Thursday, 1 July 2004

evangelicals try blackmail

Today the Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones that reports Money row over gay Dean could ruin Church.

Guidelines on how to protest against controversial appointments, such as the promotion tomorrow of Canon Jeffrey John, a homosexual, to be Dean of St Albans, have been drawn up by Anglican Mainstream, an influential network of orthodox churches.

The report is based primarily on the publication yesterday by “Anglican Mainstream” of this web page: Financial Options for Parishes.

Dr Philip Giddings, the “convenor” of “Anglican Mainstream” is quoted as saying:

“This is not blackmail. If parishes are sufficiently concerned about what a diocese is doing or not doing to contemplate this form of action we would expect there to be serious and meaningful conversation about the way forward.”

The AM web page says (emphasis added):

We have received a number of requests for advice on the range of financial options open to parishes wishing to take financial action, such as withholding some or all of their payments to the diocese, in response to unbiblical and unorthodox teaching. Anglican Mainstream does not advocate any of these particular options but recognizes that parishes are increasingly seeking advice in this area. We are therefore providing these Questions and Answers to help parishes think through the issues.

And unsurprisingly, a similar report is in today’s CEN headlined Parishes plan to turn the financial screw. This article asserts that “Reform” represents 2000 parishes, which is rather a startling claim. Philip Giddings is quoted as saying:

“I have no doubt that a growing number of evangelical churches are considering their position. It is not the maverick churches, but the larger, more mainstream ones that have a track record of high involvement with church structures who are now feeling alienated.”

And the CEN also carries an open attack on the Bishop of St Albans in a feature entitled Trouble in St Albans: a worm’s-eye view.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 July 2004 at 7:05 AM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | St Albans

I think it’s naughty — at least, it will discredit the term — to use “orthodox” to mean “our sort of evangelical”. Obviously, the self-styled “orthodox” will do so. But newspapers shouldn’t.

Posted by: Andrew Brown at July 1, 2004 10:17 AM

I’m with Andrew. This use of “orthodox” is simply a propaganda technique. These evangelicals are neo-Calvinist who don’t even interpret Calvin that well. Revisionists, who’d toss out centuries of Anglican doctrine to serve their narrow, partisan, socio-political ends.

After all, how “orthodox” is it to disobey your Bishop and withhold funding from your Diocese as a form of blackmail ?

Posted by: David Huff at July 1, 2004 03:39 PM

When the rubrics for Eucharist say that the officiant should refuse notorious sinners that are unrepentant; when Paul teaches us not to associate with the unrighteous; when your Bishop has no moral courage and has ceased to take his disciplinary responsibilities seriously; when notorious sinners are ordained as leaders in the Church; these are times when your Bishop loses his legitimacy and authority. I don’t regard it as blackmail to withhold giving money to support such a Bishop; I regard it as a duty of good stewardship to use the gifts of the congregation in a way that furthers the Kingdom. Sending it to the diocese of a Bishop who is ordaining or promoting notorious sinners does not.

Posted by: HighChurchman at July 5, 2004 03:36 PM

Just reflecting on the term “orthodox” in terms of the above comments: looking for historical analogies.

To the equalitarian side (i.e. “practicing” LGBTs are equal in the Church—-no more or less sinful), the opposition looks rather like slavery-defenders of the 19th century: will lose the socio-political and ethical struggle (admitting their error in a century or so).

To the “they [LGBTs] are notorious sinners!” side, the opposition looks rather like Arians: will lose the ecclesial struggle, and be forgotten within a few centuries . . . the difference, in the latter instance, is that God did not deign for people to (continue to) be Born Arian! :-)

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher at July 5, 2004 11:37 PM