Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Anglican Angst

When I was invited to be a "Guest Voice" on the Washington Post/Newsweek site "On Belief" here's what I said:

The announcement this week that New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson will not be receiving an invitation to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops was a sad day for the Anglican Communion and a new low for the beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is sad that the once proud-of-its-diversity Anglican Communion has allowed itself to be blackmailed into bigotry by those unwilling to accept into their midst a duly elected brother bishop solely because of his sexual orientation. And it is clear that Rowan Williams’ failure to exercise differentiated leadership has enabled the Communion he leads to continue to spin out of control.

The Archbishop had an explanation for his decision not to include Bishop Robinson: “I have to reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion.”
What he doesn’t have is an explanation for the stunning hypocrisy of excluding the Bishop of New Hampshire because he is gay while including the Archbishop of Nigeria who supports legislation criminalizing gay and lesbian people so draconian that it has been condemned by the international Human Rights Watch.
What he doesn’t have is a response to those who increasingly use the word “irrelevant” to describe a church more interested in how many bishops will attend the elite gathering at Lambeth Palace in 2008 than it is in how we can help end the AIDS pandemic by 2008. Or stop the spread of malaria. Or find a way to end the genocide in Darfur.
“Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these,” is the only criterion Jesus gave for being on his invitation list. Both the Communion and the Gospel would be better served if the Archbishop of Canterbury would go and do likewise.


Will said...

AMEN! Thank you Susan.

Anonymous said...

And here's what on said on the Washington Post site:

As usual, Susan hits the nail (or would that be "mitre"?) right on the head. Couldn't be said better.

Milton said...

Jesus did say,"Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord', and you do not follow My commandments?" In John Ch. 6 read how most of His disciples turned away when He said they would not have life if they did not eat His body and drink His blood and when claimed divinity. "What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?" For some others, I copy the comments so far from a response on Stand Firm in Faith to this post:

David Ould
How (not) to Read the Bible (Part 3) - Workshop

Alright class,

time for a bit of a workshop.
In this post Susan Russell claims that,

"Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these,” is the only criterion Jesus gave for being on his invitation list.

The only criterion?

I'm sure there's others. Mind you, I've only being doing this Christian thing for 16 years (with 6 of them spent in theological training), so I could be wrong.

Class? Got any other criterion that you think Susan may have missed?

9 Comments • Print-friendly • Print-friendly w/comments
Posted May 24, 2007 - 6:02 pm

Geeze D.O., from one Calvinist to another, I suspect starting with “O wretched man [woman] that I am...” and advancing from there???

Posted by ama@reno on 05-24-2007 at 06:35 PM [link]
How about 1 Tim 3:1-4:

The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Seems like her friend VGR might have missed some of these qualifications. . .hmmmmm....?

Posted by garyec on 05-24-2007 at 06:45 PM [link]
Seems like her friend VGR might have missed some of these qualifications. . .hmmmmm....?
well, possibly. But I was interested in quotes from the lips of Jesus on conditions to enter the Kingdom.

Posted by David Ould on 05-24-2007 at 07:57 PM [link]
The Last Judgment itself should remind us that Christ is Judge as well as Savior:

“Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 1And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened ... and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
“[Christ said,] ‘See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’ ...
“If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
---Revelation 20:11-12, 15, 22:7 & 19

Posted by Irenaeus on 05-24-2007 at 07:58 PM [link]
All three parables in Matthew 25 are about criteria for entering the kingdom…
Wise and foolish bridesmaids = readiness ("have oil in your lamp when the bridegroom arrives")

Talents = use what God has given us in fruitful work for Him

Sheep & Goats = serving Christ in the needs of others

Posted by Timothy Fountain on 05-24-2007 at 08:08 PM [link]
Matthew 22:11-14 adds the warning that not all who are invited get to enter the kingdom.

Posted by Timothy Fountain on 05-24-2007 at 08:27 PM [link]
John 3:5 - spiritual rebirth

Mark 10:15 - childlike reception of the kingdom

Matthew 21:32 - believing the message and entering the way of righteousness

Matthew 7:21 - doing the will of the Father

Posted by Timothy Fountain on 05-24-2007 at 08:35 PM [link]
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (Jn 15:10).

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (Jn 15:13-14).

“...Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17b).

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Mt. 5:48).

Posted by HowardRGiles+ on 05-24-2007 at 08:56 PM [link]
Parable of Two Debtors (Matthew 18:21-35)--forgive from your heart

Posted by kyounge1956 on 05-24-2007 at 09:04 PM [link]
Milton (I am registered on Google but my login never seems to work on this site. A reasserter filter? ;^) )

Anonymous said...

Interesting posting -- I linked here from Fr. Jake's blog and bookmarked you. I'm still digesting the Lambeth news, will be for awhile, curious about what my bishop thinks on the issue.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that the once proud-of-its-diversity Anglican Communion has allowed itself to be blackmailed into bigotry by those unwilling to accept into their midst a duly elected brother bishop solely because of his sexual orientation.

The Anglican Communion is justifiably proud of it's diversity. All manner of races and cultures are present in the Communion, as Christ commanded us. However; correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the issue with Bp. Robinson was his sexual practices, not his orientation.


Anonymous said...

Robinson is upset, and so are some of his fellow Episcopal clerics. So what if the guy is violating one of the central tenets of Christian teaching? The attitude seems to be: since when is orthodoxy a big deal among Episcopalians?

Anonymous said...

When did "thou shalt not have homosexual sex in a faithfully partnered relationship" ecome a central tenet of Christianity, anonymous? Did I miss something?


Lauren Gough said...

Susan, being hammered by the SF crowd doesn't take away from the clearly discriminatory actions of the ABC. Thankfully you and Integrity have answered this slap in the face to +VGR with grace and spine.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I appreciate your horror at what's going on in Darfur, but tell me; what do you think that TEC could do to stop it?

What's amazing to me is how the various international bodies and institutions seem to be treating the genocide in Darfur like something recent instead of something that's been going on for years. Now that their inaction has been exposed, they have absolutely no sense of urgency. The U.N. apparently intends to gum this issue to death, as usual, doing absolutely nothing useful. Ditto the European Union, the Arab League, etc., etc. I don't remember if the Union of African States has done anything or not. Their neighbor has done something, to their credit; they've sent in troops. So far, that's the only thing that's proved actually effective. But they don't have the resources to continue long, and they've warned the world about this.

All the countries comprising these international organizations have armies and the means to put them in the field. And it's been demonstrated that this is the only thing that will stop the genocide. But, instead, they leave them on the sidelines and send diplomats to express shock and dismay and go though the motions of negotiating with killers who have absolutely no intent of stopping what they are doing while the West and the rest dither.

Talk is cheap. But their actions speak much louder. They will watch as millions die and then cluck over the result, rather than risk their own lives to stop it.


Judson said...

you are so right. i'm glad there are those such as you who voice their opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for voicing your opinion. It is needed.

Anonymous said...

thank you for a much needed opinion.