Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by anglican74, Jul 29, 2022.
“Never mind the maneuvers… go straight at ‘em!”
On Twitter the Episcopalians are losing the minds over this
You mean, they're "all atwitter"?
Global South press conference:
"Today in Canterbury, we may be ‘gathered together’, but we most certainly cannot ‘walk together’ until provinces which have gone against Scripture-and the will of the consensus of the bishops-repent and return to orthodoxy." Abp Badi:
resolution 1.10 “'is the mind of the Communion; it is certainly the mind of the majority of the Communion”
Which is really nothing but a bare statement of fact.
I wonder how the heterodox primates are going to respond now
This is like a chess game of moves and countermoves
I hope they respond in the spirit of unity, as Paul teaches us:
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions.
Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another.
Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.
Both sides could do a lot better to hold to the teachings in Romans. Both sides are at fault. God desires unity, not division. Those that hear a calling to division are not hearing the voices of God's angels, but someone else's...
I think a lot depends on how wedded Abp. Welby is to the Four Instruments of Anglican Unity. Welby is a "company man" to a great extent, and he may in the end value Canterbury's symbolic leadership of the Communion over the opinion of his own liberal bishops. On the other hand his heart is with the liberals, and he may be content to let Canterbury go into eclipse, for the Four Instruments of Unity to pass into history, and accept that the center of gravity within Anglicanism has shifted south and east.
We may get a vote on re-affirmation of 1.10 (which will pass resoundingly, just as it did in 1998). This will provoke hysterics from the liberals, of course, but nothing much will change on the ground since this does not really alter the status quo. It would keep the Communion together, if only barely. It goes without saying that a re-affirmation of 1.10 would not include any sanctions against homosexual bishops or the provinces that ordain them -- Welby knows his goose would be cooked even if he tried to do such a thing, which he won't.
If Welby somehow prevents a re-affirmation of 1.10, the African bishops will protest loudly, and this will be the end-state of the conference as a whole. Nothing else that comes out of Lambeth will matter much to anybody, and the Global South bishops may start to warm up their relations with GAFCON. (The GAFCON conference in Kigali is going to be very interesting whichever way Lambeth goes.)
Re-affirmation of 1.10 means Welby becomes the most hated man in England overnight; failing to re-affirm it means he accepts the end of English primacy in the very church it founded.
Welby is in a pickle, but it's a pickle of his own making so it's very difficult to feel sorry for him. If Welby were an entirely different person, he would see this whole imbroglio gives him a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pull the Anglican chariot back into the center of the track, but Welby is not that man.
That's taking the passage in Romans a bit out of context.
Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This was written to correct those who wanted to oblige gentile believers to comply with Jewish dietary laws. Since believers are redeemed from the curse of the law and are not to place trust in works (including the work of complying with legalisms), the Judaizers were placing an inappropriate burden (a "stumbling-block") before them. It is in this context that the Judaizers were being judgmental toward those who were living under the law of liberty.
Does this law of liberty justify wilful and wanton sin, though? Of course it doesn't. This is a different situation entirely. We don't equate eating pork with committing adultery or murder. Christians are entirely within the bounds of God's will in judging right from wrong and good from evil. Christians are "the light" in the world, illuminating it with the truth of God's word and God's will for mankind. It is the Christian's duty to call sin "sin"... not in condemnation of individuals, but in condemnation of sin and in refusal to condone sin.
Furthermore, the people whom God has appointed as leaders within the church are particularly bound to resist sin, to speak out against it, and to refuse the call of modern social mores to condone it. When some leaders err by taking actions that (either impliedly or expressly) condone what the Bible identifies as sin, it is the clear responsibility of the other church leaders to correct the erroneous ones via words and actions.
Permissiveness in the area of sexual sin cannot be equated with permissiveness regarding dietary laws or 'legalisms,' because Christians are no longer expected by God to comply with the latter, but He definitely calls us to avoid sin.
Some applicability may be observed in the following:
1Ti 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
Wait you say we can only use Romans 14 within its very specific context (Judging fellow Christians over disputes in dietary law) but then quote 1 Timothy 6?
1 Timothy 6 is contextually talking about the permissibility of slavery. "If any man teach otherwise [that Christian slaves should honour their masters so no one speaks ill of Christians]...he is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words". It was written to correct slaves who were using Christ's teachings as a means of sowing rebellion against their masters, especially Christian slave owners.
Yes Romans 14 was written within a specific context at a specific time where arguments over what someone could eat was sowing division amongst Christian brothers. That dispute no longer exists in our modern churches. Should we tear those pages out of our bibles for no longer having any use? No! Because it's a general teaching. There are two general lessons to take from it:
Do not judge another Christian
Do not make another Christian stumble in an attempt to make yourself more righteous
Just like there's more to take from 1 Timothy 6 than "don't teach against Slavery", there's more to Romans 14 than "stop arguing about unclean foods". It's a general lesson, still applicable outside the narrow context it was given in.
This is the entire theme of Romans. All are sinners. No one's righteousness impresses God. Understanding the law won't save you, it just shows you your errors - only those favoured by Christ are saved (through faith) because we all fall short. Jesus paid for our sins so the judge has an excuse to let us off for our failings. Judgement is God's alone to make - we are sheep and shepherds not kings, there is only one king on the day of judgement and only the king gets to judge. Shut up about the specks in each others eyes, you're all as debased and evil as each other in the eyes of the only one who matters.
- Did Paul take a break from this theme to talk about dietary law, or is he using an example of something relevant at the time to make a larger point about what really matters.
EDIT: I also think you got it backwards. It was the gentiles of Rome to who Paul was writing, and he was saying they were being a stumbling block to those choosing to keep the Jewish law. "If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died."
That is a possibility. But then, we should also be able to say: "If your brother or sister is being injured by who you marry, you are no longer walking in love."
Hmm... this is an interesting one. I think in some ways this might actually be right. Suppose your parish priest marries your ex-wife a month after you are divorced. It's not difficult to see how that might cause one to stumble.
I'll have to think on it a little more.
Does Paul not write in 1st Corithians that the man who is sleeping with his fathers wife should be excommunicated? So there is judgment within the church. The same could be applied in this case. These who advocate for and are in homosexual relationships should be removed from communion until they repent.
Abp. Welby affirms that Resolution 1.10 is the 'official' stance of the Anglican Communion on sexual ethics.
Again, this is simply a bare statement of fact and does not alter the current status quo. If Abp. Welby does indeed execute a letter to that effect, it will function (for all intents and purposes) as an official affirmation of that Resolution, but I don't think that's Welby's intention. He simply wants to head off a vote on the issue -- preserving the status quo also preserves a certain amount of ambiguity under which the western provinces have been operating for the last two decades. He's also (justifiably) worried that the African Bishops will insert enforcement language into the new text, which Welby knows full well means open war between his western and Global South provinces.
Regarding Lambeth Conference and endless Anglican Dialogue
Amazing article from his Grace Bishop Felix Orji… a godly man, I’ve met him several times
Bp. Orji writes (in part):
So we’ve had a lot of conversation but every time conservative Anglicans who are faithful to the Bible are denigrated as uneducated, primitive, unloving and if you are unfortunate enough to be an African evangelical Anglican you get the “colonial” racist put-down remarks.
So we’ve had more than enough discussions. The fact is that Liberals who have been in control for many decades now are committed to being intolerant of the Bible and those who believe it is the written Word of God.
Some people think it's fine to believe the modern 'scholarship' which doubts this or that little part of the Bible. They think we're so much wiser now, so much more sophisticated than those early Christians. Maybe Paul never wrote this, or maybe Peter never wrote that. Yet look where that type of thinking leads. Follow the thought line further and this trend of modern rationalizations leads toward a view that the Bible is little more than a collection of dusty old writings, inspired only in the way that a good poem or an exciting novel was inspired, and the writings are thus robbed of authoritativeness. Did Jesus really say that? "Maybe." Did he really die on a cross? "Some people said so, but who can be sure." Did he rise from the dead? "Oh come now, that just doesn't happen." (Yes, there are so-called "Christians" who go to church and can talk the lingo and everything, but they don't believe in the resurrection... let alone the Second Advent. Good luck convincing those people that they are not "believers," though, and the most intelligent ones at that.)
Doubting a part of a letter or part of a gospel is a stepping-stone toward wholesale unbelief. But like 'gateway drugs' which people abuse while denying that it might lead them into the 'hard stuff,' a little bit of doubt can open the door to more and more doubt, until the individual is 'hooked' on the old serpent's lies.
This is exactly the danger of moving away from the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Biblical inerrancy is the anchor of doctrine; doctrine unmoored from Scripture inevitably drifts away from the Gospel. If there has been one signal failure of the evangelical movement over the years, it's been in their failure to inculcate a bible-centeredness in their churches.
Even at this point in my life I'm still caught by surprise at how Biblically illiterate the average pew-sitter is. I expect non-Christians to be ignorant of the Bible in this secular age; I do not expect my brothers and sisters in Christ to be ignorant of it. I constantly hear people say "Jesus said" and follow it with something that Jesus absolutely did not say. Western Christianity is "Hallmark Greeting Card" Christianity -- all gauzy affirmation and love love love, with little to no actual theology underneath. (And by no means is this limited to the liberal end of the spectrum.) It's all frosting and no cake.
The days of "easy Christianity" are over. We are entering a period when our faith will be not just rejected but reviled; called homophobic and misogynist; and Christians will be named all manner of -ists and -phobes. Our strength must come from faith in God through his revealed Word -- Holy Scripture. There is no other rock to cling to.