Daily Archives: July 5, 2008
God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks onto the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right, but what is the good of saying you’re on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else–something it never entered your head to conceive–comes crashing in; something so beautiful to us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love, or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down, when it’s become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not. Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever; we must take it or leave it.
–C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book II, Chapter 5
Big words are being thrown around in the Church of England these days; words such as schism, with echoes from 1,000 years ago when the world divided between Rome and the Orthodox; words such as Reformation, with echoes of the split between Catholic and Protestant, which spilt a deal of English blood in the 16th century.
Some 1,333 vicars and other clerics have written to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York threatening to leave the church if its General Synod presses ahead this weekend with the idea of women bishops.
Ho-hum, says the rest of society, for whom gender and sexuality equality has become an unquestioning desideratum, if not an always practised norm, over the past decades. For those with a secularist world view such debates have become a yawning irrelevance. But the air is febrile with a sense of history in the church and for reasons which are not always immediately apparent to outsiders. Women and gays have become its totems.
The Anglican Church of Tanzania has reiterated its opposition to the consecration of homosexuals and women as bishops.
Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa told The Citizen yesterday that the practice that threatens to tear apart the Anglican faithful resulted from what he termed ”a leadership failure at Canterbury”, headquarters of the church.
He also said he would not support the proposed ordination of women as bishops during his leadership as the head of the Anglican faithful in Tanzania.
He also denied during the interview that there was a physical split of membership in the Church over homosexuality.
He said the final decision would be reached at the coming Lamberth conference.
Dr Mokiwa said the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) that Tanzania is part of, is meant to bring churches in the developing world together but not to break them away from Canterbury.
”It is not a breakaway church but we decided to come together because we were uncomfortable with the state of communion,” he said.
Dublin: Irish evangelical leader Bishop Harold Miller of Down and Dromore conceded his decision to attend the Anglican Lambeth Conference “did not make sense” in light of the agenda and invitation list put forward by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it was important to “give it one more chance” so as to preserve the gathering’s “moral authority.”
In his Presidential Address to the Synod of the Diocese of Down and Dromore on June 19, Bishop Miller noted this month’s Lambeth Conference would be marked by the absence of a “quarter of our bishops.” He was “deeply saddened” by their decision as it would undermine the “moral authority” of the Conference, as well as excluding the voices of the most vibrant churches in the Communion.
However, he also expressed concerns about the conference as planned, noting it had been recast into a “retreat-come-training-conference and a meeting and listening place for bishops.”
The agenda “bothers me,” he said, asking “Who is doing the ”˜training’ and how is it going to be ”˜slanted?”