Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's not 1951

Here is an intriguing argument against the Covenant, in the first of the CiF posts about the Covenant:

"Such a process represents a more developed system than archbishop Geoffrey Fisher knew. In 1951 he said: "We have no doctrine of our own – we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic church enshrined in the Catholic creeds, and those creeds we hold without addition or diminution." Fisher was no woolly liberal. Why is his doctrinal standground no longer adequate?"

That would be "1951" as in the years before Robinson, Spong, and Cupitt; before the Jesus Seminar; before, well, quite a few developments which severely strain the notion that 'the Catholic creeds' are adequate as a doctrinal standard. What, we may ask with all the reasonableness of Hooker himself, does the church do when the creeds themselves are reinterpreted by teachers of the faith dressed as Anglican bishops?!

That would also be "1951" as in the years before the post-colonial expansion of the Communion as a group of Anglican churches no longer run by Oxbridge educated English bishops and missionaries. A year, in other words, when Nigeria would never have questioned whether England was truly Anglican, nor vice versa.

Anglican life has changed!


Andy S said...

The road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests and the way is lit by bishops
St John Chrysostom

I read the link and despaired.

There is a woman I know and life has dealt her many body blows.

And she attended an Anglican parish for many years.

One day in the not too distant past her vicar was asked by another parishioner to perform a small pastoral task for her. Five minutes of his time nothing more.

And he didn't get around to doing it because he was too busy and didn't get around to it.

Like us all he is a sinner we all do stuff like that all the time usually without noticing.

She no longer goes to church, but not for this alone, she just didn't belong.

This is a true story.

And I think that comfortably off middle class vicars are too busy arguing about liberal tosh while not attending to their flocks, like the woman I told of.

And I suppose they might get the approval of their comfortably off liberal middle class parishioners who barely gave the woman of whom I speak the time of day but really they are missing the point entirely.

Remember this next time you give a sermon Peter, the majority of those who are listening to you are the goats and it is your job to transform them into the sheep. That is why you are there - this other stuff is a distraction designed to drive people from the Lord and his Church.

And a remarkably successful distraction at that.

Anonymous said...

It was a grave mistake for us to give the Colonies their Independence.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andy S,

Thank you for your challenge! One way I will not respond is to begin my next sermon, 'Now, you goats, listen up ...' :)

I accept that some of us may be spending too much time on Communion matters. Review of investment here should be constant, and your comment reminds me of that. However I do not think that some investment of time on Communion matters is unconnected with immediate pastoral care for people such as the woman you cite. Vicars, for instance, are appointed to their incumbencies by bishops, and bishops have office by virtue of local synodical decisions and wider provincial confirmation (save in the CofE where it is at the pleasure of Her Majesty etc). The health and strength of the provinces or member churches of the Communion is connected to the state of the global Communion, as we are seeing, with sadness, in the various ways in which division is occurring around the world. I blog, therefore, in the hope of contributing to coherency of the Communion as well as to coherency in my own church ACANZP.

Andy S said...

I wasn't having a go at you, Peter, for blogging on these matters.

The Guardian of course is no friend to our Faith and the Light of Christ surely does not shine through the linked article.

It might just as well be discussing changes to the "smoke free environment act" - reads about the same.

In any case I am aware that for the average person in the pews - it means less than nothing compared to their everyday concerns but more importantly it may become a stumbling block, a source of confusion as to the true mission of the Church.

I feel we must try and keep the Church holy and sacred.

It is only through holiness the Light of Christ will be revealed