Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: Canadian perspectives

The Anglican Journal has published a number of articles on this.

Marites Sison has written:
Canadian church is ‘frustrated’
Dialogue, compromise highlight Communion’s Lambeth Conference
It is impossible to go back, bishops say of moratoria

And then there are two other pieces:
Theological Reflection: Stepping back from full inclusion by Walter Deller
Theological Reflection: Commitments of the mind and heart: Will the centre hold? by George R Sumner

66
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
66 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
Ben WGöran Koch-SwahneSimon SarmientoFord ElmsPat O'Neill Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Cheryl Va.
Guest

Deller’s friend’s assessment of the dynamics is reasonable, and the model of the family that Sumner alludes to provides insights. In some households there is the “authority” figure who is responsible for the family’s “reputation”. In highly rigid families, there is little room for things that might “disgrace” the family, and members who might dishonor the family are shunned or cast out. In extreme circumstances, members may resort to murdering the “shameful” members, and in that sense Sumner’s allusion to other fundamentalist faiths is pertinent. There are faiths who live in societies who either openly endorse or covertly aid and… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“George Elliott, suffragan bishop of Toronto (York-Simcoe), said, “I don’t think there’s a going back. I think there are ways in which we can perhaps slow down or continue to consider what a moratorium might be. But I don’t think it’s possible to go back. I don’t think it’s fair to go back.” He said that dioceses that have moved ahead “and done [same-sex blessings] faithfully,” have done it in the context of Canadian church polity. “It would be absolutely devastating to even think about moving back to where we were before.”” Well said, Bishop Elliott. God bless the Anglican… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Is there anything new in Deller’s piece? Interesting that he uses the word’s “stepping back from full inclsuion.” If inclusion means “civil rights and accepted in society” then most people in our setting are with him. But it is evident he means same-sex relationships endorsed and equated with Christian marriage, he is living in fantasy land (what is ‘98.1.10 about?). Has the Anglican communion been there so it can step back from that? Just shows what he wants and wants to assume. More accurately: Historic Christian Moral Teaching – Liberals Stepping Back From Full Commitment. Of course he must take… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

(About 10 Canadian Anglican churches have put themselves under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Southern Cone.) – Marites N. Sison. Herein is one of the emerging problems of the WCG proposition for moratoria on various activities in the Communion. If the Dissidents who have already declared their independence of TEC and the A.C.of Canada have already declared their stance of non-compliance; how possibly can the WCG expect the Canadian Church to accede to what amounts to a one-sided moratorium? Ben. W. still does not seem to understand that God’s Word has become flesh in Jesus Christ,… Read more »

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

(what is ‘98.1.10 about?) Let me see, there was something about affirming that gay people are loved by God, and that the Church, while taking the Biblical view, should listen to their experience as Christians. That the Church should take them seriously enough to genuinely __l i s t e n__ to them, as had been resolved in previous Lambeth shindigs. OK, it says nothing about what should be done next, but that boat has already sailed. The real question for Evangelicals of a certain stripe is: when are you going to abide by the WHOLE of your favourite Lambeth… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote in his usual bombastic fashion “Historic Christian Moral Teaching – Liberals Stepping Back From Full Commitment.” How about not falling into the trap of overt American political language “Falling Back From”, but instead say that some refuse to consider the Gnosticisms of Ancient Alexandria “Historic Christian Moral Teaching” rather than “historic” – a sad fact of the history of Academic quasi-intellectualism, going back to the hey-day of Hellenism of the Museiån; the multi institution of Ancient Alexandria (library, gymnasium, “cruising” in one ;=), but having little to do with the Bible (the Gospel of God’s Righteousness in… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

BenW: “If… it is evident he means same-sex relationships endorsed and equated with Christian marriage, he is living in fantasy land” The fantasy land, I am afraid Ben, is the one you are still in, viz England in the moral climate of the 1950s: in countries which have non-discriminatory marriage laws, the reality is, that marriage is the same for straight and gay people. This is the reality in Canada, as also in S Africa and half a dozen (and increasing) EU countries: it will come soon in the UK too, so it would be better for churchpeople to get… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Fr Mark, I understand you equate “same-sex relationships with marriage,” and I am well aware that when autonomy and individual choice become the ultimate value (i.e. when “God is not honoured as God” some things follow, Rom 1:21, 24-32). I know people can set themselves up as they have done in certain countries and have largely lost their moral bearings. I live in Canada (so much for your presumption!). The question is who and what defines marriage? Is that something that is given with the very way God has created us? Or is it something we can simply impose at… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ron Smith, Since you have not heard what I have said before … and before that … I will be brief and to the point. (Kieran C above needs to speak to you). I said “The question . . . is precisely, is Jesus acknowledged as Lord? If so it follows we hear him in word and deed.” That is real incarnation, not some “plastic” Jesus (molded in the image of our “likes and preferences”), but one who has some real things to say and do and a mission to call people to participate in the kingdom of God (not… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Kieran C, There has been time to listen. How well it has gone you and I can both judge (do you see how that is often little more than a platitude for people here who talk it?). I think it is not so much a question at this stage of listening (we have been there now for decades), for people in large parts of the communion the question now is when does the time for discernment and action come? The call to listen may become a convenient tactic to co-opt others not part of “the cause.” Who is more “absolutist”… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben “The question for evangelicals is precisely, is Jesus acknowledged as Lord? If so it follows we hear him in word and deed.” Yes, but unlike Muslims and the Koran, we do not believe that His Words have been dictated, copied out verbatim by scribes and then translated without error throughout the millennia. We believe they were written down by fallible people decades after the event, each trying to capture the essence of what this Jesus had preached. I’m finding it really difficult to understand how anyone can take these accounts as literal truth – when even absolutely major events… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

My old school chum Walter isn’t living in fantasy-land. He’s living in Saskatoon. And in Saskatoon, like the rest of Canada, same sex marriage is established in law and even the current hard right federal government has no desire to revisit the question. And BTW, Ben, the Word of God is Jesus – who is not confined and limited to the pages of a book. And the witness to Jesus is His Body the Church – which is likewise not limited to the pages of a book. I am often quite struck by how circumscribed a God some “conservatives” believe… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“The question for evangelicals is precisely, is Jesus acknowledged as Lord? If…..we depend on apostolic witness to Jesus Christ for our faith. Yes the call is to know and follow the “living Lord Jesus Christ.” How will you know and follow him? You cannot separate Jesus from the witness to him inscribed in scripture. So evangelicals treasure scripture.” Ben, this is the crux of the matter. For Evangelicals, there is ONE witness to Christ: the “Apostolic witness” as, I guess, delineated in Scripture. But Scripture is NOT the only witness to the Living God. Scripture is PART of that witness.… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Hi Ben W,
I just ran across a pithy notion from Tobias Haller’s blog, so here is part of my two cents:

Quote.
Thought for 09.01.08
We should no more expect the Scripture to provide a reasoned explanation for human psychosexuality than we should expect it to provide us with an accurate value for Pi.

Tobias Haller BSG
Unquote.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Ben W: well, please don’t presume about me either: I don’t live in the UK, but in another EU country which has same sex marriage, and it is entirely uncontroversial. Same sex couples live out their marriages just the same as straight ones. It is really derogatory to suggest there is a qualitative difference – there plainly isn’t.

“Stepping back from full commitment” is surely what you could accuse people of if they are denied the right to opt for marriage, isn’t it? You can hardly tell people they can’t marry and then blame them for being less than fully committed!

Ben w
Guest
Ben w

Ford, We may not in the end agree but it would be progress at least if some misunderstandings and distorions could be cleared away. You say, this is the crux of the matter, “For Evangelicals, there is ONE witness to Christ…” And you go on to say, “The restriction of the witness of Christ to Scripture only is, I feel, where Evanglicalism goes astray.” We do see this differently but this as you state it – at the very least – is blatant misunderstanding, I have referred constantly to “historic Christian teaching;” I think it is critical that we hear… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, There is an array of assumptions in this response: about how and when the gospels came to be written, about “a few texts in Leviticus and Paul” (the rock is Jesus’ affirmation of marriage between “male and female as at the beginning”). You are quite ready to affirm error at any point – is this just a matter of preferrence (“well I don,t like it, must be error”). If it is all that uncertain why claim to be a Christian? What can you affirm? If the Gospels provided what you seem to expect, one worked out account of things… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

drdanfee, See my post to Erika above and the questions there. We affirm that scripture is valid in what it affirms (of course not in what it does not speak of!).If you are looking for scientific details on this scripture was not given to provide that, just as it was not written to give us the details of the geology of the earthquake fault in California. If you want to take your path you could say about any sexual issue, scripture is not relevant whether it is polyamory, adultery or incest etc., and and so negate the meaning and the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Dear Ford Elms, you have again hit the nail squarely on the head. You, too, Malcolm+. What a pity, Malcolm, that your ex school chum didn’t listen a little more attentively to basic points of logic in class. Was he always so circuitous in his arguments as on this site? If so, it’s no wonder very few of us can get around to any sort of understanding of what he’s getting at. I think, Ford, that your statement about the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is often not understood by some of our Evangelical friends. It does seem that,… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“God is with me now; God is with me now; Closer than breathing, closer than hands and feet; God is with me now, God is with me now.”

As Mohammed said; “Closer even than my artery”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben
“What can you affirm?”

I refer you to the TA archives where I and others here have answered this question for you, on average once every fortnight.

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“If or when the time comes to decide whether polygamy is accepted as marriage what will we do?”

Ben, what did you do when the 1988 Lambeth conference allowed polygamy under specific circumstances in Africa? How was that not a case of special pleading based on cultural issues? It was certainly a result of listening with an open mind, and was never shouted down as “stepping back from full commitment” to the ideal of Christian marriage.

Really, you people seem to have memories like a sieve for your history. I guess that makes moral crusading a little easier.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Kieran C, You refer to the earlier situation dealing with polygamy, certainly operate with concern for people and their circumstances (and I am speaking of any situation). At the same time it was never a stepping back from full commitment to historic Christian teaching, no campaign to change the law to simply legalize polygamy, no equating of polygamy with Christian marriage and calling for God’s blessing on it as such. My phrase about stepping back as you will recall, if fairness matters to you, was actually Deller’s which I thought was presumptive. My take off on his words was an… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

The Jesus of scriptures did not seem overly worried about marital status. He had no problem beginning his public ministry with a Samaritan woman who was living in her non-marital and fifth relationship. He had no problem calling on people to walk away from their families in order to follow him. He didn’t bust a gut to take his own wife and raise his own family. He did have a thing about accepting people and allowing them to partake of the gospel and healing, through faith and not legalism and not their circumstances nor by their deeds alone. Some seem… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I have referred constantly to “historic Christian teaching” Ben, “historic Christian teaching” includes things like the idea that the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist actually BECOME, in some sense, the Body and Blood of Christ. It also contains baptismal regeneration, veneration of images, invocation of saints, particularly the Mother of God, and on and on. All these things come out of a particular understanding of the Incarnation or of the victory of Christ on the Cross. Yet, to varying degrees, they are rejected by the different types of Evangelicalism. My point, as always, is not whether or not Evangelicals… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, We can think of one another from within a very narrow base. And there is a range of thought and emphasis within these churches (so we cannot take a few things we heard from some small group or other and pin that on everybody). “Evangelical” in Europe came to prominence with those churches “renewed in the gospel” after the Reformation (i.e. centered in the gospel vs some other centre such as tradition etc). I use it to refer to faith and life defined from or in continuity with the gospel. There were sometimes extremes and blindspots on both sides.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Catholics are careful to understand the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ not in some literalist way, and evangelicals emphasize that we do meet and receive Christ in the communion in a real way. That goes for all the points you mention.” – Ben W I’m not at all sure that you really understand exactly what you are claiming here, Ben W, about the Catholic understanding of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. You seem to be saying that we are agnostic of the existential reality of what Jesus hiomself promised in the Scriptures… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben “If he is Lord then the culture or society is not, whether it is on the issues of war, ecology, abortion etc. Enough.” Isn’t the problem that Jesus did not actually say anything about ecology and abortion? Isn’t the problem that we often don’t know what he would have said, but have to find a way of discernment, using his teachings and his actions as guides? And isn’t that, precisely, why we sometimes come to different conclusions? War is an even more interesting point, because it is forbidden, fullstop. And yet, right wing Christians all over the world support… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Ben W: “If he is Lord then the culture or society is not, whether it is on the issues of war, ecology, abortion etc. Enough.”

Great, so you will be aware then, Ben, that the most counter-cultural people you’re ever likely to come across in your average C of E church are its gay members?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Now that would not be true in a clear way for quite few as we see regularly on this list!” Ben, I have internet contact with very left wing Christians. What has struck me about them, honestly, is how Credal and Incarnational their faith is. I have learned a great deal from them, actually, backed up with quotes from Scripture and the Fathers. That’s part of the reason I take such offence at denials of their faith. “If he is Lord then the culture or society is not, whether it is on the issues of war, ecology, abortion etc. Enough.”… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“it is on the issues of war, ecology, abortion etc.” War: the prevailing culture: war is acceptable, probably evil, but can be done in a just fashion, though we won’t push to hard on what is defined as just, and there are sanctions only against certain groups who carry it out unjustly. American Evangelicals especially see specific actions of Jesus as condoning violence. “liberals”: war is evil and cannot be made good. Ecology: the prevailing culture: nature must serve the needs of humans and must take second place to economic factors. Global warming is at best a poorly understood natural… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ron Smith, First, you say, “I’m not at all sure that you really understand exactly what you are claiming here …” about the eucharist because you assume about me what you have have already thought without listening to what I have said again and again. Catholics themselves have come to see that in certain respects the eucharist became encrusted with false and sometimes “magical” ideas. And I said or assume exactly nothing about you being “agnostic” about the presence of Jesus in the eucharist. We all know Jesus uses many metaphors to speak of himself and his mission – water,… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, You and I agree, on some of these matters we depend on reference points that are not explicit or direct (“thou shalt or thou shalt not etc”). That would be true of ecology or abortion as such, but when we reflect on what we do have and what is said about creation or about life as God’s gift we have a basis for direction. We take seriously what we are given and discern on the basis of that. We are given explicit word about the meaning of marriage and faithfulness, as we are about many other things. Ben W

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote: “”Evangelical” in Europe came to prominence with those churches “renewed in the gospel” after the Reformation (i.e. centred in the gospel vs. some other centre such as tradition etc).” Oh, no. “Evangelical” in Europe was primarily a theological get-away and a political lie, the Radicals of Neo Humanism wanting to present themselves as Gospel-based, instead of Law-based… This was the (political) use whereby they claimed the (considerable) advantages of being catholic according to the 1555 Treaty of Augsburg, that is adherents of the 1530 Confessio augustana (which being a compromise formula remained silent on all the sticky… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, To be fair, I think we would all have to acknowledge there has been much “selective” hearing among Christians on all sides of some of these issues. And I have never said that all liberals deny all of the basics of the faith! But open your eyes to what is right before you, I was talking about what we get on this list itself regularly. So it is true Christians across the board have in the past miserably failed at times to heed Christ as Lord. But when one says for instance the right has simply supported the recent… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben “We take seriously what we are given and discern on the basis of that.” I agree. But we still have to understand that we “discern”, i.e. we are using our own brains to try to understand the meaning of what it written. And that implies the possibility that we come to different conclusions, based on the different bible stories or verses we focus on, or based on different weightings we give different verses. And so it can be crystal clear for some Christians that war is never allowed, whereas it can be just as crystal clear for others that… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the right has simply supported the recent war this is either flagrant ignorance or deliberate slander “ Indeed. I never said they ALL did. But, conservative Evangelical Churches in the US did hold recruiting drives in their sanctuary spaces, and the millennialist ideas of people like John Haggee HAVE been a big part of Bush’s foreign policy. Major right wing Evangelical figures in the US HAVE been in support of it. “On ecology, again you polarize and end by painting liberals white.” Partially guilty, but I do not support liberal positions on the environment in the not infrequent times they… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

And, Ben, I’m sorry to keep harping on this, but what form would you see an “affirmation of Jesus as Lord” taking? How do you see liberals NOT doing this? To me, most liberal actions are based on the premise that Jesus gave us two great commandments: love God, love your neighbour. You may not agree with their methods, but do you not see the actions of the Left as an attempt to obey that second commandment, however misguided you might believe that attempt to be? That’s what I was getting at in my response to your comments on abortion:… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote: “… who on either side says the mother’s life must be sacrificed if it comes to that?”

I, for one, distinctly remember seeing a film on French State Television in March 1973 on precisely that theme: “The mother’s life must be sacrificed if it comes to that.” But maybe that also was an evasion from culture?

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Erika, I know people are in various places and we face the challenge of really hearing Christ if we confess him as Lord. In that light what are we trying to do? Justify the blindspots of the past – whether about war or abortion – or learn from them and return to historic Christian teaching? I see no future and no fithfulness in justifying any position simply by the modernist/reductionist view that says we all see this differently so we will just accept it. You say some people will focus on one set of texts and some on another. Well… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“On the question of same-sex there is no contrary reference – what we have all goes in one direction. It is clearer than the issue of polygamy and as clear as the teaching about adultery.” This is true only if we accept that the “traditional” translations that turn Biblical Greek words into the modern term “homosexual” (or its equivalent) are correct. Many of us do not. It is also only true if we accept that these verses–accurately translated or not–are the work of the Spirit or are simply reflections of the culture at the time of the writing (or even… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, I put it that way about the “right” supporting the war because one person here made just that statement and you were very general in your statement (are evangelicals simply to be equated with “the right”?). And when you refer to John Haggee, whom does he speak for? He has his own church and his own teaching and very little more. He hardly speaks for evangelicals as such. About the mother’s life in abortion, with good medicine (and we are for that on all sides – and compassion for people in difficult circumstances), it is now actually rare for… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Ben W. One of the basic problems with your theology is that you seem to perceive some sort of robotic response as being the only true reaction to the Gospel. When God created human kind, God gave us the privilege of saying either Yes or No to God’s invitation to believe in God (or not). One of our most reasured human faculties is that of a clear mind – with which we are invited to recognise and ‘know’ God’s special place in our lives. To present God as a vengeful manipulator of souls is to do God a great injustice.… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben ” see no future and no fithfulness in justifying any position simply by the modernist/reductionist view that says we all see this differently so we will just accept it.” Well, if you will insist on denigrating anyone’s motives but your own, you will remain in the deeply entrenched prejudiced corner you’ve painted yourself in. It does not make you right, though, just prejudiced. “Well where is the set of texts that even indicates that same-sex marriage is another way from God for marriage? There are none” For the umpteenth time I refer you to the writings of Tobias Haller… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote: “For example, that God intends monogamy in marriage I think is clear (most of us will accept that), but there are references to its practise that some will use to justify polygamy. On the question of same-sex there is no contrary reference – what we have all goes in one direction. It is clearer than the issue of polygamy and as clear as the teaching about adultery.” Ben W, there is nothing in the Biblical texts addressing “same-sex” as a Concept or abstract Institution, if not the stories of David and Jonathan in Sam and the one… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“You speak of liberals as those for whom the great commandment to love God and neighbor is important. To the extent that is so great. This however is regularly even unconsciuosly subordinated to their true absolute. What has been and is “absolute” in this culture and for many liberals is “individual rights and choice.” We can see it in this and other areas, it is the absolute because nothing must be allowed to get in the way of that, not even if millions of lives have to be sacrificed.” Can you not accept that–for us–to love our neighbors as ourselves… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“He hardly speaks for evangelicals as such.” He and a large group of American Evangelicals would disagree with you. And what about Pat Buchanan, the late Dr. Falwell, and numerous others? Hagee et al DO breakfast with the President every week. “with good medicine…it is now actually rare” No, with free access to abortion this is rare. If abortion were illegal, a woman would not present to a physician till the peritonitis had developed, out of fear of the law. No amount of modern medicine will change that fact. She wouldn’t get one in a hospital after all. “their true… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ron Smith, You speak of the gift of a clear mind in your piece, well what is the point of this rhetoric from you without engagement of the the actual questions at issue? As one person said here recently, just trotting out some rhetorical lines is not yet to deal with the matters in question. You say, “When God created human kind, God gave us the privilege of saying either Yes or No to God’s invitation to believe in God (or not).” Yes . . . and how does that meet anything I’ve said? Or the call of Jesus to… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, On most points we have been over this and you already know the answer, I would like not to descend with you into mere rhetoric. If we get to the crux, you say we both generalize (and we do need to be aware of stating matters fairly). So let’s see … I said many “liberal Christians” have made choice their absolute. Is that the case or not? Abortion has become the general practise in society (evidence enough that it has wide general support). You say there are, “conservatives who have advocated stoning gay people.” Now when did that last… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Pat, You ask whether I cannot accept that “to love our neighbors as ourselves is to grant them those individual rights and choices …” You know it’s not really about that. Rights and choices in what context? We may have become very confused but we still know there are some lines, in our consumer society if someone steals our property, certainly if he attacks or destroys the life of another we think that is not the true meaning or use of “choice” (though we evade this and rationalze it when it comes to the child in the womb that cannot… Read more »