Saturday, February 16, 2013

Benedictine murmurs, Taonga comment, WOW

A Saturday round up.

Our Christchurch Press this morning has several articles about the Benedictine announcement this week. One is sourced from the Times (so electronically behind a subscription) which suggests that BXVI resigned because a recent report about the 'Vatileaks' crisis demonstrated that the Curia is riven by divisions too great for a frail old man to clean them up. The nearest available report to this is in the Independent. Our Press also recarries a 2010 article by the late Christopher Hitchens which excoriates BXVI for his roles (as bishop, cardinal, prior to becoming pope) in covering up sexual abuse of minors. You can google that if you wish. But it is troubling: has the Pope a great theological mind and an inept, even obfuscational record as administrative leader? The Roman Catholic church is brilliant when experienced at the level of parish and other 'frontline' ministries (cf my post on Thursday). Its working out of the power which accrues to the apex of its hierarchical structure is a significant weakness. How can a claim to be the primary global force for Christian 'unity' for the ecumenical church (so long as under the primacy of Rome) carry integrity if the divisions in Rome are not themselves overcome?

My colleague Wally Behan has written a thoughtful comment to Taonga's article about the recent hui, here.

WOW: I also note on Taonga A VERY SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT (!!!!), namely that our General Synod Standing Committee is setting up a doctrinal commission re these matters, and AS WELL the Ma Whaea Commission has appointed three people to report to it re the theological implications of what was said at the hui. KIWI ANGLICAN READERS TAKE NOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I suspect I shall come back to this sometime. But not today ... the sun is shining and Saturday tasks need to be done :)

Late addition re a regularly occurring non-pathological minority variant in the human condition. Watch here. Is this bloke, James Allison, right that if Rome changed its view re "objective disorder" then all would be well?

58 comments:

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn,
You have submitted the following comment which I can only publish with integrity via moderation [I am not going to keep doing this, such comments are heading for the "DELETE" only button],

"The so called Ma Whaea Commission is ... It has been given an agenda by ... and is doing his bidding.

The Commission was a joke to begin with. Anyone considered "eminent" in today's society will be a cultural Marxist. [Ed: by whom?]

How many of this Commission are even Christians [Ed: I have no reason to think the members are not Christians]? How many Anglicans? [Ed: easily answered: none, as it was chosen to be a commission of people free from current entanglements within our church]."

....
"

Do not make allegations here about some kind of wrong practice on the part of our church which could be viewed as libellous! Start your own blog and save your money for the lawyers bills!!!

Father Ron Smith said...

Now Peter. That's what I call felicitous hosting of a blog! One of the obvious bloomers made by the correspondent whom you have disciplined, was to assume that you, who attended and took part in the Hui, are not 'a Christian'. Blessings

Father Ron Smith said...

Mea culpa! As soon as I made my last posting, I realised that the comment you moderated spoke of membership of the Commission not being Christian - and not the Hui - in which you were a participant. My apologies! Mea Culpa!

By the way, Peter, I have just accessed a video recording of the submission made by Dean Jeffrey John to the English Parliamentary Commission on the question of Same-Sex Marriage. I'm sure you and your readers would be interested. See:

http://t.co/ssv8VoAN

J.J. enters at about 5 minutes into the interviews. Happy viewing!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
You are not quite reading that comment correctly: the question (which has been asked around the traps) was about whether the members of the Ma Whaea Commission are Christians or not. The question raised was not about the hui itself where as you rightly state, Christians were present.

[I will take no further correspondence on the question of whether the Commission is composed of Christians or not].

mike greenslade said...

Kia ora Peter,

Happy sunny Saturday. I like a lot of what Wally Behan has written. I disagree with his conclusion and always have, but that doesn't really matter.
As a Christian, scripture informs my thinking, and my relationship with God is central to how I make sense of issues like this. I suspect that is true of all Christians. Those of us who support the move to institutionally recognise and celebrate gay marriages do so because of our faith, our commitment to following scripture and because of our relationship with God. What synods and commissions decide are not particularly important for the wider church - except the institutional power in which they reside. Gays have been getting married in churches for years. God has been blessing those marriages in all the same ways God blesses hetrosexual marriages. That is still happening and will continue to happen whatever decisions are reached by synods and commissions. Those institutional decisions are not going to determine what happens (never have either), but just endorse our official stance. As churches we get things wrong sometimes. Both 'sides' of this debate will claim that the other is wrong. lThat does not mean the end of God, the end of our faith or the end of the church. It sometimes means an institution gets knocked over. So what?

malfalloon said...

Peter,

I have two comments to make.

Firstly, I don't think the editors of Taonga and now perhaps the GSSC have got the mood of the Hui right. I heard the Hui call for more theological work to be done on the doctrine of Marriage itself. In some ways this acted as a check on those wishing to press ahead with gay ordinations.

However, the Taonga makes it sound as if the hui was giving some kind of mandate to the General Synod to forge ahead to the next step of constructing a theological rationale for gay marriage. I would be interested in what you heard the Hui saying.

Secondly, I fear that the commission will effectively silence the conservative voice, despite that voice representing over 40% of our church. Given the construction of the commission along tikanga lines, I would be surprised if there was more than one commissioner appointed who could articulate a conservative view.

The recent hui again demonstrated that liberal Anglicans still struggle to fully understand an orthodox view point. They rarely moved beyond caricature before dismissing it as naive or simplistic. That was true of at least 3 of the papers presented to the hui. One responder from the floor even tried to imply that conservatives were motivated by fear.

As a matter of fairness, however, there ought to be at least 3-4 people on any proposed commission that orthodox anglicans themselves can recognise as (at least) having some understanding of a conservative viewpoint.

And why is Taonga providing a magazine and website for only part of our church?

Malcolm

carl jacobs said...

Editor's Note: I tried to post this from my phone, but I only give the attempt a 20% chance of success. please forgive any duplication.

[Snort] Liberal Catholics dream about 'bitter power struggles' and sympathetic journalists indulge their fantasies. "Next year in the Vatican!" Except (once again) it isn't going to happen. No 'progressive' Pope. No Women Priests. No support for gay marriage. No accommodation for modernity. What's a good Liberal to do?

Nothing to see here. Move along.

carl

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn,

Am happy to publish the following,

" [the missing bit is a comment on the misreading above of what Shawn wrote but that correspondence has now closed; and Ron has also submitted a comment in which he realises the errors of his ways]

"How many Anglicans? [Ed: easily answered: none, as it was chosen to be a commission of people free from current entanglements within our church]."

Which is objectionable on it's own. The idea that we must have a commission made up of non-Anglicans is absurd.

Who chose the members of the commission and on what basis?

I understand your concern's about the potentially tricky part of my post though. No problem. Sorry about that, I realized the problem about two seconds after I posted it!
"

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Mike
I think I see what you are saying but I am a little less sanguine about 'the institution' being knocked about!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Malcolm,

(1) Take care not to be the caricature! You are concerned that liberals characterise us as fearful and you say 'I fear ...' :)

(2) I do think Taonga got it right about the hui: we edged closer to where General Synod is heading. The only call I heard to do the theological work on marriage was from a few (Bishop Victoria et al) and the majority were alarmed by the delay that would lead to.

(3) The Ma Whaea Commission is mostly hearing from liberal voices. Have conservatives made submissions? How many have done so? Why should it silence any theology when it hasn't heard from it?!

(4) I think that is a cheap shot about Taonga site and magazine. It (they) tries to tell our church's whole story - that whole story is weighted towards liberal, middle of the road, (if you like) 'soft' Anglicanism, so Taonga leans that way. Its role is not to drive our church towards orthodoxy if our church is leaning away from it.

(5) As for the proposed commission and several people on it being recognisably conservative and/or able to recognise conservatism when they see it: I agree with you!!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Carl
Yes, I can agree with you on that. There is no such thing as a Pope whose policy directions mirror those of the Democratic Party and Pres. Obama!

Shawn Herles said...

"As a matter of fairness, however, there ought to be at least 3-4 people on any proposed commission that orthodox anglicans themselves can recognise as (at least) having some understanding of a conservative viewpoint."

Agreed. Most of these commissions are designed to silence conservatives.

"And why is Taonga providing a magazine and website for only part of our church?"

There has been a left-liberal bias at Taonga for a long time now, which I have referred to repeatedly myself. Every issue has a "social justice" article which is always from a left wing pov, and always refelcts what Labour and/or the Greens are pushing at that time.

This bias at an institutional level is something that must be opposed clearly and forthrightly by conservatives. We must press for more genuine diversity and fair representation for conservative voices on all our commissions, at all levels of the institutional church, and at Taonga magazine.

It is telling that those who most loudly promote "diversity" in our church are the most resistant to practicing it at an institutional level in any way that gives conservatives and evangelicals a stronger voice.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, and others on this site who might be interested about what 'The Tablet', the leading Roman Catholic newspaper in Britain, thinks about the Pope's resignation; can tap into the following link for information from 'the horse's mouth':

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/163812

Father Ron Smith said...

"The recent hui again demonstrated that liberal Anglicans still struggle to fully understand an orthodox view point." - malfalloon -

I suspect that this is not correct. What liberal Anglicans still struggle with is why the illiberal conservatives in the Church still cling to an understanding that God could not tolerate the loving monogamous union of two persons who happen to be in a loving and caring relationship. If God really is love, then there must be something of God in any loving relationship.

Saint Paul had probably never known an instance of two same-sex persons who genuinely believed in Jesus Christ and were desirous of making a committed, faithful life together in the community. What he was concerned about was idolatry, which is a different issue.

malfalloon said...

Hi Peter,

Perhaps I'm not the only one taking cheap shots :-)

Some could be exasperated by the lack of conservative response to the Ma Whea commission. But after years of marginalization I am not particularly surprised. If the election is gerrymandered one is bound to get low voter turn out.

GSSC, in creating a parallel theological track to the Ma Whea commission, has left itself open to being seen as fast-tracking a process to a pre-determined result. You and I might not like that attitude, but that could well be how its seen.

My view is that the GSSC has demonstrated little understanding of how their actions are being interpreted by conservative Anglicans. As a consequence, what may well be seen by them as even-handed and fair, is in danger of simply deepening an atmosphere of alienation.

I "fear" (note the context as a guide to interpretation :-) that simply following the "rules" will not be enough to avoid future impairment. Is there a Solomon in the synod?

Malcolm

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Malcolm
I suggest that any readers here concerned about the performance of our GS Standing Committee gets in touch with their local representative on the committee ( each pakeha diocese has a rep; I am not sure how well spread geographically the Maori and Polynesian reps are).

But, in general, I agree: conservatism is not well understood in our church by non-conservatives. Is it at all possible that that is because of our arcane ways? Just tonight I heard about one of our colleagues preaching at a wedding a sermon which emphasised the importance of the man being the head of the household. As a conservative I think I understand that, its context etc. But can I explain that to a wider church: please respect us and our hard to explain ways? Hmm. A bit of a challenge.

Shawn Herles said...

" I agree: conservatism is not well understood in our church by non-conservatives."

It is not understood at all, and their is no desire to understand it on the part of liberals. They do not care what we think.

"What liberal Anglicans still struggle with is why the illiberal conservatives in the Church still cling to an understanding that God could not tolerate the loving monogamous union of two persons who happen to be in a loving and caring relationship."

Because the Bible condemns such "relationships", because Jesus said one man and one women for life.

If Liberals cannot understand that well.....

Shawn Herles said...

"Saint Paul had probably never known an instance of two same-sex persons who genuinely believed in Jesus Christ and were desirous of making a committed, faithful life together in the community. What he was concerned about was idolatry, which is a different issue."

No, it is the same issue. Paul understood rightly that homosexual sin is a form of idolatry.

Dressing sin up with claims of commitment and faithfulness makes no difference to the fact that it is still sin.

Rosemary Behan said...

You THINK you understand the biblical principle that the man is the head of the household? Hmm, no wonder you don't get many invitations to preach in conservative pulpits as you refer to them. I'd prefer to call them evangelical. However, if that's what you believe Peter, do the exegesis and convince us, no one has yet .. be the first. I've read hundred of talks on that/those passages, convince me that head is source and not head and beware Arianism!!

Peter Carrell said...

Oh, Rosemary, I think I understand headship teaching very well indeed!

My point here is that conservatives should ask themselves whether a wedding is a time and a place to expound the headship of the husband.

Might it not be an occasion for a sermon about the joy and wonder of love?

Rosemary Behan said...

I must admit that didn't occur to me. In all marriages between Christians in my limited experience, the bride and/or bridegroom have requested the passage used by the celebrant.

Joshua Bovis said...

Ron,

"What liberal Anglicans still struggle with is why the illiberal conservatives in the Church still cling to an understanding that God could not tolerate the loving monogamous union of two persons who happen to be in a loving and caring relationship. If God really is love, then there must be something of God in any loving relationship."

A couple of points Ron,
1. The notion that God does not tolerate the monogamous union of two persons is not due to Reformed-Evangelicals clinging to an'understanding'of what they think God is saying. Rather they are submitting to, obeying and believing what God has clearly said in his word. As been told many times, the Scriptures never present any sexual expression outside the bounds of a heterosexual marriage as a good thing but rather the opposite.

2. When we are confronted with the teaching of God's Word, we all have to make a choice in how we respond to it:
a) Submit to the authority of God's Word
b) Reject the authority of God's Word

The latter is expressed either by
*open disobedience - so what if God says it!
*evasion - resort to Scripture twisting, eisegesis, and/or filter Scripture through the grid of culture or (in the example of your post) human reasoning.

You have made it clear Ron many many many many times in your posting throughout this blog your views on homosexual relationships and what it is very clear is that your starting point is your view that homosexual relationships are good, and that God blesses them. But not once have you ever shown from Scripture where this can be backed up and when you do use the Scriptures, you filter them through the grid of your original view (which is that homosexual relationships are good, and that God blesses them).

As for the implication that the only reason why the Apostle Paul (who as an Apostle, speaks with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ when penning Scripture) condemns homosexual practice is because he "has never known an instance of two same-sex persons who genuinely believed in Jesus Christ and were desirous of making a committed, faithful life together in the community" is fallacious at best. That is akin to saying that the reason why Paul disapproves of alcoholism is due to him never seeing a person get drunk in a safe environment!

p.s Romans 1:18ff, Homosexuality is an expression (not the only expression but an expression nevertheless) of the anti-God state of mind.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, thank you for the link to the video of Fr. James Allison. I found his talk quite impressive, Here is a Roman Catholic priest who honestly states his own experience of being Gay in a Church that openly disdains the very idea that homosexuality is a non-pathological difference in a small percentage of human beings, and that this, of itself, does not demonstrate either 'Sin' or 'Sickness' in the life of the innately homosexual person.

I believe, with Fr. Allison, that all the Churches, when they've done their biological and theological homework on God and Creation, with an 'open mind', will come to realise that Gays are not a threat to either the community or the Church.

However, the mistaken understanding of Church hierarchy can be a threat to Christians who really believe that they have no other way of 'being' but as Gay and indirectly, of course, to the majority of Gays who are not Christian.

Father Ron Smith said...

Most clergy today who celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage are very much aware that most modern women want no part of male domination in their marriage celebration.

Male 'Headship' - exercised either by the husband or the father-of-the bride insisting on 'giving away' his daughter as the property of one man (himself) to another (her husband)- is largely abandoned.

In secular Weddings, I doubt whether any woman wants to feel subservient to the man of her dreams. Not should she. (In Christ, says Saint Paul, there is neither male nor female. Who then should be 'The Boss'?) The Marriage yoke is either equal - or it is one-sided.

Bryden Black said...

Father Ron Smith cites Fr James Allison: fair enough perhaps. But just to aid the conversation and balance the books, I suggest folk check out:

http://couragerc.net/

Fr Paul Check's recent visit to Chch was outstanding: compassionate, scientific, pastoral, and profoundly theological.

The upshot: the Rons and Jameses of this world do NOT have all the answers - by far!

Janice said...

First Things has an article by the Chief Rabbi of France which is worth reading. Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption.

Some snippets:
"Whichever worldview you hold, it is clear that what is going on behind the slogan of “marriage equality” is a substitution: An institution fraught with legal, cultural, and symbolic significance would be replaced by a de-sexed legal category, thus undermining the foundation of individuals and of the family."

"by abandoning the man–woman distinction in favor of the heterosexual–homosexual distinction, homosexual activists demand not parenthood (paternity or maternity) but the right to some new abstract parental status that reduces the role of the “parent” to the exercise of certain functions such as education."

"The child is not an object of rights but a subject of rights. To speak of a “right to a child” instrumentalizes and objectifies the child. In the current debate, the child as a person, as a subject, is absent in the arguments of those who demand adoption for homosexual couples. This absence allows adults demanding rights to avoid asking about the rights of the child ..."

"Faced with such a series of demands, we are justified in asking whether the activists’ purpose is not finally the destruction, pure and simple, of marriage and of the family as these have been traditionally conceived."

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks, Janice!

Shawn Herles said...

Wow, had to break my own self-imposed absence for that one! Thanks Janice, that was a powerful piece of argumentation from the Chief Rabbi.

Especially:

"Faced with such a series of demands, we are justified in asking whether the activists’ purpose is not finally the destruction, pure and simple, of marriage and of the family as these have been traditionally conceived."

Yes! Of course it is. Cultural Marxism in all it's forms, including "gay rights", has always had, as it's final goal, the destruction of the Christian West.

The Frankfurt school created a number of policies to achieve this end, including:

1. Attacks on Christian truth in the name of modern "reason"

2. Continual change to create confusion and exhaustion (thus sapping the will to resist)

3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children

4. The undermining of independent schools and teachers’ authority

5. Massive immigration to destroy cultural, religious and national identity.

6. The promotion of excessive drinking and drugs

7. Emptying of churches (the real purpose of Liberal "theology")

8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime

9. Dependency on the state and state welfare benefits

10. Control and dumbing down of media

11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

12. The promotion of homosexuality/bisexuality/pansexualism/transgenderism as normal and even privileged.

13. The creation of "racism" offenses and "hate speech" laws to control what people are allowed to say publicly and to limit or outlaw resistance to the CM agenda

And now we have certain parts of the Church promoting all of this in the name of "progressive" theology!

Father Ron Smith said...

"Self-imposed absence"?Well, that's a new one, What, exactly does that mean -in practical terms. Not an unbreakable vow, obviously.

Theologians each have their own distinctive row to hoe on many doctrinal subjects. I have learnt -over along time - not to idolise every jot, tittle and iota of their oevre, especially when it comes to questions of preferred tradition (vide:- St.Paul, in his directions about women's preaching and their need of a hat in church.) These are only small thnigs but indicative of the problems of setting THE Standard for all eternity.

Janice said...

I once knew a priest who was a liar and a bully but he knew how to charm the right people and how to talk the walk so eventually managed to get himself promoted up the ecclesiastical heirarchy all the way to bishop. That man's behaviour disturbed me so much that for a couple of years I couldn't go to a parish church service without feeling nauseated.

Silly me! Fancy being so naive as to imagine that someone who has gone to all the trouble of being trained for the priesthood, and who has spent years ostensibly serving the body of Christ, might be expected to exhibit a good measure of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I'm wiser now but still get disheartened by the unlovely clerical sniping that, too often, I witness here and in my own diocese.

In other 'news', here is a comment about the Anglican church from a page that was set up at a well-regarded Australian political/economics blog and is devoted to debate on religion .

I once knew a priest who was a liar and a bully but he knew how to charm the right people and how to talk the walk so eventually managed to get himself promoted up the ecclesiastical heirarchy all the way to bishop. That man's behaviour disturbed me so much that for a couple of years I couldn't go to a parish church service without feeling nauseated.

Silly me! Fancy being so naive as to imagine that someone who has gone to all the trouble of being trained for the priesthood, and who has spent years ostensibly serving the body of Christ, might be expected to exhibit a good measure of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I'm wiser now but still get disheartened by the unlovely clerical sniping that, too often, I witness here and in my own diocese.

In other news, here is a comment about the Anglican church from a page that was set up at a well-regarded Australian political/economics blog and is devoted to debate on religion .



The Anglican church is nothing more than international social welfare advocates and are theologically a joke.

It is a sweeping condemnation, I know, but there is a kernel of truth in there. And the link is only there to show that I am not making it up. I don't expect anyone to be vastly enlightened by reading through the 900+ comments there. But maybe just the number of comments is enlightening.

Janice said...

Sorry for all that duplication.

MichaelA said...

"Most clergy today who celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage are very much aware that most modern women want no part of male domination in their marriage celebration."

Sure. What is the relevance of that? No-one I know of who posts to this site advocates "domination" of anyone, by anyone.

"Male 'Headship' - exercised either by the husband or the father-of-the bride insisting on 'giving away' his daughter as the property of one man (himself) to another (her husband)- is largely abandoned."

Plenty of weddings have the bride "given away". I appreciate you personally might have an antiquarian interest in the medieval antecedents of particular ceremonies, but my observation is that most couples couldn't care less about that. If the bride wants to be given away, then that's what happens.

"In secular Weddings, I doubt whether any woman wants to feel subservient to the man of her dreams."

Again, since no-one has suggested this, what is its relevance?

Peter Carrell said...

I suggest the relevance, Michael, is that those who choose to speak in terms of 'headship' or 'equal in status but not in role' have not yet found a way to clearly and unmistakeably signify that 'domination' is not involved.

It is all very well speaking to the "converted" on such matters, the ones who understand that domination is not involved, but others listen in (e.g. at a wedding because they are guests drawn from other churches) and (in my experience) they do not always "get it"!

Father Ron Smith said...

One has to smile when one reads about religious leaders (like the good rabbi quoted above who may just be agnostic on the salvific validity of Jesus) - who obviouly believes that granting gay people the security of a legally-recognized monogamous relationship could actually destroy the institution of marriage. Is it not just possible that the institution could be extanded beyond its present life-span?

Rosemary Behan said...

Peter, there are several ‘family secrets’ that others don’t understand, whether it’s headship or predestination. However what does Paul do? Avoid these subjects? Worry more about those who will not understand? Or speak the hard to understand word, about which seekers will ask more? It is God who will convict is it not? But He cannot do so if the word is not spoken for fear that it will upset some.

Ron, I’m delighted to hear that your wife Diane is totally equal within your marriage and look forward to hearing from her when she can spare a few moments!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary,

I stand by my question: is a wedding (as a public event to which people of all faiths and none are likely to be present) the best context for a message which tackles one of the "family secrets"?

Put this another way: would an evangelist spend time in a gospel proclamation teaching about predestination? My point is: I don't think so. The evangelist will preach the gospel (challenging, hard and difficult as that is) without entering into controversial territory, thus wisely leaving such matters to a different context, such as a specific teaching session in the course of discipleship.

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks for you welcome, Rosemary, to my wife Diana. I'm afraid she is too busy with really important things like caring for our extended family - and using her ministry of Spiritual Direction - to be bothered with the fripperies of commenting on blogs. (She doesn't say that, though) she thinks what I am doing is important too, so far as it goes.

However, I do think that her long-term efforts towards helping people on their Christian journey - by virtue of being a 'Soul Friend'-
is a bit like the 'midwifery' of being a priest. We do pray together on a daily basis.We do see each other's tasks as complementary.

Rosemary Behan said...

So what you're saying to me is, that if a bride and bridegroom came to you and asked you to preach on a certain passage .. which by the way it's impossible to leave love out of .. you would refuse them? They surely know best who will be there and what they'll hear.

Rosemary Behan said...

Mind you .. I do agree I wouldn't use a 'family secret' as the basis for an evangelistic discourse. However as any wedding held by the church is by definition a Christian wedding, I think it cannot quite be compared with an evangelistic outreach.

MichaelA said...

Peter,

But when Fr Ron frames a statement which *assumes* that headship involves domination, or subservience, you can hardly complain when others point out that they do not accept his assumption, and that there is no reason to think that the women for whom Fr Ron purports to speak accept his assumption either!

Janice said...

One has to smile when one reads about religious leaders (like the good rabbi quoted above who may just be agnostic on the salvific validity of Jesus) - who obviouly believes that granting gay people the security of a legally-recognized monogamous relationship could actually destroy the institution of marriage.

I have learned something new today. I did know that Liberation Theology drew on Marxist thought but I have just discovered that the sexual revolution was also based on a Marxist view of society.

Championed writers of the so called "new left" such as Herbert Marcuse & William Riech fused Marxism and Psychoanalysis to forge a revolutionary sexual radicalism which argued that capitalism sexually repressed the masses in the interests of its life negating and exploitative goals. ...

The anti-authoritarian and revolutionary movements of the 1960s saw the reproductive suburban family along with its morality of self restraint, hard work and moral puritanism as an expression of class domination. Sexual freedom was tied to revolutionary outcomes.
(The Sexual Revolution of the 60s)
See http://www.isis.aust.com/stephan/writings/sexuality/revo.htm

Gay activists also used this Marxist analysis of the family in their writings.

Gay hatred operates essentially to buttress the ideology of the family, including the gender roles associated with it ... (Gay oppression: a prop for the family. Graham Willett, The Battler, 20 April, 1985.) See http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/gayleft/oppression.htm

The family has always been a crucial institution for the integration of sexuality into class societies. ...

The struggle against gay oppression is therefore a struggle to end capitalist society and its particular distortions of sexuality and gender.
(THE ROOTS OF GAY OPPRESSION. Norah Carlin, originally published in International Socialism Journal 42, London, Spring 1989.) See http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/gayleft/carlin.htm

...the fundamental bulwark or central focus of sexual and gay oppression is the monogamous, heterosexual family. ... The family ... is by its very nature, essence, and to its very core, anti-gay.

It is impossible to dismantle gay oppression without dismantling the family, because it is not possible to eliminate sexual oppression without abolishing the family. The two are inseparably and dialectically inter-related.
(Class Society and Gay Oppression. Stuart Russell, no date.) See http://www.socialisthistory.ca/Docs/1961-/Gay/Gay-Lib-8.htm

Janice said...

From Defining Marriage Down . . . is no way to save it. DAVID BLANKENHORN

Many of those who most vigorously champion same-sex marriage say that they do so precisely in the hope of dethroning once and for all the traditional "conjugal institution."

That phrase comes from Judith Stacey, professor of sociology at New York University and a major expert witness testifying in courts and elsewhere for gay marriage. ... The author of journal articles like "Good Riddance to 'The Family,'" she argues forthrightly that "if we begin to value the meaning and quality of intimate bonds over their customary forms, there are few limits to the kinds of marriage and kinship patterns people might wish to devise."

...the point already established by the large-scale international comparisons: Empirically speaking, gay marriage goes along with the erosion, not the shoring up, of the institution of marriage. ...

... the deep logic of same-sex marriage is clearly consistent with what scholars call deinstitutionalization--the overturning or weakening of all of the customary forms of marriage, and the dramatic shrinking of marriage's public meaning and institutional authority. Does deinstitutionalization necessarily require gay marriage? Apparently not. For decades heterosexuals have been doing a fine job on that front all by themselves. But gay marriage clearly presupposes and reinforces deinstitutionalization.

By itself, the "conservative case" for gay marriage might be attractive. It would be gratifying to extend the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples--if gay marriage and marriage renewal somehow fit together. But they do not. As individuals and as a society, we can strive to maintain and strengthen marriage as a primary social institution and society's best welfare plan for children (some would say for men and women too). Or we can strive to implement same-sex marriage. But unless we are prepared to tear down with one hand what we are building up with the other, we cannot do both.


After the collapse of the USSR I wondered how anyone could be an "intellectually fulfilled" Marxist anymore. I forgot that Marxists were, and are, committed to a world view that has been described as a Christian heresy. They do not understand that we are sinners but seem to think that the perfecting (in their eyes) of society will lead to the perfecting of human beings. But forget politics. What this all says to me is that, beginning a generation ago, the shepherds of our flock ceased to watch and warn. They have let the wolves in.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary,

I try to be helpful when marrying a couple but not every wish could be fulfilled if I am to minister with integrity (e.g. vows according to the church, not ones they make up; in a church (normally, there might be plausible exceptions); no confetti).

If asked to preach on (say) Ephesians 5 I would make the point that the focus of the wedding is the couple and their love for each other being witnessed to before God, thus the sermon should not be overly long and certainly not run the risk of longevity by straying into current arguments over the meaning of headship (that would make it too long). I would not ignore headship-in-Ephesians-5 but just say that there are things to discuss in detail but on another occasion than this.

I think I differ with you on the 'evangelistic' character of a wedding setting. Most weddings gather up extended families and other assorted folk, so there are non-Christians present. While one might not 'preach for conversion' I would conduct the whole service and shape the sermon in such a way as to present the gospel of Christ - the good news that God is alive in Christ and loves each of us.

Shawn Herles said...

Exactly right Janice.

"The militant homosexual agenda is now part of the process which indoctrinates our youth from the very earliest age. This agenda which is empowered by the Cultural Marxist philosophy sinks its claws into the minds of children at an impressionable age. In doing so they sew the seeds of doubt as to the validity and sanctity of the natural and traditional family. This seed grows as the child grows and with further conditioning and 'nurturing' the child grows into the desired Cultural Marxist end product, ie a person who questions and criticises every truth and reality that society had realised. They will support all false ideas and believe that these ideas are a product of the new enlightened world free of all those 'oppressive' old values and traditions. This conditioned robotic criticising mindset applies to every aspect of the 'new' culture including race, gender, religion, sexuality, culture etc. They deconstruct and rebuild the culture through distortions and lies using these to further advance thier end goal.

The ideas of Sigmund Freud were incorperated into the Cultural Marxist philosophy and came to be known as Freudo Marxism. This branch of Cultural Marxist subversion gave rise to the sexual revolution which promoted promiscuity and sexual freedoms. This was useful in the attack on the family and the moral foundations of society as it gave rise to the notion that sexual liberation was liberation from the old values of Christianity."

http://smashcm.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/recognising-cultural-marxism_1081.html

Shawn Herles said...

This is instructive:

"With the widespread failure of Communist revolution throughout the rest of Europe, some Communists sought to understand why. Two Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs settled upon one definitive reason. Western culture and Christianity were the reasons why the workers had come to reject Communism. Thier 'true' Marxist class interests had been 'blinded' by the foundations of Western society. Indeed in 1919, Lukacs asked, “Who will save us from Western civilisation?

That same year, when he became Deputy Commissar for Culture in that short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun government in Hungary, one of Lukacs’s first acts was to introduce sex education into Hungary’s public schools. He knew that if he could destroy the West’s traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying Western culture itself."

http://smashcm.blogspot.co.nz/

Shawn Herles said...

Janice said:

"But forget politics. What this all says to me is that, beginning a generation ago, the shepherds of our flock ceased to watch and warn. They have let the wolves in."

Exactly. In the 1960's and 70's the old Christian Liberalism became radicalised under the influence of Cultural Marxism, in the forms of the various "liberation" movements of that time (and ours).

Many leaders and theologians in the older mainline denominations became followers of this new radicalism, and allowed it to influence the theology and policies of the various mainline churches.

That influence is behind the Left Wing bias of much "social justice" thinking and pronouncements, and is behind the current push for the Church to recognise same-gender marriage.

They didn't just let the wolves in, they had become wolves themselves.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” --- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Father Ron Smith said...

I'm inclined to side with Peter on this issue of 'preaching' at a Wedding. I try to avoid it if at all possible. In fact, I cannot recall, in thirty years of priestly ministry, ever being asked to 'preach' at a Wedding. Most couples seem to prefer the words of the Christian ceremony to be sufficient to focus upon.

I do recall once being a a Pentecostal Church Wedding ceremony, in which the 'preaching' took longer than the ceremony itself. But I guess, in that case, most of the friends and family of the bride and groom were used to the constant evangelisation tactic and were not put off by it. I found it rather over-bearing myself, and thought it could be most off-putting for people not used to it.

Incidentally, there is no evidence of Jesus using the occasion of the Marriage at Cana to actually preach a sermon. His action in providing more 'good wine' was probably made to assure the couple of God's wonderful provision for their life together - in the atmosphere of this celebration with their friends

Father Ron Smith said...

"They didn't just let the wolves in, they had become wolves themselves."

I really think that the author of a statement like this is seriously undermining the leadership, and indeed the whole mission of the Church, in which they have - even if marginal - a vested interest.

To describe the Leadership of the Anglican Communion Churches and especially ACANZP is such a way - is really quite destabilising, and unworthy of anyone who appears to have a vested and related interest in keeping the ministry of the organisation running.

There can be no greater dis-service paid to the Church than that one of its members is so critical of the leadership that they are determined to undermine it, rather than move out.

If the complainants consider the institution to be so repugnant, surely, the best thing (for both them and the organisation they so despise) would be to 'up and leave' - like the advocates of ACNA and all the other GAFCON-inspired sodalities whose aim is to sanitise the establishment with their own vision of purity and holiness. The Church will be all the better equipped to carry out the Gospel mission of peace and justice without them.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Wolves are a lurking threat to the church in every generation (we have that on High authority!).

It is not undermining the leadership of the church (if in fact it is composed of wolves) to name it for what it is.

On your approach to leadership we should have no qualms about the leadership of +Brian Tamaki!! On this approach we would call it as we see it.

Father Ron Smith said...

I was actually talking about the Church Catholic, Peter. I'm surprised that you actually dignify Mr Tamaki's sect with the title - especially with a self-ordained episcopal oversight.

Also, I think that the originator of the slur about wolves in the Anglican leadership would probably consider Mr Tamaki's leadership as exemplary!

It really is all a matter of personal perspective. However, I repeat that I think someone who considers the leadership of the Anglican Church to be defective should just get out - in order to escape personal 'defilement'.

Peter Carrell said...

Let me be more specific, Ron:

Sometimes I am in possession of information about how Anglican leaders within our church act. I am talking about the kind of information that our Sunday newspapers would have a field day over if they got hold of it.

On your approach to the situation I should leave the church rather than stay in it and work on better leadership. Well, I am staying. And the wolves had better watch out!

Peter Carrell said...

PS I quite agree that there are big questions over Brian Tamaki's episcopal claims and whether they should be dignified or not ... analogous, is it not, to the claims made by Anglican bishops who are not real bishops in the eyes of canonically minded Romans ... who make a claim to have the one true Pope which Eastern Orthodox prefer not to dignify by agreeing that the Romans are right ...

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I agree, it is all a matter of perspective. And if your were a dyed-in-the-wool Roman Catholic, you might suspect that Anglican Orders were invalid. But then, neither of us is.

It may surprise you to realise that my own belief is that Anglican Orders are derived from both a biblical and traditional perspective - believing that Augustine of Canterbury has a claim to the Founding of the Church in England - from whom we in ACANZP have derived our provenance.

This is why I have a problem with those who are converts from another branch of the Church should be so critical of the leadership of the Church they now say they belong to. That is the very basis on which intentional schism is founded

Peter Carrell said...

I am with you Ron on the validity of our orders, though I myself am inclined to go further back in the history of the Church of England!

I also want to be loyal and supportive of all in church leadership - a thankless and demanding task, oft-times. It is only occasionally, in my experience, that wolverine tendencies creep into the shepherds serving their flocks.

Shawn Herles said...

Intentional schism is built on pushing a single issue, like same sex marriage, to the exclusion of any other concern, including the unity of the Church, and telling anyone who disagrees to leave.

Who is really arguing for a "pure" church, in which they will not be defiled and made unclean by the presence of unenlightened fundamentalists and "homophobes"?

Shawn Herles said...

Brian Tamaki is a little quirky for my tastes, but his church does a great deal of good in Auckland, and I admire his willingness to stand up to the Liberal Establishment.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn,
A couple of comments by you are not going to be published here - too focused on the 'personal'. The following is a slightly moderated comment from you. The key word omitted is 'hypocrisy'. Like 'bigot' its presence (irrespective of whether used accurately, fairly, etc) generates heat in discussion and not light.

"I have far more than just a marginal interest in the Anglican Communion, for obvious reasons. I am fully loyal to the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Tradition.

When some people proclaim "Semper Reformanda" one moment then condemn any prophetic critique of parts (and it is only a part) of the institutional leadership, then this is a contradiction.

Reform of the Church only happens when people are prepared to critique leaders, to critique certain theologies, and institutional structures.

Where would we be today if Martin Luther had not been prepared to nail his 85 theses to the church door of Wittenberg?

How is Semper Reformanda supposed to happen if we do not challenge and debate and hold our leaders accountable?

When some people proclaim the "gospel of radical inclusiveness" then suggest that those who disagree leave the church then that is a contradiction.

There is nothing "inclusive" about telling others to leave because they critique parts of the church leadership. There is nothing "inclusive" about telling others to leave because they critique certain fashionable theologies.

GAFCON, ACNA, the FCA, have not left the Church. They are staying and fighting to defend and preserve the Anglican Communion and the Gospel, as am I.

I am fully active in the life of the Anglican parish God has called my wife and I to serve. There is nothing "marginal" about my commitment to the Anglican Church in NZ.

But loyalty is to Jesus Christ first, not to people or traditions, and that requires all of us to speak out when we think the Church is heading down the wrong path.

Advocates of the "homosexual" critique of the Anglican Communion have no right to condemn those who offer alternative critiques. []

The old Liberal gaurd that came to power and influence in the 60's - 80's has had it's day. Their liberal experiment has failed to bring any positive fruit to the Church. All it has achieved is division, theological and missional decline, and a catastrophic decline in church membership.

It is time to abandon the Liberal experiment and find a new way forward grounded in the authority and truth of Scripture and the power of the Spirit, a way that takes our discipleship call to live in the world, but not be OF the world, seriously.
"

Shawn Herles said...

No problem, thanks Peter.

And before I am pinged on it, yes it was supposed to be 95 theses that Martin Luther nailed to the door. And no, i'm not comparing myself to him, but pointing out the irony in proclaiming Semper Reformanda one minute, then condemning a critique of a part of the institutional Church the next.