bible itself never applies it in this way. And in Anglican tradition adiaphora are primarily matters to do with ceremonies and robes, and not issues concerning doctrine or morality.

This is how any interpretation of the bible that allows for same-sex marriage, divorce, etc, can be rejected because “the heart of Scripture is plain”. Many of the conference participants believe that the bible clearly forbids women teaching, speaking, or being in authority in the Church. Not one woman is addressing the conference as a whole, and only two women are involved in leading a workshop – that on Family and Marriage. The Bishops’ wives have separate meetings. Separate, but certainly not equal.

Earlier today I spoke to one of the GAFCON participants – a young American woman who is about to be ordained. “Clearly, you do not believe that women should remain silent,” I said. “Oh no,” she replied, “You see it’s not nearly so clear if you read it in the original Greek.”

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MJ
MJ
12 years ago

Changing Attitude also reports on further attacks on gays in Nigeria: http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=361

Commentator
Commentator
12 years ago

Am I alone in being ‘unimpressed’ by the Bishop of Rochester, whom Mr Wynne-Jones insists on calling ‘well respected’? He lacked the moral intergrity of the former Dean of Portsmouth who resigned when challenged over an academic qualification he did not have. The Right Reverend Nazir-Ali simply stayed put and weathered the storm. Why doesn’t he follow the same policy now? Attend everything and sit it out.

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

The title of Wynne Jones article was pertinent to this guardian article that has hit the internet
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/23/anglicanism.gayrights1

This passage pretty well sums up what the differences in the core perspectives: “Admittedly, the things that liberals want to do involve blessing gay people or consecrating bishops, whereas the conservative enthusiasm tends more towards genocide. “

cryptogram
cryptogram
12 years ago

I have not been impressed either by my very limited contact with Rochester. At a conference a few years ago he came across as very arrogant, and the content of his lectures was no better than mediocre. I suspect he had been invited as one of the likely runners for Canterbury at the time, and I for one left praying “Lord, not him!” I wonder just how far his disappointment in not getting Canterbury is a motivation for his present activities.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

I see that Rochester has confirmed he will not attend Lambeth. The reasons he gives read like a letter from Fulcrum or a statement by Ephraim Radner for the Anglican Communion Institute. It was quite clear that the majority of the Communion wanted to move positively ahead following the statement of regret from TEC followed by BO33, the Primates sub group and NOLA – yet at each step in the healing process ACI/Fulcrum was muddying the waters, stirring up discontent and expressing something approaching fury that their views were not being followed. I fear Rochester can claim them as support… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

If the heart of the Scripture is simple and clear why can’t GAFCON agree as to the meaning of Our Lords words on marriage and divorce.
That is why all references to Marriage are ionly from the Genesis account!

Interestingluy my year 10 pupils acsked me yesterday, when did the marriage take place in the Garden of Eden?

Don’t they need to work out the meaning of heterosexual Christian marriage before they …….

Treebeard
Treebeard
12 years ago

No ‘Commentator’ you are far from being alone ! I love the comment about an atheist with altzheimers showing us the way. ‘Sometimes it takes an atheist with Alzheimer’s disease to show the Church of England what it ought to be. In an interview at the weekend, Terry Pratchett told the Mail on Sunday that he was “brought up traditionally Church of England, which is to say that while churchgoing did not figure in my family’s plans for the sabbath, practically all the Ten Commandments were obeyed by instinct and a general air of reason, and kindness and decency prevailed.… Read more »

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