"At the heart of the liberal revolt against this call to surrender our right to please ourselves lies two things:
1 The first is a determination to claim as a right access to pleasure, and in particular sexual pleasure; and more, to rage against anyone who threatens this right rather like an emotionally incontinent child.
2 The second is an insensitivity to any form of spiritual conflict. There is no sense that there is a real agency of evil that sets itself against the patterns that God has laid down. There is no awareness that evil sets out to twist and deform what God has made good.
So the liberal is certain he or she is doing good by giving affirmative permission for people to do what they like, and calling this ‘love’ – while the conservative or orthodox thinks that he or she is trying to be obedient to a pattern of hierarchical holiness, in which our sacrifice and submission play a part in freeing us from the lure of self indulgent evil.
At the heart of this is a struggle for the Church; a struggle to define Christianity itself.Who is right?"
START ORIGINAL POST: Andrew Brown kind of annoys me because he writes with what seems to me be an unveiled coat of cynicism. However even the most annoying cynic can put his finger on the truth of the matter.
As preparation for my GAFCON gaffe (2) post - draft in process - I refer you to this column of Andrew Brown, entitled "It started as a split over gay clergy. But now the Anglican Communion is dead.'
One prediction he makes is that there will not be another Lambeth Conference. I think he is wrong on that but my prediction is that the next Lambeth Conference will not amount to much more than a mostly white boys club get together to talk about nothing in particular.
Here is the decisive insight from Andrew Brown which coheres with what I want to say about GAFCON's gaffe:
"What's new is that no one any longer cares. The split has happened, and it turns out not to matter at all.
This is in part because the movement of public opinion on sexuality has completely overwhelmed that of church politicians. Congregations by and large have moved on, too. They are part of the public, too. But until very recently the conservative evangelicals in the Church of England lived in a bubble of self-importance, whose boundaries were respected by Rowan Williams. And from within the bubble, the outside world could not be clearly seen. Only, the fight about gay marriage made it apparent to the main body of the church – and to Justin Welby – that their attitudes were repulsive and immoral to the majority of people in this country.The conservatives still don't really see this."