Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What we may do

Recently I have been involved in several discussions and study sessions on liturgy in our church. One question which arises for some (though it should arise for all) is "What are the 'authorised' services of our church?" Another question is 'Why are there so many rules about liturgy?'

The first question is tackled in a paper I provide below, a paper first delivered to our Post Ordination Training group, tweaked for an archdeaconry meeting soon after, and touched up a little for presentation below.

The second question requires care. Liturgy is a technical subject in the sense that a service can be analysed into many parts, each part discussed in terms of the tradition lying behind it and the theology it seeks to give expression, with each and every such discussion invoking many terms, including references to items of vesture, some of which are known only to advanced liturgists or people with Wikipedia at their finger tips (try: anaphora, epiclesis, extraordinary form, ad orientem, melismata, wimple, burse). That there might be rules, formal and informal which govern what we do (and prohibit what we should not do) is no surprise, but the sheer number can overwhelm the person new to following the rules (say, a deacon or a priest or other licensed liturgical leader).

In my view we should step back from the minutiae of rules and ask what the purpose of any and every liturgical rule is. I suggest the purpose is simply this: to safeguard the gospel.

The gospel of Christ inspires our offering of thanksgiving to God. What we say in liturgy expresses what we believe the gospel announces, that Christ has saved us. If we do liturgy badly then we may distort the gospel. When we do liturgy well we proclaim the gospel in its fullness.

Now to the paper ...



Thoughts?

I recommend reading the above in conjunction with a recent post by Bosco Peters on Authorised Worship.

47 comments:

liturgy said...

Thanks, Peter, for being one of the people publicly exploring where our church is at in worship and where we might want to head next. It is fascinating, isn’t it, which post of yours gets energetic discussion, and what does not.

With our General Synod having finally acknowledged that much of our liturgical life has been inconsistent with the 1928 Act of Parliament and lacked fundamental authorisation in the first place, it will be interesting to see whether the church will take the next steps.

General Synod, in an unprecedented way, indicates that it hopes future General Synods will allow “Bishops or whole Tikanga” to authorise services. Currently, it has acknowledged, they cannot do this. I will not be surprised if those who understand that the 1928 Act inhibits the implementation of motion 30 will be very reluctant to assent to Bill 4 (to amend the constitution) at diocesan synods and thereby support giving bishops and Tikanga this legal right which will bypass the 1928 requirements. Clearly flexibility for the Eucharist is not where authorisation is being sought – your text already makes clear that our formularies for the Eucharist, which went via the 1928 process, can hardly be made more flexible.

It will also be interesting to see what the church does now about the myriad of ordinations that it has performed using rites that it now declares have been inconsistent with the 1928 Act of Parliament and lacked fundamental authorisation in the first place.

Blessings

Bosco

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter
By saying "one popular exception are (sic) Taize services", do you mean that these are particular instances of what is undesirable - which, given the drift of your agrument seems the only possible interpretation - or that you would make an exception for these (in which case we need a rationale for the exception)
Best wishes
Rhys

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rhys
On one level I am simply noting that many parishes/regions host services called 'Taize services' and no one seems particularly concerned about whether they do or don't fit into the scheme of 'authorised services'.

On another level I am raising a question about how consistent any determination to insist on 'authorised services' is. I have sometimes wondered over the years (i.e. I am not thinking about any present situation) whether concern for tighter discipline over authorised services is a bit inconsistent: under the gun are informal quasi-Baptist/Pentecostal services but not services of other kinds that look and feel more like our formularies? (That is a question, you or other readers may like to make comment).

As for whether there is a rationale to support Taize services, the question (in terms of my paper) is whether such a service is eucharistic or not: if not, then pretty much anything goes which has prayer, praise and proclamation; if eucharistic, then the eucharistic prayer employed should be derived from a member church of the Communion, not from a 'village in France'!

tachesterton said...

Interesting reflections on the NZ situation. Here it can be a little confusing sometimes too, although perhaps not so much as in your neck of the woods. One thing I've discovered, though, is that although our Canadian 1985 Book of Alternative Services actually gives lots of latitude for flexibility in the rubrics, people seem curiously reluctant to take advantage of it. I've written about that Link here.

Tim Chesterton

Jean said...

"...whether concern for tighter discipline over authorised services is a bit inconsistent: under the gun are informal quasi-Baptist/Pentecostal services but not services of other kinds that look and feel more like our formularies? (That is a question, you or other readers may like to make comment on)"

For a number of years I attended a charismatic Anglican Church where the gifts of the spirit operated in a similar style to pentecostal churches. At the same time the liturgy was used as outlined in your post Peter, always for the Eucharist, confession, etc. It was a good combination of order and freedom of the spirit. There is no doubt people from some Anglican churches may have felt it quite foreign had they attended. The make up of this church although Anglican included people from all denominations (pentecostal, baptist, catholic... actually born and bred anglicans were actually in the minority).

A few aspects may not comply with all the liturgical authority you refer to. We had the option of grape juice or wine (permission given by the Bishop for this). Baptism was followed as per the liturgy but dedication of children was accommodated for those who chose this option. The minister wore his shirt and collar but not always his robes (actually when the Bishop came to visit one of the children asked... how come you are all dressed up today?). And those with giftings were encouraged to pursue them under the guidance of those more experienced (ie: I was encouraged to anoint people and pray for them I am not sure if this is officially allowed in an Anglican Church without a licence?).

The gift this church gave me was feeling at home in any church I attend, identifying myself as christian not Anglican, having the opportunity to practice and be on the receiving end on the gifts of the spirit and in recognising the priesthood of all believers - ministry is not only the responsibility of the priest in charge.

I think there is perhaps a tendency to accept forms of worship which seem to co-relate to the formularies, however, it works both ways. I have attended pentecostal churches who have a prejudice towards mainstream protestant churches. As always balance is good, and liturgy does provide structure and order for public worship and I believe does not inhibit spirit focused aspects of worship so long as one does not become too rigid.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Jean
It is the hope of all liturgists that everything is done in decency and in order while not quenching the Holy Spirit moving in non-liturgical ways among us!

Anointing can be by a layperson 'duly authorised by the bishop' (NZPB p. 738) but I think we might find if we ran around our dioceses that bishops consider they may 'authorise' this ministry in a variety of ways. I suspect though that the meaning of 'authorised' in this context should be through a licence written on paper.

liturgy said...

Just a couple of points from the good discussion:

Confession is not required at the Eucharist.

Anglican bishops vow and sign up to agreed doctrine and practice. They are not autocrats, and cannot "give permission" contrary to things we and they have agreed to (such as using grape juice).

Blessings

Bosco

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco
In general terms, confession is not required at the eucharist (because of the alternative form, p.511) but is it not the case that if (say) I start using page 404 then I am bound to have a confession because in that service it is not an option?

liturgy said...

Good question, Peter. One that should have been asked when our church allowed pp511ff "for the regular Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist" and clarified then.

In starting using page 404 and skipping the confession, all you are doing is following p511ff and using the resources from 404ff to "flesh out" that Form. Which is perfectly allowed in our church - in fact explicitly mentioned at the bottom of page 511.

Blessings

Bosco

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco
Yes, that is an excellent 'legal' answer and it will get you off time in 'jail' if taken to a tribunal.

I would like to suggest that the 'moral' answer is that if I ask people to turn to p. 404 then I have an obligation to follow through the service, making choices only where 'may' permits and not where 'says' does not! It is an obligation because great sinners such as myself need regular (public) confession and are terribly disappointed to remain in a state of sin if p. 404 becomes p. 511 by sleight of liturgical hand.

liturgy said...

meanwhile back in the real world of overhead and powerpoint projectors, little parish-adapted service booklets, and individual-service pamphlets,... you may be one of the last priests still asking people to "turn to p.404"...

The need for confession is another discussion altogether... one, I repeat, that should have been discussed when our church allowed pp511ff "for the regular Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist"...

Bosco

Jean said...

: ) ... and if I end up having to use words from the physical NZ prayer book I sit in the pew with my usual clumsy nature spending half my time focusing on just what page everybody else is on rather than the service itself.....or else forget it altogether and rely on my ever diminishing memory.

I mentioned confession simply as reference to one of liturgical elements I assumed was part of most services. My biggest contention with this aspect of the service is most ministers allow about three seconds for me to confess my sins and I have hardly had time to start on one when everything moves on....

As for grape juice, oh well the Bishop obviously got it wrong or interpreted things differently. If it helps he is now retired. The incentive for grape juice originated because many parents didn't want their children receiving wine, I suppose giving the sacraments to children might be liturgically incorrect as well?

Father Ron Smith said...

"As for whether there is a rationale to support Taize services, the question (in terms of my paper) is whether such a service is eucharistic or not: if not, then pretty much anything goes which has prayer, praise and proclamation; if eucharistic, then the eucharistic prayer employed should be derived from a member church of the Communion, not from a 'village in France'!"
- Peter Carrell -

For those New Zealand Anglicans who have actually visited Taize - an interdenominational Religious Community which specializes in Youth Ministry (described by Pope John XXII as "A Springtime in The Church") - our Taize-style use of Scripture, Song, Prayers and Silence, follows a monastic tradition that has a world-wide application for youth.

From my own experience of both preparing and taking part in such worship services - approved by our Bishop - which are non-liturgical in essence, usually taking place once a month at St. Michael's, Christchurch, in place of the usual weekday Evensong; these are valuable for their contemplative prayer ethos, accompanied by the singing of Taize chants, which are derived directly from the Scriptures. (No loud drums or synthesisers, though)

There has been no attempt at SMAA to confuse such occasions with the normal Eucharistic Celebration.

It is important to realise that their are Roman Catholic churches around the world - as well as other deonminational churches - that find great value in the youth attraction orientation of such worship offices.

tachesterton said...

I don't care for grape juice, but I care even less for communion wafers. As a bishop of my acquaintance once said, "It takes more faith to believe that it's bread that to believe that it's the Body of Christ!"

According to the rubrics in our BAS confession is not an option. The formal confession and absolution comes after the prayers of the people and before the offertory, and is introduced with the following rubric:

'The following prayers may be used here if the Penitential Rite was not used before the Gathering of the Community, or if penitential intercessions were not used in the Prayers of the People'.

In other words, some form of confession of sin is required at every service. I note, however, that when the Eucharist is combined with baptism or ordination or a wedding or confirmation, the formal Confession and Absolution are omitted. And in practice, there are clergy who omit them on a much more regular basis. I'm with you, Peter; I was taught as a young Christian to keep short accounts with God, and for the peace elf my soil I need all the opportunities for confession and absolution that I can get.

Tim Chesterton

Peter Carrell said...

I am going to have to disagree with you, Tim, on something: two things!

1. I am all for wafers. They are a form of bread, they are efficient to distribute, to keep as reserved sacrament, and, importantly, crumbless re bits of our Lord dropping onto the floor to be trampled underfoot.

2. I do not mind grapejuice and I believe our church (if not yours!) needs to have a careful and caring discussion about its use. My reasoning is this:
a. de facto it is the practice of many parishes to offer grapejuice and the practice reflects the way in which parishes seek to meet its diversifying congregation in various customs (e.g. ex Baptists used to grapejuice, parents unwilling for their baptised children to have wine, alcoholics wishing to receive communion in two kinds): the genie is out of the bottle on this one and I think care for our life would ask whether our rubrics need to catch up with reality.
b. I am not convinced by arguments that its ok to ask children/alcoholics to receive communion in one kind only. Perhaps I could be convinced ... but I wonder if justice would not require the church to discuss the matter synodically rather than say, "Oh, sorry, we can't accommodate you." Communion in two kinds is something the Reformers fought for!

Jean said...

We had a kind person who for a while baked bread fresh every Sunday morning for use in communion. It really did add another dimension. I do like the 'bits of our Lord dropping onto the floor' remark though Peter, ha. It's not too bad if you dig out the middle a little like one did as a kid.

I only thought about the grape juice aspect in respect to those from other denominations after I last posted. But I guess we did have a number of people who attended for who came from denominations who didn't drink alcohol. It was also as I remember an option for those who were sick and didn't want to pass on their bugs - although in my understanding for some reason (ask Michael) stirling silver and alcohol combine to kill off bugs? Definitely worth pursuing more flexibility over, considering wine and grape juice come essentially from the fruit of the vine, and the wine in Jesus's day was quite diluted compared to what we consume now.

Blessings Jean

Father Ron Smith said...

I appreciate, Peter, your defence of the obligatory use of the communion wafer - as being the most expeditious way of dispensing and receiving the Sacrament. However, I do question your advice given on the substitution of grape-juice for the wine of the Eucharist, as follows:

"a. de facto it is the practice of many parishes to offer grapejuice and the practice reflects the way in which parishes seek to meet its diversifying congregation in various customs (e.g. ex Baptists used to grapejuice, parents unwilling for their baptised children to have wine, alcoholics wishing to receive communion in two kinds): the genie is out of the bottle on this one and I think care for our life would ask whether our rubrics need to catch up with reality."
- Dr. Peter Carrell -

In the basis of Jesus turning water into wine, He obviously understood the associated process of maturation - affording joy to the participants in the weddning feast - that could be paralleled in the use of wine at the Eucharist.

There is no prospcription against receiving the Communion of the body and Blood of Christ in 'ine kind' only. In fact, our Roman Catholic brethren/sistren once were on ly able to receive the Bread. At St. Michael's this use is encouraged for people with colds or flu, or with an intolerance of alcohol. Once the recommendation is understood, there is no problem.

It is worth reflecting that, in participating in 'one kind' only, one is not receiving only 'half' of the Sacrament of Jesus.

I have never yet participated in a Eucharist anywhere in an Anglican service, where the congregation is offered grape-juice in place of the traditional wine. I don't see the problem.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
The only 'advice' I am giving on grape juice is that our church as a whole should have a discussion about the reality of church practice. Otherwise we continue to have practice at variance with law.

To clarify one thing: I have never come across a parish which offers grape juice instead of wine, I have only come across, or heard about parishes offering grape juice alongside wine.

I have no problem with the theology of the eucharist which says that receiving in one kind is receiving the whole. My problem, or question is whether our practice should effectively compel people to only receive in one kind only.

For what it is worth, in my ideal parish (of which, of course, I would be the ideal vicar!!), I would only have wine, and in a chalice.

liturgy said...

“I suppose giving the sacraments to children might be liturgically incorrect as well?” Jean

Quite the opposite, Jean. We are a church that accepts the sacrament of baptism for all ages including children and babies, and all the baptised have a duty and a right to receive communion.

As to Taizé, when I was there I was blessed to have been invited by Br Roger to eat with him and his brothers for a week – an unforgettable experience. I again was with him a month before he was murdered. The spirituality of Taizé is central to my life, and we here still have much to learn about and from its attractiveness particularly to young people. Although the discussion about whether Taizé services are allowed underscores our unusual situation where, however else we are constrained, we appear to be able to sing pretty much whatever we like. As has already been noted by Fr Ron, a Taizé service is essentially an adaptation of praying the monastic daily office – which, on my reading at least, is explicitly allowed in our rubrics.

As to the genie being out of the bottle on the use of grape juice, Ribena, etc. the genie is out of the bottle on not adhering to our agreements on ordination, baptism, marriage, funerals, eucharist, etc. That is the very point of your post and this thread. Let’s have a discussion, by all means. But let’s also at least have the honesty to admit that it is only the gay genie that stirs up real energy and action – all the other genies are allowed to roam freely and without consequence.

Blessings

Bosco

tachesterton said...

'obligatory use of the communion wafer'????

'Obligatory'?

I'm not quite sure which prayer book you were raised on, Ron, but the one I remember (1662) had a rubric that said that the bread was to be 'the best and finest wheat bread'. How did we get from there to the wafer being 'obligatory'?

I've defended the use of the common cup against little communion cups on the grounds that Jesus undeniably used one cup. If we surrender the use of the common loaf on grounds of utility, I don't see that we have a leg to stand on as regards the cup.

Although if we're going to use grape juice, we'll have to use individual communion cups too, since grape juice is not germ resistant the way alcohol is.

Tim Chesterton

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Tim;

I do know where you were brought up (was it not in Leicester. next door to me in Coventry, but some time afterwards?).

However, as far as I know - at least in the 1940s, when I was confirmed and then able to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion; there was never any question of using other than the wafer bread (usually made by members of an Anglican Religious Order) and the best port wine possible from the common chalice. That was the only Anglican tradition I ever encountered in the UK in 24 years.

Of course, liturgical tradition is more important for some of us than for others!

As far as I know, on the very rare occasion that the 'Last Supper' was celebrated ta the local Baptist or Methodist chapels, all sorts of other things went on that I never took part in, but I did hear that the birds were sometimes beneficiaries of the 'left-overs'.

Father Ron Smith said...

Good to be led by our common prayer cycle in the diocese, to pray for you, today, Peter; and for Theology House. You do a good work there!
Agape!

Jean said...

Hi Tim

You are right in that one the church I attended provided individual cups for communion for those who chose grape juice.

That''s quite cool about allowing all ages to receive communion Bosco. In the Anglican church I grew up in we weren't allowed to receive it until about age 11 or 12 we just got a blessing.

I too prefer the common cup in both meaning and content, however, it allowing others to choose otherwise doesn't inherently challenge me theologically or spiritually.

Yes you are right Bosco in that the diversions from the authority of synod etc in many areas have been allowed or have raised less of an outcry than as you term the 'gay genie'. I would imagine this is because the 'gay genie' debate albeit being contemplated and considered by synod, is an issue individuals and groups consider to be of great significance or importance to them independent of it's discussion at a church governmental level. Perhaps more so than say for example if the person praying for them is licensed.

That would be my reason for the discrepancy in reaction anyway.

Blessings Jean

Peter Carrell said...

Thank you Ron!
Peter

tachesterton said...

Ron;

My understanding is that wafer bread was brought back into the Anglican tradition by the Oxford Movement, so it would not be earlier than the mid 1800s.

And yes - liturgical tradition is important to me, too. Mine goes back to pre-Oxford Movement days!

Tim Chesterton

liturgy said...

Jean, you must mix in some fascinating circles if you have come across anyone taking issue "if the person praying for them is licensed"! That certainly is a new one on me.

Blessings

Bosco

Jean said...

Hey Bosco

After finding this blog (concurrent with Peter's recent apt to South Canterbury) I realised that my past experience in the Anglican Church Baptised, raised and then returning I am beginning to indeed wonder if I have indeed moved in fascinating circles or perhaps it is more that I have moved in the circle of a church member rather than clergy, completely oblivious to the debate over words, rues, rites, and issues I never knew existed.

I am not sure if that is an inditement to the Anglican// Church in NZ or merely a reflection that at the church level the emphasis remains on the practical.

Peter informed me earlier in this thread that someone annointing a person for prayer should officially speaking be licensed, Yet I know this happens frequently with the blessing of presiding Priests. (Perhaps I should have included the word annointing for clarification).

It is as you refer, 'a genie allowed to roam un-noticed'. My deliberations for why the lack of notice taken of such genies as opposed to that of the gay one is as mentioned above.

Now I am confused what are the theological implicatons of genies?

Blessiings Bosco

Jean said...

Oh dear I was little jaded during the last post so before you have your breakfast and a good laugh Bosco:

Spelling, insert corrections for last post:
rues is rules (although rues kinda seems to fit too)

I know this happens frequently needs a "without a license" to be inserted before with the blessing (which probably more fairly should be knowledge) of the presiding Priests.

liturgy said...

Thanks Jean

I took Peter to be referring to James 5:14 "Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders (πρεσβύτερος presbuteros presbyter priest) of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord."

Blessings

Bosco

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Jean, I was surprised to learn from you here that - despite your Anglican experience - you were unaware that the sacrament of anointing is normally the ministry of the ordained, However, I understand that in ACANZP, it may be possible for a layperson to be specially licensed by the bishop for this ministry, in special circumstances.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
It is possible, not may be possible, for a layperson to anoint with authorisation from the bishop. No special circumstances are required. Thems our rules!

tachesterton said...

Back in my charismatic days I sometimes took part in interdenominational prayer and praise services in which lay people from other denominations anointed the sick and prayed with them for healing. I think I remember that a couple of them were healed, too. Apparently the Holy Spirit doesn't feel constrained by our rules!!!

Tim C.

Jean said...

Hi Ron

This could be midly interesting. I am more shocked looking back that having gone to church since I was babe and leaving when I went to uni I never a) owned a bible b) was never expliciitly taught our relationship to God was through Christ c) realised the relevance of the bible and it's teaching to life other than Sunday's. If you want to be even more amused I made myself a personal challenge to listen to the sermon all the way through without my mind wandering off - I think I almost got there one Sunday....

At the church I attended lay people as Peter refers to did get licensed for annointing healing ministry by the Bishop, but I never knew it was considered mandatory.
You will be now aware of my lack of knowledge around rules and regulations, for me I just saw the 'elder of the church shall annoint the sick' as scriptural license for such practice. I think the lack of church licensing of those who didn't have one was more a case of a busy environment and the formalities came secondary to the need (ie: they were probably No 161 on the list of what our overworked pastor had to do and people needed prayer).

Cheers Jean

Glen Young said...

This site is intriguing.The general message seems to be that if you are not 'ordained',there is little service for you to perform;however,once you are,there appears to be no"no balls" or "lbw's".
There is the Constitution,The Church of England Empowering Act and The Canons;but many of the Bishops say that 'the expression of Faith in this Province is a broad one'.
If I understand Bosco right[on his site],then a ACANZP Service can be 12 pennies worth of liqourice allsorts.So with the Commission on Doctrine and Theological Questions wanting to forge theology which is not born of the singular oppressive experience of patriarchial,white,hetrosexual men but priviledges the experiences of the 'other'-the outcast and the stranger.
What will the LITURGY look like then?

Glen Young said...

Bosco's post on the 26/6/2014 re General Synod's attempt to introdue Bill 4 can only be described as a total foozle.
One can only be amazed at their lack of regard for the Constitution and the Church of England Empowering Act.It is high time that they were brought into line with a challange under Section 7 of the Act.
In the meantime it might be appropriate to refer to them as General Sinod.

Glen Young said...

Sorry Bosco,
These naughty gins are a shocker.It was Gen.Sin's actions which are a total fozzle not your posting.

Andrew Reid said...

Sorry to be very late to this thread and topic, but if you think authorised services are hard in ACNZAP, try figuring that out in English congregations in a foreign diocese like Egypt. Members come from Africa, Europe, N America, Oceania and so do the priests. Most common phrase heard - "We don't do it that way!" I had never done thee/thou version of Lord's Prayer until I came here! Thankfully, people are usually more relaxed to try other approaches given they are already in a foreign culture.

Jean said...

Mine too Tim although that was only 3 years ago : )

Indeed where the Spirit of The Lord is there is liberty...

Jean said...

Hi Bosco

Peter was referring to James 5:14 I believe, but within the authority/formularies of the Anglican Church Peter re-iterated the elders/lay people require a license to do so.

Enjoy your Monday,
Jean

Glen Young said...

It seems that the essential point that Bosco is quite correctly making, is that Bill 4 contravenes The Church Of England Empowering Act 1928 Sec.4 [a].
If this is correct,and there is little reason to assume that Bosco is wrong;then the whole Liturgy issue is a complete foozle.Those who have wished to push the boundaries,have pushed them outside the law.A Gen. Sin-od which will not abide by the Constitution upon which it was founded in this nation, and the laws of this country cannot claim to have any 'integrity', as claimed in Motion 30.
Did not Jesus say:"Render therefore unto Ceaser the things which are Ceaser's;and unto God the things which are God's".
If a Gen.Sin-od will not recognise their obligation to both God and the State;what legitimate authority do they possess?
This is a serious question, which all those who are required under the Constitution C 15 to give a Declaration of Adherence and Submission to the Authotity of the General Synod:Needs to understand.
If this understanding of Bill 4 is correct;then all Gen.Synod members have ipso facto; become law breakers. They have acted in a manner which contravenes both the Constitution and the Church of England Empowering Act 1928. As such,they could be cited as parties in litigation under the provisions of Sec.7 of the Act.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
Sometimes the law is an ass or lawbreakers make the law an ass.
If (to follow your line of thought) the GS as a whole is breaking the law, then the law has become an ass. No one is going to put the whole of GS in jail!
So, while I am fascinated by how this discussion is going on this point, there is a point where it may be saying too much to say that the Empowering Act is being disobeyed/disrespected because a total disrespect robs it of its power to constrain us.

Glen Young said...

HI Peter,
It is probably true to say in this case that the lawbreakers have made both the law and orthodox believers an ass.
Of course,the whole of GS are not going to be thrown into jail;but surely we start to recognise where their 'hearts' lie.They have scant regard for the 'authority of the Inspired Sciptures,the catholic and Apostolic history and traditions,the Costitution or the Act.
Jesus said that He came not to destroy the law but to fullfil it.
Either the GS desires to fullfil the function which it was established for [Constitution Recitals 8&9];or it has another motive;born of another spirit[Matt 6:24].
It is not too much to say that the Act, being disobeyed or disrespected, robs it of its power to constrain us; simply because,if the G.S.will not recognise the laws of its own country, in its march to the reconstruction of the Church;what will it recognise? Surely it just shows us what god we are worshiping.
When one considers the theology and doctrine which is flowing out of the Episcopalian Church USA,under the leadership of the present Presiding Bishop [who was elected to the ACC in Auckland 2012];it becomes clear why those who accept this type of doctrine will ride rough shod over the Constitution and the Act.
The answers as to why this is occurring is clear in the Scriptures. The answer as to what type of ideology they wish to put in the place of Christ's teaching ;is to be found in Darwinism. It will become a church that Dawkins would be happy to attend.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I personally take care around the 'they' or 'them' of General Synod: GS is all of us as a church, representing our many colours on the theological spectrum.

In some instances (such as Motion 30) GS as a whole voted in one direction: there was no 'them' doing one thing and 'us' doing another.

On Bill 4 it could be that GS acted out of a mixture of understandings of what was and will be at stake, and one of those understandings might be a naive ignorance!

Father Ron Smith said...

" Apparently the Holy Spirit doesn't feel constrained by our rules!!!"
- Tim Chesterton -

Agreed on this, Tim. Not even the 39 Articles has exclusive authority of Holy Spirit provenance. If it did, the 2 largest Christian Churches in the world would not still be around.

However, I also agree with the your inference that the charisdmatic movement made a great difference in many lines - including mine, in New Zealand, in the 1960s. One needed to better understand the role of the H.S. in the continuing evolution of the Church in its ministry.

For me, still, the most exciting worships is charismatically-led Eucharistic Celebration. Perhaps this is the most perfect blend of evangelical and catholic worship.

(I just had to enter the number 815 to record my blog. What does this mean, I wonder, in terms of spiritual insight?)

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,
If I have to type 666 to log my post then there has to be profound question about Peter's Site.

Father Ron Smith said...

I, Glen, am not superstitious. It was just the odd coincidence that tickled my fancy.

Agape, Fr. Ron

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,
I'm not superstitious either.Just a passing refference to Rev.13:18.
Blessings, Glen.