Friday, November 25, 2011

Anglican leader says vote for National will alienate voter from Christ's love

You would have to traverse the history of our church far and wide to find a more provocative statement from one of our leaders than this,

"Christians can’t afford to vote National because if they do they will align themselves with the wealthy landowners of which the Bible speaks, and in doing so will alienate themselves from Christ’s love and presence."
Well it has been said. By our Social Justice Commissioner, Anthony Dancer. Read his whole argument here.

I would not be surprised to see significant reaction to this provocation. It is one thing to critique politicians and their policies and by implication criticise those who vote for those politicians. It is another thing to assert that voting in one particular way will alienate voters from the loving presence of Christ in their lives.


Fr. Bryan Owen said...

Another instance of the corrupting influence of Christian politics. That happened recently in my neck of the woods with a candidate for governor telling folks that anyone who voted against a certain proposition was siding with Satan and the forces of evil. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to secularize our approach to politics by asking all candidates to drop the God talk and stop using religion to manipulate people's feelings for the sake of getting votes and consolidating power and control.

Anonymous said...

Ok, this is just disgusting. Again, on what basis can the Anglican Church continue to employ such extreme partisan political activists to speak for all Anglicans on political issues?

This is unacceptable. Anthony Dancer has no right to speak for me, nor does he have the right to speak for all Anglicans. Nor does he have the right to claim that I and thousands of other Anglicans will be abandoned by Christ if we do not vote the way he says.

Disgusting, and a deeply offensive insult to every Anglican who does not share Dancer's personal politics.

This latest outburst should see him sacked from the job. Sadly the current leadership is to gutless to stand up to the partisan left wing foot soldiers who have highjacked the Churches voice, that or they are themsevles in bed with Labour and the Greens so they do not care.

I left the Anglican Church because of crap like this.

Anthony dancer, you do NOT speak for me and many other Anglicans and you have no right to attack us and insult us in this way. Apologise.

Its time for him to go. He should no longer be employed by the Church, and if his employement continues the Bishops must explain to every center right Anglican why it is ok for their views to be spat on, insulted, and excluded.

Is their a Bishop who has the guts to act?

hogster said...

Naive. Not the greatest exegesis or pastoral sensitivity either. Just as well the Anglican church allows such a broad band of diverse thinking, or not, as the case may be.
Embarrassed again.

Howard Pilgrim said...

Shawn is at it again ...

"I left the Anglican Church because of crap like this. Anthony dancer, you do NOT speak for me and many other Anglicans and you have no right to attack us and insult us in this way. Apologise."

Anthony Dancer does not speak for me either, even though I am well to the left on the political spectrum (toying between the Greens and Labour for my party vote tomorrow). He speaks for himself, and when specifically authorised to do so, for ACANZP, of which I remain a committed and loyal member ... unlike Shawn.

Given that you make so much of standing outside our church, Shawn, what business is it of yours what Anthony has to say, even when he is spouting this sort of rubbish? Why should you feel offended, or think that the leaders of the body you repudiate should act on your suggestions? If you choose not to be one of us (1 John 2:19), why not just get yourself a life and ignore us?

Michael Reddell said...

The sort of thing that just continues the slow sad disillusionment with Anglicanism. One could probably as well - perhaps more forcefully - make his argument for any of the parties contesting this election. One thinks, for example, of the slaughter of the innocents enabled by our abortion laws, which almost all parties either support or would happily liberalise further.

The bishops of this church need to make clear that this chap does not speak for the Anglican church on this matter, and that his views are not those of the Anglican hierarchy.

Father Ron Smith said...

I have already remarked on this thread - but it seems to have been 'lost in the post'. However, I want to say that I don't find Anthony's remarks 'disgusting. I reserve that term for Church actions that seek to outlaw its membership to the LGBT community.

I think Anthony overstepped the mark on this one, but: unwisely, rather then 'disgustingly'. I, too, find Shawn's gathering hostility for our Church very much at odds with the fact that he is currently enjoying the hospitality of Saint John's College - which spends a lot of money on educating Christians for Gospel ministry. Repudiation of the Church is not a part of the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

In response to Howard and Ron,

I do not stand outside the Church. I have returned to the Anglican fold and consider myself a commited Anglican. As such I have the right to critique those parts of current Anglican practice and ecclesiological issues that I feel are problematic.

I do not have "gathering hostility" to the Anglican Church. Nor do I repudiate the Church, as Ron claims.

What I do have hostility for and repudiate is the poltical corruption of the Church that has been allowed to take place in the guise of "social justice". I am repudiate the ongoing attempt by partisan Left Wing activists to twist the Gospel message to suit their political ideology, and then claim to speak on behalf of all Anglicans.

"he speaks for himself, and when specifically authorised to do so, for ACANZP"

And that is the problem. We know now that two of the Churches "social justice" spokesman are partisan political activists, one who claims that Christians that vote National may be abandoned by Christ, and one who engaged in vandalism of private property to promote the Greens.

This is an unnaceptable situation. Social justice must not be an excuse for partisan political activism that by its very nature excludes Anglicans on the political Right.

"I reserve that term for Church actions that seek to outlaw its membership to the LGBT community."

So Ron, its ok for you to critique the Church when it stands by Biblical authority and truth, but its wrong for me to do so?

That seems like conveniant double standards.

I am not the one repudiating Anglicanism or the Church. It is those pushing secular-liberal-left political ideology on issues like homosexuality who are repudiating Anglicanism.

Nobody is trying to "outlaw" homosexuals as Church members. That is yet more dishonest rhetoric Ron. Faithful Anglicans are merely holding homosexuals to account, along with all of us, to Biblical and traditional Anglican standards of moral virtue.

This is the issue that people Jolyon, Anthony, Ron and Howard and many others do not seem to understand. The Anglican Church is not a wing of the Labour-Green parties.

Father Ron Smith said...

I feel so sorry for you, Shawn: Sad and all alone in your quest for what you see as 'true righteousness'. I'm sorry you have so few to espouse your way of activism against ACANZP. It would seem that the only solution to your disaffection with the Church would be to join one more in line with your own philosophy of Right Wing absolutiism. Don't expect too much support from St.John's, though

Janice said...

I think Ron Smith's last comment is disgraceful.

Father Ron Smith said...

Thank you, Janice, for 'disgraceful'.
Much better than 'disgusting'.

Anonymous said...

Peter, I too find Anthony's comments unacceptably provocative. They will do little to enable conversations about social justice within our church, let alone in the wider community.

Malcolm Falloon

Anonymous said...


"I feel so sorry for you, Shawn: Sad and all alone in your quest for what you see as 'true righteousness'."

All alone? Hardly. Evangelicals and moderate, centrist conservatives now constitute a majority in the global Anglican church. I am hardly alone as far as that is concerned.

At St Johns the majority of new Pakeha students are either Evangelicals or at least small "c" conservatives and Post-Liberals who adhere strongly to the authority and truth of the creeds. And I have been surprised at the number of young students who are strong Calvinists like me. So I am quite well supported in my theological views.

As far as my political views go, again, I am not alone. I am constantly meeting people, many of them young and the future of the Church, who are tired of the partisan politics that has been allowed to highjack the Churche's voice.

Not all of them are right wing, but all want more diversity and more genuinely inclusive input from both right and left into debates and decrees on social justice.

I am not dissafected from the Church, I am dissafected from the rapidly shrinking Liberal wing which has dominated the ACANZP for too long, but whose demographic demise is now obvious.

I am not looking to establish "true righteousness", I am looking for more diversity and inclusiveness on political/social justice issues and more debate.

Are not diversity and inclusiveness what you claim to stand for?

Or am I right in suspecting that when you use such terms you really mean that everyone should unthinkingly fall into line behind Liberal theology and Left Wing politics?

Father Ron Smith said...

Shawn, may I take it that you are not an actual student in training for the ministry at St.John's, but rather, an accompanying spouse. This does give you access to lectures, but no particular spokes-personship role for the College.

This makes it all the more troublesome that you should see yourself as an expert on campus make-up. You could actually be wrong. And perhaps you need a little more time 'back in' the church before making too broad a comment on it's philosophy - and certainly, its theology.

Does the College know of your particular problems with ACANZP?

Anonymous said...



I have never at any time claimed to be a spokesperson for the College and I would appreciate you not putting words in my mouth. That is underhanded, manipulative, and unfair.


I spend a lot of time at College in tutorials and in social gatherings. I am a student in theology at Otago through the distance learning program, as are most students here at St John's. Thus I do know many of the students and their theological views. That does not make me an "expert". It just makes me informed. I am here, you are not.

If your upset that a majority of new students are evangelical, deal with it. Don't make personal attacks on me because the demographics in the Church do not suit you.

Thirdly, I do NOT have problems with the ACANZP. I am, just as YOU are, calling for certain reforms. I have that right, just as all Anglicans do. You and other Liberals in the Church are constantly demanding reforms according to the pro-homosexual agenda. To question my right to do so, or any Anglicans, just because we do not have the same view as you, is hypocritical in the extreme.

My views are well known at College thankyou. They seem to respect genuine diversity and freedom of speech more than you do.

It is not me but yourself who has a problem with ACANZP and most of the global Anglican Church, not to mention the tradition as a whole. You do not like the Churche's traditional teaching on marriage and family.

Why then is it ok for you to call for reforms, and not me? Please explain this absurd position.

I find your responses to me offensive and threatening, and far too quick to leave civil debate behind and engage in personal attacks.

Perhaps you need to take stock of yourself, and try to discover why you treat Angicans you do not agree with with such disdain. It strikes me as very un-Christian.

It is however par for the course. I have found those in the so-called "inclusive" and "tolerant" wing of the Church to be far and away the most abusive in debates, and the most ready to engage in underhanded tactics and personal attacks.

This is a kind of poltically correct Pharisaism that is every bit as intolerant and sectarian as the most extreme fundamentalist.

As Jesus said, look at the wood in your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother.

Peter Carrell said...

Ron // Shawn

I think there is a case for me Not have letting through some recent comments: if not ad hominem then getting very close.

Please focus on the issues not on what you expect of each other from your very different contexts!