Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 26 October 2019

Bosco Peters Liturgy A Schism’s Consecration

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Life after Trauma. Charities who work for peace and the healing of Survivors

David Ison ViaMedia.News Unity or Truth?

Julia Baird The Sydney Morning Herald In praise of the oddities and outliers resisting bonkers fundamentalism in Sydney

Rosalind Brown Church Times The lectionary silences women’s experiences
“It is time to make the stories of female biblical characters more visible during public worship”

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Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

Peter Carrell’s comment in the ‘Liturgy’ post is measured, frank and realistic. He also provides a link to the earlier Thinking Anglicans article on NZ and he commends it. I wonder if any message or reaction will be forthcoming from Justin on the issue of crossing provincial borders. To be plain, this is a kind of insurrection. My hope is that the ordinary Anglicans in church after church, and community after community, will just keep calm and continue to love and serve their neighbours, and respect differences of view, but recognise that this is mostly an attempted schism driven by… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

The fundamental flaw in David Ison’s argument is that, if one accepts that everyone has a different view, then everyone also has a different view of the priority of Unity and Truth. Believing in the acceptance diversity of views must nclude accepting that some people don’t believe diversity / Unity is more important than Truth.

Wm. Bill Paul
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Wm. Bill Paul

One troublesome flaw that I see in Ison, and hear elsewhere all too often, is the sharp dichotomy between relational truth and propositional truth. Those who trumpet the idea that truth is personal but not propositional (one priest in our diocese always intones…’Knowing God is more than knowing about God!”) forget or miss that knowing someone surely entails being able to state things that are true about that someone. To put things, that is, in propositional form. the propositions don’t say everything that might be said or should be said, but they saiy true thingsI can maybe grant Ison some… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I think William Bill that there has recently been a good example of the power of propositional truth in terms of Abp Glen Davies incorrect call for people to leave the Church.

The proposition that Christ came to minister to sinners is obviously propositionally true: Christ said it: and He called Peter to found His Church despite Peter committing the serious sin of denying Christ 3 times. Therefore Glen’s call for people to leave is obviously wrong, whether they are bishop or lay, and irrespective of whether or not homosexual relation are sinful.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Equally the debate about human sexuality can be expressed propositionally as: a) it is sinful to love and live with someone (possibly celibately) unless you are do so as man and wife b) it is sinful to engage in homosexual acts even if living as if married c) it is sinful for those in either relationship above to marry each other, and d) c) is such a serious sin that those who commit it cannot serve as ordained ministers vs A) Christ’s love and ministry is inclusive of us all as sinners Maybe those propositions can be refined but I… Read more »

Wm. Bill Paul
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Wm. Bill Paul

Fwiw I was simply commenting on Ison’s claim that “the joy of the Christian Gospel is that it’s not propositional it’s relational” and saying that that distinction as hard and fast as he made it doesn’t really hold up. Put maybe another way : knowing God will always involve knowing things about God capable of articulation. I have no comments about the particular responses to my post that are working toward particular theological arguments/positions. I only had Ison’s overdrawn contrast ( in my view) as my target.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

With an important caveat – not everyone who knows God is capable of articulating truths about God. Some of the stand-out Christians I’ve known have been simple souls who couldn’t discuss what they knew. One had severe learning difficulties and almost no speech – but the way she said ‘Jesus’ was as good as a sermon.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Julia Baird’s excellent exposition of the anti-women ethos in the Sydney Anglican Archdiocese rightly expresses this opinion: “But we need to honour those who keep turning up, and keep putting the case, even when they have nothing to gain, even when it seems all is hopeless in a small patch of the church renowned for its fundamentalism.” Professor Stewart may be a lonely voice crying in the wilderness of the Sydney Synod, but it is a sign that not every Sydney Anglican is as seemingly misogynistic as its Archbishop and Bishops. This man’s very presence in that Synod – aggravating… Read more »

Richard
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Richard

Foley is not only Primate of ACNA, he is chairman of GAFCON. The primacy of his position is apparently represented by the broad red tippet with gold crosses which he wears. It is not unlike the red papal stole which Francis wears. The other archbishops and bishops wear plain black tippets. So much for servant leadership.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

A bit off topic, but why don’t bishops wear black chimeres routinely? Surely, they should? These days they’re seen in England only in the House of Lords and at consecrations in the Province of York. Church of Ireland bishops know better than to wear red all the time.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Is there a requirement or even a suggestion that black be the normal color for chimeres? If so, when is red allowed/recommended? I read (some time ago on TA) that for consecrations, the bishop-elect wears black; the consecrators wear red. I don’t know that this is anything but tradition (if that), but from what you say, the norm in the Province of York is black.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

In Canada I have never seen a black one.

Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

Foley Beach continues an American Anglican preference for distinctive clerical dress.

In 1786 America’s first Episcopal Bishop, Dr. Samuel Seabury, visited Boston, and his ecclesiastical regalia apparently caused quite a stir among the locals. One bewildered Bostonian wrote:

“We have a Bishop in town named Seabury—he dresses in a black shirt with the fore-flap hanging out [a bishop’s apron], that’s one suit; at other times he appears in a black sattin gown [chimere]; white sattin sleeves [rochet], white belly band [perhaps a gremial], with a scarlet knapsack [academic hood] at his back, and something resembling a pyramid [miter] on his head.”

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

“(The Churches of Christchurch Saint Laurence and Saint James, Kings Street, for instance, are iconic outposts of catholic solidarity in the wilderness of Sydney Anglican fundamentalism)” Thankfully they are not alone, just able to be more obvious as they are located within the city. Bernard Stewart, mentioned in the article by Julia Baird, represents St George’s Paddington, another such church. These churches tend to be in more wealthy areas and are able to speak out without fear of intervention. There have been several such churches over the years who, having fallen behind in their diocesan payments, find they have no… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

Eventually I tired of it and made the decision to emigrate to New Zealand although that was not the only reason. I knew not to go to Nelson, from where the bishops who attended the recent ‘consecration’ in Christchurch came, and chose Dunedin, who had selected the first woman diocesan in the world and recently ordained an openly gay man. The vicar of the church I chose had openly been in favour of acceptance of homosexuality. He became bishop soon after my arrival and while insisting on working through church structures (so had not agreed with the recent ordination by… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Brian, just picking up on the point at the end of your post. I agree entirely and rejoice in Jesus’s proclamation that the kingdom is *here*, that we live in God’s kingdom here and now when we truly love our neighbour in the here and now. Following Jesus, being a Christian, is a “here and now” faith, and alongside practising that we have the job of sharing that good news.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

I see nothing in Holy Scripture that DEMANDS belief in an afterlife. I’d love to, to hug one of my sons again, but I don’t. There’s nothing that says “we’ll meet again” with or without Ms Lynn, merely that we’ll be in the Divine presence, whatever that may mean. There was, IIRC, a catholic theologian at the University of Kent who was of similar view. Can’t remember his name. My view of 1 Thessalonians is that Paul was saying what he thought they wanted to hear because he was embarrassed about having left them in the lurch. The K of… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

If there is no afterlife, what is the salvation that Jesus bought for us? What is judgement if there is no consequence of being judged favourably or unfavourably? I agree nothing in Scripture demands directly that we believe in an afterlife but belief in one does seem to be a consequence of things which we are required to believe in.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Salvation here and now. Salvation from self.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

We are saved when we help the poor and the sick and the homeless and the suffering and all in need and when we are reconciled with those from whom we are separated. We are saved when we accept the help of others. Saved from what? Saved from separating ourselves from the love of God and the love of our neighbour. Saved to live our life as God created us to live. Judgement too is here and now, we are judged every time we do or don’t proclaim God’s love by our words and actions. Do we really need the… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Yes, yes.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Put simply we are made in the image of God. What is more important than his immortality, in which we must therefore share?

Kate
Guest
Kate

That would all happen anyway and is unaffected by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So again. what is the salvation Jesus bought for us?

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

I agree that the sovereignty of God’s love breaks through in our lives, here and now, in the present, as does judgment. And that is a huge part of our calling and what we are created for in the here and now, and who God calls us to become. I very much believe that. However, if as a Christian I believe that God is personal and God is supernatural, existing at a deeper level of reality than I can fully understand, then there does seem a certain logic to me to suppose that this supernatural God… existing if you might… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

I have twice sat with dying people who were looking into heaven as their body failed. And a colleague of mine was describing the angels he could see a week before he died. I’m sure that what we normally see is not all there is, and when we die other dimensions will be open to us. And the ‘communion of saints’ is not only about fellowship with people who happen to coexist with us on earth; when we are freed from the constraints of time we will know ‘mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.’

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Brian, I think you would get a very warm welcome at All Saints, Dunedin. Do give it a try. Blessings!

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Julia Baird notes correctly the “awkwardness” factor of men fighting patriarchy. Some years ago the resident feminist theologian at a local theological college here asserted that, while men can oppose sexism, men cannot be feminists. Only women, based on the experience of being a woman, can be feminists. I tend to agree. Men can and ought to be allies in the fight against sexism; but men styling themselves as ‘feminists’ runs the risk of men loosing their self critical edge. The near end of Baird’s article is thought provoking as well, “…many tell moderate people of faith to just leave… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re: Bosco Peters, The schismatic consecration is a political and cultural dead end. However the photo of the same calls to mind acting out behaviour in the form a self constructed psychodrama.One can only hope that upon reflection the participants will learn something, first, about themselves, and hopefully eventually, about those whom they judge to be different from themselves.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

An important question for the Bishops of ACANZP (New Zealand and Polynesia) regarding this schismatic intervention in Aotearoa/New Zealand is this: Were the retired ACANZ bishops who took part in their episcopal robes in this irregular consecration of a new bishop in New Zealand – to head up the new ‘Confessing Anglican Church in AotearoaN.Z.’ acting in the capacity as licenced bishops of ACANZP? Or were they acting under the direct authority of the Sydney/GACON primates present at the Christchurch debacle? If the latter, then they owe their episcopal loyalty to Sydney and GAFCON. In such either case, surely they… Read more »

Judith Maltby
Guest
Judith Maltby

The language used of ‘confessing Anglicans’ is, I assume, a reference to the Confessing Church under the Nazis in the 1930s. Where on earth did they get the idea that most people might think there was parallel between people who killed gay and lesbian people (the Nazis) and those who welcome and affirm gay and lesbian people (the NZ church)? I have a vague memory of its use in the States in the 1990s or 2000s. Can anyone trace its source and development?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I suspect Judith they mean Confessing in the sense of Confessional..rather as conservative Prebyterians and Lutherans continue to affirm strict adherence to the Westminster or Augsburg Confessions. They want an Anglicanism based around the Jerusalem Statement. Most of us have assumed that Anglicanism isnt “confessional” in that sense, and most continental Protestants have rather agreed with us. Im not sure many of them would have sufficient historical sense to link their activities to Nazi Germany.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Well I have read one conservative theologian make a direct link with Bonhoeffer and the need for a new Barmen Declaration in the context of his concerns with the ‘liberalism’ of today’s church.

SMR
Guest
SMR

Hi Judith, I believe that the term is intended more connected with returning to the confessions of the Reformation more than anything else. The usage on the 90s/2000s it stems fromthe founding of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, founded in the US in 1994 by Boice, to advocate for a Reformed perspective in theology. In the 1996 Cambridge Declaration its key points were outlined: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Declaration Nowadays the group is much less importance. But the use of the term ‘confessional’ as opposed to say ‘affiliative’ lived on in discussions about the Anglican Covenant: https://modernchurch.org.uk/anglican-covenant/criticisms-of-the-covenant/how-it-would-affect-churches/confessional-church And so it is still in the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thanks for your link, SMR, to the Modern Church assessment of the Anglican Covenant strategy which failed to grasp the rapt attention of the more moderate Churches of the ACC. Here is a paragraph which, in the light of GAFCON/FOCA expansionism, seems to sum up the situation: “Those who prefer a confessional church demand more clarity. Some of the more conservative leaders in the Anglican Communion are used to treating Anglicanism as a confessional denomination, and are therefore frustrated that they had no means to sanction the church of the USA, nor to expel it, nor even to dissociate themselves… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest

In think it refers to the fact they want Anglicanism to be confessional – which it never has been..

Chris Harwood
Guest
Chris Harwood

That depends on how important one sees having a Book of Common Prayer that’s actually “Common” to all and the 39 Articles, etc. TEC has so many authorized alternative texts and priests that create their own, there really isn’t a “Common” liturgy anymore. Many conservatives here want the 39 Articles to be confessional, many liberals want nothing more than the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and some of them don’t even care if you believe that. What with Spong and some other liberal bishops/priests out there calling the resurrection “ridiculious” or calling for a “Christian Atheism” (No, I don’t understand what they mean),… Read more »

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

But the conservatives largely aren’t going after the non-believers among the clergy and laity, they’re going after the LGBT members of both, whether devout or not. I also don’t think there’s any indication that most of the conservatives are particularly concerned about liturgy. No, the uniting principle of GAFCON is homophobia, plain and simple.

Kate
Guest
Kate

And transphobia, of course. Let’s not forget that.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

When I’ve worshipped in the US I’ve found that most churches follow the 1979 PrayerBk fairly faithfully..perhaps rite 1 early and rite 2 later.Done in vestments..all very seemly. It reminds me of the prayerbk catholic services of my choirboy days in the early 60s. At least you know what you are going to get. That is no longer true in the C of E. Common Worship has a huge no of permutations. The old PrayerBk evangelical ethos has all but disappeared. Modern evangelicals have abandoned robes and sit light to the official liturgical forms. You can experience everything from the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

re the N.Z. “Confessing Church’ debacle; it may be of interest to the U.K., readers at ADU, that two ex-members of the Church of England who were present at the Christchurch, NZ border-crossing ordination meeting – are listed as Charles Raven and the GAFCON Bishop Andy Lines of the so-called ‘Anglican Mission in England’ (AMIE) another subversive quasi-Anglican group. Borders do seem to be very fluid in this ‘Confessing’ Church of FOCA/GAFCON/ACNA.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

This is really a small coterie of activists. Most people want to live out and express their Christian faith in the communities where they live and where they serve: the poor, the sick, the needy, the abandoned. Most Anglicans are trying to live out their faith in daily life, and its practicalities, and as such – these theological dogmatics which GAFCON is championing seem less immediate to many people than the elderly neighbour who’s gone into hospital; the family with a sick child; the person who won’t go outside because of depression, the lad who is homeless and sleeping on… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Rosalind Brown exposes the way that positive stories of women in the Bible are excluded from the lectionary cycles of the Church of England. But this is not new. The disturbing thing is that the evidence is still there, even after extensive revisions of the lectionary in recent years. Long generations of public worshippers in church have simply never been hearing the gospel stories of women leading, taking authority, initiative, speaking and acting prophetically – and commended by Jesus for it. By contrast stories of poor, sick or ‘sinful’ women have been included. The result is a continued and deep-rooted… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Agreed David, and the same point can be made about many stories in the Bible where men and women display many forms of diverse gender related behaviour. For example why did Isaac dwell in the tents with the women? The is a lot of uncovering to be done.

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Sorry, My mistake. It should be why did Jacob live in the tents with the women? That’s what comes of a rushed TA post on my way to a funeral.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

So true. We are rather brainwashed into hearing the predominantly male narratives, generated in religious communities where men were mostly priests and leaders, and patriarchy was socially unexceptional. And we inherit that narrative stream. And yet in all these communities were women, with their lives, their stories, their fortitude, their faith. I do wonder what message we give girls growing up in the Church, when so much of the narrative is about men. Just occasionally there is an outbreak of women’s narrative. The story of Naomi and Ruth is a wonderful, intimate account of female solidarity. It resonates so much… Read more »

John Wallace
Guest
John Wallace

Queen Elizabeth said : I would not open windows into men’s (sic) souls.” The implication is that you do not doubt the faith and its out working for your fellow-Christians. This is the core of what we believe as Anglicans. We are not a fundamentalist sect with strict dogmatic rules; rather we are one of the (probably flawed) evidences of the Spirit at work in the world. The GAFCON rigidity is a particular interpretation of scripture that must be resisted. Unless they go all the way in their literalism and do not eat prawn cocktails or wear poly-cotton shirts (see… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Would that be the same Elizabeth who persecuted Roman Catholics and Puritans alike and did away with anyone who would not go along with her Act of Uniformity? I think what she meant was, as long as you play by my rules and go along externally with the prescribed way of doing things in my church, then I won’t ask you too many questions beyond that. But I’m not sure that’s the sort of CofE most TA readers are after! As for “the core of what we believe as Anglicans”, I don’t remember that statement appearing in the Articles, BCP,… Read more »

Len Johnson
Guest
Len Johnson

Although I agree with most of what you maintain (in most of your many responses in this forum!), I don’t quite see how God is “pre-supposed” to be male. God is called “father” throughout both testaments, just as Jesus, in the NT, is called “son.”

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Female imagery is also used of God in both testaments; and the Spirit is female in the Old Testament. God is not limited to male or female. God is ‘I am who I am’ – free of and unrestricted by any of our categories.

father Ron Smith
Guest

Len, I believe – together with many modern Christians, that both the Jewish and the Christian scriptures are tinged with the patriarchal influence of the societies they were living in at the time they were written. The male of the species – according to one of the creation stories – Adam – was the sole progenitor of the human race with Eve, the female, being created from Adam’s rib! (some fundamentalists would prefer not to accord any serious consideration to the other creation story, which has God creating Adam and Eve together). This may be why conservative Sola Scriptural Judaeo… Read more »

Len Johnson
Guest
Len Johnson

Many thanks for your reply, with which I entirely agree. I am not remotely anti-feminist and am entirely in favor of the role of women priests in the Anglican Communion (in which I include the Episcopal Church in the US). I still think it would be a bit odd to say “Thanks be to God, to the Mother, the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit”–but then, I’m a man.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Len, I think we are led to God along paths that unfold in our lives, and I suppose God knows and loves and understands us so well, and is basically happy for us to approach along the pathways of who we are, and our intuition, and experience. So I think I have no right to ‘pre-suppose’ that you envisage God as female in your devotion and your love of God. God can be loved as an amazing father figure, with everything that may mean to many individuals. My view is that God knows and feels and understands and expresses (from… Read more »

Len Johnson
Guest
Len Johnson

Susannah, thank you very much for your very thoughtful reply, for defining your own understanding of God and for your conclusion. Your last three paragraphs reflect very much my own comprehension of God.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

And thanks, in turn, for your kind response, Len. I feel like I just want to add a little of how much I love and value and respect men who have been wonderful role models in my life. I don’t personally identify as feminist, though I very much value some of the theological critique of feminist theologians such as Elizabeth Johnson. It concerns me when *some* (far from all) feminists seem to fall into the trap of demonising men and making generalisations about them. That becomes very depressing, and at that point feminism risks being a magnet for bland-thinking men-haters.… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

Susannah: Don’t all of us, male as well as female, have great role-models in Mary the Mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the first disciples on that first Easter morning.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Very definitely, Rowland.

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