Thinking Anglicans

pre-Lambeth newspaper roundup

Updated Sunday lunchtime

The Associated Press reports that Pope prays for end to rifts in Anglican church.

The Telegraph has several articles:
Jonathan Wynne-Jones writes Church of England should appoint Britain’s first gay bishop, says Archbishop of Wales and
US gay cleric Gene Robinson ‘received death threats’ from England and also
Dr Rowan Williams’ Anglican power to be tested at Lambeth Conference
and the Telegraph’s list of the 50 most influential figures in the Anglican church (sic) starts here
while George Pitcher writes Dr Rowan Williams: Robust in the face of torment.

The Independent has Gay bishop defies his Lambeth Conference ban.

Theo Hobson wrote in The Tablet It’s good to talk:

The average family gathering relies on certain truths being left unspoken, carefully skirted around. As the bishops and their spouses travel to Canterbury for this decade’s Lambeth Conference, which begins on Wednesday, they resemble members of a large family congregating for a wedding. All are uneasily aware that at the last such event something went wrong: things were said that should not have been said, and a row ignited that has resulted in one branch of the family staying away. Should they try to return to the old friendly atmosphere, or has a new spirit of brutal honesty made that impossible?

Until recently, few British Anglicans gave much thought to the Lambeth Conference, which (in theory) brings all Anglican bishops together once a decade. It was a reminder that Anglicanism was thriving in the colonies and former colonies. It was an insight into the exotic issues that faced native evangelists in sunnier climes. It was a way of discovering what help they needed in spreading Canterbury’s light through the globe…

The Observer has The gospel on being gay.

The BBC has Gay bishop will preach in London.

Updates at lunchtime

The BBC has more reports: Archbishop’s gay ordination offer and Archbishop’s position ‘untenable’ (these two articles refer to different archbishops) and also Bishop supports gay row boycott (this is not an English bishop).

The Press Association has Gay bishop calls decision a mistake and Gay bishop to deliver UK sermon.

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Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“the Church should select people on their ability” Much as I agree with Bp. Morgan on some things, he’s wrong on this one. God chooses people on their abilities, we just try to understand what He’s asking us to do. “There should be a backlash against this fundamentalism that has been thrust upon us.” Aboslutely, definitely, long overdue! “it has become necessary for traditional Anglicans to rally together in defense of orthodox teaching,” he said.” But, Fr. Thomas, GAFCON proved what you are defending cannot in any way be called orthodox. Besides, most of what you believe to be Christianity… Read more »

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

Gene Robinson, quite simply, has been a disaster for the Episcopalian denomination. Unlike other denominations, it was growing through the early 2000’s. VGR turned that around and in a short time, it went from gaining to the fastest declining. And that was last year. This year will be much worse with whole dioceses leaving and the national church spending millions to sue them. Now the CoE is much less healthy. And yet some want introduce the parasite of “inclusivity” into it’s ranks. “Inclusivity” is a lie, of course. Witness how exclusive they are with Anglo-catholics. No, it is political agenda… Read more »

Paul
Paul
13 years ago

Morgan’s comments show the confidence of “liberals” following the CofE synod vote…..clearly people see an opportunity to push for their “liberal” views and exclude those who disagree.

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

I wouldn’t get too confident, robroy, regarding the growth and popularity of Conservative Evangelicalism. Christine Wicker has a few pertinent things to point out regarding American Evangelicalism: http://www.christinewicker.com/?p=25 The 25 percent of Americans who say they are evangelicals don’t go to church as evangelicals are expected to, don’t act as evangelicals are expected to, and don’t believe as evangelicals are expected to. So are they evangelicals? No. Not in any way that would justify their dominance in national discussions of ethical and moral values. Other Christians (67 percent of the population) outnumber traditionalist evangelicals (12.7) by more than five to… Read more »

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

(continued) Southern Baptists are by far the largest evangelical denomination and the largest group of Protestants in the country. The following statistics came from them. * Their rate of growth has been falling since the 1950s. (SBC researcher Thom Rainer has put out a graph that shows a diagonal line going straight down.) This means they haven’t resurged at all. They’ve grown but less each year. Try to sell that kind of performance on Wall Street. * Southern Baptists say they more than 16 million members, but more than five million of them (some say 8 million) don’t live in… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

I disagree with Archbishop Morgan’s theology, but what a refreshing man, honestly answering the question and not giving a politician’s answer…or a Rowan , “yes it’s a no type anwer.”

P>S>…Stand firm are speculating will Martyn Reynolds be the first gay assistant bishop of Llandaff!

I also loved hearing Bishop Burnham on Sunday affirming Papal infalibility..yet recently a teaching document from Rome cited Apostolicae Curae as an infallible document.

I was also impressed by the women bishops interviewed.

His attitude to conversion I felt miriored that of the rich young man in Gospel.

pete
pete
13 years ago

Duncan, Akinola, Iker, Minns, GAGCON and the entire neo-Puritan movement that has driven this rebellion are the last burst of energy before a star goes dormant. These people are desperately clinging to the nostalgia of the 1950s church as they enter their “golden years,” funded by neo-conservatives like IRD in the US who want to purify the cult. In other words, 10 years from now they will all be a bad memory and an footnote in the history of the church. The evil they have thrust upon us is to have sidetracked us from talking about the important things: How… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Well so far as robroys comments that VGR is single handedly bringing new growth in Anglican church life to a screeching halt – I think another alternative view of the attendance/growth facts is quite possible. If I put myself in any outsiders shoes – not too difficult, actually, since I am consistently and categorically placed outside by every single conservative and realignment preachment that has gotten posted since VGRs election/consecration as the believer-based called-discerned bishop of his diocese – I immediate face two reservations. One, I immediately realize that it is not as safe among the Anglicans as I might… Read more »

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

I think +Nzimbi of Kenya needs to learn the meaning of the word ‘hypocrisy’: Rebel Zimbabwe bishop claims support of Gafcon constituency http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=2296 “Questioned as to their relationship to Dr Kunonga by ReligiousIntelligence.com, the Archbishops of Kenya and Uganda said that though Dr Kunonga had sought their support, they had told him to work within the structures of the Province of Central Africa. “The Bishop of Harare came to see us about this request” for Harare to join the Church of Kenya , Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said. But he was told “ Harare belongs to Central Africa .” It was… Read more »

Richard
Richard
13 years ago

One wonders why there is such an intense fascination with other people’s sex lives. The amount of in your face sexuality in the movies, on TV, and in the church just boggles the mind, it is indeed a sickness. With so many more important things for the church to concern itself with, one wonders what is wrong with the people who care so much about this issue. I for one have no particular interest in my neighbors sexual habits as long as whatever transpires is done in the privacy one’s own home and that no minor children or animals are… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

robroy, for the love and honour of God, do you ever speak to the thousands of people around you who not only would not call themselves Christians, but have a strong dislike for the Church and consider the word “Christian” an insult? I have. Most of my friends and acquaintances can more or less be described that way. Every single one of them, EVERY SINGLE ONE, cites the kind of angry, hateful judgementalism exhibited by many conservatives. I have never heard anyone, NOT ONE, say they don’t like Christianity because it is too liberal. Maybe on your planet liberalism is… Read more »

Paul R
Paul R
13 years ago

Bishop Harold Millar [Down and Connor] (See above link “Bishop supports gay row boycott (this is not an English bishop)” is the Chairman of an Evangelical summer camp called, appropriately, “Summer Madness”. On the positive side – he is the only Church of Ireland bishop threatening to boycott.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, I do not know what circles you move in, no doubt there are some people who simply look for approval, that is equated with “the gospel” (how could anything else be good news?). And it is quite possible to speak simply in condemnation and some do (on all sides of this!). But as one non-Christian reflecting on this said on this list not long ago, he is looking for a church that identifies with the gospel and still stands for something. That is true for many people. I think Ephraim Radner on the Covenant site (also at Fulcrum) has… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“But as one non-Christian reflecting on this said on this list not long ago, he is looking for a church that identifies with the gospel and still stands for something.”

Yes, but is that something to stand for bigotry?

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

‘Standing for something’ is meaningless: standing for what you believe in, Ben, is not to be commended. It is to be resolutely opposed.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“no doubt there are some people who simply look for approval” Get over yourself, Ben, they don’t want your approval. If you approved of them they’d probably change their behaviour. For them, Christians are a bunch of hypocrites who feel they have the right to force the rest of society to do what they consider moral, while sneaking around and doing God knows what when no-one’s watching. We shelter sexual predators, then spend decades in court trying to avoid paying compensation to our victims. We steal children, brainwash and beat them into believing their native culture is shameful, even forcing… Read more »

GoSane
GoSane
13 years ago

“I like your Christ.
I do not like your Christians. . .
They are so unlike your Christ.”
–Ghandi

Bob in SW PA
Bob in SW PA
13 years ago

Pete, I have to agree with you. I think the Duncan’s of the world and the free love, now saved are declining.

Ford, I’m sorta starting to feel the way the people around you feel, over Christianity.
I live in the diocese of Pittsburgh where if you don’t hear it from the Assembly of God you get it from your own church. It’s just hateful and it makes Christianity very unattractive.

robroy
robroy
13 years ago

I suppose that MJ is not accustomed to reading research papers. Poor Ms Wicker and poorer those who are duped by her “statistics.” She asks whether the evangelicals are growing but never answers that simple question. Instead, she asks and answers various red herrings. For example, she states the rate of increase is slowing. Of course, that means the numbers are still INCREASING. She states the percentage of evangelicals has gone down since 1900 (that goes back quite a ways doesn’t it!). Well, in the past century we have had quite a bit of immigration from Latin America so the… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

How very nice that we have Ben and Robroy to tell us what the unchurched REALLY think.

Of course, any reliable study of hat the unchurched REALLY think shows that they find our churches to be hostile, judgemental and hypocritical, tied to right-wing politics and cetera.

Oddly, they don’t seem to be staying away because of liberal tolerance, but, at least in part, because of “conservative” intolerance.

That’s what objective research shows.

I now stand by for Robroy to make up some new stats.

john
john
13 years ago

Ford,

I don’t think conservatives generally are self-hating nor even – many of them – homophobic. What they are is: anxious. They’re afraid that any and every modification/development/call it what you will of the bible risks deconstructing the whole thing. In a way, they’re right. If Paul was wrong about homosexuality (and it seems to me that’s the challenge – I don’t think what he says can be sanitised), then maybe he was wrong about things that matter. Etc. But that’s the risk.

Best.

Dion
Dion
13 years ago

Small correction: Harold Down and Dromore is Bishop of Down and Dromore, not Connor and Down, which is the bishopric of the Roman Catholic Church.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
13 years ago

“So what has happened to Dr Williams? There is a sense that he has thrown caution to the winds and is now saying what he thinks, rather than what he thinks serves unity. Maybe he has nothing to lose ahead of not just the greatest challenge of his career, but the greatest challenge for the post-Reformation Church.” If this is true, I think it may be a blessing for us all. Freedom = nothing to lose. And a lot to gain. “Those from Africa who seek to prescribe the “true” Christian faith, because only their revelation and interpretation of scripture… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford,

So you have spoken to “thousands of people” (everyone of them” you said) about this have you?
This smacks of the same exxageration in the rest of the post!

You go on about “we do this and we do that …” who actually did what? Minimising what happened is one way to miss thinking and doing justice and exxagerating (and distorting) who is involved and what happened is simply another way to miss the path of justice. If you will stop the rant and talk to the point I will be happy to respond.

Ben W

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Malcolm,

Beyond the contempt it might actually be useful the engage the issue.

If you read what I said to Ford you see that in context I recognize he has a point (many people speak simply in condemnation). The fact is there is more to it and robroy helps to say it. Is there an “allergy” to truth on this list?

Ben W

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Pat,

Are you saying the person I referenced was simply speaking as a “bigot?”

A good way to detect bigotry might be to see whether people are prepared to deal with the real questions or is the charge of bigotry simply an evasion? (who are the real bigots?).

Ben W

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

People are prepared to deal with the real questions, Ben. Christian homophobia. Like yours. There really is no room for ‘compromise’ which brands your view as anything other than the unacceptable anti-gay crusade it is and always has been.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

Ben, I said there are thousands of people around us who hate the Church. Speak to any of them. Watch the depiction of Christianity on TV or in movies. Listen to a comedian. You will see and hear the same stereotype over and over. You can turn a blind eye to it if you like, but you won’t make it go away. As to what “we” did, I direct you to the following brief list: witch burning complicity with European colonialists in the destruction of colonized cultures (and you really need to read about the residential schools scandal in Canada)… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

No, Ben, I’m saying that there are many things an organization can “stand for”…and, in regarding to the presenting question, the only thing those opposed to full gay inclusion in the church and its life are standing for is unbridled prejudice.

Just because you “stand for” something doesn’t mean you support the right things. And an unbudging stance on some issues simply means you aren’t listening to the arguments on the other side.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Pat,

You say: “the only thing those opposed to full gay inclusion in the church and its life are standing for is unbridled prejudice.” What is this? “Unbridled prejudice?”

You do not touch the thoughtful response the person made that I referenced. You can chase rabbits if you want to but that will not advance the conversation.

Ben W

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, One can always generalize (and there is often some truth in it and there is in what you say. I have said so), the problem is most generalizations examined closely are wrong. As a generalization you are wrong about the movies (Walden Productions is only one major player among others and seeks to represent abiding values etc). Take the first one “witch burning,” no one I know has been doing that or any of my ancestors! Your generalization therefore is not only false it ends up as unjust. Or American evangelcals, where does Jim Wallis, Ron Sider, (or in… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

As to standing for something, we used to have a thing we said at Mass every Sunday. We called Our Lord’s Summary of the Law. I think it’s a pretty good thing to stand for. And something else occurs to me, Ben. You speak dismissively of people looking for approval. What’s wrong with giving them approval? Jesus did, after all. He certainly approved St. Photini, offering her Living Water and telling het to go tell her fellow Samaritans the Good News. People make reference to the woman taken in adultery. He said two things to her. Conservatives focus on “Go… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Ben:

You said he was “looking for a church that identifies with the gospel and still stands for something.”

Fine. What is the “something” he wants it to stand for? Justice? Love? If he prefers the stance of the re-asserters, then he wants it to stand for prejudice.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, You are right to emphasize Jesus’ word to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you.” I rejoice in that. I am also glad to see you want to hear Jesus’ complete word here, “Go and sin no more.” What you say about others may be even more true of yourself: do evangelicals only speak in condemnation? Why is it that this seems to be the main thing you hear? Could it be that is your focus? And speaking of hell, the only time I have said anything at all on this is when you have raised it! I have… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

Well Ben, I’ll happily engage the issue. But if Robroy wants to make up more stats out of thin air, I’ll call him on it anyway. His recent clanger that the Episcopal Church was growing 2000-2003 and only began to decline after the election of Gene Robinson is . . . how shall I put it . . . utter bovine excrement. The Episcopal Church – and the Anglican Church of Canada, and virtually every other mainline denomination in North America and Europe – has been in terminal decline since the late 1970s. The odd upward blip here and there,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“Neither do I condemn you.” I rejoice in that. I am also glad to see you want to hear Jesus’ complete word here, “Go and sin no more.” Can I point out once more, please, that the problem with this story is that far too many people identify with Jesus and tell other sinners that they should stop sinning. It would be much more appropriate to identify either with the woman, who was not condemned but told to go unburdened and live a new life trying to avoid making the same mistakes again, or with those who had absolutely nothing… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Malcolm, You are right to check the stats that were presented. They do not come from me (why do you so easily misrepresent what I have said?), before they are accepted they need to be compared with other data and confirmed. But the main thing I affirmed, and something you have now also recognized, is the terrible downward slide of some of what were the “mainline” churches since the ’60s. And true the loss began well before “women” in leadership or homosexuality were issues. But not before many had seriouly diluted the wine of Christian teaching with the acids of… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Erika, I will not prolong this, this is another example of generalizing that because Jesus accepted sinners, we are never to note or recognise the “sin of others?” What did Jesus himself do? He certainly did not go around simply condemning people. He did recognise sin as sin in the very example of the woman you cite (John 8:1-11). And in the beams and specks passage he actually said, “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye,but do not notice the beam in your own eye? … first take the the beam out your eye, and then you… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“The direction is not to leave the other alone in his condition, but to look to oneself first”

Well, that would be a nice start!

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

The decline of the Episcopal Church (and of the other so-called “main line” Christian denominations) in the US began WAY before the 1960s. According to statistics cited in American Theocracy (Kevin Phillips, 2006): “…between 1776 and 1850 the Congregationalists [today, largely the United Church of Christ] dropped from 20.4 percent of all religious adherents to just 4.0 percent, and the Episcopalians from 15.7 percent to 3.5 percent, while the Methodists soared from 2.5 percent to a peak 34.2 percent. Then between 1850 and 1980, in a different statistical format, the Methodists fell from 117 adherents per one thousand population to… Read more »

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