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Source: (consider it) Thread: Schismatics and Episcopi neo-vagantes
Gamaliel
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On a more serious note, time was when virtually all Christians - barring a few Popes who spoke out again it - thought that slavery was acceptable.

So, it would seem, tacitly at least, did the Apostle Paul ...

Serious concerns about abolishing slavery didn't really get underway​ into the 18tj century and was initially associated with Quakers and Unitarians before it spread to evangelicals and others.

So, are we saying that because almost everyone fluffed it on that issue, they forfeit the right to have any interpretive authority or validity?

If Steve Langton or myself go out and do something daft tomorrow, does that undermine our ability to interpret the scriptures properly?

How many strikes before you're out?

Anyhow, that's by the by ...

There are certainly anomalies in the Jesmond position and yes, I can see that church-state links are part of that ...

But that's just one part of it.

--------------------
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Steve Langton
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The issue about the church authority needs to have its own thread - give me a month and I'll try to compose an OP to kick it off.

Yes, I know that church/state issues are far from everything about the Jesmond issues; but I've read enough related to Holloway to see that those issues are very much important to him, albeit from almost the opposite direction to me, and see that you may need some appreciation of those issues to make sense of what's going on at Jesmond.

Going [Snore] may give you some amusement - but it may also deprive you of insight into what's going on up there. Things which, I agree, seem rather irrational from the kind of standpoint other Shipmates take; they don't look fully rational to me either, but in terms of understanding I've been specialising in that kind of thinking and analysing it - my insights might help if you bother with them.

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
The 'church/state' nexus itself isn't a problem to Rev Holloway (I'm not sure he would be happy to be referred to as 'Fr Holloway'!!).

I should apologize for being mischievous-- I am of the ancient clergy nomenclature school which would call him Mr Holloway and never Reverend Holloway. Rather than focus on the issue at hand, I wrote Fr Holloway as a passive-aggressive way of dealing with this. Too many years in the bureaucracy!!

I am not certain if I need to apologize for also misunderstanding Mr Holloway's viewpoint on the church/state nexus. It took me a reread of the entire thread as well as other material floating around the web and it took your note to make it clear(er). Consistency and clarity are not his strong points, and while I often pull the legs of my RC clerical friends for their Thomist backgrounds, I wonder if we should not spend a few months running our ordinands through some philosophy course to help them with their logic and their explanations.

In the meanwhile, we have a wandering bishop with no church, no mandate, no clear role and AFAIK the entire motive for his consecration was political. Cyprian of Carthage would be spinning in his grave, and one hopes that the head would be spinning at the same speed as the body.

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Gamaliel
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Steve Langton, I think we are all very aware of your views on church-state relations so please spare us a separate thread on the issue.

It is pertinent to Jesmond, as are wider ecclesiological issues, of course.

I'll get my coat lest anything else I say makes your promised / threatened thread more likely ...

It's not that I don't believe you've got anything pertinent to say on the matter, simply that I've heard it a trillion times ...

There are other issues to discuss.

Please don't PM me on it either.

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David Goode
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

In the meanwhile, we have a wandering bishop with no church, no mandate, no clear role and AFAIK the entire motive for his consecration was political. Cyprian of Carthage would be spinning in his grave, and one hopes that the head would be spinning at the same speed as the body.

Though possibly in the opposite direction.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Going [Snore] may give you some amusement - but it may also deprive you of insight into what's going on up there. Things which, I agree, seem rather irrational from the kind of standpoint other Shipmates take; they don't look fully rational to me either, but in terms of understanding I've been specialising in that kind of thinking and analysing it - my insights might help if you bother with them.

Or it could just be that you're so blinded by your own analysis that you can't comprehend that someone who appears to be partly working to your agenda of creating a church with more Christian beliefs in areas like homosexuality doesn't also on some level agree with you about the church-state.

Rather than coming up with a complicated explanation of how Holloway is inconsistent, a simpler explanation is that you are simply wrong. That Holloway believes some of the crap that you spout but fundamentally disagrees with you on the church-state, that he isn't being inconsistent, that he is in fact simple to understand etc and so on.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

I am not certain if I need to apologize for also misunderstanding Mr Holloway's viewpoint on the church/state nexus. It took me a reread of the entire thread as well as other material floating around the web and it took your note to make it clear(er). Consistency and clarity are not his strong points, and while I often pull the legs of my RC clerical friends for their Thomist backgrounds, I wonder if we should not spend a few months running our ordinands through some philosophy course to help them with their logic and their explanations.

It seems to me that it actually isn't so difficult to understand. Holloway believes that the Anglican church is at the heart of the Christian country of England, but that it has accepted dastardly Roman Catholic and liberal ideas which means that God is judging it and the country.

It isn't that he doesn't believe in the structures and privilege of the CofE, it is that he totally believes in them and feels - as a form of reforming messiah - only his followers and he can bring renewal and right theology to turn the church around, and by extension the country. For those reasons he's justified in doing whatever-it-takes to take back the church and the country.

I guess that there is doubt in his mind that come the revolution when conservative Evangelicals take a hold of the CofE, the daughter churches he has set up will come back into the fold.

quote:
In the meanwhile, we have a wandering bishop with no church, no mandate, no clear role and AFAIK the entire motive for his consecration was political. Cyprian of Carthage would be spinning in his grave, and one hopes that the head would be spinning at the same speed as the body.
I suspect he's building the equivalent of a shadow government, ready to step in to roles within the CofE when the thing collapses under the weight of its own gay-loving sinfulness.

[ 23. May 2017, 07:35: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel
quote:
Steve Langton, I think we are all very aware of your views on church-state relations so please spare us a separate thread on the issue.
Absolutely NOT what I said. What I actually said was...

quote:
The issue about the church authority needs to have its own thread - give me a month and I'll try to compose an OP to kick it off.
That is, the question of institutions like the RCC and Orthodox claiming to have some kind of "special authority" so that "the Bible isn't enough" and that when they speak, in effect you can't appeal to the Bible against them.

Not to mention the secondary issue that despite a lot of nasty insinuations from Shipmates, I'm absolutely NOT claiming that kind of special authority for myself. You can always appeal to the Bible against me, just make sure you've got good reasons behind you. My position is never "I have spoken, that's it!" but rather "And check it out for yourself...."

The church and state issues will be relevant to that thread as part of the evidence that those claims by some churches and their leaders to "special authority" are horrendously mistaken.

And BTW, yes people are allowed to make mistakes - and I do and I know it. My point was that if you claim special authority and then make a mistake on the level of Crusades, Inquisitions, thousands and thousands of deaths, not to mention leading Christians to be the killers in all too many cases - then you don't get to carry on claiming the special authority. You have to settle for having the same 'under the Bible and accountable to it' authority as the rest of us.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


And BTW, yes people are allowed to make mistakes - and I do and I know it. My point was that if you claim special authority and then make a mistake on the level of Crusades, Inquisitions, thousands and thousands of deaths, not to mention leading Christians to be the killers in all too many cases - then you don't get to carry on claiming the special authority. You have to settle for having the same 'under the Bible and accountable to it' authority as the rest of us.

I suppose the difference here is whether you see Christianity as a raft onto which you climb - which has to be manufactured in the exactly correct way - or the river on which you're riding.

I suspect that many who read the bible see the church as being a version of Israel in the OT - making mistakes, wandering around in the desert, in exile etc - so being "in the truth" doesn't mean that you make no mistakes, that you don't have special authority, etc and so on.

Moses has "special authority" after all. That doesn't mean that the people of Israel avoided all mistakes under his watch, or that he always made the right call.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Gamaliel
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Yes, that.

Besides, the Bible isn't a 'stand-alone' document. It emanated from within a tradition and for the purposes of helping to both define and spread that tradition ...

(Or Tradition if you prefer)

It's no good complaining when the RCs and the Orthodox don't use the Bible in the same way as you do. They'd simply say that you aren't using the Bible they way they are - in the context of a Tradition ...

You are using it in the context of a small t tradition ...

Which is fine, providing that you are aware of that and don't think your tradition somehow magically trumps anyone else's simply because it's your tradition ...

But I can easily wait another month before reading your pontifications on the matter.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel
quote:
Which is fine, providing that you are aware of that and don't think your tradition somehow magically trumps anyone else's simply because it's your tradition ...
And of course I am so aware, and any idea that my tradition "magically trumps anyone else's" is exactly what I'm NOT about. Don't you pay attention?

The problem is simple. Yes there are different Christian 'Traditions' and 'traditions' in interpreting the Bible. (the Bible itself is a 'tradition' in a slightly different sense). But these various traditions contradict one another and to put it bluntly
quote:
THEY. CAN'T. ALL. BE. TRUE.
And the differences have practical implications which are pretty important - often even nowadays to the extent of being matters of life and death, persecution, and all kinds of unnecessary problems between church and surrounding world.

We therefore need, not to just keep endlessly repeating as you do the obvious fact that there are these different Traditions/traditions, but actually to make the effort to assess them and try to work out where the truth is. And note, not 'who is right' because I certainly don't think any of the assorted 'traditions' are anywhere near perfect, including my own.

Your approach doesn't advance that discussion one nanometre and so is absolutely useless and BTW increasingly boring. You have at least demonstrated the need for a thread on the subject - but please only participate thereon if you've something useful to say instead of this useless repetition of the useless obvious. By the way, the "they can't all be true" phrase is an actual quote, not just using the format for emphasis; I can't trace the original thread and post now, but my memory is very insistent that the person I'm quoting is called 'Gamaliel'. [Smile]

Also, LION, on a thread about the affair at Jesmond issues of state and church are pretty central to what's happening both at Jesmond and for the wider Anglican church, and if Rev Holloway gets his way could have far wider effects. In this context it's very much not a [Snore] but a serious live issue. Again, if you've nothing actually useful to say....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
And of course I am so aware, and any idea that my tradition "magically trumps anyone else's" is exactly what I'm NOT about. Don't you pay attention?

The problem is simple. Yes there are different Christian 'Traditions' and 'traditions' in interpreting the Bible. (the Bible itself is a 'tradition' in a slightly different sense). But these various traditions contradict one another and to put it bluntly
quote:
THEY. CAN'T. ALL. BE. TRUE.
No, and you are quite reasonably trying to decide which of competing ideas are correct. I don't think anyone is suggesting that this is a pointless task or a stupid idea.

The problem is that there are people "out there" in the world and people on these boards who are not using the categories that you are using, who don't use the biblical texts in the way that you are using and don't think like you think.

So when we say "other ideas exist", it isn't because we think you are unaware that other ideas exist, but because it is impossible to make you see that there are different approaches and different ways of looking at the same thing and that different, serious people have come up with different conclusions. You reject these people because they're not proving something to your satisfaction but are clearly blind to the idea that the categories of truth that you are using are not the ones others are using.

And constantly trying to help you understand that others are using very different ways to understand the faith other than your approach is quite tiring. And ultimately futile because you have such bias against ideas that you don't like or haven't thought of.


And the differences have practical implications which are pretty important - often even nowadays to the extent of being matters of life and death, persecution, and all kinds of unnecessary problems between church and surrounding world.

We therefore need, not to just keep endlessly repeating as you do the obvious fact that there are these different Traditions/traditions, but actually to make the effort to assess them and try to work out where the truth is. And note, not 'who is right' because I certainly don't think any of the assorted 'traditions' are anywhere near perfect, including my own.

Your approach doesn't advance that discussion one nanometre and so is absolutely useless and BTW increasingly boring. You have at least demonstrated the need for a thread on the subject - but please only participate thereon if you've something useful to say instead of this useless repetition of the useless obvious. By the way, the "they can't all be true" phrase is an actual quote, not just using the format for emphasis; I can't trace the original thread and post now, but my memory is very insistent that the person I'm quoting is called 'Gamaliel'. [Smile]

But Steve, surely you can see that people look at the world in different ways to you. Surely you can understand, for example, that the Orthodox faith puts a higher value on their thousands of years of doctrinal development than something someone thought of 300 years ago.

Nobody is saying that you have to like it, but surely you can understand that simply pushing a particular theological view which you say is biblical has no traction when others are not using the same basic premises that you are using. They say that the bible can only be understood in context, you say that you can understand it in isolation. Those two ideas are so contradictory that it is almost impossible to have any kind of conversation.

It is like someone talking about the sound of one hand clapping and you replying that that's a daft thing to think about because obviously one hand can't clap. Unless you are in the tradition and thought patterns where that makes sense, you can't understand why it might be important. But that's irrelevant as to whether it might be true.

quote:
Also, LION, on a thread about the affair at Jesmond issues of state and church are pretty central to what's happening both at Jesmond and for the wider Anglican church, and if Rev Holloway gets his way could have far wider effects. In this context it's very much not a [Snore] but a serious live issue. Again, if you've nothing actually useful to say....
But what useful have you really to say that you haven't already said? The Jesmond example maybe says something about their understanding of church-state. They also agree with you on some issues. You can't understand how they can believe in those things whilst also believing in the church-state.

OK. You've said that several times. What else is there to add to that analysis?

[ 24. May 2017, 10:03: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

quote:
THEY. CAN'T. ALL. BE. TRUE.

Yebbut. It doesn't follow from that, that the Steve Langton version is more true than anybody else's.

I accept, by the way, that it also doesn't follow that it can't be. I'm just querying whether there is any particular reason why that version should just happen to be the MORE. TRUE. one.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Say hello to the Vincentian Canon.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Say hello to the Vincentian Canon.

But that's not talking in a language Steve understands. I don't understand how hard this is to understand - he doesn't accept the RCC as an authority.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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I realise that Mr.C, but the Vincentian Canon long precedes any church schisms.

[ 24. May 2017, 16:03: Message edited by: Honest Ron Bacardi ]

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
I realise that Mr.C, but the Vincentian Canon long precedes any church schisms.

OK, HRB, but Steve's problems with the RCC and Orthodox are not about finding something that is pre-schism.

To me this is symptomatic of the problem; everyone is talking past each other.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
I realise that Mr.C, but the Vincentian Canon long precedes any church schisms.

OK, HRB, but Steve's problems with the RCC and Orthodox are not about finding something that is pre-schism.

To me this is symptomatic of the problem; everyone is talking past each other.

Maybe so, but you do have go through examining the underlying assumptions first (which is what is happening here though it's hardly complete). Talking past each other occurs mostly when more is at stake in underlying matters than in the ostensible disagreements. But it's grim I know.

Ultimately if Steve wishes to dismiss what the church has always believed etc. that for him to say, not me. But contrariwise, his assertion that Orthodox and Catholics cannot be debated on the subject of the bible is self-evidently nonsense. I've done it.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Steve Langton
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I'll be responding to other points later, having only just got in and caught up on the day's posts, but a quick one on this

by Enoch
quote:
Yebbut. It doesn't follow from that, that the Steve Langton version is more true than anybody else's.
I know, I know, I know. Seriously, I KNOW!! My protest here is that instead of constructive discussion which might well end up showing me where I'm wrong, all I'm getting from some people, and one in particular, is this not-news-to-me and basically useless vague repetition that "there are other Traditions/traditions" as if simply saying that answered everything.

Like I said above, they can't all be right; a lot of the differences are potentially really problematic even in the modern world. We need discussion and we're not getting it....

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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They can't all be right, but after a few hundred years of burning each other at the stake, not to mention more peaceable going for each others' jugulars, no-one's any closer settling it.

Don't really see much point. Who knows, eh?

For what it's worth, I reckon it's more a question of no-one being right. I suspect some are more wrong than others (probably reasonably non-controversial to mention Westboro Baptist at this point), but there's the nagging feeling that we're so far away from the real truth that it's like getting excited about being on Saturn rather than Neptune, because we're so much nearer the Sun.

As long as the truth is better than anything any of us comes up with, then I'll take it. It's the people insisting it has to be a whole lot worse who worry me.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Pomona
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Yes, I think Karl has it. I have my own tradition - but though it's how I understand the Faith, I don't think other traditions and their rightness/wrongness matters to a huge degree. Obviously there are the more extreme ends of this, eg Westboro, where it's easier to say 'this is wrong'. But we're all wrong - we're all far off the mark, and I think it's knowing that which is key. Westboro and their ilk do not know that, and it's part of their sin.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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No-one being right works at the most general level. But when you come down to detail there is loads that is agreed. So is a comment that works only at the most general level any more use than a chocolate teapot?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
But when you come down to detail there is loads that is agreed.

That's such a weird statement. It seems to me that almost everything is not-agreed, there is very little shared understanding across all of Christianity.

And what does "agreed" mean anyway? Is there a majority vote?

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Say hello to the Vincentian Canon.

But that's not talking in a language Steve understands. I don't understand how hard this is to understand - he doesn't accept the RCC as an authority.
Actually the 'Vincentian Canon' is something I do understand. As per HRB's link, it is

[QUOTE}The threefold test of Catholicity laid down by St Vincent of Lérins, namely ‘what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all’. By this triple test of ecumenicity, antiquity, and consent, the Church is to differentiate between true and false tradition. [/QUOTE]

I guess you must all have missed a previous thread where this was raised and I pointed out what it meant in terms of the 'state church' idea.

Vincent's 'dates' are early 5th Century; on the available information he died before 450CE, though probably not long before. I think it's a reasonable proposition that if something failed Vincent's Canon at the time of Vincent (even if he himself didn't fully realise it), then it effectively fails forever after – the church believing a 'false tradition' for several centuries after 450 can't really convert it into a true tradition....

Yet the point is that the 'state church' idea was not something that was believed “ everywhere, always, and by all”. In 450 it was a novelty going back less than a century. The Church only became a state church in the Roman Empire in 381 by a decree of (not the Church but) the Roman Emperor Theodosius. At the time of the initial involvement with the Empire via Constantine the Church was strictly speaking only 'tolerated' along with the pagan religions. It is true that Constantine so favoured the Church that over the 70 years or so to Theodosius' decree it had slipped into a dominant position by in effect a creeping corruption; but that's hardly a sound basis of doctrine.

For its first three centuries, to approx 300CE, the Church followed a different belief about it's relationship to the state; the doctrines taught in the NT itself. And I think it is clear that if in 311 Constantine had tried to jump straight to the later Theodosian position, the Church itself would likely have opposed that. I'm trying to find the letter I know exists from a Christian apologist to a pagan correspondent which shows the state of play in the late 3rd Century – the late 200s, that is. I must remember this time to make sure I get it copied into my 'Sources' file so I don't have future problems finding it.

And if you read history fairly closely it is also clear that there was over the succeeding millennium more than a bit of tension over all kinds of aspects of the state church idea. One I particularly like is the poem by Gower from the time of Chaucer which seriously queries the ethics of the Crusades! Not everything changed at once – but again, history says that by a millennium after Theodosius things had got so bad that in the West many RCs were querying how their church had ended up, thus provoking the Reformation. And in the era of the Reformation, it was the Anabaptists who rediscovered the original biblical teaching (not just only invented it 300 years ago as one Shipmate suggested above) and sought to apply it against such unChristian things as Crusades and other holy wars, Inquisitions etc.

Like I said – the state church idea fails the Vincentian Canon test because it was a recent novelty in Vincent's own time. And even over a millennium later, that's still a fail....

There is another thing I think needs to be said at this point. Another way the state church idea fails is because it actually in effect redefined the Church for the benefit of the worldly state. The Bible defines the Church as the people born again by personal faith; after Theodosius, the Empire said everyone born in the Empire was a 'Christian' by imperial decree - “or else...!”

I believe that despite this God protected the faith considerably – for example the New Testament was already so settled (the Gospels since c140CE, most of the epistles from a similar period) that the Imperial Church couldn't get rid of it. But the basic question remains – after that radical redefinition, the church isn't the Church as described in the NT. So how much authority over the Bible can a Church have which hasn't even managed to get right the basic idea of who the Church is and how you become a member?

I know that hasn't answered everything from (by the time I post this) yesterday's posts on the thread. But it's a long one already and I'd like chance to relax a bit before bedtime....

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
I guess you must all have missed a previous thread where this was raised and I pointed out what it meant in terms of the 'state church' idea.

Perhaps that's because many of us give up on reading through your posts as soon as we hit the (inevitable) discourse on the "state church" idea.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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mr. cheesy wrote:
quote:
And what does "agreed" mean anyway? Is there a majority vote?
There is - it's called an Ecumenical Council.

I realise if you have been looking at disagreements then it's easy to forget the settled bits but they do exist, honest.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
There is - it's called an Ecumenical Council.

I realise if you have been looking at disagreements then it's easy to forget the settled bits but they do exist, honest.

I'm sure this depends on your observation point, but I know for absolutely sure that not only do a large number of churches that I'm aware of not care about the ecumenical councils, even where they do agree with the statements they mean something quite different to the doctrines derived from the by the RCC and Orthodox.

The idea that everyone agrees on the points in the ecumenical councils seems to be blind to the realities of belief of a very large cross-section of Christianity.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Steve Langton
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I'm essentially not free to engage here much today, between extra stints in our drop-in to cover for people involved in a family wedding, and participating in our local manifestation of the 'Thy Kingdom Come' initiative, though I'll try to keep in touch with anything you post.

Can I ask you to do a bit of thinking on one point?

You're all going on about my views on state and church - but AFAICT, there is practically nobody on the Ship who believes in the 'Tradition' of the post-Theodosian state church anyway. Not even as much as that Holloway guy with his agenda of a 'privileged' Christianity in the state, and even he doesn't want people to be forced to believe. Even my most vehement Orthodox challenger is an American who very much believes in their constitutional Church and State separation and looks to me to be very much at odds with mainstream Orthodoxy as a result.

In reality you all appear to be closer to the Anabaptist position than to the medieval RC position, or traditional Orthodoxy, or to pre-18thC non-Anabaptist Protestantism. Even the Anglicans who belong to what is still formally a state church wouldn't AFAICT want to go back to how it was in my youth, in the days of the Mary Whitehouse campaigns. What is your beef with me in the first place?

After all, all I'm basically saying is that Jesus and the Apostles got it right about church and state relations even if that later got a bit obscured by the Roman Imperial interference and the complacence of a church that liked the worldly influence that resulted from that interference. I'm also saying that it's not just Christianity and the state - it's also about other religions and the example Christians set to those religions - and that's particularly acute right now as a citizen of Greater Manchester. Even the left-over rags of our state church compromise the fight against Islam's extremists.

Where are you getting your own church and state views from if not from Jesus and the Apostles in the NT? If you claim to be a Christian surely you should want to follow Jesus' teaching and that of his immediate followers....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

In reality you all appear to be closer to the Anabaptist position than to the medieval RC position, or traditional Orthodoxy, or to pre-18thC non-Anabaptist Protestantism. Even the Anglicans who belong to what is still formally a state church wouldn't AFAICT want to go back to how it was in my youth, in the days of the Mary Whitehouse campaigns. What is your beef with me in the first place?

The beef, quite obviously, is that most of us are quite capable of believing in a church with a tradition going back thousands of years without thinking that we need to arm our bishops or bash people over the head or burn people at the stake.

The problem here is you, not us. You don't seem to be able to compute how the rest of us manage to do something that is perfectly reasonable to us.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Gamaliel
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The problem is that Steve Langton doesn't understand that by adopting a church-state paradigm Theodosius did not thereby reinterpret creedal formularies for all time.

Therefore, it is perfectly possible for Mousethief, as an Orthodox Christian living in the USA to believe in the separation of Church and State.

That might put him at odds with Russian Orthodox people in Putin's Russia, but it doesn't necessarily put him at odds with the broader Orthodox Tradition per se.

It's not as if the RCs or the Orthodox tinkered with the Creeds in some way to include church-state links as a non-negotiable for all time.

Yes, it is true that the RCs and the Orthodox and the Anglicans have tended towards church-state links and synergies - often with deleterious effects.

No-one here is saying otherwise.

Just as no-one here, as far as I can see, is saying that church-state links HAVE to be a defining part of Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism or any other form of Christianity.

It's a fixation that exists in Steve Langton's own head as he's convinced himself that the acceptance of church-state links are the big be-all and end-all for certain Christian traditions / Traditions and responsible for almost every problem and evil that exists.

If the only tool in your tool-kit is a hammer, then everything becomes a nail.

I may have bored SL rigid with my responses to his myopic posts but I'm not sure he even understands the points I've been trying to make.

Nor the points anyone else here is trying to make for that matter.

I was teasing when I said that I can wait a month for your separate post on this issue, Steve Langton. I can wait much, much, much longer than that, thank you very much as I've probably heard everything and anything you can possibly have to say on the issue.

Yes, it is pertinent to this thread. I accept that. But there are other issues and I'd rather talk about those. That doesn't mean I'm not interested in the others ... it's just that I've heard them from you about a million times.

Enough already.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
No-one being right works at the most general level. But when you come down to detail there is loads that is agreed. So is a comment that works only at the most general level any more use than a chocolate teapot?

Yes, I think it can be. It might be beneficial to remember that one's attachment to a particular church is not inherently adherence to the truth.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
The problem is that Steve Langton doesn't understand that by adopting a church-state paradigm Theodosius did not thereby reinterpret creedal formularies for all time.
Actually SL does understand this. It's actually rather the point of what I'm saying.

Also by Gamaliel;
quote:
Yes, it is true that the RCs and the Orthodox and the Anglicans have tended towards church-state links and synergies - often with deleterious effects.
Exactly; the Orthodox and RCC, the people who do claim special authority so that 'the Bible isn't enough', have ended up making 'church-state links and synergies' for centuries, and enjoyed the privileged position of those links for centuries, while the 'deleterious effects' have been massive, criminal, lethal, persecutory in the name of Jesus, and so on and on to the point where it was basically obscene. And better and humbler biblical interpretation would have saved them and the world from that - but their supposedly superior "Tradition" didn't save them or the world.

But in the here and now, oh yes they're finally admitting they got it wrong. Which would be well and good IF they would also admit that it makes a nonsense of their claim to a superior 'Tradition', and that really they're on the same level as everybody else with the Bible as the authority they should check against and that others are entitled to check out for themselves as well. And note that your account does basically admit that about their situation.

But they don't do that. They weasel out. Bigtime. They want to carry on claiming that 'the Bible isn't enough' and they still have the superior tradition. So they make the kind of claim that you put on their behalf above; and you've seen MT do it on this very forum. Somehow all that mayhem they've been involved in 'technically' didn't involve the claim to special 'Tradition' - as in "Oh it didn't actually get into the creeds so it doesn't count". Try telling that to some of the victims - if you dare....

And yes, I did notice you mentioned the Anglicans. They are technically in a slightly different position because they don't make a 'superior Tradition' claim but rather the Protestant claim to be subject to and correctible by Scripture. But still - they're still an established church hanging on to the rags of their privilege, when it would be better for everybody if they would just admit they were wrong - and unbiblical - about that from the start. (And I don't think Rev Holloway would hang around long to trouble them if they did that...!)

I've also been giving the Vincentian Canon thing some further thought and concluded it is actually deeply flawed - though it does do a pretty good job on showing that the 'tradition' of the state church was a false tradition and a recent novelty in Vincent's time. I'll come back to that one, it's quite interesting....

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Gee D
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Steve Langton, I'll say it again. The Church of England is established. No other church in the Anglican communion is.

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Steve Langton
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Sorry Gee D. The established church is rather prominent here in the UK, its establishment significant to many questions including the one this thread is about.

But can we rely on the non-established Anglicans to point out to the English lot how heretical the establishment is?

And there look to me to be quite a few bits of Anglicanism (mostly perhaps in the GAFCON or whatever fringes) which may not be legally established but are still trying quite hard to have a 'Christian country' not far enough short of an establishment....

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Gee D
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What heresy?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Steve Langton
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by Gee D
quote:
What heresy?
too long to answer tonight...

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

I don't think that follows at all.

But I also think that present-day establishment is more or less irrelevant. It's a historical artifact. Or are you claiming that the Church of England and the Church in Wales are really that different?

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Gee D
quote:
What heresy?
too long to answer tonight...

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

Some individuals may, but I very much doubt that any of the churches in the Communion other than the C of E have given it even a moment's thought since it became an impossibility in the then Australian colonies by around 1845-1850.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Gee D
quote:
What heresy?
too long to answer tonight...

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

Can't speak for anywhere else, but Canadian Anglicans, having laboured for over a century with the notion that they were somehow in someway still established, have pretty well given up on it. Indeed, I think that many Canadian Anglicans are not aware that Anglicanism was once established (sort of) in several provinces.

I think the only real vestige of it is for state funerals, where we are the default facility for non-RCs. Friends of mine in the country club circuit inform me that our former dominance is no longer remembered.

I cannot ever recall hearing anyone defend the idea for religious or missiological reasons. Perhaps other shipmates might have, as I move in louche and semi-artistic circles, and could contribute more.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
What heresy?

Erastianism? [You could also argue that Article 37 is Romans 1 taken to an extreme].
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Gamaliel
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I think you are over-simplifying and caricaturing things Steve Langton with the claim that the RCs and Orthodox think that the Bible isn't 'enough' ...

It's not that they don't think that the Bible is 'enough' but they don't think that the Bible stands 'alone'.

The Bible never has stood 'alone'. It emerged from within a tradition in order to serve the needs of that tradition and to help develop and propagate that tradition's particular faith position.

So what you're saying makes no sense whatsoever to anyone outside of a Protestant paradigm.

Even within a Protestant paradigm it would only make sense if there were a single set of interpretations that everyone agreed on.

The Bible is never 'alone.' It can't possibly be. We can't approach it outside of the context of whatever traditions have shaped and moulded us.

The Bible wasn't written in a vacuum and doesn't exist in a vacuum.

But there's no point in pursuing that point as you clearly don't understand it.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

I don't think that follows at all.

But I also think that present-day establishment is more or less irrelevant. It's a historical artifact. Or are you claiming that the Church of England and the Church in Wales are really that different?

1) I don't believe that it necessarily follows - but in asking "what heresy?" Gee D was rather suggesting it might. That is, that the Anglicans in Australia might regard it as a case of establishment being impractical at present but not actually unChristian and so perhaps still possible in future if the practicalities in their opinion changed.

2) I agree that the establishment is a shadow of its former self and increasingly ineffective at its supposed/claimed purpose. Unfortunately it still exists and that actually creates real present day problems - the Jesmond Parish Church situation being just one - which problems don't just affect the Anglicans themselves. Most seriously at the moment it confuses and compromises how Christianity looks to Islam, and our efforts to preach a better Christian alternative. And with Islam itself offering a non-Christian 'establishment', it also affects how Christianity looks to English people.

3) The trouble with the CofE/CiW thing is that the two bodies are still pretty intertwined - a recent ABC, Rowan Williams, was from the CiW - and I suspect you'd find most people aren't even much aware of the difference. Another confusion that helps nobody, basically.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

But as a question, does that mean that the non-established Anglicans would basically believe in the possibility of being 'established' themselves if the opportunity arose?

I don't think that follows at all.

But I also think that present-day establishment is more or less irrelevant. It's a historical artifact. Or are you claiming that the Church of England and the Church in Wales are really that different?

Quick note: the CinW isn't established- indeed it was disestablishment in 1920 that caused us to erect a separate Province. That said, there are certain vestiges of establishment- the right of to be married in the parish church, a duty to maintain churchyards, and prisons in Wales have to have a CinW chaplain (they can have others too, but that's the one they have to have). But the CinW has if anything regained ground as a 'national' church, especially under the last Archbishop, who was a major civic figure.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
It's not that they don't think that the Bible is 'enough' but they don't think that the Bible stands 'alone'.
I don't think Protestants see the Bible standing 'alone' in the very isolated from everything sense that you seem to be implying.

I've read enough Reformers and Puritans to be aware that they bring wide scholarship and knowledge to their interpretations. As per my Tyndale quote, they read the Bible in an 'ordinary' way which means very much not 'alone/in isolation'.

The 'alone' in 'Sola Scriptura' refers rather to the Bible's position of authority. It is the ONLY ultimate authority to which the Church and its traditions are emphatically subject. This is about the Word of God in opposition to the 'traditions of men' which may risk making the word 'void', obscuring and controverting its actual meaning by dubious claims to 'Tradition'.

To say
quote:
The Bible wasn't written in a vacuum and doesn't exist in a vacuum.
is clearly right. The point is very much that it exists out here in the real world to be used and interpreted by real ordinary people. It very nearly was 'in a vaccuum' in a different sense during the medieval RCC which kept it from the people and left the people with little chance to 'test the spirits' of the RCC by checking it against what the Bible said. And that 'checking' by the people, and trusting the people to do that, in opposition to self-serving institutions claiming quasi-magical privileged interpretative competence, is the real meaning of 'Sola scriptura'. When I interpret, as I've said, it is always on the proviso "check it out for yourself". And of course the checking isn't done in a vacuum.

And to be blunt, the record of those institutions which have claimed any kind of special competence is a pretty bad record. Which, Gamaliel, you ought to understand but too often don't seem to.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
) I don't believe that it necessarily follows - but in asking "what heresy?" Gee D was rather suggesting it might. That is, that the Anglicans in Australia might regard it as a case of establishment being impractical at present but not actually unChristian and so perhaps still possible in future if the practicalities in their opinion changed.

I was suggesting nothing at all, "rather" or otherwise. You'd asserted a heresy and I was challenging you to say what that heresy was. You still have not.

Nor did I say anything which could lead you think that Anglican Australians consider that establishment is simply impractical at present but may be possible in the future. What I said and what I repeat is that they do not think at all about the establishment of Anglicanism in Australia either at the present time or some time in the future. Much the same in every other church in the Communion save the C of E.

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Gamaliel
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I suppose I deserved the riposte that I 'don't understand' something when I had earlier accused Steve Langton of a lack of understanding of another issue.

But please, Steve, don't presume to tell me what I do and don't understand. Of course I bloody well understand the poor track record of those historic Churches that have, historically allied themselves too closely to the state. I've never said otherwise.

Equally, I recognise that 'sola scriptura' differs from 'SOLO scriptura'.

At the risk of making assumptions, I'm not always convinced that you do.

However ...

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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by Gee D
quote:
I was suggesting nothing at all, "rather" or otherwise. You'd asserted a heresy and I was challenging you to say what that heresy was. You still have not.
I first wanted clarification on your/your church's position on establishment. But OK, as another Shipmate has pointed out, the technical name for the CofE's heresy is 'Erastianism', combining church and state in such a way that at least originally the state governs the church - and as I understand it there are still areas where the state, though no longer the nominally Christian state originally assumed, is needed for the CofE to do some things.

From my viewpoint the CofE's position is just part of a wider heresy which goes back to the 4th Century CE, and which manifests in all kinds and degrees of combining church and state, from the totalitarian position going back to Theodosius through to more modern positions which seek at least a special privilege for Christianity in the state, as per Rev Holloway and the Christian Institute. The heresy consists in defying Jesus' statement that his kingdom is 'not of this world' and trying to set up a 'kingdom of this world' for Jesus.

One of the big reasons it's a heresy is that if you consider John 18 where Jesus describes that kingdom 'not of this world', it is pretty clear that if Jesus had instead said he did indeed intend any of these versions of a 'Christian state' Pilate would have had to find him guilty in Roman terms and would not have gone to all that effort to try and release Jesus. And a Jesus dying a deserved death in that way would at the very least considerably muddy the idea of his innocent/undeserved death for our sins.

There's more to it. But I'll await comment on that....

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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by Gamaliel;
quote:
Equally, I recognise that 'sola scriptura' differs from 'SOLO scriptura'.
Trouble is, in terms of authority it pretty much is 'solo Scriptura' - there is no credible alternative on offer.

The only Christian institutions with any such claim are the Orthodox and the RCC - and they have pretty much self-discredited by the 'poor track record' of their alliance with the state which they're now largely backtracking from. And of course they themselves affirm the Bible as word of God....

And bluster about Jesus as the ultimate authority tends to neglect the simple fact that basically we know him through the Scriptures. Any other Jesus is basically making him up to suit what you want - the 'our Jesus' phenomenon I've previously referred to in 'Liberal' theologians.

Whether you use the language of 'Tradition' or 'paradigm', you're back to "They can't all be right" - so where do you go to judge between them?

We've had above the standard bluster about there being different interpretations of the Bible. True up to a point but there's still massive common ground - CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity" with some differences in emphasis but little in substance.

The 'big' differences between the mainstream churches, at least until the 19th-20thC growth of the 'liberal theology' movement, are actually in a small area ultimately relating to the problems of the church and state isssue. Issues of Church and state as such, issues of church government, and the issue of credobaptism v paedobaptism. When we're dealing with the 'Mere Christianity' stuff we work together a lot even over those differences.

So how do we sort those differences - well, back to the Bible, basically. As I say, what other credible authority is there really for what Christianity is supposed to be? Not that we are 'confined to' the Bible - but that the Bible is the test of whether we're going in the right direction with things.

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Augustine the Aleut
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I was about to stop reading this thread as its repetition is becoming dead-horsey in my eyes, but I began to wonder if any ordinations carried out by episcopus vagans would be recognized by the CoE. It appears that the consecration itself was not by CESA/REACH-SA rules so the bishop is truly vagans, not part of any disciplining or supportive province or college of bishops, no diocese, and no responsibility.

This might put a deacon or priest made under this arrangement in an ambiguous situation should they seek to be hired by a CoE parish.

EV ordinations have generally _not_ been recognized in the CoE, although I recall reading of an instance between the wars where a conditional ordination was used to regularize a candidate. In the Anglican Church of Canada, the House of Bishops in 1982 took a position that no ordination by a separating church would be recognized.

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Bishops Finger
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I believe that Augustine is right regarding EV ordinations being generally not recognised. The whole subject is fascinating (if rather obscure, and, perhaps, nerdy!).

Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church by Fr. Henry R. T. Brandreth (first published in 1947 by SPCK) gives details of many of these chaps, and their conspicuous lack of success in being anything other than general nuisances to the Church as a whole. It will be interesting, in this context, to see how 'Bishop' Pryke's episcopal ministry develops.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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