Friday, January 7, 2011

Arrival or departure?

(I will get back to 'Scripture Alone' but that has been an item on the Anglican agenda for some 500 or more years ... so no hurry).

In recent days news of a prominent ceremony of blessing in a cathedral with a bishop presiding and two well-known clergywomen has been reported, mostly in terms of it being a 'marriage'. All three clerics are licensed clergy in TEC, the ceremony is being justified in terms of a resolution of TEC's General Convention, and nothing I have read suggests that anyone of note in TEC is concerned that this event will have any bearing at all on the immediate future of the Communion (bearing in mind the imminence of the next Primates' Meeting, at the end of this month, in Dublin).

Cranmer writes of the matter with clarity:

"But when does a blessing become a marriage?

The Revd Peter Ould has performed an autopsy on the liturgy used in this service, and determined that it is indeed a marriage ceremony. Like that presided over by the Revd. Martin Dudley in London, the Rt Rev M Thomas Shaw has been content to amend the Prayer Book to accommodate the same-sex union.

And so all references to procreation have been excised.

While this may be nothing new in the US, it illustrates that The Episcopal Church has departed from the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and the orthodox teaching of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

In Genesis 2, God says: “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a help mett for him’ (v18). It continues: ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’ (v24). Although these verses do not purport to define marriage, they do describe its origin, and are therefore crucial for understanding the Bible’s teaching on marriage, which is both heterosexual and monogamous. This precludes homosexuality (Exod 22:19; Lev 18:22f) and Lesbianism (cf Rom 1:26f). Some heterosexual unions are also prohibited (Lev 18:9-17; 20:11-21; Deut 22:30; 27:20-23). Bigamy, though evident in the OT, is not ideal (Lev 18:18; Deut 17:17), being portrayed negatively (Gen 16:4ff; 21:10) or deemed problematic (Deut 21:15-17).

Three purposes for marriage can be identified out of v24: (i) the procreation of children; (ii) companionship, and (iii) sexual union. Marriage is a covenant before God, which is explicitly confirmed by Jesus when he states that marriage is that which ‘God hath joined together’ (Mt 19:6); when a person ‘leaves’ and ‘cleaves’. Jesus refers to being ‘yoked together’ (Mt 19:6; Mk 10:9), the Greek term meaning a profound union. The marriage covenant was designed by God to last until at least one of the spouses dies (Rom 7:2), though it could be severed by divorce.

This is the unequivocal Anglican position, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer."

Except these days I suppose it is, for some Anglicans, the equivocal position!

Cranmer is right. With the Primates' Meeting imminent (a prayer for which is here), this is a point of departure. But who is departing from whom? Has TEC arrived at a new point of unequivocal commitment to difference from the majority of the Communion?

I will publish comments on this post which discuss (1) the (in)significance of this event of blessing in Boston for the life of the Communion (2) whether or not "The Episcopal Church has departed from the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and the orthodox teaching of the Worldwide Anglican Communion" (3) the likelihood of any consequential alterations being made to the Primates' Meeting in Dublin at the end of this month. I will not publish comments which (1) include ad hominem comment on anyone involved in the event of blessing or other episcopal leaders in TEC or the Communion (2) engage in general discussion about human sexuality.

42 comments:

Bryan Owen said...

This is disturbing for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is yet another instance of illegal liturgical revision within the Episcopal Church.

We've seen this in the Episcopal Church with a priest who believes that the Creeds are defective, and so he has ommitted the Nicene Creed from the Eucharistic liturgy.

We've seen it when the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester was the bishop-elect of Northern Michigan and it came to light that he had significantly revised the liturgy for Holy Baptism and used that revision for an Easter Vigil service.

We've seen it when clergy at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City revised the Baptismal Liturgy to be interfaith inclusive.

And we've seen it when Calvary Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh offered a Seusscharist that transposed the language of the Eucharistic Prayer into Seussspeak.

Lord only knows what other examples are out there!

Every time illegal liturgical revision happens and gets enacted in public worship, it drives a stake into the heart of one core meaning of Anglicanism, which is that we are bound together and accountable to one another by virtue of common prayer. And insofar as there is any truth to the dictum “Praying Shapes Believing,” illegally revising liturgy also means illegally changing belief, thereby altering the faith of the Church in accordance with one’s own whims.

The irony is that many of those who push for such things are also those who keep insisting that the General Convention is the highest authority to which all Episcopalians are accountable. And yet, only General Convention has the authority to revise the Prayer Book and okay the use of supplemental liturgies. And so this exposes the fact that, for some, there really is no respect for any authority beyond one's own deeply-held convictions.

Peter Carrell said...

Excellent point ... and no wonder a Covenant fills some with no dread at all :)

Thank you Bryan for entering into the kind of discussion I have requested for this particular post.

liturgy said...

Might I continue Bryan’s points because my reaction to your story, Peter, was not dissimilar in that I was reading it as you go from parish to parish in our church where clergy regularly do not follow the formularies that they promise and sign to follow.

“And so all references to …[fill in the blank for the occasion] have been excised. While this may be nothing new in [NZ], it illustrates that The [Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia] has departed from the traditional Christian understanding of [the Eucharist] and the orthodox teaching of the Worldwide Anglican Communion…. Has [ACANZP] arrived at a new point of unequivocal commitment to difference from the majority of the Communion?”

Bryan says it well: “And so this exposes the fact that, for some, there really is no respect for any authority beyond one's own deeply-held convictions.”

In contrast to your response to Bryan, however, Peter, my correlation here would be that it is precisely those communities that support the Anglican Covenant that abandon our liturgical tradition. My suspicion is that they haven’t really read and understood what they are supporting – not unlike the promises they sign.

Blessings

Bosco

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
As you know I am infrequently regular enough in a parish to determine whether anyone is regularly not conforming to canonical requirements, whether Covenant supporters or not!

I think the germane point here, however, is the future of the Anglican Communion, and thus my question about our own church, relevant to the language used in the post is:

Is there any matter on which we are unequivocally committed which is leading to any primates staying away from the forthcoming Primates' Meeting?

I myself cannot think of any such matter at this time.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

OFF TOPIC (but important)

Bryan, you do not really believe that folks can read a small black font face on deep brown do you?!? Please show a little respect to those you wish to direct to your website with a design that is actually readable, especially by those who may be visually impaired. White text on black is the best, black text on white is the second best, everything after that goes downhill as the background gets darker and more obscure.

http://creedalchristian.blogspot.com/2009/12/episcopal-parish-revises-baptismal.html

Bryan Owen said...

David, only today did I become aware of a problem with that particular posting. It used to be as legible as anything else on my blog. I changed templates a couple of months ago, and now the font colors on that posting (but no others that I'm aware of) are screwed up. I apologize for the difficulties in reading it, and I hope I have the technical savvy needed to correct it.

Anonymous said...

RE: "(1) the (in)significance of this event of blessing in Boston for the life of the Communion . . . "

I think the main significance of the event is simply for people who didn't realize [despite the rather obvious and repeated signs over the past two decade, and particularly the last 7 years] who the current leaders of TECusa are and what they believe. Blessedly, bishops and Primates all over the Anglican Communion have been on a rather steep learning curve over the past years! For people who are fairly informed within TEC it's causing little to no surprise at all and is only significant spiritually as all sin is significant spiritually. No surprises and completely predictable. In fact, the current leaders of TECusa have moved on to "the next thing" anyway, among which is . . . the postmodern deconstruction of the nature of "gender" or the sexes, which in their mind is wholy constructed by society and therefore may be abandoned and redefined and voided. The only reason why TECusa didn't vote to change all of their forms to account for those who wish to be known as "no gender" at all [rather than the patriarchally constructed notions of "male" and "female"] at the last GC is because some bright bishop brought up the expense involved. But it will be closer next GC, with the rise of the same crew of "transgendered activists" as we've been afflicted with in the gay activist scene over the past three decades.

And . . .many more delights to come. It would make a good open thread of predictions as to the next five big TECusa heretical fads that are implemented.

RE: "(2) whether or not "The Episcopal Church has departed from the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and the orthodox teaching of the Worldwide Anglican Communion" . . .

[no comment]

RE: "(3) the likelihood of any consequential alterations being made to the Primates' Meeting in Dublin at the end of this month."

No, I think not. The only person who could "alter" the Primates Meeting has set his course long long ago. He has chosen the groupings that will exist -- the old saying "choose who you lose" springs to mind.


Signed,
The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative Blonde Buddhist

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Sarah (I am presuming it is you)
Thank you for commenting and for insight re the future.

In fairness to other commenters, and my expectations of them, I would prefer that your nom-de-plume is associated with a Christian name, if not with a surname as well!

Cheers,
Peter

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Thanks Bryan! Sometimes my English comes out snippy when not intended, and a later reread brings to my attention that I did not intend to bite your head off on the matter as it seems now that I did, just bring to your attention that it was unreadable in that format.

Anonymous said...

Oops -- sorry, Peter -- I am very happy to have my first name included with my latest self-description. Should have included that . . .


Signed,


Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Blonde Buddhist

liturgy said...

Trying to untangle the logic here, Peter: when Bryan posts a comment that looks at Eucharistic liturgical activity in TEC outside of the formularies in response to your liturgical “autopsy” on a committed same sex blessing in TEC, you respond “Thank you Bryan for entering into the kind of discussion I have requested for this particular post.” When I continue Bryan’s point applying it to our church Down Under you point out that it has not led to any primates staying away from the forthcoming Primates' Meeting.

From this I can only logically deduce that it is actually not departure from liturgical formularies that is of concern but gays and TEC. I am at a loss, hence, to understand your comment to Bryan.

Blessings

Bosco

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
I appreciate Bryan and you taking time to present some current difficulties in the situation of each of our respective churches, and doing so without ad hominem attack on anyone etc.

Bryan, speaking from within TEC, which is the subject of particular scrutiny these days viz a viz life in the Communion, offered insight and information about some developing trends in TEC and also offered a judgement that these trends reflect an obeisance to deeply-held convictions may be the highest authority in TEC. You, rightly, draw attention to similar tendencies in our own church.

In neither case are some primates staying away from the forthcoming meeting merely because of some tendencies emerging around unofficial liturgical revision per se (and I could have acknowledged that in my reply to you). As I understand things, these primates are staying away because they are exasperated with TEC's refusal to comply with requests for moratorium in respect of ordination to the episcopacy of people in same sex partnerships (and, probably, are concerned about the direction TEC is heading in re blessings of same sex partnerships).

While potentially the specific concerns of these primates could also arise in respect of decisions and actions in our church, at this time I am not aware of those absenteeing primates having such concerns re ACANZP.

For what it is worth, it is my view that the absenteeing primates should go to the meeting and not stay away. They would then have opportunity to voice their concerns.

Anonymous said...

RE: "As I understand things, these primates are staying away because they are exasperated with TEC's refusal . . . "

I think this may be inaccurate. When I read their reasons [the ones who have stated reasons in writing or in groups] they are staying away because of the clear instructions in Scripture about how to treat false teachers within the Church who do not proclaim the Gospel. For years, they could not share in Holy Eucharist with Schori at these meetings -- now they do not attend meetings which deal with her as an equal gospel-believer in Christ. In fairness -- they put their beliefs and the consequences of those beliefs in writing for almost a year in advance [if I'm recalling correctly] prior to the Primates meeting invitations. And it appears that several more than simply "the hard-right" Primates believe the same things. I think it significant, if we have even one more Primate not attending than the group now identified as The Meanest Conservatives Ever Primates. So I will observe the list of final non-attending Primates with great interest. I'm still not convinced that it will be all that many not attending, although certainly other sources have trumpeted various numbers.

RE: "They would then have opportunity to voice their concerns."

Why would they wish to do this further?

It's not as if none of us know what's going on or as if they need to further explain to the world their issues.

I think that they've recognized that nothing good can come from engaging in a political meeting [as such they are] on Rowan's turf with Rowan's rules and Rowan's agenda and Rowans ACO, at which they would also be required to acknowledge Schori as something more than a false teacher who -- having been clearly and repeatedly corrected by numerous instruments -- now should be avoided and publicly repudiated -- which frankly is being effectively done by their not showing up for the meeting. This is a far more effective way to communicate the seriousness of their "concerns" and beliefs about Scripture and church identity than anything else I can imagine.

Further, they've gone through a number of Primates Meetings at which they have "voiced their concerns" and at which certain decisions have been supposedly made [judging by the communiques] and then watched as those decisions were simply and calmly reversed.

And further, a part of RW's modus operandi is to "gather and indaba" which he can then point to as "unity of the Communion." So "gathering and indabaing" is actually subtly communicating that the Communion can go on as before. It cannot -- I think we all know that -- and I think it is best to simply acknowledge that and then move on about the business of the Gospel. We'll see that increasingly occurring at TECusa General Conventions as well -- entire dioceses simply no longer attending or sending deputations. Of course -- **because that communicates so strikingly well to the world and the Communion** -- those currently in charge in TEC will be stridently threatening about that. There's nothing more irritating than to be finally in power and be able to force through changes through official means and have folks repudiate your levers of power by simply not showing up.

In short, I think this is simply The Next Step of the past 7 years.

I'm not sure if this fits in with your needs on the subject matter of the post which I nobly attempted to follow in my first comment, so I understand if it's best not to post it. I just saw your comments and wanted to respond.



Cheers,

Sarah
The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Sarah,
Your response is on topic - the Primates Meeting and what is 'really going on'. I think where I would differ with you re the non-attending primates and whether they should attend or can be well-explained for their non-attendance is that I do not think it is clear that the charge of 'false teaching/false teacher' has been well-explained by these primates in a prior primates meeting in respect of TEC/Schori.

Calls for moratorium, for compliance with requests, and that sort of thing are not the same as the specific (and very, very grave) charge of false teaching/false teacher.

Of course, to attempt to bring that charge into a meeting of the Communion in a meaningful way would highlight the lack of a Covenant or something akin to it!

Peter Carrell said...

General Note on this (and other) threads: for reason of a special family celebration occurring at this time - no, not my 100th birthday - posting of comments may be delayed more than usual ... plus it is summer/holiday time here still :)

Bryan Owen said...

David, I have fixed the problems with the posting on my blog that you cited.

Anonymous said...

RE: "I think where I would differ with you re the non-attending primates and whether they should attend or can be well-explained for their non-attendance is that I do not think it is clear that the charge of 'false teaching/false teacher' has been well-explained by these primates in a prior primates meeting in respect of TEC/Schori."

Hmmm . . . well then, I think if their prior attempts at communicating in writing -- literally buckets of black ink spent on this with copious and detailed explanations in multiple tomes -- have failed and it is *still* not "well-explained" then we all can throw up our hands and agree that they have failed in communicating and will not be able to succeed with further words. I honestly can think of nothing more that they can say -- many many times over too -- than what they have said.

Were I they, and were I to read that the charge of false teaching had not been "well-explained," than I would recognize my inability then to do more. I would see that I had failed, but sadly that there was nothing more to be done.

So that would -- again -- make me inclined to make no further attempts.



Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

liturgy said...

“Of course, to attempt to bring that charge [of the specific (and very, very grave) charge of false teaching/false teacher] into a meeting of the Communion in a meaningful way would highlight the lack of a Covenant or something akin to it!”

An astonishing conclusion for you to make, Peter, in a post that is surrounded by others about scripture alone! :-)

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

You have better manners than Sarah Hey, Peter, she says Schori as an act of disrespect, especially when she calls her Mrs. Schori, please do not follow in her footsteps.

Respectful editorial policy should be to refer to/identify someone the first time with title and name, whether Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori or the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori. After that it is fine to refer to her as Bishop Jefferts Schori, Jefferts Schori or as do those of us who hold her in more affection, Bishop Katharine or +Katharine.

I would certainly expect you to do no less for your own bishop, as would I for +Victoria, with whom I have felt at odds many a time. Whether I agree with her theology or politics, or as often is, I do not agree, I still respect her as a bishop in the church of God, called, confirmed and ordained by both ACCanada and ACANZ&P. As I also respect you as a priest, even when I give you personally, the frail human, a hard time.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
Your point is well made about addressing/speaking of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori properly; I ask commenters here to be so respectful.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
I recognise that those Anglicans who support the Covenant include in their ranks those who may not be interested in my musings about Scripture Alone :)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Sarah,
I am well aware that much has been said and written from the Windsor Report onwards as to why X is wrong and Y should be moritorium-ed etc. But much has been said and written in response, including the assertions that X is right and Y should not be moritoriumed etc. All without a definitive Anglican Communion forum which has power to declare that Z is a false teacher. In the absence of that forum those who think Z is a false teacher do have the choice to make their determination known by absence/boycott; but it is a reasonable alternative to encourage the case to be made again and again until such time as the overwhelming majority of the Communion is perceived, even by the minority, to have definitively expressed that case.

Andy S said...

You left out a scriptural reference to marriage Peter

Genesis 1:27-28

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


But the problems with the Anglican Communion are not over this - they go far deeper, this issue is just a symptom of apostasy within the Church.

Bishops, theologians and priests who are not believers! Who do not hold to the Nicene Creed - some are outright athiests, some believe in some new agey ultimate being.

Why would Bishops from the places where the Church is robust want anything to do with Bishops who are in the process of emptying the Churches in their provinces?

And engaging in sophistry to try and make the Bible say things it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

RE: "You have better manners than Sarah Hey, Peter, she says Schori as an act of disrespect, especially when she calls her Mrs. Schori, please do not follow in her footsteps."

And that would be UTTERLY false.

I do *not* call Schori "Mrs. Schori" and I never ever have indulged in such childish displays. The folks who do that are people who are OCD about WO. I understand the commenter's ire at me -- it's irksome, obviously, to have someone like me commenting.

But I would appreciate falsehoods not being stated just because someone is angry and resentful at my comments and stated beliefs.

Nor do I call her "Schori" as some sort of mark of disrespect. Naturally my opinions of her bizarre, irrational, and niche *ideology* are negative and contemptuous in the extreme, as are my opinions on her actions -- as they are for the *ideology* of all revisionist activists.

I call her "Schori" just as I call Rowan Williams often "RW" -- or Bob Duncan "Duncan" -- it's a shorthand that anyone other than the most sensitive harping revisionist activist should be fine with. Some of my heroes I refer to as "NTW" or whatever.

I'm happy to use the shorthand "PB" if that is acceptable to the moderator of this blog -- I use that often as well.

Of course . . . nobody other than those in TEC will know what the shorthand "PB" means -- but if it fits the requirements that will be fine. But I shall no more follow revisionist activists' schoolmarmish instructions on how to refer to their heroes than they will follow mine. Blessedly I couldn't care less how they refer to my heroes -- I'm indifferent as to their terminology or opinions on those whom I respect, nor do I care to fit in with their concepts of "better manners" -- I'm happy to be thought of however they please.

Peter Carrell is welcome to edit my remarks as he sees fit -- it's his blog. Or simply not post them if he thinks them disrespectful to revisionist activist heroes. I respect the PB as a person made in the image of God. Period. I have respect for the office of the PB because I am an Episcopalian and believe strongly in the Episcopacy. Period. Obviously I have my own opinions as to the current PB's rational acuity or consistency or belief in the Gospel -- everybody knows that. But since I respect devoutly faithful pagans and committed atheists as made in the image of God that should be no problem either. Naturally revisionist activists will be irked at what I have left out in my respect -- that goes without question since they seem to be obsessed with what conservatives think and say and wish devoutly that they would be quiet -- I understand that. As I've said before, I'm indifferent as to their thoughts about my heroes nor do I care about what they call them. They might call Kendall Harmon a murdering pervert and heretic and I'd smile.

Obviously what the owner of this blog does with my comments is up to him. As it is up to me to refer in my shorthand descriptions to all bishops and clergy of the AC and ACNA.

If he decides to edit my remarks in such a way, of course, as to please the strange obsessions of some revisionist activists -- that's fine, I'll comment elsewhere and the revisionists' blood pressure over here will be able to stop spiking. ; > )

Up to him.

Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Anonymous said...

Setting aside the rabbit trail and to respond to your comment.

RE: "All without a definitive Anglican Communion forum which has power to declare that Z is a false teacher. In the absence of that forum those who think Z is a false teacher do have the choice to make their determination known by absence/boycott; but it is a reasonable alternative to encourage the case to be made again and again until such time as the overwhelming majority of the Communion is perceived, even by the minority, to have definitively expressed that case."

I'm confused by the latter lines and may not be interpreting them correctly.

I do not know what you mean when you say "the overwhelming majority of the Communion is perceived, even by the minority, to have definitively expressed that case."

Are you saying that you think Primates/Bishops should keep repeating what they believe until the majority agree? Or until the majority have heard the case? Or the minority? I have no doubt that they will do so -- but I don't understand how that has to do with the *consequences* of what they believe. A part of those consequences is no longer participating with false teachers.

I think the minority [if I'm interpreting correctly] *have* perceived that the case has been made. They just don't accept that case. I don't think there's anything left to be said. Everybody can read the remarks consistently and urgently stated over the past 7 years.

I think the way those remarks should be communicated at this point is simply to no longer involve oneself with Communion instruments and activities which involve the PB and Hiltz. Otherwise, nobody believes the urgency of the remarks or what the traditional and informed Primates and bishops have said!

I also think that the progression of understanding of the bishops and Primates of the AC will only continue. I believe that most of the provinces led by traditional/moderate Primates will come to see the gospel of the TEC current leaders -- particularly as they continue to ride further off the rails and hurtle in an ever steeper and ever speedier path downward -- and wish to have nothing further to do with that gospel. So I think the "learning and education" will continue to progress onward very well.

Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for your robust response to my request for addressing the PB of TEC with respect. There is a fine line between respect and disrespect and you make the case well that speaking with familiarity about leading figures in the Communion such as 'RW' or 'Rowan' is not necessarily disrespectful as such. (For myself my preference would be '++RW' or '++Rowan' ...).


To your other comment: I agree that over time, without some specific Anglican forum addressing the specific charge of 'false teacher' it may become clearer and clearer who are the false teachers in the Communion. But right now the point I am trying to make is this (in other words): moderates in a church such as my own can understand individual primates making a claim that ++Jefferts Schori is a false teacher and acting on that claim by not attending the Dublin meeting; but would not understand that that claim has been made substantively by the Communion itself. It is an implication, to be sure, of Lambeth 1998, but the relevant resolution of that conference is (a) under much attack, doubt and scorn flung upon it, etc, (b) unconfirmed by Lambeth 2008 which as you know - you were there interviewing bishops!! - deliberately avoided being a meeting for determining anything.

Anonymous said...

RE: "moderates in a church such as my own can understand individual primates making a claim that ++Jefferts Schori is a false teacher and acting on that claim by not attending the Dublin meeting; but would not understand that that claim has been made substantively by the Communion itself."

I agree -- the Communion itself has not made such a claim, which is why the Communion is inevitably dividing into those three groups which I have mentioned before.

I personally don't ever see the Communion itself making such a claim -- with the results that we are seeing.

But haven't you subtly shifted in a sneaky fashion [kidding -- sort of] your original response to your original statement: "I do not think it is clear that the charge of 'false teaching/false teacher' has been well-explained by these primates in a prior primates meeting in respect of TEC/Schori."

That is, surely, a bit different from "the Communion itself" making a claim. Surely we can both grant that the false teaching/false teacher claim *has* been "well-explained" by the noted Primates in question. And that the *consequences* of their well-explained claim are that they aren't attending Communion Instruments where the PB et al is acknowledged as equivalent in the Gospel.

So then we are left with your belief that certain Primates -- having clearly expressed and explained with copious amounts of urgent written missives -- their belief that the PB is a false teacher -- should *still act as if* she is not a false teacher and should thus attend the Primates Meeting.

So aren't you then urging them to behave in defiance of their belief -- that is, to act inconsistently with their own statements?

They should issue statements -- but continue on acting as if those statements are not true?

Surely if they did that they would be no different from the ABC? And nobody would care about their statements since no consequent action would ever take place consistently with those statements.

Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Wow Peter, now if you would but deign to grant her the authority to ban folks along with her slobbering invective and then you too would have a toxic "Anglican" blog. She can vie with Al M on who sparks the need for HazMat suits most quickly.

I just sincerely hope that SFiF's resident Junk Yard Dog does not follow her over.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
I have no intention of running a toxic blog, but I do like to think I have more than a few readers and commenters, so welcome comments from a range of Anglicans and run the risk that some offence between commenters is incurred.

While I think "Mrs Schori" is both disrespectful and demeaning, I am not convinced that "Schori" is always disrespectful and demeaning (though it may be, depending on the exact usage which occurs) because the fact is, PB Jefferts Schori, ++Williams, ++Duncan, to say nothing of ++Jensen, ++Akinola etc are, in the world of Anglican blogging, familiar characters like Obama, Putin, Sarkozy, Palin, Mugabe and co in in the world of politico blogging.

In short: I request respect for PB Jefferts Schori and for ABC Williams et al, but if that respect is not observed, the blog may, or may not have descended into toxicity.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Sarah,
Yes, I have been a bit inconsistent or unclear or both. I think the resolution works like this ... it would be helpful if "the Communion" is to make a pronouncement that "X is a false teacher" (or, for that matter, that X is a true teacher!!) that it does so in a watertight fashion, that is, by each of the Instruments of Unity making such a pronouncement. Thus it would be a helpful step if the primates collectively, all being there, could come to that decision, having discussed the matter face-to-face. (I am not aware that previous meetings of the primates have come to precisely that decision). Thus, while each primate who believes they should not sit down to dinner let alone eucharist with a fellow primate they believe is a false teacher has the right to absent themselves from the primates meeting, when a small minority of the primates do just that, it is hard to convince the Communion that a majority of primates thinks similarly.

To some, such as myself, it is important that the numbers behind the absenting primates are taken account of. But I suspect many Anglicans will simply look at a figure such as 6/38 primates being absent and say, 'Well, there you go, a majority do not feel strongly about this matter.'

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

because the fact is, PB Jefferts Schori, ++Williams, ++Duncan, to say nothing of ++Jensen, ++Akinola etc are, in the world of Anglican blogging, familiar characters

All the more reason to be aware that +Katharine uses a double last name.

Anonymous said...

“engaging in sophistry to try and make the Bible say things it doesn't” such as quoting a verse which makes no mention of marriage as “a scriptural reference to marriage”.

Priceless!

Alison

Andy S said...

“engaging in sophistry to try and make the Bible say things it doesn't” such as quoting a verse which makes no mention of marriage as “a scriptural reference to marriage”.

What do suppose "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," might mean if it doesn't mean marriage, Alison?

Why doesn't the text just read "God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply" without the "God Blessed them"?

Scripture is very economical with its words unlike postmodern biblical scholars who use as many as they can in order to blind the reader to the simple truths contained in scripture.

"And God Blessed them" reads to me as marriage, particularly so in the context of the rest of the verse.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

That the Lord blessed them could mean a lot of things, but a blessing does not mean a marriage. In Anglican theology the priest does not marry a couple, s/he may bless them, but they marry themselves. In light of the stated biblical economy of words perhaps this author was a bit cheap in not actually alerting us that Adam and Eve married one another.

Father Ron Smith said...

"And so all references to procreation have been excised"

And quite properly, I would think, in such a circumstance. I, too, have often, when conducting the marriage service of a man and a woman who is post menopausal, with little hope of producing a child, have intentionally left out any reference to procreation.

The Bishop of Massachusetts was acting within his prerogative as Ordinary of his TEC Diocese to preside at this ceremony - as a pastoral response, enjoined upon him by the Convocation of TEC. He was not acting in disobedience to his episcopal vows of allegiance to Christ and his Church.

Anonymous said...

RE: "Wow Peter, now if you would but deign to grant her the authority to ban folks along with her slobbering invective and then you too would have a toxic "Anglican" blog. She can vie with Al M on who sparks the need for HazMat suits most quickly.

I just sincerely hope that SFiF's resident Junk Yard Dog does not follow her over."

Oh dear -- he's not been able to control himself again -- he managed to hold out for a few days, but just couldn't help it -- once again serving as "Exhibit A" for my highly accurate description. Fun to read.

But my my -- calling another human being a "junkyard dog" -- talk about the typical double standard! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=junkyard%20dog

Demanding displays of respect from conservatives while engaging in pejorative slang like that -- how typical. No doubt this is . . . er . . . just a problem with the whole "English is a second language" meme which seems to get wheeled out whenever he snaps and is betrayed into displaying his nature and values. Were I to care -- or others at SF -- what revisionist activists thought -- especially those not really in charge of themselves or emotions -- I'd be distraught. But -- as I said earlier, I smile. It's a *compliment*, when coming from people like that.

But hey -- where's the joy? Come on, man -- "live into the tension of our differences!" ; > )


Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Anonymous said...

On to the actual rational, non-hysterical comment of substance:

RE: "Thus it would be a helpful step if the primates collectively, all being there, could come to that decision, having discussed the matter face-to-face. (I am not aware that previous meetings of the primates have come to precisely that decision). Thus, while each primate who believes they should not sit down to dinner let alone eucharist with a fellow primate they believe is a false teacher has the right to absent themselves from the primates meeting, when a small minority of the primates do just that, it is hard to convince the Communion that a majority of primates thinks similarly.

To some, such as myself, it is important that the numbers behind the absenting primates are taken account of. But I suspect many Anglicans will simply look at a figure such as 6/38 primates being absent and say, 'Well, there you go, a majority do not feel strongly about this matter.'"

I agree that it would be helpful for the Primates to come collectively to that decision.

But obviously it's not going to happen.

It's not going to happen for a variety of reasons.

The Primates are -- as with the Communion -- divided roughly into thirds. You've got the revisionists [full speed ahead], you've got the moderates [please make this go away], and you've got the traditionalists.

I think the moderates will only come to the same decision as the traditionalists as they see TECusa current leaders continue to travel the rather steep and hurtling path that they have chosen in the coming decade or so.

RE: "it is hard to convince the Communion that a majority of primates thinks similarly . . . "

But they don't think similarly.

So I think that's an accurate assessment of the picture.

Again -- I don't think the traditionalists Primates showing up at the Primates Meeting and engaging in more debate and urgent conversation is going to cause the moderates to come to the same collective decision at all. In fact, I think the traditional Primates showing up merely makes the Moderates say "see there -- we're all together still."

In my experience with TEC, the only thing that causes the Moderates to eventually become Traditionalists is not their theology changing -- for they essentially already have the same theology.

It's that they watch the activities of TECusa current leaders and slowly come to the conclusion of "Good heavens, they really are crazed!!! And it's not going to stop -- why look -- it's getting worse -- what on earth are we all going to do???"

*That's* what makes a moderate a *former* moderate.

And I sincerely believe that that will be what changes that third of the Primates from moderate to traditional over the coming years -- not any further participation in the various Instruments of Unity by the traditionalists. We've already seen, happily, some formerly "let's all go and support the ABC and the institution" traditional Primates move away from that stance, based on the activities of the past several years since Lambeth. In fact, I think their past participation has merely served to lull the Moderates into a contented slumber.

Moderates tend to wake up and smell the coffee when they suddenly realize they are alone on the vast sea of revisionism! ; > )

At any rate, I don't believe that attending yet another Primates Meeting will cause moderates to change -- and it actually harms things too, since it leads to false impressions about the state of the Communion and the seriousness of the situation and the leadership of TECusa.


Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist

Peter Carrell said...

Ok, Sarah, I will have slightly more expectation of good things developing post-Dublin!

Anonymous said...

Well -- I hope I have not left you even faintly hopeful. *That* would be a Fatal Mistake! It appears that I have failed in my purpose.

; > )

Kidding . . . mostly . . .


Cheers,


Sarah

PS: Do you get to watch any of tennis on the Aussie/NZ tour swing? I am jealous -- I consider the Australian Open as my official Beginning To The Run-Up To Spring!

Peter Carrell said...

For a moment there, Sarah, my hopes seemed dashed ... anyway we shall compare notes at the end of the month.

The tennis in the NZ leg is in Auckland (1hr20min flying from here in Christchurch) but is on free to air TV ... but I am a lukewarm fan (cricket is another, warmer story for me). The Australian Open will, I think, only be on pay TV which I do not have ... but being several hours behind NZ it makes for good evening viewing for those who can afford to do so!

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Sarah, my experience many times at SFiF in the past has been that a particular person jumps on my comments and begins telling me what I do or do not believe, in spite of the fact the comments are off topic and no matter how much I ignore her and but comment on the relevant topic, she will not let go. To me, junk yard dog behavior.

I think that your comments here show most folks that you are your own Exhibit A. You and Al M are the only folks who comment here and have a long list of judgmental labels for various Anglican leaders and personalities as well for the other commenters; false teacher, heretic, apostate, neo-this or that, revisionist, activist, etc. The rest of us usually treat one another as fellow Christians with different theological ideas and understandings. I have been angry here with someone's comment but once and it was before you appeared. Most of us point out bigotry and prejudice when we experience it here.

Anonymous said...

Now see -- that's better Hermano David. A little time to cool down and try to gather a few scraps of rational calm discourse before the mask slips again -- maybe you can make it a few more days before you lose control again.

RE: "I think that your comments here show most folks that you are your own Exhibit A."

Oh, I'm confident that most folks can read the comments from the two of us and come to their own conclusions. The revisionist activists will think as they please -- and the traditionalists, of course, with the values and Gospel that they believe. So I'm quite satisfied with the contrast and comparison between the two of us.

RE: "The rest of us usually treat one another as fellow Christians with different theological ideas and understandings."

Er . . . yeh, yeh . . . *that's* what we're all seeing from you! ; > ) Of course, of course.

Maybe Peter Carrell could be prevailed upon to erase those comments of yours that occur whenever you wig out. But it would take away so much of the humor, though, of commenting -- that would be a shame.

RE: "The tennis in the NZ leg is in Auckland (1hr20min flying from here in Christchurch) but is on free to air TV ... but I am a lukewarm fan (cricket is another, warmer story for me). The Australian Open will, I think, only be on pay TV which I do not have ... but being several hours behind NZ it makes for good evening viewing for those who can afford to do so!"

Now see -- this is tragic, Peter Carrell. You like cricket more than tennis. And don't even bother to watch one of the four greatest sporting events worldwide. It may be that you are Not A Real Anglican. I will have to consider this.


Sarah

The Committed, Traditional, Wholly Orthodox, Conservative and Catholic, Yet Centrist and Moderate Blonde Buddhist