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We're Not Going to Get Over It
Stand Firm ^ | 2/09/2006 | The Rev. Matt Kennedy

Posted on 02/09/2006 5:23:35 PM PST by sionnsar

Over the last three years even revisionists have come to accept that our current unpleasantness is not just going to “blow over like women’s ordination”. That, if you remember, was the mantra coming out of GC2003. The same people who just got over women’s ordination (WO) back then will just get over same sex blessings and ordinations now.

Well, that hasn’t happened and a lot of people in high places are no doubt scratching their heads. I think I have some idea why they’ve been so blindsided.

In seminary, I took a course on congregational dynamics. One section of this course dealt with “introducing change.” We were given the following formula. Every time you initiate change of any sort you can expect roughly ten percent of the congregation to react supportively, ten percent to react negatively, and the remainder to fall somewhere in between. The key, according to this theory, is to stay pastorally connected to all three sections of the congregation while refusing, gently, to turn back. If you continue to move in the same direction while staying connected, keeping the avenues of “dialogue” open, then eventually the broad range of people in the center will swing your way. At that point, those who make up the opposing ten percent will either refuse to adapt and leave or stay and submit to the change. If they stay, you can expect the very same people to object to the next change, whatever it is, in the same way and subsequently adapt in the same way.

One key to this congregational dynamics theory is the idea that the “content” of change does not matter. Change of any kind will evoke same responses and can be accomplished successfully if you simply follow the correct pattern: stay connected and don’t back down.

In the aftermath of GC2003 I recalled this theory and I began to suspect that the confident expectations on the part of many ECUSA hierarchs derived directly from it or from similar theories. They seemed to think of the orthodox dissenters as that last cranky ten percent: stubborn reactionaries against change of any kind. They thought that if they could just stay connected (dialogue, table fellowship) and stay the course, we would eventually leave or adapt to the change.

Well guess what?

That didn’t happen. It turns out we didn’t leave and we aren’t going to adapt…so much for theories.

There are a myriad of reasons why this did not turn out like WO, but chief among them is the fact that the “content” of the idea itself, the assertion that the Church can and should bless homosexual sex relations is, in fact, not comparable to WO. Those holding the classic position on scriptural authority, evangelical and Anglo-catholic alike, recognize that the decisions of GC2003 are fundamentally incompatible with the teachings of Scripture. Assent or submission, therefore, is unthinkable. The orthodox are united in this core understanding. Whatever you think or thought of WO, the same was not true.

“Content”, in this case, not only matters, it is the matter

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ecusa; homosexualagenda

1 posted on 02/09/2006 5:23:36 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; ..
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 02/09/2006 5:30:07 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006 | Is it March yet?)
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To: sionnsar

IMHO, it is absolutely ridiculous that any Christian congregation should even be having this discussion. Love them, minister to them, try and help them...but in no instance accept such behavior as "good" or in any way bless that behavior.

3 posted on 02/09/2006 5:32:57 PM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: sionnsar
"It turns out we didn’t leave and we aren’t going to adapt…so much for theories."

Actually thats wrong. They are leaving. In very large numbers. The only thing they were wrong about was how many would leave. Its a lot more than ten percent.
4 posted on 02/09/2006 5:47:48 PM PST by jecIIny (You faithful, let us pray for the Catechumens! Lord Have Mercy)
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To: sionnsar
Whatever you think or thought of WO, the same was not true.

His point would work better if a lot of folks didn't know that ordination of women is also contrary to scripture. He's just caught up on what parts of scripure should be thrown out, not whether scripture should be discarded.

5 posted on 02/09/2006 6:33:05 PM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35

Actually, I'm not.

You missed my point. I was simply stating the fact that in this particular instance both conservative wings, evangelical and Anglo-Catholic are in full agreement. That was, in fact, not the case with WO.

6 posted on 02/09/2006 6:41:43 PM PST by MMkennedy
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