Phillip Jensen on ‘Limits of Fellowship’ and why the Sydney (Australia) diocese is not going to Lamb

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An interesting but not a short read.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

Posted March 31, 2008 at 6:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. moheb wrote:

THANK YOU. It is not possible to find fault with his argument or to disagree with his conclusions.

March 31, 7:28 pm | [comment link]
2. Jim K wrote:

This long and thoroughly argued address could well serve as a graduate course in the New Testament’s view of fellowship in general.  With regard to homosexuality, his most telling point:  “The point is in a passage like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we are warned that these matters are deceptive. We are warned that these matters exclude people from the Kingdom of God. There has been universal acceptance of the meaning of these words down the centuries and across the spectrum of Biblical scholarship – and while there may be scholars who today want to dispute the meanings of some words they have no agreement amongst themselves or any persuasion of the vast community of scholarship. I have seen nothing to persuade me that the words sustain some unusual meaning.”
I have never read a more telling or convincing refutation of the reappraisers’ basic contention.
That such a man considers the consecrators of the Robinson person to be unfit people with whom Christians should have fellowship should, but will not, make them shudder.

March 31, 10:00 pm | [comment link]
3. Spiro wrote:

Long, but well worth the read/time.
“The Lambeth conference is not a debating chamber. It is the formal expression of our world fellowship. The bishops join together around the table of the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot do that with people who are practising, condoning, commending and consecrating sinfulness.
“But unless you are persuaded that this was either right or a matter of indifference you cannot now be associated with these leaders in Christian fellowship. If you believe that the practice of homosexuality is sinful – such as to exclude a person from the kingdom of God – then these Bishops, acting as the leaders of Christ’s church, are intolerable false teachers.

“It would be important to check the facts and to make sure that they did understand what they were doing and did it intentionally. It would be important to ask them to repent. To do it slowly, carefully, politely, privately and if need be publicly. But once it is clear that this is their studied intentional position then the options are clear. Either accept them for they have done the right thing or reject them for they are in serious error. There really is no middle ground left.

“The last five years have demonstrated every conceivable attempt at bringing them to repentance. All has failed.

“The meeting at Lambeth is the welcome acceptance of them into the continuing fellowship of God’s people.

“If you believe that they are wrong there is no way you can join in such a gathering of supposed Christian fellowship. It is not a matter of preference but of obedience.

“You cannot accuse others of disobeying the scriptures on homosexuality while you yourselves are disobeying equally clear commands of scripture to avoid such false teachers.”

Well said. Nothing more to add.
(Now, I must get back to working on my past-due Parochial Report)

Fr. Kingsley
Arlington, TX

March 31, 10:49 pm | [comment link]
4. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

Wow! I was not aware we Anglicans had Bishops with the ability to speak clearly and with such firmness. Whatever you might think of his theology- it is refreshing to see a clear and principled argument that sets out the issue so clearly.
Tragedy is that few will take any note of this and contiunued the fuggy haze of thinking that is put forward as intelligent but is merely a smoke screen for pushing forward agendas

April 1, 5:57 am | [comment link]
5. ReinertJ wrote:

#4, Sorry to have to tell you this, but this is by Phillip Jensen, not Peter Jensen.  Phillip is the Dean of St. Andrews Cathedral, Peter is the Archbishop.  Although I am sure Peter would agree with everything Phillip says, as evidenced by the decision to go to Jerusalem rather than Lambeth.
Jon R.

April 1, 6:34 am | [comment link]
6. oldnarnian wrote:

I suggest a correction of the title.  “Lamb” brings to mind a certain alleged bishop in the San Joaquin valley, not a gathering of Anglican bishops from across the world.

April 1, 8:17 am | [comment link]
7. libraryjim wrote:

I got the impression that the full headline would not fit, that it was supposed to be LAMBeth, but I only figured that out after a bit of staring at the screen grin

Jim Elliott <><

April 1, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
8. libraryjim wrote:

Wow, the concluding three paragraphs are so full of power, that they can only be commented on with “wow”:

The American bishops believe they are right and wish to change the rest of the church into accepting homosexuality. There is not the slightest indication that they are coming to Lambeth to listen to what the orthodox have to say. This is not the first round of a debate it has been going on for years. They are not ignorant of alternative viewpoints. They came last time for the final debate and they lost. They come this time with an action that they refuse to repent of. The American bishops did not listen last time they will not listen this time.

That the Archbishop of Canterbury has invited them only shows his colours. He is on record as agreeing with the American action in principle. Orthodox bishops attending, is not going to change the outcome of Lambeth just legitimise fellowshipping with false teachers or more accurately declare that their teaching is not false.

For our own diocese we need to explain the issues clearly so people will rejoice with thankfulness to God that we are led by Godly bishops who put obedience to the word of God ahead of worldly popularity. It would also be very encouraging to them to be flooded with letters and e-mails of appreciation at this difficult time.

April 1, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
9. rob k wrote:

All this coming from one who believes in lay celebration of the Eucharist and thinks that Roman Catholics are not really Christian, and who sneers at “sacramentalists” (or his brother does).  No better than Spong & co.

April 3, 12:21 am | [comment link]
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