Thursday, November 15, 2018

What is "Anglican heritage"?

Readers here will be familiar with the continuing story of the Diocese of Sydney responding to our GS 2018 decision, referenced in a post or two below. Recently I gather a resolution was passed there supporting the raising of funds for ministers in the emerging new churches here. This week, from our side of the conversation, our Archbishops with the support of our GS Standing Committee wrote a response to Archbishop Glenn Davies. The best set of links is in a Thinking Anglicans post here.

Their post uses the word "overlap" in the heading, meaning that when the ++Sydney proposal is that there might be two recognised Anglican churches in the Blessed Isles of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, it is proposed on the basis of a shared or overlapping Anglican heritage.

In an eLife letter to the Diocese yesterday, I wrote the following:

"In the light of disaffiliations this year and the starting up of new congregations (by my count: 5 to date, 8 by February 2019), some of which are using the word “Anglican” in their names, I encourage readers to read an article published today on Taonga about a letter from our Archbishops to the Archbishop of Sydney (and from that article, there is a link to the whole letter). A particular point made in that letter is this:
“Our General Synod resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages cannot be divorced from this shared history – it was a cross-tikanga resolution, decades in the making. Indeed, had it not been for the extraordinary generosity and patience extended by Tikanga Māori (and Tikanga Polynesia) on this very matter, this province would be in a far less healthy state than it is today. If those disaffiliating want to be committed to that fundamental consequence of being Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand, then they must stay in these constitutional and Treaty-based relationships. We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history.”
I want to be clear with you all that I will not now nor when I am Bishop of Christchurch speak or write in ways which disrespect those who are forming new “Anglican” churches – they have been and will remain our brothers and sisters in God’s family. In common law they have the right to use a term which is neither trademarked nor copyrighted. But I completely agree with our Archbishops and the General Synod Standing Committee that we cannot offer formal recognition to a church or network of churches which claim to be Anglican apart from the constitutional and Treaty-based relationships which have evolved in the history of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, often through pain, difficulty, forgiveness and reconciliation. To do otherwise as Pākehā would be to – once again – override and ignore the voice of the first Anglicans of these islands, our Maori brothers and sisters in Te Hāhi Mihinare." END QUOTE

I think it worth a few more lines here on "Anglican heritage".

First, to be clear, if we think of being "Anglican" as working through a checkbox list, then the new churches here tick critically important boxes: having a bishop (from April next year); communion with other Anglican churches (through GAFCON membership); working missionally, liturgically, pastorally, theologically from Anglican roots, articles, prayer books. All ticked.

Also, if we worry about more than one Anglican church within a given territory, that that is somehow a bit "unAnglican", then we can set those worries aside: Europe (as ++Davies has pointed out) has more than one Anglican jurisdiction covering it. (We might, of course, worry that nevertheless such dual jurisdiction has fishhooks - I believe it does - but, hey, it is what it is and it is Anglican.)

So, the critique our Archbishops are making is this: in the specific context of these islands, "Anglican heritage" means more than "the heritage of the 16th century, the heritage of the English Reformation." Anglican heritage here includes and cannot set aside "200 years of relationship and history" between Maori and Pakeha, encapsulated in our "constitutional and Treaty-based relationships."

If there is to be "overlap" it must be an overlap defined by Maori and Pakeha together and not by Pakeha alone. And what Maori are saying through Archbishop Don Tamihere is that the overlap is found within ACANZP and not outside it.

Now, some might say, "the Archbishop's view is important, to be listened to, but, it is only one view of these things."

But, the question before us is not about personal recognitions of other churches, but "formal recognition" - the recognition, in this case, by ACANZP in all its synodical authority, of another church, of the Extra Provincial Diocese which is being formed.

The implication of the Archbishops' letter is that a proposal to formally recognise the new EPD as Anglican would not receive support from Tikanga Maori. (I suspect it wouldn't from the other two Tikanga, either, but I am not predicting that here). Thus it is not going to be forthcoming. The grounds for not formally recognising will be the lack of shared heritage as encapsulated in our constitutional and Treaty-based relationships.

So, the issues before us - when people within ACANZP are concerned about the new churches using the word "Anglican" in their new names, and when it is obviously important for the new churches that they continue to be Anglican in character, ethos and practice - include:

- what role is the voice of Tikanga Maori in discussion about these matters?
- will that voice be heard by Pakeha (within ACANZP and outside it)?
- will Sydney and the wider Anglican world understand the particularity of "Anglican heritage" in these islands?

Finally, with respect to my recent post below, where I proposed that perhaps the wider Communion through a very inclusive Lambeth Conference might give us some direction in respect of ++Davies proposal, I acknowledge that even that body of Anglican resolution-making authority might not be enough to dissuade the Archbishops' from maintaining their response, resting as it does on specific concerns in our particular context.


Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter,

Not to downplay your reference to the need to treat our recently departed sistren/brethren of FCANZ as just that; as I stated on the 'Thinking Anglicans' site, there is no real comparison between our situation here in the Blessed Isles to that of the eclectic Anglican Diocese of Europe - where both American and European jurisdictions are working together side-by-side in eucharistic Fellowship (koinonia).

The incidence of intentional schism in ACANZ (P is not in contention here) is a situation of FCANZ severing their own ties with ACANZP. In this reality, whatever they want to call themselves they cannot be condidered to be of the same ecclesial community as those of us in ACANZP, whose canonical status of Same-Sex Blessings has been rejected by the outgoers.

You indicate that FCANZ (which surely would be the best name for their new sodality) is about to ordain their own bishop for their operation in New Zealand - a situation likely to cause some identity confusion with yourself as Anglican Bishop of Christchurch - not to mention all the other Bishops in ACANZP in these Islands.

This may precipitate an urgent need for our Bishops in ACANZP to make a province-wide statement that the new quasi-Anglican sodality has no organisational connection to ACANZP. This may best serve to identify the different focus in mission between the GAFCON/FOCA Church and that of ACANZ's more open attitude towards LGBT+ people in our mission to Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
There will be three bishops living in Christchurch from 9 February 2019.
A fourth will not necessarily confuse.
It all depends on precise naming.
There are two Bishops of Christchurch ... we distinguish them by adding an adjective ...!

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter, not untoward, because of its reference to God's overarching love for all, I noted this lovely Scriptural passage and comment from the Loyola website for today:

"Matthew 5:44–45

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust."

"Jesus tells us that God’s love does not discriminate between those who are good and those who are bad. Loving our enemies is no easy task, yet as followers of Jesus that is what we are called to do. Our love should reflect the love that God has for each person. Jesus encourages us to grow in love for all by praying for them. In that way, we can come to see through the eyes of God and love with his love."

This leads me to think that - whatever view we might have of the sins of other people, God has the final word - LOVE. TBTG!

Toby Behan said...

Hi Peter (and other readers / partakers),

Thanks for your article and discussion on this. My own reaction to the letter from the GSSC has been one of discomfort.

The letter says (as you quoted) that "We cannot recognize a church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history".

To my mind, this raises a question. If we (ACANZP) cannot recognize a church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship, then on what basis do we recognize Anglican churches in other countries?

It seems to me you begin to answer this question in your reflection, where you mentioned thinking of being Anglican as ticking a series of 'boxes'. The boxes you mentioned (and I'm sure it wasn't an exhaustive list) included communion with other churches, working missionally and pastorally with Anglican roots, articles and prayer books.

So - perhaps the basis by which ACANZP can 'recognize' other Anglican churches in other countries is because they tick those boxes?

Now the GSSC, or the Archbishops, have added another 'tick-box' to this list - which seems to be specifically for churches who wish to identify as Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. That tick-box is to "encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history", as described in the letter. A church that does not encapsulate this, cannot be recognized as Anglican, according to the letter. This is, therefore, equivalent to another tick-box.

But here's the thing I can't get around in my mind. If we are saying that we cannot formally recognize a new expression of Anglicanism in Aotearoa (our Blessed Isles) - then the 'tick box' which the GSSC and the Archbishops have added ("encapsulating shared history") must be a 'trump' tick box. In other words - it must carry more weight than the others. It has to be more important. Because without THAT box being ticked, the church can't be authentically Anglican.

In other words, the disaffiliating churches want to identify as Anglican. They tick the communion with other churches box. They tick the episcopal leadership box (next year, anyway). They tick the assent to the doctrinal roots of the Anglican faith. They tick missional, pastoral, liturgical.

But they don't tick the shared history box. And either that particular tick-box is more important than the other ones, or the other tick-boxes, by themselves, are not enough.

Are we seriously adding another requirement to be a member of the Anglican Communion here? Not only that - are we really saying that this additional requirement is more important than the ones we already have?

As I mentioned at the outset - I have discomfort with this.

Yours in Christ,

Toby Behan.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Toby
A requirement re shared history, of course, only applies to the question of Anglican recognition within these islands.

(Formal) recognition of Anglican churches around the globe includes the other matters I mentioned but there are other considerations to consider:

for instance, which Anglicans are in communion with which Anglicans?

A point ++Glenn seems to miss is that the overlapping Dioceses of Europe are in communion with each other.

Many if not all GAFCON Primates are famously unwilling to share communion with certain other Anglican Primates: membership of the Anglican Communion surely supposes a willingness to participate in Holy Communion together ... the question of whether GAFCON is in actual communion with the Anglican Communion sits in the air, either not answered or unsatisfactorily answered.

Then back to the NZ situation: will the new EPD, understanding itself to be a part of the Anglican Communion via GAFCON, consider itself in communion with ACANZP?

I don't know the answer to that question; perhaps no one does at this stage; but that also is a relevant and somewhat weighty question to consider alongside the question of shared history?

So, there is much to discuss, matters to ponder, and questions to seek answers for!

Merv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Father Ron said...

Toby, the box the FCANZ departees could not tick - to qualify them to remain part of ACANZ Anglicanism (context is imporant) - is that involving a determination of its governing body - our General Synod - to allow for S/S Marriage Blessings.

Conversely, they have ticked the exclusivist box hosted by the GAFCON Provinces (including the extra-provincial Archdiocese of Sydney) that does not apporove of this facility - and which sodality they have been encouraged into by overseas interests.

FCANZ's schismatic movement away from New Zealand's Anglican Church (ACANZ) has been an action of self determination which cannot be blamed on ACANZP. This action has automatically severed the connection with Aotearoa/New Zealand's membership of the worldwide Anglican Communion - as constituted by our relationship with the ABC. It is this relationship (through the Lambeth Conference) that qualifies Anglicanism.

GAFCON/FOCA have their own alternative 'brand' of 'Anglicanism' in their separatist 'Jerusalem Statement of Faith' which has rejected the Lambeth Quadrilateral. This does not describe Anglicanism as currently subscribed to by members of ACANZ - nor by our Founding Church of England - from whence the title Anglican was derived.

Archbishops Tamihere and Richardson have articulated the situation clearly and distinctly as to what is required in the way of commitment to the Constitution of our Church in Aotearoa/NZ - to which our Bishops & clergy are now clearly committed.

Bryden Black said...

Perhaps folks the key tick box which should apply to any and all Christian churches of any denomination is their adherence to Holy Scripture, the unique witness to and instrument in God’s economy of salvation. Then, not to put too fine a point on it: when a party to ANY agreement thereby disassociates themselves from these Holy Scriptures by their actions, then their COVENANT relationship with others is grossly impaired. Anyone familiar with the literature over recent decades associated with “Covenant” studies can only draw this conclusion.

Toby Behan said...

Father Ron - thanks for your comment. I do understand what you are saying when you describe the 'tick-box' which FCA has not checked. Thank you for that - but my problem is not really with WHAT the tick-box is. My difficulty is that those of us in the ACANZP seem to count the OTHER tick-boxes as less important, or not enough, to qualify them for formal recognition.

Merv has raised an excellent point. And I agree with what Bryden is saying about what the key tick-box should be for churches of our Lord Jesus Christ in any denomination.

You see - this is where I feel convicted, after meditating on this subject. A few weeks ago I preached on the gospel reading where some of Jesus' disciples wanted to stop someone from casting out demons in the name of Jesus, simply because that person was not one of their own group. And Jesus' response was firm - NOT to stop them. They were to be permitted to go on doing what they were doing. Jesus elaborated by saying that someone who was not against Him was on His side.

I was personally convicted at the time of preparing that sermon. About how easily I say to myself that this group or that group is not REALLY doing what I think they should be doing. But Jesus' teaching made it clear to me that this was not my job.

I feel that His teaching is directly applicable here. And I don't want us, as the ACANZP, to not recognize the work of another group who are working in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus didn't place more burdens upon people in order to 'prove' that they were able to be recognized by fellow disciples. If he didn't - then why should we?

Blessings to you all.


Father Ron Smith said...

Bryden, fine as your statement might be for anyone outside of our New Zealand context in ACANZP; it does NOT apply to our modern understanding of either the ancient Scriptures (which are still being investigated/interpreted in the contemporary Christian Churches) or the ethos of our Anglican Church in these Islands of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Holy Spirit in the Church is still alive and active - not contained to the pages of a collection of books - no matter how holy they may be regarded by scholars of antiquities. In fact, for Christians, it is important to realise that the definitive "WORD" historically has become 'Flesh" in the person of the Incarnate Jesus. It is He whom we follow - not only words ABOUT Him.

Anglicanism is based on Scripture/Tradition/Reason - Not Scripture alone. We are still discovering - by the Spirit's leading - what the Scriptures have to say about the teaching and ministry of Jesus.

Glen Young said...

Dear Bryden,

Point well made; but for years, those who voted this debacle, had also signed "submissions to General Synod as well as a number of other clergy and vestry members; when it [G.S.] held that sex was only permitted in Holy Matrimony ie. The 39 Articles. That was the AUTHORITY OF GENERAL SYNOD. Any person who signed a submission to General Synod not believing that to be true was not only "tempting God" but also defrauding civil law because of The Church Of England Empowering Act 1928. If one does not accept "The Homily on Matrimony"; get out of the ACANZP because it is part of the CONSTITUTIONAL DOCTRINE, through the 39 Articles.God bless you for standing firm to HIS WORD.


Your response to Bryden highlights the predicament which General Synod now finds itself in. Your response DOES NOT outline the DOCTRINE of the ASCANZP;
but that of Progressive Christianity.Please DO NOT mislead people about the "ethos of our Anglican Church". Read what the CONSTITUTION ACTUALLY STATES.

Your second paragraph has nothing to do with the Doctrine of the ACANZP; but is the stance of Progressive Christianity, as per TEC. Ron,I have asked you on other threads to state categorically, your scientific and theological justification for [a] that God created homosexual desires as a given, or [b]
that such is desire of God for mankind. The Doctrine of the ACANZP is quite clearly spealt out in the first Fundamental Provision of the Constitution.

Anyone who believes that the ACANZP is still discovering what the Holy Spirit is leading the Church to believe,needs to go back to both the Scriptures and the Constitution.The Holy Spirit is leading us believers to acknowledge that which is in our spirits that needs to be crucified.

Father Ron said...

Toby, reading a report on the Sydney Archbishop's address (extracts from which can be accessed on my website - kiwianglo -) to his Synod recently, he reveals Sydney's close membership of the GAFCON sodality which has distanced itself from the ACC, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference - all of which are part and parcel of the worldwide Anglican Communion to which ACANZP is committed.

Presumably GAFCON is a voluntary association which has decided to ignore the basic Instruments of Unity which define membership of the Anglican Communion to which ACANZP belongs.

In his call for monetary and moral support from Australians to further the currently schismatic severance of ther FCANZ clergy and people who have voluntarily abandoned our Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Archbishop Glen Davies has signalled his own disregard for the ecclesial integrity of ACANZP.

My question is: If you are going to intentionally leave an organisation on moral grounds, why would you want to become re-affiliated with it when it still operates under the same conditions for which you left it in the first place? It simply does not make any sense. Moving under the banner of GAFCON, with Sycney/GAFCON support, sets you apart from the ACC, the ABC, and Lambeth - the markers of Anglicanism.

Anonymous said...

In the news in NZ is that copious history students in their last year of secondary education did not know the word “trivial” which was essential to understanding the question in the national history examination. NZQA has ruled that “candidates would not be penalised for misinterpreting the word 'trivial'.” In other words, if you answer the question writing about a “significant historical cause” you will get the same grade as someone who, correctly, writes about a trivial cause.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

What is being discussed here are the meanings of the words “recognise” and “Anglican”.

The simplest meaning of “Anglican” is acknowledging the Archbishop of Canterbury as First Among Equals, and acknowledged as part of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury. That does not necessarily mean having the word “Anglican” in one’s title. By this definition, The Episcopal Church is Anglican. The Anglican Church in North America is not.

Being in communion with an Anglican Church does not make one Anglican, nor does it mean one has Anglican Heritage. The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Latvian Lutheran Church, and The Old Catholics are all in communion with the Church of England. They are not Anglican nor do they have Anglican Heritage.

I regularly point out that people in our church at every “level” of our church often get the name of our church wrong. It’s (clearly too!) complicated. Just two recent examples: a significant person writing online about the very subject of this blog post got the name of our church wrong; parishioners voting whether to stay or leave were staying in or disaffiliating from a church that doesn’t exist! Having the word “Anglican” in the name(s) of the disaffiliating communities will add to the confusion – within Christianity and outside of Christianity.

Having “Anglican Heritage” doesn’t mean one is Anglican – or looking at that the other way around: not having “Anglican” in one’s name does not mean there is no “Anglican Heritage” in one’s “family tree”. Think of Methodists, Salvation Army… Those disaffiliating will have to explain why they think it is important to them that “Anglican” is in their title, if that is what they decide to do, and what they understand by “Anglican”. Remember that for them it confuses them with the very church that they have made this big decision to disaffiliate from!

Having Anglican in one’s name or not does not affect how Christian, orthodox, loving, missional, authentic, biblical, liturgical, episcopal, synodical, or effective one is.

I agree with Peter about being respectful but highlight that thinking that the disaffiliating churches should not use “Anglican” in their title is not being disrespectful of them.

Finally, “recognise” needs clarification/defining. I currently see no issue in principle about recognising the validity of the sacraments of the disaffiliating communities. And that includes their ordinations. In practice, one might not be so sanguine about some in our own church! I see no reason why we wouldn’t receive communion if we were present at their services – assuming that they would be open to inviting us. And I would certainly welcome them to receive communion at our altar.

In Christ


Father Ron Smith said...

Toby, you said this:

" how easily I say to myself that this group or that group is not REALLY doing what I think they should be doing. But Jesus' teaching made it clear to me that this was not my job. "

I suggest, Toby, that you look at this statement from ACANZP General Synod's point of view. They may just regard your voice here as the voice of the departing FCANZ members.

From my point of view, the departees are judging ACANZP as (quote) 'not doing what (we) think they should be doing'. Get my meaning?
Perhaps Jesus should have made it clear that it was not FCANZ' 'job' to judge ACANZP's determination on what they see as a Gospel issue.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Commenters
Thanks for recent comments.
A few responses, by no means a complete set, time is short:

Toby: there is no question that we are all on the side of the Lord Jesus, all seeking to live out his will for the kingdom of God, on earth, and I hope nothing I have said has implied anything else. The specific question before ACANZP, prompted by the Archbishop of Sydney, is what "formal recognition" means of an Anglican church in these islands which has disaffiliated from formal relationship with Tikanga Maori. There is always the option of the new Anglican church entering into formal discussion with Tikanga Maori ...

Bosco: thank you. There are, indeed, many nuances, definitions and assessments to consider. Critical, I suggest, for our new situation is who will share communion with whom. And I join you in saying explicitly that I will share in communion with those disaffiliating. Will they welcome you and me to same table of the Lord?

Glen: I think you misunderstand the situation when you keep bringing us back to the constitution. I will put it this way. By my estimation, for every 20 Anglican families with a member who is in a same sex partnership, only 1 of those families thinks the church should remain as it was prior to GS 2018 (that is, absolute prohibition of any priest or bishop anywhere offering a blessing for that relationship (if a civil marriage, civil union). 19/20 such families want to be part of a church which offers space/permission for that relationship to be blessed (if the couple choose, if a priest can be found, etc).

Further, of those 19 families, 19/19 abhor language of "abomination" being used about their relatives (cf. a report in the ODT today about a congregation or portion thereof voting to leave St Matthew's Church Dunedin); 18/19 are comfortable with ACANZP continuing to include and confirm those whose teaching is "traditional orthodoxy" on marriage and sexuality; and 19/19 are happy that this church has found a way to not let the constitution stand in the way of the decision in May.

Finally, for those 19/20 families, language which implies they are unfaithful Anglicans, lack adherence to Scripture, are poorly formed by inadequately trained ministers is at best water of a duck's back and at worst deeply offensive. 19/19 such families read Scripture in terms of mercy, compassion and love as providing ways for their relatives to be supported and respected as fellow human beings negotiating the frailties of human sexuality. Trying to use a constitutional argument against that reading of Scripture is, as best I understand it, cutting no mustard!

Glen Young said...


I am not misunderstanding anything in drawing you back to the Constitution; I simply ask you, where does General Synod get any AUTHORITY from to make any decisions? What authority do the Canons have?

Jesus said:"Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's; and unto God, the things that are God's."Matt. 22/15-21. In relation to the structure of the Church and worship, St. Paul said:"Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Cor. 14/40.

The Church belongs to Christ as does the Doctrine, [He was/is the WORD become flesh and died for that church. His Resurrection is the HOPE and GOSPEL of that Church]. The Constitution 1857 was a legal instrument which was voluntarily accepted by all present and to which each of us, since then,have accented to upon our confirmation into the ACANZP. That Constitution was ratified by the N.Z.Parliament in 1928, "The Church of England Empowering Act 1928." The Constitution 1857 and that Act, establishes the relationship between the Church and the State. We have already made a lengthy submission to the Ma Whea Commission, making them aware of the dangers of where they were heading. They chose to ignore our submission. General Synod is not of the woods yet; if some of the departing congregations decide to stand and fight over the assets and pension schemes of the ACANZP, instead of quietly going; they have the House of Lords on their side. Our family has in the past made both land and money available to the Church for it's continuance; but have now decided to support a departing Parish.

Finally,Ron,Caesar only has the legitimate right to legislate on civil relationships and the ongoing property disputes and not on Holy Matrimony. If 19/20 families you mention, find the language of the Doctrine of the ACANZP, as defined in Fundamental Clause One of the Constitution 1857, offensive, they may be in the wrong Church. Reading the Scriptures in terms of mercy,compassion and love is all very well;but Jesus also said:"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill." Matt. 5 /16-20. And further, He said:" if you love me,keep my commandments."John 14/15. And those commandments for both heterosexuals and LGBT in MATT 19/3-12.

So I am saying, that any person, in the ACANZP who has been led to believe that their issue is so innate that it cannot be [a] forgiven, or [b] led into captivity in Christ,or [c] hopefully both, 2 Cor 10/1-8.; has not been subject to the liberating Doctrine, that is to found in the Doctrine of the ACANZP Fundamental Clause One. It may not cut the mustard for 19/20 families for you;but can I leave you with the words of Old Man Coleman:" I did not grow rich on the mustard that people ate, but that which they left on the side of their plates."

Father Ron said...

Glen, the Scriptures actually tell us that Jesus died for the world, not the Church. Also, note this, "For God so loved the WORLD...." In Creation God loves everything that God has made. The Church, the Body of Christ, has been raised up to be part of the world's redemption - not its destruction. And, yes Glen, you're right; Jesus came into the world to save sinners - that's ALL of us. Not just the great and the good (see the Publican and the Pharisee). What God requires of us all is to live humbly, and justly - not thinking of ourselves more than we ought but to walk humbly with our God. Jesus has, in fact, already fulfilled the requirements of The Law - knowing that we were incapable of meeting its demands. We do our best, but we cannot do more than that. God, in Christ, is infinitely more humble than many of God's own.This is why we 'make Eucharist' - thanking God that, in Christ alone, we have redemption. - GOSPEL.

Glen Young said...

Ron, Again your post tells half of the story; but the half which you miss is the essential elements.Without these aspects,your gospel becomes distorted into Universal-ism. Read the whole of Chapters 1 & 3 of John's Gospel. I can not really be bothered with thinking about Progressive Christianity, but if that is want the ACANZP wants;go for it.

Father Ron Smith said...

Glen, without the continuous exercise of Justice, Love and Mercy, the message of Christ in the gospel would be moribund! Christ is risen, Alleluia. He is alive and well in our Church, Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus was all for moving on from past injustices when he said this: "A NEW Commandment I give unto you; that you love one another as I have loved you". This is the living paradigm of the Christian Church.
I wish you well in your struggle with antiquity. Meanwhile "The Church has a Gospel to proclaim" - Good News, not bad!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glen
Your comment at 12.31 pm 18 November should have been addressed to me!
I would hope, Glen, that all Anglicans find the words of Scripture offensive: that is, challenging, demanding, difficult.
But what offends one Anglican may not offend another; and what Anglicanism generally offers is a broad space, an accommodating space in which to hear the words of Scripture and to work out their meaning for us.
If those 19/20 families I make hypothesis about were to leave ACANZP then, frankly, not much would be left!
That is, my argument is that all constitutions, as they are lived out in practice, are lived out via the way the people bound by that constitution actually are in the present, whatever may have been intended in 1776 (cf. the US constitution, then and now) or 1857.
The vast majority of Anglicans are not with you on your constitutional "originalism" (I think that is the term to borrow from the US!).

John Sandeman said...


in trying to follow your post, especially the 19/20 family metaphor, what sort of numbers are involved in departing from Christchurch?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi John
A rough estimate has been that c. 15% of all worshippers (i.e. measured by "Total Attendance" stats) are disaffiliating. It might be more than that; I don't think it would be less.

My 19/20 families hypothesis would mean, here in Chch, that most of the 1/20 families (that is, those who think nothing should have changed in May 2018) have disaffiliated.

No claim is made here about what proportion of the 85% remaining are happy/unhappy/neutral about the GS 2018 decision.

I hope this helps.

Glen Young said...


After 8 years of the so called "living Constitution" under Obama,the American people elected Trump, to, amongst other things, make appointments which would bring the Supreme Court back to reading the Constitution as written. You may have noticed the length to which the Democrats were prepared to go to, to pervert the process; for very good reason. They knew that another "Originalist" on the bench would take the Court back to it's proper function of determining the meaning of the Constitution and Law when it was written.
That would spell the end of the Court being a quasi legislator; effectively,rewriting the Constitution or Law to suit the desires of some particular circumstances.Not a sound basis for a sane society.

A yet this is what you are promoting for the ACANZP. Without the Constitution in it's original form, there is no mechanism to hold it true to what it was established for. You misread the situation if you think that these people are leaving over the LGBT issue. They are leaving because the Church has been turned into something it was not established to be. The Church has become just another secular social group and why bother attending it when all that it stands for is to be found in so other groups. I find it hypocritical that the Standing Committee wishes to use the Constitution to protect the name and property of the ACANZP and then tuck it away again. Their letter to Sydney must have brought a smile upon the Australian Bishops.The ACANZP has given away any right to claim exclusivity to the Anglican brand here by moving into Doctrine that is outside of that defined in the Constitution.You want a "BROAD CHURCH"; well you got it.

John Sandeman said...

Thank you Peter, That makes sense of your 19/20. I take your point about the other 85%. I hope that good (as possible) relations are maintained across this divide. I think the example of the "Living church" magazine in the US which maintains TEC and ACNA relations is is sign that it is possible.

Bryden Black said...

I've often suspected that 'Christian truth' was devolving in the West into contemporary sociological norms, notably via synodical government. Now with this discussion on "numbers", we've more evidence our "heritage" has become a bowl of gruel.

Father Ron said...

John, what you are proposing is co-jurisdiction - a possibility that has been negated by the departure of one of the wouldbe partners. This is called 'schism' against which there is no defence. While the departees may be given respect, they themselves have rejected the prospect of continuing ecclesial fellowship (koinonia).

Father Ron said...

Bryden, don't despise the theology of 'Numbers'. This is the main paradigm on which GAFCON/FOCA bases its credibility. Christians are, after all, called to be the leaven in the lump. Salt that has not lost its savour.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear John
I applaud the approach of the Living Church and it may be that we can see something like that in the South Pacific.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glen
ACANZP may yet be populated by people who support your approach to the constitution and if so I expect GS to be populated with reps from Dioceses who support "originalism." I do not see that happening any time soon.

I do not think ACANZP is turning into the body you say it is. I think ACANZP is trying to act responsibly and responsively to the pastoral circumstances of its members, as it has done in times past, e.g. re remarriage of the divorced and the ordination of women. As I understand your approach to the constitution you are logically arguing that neither of those changes should have happened.

Again, good luck with getting a majority of ACANZP members to agree with your logic.

I do not think ACANZP is using the constitution to protect its property. What we are saying about property is that it is held in trust for members of ACANZP.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
Your thoughts are not worthy of you!
The "numbers" adduced are an attempt to illustrate of the mind of the church, a mind which is at variance with those disaffiliating and, of course, at variance with your mind.
That does not mean that the mind of the church is somehow hopelessly sociological.
That you do not recognise the theology of mercy, love and compassion in those who would conduct SSB is your right but it is not your right to say there is no such theology.
That you do not recognise the theology of inclusiveness of differences of theological views in the one body of Christ is your right but it is our right to ask whether you are consistent in doing so!
Funnily enough, over the last few days I have been reading a bit more of Jenson, this time on pneumatology and thus highlighting the profound differences in pneumatology between East and West, differences which are both rooted in Scripture and which are not easily resolvable.
Those differences are, of course, found within Anglicanism, since some wish to stick with our Western Nicene Creed and some pine for the originalist and thus Eastern form of the same creed.
At last count it was fine for such differences to be found in our church; I know of no schisms because a parish here or there chooses to omit the filioque clause.
I also don't see that it is remarkably clear that Jenson's own resolution of the problem has won the day.
So, we press on as a church with differences on various issues, except that you have singled out one issue on which we may not differ.
By what authority do you declare that you are judge and jury on what differences may or may not be accommodated in an otherwise accommodating body theologically speaking?

Bryden Black said...

You wisely ask Peter by what criteria I judge differences. The answer is actually very simple. Logic. The differences we are advocating in these islands are utterly contradictory and mutually exclusive. The theologoumena regarding the Holy Spirit are just that.
Frankly, Peter, you can do far better than turning a blind eye to such differences among differences.

Glen Young said...


You simply playing a dishonest game with semantics. It is true that the assets are held in "trust" for the continence of the preaching and teaching of the Doctrine as defined in the Fundamental Clauses of the Constitution 1857, [the Deeds of Gift we have in our home, clearly establish that]. That Constitution does not allow for the "broad Church" you are so keen to speak of. By past and present Bishops failing to perform their function and duty;when all these issues arose, they allowed these false doctrines to take hold. These Bishops accepted "submissions to the Authority of General Synod', from Clergy and lay people whom they well knew did not uphold the required Doctrine. I am sure that in one sphere or another,we will all be held responsible for our stewardship of that which was given to us. The Constitution 1857 is the legally binding document for the establishment of the ACANZP; If you are not prepared to uphold that, then whats the big gig about thje 3 Ti Kanga.

Father Ron said...

Dear Bryden, as Peter has aleady stated, you have a right to your opinions - and even your theology, but please do not impose it on ACANZP, which has a number of bishops most ofg whom are eager to set our Church within the framework of it pastoral vocation and unique setting.

Thos bishops, I usggest, have become bishops in ACANZP because they have been chosen and elected and have become the teaching authoirity in our Church because of their understanding of what is actually required of the Church in our own day ands age - which is very different from the day and age of the Writers if Scripture, the BCP and the 39 Artifacts on which much of your theology seems to have been securely fixed and immutasble. The later Scriptural emphasis: "Behold, I am doing a NEW thing
' - together with the New Commandment of Jesus himself, lerd eminent Church Leaders like Pope John XXIII to declasre the need of 'Semper Reformanda' uin other words a constant reformation of the topical, contextual oujtworking of the message of the Gospel in a multi-cultural, multi-faceted world of hunan beings - each made in the Divine Image, and each needing pastoral care appropriate to their individual lives.

The amazing variety of human beings demands an ethic that meets the basic needs of each of us - according to the reality of what and who we have been created to be. Biological, cosmological and sociological research has radically changed our basic understanding of what it means to be human. Surely, this is one reason for our need to keep upo with the revelation of our evolving understanding of the universe - beyond the tragedies of slavery, female-subordination, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and rampant patriarchalism, whose disordered operation has led to much siffering in the past.

I suspect that you considewr any progress against these institutional wrongs to be rebellion against the established order - instead of an eirenic opening up to the Kingdom of God; where Love, Mercy and Justice are set to prevail. Perhaps this, Bryden, may be why God has n oit called you to be a BISHOP of the Church.

MichaelA said...

Hi Peter, you wrote: "Many if not all GAFCON Primates are famously unwilling to share communion with certain other Anglican Primates".

Actually, it appears to go well beyond Gafcon. For example, the boycott of the 2011 Primates Meeting in Dublin included the Primates of South East Asia, West Africa, Jerusalem & Middle East, and Indian Ocean.

MichaelA said...

Hi Bosco, you wrote: "The simplest meaning of “Anglican” is acknowledging the Archbishop of Canterbury as First Among Equals, and acknowledged as part of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury."

It is arguable whether that is simple, but why is simple important (or even relevant)?

The Jerusalem Statement in 2008 said "While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury."

So far as I am aware, the following Anglican provinces agree with the Jerusalem Statement (and therefore by your definition would not be Anglican, if I understand you correctly):

Indian Ocean
West Africa
South America
South Sudan

That’s rather a lot of people and provinces and dioceses for you to decide are not Anglican, Bosco!

Father Ron said...

Michael, what proportion of the Canterbury-related Anglican Provinces loyal to the Lambeth Quadrilateral is actually represented by your list of provinces assenting to the Jerusalem Faith Statement? It seems to me that, logically, those signing up to the J.S. have already resiled from historic Anglicanism related to the Church of England from which that title is founded.

It reminds meof a poster in the rear widow of a car: "Feeling the absence of God? Guess who moved"

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael
Clearly Anglicans do not agree what constitutes being Anglican!
For myself I am happy that we continue in disagreement and see whether, in a timely manner, we come to some kind of agreement and, even better, re-communicate with one another.
I personally subscribe to the view that to be in the Anglican Communion one needs to be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Whether one can be an Anglican who is not in the Anglican Communion ...

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glen
I think the 1857 constitution has been widely accepted as constituting a broad church and not a narrow one. It was not long after 1857 that our church's breadth was being tested, e.g. by the incursion of Anglo-Catholics. Despite some rebuffs (constitutionally based?) the fact is that Anglo-Catholics made their home here. As did conservative evangelicals, notably in the Diocese of Nelson. I am not aware of anyone invoking the constitution of 1857 as a reason to turn those two particular tides of broadness back.

Peter Carrell said...

DEar Bryden
This is where numbers might make a difference to the reality of our church: notwithstanding your "logic", your allegation of my "blind eye", etc, we are actually a church which accommodates difference, including over the Holy Spirit and including over human sexuality.

To spell that out: in a vast majority our church is prepared to live with differences you see as mutually contradictory.

They may be mutually contradictory - logically you may be correct - but you have not persuaded the majority that they are wrong to live with such difference!

Don't worry about my "blindness" ... ask what it is that the majority might be seeing about church life that you are not :)

Bryden Black said...

Notwithstanding either your blindness or the supposed majority of this church’s, the sheer logic of a house divided against itself not being able to stand, is not my word but the word of the One who implanted rationality in the very fabric of the universe. I sense too that I have the Early Church Apologists clearly on my side therefore. Sorry; but there it is ...!

Bryden Black said...

Bosco, I too wondered about that display of our current education’s failure: NOT a trivial matter ...

Three things thereafter re “Anglican”. (1) If only folk in the 2000s had realized the full significance of Rowan Williams’ Advent Pastoral Letter of 2007 to the Communion’s Primates. He used the word “recognise” and its cognates eighteen times. They run through the Letter like a mantra. And well they might. What the Anglican Covenant sought to achieve was to present us all the clear means of mutual recognition across the world-wide Anglican Communion, one born of a suitable interdependence which then prompts an appropriate accountability. But no; we wanted rather to continue walking down our merry ways, as independently as possible ... We are merely reaping the rotten fruit of this missed opportunity. Nor should we fail to note his very first point after the introduction.

“So a full relationship of communion will mean: 1. The common acknowledgment that we stand under the authority of Scripture as 'the rule and ultimate standard of faith', in the words of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral; as the gift shaped by the Holy Spirit which decisively interprets God to the community of believers and the community of believers to itself and opens our hearts to the living and eternal Word that is Christ. Our obedience to the call of Christ the Word Incarnate is drawn out first and foremost by our listening to the Bible and conforming our lives to what God both offers and requires of us through the words and narratives of the Bible. We recognise each other in one fellowship when we see one another 'standing under' the word of Scripture.”

(2) You begin with the ABC; fair enough. But I venture to suggest that that office these past two decades has failed to handle the “Crisis of Authority” (Runcie) which has assailed our Communion. Perhaps this was due to both the actual incumbents and the very systemic failures of our weak collective awareness of what constitutes due authority among the AC. Certainly in these Isles we are just far too fond of our ‘independence’, rowing our own waka. Our treatment of the Covenant idea displayed that in spades. A most recent display of it may be found in their Graces Response to ++GD. “WE are special!” “No, ACANZ&P is not that special; merely, properly, only one among many ...”

(3) A final thought. We will almost certainly see Lambeth 2020 (that other supposed key Instrument of Unity) to be the last such gathering in history. By 2030, any such ‘centre’, with the ABC at its ‘centre’, will be shown for what it has become - that it “cannot hold” (WBY). The fragments will have truly lost any due “gyre”. But then that too is the rotten fruit of avoiding Scripture’s primary authority.

Bryden Black said...

It’s become noticeable, Peter, in recent times your penchant for the word “mercy”. Now; there’s a gloriously beautiful word! None quite like it! Yet, in these times when language often succumbs to the ‘trivial’ (let the reader understand!), we’ve to be especially careful, I suggest, lest we succumb too to Humpty Dumpty’s high-jacking of language. (I’m more and more finding myself in Alice’s shoes it seems these days.) Three things therefore.

1. Again and again in the KJV those venerable Anglicans of old translated the Hebrew word hesed/chesed by the word “mercy”; the Psalms are full of it (130/255). However for example the latest NICOT on the Psalms by Nancy deClaissé-Walford et al deliberately eschews any translation, merely transliterating hesed throughout (see pages 7-8). For this quintessential covenant term does not stand alone; it’s part of an entire vocabulary. For again, both parties to the covenant are to exhibit this character of the covenantal relationship. We’ll come back to this important point.

2. Seeing Matt 9:13 & 12:7 (quoting Hos 6:6; and NB again the covenantal language of the whole verse, as with the start of the section at 4:1 and its use of three key words), has already been broached on ADU, let’s start here. As in all things, how are we to understand this use of a key word in the context of Matthew’s entire Manual of Discipleship that is his Gospel? Well; the Sermon is no laissez faire ethic, that’s for sure. While the relationship Jesus offers his disciples IS a profoundly intimate one (“Father” occurs countless times in SM), emulating that One is seemingly most exacting (5:20, 45, 48). Not least, as “forgiveness” lies at the heart of the Prayer, which is the chiasmic centre of the Sermon, so that very divine trait is to the fore in the Teaching Block on the Church, ch.18. We’ve especially to note too that it’s this First Gospel in particular that denies any Scriptural case for universalism. The stress on End Judgment in a number of places precludes “mercy” as the misplaced premise for those who’d cry “mercy” to be the ‘final word’ ... (but we’ll soon come to that again below). Finally for our contextual purposes, the Great Commission clearly echoes the subsequent NT Catechism of the Letters, with its premise in baptism into the threefold Name and obedience to Jesus’s commandments. The new Presence of God inaugurated in Jesus the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah (Matt 1:23 & 28:20) is no fuddy duddy candy floss affair; rather, this Holy God of Israel, YHWH, has come to reclaim his whoring People (back to Hosea), since he simply won’t give them up! Back to Hosea, this time ch.11 - naturally also quoted by Matt, ch.2! But the entire book’s tussle is echoed throughout. So; mercy and faithfulness/unfaithfulness ring their changes throughout Matthew for those with ears to hear. For (lastly), it’s not for nothing that his whole Gospel is also structured around the Five Books of Moses paralleling the Five Teaching Blocks of the Gospel. The Covenant’s renewal too issues in both Blessing and Curse (Deut 27 & 28; and NB Jesus’ use of Deut three times against Satan in the desert) - viz the Two Builders at the Sermon’s conclusion. As a beautiful two volume commentary I have on Matthew is entitled, “Fire of Mercy”, sums it up rather well.

Bryden Black said...

3. Lastly, Romans. “Paul’s Gospel” (16:25) is that unique and mysterious amalgam of mercy + wrath, wrath + mercy, which issues in the faithful righteousness of God and so of God’s People. For right from the start of his exposition of the Gospel of God’s Son, which is revealed into the heart of the Roman Empire - which too NB has its own Gospel of Salvation to declare, thanks to Augustus’ Peace! - we find Paul begin, after his opening theme @ 1:16, with God’s wrath being revealed, v.18ff. Now; I fully realize modern trendy folks among us eschew any notion of ‘judgment’ to be associated with things Christian. But Paul is different! Such is the depth of the severity of the human, and even cosmic plight that afflicts us, that God’s loving anger at the thwarting of his good purposes for creation is front and centre of the Gospel. Lose this and everything else is also lost - including mercy. Yet, and here’s the mystery, that very wrath is mingled through and through with mercy, such is God’s compassion for his human creature - precisely in our waywardness (recall Hosea’s God’s plight?!). Just so, the very climax of chs 1-11 @ 11:32 lays it out for all to see: “God has imprisoned/consigned all (types) unto disobedience that he may have mercy on all (types).” And the engine for this “solution to our plight” (NT Wright) lies at the heart of the first section, 3:21-26. Here “God puts forward Jesus as the ἱλαστήριον/place of atonement/hilastērion”, so that he may be both “just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus” - that’s the declaration of “Gospel righteousness”, the “divine faithfulness” to the Covenant, once and for all. (I’ll skip Leon Morris’s delightful word treatment of hilastērion much as I am tempted, since it’s properly indispensable to this theme.)

Yet we’ve to see too how the NT Catechism (6:17, “form tupos of teaching”) shows itself in the midst of Paul’s presentation. For some appraisals of “mercy” come directly into Paul’s line of fire at 6:1-2! Our very Christian identity (6:3ff) demands we now “consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (6:11). In a world where human identity has now become the positing of our autonomous personal selves with all their accompanying life-styles, Paul’s assessment of the grace/mercy of God in Jesus proffers something rather different: the remaking of the human back into the divine image. And that implies:

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual/ reasonable worship. Do not be conformed to this world/age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (12:1-2)

This fulcrum passage of the Letter again catches at v.2 the NT Catechism, while v.1 harks back to the opening section 1:18-32. There the thing in Paul’s sights is THE Jewish sin of idolatry or false worship. And NB in both chs 1 and here in 12:1-2 both bodies and minds are involved: a Biblical understanding of worship brooks no dualism. Nor (Bowman) do I think for a moment that Doug Campbell is correct when he claims Rom 1-4 has Paul invoke some “Teacher’s prosōpopeia” as he claims in The Deliverance of God. Please read only NTW’s ch.9 in Paul and his Recent Interpreters. So long already was Wright’s book on Paul and the Faithfulness of God, that he hived off his survey of “recent interpretations”, Campbell’s included. Tolle! Lege!

So Peter; by all means invoke the compassionate mercy of God, a truly beautiful source of adoration. But please do so, not in some weird and wonderful postmodern way where language has become the plastic tool of those who weald their power to avenge all and sundry ‘victims of self-righteousness’, but rather by means of the Gospel that has indeed the “power to save”. Contemporary examples of how this may be done, with gentleness and mercy, are Leanne Payne and Andrew Comiskey.

Father Ron said...

Glen, are you at all aware of the FACT that when the original Constitution of our Anglican Church in New Zealand was introduced in 1857, there was no such entity as 'ACANZP'. Since that earliest date, our Constitution has been changed to include the Three Tikanga ethos of government - unheard of until the latter half of the 20th century. When will you reconcile yourself to this reality? We cannot live in the past. Life is for living, and the teaching of Christ through the Holy Spirit will continue to surprise us with the revelation of the Love and Mercy of our God-in-Christ.

MichaelA said...

HI Fr Ron, you wrote: "what proportion of the Canterbury-related Anglican Provinces loyal to the Lambeth Quadrilateral is actually represented by your list of provinces assenting to the Jerusalem Faith Statement?"

About half. Why do you ask?

" It seems to me that, logically, those signing up to the J.S. have already resiled from historic Anglicanism related to the Church of England from which that title is founded."

Sure - it "seems to you". That means approximately 1 in 80+ million of the Anglicans in the world. Your opinion is as valid as the next person's, no more and no less.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
Of course Paul's exposition of mercy by chapter 11's end heads towards a universalism Matthew's Gospel knows not!

On "mercy" as you expound it: I myself am closer than you might think to what you say. My point is that there are schools of thought - theological thought - in our church which propose a different understanding of mercy, perhaps working out from specific texts such as the Beatitude on mercy or James 2:13, with effect that we ourselves should be merciful in ways which current debates appear not to understand ("recognise"?).

Then, I am saying, might we be a church which includes those voices as well as yours?

Even though you are assured in your correctness, surely you do not exclude from the church those you disagree with? That would mean (e.g.) casting Douglas Campbell (a good Kiwi!) into the outer darkness ...!

On Lambeth: see my forthcoming post ... 22 November 2029!!!!!

Father Ron said...

Michael - my only response to you is "ditto". You, too, are '1 in 8 million' - To each his own as far as opinions go. However, GAFCON does not represent Anglicanism as initiated by the Church of England's roots in the See of Canterbury. Unfortunately, for Bryden, the so-called 'Anglican Covenant' did not even please the dissidents in GAFCON - who promoted their own 'quasi-Anglican-Light' in theirJersalem Statement.

Certainly, my own Province in Aotearoa/N.Z./Pasifika never signed up to 'Covenant'. We recognised it as a pact between tbe most conservative provinces which, however, they themselves rejected (as not strict enough) in favour of their own J.S. of 'Faith'.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron
In your reply to Glen above you appear to overlook the fact that the substance of the 1857 constitution is retained within the 1992 constitution, the critical differences in my view being, 1. affirmation of NZPB as formulary; 2. extension of mode of governance (i.e. promulgation of Three Tikanga governance).

In general terms I remain (with Bryden) a supporter of an Anglican Covenant: a document that is agreed to and which provides the basis for mutual recognition by Anglican provinces. "Recognition" is very important!

That the proposed Anglican Covenant fell down a few years ago does not mean it is not an idea whose time may yet come.

Bryden Black said...

What theologies Peter? That of the 2014 Commission? Ma Whea? And surely not the WG, whose brief supposedly excluded the theological (but actually couldn’t)? Ah yes; “Time for Love” seeks especially to win folk like me over: it fell grossly short ... as you know.
Meanwhile the sheer logic of this church’s ‘solution’ to its collective ‘non-plight’ remains a foolish contradiction. And if the salt becomes “foolish”: Matt 5:13 ...

MichaelA said...

"my only response to you is "ditto""
Of course Fr Ron - where did I suggest otherwise? And each of the millions of Anglicans whose churches agree with the Jerusalem Statement are fully entitled to do so. My point is that your opinion disagreeing with them is no more than an individual opinion.

"However, GAFCON does not represent Anglicanism as initiated by the Church of England's roots in the See of Canterbury" On the contrary - Gafcon is fully in accord with the Church of England's roots. If the See of Canterbury accords with Gafcon, then it also will be in accord with those roots.

I am not sure of the relevance of the rest of your post about the Covenant - is this meant to be a response to someone else?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
There are theologies, not theologies, and absent theologies in commissions and working groups but that is not what I am referring to.
I am talking about theologies in Anglican pews.
The ecclesiology which says church is family and we stick together; that disaffiliation is separatism and we are not separating; that the body of Christ is a diverse, messy, inclusive body of believers rather than a uniform, tidy, exclusive body.
The moral theology which says, When we have relooked at various matters of human sexuality in the light of lived experience, new learnings, new recognitions and new respects (e.g. our expectations of women, our varied understandings of marriage through different eras), why is it that one and only one issue may not be reviewed and revised by the church? And, failing that review and revision by the whole church, why cannot those who do wish to revise sit alongside those who don't in the same church?
The "would Jesus really?" theology which asks whether Jesus would really treat same sex married couples the same as promiscuous persons - that's also the "I wonder if the mercy of Jesus is exactly the same as the mercy of Bryden Black?" school of theology.
The thing is, Bryden, many people in our Anglican pews have a quite different take, theologically speaking, to you ... and I am not that confident that they like to think of themselves as foolish salt!
Rather, I think they think of themselves as responsible Christians, like you, who see some matters differently, and cannot understand why that makes them the theological bad guys in comparison to you as the theological Sheriff!

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter and Ron,

I wish to clarify some matters you have raised in your responses to me.
[a] Our family's first recorded involvement with the C. of E., in New Zealand occurred on the 12th day of March 1875; our G/G/Grand Father [James Palmer},gifted the land at Avondale for the St Judes Church.We still have a copy of the Deed of Gift in our possession. The Deed requires the the Church Trustees to bound by all the provisions of the Constitution 1857.
[b] There is in fact only one Constitution, that being the 1857 original.In 1928,it was recognized by the N.Z. Parliament and certain provisions were clarified,[The Church of England Empowering Act 1928]; as to property rights in the case of N.Z. no longer being a colony. In 1992 the Constitution 1857 was "amended". Certain parts of the 1857 original were not retained in the 1992 version; but certain additions were made to the 1857 original.The ACANZP arose out of the changes.The 1857 Document was so well crafted, as to allow for the formation of the Three TiKanga Church, Article 20. Jesus,
Himself had given this power to Peter, Matt 16:19; and to the Disciples Matt 18:18. These changes were to the General Provisions of the Constitution 1857 and not the Fundamental Clauses relating to the Doctrine of the Church which can not be changed,altered or diminished. Thus the general provisions of the Church may be broad but the Doctrine is well defined- "He who made them in the beginning made them male and female" Matt 19. Sounds pretty binary to me.

Bryden Black said...

You keep missing the blindingly obvious point Peter: I myself am not the sheriff here, nor am I attempting to be. Rather, the starkly logical point that a house divided against itself in such a contradictory and mutually exclusive way may not stand.
Frankly, I don’t care that you or anyone else sees things “differently”. Again, that’s not the point. Yet, to point it out again: there are differences that suitably complement each other and there are differences that contradict each other.

Surrendering such exercises in plain reason is not to counter ‘moi’; it is to counter that very Reason established by the One who reminds us about divided houses and kingdoms ... but it seems I’m flogging a dead horse here! Mmm ... I recall in A Passage to India they “drew the line at bacteria” - so perhaps there’s hope after all! Perhaps ...

Caleb said...

Toby, your argument doesn’t really make sense - I think the language you’re looking for is that of necessary and sufficient criteria. If something fails because one necessary criterion is not met, though all other necessary conditions are met, that doesn’t make that criterion more important than the others.

In any case, the vitally important question that remains unanswered in light of the archbishops’ response is: How, if at all, will the new breakaway churches honour te Tiriti and how will they relate to the three tikanga of ACANZP? I suppose they could simply ignore tangata Pasifika by making it only an Aotearoa/NZ thing, but will they continue to have Māori and pākehā tikanga, as that is not what they split over, or will they take this opportunity to sweep away the tikanga structure as well, and if so, how (if at all) will they honour te tiriti and avoid simply inculturating into pākehā culture only?

Toby’s comments don’t show any sign of taking te Tiriti or the three tikanga structure seriously at all. This is concerning coming from a church leader. I hope our new bishop will educate his clergy better on the importance of these matters.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
Your comment, latest, is very helpful because it clarifies the most important difference between us:
- you see ACANZP as "a house divided against itself in such a contradictory and mutually exclusive way";
- I don't.
My point then is that the vast majority of ACANZP do not agree with you: the theology of that majority, in the pews (and in vicars' stalls), is a theology which is willing to live with difference, even if that difference is "contradictory", that theology understands our church to be able to live "mutually" and not "mutually exclusive."
Now, over time, you may be proven to be right, cf. Athanasius, Luther.
The odd thing is, I see that possibility.
But you never see that you might be wrong!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Caleb,
I would hope I do not have to do that bit of education. Not because I think it is not needed but because understanding the Treaty in the life of the church is something we must do together. And it is something of a school in which I remain a pupil and not a teacher!

Bryden Black said...

The tricky - I’d say beautiful - thing about sheer reason and its necessary logic is that it has a habit of working itself out in history. Just so the Word made flesh’s warning of divided houses and kingdoms ... After all, the cosmos and our history was established at his word!

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter, I think that one of the misconceptions of the dissenters against ACANZP's treatment of LGBT+ people is their seemingly lack of understanding of thr variety of God's Creation. Here is today's blog post from the Jesuits:

"God is love. It is impossible for God, whose essence is love, to create anything that is not good. Sometimes, our own labels of “good” and “bad” get in the way of our ability to see the goodness of God in its fullness. Paul challenges Timothy, and us, to renegotiate our categories and to simply receive all that God creates with thanksgiving. We believe that God created us and loved us into being. God continues to provide for all our needs, in sometimes surprising ways."

(1 Timothy 4:4: "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving".

The blog ends with a prayer: (Speak to God using this prayer or one of your own.)

"Creating God, I give you thanks for the variety of your creation. Open my eyes to see that all you create is good."

All the arguments seem to centre around whether or not LGBT+ people are creations of God or of the devil. If it were merely behaviour we are discussing then its propriety has to be considered in its proper context. Also, celibacy "For the sake of the Kingdom" (Jesus) is not only meant for gay people but for everyone.

Thank you, Peter, for your address to Retired Clergy & Spouses at our Eucharist & Luncheon yesterday. Your address on the need for inclusion of ALL people in our Church was rightly applauded by those attending. A lovely worshipful presentation. Thank you,

Glen Young said...

Ron @ Nov 21st- 9.35 PM.

And equally Ron, when will you be reconciled that the Three Tikanga Church ethos of governance, actually meant the non Fundamental Provisions of the Constitution 1857 were being amended, to allow each Tikanga to have Episcopal leadership in their own right; however, each of those Three Tikanga were/are bound by the Doctrine of the Fundamental Clauses. Why do think that the Doctrine of the ACANZP was not changed to allow for same sex Marriage/blessings? General Synod knows that my stance on the Fundamental Provisions is legally correct and that the Doctrine can not be changed,altered or diminished. What has caused the dysfunctional disagreement, which has upset so many people, is the formalized nod,nod, wink,wink non disciplinary approach to something which the Church can not legally allow.When will you be reconciled to the fact that same sex blessings did not come in the front door of your Church?

Bryden Black said...

Dear Ron - and beloved Jesuits; Christian tradition has consistently viewed the created world via a subtle lense, an explicit mixture of God’s goodness combined with the deprivatory consequences of the Fall and Evil. The consequences are significant for ACANZ&P’s consistent miscuing of our current ‘dilemmas’.

For the canon of Scripture tells of a broken human relationship with the Creator, which directly affects other relationships among humanity - with each other, within ourselves, and with the rest of the created order. To be sure; the Divine Image remains, so that humans reflect an essential goodness and beauty and truth. However, all is also fundamentally flawed. Nor should we miss the exact nature of these twin features: there’s an asymmetry here, which the two qualifiers above indicate. The etymology of each spells it out: “essential” is derived from the Latin, esse, to be, while “fundamentally” is derived from the Latin fundus, deep. They are not synonyms therefore. Many a problem has developed down the centuries when either of these features has been misaligned with respect to this etymology - when for example in the 19th C and later a view of “sin” virtually disappeared in some/many theologies, or when in some fundamentalist circles the opposite has occurred and the Divine Image has become occluded. Nor have today’s dilemmas regarding homosexuality been immune from any of these distortions.

Basically, and with some simplification, two anthropologies arise from this rich, complex view of the natural world. The one views human being in explicitly ‘modern’ terms, as a self-positing, autonomous, personal subject. Such “human subjects” furthermore are customarily deemed to be the result of a combination of materialist evolutionary biology and psychology, and a variety of forms of social constructionism—all immanent forces within the cosmos itself. The other view could not be more contrasting. Here human being embraces the twin features of creatureliness with brokenness. Humans are creatures of the Living God, in whose Image they have been made, thus granting us great dignity and significant capacities. And yet, so the Story goes, there is a fallenness to all this, resulting in a fundamentally marred and broken set of relationships. See for example William Cavanaugh & James K A Smith, eds, Evolution and the Fall (Eerdmans, 2017) and/or Stanley Rosenberg et al eds, Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil (Baker Academic, 2018) for contemporary assessments of this traditional doctrine set explicitly within the context of current scientific debates. [Cavet lector - I’m a bit biased: the latter comes directly via my alma mater, Wycliffe Hall.]

Get our anthropology skewed and of course the very notion of salvation becomes miscued also. And now Ron you similarly trot out conclusions with similar miscues. Doctrine has direct consequences on the Christian Way of Life. And NB exactly what the latter resource warns us of: the point of doctrine is to delimit boundaries, while theological theories mostly throw up how these doctrines might be ‘explained’ down the centuries. Chronically, we seem to pay scant regard to due theology, and decry doctrine almost altogether as we go about what theological musings we may muster. Little wonder we’re in the place we are - a far cry from the rich heritage that was Anglicanism.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Bryden
Being a man of humour as well as of learning, I am sure you are aware that scholars are even now pouring over your latest comment, arguing over the signs thy detect within it ...


"No, it is process theology for the 21st century."

"Not at all, BB has been supping deeply from the wells of Newman's development of doctrine."

"Come off it, I know Philonic Platonism when I see it, dressed with a touch of Johannine Logos Christology."

"You are all wrong. Essentially he is drawing on the deep cosmology of Hinduism, warning off those who think they can escape their destiny."

Bryden Black said...

- [ ] Nah Peter!

“‘Tis an echo of the ex ABC’s Lambeth 2008 memo-to-self, reflecting Gillian Rose’s love affair with Adorno, who similarly plays delightful games as a disciple of Hegel.
The Agenda: Indaba my Children ... and see what comes out in the wash - and to what doesn’t we’ll apply fabric softener.”

Glen Young said...

Hi Bryden,

And what of the A.B.C.'s new found "gender neutral" God??? Sounds as though someone over did the fabric softener in that wash.

Father Ron said...

Bryden, I do agree with you that the original creation became flawed. What you don't seem to realise is that you, too, are subject to the same flaws as everyone else. Out of Christ's Incarnate life - in which he was disposed to give us the New Commandment of Love, God was setting a NEW standard for humanity's understanding of how we The Body of Christ - could help in showing the world the 'New and Living way' - which is one that celebrates the epic GOOD NEWS of God's Kingdom, it's path marked out by the Beatitudes - not by the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, wh8ich were for a very different age and context.

Glen, your constant harping on the 1857 Constitution deserves its own Gilbert and Sullivan poroduction in a soap opera. The Law of the Land in Aotearoa/New Zealand has overtaken what was the Law of the Land in 1857. We can never go back to the days of slavery, male supremacy, child labour, racism, sexism and homophobia. We are not citizens of Nigeria, Uganda or Saudia Arabia. We are New Zealanders - each with a personal conscience tio exercise for the common good of those whose life wee share.

Father Ron said...

Bryden, have you ever thought that the 'sheer reason and pure logic' that you so ardently advocate as necessary to our conversation, might be just your own version of these characteristics. In a world that broadly considers all religion as the absence of 'sheer reason and logic', its irreligious inhabitants might consider your own aguments to be sheer nonsense. However, I am reluctant to err against the scriptural warning that 'he who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire, so I will not do that.

Christ himself being the 'true Logos' through whose influence the world was spoken into being, we all need to remember, humbly, the instruction of Jesus in Scripture when he said these words: "I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things (the mysteries of The Kingdom) from the learned and the clever, and revealing them to mere children, for that is what it pleased you to do"

Human arguments - even the most learned ones - usually have a cogent counter-argument. The Gospel Truth may not be totally exclusive to either proponent. Wisdom is the gift of God - not necessarily bestowed by a learned degree. Prayer can be a great antidote to inherited or acquired prejudice. And, remember, The Lord of The Church did give his followers the criterion by which they would be recognised: "They will know you're my disciples by your love" - not, note, by you preemptive exhibition of scholarship or even your ritual purity but: "by your love." - which is the motivation of ACANZP in its recent radically inclusive legislation.

Glen Young said...


I don't know about Gilbert and Sullivan "poroductions" and'soap operas; but your cherry picking of the teachings of Christ the LOGOS,through Whom and by
Whom all that was created, was created; give a Progressive Christianity version of Him. Christ is so much more than just "love and mercy". Jesus said:"But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement, than for you." By Bryden,s wonderful LOGIC, it would appear to me, that in His numerous dire warnings to man, He is saying to us that we need every ounce of God's love and mercy [and more] if we are not to come out on the wrong side of that judgement. The Church exists to preach and teach the PURE WORD OF GOD.

Again, in your last sentence to Bryden [Nov 24 @ 12.07 AM.]; your post shows
how the liberals mis-represent reality;[But"by your love"-which is the motivation of ACANZP in its recent radically inclusive legislation.] Are you saying that anyone who does not agree with that change does not show LOVE? ?
How judgmental !!!!

Father Ron said...

Glen, did you not realise that Jesus spoke about our eterenal homer where there will be 'no marriage or being given in marriage' therefore no gender distinction in heaven. I know that will disappoint some of the 'machos' in our Church. Gender is for this world alone. I'm amazed you hadn't cottoned onto that Fact yet. This was one of the lessons at Mass this morning at SMAA, Christchurch.(Luke 20: 27-40).

One of the Church's Mystic, Mother Julian of Norwich, wrote about 'Father/Mother God'.

Father Ron said...

Bryden, your comment about ACANZP being 'a house divided against itself' is no longer true. The divisive part of it (a minority) has already departed, so that the rest of it has now become become part of God's paradigm: "A house that is at unity in itself"

Unknown said...

Then how come some are born with gender dysphoria?

Glen Young said...


I am not at all into Mystics, much preferring to do as Jesus told us to do;
"Pray to our FATHER in Heaven". Your post appears to display an underlying animosity to men and those who enjoy sexual relationships as God intended. You also have a habit in your posts, of talking down to, and being absolutely judgmental of people, with whom you do not agree.These would not be traits which one would expect to find in a good pastoral Priest. LGBT+ people who claim that God created them such, and they rejoice in it; might equally be disappointed that there is no marriage in heaven.

Of more import to our eternal life is Jesus' words to Nicodemus: "Verily,verily,I say unto thee,Except a man be born again,he can not see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3. and again:"Verily,verily, I say unto thee,Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,he can not enter the Kingdom of God.v.5. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.v.6. Marvel not that I say unto thee,Ye must be born again.v.7." Which takes one to 2 Cor. ch 10; and Bonhoeffer's call to death.

Harold Forrest said...

Firstly I'm sad that the focus in this discussion is more a political and social agenda debate not based on scripture.

Second Bishop Tamihere does not speak for all Maori in the Anglican church many of whom do not agree with the racist structure in th Church.

The FCA is not pakeha based and we as a Maori family supporting the FCA find the comments offensive.

Its interesting the willingness to have a race divided church but not one clearly based on scripture.

Father Ron said...

Well, Harold, I don't suppose Archbishop Don does speak for every Maori in ACANZP. By the same token, nor can I suppose that Archbishop Philip speaks for ALL non-Maori Anglicans in our Church. However, they both speak in unison from the perspective of most Anglcans in both in our Church. Good enough for the majority of us.

Glen, I find it sad but not surprising that you have little regard for the Mystics of the Church Universal - those whose total lives are given up to contemplation of the Mysterium Tremendens - with gifts of wisdom and insight beyond the ken of most of us.

On the Eve of the Feast of Christ The King (Sunday next before Advent) I am conscious of the fact that each one of us will appear before the Triune God to account for our actions in this world. Thankfully, i do not fear this meeting - in the firm belief that Christ has redeemed me (UNWORTHY THOUGH I AM) and will not let me go. ALLELUIA. I just want everyone else to know where salvation comes from.

I'm reminded of the story of a famous ABC who, questioned by an earnest young man of the Pentecostal Church: "Bishop, are you saved", replied; "Young man, I have been saved; I am being saved; and I will be saved". Thanks be to God!

Bryden Black said...

Well Ron; how to disabuse you of the first part of your comment @ Nov 23, 11:14 pm in the most kindly way possible? It may be a fairly common understanding of how the two parts of the Christian Scriptures are related, but it’s quite erroneous.

Firstly, as you know, the two Great Commandments, loving God, and loving one’s neighbour as oneself, are direct quotes from ... the OT. Yes; Deut and Lev respectively! Nor are they just proof texts hoiked out of context. As Torah too they reveal not so much moral edicts as divine purposes for us humans, that we may better prosper. In fact, the word “love” runs powerfully through Deut. The only question is: what constitutes loving action, then and now? And doesn’t that question sound familiar?!

Secondly, as the kind of recent book by Richard Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (2016), establishes, Jesus’ mission and ministry is utterly unintelligible apart from the OT. All four evangelists paint their portraits of Jesus with brushes and colours drawn directly from the OT. Our problem is that we are goyim and so are just not suitably equipped to hear all those echoes - without a Hays to hand.

Lastly, you explicitly mention the Beatitudes, as if somehow that clinches the case for you. Actually, it clinches the rebuttal! Somehow I stumbled across Benedict Green, CR, Matthew, Poet of the BeatitudesSheffield Academic, 2001, a number of years ago. And please note the Order to which the author belongs! He delightfully trawls through the entire OT, revealing the explicit references of all eight Beatitudes, as well as showing how they are constructed explicitly as poetry. Green has given us a veritable gold mine from which to hew and ponder (with Mary!) over.

No Ron; the kingdom Jesus, Son of God and Messiah of Israel, brings in the power of the Holy Spirit in the Name of his Father is indeed of divine love; but it’s that holy love that drew Abram from Ur, and Moses up the Mountain, and Elijah to Carmel then back to Horeb, and ... The necessary links and themes across the entirety of Scripture seamlessly portray the sort of thing I depicted earlier regarding “mercy”.

At root our problem is best illustrated and diagnosed by Alasdair MacIntyre. His “disquieting suggestion” proposes we’ve exactly continued using certain moral words (like love and mercy and justice) but apart from now those overarching frameworks, which we’ve ditched, that once granted them their true meaning. Parallel to this we’ve continued using certain NT words and ideas - but apart from the OT that once generated their significance. Ad fontes bro! The source of our true heritage.

Bryden Black said...

Re the next day Ron: one of the reasons (sic) I became a believing, practising Christian in my early 20s was precisely because someone explained to me the subtle differences yet necessary relationships among the rational, the irrational, and the non-rational.

Just so, as Augustine puts it in one of his sermons: if you understand it, it cannot be God! Yet that very God both creates a cosmos that reflects his rational purposes and pursues an historical relationship with a People with utmost faithfulness. And the point is to see how rationality and faithfulness are flip-sides of the same coin, the same divine character. And the final key is to acknowledge only the Judeo-Christian Religion may undergird properly a genuine scientific enterprise undertaken by humans.

It’s in the light of such vital factors that we’ve to drill down into as fully as we may, as stewards of both the Gospel and the world we’re placed into, both “faith seeking understanding” and our very nature as God’s Image in his cosmos. And these twin vocations despite our fallen hubristic selves yet precisely also via God’s good grace, both common grace and salvific grace.

To close. I well remember a sermon by our local vicar when I was eight, whose benefice was a tiny Norman chapel built in 1076 just above the pilgrims way between Guildford and Canterbury. It was a Christmas sermon, and he pointed out how two kinds of people came to the Christ child: The magi who knew they could never know everything, and the shepherds who knew they knew nothing. And then he said, God seems to have most difficulty with the ones in between!

Father Ron said...

As I said, Bryden, in every human intellectual argument there are pros and cons. What I would remind you of is the FACT that the O.T. Scriptures led, inevitably, to the Gospels. The O.T.'s fulfilment (and ultimate purpose) was secured by the humility and obedience of the Second Person of the Trinity - without Whom the redemption of human beings could not have taken place in the way God willed. Obviously something MORE than the O.T. Scriptures was needed in order to complete God's Covenant relationship with God's people. The O.T. had to be followed by the N.T. in order to complete the work and promise of God. Jesus: "The Scriptures say, but I tell you..."

God's primary work, in Christ, is salvation - not damnation, that is the devil's work.

Glen Young said...

Hi Bryden and Ron,

Have just come across :Jim Quinn "The Burning Platform Blog": where he shows the difference between where the two of you approach this issue. He states:
"Children are no longer taught how to think, but how to feel" We have discarded our belief in objective morality and Universities, have tossed away the seeking of the universal truth; becoming instead, Multiversities. We have become swamped in the quagmire of subjective feel goodism. We have replaced purpose plan and goals with trendy superficial words such as justice and inclusion without any rational foundation to carry such a para deign.If this is progression, we need to step back and have a good think.
Albert Einstein said: "If you get on the wrong train and it leaves the station, it is no use running back to the last carriage. You are still on the wrong train."

Glen Young said...


Firstly, a correction to my last blog, Einstein said: "If you get on the wrong train and it leaves the station, it's no use running back to the last carriage. You are still on the wrong train going in the wrong direction."

Secondarily, if my logic is of no account, then did God intend me to be a logically thinking being, being made in His likeness and image; or a mindless follower of my physical desires made in His image and likeness? So, to the Garden of Eden, where God says:"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die." Gen 2/17. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,she took of the fruit thereof,and did eat, and gave to her husband with her:and he did eat."
Gen. 3/6. Does not one's logic say, hey the God that made me says," don't do this or you will die"; but she SAW and her sensory feelings said " this is great." This, Ron is the ongoing challenge for modern mankind whose ways are not ways of God.

And the Doctrine of the ACANZP, which is defined in the Fundamental Provisions of the Constitution 1857,recognize both the Old and New Testaments, The Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles as their Authority. Therefore, my common sense and logic tells me that any
thing which only has subjective feelings as it's foundation is very suspect.

And thirdly Ron, I find your platitudes about love and justice very shallow when I look back on my service times and held loaded firearms and was faced with the ultimate question of whether to fire or not. I can not in good conscience say that:"By my love...." You speak of your young days in Coventry, and should remember that England was victorious simply because men did what they had to do. You can wax on eloquent about love because those men carry the burden in their spirits of the fight for freedom. Unlike you, Ron, I face the Judgment, knowing full well, that deep in my spirit, I still carry that recognition of the cost of freedom; and that I have more than so called innate sexual desires to answer for.

Bryden Black said...

100% Glen/Quinn

Father Ron said...

Glen, just to put the record straighy, while I, as a youngster, experienced the Coventry blitz, my two elder brothers were in the Royal Navy fighting Britain's enemies. One of these was torpedoed and later invalided out of the namy because of the privations he suffered. My family, too, knows the costy of war. Perhaos that's why I campaign fir peace and justice. I, myself served in the RAF for two years after WWII.

Nuff said?

At St. Michael & All Angels today we celebrated the Feast of Christ The King - all present acknowledging Jesus' sacrifical Lordship over our lives. What about you?

Bryden Black said...

Thank you Ron for putting that part of the record straight - noble, most noble, not least in the quiet humility exemplifying the service of most of that generation.
Meanwhile, the other part of the record also remains - clear as day on this thread. Our contemporary era has voided the clear objectivity needed with which to gauge the confusions the father of lies has spawned. Resorting to ‘feelings’, as Quinn says, only compounds the relativity once any transcendence is “eclipsed” (Martin Buber). And we are only beginning to see the results of such closure. I sense your collective sacrifices might prove to have been in vain in the longer term.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear All
Amidst constitutional, philosophical, theological concerns, I fear some sight is being lost of the pastoral dimensions to what we are engaged with.

Yesterday a conversation reminded me that in our church we have parishioners who love their gay/lesbian children unconditionally and are so pleased that our church has made the decision it has made.

Frankly, I couldn't vote to reverse the decision on the grounds that, much as they are pleased to be part of a church which permits diversity on this matter, tragically we are bound by a constitution which is quite flexible on a range of other matters but, amazingly, has zero flexibility on this matter.

I continue to choose the pastoral "width" GS 2018 has provided and find myself singularly unpersuaded by arguments here that there should be no "width" whatsoever. For, when all is said and done by most commenters here, the summary of argument is that our church may make changes to ordination, remarriage after divorce, to Scriptural permission for slavery to continue, to an initial-first three centuries "primitive" commitment to pacifism before entering the realpolitik of Imperial life, etc. But no change on You Know What.

Which is fine ... except prognostications that the church is about to end if there is such change seems a little rich when it has survived other changes!

Father Ron Smith said...

Bryden, I'm a little confused about your ejection of 'feelings' as part and parcel of our human pilgrimage. After all, Scripture tells us that 'Jesus wept' on several occasions - over Jerusalem, and over the death of a friend. There was also ' the disciple whom Jesus loved. For me, his emotional involvement is what proves to me that, in Jesus, God really did become 'fully human'. However, what do I know? Perhaps 89 years isn't long enough to have sussed out what Jesus wants to teach me. However, I do know that I am a sinner and that Jesus died for me.

Bryden Black said...

Well Peter; I’m not sure anecdotal pastoral encounters are of much decisive help frankly. For I too happened to be with some lovely folk last evening, who were commiserating with me about the “sad confused state” of our church ...

Meanwhile too, I remain unimpressed by your continuing sloppy thinking, by failing to distinguish the clear kinds of differences that you laud among our ‘differences’. They are just NOT commensurate!

The blatant contradiction of GS’s decision to ‘house’ both those who regard SSB a sin and those who wish to see same-sex couples blessed under one roof/in one ‘broad tent’ is NOT analogous to the history of the debate between pacifism and just war theory. The latter clearly acknowledges war to be an evil, and so seeks proportionality and constraint and just outcomes. Divorce too is described as due to "hardness of heart", even if mildly accommodated in Scripture. There’s simply NONE of these kinds of consideration in our present situation.

Bad thinking can only issue in bad practices. Our muddled accommodation of the Zeitgeist can only end in tears and more tears and more tares.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Bryden,
Precisely, in our church we have a variety of people who have a diverse set of responses to what GS has decided. I will attempt to be bishop to them all!

The point about differences is that on the matter of the day, the difference happens to be between those who think X is sin and those who do not; but my point is not sloppy, that the church has lived with significant difference.

In the WW1 conscientious objectors were subject to Field Punishment One - something akin to crucifixion - while chaplains blessed troops and guns and battleships without (as far as I am aware) any significant theology of just war guiding them. But the Church of England managed to house them all in the one tent.

Actually, divorce is much more harshly spoken of in the NT: remarriage after divorce is not "hardness of heart" it is adultery. Also known as sin. Jesus never said anything about mildly accommodating it. Yet we have. But you refuse to recognise that the church's current approach to remarriage after divorce strictly following Jesus' own words is a blessing of sin.

In short, if I am "sloppy", I suggest you might be "romantic" in your view of the actuality of Christians involved in war and the church's involvement in remarriage after divorce. Are you idealising the church's approach to war and pacifism through the centuries and minimising the significance of the compromise the church has made over divorce and remarriage?

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,Ron and Bryden,

Firstly to Bishop Elect Peter, at last you admit that this is a matter of Constitutional concern; after General Synod 2018 came to the conclusion that
it was not able to alter,change or diminish the legal Doctrine of the ACANZP. So the function of the Working Group was to find a methodology by which the
legal Doctrine, as defined in the Constitution 1857, could be circumvented.
I, to would not deviate from "best practice Pastoral Care" for any person to whom I had such an obligation. But such "best pastoral care" must be based on a sound rational foundation, which leads to the best possible result. I have written thousands of words on this matter in relation to ""Co-Existing disorders"; ie. psychiatric disorders associated with other addictions. One of the biggest impediments to meaningfully treating Mental disorders in the present; is being able to separate the objective clinical know how from the subjective feelings of the family and the client. Unfortunately, the D.H.B.s
came down on the side of the latter. And so to this day,we have escalating rates of mental illness and suicide.Matt. 3/10. Pastoral best care is aimed at tackling the roots of the tree which produce not good fruit.Those roots seem to be the very subjective emotions which caused you to vote as you did.Your vote did not add anything to best pastoral care, but in fact,contrary to modern science have helped to lock LGBT+ people into the mindset that such desires are innate; thus setting them up against treatment.But best pastoral care must offer professional help and hope of being able to move on into a new future. All the arguments which you mount for the LGBT+, I could use to present a similar case for depression. I often found that people showing "unconditional love" became a huge impediment to working with drug addicts.

Father Ron said...

Dear Glen, I don't know how long it has been since you last practised your profession in the world of psychiatry. However, it may have escaped your notice that most professional bodies around the free world have rejected your hypothesis (once held by even these same professional bodies) that homosexuality is a perversion of the binary model. Furthermore, the Church of England petitioned the U.K. Government to outlaw professional attempts to 'convert' homosexuals to heterosexuality, while noting the incidence of emotional, mental and social harm that has been incurred through previous (mistaken) attempts at psychological 'conversion'.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I am excising some of a recent comment posted by you because it involves a judgement of people you have not met and who have not commented here ...

Ron's comment:

"Bryden, sometimes I think your arguments come from another sphere not of this cosmos. Our Bishop-elect is right when he compares your exclusive other-worldly 'cod-theology' with the reality of the humanity of this Earth whom Jesus reconciled to himself through his journey to - and through - the Cross.


Alternatively, the rest of us, who recognise the fallen state of humanity and our own place within it, seem more ready to identify and empathise with the pastoral situation of everyone in the real world we all live in whose lives are different from the perfection that your State of Nirvana seems to occupy and advocate.

I (being a sinner myself) am acutely mindful of the question of Jesus about which of the two sinners went away 'Justified' - not the self-assured, but rather, the one who knew his need of God. Our Bishop-elect is aware of the Gospel invitation: "Come to me all you who are burdened.." (Not you who think you are more perfect than your neighbour). We are all beggars, showing other beggars where to find bread - the Bread of Life in Christ Jesus. Justification belongs to God - not to us! This is why the reign of Jesus majors upon Grace - rather than the exigencies of the Law "

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Glen
My reference to constitutional concerns above was an acknowledgement that you have concerns. I do not share those concerns.

My best understanding of homosexuality, derived from homosexuals themselves, is that it is not a human condition that needs treating but a human condition which is lived with (like heterosexuality!).

Yes, we can and here obviously discuss what the moral situation/dilemmas of that condition is.

But if it is an innate life condition for some, then, within a church of diverse views on the matter, I think ACANZP might be heading in the right pastoral direction following GS 2018.

Bryden Black said...

Re my alleged romanticism and war Peter: you seem to have forgotten my years exposed to the lead up to and during civil war in 1970s and subsequently, when I knew, first hand, folk on all sides ... Nothing particularly rosy there ... Nor was there anything especially rosy about WW1 - except perhaps Christmas 1914 ... In other words, their general failures do not justify our own.

Re divorce: the Matthean exception is just that, an exception. And, combined with 1 Cor 7, has been used to warrant some divorces and remarriages. I agree though our frequent pastoral practice in this area these past decades has also been sloppy. To the point that a number of us sense we need to revisit things.

On the more basic matter of why I seem to be holding on to This One Thing: it drives to the core of our human identity as I’ve often said before; and the Christian faith is incarnational through and through - or nothing.

To the point that the way you’ve been speaking/writing these past 18+ months, you actually may as well surrender your own ‘objection’ to not bless a same-sex couple were they to come directly to you ... What exactly are you holding on to pray tell?! For your ongoing eliding of all differences (all “those who think” variously x,y,z) into that classic Mélange à Bricolages would seem to legitimately grant you great scope ...

Bryden Black said...

Well Ron; although heaven knows your last comment doesn’t need responding to since I certainly do not need to defend myself (you are right about God’s redemption of sinners - to a degree - just so 1 Cor 4:3), for the sake of other readers of ADU, a public domain blog, I shall attempt a final explanation of what transpires so often between us (Glen having also given it a go earlier).

Augustine of Hippo (not the Canterbury version) is very much the founder of Latin Western Christianity. Both the medieval synthesis and then the Reformation are in his debt; even the Wesleys drew deeply from his wells. He is also an absolute fount of Western thought and culture, bequeathing a silent legacy of enormous proportions. He is arguably the source of human rights and all that. At root, his psychological analogy of the Trinity is his supreme gift. It is also the key to diagnosing many of our 21st C problems, confusions, and dilemmas. What do I mean?

To make a long, rich, complex story short. When he identifies knowledge and understanding, love and will as the essential facets of mens (mind in Latin, though occasionally we see animus also), he propels us down a revelatory road of magnificent significance, both about the Triune One who stands behind and within “all things” (the Creed), and also about ourselves, the human creature made in the divine Image. Fast forward ... The 21st C however, for reasons I frankly cannot be bothered to detail here, is deeply and injuriously schizophrenic, culturally and literally. That is, knowledge and understanding - what passes for ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ - are separated mostly from love and will - what again passes for ‘love’ and ‘will’, now almost always viewed as “autonomy”. There’s a deep chasm between head and heart, a feature often cited by many a counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist, as well as social commentator.

Of course Jesus weeps before the grave of his friend, Lazarus! Of course the Holy Spirit grants the gift of tears to his people; one need not be Simeon the New Theologian to know that; BUT such a giant of an Eastern Saint offers us due understanding of such love ... And I too am privileged to have sat in on his workshops ...

Our society entices us to “Just do it!” Nike has surely conquered with that slogan! Or again: “If it feels good, do it!” “Follow your heart ...” etc. etc. Yet here we are, with drug addiction at epidemic proportions, mental illness off the charts, and few reasoned solutions to either, despite years of trying. Other symptoms, too numerous, abound also ... (And believe me Ron being in the inner city of Melbourne for years among 9-15 years olds is most revelatory ... and sadly Chch is now becoming similar.) This is the social context, the cultural stream, with its historical upstream tributaries, that we naturally and obviously swim in 24/7. Yet how many of us have really, really assessed the quality and nature of the water ...? And thereafter, how many of us have managed to use any form of filtration system to better survive, let alone actually to flourish?

Our western Christian faith is surely at a cross-roads. It has been poised here for quite a while. Any due prognosis depends upon a reliable diagnosis: a desperately needed (re)integration of head & heart, body & mind, soul & spirit, human to human, creature + Creator. But as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. I’ll therefore stop flogging this dead horse now ... Adieu!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Bryden
I am heartened that you acknowledge that sloppiness in the church may not be exclusively confined to moi! :)

At the core of human identity is the capacity to give oneself in love to another; at the core of Christian identity is the capacity to recognise that God's covenantal commitment to humanity may be mirrored in the constraining of love within covenantal bounds. Where a person is unable to form that covenantal love bond with a member of the opposite gender are they bound to deny their own capacity for love for another?

Your answer to that question is "Yes, they must so deny" and from that flows your prognostications about a church living in contradiction.

My answer to that question is, first, "In a church with mixed answers to the question, I am prepared to be in fellowship with those who answer as you do and with those who answer "No, they need not so deny.""

That I have spent these past months arguing for a decision I voted for (I hope I might get a pass mark on consistency!) does not mean I need surrender anything about my personal, individualised answer to the question, which remains that I do not find in Scripture the grounds for unhesitantly affirming that God blesses what is not described in our sacred writings. That others read Scripture differently I both accept and am prepared to find room for in the church.

Not least, reading a comment from you to Ron which I have posted while writing this, I am prepared to make room in the church for those who view civil marriage between two people of the same gender as a good within a community of agape love, in contrast to your seeming to only understand such a relationship as a post modern, Westernised, 21st century self-indulgence ... surely you can do better than that in your assessment of fellow Christians?

Father Ron Smith said...

Bryden, this is my last word to you on the subject we most disagree about on this thread.

Sexuality is a gift of God for all human beings for the here and now of our earthly lives. It is not a 'salvation qualification' for our residency in the heavenly realms. For instance, Jesus, though 'fully human' did not produce any children - even though he probably could have if he had wanted to!

He did, however, have at least one 'special friendship' with a male disciple who thought it important enough to record the fact in his Gospel. We presume it had no sexual element - which, to be really consistent, we ought to presume about our Christian brothers and sisters in the world, yes?

However, we humans being what we are (sexual beings, created by God) there is a natural tendency to want to relate at a deeper level with another person - whether that be same or other sexual relationship.

About sexual relationships, even Saint Paul said that it was 'Better to marry than burn'. Obviously for him. at least, marriage was not a priority but he did realise that sex could be a problem!

Jesus spoke of Eunuchs - one type of which was he who abstained from sexual relationships: "For the sake of the Kingdom". However, it would appear that not many who are so against S/S relationship do not wish to take advantage of this Kingdom behaviour, while yet requiring it from the LGBTI+ community.

Jesus did also speak of eunuchs who were that way 'from their mother's womb'. Now we might presume that Jesus was celibate 'For the sake of the Kingdom'. the question remains, was he also a eunuch 'from his mother's womb'?. These questions are legitimately pondered by those of us who claim this latter category of being.

It might, of course, be thought to be blasphemous to speak of Jesus as having sexual feelings, but if we really believe he was fully human - like us in every respect except unto sin - we should not be reluctant to presume that Jesus knew what he was speaking about.

Peter Carrell said...

I think we could all take a rest from this thread ...!

Glen Young said...


This seems to be the Anglican Tradition;close down ANY argument which your emotional subjective feelings can't combat. i AM OUT OF HERE.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
Keep going by all means.
I won't stop publishing your comments.
I was reflecting on a sign or two - not from you - of weariness on this thread.

Bryden Black said...

Sure Peter; happy to oblige! And in doing so, please NB my last comments on Augustine did two things: drew us back properly/duly/surely to our heritage as Anglicans; explained why and how there's just so much passing of ships in the night nowadays. If A MacIntyre reverts to Aquinas and Aristotle for much of his serious diagnosis, I here parallel that via Augustine. Ciao!

Unknown said...

Amen! See how these Christians love one another...

Jonathan said...

I've probably mentioned this before, but on the topic of head and heart, I really really appreciated Matthew Elliott's Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament. And plan to re-read bits. IMO it's not an easy read and perhaps not written well but the content and the whole topic is very helpful. A quote from the intro:
"This book attempts to apply modern studies dealing with emotion in the New Testament. But it is not primarily about the vocabulary of emotion: anger, love, joy, hope, jealousy, fear and sorrow [though it covers these well]. Instead, it is about emotion itself, how it was perceived by the writers of the New Testament, and what role they thought it should play in the life of a believer.... In the words of Jonathan Edwards, the nature of true religion "consists in holy affection'. "
And, by the way, I appreciate reading the energetic discussions and disagreements here.

Anonymous said...

Ordination Examination, 2019.

Part II, Anglican Heritage
Section A, Anglican Identity

(1) The C16 English monarch who most established by law the elements of practice in the reforming church in England. Please choose one.

(a) Henry VIII
(b) Edward VI
(c) Mary
(d) Elizabeth I

(2) This author's defense of natural law, vestments, The Book of Common Prayer, receptionism, episcopacy, and the royal supremacy was taught in all seminaries of this church from the C17 until early in the C20. Please choose one.

(a) Henry VIII
(b) Thomas Cranmer
(c) John Jewel
(d) Richard Hooker

(3) Which of the following have affirmed that the scope of the authority of the Holy Scriptures exceeds matters of salvation without limit, and includes both personal and ecclesiastical matters. Please choose one.

(a) Elizabeth I
(b) Article VI of the Articles of Religion
(c) The Book of Homilies
(d) Thomas Cartwright

(4) The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Books I-II, denied that the Mosaic law binds Christian consciences for which reason. Please choose one.

(a) Jesus said, "I have come not to fulfill the law but to overthrow it with love."
(b) St Paul wrote that Gentiles are exempt from the Mosaic law.
(c) St Thomas Aquinas wrote that the Mosaic law is a local and temporary form of God's eternal law.
(d) Martin Luther taught that justification is by grace through faith in Christ apart from works of the law.

(5) In the English Civil War, the faction that beheaded the king and banned the Book of Common Prayer believed all but one of these about the scriptures. Please choose one.

(a) They are a reliable guide to salvation only.
(b) They contain a plan for church government.
(c) They are self-authenticating.
(d) They give precise guidance for every believer in every situation.

--The Examining Chaplains, The Church of Cockaigne

Father Ron said...

Extra-Provincial Church post-examination question:

What is the real location of the Church of Cockaigne (n.b. not cocaine) ?

(a) Nashville, Tennessee
(b) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
(c) Anytown; (1) Nigeria; (2) Iganda; (3) Kenya.
(d) Kingston, Jamaica
(e) Douglas, Isle of Man
(f) Sydney Australla

Bryden Black said...

None of the above: In my parallel multiverse Ron ...

Anonymous said...

Father Ron, the question for Anglicans on the blessed isles-- a practical one, not a quiz-- is whether either the extra-provincials or the synodicals could in good conscience administer Part II, Section A. Please recall that I like both sides and think that each comes by its position honestly, but the ox of Anglican origins gores both of them, and failure to see that seems from up here to be obfuscating their present conflict.


Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Jonathan. Have I already mentioned the books by Robert Roberts and Linda Zagzebski?


Bryden Black said...

Re bulls and their horns Bowman. I agree that both the GS of ACANZ&P and those who’ve been forced to disaffiliate by the actions of GS might - Shld they actually wish to - find II/A troublesome. But the point is neither side particularly wishes to ... and so each go off on their merry way ... untroubled - at least by what you’re putting out there.

Father Ron said...

In this conversation there is the incontrovertible fact: When you move, don't expect everyone to move with you - just like the notice in a car window: "Feeling the absence of God? Guess who moved". It must be lonely out there, but only you can make the connection. Pride may be the problem here.

Anonymous said...


Father Ron Smith said...

Well, will be glad to know that our major Theological College in New Zealand, Saint John's College Auckland, is already focussing on ministry training that will adapt to a new context of Church ministry that examines the actual need to broaden its scope beyond the parish boundaries - a process that is already being contemplated in the Church of England - which anticipates the redundancy of some of the more expensive-to-run church buildings in favour of House Churches.

I notice that the churches mentioned in the article you linked to were mostly Roman Catholic - which denomination has traditionally been able to retain its local congregations. However, with urban populations now more open to modern understandings of The Faith, that depends less and less on dogmatic criteria for its exercise, what the Church has to offer can seem less and less attractive.

People's lives need a Faith that is more accommodating of the basic reality of human relationships - which includes the acceptance of women's emancipation, legitimate same'sex monogamous partnerships, freedom from racism, sexism and homophobia - all characteristics that have not yet been fully recognised and dealt with in our Church communities. Until these injustices have been recognised and more openly addressed by The Church, it may be that many more closures could be brought about through the process of redundancy because of real needs not being met by the institution.

Nor will these needs, necessarily be met by the more puritan groups that have broken away from the mainline Churches. People are looking for the God of Love and Mercy this Advent Season - not judgement and the threat of destruction that is already discernible in the emerging militant evangelicalism of Presidents Trump and Putin.

Glen Young said...


I was quite happy to walk away from this site, as it is clear that one's time and effort would be more efficiently spent, trying to get the local "J.W. and Mormon door bangers" to accept the errors of their beliefs; than in getting you and Peter to see the folly of G.S.'s subjective compromise. However your your last post [Nov 30 @ 11.45 A.M.] is a bridge to far; so I will also bother to reply to your post to me [Nov 26 @ 9.10 AM.] as well.

Gail and I sold up in 2010 after 20 years of 24/7 service. I am well aware of the various changes, which were made to the D.S.M.[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the A.P.A.]; and the reasons for those changes. My main area of concern was with Co-Existing Disorders and I was always insistent on trying to develop the Best Practice Care possible.

I have never accepted that "Aversion Therapy" ever brings about lasting beneficial change in man's behavior; and that it was based on a wrong premise about what was trying to be achieved and why. At the base of this, is the question of whether you are approaching the issue of making [say a alcoholic] a useful member of society, or whether you wish to help him become the person God intended him to be. The former is the Provence of Caesar and the latter,the Church. How that is approached, is dependent on how one views man,his origin and purpose.

Glen Young said...


Ron, the question we wrestle with today,is how can we formulate a hermeneutic understanding of the origin,nature and purpose of man which is consistent with God's revealed Word.King David posed the question: "What is man that Thou art mindful of him and the son of man that Thou visitest him." Psalm 8.

King David's binary question is as relevant today as it was in his time.
[a] what is man?
[b] is there an "external cause" which accounts for man, and if there is, can it be "explained". If it can't be explained,ie there is no rational premise, then one can not formulate a logical conclusion.

Dawkins and his atheist adherents would answer that man is merely an "evolutionary chance"; with matter and life being "chance events", without design or purpose.But what we know from the "Periodic Tables, RNA and DNA",
gives us sufficient "information, to logically conclude" that there is a rational design and purpose, to both us and the world around us. Richard et al would have us believe that information and communication fall into the category of chance events.But we see everyday, the catastrophic results that this world view has inflicted upon us with mental disorders,addictions and suicides; not be able to grasp "REALITY". St. Paul:"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." Eph. 4/14.

So, if there is a "cause behind life and matter", how can it be explained? On the basis of the necessary criteria of for explaining the presence of life and matter; T.V. Morris states that any "rational person" must accept the Scriptural God of Creation[note the word rational]; for He alone fits the bill. Aquinas said: "I am what I am think as I think; because He is what He is, the Great Uncreated Mystery." St Paul:"When I was a child,I spake as a child,I understood as a child,I thought as a child:but when I became a I put away childish things." 1 Cor.13/11.

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Glen, the only comment I can make on your comment at 1058 is to remind you of the underlying thesis of Anglicanism: 'Scripture, Tradition and Reason'.

You mentioned V. Morris' 'rational person'. You will note that this is accommodated within the Anglican ethos. Another famous trio within our tradition, (of course, primarily, the "Holy Trinity" of God in Three Persons at the heart of it all) is 'Faith, Hope and Love (Charity)' - each one necessary to more perfectly grow into Christ - which is the whole point of the exercise of being a Christian!'

As you well know, Glen, being a scientist yourself; human knowledge is expanding all the time. The only 'rational' reaction to this must be an openness to new revelation - the 'semper reformanda of Pope John XXIII, which many Roman Catholics have tried to put 'back in the box, which will no longer accommodate it. The Word has become flesh, and we cannot put Jesus back into the box of pre-Incarnation.

Glen Young said...

So Ron, I accept that when the Creating God made me in His "likeness and image", He created me as a logical and rational thinking being with purpose. I did not arrive on this earth as a fully equipped adult; but as a child, who would go through a maturing process.As such, I needed to hone my thinking processes to take responsibility for my decisions. But, sadly, twenty years of experience of providing psychiatric rehabilitation, taught me that very few, [if any of us] put away all those childish traits, by the time we are adults;[or even by the time we meet our maker]. Certain experiences become lodged in our spirits [strongholds] and affect our communicating in the "language of our hearts", even in adulthood. "Adultification" or pre-mature awakening of "conditioned desires", during childhood, is a classic example.These experiences lock our adult responses into the emotional resources we had at the time they occurred.

Jesus said to Nicodemus:"Verily,verily,I say unto thee, Except a man be born
again,he can not see the Kingdom of God.v 3. Verily,Verily, I say unto thee,Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he can not enter into the
Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."v 5,6 & 7. but read John 3; 1-21. Jesus is saying that it is not our bodies that need to be cleanest to enter the Kingdom of God but our souls and spirits.

Hence,St. Paul:"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.v.3 [For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,but mighty through
God to the pulling down of strongholds;]v.4 Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Cor.
chapter 10. Paul is stating categorically that our souls and spirits [senses,thinking and feelings] control our bodies not visa versa; and that our spiritual warfare is capable, in and only through Christ and the Holy Spirit, of preparing us for the Kingdom.This is the mission of the Church.
And Jesus started His ministry by declaring :"The Spirit of the Lord is upon
me,because he hath anointed me to preach the to the poor,he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,to preach deliverance to the captives,and recovery of sight to the blind,to set at liberty them that are bruised.To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.Luke 4/18 & 19.

This is the foundation of "Best Practice Pastoral Care";not captivating people into notions of physical innateness. If we are concerned with harmful therapies,then perhaps, Courts ordering the chemical castration of a 6 year old boy, when he attains the age of 8; to prepare him for transgender therapy. When he is with his father, he dresses as a boy and plays with other boys, by his own choice; while his mother insists on dressing him as a girl giving him a girls name. No, Ron, people in America are looking for a sane society and jobs that pay a living wage and Courts that deliver "justice" and do not subject 6 year olds to evil therapies.Nor do they want
want thousands of illegal aliens with Aids and T.B. invading their country and keeping wages low or using welfare.

Glen Young said...


You may well remind me of the underlying thesis of Anglicanism:"Scripture,Tradition and Reason"; but the all seem to have been absent from G.S.2018.

Father Ron Smith said...

Glen, on Advent Sunday, it is good to remember the faith of the Psalmist:

Psalm 96:11–13

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them. Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice; before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth, To govern the world with justice and the peoples with faithfulness.

"Maranatha - Even so; Come Lord Jesus!"

Take note of the words 'justice' and 'faithfulness' - the attributes of the God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ

Bryden Black said...

Seeing you ask us Ron to take note of the key covenant terms “justice” and “faithfulness”, derived from this Psalm, it would be wise indeed to situate them in their original frame. Unlike many a 21st C westerner where ‘justice’ has the ring of liberalism and/or the kind of thing Rawls invokes, here the grounding indeed is in the fulsome character of YHWH, that transcendent God, whom the world nowadays seeks only to “eclipse”, thus importing whatsoever takes our human autonomous fancy as the ‘meaning’. For that lastly, is exactly what MacIntyre has diagnosed via his “disquieting suggestion”. The Church would be well to exercise a ministry of discernment, and not be beguiled by every voice, even - particularly - when things are seemingly familiar yet counterfeit. Ad fontes!

Father Ron said...

Ok to quote other people, Bryden, but what do You think?

Glen Young said...

Ron, @ Dec. 2nd 1.07 PM.

Precisely Ron, without quoting Mystics, do you accept that Transgender Therapy
on 8 year old boys, leading to horrific surgery, is appropriate because a mother wishes her son to be a girl????? When, while with his father he identifies as a boy.

Bryden Black said...

John 19:22

Unknown said...

Yes, Glen, this thread is circling 'round the old, old spool, but I for one hope that you will comment on future threads of ADU.

Meanwhile, you and Peter seem to me to have a similar willingness to help others avoid delusion, self-deception, and other occasional faults of untested or unreflective self-knowledge.


Glen Young said...

Hi Bowman and Bryden,

Time and other commitments, cause me to join the other ships which have passed in the night. But I would like to say how helpful and interesting I have found
your blogs; they were a delight to read.And, please Bowman, pass my regards to your fellow parishioners at Cockainge; they sound a delightful mob. Blessings, Glen.

Jonathan said...

Hello Bowman, re Robert Roberts and Linda Zagzebski, I don't recall your mentioning them and if you have perhaps you could mention which books you had in mind... Regards, Jonathan

Unknown said...

Jonathan, these readings make most sense in the trajectory of a firework that launches at Romans 5-8; climbs through a few short sub-apostolic and patristic works; accelerates with Fairbairn's Patristic Soteriology-- Three Trajectories and Aquinas's ST I-II, 1-108; gains altitude with Luther's Freedom of the Christian, Hooker's Laws I-II, Anscombe's Modern Moral Philosophy, and MacIntyre's After Virtue; then BANG! Linda Zagzebski's Divine Motivation Theory philosophically integrates worship of a god with emotions psychology, and virtue ethics. The resulting explosion tosses such brilliant fallout as Robert C Roberts's Spiritual Emotions, Elliott's books, Dallas Willard's books, Hauerwas's Community of Character, Smith's You Are What You Love, etc. Parachute safely back into the scriptures with Richard Hays's Moral Vision of the New Testament and any of several recent studies of *Union with Christ*, preferably Grant Macaskill's Union With Christ In The New Testament. This is a trajectory of insight in stages, not a tracing of direct and conscious influences.


Jonathan said...

Thanks for that - I might limit myself to one of these ! On a different topic (and again, might have already mentioned this one), I enjoyed Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy recently.

Unknown said...

Jonathan, the trajectory is for active, take-charge reading that dips and skips, depending on what is familiar and what strange. Most Christian readers would probably benefit from the acquaintance of some much older and often rather short works, preferably acquired with Bible open. It is interesting-- and disturbing-- how seldom the ancients. fathers, medievals, and even reformers say what we were told they would say. (Calvin, it is rightly said, is too high church to be ordained in any Reformed church today.) Resettling the mind in distant horizons also gives it more pragmatic flexibility in one's own, which is more timely than whole a Kindle full of agreeable contemporaries. "Read much," said Francis Bacon, "but few books."


Unknown said...

Postscript-- The Fairbairn and Anscombe are essays found online with a bit of searching.

Few have the time or, it seems, the courage to work through John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology-- which amounts to a wholly different way of reading the Bible-- but the Fairbairn paper introduces the less juridical way of thinking about salvation of the East.

G.E.M.(Elizabeth) Anscombe's essay was the most influential work on ethics of the last century, and most moral philosophy of the previous century is in its shadow. Unlike any other modern article in ethics that I can think of, it has also influenced careful thinking about epistemology-- what we know, how we know it, and how we know that we know it. The virtue ethics (eg MacIntyre, Zagzebski, Hauerwas) that she inspired has itself inspired a virtue epistemology (Zagzebski et al). Insofar as truth-finding is a human activity, a complete account of virtuous action should treat virtuous truth-seeking as well, and this many now try to do.


Father Ron Smith said...

I recommend the latest writing by Fr.Richard Rohr, OFM, see kiwianglo

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

You do not seem to answered my blog,Dec 2nd @ 4.46 Pm on the question of whether or not you accept "transgender therapy" being ordered on 6 year old boys at their mother's behest?????

Father Ron said...

My answer to your question at 7.16pm, Glen, is NO! Happy? Blessings.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

Happy but confused;are you suggesting that "trans-sexual" is not an innate condition?

Father Ron said...

Glen, the FACT that we are all somewere on the scale between extreme Male and extreme Female makes the uncertainty of out innate gender/sexuality recognition more thsn just s posibility. A question Glen - have you never heard of someone born with organs of both sexes? Ther are evern women born wityh no uterus (a rtecent newd item.

Something for you to ponder on from the Scriptures;

"God made them male AND female" (n.b. not 'male OR female') even the linguistics specialists have fun with this one!

As far as what it might be like to feel 'different' from one's assigned sexual role means, I ask you this: Have you ever felt physcally attracted to men ? - No?
just take it for granted that this is a natural experience for a minority of males! The same is true for a minority of women - in their attraction to other females. Unnatural for you, but natural for them!

I KNOW this from personal experience - not just hearsay, or even 'tradition'.

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

I do not think that anything I blog on this site is ever going to change how you view sexual desires; but your blogs, in my understanding, tend to confuse or inter-change the "word gender" with "sexual desire". Gender is innate and governed at the time of conception, by chromosomes, XY male or XX female. Unfortunately, the cell division processes do not always go to plan, before conception or after conception; with sad results. But is there a genetic component to any of our desires?; now that is another story.Even our hormone levels,[which may be influenced by genes [?], do not determine the nature of our desires but the voracity of them. God made me a rational and reasoning being and thus it appears to me; that as His revealed Word states, gender is there for His purposes. My desires regarding my gender are to used within His Revelation. It appears that you and I, part company on the issue of what is viewed as innate and how the Creator intended them to be used.

Unknown said...

Jonathan, on Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy, you might like to consider this rather Lutheran argument--

Inerrancy : Bible :: Transubstantiation : Host.

That is, our ultimate concern is with trustworthy assurance, and for both verbal and sacramental words from God there are correlative doctrines explaining why a believer can trust them.

Of course, confessional Lutherans would replace both inerrancy and transubstantiation with simular doctrines better fitted to the purpose.

We might ask-- why, apart from crazymaking hatred of populism or papalism, would one hold either sort of doctrine to the exclusion of the other? Can one consistently have a lower view of scripture than of communion? Or vice versa?

And how should our notions of proper reception and sharing of the two words be similar and different? I have heard a study group begin with the Prayer of Humble Access. We would be appalled if someone gave the chalice in the spirit with which many give 'texts. Your reading in Elliott could enable some very fruitful comparisons.

For brief positive treatments of the doctrine of scripture, you might look at two books often mentioned here--

John Webster, Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch.

Robert W. Jenson, Canon and Creed.

The works of Henri de Lubac are not quick reads, but fortunately you can take a shorter Protestant path to his destination with any of a few books by Hans Boersma.

KJV (aka Kevin J. Vanhoozer in Five Views), Douglas Campbell, and countless teachers of NT Greek have noted that those who read only the Bible do not read it very well. If one only plays hymns and never Chopin, how will one get the sheer dexterity to play Bach? A spiritual director I had decades ago found that intensive study of Latin American poets and novelists had helped him to hear the Bible say things that the Bible is not supposed to say.

More concretely, some notions of biblical authority sound as though God usually speaks in statutes, sometimes in propositions, and never in poems, dialogue, or prophecy. Psalms? Job? Song of Songs? Daniel? Revelations? The thread through those notions is an expectation that since human authority works by circumventing a person's subjectivity, divine authority must work in the same way. How scriptural is that?


Unknown said...

"God made them male and female."

That is, neither the male people nor the female people were made by eg the serpent. God made both.


Unknown said...

Glen, your comments could sound as though you and Father Ron agree that general revelation (eg whatever science someday explains the orientation of desire) will settle the matter for both of you, one way or the other.

If that explanation should confirm that Hx is true (ie There is, or could be, at least one "intrinsically gay" person), then a Six Texter will guess that the prohibitions have all along applied to bisexuals observed in the ancient world, not the "intrinsically gay" persons never credibly known before the C20/21 or later. That guess would fit the procreation ethic we generally find in the scriptures.

If the eventual explanation should disconfirm Hx, then a Six Texter will infer that the disorientation of those with SSA is, not an involuntary incapacity, but an involuntary and usually incorrigible fault of self-knowledge. That is, just as Charcot's patients at Salpetriere believed that they had lost limbs that they plainly had, so persons who believe that they are "intrinsically gay" will seem to lack introspection of the straight desire that future science will have shown them and all that they have. In that event, an inference from the scriptures will have been conserved, but the pastoral problem still would be what it is.

Have I understood your argument?


Jonathan said...

Bowman I do indeed only play hymns and consider Chopin more out of range of dedication-to-achieve rther than capacity-to-achieve. But since reading Tim Keller's book on prayer have been using the Bible more as a place for prayer and conversation with God than a place to pursue correctness of thought and action - though not discarding those... Thanks to you and Fr Ron for further reading suggestions. As to communion I am currently pondering the analogy of blood transfusion (I in them and you in me). And, incidentally, the Trinity as a (perhaps inaccurate but perhaps helpful) analogy of the church (that they may be one, even as we are one).

Richard said...

You do know that the Tiriti is between the crown and tangata whenua right and not the church?

The treaty is important for ongoing relations between Maori and the church insofar as the church has been involved in crown-Maori relations and in terms of specific issues involoving things like past land sales. It has contextual significance. But to suggest it somehow has legal, structural authority importance from for the church is a category mistake. The Anglican Church is not the crown.