While we’re waiting for Rowan…

Still no sign of an official response from Lambeth Palace to last week’s joys in Anaheim. While we wait, here’s a quote to ponder.

It’s true that the election of a practising gay person as a bishop in the US in 2003 was the trigger for much of the present conflict. It is doubtless also true that a lot of extra heat is generated in the conflict by ingrained and ignorant prejudice in some quarters; and that for many others, in and out of the Church, the issue seems to be a clear one about human rights and dignity.But the debate in the Anglican Communion is not essentially a debate about the human rights of homosexual people. It is possible – indeed, it is imperative – to give the strongest support to the defence of homosexual people against violence, bigotry and legal disadvantage, to appreciate the role played in the life of the church by people of homosexual orientation, and still to believe that this doesn’t settle the question of whether the Christian Church has the freedom, on the basis of the Bible, and its historic teachings, to bless homosexual partnerships as a clear expression of God’s will. That is disputed among Christians, and, as a bare matter of fact, only a small minority would answer yes to the question….

Arguments have to be drawn up on the common basis of Bible and historic teaching. And, to make clear something that can get very much obscured in the rhetoric about ‘inclusion’, this is not and should never be a question about the contribution of gay and lesbian people as such to the Church of God and its ministry, about the dignity and value of gay and lesbian people. Instead it is a question, agonisingly difficult for many, as to what kinds of behaviour a Church that seeks to be loyal to the Bible can bless, and what kinds of behaviour it must warn against – and so it is a question about how we make decisions corporately with other Christians, looking together for the mind of Christ as we share the study of the Scriptures.

If you want to know who said that, pop over to the T19 Backup Blog.

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3 Comments on “While we’re waiting for Rowan…

  1. “Still no sign of an official response from Lambeth Palace”

    Hi Peter,

    Don’t you think that some of the recent statements and letters by the Presiding Bishop, and other TEC high-ups, are in fact “scene setters” for the official response (ie giving interpretations of D025 and D056, and new statements, that can be used to explain why they haven’t broken any rules) ?

    As the ABC has visited and spoken with them extensively on this issue, they surely know roughly what he will be thinking of saying/doing, and so be trying to help him to help them (which I imagine would be his preferred option for several reasons).

  2. Peter,

    I suspect that +Rowan’s small minority who would say yes is a small minority of all Christians. I rather think that most of the Christians who would say yes are to be found amongst the Anglican Communion in the developed world, and the churches in Scandinavia.

    In both the Church of England and the Episcopalian Churches in North America – TEC and Canada – I suspect they might be a numerical majority.

    Justin

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