Saturday, 29 January 2011

Quote of the Day

"I have encountered a form of church that does not offend me."

From here.

And isn't that ultimately the problem with Liberal Christianity?

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  1. What he failed to mentioned is that the TEC is the fastest shrinking denomination in the world for the things that he affirms! The TEC is a brutal dictatorship that demands conformity or else Jezebel (Katherine Jeffrey Schori) will come to seize your property and fire your Rector.

  2. Thank you, John. Can I remind others who might be thinking of commenting of the Comments Policy, (with which John has complied via his personal link)?

    "When posting your comments please give a full name and location. Comments without this information may be deleted."

  3. There are some who feel that we have come to the end of Operative Anglicanism and that now we have arrived at Speculative Anglicanism. Perhaps the two terms may be applied to Christianity in general

  4. I recall that (in the 1970s?) Malcolm Muggeridge, in his pre-Christian days, had a TV series investigating religious groups in the USA. About one such group in California (where else?), he had this to say - I quote from memory:

    "This is the only church I have ever encountered about which it is impossible to take offence."

    (It had totally vacuous beliefs, so this is nothing new).

  5. Offense cuts both ways, there are many who manage to be so deeply offended by TEC that they cannot stay in communion, many who are offended by any but their own interpretations, perspectives or traditions - even in churches they do not actually attend!
    Don't tell me only liberals take offence!

  6. Suem (name and location, please! - see the policy and my earlier plea), interesting - but you're at precisely 180 degrees to the point being made.

  7. Just to clarify, to Suem, the problem is that he has found a church which does not offend. That, surely, is a worry if the 'finder' is a sinner in need of repentance (ie human)!

  8. John

    Although I am aware of it at an intellectual level it always comes as a surprise when I hear an Anglican Priest or Bishop deny the basics of the faith.

    I listened pn The Big Questions to an Anglican priest say he did not believe there was a God and never had. When asked if why he had been allowed to become a Priest he said no-one had ever asked if he believed in God.

    Today a bishop happily affirmed homosexual civil partnerships and his pleasure that they were able to have surrogate children (5 as it transpired). When asked if there was life after death he was unsure and could offer no proof of its likelihood (it took someone else to point to the resurrection of Christ). he could only point to an all loving God.

    Both had a message that did not offend (offend that is a secular society) and represented Anglicanism.

    Why are such people not held to account?

  9. Who were they, John? Reminds me of a conversation I had with a Muslim student friend of mine when I was a chaplain. I happened to say to her that not all bishops in the Church of England believed that the Bible was God's word.

    "So why are they bishops?" she asked, innocently.

    I had no reply then, and I have no reply now.

  10. Hobson's account perfectly illustrates what is wrong with TEC. After several people posted responses to his article asking why he didn't look to the Quakers, this is Hobson's answer (about the 25th comment following the article):

    "I wrote about a visit to a Quaker meeting in the summer for this site. I said they throw out the baby Jesus with the bathwater of dogmatism.
    Christianity is, at root, a cult of this mythic personality."

    This is TEC today in a nutshell: jettison anything that resembles traditional beliefs; replace that with contemporary liberal political beliefs; retain traditional rituals. One wonders why the retention of rituals is so important to people like Hobson. Is it just intellectual laziness? Does he not recognize the hypocrisy in his actions?

    Dave C.
    Oklahoma, USA

  11. It has always puzzled me that liberals who see fit to reject even the most basic of the Anglican creeds are nonetheless quite content to continue to take the financial and material support from a church whose beliefs they are so much at variance with.

    Chris Bishop

  12. John R: there may be merit in Suem's point. I would imagine that you are not offended by your own church. Perhaps TEC's offensiveness to you (if you forgive me making that assumption) could be what you need, just as the author of the article could benefit from attending a church that offends him, I could benefit from attending a church that offends me. Rather than writing off those with whom we disagree, maybe we should value the challenge they make to our assumptions.

    John L: you may be in need of spending some time in a brutal dictatorship, I fear you seem to have a curious concept of what they are like. I'm also interested as to what logic could lead one to feel that an appropriate way to advance debate is to label a female opponent a prostitute simply because she differs from your interpretation of the faith.

  13. Stuart, I am indeed offended by my church - though I don't just mean 'the local congregations which I attend and pastor'.

    Locally, we are just preaching through the Sermon on the Mount and this weekend I have to preach the message, "Give to anyone who asks from you."

    That offends me deeply, because I don't want to do it, and if I did do it, I'd need a lot of loose change every time I visited London, for a start.

    Two weeks ago, we had to preach, "anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

    The same offence applies. Like the disciples in Matt 19, my response is, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” But the day we stop preaching it, we become a non-church.

  14. John R

    Sorry for late response. I didn't note the names of the two. Big Questions is often worth watching though - or recording to watch.

    I guess from an independents point of view I appreciate evangelical Anglicans such as yourself because you have to face the cutting edge of many heretical views and formulate answers before some of the rest of us face them.

    God bless.