Monday, March 12, 2007

Howard Anderson Weighs In

One of my favorite priests on the planet ... Howard Anderson ... offered a reflection entitled "An Equivalent" on today's HoB/D listserve and graciously gave permission for it to be shared more widely.

I was just thinking. The Primates, presuming to demand action by ECUSA has a parallel.

Imagine how most Americans would react if the Security Council of the United Nations, much respected by many of us, made this demand:

To the House of Representative of the USA,

Cease and desist your legislative action on matter X (it really doesn't matter what legislation but let's say it is on immigration) or we will refuse to accept your money which keeps the UN afloat, because it is tainted. If you fail to stop legislating on this issue, we will shun you and kick you out of the UN.

Further, we at the UN Security Council have decided that despite the issue of national sovereignty (read that our church equivalent Provincial and Diocesan autonomy) we will ask the Senate of the United States to tell you members of the House of Representatives that you cannot continue to legislate on immigration matters because we say so, and we are the UN Security Council.

Read the rest here ... and thanks, Howard! YOU ROCK!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The post betrays such misunderstanding so as to beggar belief. Ask yourself, very simply, why +Rowan, hardly a lightweight thinker, thinks it's about a communion worth saving and not, fundamentally, about outsiders messing with insiders. Astonishing, really.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I used to think it was worth saving--until I made the mistake of reading the commenters at Stand Firm and "Virtue" Online (I use the term loosely). Not to mention the hateful actions of +Akinola and company...

If that is what Christianity has to offer--the unfiltered bile and hatred masquerading as "the faith handed down by the apostles"--why would any person seeking to follow the way of Jesus Christ want to have anything to do with it?

Susan Russell said...

for anonymous -- I make it a practice to refrain from commenting on comments but I guess today is exception day ...

+Rowan thinks "it's about a communion worth saving ..." because he's so swayed by the "close your eyes and think of the Empire" mantra he isn't seeing that "the communion" has already been rent asunder by the Akinolites insisting on compliance rather than comprehensiveness and as soon as they're done drumming the Episcopal Church out they'll be after the CofE.

As for "wormwood's doxy" ... you go, girl!

Anonymous said...

"If that is what Christianity has to offer--the unfiltered bile and hatred masquerading as "the faith handed down by the apostles"--why would any person seeking to follow the way of Jesus Christ want to have anything to do with it?"

So, would you say, that all the well-known Christians of the past---Augustine down to say CS Lewis, who I spy on your webpage wormwood as a favorite--who stood in alignment with, say, Lambeth '98, as +Duncan and his side do, were full of 'bile and hatred'? I just don't see it. And, for the record, I don't hear it when I hear them speak. StandFirm does welcome ALL people into the Church but thinks there are limits to what kind of sexual behavior might be affirmed. Are all difficult positions hateful? When I tell my teenagers they cannot have sex with their--admittedly wonderful--girlfriends and boyfriends, that that policy will not fly with me . . .is that hateful?
Is all institutional frustration of personal desire mean?

GroundedintheGospel said...

"as soon as they're done drumming the Episcopal Church out they'll be after the CofE." I just don't think that they are trying to force us OUT but to COMPLY. If we do not, I think they will simply ignore us.

Also, I just don't think +Rowan has an ounce of 'Consider the Empire' in him. I really mean this: not an ounce! I think he labors under Christ's imperative to seek unity and, as a Lefty Laborite, with a long history of commenting from the Left, and hugely aware of institutional oppression (can you name a significant UK Bishop who is more alert to this . . .I honestly can't think of one . . .Selby, maybe? Hardly +Rowan's equal.)he is really working, I think, with the teaching of Lambeth 98 and the command of Jesus to strive for unity. So, I don't see him at all cowering to the Africans--they happen to be the most vocal, that's all.

I can see if someone thinks this is just about civil rights for gays and that the ethical issue is settled in their favor from a Christian standpoint, they might forage around for conspiracies or might see this as purely political. It is political, but not purely so, and I think--again--RW is the least political, in the negative senses, of anyone.

Anonymous said...

a totally idiotic comparison.

Susan Russell said...

"... if someone thinks this is just about civil rights for gays ..."

Who would those people be, "grounded in the gospel"????

I suggest you find them and have that argument with them.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Susan--this is very long, so I will understand if you choose not to publish it...

So, would you say, that all the well-known Christians of the past---Augustine down to say CS Lewis, who I spy on your webpage wormwood as a favorite--who stood in alignment with, say, Lambeth '98, as +Duncan and his side do, were full of 'bile and hatred'? I just don't see it.

First of all, it's Doxy. Thanks.

Second, C.S. Lewis *is* a hero of mine. Does that mean he was right about everything? No. He was wrong about women priests, for one thing...

But Lewis was quite clear---sexual sins (if that is even what we are talking about here) are the "least bad" of all sins. Far worse are spiritual pride, the lust for power, etc. Motes and beams...

And, despite what the dissidents would have us believe, Lambeth 1.10 is NOT the Gospel--unless someone added it when I wasn't looking...

And, for the record, I don't hear it when I hear them speak.

It's amazing to me how anyone can read the hateful stuff at Stand Firm and call it Christian. It's Pharasaical in the extreme.

I'm straight, and I quail at what I read there. I can only imagine how damaging and painful it must be for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

The fundagelicals are fond of calling it "speaking the truth in love"--I see no love there at all.

StandFirm does welcome ALL people into the Church but thinks there are limits to what kind of sexual behavior might be affirmed.

But they DON'T welcome all. As Lawrence Wells said there:

Our sign says “The Anglican Church invites you.” A nuanced statement, quite different from “The Episcopal Church welcomes you.” The invitation is intended for “ye who do truly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God and walking from henceforth in his holy ways.” Have you ever grasped the exclusionary import of those words?? We have no truck with the mushy sentimentalism of “y’all come, just as you are.”

So, in other words, be sure you aren't a sinner BEFORE you come through the door. Yeah...I'm sure Jesus is happy with THAT message.


Are all difficult positions hateful? When I tell my teenagers they cannot have sex with their--admittedly wonderful--girlfriends and boyfriends, that that policy will not fly with me . . .is that hateful?

The most difficult "position" in scripture is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love one another as your Father in heaven has loved you."

I am too busy working on those commandments for myself to worry about what anyone else is doing in the bedroom.

I tell my children (who are still too young to be interested in sex yet) that sex is a gift from God, and that it is best enjoyed in a monogamous, faithful relationship. I hope they follow that.

But I do not kid myself that I can prevent them from having sex if they choose to do so. And I won't love them any less if they do. And neither will God. Of this, I am certain.

Is all institutional frustration of personal desire mean?

We are not talking about "institutional frustration of personal desire" here. We are not talking about being "mean."

We are also NOT talking about sexual license. And we are NOT talking about throwing out parts of the Gospel we don't like.

We are talking about making a whole group of people second-class Christians. We are talking about denying them love and support and companionship for life.

We are talking about missing the larger message of the Gospel--that God is love, and love wins over the law every time. We are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

Bottom line for me---Jesus himself said "By their fruits you shall know them." I have seen the deep faith of GLBTs, and been edified by their witness.

Jesus does not lie.