Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some praise is due our General Synod

Am still disappointed with the wording of our Covenant motion, but I am glad to find that our General Synod has some shared sanity re motions regarding same sex partnerships (making an assumption that two Waiapu motions have not been resolved - update: not yet, being discussed this morning, Wednesday) by agreeing to an amended motion from Glynn Cardy. The text of which, drawn from here, is:

"Moved:  Rev’d Glynn Cardy / Seconded:  Mr Peter Bargh

Nature of Marriage
That this General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui resolves:

That given the long-held mission of our Church to challenge and support couples to publicly commit themselves to each other,

Asks Episcopal Units to hold conversations in our Church and with the wider community about the nature of marriage,

And to explore how the Church might theologically and liturgically respond to gay and lesbian Anglican couples who request this rite.

Further,  it asks General Synod Standing Committee to support and resource the Episcopal Units in this endeavour ;

And for Episcopal Units to demonstrate progress to General Synod Standing Committee and, where appropriate, the Commission ‘Ma Whea’,  in advance of the next General Synod / te Hinota Whanui in 2014."

The report on the debate is here.

Speaking as a conservative evangelical to all conservative Anglicans in our church who should chance to read this and the report on Taonga, I suggest we have a significant challenge before us over the next two years.

The first part of this challenge is to take seriously the pastoral matters of how we (individuals, congregations, networks of congregations) and our church as a whole relates to and engages with those who wish to live out their sexual orientation in faithful, loving, permanent partnerships. We cannot duck this issue by leaving the church, because we will not be leaving the Christianity of the 21st century in these islands and elsewhere in the world which is relating to and engaged with these matters. Including, as the report makes mention, our very own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends.

The second part of this challenge is to take seriously Scripture and tradition, the very lifeblood of our church as bequeathed to us in Christ through the Spirit that we might have access to the Father and draw all people to him. Further, to do so in such a manner that we are as faithful to Scripture and tradition as we seek to be to our spouses, while acknowledging and engaging with Christian brothers and sisters with diverse views on these matters.

On this and other matters at General Synod, read, as always, Kelvin Wright. Personally, reading his latest post, I am intrigued that the St John's College motion has not gone through straightforwardly. Heavy waters?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Communion, go to:

Preludium for the text of the two motions re Covenant and Communion which will go to TEC (recalling that some seven or so different motions had been proposed prior to the GC); update: now passed in both houses.

Titus One Nine for a heap of links to a heap of matters before TEC;

this particular post on T19 for something weird and worrying;

Bishop Dan Martins reflecting on a decision of the House of Bishops re a sneaky, move past the canons approach to same sex blessings (and to other posts of his re other matters);

Archbishop Mouneer Anis taking it to the old colonials network that is the process for appointing the ABC for the 21st century;

the Ugley Vicar who makes a telling point re WATCH and the messy machinations of the English GS;

and, finally, to the Anglican Curmudgeon on liturgical anarchy ... and, no, he is not talking about liturgy in ACANZP!


Father Ron Smith said...

Having shared time at Saint John's College, Auckland, as a fellow student with the bishop of Dunedin, Dr.Kelvin Wright, I was most interested in his take on Synod's discussion so far on matters of (1) the future of Saint John's College, and (2) the debate on the reality of homosexuality and the Church.

Having also know Bishop Apimaleki Qilio as a student, while living in Fiji in the late 1960s, I feel for him in his personal situation of intimate family involvement on the second issue - as reported by Bishop.Kelvin here:

" Some of the speakers spoke most movingly of their personal experience, including Bishop Api Qilio, whose son is gay. Reconciling his love for his son with the teachings of his church has led Bishop Api to becoming chair of an organization for Gay and Lesbian Fijians. The motion was passed by a a large majority because regardless of people's stand on the issue of the place of GLBT in the church, there is widespread agreement on the need to re-evaluate the issue of marriage"

It is precisely those people, like Bishop Api, who have family who happen to be L.G.B. or T., who need to share their experience of the pain suffered by the rejection of a member of their own family, who will make a difference to the deep aversion expressed by some of our Church people against those who are intrinsically differently-oriented in their sexual make-up.

I'm glad General Synod is beginning to sit up and take note of such things that need to be put right in our Church.

Love conquers all things - even homophobia & misogyny

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

My first reaction in reading the motion on the Nature of Marriage (and hearing Archbishop David Moxon on the radio) is somewhat positive.

I can't help but still feel anxiety for our church given what is at stake in this debate. But at least now the debate is being framed in theological terms rather than in the language or human rights or whether we are to be inclusive or exclusive.

To discuss the theology of marriage and related texts, such as Gen 1-2, Matt 19, Eph 5, may not resolve our differences, but at least the debate will be framed in a much more helpful way.

For it seems to me that the theology of marriage holds together both creation and redemption in a way that ensures that they are not easily disconnected, as has so often happened in the past - at least in my view.


Bryden Black said...

many thanks Peter for saving (some of) us the dreary wadding through sites and links. Nonetheless, if one does follow comments attached to these links as well, some fascinating stuff emerges - viz:

Anonymous said...

"That given the long-held mission of our Church to challenge and support couples to publicly commit themselves to each other,"

This is drivel, concocted in weasel words. Christian marriage is not about 'couples', and it is not the 'mission' of the Church in any case.
How much grief has Mr Cardy caused the Church of Christ with his blasphemous billboards mocking the Mother of Christ and his heretical teachings about her Son. Has he ever repented of these insults? Has he ever been called to account by the Church?
Martin the Antitroll

Anonymous said...

I think Bishop Anis clearly wants the needs of the Anglican Communion to come before the needs of the Church of England. But unfortunately the British Government and I suspect ordinary members of the C of E dont see it like that. And I suspect Bisho Anis has little idea of the constitutional complexities which would be involved in trying to change things..just look at the current mess over reform of the House of Lords.Being an established church with parochial not membership responsibilities is a complex thing legally and isnt going to change quickly nor do i see much enthusiasm for significant change here....The Anglican Comm will,I think, have to devise a solution where Canterbury plays a different role...and that would mean rather a different sort of Communion.
Perry Butler canterbury England

carl jacobs said...

Peter Carrell

take seriously the pastoral matters of how we (individuals, congregations, networks of congregations) and our church as a whole relates to and engages with those who wish to live out their sexual orientation in faithful, loving, permanent partnerships.

This is not a difficult question. Your pastoral responsibility is to communicate clearly the sinfulness of both the act and the desire behind the act. Your responsibility is to call them to repentance. Your responsibility is to deny the false anthropology behind the idea of 'sexual orientation.' Your responsibility is to assert that the character of a relationship does not change the nature of the relationship.

They may not want to hear it. That does not change your responsibility. The world may condemn you for it. That does not change your responsibility. The truth is what it is. We are responsible first and foremost to the Truth.


Anonymous said...

For someone outside of the world-wide Anglican Communion Anonymous carl has rather a lot to say about what its member should or should not be doing about a subject he obviously has personal difficulties with .

I find his criticism and level of conversation about TEC and other Christian Churches, with which he has no affiliation, not only disturbing but hateful. This does seem to me to be typically andf morally indefensibly trollish.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I do not think Carl is being "hateful" but he is calling out the enigmas and mysteries of TEC's life as it proclaims itself to be fully Christian while embarking on a series of decisions (both in Convention and out of Convention) which are suggestive that it is becoming a post-Christian church.

I suggest the proper response to Carl is not to wonder why he bothers to comment on a church to which he does not belong but to respond with seriousness to the charges he brings, that is, to probe the life of TEC and to bring forth clarity about the ways and means by which it moves forward into the 21st century. In particular, on this site, I am interested in why TEC shows so little regard for the creedal and prayer book orthodoxy of Anglicanism. At its current GC, for instance, it has deliberately eschewed the normative liturgical path for establishing a new service (i.e. for blessing same sex relationships): why is that? Why can it not submit, in its own Convention to its own canonical conventions? What is going on at the GC that it cannot simply and unitedly subscribe to the simple Christian tradition of baptism before communion? I suggest your insights and theological reflections on such issues would be welcome here. Your protestations against Carl the person are a cul-de-sac. Your thoughts about the important issues he raises are a potential highway to new understanding about North American Anglicanism.

Anonymous said...

Prophetic critique of Liberal tyranny is not hateful nor trolling.