Updated update: I do not agree with everything a commenter here says, but am interested by his observations about 'cultural Marxism' and thus find it fascinating that none other than Cranmer's blog latest post has a reference to this phenomemon, here.
UPDATE: Likely Monday before I get a full report of today's proceedings in, but, in the meantime, a commenter has pointed us to this interesting Down Under article in the Oz media. A brief note relating it to the hui: we managed, at all times, to work our discussions in the context of the worship of God, our discipleship following Christ, and do everything to the glory of God.
Today's post from Auckland
Great venue (Auckland cathedral). Pleasant company (whatever my views on what people say, I like their company). Great food (for a slightly spreading middle ager, not too many calories). Yes, yesterday was a good first day at the Hui. And a long day. It was after 9.30 pm when I arrived back at my accommodation.
Okay, I heard plenty that I disagreed with, but how about noting what I have found persuasive here? The following thoughts, I underline, are my summarising thoughts in my words. Do not mistake them for the 'views' of 'the other side'!
(1) Whatever we make of the arguments for change in our church, we have a situation in which people who love Christ and walk with him as his disciples differ on the question of how we live according to God's Word. A proposal put forward yesterday, but not greatly taken up in discussion, is that we need to pay attention to Romans 14, which is a Pauline addressing of the matter of when Christians disagree sharply and potentially divisively. Evident to me, as far as the church is represented at this hui, is that no one wants to leave our church or see anyone leave our church. We can endlessly bat to and fro the meaning of Scripture on sexuality, but the breakthrough could come through consideration of other parts of scripture.
(2) The situation we are in as both church and society is not only about the question, "What does Scripture say?", it is also "What does our discussion (let alone any resolution of it) say to people self-identifying as gays and lesbians about their value as people. We may not intend to oppress or destroy anyone by our exegetical discussions and our processes in making decisions, but the effect of our talking can be to suppress people being themselves, even to ghettoize or exclude them, or worse. That is an extraordinary pastoral situation to be in as a church.
(3) Through various presentations a quiet question and one that has been emerging for sometime in global debate is the question of whether Scripture addresses the matter of Christian disciples who live responsible lives under God in stable, faithful, permanent same-sex partnerships. At the end of yesterday my reflection is that this is a real and lively question to consider. I heard nothing by way of exegesis, hermeneutics, or theological reflection which suggested a substantial, convincing "positive" answer to that question is at hand. That is, we are a long way from the question being answered by an assured theology of blessing of such relationships (that is, through blessing, signalling that God approves as God does of marriage).
Conversely, as a conservative trying very hard to listen to God, to people's experience of life in Christ, and to understand what it means to be a frail, fallible human being (that is, as sexual sinner in a church of sexual sinners, which sometimes is marked by (say) divorces, subsequent remarriages, confessed addictions to pornography, adulterous affairs, etc) I am a long way from dismissing the question. I sense I am not alone among conservatives here.
If I can I will report in later today. Otherwise it might be Monday ...