[h/t Peter Ould]
Monthly Archives: January 2016
it was Archbishop Josiah Fearon’s, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council and former Archbishop from Nigeria, response that got my attention. (the full transcript is below)
“”¦But generally on the continent of Africa our culture does not support the promotion of this type of life style. I know a lot of gays. But they won’t come out and start propagating it as a way of life.
“So the problem therefore on the continent of Africa generally is for strong groups from outside Africa coming to impose what is culturally unacceptable. Coming to impose it. That is where the difference is. If the West would just leave Africans within our various cultures, we know how to live together with our differences”¦”
Who are these “strong groups from outside Africa” Secretary General Fearon is referencing?
In Nigeria, other parts of Africa, and in many other places in the Communion ”” including North America, let us be honest ”” Anglicans must go much further to enact both the spirit and letter of this part of Lambeth 1.10 and the 2005 Primates’ Meeting. TEC has stood up for the rights of gay and lesbian people here and around the world, and I am inspired. But changing the doctrine of marriage to include those same people has not inspired most of the Anglican family. Because they are in communion with you, and choose to walk with you even though they cannot agree with or receive the decision of the General Convention, they are perceived as being pro-gay churches. Being in communion with you threatens their witness to the same Lord Jesus, especially but not only in Muslim contexts, where the cultural sensibilities about human sexuality are so very different. In short, your decision puts many of us at risk.
While there were initial demands for the disciplining of churches who offer pastoral care of gay couples by liturgical rites of blessing, this was simply not mentioned in the communiquÃ©; in the end, the issue is the unilateral change of the doctrine of marriage.
In this paper I provide an introduction to this debate by setting out and assessing the arguments for same-sex ”˜marriage’ put forward in reports from the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. At the end of the paper I will give an overview of what I think we have learned about the key issues in the debate and the challenges facing the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
The killer was at large when Anthony Thompson bolted back toward the white church, its spire rising high and proud in the darkness, its body surrounded by emergency vehicles. He darted for the church’s gate and a side door, the one a white man had entered before allegedly gunning down nine people at Myra’s Bible study.
Someone grabbed him.
“Where you going?” It was an FBI agent.
“I’m Reverend Thompson. My wife’s in that church. I need to go on in and get her.”
“No, no, son. You can’t go in there.”
“Oh yes I can. I’m going in there too. Now let me go!”
Instead, the agent pulled Thompson aside, speaking gently, “You don’t want to go in there.”
Read it all frpom the local paper.
O thou who in the days of thy humiliation didst command the winds and waves, and they obeyed thee: Do thou so dwell within us, that we may be safe from all dangers, and steadfast in all temptations; and evermore keep us in thy peace, for thy holy name’s sake.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.
The bottom line is this ”“ Jayne Ozanne’s questionnaire tells us absolutely nothing about the opinion of the Anglicans who sit in the pews week after week and actually make up the core membership of the Church of England, who support it financially and are worshipping and praying in their local parishes as a witnessing community. A staggering 95% of her “Anglicans” don’t actually attend church regularly, if at all. The opinion poll is just a puff piece to support a political agenda and it specifically avoids asking the one key question which might tell us something about what Church attenders actually think on the subject of same-sex marriage.
“To see religion as the driver of extremism or division in society is a mistake,” the Rev Nigel Genders told a special meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education last week.
He told the meeting: “There is no evidence that any religion or ideology is a primary motivator of terrorism. That lies in anger at injustice, a sense of moral superiority, a promise of adventure and being a hero.”
He told the gathering of over 100 people that young people are searching for a sense of identity in a moral vacuum.
“Religion is not the problem and RE is not about countering these issues.”
..While Hermann was condemning millions to death in the name of National Socialism, his bohemian, Nazi-hating younger brother Albert secured the release of 34 prominent Jews and other political prisoners from the concentration camps and rescued many more from certain death.
He pretended they were to be used as forced labour in his factories ”“ and then allowed them to escape.
As Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, considers the remarkable step of awarding Albert Goering its highest honour by naming him alongside Oscar Schindler, the rescuer of Jews made famous in the film Schindler’s List, as one of the Righteous Among The Nations, I have investigated the brothers’ contrasting and intertwined life stories..
More members of the Church of England now support same-sex marriage than oppose it, new polling suggests.
The finding, from a YouGov survey of more than 6,000 people, suggests the Church’s leadership, which led a high-profile campaign against a change in the law, is at odds with the majority of Anglicans in England for the first time.
It also points to a sharp fall in opposition to same-sex marriage among those who identify as members of the Church of England since the law changed, echoing a shift in wider society.
Read it all from the Telegraph.
Confucius’s hometown, Qufu, knows how to market its most famous native son. Visitors to the city in eastern China’s Shandong province can savor Confucian cuisine, worship at a Confucius temple and follow the family tree of the Kong clan, which claims an unbroken lineage going back some 80 generations to the Great Sage himself. The tourist boom has only intensified as China’s communist leadership embraces homegrown traditions once derided as feudal relics by the party’s revolutionary elders.
Now, the presence of a Christian church near Confucius central is sparking debate as to whether the ancient philosopher ”” or, more accurately, his descendants ”” can handle an influx of Western spirituality in a nation yearning for fulfillment. In an online article published late this month, a prominent Confucian scholar protested the expansion of an existing church less than 2 miles from Qufu’s main Confucian temple and kickstarted a campaign against it. Such a church “towering over” the Confucian sanctuary, wrote Zeng Zhenyu, would stir up “intense controversy.” Sure enough, a torrent of digital discourse has ensued in China, with scholars and laymen alike parsing the ancient ideology’s stance towards a diversity of faiths.
..It was the GAFCON Primates’ goal and prayer that this meeting would focus on restoring good order and reviving the Anglican Communion in line with the clear teaching of the Bible. Evidence that order was being restored would require suspension of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) at least until there was repentance and evidence of a change.
What did happen was that the gathering addressed the very narrow issue of TEC and its change of liturgies and the marriage Canon at its most recent General Convention last summer. The decision to discipline TEC finally came to a vote on Thursday. Archbishop Foley has made it clear that, while he chose not to participate in that vote, it was passed by a very large majority. After that, with TEC and the ACoC Primates still fully participating, he and some of the GAFCON Primates absented themselves from the remaining day of the meeting. They felt they could only continue if there was evidence that the Communion was being brought back into Biblical order. The fact that the ACoC was undisciplined and TEC was disciplined in a minor way but was still at the table made it necessary for the GAFCON Primates to leave…
In this post I am not going to add to the discussion about what took place at the meeting of the Anglican Primates a fortnight ago. This topic has already been extensively discussed by a large number of other commentators and I am not sure there is much more to say about it.
What I am going to do in this post is instead to outline what I think are the key issues facing orthodox Anglicans as we move on to the next stage of the life of the Anglican Communion.
W. B. Yeats’ 1919 poem, ”˜The Second Coming’ , has the memorable line:
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.
The media, and many people around the world, thought there would be a split in the Anglican Communion during ”˜Primates 2016 ’. This was the meeting of the senior bishops of the 38 provinces, joined by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America , from 11th to 15th January at Canterbury Cathedral .
Remarkably, through the grace of God, the humility of the Primates and prayers throughout the world across the traditions of God’s Church, the centre held.
Here we consider seven interweaving themes of the week.