Thinking Anglicans

What is the future for Anglican conservatives? (part 3)

Graham Kings has written a response to the Cif belief Question of the Week. Go here and here for earlier responses.

See People must come first.

Also available on Fulcrum.

…Are Anglican conservatives in the Anglican Communion turning their attention away from issues of sexuality to the threat of Islam? From reading articles and comments and taking part in various private discussions, this seems to me too simplistic an analysis. Perceptions on both these subjects may interweave and are likely to feature in future comment and campaign.

Anglican conservatives are no more a monolithic block than are Anglican liberals. Some, sadly, are so caught up in the combat of the single issue of sexuality that their words appear to many to be blinkered and splintered. Others, while remaining conservative on sexual issues, may have friends and relatives who are gay and join in with long term private conversations and organized discussions on the subject. Oliver O’Donovan has recently published A Conversation Waiting to Begin: the Churches and the Gay Controversy (SCM Press, 2009), which originated as a series of articles on Fulcrum. And there are many who are betwixt and between these general positions…

The series on Fulcrum to which reference is made, The Church of England and Islam: Hospitality and Embassy starts here.

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JCF
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JCF

“Others, while remaining conservative on sexual issues, may have friends and relatives who are gay and join in with long term private conversations”

Aw, if we’ll just *STAY IN THE CLOSET*, they’ll meet us there for a “long term private conversation”, as their schedule permits (now that the summer wedding season is past!). Isn’t that sweet?

{snark/Off}

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Kings sounds gentler; yet seems to be missing change as a practical and theological deep lesson. Practically, we simply presuppose an impending collapse of big tents into the first-second tracks. Is this peace-making? Then we take comfort in a tossed off idea that someday, tool kits for reaching across religious differences may be useful as we return to bother with second track Anglicans. Some day. Oh yes, mention a book about how the conversations with queer folks have yet to occur. True. Yet lamentable spin doctoring, too. Truly many conservative believers have ignored, delayed, and generally done anything but, Listen.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Constance Padwick, in her ‘Temple Gairdner of Cairo’, records the perceptive comment of Yusef Effendi Tadras: “Other teachers taught us how to refute Islam; he taught us how to love Muslims.” Implicit in this remarkable saying are four contrasts: Gairdner’s approach was more positive than negative; it was concerned with people more than with systems; it involved love rather than attacks; and it was effected by example rather than by theory.” – art. by Graham Kings – What Graham Kings reports here is precisely what the Christian Gospel ethic is all about – esp. in those areas where Christians and… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Can conservative Anglicanism actually thrive without enemies, targets, scapegoats?” No, because it is based on a larger worldview that sees those who hold it as under attack. This is prominent in American conservativism, which informs Anglican conservatives. American conservatives in general are so paranoid, so insistent on seeing themselves as under attack, they even see increasing their living standards as a threat! Seriously. In the last election, American conservatives publically claimed that Obama wanted to make America into a socialist country “like Sweden”. Well, last time I checked, that would constitute a significant betterment in the living standards of amny… Read more »

Ed Tomlinson
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Sorry but this view of conservative Christians is neither fair nor balanced. I am not conservative in belief because I fear anyone or need someone to despise but because I believe what it says on the tin. And -as I have repeatedly stated- where persuasive arguments drawn from scripture and tradition are put forward- am willing and able to accept innovations.It is just that in regard to sexuality and women priests I have not seen arguments put forth which persuade me enough to shake of the fear I am asking to ignore such things as obedience and subservience to divine… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Ed: “I am C of E to my fingertips but Catholic and conservative to the marrow of my bones.” Same here, Fr Ed, but I don’t see that those things conflict with taking a reasonable view of the place of women and of gay people in the Church. The RC hierarchy may say “We’re not sexist, we just are theologically opposed to women priests.” Fair enough, one might say, but then have a look and ask where are there ANY women in positions of authority or responsibility in the RC Church? There may be one or two nuns in… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“fascist liberalism”

Speaking of a lack of a “persuasive argument”, Ed: can I get some fries w/ the bombast? >:-X

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“If there IS a fear it is that fascist liberalism will mean i am forced to be either Anglican or authenitcally Catholic” – Ed Tomlinson – Dear Fr. Ed., since when have Anglo-Catholics ever considered that they do not share in the fullness of the faith ‘Catholic’? If you feel you have to choose between being Anglican and being ‘authentically Catholic’, I think you may just be in the wrong jurisdiction already. Why not just be honest with yourself and say that, in your humble opinion, one cannot be both Anglican and Catholic at the same time. And if you… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well ET, being conservative is difficult. Ours is a time of dramatic Anglican changes. No doubt. You disclaim strong negative feelings? No fear, no categorical hostility? Still, the conservative Anglican campaign so loudly preaches both fear and hostility? Working so very, very, very hard? To deny women priests/bishops to Anglicans who discern women in good conscience? You do not personally spend much time, threatening those other Anglicans in your daily life? Okay. A loud campaign to be WO free will surely do all that threatening for you. Is war – weaponizing by proxy – any less? You play Good Cop.… Read more »

MarkBrunson
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Oh, no, no fear at all!

Except, of course, the Big Bad Bogie Man in the Sky might get angry.

That’s not fearing God, that’s just fear.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“If there IS a fear it is that fascist liberalism will mean i am forced to be either Anglican or authenitcally Catholic- a choice which will cause pain and sorrow.” Waddaya mean, ‘if’? This is precisely the fear we have been talking about. Take our current debate. Is it that the presence of two opposing attitudes to homosexuality deprives conservatives of certainty? Why else should the presence of a bishop Godly in all but one debatable respect cause other bishops to behave in such an unGodly fashion? Concern for the salvation of gay people who will be led astray into… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

In a life-time of searching the Gospels, I have by now come to the realisation that ‘Fear of God’ is precisely the emotional driving force behind the fundamentalism of many religious people. This is what motivated the mythical Adam and Eve to hurriedly place the fig leaf over their genitals when they discovered God walking beside them in the Garden of Eden. What they had not discovered at that time was that God was not chiding them for their nakedness (sexual activity), but rather for thinking themselves masters of their own environment. This fear of God has dogged fundamentalist religious… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Prophetic Fr Ron. Thank you