Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My "Way Forward" (Final) UPDATED

In what follows - my submission to our church in respect of a Way Forward on the matter of blessing of same sex relationships - I acknowledge with deep thankfulness commenters here and discussion partners elsewhere who have shaped and influenced my thinking through a series of posts in July and early August 2016.

I also acknowledge that what will be my submission (bar some tweaks in the light of comments readers may make here) will not please a number of friends and colleagues. This submission is about what I think will hold our church together. It is not a submission about my own understanding of marriage.

For what it is worth, my own commitment to marriage remains observant of Scripture and tradition. It has recently been well expressed by Bishop DiLorenzo, bishop of Catholic vice-presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, in response to Kaine's claim that the Catholic church will eventually support same-sex marriage. +DiLorenzo writes, 

"all humans warrant dignity and deserve love and respect, and unjust discrimination is always wrong. Our understanding of marriage, however, is a matter of justice and fidelity to our Creator’s original design. Marriage is the only institution uniting one man and one woman with each other and with any child who comes from their union. Redefining marriage furthers no one’s rights, least of all those of children, who should not purposely be deprived of the right to be nurtured and loved by a mother and a father."

Yet I do not belong to a church where such a view is uniformly held by all its members. Nor do I belong to a church which is on the verge of achieving universal adherence to such a view. Far from it, as a discussion at our recent Diocesan Synod demonstrated! (Incidentally, my colleague Bosco Peters today has also published his submission re same sex partnerships, here, and it is quite different to what I propose below.)

So, here is the penultimate draft of my submission (minus appropriate greetings etc):


I offer the following observations from my experience of participating in the life of ACANZP, as a priest on a diocesan staff, as a blogger, as a participant and member of the organising committee for the Hermeneutical Hui, and as a facilitator of a series of workshops in my Diocese in 2015 on Motion 30.

(1) We want to stay together with our differences if we possibly can.

(2) If some matters over which we differ are pressed hard, we will not stay together.

(3) To stay together we should avoid at least the following:

- change to our doctrine of marriage
- a decision of General Synod which means licence holders of this church could no longer assent to the authority of General Synod
- continuing lack of permission for priest and bishops to be able to bless same-sex relationships
- discrimination between those holding one view and those holding another on the matter of blessing same sex relationships.

(4) In order to stay together, we may need to change our constitution and the role of the 1928 Church of England Empowering Act in upholding the constitution. In particular we may need to change the character of the declarations we require from licence holders in this church.

What is at stake?

Anglicans are Christians with a range of beliefs and an openness to expressing that range of beliefs through common prayer agreed through synodical process. That is we have formed common prayer with meaning intentionally capable of expressing a range of beliefs shared in common (i.e. our formularies). Even where some of these prayers have emphases which some may pray with more enthusiasm than others, nevertheless they have been expressed in prayers common to the whole church.

We have also permitted ourselves to express what we believe through prayers not held in common agreement (i.e. not formularies): for example, we may bless pets and warships.

What is at stake in the present matter of controversy over the blessing of same sex relationships is the question of whether we have a common mind as a church which may therefore be expressed through a common prayer agreed by synodical process of this church.

It is very difficult to discern through two General Synods (2014, 2016) and the decisions they have come to that we have such a common mind or that we are soon to arrive at that common mind.

Logically, on evidence to date, this church cannot offer an agreed form of common prayer for same sex relationships for we do not hold in common that such relationships may be blessed in the name of God. That is, at this time we should avoid attempting to agree to a blessing service for same sex partnerships that is a formulary.

Yet also at stake in our church at this time is an unmistakable urge and urgency on the part of many clergy and laity that some kind of formal permission is given for blessings of same sex relationships to take place. Associated with this desire is the desire that people may be licensed for ordained and lay ministry who live in a lifelong partnership with someone of the same sex.

A way forward?

If we cannot reach a common mind which is expressed through common prayer agreed by synodical process then we conceivably could do the following:

(1) We could formally agree that at this time we are a church without a common mind on the blessing of same sex relationships; but

(2) We could agree that we are of a common mind that different approaches to this matter are permitted in the practice of this church.

(1) and (2) are more or less the position this church has reached through General Synods in 2014 and 2016. Clear formal statements to this effect would be a way of this church saying that on one specific matter among many in which there is diversity of view it is proposed in this submission that we need to do two things. First, state that we are not agreed on the matter of blessing of same sex partnerships; secondly, state that we are agreed that different approaches to the matter of offering such blessings are permitted.

A question would then be whether we needed to make any further formal, agreed statement as a whole church through synodical process. For instance, this church already (2016) has agreed that services which are not agreed to be the common mind of this church may be authorised for use by bishops. There should be no need to entangle ourselves trying to form liturgies via synodical approval.

Longer term

We should not change our constitution lightly or quickly but the situation which we face as a church highlights possible inadequacies in our constitution (and, by its association, the continuing role of the 1928 Church of England Empowering Act).

For consideration at this time is whether we should commit ourselves to an unhurried review of our constitution.

UPDATE: Responses to some issues raised in comments

(1) "By allowing a variety of practices within the church would ACANZAP not be changing its doctrine in practice, even though not officially in words?

- Would this lead to a situation where same sex couples go to Rev Y (or Bishop Y if it's a whole diocese) down the road if Rev X doesn't offer same sex blessings?

- Would you recommend a similar approach for any other issue where there is not a common mind in the church, let's say diaconal presidency of the Lord's Supper? (Note: an issue of church order rather than doctrine!) Do you think it would be a good idea for particular dioceses to implement it if their bishop(s) and synod agrees? To what degree is local variety acceptable in our church?"

1.1: Perhaps, but words matter, and we already have a lot of practice which is objectionable to Anglicans who remain in their church because the practice has not yet changed the doctrine.

1.2: Yes; as indeed is the case if (say) I refuse to take a wedding of a divorcee ... there will always be a clergyperson somewhere at hand who will.

1.3: No, I would not so recommend, and certainly not for diaconal presidency, but this is a vexed issue in our church and diaconal presidency is not, and by vexed I include the concern many have for the health of homosexuals in a divided church - I cannot think of anyone keen on diaconal presidency who is under stress because the church has not approved it. The acceptance of local variety is somewhat fluid, is it not? When we agreed that women could be ordained priests one of our bishops refused to ordain women for a further ten years. We have a fair variety in our church over what constitutes the blood of Christ in communion: wine, grape juice, blackcurrant juice. Some bishops seem comfortable with that; others make efforts to restrict such variety; our formal rubrics only allow for wine.

(2) "Within your submission you also state:

“.. Associated with this desire is the desire that people may be licensed for ordained and lay ministry who live in a lifelong partnership with someone of the same sex.”

Now in times past you have agreed that a sexual relationship between same sex couples is sinful. Just to be clear, are you advocating that the Anglican Church ordain men and women who are living openly in sexually immoral relationships?

If this is the case and given your personal convictions, how is this not a violation of your conscience? Or, is this some kind of Romans 9:2-3 Pauline moment; a willingness to sacrifice even your own salvation for the sake of Anglican Church unity?"

This misses the point. We have two opposing views in our church. I am not advocating that we ordain men and women living openly in sexually immoral relationships. I am advocating that we accept that we are a church who think couples in a faithful same sex partnership are living sinfully and we are a church who think couples in such a relationship are living holy lives; that we might allow that those who think the latter might so ordain ... the analogy here is with remarried-after-divorce clergy, for whom some will think they are fine before God and others will think they are adulterers. Why might we be such a church of divided views? We are prepared to give one another the benefit of the doubt: perhaps "I" and wrong and "you" are right.

(3) "By way of follow up, I’m conscious that in your submission you have staked your credibility on the claim to celibacy being made by partnered up gay Bishops and other homosexual clergy. "

No, I do not see where I have done that, save for accepting that in the CofE a partnered but celibate bishop's word might be trusted. If we permit the blessing of same sex couples in our church I am not presuming those couples will be celibate.

(4) "It is my opinion,that you submission is well intended but muddled and confusing.In Introduction (3),the later three of the four sub-points which you make, contradict the first.If G/S permits the blessing of s/s relationships;how can any really orthodox licence holder accent to G/S, which they believe has stepped so far from the Doctrine, as defined in the Constitution,which G/S is required to hold? If priests and bishops are permitted to bless s/s relationships;is that not a change to our Doctrine of Marriage?If a s/s couple who have had a civil marriage seeks a blessing on their relationship,does that not ipso facto infer/confer a Godly recognition of their marriage and turn it into Holy Matrimony? And let's be rational about non-discrimination between those holding either of the so called permitted views.What realistic chance has an orthodox person have of becoming a bishop in a diocesan with a liberal majority irregardless of their qualities and qualification?The TEC hierarchy have made it known that they wish for future bishops to be chosen from the ranks of woman and blacks"

The point of this debate in our church is precisely What can we agree together? and What can we not agree together? My submission is premised on the presumption that we cannot at this time and for the foreseeable future agree on changing the wording of our current doctrine of marriage but we might (or MIGHT) be able to agree to be a church with differing views on SSB. I have no assurance that this will happen and if it does not happen then we will split.


Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,

I recognise the difficulty ACANZP has had in trying to reach a common mind on this issue and appreciate your contribution to suggest a way forward. Can I ask some clarifying questions about your position?

- By allowing a variety of practices within the church would ACANZAP not be changing its doctrine in practice, even though not officially in words?

- Would this lead to a situation where same sex couples go to Rev Y (or Bishop Y if it's a whole diocese) down the road if Rev X doesn't offer same sex blessings?

- Would you recommend a similar approach for any other issue where there is not a common mind in the church, let's say diaconal presidency of the Lord's Supper? (Note: an issue of church order rather than doctrine!) Do you think it would be a good idea for particular dioceses to implement it if their bishop(s) and synod agrees? To what degree is local variety acceptable in our church?

Best wishes,

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

I appreciate the effort and thought which has gone into your mediation of the unity of the Church.The blogs which have been put forward on your site have been both interesting and informative.Some very good reading,which has represented both sides of the coin.

However,sadly, my intuition tells me that the outcome is not going to be an unifying process.The "blessing of s/s relationships" will tear the Church asunder.As has happened at Henderson,many of the orthodox believers left to attend other Churches.It was not because we had issues with "gay people" personally,but because the Church leaders were telling us that what the Scriptures categorically says is SIN; is now a lifestyle that GOD not only sees as permissible,but worthy of being BLESSED.If our true concern relates to the "pastoral care" of these people,we should offer proper council and guidance.

Unfortunately,Bosco has thrown a red herring into the net with his argument about the remarriage of divorced heterosexual couples.I would say to Bosco that the Church actually corrected a discrimination against the innocent victims of wayward husbands/wives. The words of Jesus,in Matt.5/32;"... saving for the cause of fornication....";surely means that the innocent party has the right to remarry.The difference here being that such a marriage is "right ordered",whereas the s/s relationship is not.


Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Peter

I’m conscious that you have labored, or more correctly agonized over the SSB debate within the church for a very long time now. I acknowledge that your best intention is to maintain the unity of the Church in the bonds of love, and I respect that.

You have put forward two propositions under the heading ‘A way forward’ and it’s the second that I’d like to reflect upon.

In proposition (2) you state: “We could agree that we are of a common mind that different approaches to this matter are permitted in the practice of this church.”

Well of course we ‘could’ do this, but ought we?

You then advance proposition (2) one step further by changing the wording ‘could agree’ to ‘are agreed’.

“.. secondly, state that we are agreed that different approaches to the matter of offering such blessings are permitted.”

But in truth we are not agreed, so this would be an erroneous statement to make.

Within your submission you also state:

“.. Associated with this desire is the desire that people may be licensed for ordained and lay ministry who live in a lifelong partnership with someone of the same sex.”

Now in times past you have agreed that a sexual relationship between same sex couples is sinful. Just to be clear, are you advocating that the Anglican Church ordain men and women who are living openly in sexually immoral relationships?

If this is the case and given your personal convictions, how is this not a violation of your conscience? Or, is this some kind of Romans 9:2-3 Pauline moment; a willingness to sacrifice even your own salvation for the sake of Anglican Church unity?

Anonymous said...

I would like to propose another possible way forward, which will likely not please anyone, liberal or conservative.

This issue for me has never been about homosexual people, but about three specific areas, namely, what can the Church officially teach about human sexuality in general, and our understanding of the sacraments of ordination and marriage.

My view on those three specific issues is, for want of a better word, the "conservative" one. The Church has no grounds for changing it's traditional understanding of human sexuality, and thus it cannot marry or ordain people in same sex relationships. I won't repeat the arguments for that position as they have been re-hashed here many times and should be familiar to everyone.

In regards to SSB, as I understand it this will involve adding a rite for SSB to the prayer book. To me this is really SSM by other means. It honestly strikes me as a word game, where we, in practice, have SSM, we just call it something else, and so for that reason, that it touches on the issue of the sacrament of marriage, I'm opposed to SSB.

Now, this position does not mean that there is therefore no place in our church for people who are in same sex relationships. At the local parish level, I see no reason why people in same sex relationships cannot participate in the life of the local church, receive communion, or be elected to vestry. I would also suggest that while minsters are bound to uphold the official teaching of the Church, there is still a lot of room for being gentle, compassionate and patient, and it does not mean they cannot support pastorally such people, or give positive counselling and prayer.

What about blessing people in same sex relationships? Well, while a minister cannot directly bless or approve of the relationship itself, I see no reason why a minster, caring for a couple in his congregation who are in a same sex relationship, cannot perform for such people the blessing for a home that we already have in the PB.

Anyway, that is my view, and like I said, it likely won't please anyone on either side of the debate.

Father Ron said...

Peter, in the face of the comments so far on this issue - which have been conservative on the issue facing us re Same-Sex Blessings - may I point to the fact of a recent ordination in the Church of England of a Bishop known to be both Gay and Same-Sex partnered. This fact was known to the two provincial archbishops before his episcopal ordination. Surely this ought to influence the future talks on Same-Sex Blessings that may shortly be implemented in ACANZP. There are also serving clergy in the Church of England who have gone through with the legalisation of their relationship in Civil Same-Sex Marriage, and nothing has been done by the Church to prevent them from continuing their work as parish priests.

I think that Glen's reference to homosexuality beeing a state of SIN might be a position no longer tenable in the light of modern understanding of human sexual difference. Even the ABC speaks of the intolerable harm that has been to intrinsically gay people by the Church in past time.

Whatever we may think about the propriety of the action of Gay clergy in the Church of England, we need to acknowledge the fact of LGBTI people being faithful members of our Church - not only lay-people but also clergy.

Brendan McNeill said...


By way of follow up, I’m conscious that in your submission you have staked your credibility on the claim to celibacy being made by partnered up gay Bishops and other homosexual clergy.

I have been in business for many years, and have been presented with many commercial propositions over that time. If I am attracted by the presentation, then the next responsible course of action is to undertake ‘due diligence’ to see if the claims being made stack up to scrutiny.

When it comes to partnered up gay clergy, my first question is to ask what other option do they have other than to claim celibacy? The answer is none, not if they wish to remain in a partnered relationship.

The next question we have to ask on that basis, is how realistic is such a claim? How credible is it that two sexual beings who love one another, and who share the same bed would maintain a continued relationship of celibacy?

This is where it all starts to come apart. It fails the ‘reasonable person’ test.

Most reasonable people would conclude that this is an impossible or at the very least improbable outcome for two people who love each other. In short it is not a bankable proposition.

Now I don’t doubt for one moment that there are many Anglicans, yourself included who desperately want this to be true, if for no other reason than it might provide a basis upon which the Anglican church might stay united.

I’m afraid too many of us don’t believe it’s true for one moment, let alone the genuine concerns we hold over the ‘appearance of evil’ that it also creates.

That’s not to accuse the gay Bishops and clergy of deliberate fabrication. They may well have the best of intentions, however they are men and women caught up in a love relationship with few options at their disposal. Who can blame them for playing the only card they have been dealt from the theological deck.

They should not be surprised however that those living outside the ecclesiastical bubble suspect they are bluffing.

Father Ron said...

A further thought, Peter, after Brendan's latest. A question: Do heterosexual clergy ever actually enjoy sex not intended for its primary (Biblical) purpose of procreation? And, on the basis of an honest answer to that question; is that gift (sexuality) designed by God only available to procreative heterosexuals?

Can I just mention the erotic inferences in the 'Song of Songs' Biblical.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron.

"I think that Glen's reference to homosexuality beeing a state of SIN might be a position no longer tenable in the light of modern understanding of human sexual difference."

In the way that you are claiming, there is no "modern understanding" of sexual difference. Modernity is a political ideology, and modernist psychology, social sciences, and science itself, are mere extensions of this political ideology. They have no objective reality beyond politics and culture, and thus the politico-cultural ideology of modernity. No human being can step outside of time and space, and be objectively neutral. People working in the social sciences, in psychology, or any other field, are bound and limited by the culture and world view they inhabit. The only thing human beings can do is change their politico-cultural world view.

Thus, the idea that there is some modern discovery about human sexuality that is purely rational and objective, and free from politics, is completely false.

Postmodernist thinkers get some things wrong, but on this, that there can never be a rational, objective, and value neutral point of view, they are right.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron & Peter.

I really do not want to get into kicking the can down the road again;but feel that it is necessary to respond to Ron's statement that he thinks my reference to homosexuality being sin,might be a position no longer tenable in the light of modern understanding of human sexual difference.I got my theology degree where you got your law qualification,Peter;and I have always understood that it is GOD'S prerogative alone to define SIN. St.Paul felt inspired by God to write Romans chapter 1,which quite clearly states that such use of our sexuality is against God's Will.I believe that allowing modern culture to redefine sin is not a tenable position in Christian Theology.

I also see a snake in the grass,in your submission Peter.The blessing of s/s relationship could circumvent the Canons; where a s/s couple go through a civil marriage and then that relationship is BLESSED by the CHURCH.Is this not a defacto recognizion of that marriage by the Church? Would this also remove any impediments to Discernment? The person is living in a marriage which has been BLESSED by the CHURCH.Is that a marriage in the eyes of GOD??? " FORGIVE THEM FATHER FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO".


Peter Carrell said...

Thanks for great comments and questions.
Am tied up and unable to respond for a bit but will seek to do so by the weekend's end.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

A careful reading of your last blog on this thread displays the emotive and subjective arguments which have caused this issue to still be on the shelves about five years after it's "best used by date".If the ABC wishes to take the Church of England down the same road as TEC;so be it.There are some fine orthodox Bishops over there who have spoken out on this issue and ABC appears to dismiss them out of hand.Bishop Keith of Birkenhead went so far as to write a dissenting report to the Pilling Report.But what traction has it had????? I do not see it being quoted in your blogs or mentioned on this site.

So who the ABC and the Arch-Bishops install as Bishops is their own business and does not affect what happens here in ACANZP. If they wish to destroy the Church of England;that is a matter for which they are accountable to God for.Two weeks ago,I sat in Westminster and shed a tear for how the ABC's lack of Episcopal leadership has allowed this issue to rip this wonderful Church apart.In another life,I worked with stone;and I sat transfixed with wonderment as to the discipline of how they could build such an abbey,and the awe in which they must have held GOD.Now all of this is threatened by the ABC's subjective lament on the intolerable harm done to intrinsically gay people by the Church in past time.The ABC would have more integrity if he addressed the GREATER HARM done by Priests who abused children in their care.This issue ,not only has Scriptural authority but is a criminal matter in the eyes of the law.But NO,the liberals are besotted with the "HARM" done by telling homosexuals that the Scriptures say that their actions are SIN!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Peter, for your pointing to my submission. I now have updated my post to, similarly, point to yours.

You and I disagree. I hold that there is no “lack of permission for priest and bishops to be able to bless same-sex relationships.”

It regularly fascinates me how often criticisms are actually mirroring an issue of the critic. It is actually Glen Young who has thrown a red herring into the net with his argument based on his interpretation of πορνείας in Matt 5:32. My point, in fact, was based on our church’s current doctrine of marriage – the church has in no way “actually corrected a discrimination against the innocent victims of wayward husbands/wives.” Glen’s retort that this “surely means that the innocent party has the right to remarry” so clearly echoes the disciples’ original response to Jesus’ teaching: “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry” (Matthew 19:10).

The point is clear: Glen can bring his interpretation of Jesus’ approach to marriage (in Matthew) to our church’s discussion to change our doctrine that marriage is life-long, but currently, whether Glen agrees with this teaching or not, that is incontrovertibly our doctrine: marriage is lifelong.



BrianR said...

I struggle to understand the point Bosco is making. Is he saying that divorce is ontologically impossible for Anglicans, as Catholics say it is? That is, while one can go through the legal motions, before God a legally entered marriage is irrefrangible until death?
Is this what he is saying? If so, this is theological and historical nonsense.
Of course it is Christian doctrine that marriage is lifelong. That has always been the teaching of the Bible. There has never been the suggestion that it is a fixed term contract that needs to be renewed.
But it is also clear that fallen human beings can sin against marriage and renounce it. Divorce itself is not a sin. It is simply the legal recognition that a grievous sin has taken place: that a marriage has been abandoned in spirit and practice.
By way of comparison, consider this. Can baptism be renounced? Of course it can. Is it a sin to renounce one's baptism (assuming you entered into it responsibly and understanding its meaning)? Yes. Is such a person still engrafted to the body of Christ and an heir to eternal life? Well now ....
Anyone familiar with Jewish tropes in the first century knows that Jesus used hyperbole to get his point across: when he spoke of cutting off your hand or gouging out your eye, he didn't mean 'Maim yourself' but 'Fight fiercely against temptation to sin'.
By the same token, Jesus' words against divorce didn't mean 'Divorce is ontologically impossible for my followers' but rather, 'Don't do it! Abandoning your spouse for another is a grave sin.'
But given that such sins happen, what next? Is remarriage precluded when reconciliation fails to happen (or isn't attempted)? When you understand the tropes Jesus was using (hyperbolic condemnation), I don't think you can draw that conclusion. And neither has the Orthodox Church ever done so. Western Catholicism took as different interpretational route, and Catholic-influenced Anglicans were inclined to follow suit. A closer look at the first-century context (such as David Instone-Brewer has provided, looking at all the Rabbinical and other contemporary sources) leads to a better understanding of what Jesus was really saying.
As for venue and officiant: whether marriage takes place inside a church or is solemnised by a clergyman is irrelevant. For Christian theology, marriage is marriage.

Glen Young said...

Hi Bosco,

I have no issue with the Church's doctrine that marriage is life-long, which is the teaching of Christ.But it is also incontrovertibly our doctrine that marriage is between one MAN and one WOMAN. So if one wishes to argue the first part of the equation,then surely one must accept the second part.How then can a priest bless same-sex relationships; and exactly what does that blessing entail and what is the value of it? Could a priest also bless defacto relationships?

My reference to Matt.5/31&32,was to make the point that the only grounds for putting away one's wife (now also husband) is adultery.If the divorce is for any other cause,it leaves the other party and any future partner committing adultery.I would argue then,that if one marriage partner leaves a marriage to commit adultery,then the other party has the right to remarry.


Father Ron said...

".Now all of this is threatened by the ABC's subjective lament on the intolerable harm done to intrinsically gay people by the Church in past time.The ABC would have more integrity if he addressed the GREATER HARM done by Priests who abused children in their care.This issue ,not only has Scriptural authority but is a criminal matter in the eyes of the law"

- Glen Young -

Here you go, Glen - Like most Anti-Gay people, automatically equating intrinsic homosexuality with the SIN of Child Abuse. This is a quite common but thankfully now discredited theory of conservative heterosexual people who resolutely refuse to try to understand the reality - that most Child Abuse is hetrosexual!

I can tell you that most gay people are not interested in pre-pubescent or pubescent child targeting. Paedophilia is a well-recognised and distinctive mental illness suffered by a distinct minority of both gay and straight impaired human beings. It is a crime, in both civil and religious terms.

Homosexuality is no longer a Crime - either in Civil or Religious Terms - excepting in the minds of those heterosexual people who believe that sexual activity has been given by God solely for the purpose of procreation. Now, you need to consider how many heterosexual people no longer believe that - even those who may be religious and anti-gay. Contraception for Anglicans is perfectly OK for heterosexuals - except for the excessively religious.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron and Glen
No more comments mentioning paedophilia etc will be published in this thread.

Glen: it has been an unhelpful red herring to have mentioned it.
Ron: you misunderstand what Glen said. He did not make the equation you have inferred and then rebutted. Glen was talking about Issue X rather than Issue Y being more important.

Do not even try to respond to this comment. Back to the point at hand please, my submission and what you think of it (and thank you both for what you have said about it).

Glen Young said...

Ron,PLEASE READ WHAT I WROTE.In the last paragraph of that blog;I made 3 points:Firstly,this issue is ripping the Church asunder;secondly,the ABC would, in my opinion, have more integrity if he with the historic sexual abuse allegations leveled at certain clergy;and thirdly,this issue has become an all consuming topic.

I find the personal attack on me objectionable.Your post accuses me of being anti-gay, but, actually I don't give a penny's worth of liquorice all-sorts about anybodies personal & private lives;but I do care about people with agendas, using their positions to mislead me.I did not define sin and I did not write Romans.My best advise to anybody that has a problem with homosexuality being referred to as sin;needs to get hold of God,Moses and St.Paul,but please don't bang on to me.

I am equally concerned about all forms liberal doctrine, which the modernists are trying to promote in the Church.I see human sexuality as being a natural part of married life and am not interested in debating about contraception and the likes.

Anonymous said...

I struggle to understand why Brian Kelly finds the point I have been making for some months difficult: our church, for fifty years, has been marrying divorcees, abandoning, in practice, our church’s doctrine that marriage is lifelong. Anglicanism, previously, was one of the strictest enforcers of this understanding. My proposal is that we be honest about the change.

Brian’s bringing in of baptism shows the nonsense of his logic – that would have us baptise someone more than once.

Allowing marriage of divorcees can be done by the in-this-case-Jesus-didn’t-literally-mean-what-he-said interpretation (Brian’s hyperbole approach) or the we-cannot-continue-to-follow-the-Bible’s-teaching-in-this-case interpretation. There is merit in both approaches, but I also want to allow space for those who continue to hold that marriage is for life.

Glen simply shows the ridiculousness of debating, on someone else’s website, a position that he clearly hasn’t even read. My proposal is that both what he calls the first part and the second part may be held but no longer be required to be held.

My proposal allows for Glen’s belief, Brian’s belief, Peter’s belief, and Fr Ron’s belief.



Anonymous said...

That Scripture, including the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels, allows for divorce in some cases is clear. That Jesus also held marriage fidelity in high regard is also clear.

If the Anglican church is failing in that area by effectively allowing divorce for any reason, that is certainly something that needs to be addressed.

If the Church allows for SSM/SSB then that is also a failure.

The answer to these failures is to stop failing, renew our commitment to the authority of Scripture and the importance marriage, and most importantly, stop bending to the will of a degenerate, Godless modernity.

BrianR said...

OK, I thought my question was clear but I will spell it out in a straightforward question to Bosco and ask for a straightforward answer.
Does the teaching that 'Marriage is lifelong' mean:
- it is IMPOSSIBLE to break a marriage while one party is still alive? (the traditional Roman Catholic 'impossibilist' view); or
- marriage is INTENDED to be lifelong and the mere passage of time does not end it; however, it is possible to terminate it in response to a serious sin that gravely harms the 'goods' of marriage? (the Orthodox view and the position recognised by the Church of England in the 1820s when a royal divorce was being arranged by Parliament)
I have n ever understood that Anglicanism at large took the Roman Catholic 'impossibliist' position. Is Bosco claiming that it does?

BrianR said...

"Brian’s bringing in of baptism shows the nonsense of his logic – that would have us baptise someone more than once."

- No, you may not have grasped I was actually offering a 'reductio ad absurdum' to argue that a baptism sinfully renounced is equal to 'no baptism'. Similarly a marriage sinfully renounced is no longer. There is no question of rebaptising a penitent (though some have done this). 'There is one baptism.'

"Allowing marriage of divorcees can be done by the in-this-case-Jesus-didn’t-literally-mean-what-he-said interpretation (Brian’s hyperbole approach)"
- Actually, *everything in the Church's life depends on discerning accurately what our Lord was teaching. We have to use our God-given intelligence and our effort-acquired literary sensitivity here. Jesus' followers knew he wasn't telling them literally to cut off their hands and gouge out their eyes. When he condemned divorce-for-the-purpose-of-marrying-another-woman, they understood the context as well. David Instone-Brewer brings this point out well; when in our culture we say 'don't drink and drive' we mean 'don't drink alcohol and drive a motor vehicle' (not 'don't sip water, then tee off'!). Context and cultural tropes are everything. Neglect these and you will misread.
"or the we-cannot-continue-to-follow-the-Bible’s-teaching-in-this-case interpretation."
- No, that is one thing we cannot do. The teaching of Christ and his Apostles remain permanently valid in the New Creation he has instituted through his cross and resurrection. If the Church has misunderstood or disobeyed, then it needs to repent and amend its thinking.
"There is merit in both approaches, but I also want to allow space for those who continue to hold that marriage is for life."
- Marriage IS for life. But even solemn promises are sinfully renounced. Paul understood this when he stated that in the case of an unbeliever abandoning his believing wife, the forsaken party was 'free'. From early on Orthodoxy and from the 16th century the Reformers (taking thieir cue from Erasmus) understood that the 'victim' of adultery was free to remarry.

Anonymous said...

That is my position, Peter, although i suspect that my church (the Anglican Church of Canada) is about to leave me behind on the subject by amending its marriage canon.


Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

It is my opinion,that you submission is well intended but muddled and confusing.In Introduction (3),the later three of the four sub-points which you make, contradict the first.If G/S permits the blessing of s/s relationships;how can any really orthodox licence holder accent to G/S, which they believe has stepped so far from the Doctrine, as defined in the Constitution,which G/S is required to hold? If priests and bishops are permitted to bless s/s relationships;is that not a change to our Doctrine of Marriage?If a s/s couple who have had a civil marriage seeks a blessing on their relationship,does that not ipso facto infer/confer a Godly recognition of their marriage and turn it into Holy Matrimony? And let's be rational about non-discrimination between those holding either of the so called permitted views.What realistic chance has an orthodox person have of becoming a bishop in a diocesan with a liberal majority irregardless of their qualities and qualification?The TEC hierarchy have made it known that they wish for future bishops to be chosen from the ranks of woman and blacks.

What is at stake? "..... for example,we may bless pets and warships."Pets maybe,but warships,no.refer to the Sermon on the Mount.Would you be in favour of blessing an atomic bomb before it was dropped on the enemy? Luther would say that the only value and relevance that the "common mind" of the Church has is when it is following the Scriptures (the Doctrine of the ACANZP's Constitution).

A way forward: It is self evident that we are not of a common mind. Prehaps the Pure Word of God might be proclaimed in the hope that we may become so.In your second point,if we are going to use the "ROYAL WE',can I add that 'WE ARE NOT AMUSED".

This whole issue is being pursued in violation of so many Canons and so much of the Constitution that it could well finish up with years of legal challenges.I would argue that there is no inadequacies in either the Constitution or the Church of England Empowering Act 1928.This issue is about the liberals attempting to take the Church in a direction which the framers of the Constitution would not wish ( see Bishop Selwyn's address to the first G/S in 1859.


Father Ron said...

In deference here to Bosco's thinking - as I see it - on this whole matter:

1. The intention in Christian Marriage is a commitment for life.

2. Sometimes, for reasons never envisaged at the time of the Marriage, the continuation of the Marriage bond become unendurable for either or both partners. Does God want a poor marriage to wreck a family's life?

3. Question; should such a marriage be indissoluble? Answer; obviously not. Even the R.C. Church allows for annulment.

4. Question; should a person, repenting of the failure of their first Marriage be allowed to marry again? Answer. Have they not been forgiven? and in the light of that forgiveness, would God deny the penitent another chance to make a good and fruitful relationship, based on lessons learnt?

5. That 'sin' is involved is not disputed. That 'sin', on repentance, can be forgiven, is at the heart of Church Pastoral Ministry.

6. Regarding SSB/SSM; Would God refuse to bless a loving, faithful committed partnership that does not contravene law of the land, giving an example of faithful partnership to society at large - contrary to the human tendency to sexual promiscuity ?

Peter Carrell said...

I am working on some responses to some issues raised above but I am going to append them to the main post, hopefully sometime tonight (Saturday).

Anonymous said...

"Would God refuse to bless a loving, faithful committed partnership that does not contravene law of the land, giving an example of faithful partnership to society at large - contrary to the human tendency to sexual promiscuity ?"

Yes, He would and does. God Himself is the One who says, one man and one women. He does this in Genesis, and again when Jesus repeats this Divine definition of marriage in the Gospels. God has nowhere said that homosexual relationships, in any form, are right or can be blessed. The only time God does refers to homosexuality, it is to clearly and unequivocally denounce it. God Himself calls it an abomination. "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." Leviticus 20:13

Nor is a homosexual relationship, even a "faithful" one, contrary to the human tendency to promiscuity. In fact, it is closely related to it. Why are some people promiscuous? Because they identify with their sexual feelings, their baser instincts, to such a degree that they believe and feel strongly, that unless they are promiscuous, they cannot find their identity or be fulfilled. They have confused their identity with sex. They have confused fulfilment with sex and feelings. This is a profound error, and one of the great lies of modernity.

And to be fair, it is an error that "heterosexuals" make as well, especially in these times. Spend a few hours watching TV, advertising, or movies, and you can see this error repeatedly affirmed. It is likely the major cause of most divorces today, even in the Church.

But neither our identity nor our fulfilment has anything to do with sex and feelings. Our identity is in and from God alone. Our fulfilment in the higher life of the Spirit. This is why I reject the argument that celibacy for homosexuals is a burden that is unfair. That again is modernity speaking, not God.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Please discuss issues not those who comment here.

Father Ron said...

Dear Peter, I found this lovely reflection this morning on a Jesuit - 3 minute retreat - website. I think it pertains to our common need of love in creation:

"God created us to show his divine glory, goodness, and beauty. We have discovered that it is through the created world that we are drawn back to God our Father who has made us, loves us, and wants us to be happy. We can best show our appreciation for God our Father and Creator by loving one another. We are at our best when we give thanks and praise to God!"

My prayer this morning is:

"O God, for as much as without you, we are unable to please you; mercifully grant that in all things, your Holy Spirit rule and direct our hearts and minds, so that we might do only what is pleasing to you and glorifying of your Name; through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN"

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

I still hold that to implement a two-fold Church, where one faction is upholding a Scriptural stance,that such lifestyles are sin and the other is saying,"come along and have your lifestyle BLESSED by GOD";is a absolute nonsense which destroys the integrity of the Church.For all Her best intentions,She would appear to the world as a Church of total "double mindedness" ;where SIN is SIN and NOT SIN!!!!Where GOD'S Revelation is claimed as the foundation of Her BEING,given to Her to PROTECT IN IT'S PURITY and PROCLAIM,but need not be taken seriously;depending on which ACANZP Church you attend.The only UNITY in such a Province would be,"in all being together in the greatest schizoid laughing-stock in the country.

James' statement,1/8: "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways",is relevant because this issue will not be solved by the allowing of s/s relationships.The blessing of s/s relationships is only a Trojan Horse to allow a host of 'MODERNITY" though the Church doors. The Report of the Commission on Doctrine and Theological Questions-March 2014,chaired by +Jim White;makes it succinctly clear that there is a great desire to re-write the Theology of the Church,away from that received from "the singular oppressive experience of patriarchal,white,heterosexual men".

I see the blessing of s/s relationships as just the first step down this dreadful path,no matter how well intended. Hi TEC,here we come!!!


Anonymous said...

“A word that rose to honor at the time of the Renaissance, and that summarized in advance the whole program of modern civilization is 'humanism'. Men were indeed concerned to reduce everything to purely human proportions, to eliminate every principle of a higher order, and, one might say, symbolically to turn away from the heavens under pretext of conquering the earth; the Greeks, whose example they claimed to follow, had never gone as far in this direction, even at the time of their greatest intellectual decadence, and with them utilitarian considerations had at least never claimed the first place, as they were very soon to do with the moderns. Humanism was form of what has subsequently become contemporary secularism; and, owing to its desire to reduce everything to the measure of man as an end in himself, modern civilization has sunk stage by stage until it has reached the level of the lowest elements in man and aims at little more than satisfying the needs inherent in the material side of his nature, an aim that is in any case quite illusory since it constantly creates more artificial needs than it can satisfy.”

― René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World

Father Ron said...

Enough of quotes from secular politicians! I prefer the words of a robust and relalistic Christian theologian, e.g; Henri Nouwen, who knew a lot about God's relationship with fallen humanity - based on love rather than judgement.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ron. I'm assuming your comment about secular politicians was in response to my previous post? René Guénon was neither secular nor a politician. He was a spiritual philosopher of the Traditionalist school, and a convert to the Sufi form of Islam.

While I am Christo-centric in my understanding of salvation, I am open to finding wisdom and light wherever it may be found, including in other religious traditions. Two of Guénon's books, 'The Crisis of the Modern World' and 'The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times' are worth reading.

In the classical, pre-modern understanding of the word, I am more liberal than you may think!

Anonymous said...

Peter, following your submission, discussions, and update:

Do you think the current formal doctrine of our church has:

1) Sex outside of marriage is contrary to God’s will
2) Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

If that is the case, we already have license holders of this church, all the way to bishops, who cannot assent to our doctrine (a situation you seek to avoid at Introduction 3b).

If that is the case, we cannot bless (non-celibate) committed same-sex couples (a situation you seek to avoid at Introduction 3c).

As you have repeatedly made clear, it is this issue in particular that for many is their point of schism. They will bend over backwards to justify breaking other formal teachings of our church but will not allow such casuistry in this one particular case.

Your solution (A way forward?) is predicated on inherently self-contradictory presuppositions (Introduction).

I am sorry, Peter, the only honest, open way to allow for your solution is by altering our doctrine (my submission).



Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco
(1) That is being debated (i.e. we are debating whether our current doctrine covers the case of a same sex partnership akin to marriage)
(2) Yes
If I am wrong, your submission may find favour. But if it is to find favour it will need to find favour with those you accuse of bending over backwards etc. Is your submission finding favour with them?

Ian Ellwood said...

I do wonder why we are still debating the SSB/SSM issue after all this time. We are in danger of reiterating opposing viewpoints ad infinitum. GS clearly stated its intentions in Motion 30 to develop new liturgies, change formularies and to overcome any legal or jurisdictional restrictions to doing so. Unless the motion has been rescinded, GS is duty-bound to implement its agreed course of action.
Whether the intention to have "good disagreement"within a "Broad Church" as ACANZ often terms itself, is realistic, only time will tell. Am I correct in assuming that the 2016 GS started to have second thoughts on Motion 30?

Anonymous said...

"Is your submission finding favour with them?"

No. This part, "I propose that our doctrine of marriage be changed to being between a couple, with the intent that it be lifelong and monogamous." would involve a radical departure from the teaching of Scripture. God did not create couples, He created men and women.

The churches current laxity on divorce does not justify changing the doctrine of marriage. Scripture does allow for divorce in some cases. Jesus Himself usees the example of infildelity as one possible legitimate reason. Of course, the church, bending once again to modernity, has gone much further than that, and this needs to be adressed. But two wrongs never make a right. Failure in one area does not justify failure in another, let alone accepting the extremely radical notion of same sex marriage.

There is no way forward that involves SSM or SSB, no matter how we try to solve the problem by trying to allow for diversity in practice. Both will lead, sooner or later, to a split in the NZ Anglican church. Changing our God given definition of marriage to couples instead of men and women, does not solve this.

Anonymous said...

Further to my last post, the whole point of SSB and the "diversity in practice" approach is that if the doctrine of marriage is changed, conservatives will walk. I don't think the SSB/Diversity approach will actually prevent that in the long run, though it may in the short term. Regardless, whatever it's flaws and contradictions, it is an attempt to keep the church together, and I commend Peter for trying to prevent the church splitting. But an actual change in the doctrine of marriage, including from one man and one women to "couples", will absolutely create a spilt in the church, and as soon as such a change is announced. Conservatives will not accept it, under any circumstances. They will walk away. That I can guarantee.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

---re your INTRODUCTION ------

(1) If you are saying that we wish to stay together on the basis that we accept that many of our differences need to be repented of and worked through in the process of "LETTING THE OLD MAN DIE" and "PUTTING ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST",yes, we should stay together.If you mean,staying together with the liberals saying that desires and behaviour which are inconsistent with the DOCTRINE of the ACANZP,as defined in the FUNDAMENTAL clauses of our CONSTITUTION 1857,are not sin,then NO.TRUTH and DISCIPLESHIP come before UNITY.

(2)YES!!!A great number of the laity who accept the AUTHORITY of SCRIPTURE will leave the Church if these issues are pressed by G/S.They understand in their quiet way, what the mission of the Church is and will find a Church which they feel has not sold out to MODERNITY;or they will stay and resist the UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS.

(3a) AMEN!!!!
(3b) This issue is on the table because of the dismal lack of EPISCOPAL
leadership of the Church, for a number of years.Our written
correspondence with our Bishop and the, then Primate supports this
(3c) The leadership of the ACANZP should have been honest about this from
the start.The Constitution of 1857 and the Church of England Empowering
Act 1928 simply can not accommodate such actions.(see 4)
(3d) Wishful thinking. TEC hierarchy has stated that they want any future
Bishops to be chosen from woman or black candidates.Sorry WHITE,

(4) I have investigated this matter with a number of Barristers and by the
time you have made the necessary changes to the Constitution 1857 and
Church of England Empowering Act 1928,(even if they possible and it
appears that there is No way that they are)you would not have a Church
bearing any resemblance to the ACANZP. It is doubtful whether it could
even be considered part of the ONE,HOLY,CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
The repercussions of such a move would be horrendous and tie the
Church up in litigation for years.


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ian
GS re its resolutions is only duty bound to follow its majority. If the majority in 2016 demurred on a point or two of Motion 30, then that is the latest commitment of GS!
In particular, at the level of principle, GS 2014 and 2016 are united by the principle of holding the church together (if at all possible) while pursuing two approaches to SSB. How that is precisely worked out in 2018 is somewhat open and may or may not involve changes to formularies, to doctrine or to structures. (On structures, for instance, 2014 opened the question of major structural change whereas the proposal that went to 2016 was for minimal structural change, but in the end the matter was placed before the whole church for continuing consideration).

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter

In my opinion,Brian Kelly is totally correct.It is equally arguable that both your submissions breach the the CONSTITUTION 1857,THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND EMPOWERING ACT 1928,the CANONS and THE THIRTY NINE ARTICLES.I argue that the implementation of such suggestions would open the ACANZP up to CIVIL LITIGATION,(IF NOT CRIMINAL ACTIONS AS WELL).If there is an attempt to change the Doctrine;by law,the property and assets stay with the Doctrine under which they were accumulated.The Free Church of Scotland ruling by Law Lords included the Church's pension scheme in this as well,which stayed with the "faithful remanet.

G/S is actually DUTY BOUND TO ADHERE TO THE CONSTITUTION 1857.The only relevance of THE MAJORITY,is IF THE MAJORITY ACTION IS VALIDATED BY THE CONSTITUTION and in this case it is not. BY THE VERY LEAST,THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS SHOULD HAVE PERFORMED THEIR EPISCOPAL FUNCTION AND LEADERSHIP AND VOTED THE MOTION DOWN.An old retired Vicar speaks of an incident here in the Auckland D/S,a number of years ago; when someone tabled a VERY QUESTIONABLE motion.The,then Bishop,stood up and said: "The HOUSE OF BISHOPS WILL VOTE AGAINST THIS MOTION AS IT VIOLATES THE SCRIPTURES AND THE CONSTITUTION".The mover of the motion got the message and asked for the motion to be withdrawn.NOW,THAT'S BISHOPS PERFORMING THEIR DUTY!!!!!

"This branch of the United Church of England.......(now the ACANZP),doth hold and maintain the Doctrine and Sacraments of CHRIST as the LORD hath commanded in His Holy Word,and as the (ACANZP) hath received and explained the same in the BCP,in the form and manner of making and ordaining Bishops and Priests,and in the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion.And the General Synod hereinafter constituted for the government of this branch of the Church shall also hold and maintain the said Doctrine and Sacraments of CHRIST,and shall no power to make any alteration in the authorised version of the Holy Scriptures,or in the above-named Formularies of the Church(1857)".

I refer you to the 18th Homily of the 35th Article which explains the ORIGIN and NATURE of MARRIAGE. Bear in mind that this Homily is part of the mentioned FORMULARIES which can not be changed.I also refer you to Part "C" (14) of the Constitution 1857):"No doctrines which are repugnant to the Doctrines and Sacraments Of CHRIST as held and maintained by this Church shall be advocated or inculcated by any person acknowledging the authority of G.S. or with the use of any funds or property held under the authority of G.S. Therefore,I would question the legitimacy of both Ma Whea and this Working Party.


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
Like Bosco (logic) you may be right (constitutional law).
(Though if I understand you correctly, you and Bosco cannot be right simultaneously)

It is always my position that I may be wrong :)

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

With due respect to both of you, see Bosco's submission as being more flawed than yours.


Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron
I am prepared to publish a redacted version of your last comment only. Take care with language, please: conservative Anglicans hold to a position shared by the vast majority of Christians around the world, and that should be accorded a respect for the family of God which is lacking in some words you use.

Redacted: ""Further to my last post, the whole point of SSB and the "diversity in practice" approach is that if the doctrine of marriage is changed, conservatives will walk. " - Shaun Herles -

[If conservatives go they will have a liberal blessing].

Even the dear old Church of England (our spiritual Mother) is about to move into 21st-century understandings of human sexual difference. She is learning to live into the real world of TODAY, not dwelling in the past.

Peter Carrell said...

From Bowman Walton (who could not get past CAPTCHA!)

Peter, I would have responded sooner, but I have been abroad with the Church of Cockaigne attending its first solemn eucharist in commemoration of the late and Rt Rev'd Fairweather Vane, Bishop of Bray (1998-2008). Those well-travelled in the Communion will remember Bishop Vane as the eminent ethicist who so ably defended each of his General Synod's successive yet contradictory pronouncements on human sexuality.

Detractors have scoffed at his willingness to defend even the directly opposing views of successive synods. He tenaciously defended Lambeth I.10 with the synod majority of 1997-99, but was the foremost apologist for his synod's normalisation of homosexuality in 2000. Again, he opposed the ordination of homosexuals in 2002, along with the majority of his fellow bishops. However, when the synod removed the canonical obstacles to such ordinations in 2004, he was the first bishop to nominate an openly gay man to be his suffagan. Toward the end of his episcopate, his great cause was the defense of traditional marriage, although most agree that he would have ably defended same sex marriage instead if he had lived to see his synod reverse itself. To his devotees in Cockaigne, Bishop Vane's flexibility in following his beloved see-sawing synod was the very height of sanctity.

In adding his feast day to the Calendar, the Church of Cockaigne's General Synod noted his innovative teaching on the divine right of synods to invent new truths and the obligation of the faithful to believe them. "Few recall it today, but not very long ago most Anglicans thought that *only if things were otherwise known to be true, could synods properly say them*. Indeed, a vocal minority actually believed that the Bible was a more reliable guide to the faith than synod majorities, and some actually meditated on its text day and night in search of understanding. Only through Bishop Vane's steadfast devotion to parliamentary process have we since come to see that *if synods say things, then they must be true*. It is hard to overestimate the magnitude of his contribution to the peace of the Church of Cockaigne."

Bowman Walton

Glen Young said...

Thanks Bowman for correcting a misunderstanding I have had for a number of years;that being that his name was "Fairweather Vane and not Vain.Was he not the chap who advocated getting theological qualifications from "Bible Free" Seminaries?

Anonymous said...

Hello Ron.

'Current year' arguments ("It's the 21'st century") are not valid to me. Apart from my own personal opposition towards modernity, they just don't seem like a good way to make doctrine. So what year or century it is is just not relevant to me. If we make doctine on the basis of what current secular culture thinks at a given time, we would be changing our doctrines every ten years or so, at least.

There was a time, around the 1960's to and 70's, when current secular thinking at the academic level was that "God is dead" and at least three Christian theologians I know of decided that, as it was current thinking, the Church should adopt it and run with it. One of those, a NZ theologian, still does.

To take another example, I understand you hold the Eucharist in very high regard, which is a good thing. But the current Western secular world thinks that the idea that bread and wine can become the body and blood of God absurd, unscientific, and pre-modern superstition. That of course is not what you or I believe, it what the secular world believes.

Would you be prepared to drop your understanding of the Real Presnce because it's the 21'st century?

And if not, then you and I are in agreement. What year or century it is does not determine what we believe.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make clear that I am not advocating splitting the NZ church. It is not what I want, and I agree with Peter that we should continue to strive mightly to prevent that hapenning, and both sides continue talking to each other, and praying for reconciliation and a way forward together. I am simply pointing out that if Bosco's proposal were adopted, then a split would be the immediate result. The line that traditionalists and most evangelicals are not prepared to cross is a change to the doctrine of marriage that incorporates SSM. Bosco's proposal may allow for traditionalists and evangelicals to continue in the church without fear of being forced to adopt SSM, but mere protection in that area is not what they primarily want. It is not their bottom line. Their bottom line is no change in the doctrine of marriage.

Again, whatever it's potential flaws, Peter's proposal is a commendable attempt to keep the church togather. Bosco's would split the church faster than you can "it's the 21'st century."

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Shawn re your support.
Bosco's suggestion would require me to sign to a belief that I do not believe, that any couple's marriage is valid in God's sight. I would have to leave the church if his suggestion became law.
My suggestion (which I accept is not acceptable to all readers) would require me to sign to something I do believe, that I live in a church with differing beliefs about the validity of marriage and asks me to accept that an expression of these differing beliefs in practice is that colleagues would have explicit canonical permission to perform SSBs.

Father Ron said...

"Would you be prepared to drop your understanding of the Real Presence because it's the 21'st century? And if not, then you and I are in agreement. What year or century it is does not determine what we believe. - Sean Herles -

The short answer to your question here, Sean is NO.

However, I hold to this truth only because it came from THE WORD, Himself

Your opposition to Equal Marriage, however, did not specifically come from Jesus. He took the trouble, only, to defend faithful heterosexual Marriage. He did not say one word about other forms of Marriage.

'The Word-made-flesh' is the source of my Faith.

Anonymous said...

Yes Peter, I agree. Your proposal is not my ideal outcome, that would be no change at all, no SSM or SSB, and a far less cavalier approach to divorce and re-marriage, but were it adopted I could live with it. That of course is just me, I can't speak for other evangelicals or traditionalists on that.

Splits in the church are never an ideal or good outcome, though they are sometimes a sad necessity, as the Reformation showed. But they should always be a last resort.

Anonymous said...


1) I object as strongly as possible to your publication of statements on your blog which put my name to things I have never said and would never say. It is your responsibility, in fact your legal requirement, to moderate comments on this site of which you are the owner. If, on your site, you publish false statements put into the mouth of others that is slander.

The discouragement of disagreement and lack of civil debate on this site because of the tendency to ad hominems is one thing. Slander is quite another.

Example: “Bosco then goes on to say that current (and long-time) Anglican practice of remarrying divorcees is 'hypocrisy' and this can only be redressed by accepting the novelty of 'same-sex marriage'.”

2) In response to your question: is my submission finding favour? The answer is clearly: there will be many who do not agree with what I propose. It is also clear, including from comments here, that some do not understand what I am proposing, and others are unwilling to engage in a positive way to even try to understand.

If the same question is applied to your own submission, the answer will be the same. Many will agree that there is no way forward that involves blessing committed same-sex couples, no matter how we attempt to solve the problem by trying to allow for diversity in practice.

3) Comments claim that it is merely my personal assertion that our Anglican doctrine holds that marriage is for life. And my assertion is said to be false. In fact, this summary of our doctrine of marriage is not my own but is to be found in General Synod’s unanimously-passed ‘Motion 30’ and also in the introduction to the WFWG report. In stating that marriage is for life, I am simply quoting our agreed doctrine.

4) I appreciate your interpretation that we are debating whether our current doctrine (that sex outside of marriage is contrary to God’s will) covers the case of a same sex partnership akin to marriage. I posit that many are saying that it does not and that no amount of further debating will significantly change that viewpoint. A clarifying alteration of the doctrine would be the only way to allow your own submission to proceed.

5) I repeat that varying interpretations of πορνείας may lead to altering our doctrine that marriage is lifelong, but currently we have not so altered our doctrine.

6) I am now setting myself an upper monthly limit in giving away $1 for every word I am writing on this debate. Although I initially appreciated your linking to my submission, I had not anticipated needing to respond at this level of engagement with my submission off my own site.



Anonymous said...

"However, I hold to this truth only because it came from THE WORD, Himself"

Yes Ron, but you know it is from the Word Himself because it is recorded in Scripture, which means Scripture operates as an authority for you as to what the Word said and did, as it does for all Christians. And the same Word also says that marriage is between one man and one women. When He said this, he was defining the boundaries of marriage for all and for all time, and that definition from the Word made flesh clearly excludes any other definition, including SSM.

Andrei said...

Your opposition to Equal Marriage, however, did not specifically come from Jesus. He took the trouble, only, to defend faithful heterosexual Marriage. He did not say one word about other forms of Marriage."

He didn't say one word about not playing Pokemon Go in Church either Fr Ron that does not mean he would approve

Do you know why there is nothing in the Bible about "equal marriage" Fr Ron?

Because until about the year 2000 the very idea was absurd as it still is across about 98% of the planet.

All you are doing pushing this inanity is dividing the Church and alienating people from it

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

I totally agree with you and Shawn that a split in the ACANZP is not in the least bit desirable and that we should do everything possible to prevent it. But,in all honesty,a Church which leaves Bishops and Priests to choose themselves, whether they hold and maintain the Doctrine of the Church,(which the Constitution and Canons require of them);or they perform blessings which are contrary to that Doctrine;is a double minded Church which is absolutely unstable.By what authority do they make that decision???By the Authority of G.S. which has no powers or authority to give them that choice!!!!

I did not ask to have to defend my FAITH from this onslaught.It is not my can and I did not start kicking it down the road;but I will do everything possible to keep it from taking out my off stump.The simple solution would be for the Primate and Bishops to acknowledge that the Church has erred, lead the charge to repentance and seek forgiveness;letting us all put equal time and energy into discerning the best possible pastoral care for those who are facing sexual issues.The present phrasing of the dilemma is unhelpful because it leads towards either camps, expressing their thought in what seems as GRACELESS TRUTH on one hand and TRUTHLESS GRACE on the other.
Instead of seeking the input of the Working Group,how about going back to Christ in repentance and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


Anonymous said...


Can you please, then, point to (from the example I gave) where I say, as I am reported on your site to say, that current Anglican practice of remarrying divorcees "can only be redressed by accepting the novelty of 'same-sex marriage'." Following this statement falsely ascribed to me, on your site, I am compared, unfavourably, with a dull schoolchild.



Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco and Brian

Bosco and Brian: in response to the particular passage you have complained about, Bosco, I have deleted your comment, Brian, and republished it with the offending passage removed. On reflection, prompted by Bosco's complaint, the assertion which uses the term " 'hypocrisy' " (even with scare marks around the word hypocrisy) is too difficult to uphold since even if Bosco's argument deserves a robust response, a response expressed in that way is arguable in a court of law, and here, as to whether it deserves that loaded term.

Otherwise, Bosco:

(1) You have made a significant critique of our church's practice of canonically permitting divorce by arguing that it should not have done so constitutionally. The thrust of your post and especially one of your replies to a comment I made was that since our church had embarked on such a path, indeed any clergy supporting such a path logically had to support your proposal and not my own. So, while it is of course arguable that a slander has been committed by the commenter and perpetrated by me as publisher, I ask you to accept that your critique of our church and of clergy such as my own good self (and therefore of many other colleagues) has raised the dudgeon of those who read what you have written since we are somewhat amazed that our church could be so wrong and we could be so inconsistent in thought and practice. I do wonder whether I am effectively, on your logic, a hypocrite because, on your logic, though I think I am being consistent with Scripture, in fact I am favouring heterosexuals over homosexuals without general theological warrant and without consistency of love and affection for humanity.
(2) You are not answering the question. Do you have evidence that anyone of those who otherwise you criticise for bending over backwards etc favours your submission? I have evidence (e.g. here in this thread) of my proposal being favoured by those who do not favour yours. (We both have evidence of those who oppose both our submissions).
(3) There is some talking at cross-purposes and muddled over definitions and I am not going to try to unwind the muddle here
(4), (5), and (6) All noted. Incidentally, you will have observed that I am not personally accepting your financial challenge.

Peter Carrell said...

Redacted comment from Brian Kelly (originally posted 3.29 am 26 September):

Bosco Peters' proposal has three fatal flaws:
1. it is unbiblical;
2. it is historically mistaken and illogical;
3. it promotes schism.

1. He proposes that marriage should be redefined to mean 'between couples', i.e. to include same-sex as well as opposite-sex (although he neglects to state this explicitly). This is completely against the biblical, catholic and universal teaching on marriage. (He gives no reason, either, for discriminating against polygamists.)
2. []
3. Bosco proposes for NZ what has become the practice in Tec and is working its way into the Anglican Church of Canada. Both churches have been severely rent by schism over this. Jim Packer was allegedly "deposed" from the ministry by his erstwhile Bishop Michael Ingham over this. A whole new Anglican church has arisen in North America because of the sexual (and other doctrinal) revisionism of Tec, destroying dioceses and parishes by the hundred. Is that what Bosco wants for what remains of Anglicanism in New Zealand?

Father Ron said...

As a fully paid-up member and priest of ACANZP, I am prepared to go along with the legal proposals of Motion 30. Why? Because I believe the Church has erred in its historic treatment of homosexually-gifted people, needing to repent of its abusive treatent - echoing that of society at large until society, with the help of psychiatric and scientific research, decided that a grave injustice had been done to those whose homsoexual orientation was a natural phenomenon.

If the Church does split, as indeed looks likely from the majority of comments here, my conscience will compel me to remain with the core of Anglicans who stand by the Christian command to love. I have nothing further to say on this thread, except that Jesus did say: They will know you're my disciples by youir love".

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco and Brian
It may be helpful in the present conversation to cite some relevant passages from your recent post, Bosco, where you do use the word hypocrisy and appear not to dispute its application to the situation at hand: from, :

"Our formal church doctrine has that marriage is between a man and a woman, life-long, and monogamous. Within this context, those who hold that sex is only ethical in the context of marriage are not able to accept blessing committed same-sex couples.

Note, however, that the same logic means it is unacceptable to marry (or bless) a couple in which one or both partners are divorced. But approximately a third of marriages end in divorce, and marrying divorcees has been commonplace in our church’s practice for half a century. Clergy conduct marriage services of divorcees even though no change has been made to church doctrine that marriage is life-long. Many rightly see this as heterosexist hypocrisy."


"I propose that our doctrine of marriage be changed to being between a couple, with the intent that it be lifelong and monogamous. Such a change would enable the sort of diversity illustrated in my first paragraph. The change would remove the current hypocrisy around marrying divorcees, clarify practice in relation to committed same-sex relationships, and facilitate honesty and openness.

Within this, I propose we affirm the current position that any minister shall have full discretion to decline to conduct any marriage service or blessing, and that we also affirm and encourage vocations to religious life, singleness, and chastity."

The latter citation to me implies what Brian Kelly asserts, that the blessing of same sex partnerships solves the problem of hypocrisy around marrying divorcees.

Peter Carrell said...

Brian, I am slightly redacting your comment below because there is a needless needling remark in there, now removed:

"Bosco Peters errs in alleging ad hominems and slander.
Argumentum ad hominem is the logical error of attacking a person's character in place of his argument. At no time have I done this.
Slander is the false allegation of wrongdoing by another. Most emphatically I have not done this. I could ask for an apology but that would be pompous and I have a thick hide.
I made three assertions in response to Bosco's published proposals and I criticised his proposals, not his character.

1. I stated that Bosco's declaration in support of "same-sex marriage" was contrary to the teaching of Christ, his Apostles and the church catholic. This is a fact.

2. I stated that his claim that the teaching 'Marriage is for life' means that 'marriage is indissoluble except by death' is NOT Anglican doctrine (though it is Roman Catholic teaching), and if the actual practice of remarrying divorcees in church is "hypocrisy" (his word), the remedy is not to compound error but to reform our church life in a godly, biblical way. [] What the prophets said to Israel and Paul said to the Corinthians - change your ways to live according to the Word of God.

3. I stated that Bosco's support of 'same-sex marriage' would lead to further schism in NZ Anglicanism. That judgment is based on observing North American Anglicanism.

As an addendum, let me state that the simple statement 'Marriage is for life' necessarily calls out for explication in answering the questions we will naturally have. Does it means 'Marriage is indissoluble except by death', as Bosco appears to claim? (If he doesn't think this is what it means, it is incumbent on him to clear up any confusion.) Or does it mean 'Marriage is intended for life but sin can kill it'? Traditional scholastic Catholicism held that marriage created an 'ontological bond' between husband and wife as real as the biological bond between brother and sister: a bond that cannot be broken no matter the enmity that may arise in life. I think this analogy is mistaken. The goods of marriage are freely entered into, and it is better to think of marriage as a most precious possession that is mine until death - unless I sin against it.

Think of it this way.I have lifelong rights over my property and it will always be mine until death, provided (a) I look after it; (b) I don't give it away; (c) I don't forfeit it for wrongdoing. This is the meaning of the statement 'Marriage is for life': how we are meant to live under God (not an abstract assertion of "ontology").

Peter Carrell said...

Above I forgot to insert the link to the post which Bosco made on his site:

BrianR said...

Peter, you had no cause to censor (not ‘redact’ my comment) and you can read Bosco’s own words here where he charges the Church with “hypocrisy”:
“Clergy conduct marriage services of divorcees even though no change has been made to church doctrine that marriage is life-long. Many rightly see this as heterosexist hypocrisy. ….
I propose that our doctrine of marriage be changed to being between a couple, with the intent that it be lifelong and monogamous. Such a change would enable the sort of diversity illustrated in my first paragraph. The change would remove the current hypocrisy around marrying divorcees, clarify practice in relation to committed same-sex relationships, and facilitate honesty and openness.”
I repeat that remarriage of divorcees is not – in itself- “hypocrisy”; but if it is, then welcoming it doesn’t make it any better. Simple logic.

Peter Carrell said...

Brian and Bosco
OK, am not much inclined to continue the robust exchange between you about who said what or implied what. Unless there is, in my judgement, some new material to consider, I think this exchange is now at an end, on this particular thread.
You disagree with one another. You disagree with me!

Father Ron said...

Dear Peter, without further comment, may I recommend your readers' attention to the following link advertised on ADU:

Brendan McNeill said...

I was struck this morning by 1 Timothy 4:1 where Paul warns Timothy that “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

He then goes on to describe teachings that forbid behaviours God has approved. However, the same condemnation must surely apply to those who approve of behaviours God has forbidden.

It is not very polite perhaps and certainly not very Anglican to suggest that someone who advocates for behaviours God has expressly forbidden is ‘following deceiving spirits’ and ‘things taught by demons’. Never the less Paul goes on in this chapter to caution Timothy to ‘watch your life and doctrine closely’ and concluding, ‘if you do it will save both yourself and your hearers.’

Presumably the converse is also true.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brendan
It is entirely possible that I am following a deceiving spirit and teachings things taught by demons as I advocate for being a church which might incorporate SSB within its practice, if not within its teaching.

I want to suggest that it is also possible that I am working within the spirit of 1 Timothy, that is, working out in a specific context (time, place, culture, empire) what it means to be the church in respect of universal, eternal theology and local application to the human needs of the time.

Noting, as always with 1 Timothy, that Paul advocates a system for care of widows which no church now follows, though I am sure all churches seek the well being of those who are widowed within their congregations. On this basis advocacy for SSB (performed only by those whose conscience permits them to so perform) is an advocacy for a possible way forward for the care and kindness of the church towards those who find a domestic relationship is vital to health and well-being within the human community.

Brendan McNeill said...


You say in respect to Anglican SSB that it would be “performed only by those whose conscience permits them to so perform”.

I don’t doubt this is true, however in 1 Timothy 4:2 Paul goes on to state that those who have been deceived by demons “have their conscience seared with a hot iron”.

I take this to mean that their conscience is no longer a reliable guide in these matters, in fact it has become entirely unreliable.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of those who advocate sound doctrine, amongst whom I trust you are one, not to accommodate the sexual novelties of those whose conscience is seared, but with tears and entreaties warn and rebuke them so that they are not destroyed along with those who follow their teaching.

Glen Young said...

Peter, with all due respect,your response to Brendan is as muddled and confusing as your submission.How can the ACANZP incorporate s.s.b. in practice but not necessarily in it's reaching? How can it practice something that it does not or is not allowed to teach???? Hello ++Fairweather Vane. By the revised Constitution 2016, the Church is now known as the ACANZPC.

Glen Young said...

Peter. P/S to the last post:To destroy the image, in the minds of certain of your bloggers about white ,orthodox,heterosexual Anglican males;why don't we devote the evening to to looking at some Cockaigne Poetry.I would suggest starting with a bit of the Celtic version.

Stu said...

Hi Peter, thank you for all your hard work on this but I am concerned that Motion 30 is leading us down a path that God has not invited us to travel.
I appreciate your commitment to stay together as biblical and honourable but I am concerned your efforts will compromise too much for our church to be known any longer as a faithful church.
I think in these Islands, the clearest picture we have of what the outcome of your way forward and any attempt to implement motion 30, is the Methodist church of New Zealand. The last two decades since they have blessed same sex relationships has seen two groups emerge:
i) A very small, aging, shrinking community of worshippers ( Methodist)
ii) A few large vibrant churches limited to urban centres ( Wesleyan)
It has resulted in 1000’s leaving their church and the overall mission of this church has been radically diminished. It is surely possible to see Gods hand on this.
General Synod 2016 showed wisdom in laying this issue on the table. Why some of our elites feel hell bent on following the Methodist on this path, is beyond me.


Anonymous said...

We are faced with a choice, neither of which is overly palatable. On the one hand, the possibility of SSB's. On the other, the NZ church splitting. I really don't see any other options in the short term. Liberals will not give up their view. Traditionalists and evangelicals will not give up theirs.

So we either split, or find a way to carry on. At this point, I am not in favour of splitting over SSB's, only over a direct and official change to the doctrine of marriage itself. SSB's are not something I agree with at all, but I am prepared to live with some churches performing them in the way Peter proposes, if it means keeping the church together, because, here is the good news. In the long run it won't matter. Liberal Christianity is quite literally dying, at an impressive rate. The Liberal wing of the NZ church is not growing, it's shrinking, fast, and the evangelical wing is growing. Both traditionalists and liberals may not like it, but the future of Anglicanism in the West is the Holy Trinity Brompton model. That is the one part of the Anglican church that shows real signs of life and growth, including here in NZ.

If allowing some churches to perform SSB's means keeping the church together for now, then so be it, because all we have to do is wait for Liberalism to shrink to the point where it will no longer be an influence at any level. And that will be sooner than people may think.

Sometimes the path to victory is patience and temporary compromise. But to me, the victory is inevitable, and meanwhile we pray for revival, fast, evangelise, and grow our churches.

Why split, when ultimately, we don't have to?

Now, it may be that like North America and the example of ACNA, a split does become a necessity, if there is a direct and official change to the doctrine of marriage. But I don't believe it will come to that in NZ, and Liberalism does not have the degree of stranglehold on the NZ church that Liberalism has over TEC.

And time is on our side.

Peter Carrell said...

Golly, Glen, Stu and Shawn,
What is a muddled chap like myself to do with advisors such as you own good selves :)

Glen: no, I do not think I am muddled because I am clearly charting a way forward that might just find acceptance across the breadth of our church, with its "silent majority" and with many conservatives who are not actually vocalising the either/or of SSB or departure. But I might be wrong ...

Stu: it is always salutary to think of the Methodists, though I also know of a congregation that left and rejoined! But my own wager is that our church is stronger in its conservative ranks and if those ranks do not leave, we will not die. On the one hand I see and experience great enthusiasm among young leaders for the future life and vitality of our church, and on the other hand those same younger leaders (in a majority but not a unanimity) do not particularly care enough about the possibility of SSB to vote against it. Which leads me to Shawn ...

Shawn: obviously I support your supportive remarks (!!) but I would strengthen them a bit by observing that our church is losing some of its leading liberal voices. In the long run I think our church will be [better, more accurate, "could be"??] conservative rather than liberal. But I think that will be a church with the possibility of SSB (see again my comments about young leaders above).

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

For me SSB's must be a temporary measure only (and again, I would rather not have them at all) and only to stave off a change to the doctrine of marriage and give us time. A conservative church that had SSB's would not to me be conservative, but then I admit that I understand that word in a very particular way, as an opposition to the entire project of modernity. Others will have different interpretations.

Young leaders? Well, their young. ;)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Please do not personalise your comments, hence the following slightly redacted:

"[]preoccupation with demons and their mythological power over Christians is one of the real problems associated with grave emotional and psychological tendencies in certain charismatic Christians to focus on the power of demons, rather than the victorious power of Christ to dispel fear in people's lives.

This usually goes along with the cult of exorcisms that once featured at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, where an African Bishop - with the help of some charismatic lay followers were found trying to expel the 'demon of homosexuaity' from the life of an English gay priest. The furore this caused brought the official reprimand of other bishops at the Conference, without changing the sexual orientation of the priest concerned. This automatic belief that homosexuality was a demonic influence in the life of a priest of the Church was seen to have brought attention to the primitive beliefs of some of the African Bishops. Exorcism has its proper place in the Church, but homosexual orientation is not an area for amateur psychological experimentation.

I had the great privilege of experiencing the excitement of discovering the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the 1960s in St. Paul's, Symonds Street in Auckland. There were many wonderful healings, but there were also some quite disturbing instances of amateur dabbling in the art of exorcism, which frightened many people and gave the movement, in some more extravagant exhibitions of lay attempts at exorcism, a dubious reputation, with resultant fracture of Church communities and mental problems that ought never to have been raised up.

That there are ordained clergy with the spiritual gift of exorcism - an official ministry but rarely practised in the Roman Catholic Church, a skill but rarely acknowledged in other ordained persons; whereas lay people could find such a difficult ministry very dangerous to experiment with.

I will always remember a very wise priest telling us in a seminar on this subject that the Devil is always pleased when Christians draw attention to him and his seeming power to possess a person. The most powerful exorcism prayer might be that contained in the Lord's Prayer: "Lord, deliver us from evil" A simple but powerful prayer for the protection of Christ is spiritual trials.

Anonymous said...

Well, for me, over the years I have become more and more aware of the reality of demons and the demonic. Jesus certainly believed in them and took the issue seriously, hence the large number of exorcisms he performed. The reality of the demonic and the importance of spiritual warfare is one of the gifts that Pentecostalism and the charismatic renewal have given the Church.

Of course, like anything, there can be imbalanced approaches to this, but I don't think they are the norm. And an understanding of spiritual warfare also means an understanding of, and a firm personal grounding in, the victory that Christ, our Warrior King, won on the cross.

Any mature Christian, with good training, can perform an exorcism. The complete lack of any training for lay people, and especially for ordinands in this area, and the lack of a rite of exorcism in the prayer book, is to me a serious failure on the part of the NZ Anglican church.

Especially in these dark times, all Christians need to understand the literal reality of Satan, demons, and the importance of spiritual warfare for the believer. While I don't share the end times theology of Dispensationalists, I have no doubt that modernity is the spirit of the anti-Christ, and that spirit is doing a great deal of damage to the Church.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Fr Ron

I suggest you take your problem with demons up with the Apostle Paul, I was simply quoting him after all. The Reference was 1 Timothy 4:1.

Have you read CS Lewis’s Screw Tape Letters by any chance? Like much of Lewis’s writing, it could not be more apposite for the times in which we live.

And Peter, as to your somewhat light hearted question: “What is a muddled chap like myself to do with advisors such as you own good selves?” can I suggest dipping once again into the book of Ephesians, specifically chapter 4:11-14

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”

These are days that call for maturity in the faith, not compromise cloaked in the name of compassion.

Glen Young said...


Wish I could share your FAITH that all will work out well in the end;but it seems to me,having read much about TEC,that the liberals want control and will not give up the fight easily.In my opinion,ssb's are in fact the least of the worries;behind them is the "Progressive Christianity" movement, with it's following "JESUS THE MAN". It concerns me that this following of Arius, is so much alive and well,with it's anti-creedalism and redefined salvation;in our Church.Sometimes,God gives us what we wish,because he knows we won't give up on seeking that desire.A classic example was Israel wanting a king Sam 8/5-22. So what sort of Phoenix will arise out of the ashes of TEC???What will be left after it has spent millions of dollars litigating against the Anglicans and selling the empty Church buildings.To me,the Question is,when do we weed the tares out of the wheat fields???

Father Ron said...

Glen's derogatory description of 'Progressive Christianity' could well have been prefigured by those Jewish Leaders in Palestime who, after the Resurrection of Jesus and the events of Pentecost, were aghast at ordinary people who witnessed what was happening in the early Christian Community with awe and wonder: "See how these Christians love one another.

However, sadly in today's environment, ordinary people may not perceive evidence of that love in our Church. With the world catching up on issues of justice towards minorities and doing what they can to repair the damage of homophobic discrimination; a minority of conservative Christians stil seem to be unwilling to see the obvious good in committed, monogamous Same-Sex couples, who are a good example of loving-relationship to other families - even within the Church.

Glen Young said...

Brendan,Have just spent a wonderful afternoon wandering through the "Kilns", the home of Jack (CS) and his brother Warnie;onto the Hedington Trinity Church to their grave and finished up in Oxford,at the Eagle and Child,for a meal and mandatory glass of sherry.A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Ron, probably,what the devil likes the most, is those who do not accept that his demons (fallen angels) are still alive and (well ?);misleading us all in our thoughts and desires.

Anonymous said...

Last Sunday I attended the evening service at Grace Vineyard. There were over three hundred people there, many of them young folk and millennials. The sense of love in that place, between the people there, was palpable and powerful, and Grace attracts so many people because of that palpable sense of love. Yet Grace is a "conservative" Evangelic-Charismatic church. And while it is genuinely loving towards people who are homosexual, as individuals(a love I have witnessed there many times) does not buy into the gay agenda of progressive Christianity.

Whether we are loving or not, and whether our churches are, almost never has anything to do with our respective theologies, liberal or conservative. Holding a particular theology, or political view, does not make a person automatically loving. It is always a matter of the heart, something Jesus emphasised repeatedly. From experience I know there are people with cold and unloving hearts in both conservative and liberal churches, and people who have warm and loving hearts in both. It is easy to say that 'I am loving because I hold this theology, or this political view' but Jesus sees the truth in our hearts.

I do not believe that Progressive Christianity's approach to "minorities" or homosexuals stems from a grounding in Christian love, but from it's adoption of cultural Marxism, which posits that white Western peoples in general, and white Western heterosexual men in particular, are evil people responsible for all the world's ills. This position is in fact a form of anti-white, and anti-hetrosexual racism and bigotry.

Moreover, "justice" for minorities as it is understood by cultural Marxists and Progressive Christianity is not always genuine justice.

In the US, a couple of Christian bakers who exercised their freedom of conscience and decided they could not bake a cake for a gay wedding, have been dragged through the courts, and fined over one hundred thousand dollars for this stand. That couple have had their lives, and their livelihood, destroyed in the name of gay rights and justice.

Secular Cultural Marxists and Progressive Christians have insisted that the West open it's borders to the millions of Muslim "refugees" from the ME and North Africa as a matter of justice and Christian love. But in doing so, as Germany and Sweden have done, this has resulted in Islamic rape gangs having virtual free reign to attack Western women. The Cologne incident, in which a gang of Arab men sexually assaulted over one hundred women in a practice that is common in Arab countries called 'Taharrush' is just one example among hundreds of similar incidents in Europe.

In the UK city of Rotherham, both the police and the local Labour party council attempted to cover up the discovery of a large, UK wide network engaged in the sexual slavery and trafficking of young Western girls by Pakistani Muslims. Why would they try to cover up such a horrific thing? Because, as they admitted, they did not want to promote "Islamaphobia" and so on the basis that, for now, Muslims are a minority in the UK, they put the perpetrators of this evil crime first, and not their victims, some of whom were children.

In both of these examples, cultural Marxists, including many who are Progressive Christians, put Muslim men before Western women and children, because that is what their political ideology tells them they must do. This is not justice by any measure.

Love and justice are easy words to use, but in this day and age in the West, we as Christians must practice discernment, and look beyond the rhetoric of those who loudly claim it's mantle.

Father Ron said...

Well,Glen you are obviouly more experienced in the phenomenon of demonology than me, and Jack Lewis et al. However, I'm more concerned with the goodness present in this world than any hint of evil - with which you seem more than a little preoccupied. If this is of any use, you might try saying the Lord's Prayer more often,when confronted with demons. This is the particular bit of it thst may help you in your battle: "Deliver us from evil".

I concentrate on Jesus, Light of the World. Much more helpful than devil-dodging.

Anonymous said...

Given the large number of exorcisms that Jesus performed, and the fact that he trained the disciples in this practice, it would seem Jesus Himself was concerned with "devil dodging".

And while our eyes should always be on Jesus and His victory on the cross, we must, as Peter said, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Jesus' teachings, and the entire New Testament, are suffused with the world view of spirtual warfare. If we are to be His disciples, then so must ours.

Glen Young said...


Even in the rough and tumble game of Rugby League,they insist on playing the BALL and NOT the MAN.
Your blog was hundreds of words,Jack Lewis wrote a whole book that was brilliantly written while I only posted one sentence.It is nothing short of presumption, to assume you know any preoccupations which I may or may not have and my prayer needs based on that one sentence.

Anonymous said...

And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons. - Mark 1:39

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. - Matthew 12:28

Father Ron said...

Just remember, chaps, that it was Jesus, Himself, who did the exorcisms. I seem to remember that his disciples were not at first at all successful in this area of ministry. Only Jesus, in His lifetime, had that power. This is one of the reasons that the Jewish hierarchy wanted to get rid of Jesus.

Remember, how in their early attempts while Jesus was still with them, the devil gave the disciples who tried to cast out demons a pretty raw experience. That should warn all amateur practitioners - who may not have been called by Jesus and equipped by the Holy Spirit to practise this dangerous ministry - not to revel in their apparent success.

Also, the gift of discernment is most important in detecting the enemies of God! One would need to be very sure of what they were attempting was really what God wanted of them. And this is where people can make dangerous mistakes, with the risk of causing, rather than ameliorating, the possibility of GBH.

Anonymous said...

"Just remember, chaps, that it was Jesus, Himself, who did the exorcisms."

Yes, but while the disciples may have taken a while to train, Jesus was training them.

Luke 10: 19: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

John 14:12: "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

"Only Jesus, in His lifetime, had that power."

Actually, no. Exorcism was a common practice at the time. Rabbis performed them regularly.

"That should warn all amateur practitioners"

Nobody here is arguing that amateurs should perform them. That is the reason why I said mature Christians can be trained, but only mature Christians. However, if you are referring to a Priest/Lay distinction, then that distinction did not exist in NT times in the Church, and today, most ministers in mainstream churches are not trained to perform them anyway. I suspect that in Anglicanism there are more lay people who are properly trained than ministers.

Anyway, that is my last word on the issue, as we are well off topic.

Glen Young said...

Then he called his twelve disciples together,and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases.And he sent them to preach the the Kingdom of God,and to heal the sick.Luke 9:1 & 2.

And the seventy returned again with joy,saying,Lord,even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.And He said unto them,"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.Behold,I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions,and over all the power of the enemy:and nothing shall by any means hurt you.Notwithstanding in this rejoice not,that the spirits are subject unto you:but rather rejoice,because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:17-20

Jean said...

Just a couple of observations all ... to the actual issue at hand:

a) Am I mistaken or wasn't Henry the VIII wanting a divorce sort of a part of the history of the formation of the Church of England? Not something I say we should be proud of, but I just see it as a red herring in the current discussions, a distraction, diversion from the issue at hand.
b) Nice to hear from you Bowman! Your Bishop sounds like he was indeed a great politician : ) ... It reminds me of the 'double-minded man' - following mans doctrine or scripture. Hence, I am yet to comment on this blog post topic because I am still sorting it all (or attempting to) in my own mind. Don't worry about CAPTCHA sometimes it's pretty hard to spot what is a shop front or just a building ... 'spose that's the logic of it...
c) I do believe the diciples cast out demons, "Do not go around celbrating that you cast out demons in my name but rejoice that your names are written in the book of life." Also I have known many a Christian (the majority ordinary or unordained 'saints') who have experienced or encountered evil spirits or the demonic. However, in Ron's defense, from what I understand the manifestations of such are obvious and not driven by anybody's agenda or presumption. Where it is truth of belief we are genuinely seeking for another this is a matter of conviction by the Holy Spirit, and while we may witness to this truth or pray for it to be revealed (if indeed our belief is correct), it is not the place for exorcism!


Glen Young said...


Samuel's words to Saul:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,and stubbonness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hath rejected the word of the Lord,he hath rejected thee from being King." 1 Sam 15:23. Rebellion and witchcraft are both forms of apostasy,the one being the denial of God's authority and the other being the recognition and acceptance of supernatural powers distinct from God.

It strikes me that there is a relevant message in these blogs, that those responsible for ACANZP education should ensure that these issues are correctly addressed in the Church.In Matt 4:23 & 24,of the five categories of healing Christ performed,only one involved those who were possessed with devils.My mentor in Christian healing and counselling, DR.A.Anderson, had this to say:"The restoration of the Biblical reality of demons or evil spirits,principalities and powers,etc.,and the deliverance ministry,over the last 30 years or so,has brought with it,as usual,an unhealthy over-emphsis which has in some cases become error.In certain extreme instances this error has deception leading into heresy." An issue I will leave to you educators and hopefully edifiers to speak with authority about this important manner of manifesting the POWER and LOVE of GOD to the world.

"And the disciples asked him saying, Master,who did sin,this man or his parents,that he was born blind? Jesus answered,"Neither hath this sinned nor his parents:but that the works of God should be manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me,while it is day:the night cometh and no man can work.While I am in the world,I am the light of the world." John 9:2-5.


Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
A couple of observations:
1. If the liberals are in control of ACANZP then whether we have SSB or SSM or none we are doomed to head in a liberal direction and that, evidence in the Western world, shows is the path of ecclesial death. But ...
2. If the liberals are not in control of ACANZP then we do not actually have much evidence aroundabouts to suggest what will happen to us if we were to agree to SSB. My continuing sense is that if ACANZP sticks together on this matter then we have a more than fair chance of surviving. After all, the most conservative stats re homosexuals suggest that there are only about 1-2% in a broad community. Why should we fall over because of 1-2%? Have we fallen over because, e.g., a great percentage than that are remarried after divorce?
3. I am "accused" of "compromise cloaked in compassion". If so, I am guilty as charged. We live in a society which is asking, in a world of equal marriage and equal rights, whether we are a church of compassion or not. We have to answer that question in this current world. We are not in 1st century Corinth or 15th century Florence nor 18th century London. To turn out backs on the possibility that come clergy, if permitted, will perform SSB, will send a very poor signal about what we think compassion is in this particular age and stage of our society. (Ditto, incidentally, if we sent a different signal out, and expelled those who would not perform SSBs, which, also incidentally, would include me!)

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Glen

I’d like to visit Oxford one day – thanks for sharing your recent experience of CS Lewis’s homeland. It was not that long ago he lived, yet how different England was then compared to now.

And to others,

To be clear, I have not suggested that those who have followed ‘things taught by demons’ (1 Tim 4:1) are themselves demon possessed. Paul’s instructions to Timothy are not to engage in exorcism but rather to bring correction to the church through sound teaching:

“If you point these things out you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”

However, Paul also warns Timothy in his second letter: (2 Timothy 4:3)

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

It would be difficult to find Scripture that speaks more plainly into our situation today. May God grant us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to his Church.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
There is no intrinsic reason why exorcism should not be part of ministry training. However some policy differences vary from diocese to diocese (e.g. a bishop may prefer to have a specific, appointed priest act as Exorcist for the diocese).

Father Ron said...

A good catholic and evangelical measure, Peter, and one practised in other orthodox Churches. A Diocesan Exorcist would obviate the problems caused by well-meaning amateurs, whose efforts most often end in disaster. Perhaps one of your correspondents here might even offer themselves for the post. Not me, though; I'm content with the more positive side of pastoral ministry. I've seen the dangers of unqualified dabbling.

Brendan McNeill said...


To reflect briefly on your response to my exhortation “These are days that call for maturity in the faith, not compromise cloaked in the name of compassion”:

You admit to compromise on the matter of SSB and your justification is that in the kind of world and society in which we live, that we ‘risk sending a very poor signal about what we think compassion is in this particular age and stage of our society’.

All of which I readily accept may be true.

But then isn’t being misunderstood simply a part of what it means to follow Christ?

All we have at our disposal is the gospel framed in the context of Scripture. In Galatians Chapter 1, Paul is encouraging the believers not to abandon this gospel for another, as if there were another gospel. We have no other gospel. We have no other Scriptures.

He says to those who preach another gospel ‘let them be under God’s curse’.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

These are strong words from Paul. He is suggesting we are not free to play fast and loose with Scripture, to create another gospel or to become men pleasers.

Such are ‘no longer servants of Christ’.

On that basis, I can live with being misunderstood by the world, and even by my fellow believers be they liberal or conservative.

Besides, if we compromise on what we truly believe, how can we ever hope to be properly understood by anyone?

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

I was not only referring to exorcism only but the whole healing practices which seem to me, to be a central plank of demonstrating the Power and Love of God to the world, as this valuable Essence of Church life is lived out. But the only CAVEAT is, that it is founded on the AUTHORITY of the Word of God.Nor do I see overall healing as a part of Church life which should not be openly taught in the Church. It is also, not in my opinion,a function solely for Priests. Paul was quite clear about the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT:To some are given and to others........etc.It is part of the Doctrine of the ACANZP as defined in our Constitution 1857.

Glen Young said...


Yes,and I could even co-host your Kiwi-anglo blog site with you as THE ARDENT SUPPORTER OF GAY RIGHTS and me the ardent supporter of exorcism.Man!!!What a team???

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

"We live in a society which is asking, in a world of equal marriage and equal rights"

My view is that the entire concept of equality is meaningless in reality, and it's pursuit by the West dangerous to the point of being civilisational suicide. Parts of France, Sweden and the UK are now in the hands of militant, terrorist Islamists, and that was allowed to occur in the name of equality. The tragic irony, is that the women in those enemy held areas have zero rights and are subject to regular and horrific abuse. If the last hundred years in the West and Eastern Europe has taught us anything, it is that pursuing equality never leads to equality, always to tyranny and horrors.

A certain British fellow, who may well have been, in his own way, a prophet, wrote a book about this called 'Animal Farm'

That society which you refer to, the one asking questions about equality and compassion, is one whose opinions we should ignore at least, and if we give any response at all it should be to tell it to grow up and stop indulging stupidity.

The Church, or at least a reformed church liberated from cultural Marxism, should lead society, not the other way around.

Indulging it's reality free ideological insanity, is effectively putting our heads on the chopping block.

Compromising, as little as possible, in order to buy time is one thing. Holding hands under the table with a society that is quite literally destroying itself and trying to take the Church with it, is a bad strategy, and a recipe for disaster.

And the fact is we don't need to indulge it. In 20 years or so, it will no longer exist. The tide is turning. Liberalism, in all it's forms, secular and Christian, political and social, is slowly but surely dying, as people are finally waking up to what it means in reality. It may seem victorious now, but it has reached it's high point. In Europe, the fastest growing political parties are those opposed to equality, those the mainstream media labels "far right." The US is not far behind, and in time NZ will follow.

The Church needs to look to the future, not to a failed and dying ideology.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Shawn
Am happy to make George Orwell one of the prophets (especially in this time of resurgent socialism in US, UK, NZ).
How to be in this (cultural Marxist) world of ours, while not being "of" it, is a challenge.

Rosemary Behan said...

My thanks for trying Brendan .. for what it's worth. For you and MANY others, it's a first order issue. For Peter and a FEW others, it's a second order issue. Praise to Christ the Word.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

A line from a song:"Look ever to Jesus,He'll carry you through."

Regards,Chief Exorcist.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary
I hadn't been thinking in terms of first order and second order issues, but I think you are right about my proposal, that I am raising whether it can be counted a second order matter or not.

Rosemary Behan said...

You think?????????

Father Ron said...

In the meantime, the Kingdom of God is being built and worshippers of the King of Glory are receiving the Sacraments of His Salvation every hour of every day somewhere in God's world. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus, Marana tha!

Brendan McNeill said...

For the sake of completeness, I thought it worth registering a recent post from Rod Dreher where he addresses the question of Christian unity asking if there is ‘anything’ that might reasonably cause us to break with a congregation, or denomination. The importance of this question in respect to the SSB debate within our own denomination should not be lost on anyone.

He states:

“Now, there are other issues that are so fundamental that to treat them as if belief in them were optional for Christians is impossible. I would hope that all Christians reading this can agree that the case in the United Church in Canada right now, in which an atheist pastor is trying to keep her pulpit, in the name of inclusion and diversity, is absurd.

Denying the existence of God and/or the divinity of Jesus Christ ought to be a deal-breaker for Christians when it comes to their pastors. If not, then you are in no way worshiping Jesus, but rather you have made an idol of the community.

Take the principle of the atheist pastor and work back from that. If you concede that a parish or congregation has a right and even an obligation to dismiss a pastor who denies something so fundamental to the faith as the existence of God, then you have drawn a line laying out the bounds of the community.

All communities built around ideas have boundaries. They have to, to know who they are. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you are not a Christian. That’s an easy one. There really are differences in belief that ought to be tolerated for the sake of charity, but to believe that there is nothing that should cause one to break with a congregation, or to support expelling others from the congregation, is untenable.”

I was struck by his suggestion that ignoring 'deal-breaking' differences is to 'make an idol out of our community' - to place its continuity above faithfulness to Christ.

Read the entire article - we still have 18 months to pray that doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

"How to be in this (cultural Marxist) world of ours, while not being "of" it, is a challenge."

Oh absolutely Peter. I am not at all suggesting it's easy, and even getting down to specific issues, it's not always easy to sort the wheat from the chaff. Sometimes, after clearing away all the "equality" and "inclusive" arguments we may find there is a legitimate issue, when approached in the right way. I can think of one issue which has been unfortunately highjacked by the "equality" people that is, when approached from a Biblical/Charism pov, legitimate, an issue which puts me off side with the Sydney Anglican folks. I think you can guess which one that is for me!

A certain degree of cultural relevance is a good thing. I think having our services in English rather than Latin makes complete sense for example. It's when, as the quote from Rod Dreher posted by Brendan says, cultural relevance becomes an end in itself, an idol, that we get off track.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary
Thinking can be a tricky activity!
You will have noted that I am steering a path between changing our doctrine of marriage (a first order issue, in my view) and/or promulgating a formulary for SSB (also a first order issue, in my view) and acknowledging that some pastoral discretion may be granted clergy who in conscience believe they should be able to bless a same-sex partnership (first order? second order?).

In favour of considering the option I am supporting (which, may I remind readers, is for the sake of the first order priority of church unity) is the fact that already in our church we have licensed partnered gay clergy (some of whom, I gather, have been civilly married, may even have had that service conducted by a clerical colleague, etc, possibly, in my estimation, across at least five of seven pakeha dioceses, possibly in other episcopal units of our church). Now, as far as I can tell, no one is stirred to discipline these colleagues, nor to discipline their bishops who have issued these licences. Perhaps we are following a kind of "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but it does seem to me that this pastoral discretion which is occurring without ensuing schism means that some kind of "this is second order, providing it doesn't affect our written doctrine" is at work in the collective consciousness.

Or, am I wrong?

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Peter

You write:

“the fact that already in our church we have licensed partnered gay clergy (some of whom, I gather, have been civilly married, may even have had that service conducted by a clerical colleague, etc, possibly, in my estimation, across at least five of seven pakeha dioceses, possibly in other episcopal units of our church). Now, as far as I can tell, no one is stirred to discipline these colleagues, nor to discipline their bishops who have issued these licences.”

The obvious question is ‘why not’?


“but it does seem to me that this pastoral discretion which is occurring without ensuing schism means that some kind of "this is second order, providing it doesn't affect our written doctrine" is at work in the collective consciousness.

Your implied suggestion that this practice is acceptable because it ‘doesn’t affect our written doctrine’ is perhaps one of the more tragic statements I have seen you make on this site.

On what basis can you justify this dichotomy between faith and practice, between doctrine and deeds? Surely this is a form of Gnosticism?

If things are as bad as you suggest, and I don’t doubt that they are, then our submissions on these matters are in vein, the Bishops are a lost cause, and we should be preparing the final benediction on institutional Anglicanism in Aotearoa.

Father Ron said...

Viewing the last few comments, I must confess I am now disposed to leave you to the arguments you are having amongst yourselves. One thing you must decide between those of you people who oppose Motion 30, and its movement through our General Synod, is whether you are going to stay or go should S/S Blessings be given the go-ahead at G.S.2017. That really is crucial for you, but not for me.

Those of us who are lifetime Anglicans, rejoicing in the diversity of opinions on much theological minutiae; just want you to make your minds up, Then we shall all be the better for a substantive decision on your part.If your decision is to leave ASCANZP you will end up linking to GAFCON, and we who are left will remain truly Anglican in our fellowship with Canterbury and the ACC. If you leave, then you will go with our Blessing - but not the furniture as in the US and Canada. The decision must be yours. Pray you make the right one!

Father Ron said...

On this Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, we celebrated here in Christchurch on our Patronal Feast day with great solemnity in a full church. We were reminded in the sermon of the presence of angels all around us - especially in our worship of Christ in the Eucharist.

Being a former citizen of Coventry in the U.K., can I commend to you the picture of the wonderful sculpture on the outside wall of its modern Cathedral of Saint Michael. It depicts the Archangel Michael vanquishing the devil - a powerful symbol of the power of Christ to overcome all evil. Here is an interesting link, provided by our esteemed Host at ADU:

Glen Young said...


How jolly BIG of you to let us leave with your blessings.But,NO,I will stay and do my utmost to ensure the Church abides by it's legal Doctrine and returns TO HER FIRST LOVE and repents.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

It appears that Ron's Blog (29th Sept @ 10.32) finally spills the beans as to what this is all about.Good riddance to you orthodox sola Scripturalists,and by the way,as you are leaving,we have counted the pens and paper clips so please turn your pockets out as you leave.The liberals!!! will control the "furniture " as is mentioned in that blog (as in the USA. and Canada; and no doubt will sell off parish property to keep financing h/q. Anything to keep their pompous drama and theatrics in their Cathedrals on show.As was noted on another thread,concerning a late Bishop,that he was probably more inclined to the theater than the Church.

Rosemary Behan said...

Hi Peter, I’m afraid we disagree at your first sentence .. where you say .. “and/or promulgating a formulary for SSB (also a first order issue, in my view).”

I always think in terms of meeting my Saviour and Judge when I think about first order, second order issues. What will my Saviour/Judge say to me if I have encouraged someone who doesn’t believe their first baptism had anything to do with their later conversion [although I may] to receive another baptism as an adult? Will I meet other folk in Heaven who have had a ‘twofer’ baptism? Will Jesus have to burn that bit out of me as dross? What will my Saviour/Judge say to me when I clearly state that although I believe women can do ANYTHING, I don’t believe God calls them to the ordained ministry. As you know, there are some caveats there, but will I meet ordained women in Heaven? Yes. Will Jesus have to burn my wrong thinking out of me .. no I don’t believe so, or I wouldn’t make the statement in the first place. Those are both clear examples of second order issues for me.

However, the BIG question of the moment is, what will my Saviour/Judge say to me if I have encouraged someone to believe that God blesses SSB’s or SSM? The answers you and I give to that question mean it’s a first order issue. So where we disagree is in that sentence above. Promulgating ANY sort of formulary for SSB would mean DEFINITE smacked hand from our Saviour/Judge. I’m not considering the pastoral care of such folk at the moment, although that’s a HUGE question that the church MUST answer, just what will be said in Heaven. It’s my belief .. from Scripture, and strengthened by our own formularies and constitution, that Heaven will NOT accept any revision of the aforementioned authorities. When I think of the many, many Christian LGBT folk I know who really struggle with their wished for celibacy .. and when I consider my own big struggles and failures to obey my Lord .. I know that to misdirect my LGBT brothers and sisters, would be an horrendous wrong.

It’s my belief that unity is trumped by honesty. So is justice, how can justice be dishonest? No, the only way forward I see is .. and I realise how difficult it is .. to be truthful. Nowhere do our authorities permit anything less than the truth, which would be made worse with ANY accommodation, because that accommodation would be a lie. One of the big ten!!!!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary
You may well be right on all points made above and thus I am wrong, and a bit reckless!
However I do think about these two points:
(1) Would my proposal mean we would still be a church in which we could preach and teach that God does not bless SSPartnerships? I think the answers is Yes.
(2) If my proposal does not succeed AND our church splits apart, will there be Anglicans who teach that SSPs can be blessed by God? Yes, there will be. Splitting on this matter will help the consciences of some of us, but it will not prevent SSB (and also likely no prevent SSM) being authorised by some form of Anglican church in these islands.

Rosemary Behan said...

Sorry Peter, I obviously think you are wrong, or I wouldn’t have posted. I hope I do understand why you have said and written, and the courage it has taken, but yes, I think it is a false hope. Now to your points….

1. You may think that answer is yes, but it won’t be Peter, and that I can assure you, in fact you already know I’m right on that. Am I allowed [as I was promised I would be] to continue stating my opposition with regards to the ministry of women. Even though I’m the biggest supporter of the ministry of women I’ve ever met, I’m silenced .. even by you, although you’ve tried hard to be fair.. AND THAT’S A SECOND ORDER ISSUE!
2. If there is a split .. please God forbid that to happen .. both sides will continue to be Anglican and the worshippers will decide with their feet. It is not fair to those same worshippers to put them in the position you wish to uphold.

Father Ron said...

Dont be scared, Peter, of the term Saviour/Judge. I don't believe there is any such conjunction in existence - even in the Holy Bible. My impression, after a lfe-time of belief in Jesus, is that his benefit freely given to all who follow him, is his reality as Saviour/Redeemer. Let the world make its judgement. Only Christ can redeem. And this has already happene. And only God is qualified to judge. praise God!

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

So saith the "Progressive Christianity doctrine".

Juan Kinnear said...

Dear Peter
I must confess that much of the debate in response to your proposal has been hard to read. In a better world, the narrative surrounding human sexuality may have followed a different, perhaps more sensible path. Who knows what the future holds (and I am not without hope), but for now we are locked in a conceptual stalemate. The history of how we came to be where we presently are can readily be traced, but not undone. Your proposal for a negotiated truce (while acknowledging that détente is not peace), is perhaps the best we can hope for.
Looking towards some future time, when the heat has dissipated and fresh avenues of thought are possible, I would urge the church to look again at what it terms its “pastoral response” to same-sex attraction. If same-sex attracted Christians are to have any confidence that they are indeed loved and valued by the church, I think much more needs to be said than “Love the sinner, hate the sin” or “I’ll have you know that many of my best friends have friends who are gay”.
I would argue that our theological understanding of God’s gracious gift of Justification and Sanctification should speak clearly into our treatment of the complex human condition, a condition in which we live in the “already”, but also in the “not yet”. Such a treatment will, I think, steer a middle path between uncritical acceptance and blind condemnation, the two non-choices our present narrative presents.
Regards, Juan

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Juan

If the matter was about general acceptance in the Church of those with same sex attraction, then there would have been no motion 30, and Peter would have spent his days blogging about Confirmation or adult baptism.

The issue is really about the redefinition of marriage.

If the Anglican church was simply ‘Rotary with religion’ then it probably wouldn’t matter, but it’s not. Church doctrine presently affirms that marriage is between one man and one woman.

SSB is an open attempt to introduce same sex marriage into the church via the back door. It works like this. Peter and Paul get married in a civil ceremony. They then come to Vicar John who blesses their umm, er.. ‘relationship’ and they are welcomed into the Church.

Legally they are married, and married couples are allowed to become ordained ministers in the Anglican Church.

But are the married before God?

Jesus only affirmed marriage between one man and one woman. His silence on homosexuality cannot be construed as affirmation, particularly in the light of all other Biblical passages surrounding homosexual practice.

Peter’s recent revelation that ‘married’ gay partnered clergy are already established in five of our seven diocese virtually makes the debate redundant. We have same sex marriage in the Anglican church and affirmed in practice by at least five of seven Bishops.

What’s left to discuss?

There is much that is tragic about this. Not least the willingness on Peter’s part to believe we can live with this contradiction on the basis that Church doctrine has not changed. So long as we preserve the Church’s written doctrine on marriage, we can breach it in practice.

I’m not sure what’s worse, the defacto acceptance of gay marriage in the church, or our apparent willingness to lie about it.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brendan
Please don't use my general impression of life in ACANZP to give some sense of context to how and why the debate in our church has taken the course it has as a statement of hard facts. There may be more or less than five dioceses; there may be clergy who have actually married or civil unioned their same sex partner or there may simply be a longstanding faithful relationship. On the converse, I do not know of one bishop since a moratorium on ordinations of people in same sex partnerships was agreed to, about 12 years ago, who has broken that voluntary compact.

There are many practices in our church which do not represent a change of doctrine much as the practices might be theologically objectionable. There are Anglo-Catholics who add Roman words to the eucharist more or less making it a Roman Mass; there are invocations in some quarters of gods and spirits not otherwise attested to in our prayer books; if we had a battleship to bless I am sure an Anglican chaplain would step forward to bless it, etc. I do not think the current context of our church re same sex partnerships yet constitutes a change of doctrine, however uncomfortable some tolerated relationships may make some of us feel. ACANZP is an Anglican church of breadth and diversity, it is complex, it is not easily distilled into simple summaries.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

"There are are many practices in our Church which dot not represent a change of doctrine,much as the practice might be theologically objectionable." Peter --Oct 1 @ 9.47 AM.

We still seem to be writing the veritable book on "Our Thoughts On Peter's Submission". Have you sorted out a Publisher yet?

I agree with Brendan's reply to Juan.If the Episcopal leadership of the ACANZP are allowing all this "nod,nod,wink,wink"state to continue;they should stop hiding behind the apron strings of "breadth and diversity".I would say that if Jesus were here today,He would have little trouble cutting right through the "complexity" and extremely quickly distill the complexity into a very simple summary-"If you love me,keep my commandments".John 14:15.

Art XXVI: "Nevertheless it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church,that enquiry be made of evil Ministers,and that they be accused by those who have knowledge of their offences;and finally being found guilty,by just judgement be deposed".

Even if these Ministers,to whom you refer,where given a licence more than 12 years ago,don't they have to sign ongoing "submissions to G.S.?? or is this just more non,nod,wink,wink!!!!!

Father Ron said...

". If same-sex attracted Christians are to have any confidence that they are indeed loved and valued by the church, I think much more needs to be said than “Love the sinner, hate the sin” or “I’ll have you know that many of my best friends have friends who are gay”. - Juan Kinnear -

You've hit the nail on the head with this statement, Juan. I heartily agree, that if the Church had only been a little more pro-active about recognising that God has created as minority of Christians who happen to be same-sex attracted - including me, though I am happily married to a woman who knows my situation and still wanted to marry me, though we could never cohabit - but manage to live life aware of the fact that, at least, God loves us, if not all of his children do.

The whole business of 'Equal Marriage' may never have arisen to cloud the issue if only the fundamentalists had not resisted and fought against the recognition of Civil Partnership. However, when that was blockaded by the Church, the State took over and Same-Sex Marriage is now a civic reality.

See this for an up-to-date understanding of the reality of homosexual people being born into Christian families - and the proper response to that:

Father Ron said...

"(1) "By allowing a variety of practices within the church would ACANZAP not be changing its doctrine in practice, even though not officially in words?

- Would this lead to a situation where same sex couples go to Rev Y (or Bishop Y if it's a whole diocese) down the road if Rev X doesn't offer same sex blessings?" - Dr. Peter Carrell -

Perhaps, Peter, this question could be equally asked of the practice of dealing with the re-marriage of divorced persons. Currently, there are clergy who may not be required to preside at the marriage of a divorced person. This is a situation already recognised in ACANZP. How would the new proposals on Same-Sex Blessings be any different?

Father Ron said...

"But are they married before God?" - Brendan McNeill -

The institution of Marriage is a part of the Created Order.

Therefore, All Marriages could be considered to be 'before God'

You may think some marriages are not blessed by the Church, but they are still, by ontological definition, existing in creation; 'before God' . They're certainly not existing behind God's back! A looseness of phrase is not helpful in the present situation.

There are other explanations of what the word 'Marriage' entails - beyond that of the commitment and blessing of a heterosexual couple for the purpose of procreation. There is, for instance - contained with the New Testament Scriptures - mention of "The Marriage Feast of The Lamb", which has nothing to do with procreation, gender or sexual intercourse.

Andrei said...

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Father Ron said...

AMEN! And yet again I say. Amen! Alleluia!

Anonymous said...

"The institution of Marriage is a part of the Created Order.

Therefore, All Marriages could be considered to be 'before God'"

The institution of marriage, which is by God's decree in Genesis and in the Gospels, one man and one women, is part of the created order.

Therefore only marriages between one man and one women are before God.

"There is, for instance - contained with the New Testament Scriptures - mention of "The Marriage Feast of The Lamb", which has nothing to do with procreation, gender or sexual intercourse."

The marriage feast of the Lamb is between Jesus (male) and His Bride, the Church, a reflection, an icon, of marriage between a man and a women. So yes, metaphorically, gender is relevant.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

Bendan raises a valid point when he asks whether same sex marriages are in fact marriages in the eyes of God. Surely we can not do anything behind God's back.The institution of marriage is certainly part of the Created Order, Instituted by God and of God (one man and one woman);before the "FALL".Since the fall,man has distorted and perverted the Natural Order of the Creation.He compares the NATURAL with the SUPERNATURAL;instead of seeing the antitheses of NATURAL as being UNNATURAL.This is the point St.Paul is making in Romans 1:26 &27:"For this cause God gave up unto vile affections:for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men,leaving the natural use of woman,burned in their lust one toward another;men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Paul is stating succinctly that the NATURAL CREATED ORDER IS BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN;and that same sex relationships,irregardless of how loving and faithful they are,are against the Natural Order of the Creation.They, like all other sin, is part of FALLEN MAN.

Peter Carrell said...

No, Ron.
Stick to issues, pelase.
The issue, currently, is whether any and every kind of marriage approved by humans is also approved by God ...

Anonymous said...

This little article is short but nails the issue in terms of society as a whole.

'I’m Gay, And I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage'

"By all measures, this fight is over. Gay marriage won.

As a 30-year-old gay man, one would expect me to be ecstatic. After all, I’m at that age where people tend to settle down and get married. And there is nothing in this world I want more than to be a father and raise a family. Yet I can’t seem to bring myself to celebrate the triumph of same-sex marriage. Deep down, I know that every American, gay or straight, has suffered a great loss because of this.

I’m not alone in thinking this. The big secret in the LGBT community is that there are a significant number of gays and lesbians who oppose same-sex marriage, and an even larger number who are ambivalent. You don’t hear us speak out because gay rights activists (most of whom are straight) have a history of viciously stamping out any trace of individualism within the gay community. I asked to publish this article under a pseudonym, not because I fear harassment from Christian conservatives, but because I know this article will make me a target of the Gaystapo."

Read on..... it is a source of hope to me that there is a significant number of gay people who understand what is at stake for society.

Father Ron said...

Giving some of your commenters - especially one of them - unlimited scope for criticism of those of us who have different ideas, Peter, is hardly conducive to a proper conversation. However, it is your blog and you have that right.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
There is some strong criticism of ideas, arguments and suppositions here.
That is as it should be.
But once remarks here tackle the "man" and not the "ball" then I fear my time is going to be taken up untangling one ad hominem from another near ad hominem.
And time, as you know, is precious ... three services and two sermons tomorrow :)

Father Ron said...

Well, you've beaten me on that score Peter. I have only 2 services and 2 preachings.

No hard feelings. Agape, Ron

Father Ron said...

I must say, I do have to smile at the constant reference to liberals as 'cultural Marxists'. Then I supoose the opposition must be labelled 'cultural Fascists'
That's one of the problems, I guess, with extremists - especially of the political kind.

Peter Carrell said...

Not at all Ron
Cultural Marxism is the phenomenon of waging revolution by changing the culture of society rather than its economics.
What conservatives are doing here is not the "cultural Fascist" opposite but the simple action of preserving the status quo.
That, in my book is conservatism, not Fascism!

BrianR said...

"Cultural Fascists" - if such exist today - are simply "Fascists" since Fascism is first of all a cultural movement. It is about radical, national authoritarianism allied with syndicalism (control of trades and industries by trade unions). It is generally anti-religious and anti-conservative. It is, in fact, a cousin of Marxism (the clue is in the name 'National Socialism') but disavows the latter's internationalism. It may incorporate racial supremacy theories and anti-Semitism but these are not necessarily part of it. Fascism as it was formulated by Italian intellectuals was not anti-Semitic, whereas this was integral to National Socialism and is now resurfacing as a significant force in the British Left (a reflex of Islamist and Pakistani policies feeding into the British Labour Party).
It is the polar opposite of conservative Christianity in just about anything you care to mention.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron.

"I must say, I do have to smile at the constant reference to liberals as 'cultural Marxists'."

My apologies for being unclear. I do not mean to say that all liberals are cultural Marxists, or that the two ideas are the same thing. Liberalism existed for a very long time before cultural Marxism came around after WW2.

There are of course liberals who are not in any way cultural Marxists. Classical liberals and libertarians in particular. Ayn Rand was a liberal, but certainly not a cultural Marxist!

CM has had though a great deal of influence on the modern West, and on certain kinds of liberal Christianity. In the same way that you can tell a man who has an engineering degree by the technical language he uses to talk about that subject, you can identify a cultural Marxist by the phrases and ideas they use. So, as an example, someone who said, "we must embrace the Other, and reject the heteronormative dominance of white, patriarchal heterosexual males" would definitely be thinking from a cultural Marxist perspective.

Of course, what both liberalism and cultural Marxism do have in common is that they both forms of modernism.

It is important to me that in discussing the issue at hand, we must be aware of of the philosophical, cultural, and political context we all live in, and the way in which secular politics influences the Church.

"Then I supoose the opposition must be labelled 'cultural Fascists'"

As Peter points out, mainstream conservative Christians are not cultural Fascists because they are simply supporting the status quo. Also, when it comes to secular politics they are not necessarily right wing. I have met many mainstream conservatives who vote for the Left. So beyond preserving the status quo, I doubt many mainstream conservatives are anything other than standard, small-c conservatives.

I myself however am not a mainstream conservative, or a conservative at all in the current understanding of that term. Cultural Fascism would be a term that I would not reject outright in describing myself, though it's not entirely accurate either. I am profoundly anti-modern, and luke warm at best when it comes to modern democracy, and I am not remotely interested in preserving the status quo where the West is concerned. I am much closer to the European Nouvelle Droite than to mainstream conservatism.

As far as the debates and discussions on ADU are concerned I only ever speak for myself and my views, and not on behalf of any tribe in the Anglicanism, conservative or otherwise.

Father Ron said...

To come back to this thread in a different way from that which was denied to me earlier, Peter:

"The marriage feast of the Lamb is between Jesus (male) and His Bride, the Church, a reflection, an icon, of marriage between a man and a women (sic). So yes, metaphorically, gender is relevant." - Shaun Herles -

Not logically correct! Why? - If there is an equivalence between the Marriage feast of the Lamb and human Marriage - it is in the intensity of filial relationship - not in its capacity for sexual procreation. In other words; Marriage in that context is a very different matter, denying anyone the luxury (or otherwise) of full comparison. They are different marriages.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. The metaphorical language of the marriage feast of the Lamb is gendered, thus the use of Bride and Bridegroom, which in Biblical times meant a men and a women. Filial relationship in Biblical marriage means filial relationship between men and women.

Procreation is not relevant to the issue, as gender is not merely about procreation, though that is a vital part of it. Gender is a gift from God, and the richness of that gift is about much more then procreation or biology. It creates the biological and spiritual differentiation and complementarity needed for true love through the union of opposites. Each gender, and there are only two, male and female, are rich in spiritual gifts and meaning. The Biblical understanding of gender is so much more than mere biology.

This is why Scripture uses gendered marriage, the union of opposites, in describing the marriage feast of the Lamb. Without gender, it would be meaningless.

This is also why Jesus uses Father, and not Parent, in describing His and our relationship to the first Person of the Trinity. Father is more than biology, much more. It has spiritual meanings, and filial meanings, that neither gender neutral language nor the term Mother can convey. Of course the Bible also uses feminine language to describe our relationship to God, though never in naming God.

And this is why gender neutral language, or "inclusive" language, is a bad idea. It would strip Scripture and the liturgy of profound spiritual truths and meanings that are vital to us, to our relationship with God, and our spiritual growth.

This is why homosexual marriage is both morally wrong and spiritually meaningless. It is not the union of opposites that creates true love and union. In fact it is an inversion of the union of opposites, which is why the Bible refers to it as abomination.

Father Ron said...

Wrong assumption, Shaun.

Logic tells us that, if the Marriage Feast of the Lamb were to do with gender, then that would define Jesus as male (fact) and the 'bride' as female. This would mean only women were able to be take part in the marriage. Obviously, the 'bride' here is only metaphorically female.

Also, the Mystery of Christ is that He wasn't only representing the male of the species in his humanity, but all of humanity. Otherwise, it might only be the men who are represented in and by Christ - which is the argument of the anti-women as priests brigade. This is a different form of marriage from heterosexual union. - My last word on the subject!

Anonymous said...

"Logic tells us that, if the Marriage Feast of the Lamb were to do with gender, then that would define Jesus as male (fact) and the 'bride' as female."

Yes, and that is correct. Jesus is male and the Bride is female. Metaphorically.

"This would mean only women were able to be take part in the marriage."

No, because the use of Bride is gendered metaphor. It's not about the literal individual people who make up the church, but about the church as a whole.

"Obviously, the 'bride' here is only metaphorically female."

Exactly. But metaphorically female does not lead to your original claim of gender neutrality or a genderless Bride and Bridegroom.

And even as metaphor, a metaphorically gendered Bride and Bridgroom clearly does not work as an argument for homosexual marriage

Andrei said...

This conversation is just another symptom of the reign of the Anti Christ who is running the world at the moment

Bow done to him at your peril!

Or pretend he doesn't exist and while away your life in empty sophistry while he continues his rampage against the Church, which he hates

Your choice - make it wisely

Glen Young said...

Is this encyclopedia starting to demonstrate the porosity of the liberal argument on why the ACANZP should compromise The Word of God,Her Constitution,Formularies and Canons,and Her legitimate Doctrine;by turning a blind eye and letting Bishops allow Priests to bless same sex relationships (marriages ????),without such blessings having any Canonical authority or constraint.All in the name of diversity and inclusiveness;when it is arguably nothing more, than conforming the Church to a secular society,whose ideologies, She should be standing against.A society based on an eclectic mix of Neo-Darwinism,cultural/economic Marxism and rampant commercialism.

Neo-Darwinism and cultural/economic Marxism go hand in hand,rather like the proverbial horse and cart.The former denies the existence and/or the Creating God and His right to determine the Natural Oder of His Creation, while the latter denies His Ownership and Right to rule over His KINGDOM which He created. St.Paul speaks in Romans chapter 1, of what happens when man rejects the Natural Order of God's Creation, that is clearly seen in the world around us.They fail to recognize his eternal power and Godhead.St Paul says, that for this,they are without excuse.They glorify Him not and are not thankful.They become vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts become darkened.Professing themselves to be wise ,they become fools.Then they begin to worship the created things rather than the CREATOR.They then think that it is their right to redefine the order of things.What Paul tells the Romans is as true today ,as when he wrote those words.

In the USA.,by Federal Law and Supreme Court Decisions,which distort Constitutional Rights;the rights of Orthodox Christians,to live and act by a conscience which understands that there is a Natural Order determined by the
Creating God and not by a secular Government;has been taken from them.These Supreme Court decisions,which "sail with the winds of libertinism', have removed from Orthodox Christians,the RELIGIOUS FREEDOM to live and run their business according to their Discipleship ,as in the case of the baker who was fined thousands of dollars for not supplying a cake for a same sex marriage.

Sadly,TEC has thrown petrol on these flames of contra-discrimination with it's false doctrines and flawed practices.Traditional Christians are at a CRUCIAL JUNCTURE of where they are at and how do they respond;and TEC does not have a clear and precise message for them.Thankfully,God has raised up a faithful remnant to ensure that His Glorious Gospel is still preached and His flock have a shepherd.

Anonymous said...

"Cultural Marxism, dubbed “the greatest cancer in the Western world”, is the ideological driver behind political correctness. It is the destructive criticism and undermining of all institutions of Western civilization and the traditional values underpinning it.

Cultural Marxism was formulated as a way to subvert Western nations and civilization using methods other than direct political action.

Cultural Marxism is largely a synthesis of Marx and Freud. It is Marxism as applied in the cultural sphere and the analysis and control of the media, art, theatre, film and other cultural institutions in society, often with an emphasis on class, race and gender.

Two Marxist theorists, Antonio Gramsci of Italy and Georg Lukacs of Hungary, concluded that the Christianised West was the obstacle standing in the way of a communist new world order. Gramsci said that Christianity had corrupted the working class and the West would have to be de- Christianised by a “long march through the culture” – starting with the traditional family and completely engulfing churches, schools, media, entertainment, civic organizations, literature, science, and the presentation (and revision) of history."

"MY orders are to fight; Then if I bleed, or fail, or strongly win, what matters it? God only doth prevail. The servant craveth naught, except to serve with might. I was not told to win or lose, – my orders are to fight." ~ Ethelwyn Wetherald

"The Lord thunders at the head of His army, His forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey His command." - Joel 2:11

Jnathan said...

For a “long march through the culture” from Francis Schaeffer's perspective, "How should we then live?" is well worth reading (and viewing). It's decades old, but I doubt that it's out of date. One of his theses: art and culture (of all shades) is the vehicle for philosophy to hit the streets... For good or ill.

Glen Young said...

So what is the issue with our "Rejection of" and our "Rebellion against" God's "Natural Order/Norms of Creation",which are revealed by and clearly seen in the Creation around us? Why does St. Paul say that in doing so,we fail to recognize His "Eternal Power and Godhead", and for that, we are without excuse? And why does he state that in doing so,we become vain in our imaginations and our foolish hearts become darkened;and in thinking ourselves wise we become fools? It is because,if our wisdom and intelligence is set right; that,when looking at His Creation, like the Psalmist, we see both the complexity and simplicity in His handiwork.We see the great purpose and plan that He has set in motion. In short,We simply stand in AWE AND FEAR AT HIS GREATNESS."The Fear of God is the beginning of WISDOM;and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding." Prov.9:10.

It is because this rejection (stubborness) of accepting and rebellion against God's natural order/norms of creation lie at the very heart of the "father of lies" deception.It is the basis of our inferiority complexes and low self esteem on one hand and our overt egotism and narcissism on the other.We either fall prey to a "less than" perception of our God given image, or we assume a "greater than" image. Psalm 8:4.

Satan could not accept and be thankful for his createdness and his position in God's natural order/norms of creation.He wanted to be like the un-created/Eternal God;and for this,he was cast out of heaven.Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28.

His proposition to Eve questioned the God given image of man Gen 1:26 and his place in the natural order of creation Gen 3:5.Until Adam and Eve ate of the Fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; that is,until they challenged their place in the God given natural order/norms of Creation ,the Creation was perfect.After they partook of the fruit,did they become gods? nope;they just died in the fullness of image God had given them.

To this very day,this issue is the basis of many of the conflicts and distress we face.Having descended from Adam and Eve,we share with them ,the vulnerability to be deceived about the true nature and value of all things including our God given image and God's NATURAL ORDER/NORMS OF CREATION. As Dr John Stott writes: "There can be no liberation from God's Created Norms,true liberation is found only in accepting them."

Satan's rebellion against and his stubbornness in not accepting his God given identity has led man to being tempted, to follow his example. In Romans chapter 1,St Paul was echoing the words of Samuel to Saul:"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry." 1 Sam 15:23.

Blessing same sex relationships and marriage is not BEST PRACTICE PASTORAL CARE and should not be accepted in the ACANZP.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
The following comment from you is shorn of its unnecessary descriptors.

""Blessing same sex relationships and marriage is not BEST PRACTICE PASTORAL CARE and should not be accepted in the ACANZP." - [] Glen -

The Gospel of OLJC may, in fact, be saying something entirely different! [] Even you, Glen, must allow our General Synod 2018 to make up its own mind on this. You have no power of veto.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
The following comment is also shorn of unnecessary accretions ...

"I must say that I find Shaun's political [entreaty] antithetical to any sort of discussion of Christian Spirituality. It might be better [] on an expressly designed political web-site.

What I am concerned about - in Christian Spirituality - is the well-being and nurture of human beings as created in the divine Image and Likeness. I have no time to spare for political debate. Political wrangling has its place in the secular world, but not in the Body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

The reason I bring politics up so often is that context is important. The Church always exists within a particular historical and cultural context, and this context includes the politics of the particular society the Church finds herself in.

Gay rights and SSM marriage began as a secular political movement, which has now influenced the Church. So any discusssion of the issue within the Church must take note of the wider political and social context. When certain kinds of secular political ideas are influencing the Church, then it seems appropriate to discuss those ideas, and to practice discernment to try and evaluate if those ideas are compatible with a Christian world view.

My previous post pointed out that secular cultural Marxism had as one of it's main goals the descrediting and destruction of Christianity within the West. So, when I see the language of CM being used to advance changes within the church, and some of our leaders using that language, then it seems appropriate to me to raise concerns about that.

In a nutshell, the question we need to ask is, should the Church be transformed by the secular politics of the society we live in, or should the Church be transforming those politics according the Gospel?

The issue of SSM or SSB within the Church is a political issue, not an issue of Christian spirituality.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

Re Best practice in Pastoral Care,may I point you to two good sources;Firstly the excellent "Dissenting Statement of +Keith (Birkenhead) to the Pilling Report; secondarily,a paper by Edith Humphrey of Augustine College,Canada, titled:How Homosexuality is understood in the Scriptures.