Down Under we see things differently.
Your Church is dying and the lights are going out in Western Civilization And what are you doing? Focusing on this nonsense over same sex marriage which is nothing but a mockery of the God given institution of marriage designed to provide a safe and secure environment in which to raise the next generationWhy don't you drop this foolishness and start trying rebuild the English Church to restoring a environment where the people of God can find spiritual nourishment?You asked for our thoughts - I given you mine
And now, Peter, I'm giving you my (considered) thoughts on Martin Davies' article, which this thread is really about - obviously culled from 'Virtue on Line' one of the more conservative blogs in the maelstrom.Despite Martin Davies' conservative outlook, he has quoted the Orthodox Patriarch. Bartolomeus I, on his greeting to Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Constantinople, who said: "The Liturgy teaches us to broaden our horizon, to speak the language of love and communion, but also to learn that we must be with one another in spite of our differences and even divisions". This, from an Orthodox Patriarch, speaks volumes!Martin Davies, amongst a lot of other stuff about the Church of England's historical provenance, has this to say "The Church must be open to liturgical change in order to maintain sensitivity to the impact of the Gospel on the world, and to permit the continuous dedvelopment of a living theology". N.B. that is the 'impact of the Gospel' - the Good News of the redemption of the world by Our Lord Jesus Christ - who had his own problems with the sanctimonious among the Scribes and Pharisees.The fact that Lambeth 1998's Resolution 1:10 was raised up in a situationm of hostile oppositionalism by the upcoming GAFCON crowd - who have now set up their own rival to the Lambeth Conference - should not deflect the traditional Anglican ethos of 'UNITY IN DIVERSITY", which would permit different understandings of gender and sexuality within its eirenic borders. We must not let GAFCON, FOCA, or any other factious new entity divert the Anglican Communon from its battle against phobias and fears.
Dear Andrei and (is it) Ron (?)Thank you for responses which could not be more different!I am inclined to think that changing our doctrine of marriage will not prevent the dying of the light in our church.
Hi PeterI agree with your last comment ... and in fact would go further. There is now ample evidence both here in New Zealand (the Methodist church) and overseas (from the ECUSA to the Uniting Church in Australia, to the Episcopal church in Scotland) that adopting the "new" version of marriage is the quickest way to move towards oblivion, and also ample evidence (whether from the happy-clappy churches in NZ to the conservative churches in the USA etc) that the growing edge of the church is the one that has held on to the traditional theology both about the Apostles creed type faith, and about the way the Christian life should be led.I am surprised anyone would even suggest now that changing the doctrine of marriage would lead to anything but the quicker demise of the church.
Dear Peter, yes the second comment on this thread is from me. Diana and I are presently enjoying the warmth and hospitality of Cairns, Australia - perhaps that's one reason we are not so down-hearted as you and our other conservative commenters seem to be - with your Shakesearean 'Winter if Discontent' on the future viability of our Church and society in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.2 Sundays ago, we attended a lovely Parish Mass at Brisbane's St.John's (Anglican) Cathedral, where the Assistanty Bishop presiding at the Mass, +Ron Williams, was an old friend of mine from our time together when he was Archdeacon of Suva, Fiji at its Cathedral, nearly fifty years ago. This last Sunday - before we left for Cairns, there was a combined Sung Matins and Holy Communion, where the excellent Choir was assisted by the boys from the Temple Church, London, and the Preacher was The Master of the Knights Templar. His was a splendid sermon in which the Preacher commended the open Gospel-founded hospitality of the full congregation of St. John's Cathedral, which prides it self on being open to ALL people, regardless of... (you name it!).One can't help thinking that we New Zealand Anglicans should get out and about a bit more - to learn of the energy and faith of other Anglicans who are totally committed to the promotion and practising of God's love and care for everyone - especially those on the margins of society, whom the Church has been wont to neglect, on the grounds of the necessity for an an assumed 'purity of life'; such as was commended by the Scribes in Israel. No wonder they questioned Jesus' association with prostitutes and known sinners. They were not disposed to herar the joy of the Gospel that He preached! That there is no-one whom God does not love - despite their human waywardness and sins.It does us all well to remember that the Wedding Feast of the Lamb is not closed to anyone who is content to wear the wedding garment of faith in Christ The Redeemer. This garment is provided by the Host at the Feast, it is not a garment of the presumed 'righteousness' of the wedding guest. And this Wedding has nothing to do with gender or sexuality, but is the sign of belonging to God's family by Baptism into Christ, and nurtured by Him at the Eucharist. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, let us therefore keep the Feast - not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth". Malice and sef-righteousness have no place at the Table of Christ. God's mercy and grace are the elements of the Gospel that the clergy are ordained to minister. These are the gifts of God, purveyed by people of Faith and not by the advocates of despair.
We'll await a true picture of the spiritual health of the Anglican Church in Queensland and Newcastle when the Royal Commission into paedophile abuse by Anglican clergy there has delivered its findings. Already the late bishop of North Queensland, Ian Shevill, has been accused of raping young men and abusing the current Bishop of Newcastle when he was a teenager. The number of clergy there involved in abusing youngsters is astonishing.
Hi Peter, What an informative and thought provoking article which cuts through all the subjective and emotional hubbub;drawing us back to the foundation of our lives and faith. From the very the start of this issue,my major concern lay with the undue emphasis being placed on the notion of JUSTICE.It seemed to me that the main commission of the ACONZP had become the implementation Title D Canon 1 Part A (6);ie. SEEKING TO TRANSFORM UNJUST STRUCTURES AND CARING FOR THE CREATION. The basis of this emphasis,gave every impression, of being lifted straight out of the Progressive Christian song sheet being used at certain liberal Auckland churches;under the banner of INCLUSIVENESS AT ANY COST. In fact, it soon became clear that this revolution of the ACONZP would require major Constitutional changes to the present enshrined Doctrine.There is no way that the necessary DOCTRINAL changes can be legally effected. That this situation was ever allowed to occur, highlights the lack of Episcopal leadership in our Church. The St Louis Statement notes,'that any testimony of the oppressed as in a Liberationist perspective must be measured against the teaching of Scipture.That,INCLUSIVENESS,as desirable as it is,cannot be enthroned as an value but must subject to BIBLICAL AUTHORITY'. In the case of the Free Church of Scotland,where the majority elected to unite with Presbyterian Church;the House of Lords decided that merger involved a reduction of the Free Church's Doctrine and the majority had abandoned their commitment to the Doctrine under which the property of the Church had been accumulated,therefore,forfeiting any rights to the assets, including minister's pension fund.The Law Lords stated that the assets of the Church belonged to the DOCTRINE UNDER WHICH THEY WERE ACCUMULATED. I am sure that any move which involves a reduction in the Doctrine, as outlined in the Constitution;will be challenged in the High Court. Regards,Glen.
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