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12 July 2009



>>>>'What is the Episcopal Church up to? Is it the middle and upper classes just going for what they want selfishly?

As opposed to the gritty and working class St.Silas! Lol.

>>>>>>>>>>"The Church is at its best when it goes against the flow of culture."

Depends, surely. The Enlightenment was a good thing.What if culture's flow is towards social justice and inclusiveness; is opposing culture for the point of it necessarily indicative of holiness? Should the church have done more to oppose e.g. feminism?

Rosemary Hannah

Despite the fact that I disagree with you on the issue of gay marriage, I do sympathise over the press issue. In my days, now long past, on a small local paper I killed a number of salacious stories stone dead by saying the right, or rather, the calculatedly wrong, thing.

No comment does not help all that much. Try to work out formulas which say only what you want to, and don't make trouble.

Andrew Cook-Jolicoeur

On the other hand, not talking about it causes hurt. And keeps old, antiquated prejudices alive. And causes even more hurt.


Certainly, in much the same way evangelicals recommend Gagnon's The Bible and Homosexual Practise but figure that most liberals won't read it. I wish they did. Seeing that the best "biblical" resource on the evangelical position bases its arguments to a large extent on the infamously discredited statistics of Paul Cameron (analogous to founding an argument against Judaism on the basis of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; although of course opposing homosexual practise is not necessarily indicative of antisemitism-style prejudice)is usefully revelatory, especially for those who consider themselves "undecided" on the issue. It's not liberals' fault that, in this day and age, snake-oil salesman (sorry, Ex-Gay movement) still purvey variations on the "weak/distant father + strong mother = homo" cliche. As Stephen Fry said : it's a cliche that cliches are true but that cliche, like most cliches,is false.


You're in The Sun!

Beat Attitude

Ryan, I think the problem is in seeing the church primarly as a sociological mechanism rather than a theological one. There are no legitimate studies which categorically prove on a sociological level that everything the bible calls sin is bad for a) society or b)individuals.

I suspect that studies done (hopefully a better one than Cameron's) would only be useful on a sociological level. But then sociological conclusions have limited value, and any Christian must be prepared to have faith in theological conclusions which by their very nature have the right to trump sociological ones. Theology is bigger-picture thinking, and though there may be overlap with the findings of sociology, we can't forget which offers the higher vantage-point.

There are those who wish to remodel the church as a purely sociological construct, or repaint eternity in an ecclesiastical shade of "Under the Sun". They misunderstand the nature of the theological perspective-change which is proposed by the bible. Theology into sociology does not go.

Fr Dougal

Changing the church to match current sociology is of limited value. But when the desire for change comes from a theological perspective (applying the radical inclusivity of the Kingdom against the historic purity driven codes inherited from post exilic Judaism), that is a different matter.


>>>>>>>theological conclusions which by their very nature have the right to trump sociological ones.

Really? Faith is obviously is about things unseen but I don't think it's meant to flatly contradict reason, science or any other ologies ( why else do creationists try and dress up their nonsense as actual science?). If every gay man in the world disagrees with your *interpretation* of, say, Romans 1 then doesn't that might usefully suggest that said *interpretation* is wrong. Does it really reflect well on the Faith that wilful stupidity and ignorance (c.f. Alpha, much of Wesley Owen, etc) can be seen as a virtue as long as one's heart is in the right place?

And evangelicals know for a fact that liberals are not in favour of gay inclusion for pew-filling theological reasons. Gagnon is a case of theological concerns being necessarily linked ("embodied existence") to sociological ones; do you regard "Natural Law" as theological or sociological? Isn't it both?

And it depends what you mean by "theological conclusions". Hopefully something other than comical proof-texting, or A Great Christian Says, and I Agree With Him..


The church is a spiritual entity created by and added to by the Holy Spirit.

Social tweaking of man made denominational structures is inconsequential.


"Apostolic Order" is biblically, Jimmy. Does Scripture really indicate a bunch of believers reading Scripture and coming to their own conclusions, or is there a hierarchy? And (if Christ established the latter) is it not liable to be permanent?



How is it possible for two "married" men in the manse to convict the 98% of heterosexual people of their sin in the sight of God and thereby turn to God seeking forgiveness and reconciliation through Christ.
How will two married men in the manse assist the Holy Spirit in this wholly spiritual work.



>How is it possible for two "married" men in the manse to convict the 98% of heterosexual people of their sin in the sight of God and thereby turn to God seeking forgiveness and reconciliation through Christ.
How will two married men in the manse assist the Holy Spirit in this wholly spiritual work

Hello, Jimmy. Do you have a (good) source for the 98% figure? And perhaps you can quote some scripture that addresses monogomous same-sex relationships? Of course you can't, because sais relationships are not addressed in scripture , which is a quite significant point. My anglo-catholic tendencies mean that I have (arguably) a far higher view of the priesthood than the " we're ALL saints and pastors! let's do the show right here!" evangelical/low church equivalent and would note that donatism is a heresy :

Not that homosexuality per se is a sin of course. If you're implying that lots of conservative heteroesexuals, irrespective of what sin they're involved in, wont take spiritual direction from someone who's gay then you might - in some congregations- have a point. But who exactly is unchristlike in such an example? The LGBT people who wont to (and are called to) serve God or the hypocritical angry mob?

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Books - GadgetVicar is trying to finish:

GadgetVicar serves with:

  • Scottish Anglican Network
    A network in Scotland of Anglican churches and individuals who follow Jesus and are enthusiastic for Him to be known in our communities.
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