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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Is being "distinctively anglican" a desirable thing anyway? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Is being "distinctively anglican" a desirable thing anyway?
Gamaliel
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Yes, I think you're onto something there, Daronmedway, in terms of the 'incarnational presence' in every community - however we understand that to work out in practice.

I don't see an inconsistency in your position as an evangelical in that respect ...

As far as New Frontiers go, I would hesitate before attributing your decision to remain Anglican and 'prevent' your joining NF to the Almighty - one way or t'other ...

But then, I'm not you, and it's down to you how you see these things.

That said, in some ways I think you'd have found NF rather more prescriptive than it looks from the outside.

I had to chuckle recently when I came across a comment from a 'new church' person (not NF) to the effect that, 'Terry Virgo thinks he's the Archbishop of Canterbury ...'

I'm sure the Archbishop of Canterbury would love, at times, to have the kind of executive and over-weening powers that 'new church' leaders have ...

[Roll Eyes]

--------------------
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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
I guess I'd be one of 'those types' of leaders. I seriously considered leaving the CofE about three years ago to church plant with Newfrontiers but God firmly closed the door on it. So, yes, I do look first and foremost to other evangelicals rather than other Anglicans for ecclesiological and missiological fellowship but, frankly, I consider that to be a healthy expression of fellowship, not a lack of commitment to Anglican evangelicalism.

I have heard a number of evangelical Anglicans say similar things and it always leaves me a little bemused - after all, to what extent is their faith/ministry distinctively Anglican at all?
We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.
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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:

They're risking their lives because of a government decision, influenced by some US evangelicals. I do not know the mainstream Ugandan Anglican position, but my main point was to counter the idea that homophobia is some kind of default setting for Africa and other former colonies. It's a pernicious idea amongst conservatives but is both deeply racist and incorrect.

So the Ugandan government blindly does what "Western evangelicals" tell them to? The problem is that your stance denies them agency.
No, Jade's problem is that the Ugandan government isn't blindly doing what Western "liberals" tell them to do. [Big Grin]
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.

That's not distinctively Anglican, that's just identification with the local state church. You could be a Reformed Minister in the dutch bible belt, a Lutheran minister in germany or even a catholic priest in Brazil and all those things would be true.
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LeRoc

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quote:
chris stiles: a catholic priest in Brazil
They usually minister where they live and in 12 other places.

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.

That's not distinctively Anglican, that's just identification with the local state church. You could be a Reformed Minister in the dutch bible belt, a Lutheran minister in germany or even a catholic priest in Brazil and all those things would be true.
Precisely. Reformed and Catholic according to the ancient tradition of the church, as Matt Black's signature, quoting John Cosin, puts it.

[ 18. July 2014, 21:26: Message edited by: daronmedway ]

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Russ
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I thought one of the distinctive things about Anglicanism is that being Anglican isn't that important.

What other background would you expect from the author of "Mere Christianity" ?

The Anglicans know that their institution and rites are an accident of history.

Insisting that someone should be distinctively Anglican seems distinctively unAnglican...

Best wishes,

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.

That's not distinctively Anglican, that's just identification with the local state church. You could be a Reformed Minister in the dutch bible belt, a Lutheran minister in germany or even a catholic priest in Brazil and all those things would be true.
Neither, I would have thought. Later in the evening, I may send this to an acquaintance of mine, the curé of a Franco-Ontarian village RC outlet about 40km to the east of here, where he has been ministering for 28 years. While spry and intelligent, he may have trouble understanding that he is both deeply Anglican and the minion of a state church.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:


We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.
..

Precisely. Reformed and Catholic according to the ancient tradition of the church

.. and yet, going back in this thread you had less in common many other people in your own denomination who were doing everything embodied in the first paragraph, and far more with those from other denominations who - largely - didn't.

Furthermore, the center/fringe terms you were using are defined using none of those things either.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Oscar the Grouch says: This is just plain nonsense, as far as I have experienced the C of E. The only people I have seen "aggresively promoting" anything in recent years are the CEs.
I find that very hard to believe. Do you honestly believe that everyone just woke up one morning and decided that gay marriage and female bishops (for example) would be a good idea? Of course not. They are ideas which have been promoted to people. It's what all people do when they want their way; they promote their ideas.

I'm not objecting to the promotion of ideas within the church. I'm objecting to the aggressive nature of ideological claims to "centrality" - by means of spacial metaphor - as a means of lending artificial legitimacy to one particular view as more Anglican than another.

After all, the issue isn't really about whether one view is "more Anglican" than another. The issue is about which view is right.

Nice of you to completely ignore my response to you re 'centrality'. I'm not arguing about 'centrality', I'm talking about those who openly do not have any particular loyalty to Anglicanism (and by that I mean those who happily admit that they'd go RC or Baptist or NFI or whatever, if it didn't mean losing resources from the CoE) - not accusing people of being 'less Anglican'.

You are completely misrepresenting my position.

I'm struggling to see how you can support the assertion that you've only seen traditionalists aggressively promoting their point of view while at the same time sharing anecdotes about liberal minded people savaging their opponents. Doesn't seem very consistent to me.
Sorry, what anecdotes about liberal minded people savaging their opponents? [Confused]


You said:
quote:
I certainly was present in one meeting where the General Synod representatives who had voted against the measure were ripped apart by furious lay people. You could see the shock on the faces of the GS representatives as it finally hit home how out of touch they were with the groundswell of opinion.

1. That wasn't Jade. That was me. Get your basic facts right

2. It wasn't "aggressive liberals" ripping into the GS reps. I knew most of the people in the room. They were a mixture of evangelical and MOR laity, none of them normally aggressive or church politic minded. Very ordinary "pewfillers" who were just bloody angry at what had been done in their name.

--------------------
Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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Steve Langton
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The one distinctive thing about Anglicanism is its foundation as the state church of England. Everything else is up for grabs. How 'up for grabs' is well illustrated by the fact that Henry VIII originally founded it to be 'catholic without the Pope', and as soon as Henry died it became Protestant under his son Edward VI, by fiat from the top, not by faith in the individual members. For Elizabeth, after the Marian interruption, it was a political compromise for the peace of the nation, and ever since it has really been somewhat of a mixture. There have been Puritan factions who tried to push it to be more Protestant, and various kinds of 'high-churchy' faction who tried to be more like Rome in various ways, plus a mix of all sorts. For many the church was just a career for younger sons of the middle and upper classes, for others it was a part of English patriotism, providing a 'God on our side' for colonialism not much better than anyone else's.

The balance and exact nature of the factions changes from time to time, often for all kinds of worldly reasons rather than any religious reason - but the only true distinctive is establishment - or of course in most countries now, in a comparatively recent change, former establishment....

According to the 'Articles of Religion' it was clearly intended to be Protestant in beliefs; but it's superficial practices tended towards 'catholic' in the interests of that formal state unity/conformity in religious matters. But the distinctive feature of being 'established', being the state church – that's not a good thing in all kinds of ways.

One of these ways is seen in the example of Uganda, quoted earlier by Jade Constable. Of course a nation with an established church first had Christian standards imposed involuntarily and legalistically on its own population; and of course when it went colonising it imposed those standards on the colonies in such forms as anti-homosexual laws.... That kind of thing is what a state church is for and about.

At the same time, this distinctive of establishment is of course unbiblical, which makes it even worse. As it happens I'm with Jade Constable on this point – 'Con-Evos' should NOT be Anglican, it is inconsistent with their basic stance as Bible-believers.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
The one distinctive thing about Anglicanism is its foundation as the state church of England.

I actually don't think that being established is much of a deal OR that distinctive.

For a start, there are other established churches. And you could argue that some of them are more affected by being established than the C of E, because they receive church tax from the state.

I also don't think that being established makes very much difference to the vast majority of the C of E. The "State Church" bits are very small and impact very few. To all intents and purposes, the C of E functions like any other denomination these days. Disestablishment would change very little. The only reason it hasn't been done is that no government wants to waste huge amounts of time on something that will bring zero benefit to them or to anyone, really.

One slightly indirect aspect of being the established church, which DOES make the C of E distinctive, is the way its senior clergy are appointed. The secrecy and use of the old boy network means that the senior figures are almost always going to be safe, conservative people and will be increasingly out of step with the majority of the rest of the C of E. If a disestablished C of E started electing its bishops (as other Anglican provinces do), I think we would see a different C of E.

--------------------
Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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daronmedway
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Jade.

My sincere apologies. I've been using my iPhone to post and I genuinely thought I was replying to Oscar, not you. Sorry about the mix up.

[ 19. July 2014, 07:14: Message edited by: daronmedway ]

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:


We live where we minster. That's deeply Anglican. We understand ourselves to be called to a particular geographical location and the people living in that location; the para-oikos or parish (lit. beside the dwellings). That's deeply Anglican. We have strong sense of the cure of souls as an evangelistic imperative. That's deeply Anglican, or at least it should be.
..

Precisely. Reformed and Catholic according to the ancient tradition of the church

.. and yet, going back in this thread you had less in common many other people in your own denomination who were doing everything embodied in the first paragraph, and far more with those from other denominations who - largely - didn't.

Furthermore, the center/fringe terms you were using are defined using none of those things either.

Yes, that's right. I probably wouldn't have agreed with John Cosin's vision of Anglicanism, but I've always liked the quote.
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Steve Langton
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by Oscar the Grouch;
quote:
I actually don't think that being established is much of a deal OR that distinctive.

For a start, there are other established churches.

Yes, there are other 'established' churches, not all in exactly the Anglican format. Actually if you think about it, being the established church of one particular nation and its former colonies is not only a considerable 'distinctive', it is a very dubious distinctive in Christian terms, in which in Christ there is no Roman, Greek, Englishman etc.

My point was that being 'established' is the only real Anglican distinctive, given the variety in other areas which has always prevailed; and the subsidiary point, in line with the OP, that it's a distinctive that shouldn't be in the first place.

I'm not sure that establishment is so very unimportant these days - just consider the implications that the recent women bishops legislation cannot be implemented till it's gone through some process of Parliamentary approval. OK, in this case it's unlikely that Parliament will reject the arrangement - but potentially they might; should what is supposed to be God's Church be in that position?

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Gamaliel
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What you are saying would be the case, Steve Langton, if the CofE only, or primarily, admitted English people.

The last time I looked there were plenty of people who aren't ethnically English in Anglican churches - particularly in inner-city areas.

As for Establishment as the only real Anglican distinctive and the rest is up for grabs - one could just as easily argue that an Anti-Establishment position is the only genuine Steve Langton distinctive - and everything else is up for grabs.

What else is distinctive about your approach?

[Biased] [Razz]

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:

They're risking their lives because of a government decision, influenced by some US evangelicals. I do not know the mainstream Ugandan Anglican position, but my main point was to counter the idea that homophobia is some kind of default setting for Africa and other former colonies. It's a pernicious idea amongst conservatives but is both deeply racist and incorrect.

So the Ugandan government blindly does what "Western evangelicals" tell them to? The problem is that your stance denies them agency.
No, Jade's problem is that the Ugandan government isn't blindly doing what Western "liberals" tell them to do. [Big Grin]
Uh no, don't put words in my mouth or think you have the right to speak for me. Unless you have proven psychic abilities, you have no idea what I think so button it.

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

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:

They're risking their lives because of a government decision, influenced by some US evangelicals. I do not know the mainstream Ugandan Anglican position, but my main point was to counter the idea that homophobia is some kind of default setting for Africa and other former colonies. It's a pernicious idea amongst conservatives but is both deeply racist and incorrect.

So the Ugandan government blindly does what "Western evangelicals" tell them to? The problem is that your stance denies them agency.
Last time I checked, 'influenced by' didn't equal 'blindly doing what x group says', so don't put words in my mouth that I didn't say. Of course Ugandans have agency and of course they can be homophobic without outside influence, but Ugandans can also campaign for gay rights without outside influence. I was correcting the notion that no African would want LGBT equality without outside liberal influence - when actually in many cases it was there before colonisation.

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

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Oscar the Grouch says: This is just plain nonsense, as far as I have experienced the C of E. The only people I have seen "aggresively promoting" anything in recent years are the CEs.
I find that very hard to believe. Do you honestly believe that everyone just woke up one morning and decided that gay marriage and female bishops (for example) would be a good idea? Of course not. They are ideas which have been promoted to people. It's what all people do when they want their way; they promote their ideas.

I'm not objecting to the promotion of ideas within the church. I'm objecting to the aggressive nature of ideological claims to "centrality" - by means of spacial metaphor - as a means of lending artificial legitimacy to one particular view as more Anglican than another.

After all, the issue isn't really about whether one view is "more Anglican" than another. The issue is about which view is right.

Nice of you to completely ignore my response to you re 'centrality'. I'm not arguing about 'centrality', I'm talking about those who openly do not have any particular loyalty to Anglicanism (and by that I mean those who happily admit that they'd go RC or Baptist or NFI or whatever, if it didn't mean losing resources from the CoE) - not accusing people of being 'less Anglican'.

You are completely misrepresenting my position.

I'm struggling to see how you can support the assertion that you've only seen traditionalists aggressively promoting their point of view while at the same time sharing anecdotes about liberal minded people savaging their opponents. Doesn't seem very consistent to me.
Sorry, what anecdotes about liberal minded people savaging their opponents? [Confused]


You said:
quote:
I certainly was present in one meeting where the General Synod representatives who had voted against the measure were ripped apart by furious lay people. You could see the shock on the faces of the GS representatives as it finally hit home how out of touch they were with the groundswell of opinion.

Sorry, please link me to where I said this because I don't think I've ever said this. I've never been in that situation before, so I'm puzzled [Confused]

[ 19. July 2014, 11:34: Message edited by: Jade Constable ]

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

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Pomona
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Whoops daronmedway, hadn't seen your correction - that's OK, I was just very confused since the only time I've been in a room with GS representatives, everyone else has agreed with them!

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

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Oscar the Grouch;
quote:
I actually don't think that being established is much of a deal OR that distinctive.

For a start, there are other established churches.

Yes, there are other 'established' churches, not all in exactly the Anglican format. Actually if you think about it, being the established church of one particular nation and its former colonies is not only a considerable 'distinctive', it is a very dubious distinctive in Christian terms, in which in Christ there is no Roman, Greek, Englishman etc.

My point was that being 'established' is the only real Anglican distinctive, given the variety in other areas which has always prevailed; and the subsidiary point, in line with the OP, that it's a distinctive that shouldn't be in the first place.

I'm not sure that establishment is so very unimportant these days - just consider the implications that the recent women bishops legislation cannot be implemented till it's gone through some process of Parliamentary approval. OK, in this case it's unlikely that Parliament will reject the arrangement - but potentially they might; should what is supposed to be God's Church be in that position?

Actually there aren't other Established churches, at least not in the specific meaning of how the CoE is Established. If it's not legally part of the government, it's not Established, so those churches that do not follow the CoE format (eg the Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, TEC) are not Established at all. 'Established' is a specific term, not just whatever you want it to mean.

Being Established isn't a distinctively Anglican thing - there are many non-Established Anglican churches.

[ 19. July 2014, 11:49: Message edited by: Jade Constable ]

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

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Gee D
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I understood Oscar to be referring to such churches as the Lutheran Churches of Sweden and Norway, not the Church in Wales. The Church of Scotland, to which you refer, is Presbyterian, not Anglican. And the only established Anglican church is the C of E.

AFAIK, the Anglican Church was never the established church of any of the former colonies. There was an attempt to establish it in NSW, but that never got off the ground - although some of the clergy pretended that it had been. There may have been similar unsuccessful attempts elsewhere.

[ 19. July 2014, 12:11: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:

They're risking their lives because of a government decision, influenced by some US evangelicals. I do not know the mainstream Ugandan Anglican position, but my main point was to counter the idea that homophobia is some kind of default setting for Africa and other former colonies. It's a pernicious idea amongst conservatives but is both deeply racist and incorrect.

So the Ugandan government blindly does what "Western evangelicals" tell them to? The problem is that your stance denies them agency.
No, Jade's problem is that the Ugandan government isn't blindly doing what Western "liberals" tell them to do. [Big Grin]
Uh no, don't put words in my mouth or think you have the right to speak for me. Unless you have proven psychic abilities, you have no idea what I think so button it.
I admit I may be wrong, but my impression is that you are criticizing certain African governments for not adopting Western cultural mores and values. Perhaps you could learn to show some respect for other countries' mores and customs (even if you happen to disagree with them) by not using derogatory terms such as 'misogynist' and 'homophobic'. They have the right to decide how to order their own societies, and whether or not to promote the sort of equality agenda which has been voluntarily implemented in the West over the last 50 years - and quite recently in some cases.

Trying to berate and bully them into doing so just because we tell them to equates to cultural imperialism in my books.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I was correcting the notion that no African would want LGBT equality without outside liberal influence

No one was claiming those policies had unanimous support in those countries (please point me to the post claiming that). These policies have - whatever you feel about it - popular support though.

So perhaps the Ugandan government would do exactly the same thing even if there wasn't some support from some Western evangelicals.

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
... those who are trying to make a centre out of the liberal agenda

Going back a bit, you referred to "nasty liberals" and this "liberal agenda" a couple of times in that post. What exactly are you getting at? I may agree, but now I'm outside any official liberal context I'm curious about how it looks from your perspective.
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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Marshall:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
... those who are trying to make a centre out of the liberal agenda

Going back a bit, you referred to "nasty liberals" and this "liberal agenda" a couple of times in that post. What exactly are you getting at? I may agree, but now I'm outside any official liberal context I'm curious about how it looks from your perspective.
If you'll permit me to answer this question as well, I'll describe what I see.

I see the intentional usage of spacial metaphor to establish the liberal vision for the Church of England as inherently "central" to the Anglican identity. This claim to centrality rests on an a priori ideological presupposition that the liberal vision for the church is the inherently "central" position in Anglicanism.

Then, from that constructed "centre" I see an expansionist approach which is seeking to take territory which is legitimately occupied my those now deemed marginal, fringe, at the edge, or extreme by the purveyors of the "centralist" schema. This happens in two main ways: subsumption via an interminable "indaba" listening process or ostracism via the process of and negative propaganda and increasingly strident "invitations to leave".

[ 19. July 2014, 14:09: Message edited by: daronmedway ]

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Gamaliel
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My reference to 'nasty liberals' was, of course, tongue in cheek, Dave Marshall.

I might just as equally refer to 'nasty evangelicals'.

Some liberals are nasty, some evangelicals are nasty. It cuts both ways.

That said, I concur with Daronmedway in his detecting a tactic on the part of some Anglican liberals to claim the 'centre-ground' as their own and to portray more conservative Anglicans - whether on the Catholic or evangelical wings - as somehow outside of the centre-ground of mainstream Anglicanism.

There's always going to be a tension in a broad church like the CofE, with the proponents of whatever view considering theirs to be the quintessentially Anglican one ...

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
AFAIK, the Anglican Church was never the established church of any of the former colonies. There was an attempt to establish it in NSW, but that never got off the ground - although some of the clergy pretended that it had been. There may have been similar unsuccessful attempts elsewhere.

The Anglican Church was established in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia when they were colonies, and in some cases for a number of years afterward. But perhaps you meant established in former colonies that were no longer colonies. If so, never mind.

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Gamaliel
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There's a risk of disingenuity in all traditions involved here.

I think what Daron is saying is that the liberal types are entitled to their view and standpoint, provided that they are upfront about it being a liberal standpoint and they don't present it as if it is the inalienably centrist middle-ground of mainstream Anglicanism.

I suspect there's a lot of truth in that.

By the same token, there are equal and opposite besetting sins and tendencies we could lay at the door of evangelical Anglicans, Anglo-catholics, MoTR Anglicans and however many shades of Anglican there are ...

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daronmedway
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That's precisely what I'm saying and I agree that, in another universe, it could be the anglo-catholics or the evangelicals laying claim to the ideological centre. After all, Anglicanism began essentially evangelical and bumped along that way for some considerable time, then it shifted for a time to anglo-catholicism and is now, at least for a time, dominated - at least politically - by the liberals.

[ 19. July 2014, 14:50: Message edited by: daronmedway ]

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
If you'll permit me to answer this question as well, I'll describe what I see.

Thanks. Seriously.
quote:
I see the intentional usage of spacial metaphor to establish the liberal vision for the Church of England as inherently "central" to the Anglican identity.
Where do you see this? Or perhaps better, what makes you interpret what you see in these terms?
quote:
This claim to centrality rests on an a priori ideological presupposition that the liberal vision for the church is the inherently "central" position in Anglicanism.
I haven't noticed any coherent "liberal vision" (more's the pity). But that may be because I haven't been paying much attention.
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Raptor Eye
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Does the 'centre' really exist, in the same way as there is no such thing as 'average'? Most people will cluster around what becomes the centre ground, while the outer lines stretch out to encompass those on the peripheries.

If the C of E aims to include all who claim to be Christian in England, this must affect what is perceived as 'distinctively Anglican' in every generation.

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I think what Daron is saying is that the liberal types are entitled to their view and standpoint, provided that they are upfront about it being a liberal standpoint and they don't present it as if it is the inalienably centrist middle-ground of mainstream Anglicanism.

But as you say, everyone's doing it. What no-one seems to be doing is separating consideration of what kind of institution the Church of England needs to be, given its diversity, from their own ideological/theological priorities.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
That's precisely what I'm saying and I agree that, in another universe, it could be the anglo-catholics or the evangelicals laying claim to the ideological centre. After all, Anglicanism began essentially evangelical and bumped along that way for some considerable time, then it shifted for a time to anglo-catholicism and is now, at least for a time, dominated - at least politically - by the liberals.

Liberals are seen as on the way out. Evangelicals are dominating the C of E now.

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Marshall:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
If you'll permit me to answer this question as well, I'll describe what I see.

Thanks. Seriously.
quote:
I see the intentional usage of spacial metaphor to establish the liberal vision for the Church of England as inherently "central" to the Anglican identity.
Where do you see this? Or perhaps better, what makes you interpret what you see in these terms?

I see it in the common language of church officialdom, especially when it comes to looking for 'jobs', for want of a better term. I don't know when the term "central" became the preferred synonym for liberal but I've been seeing it in official church paperwork since the late 1990s, early 2000s. It's always annoyed me because it lays illegitimate claim via special metaphor to a position of power, influence and control. It is a claim to positional entitlement which too few people have thought to question.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave Marshall:
I haven't noticed any coherent "liberal vision" (more's the pity). But that may be because I haven't been paying much attention.

The former Bishop of Lincoln, John Saxbee sets out coherent, positive visions here and here, albeit a while ago.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I understood Oscar to be referring to such churches as the Lutheran Churches of Sweden and Norway, not the Church in Wales. The Church of Scotland, to which you refer, is Presbyterian, not Anglican. And the only established Anglican church is the C of E.

Correct. Establishment may be rare, but the C of E is by no means unique in this respect.

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
If the C of E aims to include all who claim to be Christian in England, this must affect what is perceived as 'distinctively Anglican' in every generation.

If the C of E aimed to reflect all Christians in England, then yes. But that's not how it works. In general the Church hierarchy see their role as primarily preservative of past generations' visions of being Christian and being a Church. In each position of responsibility each individual is effectively locked into a role that prevents change happening in that context. So in every generation 'distinctively Anglican' becomes ever more remote from ordinary lived-out Christian faiths.
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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
That's precisely what I'm saying and I agree that, in another universe, it could be the anglo-catholics or the evangelicals laying claim to the ideological centre. After all, Anglicanism began essentially evangelical and bumped along that way for some considerable time, then it shifted for a time to anglo-catholicism and is now, at least for a time, dominated - at least politically - by the liberals.

Liberals are seen as on the way out. Evangelicals are dominating the C of E now.
Potentially, yes. And the centrists know it, which is why their rhetoric increasingly includes invitations for evangelicals (and others) to leave, as in the OP.

They've managed to convince themselves and others that the liberal (i.e central) vision is Anglicanism precisely in order to legitimise the ostracism of competing visions which are, in actual fact, theologically, ecclesiologically and historically perfectly Anglican.

Some charismatic-evangelicals (like HTB) appear to have rumbled the centrists and are simply refusing to engage, opting instead to re-imagine, re-vamp and re-double their evangelistic, social engagement and church planting programmes. And it's driving the centrists crazy.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Marshall:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
If you'll permit me to answer this question as well, I'll describe what I see.

Thanks. Seriously.
quote:
I see the intentional usage of spacial metaphor to establish the liberal vision for the Church of England as inherently "central" to the Anglican identity.
Where do you see this? Or perhaps better, what makes you interpret what you see in these terms?

I see it in the common language of church officialdom, especially when it comes to looking for 'jobs', for want of a better term. I don't know when the term "central" became the preferred synonym for liberal but I've been seeing it in official church paperwork since the late 1990s, early 2000s. It's always annoyed me because it lays illegitimate claim via special metaphor to a position of power, influence and control. It is a claim to positional entitlement which too few people have thought to question.
I don't think you're right, here. "Central" in terms of job adverts doesn't mean "liberal". It means "not evangelical and not anglo-catholic but somewhere in between". And that's clumsy, so "central" is a commonly accepted description.[*] Now some "central" churches are liberal. But by no means all. My last parish was "central" but rather conservative in terms of attitudes to homosexuality and not terribly comfortable with women priests.

And calling oneself "central" is making no claim about seeking power, influence or control. It's not really saying "we're where everyone should be." More often than not, it's saying "we're not this or that." I think you're reading far too much into this word.

I'm not saying that there aren't "central" people who are liberal and who are pushing for a specific agenda. But IME there aren't many of those, and there are far more people from evangelical and anglo-catholic tendencies who are actively pushing agendas. And a lot of people who are actively seeking "liberal" things like SSM and women bishops would not describe themselves as liberal.

(* Another commonly accepted descriptor in job adverts is "open evangelical". This also has its problems. When first used, it tended to mean "evangelicalish but not hardline and open to other traditions". But it has since come to be code for "evangelical and gently charismatic." Such shorthand descriptors are inevitably clumsy. But when you are trying to be brief and succinct in a job advert or CV, their usage is inevitable.)

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
I see it in the common language of church officialdom, especially when it comes to looking for 'jobs', for want of a better term. I don't know when the term "central" became the preferred synonym for liberal but I've been seeing it in official church paperwork since the late 1990s, early 2000s.

I saw that somewhere recently, but I'm fairly sure "central" did not mean liberal. From the context, I took it to mean the ability and willingness to work within various local traditions (including catholic, "radical" and evangelical). They didn't want someone who was going impose their theological/ecclesiological preference on every parish.

But alongside that requirement was something like "loyality to the Church of England". I know liberal is a slippery concept, but in the current climate I don't see any indication there of theological liberalism.

[cross-posted]

[ 19. July 2014, 15:55: Message edited by: Dave Marshall ]

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Dave Marshall

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
The former Bishop of Lincoln, John Saxbee sets out coherent, positive visions here and here, albeit a while ago.

Yes, as far as they go. The Church lost a good bishop when John Saxbee retired. These days Linda Woodhead seems to address the interesting issues almost in passing.
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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:

They're risking their lives because of a government decision, influenced by some US evangelicals. I do not know the mainstream Ugandan Anglican position, but my main point was to counter the idea that homophobia is some kind of default setting for Africa and other former colonies. It's a pernicious idea amongst conservatives but is both deeply racist and incorrect.

So the Ugandan government blindly does what "Western evangelicals" tell them to? The problem is that your stance denies them agency.
No, Jade's problem is that the Ugandan government isn't blindly doing what Western "liberals" tell them to do. [Big Grin]
Uh no, don't put words in my mouth or think you have the right to speak for me. Unless you have proven psychic abilities, you have no idea what I think so button it.
I admit I may be wrong, but my impression is that you are criticizing certain African governments for not adopting Western cultural mores and values. Perhaps you could learn to show some respect for other countries' mores and customs (even if you happen to disagree with them) by not using derogatory terms such as 'misogynist' and 'homophobic'. They have the right to decide how to order their own societies, and whether or not to promote the sort of equality agenda which has been voluntarily implemented in the West over the last 50 years - and quite recently in some cases.

Trying to berate and bully them into doing so just because we tell them to equates to cultural imperialism in my books.

Uh no, if you'd actually read my comments you'd see that's the opposite of what I am saying. Homophobia is not an intrinsically African value, no more than believing in LGBT rights is an intrinsically Western value, and it is you who is racist in suggesting that. LGBT rights are actually not something being imposed on Africans by Westerners, rather that homophobia and homophobic laws are something colonialism forced on countries occupied on Westerners - non-heterosexuality and non-binary genders were known and acknowledged and accepted by many former colonies of the West before colonization. An example of this is India - its current anti-homosexuality laws were brought in by the British, and are not inherently Indian in the slightest. Attempts to get rid of these laws, in contrast, are primarily driven by Indian people themselves.

As I have already said, it is deeply racist to suggest that fighting for LGBT rights is a 'liberal Western' value, as if non-Westerners are more inherently homophobic than Westerners. This both others and exoticises homophobia (and hides the homophobia of Western nations) and also erases non-Western non-heterosexual identities.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I was correcting the notion that no African would want LGBT equality without outside liberal influence

No one was claiming those policies had unanimous support in those countries (please point me to the post claiming that). These policies have - whatever you feel about it - popular support though.

So perhaps the Ugandan government would do exactly the same thing even if there wasn't some support from some Western evangelicals.

But not without Christian colonialism, surely? Homophobia is not some kind of inherent Ugandan trait. That is what I was trying to say, not that nobody in Uganda actually agrees with those laws.

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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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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
That's precisely what I'm saying and I agree that, in another universe, it could be the anglo-catholics or the evangelicals laying claim to the ideological centre. After all, Anglicanism began essentially evangelical and bumped along that way for some considerable time, then it shifted for a time to anglo-catholicism and is now, at least for a time, dominated - at least politically - by the liberals.

Liberals are seen as on the way out. Evangelicals are dominating the C of E now.
Potentially, yes. And the centrists know it, which is why their rhetoric increasingly includes invitations for evangelicals (and others) to leave, as in the OP.

They've managed to convince themselves and others that the liberal (i.e central) vision is Anglicanism precisely in order to legitimise the ostracism of competing visions which are, in actual fact, theologically, ecclesiologically and historically perfectly Anglican.

Some charismatic-evangelicals (like HTB) appear to have rumbled the centrists and are simply refusing to engage, opting instead to re-imagine, re-vamp and re-double their evangelistic, social engagement and church planting programmes. And it's driving the centrists crazy.

As I have said countless times (but has been ignored), my quote (which was taken out of its context of the particular DH it was discussing) is referring to everyone at the very extremes of the CoE, Anglo-Catholics as well as Evangelicals. I would also not say that the 'centre' (and I have never claimed to be of the centre, and have repeatedly said that I am not) is inherently liberal (though I guess, define liberal). Some liberals may claim so, I am not one of them.

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daronmedway
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And I'm saying that your use of the term 'the extremes', with reference to views which you dislike, is an example of spatial metaphor that perhaps belies a degree of complicity with, or maybe just indifference to, the subtleties of the centrist approach to Anglican church politics.
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Gamaliel
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@Raptor Eye, I don't think the CofE is setting out its stall to represent 'all Christians' in England.

It would certainly claim to represent a Christian voice to the nation and so on, but that's not to suggest that people in the RC Church or the Methodists, Baptists, New Frontiers or anywhere else aren't doing so in their particular way too.

A belief that the CofE is 'there' for anyone and everyone isn't the same as suggesting that all Christians in England should be CofE ... any more than having a Church of Scotland or a Church In Wles means that there's an expectation that all Christians north of the border or west of Offa's Dyke have to belong or even engage with those particular bodies.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by daronmedway:
And I'm saying that your use of the term 'the extremes', with reference to views which you dislike, is an example of spatial metaphor that perhaps belies a degree of complicity with, or maybe just indifference to, the subtleties of the centrist approach to Anglican church politics.

And I'm saying that, despite people trying to correct you gently, you're talking a load of old bollocks here. Seriously. You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about some sort of "liberal agenda" that is making you see all sorts of things that just aren't there.

It seems to me that you are confusing two distinct things:

a) the idea of "central" churches which avoid the extremes. Now I know that you seem unhappy with such terms as "centre" or "extreme" but it is difficult to know how else to talk about these things. There can be no denying that the likes of Reform and Forward in Faith are "extreme" in that they are untypical of the majority of the C of E and that they lurk "on the edges" - avoiding too much involvement with the rest of the C of E. What term would YOU prefer to use for such groups?

b) the "centrist" approach in the C of E hierarchy - whereby the centre (Church House in London and Diocesan Offices around the country) have increasingly attempted to take greater control over parishes and priests.

If you want to discuss the evils of the latter, I'm all on your side. But be aware that those pushing such a "centrist" line are not necessarily liberal. Overall, most are pretty conservative in their views and are just as likely to be evangelical or anglo-catholic as liberal.

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Oscar the Grouch

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I think I have worked out part your problem with terms like "centre".

When discussing colour on the spectrum, we might say that yellow is "central". By that, we don't mean that yellow has more power, or seeks dominance. It is simply in the middle. It isn't at the extremes like infra red or ultra violet.

In C of E terms, "central" means the same thing. On the spectrum of types of church, it is simply in the middle. That's all.

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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
...an Anti-Establishment position is the only genuine Steve Langton distinctive - and everything else is up for grabs.

What else is distinctive about your approach?

Sorry this reply is a bit belated, I've been out all day and only just got back in. NO, everything else is not 'up for grabs' as far as I'm concerned - you'll recall that on other threads I've supported the general idea of 'Mere Christianity' and I wouldn't want to be distinctive in that area. Just I don't believe 'establishment' and the other 'Christian country' variants found elsewhere are part of that 'Mere Christianity', and I believe that what the NT teaches instead basically precludes Anglican 'establishment' and all the other variants that aim at a 'Christian country' - up to and including the 'Paisley pattern' in NI and the 'Neo-Constantinian' version found in the USA.

AS regards 'establishment in England' as the only Anglican distinctive - come on, it is! All the other things claimed as uniquely Anglican basically spring from that historical fact. 'Everything else up for grabs' - again, being established is pretty much the only constant in Anglicanism, just about everything else is variable depending which Anglican you talk to.

By Gamaliel;
quote:
What you are saying would be the case, Steve Langton, if the CofE only, or primarily, admitted English people.
Sorry, my attempt to curb my natural prolixity left my statement a little limited. Perhaps 'UK citizen' would have covered it better. But the point is that irrespective of the ethnicities nowadays admitted, the Anglican Church IS the established religion of a particular state and that does rather go against the international nature of the Church as described in the NT.

Off out shopping now, may have more to say later.

Posts: 2245 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged



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