Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The revenge of the liberal laity


On 20th November, the muddled legislation by which women would have been able to become bishops was narrowly defeated by the House of Laity. It was not a decisive vote against women, as much of the media reported (and many Anglicans perceive), but a rejection of the particular fudge proposed, which gave cause for doubt in the minds of both liberals and conservatives. As the Bishop of Durham and the next Archbishop of Canterbury said: “The Church has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the principle. It is a question of finding a way that…is the right way forward.”

For some of the traditionalists, the motion failed to offer adequate protection for their consciences; for the progressives, it sustained a distinct male-female disparity in the episcopacy, rendering women bishops inferior in authority to their male counterparts. But as a result of the Synod vote, a plot is afoot to oust the Chairman of the House of Laity Dr Philip Giddings. There is an unprecedented motion of ‘no confidence’ to be debated next week, and Mr Gavin Oldham sets out his reasons for supporting the move:
Dear friends in Christ,

On 18 January the House will be debating a ‘No Confidence’ motion in its Chair, a motion which has arisen directly from the General Synod debate on women bishops in November. I have given my support to the motion being debated, and it is my intention to support the motion on the day unless by the grace of God there is clear evidence of change.

I owe it to my friends in the House who voted against the women bishops’ legislation to explain why I have given my support, and how my views have changed since that day in November. Let me first explain that I have been a member of the General Synod since 1995 representing Oxford diocese: as does Philip Giddings, who I have been fortunate to regard as a friend over these last 17 years. I am also a member of EGGS, as he is and, although I have been a consistent supporter of women bishops, I regard myself very much as an Evangelical, albeit one who places a high importance on the place of reason alongside scripture and tradition.

This is not in any respect a personal issue.

Over the past years my position on women bishops has been to support the maximum provision for those who have found it difficult to accept the change, consistent with the solution being convergent for the Church as opposed to divergent. I explained this position in July 2012 at the meeting of the House which took place before General Synod. I have never been prepared to contemplate a solution which could evolve into a schism.

However my position has hardened considerably since the November debate, as I have come to realise that it is the destructive ideology of male headship which lies at the root of our problems.

Our deadlock over women bishops has, of course, resulted from a combination of Anglo-Catholic and conservative Evangelical opposition. The Anglo-Catholics naturally look to Rome for a lead, and while Rome might prefer to see a clear resolution of the matter within the Church of England, it is not about to give that lead.

However it is the concept of male headship, espoused by many of my Evangelical friends as theology, which presents the major problem: as was clear from speech after speech during our debate. For while valid questions may have been asked about the representative quality of the House of Laity in the General Synod, the Church should – and does – acknowledge the vibrancy and growth of Evangelical churches which have so much to offer. This vibrancy is not dependent on the adoption of male headship ideology by conservative Evangelicals, but on the working of the Holy Spirit through people of faith.

I have come to realise since the November debate that male headship is to be seen alongside a number of similar major historical issues where prejudice and discrimination have been justified by selected biblical references. These include slavery, national socialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Male headship has its roots in the same soil of prejudice and discrimination. It is another elitist creed which, in my view, has no place in the Church of England, nor indeed in the Christian faith.

It may be helpful to consider these selected biblical references through the filter of the two great commandments from which hang all the law and the prophets. For example, how can a man who is a male headship advocate claim to ‘love his neighbour as himself’ if he is not prepared to accept that she can carry the same roles within the church? Obviously it can’t be ‘as himself’, or perhaps he is denying that women are his neighbours by virtue of their gender? I don’t think Jesus was making that distinction.

The Bishop of Liverpool spoke clearly in the debate setting out how he had come to understand St. Paul’s teaching, and why it should not be used as a prop for male headship ideology. The bishops are the seat of theology within the Church, and I do feel that conservative Evangelicals should listen carefully to, and be prepared to accept, what they say.

The ideology of male headship has come to have assumed the status of doctrine, but even doctrine is shown as capable of change from a biblical perspective. St Peter was clearly of the doctrinal view that the Gospel was meant only for the Jews, and yet his vision at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10) made clear that he must change. And thank God that he did, because otherwise we would not have the opportunity to receive Christ’s salvation today.

So I have come to realise that male headship ideology must be confronted and not appeased, just in the same way that St. Peter confronted his erstwhile interpretation that the Christian faith was reserved for the Jews. Male headship is simply the latest in a long line of elitist creeds, and it is time to consign it to history, as with the others.

Finally, let me say again that the 18 January debate is not personal: it is about the integrity of the House of Laity. Nobody will be more delighted than me to see Philip being prepared to encourage Evangelicals to pursue their zeal for Christ unencumbered with elitist ideology. With best wishes

Gavin
Gavin Oldham
Oxford 370
It is curious that one member of the House of Laity should accuse its Chairman of shallow theologising and appeals to proof texts with, err.. shallow theologising and appeals to proof texts. There is a loving veneer and a gloss of generous reason presented in this letter, but an utterly wicked undercurrent which seeks to equate support for a male episcopacy with Nazism (along with advocates of slavery, apartheid and ethnic cleansing). If those who oppose women bishops are the new Nazis, adhering to a ‘destructive ideology of male headship’, His Grace feels fully vindicated in his proposal to remove the laity from the Synod altogether, and for national spiritual and legal authority to be exercised by the clergy and bishops alone, with democracy introduced at a local level under the principle of subsidiarity.

It is a shame and cause of great sorrow that someone purporting to represent the progressive liberal wing of the debate on women bishops should seek to smear a traditionalist (who voted in favour of women priests) with the same spirit of extremism which leads to torture, mass murder and war. Biblical literacy is not enhanced by hyperbole: Gavin Oldham is manifestly declaring that those who place obedience to Scripture and Church tradition above progressive reason are influenced by the same evil which leads to human atrocities and appalling maltreatment. What must his view be of the Roman Catholic Church itself if Anglo-Catholics and many Evangelicals are unable to discern such evil?

Mr Oldham desires that the laity should have more influence in the church. In fact, he makes the case for less. His support for the motion against Dr Giddings is based upon nothing more than his desire to lap up everything the heterodox bishops command. The orthodox view is thereby further marginalised, and great swathes of the Anglican family alienated. If this motion succeeds, it will establish beyond doubt that the General Synod is not fit for purpose.

Dr Philip Giddings is not some nutty leader of a narrow sect; he is MA, DPhil (Oxon) and Senior Lecturer in Politics at Reading University, specialising in Government and Public Administration. He is a widely-published academic, and a loyal and faithful Christian servant. He proclaims the gospel, preaching Christ and Him crucified, and senses the will of God for His Church in England. He has been a formidable Chairman of the Mission and Public Affairs Council, and has served with great respect on the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod for many years. Whilst the mainstream media have sought to portray him rather unglamorously, he is a generous, learned and wise man.

By all credible and meaningful accounts, he is manifestly worthy of the office he holds. The ‘no confidence’ motion is apparently nothing but a crude and cruel vengeance; an act of retribution for ‘thwarting’ the combined wills of the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy, as though those members of the laity who rejected the motion were incapable of discerning for themselves and, like children, were led astray by Dr Giddings' charismatic (but evil) 'ideology'. 

It is not Philip Giddings who is damaging the credibility of the Church of England, but aggressive reformists who seek to fill old wineskins with Coca Cola, and those progressive extremists who view orthodox Christian teaching as a breath away from Nazism or apartheid. To scapegoat Dr Giddings over this matter would be a grave injustice, for he represents the conscience of many millions of traditionalist Anglicans, and the Church of England would be impoverished without his contribution to national life.

If he is forced out next week, the precedent set would be quite an extraordinary one – that if any believer should dare even sympathise with those who seek to uphold the historic orthodox catholic teachings of the Church, they are showing themselves ineligible, unsuitable or, in the final analysis, too extremist to hold office within the Church of England. The via media thereby ends, and schism swiftly follows. We must find a prayerful, honourable and holy way forward, in the love, peace and unity of Christ.

133 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you your grace. Very well put.

Adam Phelps

8 January 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger scottspeig said...

It does seem rather odd that this would be a cause for "no confidence". He does not connect the two, nor does he espouse why the incumbent is unworthy of the confidence. Given that the debate occurred and a vote held would be suffice to suggest that the Chair was fair and even-handed in the situation. What would he have done differently??

As for the male headship debate, one might ask his opinion on the headship in marriage or of the Triune God Himself. It seems rather odd that God can place us in gender specific roles (Father/Mother/Husband/Wife) yet we are supposedly free to have male mothers. Would like to see them try to give birth!!

8 January 2013 at 13:15  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Arguing about the application of a concept outside of the context of that concept. Never wise!

What is Headship? It is decision-making and responsibility. We have headship so that we can have decisions and responsibility. If everybody is in charge, nobody is in charge. It's all down to contrast (creating context).

And Philip Giddings has a

gentlemind :)

8 January 2013 at 13:42  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"I have come to realise that it is the destructive ideology of male headship which lies at the root of our problems.

The NuChristian.

8 January 2013 at 13:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"There is a loving veneer and a gloss of generous reason presented in this letter, but an utterly wicked undercurrent.

Regardless of my views on women priests and bishops, I couldn't agree more with this assessment. The coats of veneer and gloss are very thin too. Well said.

A nasty letter.

That said, what is the Church of England up to? Surely having agreed to women priests (wrongly, in my opinion) it seems to me to follow that gender is no barrier to becoming a bishop?

Male headship based on the fullness of scripture (not just St. Paul), along with reason and tradition, is either acceptable or it is not. It is based on an understanding of the complementarity of the sexes and not on discrimination and elitism.

8 January 2013 at 13:52  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 January 2013 at 14:09  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Thank you. An excellent response to a dreadful letter Your Grace. With friends like Mr Oldham who needs enemies?
Back in 2011 my wife became incandescent after reading of similar aspersions in a CinW Press Release in which the Ass Bishop of Llandaff said: "Defending the church from an accusation that ordaining women was a sign that it had abandoned Christ, Bishop David said, “Ordination is a much needed countersign to a world where women are brutalised in war zones, where gays fear for their very lives in Uganda. Otherwise a homophobic theology encourages homophobic violence; misogynistic theology encourages misogynistic violence just as the anti-Semitic theology of ‘His blood be upon us and our children,’ encouraged anti Semitism, even though that was the last thing Matthew the Gospel writer intended.”"
Mrs Briton's response here: http://ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/ass-bishop.html

More recently from the former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth: "In the church you do have to accept a certain amount of trust. After all, if you can't accept that trust is pretty fundamental in the church, then where are we? The whole base of the Christian faith is based on trust."
Bishops take note. Remember your promise of an honoured place for all loyal Anglicans

8 January 2013 at 14:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Is Mr Oldham correct in his assertion:

"The Anglo-Catholics naturally look to Rome for a lead ..."

If so, then he's wrong here:

" ... and while Rome might prefer to see a clear resolution of the matter within the Church of England, it is not about to give that lead."

The Bishop of Rome made the Catholic Church's position absolutely clear in 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis' (May 1994), and in 'Ad Tuendam Fidem' (May 1998).

"We declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

Clear, precise, well reasoned and scripturally founded leadership.

8 January 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger David Hussell said...

My word hasn't gender identity politics, in all its forms, imported into the Church from the political left via liberalism of course, proving remarkably effective at squandering the energies of the Church, marginalising us in the eyes of a public desperately needy of God's love and generally thwarting the preaching of the Good News. I think we need a lot of help from our orthodox brothers and sisters in the Global South, as much of The Anglican Church in these islands, is quite simply emasculating itself

8 January 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger Martin said...

It is a strange interpretation of 'Evangelical' that raises tradition and reason to the same level as Scripture. I'd say he was a liberal.

Perhaps the clear teaching of Scripture on headship need to better taught within the Anglican community. God is the Head and He decrees who is head in the churches and families. Women ministers are a clear rejection of God's decree.

8 January 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

This man isn't an evangelical in any meaningful sense of the word. His exegesis of any key texts is conspicuous by its absence, he is dishonest in throwing about spurious accusations and comparisons on pain of the 9th commandment, and asserts that bishops are the seat of theology! The very idea that one can believe this and remain evangelical is beyond ludicrous, especially given the bishops in the church of England. It makes my blood boil.

And, like all true liberals, he throws the commandment to love around without any serious or clear idea of what it means.

8 January 2013 at 15:31  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

". . . an utterly wicked undercurrent which seeks to equate support for a male episcopacy with Nazism."

Brazen hypocrisy from Cranmer.

8 January 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Tanfield said...

As a layman I do wonder how the recent vote removing the ban on appointment of homosexual bishops was passed given the laity's rejection of women bishops. Would the appointment of homosexual bishops and now this event form a groundswell from the liberals in the laity to get the vote against women bishops overturned?

8 January 2013 at 15:40  
Blogger Ambrose said...

Would someone please help me to understand the rationale behind how the CofE makes it's decisions? I am interested to know if it can ever make decisions that are irrevocably binding. For example, could it declare, by some form of democratically reached decision, that only those who publicly avow Jesus Christ as God incarnate can be eligible to be a Bishop? And if it could, could it then at some further time down the road, again through some democratic procedure, revoke that decision with a new one to say that those who publicly deny Jesus Christ was God incarnate were also eligible to be a bishop?
I ask, because it seems to me that there must be some distinction between unchangeable, dogmatic truth, truth of the faith which one must hold to if one can be said to hold to the faith at all, and what might be called operational truth, variable stuff adopted to facilitate the operation and public expression of the Church, for example that the AOC is chief bishop of the CofE is true today but may change in the future if the properly constituted powers decided it.
I'd like to know if and how the CofE makes this type of distinction.

8 January 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



What a blinder of a post you’ve given us today Archbishop !

It’s only a matter of days now before Oldham resigns. If he’s an honourable man, that is. But do honourable men do the nasty on ‘friends’ ?

It is of course the minutiae that interests most, don’t you agree. We KNOW the CoE is tearing itself apart, but it’s the individuals behind it that fascinate. Who are they and why have they abandoned previous generations call of unity first. Why is it that today’s ‘with it’ Protestant needs to protest as damagingly as the originals did ?

Anyway, assuming the feminiser Oldham doesn’t resign, could we see his hand at work in the future. Could it be the cross as the very symbol of Christianity is at risk in the CoE. An instrument of execution - man’s work, no less. And we all know Oldham’s opinion of men. Can’t see the cross lasting 10 years in the New Improved CoE. It will be put in the dusty cupboard, and the corporate image people will roll out a new logo. A lamb probably. And after a few years of lady bishops, it will be replaced by the cat, of course. Baal’s servant.

All kneel before the blasted cat, what !



8 January 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Anglican said...

It has always been recognised, by most Anglicans who are opposed to women bishops, that if the CofE accepts women priests it is illogical to oppose women bishops. What they want is proper provision for their beliefs and theology – which are the biblical and traditional ones held, until very recently, by the CofE and indeed by almost all Christians from the earliest times.

As is widely acknowledged, the motion failed because many, who want women bishops, saw clearly that totally inadequate provision was offered to those who on theological grounds could not accept women bishops (or priests).

There is still no logical reason why a Third Province could not offer a solution. Diocesan bishops do not, and never have had, authority and jurisdiction over all priests and churches within their geographical diocese – there are ‘peculiars’, religious orders and military jurisdictions.

Some of the ‘liberals’ (fortunately not all) want the expulsion of all who will not accept the novelties they are trying to introduce.

8 January 2013 at 17:20  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

If women bishops were approved then would it be automatic that archbishops and the ABC can be women?

8 January 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Laurence Boyce: Did you actually read the article you quoted from? Because it compares no-one and nothing to Nazis and Nazism. In fact, in that article His Grace warns that inflammatory and emotive terms are obscuring the real debate. Perhaps, therefore, you should withdraw your accusation, and read more carefully next time.

8 January 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Yet one more example of Neuhaus' Law: "Where orthodoxy is
optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed".

This argument was effectively settled 20 years ago when women were allowed to be ordained. It created facts that cannot be undone. Once women were let in, there was never a possibility that the CoE would decide "Oh, we were wrong" and toss them all out again. Why do you think the clergy and bishops voted overwhelmingly for this measure? Because those two houses have for years been deliberately stacked with proponents. So now what was once optional has become offensive, and voices begin to call ever so quietly for a purge.

The fool will say "This is the limit of their demands." No, there will be similar demands about homosexual bishops and gay marriage and (eventually) surrender on matters of Anthropology, Christology, Soteriology, and Theology Proper. It isn't going to stop. There is no "prayerful, honourable and holy way forward, in the love, peace and unity of Christ." There are only two different religions preaching two different Gospels of two very different Gods. One side will win. The other side will exit stage left or right depending. This unequally-yoked church cannot last.

carl

8 January 2013 at 18:24  
Blogger TigerO said...

Oldham is representative of the new order of Socialism. Loose the debate and immediately resort to accusing people of being Nazis. This is gutter debate.

Whilst I am at it I believe it incumbent to clarify the meaning of "apartheid" which has attained a meaning consistent with National Socialism and on a par with Nazism which is totally incorrect.

From Afrikaans literally it means separate power but in application means separate development. It was the intention of the National Party not to pursue a multicultural society but rather to nurture and allow the many cultures that existed in South Africa to evolve within their own territorial and legal environment. The country was therefore divided into natural cultural regions that existed when the Union was formed following the Anglo/Boer War.

The various Bantu Nations resident within the greater borders of the Union were granted sovereignty over their traditional areas. This included political, legal and cultural power. The rest of South Africa was regarded as White South Africa.

Thus Blacks from those territories required both legal entry authority and work permits as is the case in situations like this.

Remember the Trek Boer had a long history of desire to maintain their culture and religious beliefs and when the British took over the Cape after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 they left the Cape not wishing to be ruled by the British. At no time between 1814 and 1994 did the Afikaaner nation initiate a war against any of the Black nations. The only military engagements were defensive. On the other hand the British fought many wars including several with the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape and an offensive attack on the Zulu in 1879 in which a great uncle lost his life at Isandlwana.

What is interesting is the natural desire of cultural communities in Britain to congregate and form "Cultural Islands". I have friends who were resident for generations in Northern cities and have been driven from their homes by Asian immigrants not wishing to have them as neighbours.

8 January 2013 at 18:39  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

I love coincidences.
From todays I Nocturne at Matyns.
from Romans 12:
"Be not conformed to this world"
and
"For as we have many members in one body and all members have NOT the same office."
As TWOTD says "male headship is in the fullness of Scripture" and, therefore can only be disregarded HONESTLY by a declaration that Holy Writ is now redundant [or not fit for purpose and/or the 21st Cent-or some other noddy cliche said a la Cheshire cat].
My dear Inspector G.
Felix catus domesticus magnifissumus was never a servant of Baal as far as I know. He was worshipped in Eygpt, yes, but when one had the choice between him, a jackal or a hippo [or other assorted fauna] until something better came [ie the LORD] I know which one I'd prefer.
Besides, as Smart says:
He is a servant of the LIVING GOD [having embraced the Faith and given up unspeakable pagan rites!!.

8 January 2013 at 18:40  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Carl:

I have come to be quite bemused by the entire debate, not least because the Anglican Church is thoroughly divided on what exactly a Bishop is. For some it is the Apostolic inheritor from the Disciples, with full sacramental office, for others a specific calling from the Holy Spirit, for others still, little more than a figurehead administrator who does the job simply because someone has to and it might as well be that nice fellow with the bushy beard. There's also the Giles Frasers of the World who seem to want them to be an arm of the State Charitable and Social Justice(tm) Commission.

All of these issues are tiresomely familiar, and stem from man enthroning himself, rather than enthroning God in their lives. It's the oldest lie of all, sold by the Snake, and fallen for by every person he has encountered since.

8 January 2013 at 18:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say, that Chantry Priest. Yes, you padre...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal_(demon)


8 January 2013 at 19:07  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Gavin Oldham wrote 'I regard myself very much as an Evangelical, albeit one who places a high importance on the place of reason alongside scripture and tradition'.
Liberals are so dangerous to the Gospel when they are capable of thinking this way. REASON? Whose reason and how does it affect the scriptures? They presume their own thoughts to be equal to or higher than the Gospel.
God deliver us from such schemers.
The old saying, 'a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down' in this case the letters sweetness is so apparent that it makes you question the spirit behind it?

8 January 2013 at 19:13  
Blogger len said...

I fear Carl is right and there will be[is] an ongoing movement to bring the church into line with what is 'accepted practice' in the secular World.The Church is not supposed to conform to the World and indeed compromise with the World will render the Church 'unfit for the purposes' of God.The Church must be 'salt and light' even if this makes it unpopular with the 'Politically Correct'.

The matter of male headship is misunderstood by many and it is not just a matter of male domination and unless a distinction is made there will always be controversy.

8 January 2013 at 19:31  
Blogger Flossie said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for another brilliant post. I know that you are personally in favour of women's ordination (or at least I guess you are, from previous posts) but at least you respect the views of those of us who aren't. Unlike the writer of the missive above.

I am disgusted with the House of Bishops. The guardians of the faith, the foci of unity (not!) who almost to a man wanted to appoint women to the episcopate without caring what became of opponents. I really can't get over it. Betrayal isn't too strong a word. They are the ones who need investigating, not Dr Giddings.



8 January 2013 at 19:40  
Blogger John Magee said...

Once again the old adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" has come to fruition for Anglicans caused the antics of the C of E trying to please everyone over the past decades (atcually for the past almost 500 years) by taking their Church down the garden path to ruin by adopting liberalism disguised as "Christian" love and tolerance. The "good intentions" of the Anglican Church trying to please radical feminisnism by defying Church tradition, specifically High Church Anglican tradition with it's identity with the Medieval Roman Catholic Church, by ordaining female priestesses not only in the UK in it's North American branch the over 400 year old Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA and other Churches in the world wide Anglican Communion back in the 1990's has proven to become A catastrophe. Several people correctly posted here that it should be of no surprise the C of E finds itself in this quagmire when it ordained female priestesses in the 1990's. It didn't take a prophet back then to figure out the C of E would sooner or later cave into to demands to ordain homosexual and lesbian priests and priestsses and finally openly Gay priests and a Bishop as already happened in the USA.

Withe the C of E's obsession with destroying itself by adopting every liberal dad that comes down the pike it is for some odd reason obsessed with clothing it's clergy in Medieval Roman Catholic garb. The further the C of E distances itself from Catholic teaching it supposedly claims it has inherited the more it adopts Catholic Medieval trappings and even Vatican II innovations. Very sStrange.

Too bad the C of E doesn't read it's own Bible once in awhile these days and remember every decision has consequences. Bad personal or communal actions will come back to haunt the individual or the group:

Hosea 8:7: "they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind"

No Christian. least of all the Mother Church of Christianity, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Catholics can gloat over seeing the C of E implode but non Christian enemies of all Christianity are ecstatic watching this circus.

A carl jacobs

Was your quote about orthodoxy made by Neuhaus made by the famous John Neuhaus the former Lutheran theologian and write for the NR? Your quote is perfection because Pastor John Neuhaus followed his own advice and became a Roman Catholic and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. He returned home to Christian orthodoxy. The Roman Catholic Church.

Father John Neuhas was often on TV expalining RC Church dogma and teachings before his death.

8 January 2013 at 19:52  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, the liberal left are like rust, they never sleep, and this is the latest manifestation of that insomnia. The sine qua non of the liberal left activist is to make every public office accessible to a black lesbian. We can see that subliminal intent in the letter that you publish.

Will they ever grow up?

8 January 2013 at 20:02  
Blogger Jonathan Smith said...

Mr Oldham is on Twitter:

@Gavin_Oldham

Why not share your thoughts?

8 January 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

John Magee

Not only was Richard John Neuhaus a convert to Roman Catholicism. Shock, horror, he was Canadian too who became a naturalised us citizen!

Carl's quote is known as: 'Neuhaus's Law'.

8 January 2013 at 20:20  
Blogger John Magee said...

YG

While the C of E debates the serious issue of female Bishopettes and other stuff our brother and sister Orthodox Christians in Serbia received this Orthodox Christmas (the Orthodox Celebrate their Christmas 12 days later than ours usually on january 7) "present" on January 4, 2013 from their Muslim neighbors:

Belgrade: Muslim Albanians last night completely destroyed the monastery “Assumption of the Virgin” in southern Serbia. Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin” which is located in the vicinity of Vladicin Han was vandalized last night. The door was smashed, and the entire interior were broken. The money from the candle sales and other item inside the monastery is stolen, and all the icons were smashed. Mother Paraskeva (62 years old) confirmed this information. She was very upset fear for her safety. “I’m afraid they will come back, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m here alone and old, but let them come, someone has to defend", said Paraskeva.
“There’s nothing left, this is terrible!". Asked whether she knows who could have done this, Paraskeva replied "that everything is known, but that no one will be interested in the West."

Correct Mother Paraskeva. Not the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor Protestant leaders paid a bit of attention to your Church's sufferings over the past 20 years by Islam. None of them care until it's their turn when Islamic Jihad does this in the West in the near future...

The whole Muslim world went bonkers because of a Danish cartoon of Muhammad, but when ancient Serbian Orthodox (as well as Coptic Christian ones in Egypt) monasteries and churches destroyed my Muslim rioters, no one responds. Not even the NATO troops stationed nearby...

Please continue the C of E debate over Bishopettes because it's so "important".

I wonder what Mother Paraskeva and her nuns would have to say about such nonsense.

8 January 2013 at 20:23  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

I am quite amilar with Father John Neuhaus having read his column in the USA conservative magazine "National Review" for many years which was published by the conservative and devout Roman Catholic William Buckley.

William F. Buckley starting as a student at Yale University in the late 1940's to revived the modern American conservative movement after the FDR era which was riddled with left wingers and communists. Maybe Buckley's life and writings should be looked at by both British and American conservatives today as an inspiration about how we can renew ourselves and invigorate the conservative parties in our countries from the ash heap our "conservative" leaders left us by their compromising with the liberals and caving into the demands of our secualar society.

Incidently Buckley was a very good friend with the English Roman Catholic convert and former editor of "Pnch Magazine", Malcolm Muggeridge.

You may or may not know that the former atheist Malcolm Muggeridge was so impressed with Mother Theresa, an unknown nun in Calcutta, India in the 1950's, that his articles and writinsg eventually brought her work and that of her nuns to the attention of the whole world.

Look up Malcolm Muggeridge and if you can take the time. Read a few of his books. "Jesus Rdiscovered" I recommend.

I know nothing about theology and doctrine as you do. But I know a little bit about people and history.

Muggeridge and his wife were atheists and Marxist's in the early 1930's. he went to live in Moscow as a reporter for the left wing Manchester Guardian with his wife about 1932 with no intentions of ever returning to the UK because they imagined the USSR to be a "paradise". He heard about and the witnessed the Ukrianian famine which killed over 7 million people and wrote about it. When the manchester Guardian ignored his pleas to publish his articles on this forced famine and the deaths of millions he saw first ahd during train trips to Kiev in the Ukraine he finally saw the evil of Communism and fought Communism and what the USSR stood for all the rest of his life...

8 January 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you, Your Grace. Very well put indeed.

8 January 2013 at 21:27  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

I cannot see that support for headship necessarily leads to no confidence in the chair; a chair is surely either impartial or not? I have chaired meeting without difficult though opposing one view on a personal level. One can set aside one's own feelings, and I do not see on the information we have so far that the chairing was problematic.

On the headship issue, it may or may not be a respectable theological position. I understand from our bishops that it is not currently accepted as the doctrine of the Church of England. Have I got that right?

8 January 2013 at 21:48  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

My wife and I manage our marriage without headship; our model is that of the Trinity which has no necessity of dominance.

8 January 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

John Magee

You are indeed a veritable gold mine of information. I feel I may have misjudged you. If you have been reading these authors, and I recall you mentioning Hilaire Belloc too, then you will have a very solid grounding in our shared faith. Have you read The End of Christendom by Malcolm Muggeridge?

I am no theologian! I do however try to read the Bible and the Catechism on a regular basis and try to keep up with developments in Catholic thinking.

8 January 2013 at 22:00  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Harry-ca-Nab asked:
'If women bishops were approved then would it be automatic that archbishops and the ABC can be women?'
Yes, of course. Abp Rowan Williams expected as much in his otherwise excellent 'Goodbye to Canterbury' programme.
One has only to look to The Episcopal Church of the United States to see what a disaster that has been where the Presiding Bishop is ruining the church. Like the weather, what the US has today, we have tomorrow. Women bishops, gay bishops and the exclusion of anyone who does not toe the line.

8 January 2013 at 22:02  
Blogger Chris Lazenby said...

I do wish this split between 'clergy' and 'laity' in the C of E could be abolished. Karl Barth said that the word 'laity' should be abolished. He was right.

Chris Lazenby... Tutor King's Evangelical Divinity School

8 January 2013 at 22:27  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

Why do the Anglicans have a parliament type thing to decide matters of faith?

Did they always have a synod? When was this invented?

My Dad would sort this lot out in two seconds and impose an agreed heresy.

Better still, they should listen to the Pope.

8 January 2013 at 22:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Martin Sewell said ...
"My wife and I manage our marriage without headship; our model is that of the Trinity which has no necessity of dominance.

Well good for you! I was tempted to say that your wife rules the roost but wont.

You clearly do not understand what St. Paul was teaching about leadership given the way you inappropriately link 'headship' with 'dominance'. Did Jesus wash the feet of His Apostles and give us a model of 'Headship'?

Look at the issue in the fullness of Scripture - starting in Eden and through Christ's selection of the Apostles from male and female disciples - after a night of prayer. Was He elitist and sexist?

8 January 2013 at 22:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

JK's Lovechild

Welcome back. Short and to the point as usual!

And, of course, the Pope simply restated an infallible position under the Ordinary Magisterium as the doctrine has been held consistently by the Church since the time of Christ and the Apostles.

8 January 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Chris Lazenby said...

"I do wish this split between 'clergy' and 'laity' in the C of E could be abolished. Karl Barth said that the word 'laity' should be abolished. He was right."

What 'split'? And I thought we were all one Body but with different roles and gifts.

And naturally Karl Barth's speculations carry greater weight than Scripture and 2000 years of Church tradition! I mean St. Paul and Jesus were products of their culture.

Isn't this spirit of protestation that frees us from the shackles of orthodox tyranny wonderful!

8 January 2013 at 23:50  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Thanks Thomas. You don't really need to read the article. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.

But yes, I did read it last year. It contains the following lines:

"Ah, Chris Bryant, who is about to bring a Private Members Bill on the proposal to redefine the meaning of marriage to extend to same-sex couples. The debate is scheduled to take place in the House of Commons on October 30th. And doubtless he'll opine about the bigots, Nazis and fascists ranged against his moderate, enlightened and utterly reasonable Bill."

Well, Bryant's bill hasn't actually happened yet, so that will be something to look forward to. Meanwhile Lord Carey, who actually did make Nazi comparisons, gets tacit approval from Cranmer.

It's quite breathtaking really. Lord Carey makes some disgusting remarks (especially when you consider Nazi persecution of homosexuals), so Cranmer's tactic is to falsely accuse Chris Bryant of saying, or at least thinking, what Lord Carey actually said!

And then to slam Bryant for his imaginary thoughts, and add an offensive picture for good measure!

"But Chris Bryant MP will doubtless march on regardless, persuaded that those who oppose him are the real bigots, Nazis and fascists."

Doubtless . . .

9 January 2013 at 00:15  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 January 2013 at 00:36  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

If you need some inspiration on some rainy day please go to your Youtube search box and type: Buckley and Muggeridge. There are about 38 results showing interviews and discussions which William F. Buckley Jr had with Malcolm Muggeridge over many years before Muggeridge's death in the early 1990's. Most were conducted at Muggeridge's simple home at Robertsbridge, East Sussex in your country and others in New York City where Buckley hosted his weekly TV program in the USA called "Firing Line". It's very interesting to see Yale educated Buckley, the Roman Catholic founder of modern American conservatism (small c), discuss everything from conservative politics to Christ with the English writer and Anglican/atheist/convert to Roman Catholicism. Malcolm Muggeridge.

It's thanks to Muggeridge's "discoverying" Mother Theresa's work in the 1950's (or 60's I am not certain) in Calcutta among the "poorest of the poor" and hopelessly sick and abandoned people there and his writing about her and the selfless work of her nuns that she became famous.

Please give these interviews a chance.One that is especially interesting is "The culture of the Left".

They are an education for all Christians and conservatives.

TY.

@ YG

Another example of the politics of personal destruction at work by the left when they can't steamroll and crush traditionalists and get their way:

"It is not Philip Giddings who is damaging the credibility of the Church of England, but aggressive reformists who seek to fill old wineskins with Coca Cola, and those progressive extremists who view orthodox Christian teaching as a breath away from Nazism or apartheid. To scapegoat Dr Giddings over this matter would be a grave injustice, for he represents the conscience of many millions of traditionalist Anglicans, and the Church of England would be impoverished without his contribution to national life."

The liberals drag up the word "Nazi" anytime a conservative disagrees with them. The can't see how Naziesque their jackboot tactics are trying to stifle the free speech or valid views of traditionalists.

9 January 2013 at 00:47  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"You don't really need to read the article"

Yes, it shows.

9 January 2013 at 01:19  
Blogger Pedant said...

@Martin Sewell: "My wife and I manage our marriage without headship; our model is that of the Trinity which has no necessity of dominance."

Proceed with care. Headship is not about dominance. But about the sequential order in which the Love of God is brought to expression, reciprocated and suffused.

9 January 2013 at 04:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Mr Oldham asks an interesting question:

‘[H]ow can a man who is a male headship advocate claim to ‘love his neighbour as himself’ if he is not prepared to accept that she can carry the same roles within the church?’

Indeed, how can a ‘Christian’ husband claim to love his wife by refusing to accept her surrender in the bedroom on the ground of defending equality between the sexes?

Why should the Bride of Christ submit to Christ?

Are Mr Oldham and his followers undermining obedience and humility in the Church?

It seems to me that they are and the implications, should they succeed, are clear for the future of the Church of England.

9 January 2013 at 08:11  
Blogger William said...

Laurence

"It's quite breathtaking really. Lord Carey makes some disgusting remarks (especially when you consider Nazi persecution of homosexuals), so Cranmer's tactic is to falsely accuse Chris Bryant of saying, or at least thinking, what Lord Carey actually said!"

You clearly have not grasped that Lord Carey was warning real marriage advocates NOT to use name calling (as the Nazis did with the Jews) against SSM advocates?

You seem to be holding the wrong end of the stick. Perhaps if you read a bit instead of looking at the pretty pictures? Oh, and you might want to avoid The Independent from now on.

Here's the pertinent link in His Grace's article that you found so hypocritical.

9 January 2013 at 09:35  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

My dear Inspector
Thank you-I stand corrected.
I suspect your Ba'al is one transmuted from a description of Satan by one Conrad of Madeburg [I think] who was a 12th Century Inquisitor who saw demons all over the place.He described UPR's [unspeakable pagan rites] where the Devil appeared as a cat, a man and a toad] He was supposed to have got the then Holy Father Gregory PM IX to issue a Papal Bull that condemned black cats as familiars, etc.
Interestingly, if you believe in demons [as I do] Ba'al is extensively worshipped today, gorging on the holocaust of victims provided [unwittingly?] by those "who offer their sons and daughters unto devils...the idols of Canaan and the land was defiled with blood" [Ps 106 36-37].
But, of course, since the "enlightenment" we are all scientific and rational now and call child sacrifice "termination".
In any case, now he has offerings on an industrial scale unparalleled in history, I would he would consider the humble mog to be very small fry indeed.
Always a delight to chat with you.

9 January 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger graham wood said...

"I do wish this split between 'clergy' and 'laity' in the C of E could be abolished. Karl Barth said that the word 'laity' should be abolished. He was right."

Chris Lazenby... Tutor King's Evangelical Divinity School.

Quite correct Chris. A mammoth problem exists because the "office" of priest, or vicar, has been separated from the NT eldership and an authority has been attached to it that is unknown in the NT.
The vicar/pastor concept is everywhere ASSUMED as a legitimate structure of leadership. But it is alien to the NT, and is directly responsible for the unbiblical "clergy/laity" dichotomy, and constitutes one major barrier to a real and functioning priesthood of ALL believers when the church is gathered together.
"laity" as we know, means people, that is, ALL the people of God. "Clergy" (from Gk 'kleros') means 'lot', or inheritance, (of God) which again includes ALL believers.
The distinction is entirely artifical.

9 January 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

At times like this, I think the bard put it best (apologies to Shakespeare!):

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Mr Giddings, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Mr Giddings. The noble Mr Oldham
Hath told you Mr Giddings was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Mr Giddings answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Mr Oldham and the rest--
For Mr Oldham is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Mr Gidding's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Mr Oldham says he was ambitious;
And Mr Oldham is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Mr Giddings seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Mr Giddings hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Mr Oldham says he was ambitious;
And Mr Oldham is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Mr Oldham says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Mr Oldham spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Mr Giddings,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

9 January 2013 at 10:46  
Blogger David Waters said...

or B) Switch to a congregational model.

Protestantism and Episcopalianism do not sit well together. Bin the bishops!

9 January 2013 at 13:00  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

"You clearly have not grasped that Lord Carey was warning real marriage advocates NOT to use name calling (as the Nazis did with the Jews) against SSM advocates?"

No I haven't grasped that because it's patently not true. Lord Carey was not warning the C4M. Rather he was complaining (something he excels at) that he felt his side of the argument was being shouted down (which can be unpleasant, but I'm afraid is all part of political discourse). Carey's exact words:

"Remember the Jews in Nazi Germany. What started against them was when they were called names. And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state."

Name calling is the first stage towards a totalitarian state? I'm sorry but that is utterly specious. On that basis, any politician should feel like they're going to the gas chambers.

9 January 2013 at 13:18  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

Dodo and Pedant I have been married for approaching 40 years, and only in the last 6 months has this odd doctrine of headship crossed my consciousness. My church never talks about it, I have read extensively theologically without being troubled by it, and I shall not be losing much sleep or expending much intellectual effort exploring such a minor tributary of the waters of faith. I rather think if you are reaching for this doctrine in your marriage, you are not doing the important things very well.

9 January 2013 at 14:03  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 January 2013 at 14:11  
Blogger John Magee said...

Female Bishops in the C of E? That's old news here for Episcopalians. Wait until Gay marriage is made legal in Britain and you will have the following story in the headlines of British newspapers. Only the cathedral will be called St Paul's Cathedral in London.

I woke up to this morning and wasn't surprised to read in the paper another example of the numerous humiliations and now a slap in the face and a kick in the derriere to conservatives who over the past 30 years in the USA must be religious masochists to chose to remain in my former church. The Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA (the 400 year old USA branch of the C of E):

Wednesday January 9, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin performing same-sex marriages.

Cathedral officials tell The Associated Press the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members. The church will announce its new policy Wednesday

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral's dean, said performing same-sex marriages is an opportunity to break down barriers and build a more inclusive community "that reflects the diversity of God's world."

"I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do," Hall told the AP. "And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it's being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be."

Celebrating same-sex weddings is important beyond the Episcopal Church, Hall said. Church debate is largely settled on the matter, allowing for local decisions, he said. The move is also a chance to influence the nation

The New York-based Episcopal Church is the U.S. body of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion. The House of Bishops voted last year 111-41 to authorize a provisional rite for same-sex unions. Some congregations have left the church over its inclusion of gays and lesbians over the years"

Usually the parent tells the child what to do. In this sad case the child is the Episcopal Church USA and it's mother, the Church of England, will copy her child in a few years and also allow "the rite for same sex unions" in St Paul's Cathedral in London and all cathedrals and parishes belonging to the C of E in the England and in the other Anglican Churches in the UK and Eire. The Church of Ireland, The Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Church "in" Wales.

"The rite of same sex marriage". Pure blasphemy.

"The move is also a chance to influence the nation". What does this mean? It means exactly what it says.

A major Protestant Church will use it's influence to try and change the concept of Christian marriage as being a union between a man and a woman in my country.

This story is coming to your C of E doorstep sooner than you think.

Step by step the Anglican Church leaders are destroying your Church just like the happy frog in the pot of luke warm water who is slowly boiled for soup while the cook slowly turns up the gas flame and he is cooked alive and hardly realizes it until it's too late.

9 January 2013 at 14:26  
Blogger graham wood said...

Blogger Martin Sewell said...
Martin Sewell wrote:
Dodo and Pedant I have been married for approaching 40 years, and only in the last 6 months has this odd doctrine of headship crossed my consciousness. My church never talks about it, I have read extensively theologically without being troubled by it, and I shall not be losing much sleep or expending much intellectual effort exploring such a minor tributary of the waters of faith."

Martin. Absolutely right. The 'headship' doctrine, whilst applicable solely to the marital relationship is well qualified by the Apostle Paul who reminds us that mutual submission (of all believers to one another as well as mutually between husband and wife) is much more important.
If practiced, then the headship "problem" disappears.

9 January 2013 at 14:50  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Graham Wood and Martin Sewell

Er, what I actually said was:

"You clearly do not understand what St. Paul was teaching about leadership given the way you inappropriately link 'headship' with 'dominance'. Did Jesus wash the feet of His Apostles and give us a model of 'Headship'?"

It was the framing of the theological concept I objected to. I should also add that the notion of 'headship' is applicable to the Church too. St. Paul constantly uses marriage as a metaphor for the Church and vice versa.

Hopefully you have both read 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:21-24 and 1 Peter 3:1-7.

Scripture clearly teaches that men and women are intended by God to have different roles in society, the family, and the Church. The husband is the head of the family; the wife is the heart of the family. When a husband and wife try to have the same role, they have much conflict and disharmony. When each person takes their proper place in God's plan, then there is harmony and peace.

The Bible is pretty clear too on the role of women in Church: St. Paul concludes 1 Corinthians 14:33-38 with the words: "If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized."

"You shall not follow the crowd in doing evil. Neither shall you go astray in judgment, by agreeing with the majority opinion, apart from the truth."
[Exodus]
{23:2}

9 January 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Flossie said...

Well said, Dodo. Not much harmony and peace in the Church of England now, is there? I can't understand why women want the 'head' role when they are so much better at the 'heart' role.

9 January 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Flossie - if only people followed the revealed wisdom of God.

9 January 2013 at 18:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Good show, that Chantry Priest

Yes, the Inspector does believe in demons, though not in the time honoured ‘possessed by’ meaning. You see, he believes in the 9 choirs of angels, and the supreme lot, the archangels of which Satan is one. We have Michael and Gabriel, so we must have Satan. What particular interests this man is like mankind, angels too apparently have the choice to work for God or against him. So, we must ask ourselves, are demons angels who have gone bad ?

To be far to the cat, it’s not altogether its fault it is so derided. There must be millions of men throughout history who have only enjoyed one tenth of the affection their woman lavished on her cats. A resentment that has been passed down (…unconsciously ?...) through the generations. On a personal note, the Inspector lost out to a cat last year in his bid for a lady’s affections. That did done nothing to rehabilitate the creatures’ reputation in this man’s eyes…







9 January 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "What particular interests this man is like mankind, angels too apparently have the choice to work for God or against him."

Except they have a proper choice because they know rather than have to guess that god exists.

9 January 2013 at 18:42  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Laurence Boyce: Have you even read the article by Tom Chivers that was linked to by the original article and by William above? Not only is Tom Chivers an advocate of same sex marriage, he also personally dislikes Lord Carey, as he makes clear in the article, but the wider context of the quote makes it evident that your understanding of it is wrong.

Moreover, even if you think Tom Chivers is wrong (which you gave no basis for), that's irrelevant to your original accusation of Cranmer's hypocrisy, because Cranmer evidently understands the quote the way Chivers understood it. This fact alone makes your original charge false, and you should retract it and apologise.

Moreover, your complaint about the cartoon seems bizarre. The cartoon is plainly meant to be absurd- that's why it reads "gay nazis for Christ"- why would the "for Christ" bit be included if it were intended to seriously tar gay rights advocates with the "Nazi" brush?

Also, your complaint about what he says about Chris Bryant is not relevant. Cranmer isn't complaining about being accused of calling others Nazis, but about being tarred with the Nazism brush, so this won't make the hypocrisy charge stick either.

9 January 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. One can deduce that if Satan turned from God, and was left alone to get on with whatever he does, then God must be no more apparent to these non-flesh beings as he is to humanity. A matter of faith then.

9 January 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

My dear Inspector
My sincere condolences for your loss.
Perhaps suitable offerings to the feline might work [e.g. smoked salmon; breast of chicken stuffed with truffles; dormice glazed with honey, etc] to restore you in the Lady's affections. After all, the cat would be definitely on your side.

9 January 2013 at 19:25  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

I don't agree with Tom Chivers. Why should I? Is he God?

Why is it irrelevant that Cranmer accuses Bryant of tarring his opponents as fascists and Nazis when, to the best of my knowledge, he has done no such thing? I think that's contemptible frankly. Likewise Cranmer hurls around offensive abuse, calling people "militant gayers" and "rabid homosexualists." No name calling there then? And then he acts all high minded about this internecine letter. (Oh how you Christians love each other!)

It's worse than hypocrisy. It's the politics of the playground bully.

By the way, Gavin Oldham is right about one thing. Christians did at various times support slavery, national socialism, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing. Don't know where the Holy Spirit was when all that was going on. Maybe one of his days off?

9 January 2013 at 19:36  
Blogger michael north said...

As usual, I can understand barely one-tenth of the comments that appear on this blog. The only account of the doings of the Church of England that I have found that have any connection with reality is Trollope's Barchester novels. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of, if not the British state, the British establishment, whose workings are opaque to those on the outside. And it is sharing in the moral and cultural collapse of that establishment; in fact, it is one of the drivers.
John Henry Newman came to realise that the Church of England was English before it was the Church, when he was a young parish priest in Oxford. A female parishioner asked him to officiate at her wedding, but, consulting parish records, he could find no evidence that she had been baptised. He told her that he would be happy to marry her, once he had performed the essential ceremony of introducing her into the church. The woman's father barged in,asserting that his daughter, being English, had a right to the services of the English church. The fact that she was not a Christian in any sense that the term had been traditionally understood was of no significance. Newman turned to his bishop, who backed the father.
This was the first time that Newman began to understand that the Church of England did not stand up to any real intellectual rigour; that,of course, has always been its appeal to a people suspicious of intellect.
The Church of England is built on fudge, and there is a poetic symmetry in the way that it is the packing of fudge that is now pulling it apart.

9 January 2013 at 19:44  
Blogger Alison Judith Bailey said...

Boris explained the changing role and demographics about women in : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3636932/Ill-tell-you-why-women-are-running-out-of-men-to-marry.html

9 January 2013 at 20:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Chantry Priest. Inspector was tipped off about the cat, so included it in courting strategy. A tip, cats can’t resist cooked peeled king prawn. Will eat out of your hand then disappear into a corner with it. Sadly, it didn’t work with the lady who was after a soul mate, as opposed to a man, for God’s sake !


9 January 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Laurence, how can "militant gayers" and "rabid homosexualists." be offensive ?

In fact, the Inspectors preferred stronger terms for homosexually active men, benders, shirt lifters and cock s______, are not offensive either. Merely conveying graphic illustration of what these bizarre and frequently diseased souls get up to.

A bargain, Sir. If they end the uprising, the Inspector will stop referring to them in this way.


9 January 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger Preacher said...

It seems that this tragic obsession to self destruct, currently occurring in the CofE is a sign of the times. It appears to be a Wheat & tares or Sheep & Goat situation that the Scripture warns will happen.
As a non conformist it does not directly affect me. But I am deeply saddened by the backstabbing & P.C actions of those who should know better.
I speak to many non believers on a daily basis. Many are very open & searching for answers. Most have no problem with Jesus. But the fact is that it's often the politics & the need for Robes, Smells & Bells in Churches of all denominations that have caused their rejection of the Message.
The need for simple Holy Spirit filled people, who follow the teaching of scripture & preach a clear straight forward message that points to Salvation through Grace by Faith because of God's great,
Mercy & Love. Has never IMO been greater.

9 January 2013 at 20:55  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Laurence Boyce: I don't agree with Tom Chivers. Why should I? Is he God?

No. You shouldn’t agree with him because of his authority. You should read the argument he makes for his position, and refute it if you can, and if you can’t then accept it is true.

Why is it irrelevant that Cranmer accuses Bryant of tarring his opponents as fascists and Nazis when, to the best of my knowledge, he has done no such thing?

a) In the context of our conversation, it’s irrelevant to the charge of hypocrisy.

b) He does not accuse Bryant of doing any such thing. Another false accusation to add to your growing collection.

Likewise Cranmer hurls around offensive abuse, calling people "militant gayers" and "rabid homosexualists." No name calling there then? And then he acts all high minded about this internecine letter. (Oh how you Christians love each other!)

Cranmer wasn’t complaining about name calling. He was complaining about a Nazi comparison and hyperbolic language. So what’s your point?

It's worse than hypocrisy. It's the politics of the playground bully.

What is that even supposed to mean? And should I take that as a withdrawal of your initial accusation?

By the way, Gavin Oldham is right about one thing. Christians did at various times support slavery, national socialism, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing. Don't know where the Holy Spirit was when all that was going on. Maybe one of his days off?

So what? Did anyone claim Christians were sinless, or that all people who own the name “Christian” are in fact Christians? Worth pointing out that, of course, there were also Christians who opposed these things at the time they were going on.

9 January 2013 at 20:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Inspector

The terms "militant gayers" and "rabid homosexualists" are personally neutral conveying an extreme political creed and a determination to exercise undue influence over society. .

Yours, on the other hand, are ..... Well, I'll leave it to others to explain if they are of a mind.

Now, on demons.

Again, I fear, you were sleeping during religious instruction! Lucifer, the greatest of God's Angels, rebelled and he and a third of the Heavenly host, who joined him, were cast out. Being Spirits they knew God but pride led to them rebelling against His plan. We are taught, their choice was eternal and so final. Hell awaits them at the end of time. Meanwhile, being unable to conquer God, they turned their attention and hatred towards us on earth.

Satan and his demons are legion and exercise great influence on us unless we are on our guard against them. There is such a thing as demon possession, according to Catholic teaching. The Vatican even has a Chief Exorcist who has written about his experiences and encounters. Scary stuff too.

Its no longer religiously or politically 'correct' amongst some circles to openly talk of satan or his demons.

9 January 2013 at 21:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. One actually agrees with you. The latter terms were published to show how inoffensive the former are...

9 January 2013 at 21:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Preacher said ...
"I speak to many non believers on a daily basis. Many are very open & searching for answers. Most have no problem with Jesus. But the fact is that it's often the politics & the need for Robes, Smells & Bells in Churches of all denominations that have caused their rejection of the Message."

Yep, you can meet quite a lot of these people at rock and folk festivals too. They want an easy, off-the-shelf, pick-and-mix faith that meets an initial psychological need as a forerunner to a spiritual need. And no talk of hell-fire or sin either!

The kernel of the Christian message is indeed simple. But one needs to progress in one's faith and this means understanding the more complex and deeper aspects of Christianity and its doctrines and demands. Without this, in my experience, faith can very quickly whither.

The "politics" you refer to centre on critical theological issues. The "Robes, Smells & Bells" concern liturgy, the Sacraments and worship. Somewhat important and but for the Church preserving itself through these means I doubt we'd be having this discussion.

9 January 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Good man, Inspector.

Hopefully that clarification will protect you from further criticism by militant gayers and rapid homosexualists on here.

9 January 2013 at 21:27  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 January 2013 at 21:40  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 January 2013 at 21:47  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Who are the rapid homosexualists? These guys maybe?

9 January 2013 at 22:00  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
The message was preached plainly, by simple men as the Spirit gave them utterance & thousands gave their lives to, & often for Christ.
Sorry old chum but the regalia etc does nothing for me. But neither does much of the entertainment that passes for 'Worship' in many Western Churches these days.
Preaching a pick & mix message to suit the masses is not my forte. I have never sold the gospel cheap or preached for man's plaudits nor for gain. I leave that to those that need a more theatrical appearance to give their solemn pronouncements gravity.
However it does sadden me to see men destroying & debasing themselves & holding the Church up to ridicule in the eyes of the World.

9 January 2013 at 22:02  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

Saying that headship does not equate to dominance does not make it the case.

Is a wise woman to defer to a stupid man who does not recognise his limitations?

Roles are fluid not absolute. Andre Villas Boas pays Sandro as a defensive midfielder, but is not going to complain if every now and again he takes the initiative and chips in a few goals.

9 January 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Preacher said ...
"The message was preached plainly, by simple men as the Spirit gave them utterance & thousands gave their lives to, & often for Christ.

In some senses I do agree with you. However, early Christianity developed mainly within Jewish settlements and amongst gentiles who were familiar with Judaism. Once it became more dispersed and ventured into the broader pagan world, it had to settle critical doctrinal issues, organise itself and preserve its message. Just consider the great heresies of the first 300 years of Christianity and how they had to be overcome before and after the Nicene Creed was agreed. Today many of these heresies are re-emerging.

Christianity is simple and yet also complex. I have never gone in for ritual for ritual's sake and accept Catholicism does have dangers in respect of this. These outward signs can be mistaken for the faith if their meaning is not properly taught and can appear as mere superstition. It's the same with theology. Are the Sacraments necessary means of justification? Can Grace be resisted? Does man have free will? These issues just cannot be fudged.

It is a great shame the Church's public profile is centred today on homosexuality and issues of women priests and bishops. To my mind, both are non-issues having been stated in Scripture. My own Church has had to contend with great scandal too.

9 January 2013 at 22:30  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Not a good analogy Martin Sewell!

There would surely be a problem if Sandro left the pitch, sat on the manager's bench and ordered Villas Boas onto the field.

"Is a wise woman to defer to a stupid man who does not recognise his limitations?"

Ummm ... who's been putting ideas in your head? Eve was seemingly 'brighter' than Adam in worldly matters and looked what happened!

9 January 2013 at 22:37  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

"But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." 1 Cor 11:3

Surely, Martin Sewell, your problem is with the apostle Paul, not with us?

9 January 2013 at 22:46  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Martin is right, Dodo. Roles are fluid in a relationship. Only a stupid man does not recognise that a woman may be brighter in areas that were conventionally thought of the man's domain in relationship.

Older men are still stuck fast in
the Dodo dinosaur mould that man must be the head of the family and the women must comply. A man can be a good head of the family as long as he does everything his wife tells him to do. The old way was to manipulate men into thinking that every good idea was theirs accompanied by a lot of nauseating sweet insincere treacled treatment pandering to the male ego .

The modern woman who is more integral living a more authentic life cannot be bothered with this nonsense. Although the former strategy is still successful, mainly with geriatric stupid blinkered males as witnessed on this blog.

As for Eve being worldly and the cause of Man'a downfall. I do not agree. Adam had a part in this. Being in charge, he should have initiated more in depth discussion on apples and the dangerous sexual allure of the serpent instead of flittering about in bliss playing with the butterflies. Women need lots of attention.

9 January 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

*rolls eyes*

There was no apple. Just the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Do you guys actually read your Bibles?

9 January 2013 at 23:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Cressida

Some interesting insights! I do hope your not a feminist.

Being the natural head of the household requires great tact and skill on the part of men. He must listen to his wife, take her views into account and then do as she suggests in matters of little significance. In matters of great import he must have the final say but always be open to reasonable counsel.

As for Eden, I'm sure Adam was clear with Eve about the Apple. His role was to walk with God and tend the Garden. Eve was there as his soul mate and companion. She, being sensually predisposed and carnal, succumbed to the seductive talk of the serpent and then manipulated Adam who, in a moment of weakness, wanted to please her.

9 January 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

In Ireland, the stronger partner is the wife. Any Irishman will tell you that...

9 January 2013 at 23:41  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

LB

*rolls eyes*

We know. Its just a lot easier to type 'apple' than 'fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'! Do you suppose it might have been a banana or a coconut?

9 January 2013 at 23:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Inspector

Maybe that's one of the reasons it's been described as the least Catholic nation in the world - by a prominent Catholic too who's name escapes me.

9 January 2013 at 23:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

23: 24
LOL as 3 Catholics roll their eyes and sigh in unison!

9 January 2013 at 23:52  
Blogger Galant said...

Male headship in marriage is plainly stated in Scripture. The contention is what 'headship' means, and I find most people who object to it tend to object to varying erroneous notions of what headship is.

Since 'headship' is the dispute word in question, perhaps things might progress further and more quickly if specific objections were raised. What exactly about a husband's 'headship' do each of you disagree with?

One thing is certain. There is no notion in the Bible that the headship a husband holds is based upon his being superior in some way. Is that the idea some of you disagree with?

10 January 2013 at 00:02  
Blogger Galant said...

Dodo - it was a grapefruit. There's no way someone can take a bite from one of those and not know they made a bad decision. :)

10 January 2013 at 00:03  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Banana I'd have thought.

10 January 2013 at 00:05  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I cannot be pigeon holed and defy classification but of course as an intelligent modern female I support moderate feminism to the extent that women should be educated, no longer chained to the kitchen sink,walk 3 paces behind the master,or obliged to cover their entire bodies in public except for their eye slits.
Just recently I was in a moslem country and at a restaurant I was watching a woman on a very hot day completely covered in the regalia trying to eat by shovelling the food under her mouth covering(with great difficulty) You would not be allowed to treat an animal like that here. My initial reaction was to slap the husband in the face (you can still do that in France) but I thought better of it!

10 January 2013 at 00:10  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Well, no reasonable person could disagree with you, Cressida. Being a dinosaur nearing extinction, I do wish for simpler times and less contention between the sexes particularly in the Church.

10 January 2013 at 01:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Maybe a lemon, Galant?

That was very rude LB!

10 January 2013 at 01:04  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Thanks Dodo, I aim to please!

10 January 2013 at 01:33  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

"He does not accuse Bryant of doing any such thing."

Thomas, I'm not sure there's much point debating with you. Cranmer twice insinuates that Chris Bryant sees all his opponents on this issue as Nazis. It's as plain as a pikestaff. It's a very serious accusation, and completely baseless as far as I am aware. The only person who ever mentioned Nazis at the time was Lord Carey.

The trick to being even handed is to forget for a moment whose side you are on. Cranmer should have got angry with Lord Carey who did immense damage to himself with the Nazi remark. Likewise with all the ghastly statements emanating from the Catholic hierarchy. But none of this seems to trouble Cranmer one jot, until an accusation flows the other way like with this letter, at which point he screams blue murder.

I really don't want to quote Jesus here because I'm not a big fan, but it's easy to love your friends. The tricky bit is to love your enemies. Cranmer should try loving Chris Bryant for a bit. But not in a gay way obviously.

10 January 2013 at 01:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

LB aaid ...

" ... all the ghastly statements emanating from the Catholic hierarchy."

I say, do keep Rome out this Anglican dispute or substantiate your accusations.

10 January 2013 at 02:15  
Blogger Pedant said...

In Ireland the strongest marriage partner is the Husband's mother.
Role is not merely defined by function, but also determined for adequacy for function. It is better that daddies be male and mommies be female. Accidents of circumstance may called for creative wavering with respect to this, but such wavering should not be embraced by an expanded normativity. That's why people of non-complementary sex should not be allowed to marry, etc. neither should women be priests because in the mass, which is what the priest is there for preeminently, he represents both himself and the congregants as the people (a role whcih a woman could also do adequately), but also he represents Christ, and as we all know Jesus was a man, etc. etc. Adequacy, as my dear old mother would say.

10 January 2013 at 03:16  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Laurence Boyce: Thomas, I'm not sure there's much point debating with you.

Why? I have been responsive to the points you have made. That you might not like my answers doesn’t mean there is not “much point debating with” me. If I haven’t changed my views to yours, it’s because I think you’re wrong, not because of some prior commitment to defend His Grace.

Cranmer twice insinuates that Chris Bryant sees all his opponents on this issue as Nazis. It's as plain as a pikestaff. It's a very serious accusation, and completely baseless as far as I am aware. The only person who ever mentioned Nazis at the time was Lord Carey.

Dear me Mr Boyce, it’s like trying to hit a moving target when you keep changing your accusation. First it was hypocrisy, then it was: Cranmer accuses Bryant of tarring his opponents as fascists and Nazis when, to the best of my knowledge, he has done no such thing, and now it’s that he insinuates that that’s how Chris Bryant sees his opponents. Tarring your opponents with an accusation and seeing them that way are two different things, as will not have escaped your notice, one being a public slander, one being an unfriendly disposition. Hardly on a level, are they? I also think you’re reading the phrase “bigots, Nazis and fascists” in the article too literally, and that it’s a sub for “nasty, evil people”, but that isn’t my interest. You keep changing the terms of debate.

The trick to being even handed is to forget for a moment whose side you are on. Cranmer should have got angry with Lord Carey who did immense damage to himself with the Nazi remark. Likewise with all the ghastly statements emanating from the Catholic hierarchy. But none of this seems to trouble Cranmer one jot, until an accusation flows the other way like with this letter, at which point he screams blue murder.

I don’t mean to be rude, Mr Boyce, but I think you could profit from your own lessons on even-handedness, since it seems to me that your original accusation of Cranmer (now basically abandoned) and subsequent pursuit of various different accusations seems only explicable due to an implacable hostility towards him and his views.

10 January 2013 at 07:34  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
I agree that as the gospel spread & the Church grew it needed Spiritual men to lead & guide it & resolve the issues of faith that arose. Indeed Paul warns Timothy of the problems that will arise from within the Church. He also deals with several issues in his epistle to the Churches in Corinth & Ephesus.
I do not however see the need for all the paraphenalia that modern Church leaders feel they have to wear & carry to show their position. IMO it's not what a man wears on the outside that makes him fit to serve God but what's in his heart. Jesus never felt the need to dress in priestly robes & garments, so why should His present day servants?.
I feel that although the dress of ministers allows them to be recognised by the 'laity', it separates them & makes them less approachable, which defeats the object of the exercise. If a clerical collar can have that effect, imagine what effect a Bishop in full regalia has.
Blessings. Preacher.

10 January 2013 at 10:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Preacher

Again I wouldn't necessarily disagree and accept that often less is more. However, at the same time I'd say the vestments are not there simply to separate the clergy from the laity. They are there to symbolise deeper spiritual truths and to remind the clergy and laity of these.

Would you expect a Monarch on his Coronation to turn up in jeans and a tee-shirt? Or those tending him to be in casual attire? Catholics believe Christ's is actually present at Mass and in their Church. And of course He accepts us as we are is was a 'man of the people' but we believe in showing Him respect as our Heavenly King and Saviour.

I would add. as a concession to you, I'm not sure why those Anglican clergy who do not believe in the Real Presence or the priestly function would dress in vestments.

10 January 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

Don't agree; in my analogy Andre is God and he smiles on a good initiative which contributes to the successful outcome.

Nobody puts the idea into my head; I am professional practiced to ask questions testing a proposition. I see you do not answer the simple and direct question which I repeat, Is a wise woman to abandon her good judgement to follow a foolish husband leading them to disaster?

10 January 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

I shall bear that interpretation with as much fortitude as I can muster!

I see nothing in Jesus' teaching to compel me to insist on being wrong when my wife is right.

10 January 2013 at 13:46  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

A good marriage agreement is like a treaty or a commercial business partnership deed; you only need to look at it when things go wrong and the measure of true success is that it lies unconsulted.

To return to my football analogy, one of the most beautiful and successful team was the 1970's Dutch one which played " total football. Each player whilst having individual strengths and talents understood and were trained to play in every position on the pitch. They moved the ball and themselves fluidly yet were brilliantly co-ordinated as they worked with one mind.

10 January 2013 at 13:54  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

In the same way, within a marriage, there are times when I might take an initiative but sometimes my wife does knowing much of our shared approach: when we call it wrongly we have to forgive.

How often do we find economic or physical difficulties imposing its own changes upon us? I have total confidence that if incapacitated my wife has the experience and judgement to manage for me in my infirmity. There is nothing ungodly about that.

Just to tug a few tails can I mention we have a prayerful and growing Church

10 January 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

.... Which runs with a mixed staff team and three women priests; we have never been healthier in my 35 years of attendance. The outsider is welcomed, the rejected know that our leadership knows what it is to be undermined and this contributes to our reputation as a Church where all can come without being judged by men. We are all failures judged by God's standards .

The teaching of Jesus was not that we should adopt the headship of Patriarchs but be open like little children .

10 January 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Martin SewellThe universe is a patriarchy- God our heavenly Father, remember? Paul, an apostle of Christ, who comes with Christ's authority, commands us to submit to the authority of (male) elders, and that wives submit to their husbands.

That a church may be successful with female elders is a sign of God's grace to disobedient children. Doesn't make it right, any more than having an elder who was disqualified in some other manner but running a successful church would be right. The ends, in other words, do not justify the means.

10 January 2013 at 14:13  
Blogger John Magee said...

Just a comment about the topic of feminism which surfaced here. Prior to the mid 20th century when life became relaltively easy for the majority of the populations of Western nations daily existence was never easy and was in fact a matter of life an death for many. Women who were lucky to be born into wealth, most daughters of the clergy, or were members of the aristocracy or royality never had to worry about "being tied to the sink". Yet it was these same wealthy women who started the modern feminist movements.

Before our great grandparent's time when women were "chained to the sink" at home with their babies crawling on the floor and other children needing attention and care all day, every day, which was definately hard work. Their husbands left early each morning to work at dreary jobs. Almost all of them involving hard labor and some of them dangerous and often in unhealthy conditions: plowing fields, endless farm labor, mining coal with a pick on their knees in almost total darkness hundreds of feet underground, the village black smith, digging ditches,working in steel mills and other facory labor, labor gangs working on roads or the hard work of constructing buildings, years at sea or going or going out each day on a fishing boat risking their lives fishing, and a hundred other manual labor jobs and others that required trade skills that were difficult and involved dusk to dawn hard labor for 6 days a week. Until the mid 19th century, other than a few religious holidays like Christmas or other village festivals, the concept of a holiday to the to a place like a seaside resort was impossible for most people.

Even office jobs in the past were risky for men. Being fired could mean never finding a decent job again.

It may come as a surprise to modern radical feminists that life was not at all easy for for 95% of men either.

I haven't forgotten that child labor and women working in factories and doing their share of farm work was part of this difficult past too.

No one disagrees that women should receive equal pay for equal work and have the same educationional opportunities as males. That has all been accomplished. In fact at most colleges and universities today women are the majority.

10 January 2013 at 16:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"Is a wise woman to abandon her good judgement to follow a foolish husband leading them to disaster?"

A "wise" woman would have sufficient nouce to help a "foolish" husband see sense without undermining his role. Partnership, sharing and recognising and accepting the abilities of one's wife is not ruled out by God's ordinances. Permitting women to take charge in the home or church, is.

Did you watch the Chelsea game last night? Ivanovic, repeatedly praised for his goal scoring ability of late, failed in his primary role as defender and his team lost.

Your argument is with the Holy Spirit - not me.

10 January 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

When God approached the 14 year old Mary to bear Jesus he involved neither her father nor her betrothed, neither did he suggest she consult them. He entrusted consent to humanity's salvation to this young woman. That tells you what God makes of this headship nonsense.

10 January 2013 at 20:15  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Martin Sewell: Complete rubbish. God obviously overrides a husband's headship, but I think that you'll find that through his apostle Paul he specifically enjoins the husband to be the head of the household, in the first letter to the Corinthians, as well as those to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and the first letter to Timothy.

10 January 2013 at 20:29  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Correction- 1 Timothy to do with male eldership in the church.

10 January 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
Thank you for your answer, but it still does not address the issue at stake.
For hundreds of years, Church Elders & Pastors had no need of special garb to 'Symbolise deeper Spiritual truths' nor to remind both clergy & laity of them.
Whilst I agree that we should show the Lord our respect & love, I would wonder if the homeless or the poor would feel comfortable in the presence of such vanity & so many preening peacocks.
If We really love our fellow man & desire to reach them for Christ, I would dress in everyday clothing.
But then I guess that's why I will always be happy as a non conformist & will never embrace 'High Church' religion. I think God is Bigger than all that & deserves better than man in all his glory.

10 January 2013 at 20:59  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

Offered the choice of Paul's approach to headship and God's I make my choice. He worked with Mary and headship never even made it to the negotiating table.

10 January 2013 at 21:47  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

That is a weak argument: many people suffer personality disorder either in fully florid or partial form, others suffer mental breakdown in reaction to life traumas: in such circumstances it is entirely right for the wife to exercise her talents to support her weaker husband and nothing in scripture suggests this offends the Almighty

You are in the minority in asserting this doctrine within the CofE and if it's rejection offends you then let us agree an amicable parting.

10 January 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Martin Sewell
What you've described is simply fidelity to a life long partner (you do believe this is scripturally demanded?) rather than a contradiction in God's order.

And your quite wrong about relationship between Jesus and His mother, Mary. It was demonstrated in a number of passages in scripture - besides she was His mother and was due the respect demanded in the Torah.

Preacher
No priest I know dresses in vestments whilst helping the poor on the streets or when working with groups of people in need.

And as for "vanity & so many preening peacocks", well you haven't seen the rather threadbare and faded garments my aged Parish Priest wears!

10 January 2013 at 22:11  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Martin Sewell: Paul is Christ's apostle. His words in the Bible are Christ's words. Rejecting Paul's words is rejecting Christ's words. So Paul's approach to headship is God's approach to headship.

Remember: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16-17

Put another way, you have no right to set Paul against Christ, as to do so is to set God's words against God's words.

10 January 2013 at 22:33  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Yes Martin, you have no right! Now go and correct your wife!

11 January 2013 at 01:13  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Why is there no point debating with you Thomas? Because of this:

"Tarring your opponents with an accusation and seeing them that way are two different things . . ."

. . . that is to say tiresome nit-picking which doesn't get to the heart of anything. By the way, thanks for telling me that "Nazi" is not meant to be taken literally. I thought we were talking about guys in SS uniforms, and was wondering why you don't see them around so much these days . . .

11 January 2013 at 01:35  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Oh really? So there is not an important difference between a public slander of someone and an unfavourable belief about them? I think that's ridiculous, but if you want to call it nit-picking, you're welcome to do so.

So go on then Mr Boyce, what is the heart of this debate? Please, do enlighten me! Heaven forbid that we should engage in tiresome nit-picking which shows that your original and subsequent accusation is directly false!

Oh, and the point about Nazis was written about the three-word phrase "Bigots, Nazis and fascists" and was pretty clearly explained above, although I've abandoned any naive hope I had that you might actually engage with anything I say. Instead you just throw a sarcastic comment out to try and score some points.

You see, what you call "tiresome nit-picking" I call "engaging with the issue at hand". Your argument here has been constantly modified here when you can't defend your initial accusation, with no recognition of the change but some bluster and moral outrage to cover it up and distract others from the fact that you're baiting and switching.

11 January 2013 at 07:34  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
LOL. O.K Enjoy the show.

11 January 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger Bobby Mick said...

Martin Sewell, you are entirely wrong to say that Joseph had no involvement in Jesus' upbringing. Look in the Scriptures at the account of what happened when the thought crossed Joseph's mind about leaving Mary:

"Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus."

You will also find that your idea that humanity's fate and salvation was resting on this one woman is heterodox, maybe heretical too. God clearly had it all under control. I am sorry for you that your church has been deficit in teaching the Scriptures to you. But you MUST consult the Bible before you make any more sweeping statements like the above.

11 January 2013 at 21:33  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

You have misread my point. Plainly Joseph played an important role in Jesus early life. However when Mary was told she had been chosen, she had a choice, her choice, not Joseph's , not her father's. They were not in the conversation; God respected Mary' s freedom to choose or deny. Of course God could have approached someone else had she declined.

That is plain scriptural and leaves " headship" where it belongs, on the sidelines

11 January 2013 at 21:47  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

And there was me thinking that " by their fruits you will know them".

11 January 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger Martin Sewell said...

Excellent!

Isn't it odd that these folks will happily tell us that God gives us free will to accept or reject salvation ( a very Pauline theology) but that women cannot enjoy autonomy of choice on much more minor matters.

11 January 2013 at 22:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Um Marun, I doubt any self respecting Calvinist would agree we are free to accept or reject salvation! Nor would a good deal of other protestant brethren.

Women, like men, are according to Catholic theology invited to respond to the offer of salvation. Part of this is understanding and living by the word of God as revealed in Scripture and taught by the Church. You are making way, way too much of this issue.

True Headship in marriage is revealed more in inaction rather than action. However, when it comes to offices in the church scripture is clear and definitive on the roles of the different sexes.

11 January 2013 at 23:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"God respected Mary' s freedom to choose or deny."

That's why Catholics refer to her as the 'Second Eve' and hold she was born without the stain of original sin. She was special - full of grace.

Have you considered the 'Wedding Feast at Canaan'? The dynamic between Jesus and Mary is illuminating.

Have you considered Mary's role in the early Church and amongst the Apostles? Was she a leader? Yet she had spent 30 years with Jesus before His public ministry.

11 January 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Martin:

I think I know where you're coming from - and I suspect your relationship with your wife echoes the relationship I have with my wife (neither of us insist on a model of male headship).

However, looking at the nature of some of the comments, I'd just very briefly like to offer an alternative defence of "male headship" that isn't theological, but based on my observations of a number of good friends of mine over many years who have defined their relationship by male headship. (Its very difficult to avoid using stereotypical language when writing about this, so I hope you'll understand I'm not using any of these words to endorse or reject any particular models of gender or personal relationships).

Firstly, not a single one of them has a conventionally "strong" or dominant man - they are all men who you could genuinely describe as being kind to a fault. Their wives are a little more mixed in temperament - ranging from women who could easily be recognised as traditionally submissive to (I kid you not) "strong" and even "dominant" women, with one who would describe herself as an out-and-out feminist!

Obviously all families and all relationships are different, but the key commonality between them all is a sense of absolute trust between partners. One woman who promised to 'submit and obey' once justified her marriage vow by saying that she submitted to her husband and obeyed his lead because she knew that he would never ask her to do anything that was against her interests or exploited her.

I think that nature of trust is what lies at the core of Paul's teaching: it's the sense that a wife can rely utterly on her husband, and correspondingly that the husband can trust and rely on his wife. They are not equivalent or strictly "equal" in the sense of being the same - but neither are they strictly "hierarchical" in the sense of one possessing power by right, rather than by vested trust.

I think that's the thing: I don't much like any piece of theology that insists on a woman behaving in a particular way because she must. On the other hand, I have learnt to deeply respect men and women who define their relationship through submission to one another because of their trust and love.

12 January 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

Preacher
The Solemn Worship of God with sumptous magnificence is well attested in Scripture.
Jesus reminds of the two greatest commandments: Love of God and of neighbour.
In Leviticus the LORD commands the Jews to offer worship not only using all the senses, but with the richest and most costly materials. Vestments are specifically enjoined.
That this worship should be extended to the Gentiles is found in the Prophets and Psalms "all the Nations shall come and worship Me and in every place shall incense shall offered to My Name."
Jesus never wore vestments as He never officiated in the Temple as a Priest, but He certainly worshipped there at the fore-runner of High Mass with vestments, incense, music,the lot. Moreover He would have certainly worn the tallit the Jewish Ceremonial Prayer Shawl.
Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus condemn the worship of the Temple.
In the Book of Revelation we get a glimpse of the Divine Liturgy of Heaven before the Throne of the Most High. Again, vestments [white robes], incense, music, the lot with golden crowns to top it off!!
Priests outside of Divine Worship should live simply and proclaim by word and deed the Gospel. But the Liturgy should offer us a foretaste of Heaven and, therefore, be as wonderful as we can make it.
"All that we have we offer and of His Own do we give Him."

13 January 2013 at 17:37  

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