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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Second openly gay bishop in ECUSA (very likely)
Grammatica
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Spawn, High view of Scripture + Calvinism = (more or less) Con Evo.

There are so many varieties of Calvinism it's difficult to be more precise, but the view of Scripture is AFAIK very close to the view committed Marxists take of the writings of Marx/Engels/Lenin. If it can't be expounded out of a place in one of the Writings, it can't be held as true, no matter how much experience and reason may claim for its truth, or sentiment may wish to believe it.

This view of things is not one I share, nor can I really understand it, but I do understand that people take this view.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
quote:
Third Reichist politics currently being played in Uganda.
L.Sv.K. - any chance of some serious analysis? You know Godwin's law means you've just lost that argument. In any event Uganda is utterly unlike the third reich. Try again.
The analogy/similarity is between the Third Reich's racial purity laws and the perpetration of the Shoah on the one hand, and the scapegoating of homosexual persons by Ugandan demogogues - and the pending witch-hunt and holocaust againt Ugandan homosexuals - on the other. That's obvious enough. You apologists for discrimination simply don't want to hear it.

[ 10. December 2009, 12:34: Message edited by: Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras ]

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Zach82
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Ugh, can we please rewind the thread to before the conservatives were accused of being nazis? [Hot and Hormonal]

Zach

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

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Organ Builder
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
quote:
Third Reichist politics currently being played in Uganda.
L.Sv.K. - any chance of some serious analysis? You know Godwin's law means you've just lost that argument. In any event Uganda is utterly unlike the third reich. Try again.
Only if you consider Godwin's law to be sacred writ. Uganda may be unlike the Third Reich (I don't have a problem with that statement) but if were in Uganda right now, looking at an impending death sentence and wondering which of my "Christian" neighbors would be turning me in to the State I suspect the analogy would cross my mind.

Given Uganda's historic ties to Britain, it would not surprise me if a number of refugees seek asylum in Britain. I do rather wonder how the ABC will respond when they start taking him to task for not speaking out against the evil there.

These are people who are going to be your neighbors. Some of them will go to your churches. I suspect they will ask some very uncomfortable questions.

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How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.--E.F. Benson

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
Spawn, I reject your equation of quiet, behind the scenes work in long term political processes such as Northern Ireland and Palestine with the proper response to the type of Third Reichist politics currently being played in Uganda.

The examples I gave weren't all about long-term processes.

quote:
Places like Zimbabwe and Uganda call for an entirely different form of massive public international condemnation and pressurization of the international community of governments to make it clear to the offending state that there will be unpleasant consequences if they insist on pursuing a particular course of action (and then indeed carrying out punishment of the target state if it should persist in its unacceptable aims).
I think the legislators of Uganda would laugh if the Archbishop of Canterbury threatened sanctions - withholding the eucharist? - against Uganda. The point though is that ++Rowan was indeed criticised for not speaking up on Zimbabwe earlier because he spent sometime in putting private pressure on +Kunonga before eventually cutting loose at the guy.

quote:
The Archbp of Canterbury has a moral obligation to speak out, loud and clear on this matter.
Maybe, but you don't necessarily get to pick the timing. These proposals haven't become law yet, there is still still to play for - for example it looks likely that the death penalty and life imprisonment sentences may be dropped from the Bill. The legislation may turn out to be not much worse than the existing law and similar laws in many other countries throughout the world which also criminalise homosexuality. Furthermore, anti-gay proposals in Nigeria never did actually become law. [Note: I oppose any such laws].

quote:
Working behind the scenes in this sort of context will not achieve desired aims and amounts to no more than complicity.
Says you.

How do you know it won't achieve desired aims? Quiet diplomacy may well achieve more than public statements. However the apparent silence of the Archbishops of both Canterbury and York does not signal complicity when both of them have spoken out against such homophobia in the past. Anyway, I'm not ruling out public statements.

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
My personal view, and I can't speak for others, is that the difference over sexuality is serious because it points to much deeper ways in which our theologies are different. So no despite your protestations I think you've also redefined sin and soteriology.

I see know reason to think that is so, since the definition of sin does not hinge on sexuality. For me any way, I can't speak for you.

Which still leaves completely valid my point that there is still lots of consensus between our provinces either way.

Zach

Well, from our perspective, you've redefined what sexual sin is. And much of your commentary about what we have in common can just as well be said of what we have in common with most Christian denominations, with the (recent) exception, as Spawn has said, of theology.

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by Grammatica:
Spawn, High view of Scripture + Calvinism = (more or less) Con Evo.
[...]
If it can't be expounded out of a place in one of the Writings, it can't be held as true

This is getting a bit off-topic, but as my last attempt to explain...

Conservative evangelicals (in my rusty experience) are more likely to say "If it contradicts Scripture it can't be held as true." This is obviously a giant can of worms, but many UK con evos believe that abortion and homosexuality go against Scripture - and some believe female priests do too.

They don't see your other "progressive" issues as contradicting Scripture though - quite the opposite. Hence they feel free to campaign (or not) about African debt relief, workers' rights, climate change, abolishing the death penalty, prison reform, Fair Trade, etc.

You're looking at this from a US perspective where the culture war has created two opposing camps: Progressive versus Conservative. This neat split doesn't apply in the UK, or (I suspect) many places outside the US - e.g. churches in Latin America. It doesn't even apply inside the US, as the black churches and the Catholics demonstrate - not to mention these guys.

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Spawn
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I think the point about our theological differences is well-made by Grammatica, for whom it is all about 'power'. Canon Mary Glasspool makes the same point in today's Times that the opposition to her appoiintment is all about 'power and authority'.

I can assure you that for me it is about theology and nothing else. But the fact that this is a theological concern is dismissed. In fact, I don't see a theological argument coming from the other side at all.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Grammatica:
Spawn, High view of Scripture + Calvinism = (more or less) Con Evo.

There are so many varieties of Calvinism it's difficult to be more precise, but the view of Scripture is AFAIK very close to the view committed Marxists take of the writings of Marx/Engels/Lenin. If it can't be expounded out of a place in one of the Writings, it can't be held as true, no matter how much experience and reason may claim for its truth, or sentiment may wish to believe it.

Your view of evangelicals applies to at least some of them perhaps, but no Marxists I know of treat Marx like Holy Writ. That sounds like a straw man.

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Ken

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:

I can assure you that for me it is about theology and nothing else. But the fact that this is a theological concern is dismissed. In fact, I don't see a theological argument coming from the other side at all.

As I said earlier, there is a theological argument -- centering around Jesus' inclusion of those who were seen in his day as outcasts and sinners; verses such as those in Colossians and Galations about 'In Christ, there is no x no y'; 'those who live in love live in God and God lives in them'; and questions as to exactly what is aim of passages such as Romans 3 and how they relate to faithful monogamous homosexual relationships as we know them today -- but that the inclusive side all to often does not make it.

I can see where the accusations of it all being about power come from too though. And in the Ugandan situation there seems to be a streak of anti-colonialism.

The conservatives accuse the liberals in American of changing (their reading of) to suit their culture, but as far as I can tell much of the debate in African is strongly influenced by cultural and political issues there.

This is why I wish we could listen to each rather than just claiming victim status for our side.

Carys

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
I think the point about our theological differences is well-made by Grammatica, for whom it is all about 'power'. Canon Mary Glasspool makes the same point in today's Times that the opposition to her appoiintment is all about 'power and authority'.

I can assure you that for me it is about theology and nothing else. But the fact that this is a theological concern is dismissed. In fact, I don't see a theological argument coming from the other side at all.

Possibly relevant here is a shift that has occurred in the American Church with respect to how the figurative three-legged Anglican stool is conceived. These days, rather than hearing talk so much of "scripture, tradition, and reason", the contemporary formula is often framed as "scripture, tradition, and lived experience". This latter is certainly relevant to the description of the emotional and pragmatic style that Grammatica referred to.
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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
Possibly relevant here is a shift that has occurred in the American Church with respect to how the figurative three-legged Anglican stool is conceived. These days, rather than hearing talk so much of "scripture, tradition, and reason", the contemporary formula is often framed as "scripture, tradition, and lived experience". This latter is certainly relevant to the description of the emotional and pragmatic style that Grammatica referred to.

Ah, if they would just combine the two lists, they would finally arrive at the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. There may be hope for you Anglicans yet...

--Tom Clune

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:

I can assure you that for me it is about theology and nothing else. But the fact that this is a theological concern is dismissed. In fact, I don't see a theological argument coming from the other side at all.

As I said earlier, there is a theological argument -- centering around Jesus' inclusion of those who were seen in his day as outcasts and sinners; verses such as those in Colossians and Galations about 'In Christ, there is no x no y'; 'those who live in love live in God and God lives in them'; and questions as to exactly what is aim of passages such as Romans 3 and how they relate to faithful monogamous homosexual relationships as we know them today -- but that the inclusive side all to often does not make it.

I can see where the accusations of it all being about power come from too though. And in the Ugandan situation there seems to be a streak of anti-colonialism.

The conservatives accuse the liberals in American of changing (their reading of) to suit their culture, but as far as I can tell much of the debate in African is strongly influenced by cultural and political issues there.

This is why I wish we could listen to each rather than just claiming victim status for our side.

Carys

Look, I don't think the Africans can be given a pass on the commission of atrocities just because they were under colonial rule 50 or 60 years ago. In Rwanda Catholic priests and the members of religious orders participated actively in the genocide. Should they be given tea and sympathy because the unpleasantness there was after all an expression of inter-tribal and cultural issue that we Europeans can't appreciate? Give me a fucking break!
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Honest Ron Bacardi
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I don't know why the issue of Uganda has been dragged into this - it sounds like some sort of tu quoque argument to me. But it has. So let's address it.

It is undoubtedly the case that the situation for gay people in both Nigeria and Uganda over the last few years. (Gay activists say that is also possibly true in the UK too, but I can only address so much in one go). It is a disaster - and not just for gay people but also in the fight against AIDS, which seemed to be going well in Uganda.

Why? More to the point, why Nigeria and why Uganda?

Interestingly both Nigeria and Uganda have a number of things in common. Uganda has a founding myth concerning the Uganda martyrs (link). Nigeria has long laboured under extremely corrupt and violent rulers, onto whom all manner of accusations have been levelled. Including homosexual practice. I still haven't been able to tie this one down exactly, but there does seem to have been a clique within the Air Force during the dictatorship of Sani Abacha for which the accusation may have had some traction. Most of the rest of it is pretty clearly a fiction. Nevertheless it is there - just read any Nigerian commentator or blog and it won't be long before you find it.

The point of all this is that in both those countries, homosexual practice is aligned with a perception of corruption and brutality within a power clique.

Into this state of affairs marched, at some point in early 90's, a delegation from ECUSA as-was, headed by Frank Griswold, and accompanied by Louie Crew of Integrity. The Ugandans treated them graciously I understand, but asked in what capacity exactly they were supposed to understand the presence of LC. This has been followed up on several occasions by stated intentions to establish "Integrity Uganda" - you can read about what happened here (link).

Meanwhile over in Nigeria, the same time frame saw Peter Akinola setting out as ECUSA's biggest buddy on the African continent - a fact that appears to have been mysteriously forgotten. During one big PR event entitled "Come and See", Frank Griswold invited African Anglican primates to come over and - well, see I suppose. What Akinola actually saw I have no idea, but whatever it was seems to have triggered what we now have before us. And since then there has been the ongoing saga of our own Changing Attitude keeping the pot boiling with constant public letters and press releases. I have a great deal of time for CA and I think they have been treated poorly, but the point is that we have had involvement there too.

So then - we have two states who have a perception of homosexual practice aligning with corrupt power cliques, and both have distictly conservative (small-c) notions of sexuality. does breezing in there by gay pressure groups - let alone ECUSA with pressure group cheerleader in tow - sound like a good idea? By any evidence-based assessment, the answer must surely be that it has been a catastrophe.

And into this maelstrom you suggest that +Rowan should stand up and exercise megaphone diplomacy? Are you mad? It is clear that +Rowan should indeed do something, but for goodness sakes expecting that public finger-wagging will ever achieve anything other than more grief for the gay community in the short and medium term.

In fact, the situation in Uganda is the one that annoys me the most. It never need have come to this I am sure. And if we get it right it might actually be recoverable. Nigeria I am not so sure. It may be a basket case so far as this issue is concerned.

This is not a full analysis, even though I am sure the events I have mentioned have played their part. I am not naturally disposed to start blaming people when no malice was clearly intended, and of course now we have your beloved Conservative alphabet-soup warriors crawling all over the place. Well done. Chalk that one up as a success to the culture wars, and as a good indicator as to why I think this insane dichotomy is so utterly fucked.

By all means, please try and do something, but if it involves massaging your own sense of self-righteousness before the plight of gays in Africa, you may wish to consider that - in your case - doing nothing might be the kinder option.

--------------------
Anglo-Cthulhic

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Augustine the Aleut
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SPK is right to raise a query mark. When I wrote this I had just returned from 4 days in Montréal and had not re-adjusted mentally to my return to Ontario. By majority church (i.e., RCC), I meant the largest single church in Canada (somewhere around 40%). Of course, a mean person could suggest that non-attenders are the largest religious group in Canada.
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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
I think this is really the crux of it: we disagree on first principles when it comes to the role and interpretation of Scripture. This also tends to imply different POVs regarding inspiration, the nature of the collection of canonical books, etc; and the degree to which the Canon is subject to historical criticism.

Anglicans believe that the OT and NT Scriptures are the rule and ultimate standard of faith and that the Nicene Creed is the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. Anglicans also believe that the 39 Articles of Religion bear witness to that Christian faith. There's no wriggle room in Anglicanism concerning the authority of the Scriptures as the ultimate standard of faith. That's what the word 'ultimate' means. You can't reject scripture - or even selected parts of scripture - and still maintain that they are 'ultimate' in any real sense of the word. The very fact that you subject them to revision and socio-political censorship is ample evidence that they are no longer ultimate for you.

[ 10. December 2009, 14:34: Message edited by: Call me Numpty ]

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Numpty, the 39 Articles have no official place in the canons of TEC. They were indeed endorsed by our bishops in the C18, albeit without any requirement for acceptance by either the clergy or laity. Some US Anglicans have taken them relatively seriously, others not so much. In the present revision of our BCP they were reduced to microscopic print and put in a section called "Historical Documents of the Church", although the other such documents in that section are of arguably greater importance, e.g. Chalcedonian Definition of the Natures and Person of Christ. As to Scripture being the rule by which everything else is to be judged, most American Anglicans IME reject that. Rather, scripture is subject to evaluation based on reason/lived experience and tradition; there's supposed to be a feedback loop actually between scripture, tradition, and reason/experience such that each is informed and assessed in terms of the others. You've a very rigid view of what constitutes Anglicanism and it seems clear that as an overall church TEC doesn't fit within Numpty Brand Anglicanism (Deo Gratias).
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Louise
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:

Into this state of affairs marched, at some point in early 90's, a delegation from ECUSA as-was, headed by Frank Griswold, and accompanied by Louie Crew of Integrity. The Ugandans treated them graciously I understand, but asked in what capacity exactly they were supposed to understand the presence of LC. This has been followed up on several occasions by stated intentions to establish "Integrity Uganda" - you can read about what happened here (link).

Please give evidence for your dating. What I can see indicates that there was some sort of controversial visit and report by Louie Crew in 2001. I cant see anything for 'the early 1990s' as you claim. The date is important.

L.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Just to add to my reply to Nump', I have NEVER heard an Anglican take the "you either believe it all or you don't believe any of it" position with regard to the Bible. It sounds a form of literalism and/or inerrancy that I normal equate with Southern Baptists and their ilk. Many here in the States became Anglicans to get away from that sort of perverse biblicism.
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Sorry, but this memory occurred to me after the end of the edit window and provides an interesting counterpoint to Numpty's take on the role of scripture in Anglicanism. The priest who prepared me for confirmation at the beginning of the 1970s was an old Irishman who had received his orders in the Church in Wales on the eve of the Battle of Britain. By the time I knew him, he had landed in West Texas. In confirmation classes he emphasised that the scriptures were completely subordinate to the Church and not the other way round. Rather like Luther who at one point had tried to impeach the Epistle of James and get it removed from the canon, Fr Cotter opined that the Gospel of Matthew was a "very plotting" book that the Church might well decide one day to replace with something else, perhaps the Gospel of Thomas. He may have been hyperbolising in an effort to get his point across, which was that the Church makes and controls the scriptures, the scriptures don't create or control the Church. You may find that heresy or an extreme position. Interesting to contemplate that it was coming from a CiW priest of Irish ethnicity, born around the end of the Great War. I don't think the basic point of his teaching was especially an aberration in the Episcopal Church.

[ 10. December 2009, 15:08: Message edited by: Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras ]

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
And into this maelstrom you suggest that +Rowan should stand up and exercise megaphone diplomacy? Are you mad? It is clear that +Rowan should indeed do something, but for goodness sakes expecting that public finger-wagging will ever achieve anything other than more grief for the gay community in the short and medium term.

Perhaps I missed it, but I haven't noticed anyone calling for Rowan Williams to do megaphone diplomacy. I would have thought most people would agree it's an unhelpful approach, whether directed at TEC, African Churches, or anyone else. What he is failing to do is express a position that many people in the Church of England can identify with. Instead it's left to the likes of Inclusive Church to have to apologise for what he has said and speak for its constituency - no finger-wagging required.

The idea that it's acceptable to "let it be known" he's working behind to scenes but refuse to "officially" say on what basis is nonsense. Does he think comments from his office don't find their way to Africa?

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Louise wrote:-
quote:
Please give evidence for your dating. What I can see indicates that there was some sort of controversial visit and report by Louie Crew in 2001. I cant see anything for 'the early 1990s' as you claim. The date is important.
Apologies - you are quite right - I got the wrong decade there.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Please give evidence for your dating. What I can see indicates that there was some sort of controversial visit and report by Louie Crew in 2001. I cant see anything for 'the early 1990s' as you claim. The date is important.

L.

I'm assuming that Honest Ron meant the noughties.

I think he's right in general terms in saying that both sides have to take some responsibility for the spillover of the US culture wars. It is undoubtedly true that US conservatives wooed the so-called 'global south' church leaders for their support on the issue of homosexuality at least as early as the mid-1990s. US liberals were not far behind - in fact they may have been in front of the conservatives.

Of course, traditional Christian beliefs generally play better in Africa both for theological and cultural reasons.

Yes it has to be said that there are elements of a power struggle in the Anglican Communion - there are some pretty ugly nationalisms at play on both sides.

And there is also theology.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Dave Marshall wrote:-
quote:
Perhaps I missed it, but I haven't noticed anyone calling for Rowan Williams to do megaphone diplomacy. I would have thought most people would agree it's an unhelpful approach, whether directed at TEC, African Churches, or anyone else. What he is failing to do is express a position that many people in the Church of England can identify with. Instead it's left to the likes of Inclusive Church to have to apologise for what he has said and speak for its constituency - no finger-wagging required.

The idea that it's acceptable to "let it be known" he's working behind to scenes but refuse to "officially" say on what basis is nonsense. Does he think comments from his office don't find their way to Africa?

There are any number of people on Anglican blogs out there demanding that he say something NOW and that the fact that he hasn't is indicative of total indifference on his part which is shameful. The point is that we do know +Rowan's views on such things. And I agree with you that you can't "let it be known" if you are trying to get things sorted out pronto behind the scenes. (Not sure where you picked that one up from though - was that Spawn's earlier comment?). You will have to take it on trust that representations are being made. It seems to me to be fair to ask if they are. But it is a step too far to assume they are not, when the evidence suggests that a) +Rowan does have strong views on this, and b) from reports of people who have had calls from him, we know he is regularly in contact with bishops worldwide. I cannot say I know he is, though - it doesn't work that way.

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
quote:
Third Reichist politics currently being played in Uganda.
L.Sv.K. - any chance of some serious analysis? You know Godwin's law means you've just lost that argument. In any event Uganda is utterly unlike the third reich. Try again.
Although LSvK has already explained how the second part of your post is simply wrong ("utterly unlike"? you're not serious?), I have to jump in to point out that Godwin's law says nothing about the who wins the argument, only that the likelihood of the analogy's invocation increases as the argument progresses.
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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
You've a very rigid view of what constitutes Anglicanism and it seems clear that as an overall church TEC doesn't fit within Numpty Brand Anglicanism (Deo Gratias).

My "rigid view" was taken verbatim from the "What is an Anglicanism?" sections of the Church of England website. The Church of England says that the scriptures are "ultimate" and that the creed is "sufficient".

Would you mind telling how you understand the words 'ultimate' and 'sufficient' with respect to scripture? I'm asking because, in an earlier post, you said that TEC didn't disagree anything on that webpage.

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Callan
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If Numpty's view of scripture were, in fact, normative for the Church of England we would be discussing David Holloway's failings as Archbishop of Canterbury and not Rowan Williams'.

Just saying.

As to Ugandan affairs, it's really not my field but from what I can make out it seems to be about local conditions. Between independence and 1985 Uganda was run by Milton Obote part one, Idi Amin, and Milton Obote part two. Uncle Idi was your loveable comedy mass murdering despot whereas Obote was a stone cold psycho killer. If you wanted to put James Bond into a TARDIS and send him back into Ugandan history you'd put Daniel Craig up against Obote and Roger Moore up against Idi Amin. In 85' President Museveni seized power in a coup. Now Museveni is quite well regarded in the west. In '85 Uganda was a basket case. Nowadays its a fairly reasonable place by African standards. But Museveni isn't a democrat. He's what the ancient Greeks would have called a Tyrant. He rules by a mix of populism, decent government and making sure that no-one fucks with him. Think of a slightly (only slightly mind) fluffier version of Vladimir Putin and your half way there. Now enlightened autocrats are not currently fashionable among western governments so Museveni's regime is a kind of quasi-democracy tempered by quasi-rigged elections. Now the voters next come out in a couple of years time, Uncle Yoweri has been in power for over a couple of decades and people are muttering about having too much of a good thing and Museveni has kind of run out of land reform bills and other useful stuff so what better than a piece of populist willy waving directed at our mates Teh Gaze. String 'em up! It's the only language they understand! I had that Archbishop Orombi in the back of the cab once (in a purely platonic sense, officer)!

That's the bad news. The good news is that the bill may yet fall or be diluted. Something like a third of Uganda's income comes from foreign aid and western governments tend not to hand money to governments passing laws against unpopular minorities, especially when said minorities are rather vocal back on the mothership. But when you are dealing with an African demagogue engaging in a bout of misplaced populism it's not a good move for a westerner (and particularly not a representative of the former colonial power) to denounce him in thunderous terms because then said demagogue can claim to be standing up to the forces of colonialism and generally sticking it to The Man. So the trick is to pressurise him whilst allowing him to back down comparatively gracefully. So it's not so much 'Ruin seize thee, ruthless king! Confusion on thy banner wait!' that is called for here, so much as 'nice development project you've got here guvnor, be a shame if something happened to it'.

Now I would be absolutely gobsmacked if Lambeth Palace didn't have the occasional chin wag with someone at the foreign office about this sort of thing. And I'm pretty sure that the FCO would take a dim view about someone engaging in a fit of grandstanding about a delicate situation where pressure is being applied at the highest level. (Mr G. Brown recently took the opportunity to engage in a full and frank exchange of views on the subject with Mr Museveni.) Add to this the fact that +Orombi and the Ugandan episcopate were part of the Global Alliance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, You Are Having A Fucking Laugh, Aren't You Conference in Sacred Jerusalem last year so they are a bit on the semi-detached side these days as far as Holy Mother Canterbury is concerned.

So, softly, softly catchee monkey it is. Like many of us I would be absolutely gratified if Rowan were to ascend the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral and denounce Archbishop Orombi as a homophobic cunt but the guys at the Department of Getting Shit Done assure me that this may not be the most effective way of winning hearts and minds. All very depressing and dull but then grown up politics generally is. An acre in Middlesex and all that jazz.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Obviously I should have been more specific. AFAIK it's common teaching in TEC that the scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation. The passage I looked at on the CoE website actually seemed to be derived from the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, being the irreducible minimum on which home reunion could be based. In that context, the Apostles Creed is taken as the baptismal symbol and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient summary of Christian belief. We wouldn't disagree with the Quadrilateral, since we thought it up in the first place.

Does General Synod of the CoE get to define what constitutes Anglicanism? Don't think so; maybe for your two provinces.

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
In confirmation classes he emphasised that the scriptures were completely subordinate to the Church and not the other way round. <snip> I don't think the basic point of his teaching was especially an aberration in the Episcopal Church.

That isn't the Anglican view of Scripture. Full stop. No matter how nice a chap Father Ted was.
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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
Anglicans also believe that the 39 Articles of Religion bear witness to that Christian faith.

Outside of (some members of) the Prayer Book Society, I can't think of any Anglicans I know who believe that.

[ 10. December 2009, 15:45: Message edited by: LQ ]

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Hiro's Leap

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Gildas: I've no idea if your post was accurate, but it was a delight to read. [Overused]
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Callan
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I think that the 39 Articles bear witness to the Christian faith. I also think that the Catechism of the Catholic Church bears witness to the Christian faith, as does the Westminster Confession, +Kallistos' handy Vade Mecum on the Orthodox Church and the Methodist Worship Book.

Bearing witness to the Christian faith need not entailing being absolutely correct about everything. [Razz]

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Thurible
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LQ

Do you not know any English Anglicans? From the Preface to the Declaration of Assent :

quote:
Led by the Holy Spirit, [the CofE] has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.
Thurible

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Numpty, your co-religionists in America are called "the Reformed Episcopal Church" and they skulked out of the American Church back in the 1870s in a snit over ritualism and the waning fortunes of Calvinism in what was then still PECUSA. St Punk the Pious is their lone representative on the Ship. Sadly, in order to pick up some stray Episcopalians in more recent times they've been allowing such innovations as papistical vestments and the use of our old 1928 BCP eucharistic liturgy (their traditional HC liturgy is a proposed C18 American liturgy that was based on 1662 but wasn't approved, as the Seabury party prevailed in getting the Scottish-based rite adopted instead). Anyway, I'm sure you'll like the REC if you ever visit these shores -- if you can find one of their few and far between shacks.
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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
All too many black con evos still want truth and justice for the common person only if that person is straight.

Sure. But unless you have a system like that in California where people get to vote on single issues, in practice they tend to line up with political liberals.
We do have such a system -- the ballot initiative process. We vote on a variety of single-issue propositions in every state-wide election. Last November black people in California turned out to vote for Obama and went 7 out of 10 against gay marriage (Washington Post story here).

quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
It seems very, very difficult to get the message through that the American way is not the universal way. It may of course become that way if you persist hard enough, though if it does you will have succeeded in re-exporting your unique form of puritanism back, centuries after we thought we had got rid of it. Sigh.

We Americans have been exporting our culture in a variety of ways for decades, yes; I'm sure it's beyond annoying sometimes. But the Episcopal Church here is not trying to make our way in this matter the universal way; we are not insisting that other Anglican churches ordain or consecrate gay people, no more than we have insisted that other Anglican churches ordain or consecrate women or that they countenance divorce and re-marriage for clergy. It is others outside our church who are trying to impose their way upon us.
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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
Does General Synod of the CoE get to define what constitutes Anglicanism? Don't think so; maybe for your two provinces.

Two provinces?

No General Synod doesn't get to decide what Anglicanism is. The historic documents, especially the BCP, have a pretty fundamental role. Ultimately though you don't get recognised as an Anglican (though I guess you can still call yourself one) unless you're in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I have to agree with Numpty here. You're outlining an approach to scripture that is in utter contradiction to Anglicanism. Confirms for me the fundamental theological divisions there are.

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
But the Episcopal Church here is not trying to make our way in this matter the universal way

RuthW, I suspect Honest Ron was referring specifically to Grammatica, who was puzzling how to slot British evangelicals into positions dictated by the U.S. culture wars.
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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Basically that's it, Hiro's Leap. RuthW - I'm just debating with Grammatica how best to see things from a different perspective that will allow her to see how evangelicals outside the USA should not be conflated with those within. Clearly there are overlaps but many differences too.

Gildas - thanks for the political overview too which is genuinely helpful.

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
[qb] All too many black con evos still want truth and justice for the common person only if that person is straight.

Sure. But unless you have a system like that in California where people get to vote on single issues, in practice they tend to line up with political liberals.

We do have such a system -- the ballot initiative process. We vote on a variety of single-issue propositions in every state-wide election. Last November black people in California turned out to vote for Obama and went 7 out of 10 against gay marriage (Washington Post story here).
My original point was that the equation 'conservative in religion equals conservative in politics' didn't apply in a uniform manner across the US so one ought not to assume it works that way outside the US. You've pointed me to black people who opposed gay marriage voting for Barack Obama. I think that pretty much proves my point.

(The gay marriage thing sucked like a Dyson, of course. But the Republicans getting pwned was a result.)

[ 10. December 2009, 16:18: Message edited by: Gildas ]

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Grammatica
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
I'm assuming that Honest Ron meant the noughties.

I think he's right in general terms in saying that both sides have to take some responsibility for the spillover of the US culture wars. It is undoubtedly true that US conservatives wooed the so-called 'global south' church leaders for their support on the issue of homosexuality at least as early as the mid-1990s. US liberals were not far behind - in fact they may have been in front of the conservatives.

Of course, traditional Christian beliefs generally play better in Africa both for theological and cultural reasons.

Yes it has to be said that there are elements of a power struggle in the Anglican Communion - there are some pretty ugly nationalisms at play on both sides.

And there is also theology.

Spawn, if the theology had been the focus of our discussions, none of us would now be in the positions we are in. But it wasn't. And we are.

There is nothing unusual about the position we're in. The history of Christianity is full of tales of proud and ambitious prelates who used one hot-button issue or another to consolidate their temporal power and gain control over the riches of the church.

It is unfortunate in that the North American churches have now no honorable way to remain in the Anglican Communion, but I don't think, all things considered, we're going to really miss it much. Possibly something better, more open, even more unifying will arise on the ashes of this decade's attempt to overcentralize on the Roman model. Meanwhile, we have ELCA, the Swedish Lutherans, possibly some other provinces of the Anglican Communion, and others with whom to remain in relationship.

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RuthW

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Gildas: Yes, it does prove your point. It proves mine as well.

[ 10. December 2009, 16:25: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Grammatica
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Basically that's it, Hiro's Leap. RuthW - I'm just debating with Grammatica how best to see things from a different perspective that will allow her to see how evangelicals outside the USA should not be conflated with those within. Clearly there are overlaps but many differences too.

Yes, there are differences, as you say, but they don't make a difference to the politics of the situation. Whatever their views on the environment may be, British Evangelicals are in tight alliance with the US Religious Right in their war against TEC. I think the Red-Brown Coalition model is probably the best one for what's going on.

My question might be: What do British Evangelicals hope to gain in this situation?

I assume their goal throughout has been to consolidate their control of the Church of England. To engineer the expulsion of the liberal American church from the Communion in 2003 might have been just the "shock and awe" needed to force a complete collapse of liberals in the C of E.

Unfortunately, as with another, more celebrated example of Anglo-American "shock and awe," the result was a grinding, interminable war of attrition that has, I think, done the Evangelical cause no good at all.

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
Like many of us I would be absolutely gratified if Rowan were to ascend the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral and denounce Archbishop Orombi as a homophobic cunt but the guys at the Department of Getting Shit Done assure me that this may not be the most effective way of winning hearts and minds.

Thing is, whose hearts and minds. While it might be important for the ABC to be a Foreign Office agent everyone now and then, having the Church's CEO stay silent about this loses the hearts and minds not just of Church people but of everyone else in the country. What gets reported is the C of E has nothing to say. This is likely the entirety of how the Church, and Christians, and God, will be perceived by most people until something else comes along to change their minds.

Rowan Williams can do carefully worded statements. He doesn't need to lay down the law, just express the concern we all know he has.

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Knopwood
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Precisely. It doesn't ultimately matter what off-camera heroics he gets up to; it looks bad, and he knows that.
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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Grammatica:
My question might be: What do British Evangelicals hope to gain in this situation?

Why do you think that people gain from this conflict? It's a cause of grief not gain.

I'm not naive, I know the adrenaline junkies on both sides of the conflict (I've been there, done that). But ultimately this is a very wearying, sad and slow fragmentation of something we hold dear.

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
It's a cause of grief not gain.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. Conservatives don't want to fight to keep gay couples in other churches from being blessed, but the poor souls battle on selflessly anyway? If they're not gaining anything, then why not just leave gay people be, which is all we're asking for? Who had a gun to Geoff Chapman's head?

[ 10. December 2009, 16:52: Message edited by: LQ ]

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
LQ

Do you not know any English Anglicans? From the Preface to the Declaration of Assent :

quote:
Led by the Holy Spirit, [the CofE] has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.
Thurible
Well, not personally, and those I know virtually don't think much of the Articles in other than a Newmanian sense. Unless you're about to surprise me very much indeed?
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Louise
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Louise wrote:-
quote:
Please give evidence for your dating. What I can see indicates that there was some sort of controversial visit and report by Louie Crew in 2001. I cant see anything for 'the early 1990s' as you claim. The date is important.
Apologies - you are quite right - I got the wrong decade there.
Yoweri Museveni's first major attack on gay people was in
1999. This included rape and at least one murder in the next year 2000. Musveni's initiative was reported as having the support of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo.

You can't blame that on Louie Crew, and this is four years before even the Jeffrey John controversy, never mind Gene Robinson.

As for using homosexuality as a tactic for demonising political opponents, whether they are or not, that goes back to at least the middle ages. Here's a nice little blog entry by a good historian on how that used to work, even as far back as the tenth century:
the invention of sodomy as a political weapon


quote:
However, if you start thinking about what you need in a scapegoat class, then male homosexuality looks like one of the obvious bets. Firstly, you need a relatively tiny number of people within the group (as with Jews, lepers and heretics), but not so few that you can’t find some handy to persecute (like Muslims in most of Europe or necrophiliacs). You then need a readily available discourse of how these people are evil and threaten society. (It’s for this reason that I think persecution of ‘Sodomites’ won out over persecution of those committing bestiality. The Bible condemns bestiality, but it hasn’t got a graphic story about their destruction).

That combination in itself is enough to produce an out-group, but I think in persecuting sodomites there are two additional advantages. One, paradoxically, is the ‘invisibility’ of gays as compared to Jews and lepers, an invisibility that they share with heretics. This means that you can never run out of them as a target (whereas you can with Jews, as in England after 1290). When anything goes wrong in society, you can always blame the lurking heretics and/or sodomites who are hidden among the normal and who must therefore be rooted out and punished. It’s the perfect make work scheme for persecutors.

The other useful thing when you’re deciding to persecute someone is to do it for something you’re never likely to want to do yourself.

It's an essay length post - so I'll snip another short para from it


quote:
Once sodomy as accusation had revealed its effectiveness, of course, it could be picked up and used for other political purposes. Hugh of Langres in 1049 was accused of simony, homicide, sodomy and torture, while Peter Damian insisted that it was the opponents of the Gregorian reformers who were sodomites. Celibate monks could claim that secular courts were full of sodomites, probably in an attempt to turn finger-pointing away from their own monasteries.... And so on, and so on. My impression is that from the eleventh century there is a continuous tradition of such accusations down to the present day (although people better informed on the eighteenth and nineteenth century than me might be able to correct me on this).
So really please, stop trying to excuse or mitigate this sort of behaviour in Uganda and Nigeria, on the grounds that some unsavoury politicians there might have been gay. That's precisely how people through the ages have justified this kind of witch-hunting and it doesn't smell any better now.

This is the really dirty laundry in the Anglican wardrobe. The people the Americans are being asked to make nice with and restrain themselves for the sake of keeping the family together are not just the family equivalent of strict evangelical but lovely Aunty Agnes who wont take a Sunday Ferry and who's never going to accept homosexuality because of the way she reads the Bible. They're also being asked to make nice to people more like Uncle Fred the serial killer who'd like to bury gay cousin Laura under the patio after having raped her a few times.


And of course apart from that yes, there is a legitimate and meaty Dead Horse theological discussion to be had (and a lot of it turns on how we read Genesis) but it seems to me that even before the latest claims of 'softly softly catchee monkey etc.' that I haven't heard a proper acknowledgement from ++ Rowan of the extent of the problem of gay witch-hunting in his church. I don't think the matter can be properly tackled without dealing with the moral panic side of it, and as far as I can see his tackling of it seems to have been extraordinarily weak.

If you've got some strong analysis by ++ Rowan of this, then please post it, but if he wont discuss the witch-hunting dynamic (which isn't just in some of the African churches) then I don't see how he can legitimately condemn the Americans for trying to fight back against moral panic and gay scapegoating with an inclusive strategy. He should have been seen and heard on this subject ages ago. It's no good going 'Ssssh! Be vewy vewy quiet!" now.

L.

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Matt, are you really saying that, with agreement on nearly all other points of theology... about the trinity, Christology, salvation, and all that... with similar power structures in our hierarchy and a common history... after centuries of cooperation... that a different understanding on sexuality amongst some of your province's members and some of my province's members really means we have no consensus whatsoever?

Zach

My personal view, and I can't speak for others, is that the difference over sexuality is serious because it points to much deeper ways in which our theologies are different. So no despite your protestations I think you've also redefined sin and soteriology.
I don't see how this follows, Spawn. To recategorise certain activities as licit is not to undermine our views of activities still regarded as illicit, far less is it to redefine how we understand soteriology. Take, for example, there was once a widespread belief amongst many Christians that non-reproductive sex was sinful. Coming to a different view occasioned no redefinition of how we understand sin, as far as I can see.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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JoannaP
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quote:
Originally posted by Grammatica:
We in the US church have been saying that, yes, we are now departing the Anglican Communion. We welcome openly gay and lesbian persons and allow them to serve in church positions. You in the Church of England will not tolerate that and do not wish to be in communion with us unless we change our ways. Well, we are not going to, so we are departing.

This should be cause for joy on your part, should it not? You've been working toward this outcome for years.

Why isn't it?

[brick wall]

Grammatica,

To repeat Ken's question, to which you have not yet responded:

quote:
Who is "you" here?
Matt Black,

To ask you a similar question:

quote:
Well, from our perspective, you've redefined what sexual sin is.
Who is "us" here?

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"Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." R. H. Tawney (quoted by Isaiah Berlin)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

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