Skip to comments.Anglicans must accept moral diversity to protect universality (gay marriage, gay bishops)
Posted on 02/28/2005 7:18:42 AM PST by dead
Early indications are that despite the Anglican penchant for irresolution having bought more time to talk around the issue of homosexuality and the church, neither conservatives nor liberals in this debate are ultimately prepared to give substantive ground.
At their meeting in Northern Ireland last week, the primates of the various Anglican provinces called on the church in the United States (which has consecrated an openly gay man as a bishop) and in Canada (which has approved the blessing of same-sex unions) to withdraw voluntarily from the Anglican Consultative Council for three years and to explain their views on homosexuality at an international meeting in June.
The head of the US church, Bishop Frank Griswold, welcomed the result, saying it provided an opportunity "to speak out of the truth of our experience". The US church, he added, "has sought to act with integrity in response to the Spirit" and will continue to work "to honour the different perspectives very much present within our church".
In a similar tone, Archbishop Andrew Hutchinson has said that at last week's meeting "the views of the Canadian church were thoroughly heard and understood, and it will be a matter of time that will determine to what extent they're received".
Neither of those responses suggests the North American churches are about to admit they were wrong or that they are likely to reverse the decisions they have made.
A formal schism in the Anglican Communion is looming but so is something more profound: a challenge to the commonly understood notion of the universal church.
It is true that all Anglican bishops declared homosexuality "incompatible with scripture" at the last Lambeth Conference in 1998 and agreed not to ordain practising homosexuals or bless same-sex unions. It is also an open secret that many North American bishops who attended that conference privately opposed its decision and had no intention of applying it within their jurisdictions.
Why? The answer is simply that by fully including homosexuals in the life of their churches, Anglicans in North America are responding to the generally greater acceptance of homosexual practices in their cultures. Likewise, African and Asian Anglicans are leading the attack on liberal views of homosexuality due in large part to the abhorrence with which it is regarded in their countries.
The Catholic Church faces a similar challenge although its more hierarchical structure has so far managed to contain the pressure for change.
At a series of regional synods held in the 1990s, the Vatican heard from bishops in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania that the church needed to be more receptive to the local social, economic and cultural forces that were shaping it at a grassroots level.
For some this meant the need for decentralised decision-making, for others an openness to a married clergy, for yet more a greater sensitivity to the way Western church teachings on issues such as humanity's proneness to sin and need for redemption played to a non-Western psyche. At times the concerns have been far more mundane: it has been pointed out, for instance, that the Vatican's insistence that communion wafers be made of wheat makes little sense for those Catholics - Asians and Pacific islanders in particular - whose diet traditionally doesn't include wheat.
In a book Mary and Human Liberation, published in 1990, the Sri Lankan Catholic theologian Father Tissa Balasuriya earned temporary excommunication by developing the argument that "all the teachings of a religion do not merit the same type of faith. Some of them are directly from the founder; others are elaborations by successive generations who are members of the religious community."
It is important to determine, Balasuriya continued, what "is incumbent on all in Christian theology as the message of Jesus and what is its particular clothing in Jewish and European world views, philosophy, culture and popular religiosity". One could add, and the impending Anglican declension illustrates the point, that it is also necessary to determine whether a one-size-fits-all approach applies to morality.
A church that insists its universality is expressed by all its members following the same rules in the same way may simply invite its own fragmentation; one that allows variation in the way its moral principles are interpreted in particular contexts may ensure its sustainability.
The latter kind of universal church, however, requires an imagination that is in perilously short supply.
Chris McGillion is the author of The Chosen Ones: the politics of salvation in the Anglican Church to be published by Allen & Unwin next month.
Yep. Diversity of morals. That's the ticket. The Anglican dithering is an excellent recruitment tool for the Catholic Church and Evangelicals anyway.
"Yep. Diversity of morals. That's the ticket."
Good Lord, I have heard everything.
"The Anglicans must accept and support moral diversity" = "The Anglicans must accept and support evil"
Some churches have a conflict of interest with doctrine. They would LIKE to preach the gospel but to do so in any meaningful way that would lead a sinner to repentance may be too harsh for the ones already in attendance that are paying the bills. One does not have to read to far into the Gospels to KNOW what Jesus would have done. He would preach the TRUTH no matter how difficult it would be for hearer to accept because there is no other way for a person to realize the offensive nature of their sins are to God.
More proof that religions are another form of sinful activity - the Bible gives us God's Word and the religions decide to pervert His Holy Word to suit their own sick tastes.
The standard steps in progress.
1) "We must understand < fill in the blank >."
2) "We must tolerate < fill in the blank >."
3) "We must accept < fill in the blank >."
4) "We must actively welcome < fill in the blank >."
5) If you aren't for < fill in the blank >, you are evil."
Whooboy!! Is this guy confused!! From the way the article is written, I would surmise he may be homosexual.
Ping for the Anglican list?
now we go from free speech to RESPONSIBLE speech
in religion we go from teaching morality to ACCEPTING moral diversity.
Hitler was ok by that logic, he was just morally diverse.
Not every Priest gets to be Bishop. Does anybody think that Robinson would have been elected with the same personal history, having left his wife of many years after a long term affair, and then living with this lover who had broken up his marriage, if he had left her for another woman instead of a man?
(Denny Crane: "There are two places to find the truth. First God and then Fox News.")
quite an understatement.
> The Anglican dithering is an excellent recruitment tool for the Catholic Church and Evangelicals anyway.
This whole misguided mess has been a recruitment tool for the millions who are fed up and just don't go to church any longer.
So much for spiritual leadership. More examples of a church trying to play catch-up with the world in its present moral-liberal slide.
"Moral Diversity" - Hedonistic self destructive activities and actions are equivalent with helpful and beneficial activities and actions.
Jeez, these guys can't even make up a lie that would fool a 5 year old.
How about "legal diversity"?
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