A Conservative Evangelical puts his head above the parapet...

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  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    [ETA blast new page, that probably takes it away from context]
    Apologies for backing up all this way, but that seems like a slightly unfair comparison to me. Greenbelt doesn’t claim to be an Anglican organisation. Or have I misunderstood?
    I'm not sure what it's history is, but the ArchBishop of Canterbury is doing something immediately afterwards, so I suspect will be involved to a non-trivial extent. I think Tutu led it one year. If there were an easy case against the one then the other would be in trouble.
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    I believe you can (and always have done, again, I believe) turn up on Sunday morning and be admitted for the Communion service only, without paying for entry.

    Locals definitely can (I don't know how long that's been a rule) for the main one at least . It does say "Locals can" (so it may be a case of the exception proving the rule, or emphasizing a general case). In any case the Catholic*, Gothic ones aren't accessible. Again you'd be playing with fine lines (especially as we now know the other case was also fully open to the public).

    *Ok this one definitely isn't CofE

    The service, is definitely a 'greenbelt' one. Which oddly enough works quite well given where it's used. It's definitely not simply based on an Anglican rite, you would, I think, have to go via first principles if you were legalistic (and even then you could probably build a case each way). I would analyse it, but I'm going to be too busy enjoying and learning from it. It's not like the people on stage would fit in Weekly and Warkton.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    I admit a lot of this has gone over my head, but is the substance of this about whether someone in authority has or hasn't got a penis?

    Hi Colin Smith -
    No, that is merely subsidiary to the underlying issue that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." (Article 20 of the Church Of England's 39 Articles)
    But (firstly) what has this to do with so stretching your oath of canonical obedience as to strong-arm a bishop about whether or not you obey Canon Law as to where and how it is proper to share the Lord's Supper together,
    In that instance I believe my vicar was prepared to submit to the bishop's authority because holding the meeting without celebrating the Lord's supper would not have been a violation of the plenary sense of God's word written as he understood it.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    BroJames wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    I admit a lot of this has gone over my head, but is the substance of this about whether someone in authority has or hasn't got a penis?

    Hi Colin Smith -
    No, that is merely subsidiary to the underlying issue that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." (Article 20 of the Church Of England's 39 Articles)

    ...and (secondly) how do you respond when faithful Christians disagree about the interpretation of Scripture, as is the case with the ministry and leadership of women in the life of the church?

    Hmm, how about acknowledging two integrities on the issue, committing to mutual flourishing of both integrities, and not imposing women vicars and bishops
    on those congregations which cannot in conscience submit to their authority. Do you think that would work?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Sorry if this is a silly question (Greenbelt isn't really on my radar), but is the Sunday Communion based on an approved Anglican liturgy?

    (Bearing in mind the multitudinous variations now permitted!)


    Again, not speaking for Greenbelt, but based on conversations I've had: there is a core of Anglican liturgy contained within the service that is sufficient.
    Is the President episcopally ordained?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    ... Hmm, how about acknowledging two integrities on the issue, committing to mutual flourishing of both integrities, and not imposing women vicars and bishops on those congregations which cannot in conscience submit to their authority. Do you think that would work?
    There are bishops specifically nominated to provide episcopal oversight for such parishes. Has the congregation in question passed the necessary resolutions and sought such oversight?

    I'd have thought it is indefensible to claim that one ought to be allowed such mutual flourishing without going through those steps.

    Incidentally, does anyone know if a Provincial Episcopal Visitor can make a Bishop's Mission Order.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Sorry if this is a silly question (Greenbelt isn't really on my radar), but is the Sunday Communion based on an approved Anglican liturgy?

    (Bearing in mind the multitudinous variations now permitted!)


    Again, not speaking for Greenbelt, but based on conversations I've had: there is a core of Anglican liturgy contained within the service that is sufficient.
    Is the President episcopally ordained?

    Yes. A couple of years ago, it was Welby himself.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    Parish share is a voluntary contribution and should not be paid against the wishes of the donors. Diocesan staff try to enforce it as a tax on success, but it is the individual church which it the Church Of England's proper unit of mission, not the deanery or the diocese, so parishes are wise to resist diocesan attempts to wrest power via financing away from the parishes which actually generate the funding (except in the case of this diocese at the time over half the funding was being generated by dead people)

    Parish Share is most definitely not a "voluntary" contribution
    Says who?
    Diocesan staff most certainly do not "try to enforce it as a tax on success": Parish Share is worked out on the basis of the number of people on the (church) electoral roll, average numbers of communicants, etc.
    That's what I said, a tax on success. Take more money from the churches which are growing through sharing the good news and use it to subsidise churches such as the one I referred to which hadn't grown for ten years as a result of the Sea-of-faith vicar publishing not good news but sheer existentialism.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    bigjon wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    I admit a lot of this has gone over my head, but is the substance of this about whether someone in authority has or hasn't got a penis?

    Hi Colin Smith -
    No, that is merely subsidiary to the underlying issue that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." (Article 20 of the Church Of England's 39 Articles)

    ...and (secondly) how do you respond when faithful Christians disagree about the interpretation of Scripture, as is the case with the ministry and leadership of women in the life of the church?

    Hmm, how about acknowledging two integrities on the issue, committing to mutual flourishing of both integrities, and not imposing women vicars and bishops
    on those congregations which cannot in conscience submit to their authority. Do you think that would work?
    So long as those congregations don’t deny that ministry to those that want and value it, and don’t create a standing source of opposition to the validity of that ministry in the place in which it is to be exercised.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    That's what I said, a tax on success. Take more money from the churches which are growing through sharing the good news and use it to subsidise churches such as the one I referred to which hadn't grown for ten years as a result of the Sea-of-faith vicar publishing not good news but sheer existentialism.
    That's unfair. Churches may be faithfully proclaiming the good news yet - for many reasons - still not growing.

  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    Well, if a PCC is prepared to withhold parish share simply because it doesn't agree with the views of another vicar in the Deanery, then, for God's sake, GO!

    Not blackmail? A perfect example of that practice, rather.

    As I said earlier, it's all about power, and control. What's your answer to that, @bigjon ?

    For you to say that neither the deanery nor the diocese is a "proper unit of mission" is extraordinary. By that token, anyone other than HTB choosing to put on an Alpha Course could be accused of acting improperly since they did not devise the AC.

    As for a diocese attempting to "wrest power via financing away from the parishes" - you obviously need to be reminded that the Cathedral is the mother church, the diocese is in charge of the family structure, the parishes are in a subordinate position within that family.
    Article 19, "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation..." based on the New Testament use of ekklesia, church as overwhelmingly applied to the local gathering. That's why new movements that refresh the denomination nearly always spring from parishes rather than being launched by deaneries, dioceses or denominations, and the Alpha Course is a prime example.

    The cathedral is not the mother church, that is the universal church of Jerusalem above (Gal 4:26)

    The bishop is merely a senior presbyter: they are given the same charge in the BCP Consecration of bishops as the priests (the word priest used in the BCP as a contraction of presbyter).
    That charge is "Will you then faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers?" Then Bishops and Priests, being of the same order (episkopos in the New Testament being one of several words for a pastor) are given the same charge in both ceremonies, to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines, so they exercise their authority in exactly the same way as the priest/presbyter does, by prayerfully studying and teaching the Scriptures.

    THAT Episcopal authority I as a convinced Anglican gladly submit to. Your view of Diocese being primary and parish secondary is more Roman Catholic than Anglican.

    Fixed broken quote code. BroJames Purgatory Host
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    I admit a lot of this has gone over my head, but is the substance of this about whether someone in authority has or hasn't got a penis?

    Hi Colin Smith -
    No, that is merely subsidiary to the underlying issue that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." (Article 20 of the Church Of England's 39 Articles)

    @bigjon Please would you tell me where in "God's Word written" I could find the ban on women being ordained? I've searched my copy of the Bible and can't find it.

    Ordained to do what?
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    (BTW - tangent alert/
    Surely it's high time the 39 Articles were at least revised, if not revoked? They are of their time, and place - which are not ours. But this might be better on a separate thread.)
    I don't think it's a tangent, I think it goes to the heart of the matter. We ConEvos who subscribe to the 39 Articles (insofar as they are consistent with Scripture, which is all the authority they claim for themselves) are branded schismatic and dismissed from the CofE with such friendly benedictions as "For God's sake, go!" yet are accused of wanting to cling on to the advantages of belonging to the CofE without submitting to its authority.

    Yet those who are unable to subscribe to the 39 Articles, the official doctrinal standard of the C of E, and say they need revision...

    which of us is more schismatic? And which of us is more guilty of wanting to retain the benefits of belonging to the C of E while not submitting to its authority?

    Whataboutery. Pointing to another grouping and saying "they're as bad as we are" isn't helping your case.

    Not Whataboutery, I protest. I point to another group and say, they're much, much worse than we are.

    I can't defend every single action of every single ConEvo congregation and minister, but in general their / our disobedience is on the less significant issue of church order. On the far more significant issue of doctrine we are (on the whole) faithful.

    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    If you don't see that as helping my case (to be considered a true member of the C of E, and be the one who stays rather than the one who leaves), you're a very biased judge.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    @bigjon So I hope you can give me an assurance that your place used one of the approved forms (for their is no approved alternative) on 6th February?

    Yes, with insubstantial variations as permitted by Canon B5:1 & defined as not contrary to C of E doctrine by Canon B5:3 ;-)
  • bigjon wrote: »
    That's what I said, a tax on success. Take more money from the churches which are growing through sharing the good news and use it to subsidise churches such as the one I referred to which hadn't grown for ten years as a result of the Sea-of-faith vicar publishing not good news but sheer existentialism.

    Taking this at face value, do you actually believe that only a church that has an increasing electoral role is 'growing' in any spiritual sense of the word?

    My old shack had an enormous amount of churn in its membership. I know, because I was responsible for keeping the address list up to date, in order to comply with the then-new Data Protection laws. We had a lot of students, so would expect to lose roughly a third of them every year, but it was also haemorrhaging adults (and their children) at the almost but not quite same rate as new members joined. Some moved away due to work, for sure, but many others (there was no formal follow up, but a lot of these people I knew, so I knew where they weren't moving out of the area) simply stopped coming, either to that particular church, or in some cases, any church.

    New members as a result of conversions were anecdotally very low. Most new members were already Christians, coming either from out of the area and pitching up at the big ConEvo church in the city, or from other churches elsewhere in the region.

    Faithful smaller congregations elsewhere could reasonably argue that they couldn't offer the bells and whistles (youth groups, creches, wide range of mid-week social activities) provided by a big, wealthy inner city church, and were perforce smaller, since the big church was poaching their flock.

    A final point: the number of members of the church who actually lived in the parish was in the low tens (I think around 20-30 for the entire time I had access to the data, and that included the vicar and his family, plus other staff members). Everyone else came from outside.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Canon A8, take your point but schism is a function of doctrine rather than of polity. As the GAFCON bishops have said, it is the CofE (& TEC before it) which has been schismatic, going against Scripture AND tradition AND the wider body of Christ in other denominations (Anglican & non-Anglican) - we've just continued believing authentic Anglican doctrine.

    So you're a member of a schismatic church?

    denomination, not church
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    ... Hmm, how about acknowledging two integrities on the issue, committing to mutual flourishing of both integrities, and not imposing women vicars and bishops on those congregations which cannot in conscience submit to their authority. Do you think that would work?
    There are bishops specifically nominated to provide episcopal oversight for such parishes. Has the congregation in question passed the necessary resolutions and sought such oversight?

    Yes
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Canon A8, take your point but schism is a function of doctrine rather than of polity. As the GAFCON bishops have said, it is the CofE (& TEC before it) which has been schismatic, going against Scripture AND tradition AND the wider body of Christ in other denominations (Anglican & non-Anglican) - we've just continued believing authentic Anglican doctrine.

    So you're a member of a schismatic church?

    denomination, not church

    So I'll take that as a yes. And yet you haven't left, despite your horror at going against Scripture, Tradition, and the wider body of Christ. That strikes me as problematic, and not a little hypocritical.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Parish share is a voluntary contribution and should not be paid against the wishes of the donors. Diocesan staff try to enforce it as a tax on success, but it is the individual church which it the Church Of England's proper unit of mission, not the deanery or the diocese, so parishes are wise to resist diocesan attempts to wrest power via financing away from the parishes which actually generate the funding (except in the case of this diocese at the time over half the funding was being generated by dead people)

    Parish Share is most definitely not a "voluntary" contribution
    Says who?
    Says the diocese which pays the salary of your priest, covers the cost of things like safeguarding training, provides support services such as the care of the parsonage house, etc, etc, etc. Or are you saying that it is fair for a parish to attempt to skip-out on paying for that because you have decided that you have a doctrinal disagreement with the bishop?
    Diocesan staff most certainly do not "try to enforce it as a tax on success": Parish Share is worked out on the basis of the number of people on the (church) electoral roll, average numbers of communicants, etc.
    That's what I said, a tax on success. Take more money from the churches which are growing through sharing the good news and use it to subsidise churches such as the one I referred to which hadn't grown for ten years as a result of the Sea-of-faith vicar publishing not good news but sheer existentialism.
    Dear God! Yet another numpty who equates bums-on-seats with "success".

    FYI sheer numbers is not a measure of success in pastoral or mission terms - in fact many would doubt that such a thing can be quantified. There are many good and valid reasons why some parishes/churches do not see an increase in the number on their electoral roll: a shift in the age-group within the boundaries of the parish; a growing number of holiday homes; being in an area where a particular ethnic minority decides to settle in numbers; being close to a new synagogue, etc, etc, etc. In situations like these you could have Our Lord himself preaching and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

    The lesson (and spirit) of Judge not, that ye be not judged does seem to have passed you by, doesn't it? I have absolutely no idea what you mean about a neighbouring incumbent "publishing not good news but sheer existentialism", nor am I aware of any CofE vicar causing a ruckus by disseminating in his newsletter a version of the views of, say, Nietzche or Merleau-Ponty which would, I feel sure, have attracted the close attention of the yellow press long before now.


  • bigjon wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    I admit a lot of this has gone over my head, but is the substance of this about whether someone in authority has or hasn't got a penis?

    Hi Colin Smith -
    No, that is merely subsidiary to the underlying issue that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." (Article 20 of the Church Of England's 39 Articles)

    @bigjon Please would you tell me where in "God's Word written" I could find the ban on women being ordained? I've searched my copy of the Bible and can't find it.

    Ordained to do what?

    Are you deliberately trying to be obtuse/ offensive? Ordained Deacon, ordained Priest, in a valid service of Ordination, as approved by all houses of the General Synod of the Church of England, whose Canons you keep quoting as some specious "authority" for your group deciding to fall out with, it would seem, virtually every other church around you.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    (BTW - tangent alert/
    Surely it's high time the 39 Articles were at least revised, if not revoked? They are of their time, and place - which are not ours. But this might be better on a separate thread.)
    I don't think it's a tangent, I think it goes to the heart of the matter. We ConEvos who subscribe to the 39 Articles (insofar as they are consistent with Scripture, which is all the authority they claim for themselves) are branded schismatic and dismissed from the CofE with such friendly benedictions as "For God's sake, go!" yet are accused of wanting to cling on to the advantages of belonging to the CofE without submitting to its authority.

    Yet those who are unable to subscribe to the 39 Articles, the official doctrinal standard of the C of E, and say they need revision...

    which of us is more schismatic? And which of us is more guilty of wanting to retain the benefits of belonging to the C of E while not submitting to its authority?

    Whataboutery. Pointing to another grouping and saying "they're as bad as we are" isn't helping your case.

    Not Whataboutery, I protest. I point to another group and say, they're much, much worse than we are.

    I can't defend every single action of every single ConEvo congregation and minister, but in general their / our disobedience is on the less significant issue of church order. On the far more significant issue of doctrine we are (on the whole) faithful.

    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Surely the point of the Reformation is that every church is semper reformanda (always in need of reform), and that no doctrine of man can ever be considered the last word on a subject. Your attachment to the Articles seems just as Catholic as what you accuse TheOrganist of. The Articles are not an Anglican Magisterium.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    The Church of England is structured in a way that led to the consecration of women bishops, that has no real means of policing heresy, that expects rich parishes to subsidise poor ones without reference to doctrinal soundness, that orderd mission according to episcopal whim rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit, and that connives with the power of the state to require ministers to celebrate marriages contrary to Scripture. And all of that is built into the structures of the church, it's not just senior clergy going rogue.

    It sounds like the form of governance you want is better found elsewhere, in a more congregationalist church.
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    But this is in practice an unenforceable standard unless you also establish a magisterium to determine what is a correct and an incorrect interpretation of scripture.

    Which Anglicans can't do, because under A20 the magisterium would itself be subject to scripture, which would be subject to interpretation, which would be subject to the magisterium, in some horrible never-ending Escher spiral.

    Not so, I think. The alternative to a magisterium is for individuals to prayerfully submit themselves to the biblical teaching they receive. As bishops and presbyters prayerfully exercise themselves in the scriptures and teach them faithfully, this in itself banishes strange and erroneous doctrine and is the true source of their authority.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    The Church of England is structured in a way that led to the consecration of women bishops, that has no real means of policing heresy, that expects rich parishes to subsidise poor ones without reference to doctrinal soundness, that orderd mission according to episcopal whim rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit, and that connives with the power of the state to require ministers to celebrate marriages contrary to Scripture. And all of that is built into the structures of the church, it's not just senior clergy going rogue.

    It sounds like the form of governance you want is better found elsewhere, in a more congregationalist church.
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    But this is in practice an unenforceable standard unless you also establish a magisterium to determine what is a correct and an incorrect interpretation of scripture.

    Which Anglicans can't do, because under A20 the magisterium would itself be subject to scripture, which would be subject to interpretation, which would be subject to the magisterium, in some horrible never-ending Escher spiral.

    Not so, I think. The alternative to a magisterium is for individuals to prayerfully submit themselves to the biblical teaching they receive. As bishops and presbyters prayerfully exercise themselves in the scriptures and teach them faithfully, this in itself banishes strange and erroneous doctrine and is the true source of their authority.

    But that doesn't help if you are trying to understand why two people hold differing interpretations of Scripture. Or do you think that when Wesley and Whitefield quarrelled over predestination, the reason for their disagreement is that one of them didn't prayerfully exercise himself enough in the Scriptures?
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Distinctly bracing myself here, given the assembled wisdom of the Ship.

    Here’s the thing I have come to believe about going against scripture, taking marriage as an example. I don’t think one can make an argument that heterosexual, monogamous marriage is the ideal expounded by scripture. Well, I think one can but it’s open to a great deal of debate.

    I believe the Genesis description is just that, descriptive not prescriptive, and is the author / editor reflecting back on the origin story of one person becoming 2, and then noting that “oh look at that, 2 become one”*
    And I believe Jesus’ comments on marriage were given as an answer to men keen to divorce their wives with little grounds, and thus leave the women at great disadvantage. He was dissecting what the scriptures meant, as Jewish people do rather better sometimes than we Christians, from what I can understand.

    I also believe the church is acting contrary to scripture, tradition & reason by not bringing forward measures to allow equal marriage in church (my autocorrect made that Christ. Heh, the Spirit is at work.)

    Thing is, though, whilst I am firmly convinced that this is the correct reading of scripture (held together with reason, tradition and experience....I like Methodists), a considered opinion arrived at after years of reading, listening, discussion and prayer, and whilst I sincerely hope everyone to come round to my view, I do not expect everyone else to think likewise. The leadership in my church are evangelical towards the conservative end. I don’t like where some much of my collection money goes, but I give it.

    That is the Church of England. There are plenty of people who would wish me to “for God’s sake, go” and join the Quakers. I’m not ordained. If I were, and it was a matter of disobeying the bishop, I’d be off.

    I suppose the point to all this waffle, is that bigjohn is perhaps assuming that there is one correct reading of scripture, and those of us who don’t agree with his conclusions don’t care much for scripture.

    Hi Jemima the 9th -
    Are you assuming that there is one correct reading of scripture, or that there is more than one correct reading of scripture?
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    The Church of England is structured in a way that led to the consecration of women bishops, that has no real means of policing heresy, that expects rich parishes to subsidise poor ones without reference to doctrinal soundness, that orderd mission according to episcopal whim rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit, and that connives with the power of the state to require ministers to celebrate marriages contrary to Scripture. And all of that is built into the structures of the church, it's not just senior clergy going rogue.

    It sounds like the form of governance you want is better found elsewhere, in a more congregationalist church.
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    But this is in practice an unenforceable standard unless you also establish a magisterium to determine what is a correct and an incorrect interpretation of scripture.

    Which Anglicans can't do, because under A20 the magisterium would itself be subject to scripture, which would be subject to interpretation, which would be subject to the magisterium, in some horrible never-ending Escher spiral.

    Not so, I think. The alternative to a magisterium is for individuals to prayerfully submit themselves to the biblical teaching they receive. As bishops and presbyters prayerfully exercise themselves in the scriptures and teach them faithfully, this in itself banishes strange and erroneous doctrine and is the true source of their authority.

    But that doesn't help if you are trying to understand why two people hold differing interpretations of Scripture. Or do you think that when Wesley and Whitefield quarrelled over predestination, the reason for their disagreement is that one of them didn't prayerfully exercise himself enough in the Scriptures?

    Or to invoke a more contemporary example, it's perfectly possible to find conservative evangelical churches that have prayerfully exercised themselves and concluded that separatism was justified.

    Most Reform/Co-Mission/etc. churches would have a hard time finding anything to critique in the teaching of - say - Peter Masters.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    Distinctly bracing myself here, given the assembled wisdom of the Ship.

    Here’s the thing I have come to believe about going against scripture, taking marriage as an example. I don’t think one can make an argument that heterosexual, monogamous marriage is the ideal expounded by scripture. Well, I think one can but it’s open to a great deal of debate.

    I believe the Genesis description is just that, descriptive not prescriptive, and is the author / editor reflecting back on the origin story of one person becoming 2, and then noting that “oh look at that, 2 become one”*
    And I believe Jesus’ comments on marriage were given as an answer to men keen to divorce their wives with little grounds, and thus leave the women at great disadvantage. He was dissecting what the scriptures meant, as Jewish people do rather better sometimes than we Christians, from what I can understand.

    I also believe the church is acting contrary to scripture, tradition & reason by not bringing forward measures to allow equal marriage in church (my autocorrect made that Christ. Heh, the Spirit is at work.)

    Thing is, though, whilst I am firmly convinced that this is the correct reading of scripture (held together with reason, tradition and experience....I like Methodists), a considered opinion arrived at after years of reading, listening, discussion and prayer, and whilst I sincerely hope everyone to come round to my view, I do not expect everyone else to think likewise. The leadership in my church are evangelical towards the conservative end. I don’t like where some much of my collection money goes, but I give it.

    That is the Church of England. There are plenty of people who would wish me to “for God’s sake, go” and join the Quakers. I’m not ordained. If I were, and it was a matter of disobeying the bishop, I’d be off.

    I suppose the point to all this waffle, is that bigjohn is perhaps assuming that there is one correct reading of scripture, and those of us who don’t agree with his conclusions don’t care much for scripture.

    Hi Jemima the 9th -
    Are you assuming that there is one correct reading of scripture, or that there is more than one correct reading of scripture?

    I'd say that's a useless distinction. Even if there is a One True Reading, the fact that people disagree so much about what it is shows it cannot be established with any certainty.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    In that instance I believe my vicar was prepared to submit to the bishop's authority because holding the meeting without celebrating the Lord's supper would not have been a violation of the plenary sense of God's word written as he understood it.

    So he submits to the bishop's authority whenever he agrees with the bishop but not when not? That's not submitting to the bishop's authority at all. It describes someone who goes their own way. Saying he's "submitting to his bishop's authority" when he happens to agree is self-serving wordplay. It's meaningless.
    bigjon wrote: »
    Your view of Diocese being primary and parish secondary is more Roman Catholic than Anglican.

    It goes back to the Didache.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    For you to say that neither the deanery nor the diocese is a "proper unit of mission" is extraordinary. By that token, anyone other than HTB choosing to put on an Alpha Course could be accused of acting improperly since they did not devise the AC.

    As for a diocese attempting to "wrest power via financing away from the parishes" - you obviously need to be reminded that the Cathedral is the mother church, the diocese is in charge of the family structure, the parishes are in a subordinate position within that family.
    Article 19, "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation..." based on the New Testament use of ekklesia, church as overwhelmingly applied to the local gathering. That's why new movements that refresh the denomination nearly always spring from parishes rather than being launched by deaneries, dioceses or denominations, and the Alpha Course is a prime example.
    WRONG! The Alpha Course is fairly unique in that it has come about, at least on the surface, through one particular parish - although in fact while Alpha started at HTB it drew heavily on the sessions that were held in the Bash Camps that were attended by Marnham, Irvine, et alwho then went on to refine the original course before releasing it beyond the original church.
    The cathedral is not the mother church, that is the universal church of Jerusalem above (Gal 4:26)
    You must surely be aware that the Jerusalem spoken of there is not the city in the middle-east but the heavenly Jerusalem. And a Cathedral is most certainly the mother church of a diocese.
    The bishop is merely a senior presbyter: they are given the same charge in the BCP Consecration of bishops as the priests (the word priest used in the BCP as a contraction of presbyter).
    I think many will agree with me that had Cranmer wished to refer to anyone as a presbyter he would have done so - he didn't.
    That charge is "Will you then faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers?" Then Bishops and Priests, being of the same order (episkopos in the New Testament being one of several words for a pastor) are given the same charge in both ceremonies, to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines, so they exercise their authority in exactly the same way as the priest/presbyter does, by prayerfully studying and teaching the Scriptures.
    I am perfectly aware of the contents of a service of Ordination, and of the Consecration of a Bishop. In fact, if you are looking for something to back up your belief in what they are, or are not, called to swear on their oath to do, I think a better example is this:

    "Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined out of the same holy Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach or maintain nothing as required of necessity to eternal salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the same?"

    I would draw to your attention the use of the words "... but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the same" of which there can be no other interpretation than that a Bishop is called upon to use the scriptures and the conclusions he draws from his reading and meditating on them in leading and governing his flock - specifically it means that the Bible and the words therein are open to interpretation. This childish belief that the Bible is some sort of holy Haynes Manual for a Christian is pernicious and wrong.
    THAT Episcopal authority I as a convinced Anglican gladly submit to. Your view of Diocese being primary and parish secondary is more Roman Catholic than Anglican.
    But you are not a convinced Anglican! You are someone who feels they can decry the ministry, beliefs and pastoral approach of virtually every other priest other than a small number that meet with your approval. You deny the authority of your diocesan bishop to act according to the rules of the CofE. Despite your being somewhat coy on the issue, it has become clear that you fundamentally disagree with the ordination of women, and I suspect that you disapprove of women's ministry generally. You would support a priest who, in refusing to marry someone from the parish who fulfilled all the legal criteria for being married in a CofE church actually broke the law.

    As for you thinking that my view of a diocese and its place and status within the CofE being somehow "more Roman Catholic than Anglican" - you appear to have little if any grasp of the history of the CofE or its structures, and certainly proclaim loudly your lack of respect for the latter.
  • Hello! I promise this is not a facetious answer. I’m assuming neither. I simply do not and cannot know. I’m saying that, from all the learning I’ve done, the ideas I give above seem to my limited human brain, the best understanding that I can come to.

    I like the idea of a group of people discussing scripture together - perhaps it means this perhaps it means that - perhaps when Paul instructs women to cover their heads it means they should wear hats or scarves in church, or perhaps it's to do with the dress practices of the time, and not allowing differences between slave, prostitute and free women to be visible. I think we should do this more in the church, but perhaps that’s a tangent.

    Whatever one’s reading is, I believe the overriding concern should be how the fruit of that reading bears out in the lives of the people who encounter it - whether it brings good or harm.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    .
  • Also, thanks @jay_emm for the Greenbelt info!
    (I’m hoping to go next weekend, so I’ll be able to find out for myself!)
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    First of all,
    bigjon wrote: »
    ....
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    You are right to observe that it is uncomfortable for Con-Evos to remain in the C of E, and I'm sure more such congregations will transfer to other Anglican organisations as some have already done.
    So far as England is concerned, assuming that's where you are, what do you mean by "an authentically Anglican denomination" which isn't the CofE? Whether it suits you to argue this or not, how do you claim that there could be an authentic version of Anglicanism in England that is not in communion with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the bishop of the diocese in which the parish finds itself.

    Authentically Anglican = holding to the Scriptural doctrine of the 39 Articles, Book Of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.

    ACNA is not in communion with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (shame on those two for not sticking up for their siblings in Christ) but is authentically Anglican. In England, AmiE is authentically Anglican.

    Have you been listening to anything the GAFCON bishops have been saying for the past ten years? The next Lambeth conference will be an irrelevant sideshow, because once the English Archbishops cease to uphold Anglican / Scriptural doctrine they lose all authority over the worldwide Anglican provinces.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Authentically Anglican = holding to the Scriptural doctrine of the 39 Articles, Book Of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.

    Or it might just be taking part in parish life, supporting the congregation, witnessing to neighbours, and being the light on the hill.

    I spent years listening to what the GAFCON bishops have said, and to a man (and yes, they're all men) they're a bunch of misogynistic homophobes far too enamoured with the sound of their own voices.
  • Ah, AMiE. The "authentically" Anglican churches. I'm sure its just coincidence that so many of them are "plants" from places where a vicar (or previous vicar) has fallen out with his bishop.

    Funny how its always male incumbents though, isn't it?

    And even stranger that, if these people are so keen to be seen as the real Anglican church, they don't try to mend fences once a change of bishop happens.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Second
    bigjon wrote: »
    We ConEvos who subscribe to the 39 Articles (insofar as they are consistent with Scripture, which is all the authority they claim for themselves) are branded schismatic and dismissed from the CofE with such friendly benedictions as "For God's sake, go!" yet are accused of wanting to cling on to the advantages of belonging to the CofE without submitting to its authority.
    I'd query whether you are right to claim that subscription to the 39 Articles is the golden ticket as to what is an is not 'authentically Anglican'. It's certainly important. Compared with many other shipmates, I attach more importance to the 39 Articles. I don't really think that the claim you can be a proper Anglican and yet claim they don't apply to you. It is not, though, the only measure.

    Your congregation takes its stand on the Articles, or - it appears - one particular Article. How seriously does it take the others?
    Pretty seriously.
    Enoch wrote: »
    However, does it abide by the 1662 BCP and/or Common Worship?
    It abides by the DOCTRINE of the BCP and the Ordinal as mandated by Canon A5. It makes permitted variations to its public rites and ceremonies as detailed in Canon B5:1 and B5:3, he said with a completely straight face.
    Enoch wrote: »
    Does it run its affairs the way a CofE parish normally does?
    Yup. PCC, Finance & Standing Committee, Property Committee, Wardens, Annual Parochial Church Meeting, the whole shebang.
    Enoch wrote: »
    Does it see its mission as being to its own parish and locality or to those who agree with he vicar?
    The whole parish and locality - we're pretty hot on evangelism.
    Enoch wrote: »
    And can one really claim to be 'authentically Anglican' if one picks and chooses whether to take any notice of what one's bishop, deanery and diocese does, or in the latter two cases, play an active part in their activities?
    We play a very active part in the deanery and diocese (how they welcome our proposed church plants!) and we work very hard at our relations with the bishop (the case you refer to was over 20 years ago, and all our church plants then and since have been with the bishop's blessing and at his invitation.)

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    ... Not so, I think. The alternative to a magisterium is for individuals to prayerfully submit themselves to the biblical teaching they receive. As bishops and presbyters prayerfully exercise themselves in the scriptures and teach them faithfully, this in itself banishes strange and erroneous doctrine and is the true source of their authority.
    That sounds to me a sort of Calvinist version of the papal magisterium as of 1870. It's insisting that people submit themselves to the teaching they receive, just as Vatican 1 Catholics were told they should think 'with the Pope'. Inserting the word 'biblical' into the sentence doesn't change that. It's still saying that the individual should accept the Revd X's version of scriptural teaching as it stands, rather than taker any responsibility for entering into any relationship with scripture or evaluating it of themselves.
  • Thats the way I read it too, Enoch.

    But hey! The bonus of all that free time you get when you're not cudgelling the old grey matter by doing some thinking for yourself.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Presumably,though, women don't join in any worship songs at Bigjon's place? (1 Cor 14.34)
    Hi Eirenist -
    To interpret 1 Cor 14:34 in that way would be to expound that place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another - namely 1 Cor 11:5
  • Purely practically, isn’t this also dangerous? Isn’t it this sort of exhortation to (for example) victims of DA to “prayerfully submit themselves” to the authority of the “Biblical teaching” of their vicar which could keep them in abusive relationships?

    After all, if the clergy have prayerfully immersed themselves in the Word, and decided marriage is one man, one woman for ever, no ifs not buts, who is a mere congregant to argue with that?

    Perhaps this is an extreme example, but it seems a logical consequence of the idea to me.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    First of all,
    bigjon wrote: »
    ....
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    You are right to observe that it is uncomfortable for Con-Evos to remain in the C of E, and I'm sure more such congregations will transfer to other Anglican organisations as some have already done.
    So far as England is concerned, assuming that's where you are, what do you mean by "an authentically Anglican denomination" which isn't the CofE? Whether it suits you to argue this or not, how do you claim that there could be an authentic version of Anglicanism in England that is not in communion with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the bishop of the diocese in which the parish finds itself.


    Authentically Anglican = holding to the Scriptural doctrine of the 39 Articles, Book Of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.

    ACNA is not in communion with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (shame on those two for not sticking up for their siblings in Christ) but is authentically Anglican. In England, AmiE is authentically Anglican.

    Have you been listening to anything the GAFCON bishops have been saying for the past ten years? The next Lambeth conference will be an irrelevant sideshow, because once the English Archbishops cease to uphold Anglican / Scriptural doctrine they lose all authority over the worldwide Anglican provinces.
    I think that calls for another acronym, NTS - No true Scotsman.

    Your definition of 'Authentically Anglican is yours, and I suspect almost exclusive to you. Like it or not, the ACNA, by not being in communion with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, doesn't meet what a lot of other people would regard as being of the esse rather than bene esse of Anglican. And with your emphasis on doctrinal purity to your own test, have you considered that you might be falling into a form of Novatianism and might not be taking sufficiently on board the parable of the wheat and the tares?
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    I think there are two key points where you and I differ. The first is that I think schism is a sin.
    I agree, but I think that schism is a matter of doctrine, not polity.
    Enoch wrote: »
    The second, is that I think that
    2 Cor 6:17(WEB to avoid copyright problems) ... “‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you."
    is a command to Christians to separate ourselves from the world. It is not a command to separate ourselves from brothers and sisters we don't like, disapprove of, think have got the faith wrong, etc. That interpretation is not just wrong. It is a position that is not just interpreting Jesus's command to us to love one another in a selective way that isn't backed by scripture. It also demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what Jesus's Incarnation means.
    I'm being accused of NOT separating myself from my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church Of England on this thread, I think.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    ... Not so, I think. The alternative to a magisterium is for individuals to prayerfully submit themselves to the biblical teaching they receive. As bishops and presbyters prayerfully exercise themselves in the scriptures and teach them faithfully, this in itself banishes strange and erroneous doctrine and is the true source of their authority.
    That sounds to me a sort of Calvinist version of the papal magisterium as of 1870. It's insisting that people submit themselves to the teaching they receive, just as Vatican 1 Catholics were told they should think 'with the Pope'.
    I wouldn’t say that’s a Calvinist (as in Calvin) understanding.

  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Again, I do wish that @bigjon would be clearer as to in what matters he deems the CofE to have erred, although I'm inferring, from mention of GASCON, that it's about not being, as I said earlier, sufficiently misogynistic, transphobic and homophobic. I'd be delighted to learn that I'm wrong.

    Hi KarlLB -

    I said I was raising my head above the parapet in this thread, not sitting in the stocks and letting you throw rotten vegetables at me.

    I've said that I believe the CofE to have erred because it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.

    The specific issues on which we may differ about biblical interpretation and how it applies to controversial matters are probably best left to their own threads on the Ship. I hope to make some contribution to them in due time, but at the moment I can't keep up with this one!
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    I think there are two key points where you and I differ. The first is that I think schism is a sin.
    I agree, but I think that schism is a matter of doctrine, not polity.
    Enoch wrote: »
    The second, is that I think that
    2 Cor 6:17(WEB to avoid copyright problems) ... “‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you."
    is a command to Christians to separate ourselves from the world. It is not a command to separate ourselves from brothers and sisters we don't like, disapprove of, think have got the faith wrong, etc. That interpretation is not just wrong. It is a position that is not just interpreting Jesus's command to us to love one another in a selective way that isn't backed by scripture. It also demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what Jesus's Incarnation means.
    I'm being accused of NOT separating myself from my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church Of England on this thread, I think.
    Not quite.

    What some of us are trying to point out is that you seem to either disapprove of or despise everything about the majority of the CofE - really you don't like or approve of anyone other than the other 13 AMiE places. Perhaps you might be prepared to put up with some places which, you have decided on balance are doctrinally pure.

    And in answer to that some of us have asked (a) why you claim to be CofE if in fact your church is AMiE; and (b) why you would want to be CofE if you disapprove of everything about it from the authority of its bishops, down.

    A cynic might suggest that it has always been the case that it is easier, and cheaper, to mount a coup d'etat from within than without and this is a lesson that some of the AMiE clergy seem to have absorbed and, it would seem, some of its laity too.

    Don't worry though: if you get to heaven you'll find God will forgive you (although some of us might find it slightly harder) because that is the nature of God - she forgives everyone.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    This sounds very much like the Old Catholics post 1870. "We're the real Catholics. You guys are innovators." To go there you have to deny the authority of the episcopacy (and in the case of the Catholics, the Pope). Is such denial in accordance with the Canons and Articles etc.? Not being an Anglican, I do not know the answer to that. If the answer is no, then this appears to be a matter of picking and choosing which Articles to cleave to - exactly what you're accusing of those not of your faction. (Oooh does that bring Paul to mind?)

    Hi Mousethief -
    I don't deny the authority of the episcopacy but it is defined in the Book Of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (the other founding documents of the Church Of England apart from the 39 Articles) way differently from how the current bishops of the CofE present it.

    Essentially they are of the same order as vicars, with the same task, to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers" and thereby to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines"

    Modern bishop-cant of being a "focus of unity for the diocese," outside of the unity formed by common doctrine, is a later invention, influenced by Roman Catholicism, with no warrant of Scripture.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Modern bishop-cant of being a "focus of unity for the diocese," outside of the unity formed by common doctrine, is a later invention, influenced by Roman Catholicism, with no warrant of Scripture.

    Denominations have no warrant of Scripture, and yet... (mousethief is excused because he's Orthodox)
  • bigjon wrote: »
    I don't deny the authority of the episcopacy but it is defined in the Book Of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (the other founding documents of the Church Of England apart from the 39 Articles) way differently from how the current bishops of the CofE present it.

    We've had bishops for nigh on two millennia. Choosing to define the episcopacy by a particular set of much younger documents (even if they are the "founding documents" of the C of E) seems a trifle myopic.
  • Where the bishop is, there is the church. This understanding of the episcopacy long predates Anglicanism, let alone these little wannabe splinter groups.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    I am so happy I left the CofE for the FCE 25 years ago. I didn't have to deal with the CofE administrative/territorial crap any more. The US is similarly lacking in the constitpated processes of the establishment.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    I don't deny the authority of the episcopacy but it is defined in the Book Of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (the other founding documents of the Church Of England apart from the 39 Articles) way differently from how the current bishops of the CofE present it.

    We've had bishops for nigh on two millennia. Choosing to define the episcopacy by a particular set of much younger documents (even if they are the "founding documents" of the C of E) seems a trifle myopic.

    It's not even founding documents of the CofE - the current 39 Articles are a snapshot of CofE doctrine at a particular moment in its long history, occurring about a millennium after its foundation and a century after the final break with Rome. The idea that the church reached a peak of correct doctrine sometime in the 17th century under the governorship of Charles II is an absurdity. It denies both the Protestant ideal:
    "for I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from His holy word."
    And the more catholic idea that in a century and more of schism and conflict things of value may have been lost.

    I struggle to see how anyone can claim Anglican identity while holding to a Presbyterian understanding of polity. If you reject the ancient three-fold order of Bishops, Priests and Deacons then you're not Anglican. That isn't an argument about whether you're right or not, simply that Episcopal polity is one of the four essentials of Anglicanism (the others being the sufficiency of scripture, the sufficiency of the creeds, and recognition of Baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments). That's why the Scottish Episcopal Church is Anglican despite not arising from the CofE. If you cannot recognise Episcopal authority in its local adaptation within your own particular church (for Anglicanism is a communion of particular churches) then you are not Anglican. Nothing wrong with that in itself, some of my best friends are Presbyterians. Why not join them? I hope you really like committees!
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Hmm, how about acknowledging two integrities on the issue, committing to mutual flourishing of both integrities, and not imposing women vicars and bishops
    on those congregations which cannot in conscience submit to their authority. Do you think that would work?

    No. There really is no such thing as two integrities, only two opinions. Time to stop fudging, make a decision, stick to it and those who don't like it, leave for something else - all shades of opinion can be found elsewhere.

    Anyway who says Con Evos can't accept women "priests?" The bigger picture is surely to remove the laity/clergy anachronism and treat us all the same
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