Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Compromise is such a dirty word. Can we clean it up?

Just as beauty is in the minds of the beholder, so is dirt. One man's dirt is another man's soil set to produce a magnificent harvest. This applies also to 'compromise'. Such a dirty word in some people's minds (not, of course, in the broad minds of readers here). But need it be so? Are there clean and honourable compromises? (All my own compromises, of course, are of such kind!)

But let not my words persuade you. They might be seen as, well, compromised. Rather, have a read of the thoughtful James K. A. Smith, writing at Cardus.

Building on an insight of Oliver O'Donovan's, he argues that 'faithful compromise' is possible. Starting with Jesus ... even Daniel was a compromiser ...

What do you think?

PS For cricket lovers such as myself, self-indulgent in the writings of prose masters such as Neville Cardus, I have had to check out what 'Cardus' is. Sadly, nothing to do with the great game ... but don't worry, I can "fix it" for you. Cardus is:

"Cardus (root: cardo) is a think tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. We conduct independent and original research, produce severalpublications, and regularly stage events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S."


carl jacobs said...

Interesting that the author chose Daniel as his example and not Solomon. Or maybe not.

The problem is not with the nature of compromise, but rather with what we choose to compromise about. Which subject seemed curiously absent from the essay. He spends the entire essay in the abstract talking between the lines. He never actually gets around to saying anything. So he attacks the straw man of absolute prohibition when no one actually defends it. What then is he talking about while not actually talking about it? Hrmmmm. I wonder. Could it be?

So then, let's get to the elephant in the living room. Is homosexuality one of those subjects fit for compromise? No, it isn't. And if you want to know why, all you have to do is remember Solomon and his wives - and his wives' idols. What happened when Solomon compromised by marrying foreign women who worshipped foreign gods? What happened when Solomon let those women bring those idols into his house?

That's the problem.


Father Ron Smith said...

Whose talking gobbledegook, now?

Jean said...

I think our societies lost art is not compromise but the skill of negotiation. I know I was never taught how to truly negotiate, obviously in the Daniel story there are also some un-negotiables. I suppose refusing to eat unless they were given vegetables is a form of negotiation albeit a drastic one.

In my childhood it was, 'my way or the highway'.

Unknown said...

I do think that it is possible to either compromise nor negotiate with the liberal revisonists who wish to deconstruct our Church.The experience for the Orthodox Anglican here in N.Z. would no doubt be the same as that of their counterparts in the Episcopalian Church U.S.A.-Be driven out, so the liberals can claim to be the legitimate Church.Anybody, who wishes to continue to foist Motion 30 onto us;should look into the ramifications of diminishing the Doctrine and Canon.They are quite clearly spealt out in House of Lord's decision in The Free Church of Scotland case.

Kurt said...

Actually, Glen, while many American Episcopal liberals certainly had big differences with some conservatives in TEC, no one was “driven out” so that progressives could “claim to be the legitimate Church.” In fact, as the secret Chapman Memo shows, it was certain dissatisfied conservatives (who continually lost the votes at General Convention and elsewhere re: Prayer Book revision, women’s ordination, gay bishops, etc.) who wanted to replace the current American Episcopal Church as the recognized Anglican Communion presence in the USA. They have been trying to replace TEC for over a decade without success.

The text of the secret Chapman Memo can be found here:


Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Father Ron Smith said...

"I do think that it is possible to either compromise nor negotiate with the liberal revisionists who wish to deconstruct our Church"
- Glen Young -

I thought at first that was an incendiary statement, until I realised that the author did not apply a negative in his remarks. (Did he mean to, I wonder?)

I would remind Glen that any hint of deconstruction could only come from those who wish to depart our Church, on account of its openness to bless the monogamous, faithful relationship of same-sex committed partnerships. Oh, Yes. And to allow faithful, committed Gay people to become clergy & bishops in our Church.

This departure from us would be an action called 'schism' which is what has happened with the ACNA, AMiE, CANA, and other assorted conservative groups. Intentional schism is the real danger to the unity of Anglicans around the world - inhibiting mission.

Peter Carrell said...

HI Ron/Kurt
Apologies Ron, the following comment was actually deleted by me by mistake - slightly risky me trying to 'Publish' from my phone as 'Delete' is all too easy to hit.
Anyway the comment below is unexpurgated:

"Gosh, Kurt. Your link gives us a very powerful indication of the motives behind the separatists in North America - and so long ago now.
Such chutzpah - from a minority of conservatives - hoping to usurp the authority of TEC - is unbelievable.