Thursday, August 07, 2008

And the beat goes on ...

The latest from the Timesonline ...

Dr Williams has made a split inevitable in the Anglican Church

... includes these quotes:

The Rev Susan Russell, of the US gay lobby group Integrity, said that Dr Williams was seeking a false unity based in dishonesty. The latest revelations would encourage liberals in North America to press on with their agenda and protect them against charges of apostasy, she said.“That Archbishop Rowan Williams’s theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican Churches currently blessing same-sex unions is not news,” Ms Russell said.

“What should be news is the rank hypocrisy of Williams’s willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the communion when the only difference between what’s happening in our Churches and in his is that we’re telling the truth about it.”

The Rev Giles Fraser, Vicar of St Mary’s in Putney, southwest London, which played host to the gay US bishop Gene Robinson on his recent visit to London, said: “I know Dr Williams thinks the Church is important. But this is almost saying the Church is more important than belief. We had a Reformation to change that view.”


Just for the record, here's the whole comment I sent to the Times this morning per their request (I kinda liked the wise man built his house upon the rock part they didn't use!):

+Williams' affirmation that a theology supporting the holiness of gay and lesbian partnerships is not only viable but shared by the Archbishop of Canterbury will be received as encouragement by those who continue to press on toward full inclusion. It should give rest, once and for all, to the fiction that our perspective lies outside of the bounds of historic Anglicanism and end the charges of apostasy and heresy from those who disagree with us on the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Anglicans in the work and witness of the church.

The sacrifice that will hold the Anglican Communion together is not the sacrifice of the gay and lesbian baptized but the sacrifice of a false unity based in dishonesty. That +Rowan Williams' theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican churches currently blessing same sex unions is not news. What should be news is the rank hypocrisy of Williams' willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the Communion when the only difference between what's happening in our churches and in his is that we're telling the truth about it.

Scripture tells us what happened to the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. It's time for the Archbishop of Canterbury to act like the wise man he is and build the future of the Anglican Communion on the solid rock of honest differences reflected in the Lambeth Indaba Report and not on the shifting sands of global Anglican politics. Jesus promised us that "the truth will set you free." The Communion deserves nothing less than the truth -- and so does the Gospel.


Barbara said...

Right on, Susan, say it like it is. I am loving it. And loving you for putting it so simply yet so succinctly.

Terry Hansen said...

Susan, this past weekend I had the opportunity to meet an Iowa missionary who has dedicated his life to aiding the people of Zimbabwe. He plans on returning to his adopted home in November. Our conversation was an education for me, my only regret was that our time to visit was so short. Tonight I found Bishop Tutu's remark about his being "deeply disturbed that in the face of some of the most horrendous problems facing Africa, we concentrate on 'what do I do in bed with whom'" Anyone who ignores such poverty in Africa and seeks to cast out people for their beliefs suffers a poverty of the spirit.
The risen Christ would tell us to pray for them - you might be able to today, I'm not so sure I can just right now.

DerekMcKernan said...

The saddest thing, to me, about this whole "controversy" is how far we hath erred from ideals of the English Reformers. They, of course, understood the importance of a church that could remain in tact in the face of very different beliefs, practices, and ideals. What would have happened to the church if the hierarchy had INSISTED on uniformity of belief, practice, and interpretation of the Gospel?

Stuart said...

Ummm... Giles Fraser can't have meant what he said.

The Reformation in England had no intention of allowing individual belief a role in opposing the royally established Church. The English Reformation sought to purify the Church of false practices and then enforced uniformity through harsh punishments (just ask recusant Roman Catholics or Dissenters or Non-Conformists). Anglicanism tolerated diversity as long as that diversity was limited to the inside of the believer's head and/or did not threaten the hegemony of the Church of England.

The non-Jurors were tossed from the Church because they had too much integrity to ignore their Oaths. The Methodists were excluded for wanting extemporaneous prayer, for G-d's sake.

Which is to say that while I completely disagree with +++Rowan's unwillingness to lead on this issue, he is certainly acting in the best tradition of the Church of England: seeking to maintain institutional unity and hegemonic power despite whatever the inside of his head may look like.

What do you think Susan+?


Jim said...


The communion is going to come apart. Archbishop Williams has made himself look the hypocrite for no purpose.


john said...

In saner times, he would have gone to the Tower.