Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 15 July 2023

Helen Hall and Javier Garcia Oliva ViaMedia.News Marriage Law in England and Wales – Some Reflections

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Jayne Ozanne and Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin speak passion and truth

Rosie Dawson The Living Church A ‘Culture of Mistrust’ at General Synod

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David Hawkins
David Hawkins
11 months ago

I ask this question directly to the conservative contributors to Thinking Anglicans. As Christians we are all united in believing in a Loving God. What sort of Loving God would create human beings with a God given need to sexually love someone of their own gender and then deny them the right to express that love in a physical way ? Wouldn’t in fact this “God” be rather a sadist ? Isn’t the fundamental Christian belief in a God who loves us rather more important than what fallible human beings wrote in Scripture thousands of years ago ? Scripture says… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by David Hawkins
Kate
Kate
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

“What sort of Loving God would create human beings with a God given need to sexually love someone of their own gender and then deny them the right to express that love in a physical way ?”

Maybe the same God who is responsible for disabled people? For people born into abject poverty? Or women born in Afghanistan?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

The unhappiness and suffering specific to disabled people, people in poverty, or women in Afghanistan, is something that can largely be remedied by human action, and indeed Christians generally believe they’re to work to relieve that suffering. In the case of gay people, conservatives would have us believe that we are required to impose the suffering and prevent its relief, because God doesn’t approve.

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

Your examples don’t quite work Kate. The equivalent to what I am talking about would be a “loving God” who told disabled people to refuse on operation to cure their disability, told starving people to refuse food hand outs or told women in Afghanistan to accept sexual slavery. I assume you are a Christian Kate and believe in a loving God ? It is a mystery why a loving God accepts suffering but it is quite another thing to suggest that a loving God wants to impose suffering. Gay people are born with a need and capacity to express physical… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

But IF we start with the position that gay sex is sinful then gay people escaping their suffering by having gay sex isn’t really different than someone in poverty stealing to relieve their suffering. Both have the option of sinning to improve their situation. So, if you are using a loving God justification why would God make “thou shalt not steal” an absolute commandment? What is wrong with a starving man stealing a load of bread? Or put another way, why would a loving God ask his own Son to die on the cross? Pretty obviously there are factors in… Read more »

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

But that’s the point — IF we start with the position that gay sex is sinful… because WE don’t. Or rather, some do and some don’t. Whereas I don’t think anyone is arguing that it is God’s will that people live in poverty and oppression. The question of why a loving God allows poverty and oppression remains, of course, but that is a different question. One might equally ask why God allows the church to persecute gay people, but again that is not the question at hand, which is (to paraphrase) why would God make it a rule that you… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

Again your analogy falls down, because the person who steals to assuage his hunger harms someone else (however understandable and excusable it might be), while the person who has consensual sex with an adult of the same gender harms no one.

Michaelmas Daisy
Michaelmas Daisy
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

I’m not sure how to read this comment, or if you were intending it to be read in a particular way. I can come up with three interpretations: 1.God asks humans to live in difficult situations. As Christians we can’t know His ways and why he allows some humans to suffer in particular ways but we should still follow His laws. 2. Suffering is evidence that a loving God as described by Christians doesn’t exist – if there is a god or gods they are of a different nature; or there is no god. 3. Humans create discrimination, oppression and… Read more »

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

Of course it’s the same God — there is only one, I believe… but I took the question to be not one of theodicy but rather of theology. We don’t believe (well, we try not to) that disability*, poverty, oppression, etc are somehow willingly created by God, but rather are something to do with a fallen world, however one understands that. And the church (as the body of Christ) is hopefully part of God’s process of healing and redemption of that world. But when same-sex attraction, to use the official terminology, is seen as intrinsically fallen ie sinful, while heterosexuality… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Mark Andiam
11 months ago

Thank you, both Kate, Mark and the others who contributed, for you’ve all helped me with your comments. My newest little granddaughter was born with cystic fibrosis, and we’ve had to struggle in coming to terms with that, with faith in a loving God and trying to see where ‘he’ is in all of it. Unfortunately, on a wider scale, far from being part of the process of healing and redemption, some parts of his church have, throughout history, been active agents of oppression. We have a lot to live down, and seem very reluctant to see it sometimes. I… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  John Davies
11 months ago

The poor little thing. It is one of the hardest things (speaking as a retired nurse) to see little children suffering. May God be with you all in her care. I agree with what you say about there not being a literal ‘fall’. The world has always been this way. It did not ‘get’ this way. In our universe, over what, 13 billion years perhaps, creatures have always lived in time, and been susceptible to illness, disease, aging, etc. It’s how things are, and it’s the classic difficult question that people of faith are sometimes asked, or ask themselves: “Why… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Thank you very much, Susannah. I like your reasoning – and think we have a good deal in common. (I’ll save your reply, and share it with my daughter in law) There’s a lot of truth, I think, in an exchange in the film ‘Zulu’, which I keep coming back to. Little squaddie, who’s just realised he is highly unlikely to see tomorrow’s sunset, asks his sergeant that unanswerable question. “Why does it ‘ave to be us, sarge?” To which his sergeant replies, “Why us, lad? A’cos we’re ‘ere, and nobody else is.” I had an insight the other morning… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

To suggest that being gay is a disability is a wicked assertion.
Is having ginger hair a disability too?

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
11 months ago

ABC Robert Runcie made the comparison in synod and was rubbished for it then

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  peter kettle
11 months ago

That was a long time ago and he knows better now!

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
11 months ago

I didn’t say that it is a disability. I am saying that being gay isn’t the only thing people struggle with.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

I really don’t see what your point is.

Valerie Aston
Valerie Aston
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

I watch this website and read the posts every day, sometimes in despair.
It is encouraging to see so many wise and kind Anglicans still active in trying to improve the CofE’s attitude to people who are not ‘mainstream’.
Just to note; tonight I saw on the Economist website that more than 75% of British people now support same sex /gender marriage.
Only 14% oppose it.
perhaps time for the CofE to give up its established privileges and decide where it stands in 21st century England.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Valerie Aston
11 months ago

Amen Amen Amen

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

I’m not sure Kate understood David Hawkins’ question.

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Richard
11 months ago

… and therein perhaps lies the problem. If questioning theology is seen as questioning God, many will not do so, which allows bad theology to continue. (By the way I think it is also ok to question God, but that is a different matter)

Last edited 11 months ago by Mark Andiam
peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

That depends on whether one believes God is responsible for everything that ever happens anywhere. I believe that: 1) God has granted human beings absolute free will. In Deuteronomy, God gives us a choice between good and evil, life and death. Then God requests we choose life. God has placed limits on God’s own power, a constitutional deity, if you will. Women suffer in Afghanistan because men choose to make women suffer, in God’s name (whether they are interpreting God’s revelation to Mohammed and his earliest followers is another matter). Other nations have chosen not to intervene. That is on… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
11 months ago

A very credible attitude I think and inherently self-consistent.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

Actually, David, its not just same sex Christians who are denied the right to express or experience sexual love; as the father of triplets pointed out in reply to Bishop Rose, it’s heterosexual singles who are under the same ban. I suppose I’m a ‘semi-conservative contributor’; having to live as a long term single hetero in a church culture which idolises marriage and family can be very, very difficult. I won’t go into lengthy details of my own experiences – let’s just say I know of no way that you can have any form of open, satisfactory sexual expression in… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  John Davies
11 months ago

Heterosexual Singles can marry their lifelong partner and have sex. But people created to love someone of the same gender are forbidden to marry their lifelong partner in Church and if they are ordained they have a lifelong sentence of celibacy. This is like comparing a parking fine to a death sentence ! But you avoid the point. Why would a loving God choose this sadistic behaviour ? We don’t know for sure what God thinks, but logic tells us that this is a very strange kind of love. All we know for sure is what fallible human beings wrote… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

I’m sorry if we misunderstand each other, David; this particular theme comes very close to home on a personal level, and as a heterosexual (timid) male I can understand the homosexual point only too well. Michael Saward once said that he was concerned that so many young Christians believed sex itself was sin – which has a lot to do with the way it’s presented in so much Christian teaching. It seems to be seen as a dangerous monster, lurking in the corner ready to burst out and take you over, and has to be constantly guarded against. Steve Chalke… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  John Davies
11 months ago

Thank you John. I think that was a really profound (and honest) post. There is a danger in trying to ‘box up’ God and Christianity in tight doctrinal rules (remember someone else who railed against legalism that cur out the Spirit?). We see through a glass darkly, we are fallible, so were 1st Century Christians. The Holy Spirit of God operates not only through biblical narrative, but also in interaction with our consciences, our hearts, our minds. I think it is spiritually honest to live with uncertainties. In fact I’d say it is essential, even though that can be uncomfortable.… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  John Davies
11 months ago

Thanks for your thoughtful post John. I think you are absolutely right. It is not just LGBTQ people who have been damaged by the Christian dysfunctional attitude towards sex. Single heterosexual people also can struggle. And even people in heterosexual marriage may suffer if they have been taught that sex is shameful, rather than a joyful life-affirming gift from God. The interesting question is why and when did Christianity develop this teaching. Other religions do not have the same view. Hinduism had a much more positive view of sex, and understanding is that even Judaism, with the same scripture as… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Dawson
11 months ago

That still leaves painful questions for all those, of any orientation or circumstances, who have to live without this ‘joyful life-affirming gift from God’. And the Church doesn’t help.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 months ago

Janet, sorry I did not respond to this before as it deserves a response but I only saw it on Monday, and then I was not sure how to respond. On reflection what it brought up for me a bit was how I feel about music. I am totally tone deaf, and can feel excluded by so much discussion about the wonderfulness and importance of church music, and those who sing pray twice and so on. So I can understand I need to be a bit more careful in my postings about sex and sexuality, and consider those who are… Read more »

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

As a liberal, but also as a philosophy PhD, I can tell you that making anything into a version of the problem of evil is only going to open a new can of worms.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
11 months ago

Reading Hall and Oliva’s article, I can only say I am thankful I was married in the USA and not England or Wales. What a load of bureaucratic stuff to have to wade through just to celebrate the coming together of a loving couple!

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 months ago

Having made a quick look at the TEC’s (excellent) website, the requirements for marriage in the TEC and the C of E are almost identical.

The bureaucracy which you mention relates to other situations and is intended to protect the happy couple from the consequences of getting things wrong. It’s quite clearly explained: a non-valid marriage can have dramatic consequences on death, separation, legitimacy of children, property rights, inheritance, etc. I guess that it won’t be so different in US law.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rowland Wateridge
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
11 months ago

Yes, but if I want to be married in the USA, I am not required to be married in the Episcopal Church (although I am) or in any church–or in any physical structure at all. (My son was married by an Episcopal priest in a TEC ceremony, under a wooden arch decorated with flowers outdoors–and it was all perfectly legal both in the state where he was wed and in the Episcopal Church.) And if he were married by a judge or other civil servant, there would be no restrictions on religious elements to the service (although the judge, as… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 months ago

Thank goodness what you say about the First Amendment and “organizations that will ordain anyone as a minister to perform a marriage” doesn’t apply in the UK. As to secular marriage, fortunately UK law largely follows the C of E that marriage is not to be entered into lightly. The legal safeguards are, as already summarised, to protect the couple, their children and their property.

There is already an enormous range of differing marriage services in the UK, both religious and secular. There is the possibility of changes. It’s a case of ‘watch this space’.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
11 months ago

There are benefits and disadvantages to both the UK and US models. I thank goodness that the US federal, state, and local governments don’t follow the TEC (USA) model of marriage laws, and, especially since the civil rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, there are plenty of laws protecting everyone’s interests in a marriage. Plus, like I said, the judge in the marriage of my wife and I read a legally required statement that marriage was a legal contract not to be entered into lightly or frivolously. As far as anyone being able to marry, at least in Colorado,… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
11 months ago

The C of E will bless the marriage of a couple which includes a divorced person whose first spouse is still alive. It happens quite commonly. The situation of the King and Queen, which you mention, was different: a constitutional one concerning the succession. No one has to get married in the C of E. It’s a matter of choice. It’s puzzling (to me) that people criticise a body which, with its admitted faults, they know so little about. I was trying to explain to Pat O’Neill that UK marriage law is far more diverse and extensive than Pat seems… Read more »

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
11 months ago

Hi Rowland. Is it still the case that not all faiths and denominations are treated equally in regard of their legal ability to marry a couple from both the legal and religious standpoint. I understood that only the Church of England, Quaker and Jewish minsters/church leaders could perform the marriage completely and that other Christian denominations and faiths would require a resistrar/registry marriage with the religious marriage having no legal status. Is this still the case?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Graham Watts
11 months ago

I don’t profess to know all the current arrangements in other Christian denominations. I have heard suggestions that having a (state) registrar at ‘Free Church’ weddings should be phased out. But in all essentials a Methodist wedding was (is?) not so different from a C of E one with the formal registration being carried out by the Registrar rather than the officiating priest in the C of E, who, as you know, acts as and has the powers of registrar. I know that some people wish this to change as well. What I was trying to convey to our US… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Graham Watts
11 months ago

It is not correct Mr Watts. In most cases ministers from other Christian denominations and faiths apply to the local civil registrar to become “authorised persons” and they can then perform marriages in their respective churches and these do have legal status. The difference is that Church of England vicars do not need to apply for authorisation, and this is because they are obliged to marry their parishioners as a condition of appointment. If a particular denomination, or independent chapel, does not wish to perform legal marriages then the couple may opt for a civil registration, a Church of England… Read more »

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  T Pott
11 months ago

Yes, Church of England ministers must marry people — unless they happen to be of the same sex, in which case it is *illegal* for them to do so. This unique legal status, specially obtained by the Church of England, is indeed a shameful ‘privilege’.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  T Pott
11 months ago

Thank you for the update. Though you seem to have explained a priviledge of the CofE clergy in their automatic authorisation and then deny that there is priviledge. Noting that priviledge is your word not mine.
Priviledge ‘a special right or advantage that a particular person or group of people has’

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Graham Watts
11 months ago

I suppose it depends how you look at it. Nobody can unilaterally join the C of E clergy, so nobody has automatic authorisation to marry people. Anyone who wants to become a C of E incumbent must, as part of the job, marry people. Clergy training therefore includes the legal requirements of how to do it. At least, it should. Ministers of other denominations can choose to become authorised if they wish but are not obliged to be. I would say a person who is free to opt in or out of a task is more prvileged than one who… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
11 months ago

The C of E will also marry couples where one or both has been divorced from a previous partner. I’ve officiated at such weddings many times. We’re supposed to ensure that the parties’ relationship was not the cause of the previous divorce – though I don’t know if clergy still do that.

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 months ago

And yet according to Malachi 2.16 ‘I hate divorce, says the Lord’! If it wasn’t so hateful it would be amusing that the main ‘biblical teaching’ against same-sex marriage is in actuality a teaching against divorce (Matthew 19).

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Mark Andiam
11 months ago

No one is saying divorce is a good thing. But if someone who is already divorced approaches us about getting married, we need to deal with the situation as it is. There are also cases where divorce is necessary to protect one of the partners or the children.

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 months ago

Sorry if I came across as criticising any individuals. My concern is the hypocrisy of the Church of England for allowing the second marriages of some whilst not allowing the first marriages of others — all the while (mis)quoting the Bible in self-justification. It sickens me and I am a member of the clergy.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 months ago

“And if he were married by a judge or other civil servant, there would be no restrictions on religious elements to the service (although the judge, as a government official could not, for example, read from any religious text).” Pat, Not quite. My now-deceased wife and I were married in a civil ceremony by a Denver Colorado judge almost exactly 12 years ago on 16 July or July 16, 2011. My wife was Christian, I was Jewish. It was no “Sign this, sign that. Repeat this oath. You’re married.” bureaucratic ceremony. We arranged a date and time and the judge… Read more »

Realist
Realist
11 months ago

My radio silence clearly didn’t take… But there’s something in one of the articles I don’t think I can let pass unremarked. I don’t disagree with Colin Coward’s words about those of Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin he quotes. Powerful words indeed. But please let’s not also forget that she was an equally outspoken apologist for the party line over the safeguarding fiasco, on the BBC Programme Hard Talk. So in my view more of a ‘Bishop’s Egg’ than a Bishop consistently on the side of the underdog, which is entirely consistent with my experience of her over the years from long… Read more »

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

Welcome back Realist! Please do not feel you have to be radio silent- a bit of realism is sorely needed at present…
Is anyone else amazed at the deafening silence from on high at the AC since last week despite the utter fiasco at Synod?
And the next post here about the toothless investigation into Soul Survivor is so predictable but equally depressing – and is probably adding to the silence from on high, presumably waiting for us all to give up and go away

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

But then all of us are only ‘good in parts’, so that lady is no different from you and me.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  John Davies
11 months ago

I couldn’t agree more, John. But if you read Mr Coward’s article, you may see why I read his words as carrying an inherent danger of promoting a ‘blanket’ approach of characterising and lauding Bishop Hudson-Wilkin as a champion of the oppressed who speaks truth to power. My point is she certainly is, but only on some issues. On others she chooses to stand with the oppressor. So credit where it is due, but not where it isn’t. Susanna – thank you for your welcome back. Sadly I’m not surprised at all. I should think they’ve been told to go… Read more »

Lucy Peasgood
Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

Much of the reaction to the York Synod has focused on the role of the registrar in advising the Chair. As somebody who has watched Synod over many years from a primarily political and legal perspective, I think it is evident that the registrar’s sole function is to ensure compliance with the Standing Orders. The registrar does not, I think, represent the platform’s position or seek to thwart debate. Each registrar, as a senior lawyer, has the capability and judgment required to suspend any personal view on the matter being debated and to advise exclusively on the application of the… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

When trying to achieve something in the face of vested interests with their hands on the levers of power it is unwise to reveal one’s strategy to one of their chief advisers in the hope that they will help rather than obstruct.

Lucy Peasgood
Lucy Peasgood
Reply to  Jo B
11 months ago

It’s a fair point that neatly illustrates the lack of trust that now dominates Synod proceedings. But I also think it underestimates the capacity of the legal staff to act in a disinterested way when dealing with matters of procedure. I believe it is the case, for example, that the lawyers assist members with the drafting of amendments, regardless of the intended effects of those amendments, in order to give Synod the opportunity for debate and to ensure that, if the amendments are agreed, they work technically.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

As someone who, shall we just say, deals with legal professionals on a regular basis (and no, I’m not a Registrar, I’m not an Archdeacon and nor am I ‘the defendant’…) I’m with you in theory, Lucy, but not in reality. As I understand it, the legal advisers we see on the platform at Synod are all employees of the Church of England Legal Office. It could well be said that this fact alone raises an inherent conflict of interest in terms of who their client actually is. Though they are acting in different roles, potentially in one they could… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Realist
Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

Some Synod colleagues are looking at the proposition that a member of the legal team should be made available outside the chamber with the specific brief of advising members dispassionately and in a disinterested way to achieve their objectives. The standing order that permitted the dismissed members to speak was located by a Synod member from the floor: the abiding impression was that the majority of the platform was determined to frustrate the Synod wish to hear from them. The Chair ruled in favour of openness as soon as she was shown the route to do so. I thanked her… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

That is true of the chair but not of the Presidents. That’s where the criticism should be directed IMO, although on this occasion the ABC was of course absent for much of the Synod

Last edited 11 months ago by Kate
Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

Members of the Panel of Chairs meet informally before each Group of Sessions. They discuss the agenda and hear views on what managers of the business (those introducing debates etc.) are hoping to achieve, and try to anticipate what might come up, whether in terms of unexpected views, possible procedural motions etc. It’s common sense planning. I always tried to ensure the debate flowed and was dynamic, and was not highjacked by the usual suspects making predictable speeches. On appointment, members of the panel of chairs are briefed in some detail on the workings of synod, and told they don’t… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Anthony Archer
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

The call for Jasvinder and Steve to be allowed to speak looked to be a response to the Archbishops’ Council members blaming them for the fiasco. As such, the response was necessarily ad hoc, as such a one-sided presentation might not have been foreseen. It was only natural justice to allow Steve and Jasvinder to express themselves.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 months ago

I wonder though if Susannah Clark has it right in one of her other comments when she talks of the problem of deference. Is it possible that the Chair and/or the members of the Archbishops’ Council themselves believed that their explanation would be just accepted? In times past it might have been.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lucy Peasgood
11 months ago

Sorry, ‘defend themselves’ rather than ‘express themselves’.

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

I think a culture of deference is a big problem in the Church of England. Leadership is never easy, and people will often not appreciate the range of problems a leader faces. People always think their own problem is the hugely important one, but don’t necessarily see all the pressures a leader faces. So it’s important to try to uphold leaders in prayer and offer what moral support seems possible. However, by nature humans tend to be tribal, and group-think so often creates ‘them’ and ‘us’ (of course we are ALL susceptible), so I think we really need to guard… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Yes, deference which is a big problem, but probably worse is the expectation of deference.

(Conservatives are often criticised here but in my experience one thing which is good about most (but not all) evangelicals is that they are often humbler than some other tribes.)

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

Is it really “humble” to boast about your Christian “virtues,”such as humility? Because that is my experience of most evangelicals (at least on my side of the pond).

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 months ago

Ah yes, the ever-so-umble Uriah. Like the self-deprecation we see in clergy (and others of course), it’s perverted pride. Reasonably common in my experience in wealthy suburbs. As for me, a wise monk once told me that he was sure God could work through even my pride. And now I’m guilty too.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 months ago

I would be sorry to think it’s been your experience of most evangelicals on Thinking Anglicans, Pat.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
11 months ago

No, although there have been a few–not naming names, of course.

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