Anglican Journal: Emotions run high in Canada after blessings defeated

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Michael Ingham, whose Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster authorized rites for same-sex blessings in 2002, said, “No one can take comfort from this vote because the majority voted in favour of local option. For many, there would be a sense of betrayal.”

Bishop Sue Moxley said she was “just really disappointed” that the house of bishops “would be holding back when it’s clear other people are ready to go.” She said some dioceses might simply go ahead and allow same-sex blessings.

Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton, chair of the Primate’s Theological Commission, said, “I don’t think there were any winners. We know that people on both sides … leave tonight with a profound sense of sadness that the body of Christ is broken.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaCanadian General Synod 2007Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted June 25, 2007 at 5:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Rolling Eyes wrote:

“We know that people on both sides … leave tonight with a profound sense of sadness that the body of Christ is broken.”

Do you think the “bishop” really understands what is breaking the body of Christ?

June 25, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
2. jordanofsaxony wrote:

I understand that Bishop Matthews voted against the motion….pity.  The bishops who voted ‘no’ came off looking so pathetic as leaders in the church. 

Bishop Akinola of Nigera—was he worth doing this to the Anglicans in Canada?

June 25, 7:00 pm | [comment link]
3. chips wrote:

Dear Jordan,
Sometimes “leadership” requres one to say no.  A Bishop has a duty to the institution and to his entire flock - unlike laity “activists” and priests who could vote the views of his parish.  I am sure that many Bishops voted no because of their beliefs while others do not want to see their Dioceses shattered over the issue.  Even in the Laity and Clergy orders there does not appear to be overwhelming support.  Highly charged emotional changes thrust upon a church with slim majorities do not make a good foundation for the future.

June 25, 7:27 pm | [comment link]
4. mugsie wrote:

The bishops are ALL totally missing what scripture says. Read Matthew 5:17-20. (Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writing of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear, until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.)

Now, does that sound to you like Jesus is wiping out the Law of Moses???? No!!! He came to fulfill that law. To make sure it was enforced. We can’t just disregard the Old Testament. We need to instead turn to Jesus in faith that, through grace and belief in him, we will be saved. He spoke the words above himself. He makes it quite clear. No intelligent person can read those words and then look someone in the face and tell them that Jesus was removing the law of Moses. THAT is what the church is trying to teach these days. One of their twisted ways of trying to rationalize this is that we must not respect the authority of the scriptures. To support Jesus’ authority in the Scriptures, Math 28:18 states (I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the earth.) This are the words of love from my Savior that He is indeed with me to the ends of the age. My faith remains in Him, even though the antichrist-held leaders of the churches today have been brainwashed. Jesus here reaffirms the authority of the scriptures.

Now, read 2 Tim 3:16 (All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.) Again, more statements for authority for the scriptures and clear words to tell us to abide them to know what is right and what is wrong. You don’t need to have a PhD to get the direct meaning of these words. They are put in the simplest of terms. If anyone refuses to accept their meaning, they are indeed making themselves look like fools.

So, enough is in the scriptures to affirm their authority, and enough is in them to tell us that anything relating to homosexual behavior is wrong in God’s eyes. It’s a sin, plain and simple. Just like all other sins, we have no right to try to say that behavior is not sinful and give those who are doing it false hope. Instead, we are only encouraging them to stumble. We are helping them along the dark road. The scriptures clearly tell us not to do that. We are instructed to bring all sinners into the light and to encourage them to repent. This goes for ALL sin, not just homosexual activities. The difference here is that the church is trying to teach that the sin is now not a sin. That is the root of this whole mess. The church has gone apostate and heretical in its teaching. It’s clearly firmly under the control of the antichrist. This was well prophesied, especially in the book of Daniel and Revelation. We were told to heed the prophesies. As I quoted from scriptures above, the prophesies have not been taken away by Jesus’ coming. He came to fulfill them!!!!!!

June 25, 8:24 pm | [comment link]
5. Tom Roberts wrote:

“Bishop Akinola of Nigera—was he worth doing this to the Anglicans in Canada?”
Where has +Akinola popped up from in this article or thread? A theological rabbit out of the hat?

June 25, 8:29 pm | [comment link]
6. mugsie wrote:

Precisely, Tom #5. Akinola has nothing to do with this. The Anglicans in Canada are doing this to themselves. They should know better since it’s so clear in the scriptures, but they are so brainwashed they can’t even think straight anymore, even if it’s right in front of their eyes. Everyone has just been using Akinola as their scapegoat lately, but I applaud him for defending God’s Word.

June 25, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
7. teatime wrote:

LOL, +Akinola is the reappraisers’ bogeyman, apparently. I can’t even count the number of discussions I’ve had with them that had absolutely nothing to do with the GS, but they still start a diatribe against +Akinola. Remember all of the +Akinola “sightings” and rumors that were rampant at our last GC?

I was struck by the number of comments suggesting that they will wait until 2010 and, by that time, the Communion will come around to their POV. Is that what the Canadiens and Americans actually believe? I’m surprised that they think they can wait out the Communion, as if this is akin to the decision between sourdough and white/wheat for Lambeth’s tea sandwiches.

June 25, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
8. jordanofsaxony wrote:

Thanks, Mugsie and Teatime, for your comments.  The debate is much wider than GS.  Akinola is holding the guillotine over bishops on the same sex blessing issue.  He apparently has the power to iinfluence whether certain bishops will be invited to the Lambeth Conference—and whether Canada would still be in the Anglican Communion if they voted FOR the same sex blessings motion. 

The bishops that said no, IMHO, were more thinking of global fallout from this vote, rather than anything in their dioceses.  After all, each bishop and then each parish priest would have jurisdiction over whether or not she or he would be willing to perform same sex blessings.

Incidentally, just today news came out that Akinola lost an important election in his province—something about tampering with the voting dates.  It is great that others are starting to see Akinola’s need for power.

June 25, 9:34 pm | [comment link]
9. The_Elves wrote:

Please get back to the original thread.

June 25, 9:36 pm | [comment link]
10. mugsie wrote:

#8, I can’t speak for Akinola. I’ve never met him. I do know that he stands up for the authority of the scriptures, which I applaud him for. I can’t applaud anyone using him as a scapegoat for everything in this debate about homosexuality. It’s underhanded, and definitely unChristian to do that.

You are right in stating that the debate is much wider than the GS. It is. It’s about everything that the Anglican Church stands for: its doctrine, the 39 articles, its respect for the authority of scripture, its creeds, and more….. The church is currently being ripped apart at the foundations. That’s not Akinola’s fault! To say this statement “It is great that others are starting to see Akinola’s need for power.” is to make a gross judgement of the man. We can’t judge that he is seeking power. Only Christ really knows what’s in his heart. Remember #8, Judge not thy neighbour. lest you be judged.

June 25, 9:47 pm | [comment link]
11. Br. Michael wrote:

It is abundantly clear that there are two Churches.  Jordan begrudges the orthodox their lifeline to remain in the AC.

June 25, 9:49 pm | [comment link]
12. Ross wrote:

#4 mugsie:

There are logical problems with citing the authority of Scripture to demonstrate the authority of Scripture.

Furthermore, when you quote passages like the one from Matthew that you cite—including verse 18, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (ESV)—then you have to ask yourself why most Christians are comfortable with eating shellfish.

I know the conventional answer—that the OT Law can be divided into ceremonial/cultic code (e.g., the prohibition on shellfish) which is no longer binding on Christians, ancient Hebrew civil code (e.g., building a parapet around your roof) which we should consider instructive but to be adapted to changing circumstances (we don’t live on the roofs of our houses anymore, but making sure that your family and guests are safe in your home is still a good idea), and moral code (e.g., “Thou shalt not kill”) which is binding for all time.

But this requires you to assume that when Jesus said “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law,” then he must have only been speaking of the “moral code.”  Even though he made no such distinction at the time.

My point is:  if you’re going to make sweeping statements that “You don’t need to have a PhD to get the direct meaning of these words. They are put in the simplest of terms. If anyone refuses to accept their meaning, they are indeed making themselves look like fools,” or that “No intelligent person can read those words and then look someone in the face and tell them that Jesus was removing the law of Moses,” then you have to explain why nearly all Christians throughout history have believed that not all of the law of Moses applied to them.  Were they unintelligent people unable to read the direct meaning of Jesus’ words?  Or were they, perhaps, exercising a broader and more nuanced reading of Jesus and the Mosaic Law, including Jesus’ comment that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27) and the discussion on Gentile converts and the Law in Acts 15?

The tradition of the church has always been that some parts of the Law of Moses are binding on Christians, and some parts are not.  It’s usually been regarded as obvious which parts are which, and that would be fine if everyone agreed on what was obvious.  Unfortunately, we don’t.

And since I cited Acts 15, someone is bound to point out that the minimal “core” of the Mosaic Law imposed on Gentile converts at the Jerusalem council included a prohibition against sexual immorality.  I daresay most reappraisers would be happy to speak out against sexual immorality.  The question here is whether homosexuality is necessarily immoral or not; and I think you can make a case that its inclusion in the standard litany of unclean acts in, e.g., 1 Corinthians 6 is a holdover from ancient Hebrew purity code rather than moral code.

June 25, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
13. mugsie wrote:

#12 Ross, who are we to say that God doesn’t mean otherwise. Of course we know the moral codes to be vitally important, but who is to say that other codes are not important too. You mention the prohibition of shellfish. Look at Mark 7:19. It says: (“Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes. And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within, they are what defile you.”) (NLT) Here is clearly teaching that no food is unclean and not to be eaten like the earlier Isrealites were teaching. He clearly makes the point that what is unclean is what comes from the heart, and not from the physical body. These are His own words. That should clarify any misunderstanding there.

It’s not my place, nor is it yours to dictate what God considers law and what He doesn’t. What the scriptures say are His Word. That is the Law. It’s not for us to decide. So, you can use all the rationalization you want in your comments above, but I’m not buying it. I stand by the scriptures.

June 25, 10:19 pm | [comment link]
14. Deja Vu wrote:

#12 Ross uses the distinction between the purity code and the moral code made famous by CDSP New Testament Prof Countryman. This line of reasoning led to Countryman’s famous conclusion that the Gospels do not allow prohibitions against polygamy, bestiality, non-vaginal heterosexual intercourse or homosexual acts.
So if you think this list is actually about sexual morality, you include them in the prohibitions in Acts.
If you want to think they are “purity” issues, you next have to wade through Countryman’s convolutions on Romans and Jude.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

June 25, 10:25 pm | [comment link]
15. mugsie wrote:

#14, if this is true, then that further affirms my point made above. It’s not up to us mere humans to judge God’s Word. We can’t draw from it what we like and totally disregard the rest. I’m more inclined to go with the scriptures as they are worded. I know I will never get it all right. That was established for us right after the fall of Adam. We were all born in sin. Only through Jesus, can we be saved. May He have mercy on us for getting it wrong.

June 25, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
16. Enda wrote:

It is a deceiving position.  Those who are not following Christian teaching should, please, depart.  Make up your own thing - which is what’s going on - and be done with it.  Leave the Church alone.

June 25, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
17. Larry Morse wrote:

#12: “Thje question here is whether homosexuality is immoral or not; and I thinkg you can make the case…is a holdover of the ancient Hebrew purity code and not immoral.”
  Interesting. Please make the case. I look forward to it. Larry

June 25, 11:46 pm | [comment link]
18. jordanofsaxony wrote:

To Brother Michael #11:  Au contraire, Bro.  I am as orthodox as the rest.  I just do not think that everyone on the orthodox side is authentic.  Some are in it for personal power.  I also do not like being judged ,Bro. Michael.  Until you know me, you have no idea how I think or what I think. 

There is plenty of room for everyone in the AC.  Lately, it seems to be a little-known fact.  “Following your conscience” is part of the Anglican tradition.  Because some persons and congregations wish to reach out to certain individuals should not have any influence on whether a person is or is not part of the AC.  It has always been that way.  There are people in the AC who have Sunday services you would think were Baptist services, and these are Anglicans!  Other people worship as Pentecostals and are very much part of the AC.  Others have liturgy like Roman Catholics and are, in fact, Anglican.  It has been this way for many years.

Why, now, do people think that they have to leave?  You want to be Anglican, you stay.  Simple.  Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, but he said plenty about divorce and no one seems to notice.  Parishioners, deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops may have second (or third or fourth) marriages within the Anglican context. 

So why the big deal about a same sex blessing?  Are these persons similar to lepers that Francis of Assisi loved and cared for and the whole town thought he was nuts?  Are these like the tax collectors considered sinners in Jesus’ day that he invited to share a meal for which the religious establishment criticized and derided him?

You are entitled to your own opinion, your own interpretation of the Bible, of the Creed, the Sacraments.  You can pick the church that has the worship service that fits you, the rector that honors you, the people that love you… I guarantee you that there is everything available to you in the Anglican Church.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to leave.  It just isn’t true.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.  And be thankful…” Col. 3.15

June 25, 11:51 pm | [comment link]
19. Rolling Eyes wrote:

Jordan: “After all, each bishop and then each parish priest would have jurisdiction over whether or not she or he would be willing to perform same sex blessings.”

So, you reject the Church’s teachings, or you’re congregationalist.  Either way, you aren’t Anglican.

June 25, 11:51 pm | [comment link]
20. MattJP wrote:

Jordan #18, you said, “Because some persons and congregations wish to reach out to certain individuals should not have any influence on whether a person is or is not part of the AC.”

You have bought into an oft-repeated lie that those who believe in the traditional teaching of the church on the homosexuality issue are not reaching out to homosexuals. The fact is, any church that is doing its job reaches out to all kinds of sinners. The difference is, real churches call sinners to repent - “churches” that have bought into modern lies about human sexuality that you would include within Anglicanism may reach out - but there is no repentance and no salvation there.

June 26, 12:17 am | [comment link]
21. Barry wrote:

SSB folks,  I think you are rationalizing sin.  You are dreamers.
Please, please reconsider the position you are advancing.

Jude 3-11
Dear friends, I had intended to write to you about the salvation we share. But something has come up. It demands that I write to you and encourage you to continue your fight for the Christian faith that was entrusted to God’s holy people once for all time.

4 Some people have slipped in among you unnoticed. Not long ago they were condemned in writing for the following reason: They are people to whom God means nothing. They use God’s kindness as an excuse for sexual freedom and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

5 I want to remind you about what you already know: The Lord once saved his people from Egypt. But on another occasion he destroyed those who didn’t believe. 6 He held angels for judgment on the great day. They were held in darkness, bound by eternal chains. These are the angels who didn’t keep their position of authority but abandoned their assigned place. 7 What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and engaged in homosexual activities.

8 Yet, in a similar way, the people who slipped in among you are dreamers. They contaminate their bodies with sin, reject the Lord’s authority, and insult his glory. 9 When the archangel Michael argued with the devil, they were arguing over the body of Moses. But Michael didn’t dare to hand down a judgment against the devil. Instead, Michael said, “May the Lord reprimand you!”

10 Whatever these people don’t understand, they insult. Like animals, which are creatures of instinct, they use whatever they know to destroy themselves. 11 How horrible it will be for them! They have followed the path of Cain. They have rushed into Balaam’s error to make a profit. They have rebelled like Korah and destroyed themselves.

June 26, 1:19 am | [comment link]
22. jordanofsaxony wrote:

To Rolling Eyes:  I did not say that (about each bishop and each parish and each bishop making a decision that they would or wouldn’t perform SSB)—it was part of motion A 187.  DUH!!!

Remember, being a congregationalist is OK in the Anglican context.  I know an Anglican priest—rector of a large parish—who calls himself a “receptionist.”  That means that he believes that the bread and wine only become the Body and Blood of Christ when he receives them, and not at the words of Institution.  There it is, folks:  the big, inclusive umbrella of Anglicanism.

June 26, 2:15 am | [comment link]
23. Dr. Priscilla Turner wrote:

Shellfish and “Jesus said nothing” all in one thread!!! Is this a record?

Sweetest elves, could a couple of ‘stickies’ be instituted for the really well-worn falsehoods? Hint: please PLEASE include Marcion while you’re about it.

June 26, 2:25 am | [comment link]
24. jordanofsaxony wrote:

To MattJP:  You said:  “The fact is, any church that is doing its job reaches out to all kinds of sinners.”  This may be a shock, Matt, but everyone in every church and everyone not part of a church is a sinner!  When any church reaches out to you, me—anyone—they are reaching out to a sinner. 

Did you think that you are not a sinner?  BTW, I am heterosexual.  But that does not exempt me from wanting to ‘Draw the circle wide; Draw it wider still,’ (The Theme of 2007 GS) and include and serve more and more of God’s people.

But I want to serve them in their need.  ‘Not my will, Lord, but Thine be done.’  They need a blessing.  Have you ever given a blessing?  It is one of the finest things you can ever do with your hands.

June 26, 2:31 am | [comment link]
25. Irenaeus wrote:

“Sweetest elves, could a couple of ‘stickies’ be instituted for the really well-worn falsehoods?”

How about a pull-down menu? Or perhaps a dredge-up menu?

June 26, 2:31 am | [comment link]
26. MattJP wrote:

wow Jordan, I don’t know how you could misunderstand me so profoundly. I’m tempted to be sarcastic but I’ll resist it. Yes, I realize I’m a sinner. I also know that Jesus died for my sins, that I’m justified by his blood and that I’m being sanctified. I’m also filled with the Holy Spirit and have experienced a great amount of freedom from sin thanks be to God. I never assumed that you weren’t heterosexual - I really don’t care but thanks for letting me know! God doesn’t bless sin and neither do his people. If you are blessing homosexual unions then you are not one of God’s people.

June 26, 2:38 am | [comment link]
27. jordanofsaxony wrote:

To MattJP #26:  There you go again, Matt, jumping to a conclusion about blessings.  Tell me, when someone says the word, “blessing,” do you immediately think of SSB?  If so, how long have you been doing this?  (No harm intended;  just a joke!!)

Seriously though, Teresa of Avila, the 16th Century Spanish saint was a great advocate of the people of God using their hands for blessings, and not just the clergy.  Remember, no one can bless, we can only call on God to bless the person.  If you are spirit-filled, I’m sure that you have placed your hands on the head or shoulder of someone and prayed for the Holy Spirit to come into their life.  That is a blessing.

June 26, 3:05 am | [comment link]
28. MattJP wrote:

Jordan, I am charismatic and I am well aware of the fact that God honors the laying on of hands.

You said: “So why the big deal about a same sex blessing?  Are these persons similar to lepers that Francis of Assisi loved and cared for and the whole town thought he was nuts?  Are these like the tax collectors considered sinners in Jesus’ day that he invited to share a meal for which the religious establishment criticized and derided him?”

You seemed to express your support for “SSB’s” here. I would gladly lay my hands on a homosexual, practicing or celibate, and ask for healing or whatever. I would never affirm a practice contrary to the will of God. Homosexual practice is contrary to the will of God no matter how many people say otherwise.

June 26, 3:20 am | [comment link]
29. Ross wrote:

#23 Priscilla Turner wrote:

Shellfish and “Jesus said nothing” all in one thread!!! Is this a record?

Well, I hope that my invocation of shellfish may be pardoned in this particular case.  “Mugsie” made an assertion—based on Matt 5—that the Mosaic Law in its entirety, every word of it, applies to all Christians today.  I suggested shellfish as the most obvious counterexample that virtually no Christian obeys all of the Mosaic code.  Mugsie followed by quoting Mark 7:19 to say that Jesus made all food clean; well, fair enough, but it does seem to contradict his(?) earlier point that the Law of Moses has not been altered for Christians.

So, which is it?  Is the Law of Moses—every stroke and every dot—meant to be binding on Christians? ...and if so, how come with the shellfish and the cotton-poly blends?  Or are only parts of the Law of Moses binding on Christians? ...and if so, how do you know which parts?

From what I’ve seen in previous iterations of this debate, the answers are usually “Only parts” and “Well, it’s obvious which parts.”  But I’d like a little more clarity around the criteria by which you decide exactly which of the 613 laws apply, and which don’t.

June 26, 3:47 am | [comment link]
30. Ross wrote:

#17 Larry Morse wrote:

#12: “Thje question here is whether homosexuality is immoral or not; and I thinkg you can make the case…is a holdover of the ancient Hebrew purity code and not immoral.”

Interesting. Please make the case. I look forward to it.

Briefly, the argument is that the “purity” code has the characteristic of carefully dividing things into categories, and then keeping the categories strictly separated.  Thus, not planting two kinds of crops in the same field, not wearing cloth woven of two kinds of fiber, and so on.  Even the dietary restrictions have this root—so, for instance, fish live in the water and are supposed to have fins and scales.  Shellfish live in the water and therefore ought to be finned and scaled like fish, but they aren’t; so they’re inherently a category violation and must be avoided.

The moral code, by contrast, deals with harm dealt to people—so murder and theft, for example, are obviously prohibited by the moral code.

Now, the question is:  is homosexuality a matter of category violation, or harm?  In a patriarchal society, with strong expectations around the roles that men and women ought to play, two men having sex plays hob with the expected gender roles.  It’s a category violation, which suggests that it’s an aspect of the purity code.

By contrast, the law also prohibits rape; but rape is clearly a matter of harm and so part of the moral code.

June 26, 4:00 am | [comment link]
31. Tom Roberts wrote:

#30 Ross
I need to think about your argument more, but logically you need to go the whole hog here. You need to state that sex outside of marriage is not good as it is lust but Matrimony can include same sex couples. Otherwise you just toss out many of Christ’s observations about the sacredness of marriage and the vice of lust.

June 26, 6:20 am | [comment link]
32. Dave B wrote:

# 18 Jordan “So why the big deal about a same sex blessing?” Indeed just stop pushing it since it isn’t a big deal, go join the uniterians, metropolatian church or some other group where it isn’t a big deal and quit destroying the AC

June 26, 7:01 am | [comment link]
33. Larry Morse wrote:

#30: YOu argument is unclear. Homosexuality may be a “category” distinction, but only if we accept your addendum about patriachal societies and your conclusion therefrom; and that as purity violation homosexuality cannot be a moral violation. But I fail to see how you can get from one point to the other. Why cannot homosexuality be a moral violation? Clearly, for the western world at large, it is and has been a moral issue, not a purity issue. And rather obviously, it is capable of enormous harm at every level - as I tried to demonstrate elsewhere (and barely scratched the surface on this head) - exactly like rape. In short, your argument is tendentious because you start at your conclusion and then work back to find supportive premises. (Which in the present nightmare at hand is widely done on both sides and with remarkable vigor.)

June 26, 9:40 am | [comment link]
34. Larry Morse wrote:

#29 and Mugsie and the law being accomplished, with all its jots and tittles: Does this mean that the Mosaic law will be obeyed in every respect by everyone inn all the world? It cannot mean that unless Mugsie’s later note on Jesus’s “purifying” the eating of any food is either nonsense or contradiction. Now, it may be contradiction since Jesus contradicted Himself more than once, but it may also be that you are reading “until all is accomplished” in too narrow a light. Until what is accomplished? The uniform application of every legalism in the Old Testament? Can Jesus really mean anything so literal? Or does He mean the force of Jewish Story as opposed to its minutiae? That is, did He not mean that the driving force, in all its aspects, will remain in place until the end.

By “driving force” here I mean the accumulated effects of the great Abrahamic adventure and all that his subsequent story entails.If we stick to the Main Plot - if I can put it that way - then the jots and tittles are not the minutiae of Jewish dietary law e.g., but the details of the Great Journey even to the minor parts of this plot. That is,  This is the Great Story,the Law as it is lived.  The plot is complex but its driving force is clear, and the end is not yet; but it is to this end He has come to bring closure, this is the Law He has come to complete. To see the matter thus seems to me to make more sense and it has the benefit of leaving Christ’s utterances in this matter coherent. Is this stretching the matter unreasonably, an opportunistic reading? LM

June 26, 10:07 am | [comment link]
35. Larry Morse wrote:

Darwing a bigger and bigger circle. Sigh. And groan.
This is as incomprehensible as it is pious fraud.
(Yes, yes, elves, go ahead and kick me) It is a fraud. TEC has no intention of including everyone. The bigger circle means - how can this not be utterly clear? - that TEC and all Good Lefties want to included everyone they approve of, and that’s not what I would call a real big circle when you come right down to it. TEC’s every legal action makes it clear that they tolerate only those of whom they approve.

  Besides, the circle image is silly to a degree. If they draw a circle so big everyone is included, the the circle becomes meaningless since it has no boundaries - cannot have any or it would leave someone out. In short, it would have to be infinitely large, including all the worlds in all the times etc etc. so no boundary could be established.  Boundaries exist to exclude so that what is included can be known - but then, I have said this all before, and those who do not grasp this now will not grasp it tomorrow.

June 26, 10:20 am | [comment link]
36. Dave B wrote:

#30 Ross, Homosexual acts do produce harm to people involved with them as does certain heterosexual acts or excess (ie group sex) so is it a prohabition due to catagory or due to harm?  Look at the devastation brought about by the aids epidemic and Hepatits C!  I do not know of any ethos in the gay community of “saving it for the wedding night”.

June 26, 11:50 am | [comment link]
37. William Scott wrote:

#21, Barry, threw a new verse in for fodder.  I had completely forgotten this one on my return to Scripture.  I am sure it is considered inauthentic by the learned.  Inauthentic or too Hebrew, and bound to purity law.  Still, it has more than a little punch for the present context.  More than once in Scripture we have warnings against the use of our freedom for licensee.  These passages will always be a thorn in the side of the present reformation.  Even if a firm transformation is implemented, some kid some day will read Jude or Romans or Leviticus or Genesis or Corinthians or Colossians or the Didache, or the Church Fathers . . .  and say, “Dad and Dad did you ever read this before?”
Love means receiving people as they come, it does not mean accepting everything about them as they come.  As a parent I love my children no matter what, but against my laziness and fear of being rejected or unpopular, I correct them.  I point out the unacceptable.  Behavior that might be acceptable for an only child is not acceptable in the context of a large family.  This is the question before us: what is the best way to form Christian community?  Not, what can we manage to fit in?

Thank you, Barry

June 26, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
38. William Scott wrote:

Larry #30, I light of mine #37, we need to asses harm in a social not just an individual context.  I see the push for our sexual revolution as a social experiment.  We cannot know the outcome.  We can project, but we cannot know.  The true outcome may not be apparent for years or decades.  I think we have enough guidance from Scripture to make doubt the long run goodness of the reformation we are currently negotiating.  I believe it will bring more harm than the short term goods is proposes.

June 26, 12:29 pm | [comment link]
39. Dr. Priscilla Turner wrote:

#30 Ross:

Please get outside the study material under Spirit&Sex; on my website, particularly my Dialogue with the late Hugh Dempster:—;/

and this paper, both read and understood by those who wrote the Windsor Report:—

before you bring up arguments that have been thoroughly canvassed on this site over a period of years.

June 26, 4:31 pm | [comment link]
40. Ross wrote:


Your first link should be;.htm—the one you gave yields a 401.

The “Dialogue” looks to be quite long, but I’ve opened a tab for it and will get to it as soon as I can.

But if you were to hold everyone—both reappraisers and reasserters—to the standard of not repeating “arguments that have been thoroughly canvassed,” then I daresay this site would fall eerily silent.  I think it’s clear by now that we’re starting from some very different assumptions about God, Scripture, and the world; and so we all find the opposing arguments to be frustratingly missing the point.  Hence, the endless round of the same points and counterpoints, repeated ad infinitum.

So what then?  Do we all walk away from the debate in disgust?  Dismiss our opponents as fools, dupes, or villains because they stubbornly refuse to be convinced by our irrefutable logic?  I confess that walking away sometimes tempting; and in fact I find that I do need to take periodic breaks from T19 when I feel the site beginning to frustrate me.

But I think there is value in the conversation taking place at all, even if it is inevitably a re-hash of many of the same talking points and even if it’s unlikely in the extreme that anyone is going to change their minds.  I know that it’s done me good to put names and “voices” to the other side of this debate, and it’s helped to make real to me that intelligent, compassionate, reasonable people may take the “reasserting” view.  I persevere here in the hopes that at least some of you will be persuaded of the converse; that there are intelligent, compassionate, reasonable people in our camp as well.  It’s always easier to do that when there are real names and real voices involved, rather than an abstract mass of “them.”

It’s a small witness, perhaps, and I don’t delude myself that it will have a noticeable impact on the juggernaut of impending Anglican schism; but it’s a witness that I can attempt and so I’m here.

June 26, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
41. Sarah1 wrote:

Hi Ross,

You will be pleased to know that I knew that there were “intelligent, compassionate, reasonable” reappraisers four years ago.

I also have intelligent, compassionate, reasonable friends who are pagans and agnostics too, and varying other stripes as well.

June 26, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
42. Ross wrote:

Sarah, I’m glad to hear that.  I hope I can be counted among that number—you needn’t answer that smile

But, to judge from many of the comments I see T19ers make about reappraisers in general, there are those of you who are not yet convinced that the feat of being an “intelligent, compassionate, reasonable” reappraiser is possible.  And even for those of you who do know it already, it never hurts to be reminded from time to time—at least, it does me good, speaking from the other side.  So, with the indulgence of our host and the elves, I will continue to make a nuisance of myself here.

June 26, 11:27 pm | [comment link]
43. Irenaeus wrote:

Ross: I appreciate your comments, which are thoughtful, informative, and courteous. Stick around.

June 26, 11:32 pm | [comment link]
44. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: ” . . . with the indulgence of our host and the elves”

Since when have the elves ever been indulgent?  HAH HAH!!!!

Red-eyed, gleaming-fanged, blood-tipped-clawed creatures that they are . . .

If only I could have those concrete blocks ready, and the time to conduct a hunt.

June 26, 11:38 pm | [comment link]
45. MattJP wrote:

Ross, I enjoy your comments even though I usually disagree. It’s good to have another northwesterner commenting on here!

June 26, 11:51 pm | [comment link]
46. The_Elves wrote:

uh oh.  There are no smiley faces in Sarah’s #44.  Time to go into hiding again, I think! LOL. wink

June 26, 11:52 pm | [comment link]
47. The_Elves wrote:

And on a more serious note.  Ross, #42, you’re very welcome here.  Not noticed a lot of comments that would make us want to run you out of town!  Now Sarah on the other hand… boy what trouble SHE causes! wink

June 26, 11:54 pm | [comment link]
48. Ross wrote:

Awww, the love LOL

I must confess that—while everything I said above about why I feel it’s important to me to be here is absolutely true—it’s also true that I enjoy a good <strike>argument</strike> frank exchange of views.  And I can always count on T19 to provide that… wink

June 27, 2:02 am | [comment link]
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