Thinking Anglicans

Reactions to the letter from eleven bishops

Updated again Thursday

The Church Times has reported on the letter published on Monday, see Evangelical bishops hint at split if marriage teaching is changed.  This mentions that the Bishop of Liverpool tweeted:

 “It’s good to talk. Letters like this contribute to the conversation, but they will not and should not replace or pre-empt the process by which the Church of England as a whole expresses the radical new Christian inclusion to which we’re called.”

To date the letter remains unreported in the secular media.

There have been several articles written in response. Two of these are written by bishops:

Other responses include:

Stephen Parsons Eleven English Bishops teaching about Sex and Marriage

Andrew Lightbown Talking of the evangelical bishops letter

Marcus Green a never failing stream

Two campaigning groups have also issued statements:

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Michael MulhernCharles ClaphamCynthia KatsarelisKateMalcolm Dixon Recent comment authors
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Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

Well That’s a first! – to be moved to tears by a Thinking Anglicans post. It was David Gillett’s article, the paragraph beginning “So, I listened”.

The very strange experience of recognising myself, in the telling of a story about a man recognising himself, in the story of Adam and his search for a helpmeet.

As Stanley Hauerwas says, it is all about the stories.

Thank You

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I hope the letter continues to go unreported in the secular media!

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Andrew Lightbown is on the money, again. But I would take issue with: “Sexuality isn’t after all given to be a first order (salvation) issue and marriage isn’t officially considered to be a sacrament.” It is for the conservative evangelicals. It’s all they talk about, all they think about, all they care about. In the eyes of the rest of the population, the Church of England is similarly obsessed. The CofE, from the outside, is formed of two groups. The first are people who wish to deny gay people admission, but are a bit nervous about saying so in terms.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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‘It is for the conservative evangelicals. It’s all they talk about, all they think about, all they care about.’ My closest friend in England is a member of a well-known conservative evangelical church. I have been there with him and I can tell you that sexuality is far from being all they talk, think and care about. and, contrary to the popular view, the place appears to be very successful in attracting younger people, including families and singles. You guys have a strong case. Don’t spoil it by exaggeration. I say that as a friendly outsider who would be a… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

The silence from the other bishops and the various deans is thunderous; the silence from the archbishops who called for a “radical new Christian inclusion” is positively defeaning. Bishops are paid to be prominent leaders. That doesn’t mean ducking behind the parapet when things get contentious – that is precisely when every bishop should be speaking up.

So the responses here are welcome, of course, but it’s those in positions of leadership we need to speak up.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

The Bishop of Liverpool tweeted this today:
I’m delighted to support, honour and affirm LGBTI+ Christians and Christian ministers. The church is not fully human without their presence and witness. I’m delighted that in our Church of England we’re looking together at the best way to recognise that.

4:03 PM – 17 Oct 2018

I call that stepping up. Thank you Paul Bayes.

CRS
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CRS

Could one ask how this is anything different to what the 11 have written?

Kate
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Kate

It’s not stepping up though is it?

Father David
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Father David

We’ve heard from the 11 Evangelical Bishops but what do the Catholic Bishops have to say on the matter? Thinks, are there any Catholic Bishops left in the Church of England or has Archbishop Welby managed to replace them all with those of his own ilk and outlook?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

What a delightful post by Andrew Lightbown. Once again he displays a deep pastoral concern for people who are different in their innate gender/sexuality from the binary ‘norm’. By his willingness to actually relate to LGBTI persons – while yet himself being different (normal) Andrew exercises a profound understanding of our common humanity as bearers of the Divine Image and yet not all of us are contained within the traditional binary sexuality/gender identity. Can someone propose him for episcopal preferment? (However, he may prefer not to join the H.o.B.).

Kate
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Kate

Yes.

I think a fruitful area for debate is a) whether same sex marriage is a salvation issue and b) whether marriage is a sacrament. I agree with Andrew that the answers are no and no. If so surely the issue is less contentious than the ordination of women, not more? An evangelical might regard a homosexual priest as sinful but we are all sinners and that’s very different to those who feel that women cannot validly be priests or bishops.

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

A wonderful later addition from David Runcorn. Thank you, David, for continuing to show us that there exists within Evangelicalism a much broader and affirming view than these 11 bishops are prepared to accept.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I was reluctant to weigh in because I could only manage reading 2 pages of the 11 bishops’ letter. It is profoundly dishonest. Until the conservatives understand that most of us who hold the inclusive view do so because of Scripture, it’s pretty difficult to have a dialogue. We are simply wrong and they have taken it upon themselves to set us straight, even though their arguments are intellectually and theologically lightweight and give off the unmistakable stench of hypocrisy. I have to feel sorry for them and their flock, to believe in such a God, an exclusive, unforgiving God… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Guest

Many thanks to Jayne Ozanne for commissioning and hosting the responses from the three Davids on her viamedia blog. Very helpful!

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

This is not only a welcome development, and an indication that the Evangelical constituency is much more diverse than the CEEC would have us believe (witnessed by the small number of bishops prepared to sign Julian Henderson’s and Pete Broadbent’s letter); but an indication of the degree to which many Evangelicals are putting the search for truth ahead of tribal loyalty. Oh that the Tory and Labour parties in Britain would learn from this. Oh that those Evangelicals who are stuck in an ideological rut would see the parallel scenario, and how their rigid and unthinking stance is dragging the… Read more »