Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 15 September 2021

The Economist The Church of England needs new members. How to get them?
A new scheme hopes to create a million new converts in a decade

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Hierarchy, Bishops and Leadership in the Church

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Radical New Christian Inclusion – Changing Attitude England writes to the Bishop of London

Archbishop Cranmer Anglican Conclave to ‘sift’ all candidates for vacancies to see if they are ‘appropriate’

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Kate
Kate
8 days ago

Colin Coward doesn’t reproduce the letter he received from the Bishop of London, but reading between the lines it was incredibly conservative. There is much which could be critiqued, which Colin has done, but there is one key point he misses.   “Responsibility for this discernment lies ultimately with the bishops.” – Bishop of London   I disagree. The responsibility for discernment lies ultimately with every LGBTI member of the Church. We have been tasked by the Holy Spirit with making that discernment in our lives at a practical level and, effectively as prophets, relating the outcome of our discernment… Read more »

Bob Edmonds
Bob Edmonds
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

Scripture also says in 1 John 4, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬
A crucial test is: does the prophecy contradict the Word of God.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Bob Edmonds
8 days ago

That’s the problem with selective quoting, you change the meaning. This is the full passage:   Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Kate
Bob Edmonds
Bob Edmonds
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

“Are you seriously saying that gay and trans Christians do not acknowledge Jesus?” Please do not put words in my mouth or accuse me of saying things which I have not said.

My quote from 1 John 4 does not change the meaning at all. You will find many references to false prophets in both the Old and New Testaments. God’s people have always been urged to check prophecy against God’s word.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Bob Edmonds
8 days ago

The test of a prophet in Dt13 is whether they lead the people to worship a false “god” and in Dt18 is whether the prophecy comes true. So there is both a faithfulness test and a reality check, neither of which are made principally against “God’s word”, though the first is evidently a check against the first commandment. The test in Matt 7:10ff is of the fruit – whether it is good or not. Jesus makes no reference there to God’s word as a standard against which prophecy is to be assessed. I think your “always” overstates the case.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Bob Edmonds
7 days ago

You used 1 John 4 to support a test against God’s word when it doesn’t say that at all.
 
A significant part of Jesus’s ministry was rebellion against what people were wrongly claiming was God’s word. Another part of my frustration with the LLF material is that the material ignored that aspect of Jesus’s ministry – because including it would support change. Jesus was reviled by the conservatives, for example, for healing on the Sabbath who claimed it was against God’s word.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
6 days ago

“A significant part of Jesus’s ministry was rebellion against what people were wrongly claiming was God’s word.” This is a very significant point. All through history, fallible human beings misconstrue what is meant by the Word of God, and how we should understand that. I believe it is a major problem in the Church today. Jesus seems to point (as in the case of the Sabbath) to the Spirit behind the human text. In the case of Paul’s comments on men having sex, the spiritual source of his writing is the concern for holiness, and his cultural/religious view on man-man… Read more »

Colin Coward
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

We agree with you, Kate, about where responsibility for discernment lies. The Changing Attitude England steering group believes that the Next Steps Group is fatally compromised by being composed solely of bishops, and the next stages of the LLF process including final discernment will be equally compromised – probably fatally compromised from our perspective. We will continue to campaign for representation that includes L, G, B, T, I, and Q people. People are encouraged to join the CAE Facebook group if they wish to add their voice and energy to our campaign – https://www.facebook.com/groups/788874575387173.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Colin Coward
8 days ago

Unfortunately I can’t do it on Facebook. I would need something like Line or Discord

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Colin Coward
8 days ago

Colin, I share your analysis that LLF is fatally flawed by the fact that final discernment of the outcomes has been reserved by the bishops for the bishops themselves. It will not be shared. But do the bishops as a group have the competence or lived experience to guarantee making that discernment well. Did you notice the comment in para 83 of the CofE Governance review “We have also reflected on the controversy surrounding the House of Bishops’ 2020 Pastoral Statement on opposite sex civil partnerships. Here, poor communication and lack of clarity in delegation allowed a public statement to… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Simon Dawson
8 days ago

If Jesus returned today as the lay son of a tradesman, neither the Church of England nor the Church of Rome would have any respect for his views. You would have thought in 2,000 years we might have at least learned that lesson.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
8 days ago

It’s so depressing to read of the proposed Nominations Committee, why on earth would anyone think that more centralisation is going to save the CofE? The messaging is chaotic: 10,000 new sitting room churches led by the largest personality in the room; and yet those running the institution will be ‘sifted’ by the most established of Establishment types. Hasn’t the Wash House been sifting these candidates for many years any way? The homogeneity of the current crop of senior clerics is paradoxically its weakness. We had the talent pool experiment and the MBA delivered in a weekend solution. It feels… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Fr Dean
8 days ago

Depressing maybe but entirely predictable: the “simplification” of the Yorkshire dioceses on a larger scale. Perhaps there’ll be more lubricating suffragans and archdeacons and advisers. It’s funny how Francis is trying to Anglicanise the RCC (as George Conger loves to point out) at the same time as the CoE proposes Vaticanisation. As I’ve written elsewhere the English Reformation was never quite finished so we still have Prince bishops who I doubt will yield power. Never mind: let this scheme be effected ASAP so that it hastens the crash from which resurrection may (just conceivably) result. Get out the popcorn, sit… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
7 days ago

The sifting committee will no doubt be busy sieving out the wheat from the chaff as plenty of career minded clerics will put their names forward to be considered as Diversity of Creation Associate Archdeacon Fresh Expression Transition Enablers. Meanwhile no sifting will be needed to run six parishes in Wolverhampton or fourteen in Norfolk – and did we mention on half a stipend!?! Popcorn, darling I’ll need a stiff G&T to get me through this show.

Father Ron Smith
8 days ago

The Bishop Nick Bains’ proposal – to centralise authority within the Church of England runs contrary to the more eirenic impetus of the Roman Catholic Church (long criticised for been ‘too authoritarian’). Pope Francis is moving his Church towards a more synodal democratic de-centralisation, in the belief that the Church is a many-splendoured fellowship of local Churches, each operating and worshipping under the Inspiration of the Triune God. The possession of Business Management degrees ought not to be prefered over the local care and compassion of a suitably qualified and dedicated parish priest. “Where two or three are gathered together… Read more »

Father David
Father David
8 days ago

I thought we already had what I think is referred to as The Lambeth List of those names of clergy who are thought to have the right qualities to become Bench Sitters? If your name wasn’t on the list then you hadn’t a hope in hell of being given a tea cosy.

Nigel LLoyd
Nigel LLoyd
Reply to  Father David
7 days ago

I though The Lambeth List is the black list of those who have done wrong. If this is the list now being used to appoint bishops, that explains a lot.

Adrian
Adrian
Reply to  Father David
7 days ago

White list = preferment / development / talent spotting
Grey list = (allegedly) dubious characters to avoid
Black list = CDM penalties imposed

But does the grey list exist?

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Adrian
7 days ago

I once listened to an elderly lady (long since died) as she told me about her clergy son’s fall from grace. I marvelled at a mother’s love when she confided that she had had every hope that he would have become the Archbishop of Canterbury. Ministry provides some surreal moments but also deeply moving ones.

Father David
Father David
Reply to  Adrian
7 days ago

Of course there’s a grey list – it comes in 50 shades.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Father David
7 days ago

Oooo Matron! Excellent Father David

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Fr Dean
6 days ago

You boys need to go on the stage.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Susannah Clark
5 days ago

Susannah I think perhaps your choice of the word ‘boys’ was most apposite.

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