Thursday, August 25, 2016

If we decide there are Christianities rather than Christianity, might we chillax?

Fascinating review of a biography of prolific Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner here. One of Neusner's emphasises has been on Judaisms rather than Judaism. Reading about that in the review got me thinking: is it better to think "Christianities" rather than "Christianity"?

When we think the latter then, positively, we have people such as moi trying (in an almost inconsequential way!!) to nudge Christians within the one Christianity to ever greater unity. But negatively we have interminable battles as the Church of X and the Church of Y compete for title of "true church" (all the while demonstrating various foibles and fallibilities).

If we think the former, might we stop worrying about unity, cease to compete for title of "true church" and generally chillax?


Andrei said...

" But negatively we have interminable battles as the Church of X and the Church of Y compete for title of "true church" (all the while demonstrating various foibles and fallibilities)."

There is only one true Church Peter and that is the Church headed by Our Lord Jesus Christ and you are either member of that or you are not

And it is not for you or I to determine who is or is not a member of that Church but only for us as individuals to seek membership and serve the Lord's purpose

What we must do is support one another as we journey through our life in the Church as we can because as you know it is a struggle.

If you are a Creedal Christian as Anglicans supposedly are then the key phrase from the Nicene Creed to consider is
"I believe in one Holy catholic and apostolic Church..."

The answer to your speculations lie in that phrase

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

Good question.May I refer you to 2 excellent articles on Virtueonline.

The C of E: Limits to Diversity and the inevitability of seperation
-Andrew Symes.

Is the Hebrew Bible elastic enough to make God transgendered?
-Rebecca Walberg.


Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Andrei and Glen
Yes, there is only one Lord and only one church.
But I think one can affirm that while also asking about the pluriform experience of how Christians express themselves via a variety of churches and a diversity of views: are there, humanly speaking, multiple Christianities, some of which (or perhaps, on really close inspection, one of which) from time to time properly represent the one church of Christ?

phlegon said...

Chillaxicity is great if it leads to gracious disagreement (for instance, those who believe in episcopal versus presbyterian governance are generally gracious about each other's views) but not if it leads to laxicity in matters of faith and practise (hence various church councils and reformations... not all of which succeeded in the graciousness area!)

Bryden Black said...

Interesting notion Peter.

Firstly re JN and Judaisms. Well; “two Rabbis, three opinions” says it all! Their unfolding faith nature via Mishnah, Talmud, Gemaras, etc. is also a decisive factor. So; not at all surprising to hear JN speak of Judaisms in the plural.

Yet things are different again in the churches. Firstly, the extent of the canon of Scripture itself varies, within Latin Western Christianity, and between Eastern and Western Churches. Thereafter, as we well know, the debate surrounding Tradition and traditions is ever alive.

What is also clear is the historical fact of the contemporaneous novelty of the so-called threefold cord/stool within Anglicanism—to wit, Scripture, Tradition & Reason. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral then adds a fourth, Experience. In some quarters, these function as “sources” or “authorities”, with varying weighting—the degree of weighting naturally exciting debate.

Finally, I’d simply repeat our Lord’s “High Priestly Prayer” from Jn 17:20-23. In context, both immediate and the entire Gospel, this suggests a visible unity of some kind, rather than some form of mystical union/unity. The FG is resolutely anti-docetic. True; WHAT kind simply sets the debate off ...! As Anglicans, we like to speak of the Church’s esse, and what is for the Church’s bene esse, our well-being. Just so, “apostolicity”, “catholicity” and “unity” may be found in the oversight of bishops [“holiness” itself is variously conceived]; yet episcopacy is not necessarily of the Church’s very nature—even as it’s included in the Lambeth Quadrilateral. Having a bob each way ...?!

All in all, phenomenologically there are Christianities; yet creedally, there is one holy catholic and apostolic Church. Who’s in and who’s out, individually/collectively, is the job of the Judge—as Augustine wisely says of Matt 13:24-30. Only at the End shall we humans truly know ... Meanwhile: charity ...?

Jean said...

I was interested to learn in our group study of acts that the word Christians, meaning Christ Ones, came about during Paul's ministry and was most likely begun as a label used by others.

Personally I think is a differentiation between christianity and church/es. I believe there are multiple ways of practising christianity - not having to look too far. However, I still think there is the one church yet my interpretation of this not the sense of being only one church in number (after all a few churches are referred to in Revelation) or of there being only one true church as in denomination. I believe the oneness comes from all those churches belonging to Jesus (which does require authentic practice of faith) being connected together through the Spirit as the one church through the headship of Christ and this connection (unity) being acknowledged by the members of his body.

Father Ron said...

Surely Brethren and Sistren, our only unity is 'en Christo', there is no other.

If we believe in him and his salvation, we are incoporated into the Body of Christ - whatever our individual notions of 'belonging'. We have been warned of the crass mistakenness of "those who say; I am for Paul, or I, Apollos". However, this might be an eschatological view - of little use to those seeking assurance of their own individual redemption - by belonging to a specific Church group, believing it to be 'The One and Only Way'.

God, thank God, is bigger than The (Any) Church.

Brian Kelly said...

Peter, perhaps O/T in this thread, but I am sure you will be interested in the major review study in 'The New Atlantis' of sexuality, gender and mental health by two eminent American psychiatrists from Johns Hopkins University. The findings support what has been common knowledge among those who know the scientific literature of the past 20 years or so, but alas this knowledge isn't common enough, and errors about biology, genetics and psychosexual development continue to be repeated (even in this esteemed blog).
I've read about half of this so far, but the executive summary provides a quick entrée. There are some interesting references to studies in NZ as well.

Brian Kelly said...

Here's the link:

Andrei said...

So the holiest day on the Christian Calendar is to be opened to commerce, a change wrought by sleight of hand and deceit by our elected officials

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brian
I have read Ian Paul's Psephizo post about that report and followed a few of his Tweets in robust discussion.
My own sense is that the report does not take us very far re a homosexual's own experience of being homosexual from birth.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I haven't followed the process far enough to work out that sleight of hand is going on.
I am personally disappointed that we couldn't have an "ANZAC Day like solution" i.e. shops closed till 1 pm Easter Day.
Either way, it is part of being what we have become a secular nation that favours no single religion.

Bryden Black said...

"That favours no single religion."

Depends upon how one defines "religion" I guess. Christian theology however knows well the category of idolatry. And if our society's 'god' is commercial and/or economic, then it is abundantly clear what we worship.

Secularism is not theologically neutral from a Christian point of view.

Brian Kelly said...

"My own sense is that the report does not take us very far re a homosexual's own experience of being homosexual from birth."

- I encourage you to read the report itself, which summarises the statistical evidence from around the world. Where does the idea come from that newborn children are "homosexual" or "heterosexual"? I do not think there is any substance to this notion at all.
What the report does show - in study after study conducted by university academics - is what some of us know who have tried to keep up with the clinical literature over the past 20 years or so:
- that 'non-heterosexuality' is about 2% of the population (and more common among men than women);
- that homosexual adults report a much higher level of being sexually abused in their childhood;
- that homosexuals have a significantly higher level of depression and alcohol misuse;
- that sexual feelings are fluid, particularly in the late teens, and can be significantly different a few years later.

Andrei said...

"Either way, it is part of being what we have become a secular nation that favours no single religion."

Either way, it is part of being what we have become a Godless nation that favours the Gods of Money and Sexual Hedonism

The Christian Faith does not demand you be a shrinking violet Peter, rather that you be zealous in its defense and stand firm on assaults on its integrity

And yet time and time again the church allows itself to be distracted by modernist heresies while allowing this Nation's Christian Heritage to be dismantled without a murmur

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

The Report concurs with the work of Dr. Neil Whitehead,here in NZ.
Adultification of children, through exposure to sexual experiences, which they have no moral coat hanger, to hang them on;is the highest level of abuse possible.Included in this,is the harmful awakening of children's curiosity,e.g. through premature sex (un)education in schools.It robs them of both their innocence and their childhood.

Our own 20 years of experience,in the fields of Psychiatric rehabilitation including dual diagnosis disorders and personality disorders led us to the same conclusion.My mentor,for many years,Dr. Alan Anderson;gave us many lectures on this very subject from a Biblical stance.

I would also challenge anybody to establish objectively and rationally,what their emotional state was at the time of their BIRTH.What we were in our mother's womb,belongs to God.I guess that at the best,it would correct to say,"from my earliest recollections".The Report takes us far from the oft stated,"I was born that way".


Father Ron said...

Brian kelly, when you challenge Peter's supposition that the 'report' does not satisfactorily assess the perspective of persons who - from their own experience - actually have known no other than same-sex attraction from as far back as they remember; you are already making an (unscientific) assumption that the Gay person's understanding of their own experience of being intrinsically gay is somehow invalid - for the purpose of assessing the reality of S/S attraction.

Likewise, Glen, you speak of your own psycho-sexual knowledge - obtained through your own experience of other people's lives - in therapeutic experiment, and in reading opinions about it by so-called 'experts' in the field - this is hardly equivalent to actually experiencing same-sex atttraction for yourself. So much is assumed about S/S attraction by people who have never actually experienced it- as their sole sexual motivation - that those among us who 'know better' can hardly be bothered with the continuing misunderstanding of their private lives by those who think they know more about them than they themselves understand to be the truth. The real scandal is that many of the misunderstanding 'experts' are practising Christians - just like the people they are criticising.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter

"My own sense is that the report does not take us very far re a homosexual's own experience of being homosexual from birth."

Nobody on this planet remembers what they were feeling when they were born. And nobody has clear memories of their early years, certainly not enough to make any determination about something like homosexuality.

The most any human can generally remember and hang anything on is from 6 to 7 onwards, well after psychological attachments have been made. The most this can prove is that some people have same sex feelings, usually as well as opposite sex feelings, from an early age, but this fact more likely results from early childhood issues rather than from the pseudo-scientific notion of a genetic component.

So no homosexual can claim they were homosexual from birth. That is not a description of their actual experience. It is political propaganda they have been told to repeat.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,
I have just had some growths removed surgically.I much more prefer the surgeon's ability,experience and opinions to my own.I did not question him as to whether he had ever suffered from this condition;but perhaps,after reading your comments, I should have found a surgeon who had.I PRAISE GOD that he has given us people who can help in the healing process and I trust them.Why I should be in this situation,GOD ALONE KNOWS BUT I TRUST HIM ALSO.

A young person I know well,who was struck down with a life threatening excess of white blood cells,said to me:"Every time I went to the toilet,I would PRAY that there would be no blood in the toilet bowl,then I would sing--HE HAS THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD IN HIS HANDS".Praise Christ,By Faith he has been made whole.

Please don't insult my intelligence by insinuating that the only people who have ever suffered from or understand the life, are those with same-sex attraction.


Father Ron said...

I rest my case - against any who claim to 'know', and pronounce upon, what a gay person knows about their own sexual reality, from whatever age they discover it. You simply cannot know, and, therefore; cannot possibly understand.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

Upon reading your posting ,more carefully,I find it HIGHLY OFFENSIVE.My wife and I gave 20 years of of lives 24 hours ,7 days a week;to providing a professional care to those who were suffering from debilitating disorders.They were not able to hold offices in the Church.They were the true rejects of society.We had to fight the Govt.tooth and nail to get sufficient funding to provide the service.We could write you a book on the subject.We were often awake all night providing intensive care.Please don't sermonise me with all your "Hail Marys" and other religious blessings.Try living life where the rubber hits the road.


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron and Glen
You have both spoken robustly and you both care deeply about the church, the truth and your fellow human beings.
But somehow your disagreement has taken a turn for that which may not assist fruitful discussion.
I look forward to comments which do not comment upon the other.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
The first homosexual I knowingly met came to speak to my sixth form Liberal Studies class (therefore in 1976) and, without political propaganda agenda, shared his life story of never experiencing attraction to the opposite gender, either pre-pubescently or post-pubescently. I have never forgotten that and I have always felt uneasy about "scientific" surveys which no doubt have their own contribution to make (e.g. often pointing out that there are fewer homosexuals than some other surveys suggest) but when they get into whether there is or is not a scientific reason (i.e. evidenced explanation) for the cause of homosexuality, do not, in the end, have much to say about the personal experience of the one who experiences homosexual attraction in a mirror image of the way heterosexuals such as myself have experienced heterosexuality: that is, the experience from birth of being attracted in this way not that way.

Even if there are only three such people in the whole world (and the contributor to that class, who is still alive, is one of them) I want to know how the church should respond pastorally. I do not find the science much help at that point.

Brian Kelly said...

"that is, the experience from birth of being attracted in this way not that way."

- No, Peter - you are repeating the basic and unscientific error that I criticised above and Shawn dissected. Sexual "orientation" isn't hardwired or experienced from birth, it isn't "from birth" (actually conception) the way the colour of my skin, eyes and hair is - physical givens which are entirely genetic in character; rather, like EVERYTHING to do with our emotional and social existence, it develops and changes in childhood and is highly susceptible to experience, complex interaction with adults (especially parents) as well as negative factors like emotional trauma, pain and sexual abuse. You don't have to be a Christian (but it helps!) to know that our own "recollections" about our childhood emotional lives are always partial and frequently mistaken. I may know myself better than others (sometimes) - but there are lots of things about myself I don't know - or, as Paul in Romans would say, things we suppress about ourselves. (Paul a Freudian avant la lettre? Now there's a thought!)
Yes, do read the report, which is statistical and not anecdotal in character (the self-reporting individual you mention). As a mathematician you will understand the import of that.
As for your last question, the point of the report is not to guide the Christian Church pastorally, but to deal with the misuse of statistics ("10% are homosexual" - Kinsey) and genetics ("I was born that way") in contemporary political debate.
The Church's pastoral response is already there in the Gospels and Epistles.

Andrei said...

"The first homosexual I knowingly met came to speak to my sixth form Liberal Studies class (therefore in 1976) and, without political propaganda agenda..."

Peter, if he didn't have an agenda he wouldn't have been "sharing" before a class of pubescent boys

Sharing what rocks your boat sexually in front of pubescent boys is just not something normal people do.

Are you interested in what made my sixteen year old heart go pitty pat before I found the love of my life and raised a family?

Of course not! And I'm not going to bore you with it

This is an upper middle class issue and totally irrelevant to the people struggling to raise a family in the Faith in a world that is hostile to it

And to show how far down the rabbit hole you have fallen this thread isn't even about this topic (or is it?)

Brian Kelly said...

" ... you are already making an (unscientific) assumption that the Gay person's understanding of their own experience of being intrinsically gay is somehow invalid - for the purpose of assessing the reality of S/S attraction."

No, Ron - it is you who are making an unscientific assumption about me - 'unscientific' in the strict sense of 'scientia' since you neither know me nor appear to understand what I am saying.

As I have said often enough (though you never acknowledge this), I do not think *anyone is "intrinsically" homosexual or heterosexual in his or her sexual affections because such things are not based on the physical substrate of the body or its genetic inheritance (the way that skin and eye colour are) or on epigenetic consequences. The fact that I became a linguist and a biblical scholar (of sorts) is not because I was "born that way" but the combination of the brain I inherited and the life experiences I encountered. I would have become something else if life had been different (though I would never have made it as a musician or a gymnast). I've always understood personality and temperament to be a mixture and interaction of our given "nature" and environment (which includes very powerful childhood experiences, nearly all of which are ENTIRELY forgotten by us), and there's nothing controversial or original about that. I've never been a great fan of that reductionist atheist Sigmund Freud, but his claims that the unconscious is like an iceberg in us and many of our most powerful early memories are repressed.
But as I said above, Paul already said it better in Romans. How our emotional and affective life develops is often quite mysterious and opaque to us. But it's what we do with it that matters. Nobody is a finished product until we are laid in our graves (and even then the purgatorially-inclined will disagree with me).

Anyway, as you frequently invoke divine charity as the motive for what you say and castigate others whom you have never met for lacking divine charity, I will conclude by observing that Christ's Apostle Paul (the author of Romans 1.18-32, 1 Corinthians 6.9 etc) also declares that "love rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor 13.6); so the way of Christian love means critiquing a person's arguments or claims insofar as they are false (i.e., lacking truth). Play the ball and not the man, as they say on the football pitch.

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, Andrei (also Dear Bryden for lower part of the comment)
This thread has taken quite a turn, just as your take on an event you were not present at is quite a turn!

But back to an earlier part of the thread, re idolatry.

I regret the departure from Sunday observance in our society and likely I have not fought very hard to retain it; on the other hand I am not sure that there is much point in fighting to retain an observance via law that society in its collective heart has no will to observe.

We have been a secular society longer than we have been worrying about the Easter shopping law.

Bryden is right that an ostensibly religion-neutral society is nevertheless not theologically neutral. (Of course we are not quite religion-neutral when it comes to karakia!)

All of which makes precious our acts of witness through acts of worship and our living Christianly in a non-Christian, likely becoming anti-Christian society.

Bryden Black said...

What is interesting about the comments to date re The New Atlantis links is the omission of a rather crucial concern.

The entire presentation is based upon a fundamental dualism. On the one hand, we have hard biological science - supposedly. And then on the other hand, we have the social constructionists at work. A due Christian theology of creation would demure on both fronts.

Any science is in fact built upon models and theories which themselves are to a degree constructed by means of a community of human intellects. That's the first qualifier of the false dualism. The second goes in the other direction. Rather than deeming any social world to be a mere construction, we'd more adequately speak of social mediation.

The point of this dual rapprochement, firstly away from so-called hard science and itself towards the constructive role of imagination, and secondly away from sheer constructivity towards something more concrete, is to bridge the divisive gap this three part presentation merely assumes.

A Scientific Theology (hat-tip Alister McGrath) would establish a due theology of creation, which then allows us to appreciate the direct relationship between biology and socially mediated human identity. As presented here in these links the fashionable western thing is to fundamentally untie the two, thus seemingly allowing us humans to become autonomous, self positing subjects. Me thinks the Creator himself would demure! And his Church, despite our western assumptions, should follow suit faithfully, irrespective of contemporary cultural pressures.

Brian Kelly said...

"All of which makes precious our acts of witness through acts of worship and our living Christianly in a non-Christian, likely becoming anti-Christian society."

Exactly so. Although I have never been a sabbatarian, I am impressed by what I was told about my Scottish Presbyterian grandmother and what the day meant to her. As Jim Packer has constantly pointed out in response to sloppy theology and misunderstanding of "legalism",law is not opposed to grace but is the outward form of a heart on fire for God. Consumerism is indeed the idolatry of a post-Christian world, but like all idols it will break the heart of its worshippers. It grieves me when professing Christians start treating Sunday like any other day - or when the second god of New Zealand - sport - takes first place as well.

Andrei said...

...on the other hand I am not sure that there is much point in fighting to retain an observance via law that society in its collective heart has no will to observe.

Like that other inane issue this is something that exercises the tiny minds of those who work in air conditioned ivory towers and live in leafy suburbs

In the real world, where real people live and do real work for a living it matters not a whit that the mall is closed on Easter Sunday - well actually it does because Mum has to work late on Easter Saturday night stacking the shelves with all the trash

And daughter number 1 wont be at Sunday Lunch because she will be flipping burgers in the food court while daughter number 2 spends her Easter Sunday on the checkout scanning the tacky goodies the empty headed chattering class can't wait one day to buy...

...leaving no space for the serfs of this land to worship together as a family

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I distinguish between "Sunday as a day of worship, so please shut the shops" and "Sunday as a day of rest, so please give the workers a fair deal, and shut the shops." On the former my comment above remains my comment. On the latter, I agree with you: the churches could (e.g.) argue with trade unions for a day of rest.

Brian Kelly said...

Bryden, I would say you mean 'demur' if I wasn't so demure!
You are correct that the report is based - for the most part - on descriptions of persons' experiences and emotions, aided by statistics in order to establish broad patterns of (western) human experience and self-understanding and to release us from the curse of the anecdote. This is very much the stock in trade of modern psychology and psychiatry (other than when it is using neurophysiology to study perception or psychotropic drugs to control moods, at which points the disciplines are drawing on biology). Do the humanistic practitioners of psychology and psychiatry really believe we are "autonomous, self positing subjects"? Some do talk that way, but the assertion is really a religious one that no self-respecting materialist can consistently say. Materialism means determinism, as atheists have insisted from the days of Democritus and Lucretius.
"Science" is really a very slippery concept, and the nature of it is unclear to many or even most of its practitioners. Furthermore, we have the dichotomy between 'hard' and 'soft' science, and the difference between the two is that while modern physics and chemistry tend toward a convergence - a unified field of knowledge based on a mathematical view of the world and an explanation of reality in terms of 16 fundamental particles, four fundamental forces and a few dozen physical constants - there is NO convergence in the "soft sciences" of psychology and psychiatry, but rather sixteen or more divergent "schools of thought" - something impossible to imagine in modern physics or chemistry. And this is really what we should expect when we are dealing not with impersonal proteins or light waves but *persons* and *minds* describing (or misdescribing) their feelings and experiences. All that 'social science' can do for certain is establish statistically the prevalence of such self-perceptions and its correlation with other factors, both negative and positive (do people feel happy? do they use drugs? etc). Beyond that, it is largely speculating (e.g. about the origin of personalities or affections) - which isn't a bad thing but isn't the same as doing a repeatable experiment in a laboratory.

Andrei said...

On the latter, I agree with you: the churches could (e.g.) argue with trade unions for a day of rest.

A better bet might be to argue that closing the shops on Sunday will help reduce carbon emissions :)

That is another issue that resonates among the Remuera glitterati

Bryden Black said...

The fullness of your reply Brian belies your reticence!
That duly acknowledged, where does it leave the western Church?
If the stats are of western subjects whose learned feeling states and notions of meaning preclude from the start any notion of creation ... And if materialism really is deterministic (despite the likes of some understandings of science), then why bother further with this blog?!
Over and out!

Father Ron said...

Bryden, I frankly don't know what it might be to 'demure'on both fronts (sic). At this point in your comment I gave up on it.

Dear Peter, I was both amazed and deeply moved at your honest review of your own experience of listening to the testimony - before your 'liberal Studies' class in 1976 - of a Speaker allowed by your College authorities to bring a specific view of his own experience of exclusive homosexual experience to its students. This, I'm sure, would have been an honest and open attempt on the part of the college staff to bring enlightenment to a group of people already experiencing their own personal sexuality.

In this context, most of the students being self-consciously heterosexual (by the law of averages) and already set in their natural orientation, this was an opportunity for the School to introduce an alternative (minority) view - possibly with a direct intention to reduce any tendency in students to victimise fellow students who might, knowingly or unknowingly, be exclusive homosexuals - like the speaker.

I must say that I am sorry to have offended those amongst your commentators who find the prospect of intrinsic homosexual same-sex attraction to be perverse. But even the scientists in the medico-psychiatric community who have to deal with such people are now convinced that there in nothing congenitally defective in those who claim to be exclusively homosexual. The 'condition' is no longer considered to be 'deviant' or an illness, needing psychiatric or medical treatment. Some conservative members of The Church, on the other hand, are still troubled with a perception of the intrinsic 'sinfulness' of homosexual activity. Their perception seems to be that sexual activity ought only be undertaken with the express purpose of procreation - a situation manifestly not borne out in the real experience of married heterosexuals.

I must confess, Peter, that some of your commenters here still appear to question the wisdom of schools and colleges like yours that even as early as the mid-1970s, had become aware of the danger of possible violence towards students who were 'different' from the norm, merely because of a general ignorance of the facts of the phenomenon of that difference. Despite the gradual elimination of ignorance on this vital matter among most members of society and the Churches - of this 'difference' affecting a significant minority of the population - I find it sad that there are still a minority of peoole in the Church who are unwilling to accept the validity of homosexual orientation as a 'given' for such people.

I only know because I happen to be one of them, and am now mature enough to be able to witness on their behalf before I am called to meet my Maker. Personal conscience has been my motivation in 'coming out of the closet' on this important matter - for the sake of future generation of our young people whose lives are on the line because of ignorance of the true circumstances of sexual orientation - a situation that requires understanding and pastoral acceptance.
I will not be commnenting further on this thread, but thanks, Peter, for enabling many of us to speak our minds one a subject some of us are vitally concerned with, in and about our own personal lives.

Peter Carrell said...

Thank you Ron
Comments re Christianities, Sunday trading and the like are welcome.

Bryden Black said...

Dear Ron, I am not surprised perhaps; apologies! As dear Brain thankfully pointed out, I should not be “acting like a wall-flower”—who? me?!—but rather “declining to agree” with the basic methodology being proposed. And the point is a most serious one.

If we so establish our approach that we “rend asunder” any direct relationship between biology and anatomy on the one hand, and perceptions of gender identity on the other, then little wonder we are at loggerheads collectively. For the very way we pose our questions will determine both the sorts of answers available and those immediately precluded.

Now back to “Christianities”. If the “sources” and/or “authorities” of certain varieties of Christianity become so divergent that they reveal mutually exclusive ‘brands’, then better they “walk apart”. Of course, which variety might represent “wheat” and which “darnel” is only for those End-time angels to reveal (as per Matt 13:24ff).

Ciao for now ...

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,
"This third phase is this---worldly.It is concerned with man's psychological and social welfare understood scientifically but inspired with a faith in the potential of man-the animal in whom,indeed, God had come down to earth.Thus the secularisation of countries previously dominated by "historic christianity" is seen as the key spiritual movement of the modern age."(dust jacket) Faith's New Age---Lloyd Geering,

NZ. has a hugh number of politicians, of all parties who are hell bent on taking us into this BRAVE NEW WORLD.It is theft at a paramount level.They have stolen both POWER and AUTHORITY from God.They have misappropriated the Christian CULTURE and VALUES and claimed them in man's name.IT IS THE ULTIMATE REBELLION AGAINST GOD.Deut 8:1....v17 "And thou say in thine heart,the power and might of my own hand has gotten me this wealth."

In your previous thread (dare I mention it),there was an underlying spiritual truth;"I was born that way".Having descended from Adam and Eve,WE ALL share their propensity to REBELLION."For since by man came death... 1 Cor.15:21 and Art.9 All of us,display,one way or another,or, at one time or another;that rebellion.I guess that infant Baptism displays the Church's and the parent's Faith and Hope that the child has been dedicated back to God through Christ and not to the world;because,also"by man came the resurrection of the dead"1 Cor 15:21.

many of us see it as the function of the ACANZP to proclaim that Glorious Gospel of CHRIST--John 3:16

We are overly concerned about the personal and objective testimony of men nor do we wish to claim our's is the one true CHURCH.Give us the EXPERIENCES and TESTIMONY of the APOSTLES who saw were the RESURRECTED CHRIST.This is central to the Doctrine of the ACANZP as defined in its's CONSTITUTION 1857.

So, what do the other Christianities wish to proclaim????


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen and Bryden
I am allowing your two comments beyond the "CLOSE" made above as they round off a conversation.

But that is it.
Cheers, all

Andrei said...

50 years ago over a quarter of all weddings conducted in New Zealand were conducted in Anglican Churches and well over 80% were conducted in a Christian Church. I know this because it was considered important enough to record in the New Zealand Yearbooks of the time

And now Christianity has all but been airbrushed out of public life

Have our Godless elites succeeded where the Bolsheviks failed?

Bought your birthright for a mess of pottage?

Or are you going to reclaim it?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I cannot see how we "reclaim" our heritage save through evangelism.
It is too late to do that through legislation.
That evangelism I would be most pleased to find occurring through Anglican evangelists but we are finding some pretty fearless and fervent evangelists today who are not Anglican (Catholic, Equipper, Arise, Orthodox, etc) so we may or may not find in the future that Anglicans are top of the pops re taking weddings!
But when NZ is re-evangelised, will we see an end to Sunday shopping? We might find the future Christianity or Christianities in NZ is less interested in "establishing" Christian values through parliamentary legislation than our forebears were ...

Andrei said...

I agree you cannot legislate salvation Peter

But you can use it to protect those things you value - you can't export cultural artifacts for example

In any case most of our legislation until recent times was based on Christian values and some of the best of it driven by Christian zeal - e.g. William Wilberforce

Now it is increasingly being used to undermine Christianity and family cohesion

We have some fights ahead - the next one is the euphonious sounding Death with Dignity Bill which those of us who didn't come down in the last shower know should really be called the "Put Granny Down before our inheritance is all spent on her aged care Bill"

But we are dealing with politicians full of lies and deceit (and we know who the Prince of Lies and Deceit is don't we

In any case when a Nation rebels against God disaster follows...

...and the clouds are on the horizon

Glen Young said...

Exactly, they will continue to write more and more liberal legislation on one hand;while on the other,sneaking through more laws to enslave us to their economic philosophies.However,they will never admit that there is absolutely no objective or rational foundation to their secular, Marxist/neo-Darwinist society,other than 'Might is Right".

The secularist's social philosophy was/is incapable of bringing about the form of free society that we know in the West.They could only steal or misappropriate what Christianity had already developed.

My argument, all through these Blogs, is that we need to maintain a One,Holy,Catholic and Apostolic CHURCH that is capable of placing the "burdens of God", upon these secular leaders and the people;as did the Prophets of old.

Until the ACANZP is prepared to stand up for what Her Doctrine quite clearly states;we are just conforming to godless philosophies and allowing the world around us to build castles in the sky and houses on sand.