Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Canada: Anglicans vote for same sex marriage; CofE General Synod talks...more

Canada: Anglicans vote for same sex marriage
Links to articles...

Canon Phil Ashey: How NOT to handle the Word of God correctly [General Synod] ...An absolute travesty of process—déjà vu: Biblical clarity and authority is presented as one option among many. It is set up as a conservative minority view, a “straw man” to be demolished by “experts.” There is not a fair allocation of time and speakers. There is no opportunity for serious engagement back and forth, or for rebuttal. Those in charge of the institutional process do not observe due process and fair play. Often, the most qualified speakers for the Church’s historic teaching on the clarity and authority of the Scriptures are not chosen to speak. As Dr. Paul goes on to observe:
“It is hardly a coincidence that (in the forthcoming Church Times article) all those pressing for a change in the Church’s teaching thought that it was very fair, and that we had heard the biblical arguments. It wasn’t, and we didn’t. After two years of planning, the ‘orthodox’ speakers were only finalised in the previous week.”
Indeed, one wonders why Dr. Paul, or Bishop NT Wright, or any other number of qualified orthodox New Testament theologians and scholars were not chosen to speak after so much preparation for these conversations.

As one who participated in some such “conversations” on human sexuality in The Episcopal Church (TEC) in from 1985-2005, I recognize these tactics and processes very well. This is exactly why so many of us left TEC and formed the Anglican Church in North America...

General Synod shared sex conversations place unity above truth, critics charge The Church of England's "Shared Conversations" program to resolve its divide over the moral and doctrinal issues surrounding the new thinking on homosexuality have failed to take the testimony of Scripture seriously, 32 members of the 1990 Group of General Synod said in a letter sent to the College of Bishops on 17 July 2016. While progressive members of Synod have applauded the facilitated conversations on the new ethics, seeing them as a fair representation of their views, traditionalists have been less sanguine. Some members of Synod boycotted the talks stating that it proceeded from the faulty assumption that the new ethic had equal moral and intellectual value as the church's traditional teachings. Others who participated in the discussions noted it was unbalanced, with a preponderance of "experts" offering progressive views, or putting forward arguments that had long been discredited by scholars and theologians. Questions about the funding of the process have been raised, as some have observed that two members of the staff of Coventry Cathedral's reconcillation center, who led the program, have their stipends paid by the Episcopal Church...

Shared Conversations: a snapshot of the C of E, and a pointer to the future? by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream 
In our group of nine we had a discussion on “how does Scripture influence your approach to sexuality?” One of the central ‘rules’ which was gently but firmly and consistently enforced by the facilitators was that at all times we were to preface a statement by “in my view”, or “for me…”. We could not for example say “the Bible says…” or “Jesus teaches that…”, or “the church has always believed…” – because it was assumed that in this discussion there are no truths, just different and equally valid interpretations and viewpoints.
Divisions deepen in Church of England as conservatives express 'lack of confidence' in gay marriage talks   Christian Today


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