My Tuppence

Shame on those who criticise without thinking first (Matthew 7:1, anyone?), especially when they are former Archbishops of Canterbury or current members of General Synod. Lord Carey should go to ground now: his tenure at Lambeth was a disaster (decade of evangelism? decade of decline more like), and by subverting ++R’s leadership he does no one any favours.

Useful links:

My only comment on the actual subject which is supposed to be under debate is that if the Beth Din can apply to Jewish Family Law then it would appear to be only fair that the Sharia should apply to Muslim Family Law. Sounds fair to me.

I am more dismayed by the media and their manipulation of this non-story into a ‘controversy’, and the subsequent hijacking of the furore by Evangelicals (and it is almost always them) determined to remove ++R.

Warning: Fr. Simon now kicks off and starts to speak the unspeakable

Why must the whole game be run by rich Evangelicals who think that because most of their congregation drives a BMW and they can pay the Parish Share in a weekend they have to have the monopoly on the Church? Isn’t Anglicanism supposed to be a broad church united by some common principals, rather than a Convented club which decides who is in and who is out through a Confession (sounds a bit Lutheran to me…) and a rigid adherence to a narrow interpretation of scripture.

This perspective only seeks to drive out the different, the unconventional, the uncomfortable and the catholic from Anglicanism (both from the sanctuary and the nave). According to them, Homosexuality in the Vicarage bedroom is a more pressing issue than reaching the untouchables on the Council Estate, that sign and symbol and an authentic contact with the sacred is secondary to buildings with posh sound systems and adequate parking facilities and plenty of courses for more middle-class people to be helped to become comfortable with shopping at Waitrose without guilt.

In youth work, I have seen New-Wine Non-Anglicans move in and push away any notion of an Inclusive Anglican Identity, undermine input from volunteers and supplant it with a slick Alpha-style machine which generates nods from young people but does not engage them with faith because it is simply entertainment rather than discipleship – Saturday morning TV which mentions Jesus (a lot, but that’s where it ends). Any problems in your life – think you’re Gay, or Depressed, or Poor, or Troubled then it’s just Sin and you can’t play our game because you’re a sinner, and unlike Jesus, we are not prepared to sit down and eat with you (are the GAFCON Bishops getting this, I wonder). Where is the Gospel in that? Young People will walk away in droves when they see that a narrow, homophobic church only seeks to brainwash them into a bland dependence, rather than encouraging them to develop faith not by telling them what to do, but to discover for themselves what God calls them do: to engage their mind and their soul with the sacred and to be transformed.

I care passionately for the Church: for the Body of Christ that is wrapped up in it in all its messy, uncomfortable clashes. The Church should be tolerant of diversity and if it is truly Gospel-led then it would see where some parts of the Torah (Leviticus 18:22 for example) should be consigned as completed and over and done with. I love the Anglican Church, but despair of those who wish to tear it apart and prevent those of us with a different Spirituality (++R and me) from having any input into the wider church.

Like most Inclusive Christians, I sometimes feel so under siege at times, and maybe the time has come to start expressing more forthrightly what the issues are: concentrate on the Gospel and its proclamation and be allowed to flourish in the love of Christ for what and who we are.

There. Said it now.