Yesterday's post raises some significant questions about those who are pushing for change in our church about the theology of marriage. What is the long-term agenda of clerics such as Clay Nelson and Glynn Cardy? Why should we trust that they will stop at changing marriage if we permit them to have their way on this matter? What is the content of the 'Christianity' which informs their proposals about changing marriage? Surely we should only change our understanding of marriage if we think this is the Christian thing to do on the basis of an understanding of God as revealed through Christian Scripture to the Christian church?
Watching this TV interview of Clay Nelson on TV yesterday morning, I am left with no idea what Christianity means to this minister of the "gospel". His talk is all about promoting every religion, about not teaching the Bible to young people growing up in a Christian or post-Christian country whose roots remain, however much he is embarrassed by it, in the Christian gospel. He seems more concerned to enforce the Bill of Rights than to support the sharing of salvation in the name of Jesus Christ.
What if one day this church woke up to the fact that it had embraced a secular theology (we will suppose there is such a thing for a moment) rather than Christian theology? We would be like Esau after he realised he had sold his birthright for a mess of potage.
In particular, as a conservative, I have no idea why we conservative Anglicans should have any truck with proposals for changing the theology of marriage on the basis of the prognostications of ministers in Auckland who, far from seeming to subscribe to 'another gospel' seem to subscribe to anything other than the gospel.
It is galling that in the name of Christ, Clay Nelson seems keener to fellowship with atheists plotting against Bible in Schools than with the Churches Education Commission.
In short, it seems incredible that a few days after Glynn Cardy moving a motion at General Synod seeking to propel our church into change on its understanding of marriage, the church of which he is Vicar is associated via a fellow staff member with the public undermining of the mission of fellow Christians. It raises significant questions about why we should have any trust in the agenda being pursued by (what I believe) is a well-organised lobby across the dioceses of Auckland, Waiapu and Dunedin to bring about change in our church because it is not now clear whether this agenda is being driven by a secularised theology or by a well-founded, biblically-based Christian theology.
Why should our church pursue change which would align us somewhat indistinguishably from secular society around us, when the secularization of society seems to be the strategic priority of those promoting change?
Perhaps those pushing for change who do not agree with Clay Nelson's attack on Bible-in-Schools could publicly dissociate themselves from his attack?
In a comment yesterday Glynn mentioned Title D action. Well, let me say to Glynn and to other readers here, I detect a wide questioning in our church about why the Bishop of Auckland continues to permit the ministers at St Matthews-in-the-City to have the freedom they exercise to mock, question and dispute the beliefs and actions of fellow Christians. I suggest the time is coming when Bishop Ross Bay is going to need to dry out the wet bus ticket, harden it up with some doctrinal cement, and tackle the running sore which St Matthews-in-the-City has become in the life of our church.